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Frequent Fry HerTM
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It's All About Them

frequent fry her - It's All About Them Frequent Fry Her TM - It's All About Them/Posted: 19-MAY-03
DH got an email from FIL in February.  It had just one line, "Is there any way you would consider coming down for your mother's birthday?"  We haven't heard anything from FIL in 6 months, and there was no "How are you?  How are the kids?".  Nothing like that, just his demand.  DH responded, "There was no way I would consider it."  And, that was that.  Then, we got another shipment of packages for my youngest son's birthday in March.  Now, we have told the ILs that we won't be coming down there for visits, but they are welcome to come here to visit the kids.  However, the ILs have apparently decided that they can't be bothered to do that.  They just send packages (they live 30 minutes away) on holidays, and think that they are doing their part.  But, here's my question:  I accepted the "shipping of present" thing on my others son's birthday and Christmas because I thought that the feelings were just a bit raw, and that the ILs would come to their senses and realize that they needed to change if they wanted a relationship with DH and the kids, not to mention me.  But, I don't think that they want that at all.  But, apparently they feel that they are doing all they want to do by just shipping presents.  They always include cards that have things like "Hope you can visit us soon" on the inside, too, like they are just refusing to deal with the reality of what we told them.  SO, now I am feeling manipulated by their present-giving.  My gut feeling is that I should just refuse the next shipment and let them stew about that.  Maybe I am overreacting, but their presents feel like digs at DH and me, and I resent being a party to their sick interpretation of what being a grandparents is all about (PRESENTS!!!).  MIL actually told DH, in the nasty email that she sent, "the grandkids will know, someday, that they have grandparents who love them."  HOW??  They won't visit them, so are they supposed to know that they love them because they send gifts??  Personally, I find that distasteful, and totally at odds with the values we are trying to instill in our kids.  So, what should I do?  DH is pretty much behind the idea, although he feels badly about stirring things up again, and I can sympathize.  But, really, what do we have to lose at this point?

        Signed - What Do We Have to Lose?

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - It's All About Them, 1 of 4 needed Frequent Fry Her TM - It's All About Them, 1 of 4 needed/Posted: 3-MAR-03
OK, so we got through DS's birthday relatively unscathed.  Now came Xmas.  DH and I didn't talk about it much, we were wondering how long this would all go on.  The good thing is that DH is now able to compare his parent's behavior to his own. "Hmm, would I NOT SPEAK to my child for 6 months because they wanted to set the ground rules for their family?"  "Would I REJECT my child because they chose to put the needs of their wife and children above my own?"  And, he is seeing just what a couple of sickos he grew up with as parents.  He is remembering more about his childhood, too.  For years he said that he simply didn't have any childhood memories, but I was pretty sure that he just didn't want to have any.  Now, he is remembering some not so nice things.  I don't think that he was physically abused, but the emotional abuse, the withholding of love, the conditional approval, it must have been terrible.  I really want to cry when I think of DH as a child and what it must have been like for him.  I want to KILL my ILs when I think about my DHs' childhood.  I want to beat them over the heads with their errors, their cruelty.  But THEY DON'T CARE!  It's always been all about them.  My DH spent most of his childhood in his room because his parents didn't want kids getting in their way.  My MIL prided herself on never having played with her children (Oh, I'd never get down on the floor and play with a child).  I am grateful for my DH, but I wonder why the HE!! these monsters had children.  They didn't enjoy them.  They were annoyed by them, and certainly didn't allow them to have their own opinions or even likes and dislikes.  Everything revolved about the ILs, and they think it still should!!  MONSTERS!!!

