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Old November 30th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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How they raised our DHs

So you think, as a DIL, you hold a grudge against your inlaws for how they raised and treated our DHs as children? Do you think this is fair? Lets say the parents were pretty bad parents, but good grandparents, is it fair then? How about they were bad parents, but able to relate to their adult children better (if that makes sense)?

I know I did. I also know my DH did towards my family (I had a pretty krappy childhood). But in our case, it was not fair. So what do you guys think.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 04:50 PM
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Re: How they raised our DHs

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Originally Posted by grubby View Post
So you think, as a DIL, you hold a grudge against your inlaws for how they raised and treated our DHs as children? Do you think this is fair? Lets say the parents were pretty bad parents, but good grandparents, is it fair then? How about they were bad parents, but able to relate to their adult children better (if that makes sense)?

I know I did. I also know my DH did towards my family (I had a pretty krappy childhood). But in our case, it was not fair. So what do you guys think.
Oh boy do I hold a grudge. But not in how you might think.

My MIL was a fabulous Mommy. She did everything for DH. Everything, everything, everything. He'd try on a shirt and change his mind about wearing it, and drop it on the ground. She'd scoop it up, wash it, dry it, iron it and put it away before he could wonder where it went. He puts a glass down and she'd either clear it away or refill it. (I'm not kidding about that... if you put a glass down in her house, consider yourself finished.) She's the kind of Mommy who still fluffs pillows between the time DH sits down and the time he leans on them and I swear she'd still cut DH's meat for him if he'd sit within arms reach.

Two true stories:
1) We went to dinner at the IL's once before we had kids. MIL had made a really yummy chicken dish - tenders marinated in a raspberry vinaigrette and grilled - because it was, until that moment, one of DH's favorites. We sat down to dinner, DH looked at the meal and said "Eh, I'm not in the mood for this tonight." MIL immediately jumped up and offered him other choices, ending up thawing a steak and grilling it for him while the rest of us ate. I told DH on the way home to NEVER EVER expect me to do that. In my FOO, you ate what was put on your plate and said "Thank you".

2) Another time at dinner, FIL and DH were in a very interesting, involved conversation. Without thinking (acting out of habit - what he was used to being married to me) he got up when he was finished eating and started clearing the table. He took his plate and my plate to the sink (with MIL doing this ) and came back to clear MIL and FIL's plates, involved in conversation all the while. MIL LOST it. She was LIVID, sent eye daggers my way, and asked him WHAT he thought he was DOING. He dropped her plate like it was a hot potato and she went on a rant about how SHE was the one who cleaned up the house and SHE was the one whose responsibility it was to clear the table since her HUSBAND worked it was the least she could do to do everything at home. (I was working putting DH through med school at the time.) That's been about 17 years and DH has yet to come back from the dark side. He'll clear his plate, but that's it.

Yeah, something of a grudge. And she was a good mom. She just raised two helpless kids because she was so busy fussing around them that they never learned how to do things on their own. And I think that's perfectly fair of me, because DH's expectations of what all I should do for him aren't realistic. And DH's expectations of what I should be letting our kids do aren't realistic either (i.e. he doesn't think DS, at age 13, is old enough to use the oven to make himself a snack when he's hungry. I was cooking dinner on a regular basis by the time I was 12. ) It doesn't have too much to do with her "performance" as a GM though. I'd let it slide as a GM, because a GM isn't the one who's supposed to be fostering independence.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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Re: How they raised our DHs

I am grateful to God that my DH is who he is. I hold him totally responsible for himself at this point.

We are in our thirties. Three to Six years ago I feel we worked through some problems that had their roots in our childhoods. But we made our choices to work those issues out. We are each responsible for our own baggage at this point.

(Yeah!!!! No more resenting my mom for my crappy behavior! I was quite enmeshed and had no sense of what was and wasn't my responsibility. But you asked about DH .)

My in-laws did love him and did raise him well to the best of their ability Despite of the divorce. Everybody fails. They did their share of failing and of getting things right.

The communication style they had in their family through the divorce stayed with them for years into DHs adulthood. I think therapy for the he and sibs as adults helped quash that. They do a lot less of expecting each other to jump in and rescue or 'take sides'.

FIL was over for T-day and it was really pleasant. (He does relate okay to us as adults-does not try to run our lives etc.) We talk to SIL and all is okay on that front too.

