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  #31  
Old January 24th, 2008, 09:46 AM
august august is offline
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

I don't really know what to tell you...

I have read everything and still really don't know what to tell you.

Don't compromise your current situation with the family living in your home just because you want them closer to you....kind of like the rule of thumb, don't borrow money to people when you have your own bills to pay...no one will win here...you letting them live there to get ahead, sounds like your son's past situation living with his dad and brothers, to get ahead...and where are they now...

They will figure out how and when and everything will fall into place for the new married couple when they start really working together towards their future.

Best suggestion I can give you is to NEVER GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE, and never ask personal questions about things that should only concern the married couple, sex, money, children, don't pressure for children, decorating, what they do in their spare time, just simply accept her, as she is going to be different than anyone in your family, she is supposed to be, don't blame the relationship you have with your son and how it may change on her...they are doing what they are supposed to do, you are now 'extended family'.....be open to their chioces' and don't get mad at them when they don't do as you want them to do....if your son vents to you about his new wife...only listen don't take sides remembering it takes two people to bicker, fight and make love...

loose all expectations you may have ... you will only disappoint yourself...

kind of the rules of life...you are responsible for yourself, for your own happiness, learn to act and not react...don't tell the whole world about how you feel about the two of them and their union...keep it too yourself...

learn to take deep breaths and count to ten...'loosing it' on them won't bode well for you...
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  #32  
Old January 24th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

Blackbox,

Yes, your responses sound harsh but aren't unwelcomed as I did ask for advice.

However......I'm getting the impression that you think my relationship with my son is unhealthy. That would be due to you not knowing the full story and only going by what I've written here. Honestly, you're making our relationship sound positively perverse......like breastfeeding would be creating a situation like this.......like hugging a child is keeping them too close........like just being interested in their lives after they leave the nest is unnecessary.

This is just how I feel like you are coming across, not necessarily how it is. Its hard to convey things sometimes over this type of medium, thats all.

Rowan

ETA: I forgot to add that I have never played marytr. However, I am not going to be made to stifle my feelings constantly with my son, because she's feeling the way she's feeling. I love him too and he deserves to have both of us in his life. I will ofcourse play second fiddle to her because that is the natural way of things but I'm not going to be pushed completely out. That being said, and after having a couple of days to read all the replies and think about things, I don't think he's trying to push me out.....I do think he needs to talk to his wife more about her boundaries.

Last edited by Rowan; January 24th, 2008 at 02:54 PM.
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  #33  
Old January 24th, 2008, 03:02 PM
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

Quote:
Originally Posted by august View Post

Best suggestion I can give you is to NEVER GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE, and never ask personal questions about things that should only concern the married couple, sex, money, children, don't pressure for children, decorating, what they do in their spare time, just simply accept her, as she is going to be different than anyone in your family, she is supposed to be, don't blame the relationship you have with your son and how it may change on her...they are doing what they are supposed to do, you are now 'extended family'.....be open to their chioces' and don't get mad at them when they don't do as you want them to do....if your son vents to you about his new wife...only listen don't take sides remembering it takes two people to bicker, fight and make love...
I think this.....one paragraph with everything in it thats needed all wrapped up nicely.
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  #34  
Old January 24th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
ETA: I forgot to add that I have never played marytr. However, I am not going to be made to stifle my feelings constantly with my son, because she's feeling the way she's feeling. I love him too and he deserves to have both of us in his life. I will ofcourse play second fiddle to her because that is the natural way of things but I'm not going to be pushed completely out. That being said, and after having a couple of days to read all the replies and think about things, I don't think he's trying to push me out.....I do think he needs to talk to his wife more about her boundaries.
Nicely said, Rowan.
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  #35  
Old January 24th, 2008, 05:26 PM
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Box View Post
Another red flag:

"But what if my son WANTS to tell me these thing?" He can want what he wants, but if he disregards his wife's feelings on something so important to her, all three of you will be very unhappy. He'll hurt his marriage, she'll get angrier and angrier. And you will bear the brunt of the blame. You now know his wife's feelings on this matter. They aren't unreasonable feelings. Respect them.

It's a common pitfall for everyone to underestimate how much change occurs with a marriage. You aren't just adding a family member. ALL relationships change. When you write: "But I'm his MOTHER!" you are implying that you have rights. But the truth is your 'rights' expired when he turned 18. She is his wife: she's the one who has rights.