        Signed - It's ALL About Them

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - It's All About Them, 2 of 4 needed Frequent Fry Her TM - It's All About Them, 2 of 4 needed/Posted: 4-MAR-03
I ended up just ranting in that last post, and didn't even get to Xmas, so here goes.  DH and I were sort of holding our breath, hoping we'd get through the holidays with more of the silent treatment.  And, we almost did.  A week before Xmas, we got a ton of packages from the ILs.  Now, SIL didn't even bother to send on her own.  Her presents were included in with IL's gifts.  I am not going to go into the actual gifts, except for the one for DH and I from the ILs.  It was a wind chime called "Peaceful Chimes", which I had a bit of a laugh over.  Peace, my @ss!  But, again, no cards, no notes, nothing but some gifts that were wrapped and marked for each kid.  SIL sent some homemade gifts for the kids (which is nice, we had been trying to encourage homemade gifts amongst the adults for some time), but then she sent for us several jars of cookie mix that were leftover from last year (I know because the tag on the said "From SIL and SIL's-ex", and she broke up with this person last year!!).  Anyway, all of these gifts came more than a week before Xmas, and if you knew my ILs, you'd know that they wanted to leave enough time for DH to feel guilty and contact them before the holidays.  So I guess the gifts were supposed to make everything OK.  And then they didn't have to deal with their behavior, and everyone could pretend that everything's OK again.  Well, forget it.  First of all, you can't take a cr@p all over someone and then give them a present to make up for it.  And, we are very serious about holding the ILs accountable for their actions, finally!  So, I totally considered sending the whole damn lot back to them, postage due.  But, I realized that would just feed the DRAMA they so crave.  DH was wavering for a bit.  He wanted to mail them some gifts because they had given us something.  But I said "NO WAY"!!  I said, if you want to give gifts, let's give them to someone you like, someone who likes you, not someone who is giving you gifts to try and manipulate your behavior and keep from having to deal with their own actions.  What do you do when you get a gift from someone who hasn't spoken to you in 6 months?  What we did was mail a simple "thank you" card after the holidays.  DH and I went to bed around 8 PM on Christmas, as we'd had an exhausting day.  The next morning I checked the voice mail, and there was a message from FIL and one from SIL, within a minute of each other.  FIL sounded DRUNK, and they had both called around 9:45 PM.  They both said that they were just calling to see how Xmas had been, but I guess that they only wanted to ask DH about it.  They didn't care to speak to the 3 KIDS or anything since they were waiting until they were sure to be asleep before they called.  Can you imagine??  None of DH's family ever wants to talk to the kids.  He!!, when we used to go down to the ILs' house, they would watch the kids like they were some weird exhibit in a zoo or something, and not spare them a breath.  They just keep talking about the places they have gone or the things that they have bought.  DH realized, yet again, that they don't CARE anything about the kids.  The kids are just tools by which they try to get at DH.  It is ALL ABOUT THEM.  It is all about controlling DH, bending DH to do their bidding.  The kids and I, we are just background noise to that profoundly screwed-up group.  They are all trying to dance that same horrible dance that they have done all their life.  Thank GOD that DH has decided not to do it anymore.

        Signed - DH Has Decided Not To Do It Anymore

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - It's All About Them, 3 of 4 needed Frequent Fry Her TM - It's All About Them, 3 of 4 needed/Posted: 5-MAR-03
OK, so we DID hear BOO from the ILs.  Or, at least we've gotten packages from them.  Mind you, we haven't communicated with them since August when DH and I sent them a letter setting down some ground rules.  To that they responded by saying that we were crazy, and that we should get back in touch with them when we rejoin reality (!!).  My DS's birthday came along.  A couple days before that we got packages from them with gifts for him.  There was no explanation or note whatsoever.  Also, we got a gift for him from SIL.  Although she was not addressed in our letter to the ILs, dear MIL sent the letter to her for her input, and she sent DH a nasty note saying that he was being cruel to his parents, and that we should remember how much money the ILs have put aside for our children's college (LIKE I should be extra nice to them because they have money??!!??).  Of course, this is the first communication that DH has had from his sister in probably a year, so go figure.  She doesn't want a relationship with DH, just an opportunity to get in on the DRAMA.  I guess that I can't expect much more from someone who grew up in that house and is still so deeply enmeshed that they think the ILs' behavior is OK.  So, anyway, the funny thing was that when we gave the gifts to my son, he didn't think that it was strange that they should just mail him something (they live 30 minutes away).  I guess it is because he is used to seeing them rarely, and their behavior is weird in general (drive-by visits where DH had to bring the kids out to the curb to see the ILs, etc.).  So, we just had DS send a thank you note, and left it at that.  We didn't want to feed the drama.

        Signed - We Didn't Want To Feed The Drama
        ( here is my story )
        Per the poster's request, no response necessary.

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - It's All About Them, 4 of 4 needed Frequent Fry Her TM - It's All About Them, 4 of 4 needed/Posted: 6-MAR-03
Let me tell you about the first encounter that I had with my ILs.  DH and I got together in college, freshman year.  FMIL didn't like the idea of DH dating someone steadily (we had actually moved in together after the 1st week, but SHE didn't even know that), so she stopped sending him money.  You have to understand - this woman had all of the money DH had earned over the summer, like $1000 or so, and was supposed to send it to him monthly ("Oh, it's so much easier than you opening your own bank account up there," YEAH right).  Well, she didn't like what he was doing, but he wouldn't stop.  So, she stopped sending him money.  DH would call and ask for it, she'd say she would send it, but she never did.  DH appealed to his father, who told him to stop bothering him, and then he'd hang up on his son.  So, DH stopped asking for the money, and that was that.  Thank goodness his tuition and books were already paid for, or she probably would have cut that off, too.  I should have seen the writing on the wall, and run!!!  LOL.  Actually, it pissed me off so much that I was happy to share my own money with DH so that he wouldn't ever have to crawl to them for anything.  I do love my DH, and in spite of all his family cr@p I feel that we have made an excellent life together.  But, I look back at that and I am appalled.  I guess DH was raised to believe that his mom was within her rights to do that to him if she didn't like his behavior.  It's really sickening what people will do to their children.  In the years to come, DH made sure to keep his money in his own bank accounts, and the ILs continued to pay for tuition.  But, just because they are such SNOBS, they would be mortified if their child didn't have a college education.  He!!, they coerced DH into going to graduate school when he didn't even want to or need to.  And, when he found something that he loved to do, and left without finishing, all they would do is criticize him, because he didn't have that advanced degree.  Never mind that he was happy and successful, of course.  They are SUCH JERKS!  AGAIN, all about THEM!  How does it make them look?  Are their children fitting the mold they have cast for them?  The cruel irony is that they are so concerned about how things look to other people, but they themselves are such vile individuals that they HAVE no friends, and only associate with family members who put up with their ugly tricks.  So, WHO is it that they are so concerned about impressing??  It's all fake, for show.  They send angry notes and don't communicate with us for 6 months, but then we are supposed to all forget about it and give gifts???  NOOOOO!  WRONNNGGG!  YOU ARE NUTZZZ!

