Daughter married, mother worried about manipulative in laws - FamilyEducation
Daughter married, mother worried about manipulative in laws
03/12/2008 at 12:40 PM

I know this is long, but please read it through and reply with your opinion and advice. I really need someone to listen and help. Not sure where to start.......I need some advise on how to handle this situation with my daughter.  I"ll try to condense this as it would be a long story to relay all the history leading up to my daughters marriage last week. But, please bear with me and read and reply, I need all the help I can get right now.

My daughter is 22 yrs. old and got married last week. The family she married into seemed to be very friendly, when their son was wanting to date my daughter, his mom and dad became fast friends with my husband and I and were at our home alot, etc. We had a good opinion of them, but were a little concerned that their son is "self employed" and still lives at home, never been on his own. He is only 21 yrs. old. Our daugher has a toddler from a previous relationship, we were hoping for a more mature, financially stable person for her to get serious with. My daughter inherited some money, and bought a home when she had her daughter, and a new car. So all that is paid for and no monthly notes on that. She is going to college, and doesn't "need" financial support from anyone, but I also don't want someone to "need" financial support from her.........His family knows she has this money, not so much anymore with the purchase of the house and car, though. But ain't it easier to love someone with everything PAID FOR - no house note, car note at all? This guy is self employed by riding/training horses. No insurance, steady income, etc. My daughter lost her insurance under my husbands coverage the day she got married. Her mother told me "insurance wasn't important, hospital and doctor bills don't go on your credit if you don't pay them" .........!! NOT our way of doing things or thinking. That is pretty much a good idea of how they live, their phone may get cut off because they didn't pay the bill, but they go out and eat several times a week. Go figure. Before they married, my daughter helped him get a new truck. His life has improved, he got to move out of his parents house, get new truck even before that, and all he had to do was hang his clothes in the closet. His parents are ecstatic that he has someone that already has what other people have to work years for, yet he is bringing nothing to the table but himself..........Everything was already there for him to use, from dishes to furniture to tv's and stereo's. All he brought to the relationship was clothes and a truck note. Now, he wants to adopt her daughter and is discouraging my daughter from getting along with the baby's dad, in the hopes he will quit seeing my granddaughter so adoption can be possible after 2 yrs. As soon as they were sure that this relationship between them was serious, we never heard from them again. Like they need our approval anymore or something. Then, they just focused on keeping my daugher at their home as often as possibly and away from us. Its been very strange.................... I know this just seems like "its her choice, you can't make her decisions for her, only offer advise, she is grown, it doesn't affect you". I did that, I was supportive her WHATEVER she decided, I bit my tongue, my husband put a smile on and we hoped only for her happiness since she didn't head our advise. But it does affect us, by affecting our relationship with our daughtger and granddaughter. Please read on.

They were thinking of a summer wedding, but his parents said they were going to "kick him out of the house and he couldn't keep his horses at their home" if they didn't get married NOW - because he spent the night at my daughters home one night when the baby was sick and my daughter was getting no sleep. So, for my daughter to have the wedding she wanted, I had to plan and pay for a wedding within 4 weeks. Which was the "time limit" his parents gave them to marry before they kicked him out. As he had no place to go, and no money to pay rent, they pushed the wedding forward and got married last week. Like I said, my husband i paid for the wedding, and the reception, and paid for a condo rental for their honeymoon. At first, my daughter and i were planning things (I was very angry at the way this happened, my daughter asked me to please not cause any problems as she wanted everyone to get along). I did, however, call his mother about a week before the wedding. I was so upset that they had put this ultimatum on her/them and took the choice of if and when out of their hands, about how they were controling the sitution. I asked her politely "why" had they done this, my daughter was losing her healthy and dental insurance when she married, she was hoping to finish school before she married. I told her that we were concerned that their son wasn't financially ready to be pushed into a marriage by them, that this choice was not theirs to make and I did not understand why they had done it. She told me that she and her husband had told their son once before that he could not stay overnight at my daughters home or he would have to get married or simply be on the street. That my daughter had put this marriage off long enough, and they were not going to "stand by" and let them do as they pleased with him living in their home. And then asked me "what do you want from this phone call"?. I told her I supposed what I wanted was that since they had successfully arranged the marriage to their liking, it would be nice if they would let them make thier OWN decisions from now on without putting ultimatums over thier heads. With this said, she laughed and hung up.

The weeks before the wedding (their were only 4 weeks to plan it) she "needed" my daughter over to her house every day after work or school, my daughter seemed zombie like and just did as she was told and she and I were needing to go over the things about the wedding and reception that we had talked about and put on paper the first week of planning, finalize things and go over details of what she wanted. My daughter only came over to pick up my granddaughter after work and school, never had time to sit down with me. So I went with what we had already talked about and tried to refine things myself.  She had the key to the church because she had decided to do a rehearsal dinner and needed to set up tables, so she was going to be in there before I needed to be in there to decorate for the wedding. She made chili and cheese soup for the rehearsal dinner and brought it to the church. She said they weren't going to "go broke for a wedding and that was all they were willing to do. They could have went to the justice of the peace, she said, so they werent putting any money into it.

 The night of wedding rehearsal, this same women that wanted no part of paying for this wedding, passed out typed sheets of itenerary for the wedding that she had made for the wedding!! I said "What is this?!" as my husband and I were paying and doing this wedding for our daughter.......My daughter looked at me like "Don't you dare" and I just stood there and listened to his mother tell me it was "everyone's directions as to how the wedding would go". My husband and I were told where and when to sit, and that was the extent of our involvement in our daughters wedding. Did I mention that WE paid for EVERYTHING???? Then the clincher, she wouldn't ALLOW me to have key to the church because it was given to her first and she was responsible, she said. If I needed to get in, then I would have to call her first. And this made me late for my daughters wedding, I couldn't get into the chuch or reception for some last minute food preparation that morning, but she did give the women delivering the wedding cake a key. Thats how I got in, when came to set up the cake! Otherwise I wouldnt have gotten to go in and do what I needed to do. And since I had 30 minutes to get ready for the wedding, not even time to shower after all this, she of course got to help my daughter get ready and put her veil on for her, which is what I always thought I would do.

Same thing with the reception. NOne of my and my daughters ideas on when to do what were respected. She appointed somone else as mc over the activities, instead of my uncle doing it that I had anticipated. It was either just hope for it to end soon and say nothing, or speak my mind and make a scene and probably ruin my daughters reception -  that we paid for and her mother in law and family ran. I'm surprised she didn't go stay in the condo we paid for that night for the honeymoon, also. She almost made me have a nervous breakdown throught it all, I have cried and been so unbelievably hurt by it all. Its like my daughter is hers now and not mine at all anymore. And the weird thing is my daughter seems to only want to please her, she takes all this womans ideas and molds herself to them, she isn't being herself, and I'm so worried how her life is going to with this woman over her.

My daughter is distant, rarely visits to just talk, she used to eat supper with us alot, we helped her decorate, paint, landscape and redo her home for her and the baby, we have had a good relationship and were so close. My mother said its like my daughter is in some new cult, she noticed how odd everything is, too. My friends and family were amazed at the gall of her taking over the wedding and reception, and were mystifiedas to why my daughter let her do this, and yes, they feel my family was disrespected through it all.

I'm at a loss what to do. Just a week into the wedding, they are trying to get my daughter to pay cash for a new vehicle for herself and they want her to "sell" her car to their oldest daughter who has no vehicle. They want my daughter to keep the insurance in her name, but they'll pay it, they said. They want to give her $100 a month until its paid for. This is a 2006 car that she paid $23,000 for!!!! I feel they are using her, manipulating her. His mother stated at the reception "You guys need to go first thing when you get  back from your honeymoon and get your checking account together". Am I being paranoid, too sensitive, ???? What do I do? If I say anything, my daughter snaps at me, raises her voice and tells me to mind my own business. Please help!!!!  I don't want my daughter to isolate herself with only them and I miss her, I miss her being my daughter and talking and it being o.k. for me to be her mother. It feels like someone else has that slot in her life now, and I don't know what I'm suppose to be or who I'm suppose to be now.

There are a couple of things you can legally do, but you and your daughter's biggest issues are not setting boundaries.  No one can walk all over you unless you give permission and it sounds like you needed to stand up to both his mom and your daughter.  Your daughter sounds like she was desperately wanting a dad for her child, but his mom sounds like a nightmare - very controlling.  However, she can't control you unless you let her.  Stand up for yourself!  Tell daughter your terms for seeing her and her husband.  Tell her you can legally demand visitation for your grandchild.

Pick up the book "Boundaries" and start reading.  Your daughter learned not to set boundaries from watching you.  You may need to get help for yourself.  But your daughter will only respect you if she sees you learning to say "NO!"

I wish you the best.


I also agree with the comment above, and as far a I know, her husband cannot adopt  your grandaughter unless bio-dad  gives up all parental rights to the child. Even if bio-dad has nothing to do with your grandaughter, he is still her father, and an adoption will not go thru without his signature.I agree with you here, things just dont add up.Try to keep the lines of communication open,just listen... but no more financial support! This is going to be difficult,your daughter may need to learn things the hard way.I really hope things work out for all of you.

I'm trying to understand why you would think I "don't set boundries and my daughter learned that from me".after reading this one situation, which is all you know about me.......but, you don't know anything else in my life about me. I'm not normally o.k. with being walked on and disrespected.  Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten so upset over all this. This is so dramatic for me because I do speak my mind and expect to be treated better than my family and I were treated throughout this wedding thing. Maybe I didn't make it clear how HARD it was for me to not come unglued through all this, and actually thought more than once it would be worth a night in jail just to kick the MIL's  a**. I'm the mom of 5 girls, and they have always seen me stand up for myself and them. NOw that I've defended myself after being called "my daughers problem" , I must say that I didn't expect anyone to assume this situation was a reflection on how I handle myself in my daily life! This woman, her family, turned into different people when the wedding was "ON". The only reason I did't "stand up for myself" at the wedding rehearsal was as I said, I was trying to think of my daughter and not make a scene. I'm not one to be pushed aside and disrespected, and I had my words with this woman the day of the wedding. But not in front of my daughter. This whole thing is about the fact that I DON'T WANT TO LOSE my daughter because of the dominate family she has married into. I can say "NO" all I want, I can spit fire and stomp up and down, but if it alienates my daughter from me its worth nothing. I think more of myself and my children than you are giving me credit for. A doormate I am not and have never been accused of being........before your wisdom, that is.

