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  • #282701

    Hi,

    I am due for my baby in 2 weeks. I am facing a dilemma that I wanted your opinions on.

    I have invited my in laws living in another country to come visit us when baby is 2 months. We live in the US. Now, my sis in law (married and having 2 kids) lives in another state here in US. I have a bad history with this sis-in law and she created too many problems for us in her last visit at our home. It ruined our relationship with in laws, which I and my husband had to work very hard to re-instate and get back to better terms with all in family. So, we are planning to send my in laws to her home to visit her after their stay at our home to meet her instead of have her visit us. Now we are kind of in a dilemma on how to explain this to in laws as they might recommend we have her visit us instead.

    Honestly, I am not up for it as she behaved very immaturely and meddled and brought up family issues with me in her last visit instead of my husband (her brother).We have had to work too hard last time and we don’t want her messing anything between us & in laws this time. Also, I was thinking from  a long term standpoint, if we were to invite parents again, I don’t want to set a trend where we invite her here at our home every time when in laws are here.

    While I am completely convinced this is the solution, my mind keeps dwelling on the issue & stressing me. What would you do if in this situation & how do I get over feeling bad about our decision?

    Thanks!

     

     

     

    #282717
    anita
    Participant

    Dear curiousknowledgeseeker:

    If I understand correctly, the plan is to not have your sister in law in your house at all- I suggested the same in your previous thread- congratulations to you and your husband making the correct choice as a team!

    How to explain it to your in-laws? Tell them it is the right thing for your health, and the health of your husband.. and the health of your baby to not have  your SIL in your home. If they ask why it is so, tell them it is bad for your health to talk about it, that it makes you distressed. Tell them that you will appreciate it  if they don’t ask you about her, or talk about her in your home.

    I hope they will care about the health of their hosts (you and your husband) and respect their hosts’ wishes. Otherwise, they will be very rude guests…

    anita

     

    #282751

    Anita, thanks. Even though lot of things went wrong last time & too much energy was spent repairing the damage done, in my heart while I want to take the stand of never inviting SIL back again, I am not able to find peace in that decision. So, while husband is totally on board about not inviting his sister, I suggested we call her for 2-3 days and say she can pick the parents and travel with them to her home. That way, we (I!!!)  don’t dwell on the issue and also the short term period would not allow for any drama / extreme events. Anita, years ago when I married, I used to be a really free, independent, badass woman who didn’t ever care about anything and did what I thought was right. But, after being married for 10 years & parents starting to age, I have started to feel obliged to do things to give them some happiness. And this sense of obligation has been too overwhelming & too intense in it’s effect, universal in application, almost to my own bewilderment! I over-dwell on small issues, over analyze the issue and am often stuck on one matter for days. I am honestly not sure what’s going on with me or how to become what I used to be (I was so free & happy !!!). And now I feel trapped in marital obligations. Any idea what’s happening to me & how I can fix this crazy over analyzing pattern?

    #282757
    JayJay
    Participant

    Hi CuriousKnowledgeSeeker,

    I think also think you are doing the right thing by not inviting your SIL over to your house, and thank goodness your husband agrees that this is the best way to go!

    Like Anita says, it’s bad for you and the baby and the whole atmosphere of the house if she comes over and disrupts everyone.

    It’s also very bad for you, at this late stage of your pregnancy, to be dwelling on things like this.

    This has happened to me over the past few years as well.  I have spent many sleepless nights trying to get things straight in my mind concerning family issues. You do tend to over-dwell on the issues, and try to come up with answers to problems. Remember no-one can fix everything for everyone else. You can’t fix your SIL, so you have done, quite rightly, the next best thing, which is to fix the situation so that the same thing doesn’t happen again.

    It’s not you causing these issues. It’s your SIL. Relax, you have come up with an arrangement that you think will work out best for everyone now. Whether this happens or not is in the future, and no-one can control the future, or know how things are going to turn out, as the future hasn’t happened yet.

     

     

    #282845
    anita
    Participant

    Dear curiousknowledgeseeker:

    So you intend to have your SIL  for 2-3 days in your home, hoping she will not have the time she needs to create trouble for you. (Did it take her in the past two days before creating trouble?)

    You wrote: “after being married for 10 years & parents starting to age, I have started to feel obliged to do things to give them some happiness” -you mean your husband’s parents?

    Whose parents are you referring to and can you give me a few short descriptions of the “small issues” that you  over analyze and get stuck on for days?

    anita

     

    #282853

    Anita, you are right. She opened up family issues  in a few days of being here. Both my SILs thought my husband & I are not doing enough for their parents (my in laws). They are traditional & think that they should be co-living with us. I came from a very different upbringing, modern culture of neutral family & was very successful & financially independent at a young age. So honestly, while I respected them their joint family values did not float with me( they don’t even now, but I would not think once to have them over if they were sick or needed us!)