        Signed - It's All Fake, For Show
        ( here is my story )

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - It's All About Them Frequent Fry Her TM - It's All About Them/Posted:27-DEC-02
We had a reception after my son's baptism at our home, which was across the street from the church.  My ILs came, but the service had been very early in the morning.  So, my "let's all pretend that I'm not really an evil, abusive harpy", alcoholic MIL apparently did not get enough time to drink what she needed to maintain.  So, while MY family had a nice brunch inside, my MIL hung right off my front porch and vomited repeatedly into my flower beds.  It was the only honest gift that she ever gave me.

        Signed - Free At Last

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

frequent fry her - It's All About Them Frequent Fry Her TM - It's All About Them/Posted: 27-DEC-02
I have had to deal with my DH's manipulative and toxic parents for over 18 years.  DH and I met in college.  We have been together since, despite the machinations of my dreadful in-laws.  They are totally self-absorbed, self-centered people who must have everything on their terms and at their convenience.  For years I tried to be "nice".  For years I tried to ignore how cold and uncaring they were to both DH and I, and how drunk they both got at every family gathering.  We spent many holidays at their home, and we listened to their constant complaining and snide comments about those holidays that we didn't spend there.  Not once in the first 10 years that we were together did his family ever visit us at our home (we lived 30 minutes away).  Then, we had a baby.  My in-laws made one visit to our home to see the baby, then they expected all the rest of the visits to be at their house.  We visited, but less frequently, which brought plenty of sulking and verbal abuse from them.  Over the years, we had two more children, and I can count on my hand the number of times the in-laws came to see my children.  Yet, we continued to come when they called, whenever they made my DH feel guilty enough.  When they saw the kids, they showered them with expensive gifts, treats, candy, and clothing (she gave my daughter 10 dresses one birthday, in addition to 3 large presents), even though we have asked them repeatedly to limit themselves to one present only.  We are trying to teach our children the value of money, and NOT to raise materialistic little monsters!!  The few times that they came to our house to see the kids, they didn't even bother to get out of the car.  They pulled up out front and asked DH to bring the kids to them so that they could give them more presents (again, against our wishes).  And, then, they left.  Throughout it all, I kept saying to myself, "It's his family.  I should let him make the decisions about our interaction with them."  Well, something snapped in me last year.  My children are getting old enough to understand what is going on, and to ask questions like, "Why won't grandma and grandpa come to dinner?  And, "Why don't they come into the house?"  I'm just not going to lie for them or pretend that things are other than the way that they are.  I've had enough of their rude and disrespectful behavior.  I realized that the in-laws will never change.  Why should they?  Everyone in their family allows them to be this way.  I realized that I don't have to do anything that I don't want to do.  Neither does my DH.  We are free to choose who we interact with and when.  If we had friends that treated us like DH's parents do, we would have dropped them YEARS ago.  So, why do we allow this kind of treatment to continue from people who profess to love and care about us?  Over the past year, DH and I have both done a lot of reading and soul-searching, together and separately, about this issue.  And, together we wrote a letter to the in-laws letting them know that their behavior was unacceptable.  We explained to them (again) what the rules were for our family, and we told them that we expected them to abide by them.  And, we said that if they wanted to visit the children, they could do so at our house, inside for a proper visit (like everyone ELSE does - is this too much to ask?).  What we got in return was an ugly, ranting and abusive response from MIL.  It told DH that he was crazy if he thought that he had the right to tell her how to behave towards him or his family.  She felt that we were the ones with the problem, and that if we ever get back in touch with reality, we should let her know.  That was 3 months ago, and we haven't heard BOO from them since.  The sad thing is that she probably really believes that we are the ones with the problem.  The happy thing is that we are now free.  I feel like Atlas when the world rolled off his shoulders.  I wish that I had done this 18 years ago.  But, back then I don't think that either DH or I realized how bad they could get or how corrosive their influence could be to our marriage and to our lives.  If the ILs ever progress to the point where they are willing to change their ways and work with us to form a decent and respectful relationship, that will be great.  If they persist in being their usual loathsome selves, that's OK too.  I don't need people like that in my life, and neither does DH.  And, most especially, I don't want that for my kids.

        Signed - Haven't Heard BOO From Them Since

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

 


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