Also, my granddaughters father wants very much to be with my daughter and his child, he wanted to get married long before my granddaughter came along, but my daughter wanted their problems "better" before marriage. He has proposed to her many times, even after she was engaged this to the man she married.  My daughter is financially well off, and doesn't "need" anyone for financial stability, and her daughter has a dad that loves her so she doesn't need a  daddy for the baby, so I believe you drew the wrong conclusion about all that. She doesn't need financial help, we simply wanted to give her a nice wedding because we are her parents. This blatant disrespectfulness from his parents and my daughter being drawn into it with them is not something I am used to or expected to happen. I"m not used to dealing with people treating me or mine that way, which is WHY I'm having a problem with it!! The reason I posted here is because its very hard for me to comprehend the gall of it all. If I were used to having to boundries and people walking all over me, this would be just another day, wouldn't it???

YOU LEGAL ADIVE - Another point, grandparents don't have rights here in my state to have visitation with their grandchild unless that parent is dead, incarcerated or has been proved an unfit parent. So that information from you about seeing our grandaughter regardless of my relationship with my daughter is incorrect. That type of legal advice shouldn't be given lightly, someone that doesn't know the laws of grandparents in their state my do something rash, and regret it later when they can't see their grandchild. My neighbor and our best friend is a lawyer and there's no queston as to my knowledge the laws here.

The only "help" I need is how to handle this difficult situation in a manner that draws my daughter closer to me, and not push her away so much that the only people she hears is this other family. My husband I want to be recognized as parents are, as we always have been. I don't think any mother would expect things to go the way they did.  I was hoping to get that advise here, totally did not expect someone who doesn't know me to draw the conclusion that I need psychological help because my daughter happens to have a b*tch mother in law that is manipulating her into thinking she doesn't need her family any more because she has a new one.

But thanks again for skimming my very personal problem I posted on a family problems site and jotting down your quick incorrect legal advice, your fast judgement of my psychological state and how I"ve raised my kids for 22 years, the conclusion that my daughter was "desperate" for a dad for her baby (how on earth did you come up with that????????) and getting around to blaming me for all this because of "how my kids have seen me handle things". You have no clue as to how I've handled anything but the shock of this ordeal. Always good to have a helpful, encouraging word of advice when you are worried sick about your child. What I need addressed most was what to do now about having a relationship with my daughter when I won't even allow this woman or her family in my driveway, much less my home! . Not a lesson on what kind of person someone thinks I am because you read one situation out of 43 yrs. of my life. Its appalling you'd tell anyone "you need help" because an obnoxious person was rude, disrespectful and ill mannered. Thanks so much for the wonderful insite, I feel better already. I certainly hope if you are a teacher, that you listen more attentively to your students  than you did when you read this, and don't draw conclusions about the whole child based on one unfortunate event. I'm sure you can't imagine it happening to you, but I never imagined it, either. You may be surprised as how YOU handle something like that when you want your daughter to have  A PEACEFUL wedding day, when you are so angry you could spit nails.

Guess you get all kinds when you post on the net. Something HELPFUL would have been much more appropriate.


Thanks for the reply. I do agree that lines of commuication are important, but as I posted to momandteacher, I have boundries and know how to draw the line, but its alot different when your main concern is your daughter having GOOD memories about her wedding, not her mother kicking someone around the church because they are totally out of line in their actions and rudeness. I have told the MIL exactly what my feelings are on everything she did, and i don't think I'll have to deal with her in person any time soon. She'll likely keep her distance out of fear of bodily harm. Its incomprehensible what she did through all this. Which is why I posted, its going to make it really hard for me to have a peaceful relationship with my son in law and my daughter. Thats my main concern now. I can't make a b*tch change her spots when she's 40 yrs. old.

I posted here thinking possibly someone would understand the situation after reading through all that, and offer something constructive that could turn this control thing around they have going on with my daughter. Funny how posting one painful situation can prompt someone to have a whole slew of incorrect assumptions as the other poster did.

I guess it was worth a try to see if anyone else had been in a similar circumstance that could provide some useful things to help. Looks like no one has.

BUt as I said, keeping communication open and active is defineately needed.

Thank you.


Momandteacher, you were rather out of line suggesting that hannahgrace did not set proper boundaries for her daughter. How can you infer that when you hardly know the woman. It's not always possible to sort things out satisfactorily when you have such a strong, obnoxious character to deal with. She was also taking into consideration how any actions she took would affect her daughter, granddaughter and her daughter's relationship.
Having said that, I guess we should all be used to some abuse if we post our problems on these message boards. There are a lot of people here with very strong views [I include myself in that comment]


You can also put me on your strong opinion list, and the friends I choose to surround myself with also have strong opinions - I respect people who know who they are and present themselves with confidence. But, it IS possible to be that way and have a pleasant manner, arrogance doesn't have to be a part of it. There is a big difference in confidence and cockiness!  I'm sure you agree.

And, yes, I knew there would be different views on this subject, (I wanted different, varying opinons from several people) but I assumed the "different view" would be how to HANDLE this situation, not a "Shrink wanna be" analysis of my character, and possibly I would have several different scenerios as to how this may play out, based on advice given here. I assumed the opinions would about how to deal with NOW, not accusations of why it happened in the first place when the personalitites of the all the people involved can no way be known through one post.  The net can be a valueable place to access so many different people's insight on a solution to a problem. MY friends and family that were at the wedding certainly gave me their opinion after seeing this woman in action, but, none of thier "advise" on what they thought was appropriate would have went over very well on the wedding day!! NOt with my daughter, at least, who is all I was concerned about.

Would I have felt better at the time to say and do what I was thinking? H*ll YEAH! Would it have benefited anyone but the MIL???? NO. She very smugly would have played the victim to have my daughters sympathy, and convinced my daughter that I had no concern for her, either. I can hear her now smoozing my daughter "I'm so sorry your mother acted like this on your wedding, its o.k. baby, I"m here for you now........And to get this upset and upset YOU baby, its awful. I feel so bad for you, she's so difficult, out of control, blah blah blah......." and she needs no help getting into character. I would have given her exactly what she wanted had I followed my basic need to destroy her at that point!!!!

This MIL seems to be trying to push me to do something, as she knows I am not the type to put up with this nonsense, and then she can be the b*tch with a smile, and I can look like the irrate, difficult crazy lady to my daugher - thus reacting to the MIL's actions in the way that comes most naturally would make me look like the bad guy. I"m trying to take the high road best I can, keep comunication and a family relationship with my daughter and son in law ( and my beautiful granddaughter, whom I adore and would do anything for) and keep my daughter from being sucked away from her entire family by a b*tch vacuum!!!!!

I"m weary, I"m mentally exhausted from dealing with this, just thought some useful comments and advise would give me something more to be armed with so I don't just totally go off the deep end and have a restraining order put on my *ss. I KNOW I won't be putting up with ANYTHING more from this woman, and its just a time bomb waiting to happen. I can't even visit my daughter, every time - EVERYTIME I go to visit my daughter and granddaughter, the MIL is there. I haven't been to my daughters house in 2 weeks. I just keep driving when I see her car, if I went in it would be Rambo unleashed and then where would I be in my daughters life???? Its ridiculous. Its like she has moved in over there, just takne over. I don't think anyone here really understands what they are doing to my daughter. The focus seems to be on ME here and not on whats happening to her....I've had several comments from friends like "Whats the deal with your daughter?? Whats going with your daughter and that family??? or "What the H*LL???? on and on..................Its total control, and seems everyone can see it but my daughter..........keep her away from everyone else and theirs is the only voice she hears. I don't know what to do..........

OH well, Peace to all, hope you have a better month than I"m having. :)




     I guess the situation you are having with your daughter's in-laws is very unusual.  I would suggest buying a whole box of cute cards, the "thinking of you" variety, and sending one by snail-mail every few days, with some casual note, nothing that could be taken wrong.  I know it  looks like just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but it may keep the lines of communication open enough that when your daughter does come to her senses, she will know that you will be there for her.  It would take a heroic effort to keep those messages casual, don't know if I could do it, but I think if you stir the waters at all, it will make it harder for her to come to you. 



I can hardly believe that I finally found someone that has similar problems to what I am going through with my daughter. I started to feel like I was the only one in the world with a daughter that chooses her MIL over her mother. She has been manipulated by her husbands family for about 8 years and has basically turned herself off to her side of the family because her husband and family think they are better than everyone. Her mother in law always wanted a daughter and has won my daughter over, so obviously it like twos company and three's a crowd. It didn't seem so bad until the grandkids started coming and the MIL quit her job to be a full time babysitter for them for the first child. She went over to their house all day and was the only one asked on the weekends ect to take care of the baby. Then when the second one came along, she now is a built in nanny for both of the kids even though my daughter has also chosen to quit her job and stay home. They spend every day together and we live in the same town so I have to see them all spending alot of time together during the day, weekends ect. I don't know if anyone could understands how much that hurts to see them together all the time and feel so left out. My daughter looks for excuses to be mad at me about every move I make because I think it gives them something to talk about everyday. I am in a no win situation and feel so much like someone stole my daughter from me. I didn't hate the woman before, but the last two years have been a real test of my patience. Some days I feel like just blowing my top, but the consequences of that with my daughter just would not be worth it. It drives me almost crazy every day and is always on my mind. Sometimes I feel like I am way too obsessed about it, but I have so many hard feeling toward my daughter now, that I am not sure we can ever straighten it out. We had a confrontation a couple of months ago and she told me some of the things she was mad about, but when I tried to say anything, I was cut off from any discussion regarding her MIL or situations that have hurt me in the past. Part of her beef with me is that for 18 years she has had to "share" me with her step sisters and guess now I am supposed to be repaid for that? Crazy situation. She concluded with the fact that what she has with her mother in law "is what it is" and I need to accept that. What a bunch of BS to me. I do not accept being totally ignored by her because she chooses the MIL to be her imagined "prefect mother." She is a controlling witch and most people that know her, say the same. But, can't say a thing of course or it will make it worse. My husband says, I need to draw the line and say to heck with everything and just see the kids and her on our terms instead of hers, but I know that if I say one thing wrong or the wrong way, I will be sorry for a long time and will probably never be able to even speak to her or see the kids. It appears she is using the kids to get what she wants from everyone and that seems very sad to me. They are the innocent bystanders, but since they only spend time with the MIL and FIL, they won't know us anyway and that is a very hard thing to think about. If you have come up with any suggestions as to how to deal with a daughter like this, please let me know. I believe there is a solution to every problem. Just have to find it.

