sigh... and I thought I was pretty lucky when it came to in-laws...NOT!!!

(29 posts)(20 voices)
  1. .................................................. ............

  2. Whoa.....

    I'm so sorry this happened. My guess is, you just tripped into a pile of **** that was not of your making. But your getting blamed for it. Sounds like SIL has had a lot to deal with. Single and divorced, living with aging parents, feeling as if she is their one and only caretaker. You were the nearest target, as possibly, in her eyes, you have everything she wanted out of life.

    Regarding the bizarre accusation about a crush...I think it is most likely, that she has created that story in her mind, and allowed it to blow up into something that never existed. Could it be possible that your kind words to her about "BOB" have been twisted in her grief-stricken period of mourning of her marriage? I think so. I think it is highly likely that no one ever told her you said you had a crush on her husband.

    I have no idea how I would proceed from here. Perhaps, cool off and then make a decision as to what points she spewed at you are worth rehashing. My guess is, a rehashing with her would not be productive as she seems to be in an irrationaly space. I'll be curious what other think you should do.

    Anyways, sorry this is happening. No one needs drama like this.

  3. She is probably pretty overwhelmed. When you are in it 24 hours I would imagine life is pretty stressful right now having taken care of your ILs so long. Stuff probably festered and you got caught up in it. You did the right thing calling her but I'd give her some space. Everyone's perceptions can be different. In her eyes she thought you weren't doing anything when you were sitting but you know better. You know that so just let those comments go. You can only do the best that you can knowing this is a stressful family situation and you don't live as close as the others.

    I have a pretty superficial relationship with my family. After my loss, things came out and they still come back to me from my mom from left field and over time I've learned that I just am never going to be close to my side of the family unfortunately.

    There seems to be alot of baggage in your family but if they are loving you just have to find a way to be happy in it - sometimes it means your relationship is not as deep as you wish it. I try to do have my relationship in a way such that later when maybe my parents are no longer living I can look back and see I had something.

    I'd also let the crush comment go. She should not have brought it up at all to you and you know it isn't true.

    Lauren

  4. I'd honestly try to put it behind me, silly as it (the crush story) was.

    Your SIL must be under an awful lot of stress, working full time, being the live-in primary caregiver of a dying parent and not having a family of her own (i.e. husband and kids) to help her take her mind of things. Going to see your MIL every other week is nothing compared to what she's doing and I actually understand why she's upset with her siblings. I'd really try to cut her some slack and just let it go.

    - Sally
    DD 7 yo

  5. thanks for the responses..

    samba, while i understand she's under alot of pressure ( and i am taking that into consideration) , i really dont think there's ever an excuse to attack someone and assassinate their character, simply because they're under alot of pressure. they way she treated me was beyond anything ive ever seen or heard. but thanks for taking the time to answer, i know there are bound to be alot of perspectives on this. also, we do alot more collectively than take my mil to church every week, but i dont want to get into that. i posted this more to relieve some stress, not to have to defend my hurt feelings.

    forgot to mention, she got into an 'argument' last year with another bil ( not her brother, her sisters dh) and although i dont know the details, i know that bil has not talked to her in over a year- so i'm guessing she went off on him like she went off on me. and that was way before any of this with my fil began..

  6. There's obviously a LOT going on here. I think the whole 'crush' thing is something best gotten over. it doesn't really matter who said what does it? The original 'family member' that said it may have made a flip joke about you, or only said that you think he's cute and nice and she interpreted it as a 'crush'.... honestly as shocking and humiliating as it is for you I think you should drop it.

    As for helping with the in-laws. I saw my FIL go through this with his mother and his 3 siblings. No one was 'helping' him during her last 2-3 years. She had multiple ailments - some new, some old. He had to fly from Ohio to Chicago to look after her. There was SO much to deal with and 2 of the 3 siblings were next to useless.