Granted your son made a huge misstep in discussing fiances with you. He also made a big mistake telling you what she said and telling her what you said. Another poster covered that. I wonder if your DIL even knows he wants to buy a house with you. Or if she really wants to move. Or if she wants to stay in your house. Or how happy she is that he's carrying tales back and forth between you and her.

She doesn't want problems.

Please don't deliberately misunderstand a request because you don't like it. It gets old fast and it's tiresome and your DIL will despise you for it - And you'll see less and less and less of them.

I relate really well to the above - My own mom isn't entitled to know about my finances, etc. The best advice I've got for you is read about boundries in marriage (I'll have to find the title & insert it) and ALLOW boundries. My marriage was almost destroyed by my husband & my Psuedo Inlaws refusing to acknowledge boundries. I still get upset because I used to consider them my ILs too, until the final straw- they stabbed me, my mom, & the rest of my family in the back-


(edit- if interested in the situation search for my thread on the Psuedo Inlaws)

(2nd edit I was refered to the following-Boundaries is a common reference at the IL sites. There's a variety of titles written by Dr. Townsend & Henry Cloud. You'll want the original or the Boundaries for Marriage.

This is an article with a helpful summary written by the author:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/mp/2000/004/10.36.html)

Last edited by snafu; January 24th, 2008 at 05:35 PM.
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  #36  
Old January 25th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

Rowan,

From everything you've written it sounds like you can be very proud of your son for picking a partner who will help him grow into an excellent adult. Her being direct with you (and him) about her boundaries and saying she wants to have a good relationship with you are really awesome signs.

Love that girl. Talk to her directly and let your relationship develop at a slow and healthy pace.

The other ladies have given you good food for thought but I am going to cover it again anyway because writing it helps me to understand it all better myself. I hope to be a good MIL myself someday but it is not intuitive. Parenting seems comfortable to me now but I agonized over every detail initially. And every cry and bump seemed to have something to do with me personally. It didn't always but that was something I had to learn too. I think becoming a MIL is just as big a transition.

Most of what they will go through will have very little to do with you. But that doesn't make it feel easier.

Good for you for having the courage to pay attention your feelings and the way you conduct your relationships.

About your daughter in law: I wish I could have been that clear headed and practical at only eight weeks into my marriage. A bold daughter in law who can be direct and has clear boundaries is a blessing. I'm still struggling with communicating my boundaries. Sometimes its easy. Sometimes it is very hard.

If your DIL didn't have those skills she'd likely just try to avoid you and that would be sad for you both. If you can manage it, and its true, tell her that while you were initially hurt by the text message you thought about it and really appreciate how forthright she is being. Let them both know you are capable of caring for you own feelings.

If you feel comfortable with it even tell her about the books your reading to help understand what factors are at play here. I think coming here and asking questions and being willing to develop new skills is so great of you.

That said, there will probably be other times when your feelings are hurt, when you don't know what direction to go with this girl and when you think you have them all figured out and then there is yet another frustrating time. That is normal.

It's okay to have all of those feelings. Your growing too. Those feelings won't mean that you've 'lost him' or even that you need to suddenly 'try harder'. Focus on your own life and interests and enjoy them to the fullest. Your son and his wife have tons to figure out right now. It will take time and your relationship with them will obviously take a back seat to those efforts.

Be kind to yourself and take a step back. This also a big life transition for you. Do something for yourself that you have imagined enjoying but have put off. Respect your new role as an observer of your sons growth and no longer your sons primary catalyst. That's his wifes job now.

And even more than hers, it's his own.

As they struggle together and face rough times, times that you may feel compelled to rescue them from, don't. It may be hard to watch. Everything in you may scream "but he's my son, if I just help them with these payments...and take some of their burden..." don't do it. They need those burdens to grow.

If they can't afford a house on their own they will have to build themselves up until they do. It takes longer. It also means so much more to do it yourself than to be continually 'helped' into things.

Whatever you give them monetarily be sure to ask both of them first every time. Give them the chance to talk it out before deciding. If they say no, be graceful about it. Minimize miscommunications by being direct with both of them and speaking to her as you would speak to him.