In my situation w/ my in-laws (in my case, the root of the problem is my SIL), my husband and I basically stopped speaking to them altogether, after many attempts of trying to make ammends. About a yr ago my husband sent his family a letter stating our position in all this. We received 2 letters back that were very cold and hurtful. Our intention was only to explain our side of the story so that everyone cld understand our pt of view. We didn't expect everyone to agree w/ us, just understand and hopefully be willing to move forward. Instead, everything got twisted around, and no one seemed to make any efforts to move on. So in our situation, we left the ball in their court. We don't know if they're ever going to come around, but we know we did everything we cld to try and make things work. Sometimes you can only do so much. In time, hopefully the person(s) on the other end will realize what they're missing in their lives and how important you are to them. Maybe you can send a letter stating exactly how you feel and how much you love your daughter and her family. Explain to your daughter how much you want her in your life. Offer advice, but respect her wishes, whether you agree with her or not. As hard as this is, your daughter is an adult now, and she needs to make her own decisions. Be there for her when she needs you, and she will. Don't let anyone make you feel like they can take your place as mother. You will always be your daughter's mother no matter what. You don't owe anyone else anything. I also like the idea of sending cards regularly letting your daughter know you're thinking of her. I hope in time you and your daughter can sit down and have a heart to heart talk. As much as she shld listen to you about what you want from her, you need to find out what she expects and wants from you. You may not always agree, but if you respect one another's wishes, you can have a fulfilling, happy and loving relationship. I wish you all the best.

Thank you for your comments. We have already had one of those talks recently. She voiced how she felt about some things she was resentful about and I was not allowed to say how I felt, so guess there are still some anger issues on my part that she will not accept hearing. Her husband doesn't want to have a relationship with us at all, so the idea of talking it out was defeated even before it was started. He likes his mom and dad so they are the people chosen for the important things in their life like the grandchildren, holidays ect. It hurts but what else can we do. Our hands are tied as long as our daughter goes along with everything, so just hope in time something will change. I am sorry that things got twisted around for you and that's one of the reasons I just chose to be have the pain that I go through every day and not make any waves. My husband says to cut off any contact with them, but I know that would be a very bad thing because how do you ever make it right then. It would just take so much work if you ever wanted to make amends. I feel that our kids especially a step family situation are so very selfish and only want what's best for them disregarding any feelings for anyone else. Did we cause that trying to be happier the 2nd time around? Maybe so. My daughter only wants a phony relationship for the times she has to be around us, so it is almost impossible to try to ask her what she expects. She did tell me that I need to spend more time with her kids (not her) so I have been doing that. I am being a doormat right now to keep peace with her, but it does make me feel very insecure about her and my relationship. As long as the MIL is around, I will have to accept that she only cares to have the mother/daughter relationship with her, and will try to accept that for now I guess. What else are you going to do if you are trying everything you can and not making any headway. I try to tell myself that life is just too short to be angry, so I always give in and contact her. At least I feel better then and can cope with the rest of the world. Good luck to you too and hope you can work things out eventually.

Hi rkhaar, I truly feel for you. I know if it was my child, I wldn't be able to cut off ties either. It's easier in my situation w/ my in-laws. We still see my MIL as she tries to stay out of everything, although we know how much the situation hurts her. Just yesterday, my BIL called me out of the blue. He's getting married in a few wks, and he told me he wants me to come to his wedding. My husband agreed to go, but I initially declined b/c I feel totally unconfortable about the whole situation. Since his phone call, however, I've been reconsidering the wedding. I always wanted to go, but it wld've been really hard for me to face everyone. The phone call helped break the ice, and although I'm still at odds w/ my other in-laws, I can't hold this against my BIL. He made a sincere effort, which is all I really wanted. It's a start. I'll still be uncomfortable at the wedding, I'm sure, but I now have a reason to want to be there for my BIL. So, you see, there's hope. 8-) I think your daughter will eventually come around too. Try to remain strong, and always let her know that you'll be there for her when she's ready to talk. You've made the efforts to move forward and your daughter will too. Hang in there.

That's great about your BIL inviting you to the wedding. It's takes so much energy to be upset and the anticipation beforehand seems like so much stress, but when you are there, you try to do your best and hopefully you will not regret going. We have a baptism for my daughter's baby coming up in 2 weeks and my husband says he isn't going and I'm not going to argue with him about it. I just told him that's OK, but short of me dying, I have to go or she will never forgive me for that either. I wouldn't even consider not going no matter how uncomfortable it is to watch them all take their pictures and sit together while we take the back seat, not talk to us ect, so I never have to regret not attending my granddaughter's baptism. I refuse to let them get the best of me, even though I probably would rather die than be around all of them, but I'm sure I will make it through the day like you will the wedding if you go. Not sure why life has to be so complicated. I assumed our kids were going to care about us forever, guess maybe that was some kind of fantasy I had. It's just so hard to believe that my daughter would chose to care about her MIL instead of her own mother. It's breaks my heart in two to see this every day, but how do you ever mend things if you totally give up. There are always going to be events so we either have to commit to never going to any of them, or just go and afterward say "can't believe we made it through another one." Nobody really cares about how it hurts or feels to be the "one left out " so may as well put on our phony faces like they do and pretend nothing is wrong. That seems to be what people like you SIL want. Otherwise if it is a game they are playing, then they feel like they won. Personally I don't like the games, but if you have to play, may as well at least put your best foot forward and hope for the best. Good luck to you. Helps to have someone that understands and is going through a similar situation. Thanks

rkhaar, You're a strong woman. I wish I could be as strong as you. It's so easy to run away from difficult situations, rather than face them. It's the hurt and the anger that get in the way. But why shld we let others interfere w/ what we're entitled to? It's great that you can see past all the fakeness and games. You're a better person for it, and your daughter and her in-laws can never fault you for that. Don't you change for anyone or anything.

Concerned, I'm not so sure I am very strong. My husband helps me alot to be a stronger person and not let people take advantage of me. He's not heartless by any means, but realistic and helps me see what's going on when I can't seem to. He tells me that there is nothing I can do to change my daughter, so I just need to accept things the way they are for now and I am always the one that can't believe that I cannot do something to change the situation. It just hurts so much and yes, I would much rather run away from all this, but I guess I will absorb all the hurt so I can have at least a civil relationship with her and the grandkids just in case something does change someday. Her husband is another story, and my husband and I both told her that we would try harder to make him feel more comfortable when he does come around 2 times a year for 2 hrs. But he doesn't want to try obviously, so guess we can't change him either. Just have to try to be cordial and tolerant and hope someday things turn around and we can be happy spending time together. Right now we don't have the opportunity anyway, so that makes it easier to deal with him anyway. I wish sometimes I had the nerve to say "to heck with it all-it's just too hard on my mental state, but I tried not talking to her for a month when she was mad and didn't recognize me on Mother's day-just spent the day with her MIL- and I believe too much longer of that would have put me over the edge. That's not good either. I cried all through the day and night, couldn't concentrate on anything, just a wreck, so I decided that the silent treatment doesn't work too good for me and probably not for her either, but at least it eventually forced us to have a confrontation which was probably more beneficial for her than me. But, it was a start. She at least got to voice her opinion and her thoughts. Not much has been accomplished since then, but I still can see the kids and that is very important to me as a grandmother living in the same town as her grandkids. Everyone has the ability to handle these situations if we just keep our faith strong and you are correct-don't change for anyone or anything. That's a tough one. How do you quit caring???

You'll never quit caring. You just have to force yourself to focus on your life w/ your husband and the time you have w/ your grandkids. Take trips, keep busy in your community, and spend time w/ friends. Just know that you did everything you cld to reach out to your daughter. Now it's her turn. Be patient and stay strong, as hard as that may be.

Thanks, I will work on that thought. I do buy self help books. Just received a book today about "walking on eggshells." Sometimes those books help a little. Just hate hurting like this. I just want it to all go away. You would have to be a brick wall in order to not feel badly about a child that treats you like a stranger. I try to get my husband to move, but he won't and I don't intend to move without him. I will continue to work on staying strong. Have a good evening. Maybe you can let me know if you go to the wedding and how that went. Sometimes you can get ideas from how other people handle things.

Will do. Please keep me posted on your situation as well. Hmmmm...that book about walking on eggshells sounds interesting. Can you give me the title and author?

Yes, the book is by Jane Isay. I got it through amazon.com. They have lots of books that I have ordered on family relationships. I want to thank you for your words of wisdom. Last night I was at the store and bought a "chicken soup for the new mother's soul" and also a gift certificate for my daughter to pamper herself at a hair salon. I sometimes buy clothes ect for the kids and thought about her this time and hopefully she will enjoy getting something for herself. When we are parents it seems like all our energy and money is spent on the kids and I know she doesn't have the funds to do things for herself. I did that when her first baby was born, but after a year and 1/2 and all the hard feelings that have gone on, guess I was not so willing to be the loving/caring parent this time. But, I know that's not the right way to be. I need to do what's in my heart, forget the past and try to move on into the future. If we hold on to all the past feelings, it makes it really hard to move forward. I am trying to convince myself of that every day. Making a little headway. Thanks again.

Your welcome! I'm pretty good at giving advice, but I don't know how good I am at taking it. Well, since I last wrote, I too decided to move forward w/ my other in-laws. After receiving the phone call from my BIL and hearing his positive words, I felt compelled to reach out to the rest of the family. I wrote a letter to my other BILs and their wives. I decided not to go into detail by rehashing everything b/c I didn't want them to think I'm still angry. A lot of hurtful things were said by all, but I think time has helped mend some of the pain. Now I am prepared to make ammends w/ my in-laws thanks to my BIL's efforts. I don't know what kind of response I will get, but at least I know I tried once more. My husband's stance is that of your husband's. He doesn't want to budge until his brothers each make a sincere effort. I felt the same way, but knowing they probably won't budge either, I decided to "break the ice" w/ my letters. I can only hope something positive will come out of all this. In addition, I lined up a babysitter so that I too can attend the wedding. I haven't told my BIL yet, but I plan to tell him this wkend. My husband and I plan on going to his mom's this Sunday w/ the kids. We haven't been to her house for a whole yr b/c of the pain of seeing his brother who still lives there. (This is the brother who's getting married.) Everything's happening so quickly that I'm a bit overwhelmed. I hope I'm doing the right thing. I'm so happy to hear that you decided to move forward too w/ your daughter. Buying her that gift certificate is a great idea. I'm sure she'll love it. Keep on plugging away, and try to stay positive. That's what I'm trying to do as well. Thank you so much for the book title and author. I'll definitely ck it out. You have been a great help to me as well, and I truly appreciate all your support. It's nice to be able to share stories w/ others that can relate to what you're going through. Thank you for listening. If you need any more advice or just need an ear, don't hesitate to contact me.