    If she's living with them and is there primary carer, she's under a huge amount of stress. I know that you and your dh are super busy but she is being left with a massive amount of work. I also know it may not be 'fair' that other siblings do nothing and aren't busy. Saying all that, I think you could do more to help. One meal every 2 weeks is not enough. Maybe there are phone calls you could make? My FIL spent a lot of time making appointments with various doctors, checking up on Rx's, refills etc. He had a h*ll of a time trying to get his mother's oxygen tank's sorted out. Could you help with some of this stuff? It won't add up to all that much time, but the stress of dealing with insurance companies / doctor's offices etc can be overwhelming.

    I know that much of what she said was unfair and even untrue but it smacks of a cry for help to me. The reason she said it to you? because she DOES love you and thinks of you as a friend. She needs help.

    Ema

  7. Hello,

    Just chiming in.......don't think there's ever a situation where someone should be attacked like you were......all of us are under a great deal of stress, regardless of our situation.......
    There are a select few in this world who are blessed with their spouses families......my experience is that there are mostly outlaws.......

    Just do what you can to insulate yourself and your children.........isolate yourself from situations like this as best as you can.......your husband should be helping to shield you from this nonsense, too.......what's his take on any of it?

    Amy

  8. Oh, I'm not saying I wouldn't be hurt and angry as well if I were you, I'd just try to overcome it.

    She's probably jealous of you, maybe even unconsciously. You guys have each other, you have children and to boot, your MIL makes a big fuss out of you whenever you visit. SIL is probably just taken for granted by her mom as she's there all the time anyway and thus never gets star treatment.

    But if you have it in you to just accept that SIL now believes you when you say that you never had a crush on her husband (and I don't believe anybody from your family told her this before the wedding, it's just her own insecurities talking), then I think the whole extended family would benefit from not having additional tension thrown in the mix just now given the sad situation with your FIL.

    - Sally

  9. it seems like i've somehow given the impression that 'all ' we've done is take her to church and cook for them.

    -i offer constantly to buy her groceries, or pick them up for her.
    - dh goes over there and does fix-it stuff, we recently gave them and installed a new step to the patio.
    - i've offered to take her to the mall, and to lunch.

    plenty of other stuff.

    also- my fil not 'healthy' but he's not infirm. he needs help getting up and down and with his insulin shots, but he isnt bedridden. and my MIL is actually perfectly healthy and active.

    i know that when you post something you have to be prepared to hear the whole range of opinions. but i posted this more about how my feelings are hurt ( and yes, i think accusing someone of throwing themselves at your husband, is seriously disturbed). but like i said, even if i'm not feeling the validation i guess i was looking for, it does help me to get a better understanding to hear different perspectives.

  10. Oh, I'm not saying I wouldn't be hurt and angry as well if I were you, I'd just try to overcome it.She's probably jealous of you, maybe even unconsciously. You guys have each other, you have children and to boot, your MIL makes a big fuss out of you whenever you visit. SIL is probably just taken for granted by her mom as she's there all the time anyway and thus never gets star treatment.But if you have it in you to just accept that SIL now believes you when you say that you never had a crush on her husband (and I don't believe anybody from your family told her this before the wedding, it's just her own insecurities talking), then I think the whole extended family would benefit from not having additional tension thrown in the mix just now given the sad situation with your FIL.- Sally

    sally, these are very good points, and i hadn't really thought of it this way... i know we both just need some time to process all of this.. the main thing is i dont want to make any of this harder on my dh..

  11. Violet - Just wanted to add, that knowing what you have dealt with during the past six months, I can't imagine that there was more that you could have done regarding time and meals. I know you have bent over backwards to help them. There's only so much time in a day.

    What is the financial situation with your in-laws? Is there money available to hire some help and give sil a break? Could you take up a collection amongst the siblings to help shoulder some of the burden of care?

  12. I'm concerned about you - you never don't have a reply......

    How do you feel about what she said?

    What does your dh say and how does he think you should proceed?

    FWIW - I hated my brothers wife. She would take pot shots at me every chance she got. She said many things I'll never forgive her for and I choose not to have a relationship with her.

    Do you like her???