MIL seems to struggle the most with adapting but there is nothing I can do about that. (I pray for her and leave it at that otherwise I'd turn myself inside out trying to worry her issues away.) I am grateful to God that my husband is no longer willing to be manipulated in his relationship with her, (I, foolishly, would often still take the bait).

So no hard feeling here anymore about the way DH was raised. I used to have some but don't feel that way anymore. He says they did an okay job so I am taking that view also. Much easier to do when he is being responsible for his own actions.

I think having okay relationships with his dad (and my mom) in the present let us make new memories that soften the old stories a great deal. The past looks better the farther away and safer from it I feel, kwim? If it were still hurting him or us in the present it would be a different story.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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Re: How they raised our DHs

My back is getting crushed under the weight of the grudge I am carrying. My DH was raised by a controlling, manipulative, affection with-holding, self absorbed maniac. And his Dad was never home from working all the time. It took the birth of our daughter for my DH to truly accept unconditional love from someone - he never knew what it felt like and he didn't trust me enough (he does now though - after twelve years of marriage.)

I do judge her as a mother and I do judge her as a wife. Her pride and her unbelievable self-serving attitude is just too much. As a grandmom? Well, she seemed to me to be a pretty doting one until the kids started to get older and not perform like the little monkeys she was used to. Example in point - my youngest straight from birth would just scream bloody MURDER when my MIL went near her. I actually caught her send my little baby a vicious GLARE when she thought no one was looking. I was too shocked at the time and then excused my cowardice for not speaking up by thinking that she was too hurt. Another example is how she would pointedly give all her attention to whichever child of mine provided the most affection - leaving in the dust all the others for them to "see" how to they SHOULD be treating her. That usually meant the other ones who were confused by the sudden and erratic change of behaviour by their grandmother.

Sorry, lots of stories to back up my opinion about my MIL's parenting skills - seriously, she is just terrible. All that mattered was how her children's behaviour made her look to the outside world - never mind that maybe she should PARENT her children and try to make them happy. A mother that can ignore her four year old child for DAYS ON END as punishment (that's DH's earliest memory) and then MONTHS ON END as that child got older is insane.

Yep, gotta get me a deep tissue massage because this grudge ain't jumping off my back anytime soon apparently.
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Last edited by latelearner; November 30th, 2008 at 07:14 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old December 1st, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Re: How they raised our DHs

It took YEARS to even break the surface of the of crap the ILs shoveled onto DH.

FIL raised DH to believe that FIL was next to God and that as patriarch DH should yield unto him.

FIL withheld emotional support from DH.

DH always felt left out and forgotten.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 06:14 PM
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Re: How they raised our DHs

im still breaking DH of the BS his Ps taught him, i finally broke him of the habit of leaving a mess for waiters, being rude to waitstaff, expecting me to do everything in the house right when he tthought it should be done, expecting me to wait on him hand and foot etc etc.

im still working on his tendency to use drama to manipulate me into doing what HE thinks i should do, or what he wants, and im trying to break his habit of using passive agressive crap to make me not talk about something he wants to forget.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 07:18 PM
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Re: How they raised our DHs

Boy, all these stories really hit home..hense why I am here. Both IL's and my DP's raised not so happy kids. IL's didn't show love, they showed arguing, fighting, etc. which DH now thinks is normal. My DP's weren't much better. Now our relationship is based on how both of us were raised. We have stopped some of the past from invading our present and future but I am worried about the effect it will have on our children.

So yes, I do hold a grudge, but it's more than one. Why do parents raise children to be like this?
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 09:21 AM
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Re: How they raised our DHs

Welcome 3 is a crowd!

I don't know why parents do that. I think maybe a lot of times they don't know better? Or maybe they're trying their best (sometimes)? I know my MIL certainly was doing what she was doing out of love and devotion and an attempt to be the best Mommy she could imagine.

Oh gosh, and now I've just had the realization that she was being the OPPOSITE of her mother. GMIL was a very nice woman and I loved her, but she wasn't exactly the nurturing-mommy type. She was more of the "I'm a princess, spoil me" type. MIL is the "My job is to spoil you" type.

I don't know... maybe it's one of those "Ghosts of the Nurseries" thing. TBH, I know that I'm guilty of letting my childhood affect my parenting.
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