Sounds good. I will probably need more advice since I know things are not healed up yet and may never be. I only wish I could quit being "jealous" over the mother in law deal. I am normally not a jealous person, but one can be if someone makes you feel the pressure of it. I will have to work on that one. I am also so glad that you accepted the invitation to the wedding. It takes a bigger person to make the first move not knowing what the reaction will be from the other parties. It shows strength, confidence and caring. It's obvious you care about your inlaws even though they make your life miserable, otherwise you wouldn't try. These people are like you said, they would never give in either, so I feel better knowing that at least one of us is willing to make the first move and I can have hope that it helps. I'm sure you feel like I do, that if I do everything I can even at the expense of my own feelings, I can sleep better at night and if something happens to me, I know that I did what I could to make things better. My daughter and husband do not have religion in their lives and not saying that I am better because I do, but it seems like people that don't, have an easier time with the not caring about other people's feelings-just a conscience deal I guess. Wish sometimes I could be more like that. They just don't feel the need to do good things for people other than themselves. Don't think life is supposed to be "all about me" but guess what I was brought up to believe is old school now days. Her husband is a very selfish, spoiled person and that may catch up with him someday in the future if he doesn't learn to give a little. His parents are the same way, so guess he had good teachers. Your advice certainly has helped me this week. Thanks for listening.

To my maternal grandparents credit they chose to stay out of my parents' marital dramas. They knew exactly the type of man my father was: Manipulative, self-centered and abusive. As much as they loved my mother they knew it was still her life and she had to learn the hard way. Any attempts to discourage her and they wouldn't have seen her again. 36 years later: It wasn't until after my grandfather died that my mother finally realized she wasn't a doormat. Especially after I pointed out that she's physically stronger than my father and she had rights. One time when I returned home from school I noticed my Dad was sulking in the bedroom and he had a bandage on his forehead. I noticed Mom had a smile on her face. Not exactly what I had in mind, though. :) Your daughter's situation is heartbreaking but keep the lines of communication open and stay out of her business.

The whole situation breaks my heart in two, but I do stay out of her business because she doesn't allow me to be in her business. Her husband isn't abusive physically, but his manipulative ways of keeping her from her family are pretty obvious. I'm not sure she will ever try to stand up for herself, so if she choses not to, that will be pretty sad because she is burning alot of her bridges with our family. It's hard to care for someone when they really don't care much about you. We all realize "it is what it is" but certainly doesn't make it any easier by any means. It's very hurtful. We will continue to be the small part of her life that is allowed, but how do you keep the comunication open when it is so misunderstood all the time. We just can't seem to communicate with each other in any way, shape or form. Maybe things will improve someday, that's all I can hope for.

Just an update: Got my first response from SIL #1 after sending my peace offering letter. It reads, "Peace is good. **** (my BIL who's getting married) will be happy that the whole family will be at the wedding." End of letter, if you want to call it that. Not exactly what I was hoping for, and only from my SIL, not her husband. A bit hurt right now b/c again I feel no real effort was made on their part. Any advice on what I shld do from this pt? Shld I even bother to respond to my SIL's e-mail?

Thanks for the update. I have been thinking about your situation. Wow, probably not a good time to ask me that question. My daughter and I had another run in a couple of days ago and have been emailing things to each other that probably wouldn't be said if in person. She just doesn't care about how anyone feels that she chooses to spend her life making her inlaws all happy. I told her I have been obsessed with not being in her life and apologized for that because I miss her and care. When I told her that I really don't know much about what goes on in her life, she still never offered any information other than that she is all physically sick because of our relationship. I told her that we need to just take a break and calm down, come back to it later. The event we are all supposed to attend is Sunday and I do not know what to do about going or not again. I am sure I will have to go, but maybe just not attend the lunch afterwards. I'm sure her husbands family all thinks I am a jerk anyway and this little fight won't help. I am just trying to help her keep peace by not demanding anything from her right now. If she has other problems and doesn't want to confide in me about anything whether it includes me or not, then I just assume we must be the problem that is stressing her out and what they are fighting about. If she would just be honest with me, that would help maybe?? But not knowing what the problem is makes it pretty hard to fix. We know where we stand with her husband and his family, but she just thinks I am being dramatic about all this and blowing it all out of proportion. I do not want to ruin the day for my granddaughter, so as you are kind of in the same boat, what's a person to do. You made the attempt and probably your SIL would not have had to respond at all even though it wasn't what you wanted to hear. I call this type of response "baby steps" if they are even that big from the other party. I'm sure your BIL will be happy that all the family will be at the wedding, but do you feel like the rest of them would care one way or the other? I feel like you, please give me some sign that you care other than a generic message in an email or in my case a chewing out session. But maybe that is the only way she knew how to respond without saying something negative. So, maybe that is a good thing. Seriously I am thinking of cancelling my email. It is too easy to say things we shouldn't say and too easy to take things said the wrong way sometimes. If you talk to someone on the phone it is a 2 way conversation and hearing the tone in someones voice helps to know what they are really saying. So, my thoughts would be to continue on hoping she was being sincere and keep trying to be positive about the future wedding day. It can be a long day, but I think you will be glad you went. My mom says to go just so you don't give them something to talk about. Not sure about that, but maybe. Good luck and keep me posted.

Hi there, I'm sorry your situation is still not going very well w/ your daughter. What ever happened after you gave her that gift cert you mentioned? Did she at least say thank you? Like you, I'm getting obsessed w/ my family situation too. Having space definitely helped me focus on myself and my immediate family. But now w/ this wedding coming up, I'm a mess again. I really tried to make a sincere effort by writing my latest letter, but I honestly feel that no matter what I do, nothing will ever change. I sometimes wish I wasn't so head strong b/c then maybe I'd bend a little more. But I believe what I believe, and my in-laws believe what they believe. The problem is they want me to agree w/ them, and I just can't do that when I feel so strongly that I'm right. I guess they feel the same way. The only difference w/ me is that I don't care if they believe me or not. All that doesn't matter. Why can't we all move forward and just agree to disagree? It seems like no one is willing to do that, though. So frustrating. My husband told me not to reply to my SILs e-mail b/c I did my part, and it seems like they're still not satisfied. I don't know what else I can say anyway to make things any better. I'm actually afraid to say anything else at this pt b/c I don't want to mess things up more, although, I don't see how they can get any worse. Never got a response from my other SIL and BIL, and not sure I will. I guess I'm just going to have to accept the situation for what it is, and go on w/ my life. My husband and my kids need me, and I can't keep having these distractions in my life that take me away from what's most important. I made my effort, and once again I want them to come forward and make their effort. I don't want to twist anyone's arm here. I want them to come to me b/c they want to, not b/c I asked them to. Have to run, but will try to post again soon. Thx again for listening.

PS--I think it's good that you and your daughter are e-mailing each other. At least you're communicating, even if it's not positive. Go on Sunday, and make the best of the day. I'll say a prayer for you.

Thanks, I will need all the prayers I can get if I go. My feeling is that when you get so obsessed with a situation such as yours and mine, we only hurt ourselves. My daughter told me she wants me in her life but doesn't want to be walking on eggshells about things she says, or who she talks about and what she does. Pretty hard to believe that I have any influence about any of that when I don't talk or see her hardly at all. I'm not sure our communication via email is very health either, but like you said at least we are doing something. The silent treatment is much harder to take. I told her that I need to back off to take some of the stress off of her because her family is the most important thing and needs to come first. She has a job to do and and that's to make herself and her family happy. She needs to tend to that first and we can always re-acqaint later if that works. So, yes all the distractions take you away from that. But you know what, as much as we say we need to go on and try to accept things the way they are, it's so easy to say. Not sure I feel like I want to work that hard anymore. It shouldn't be so hard. I am tired of the hurtful feelings, the sleepless nights, the crying sagas and all the things that make me feel insecure about myself and the things happening. Other people seem to say what they want and maybe they sleep better at night, but if it happens that I do it, I feel guilty forever and afraid I won't please everyone and ever be able to mend things. So, I keep my mouth shut most of the time and it eats my insides away. So, if you have opinions and have voiced them, and your family can't accept that, then they are also just being stubborn. I don't know how long all the bad feelings have been going on, I understand what you are saying about how can things be worse, but I decided yesterday that I was going to answer her question about why I don't want to come to her house to see the kids. I do not feel welcome or comfortable, just as she said about our house. Now today she hasn't responded to that, so probably I made her mad enough and hopefully haven't made things worse. Not sure how it can be either. I already feel about as bad as I can feel, so really don't think I had anything to lose by being truthful. You can't feel bad because you have decided to take a stand, just remember it takes a much bigger person to make the first move and you have done that. Now the ball is in their court. Probably don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. I'll keep you posted about the weekend. Thanks too for listening. Have a good one.

Hi, Wondering if you decided to go to the big event today. We have a rehersal dinner next wk, and I feel the same way you do. Why shld I put myself through all that stress if I don't have to? I agreed to go to the wedding, so I will. But I don't want added stress, so I think I'm not gonna go to the rehearsal dinner. We can't change anyone, and even if we change ourselves, are we really being true to who we are? NO! That's not good either. Why be fake? I think you're doing the right thing taking a break. Maybe you can volunteer in your community to keep yourself busy. I may have mentioned this before. I have young children, so my time is limited, but I'm considering doing something to keep my mind off things too. At least we have our husbands to lean on--thank God for that! I wish you the best with whatever you decide. Either way, you need to take care of yourself. Sleepless nights, crying, stress... all are unhealthy. Focus on you for a while. Maybe you can ask your husband for a gift cert to a salon to treat yourself this time. Or maybe plan an inexpensive trip, just the two of you. It cld do you some good to get away for a while. I hope this helps.

