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SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (324,974)
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7/1/10 6:59 A

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I have actually been thinking about your post and decided to come back to you. 26 years ago one of my hubby's brothers caused quite a commotion between him and us (me). He and his wife had come to our place - not INSIDE the house and he sent his wife in to look around. The following week I got a phone call from my mother - she didn't tell me who she had been speaking with and did her best to put me off the track, but I guessed and she confirmed it. Turns out he had contacted a number of people about the "state of our house". I was considerably verbally abused by him for being lazy etc. The thing was, I breast-fed my then 2 yr old son including 3hrly during the night because of his very bad allergies. He was often very ill, and even at times stopped breathing during his sleep. No-one at all offered to help me with the housework or anything else, and I had a 6yr old at the time as well. I was well beyond tired and often had "catch-up naps" during the day. HIS wife frequently managed to get help for just about everything in their home, AND he used to help her which my hubby never did. Anyway to cut a long story short, I flatly refused to speak with him for 4-5 years, and then I would only tolerate him. At family gatherings I would avoid being around him and his wife. With a big family that was fairly easy. NOW, however, he is a trusted brother-in-law, and has turned out to be a very caring and considerate person. He also confides in me, and often rings to pick my brain about something. In other words, we now get along like a house on fire, whereas previously after the way he treated me, I couldn't "stand his guts!"

Like you, I hurt so much and felt betrayed, and was bewildered by it all. Over time the hurt and anger subsided, and gradually it faded. THEN came tolerance, and gradually over the years a friendship - now a very good friendship.

Kris

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6/29/10 11:01 P

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It was the intensity of your initial post that made me think this miserable situation is all that you're "doing." I'm most delighted to know that I misinterpreted.

I wish I had something to offer that would make a diffeence. Your emotional intensity is still evident, as you know, and I'm at a loss beyond what I wrote earlier. "Boundaries" probably is the place to start. I'm not familiar with the book, but Jodi and another member have recommended it a number of times. No doubt it applies to what you're dealing with.

If something reasonable occurs to me, I'll be back. In the meantime, let's hear how your and things progress.

Laurie

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6/29/10 4:36 P

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It is time once again for Mother Hen to get on her soapbox (or egg crate) and promote her favorite book on relationships of all kinds: Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend.
You need to be able to sort out what is and isn't your responsibility in this family drama, and where the lines need to be drawn in the relationship, so that you can regain some peace of mind. This book will help you to put those pieces together.
There is a saying that goes something like this: fish and company stink after three days. I think you found that out the hard way.
You can't go back to the way things were before, so let that go. This episode has changed the way that everyone sees each other and relates to each other, and that isn't going to change. Frankly, after the way they behaved and how you feel about it, I can't begin to understand why you would want to be chummy with them anymore. The best that you can probably hope for is for things to become civil amongst the four of you.
Jodi

My blog for women with depression is:
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6/29/10 12:32 P

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quite frankly my dear they are family and that bars the 'cleansing' effect..you are there and unless you plan on leaving that husband of yours you will always be family and they are gonna be there in your life like it or not that's a FACT..so the thing to do is just ignore it find something to concentrate on that will make you at least happy in your day to day life do little off the wall stuff for your husband totally unexpected and don't ever mention those people and their 'crimes' to him and do little things for your mother-in-law..don't be so fast to write his parents off it is doable however you can choose (and my dear it is definately without a doubt a choice you can make) to live your life in anger and frustration or you can look around and count the blessings that are there..simplistic i know but i will say this..as a young bride my ex moved 13 yes count them 13 of his non-english speaking relatives into my home..and they never learned english and i have kept in touch with them all ever since the divorce because that is my child's other half of the family..however i don't have to live with them and we get along better than ever so there is hope there but it is your choice because it isn't bothering anyone but you
hugs the lady mary

TODAY IS LIFE THIS IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL

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STEPHZARECKI Posts: 11
6/29/10 11:29 A

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Laurie - You've pretty much got it. I mean, I'm sure they feel like I'm the bad guy in the situation and I know I probably wasn't always doing the right thing to alleviate any of the problems. I'm sure the truth is somewhere in between, which is why I'm upset. I am (and have been all along) trying to say my side of the story, hear their side of the story and then figure out the truth in the middle so we can move forward. Now I'm hurt that they apparently have no desire to reach any sort of understanding and are now writing me off. So I'm trying to do the same. I'd like to be the bigger person, accept the situation for what it is and move on. But I'm having a hard time. That's where I need some advice.