  13. Honestly, with the crush thing... I think that might be coming from some insecurities that your SIL had back then and may be now. I guess I just don't see why she would even bring it up, they are divorced, he's long gone so what relevance does it. I agree with the PP who stated that she probably manifested the *crush* in her head and unfortunatly using you as an inappropriate outlet/target.

    I totally get, and know you do to, that she is under a mound of stress. And also know that you are doing and helping as much as you possibly can. But in life, unfortuntaly, people see what they want and some people also keep score, which it sounds like Jen might be doing. Because Jen lives there originally by choice and I assume later out of wanting to help her folks, she is the *winner* because she is there all the time. So yes in her eyes she does everything and no amount of help you or the other sibs give or do won't add up unless the in-laws are going to come live with you. But this doesn't excuse her attacking you, for that I am sorry.

    As a PP said, I think you have been the unfortunate outlet of her stress and anger at the entire situation. It is not fair, and so very hurtful as your true intention was concern you had for her in the hopes of making sure she was ok. May be give it a bit of time and then try and start a conversation on the things that are just eating away at you.

    So sorry!

  14. Holy ****, Lynn. You weren't kidding when you said things were bad on Mother's Day. I am really sorry you had to endure this episode.

    Re. the crush comments - I too agree that is one that I would let go. This supposedly happened several years ago anyway, right? I don't think it would make much sense to try to figure out who told her, because it could be that no one told her.

    She is clearly very resentful of you. She is not going to explode like that on her sisters and her other SILs live far away. You were her closest target. Nonetheless, it had to be horrible and I am sure I would have been shellshocked too.

    I would let some time pass. Not too much, because this is evidently upsetting you. It seems she is ready to move on, but you aren't, so you shouldn't have to without having another conversation with her. Maybe you could send her a quick email letting her know that you'd like to talk some more, perhaps over lunch sometime soon. She probably feels better about letting you have it but now you feel worse. So, things aren't "OK".

    I am sorry, let me know if there is anything I can do.

  15. Nothing new to add here.....but - I would also let the crush thing go. Its her insecurity - I doubt anyone said anything to her and in fact, the more attention you give it, the more it will validate in her mind the 'crush'. So although that is a very hard one to swallow - I'd ignore that one permanently. Less attention - hopefully = less validation of a crazy idea.

    As for you in laws.....that is a very hard one. I think as others have said given everything you and dh have been through in the last few months that you have done more than enough. People in stressful situations will have their own view of that but you have done what you can.

    I would, if it was me, just deal with MIL and FIL on what kind of help/assistance they need - let them call the shots on that one so to speak. That way you are doing what needs to be done in their minds b/c in the end, they are who you are trying to help out. I don't mean to ignore the SIL and I get what she is doing is also stressful.

    Hugs to you........and yes, let me know if there is anything I can do.
    Nancy

  16. That is really crappy...it would be hard in my mind to rebuild a relationship after all that nonsense about having a crush on her ex. It sounds though that this type of behavior for her is not an isolated case...if she had a blowup with her brother as well I would take everything she said with a grain of salt. So in that regard, as hard as I'm sure it is, do your best not to take it personally. Some distance from her for now is definitely warranted though, IMO.

  17. Hi -
    So sorry she went off on you....

    Coming from the other side - I care for my Mom who has been in a skilled nursing facility for 9 months. I have a brother who is about 30 minutes away. I sometimes feel like he should 'take some responsibility' and offer to take her to dr appts, etc. Somedays, it literally takes an entire day to see all of her specialists. All are time off of work for me, meaning I have to make it up at night, etc. She also won't eat their food - that means 2 meal deliveries per day unless I tell her I just can't do it today and she will eat their offering.

    I'm sure SIL is doing daily stuff as well - cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc. All if it is taxing especially 24/7 while adding in her work stress. My gut is that you were in the wrong place at the right time for her outburst. I;m hoping time will lighten the exchange.

    Can the family chip in for a house cleaner or something to lighten the load? Or do the frozen meal options - where you make a months worth and just pull them out, etc.? I know your MIL is ok, but this is still a totally taxing deal. I;ve seen my father age like you wouldn't believe over the last year as a result of the added stress.

