how would you handle this?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by AhBee01, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. AhBee01

    AhBee01 Songster

    Nov 7, 2007
    yo. ohio
    There is so much more to the story, but I don't have time to write a book!
    I have a history with my SIL, she hates me, because my DH told her to mind her own business one time, and we have been at odds since, a long story, but it was a build up of stuff before he finally blew. She has since then dictated how i will see my nephews ever since. I on the other hand bend over backwards to see them, I do what ever it takes to have a relationship with them, and this is my last straw so to speak. We live across the street from each other, my brother takes what ever she dishes out just to survive, she wants a divorce.
    That being said 2 weeks ago my son(9) and her son(6) were on the front porch at my house and my son peed off the front porch and then her kid did too. I do not condone that behavior, but I also know boys will be boys. My DH seen her kid do it but not mine, and told him You can't do that, he said my son did it first, and of course my son denied it! So my husband believed him, because he has never not been truthful to him before, me yes, but not daddy. so my husband told my nephew you better watch how you tattle on my son, because you know your mom will not let you play here. He has said untruthful stuff to his mom before, he is only 6, and eveyr one knows how that is, and she has not let him over because of it. So a week goes by and my brother has called and asked if my son will come over and play, and my son didn't want to go,( later found out he was afraid to go) so I asked if he my nephew could come here and was told no.I asked why and he said he really wasn't sure. So I find out through the grapevine she wants my kid to say he is sorry to her kid, I'm not sure why, but I tell my son your aunt wants you to say sorry to the nephew, and I think it is because you made him look like a liar. So before all of this my son got in trouble one, for doing what he did, and 2 for lying about it. So in his 9 year old eyes he felt that was enough. I asked him to go over there and say he was sorry, not in front of every one, but in private because my neighbor and her kids were there and my son was going to spend the night at the neighbors and that is where she was picking him up! So before my son could leave, she said in front of everyone you owe my son an apology, so my boy, went into a back room and told my nephew he was sorry. What he didn't tell me at first, was that she said this in front of every one and that she gave him a mean look that made his tummy hurt, as he put it! But he did say he was sorry. While he was leaving his friend asked what was that about, and my son said I don't fricken know why I had to apologize , she is just being a witch(with a b) and i'm never coming here again. Well she over heard him say that. Again, I don't condone this kind of thing, but seeing as my son did, here she was making him feel humiliated in front of everyone, and I think he was just trying to save face in front of his friend. Just being honest about his feelings, she wasn't supposed to hear that. So now she want to make my son say he is sorry again then my nephew can come over here, but my son is only aloud to play there. I know it is because she want to be able to make him say he is sorry again. Well we feel she is just trying to control the situation, and that if my son didn't want to say he was sorry in the first place he would not have went over there, knowing he had to do it!
    I let this woman control me I will not let her make my son feel, like she makes me feel. I keep my mouth shut because if I say anything I won't be aloud to see my nephews. But I'm' tired of bending over for her so my brother can have it easier, cause she will take this out on him. I think my son's apology was enough. What would you do? There is so much more, but I won't bore you with the details. My nephew sits in his drive way just watching us, and it is killing me, but if we make my son do this apology again, where will this leave his self esteem, and when is enough a enough, because next week we will be summoned over her house to hear what bad thing my son is teaching her kid! So what would you do? Oh and my kid got it for saying that under his breath to his friend. At the same time I remember doing that as a kid when I got yelled at by my parents, or who ever, I just made sure no one heard me! She really likes to make me feel inferior to her, she is good at it. I know if I was to pull this she would tell me to go stuff myself, and not have any feelings about it! My brother sent a pic of my nephew seating and watching us to her, and she said "oh well i don't care, he will get used to it" I think that is sadistic! My nephew doesn't even have a clue why any of this is going on he just want to come and play with his cousin! Please what would you do?

  2. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    That is a tough situation.
    1. The kids want to be able to play together.
    2. There are issues with he said she said.
    3. There are issues with the parents and a possible split in the works.
    4. There are issues with taking the crap and not being able to say anything for fear of not getting to see the kids.

