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FIL opened up about family problems

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by GoodTeacher, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. GoodTeacher

    GoodTeacher New IL'ite

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    Hey friends,

    Yesterday, my DH and I visited my ILs and SIL. SIL did not speak a word, not even a hello... stayed in her room and then left to go out. That's okay.. I'm used to her behavior. However, I was surprised by other things. MIL was at work and we sat with my FIL. For the first time, we was "ready" to discuss family problems and MIL problems we have been having. My DH said that he just wanted all of us to have a good time and not discuss the issues (since in the past nothing good comes out of it). FIL insisted.

    FIL admitted that there are several issues, but mostly that my MIL is mistreating us, especially me. He told her that she is repeating what his mother did to her and how its a bad idea. However, she is very stubborn. FIL feels that he is in the middle of everything.. and has to support my MIL because he cannot deal with that stress, even though he does not agree with her. He further explained that she has been this way since they were newly married. Everytime she had a problem, she could never deal with it, complained all the time, cried, and blamed everyone. Then when FIL tried to calm her down or talk to her, she would blow it out of proportion, call her side of the family, etc.. He admitted that he cannot change her at all. He has tried over 20 years and was unsuccessful, so he just rearranged their lives to avoid stress. But he feels and knows that nobody in the family knows what my FIL has dealt with, and what his position has been in that marriage.

    He told us that he wants us to be happy. He is very fond of me and their son, and believes that we take good care of another, and that in return makes FIL happy. He also explained that MIL hates when we give FIL any attention and respect. Then he explained how the older DIL and MIL did not get along until DIL learned to butter and suck up to her. My MIL likes to be the center of attention and feels that my job as her DIL is to praise her at all times (almost like how to treat my students). My DH and I told FIL that is not my personality, but I am very fair and respectful. FIL agreed, but just explained that this will be a long-term problem and to just ignore the bad qualities and focus on her good ones.

    FIL did say that I have not mistreated my MIL, and MIL gossip has no truth to it. FIL feels that I treat them nicely, but just wishes that my DH and I come over more often. (DH lessened going because all the related stress) FIL is tired of listening to MIL complaints. He says that she is in extremes, and wish he knew how to tell her that she is messing up relationships. .. DH told FIL that he feels the problems began when MIL asked for gifts from my family during wedding, and DH explained how he has lost trust with her mother since DH told her never take gifts or ask for anything. FIL had no clue and was surprised. FIL felt bad.. even apologized.

    I could not imagine my FIL opening up at all, but he did. He asked us not to talk to MIL about any of the things we discussed. The 3 of us agreed. At least I know what the "problems" are now. Eveything he said makes perfect sense, and the puzzle pieces fit well together.

    Now help me figure out my role. I feel a bit relieved.. but if this is a long-tern problem, I'm sure she will get more comfortable with drama. Any suggestions on what I can do on my end, but no sucking up - not my style?
     
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  2. ushkrish

    ushkrish New IL'ite

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    hi
    just leave everything as it is. let things happen on its own. when you have to necessarily react to whatever mil says, make it as minimal as possible. "yes, no, i dont know, i think so, "etc., etc. should be the reaction to avoid any prolonging of her conversation. and if at all it con tinues it would be onesided talk where nobody else is responding. how long can a person conduct a drama whe n there is no dialogue from the other person . soon she will start learn ing where to stop all her nonsense. good that your fil opened up in the right time.
    lov usha
     
  3. APassionateOne

    APassionateOne New IL'ite

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    Dear GT, lucky you. DH is on your side and now FIL opened up. Looks like good days are on setting. Now that you are in that inside circle..you can be a lil' more confident and a lil' more forgiving too.

    You don't have to suck up or praise your MIL, but considering that she is your DH's mommy who bought him up and loved him, you probably can go a lil' easier on her.

    May be a lil' smile, a few courtesies, occasional help in the kitchen etc when you see her and a praise or two (only about the things truly 'praise-able' about her..) etc.

    If she is starting to boss you or criticize you etc, you can silently ignore/give a cold shoulder and retreat. A few times like this, would tell her that her DIL was about to cooperate and even praise her till she started to criticize and boss her!

    She may learn that not all DILs are like how she was and not all the MILs should be how her MIL was. She is an abused soul..

    Who knows..you may end up getting that change in your MIL which your FIL couldn't get from past 20 years ;)
     

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