Concerned, Well, The big event is over. Not sure what to say about it other than it went OK. Much better than I was anticipating. Everyone put on their smiley faces and the day went pretty good. It started about 45 minutes late so it forced us all to be together waiting-talking to each other and everyone managed to get through that part. My husband decided the right thing to do was to go and I was surprised and happy, the rest of my kids, and parents came and that helped for support. My daughter and her husband were pretty much the only ones that didn't really talk to our side of the family and I felt were acting pretty rude especially since they had us all over afterwards, but she is still pretty mad at me and I guess I may get the silent treatment for awhile. I'm sure I was being discussed the whole weekend and probably not in a good way, so I felt like the "jerk of the year." I only asked to help me not cry and be a babbling idiot at any time today and my prayers and everyone else that was praying for today were answered. I did not cry once just a little after everyone left our house because the whole 3 weeks have just been very stressful to me. So, if it is any consolation to you the worrying, stressing and obsessing about how they are going to act, seems to just work itself out somehow. We do not have control of things all the time, but if we believe that someone is watching over us and we ask for guidance, I think our prayers get acknowledged and helps us get through these things. I had not planned on going to the after-the-event lunch, but I did go and now I am kind of glad I did. Her MIL sat beside me almost the whole time and we got along fine. We both put our phony faces on and pretended nothing was wrong. She was cordial and I felt like we both needed to show that we can be OK because my daughter needs to see that maybe it isn't really the MIL and I at all like she thinks. I have pretty much pinned it down to her husband. He tries to keep me away, but I refuse to give up. As I said I told her I was just too exhaused to go through this, so maybe after today she will calm down and we can talk once again. I think maybe I have kind of given up on trying so hard all the time, that maybe once a person doesn't "try so hard" it works out better. I don't know. You have helped me tremendously on this because even though we do not know each other, it is less threatening than talking to a family member or someone you are afraid will talk to someone else in the family about it and have it get back to her. Sometimes our thinking gets kind of cloudy when our emotions are taking over and it's hard to ask anyone to understand what we are going through without sounding like a crazy person. It just hurts so much to be left out. We went to the rehearsal dinner about 3 years ago when they got married. They had a family reunion for their side of the family because there were so many in town and we got stuck at a table with the pianist and the singer. No body talked to us and it was a very, very disappointing night. I'm not sure I can ever forgive my daughter for allowing that to happen, but it's over and I need to go on. Maybe you can give the rehearsal dinner some consideration. Some times those things kind of break the ice for wedding day. I have a hard time being phony, but it seems like that's about all you can do when these situations arise. We made it through that rehearsal dinner and believe that was probably the most uncomfortable I have ever felt in my life. I still like my mom's suggestion about -go, so they won't have anything to talk about. But if you decide to just go to the wedding, I'm sure that will be a huge step in the right direction. Time kind of heals things. Your family needs you and even though all my kids are grown and gone, I do know how all the obsessing takes over your mind and makes it hard to stay focused on the important things. Keep me posted. Thank you for your help and so glad this day is over!! Yours will be soon too and life will go on.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just want to say that you've been a tremendous support system to me as well through this whole process. You're right. It's so much easier communicating w/ a person outside of your family who understands your situation and knows what you're going through. I'm so glad you decided to go on Sunday and be w/ your family, and I'm really happy it all worked out for you. It's good that your husband went as well. You shld never be afraid of speaking the truth as you see it. It's how you feel, and unfortunately sometimes the truth hurts. If you express yourself in a sincere way w/out lashing out or blaming the other person, no one can fault you for it. Like you said, things have been eating you up inside b/c you've been holding back your feelings. That's not ok. It's good that you're taking a stand. Hopefully there will come a time when you no longer have to put on that fake smile and pretend like everything's ok. That bothers me too. You can't help how you feel, and unless the other person puts him/herself in your shoes or is going through a similar situation, he/she will never understand how you feel. Your daughter, too, has a right to feel the way she feels. It's just unfortunate that she won't open up to you and tell you exactly what she's thinking. I don't know why your daughter is so angry, but I'm sure her husband and his family are not helping the situation. As mothers, it's instinctual to want to protect our children, but sometimes we just have to back off a bit and let our children learn for themselves. Easier said then done. You're daughter's in love, and you know what's said about that: Love is blind. No one can tell you anything about anything. Your daughter probably doesn't want to hear or accept what you had to say about her husband and his family. It's really hard to develop trust when impressions are formed and opinions are made, even if they're true. In my situation, I stopped volunteering info about my immediate family to my in-laws b/c I always felt it was going to become a gossip session like everything else. It bothered me that everyone had to put their 2 cents in about things I felt were none of their business. In your case, I feel you are a caring mom just looking out for the best interest of your child. But maybe your daughter sees it as interfering. It's really hard in both our situations b/c so much has already been said that can't be taken back. It's just a shame that things have to be carried out so long. What ever happened to open communication and forgiveness? You've done nothing wrong, so please don't feel bad about anything. There are just too many emotions in the way. Hopefully time will heal all. I had a talk w/ my MIL yesterday. She's been in the middle of our family mess since the beginning. I told her since I didn't get any responses back on my letter (except the one uncaring insincere one I had mentioned previously), I decided I wasn't going to attend the rehearsal dinner. She seemed to accept my decision and understand where I was coming from. She then informed me, at her request, that we'll all be sitting at the same table at the wedding. This wasn't the plan as we knew it initially. So more "fun" awaits us. Yea! I guess like you, I'll just grin and bear it. Anyway, I'm happy to report that I was able to discuss w/ my MIL all that I was feeling, so if anything, I was able to get some things off my chest. She said after the wedding and honeymoon are over, she plans to have everyone over her house to, in a way, force us to be together. I don't know if this is good or bad. All I know is that I'll be very uncomfortable. Who knows. It's another option to explore I suppose. I'll let you know what transpires from the rehearsal dinner. I'm sure my husband will have lots to tell. As for the wedding, I'm not even sure how I'm getting there. We're all supposed to meet at my MIL's. The guys are getting picked up by limo to go to the church and reception hall. I suppose I cld take my car if someone wld fill me in on the directions! I don't know that area well at all. Who knows. Maybe getting lost will be a blessing in disguise. Then I don't have to face anyone at the wedding after all! Ha! Just kidding. I guess a little humor doesn't hurt either. Hang in there!

First I'm crying, then I'm laughing. A little humor on a Monday morning does go a long way. Believe me, I asked to be really ill before Sunday too and that didn't happen either. I think being forced to wait for 45 minutes really took alot of stress off everyone. My daughter wouldn't say much to me and that continued on the whole day, but I feel like I showed her that I'm not going to ruin the day that she can't blame me for that the next time we have a confrontation and is looking for something to be mad at me for. She feels like she is in the middle of her husband and us and can't handle that pressure. Her MIL and FIL, we figured, must have talked about it and decided to try to make things better by trying a little harder. I'm pretty sure they know how their son acts because we aren't the only people he does not like. He is the youngest of 2 boys and very much into getting his own way all the time. So, if he doesn't like someone, you are going to know it. He spoke to me once yesterday when I asked him a question, but the answer was very limited. You know, I am a stubborn German but have learned through the years that just having that part of my personality kick in only causes me grief and makes me look bad. I know she talked to her SIL about the situation because she was very stand offish too, but I just took it and now I can say that I don't care if she likes or not. I do not usually tell people my opinions because the few times I have, it just takes so long for everyone to get over it. Years sometimes. It's hard to keep things in because my family always cons me into saying something about somebody else and guess what-somehow it always gets back and I'm the bad guy. I have confided in my mother about my daughter and she wants to talk to her so bad, but I told her NO, that will only make it worse. I am so glad that you were able to talk to you SIL. You must have decided that you can trust her enough not to tell everyone and if she does, maybe they will accept things better coming from her anyway. It's easy now to say "who cares" because this event is over, but there are many to come and I do not want to put myself through this each and every time. My mental state just can't take it. So, I am going to see this as a starting point to move forward and try to be more positive about things with my daughter. I really don't have the desire to do much about working on any relationship right now because I am just too tired and we are both too emotional, but need to stop feeling like I'm the odd one out and just let her be. She feels like I'm the immature one, but nothing in my life has changed and her life has changed dramatically. So, thank you lucky stars that you are able to make a step forward and maybe your family will see that you are interested in making things work out. Never know until you try. It's only one weekend. That's what I kept telling myself. Does you husband need you for support during the weekend? Men do not usually express their feelings, but sometimes I think they are just afraid to and deep down inside they are feeling the same way. I was so glad yesterday when my husband decided to go and I thanked him afterward and he said that he knew it was the right thing to do even though he knows my daughter's husband does not like him at all. That's probably the biggest problem we have and my daughter and I kind of know that too. She tries to sidestep it, but that doesn't work very well. Try not to stress the whole week, but make sure you communicate with your husband and may have to do like we did, not talk about it for a few days. We just kind of kept dwelling on it and not sure that made things better because we both felt we knew what it was going to be like. My mom said she was very proud of both of us yesterday because we both did what we had to do no matter how bad it hurt and how uncomfortable it was. So, hang in there and hopefully some of my "easier said than done" remarks will help you get through the week and weekend. Life will still go and how we handle it is up to us. Have a good one.

I don't know what's worse--being a stubborn German or being a stubborn Italian. I think my biggest problem through all this is not only facing the unnecessary comments that are being said, but the opinions that are being passed onto others who were once never in the equation. I know people feel the need to vent, but what they don't realize is how they influence others w/ their opinions w/out giving them the opportunity to form their own opinions. Do you know what I mean? I just wish that they'd come to me w/ their problem, rather than get others involved. As a result, I feel like the whole family is against us, rather than just the one person who I feel was the source of the problem to begin w/. My husband and I are not like that. We don't like gossip, and we refuse to partake in any such childish behavior. It may take us a while to address a problem, but when we do, we always address the person we're having the problem w/ so as not to get others involved. I feel like my one SIL and BIL have turned the whole family against us, like we're the bad guys. I wish I was the type of person that cld put someone in their place right away and not hold everything in. I've tried to change this about myself, but it's really hard to do. On occasion, I have stood up for myself, and that always makes me feel better. Sometimes I think I'm just going to make things worse, though, so I keep my mouth shut. Another thing that's helped me is to do my best to not let others bother me. I found if I don't let my emotions show, others realize that their actions are not affecting me, and they stop. You have to know how to talk to people to get them to respect you. You can do this in a mature way w/out coming across as rude. I'm working on that. I believe you're right about our husbands needing support. It sounds like your husband's like mine. He wld never show his feelings. He always tries to remain strong for me, and he doesn't talk about things much. That's one of the main reasons I want to go to the wedding--for him. I think it's great that you've decided to try and be positive from this pt forward w/ your daughter. I think that's a very mature attitude to have, so don't let anyone tell you different. I can't say that after talking to my MIL that I trust her not to say anything to anyone else. But knowing this, I kept the conversation very positive. I tried to get her to realize that I am making efforts to move forward, and no matter what anyone else thinks, I do want us to all get along. No one can fault me for that. Stay positive, and try not to let anyone get under your skin. Believe me, I know how hard that is, but try. Have a good day, and keep your chin up.