    Anyway, sorry! It does suck being on both sides of this issue. And no need to defend your actions - it is really more on your DH to make sure he is helping - it shouldn't all fall to you.

    Take Care

    Sarah

  18. many good and thoughtful pov's , thank you.

    dh feels surprised, hurt and also offended, particularly about the 'crush' thing. he , like me, knows its ridiculous, and that it was wrong of her ( and her ex) to have this idea of me and to 'talk' about it together ( basically, every time i was friendly to the guys, she said it would make both of them 'really uncomfortable'.. he suggested bringing it out in the open to the whole family, like a 'clear the air ' kind thing. he is a very mellow, non pot stirring guy, so its not like he wants trouble- but he feels like he was dont wrong here too-

    i thought a fair solution, without involving people who dont need to be involved, is to tell jen we want to speak to the person who said that i said this. that way, only the 4 of us ( me, jen, perosn and dh) would know about it, and we could ask what was said, how it was meant , and why. then we could hash it out, resolve it, and really try to move on.

    to the pretty much universal opinion that i should let part of it go- i do understand why that makes sense, but i would be lying if i said i could let it go and have a free and clear heart. i can let it go now without 'getting to the bottom of it', but it would mean that i can really never have a real relationship with any of his sibs, partly bc i would never know who spread a vicious rumor about me, and partly because i've always been as nice and thoughtful and caring toward her as you can be towards a person, and her view of the relationship is basically the polar opposite.

    i will say too, that if i was on the outside i might be inclined to say 'let it go', but i will say being accused of saying something you didnt say, and having kind and thoughtful behavior characterized as something insidious, is a terrible feeling and a hard one to just blow off. when a person is accused of something they didnt do, theres a very strong inclination to rebel against it.

    my in laws, as of tuesday, now live with my other non-working sil, her dh, and their kids. now single sil, and other 2 sils, who all live right there are all there to do the daily stuff. bc we live so much farther away and literally have 2 hours of the day we are not in school/work, it doesnt make much sense for us to drive an hour and a half round trip to do something someone who lives with them can do. we offer to do otther things, and we do.

    there are also 2 other bils who have really gotten off 'easy' in the sense they live across the country. as far as i know, they haven't gotten this kind of screaming at, and they are actually blood relatives. we;ve offered and done everything we could possibly do. i guess if it still seems we're not doing 'enough' , then we just have to be painted as the deadbeats and live with it.

  19. dh feels surprised, hurt and also offended, particularly about the 'crush' thing. he , like me, knows its ridiculous, and that it was wrong of her ( and her ex) to have this idea of me and to 'talk' about it together ( basically, every time i was friendly to the guys, she said it would make both of them 'really uncomfortable'.. he suggested bringing it out in the open to the whole family, like a 'clear the air ' kind thing. he is a very mellow, non pot stirring guy, so its not like he wants trouble- but he feels like he was dont wrong here too-

    in that case i would have your DH approach her about this then instead of it coming from you. things are obviously not on good footing between the two of you. even if she now feels better after dumping on you it has been simmering for a while so it could easily turn into a repeat of sunday. i would have DH tell her that he wants to clear the air etc. that way you can be shifted out of the "bad guy" role she seems to have you pegged in.

    good luck. hopefully you can get to the bottom of who said this about you. i do thinkg letting it go is the bigger thing to do, but honestly i would have a VERY hard time doing so if i were in your shoes. especially since this seems 1: have pisssed her off greatly 2: be something she is still aggrevated about and 3: something that she and the ex-h talked about between them. that would chap my asss something fierce so i can understand you not being able to let it ride.

    and just a thought, maybe the dirtbag ex put it in her head as a way to make her jealous.