    The way I see it,
    1. Make a list of things that you have observed or heard that YOU want to get addressed.
    2. Talk to your son and find out his feelings about the things that have upset him.
    3. Add to the list as needed to include things from #2
    4. Prioritize that list.
    5. Talk to your DH and brother letting them know that there are things that need to have addressed. Discuss the list and a plan on how to talk to SIL to resolve the issues.

    Know that there may not be a resolution that can be reached on all the issues, that there may end up being no resolution at all.
    Approach the SIL with respect and calm demeanor at all times even if she is "losing it".
    Repeat statements she makes back to her rephrasing into questions so she knows you "get where she is coming from".

    Always be reasonable and respectful.

    I hope this helps.
  3. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Your son already apologized. If he was mine, I would not make him do that again.

    I would not give a lot of sympathy that 'his tummy hurt', I would tell him, 'It's hard to say sorry, it can make your stomach hurt'. Just because you dislike this lady, don't let it devalue what your son did. He lied. That is wrong. WHO he lied to does not matter - it's always wrong. And YEAH saying sorry makes your stomach hurt.

    I would ask him how he felt about the double apology. I would not jump in and try to bias him. "Jim's mom says you have to apologize again, if you want to play with him. What do you think about that?"

    I would, however, have a talk with him about lying, and make sure he understood that you expect him to tell the truth from now on.

    I'd tell him I was proud of him for apologizing, and 'I am sorry' is the right thing to do.

    In addition, I would not be concerned that he had to play with his cousin. There are a lot of other kids he can play with. I would just train myself to not look over there or to think about it, and just leave it alone for a while.

    Some people are difficult to get along with. It's better to keep your distance, and be unfailingly polite when you have to see them. Until.....

    There's the bigger issue, of course. You've got a relative you don't like, and she doesn't like you.

    That isn't good. One of these days, something is going to happen, and she is going to need you and you are going to need her.

    Ask me how I know this.

    Things change, in very unexpected ways. Spme day in the future it may be very, very important for you to forgive and move ahead.

    It would be good if some day, you can mend fences with her.

    I would ask her some time, if she would be willing for you and her to go out to lunch, and just you two, privately talk over your differences, with the idea in mind of finding a way to end them, and to get along in the future.

    You may find that she wants a LOT from you and isn't willing to give much herself. She may have a long, long laundry list of offenses and transgressions, all that you made. It sounds like she might be like that, considering she wanted a second more public apology.

    I'd try to stay very calm and just listen to her.

    I'm not sure I'd fall into the trap of you-did-this-so-I-was-right-to-do-that. That's an endless game. I'd try and just sit very, very quietly and just listen and stay very calm and show my interest in what she had to say.

    I'd ask her what she needs me to do for the both of us to go forward, perhaps not out and out adoring each other, but able to work together to mutually support the family members who mean a lot to us.

    ALL I WOULD DO, at that point, was go over what she said, NOT critically, not negatively, not even one slight bit. I'd go over it as if I was an arbitrator or non-partial judge, like a diplomat. I would be very sure that all I was doing was listening and taking it in. No judgement, no outcry of unfairness.

    'I hear you are angry with me about the incident on the porch. And you said the reason why, was I wasn't taking your feelings into account. And what other occasions upset you? Okay, the other situation was at Thanksgiving. It sounds like a similar issue for you - again, I wasn't taking your feelings into account. Anything else? Okay, that problem last Easter, when I did not.....' Just like that. Very calm.

    Ask her what needs to happen to make these problems between the two of you, better. She may say there is no way and there is nothing I can do to make up for all the terrible things that I have done.

    I'd say that I wanted her to know that I had reached out a hand to her, and that I wanted to make things better, and that I felt it was possible, and that I wanted her and me to go off and think about our issues and problems for a while, and talk together again some time. I'd tell her I feel that we are part of the same family, and it will one day be very important that we be there for each other. I'd say that we've gotten off to a bad start, and it may never all be perfect, but I think it can be better.

    And I'd just leave her alone for a while and let her think it over.