I actually don't have a lot of time on my hands. I work full time, I've got a lot of projects and other things going on at home which is why I've been able to ignore them for the last two weeks. But I haven't really been able to deal and move on. This has been eating at me and whenever my mind wanders or something reminds me or them, it comes back and I get upset. And as far as their belongings, I know that, because they're family, I wouldn't be wise to throw away anything they left behind even though I have every right to do so. I just am offended at this point that I really don't want to think about it. I don't want to think about them being in my home to get them. I don't want to think about doing it myself. I just want it all to go away. Here's a perfect example - their disgusting mess they left behind in their room was so infuriating, I couldn't even go in there for months. I only finally cleaned the room a few weeks ago (right about when this mess started) in an effort to cleanse them from my life. Otherwise the room was empty and closed off and I still got a knot in my stomach every time I walked past it. It's clean and back to normal (as much as possible) for now so it doesn't bother me as much and I'm sure over time, it will get easier. But that's just the room. I need to cleanse them from my life and that's what I can't seem to do.

As far as their belongings, I'm thinking this weekend I'm going to go through the entire house, gather it all up and tell my husband to take it to his mom's and they can pick it up from her whenever they get around to it. I'd rather do it myself than have them back in my home...

Beyond that, I'm at a loss. The facebook stalking is an issue because I actually work with social media at my job so I'm on facebook on a regular basis, hence why I'm thinking about deleting them as friends and then blocking their information so it will never pop up on my news feed or on facebook's silly recommendations and then I won't be tempted to give them a second thought. But at the same time, I don't want this to balloon any further out of control by deleting them and creating more drama.

What should I do to cleanse them from my life? Do you have any exercises that I can lean on when I'm tempted to get sucked in again? I want out and I want to just move on. But my insecurities and desire to be liked kick in and then I get sucked in again. Do you have any mantras that will help me rise above the mess? And they are still family so I'll still have to see them regularly in the future. That's what I really don't know how to manage. I can remove myself from the situation and it gets better but if I'm around them, it all will come back. How can I cleanse all the drama and cut them out of my life and when I do have to see them, not feel all this mess all over again and just be civil towards them?

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6/29/10 1:37 A

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Sheesh, where to begin? At the end, of course.

You have to let it go or be prepared to do so. By "it" I mean: The relationship with your in-laws; the stalking on facebook; making a career of the situation. Never make a career of something that won't pay the bills or serve some other positive end.

I'll accept that your version is accurate (enough, at least, because there are always four sides to a story). When you invited them to stay with you, you told them, or at least let them believe, that they would have no responsibilities. That doesn't mean that they, as adults, shouldn't have contributed to the household finances and work on a regular basis. They behaved badly all the way, especially in not living up to their promise to pay the nominal amount to cover half the utilities. Because they offered, they had a commitment to do so.

But it's you to whom I'm talking, not them. We can control only our own responses and behavior, no one else's. You have put yourself into a tizzy. I was really struck by what you wrote about the personal items they left at your house. You don't want the things around, you want to withhold them until there is some resolution, you don't want to put in the work to gather the things together, you don't want to let them in to do their own gathering, etc., etc. Quite a few contradictory statements there.

I'd feel hurt, angry and worked up, and perhaps vindictive (for a short time), too, but, as an outsider in this situation, I have the luxury of saying that you need to pull yourself together. If you discard their thing's, there will be war forever after. Don't do anything that will let you gloat or feel vindicated. In the end you'll just feel wormy. Whether the relationship is irreparable, conduct yourself in ways that will let you hold your head high. Don't be a doormat, but remember that you have to live with yourself.

I hope I'm wrong, but I get the feeling that you don't have enough to occupy yourself, e.g., work, friends, relatives, hobbies, volunteering, reading, bike-riding, shopping, etc. If you have too much time on your hands, certainly you're vulnerable to being obsessed with matters and feeling as though you're losing your mind. You joined Spark a year ago but seem not to have participated until now. I do wonder what typical days are like for you.

Take two steps back, take a deep breath, and make no decisions for a few more days. You need some space to calm a bit so that you can think more clearly about who-did-what, a new approach, or choosing to let the relationship ride.

Please let us know what transpires and how you feel and cope.

Laurie

LAURIE, NYC

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6/28/10 9:35 P

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Have you ever heard the expression "user and abuser?"

It strikes me that this is what your brother-in-law and sister-in-law are really like. It is often said that we don't really know a person until we live with them. Well guess what..... you now KNOW these two!

I would be inclined to chalk it up to experience and just get on with your life (and your husband's!)