Thanks for the words of encouragement today. I am a little down in the dumps because tonight is the night I am supposed to see my granddaughter and because of my stubborness that's not happening. I just can't bring myself to call my daughter and ask her to bring her out. My husband says that Sunday went OK and just to leave things alone for awhile. I guess I agree, but I'm sure I will have to be the one to give in eventually since she pretty much doesn't want to speak to me right now. Probably just have to leave her alone to think about things or to decide never to speak to me again, which ever. She only wants me in her life if she doesn't have to "walk on eggshells around me." I didn't even tell her that I already bought that book, so I'm a step ahead of her. Not like I have a choice about what she does anyway. I know you are doing the right thing about trying to be a part of the family again. Please believe that, even though it doesn't seem that your efforts are working. Sometimes when everyone is stubborn, being German or Italian, nothing gets accomplished. My oldest brother has hardly spoken to my parents for probably 30 years. He is close to 60 now and just kind of trying a little to make contact with them. They live only about 20 miles from each other, but he just has been so angry with them for so long that it becomes a habit that's hard to break. I don't believe he will ever talk to them about anything he has been angry about, but they are just so thrilled that he will acknowledge them since they are probably close to not being with us too much longer. It seems so sad that certain people do not see it in their heart to forgive and be a family like everyone once was. They apparently do not feel the pain because if you are angry and bitter, as I realized, it does ease the pain a bit. I'm kind of in that mode right now, but praying that I can come out of it because I care about my kids, my grandkids, my parents, my brothers and feel very sad when everyone is fighting all the time. What's the purpose of it anyway? Does it give someone power, like I feel my daughter is in the power chair right now, and why does that have to be that way? I accept her life whether I agree with it or not, but like you said, love is blind and maybe some day she will see what's going on and start standing up for herself. She may have done a little of that for this last occasion. Two days before she called her only brother and asked him to be a part in the event. So, I think that may have been a conflict with her and her husband because he doesn't like her brother either, so whether that was a fight and if so, at least she won one. Do you understand how people can just be so mean? I know what you are saying about being able to say something without everything getting all messed up and totally misunderstood. It's called communication. Is there some jealousy going on in your family-maybe jealous of you and your husband for some reason? We have come to the conclusion that our son in law may be jealous of everything we have because he is so materialistic, but there is one thing we don't have, and that is our daughter anymore and he sees to it that we don't succeed at that. Pretty selfish in my eyes. How sad that one person can be so bitter and nasty and make it so miserable for everyone else. Pretty hard to deal with. Anyway, if you need to vent before the weekend feel free to write down more of your thoughts. You will get through it because you have the right frame of mind going on. You are willing to try. If you weren't a strong person, I'm pretty sure you would not attend anything, so try your best to not go "over the edge" before Friday/Saturday and I'm pretty sure when you get through it you will be glad it's over, but hopefully glad also that you made the right decision. I, like you, are always such a wreck about stuff like this, but it does help alot to talk about it to stay sane. Have a good evening.

It's funny that you say that about the jealousy issue. I, along w/ others, always believed that my one SIL (the initial source of the problem), is a jealous person. Although in no way do I feel jealous of her, nor do I feel that I've done anything to make her jealous of me, she still finds a way to put others down to make herself look better. I think she's just a very insecure person that needs to feel better about herself regardless of who she hurts along the way. Everyone in the family knows this about her, but they just blow it off. I have a hard time doing that. Our personalities are so different. I understand and accept that. It's just the way everyone choses to handle situations that bothers me. Instead of being mature about the whole thing, they play games, and they never admit to ANYTHING! I don't want any part of that. That's why I back off. We even went as far as telling our in-laws that until they're ready to grow up, we want no part in their lives. Call it an ultimatum, but that's just how we feel. I don't think it's too much to ask for others to treat us w/ respect. Do you?

Absolutely not too much to ask someone to have some respect. There are people like your SIL everywhere and in almost every family. No way to avoid them either and like you said everyone just blows her off. People like that do not care about ANYONE's feelings, so I'm sure the others blow her off not to make waves because she is so nasty. Who knows what the rest of the family says behind closed doors about her. It doesn't make it wrong to chose not to play the games ect. We are lucky because we don't have any family members like that, but then our family isn't close at all. There is no dominant person that tries to make it unbearable for everyone, but there are many conflicts all the time and my mom worries all the time about how to fix them. I just know from experience that I am the one feeling crappy when I'm in the middle of a conflict with my brothers because I want to have everyone get along. They obviously don't feel the same way. One of my brothers didn't speak to me for about 5 years a few years ago, and with time it has worked itself out and we are speaking again and trying to revive our relationship. It's alot better now. I said I was very sorry about what I said and he accepted that. Whether I was right or wrong about what I did or said doesn't matter anymore. Not speaking to your family is something I just do not deal with well. I would say jealousy is a large part of why people act like they do. So, I think if a person ignores the comments and do not let your SIL get under your skin no matter how hard that may be, you will be happy with your self that you were able to do that. Maybe make that your challenge for the weekend. Have a good one.

Concerned, Hi, just curious how the wedding weekend went? Have been thinking about it the last few days and hoping all went well.

Hi tiredmom, I think that shld be my new name too. It's been an exhausting long wkend, and I still haven't caught up on sleep. Well, the rehersal was on Thurs. I didn't go, but my husband went and said that everyone ignored him. No comments were made (at least he didn't hear any), but his brothers and their wives acted like he wasn't even there. I cld tell he was upset when he came home, and that made me feel terrible for not being there for him. Next, the wedding on Mon. We drove to my husband's mom's house to find that everyone decided to meet at the groom's new condo (in my opinion, to avoid me). So my husband had to go there since the limo was picking the guys up there. Before this, however, we were graced w/ my MIL's lovely comment, "Let the fun begin" as we entered the house. My husband's brother (the groom) was there. I greeted him w/ a warm hug since I hadn't seen him in almost a yr. He seemed ok. I don't know why my MIL felt the need to make that comment, but we just blew it off. I guess she sees us as the problem too? Anyway, I hung out w/ her until we had to go to the church. At the church, I saw my other in-laws, all of whom ignored me. I was greeted by extended family which was good. When the ceremony was over, I approached my SIL (the bride), and she greeted me warmly. Then I went back to my MIL's while the wedding party took pictures at the hall. None of my in-laws came back to the house, only a few cousins, aunts and uncles. Later, I found out they all went to the diner (another excuse to avoid me, I feel). Finally, at the reception, we saw everyone, but it wasn't so bad b/c the place is huge, so we cld move around. I was happy to be reunited w/ my husband again. We made an agreement that we were going to have a good time regardless of the circumstances, and having that positive attitude definitely helped. My 2 other SILs approached me and said hi. From time to time, we made small talk about nothing, but at least we cld be civil. My BILs avoided my husband and I the entire night, but I was ok w/ that, as long as I didn't have to hear anything negative. Besides, we had plenty of other family members to talk to and dance w/, so we made the best of it. At one pt, I got a little emotional during a song the band played, but other than that, I held it together pretty well. I got a lot of compliments on my dress from others in the family which helped me feel good also. So, we made it through the night. All in all, I have to say the day wasn't so bad. I guess I set myself up w/ low expectations so I wldn't be too disappointed. Since the wedding, we haven't spoken to anyone, nor do we expect to. I've also had my hands full w/ my oldest son who just started back at school today. So between the hectic weekend and preparing for school, I've been distracted. I don't know what's going to happen now. I doubt anyone will contact us, and my husband will absolutely not budge either. So everything's still left unresolved. I'm not sure things will ever get resolved. Only time will tell. So, that's my story. How's everything on your end? Any progress? I hope you're doing ok under the circumstances. Stay in touch. If anything comes up that you'd like to discuss, I'm here. I'll try to ck in again soon. W/ school starting, I may not be able to write everyday, but I'll definitely write when I can. All this writing has definitely been theraputic for me. How about you? Well off to feed the kiddies. Talk to you again soon!

Finally getting back to you about the wedding. Sounds like you too should be "tiredmom". I knew you would be able to make it through the day without too many problems mostly because you had the right frame of mind and a positive attitude. It doesn't make it any easier and I'm sure you, like me, would have gladly skipped the whole day/weekend if possible, but it just gives the others more to talk about and proves to us that we have more strength than we think sometimes. I know how the butterflies, the sick feelings and all the stress that is involved in attending one of these events can make a person almost crazy. But, hopefully now things will be quiet for awhile so you can get back to your family-the ones that do care about you-and your life will go on. I hate unsolved conflicts, but as my husband says, sometimes you just can't do anything about certain circumstances and you won't be happy until you decide to accept that. My daughter and I are still having problems, and all the crying I did over the weekend about an incident on Friday I was informed by my husband that he feels this is all having an effect on our marriage. The depression at times overtakes me and I don't think he appreciates me hashing this over again and again and is tired of hearing it every day. Oh my gosh, that was a huge wake up call. I do not plan to lose him for someone that doesn't care about having a relationship with me anyway, so please don't let this happen to you. Today is much better because I have just decided that I am tired of her games and not sure I care so much about seeing the grandkids at this point anyway because it means I have to deal with her. She is very negative and I'm sure she is once again angry with me. Each time she does something that hurts, I get harder. That's not easy for me because of my personality, but you can only be kicked on so long and why would you keep letting them do that to you unless you really enjoy pain? We are a blended family with kids all gone from home and I do not want to be single again because my kids are driving me crazy, so please take care of yourself and your immediate family and don't let the rest of those people come between you and your husband/family. They are the most important and I need to keep that in perspective about my husband also. He is the only thing that makes me happy, so to lose him would be very, very heartbreaking. I don't plan to have that happen after 18 years of marriage and all the things we have gone through. We have always stuck together and supported each other on everything, so I do not intend to jeopardize our relationship over unhappy children. It seems sad to me to have grandchildren as pawns, but some people don't see that as a problem. It's a control issue. Yes, these emails have been very theraputic for me and I thank you for listening. It has kept me sane and by reading other comments on this site, a person does see that other people sometimes have worse things than us as hard as that may seem. It's helpful to know that someone else shares your pain and that I'm just not the "crazy lady." Hang in there and maybe you just have to get harder and less caring for your inlaws, then they will wonder "why you won't talk to them?" My daughter says she isn't giving up so easy on our relationship and I can bow out if I want to, but she isn't trying very hard at all, so guess I won't try either. I tried last week and just got made a fool of, so I feel like I just want to stay away to avoid being hurt everytime I try. I wonder if she isn't enjoying seeing me upset and hurt a bit??? Maybe, but I must move past this somehow. Thanks for letting me know how the wedding went. I pray every day for people like us to have happiness in our life and have faith that my prayers will be answered at some point. Just need some patience. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. I am almost done reading the book "walking on eggshells" and it does have some pretty helpful things in it. Might give it a try, also "why bad relatives happen to good people" is in my library of self help books and I intend on reading that one next.

