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being less defensive

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  • #117097
    Learning
    Participant

    For about a year now I have been working on worrying less and trying to be more mindful. It’s a very difficult process. I’m learning though hence my name. Last year I lost my job and is still currently looking however since I have lost my apartment and in a sense part of the life I loved. I have now moved back in with my in laws for the time being which was something I dreaded from the beginning. I use to live with my inlaw before when my son was born and me and my mother on law clashed over different things. Such as me not being an open person willing to share things about my parents and my life growing up because I got the feeling that she was judgemental. So I felt holding back on the negatives of my life would some how help her to see who I am trying to be. I didn’t want her thinking I was not good enough for her son something which till this day I believe she does. To make it worst my parents and my in laws do not get along. Recently my mother in law expressed to me that she would like to my mom and her to get together, 13 years of being with her son I didn’t see that happening mainly on my parents part as they are not bendable people. My mother in law insisted she made some food to give to my parents after I told her no please I don’t want you doing that she insisted. After giving me a ride to my parents house and picking me back up I immediately sensed tension from my other in law she was upset that my mother did not wave hi to her. I did not let my mom know who I gave me a ride and when they picked me up it was night time and they were parked on the street. Now my mom has some unlikable traits about her so I’m not sure if she did she my mother in law in the car and deliberately didn’t say hi. When I asked my mom about it she said if she knew it was her she would have said hi she also said it was nighttime so she couldn’t see well. I felt like I had to give my mom the benefit of the doubt. So I’m back in the car and my mother in law says to my I feel bad for making the food. I told her that is purposely why I told you no don’t make anything but you insisted. She said she is a giver and she gives because she wants too and she doesn’t expect anything in return. I beg to differ on that because she said she was disappointed that my mom didn’t wave to her. If you’re not expecting anything then why be disappointed. She said after so many years she thought my mom would be different and more friendly I’m guessing. She then says to me well I should have been more clear about by parents and how they are after she was the one who told me my mom seems unfriendly and ungrateful a very long time ago. She said I need to confirm with her that she was right. She said she know has learned to listen when someone says no. She said no is something she rarely hears. She also made an example to make a point one that didn’t sit well with me. She said if a son is bad then people shouldn’t look at the parents as being bad. So I asked her well you said those things about my parents being unfriendly and ungrateful do you think I’m that way she paused and said she couldn’t answer that. I felt like she was contradicting her example in a way because I’m not like my parents we are similar but not the same. I have learned from my parents what I don’t want to be as a person and I have worked hard towards that. I guess I didn’t work hard enough. She also said to me that the reason why she loves me is because my son loves me, I told her in return I live her because of the person that she is not because I’m with her son. She said she can’t say the same about me because she would be lying. I’m trying and trying to get along with her for many years but I keep getting bite in the ass. When I had moved out and was living with my spouse and son I accepted the fact that me and my mother in law wouldn’t be close or my family and hers won’t be close. But I feel like me being back at her house and under her roof I’m forced to bite my tongue and try to make it work. I’m just exausted. I felt like this argument would have been avoided if she just listen to me when I said no don’t make anything but I feel like it goes way beyond that. She also told me she doesn’t need to pursue a relationship with my family because her grandson is her family. I never wanted her to try and have a relationship with my family because I didn’t see it happening based on how my parents are. I’m stuck I feel like I needed to communicate that part with her.

    Ps I’m leaving out a part as to why my family didn’t get along with my inlaws. My spouse wasn’t the nicest person when we first got together he was rude abusive and mean. My parents didn’t like his ways and had every right to. But be being young and stubborn I rebelled and didn’t listen. I stayed with him and we are still together but He has changed my parents on the other hand has taken a long time to accept him and I believe they look at his parents a certain way because of how he was. I am the only girl with 2 brothers in my family.

    #117113
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Learning:

    This is my suggestion: let your in-laws deal directly with your patents, don’t mediate between them. If your mother in-law wants to meet your mother, let her contact your mother herself, not through you. It is not your job to orchestrate such get-togethers (no wonder you are exhausted!).

    You can make your life easier by… keeping it simple. Be responsible for your (first party) communications with any one individual (second party), not for the communications between a third party (ex. your in-laws) and another third party (your parents).

    And about your mother in-law thinking you are not good enough for her son: sounds to me she was and is not good enough (mother) for her son. If she was good enough for him, he wouldn’t have been the abusive to you when you first got together. So is her opinion of any value, really?

    anita

    #117126
    Learning
    Participant

    Dear anita,
    Thank you for your feedback, I always appreciate your words of wisdom. I guess I’m still working on being my authentic self and I fight this a lot when I have to voice my opinion with my mother in law because I feel and she tells me she’s older and wiser so she knows more. But then I feel like we are different people and I’m not always going to see things her way and this is where we clash because she feels like I should respect and listen to what she has to say because she’s has more experience. I tell her I’m learning everyday and I’ll continue to learn for the rest of my life it makes me who i am I firmly believe this. Thanks again anita for giving me a different perspective. I’m always comfortable coming to tiny buddha when I’m in need of some insight and therapy for my soul.

    #117140
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Learning,

    I want to second Anita’s suggestion that your MIL should call your mother directly. From what I read food (unasked for) was prepared, and you swung by the house (unannounced). I mean me and my DH hate when people stop by. I could be in the bathroom, meditating, sleeping, etc. It’s always best to call first. Your MIL for being older and wiser/”wiser” should have known that doing this was setting her up for failure.

    The other thing is I wouldn’t ask her any more loaded questions. Or any questions. Think “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Covergirl” if you remember that commercial. Be nice, happy, and surface-y around her. Not fake surface-y. You know what I mean LOL.

    Oh dear. Well, good luck going forward. I hope you get your own place soon!

    Best,

    Inky

    #117428
    Learning
    Participant

    Dear Anita,
    Thanks again for another response, I really love what you said “It is not the TIME that gives us wisdom, it is the LEARNING that we do throughout time”. Waw I have never looked at it that way, it makes so much sense. If we do not learn from our mistakes then we will keep repeating the same ones and in the end learn nothing. What a beautiful way to put it into persepective for me. I think that has to be one of my favorite quotes yet. Thanks for sharing.

    #117429
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Learning:

    I appreciate your comment (here and in the update) and thank you for expressing it. (Makes me feel good).

    Post anytime.

    anita

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