Really...What is right?


#1

Hello. I have a situation in where my inlaws have basically cut us out of their lives. They would say the opposite, although it is a result of them doing so to begin with. They have refused to be any part of our lives and have refused to join in any type of celebration of our children over the years. The only ones they have willingly attended are the Religious ones. In my opinion, this was for show so that everyone could see what great Catholics they are. Forget any school function…forget any sports function…forget sleepovers and other fun things you do with your Grandma when you’re growing up. My girls have never been taught a thing or been given any respect over the years. I have asked this question before, and I get answers that tell me to overlook it and basically force myself on them. Some people have also suggested that I be the one to start the ball rolling. I’m telling you that I have and it’s always the same. The ball rolls for a short while, then it’s up to me again. There is NEVER any initiation on inlaws part. These are not shy people; in fact, they are somewhat loud and sarcastic people. They point their finger and criticize everyone, then pretend they are friends. I call it all phoney and I don’t play games. Catholic or not, I know that Jesus had to come in contact with toxic people. I think you should give people a second chance, but not continue to do so when it’s clear they are not interested. We live right down the road, but they have not stopped by in YEARS. If we want to see them, we have to stop at their house. Mother says that’s what we’re supposed to do. (She has told another sibling this). She says she doesn’t explain herself to anyone and has no intentions on ever doing so. I realize it’s me they do not like, but I am more hurt that they do not love their own Grandkids. I believe actions speak louder than words and they have sent the message years ago that our kids are not important to them. They have other Grandkids they adore and when we are around, we get to hear all about THEM…right in front of the kids… I am crushed because I think of myself as loving, compassionate, generous and very caring. I would do anything for most anyone. It’s as if they are insulted by my personality. When they have a gathering, they call and expect us to show up to support them. Why should we? Really…how many times does God expect us to take this from someone? I don’t think he expects us to be fools or doormats. What do you think? Thanks KDKA


#2

Okay. I’ll bite. You’re perfectly “loving, compassionate, generous and very caring. You would do anything for most anyone.” It’s just those awful people who are insulted by your personality who are refusing to give your children the love. But why do you want your children around those religious hypocrites who pretend to be good Catholics, who are disrespectful, loud, sarcastic and critical toxic phoneys who pretend they are friends? You have martyred yourself for years, forcing your loving compassion on them and to no avail. And MIL refuses to explain herself to you. Oddly, you seem to be the only person they don’t like, and your children are not loved like the other grandchildren. Gosh! How do you bear it?

Yes, sometimes actions speak louder than words. But your words are pretty clear and give me an idea of what your actions may be.

Sorry. Am I harsh? Seems these horrid people are quite capable of love in their lives and have grandchildren who are not being raised to think they are loud, noisy toxic hypocrites. Perhaps long ago they were hurt by comments made by little children visiting them who repeated mommy’s words? Maybe they won’t tell you so there won’t be World War III.

I’ve viewed this kind of interaction in other families. Grandma and Grandpa are demonized because an in-law doesn’t like their style. Those children become strangers to the rest of the family. Mistrust builds up over the years. The “child” of the parents tries to ride the fence. The in-law gets to play the martyr. And two grandparents go through a lot of pain as they are not allowed to get to know the grandchildren. And the grandchildren miss out on interaction with aunts, uncles and cousins.

If you really want to be nice, try something new. Let your kids alone with their grandparents for a few hours. Walk away so you’re not hovering and judging and rolling your eyes. Remind yourself that these horrible people managed to raise someone decent enough to be worthy of you and your personality. Try to treat them with the same respect you demand they treat you. You might win the battle, but someday your children will wonder why they didn’t know their grandparents. And the example you set may be duplicated by your own children and their spouses. Then you will find out that payback is a beast. And you will be the grandparents on the outside looking in.

I’d love to hear the other side of this story. But I suspect I already know it.

Sorry if I’m in the minority and won’t tell you what you want to hear. You can’t change other people’s reactions. But I bet if you were really as loving and compassionate, and your in-laws were actually included in the “most people” whom you would do anything for, the situation would be far different at this point.

I’ll bet they “cut you out of their lives” when they realized how disgusting and horrible you found them. Surely you didn’t think they were so stupid as to not notice your attitude, did you? They are not going to initiate get-togethers with someone who hates them.

Who is really playing the games here? I think the game is Keepaway, and your kids are the ball. If they were really so horrible, you wouldn’t be writing to us to ask us how to have those nasty toxic people be more a part of your childrens’ lives.

A good start would be a lovely note of apology for all the wasted years, and a request to start off on a new footing so that your children will learn the goodness and the wisdom and the love that they taught your spouse.

I suspect that not only have they not had a chance to be around their grandchildren, but that they have lost some contact with their own son in all of this. And they probably give you the credit for that. I’m sure your spouse knows you think his family is garbage? If not, let him know immediately. It’s always a good time to be told the faults of the people who raised you.

Sorry. I’m sure there will be many people who will commiserate with you and tell you to pray for your in-laws. Not I. :wink:


#3

You obviously have no idea what kind of people these are. NO…I have NEVER put Grandma and Grandpa down to my children. I wrote this out of sincerity. Really. I am sort of shy and easy going and feel that somehow they have taken the opportunity to take advantage of this. I am NOT the only person they have hurt. They also have a daughter and another granddaughter they have disowned several years ago… a son in prison, yet they laugh at others and point their finger as If they do no wrong. You have misunderstood me and I find you incredibly presumptous. Believe it or not, there are people who are out there who are not nice. If these were such nice people, where are they for their own son? My husband and I ARE caring people who have tried everything to carefully address this. These people are not interested. Why do you have a problem believing this? Any why ARE you so harsh? Yes, there are two sides to every story, but when there is only one side who tries to make a relationship work, then what can you do? Not all people respond to kindness…Yes, you did hurt my feelings. I haven’t done the wrong here and I have spent 20 years trying to fit in and be liked. Thanks for your help. :shrug:


#4

I adore my In-laws, but occasionally they drive me nuts. They favor their daughter’s son over all the other grandkids. At first this didn’t bother me… you know the saying, “a son is a son until he takes a wife, a daughter’s a daughter for the rest of her life”. I figured that was the reason my in-laws favored this grandson.