    So, now by these small things I mean pondering over what exactly are the obligations of a daughter-in-law to her in laws or are there any? At marriage, I believed I married my husband & not everyone in his family. So mutual respect was only thing I believed in. After SIL came & fought with me, I have been wholly confused on the entire issue & just in a ever reflection phase. Shouldn’t respect & love be enough? I don’t have to share every opinion of theirs or succumb to emotional blackmails, right?

    #282863

    Sorry , I meant “nuclear family” not neutral, that was a typo

    #282871
    anita
    Participant

    Dear curiousknowledgeseeker:

    Both SILs want you to have your parents in law living with you. So they want you to do what they don’t want to do, or can’t do; they want you to free them from their sense of obligation by taking it on yourself. That’s quite selfish, self serving. “they are traditional”- a lot of family tradition is indeed selfish and self serving, one family member burdening another unfairly.

    “I respected them their joint family values”- well, the value underneath your SILs’ pressure is to burden you unfairly so to free themselves to live without their parents in their homes, now or in the future. That is their value. I don’t see anything respectable about it.

    “what exactly are the obligations of a daughter-in-law to her in laws or are there any?”- not anything beyond our human social obligation to others- if we see a person hungry, help them get the food they need, if we see a person cold at night, help him or her reach shelter. If we see a person being abused by another, if it’s more than we can handle, call the police or social services or a community resource to step in.

    “At marriage, I believed I married my husband & not everyone in his family”- I would hope so. In a traditional society before social services were available, before retirement benefits and such, I suppose aging parents did depend on their adult children. But if such dependence is not the case, and if parents do have options such as living in a retirement community, the long ago way of living needs not continue, in other words, parents living with their adult children is a way of the past, no longer relevant to modern times.

    Of course you shouldn’t “succumb to emotional blackmails”- not when the ones doing the blackmail are strangers and not when they are family.

    Family is a fine word only if there is love there, safety, kindness; it is a foul word, really,  when there is hostility there, unfair pressure, blackmailing, misery.

    anita

     

    #282873

    Thanks Jay Jay for your reply. I agree with the decision. Just not sure, if giving her 2-3 days would be too risky. She did create problems, but I am sure she learnt a lesson too. We would invite her every summer & her kids had a good time. She lost that now. But feel like people deserve 2nd chances? And I want to limit the visit period to just 2-3 days. Would that be so bad? Also , one more thought, why are we morally forced to give family (in laws side too) a second chance or even try to make it work, when it clearly doesn’t. But, if we have issues with outsiders or colleagues, we wouldn’t ever care about fixing it & choose to move on? Why?

    #282877
    anita
    Participant

    * Dear curiousknowledgeseeker: double posting- look for my most recent post to you right before you submitted your post above.

    anita

    #282885

    Yes anita. I just read it. Think we were typing around the same time. Yes, that clears up a lot of questions in my head. Thanks for your responses.

    I hope I can shake off this reflective phase & be the carefree person I used to be. I have been going crazy for last 2 years after the SIL incident happened & been studying & analyzing lot of these family cultural customs & comparing them with my values in my head. Must say it helped a bit, but was also like a marshy land where the more you try to get out of it, the more it pulls you in. Guess I am stuck in a family where the set of expectations & values are vastly different on both sides, but my husband is a gem . So, live & stick out for him.

    #282893
    anita
    Participant

    Dear curiousknowledgeseeker:

    You are welcome. It helps to simplify matter, see things simply. For example, instead of studying family cultural customs and values, better see the basics of things, selfishness where it is, one family member trying to unburden herself by passing the burden to you. Better see mistreatment where it is instead of calling it tradition or value- these words have a positive connotation that confuse the issue- mistreatment is always negative. So stick to the basics.

    anita

    #282895
    anita
    Participant

    * didn’t reflect under Topics

    #282903

    Anita, yes I agree. Many traditions make no sense at all & I have always been a rebel. But, when everyone around you follows them, sometimes they make you wonder if you are right in taking a different stand or people are not brave to question existing traditions.

    I will be in touch if I get on a thinking mode again! Guess, I need a more rational influence of people like you around me rather than the unreasonable people that I sense & see in my family.

    #282913
    anita
    Participant

    Dear curiousknowledgeseeker:

    Good idea to relax and take some time away from thinking before returning to the issue. When we are tired and distressed there is a fog in our brain that is in the way of seeing clearly.

    “when everyone around you follows (harmful traditions), sometimes they make you  wonder..”- good point, this is why it is a bad idea to have your parents in law living with you, it will make you wonder more and more and more.

    (And this is why it is better that you have your SIL in your home three days less than you are planning on.. math makes it zero days)

    Take your break and return to your thread anytime. I’ll be glad to read and reply to you whenever you are back.

    anita

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