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Why are relatives such hard work?!

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by hecate105, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Things have been going so well... But I have just had a frank face to face discussion with my mother-in-law and although I feel better because I aired my views and worries about the situation. I know that she will feel awful and make herself feel sick and be miserable. I have hardly ever been able to air my opinion with my in-laws because they have a total avoidance attitude to anything that isn't happy/fun. But as the situation impacts on us all and as it is their welfare at stake I really wanted them to understand the import. But I just know that they will ignore the 'meat' of the situation and just focus on the 'oh it's so miserable' part. worse still I have no support cos the husband is parascending g in Nepal (jumping off mountains is FAR easier than dealing with family!)
    I expect they will follow their course and end up regretting it - which is what usually happens. I will have to make happy with them and bite my tongue and the whole cycle continues....
    Does anyone else have relatives like this? What can I do or not do? Or is my present action the correct one? ie Let them think/feel what they will, I have said my piece (nicely) I am responsible for me not for their emotional fall out. And down a large G&T.....!
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, Hecate, can I ever relate! This was my entire childhood - being acutely aware of the ramifications of decisions being made that I have no control over! And yes, those decisions very much effected me. As I got older it seemed as though my brothers were either not talking to each other or starting some sort of business together. There was no in between. And then there was the time my parents decided that my adolescent brothers would do really well if they rented them an apartment of their own with seasonal ski passes. I told my parents it was a terrible idea and in the end my brothers sold off every stick of furniture to buy pot and spent their time skiing and skipping school. That is just one little example, I have lists! I also have several close friends whose mothers are in very poor health but won't make any of the lifestyle changes necessary to live longer. It is especially hard when you see someone slowly killing themselves. The only thing we can do really is to be gently honest when it is appropriate and to feel comfortable maintaining our own boundaries. If someone is miserable at managing their finances, we are only enabling them by bailing them out. I learned this the hard way with my ex-husband. Everyone has to learn to take responsibility for their own decisions, whether it is their health(mental and physical), their finances, how they express their anger, how they manage their lives. If we don't allow them to pick up their own pieces, then they become dependent on us. This can be very unhealthy for everyone and in the end they only end up resenting us for their dependency and powerlessness. When my brother was an alcoholic(I know they are for life but he hasn't had a drink in 7 years!) I was very clear about how I would be willing to assist him. There was only one way I had decided - rehab. Whenever he called me in a crisis the only thing I would ever offer was to help him get into rehab. Sometimes it was very painful to watch but I felt very clear about it. My husband is a closet smoker. I used to try everything I could to force him to stop. If it ends up ruining his health and I have to take care of him, it very much could ruin my life as well. As much as I would like to make him, he has to do it. So I have to let it go. You have to let your in-laws think and feel what they will. You certainly don't want anyone trying to control how you think and feel! And it is good to let them know how you feel in as loving and non-judgemental way as you can. And then you let them work it out as much as you can. Everyone needs to feel a sense of themselves and their own autonomy to make their own decisions, good or bad. My husband always says to me "you don't know the future!" But sometimes it feels like I do because I have a very good ability at predicting the outcomes of other peoples decisions. And I am usually pretty accurate. But that doesn't mean everyone wants to listen to my predictions. They want to make their own mistakes. And sometimes the more you push, the more determined they become.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Hecate,

    I think you did the right thing, the brave thing, and I admire you for it. I assume you have the TMS tendencies of being a goodist and a people pleaser, so by speaking out and standing your ground you are breaking free from those tendencies. Yes, there will be consequences, but you are strong enough to endure them. Just keep reminding yourself that you did the right thing, and you did it with kindness and integrity. How your in-laws respond to you speaking your truth is up to them. Maybe they will grow from the experience, or maybe not. But I know you will. Being true to who you are is empowering. You are living your truth and that is truly healing. Stay strong.
    hecate105, Zumbafan and Anne Walker like this.
  4. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you Anne and Ellen, i just needed a bit of support. Yes, i am a goodist/people pleaser and in the past never spoke up and suffered for it. I am glad that i managed to say my piece but sad that they will probably not listen and rush into a situation that may harm them. But like you say - their actions and emotions are their responsibility.... So i am going to stop churning, and go out for the day with my dog - now there's a chap i can rely on!!! Thanks guys..
    Anne Walker likes this.

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