It gets a little old. Whenever the whole family is together, our lives revolve around what “golden child” wants to do. My dh’s brother’s wife and I commesmerate over it. Her daughter and my three older kids are step-kids, so we thought that might be the problem, but it doesn’t explain why my dh’s kids aren’t as well liked. Nor does it explain why my youngest isn’t as well liked. I even invited my MIL to Mia’s birth, hoping to give them a close bond. I didn’t want to compete with the bond she has with her g-son, but I wanted her to feel close to Mia. No such luck.

Try to let it roll off of your back. Keep taking the kids over. Unless the in-laws are abusive or say ugly things in front of the kids, there is no reason to keep them away.Try to be the bigger person, that way your kids will learn to be bigger (ya know?).

Kim


#5

Sorry if you think I’m harsh. But I’ve seen this whole story played out from the other side. And no one is going to say “Gosh, I’m awful. Why don’t they want me in their house??!”

I’m fully aware there are people out there who are not nice. And if these grandparents have done this to other siblings and have raised the kind of kids who end up in prison, I ask again: Why do you want your children around them? Be GLAD they stay far away!

You’ve answered your own question. There are people who aren’t nice. Sorry to hurt your feelings. Really. But you must admit you left out some critical information in your original letter.

If you are shy and have truly been kind and they took advantage of it, then it’s their loss, not yours. And if you are doing all the work in this relationship, then you don’t HAVE a relationship.

My advice then is to go through the motions and invite them to things. Make them available to your children. Stop by their house for a hug and a quick hello. And limit their contact with your children. You can’t make people love you. If they are truly horrible, then be grateful your spouse isn’t forcing you to have more interactions. And find other people to bring into the lives of your children to fill the gap.

20 years is a long time trying to make someone love you. If you’ve never said anything derogatory to your children and you’ve tried to foster the relationship, then you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day. Because believe me when I tell you that there are people who are horrible to their in-laws with much less provocation and use innocent children as a club to beat up grandparents with. I’ve seen people suffer from it. And that’s why I was so harsh. Sorry if it was misplaced. Truly.

Someday your children will see the situation for themselves. You ask for help. The only thing I can give you is a profound :thumbsup: for taking the high road. Your children are watching you. And you are obviously raising them with a better example than your spouse was given.

Now stop trying to force a relationship where none exists. Sign cards, send gifts and call them on Mothers/Father’s Day. And go enjoy a toxin-free life. You’ve earned it.


#6

Thank you…I certainly am not the kind of person who whines openly. I don’t go around telling people this and that. You really threw me when I read your first comments, I must say. On the other hand, I can understand that you are talking from another side. I do analyze myself constantly to try to improve. That is why I am writing in private…I can’t really talk to anyone about this. My husband is a good man and his parents must have done something right along the way. I do not hate these people, (I don’t hate anyone), and if they called right now and said they wanted to start over, that would be great:D We practically begged these people to attend dance reviews, band shows, and volleyball, (which was RIGHT across their street). NEVER would they attend. There was either a crummy reason or they just didn’t show. I really have had an emotional time with this. I DO love my husband and want more than anything to be part of his family. I would give anything to be considered valuable, and like I said, it hurts because my kids are not considered valuable. I have always told them to go hug and kiss GM and GP before we leave…by now, the kids have seen the distance and nowbody needs to point anything out. I do thank you for taking another look at my post and seeing it for what it is. Thanks…:slight_smile:


#7

KDKA, your children’s grandparents are teaching them a wonderful life lesson. But they probably aren’t doing it intentionally. And I really hope you take this to heart for your own sake, because I see that you are really hurting. No one’s value comes from whether or not friends, relatives or even spouses put value on them.

Keep saying that to yourself. And say that to your children until you all believe it.

Their value comes from who they are. And they will go through life with bosses, neighbors, coworkers, romantic partners and others who will not put a value on them. Teach them early not to internalize that and take it seriously. They will build inner strength from that. They will learn to see themselves as valuable because of who they are, and not whether others tell them they have value.

Sad that they have to learn that lesson at their own grandparents’ knee. Family is sometimes the people you’re related to. And sometimes family becomes the lovely neighbors on the street who have no grandchildren and adopt your wonderful kids in that role.

I spent many years doubting my value because my husband told me I was garbage. I know it leaves scars. And I’ll tell you what I learned to tell myself. If someone threw a worthless penny into the gutter because he thought it was worthless, but it was really worth $100,000 because it was a double headed penny from 1910, does his opinion negate the real value of the penny? Or does he just look like a fool to those who know the true value?

If your in-laws don’t want love and affection, there are plenty of people out there who would love some. It’s their loss. But deep down, they may be doing you a favor. They’re teaching your children what real love isn’t. And I predict that some day you will go out of your way not to make a son or daughter in law feel like a second-class citizen. But believe it or not, there are sons and daughters in law who will go to an in-law’s house and not talk to them, or let them hold babies, and will refuse all affection and friendship. Then they will go out in the world and rip apart their spouse’s family to anyone who will listen. Not that I was ever married to anyone like that or anything… :rolleyes:


closed #8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.