If you are not comfortable saying something to her, don't say it to him. Even when you are alone with him. It will reach her. When he starts to tell you something intimate she has told him, stop him. If he does not have a clear boundary about that, it is up to you to tell him about the new, clear boundary you are developing so that you can have a good relationship with both of them.

It's not giving advice to point out your own boundary. And it is a serious marital mistake for him to do that that special kind of sharing where he tells you about the most intimate bits of their conversations. It can only hurt you with both of them in the long run if you let him continue on with you as though he were single.

It may seem that this unfairly limits your 'closeness' with your son. But this is what it takes to help him be a success as a husband in his new life. If he does succeed in the next few years with his wife you will be setting the stage for having an excellent, healthy relationship with not just him (who you've already enjoyed for many years) but with his wife and frankly that will be an adventure that you can't put a price on. Seeing 'your son' and his wife growing together as a couple, building their own family...wow.

Playing second fiddle is a position of resentment. His wife needs to be the only fiddle. They are working on a duet. Not a trio and not Big Bears Family Band where everyone gets to put their feelings forward and get their emotional needs met. They need more space than you may think to figure out how to meet each others emotional needs within their marriage.

Your friends and spouse and others can meet your emotional needs. Your son is not free too during the first few years of his marriage.

If he seems to withdraw from you for a time don't chase after him looking to rekindle that special bond. Its not gone. Just changing. He will learn how to gauge how much quality time he wants with you and when. He will learn how to balance all his relationships well, if given time and space.

In ancient times some cultures expected a new husband to leave all other social roles for the first year of marriage and just focus on figuring out how to be a husband. It really is a very big job and no one else can do it for him. His wife can help him. You can help him by working on your own life. Allow those boundaries and allow them to change as much as they need to. Mistakes and hurt feelings will happen. Talk to them and clear the air when you need to.

You said you were being genuine and yourself when you met her, that is wonderful. Don't stop now. And don't let your feelings that you are unsure of who she is get in the way of enjoying both of them when they spend time with you. They are both changing, so are you.

Best wishes and many happy years to all of you.
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  #37  
Old January 25th, 2008, 01:07 PM
august august is offline
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

great post nonnymouse!
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  #38  
Old January 25th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

Dear nonmymouse,

How wise you are! There is too much about your post that hits home as well as being valuable advise, to mention it all.

Your advice did not fall in deaf ears and I sooooooooooooooo appreciate you being kind in your response; I am a member of another board and its brutal over there.

Again, thank you so much and to everyone who has offered kind advice. I am learning and do appreciate it.

*grouphug*
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  #39  
Old January 25th, 2008, 03:21 PM
Black Box Black Box is offline
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

"Playing second fiddle is a position of resentment. His wife needs to be the only fiddle. They are working on a duet. Not a trio and not Big Bears Family Band where everyone gets to put their feelings forward and get their emotional needs met. They need more space than you may think to figure out how to meet each others emotional needs within their marriage."

Oh this is so right. And a wonderful analogy. Nobody when playing a duet wants mommy, however loving, hanging over there shoulder saying, "Place your fingers here, son. Hold the instrument higher, DIL."
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  #40  
Old January 26th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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Re: A Couple ?'s for the DILs Out There

Nonnymouse, very well said. I think you will make a wonderful MIL one day.

Rowan, welcome to the forum. As a MIL myself, I think many of us struggle a little when our children first marry. The relationships change and we find ourselves in an unknown place. And perhaps we wonder who we are, if not mother. This is a wonderful time for you to find out. Remember all those things you never had time for when your children were growing up? Now you have the time to do them. Your job is complete. Now it's up to your son. He may struggle, but let him figure it out with his new wife. All the posters have given wonderful advice for you to consider. Remember the boundaries suggested. They are invaluable. Give things time and welcome your new DIL into your family. She also loves your son and has his best interest at heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonnymouse View Post
Rowan,

From everything you've written it sounds like you can be very proud of your son for picking a partner who will help him grow into an excellent adult. Her being direct with you (and him) about her boundaries and saying she wants to have a good relationship with you are really awesome signs.

Love that girl. Talk to her directly and let your relationship develop at a slow and healthy pace.

The other ladies have given you good food for thought but I am going to cover it again anyway because writing it helps me to understand it all better myself. I hope to be a good MIL myself someday but it is not intuitive. Parenting seems comfortable to me now but I agonized over every detail initially. And every cry and bump seemed to have something to do with me personally. It didn't always but that was something I had to learn too. I think becoming a MIL is just as big a transition.