With regard to their belongings, it is quite possible that you aren't legally able to prevent them from getting their stuff. Perhaps even stating (do it all in writing) that if it isn't picked up by that time you will sell what you can to help recover expenses from when they were with you and for the damage. You CAN state a time and if need be, put it outside your front door for them to pick up at that time. (state that also). Don't go putting it our hours before or the night before, because then if it goes missing, you would actaully be to blame for it. Ensure that you keep a copy of the letter!

I would not get into anymore discussion on facebook or any other place with them. I actually don't feel that texts, facebook and other networking places are an appropriate place to discuss these things, anyway. It can often lead to misunderstandings and further disharmony because we cannot HEAR or SEE the tone of voice and expression to get the full meaning of the content.

I certainly hope that things resolve, but if they don't you have nothing to blame yourself for. You did all you could and then some, at the time.

Kris

Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 6/28/2010 (21:41)
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6/28/10 9:17 P

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Greetings. I concur with lady Mary . Let it go. It takes two to fight and you can change the rules by not being involved. Take care of yourself and your family. See how happy you can be in spite of the others. Blessings .....

Terri, Princess of the Terri-tory~~Sure is hard to be a princess around here. WELL-BEHAVED WOMEN RARELY MAKE HISTORY *to be enlightened is to be without anxiety over imperfection. Allow myself to find happiness in the only place that it can be found: my real messy, imperfect experience Anon + Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You” Dr. Seuss+ SorryTHX,Forgive,Love+
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6/28/10 9:05 P

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personaly let it go they obvioucly don't care and it's tearing you up let it be..it happens all the time to others (that's not excusing it or doesn't even remotely make it right but it is true) quit stalking on facebook as the only thing you get out of that is more aggravated..close the door if they really wanted that stuff they would have taken it with them throw it out..that will solve the problem let your husband know you are throwing it out..let im do whatever he wants but divorce yourself from the situation..that's all you can do abd the sooner the better CUT IT OUT.. that's what you would do with a big boil and that's what they are
do not let it interrupt your life and it will eventually if you do not let it go PEACE BE UNTO YOU MY FRIEND
rhw lady mary

TODAY IS LIFE THIS IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL

there is no cause when there is no effect km

i can do that, but not on a tuesday
for that is my day of thrust in the opposite direction -
off the starboard bow
over the hurdles,
and down the shute.

last is just the slowest winner. c.hunter boyd

people often say that motivation doesn't last. well neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily. zig ziglar

if i stitch fast enough do


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STEPHZARECKI Posts: 11
6/28/10 8:03 P

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I need some advice on how to deal with my husband's brother and sister-in-law. It's kind of a long story and I'll do my best to keep it short. In a nut shell, the four of us used to be really good friends and now they act like I don't exist. Here's the situation...

My husband and I have been together for almost ten years and we've been married for two. His brother has been with his wife for probably five or six years and been married for three. My mother-in-law hates me and the sister-in-law for being awful women who will never ever be good enough for her perfect, amazing little boys. As soon as we realized that she was a nut and would never like us, we formed a pretty close bond and were each others support system for the last few years when it came to family drama. For the last year, she and I were pretty much best friends.

Long story short, they were home, then moved to chicago, then back home with her parents to try to save money. Her parents got one of their dogs killed and put a big strain on that relationship but they couldnt' afford a place of their own yet so my husband and I let them stay in our guest room. They're actors and they wanted to save up to move to LA so we never planned on making a profit off them staying here. We were all friends and wanted to make sure this wouldn't bite us in the behind when all was said and done. We didn't charge them rent and never really asked for anything from them but they swore up and down that they would give us half the utilities because it was the least they could do (which came to $150). They were here for six months and we received a total of $100 from them. Despite the fact that my husband was laid off and we were two months behind on our mortgage when they moved in, money was never really that important. It still isn't the root of the problem but it's pretty annoying after the fact.

The real problem was they are completely self-absorbed, oblivious egomaniacs. They wouldn't do anything unless it benefit them or was their idea. They wouldn't ever offer to do anything and did absolutely nothing to show they were actually grateful for us going out of our way to accommodate them. They very rarely ever bought groceries and when they did, it was only the stuff they knew we weren't interested in. They were complete and utter slobs and couldn't even be bothered to take a sponge to any giant mess they left on the counter or the stove that day. I could go on for days but the point was, they were just plain rude and inconsiderate. We had a few family meetings trying to put everything out in the open but sure enough, a few weeks later, everything went back to how it was before.