    Time is an amazing thing. If you don't get mad back at her, and just sit and listen and let her say her piece, and you just let her be for a while, well, things can change.

    It's how mad you yourself get, and how much you react, that keeps her going.

    Years ago when I first learned to ride the instructor put me on a horse that would run away with me every ride. I HATED that horse. I HATED it. We developed a long long history and i HATED getting assigned to him. I would stand in the line waiting for assignments and shake in my boots. I would get physically nauseated. I'm sure not unlike how you or your son feel.

    And the day came I got assigned that horse. I struggled. I tried to pull him back. I tried to make him knock it off. I tried getting mad, standing my ground, being tough, and you know what? He knew a million ways to Sunday how to get around anything I tried. The tougher I got, the harder he pulled back.

    Finally the riding instructor marched up to me and ripped the reins out of my hands, and shouted at me, 'It takes two to tango, you know! He isn't going to stop pulling on the reins til YOU stop pulling!' She handed me back the reins and said, 'It's up to YOU to change! He'll never change! The way you win with him is DON'T FIGHT WITH HIM! JUST DON'T EVEN START!!!!' I finished that ride in tears - she pulled me off the horse and told me I was not allowed to groom or put away my horse (the ultimate punishment at that age).

    The next time I rode him, I learned to finesse the reins, to stand my ground while staying utterly calm, and not getting into the emotional battle. Instead of pulling back when he pulled, I learned to stay rock solid in my place, and just sit up there and finesse the reins, just get him thinking and stop letting the horse make me responsible for what he was doing.

    Works good with people, too.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  4. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Well, not knowing the entire story, nor your sons whole personality, its hard to give much advice.

    Buuuuuut, despite the previous apology, which was for an entirely seperate reason, I would have made my son apologise for the remark he made. I would have made him apologise for calling her a name and using bad words. That behavior is unacceptable for any reason from a child and you have the ability to seperate issues and to make the boundries of behavior clear for him.

    The way I see it, the kids are being drawn into a fight between the adults, which is never good. (this has happened to me, where my kids hear things they shouldnt and then form opinions about a family member they might not have if they hadnt heard the adults talking).

    Im not taking sides or saying anything your SIL has done is fair or right, nor am I saying you and your hubby are 100% innocent- it always takes 2 to have a fight. Even if she is being totally unreasonable and just being a B***ch, YOU can still show your children how to take the high road, how to show forgiveness, and how to NOT let others have power over you and your emotions.

    She is only REALLY controlling you if YOU let yourself feel that way. SO WHAT if she only wants the kids to play at her house? At least they are playing together, and if your son doesnt wanna go over there, TOO BAD for her son and her. If you feel as a parent the enviroment at her home is not healthy for your son, then dont let him go over there. You dont owe her an explantion, and Im telling ya, eventually enough time will go by that she will knock her crap off, if she is ignored long enough. Your son has other friends, so he has options, right?

    I know she's family, and IM sure there is ALOT I dont know, but please, dont let her poison you with her negativity anymore. Treat her like an internet troll- dont feed her,always ignore her, and be polite when you have no other choice. She may never change, but YOU can change how you react and how you feel. The opposite of love is not hate, its indifference, and it is soooo freeing!!!!
  5. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    I re-read it more carefully(it was long and I unknowingly skipped one section), YES, son should apologize again, he behaved inappropriately when he went to apologize. Very. Don't let your dislike of this woman allow any leniency in dealing with son's behavior.

  6. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    At the end of the day, she gets to decide what's best for her son, and you get to for yours. I have a 6 yr old, and if i found out he was urinating in public with another child i'd also hesitate to let them play, especially since the other child is old enough to know better. Then the other kid is caught swearing about me? sorry no, but family or not, you're not allowed to act like that and play with my kid, period. At this point, perhaps after the divorce your brother will bring your nephew over to play, but I doubt the kids will be playing anytime soon.
  7. AhBee01