Hi there, Good to hear from you. All the back to school madness w/ my kids has kept me pretty busy. I have to say, I'm so happy to hear that you are "moving on" w/ your life and not letting the situation w/ your daughter, interfere w/ your marriage. I must admit that I thought the situation w/ my in-laws was going to tear my husband and I apart. Things are still hard for him, but he continues to stand by me and our children. W/out him, I think I wld lose my mind. Your daughter still doesn't seem to understand that you don't want to give up on your relationship, and it sounds like she's making you out to be the bad guy again. Why can't our families just understand that it's the hurt that we feel that's keeping us away? Are they that blind to their actions? I suppose they feel the same way about us to an extent. Well, there's no sense in harping on things like your husband said. Maybe space will do both your daughter and you some good. That's what I'm hoping for in my situation. Sometimes when you back off from a situation, the other person if forced to make the next move. Or otherwise, he/she at least has time to meditate on everything and maybe will come to realize what's really important. The more you make efforts, the easier it is for your daughter, and the harder it is for you. You're doing the right thing. Concentrate on yourself and your husband. Surround yourself with those people you feel comfortable w/ and who show through their actions that they truly care. You will always love your daughter, and I'm sure she'll always love you in her own way. As for your grandchildren, I hope you will be able to share valuable time w/ them when you can. I know it's hard b/c you're daughter will always be in the picture. The new self help book you mentioned sounds interesting. Maybe I'll look into that one too. I just went to a craft shop and bought myself a cross-stitch kit--something I haven't done in yrs. Maybe I can pick up a hobby for myself in my spare time. I wish you all the best in moving on w/ your life and finding the happiness that you so deserve. Keep in touch. I'm sure there'll be rocky times when you'll need to vent. Keep the positive outlook. You seem to be on the right path that's best for you. Good luck w/ everything!

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I decided to take my daughter up on seeing only my granddaughter 2 times a week now. This week I am trying a new stategy, don't ask anything, just tend to business and say as little as possible when she brings her out and picks her back up. I'm sure I am still the bad guy, which yes she is making me out to be, but my sanity cannot take any more of her abuse, so I am going to not try so hard and try to keep myself occupied as much as possible to keep my mind off of everything. My life goes on whether I want it to or not, with or without her. Do you have a mother and are you close to her? My mom is still alive and in the past I have had a hard time talking to her confidentally because I haven't always been able to trust her not to tell things I have told her. But, I have confided in her with this and of course her and my dad are very angry at my daughter for treating me like this and she wants to talk to her about it, but I told her absolutely not. It will work itself out somehow and she knows that it would be a disaster if she did that. So, she agreed to just stay still about her feelings. I am still kind of angry about things and yes, that is what keeps us away. I don't think some people have a clue as to how hurtful they can be to someone that "wants" to care about the family and just enjoy being a part of it. I just don't understand why life has to be like this. Just not able to pinpoint where the problem is exactly. Guess if I could I would hopefully not be in this position. I'm pretty sure she wants to see me suffer for all the years she had to share me with her step sisters. I can't go back and change anything and I'm not sure I would want to either. If she can't accept me for who I am now or who I was then, then I guess I really don't need her in my life either. That's the new approach this week. Hope it works for me. If not, guess I'll be back next week. ha. Have a great weekend and I am also here if you need to vent. It certainly does help.

Hi again, I think it's best if your mom stays out of everything, like you suggested. If she does say something, she may just end up in the same predicament you're in. No, I don't have a mom. My mom died of cancer several yrs ago. My dad is still around, and we are a lot closer now then we used to be. I think your new strategy is a good one. If anything, it will help you better cope with the situation. I find myself putting up walls sometimes b/c it's so hard to be yourself when you know you're only going to get hurt. I've heard my in-laws say that I have an "attitude", but w/out that "attitude", I just get hurt more, so what's the point of being nice? Besides this so-called "attitude" is just me keeping things on the surface, w/out going into too many details. I'm always polite; I've just chosen not to volunteer too much information. I'm sure you know what I mean. It gives everyone less to gossip about. Well, enjoy the rest of the week. Try to focus on the happy times w/ your husband and your grandchildren. It's important that you remain in their lives b/c they need you as much as you need them. Bye for now.

Hi, just wanted to update you on what's happened with this new "plan." My daughter and I have set up two nights a week to see my granddaughter which works out fine. I gave up trying so hard to be a part of her life as I say and that has been better for me this week. I don't email, I don't call, I don't ask any questions when she comes out to drop her off, giving her the option to talk if she wants or to just dash off. I have almost stopped crying everytime I think about our relationship which is a good thing and have been alot more functional. I have been more attentive to my husband and he seems happier to be around me, which is also a good thing. I still miss her, but have maybe finally accepted the fact that she feels closer to her MIL than me and at this point I am not able to change that. Believe me that hurts like crazy and I still think about it when I have idle time, but when you get past the grieving process, maybe it just helps with time to adjust to what's really going on rather than trying to make it something it just isn't going to be. Hopefully some day things can change. She talks a little mostly just about the kids and what they do which I consider smaller than a baby step, but at least we can be cordial and both need to come to the realization that her husband is a big part of what's going on between her and I because I think she makes sure her MIL is a large part of their family because that's the way he wants it to be just to keep peace. I'm about the only obstacle left and he just is having a struggle getting me out of their lives completely but he is being allowed by my daughter to act like that, so she also carries come blame. I need to learn more patience and pray that things will get better in the future somehow. We think alot alike on the fact that we wonder "what on earth can ever make this better?" Guess we just have to keep plugging away at it slowly and can only hope for the best. I am sorry your mother passed away years ago. My SIS's mother passed away a few years ago also and she just doesn't have any patience with daughters that treat their mother's badly and feels they should feel lucky that they still have them around. My mom and I have had our struggles, but I know I will miss her terribly when she's gone. Family is pretty important and sometimes people just have a hard time believing that until they are gone. Hope things are going well for you and just needed to vent a bit. Have a great day and weekend.

Well, not much to tell on this end. I know I haven't written in a while, but things have been pretty busy here. In a way I'm glad b/c it keeps my mind off all my family problems. Let's see... My MIL's birthday just passed, and we heard that the family got together. We didn't find out about it til after the fact. This wld've bothered me a while ago, but not seeing everyone makes for a less stressful situation, so I was ok w/ it. We agreed to get together with my MIL on a future wkend, just us and my husband's youngest brother and his wife. They called us after the wedding to see how everything went, and they promised to show us pictures. So at least we have that to look forward to. We also just had a family BBQ w/ several of my relatives. That turned out well, and it helped to uplift my spirits. I hope that keeping a safe distance from your daughter will help her see what's really important and what she's missing. As hard as it is, I think you shld let her come to you in her own time. I decided to do the same w/ my husband's family. I realized I will never be able to change their thinking or get them to move forward. They have to decide to do this for themselves. I believe if they truly care about having a relationship w/ us, they will make the next move. How much can one person do? I'm not going to beg. As far as I'm concerned, my hands are tied until then. Don't let this situation take over your life and ruin you. You said it yourself. Your husband is even happier to be around you these days. That shld make you feel good and also tell you that you're obviously doing something right. I'm about ready for bed as my eyes are getting heavy typing this. Therefore, I'll say goodnight for now. I admire your strength and ability to endure all that you've been through. It takes a strong person to get through such a situation as ours, and I'm proud of you for always fighting and never giving up. Enjoy your granddaughter and the times you spend w/ her. She sounds like a sweetheart. I think once you find peace w/ yourself and the situation, you'll be ok. I'll talk to you again soon.

