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-   -   Helping family with adjustment time... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33118)

Polyfimff1204 11-17-2012 08:05 PM

Helping family with adjustment time...
 
So, as I have said in a previous post, my husband, our partner and myself have been living together for almost 1 year. My family has been very supportive even though they may not understand or approve of our non-traditional lifestyle. They have included S in all family gatherings and are working hard to get to know her. My husbands family has pretty much ignored us...and our children since we came out to them. B's dad has actually come over and brought treats for the kids and had a coffee with all of us on sundays like he used to, so he's putting his best foot forward. His mother, on the other hand, has avoided all contact with us. Before S was in our lives we would often be invited to dinner, picnics, or gatherings for bdays. After S, nothing. Recently, I met up with MIL when she needed a small surgery (I work in the Operating Room). I went to meet with her prior to surgery and we talked a bit. We both cried and she said she 'didn't want to lose her family over this'. Since then B has spoken to his mom who said that she doesn't like what we are doing but she doesn't want ruin her family over it. I spoke to MIL last night and she said she would like to have me and B and the kids over for a Thanksgiving dinner (after thanksgiving). She excluded S and I didn't say anything at the time, but I really don't want her excluded. S is part of our family, we are her family. Her entire family lives in another country...I can't exclude her. Any suggestions on how to help MIL and others to adjust to this? DH's brother doesn't discuss it much other than saying having S in our lives will only serve to 'dismantle' our marriage, lol. Our marriage is carved in stone...only very certain people could even come close to understanding that.

nycindie 11-17-2012 09:12 PM

Would S even want to go? It could be very awkward for her. I don't know if I'd want to sit at a large family gathering with lots of people I don't know either fumbling over what to say or avoiding me. Have you asked what she wants to do on Thanksgiving?

As an alternative, you could host MIL and family at your place for dinner.

SchrodingersCat 11-18-2012 09:34 AM

While I understand that you do not want to exclude S, it's important to realize a few things.

First, baby steps. You MIL is willing to start mending bridges. Pressuring her to go faster than she's ready to will likely backfire. People tend to react poorly to "all or nothing" ultimatums. She's already shown that she's capable of not talking to her own son over her disapproval of his choices. I wouldn't test her resolve.

Second, it's her house. Frankly, it's not up to you to decide whether or not S should be allowed to come. That also means it's not you who's excluding S, it's your MIL. Don't carry the burden of your MIL's choices.

Third, S is part of your family. That does not make her part of your MIL's family. Sorry, but it just doesn't. My MIL died still hating me. I was never part of "the family." I was "that bitch who stole my son away from me." See, I showed my then-fiance that it was okay to stand up for himself and live his own life. I unwrapped him from around her little finger, and she hated me for that. Sometimes your in-laws welcome you to the family, sometimes they don't. They're ultimately the ones who get to decide who is "part of the family" and who is just "that bitch who married my son."

By the sounds of it, she's not even inviting you for The Thanksgiving Dinner, she's inviting your for a post-thanksgiving dinner. So that means you're free to have The Thanksgiving Dinner with just your husband and partner. Why not start your own traditions? If things go well with you, your husband, and your MIL at thanksgiving, maybe you can invite her to your family's home for Christmas dinner?

SchrodingersCat 11-18-2012 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 167475)
Would S even want to go? It could be very awkward for her. I don't know if I'd want to sit at a large family gathering with lots of people I don't know either fumbling over what to say or avoiding me. Have you asked what she wants to do on Thanksgiving?

As an alternative, you could host MIL and family at your place for dinner.

LoL... That's where I loved being me. My MIL hated my guts, but she was forced to invite me to all those family dinners, because she knew that excluding me would mean her son would refuse to come out of spite. Ahh, what a functional family they were. I used to derive such sick pleasure from making her squirm as I smothered her with kindness, knowing full well she would stab the carving knife through my hand if she thought she could get away with it...

Polyfimff1204 11-18-2012 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 167475)
Would S even want to go? It could be very awkward for her. I don't know if I'd want to sit at a large family gathering with lots of people I don't know either fumbling over what to say or avoiding me. Have you asked what she wants to do on Thanksgiving?

As an alternative, you could host MIL and family at your place for dinner.

S wants to be accepted. The other night B and i went to a 50th anniversary for his parents. S would have liked to go and felt some rejection when she wasnt invited. B and I talked to her and explained that this particular outing would not be a good time to reintroduce her to the family. She wants to be a full participant in our lives. This is one of the adjustments with a triad also. Sometimes we find ourselves with invitations for only two of us. It can be hard for S when it's something only for myself and B. so far when it's something for me and S, B has been fine.
Honestly, I know she will be uncomfortable when the time comes. If it were me, I would rather not be exposed to people who aren't interested in getting to know me, but she feels differently. She takes it personally, I wish she wouldn't.
Maybe inviting mil to our house would be a better idea, then S could retreat if she felt she needed to.

Polyfimff1204 11-18-2012 09:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat (Post 167565)
LoL... That's where I loved being me. My MIL hated my guts, but she was forced to invite me to all those family dinners, because she knew that excluding me would mean her son would refuse to come out of spite. Ahh, what a functional family they were. I used to derive such sick pleasure from making her squirm as I smothered her with kindness, knowing full well she would stab the carving knife through my hand if she thought she could get away with it...

Sounds like your MIL was a bit on the unstable side!! You handled her well. :)

Witch 11-21-2012 04:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Polyfimff1204 (Post 167619)
S wants to be accepted. The other night B and i went to a 50th anniversary for his parents. S would have liked to go and felt some rejection when she wasnt invited. B and I talked to her and explained that this particular outing would not be a good time to reintroduce her to the family. She wants to be a full participant in our lives. This is one of the adjustments with a triad also. Sometimes we find ourselves with invitations for only two of us. It can be hard for S when it's something only for myself and B. so far when it's something for me and S, B has been fine.
Honestly, I know she will be uncomfortable when the time comes. If it were me, I would rather not be exposed to people who aren't interested in getting to know me, but she feels differently. She takes it personally, I wish she wouldn't.
Maybe inviting mil to our house would be a better idea, then S could retreat if she felt she needed to.


I think thats a better idea. I do commend S though. Thats much more then I could do. I was quiet content for the longest time not getting along with my MIL cause I thought she was just as irritating as she thought I was destructive to her already bad relationship with her son. XD But now she seems all fine and dandy and I am with her too. Her son and her get along way better now too. X3

LovingRadiance 11-21-2012 08:04 AM

I highly advise taking the 'supervised visitation' approach.

When we married (not poly) we had a his, mine and ours child dynamic. Dh's mother wanted ONLY DH's bio kids to visit. We told her straight up-'all or nothing with the family'. All holidays were at our home, doors open to extended family with the caveat that they were to treat all members of our household with respect as oir chosen family (we had roommates including my current boyfriend, we just werent poly yet).
That rule was upheld with ALL extended family. Only my mil took issue with it. Her loss. Everyone else found a way to mind their manners, in the process, get to know ALL of us as family.

Her home-her rules.
My family-my rules.
My rules are-all or none, take it or leave it. Invitations that exclude, dont get accepted. Period.

Now that we are poly-same rules apply. No issues. We dont always choose to go out together. We frequently pair off for dates. But family activities are FAMILY activities and that means bf is included. Period.


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