  20. hi, i didn't get to read all the responses, but i did have some points to share. being married to someone who is 1 of 7, i have learned (the hard way) about the large family dyanamic. everyone talks about everyone. my mantra is to conduct myself kindly with all and never engage in gossip. they have and will continue to find fault with something but i try not to provide an overt reason. we have superficial relationships and at family gatherings i try to focus on my kids.

    it sounds like you were very kind to your SIL. i would say something like i'm sorry you feel this way and not even try to defend yourself. you're not going to convince her or change how she feels. this is very hard and i get that, but her anger is NOT ABOUT YOU. you were a perfect target.

    i do think your SIL is suffering from extreme caregiver burden. she was very unkind to you but i can't imagine how hard her situation must be.

    i'm sorry you're dealing with this. i know how upsetting it can be.

  21. tessa_e, antonia_p, thank you both, there is alot of wisdom and truth in what you're saying.

    i think i'm starting to feel like my anger about this is not really going to be resolved by talking to her, or anyone else in the family. you are also right on in that even tho dh's family think they are 'special' and above gossiping and all that, it still obviously happens, and at times i have been guilty of it too.

    i think the exact right thing to do is to just realize they are in-laws, and to just keep my mouth shut and stay out of all of it. i can sit with them a few times a year and manage to put a smile on my face, for my kids and dhs sake.

    i know it will always hurt me and pisss me off that they will get in their passive aggressive comments about me- for the past 2 years ( since i've been in grad school) i've been told that " the only reason people go back to school is because they werent able to do anything with their lives", and " i wasnt into school myself, but i guess if i couldnt do anything without it i would'.

    nice things to say to someone who just busted their asss to get an advanced degree. so, yeah, i'm angry, but this wont be the first bitter pill i have to swallow. but i have to stay focused on the bigger picture, and that's my dh's sense of peace, and my kids.

  22. Violet...I don't really ahve any good advice to add. You've already gotten tons. I'm just sorry you are going through this. Sounds like she has so much frustration and anger inside and it just all spilled out on you. Not fair.

    Again, I'm really, really sorry. But it sounds like you have the right idea...you can only worry about YOUR family and hopefully this mess will somehow find resolution.

    ~ pb

  23. i am not sure if this has been mentioned, but it sounds to me like perhaps she was drinking at the time too? just sounds bizarre to me someone would come out with all of that at once.

    she is in an angry place, that is all i can read from it - pay her no mind and try and take the high road. yeah, sometimes we all want to tell someone off, but in the end it is *usually* better to just ride it out and avoid the person.

    sorry she unloaded on you like that.

  24. Lynn, I'm so sorry you were exploded on out of the blue. I cannot imagine with what you have had going on in your life over the past couple of years that you could have played a more active role in caregiving than you already have.

    I would be horrified to think someone was harboring ideas that I had amorous feelings for someone else's spouse, and I would be really hurt and really wanting to set that straight. However, I do have to agree that in order to disabuse her of that bizarre notion, the less you say to her about it the better. It sounds like anything you say about it to her could get misinterpreted. She sees your family and knows that it is stable and I can't help but think she could be very envious of you.

    About her needing more help, I think it would be best for your husband to deal with that with her. How do you think she would respond if he asked, "What could Lynn and I do that would help you with caring for mom and dad?" If you present a united front at all times and if he is the one doing most of the interacting with her, then it won't be as easy for her to attack you out of nowhere. If he had been on the phone, would she have made the allegations about how you felt about her former husband?

    I'm sorry you've had to deal with a lack of support through IF treatment, pg losses and getting your Master's degree. I know your SIL has been dealing with a lot. So have you.

  25. Oh, I'm not saying I wouldn't be hurt and angry as well if I were you, I'd just try to overcome it.She's probably jealous of you, maybe even unconsciously. You guys have each other, you have children and to boot, your MIL makes a big fuss out of you whenever you visit. SIL is probably just taken for granted by her mom as she's there all the time anyway and thus never gets star treatment.But if you have it in you to just accept that SIL now believes you when you say that you never had a crush on her husband (and I don't believe anybody from your family told her this before the wedding, it's just her own insecurities talking), then I think the whole extended family would benefit from not having additional tension thrown in the mix just now given the sad situation with your FIL.- Sally

    I was going to write the same thing. Word for word. Well, the same idea at least!

    Mentar

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