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Old 05-10-2018, 06:19 AM
 
1,993 posts, read 852,508 times
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Nobody is asking you to kick your fathers out of your lives or their future grandchildren’s. You also can’t demand your mil or mother take meds. The only thing you can do is set healthy boundaries that you ask your grandmothers to respect. You can ask if they are willing to go to family counseling with you, but no you can’t demand it. Maybe you need to accept you can’t have big family gatherings with everyone there and that grandparent relationships are not something you can control but let evolve and deal with each possible issue then.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Central, NJ
2,260 posts, read 4,728,209 times
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I did not have completely healthy role model type parents. I think that's some of the issue here and keeping you from seeing things completely clearly. If I told my husband he could no longer see our 7 year old son that would not be the end of the discussion. Your FIL was not a victim in any of this, your husband was the only victim.

And this all seems like a very big deal but I wouldn't worry that much about it now. Pre-worrying never helps me (although I do it all the time). Being a parent is so incredibly difficult in so many ways, this is going to be a really small part of it. What you and your husband should both want is to fiercely protect your child. So don't get into negotiating the various mental illness/rage/passive/abandonment behavior. Anyone who can not be a good, positive participant in your child's life doesn't get to be in it. Period. They get one chance. And then they are out. You're starting your own family now. You have not been able to save these people from themselves in all these years. That isn't going to magically change. We all want that big Disney family with great birthdays and Christmases but we get the family we get. You and your husband decide who gets to be around your child, don't let toxic people be an influence.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
15,970 posts, read 15,293,653 times
Reputation: 37199
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattons360 View Post
Again to reiterate, we're trying to find a way to help each grandparent to be included and part of the children's lives (which each grandparent has express they want to happen), hopefully before the kids come and the drama can get tossed in the mix. Keeping a grandparent "out of the picture" is to me cruel and will only cause more division
and force us to keep all family out of the picture because it just wouldn't be fair to pick and choose who gets to be part of it. I guess our next step probably would be getting each parent and seeing what they want out of it and how they feel comfortable with everything.

.
I reread this thread again and wanted to comment on how you said "and force us to keep all family out of the picture because it just wouldn't be fair to pick and choose who gets to be part of it." IMHO, as a parent, of course you get to "pick and choose" who gets to interact with your child. I'll give a rather blatant example, let's say that Grandpa John/Uncle Joe/whoever is a pedophile who is attracted to young girls. You can forbid contact/not allow sleepovers/whatever with Grandpa John/Uncle Joe and still allow your daughter to have contact & have sleepovers with Grandpa Hank & Grandma Sue or Uncle Mark & Aunt Mary.

Another, much more common example, is dealing with an alcoholic or an unsafe or elderly driver. I knew several people who allow one grandparent/set of grandparents to transport their child/children but never allow another grandparent to drive their child/children. Does that seem unfair to you? Would you just forbid everyone from driving your child/children if there was one unsafe driver in your family?

IMHO, if it turns out that it is unsafe to allow Grandma Xena contact with your child when Grandma Xena is off her medications why would that mean that you also have to cut out ALL of your relatives. To me that just sounds silly and shortsighted. Just imagine telling your siblings "Sorry, dear sisters and brothers, but I have cancel Melanie's birthday party because Grandma Xena is off her medication and is acting unsafe. If Grandma Xena can't come to Melanie's birthday party, none of you can come either because it would be unfair."
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Mt. Lebanon
1,766 posts, read 1,784,126 times
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I think you let these toxic people control your lives. Starting a family should be your and your husband's decision not parents' and in laws. If they are that toxic and cant stand each other, keep the visits to a minimum and keep the kids away from them. Hey, ever heard of going on vacation for Thanksgiving and Christmas? No cooking, no family, no drama.

Your family comes first, not them.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:30 AM
 
226 posts, read 67,211 times
Reputation: 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by XRiteMA98 View Post
If they are that toxic and cant stand each other, keep the visits to a minimum and keep the kids away from them. Hey, ever heard of going on vacation for Thanksgiving and Christmas? No cooking, no family, no drama.

Your family comes first, not them.
Completely agree with. We moved 500 miles apart for some peace. My adult children have very fond memories of our Christmases without extended family. The grandparents came for recitals, concerts and graduation events. They returned home the next day.