Hi, sorry it has been so long but it has been busy here too and it seems like the time goes by so fast. Maybe that is a good thing. I'm sorry that your family had a birthday party and did not tell you. That is so hurtful. Do they have any idea how they make a person feel by doing that kind of thing? Apparently not. I'm not sure why a person dwells on the people that disrespect you and not concentrate on the people that do care about you. Must be the unknown as to why they can't "get over it and be more caring? The situation with my daughter is still the same, definitely not any better. The only thing that changed is me. Maybe with your help and my SIL's help I got past the thinking that I needed to be a part of her life. She was not responding to that very well, so I just gave up and don't ask any questions and only visit a little if she chooses to. She still brings my granddaughter out twice a week which works good for me. I love spending time with her. Once in awhile she brings my grandson and he will play on the swingset for a bit. He doesn't seem to be afraid of my husband and me when she is there, so we just leave it at that. Other than that she doesn't call or email me anymore so guess I was the one trying too hard to make our "relationship" be something. Pretty much proves to me she doesn't really care too much about it. Guess we just can't make things happen that aren't meant to be. Doesn't make it any less hurtful, but our acceptance of that maybe does give us a little peace of mind. I still think about it every day and get hurt when I see her MIL there every day, but have been trying to take a different route to and from work and just keeping myself busy with my new hobby. That has been very good for me since I have learned to concentrate on what I am doing and gets my mind off things. Kind of obsessed sometimes with it, but it does help me think about something else. The rest of the 3 kids are having some problems too, but for some reason I'm not so upset with them. I am able to tell my son what is bothering me and he doesn't like it but listens and eventually gets over it and we are ok again. With him I don't have to walk on "eggshells." He seems to truly care about us and we should be happy about that, but he has other problems in his life that we can't fix. We have helped him financially which I'm sure the rest of them don't appreciate, but that's our choice. He still can't seem to get it together, so we just need to quit bailing him out and I told him that about a month ago. Haven't heard much from him since, but I'm sure he will come around eventually. We do know that he appreciates us if we ever needed someone to help us out, he would be there in a minute. Even though he isn't living up to his obligations, we still care about him and enjoy being with him. That's how we want to feel about my daughter, but I just think her husband makes her choose, which is very sad. When he asked us to marry her, he knew he was marrying the family. But now he must feel the pressure is off, and has made up his mind that he doesn't need to have anything to do with us. I know she is put between a rock and a hard place, but she needs to take a stand and I think a couple of instances recently have shown a little progress in that area. I haven't been to thier house in about 6 months and not sure if I should or shouldn't make that move to go there and just feel uncomfortable or not. If they truly aren't interested in having a relationship with us, why would I force myself to go there I guess. Hope things are going well with you. I'm sure not much has changed for you either, but it still helps to talk to someone going through the same emotions that you are. Have a good day.

Hi there, Good to hear from you. I'm trying to play catch up since we, too, have been pretty busy. Glad you're still plugging away and doing what you need to do for yourself. A hobby definitely is great to have, especially when it helps keep your mind occupied for a while. It's also good to hear that you have a healthy relationship w/ your other children. I think it's normal to have disagreements, but it's unhealthy to hold grudges. I'm happy that your other children understand this. I'm sure they see the strain that your one daughter is putting on you, and they don't want to put you through that same heartache. Your son will eventually get it together, and I think if you back off a bit, he will be forced to live up to his expectations. It's hard to back off, though, b/c as a parent, you always want what's best for your children no matter how old they are. As for me, I'm hanging in there. We have plans to see my MIL for a belated b-day get together this coming wkend. My one BIL and SIL will be there too. I'm looking forward to seeing them, and I'm hoping all goes smoothly. Other than that, it's been status quo over here. My husband said the other day, when we were planning our son's b-day, that he can't invite his mother to our house w/out inviting his brothers. This was the reason we didn't have a family party for either of our sons last yr. Now I'm planning the kiddie party, and my husband suggests, why don't we just invite the immediate family instead of doing the kiddie party. At first I thought he said it b/c he was looking to save money, but then I thought it was b/c he was thinking about his brothers and wanted them w/ us. I know he misses them. I also know, however, that if he invites them, they won't come. We've tried that already, and it didn't work. And frankly, I feel so hurt by the things that they said, that if I do see them, I'll be a wreck. Am I being selfish? Maybe I shld encourage my husband to call them for his own sake, although I don't want to see him get any more hurt either. When my husband says things like this, I feel guilty, like I'm tearing him away from his family. But at the same time, it makes me angry b/c how cld he want to see them after the way they treated us. If I knew there was an end in sight, I'd be all for getting together. However, nothing that my husband's family has done has shown me that they're sincere in their willingness to be a part of our lives. They've said the words, but their actions tell us otherwise how they truly feel. Well, I guess we just have to take what we can get and be happy w/ that. You're doing a great job staying focused on you, and I'm trying to do the same. Hang in there!

Hi tiredmom, It's been a while since I've written last, but I wanted to see how you're doing. I also wanted to share some good news. I don't know if you're still around and reading this, but I thought I'd give it a shot anyway. Since I last contacted you, actually just this wk, my husband and I received a call from his brother out of the blue. This is one of the brothers we haven't spoken to in 2 yrs. We both talked to him, and he wants to make an effort to start again. In addition, my husband rec'd a text message from his other brother we haven't been speaking to saying "Happy Thanksgiving." My husband responded, "Same to you." This same brother's wife sent a b-day card to my son about a month ago. Still, we haven't rec'd any call from them, so we have no idea what's going to develop from this. We've maintained our stance leaving the ball in their court b/c no matter how many efforts we make, we know they have to come to us on their own terms. We've continued staying in contact w/ my husband's youngest brother and his wife. They are the ones who just recently got married. As for the holidays, we plan to see my husband's family, w/ the exception of his brother and his family who we're still not speaking to, after x-mas. What happens w/ this one brother still remains to be seen. We chose to see the rest of my husband's family after x-mas b/c we decided this is still a delicate situation, and we want to spent our day relaxed and w/out any stress. My next move is to call my SIL whose husband just contacted us, in an effort to break the ice. My husband and I have expressed that our efforts to move forward are sincere, and we truly hope that everyone else's efforts will be the same. In addition, we plan to exchange gifts this yr, and we thought it wld be nice to give everyone a saying about the meaning of family. We plan on writing it ourselves, then framing it. So, this is where we stand right now in our family situation. Although it's still not 100% perfect, and I'm not sure it ever will be, it's a move in the right direction. I've been thinking about you and your situation, especially since the holidays are near. I don't know if anything has changed for you in your relationship w/ your daughter. I can only pray that you are doing well. I wish you and your family a peaceful holiday season. Regards, concerned mom

Hi I just went to this site today out of the blue after all these months and saw your email from X-mas that I hadn't read and was so excited about your tentative reunion with part of your family. God does work in mysterious ways. That is so great and I hope that things have improved in the last 6 months. My situation isn't much better. Another mother's day went by without as much as a call or Card this year again. I approached her about it 2 weeks later and she said she tried to call once but didn't get an answer, so she didn't leave a message or anything. She had spent the day "with her kids", but when it really came out, she had spent most of the day also with her Mother in law. I stayed away from her for the next whole week, and by then she was aware that I was a little upset after trying to contact me. So I tried to talk to her after I settled down a bit about it without much success. When our anniversary came, she did come over to the office and brought flowers and cupcakes with the kids. She pretty much told me that her husband doesn't want anything to do with us and that she is doing what she can to keep the little bit of relationship she has with us, even though he is not supportive of that either. So, I know she is in the middle somewhat, but that is really no excuse for treating me the way she does. I really don't care much about her anymore which may sound horrible as a mother, but you can only take so much and when it starts to affect your health, that is so self destructing. She told me she is on medication for her problems and that if I can't handle this situation I should be getting medication. I really don't need medication because the rest of my life is just fine. Not sure I need to be medicated because she wants to treat me badly. So, I just put up my wall somewhat and decided that things aren't getting better and that I can't change her, only learn to live with things they way they are, so even though things aren't better with her, I am more sane some days. It hurts so much to think about her mother in law being there every day with her knowing everything she does and plans every day and being with the grandkids so much that they will be closer to her than me, but she informed me that she comes there everyday and that's just the way it has been and will continue to be. I have come to the conclusion that I am somewhat jealous of their relationship because that's what I want with her, but since I work almost full time and being a part of her life everyday will never be an option for me because of her husband, pretty sure I will just have to accept things the way they are and pray that someday things will change-of course in my favor. Hope things are going well and I'm not sure either if you ever come back to this site, but you helped me through alot of hard and hurtful time with your positive attitude and want to thank you again for that.

Thank you for the update and your thanks to those who made the effort to help you with your problem. This thread made me realize my issues with my daughter in law, though trying, could be worse. You deserve a lot of credit for how hard you have tried under very difficult circumstances. Hopefully in time your daughter will realize that blood is thicker than water and will begin to treat you with the respect you deserve as her mother.

Hi tiredmom, Yes, I'm still here. I skimmed through a number of new messages and saw this one. I'm happy you're back. Well, my situation is better somewhat, but it's still not 100%. We're still not talking to my husband's one brother and his wife. Last we spoke to them, they turned our conversation into yet another argument that got us nowhere. So we stopped trying w/ them. When and if they're ready to come around, we'll be here, but emotionally, we can't try anymore. Our relationship w/ my other in-laws has gotten better, but I still get the feeling that they're not being totally sincere. I try to keep things on the surface and that's it. My husband is happy to have his brothers back in his life, and I don't want him to lose them again. He's been so supportive through this whole thing, I cldn't put him through that again. I was really hoping to hear better news from you, though. What gets me the most about your situation is that your daughter still won't tell you why she and her husband are so angry w/ you. Maybe if you knew, you cld then try to change things. Still, I understand how you feel, and I'm sure you're emotionally burnt out. If the situation is truly affecting your health, you need to back off like you're doing. You come first. Take care of yourself. That's so important. The rest of your family needs you. I hope your grandchildren are doing well. I'm sure they bring lots of joy to your life. Enjoy them. My sons and my husband have been my primary focus through all this. Please stay well. Sincerely, Concerned

I am feeling exactly what yoy are feeling. Our stories sound like we are dealing with the same situation. I won't go into all the details but that's what brought me to this website. My daughter is 24 and it was very much the same situation ( except the house and car and money. When she married, it was very rough for me. My mom and I paid for everything and it went from "I am getting married" to " I am getting married in two weeks! My mom, bless her heart, passed away the following year. My daughter seem to be so blinded by love that my husband and I (nor my mother) could get a word in edge wise. My son-in-law (mister know-it-all) puts my daughter in the line of fire all the time. I can't tell her anything though. I prayed over the situationa dn prayed and prayed (especially for my daughter). I finally got an opportunity to express most of what I was feeling to her 2 years later. She left him briefly. She came home and it was as if I had my old daughter back again. I love every minute. She is back home and now he is mister big shot again, but this time, I am ready to speak my mind and clarify some things. If it has to be talking to him alone that's how it would be (my word against his). I won;t be nasty but I will be firm. She is now expecting and he is very aggressive now. So I do see myself nipping this in the bud. I was always the firm type and I have made up my mind that we (my husband and I are important). My husband does'nt talk much. He lets people be who they are in which I don't have a problem with that but when it interferes with my only child I beared pains for, you got the wrong one, believe me. Hang in there, I am. Don't give up on your daughter pray and try to wait for your higher power to move before you do. He will work it out in his own time. Trust me it will all be good for all involved. Its nothing wrong with not being trampled over because you are important, and what you feel is a true issue, but don't try to work it out all by yourself because feelings can go deep.