There were a few occasions where we were actually not speaking to each other and the sister-in-law and myself were really at war. And the only time it ever got resolved was when I started the conversation and I was willing to back down. I would get so upset that I was physically nauseous because I couldn't believe the way I was being disrespected in my own house.

Again, trying to make a very long story short, they moved out a little over two months ago. It was sort of on good terms because they had recently been inspired to make their acting happen in town and so they didn't have to save and scrimp so much so they could afford their own place. But they also left on the heels of a pretty big blow out. And after living with us for six months, we never got a single sign of thanks for bending over backwards for them. Not even a quick "thanks for everything" with a hug goodbye. We got a yelled goodbye from the sidewalk. And then they disappeared. Six weeks went by without a peep from them. A few times my husbands brother tried to make plans for the four of us to get together but everytime it was a matter of running it by his wife and everytime the plans fell through. And after a couple of tries, we didn't hear from him again. After a while, we started to try to reach out but they just ignored us. In the beginning I really tried to put everything in the past aside and give them the benefit of the doubt because I knew they'd be busy. But after six weeks of silence, I was offended. But at least they were ignoring both of us. But then out of the blue, the sister-in-law randomly starts talking to my husband on facebook and saying his brother says hi and oh how are things and completely leaves me out of the conversation. I know I can sometimes be overly sensitive so I decided not to stew, just confront it and move on. I sent her a private facebook message basically saying if you're upset with me I wish you would say so. You doing this has upset me and this is me telling you I'm offended. I did my best to be very calm and to the point and not make it some emotional attack. All I needed was her to acknowledge how I felt and we could have moved on. Instead WWIII broke out over facebook. She started calling me crazy and giving me every excuse in the book and saying they weren't ignoring me if it seemed that way it was my fault because I made things so awkward when they left. I tried to take the high road and said whatever, you don't get it and that's fine. I said what I had to say that's all I needed. I said I've been up front and to the point the whole time so any awkward drama is not on me. She comes back with all sorts of reason why I created awkward drama that were really off base and just ridiculous (like me calling "her husband" - not my brother in law whom I've known twice as long as her - a little boy, even though I've called him a little boy many times before and it was never a problem and I even call my husband a little boy on regular basis but now all of the sudden it's offensive)...

Anyways... (sorry)... I came back with an epic reply putting everything I've got to say on the table. I put everything out there and it basically boiled down to me being offended that they took advantage of our generosity. Not only could they not even bother to thank us, they couldn't even show us the respect of leaving their room in the same condition they found it (seriously, it was destroyed... stains and scratches on the hardwood, six months of dog hair on the floor, absolutely filthy...). And now that they've gotten all that they needed from us, they've cut us out of their lives. So yeah, I'm upset.

That was two weeks ago and I haven't heard a word from her. And of course the brother is ignoring me too. But they're calling my husband just about everyday because they left a few things at our house that apparently weren't important to retrieve 2 months ago but now they desperately need. I know its not helping the situation, but I really don't want to give them back their crap until we resolve this or at the very least, one of them acknowledges that I'm still alive. They always call my husbands phone, back to back, multiple times a day. They have my cell phone and our house number. But they keep calling only him even though he's not answering. I just can't believe that they're so content letting this be it between us. That they refuse to ever speak to me to try to resolve this or even just to get their stuff. And to be honest, I'm not comfortable when them being in my home to collect it. But I also am tired of going out of my way for them and I don't want to gather it all and send it to his mom's so they can pick it up there. I'm tired of going out of my way for them.

I need some advice. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach and I've been a mess for weeks. It seems apparent that despite a decent friendship before they moved in, she's perfectly content letting it die a horrible death and he's never going to stand in her way. I've been fighting hard to save our friendship but I can't keep fighting anymore. I'm so drained and I just want to this to be over. I know I can't cut them out of my life completely because they're family but what can I do? Obviously I'm never going to get any resolution or closure from them. So how can I get it for myself so I can move on? Obviously they need their crap back. And that's fine. But that's not going to fix the problem. I was thinking of deleting them both on facebook (I've become an obsessed facebook stalker, checking their activity regularly just to make sure they're in fact online and choosing to ignore me). I've pretty much said everything I need to say so I figure just cut them out of my daily life and in time, we can be civil and still be family but we don't have to be friends. But that's really hard to accept. The four of us were great friends for a good while. Should I delete them both from facebook? Or will that just start more drama? Are there any exercises any of you have or advice for how I can just let go, get some closure on my own and move on from this ridiculous ordeal? I'm going crazy...

Sorry for not being very short at all but thanks for taking the time to read everything I have to say. I appreciate any input you can give me. Thanks!

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