    AhBee01 Songster

    Nov 7, 2007
    yo. ohio
    I have read your advice, yes, I do always take the high road, I always do what she wants me to do, the only reason she wants to have them play at her house is so she could make him feel bad and make him say he is sorry again. It has nothing to do with peeing off the front porch, we live out in tim buck too, we don't live in a nieghborhood, our houeses are the only ones near each other, she wan't mad about that as much as I'm assuming her son said he got in trouble with my DH and my son did not, which when my DH found out he lied he was punished, just not in front of my nephew.
    I really try to hide how I feel about this woman to my son, this is his aunt, and no matter what, she is his aunt. I would never do this to her child, he has made things up, and she always believes every one over my boy, even when I witness the kids doing things they blame on my son, and he wasn't the one doing it. She never listenes to my child, all the other kids are right and he always gets the blame! That being said, he was punished for saying what he said, but at the same time I remember getting in trouble and saying under my breath how mean or i hated that person, she isn't mad about that she just want him to say he is sorry to her liking, her son doesn't even know he was wronged because my kid said he was sorry and that is what she wanted!
    If she says jump I mean our whole family would ask how high, or she won't let us see the kids. She even stopped talking to her own mom, for 18 months. I never met any one like this. I asked to have a talk with her and so far no go, she never let's me have a say. It is hard to not look across the street when the little boy is just sitting there bored out of his mind.
    If I let my son go there she will belittle him until he says want she wants to hear, and I feel I need to protect him from that. I feel like she is bulling my son to get want she wants. Believe me I have trid the " kill her with kindness, she can care less!
    She has no remorse, I want my son and her children to have a relationship, but even if they do split, she will still make the rules, and my brother will follow them, I think he to is afraid she will take the kids away from him.
    I know it is a no win situation. I just feel so defeated, I havented slept in 2 weeks just feeling sick about this, and even if he did say it again, in a day or 2 it would be something else. My son is not perfect, he will do bad things, I will disapline him, and do what I feel is right, but in the end it will never be good enough for her. I know she can't control what we do here, but she sure in the heck tries!
  8. Ceilismom

    Ceilismom Songster

    Apr 21, 2010
    NW South Dakota
    What I would do, is stay away from the storm and not send my son over there. Out of love for my brother (she takes things out on him), out of love for my nephews (chances are pretty good that they pick up on any tension in the home, so give her one less thing to be mad about) out of love for my own child (he doesn't deserve to be bullied by an adult, though he does owe her an apology for calling her a name) and out of love for myself (life is too short to allow others to make us miserable).

    In time, perhaps once the divorce is final, things may settle down, your brother might stand up for himself and his sons (once your brother is out of the house, who is left in the home for her to browbeat? Exactly.), and your son and nephews might be able to play together again. People who act the way it sounds like your SIL acts sometimes get the rug jerked out from under them once a custody mediator or judge gets a good look at their behavior.
  9. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    If I were in this situation I would not allow my son to go over.He has other friends he can play with.Personally I would not feel comfortable leaving my son alone with that woman.

    Perhaps your brother will end up divorced,and then he will have visitation during which your kids can be with his.

    I think it was OK to ask that your son say sorry to nephew,but bringing it up in front of others to make him feel bad was inappropriate.She is a bit of a control freak from what you write.

    Living so close together will be tough,but I really think cutting her off(and the kids) is needed.She is like a kid having a tantrum,and you need to deny her what she demands. Perhaps then your brother might man up and discuss this with her.Really she is only hurting the kids in all this.

    Invite kids over or go elsewhere to play. I know it is tough.We are home most days too and live outside of a neighborhood.We can hear kids,but never see them!

  10. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Crowing

    Jan 12, 2010
    So you guys ENABLE her to be demanding and controlling, because you jump when she says to? You're allowing her behavior by doing everything she wants. STOP the madness!!! Draw the line on how you want your family to be treated, there is a certain level of respect that you should expect from her toward you and your family. If she can't give it, I wouldn't give in to her demands.

    She will realize eventually that you're not playing her game anymore and may be a bit more reasonable when it comes to the boys.

    I would have made my boy appologize to the nephew as soon as I found out he lied. Plus he would also have to appologize for calling her a b***h, even though that may have been what she was to him.

    Good luck!

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