Most of what they will go through will have very little to do with you. But that doesn't make it feel easier.

Good for you for having the courage to pay attention your feelings and the way you conduct your relationships.

About your daughter in law: I wish I could have been that clear headed and practical at only eight weeks into my marriage. A bold daughter in law who can be direct and has clear boundaries is a blessing. I'm still struggling with communicating my boundaries. Sometimes its easy. Sometimes it is very hard.

If your DIL didn't have those skills she'd likely just try to avoid you and that would be sad for you both. If you can manage it, and its true, tell her that while you were initially hurt by the text message you thought about it and really appreciate how forthright she is being. Let them both know you are capable of caring for you own feelings.

If you feel comfortable with it even tell her about the books your reading to help understand what factors are at play here. I think coming here and asking questions and being willing to develop new skills is so great of you.

That said, there will probably be other times when your feelings are hurt, when you don't know what direction to go with this girl and when you think you have them all figured out and then there is yet another frustrating time. That is normal.

It's okay to have all of those feelings. Your growing too. Those feelings won't mean that you've 'lost him' or even that you need to suddenly 'try harder'. Focus on your own life and interests and enjoy them to the fullest. Your son and his wife have tons to figure out right now. It will take time and your relationship with them will obviously take a back seat to those efforts.

Be kind to yourself and take a step back. This also a big life transition for you. Do something for yourself that you have imagined enjoying but have put off. Respect your new role as an observer of your sons growth and no longer your sons primary catalyst. That's his wifes job now.

And even more than hers, it's his own.

As they struggle together and face rough times, times that you may feel compelled to rescue them from, don't. It may be hard to watch. Everything in you may scream "but he's my son, if I just help them with these payments...and take some of their burden..." don't do it. They need those burdens to grow.

If they can't afford a house on their own they will have to build themselves up until they do. It takes longer. It also means so much more to do it yourself than to be continually 'helped' into things.

Whatever you give them monetarily be sure to ask both of them first every time. Give them the chance to talk it out before deciding. If they say no, be graceful about it. Minimize miscommunications by being direct with both of them and speaking to her as you would speak to him.

If you are not comfortable saying something to her, don't say it to him. Even when you are alone with him. It will reach her. When he starts to tell you something intimate she has told him, stop him. If he does not have a clear boundary about that, it is up to you to tell him about the new, clear boundary you are developing so that you can have a good relationship with both of them.

It's not giving advice to point out your own boundary. And it is a serious marital mistake for him to do that that special kind of sharing where he tells you about the most intimate bits of their conversations. It can only hurt you with both of them in the long run if you let him continue on with you as though he were single.

It may seem that this unfairly limits your 'closeness' with your son. But this is what it takes to help him be a success as a husband in his new life. If he does succeed in the next few years with his wife you will be setting the stage for having an excellent, healthy relationship with not just him (who you've already enjoyed for many years) but with his wife and frankly that will be an adventure that you can't put a price on. Seeing 'your son' and his wife growing together as a couple, building their own family...wow.

Playing second fiddle is a position of resentment. His wife needs to be the only fiddle. They are working on a duet. Not a trio and not Big Bears Family Band where everyone gets to put their feelings forward and get their emotional needs met. They need more space than you may think to figure out how to meet each others emotional needs within their marriage.

Your friends and spouse and others can meet your emotional needs. Your son is not free too during the first few years of his marriage.

If he seems to withdraw from you for a time don't chase after him looking to rekindle that special bond. Its not gone. Just changing. He will learn how to gauge how much quality time he wants with you and when. He will learn how to balance all his relationships well, if given time and space.

In ancient times some cultures expected a new husband to leave all other social roles for the first year of marriage and just focus on figuring out how to be a husband. It really is a very big job and no one else can do it for him. His wife can help him. You can help him by working on your own life. Allow those boundaries and allow them to change as much as they need to. Mistakes and hurt feelings will happen. Talk to them and clear the air when you need to.

You said you were being genuine and yourself when you met her, that is wonderful. Don't stop now. And don't let your feelings that you are unsure of who she is get in the way of enjoying both of them when they spend time with you. They are both changing, so are you.

Best wishes and many happy years to all of you.
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