"Like I said, we're looking to heal the family before the children"

Sorry, not going to happen. You can only control yourself. You have no control over others. To think you could heal the family is unhealthy codependency.

The most important factor for children is to have happily married parents. If your parents and in-laws are going to cause drama between you and your husband, forget them.
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Elgin, IL
576 posts, read 369,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattons360 View Post
My husband and I are finally ready to begin our family soon but have been struggling over how the dynamics of our family regarding our dysfunctional mothers.

My husband's mother is normally okay; but over the last couple years my husband has gotten in touch with his estranged father. His parents got divorced when he was a baby and his mother cut out all communication by the time he was 6. They've reconnected and it's been great for both of them. His father is a wonderful man, super nice, has great values we share, and thankfully no demons to worry about. But his ex wife can't stand him; my mother in law is routinely trying to sabotage the father son relationship that has been growing and constantly finds something nasty to say every time she thinks his name is mentioned or if something reminds her of him. It's bad enough that we can't have events that will include both of them without her spreading all kinds of lies and borderline physically attacking him. There doesn't seem to be anything behind the behavior besides she just really doesn't like him (they have totally different personalities and lifestyles; not surprised it never worked out) so we don't know what to do at this point other then only inviting one which we don't think will go well once we have a child both of them will want to be a part of.

The other issue is my own mother. She's just out of control nasty; been diagnosed with a combo of histrionic and narcissistic personality disorder but refuses help to get better or control her disorders. She's at the point where only 2 out of her 6 children will even speak to her, and that list is probably going to be just me at the end of the year. Normally this would be an easy one to ditch, but my adopted father is my best friend outside of my husband and I want to keep him in my life. So far we're been able to do that (going out to lunch or a game without her or having him stop by for a bit) but like with my MIL I'm afraid of what will happen when we have kids and my mother insist on either coming with her rotten attitude or not allowing my father a relationship with my kids. I've talked to my father about it and he thinks she'll mellow out; but she never did for my siblings when they had kids so I doubt that.

I can't speak for my husband, but I know that I've had enough of the behaviors of our mothers and worry about my children feeling what I did all those years where a family member or friend doesn't show up to a celebration just because my mom and her rotten attitude was there. But at the same time I would rather find a way to fix things before the kids or find a way to include our fathers without our mothers going insane and becoming vindictive towards us. Is it possible to get these kinds of people to change or come to a agreement on behavior? Should I just cut them out (I really don't want to, especially my father)? Wondering what people have done with relatives who make things difficult like this.
We cut them off. Took a break from the relationship entirely. Basically told my parents if you can't have a respectful and kind relationship with us (as in you respect our decisions even if you don't like them, which you don't have to btw) then you don't have a relationship with us (our your grandkids) AT ALL. The time away has genuinely been good for each party. We recently reconnected with my parents and they've been kind and respectful to my wife and I. They know that if they act out of line again there likely won't be a future relationship. Boundaries are key and your husband needs to be on the same page as you. My wife and I got couples counseling for a long time to help with these decisions and to help us solidify them together.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:42 PM
 
1,532 posts, read 607,526 times
Reputation: 1922
Moving forward. . .

Celebrate special days apart from the various factions. Spread Christmas over two days, one for each family. In other words when you do get together with the in-laws make solid plans. Then go enjoy the holiday.

I'd like to say that parents don't live forever. My husband lost his mom before he was 30. Brain tumor/cancer. All of our parents are gone now. So think on that a minute and realize now is the time to get along, build those bridges, try, and if it doesn't work then you knew you did your best. And don't let any of these rifts break up your relationship with your husband and your kids. Communication is the key.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,226 posts, read 97,355,967 times
Reputation: 30679
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sollaces View Post
Moving forward. . .

Celebrate special days apart from the various factions. Spread Christmas over two days, one for each family. In other words when you do get together with the in-laws make solid plans. Then go enjoy the holiday.

I'd like to say that parents don't live forever. My husband lost his mom before he was 30. Brain tumor/cancer. All of our parents are gone now. So think on that a minute and realize now is the time to get along, build those bridges, try, and if it doesn't work then you knew you did your best. And don't let any of these rifts break up your relationship with your husband and your kids. Communication is the key.
Agreed. All these people with their "boundaries", calling all the shots, all the time. You don't have to take anyone's unsolicited advice, you barely have to listen to it! Some day they won't be around to give their opinions, and you'll miss them.
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