Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
It is very difficult when you are trying to cope with parents who want to do things their way. It can cause stress and other symptoms.
One of the issues here is that you are trying to be a peacemaker. With the situation as it is, you have an impossible job. Your parents are never going to be happy because they do not have your full support and attention. And your wife will always be unhappy because she does not have your full support and attention. And if your parents feel everything is about them, they may be self centered or narcissistic, which is not easily resolved without insight on their part and therapy. Your wife may not want to deal with it because she dislikes your parents behavior. You are being pulled in two directions.
When you married your wife, you became one with her and left your parents behind. They may not like that idea, but that is what marriage is about. Your wife and any children you have are to come first in your life and your parents and siblings are second. This may be why your wife is angry and does not get along with your parents. She feels she is always battling them over you, when she deserves your full attention.
It is very reasonable for you to let your parents know that this is your wife and children are your focus now and while they are to be part of your life, they are not the focus anymore. Set boundaries for your parents. This means if you invite them over and they begin to create problems, you can tell them to leave. Do this gently and with kindness but be firm. Tell them you expect them to be at least kind to your wife and if they are disrespectful you will not tolerate it. And if your wife cannot deal them, she should at least allow you to see them and give you time with them, as long as she and your family are taken care of first.
By setting boundaries, your parents will either need to respect you and your family or do without a relationship with you. I imagine that if they care about you, they will learn to deal with the boundaries and may even back off and start treating you and your wife with respect, which you both deserve.
I hope this has helped you,
Thank you for your answer, i guess i knew the answer to my question already! It shows you seem to know what you are talking about. I wonder if i could go into more detail and maybe give you a run down or history of problem. I know you cant take sides and you are only hearing things from my side but any advice would be great. I really feel bad about the whole thing and im not sure my parents will ever understand. They feel i need to give them answers all of the time, why i dont help them with things etc.. Maybe i could write you a detailed letter and you could respond. Im sorry about the urgency and thank you for your quick responce but i feel im getting very depressed and it will hurt my wife and i's relationship
If you feel it would affect the answer I gave, that is fine. I'll help in anyway I can.
I think it will, even if it just helps me that might be good. Please let me know how much this will be as the question maybe quite lengthy!
Ok, that sounds fine.
If you want, you can accept the original answer then accept as often as you want to as we work on this. Many people choose to work with certain experts and reimburse either every answer or every other answer. Or they accept once and provide a bonus at the end to cover the answers. It's up to you.
I'll keep an eye out for your post,
I suppose it all started when my wife and I first got together. It was quite a rocky start, she wasn't as in to me as I was with her and she was just coming out of a relationship. We had a few issues as she did some things that annoyed me, nothing drastically serious and after a while of seeing each other it was fine. The problem was I used to tell my parent everything, I hated doing it but felt like the dragged it out of me and I probably didn't paint a very good picture of her.
At this point I should probably tell you that she is South African. After dating for a while she went on holiday with my Dad, my Sister and me. I came to learn that my Dad was annoyed as he felt she had said things that implied that we were going to move to South Africa. According to my wife this wasn't the case, but my Dad though she was being disrespectful towards him. Whilst on the slopes, I was working in the chalet, there was an argument on the slopes and Michelle came back in tears. She had taken something the wrong way, something that was said in guest was taken seriously. Anyway my Dad made no attempt to rectify just carried on, everything seemed to be fine after some discussions in which my sister got involved and then a few things were brought up and I was un happy about how Michelle was being spoken to. I didn't say anything at the time but blew up in the morning which resulted in my Dad telling us to go our way and they would go theirs. This hurt me and really hurt Michelle. She does have family here and this one of the first tastes of mine. We didn't speak for the rest of the holiday. Michelle agreed to let it go and my Dad wouldn't not speak to me unless I approached him. I did and visit them for ‘clear the air talks' I tried my best to mediate and he was adamant that if I didn't agree with him then there was big problem. I agreed with both and it was left. Michelle is still hurt by what happened but has left it alone.
Then came the engagement. We had been seeing each other for a year and half. I didn't tell anyone that I was going to propose. I took Michelle to New York and proposed. On the night we were both very excited and although it was the early hours of the morning in both UK and SA, decided that we would text our parents so they could wake up with the good news. When we woke up we were showered with text from her parents and sister and go a text from my parent saying ‘congratulations' I was so hurt and didn't want to talk to them. My phone wasn't working so it was a text from Michelle phone and I used it to call my sister. My parents had obviously discussed this with her and they were annoyed that I hadn't phoned. I then tried to call but no answer. I felt like it spoiled the occasion a little and michelle could see I was clearly upset and it hurt her too.
When we arrived in the uk we were only in London for a couple of days and went to SA to pick up the ring, whilst there we looked at venues and dates etc. My parent where in the USA .
When we got back and they got back we visited my parents who had along with my sister got a cake and balloons etc which was very nice. They brought it up how they felt and even though we hadn't booked anywhere were upset that we hadn't consulted them about the venue and dates. We explain that that was only the dates we were thinking and if they had any objections. We said that over easter was the best time as that was when most people are off. The do shift work and so that didn't apply to them and so wasn't necessarily the best time for them. We couldn't contact them as they too were out of the country. I just felt like they were taking the situation away from us and making it about themselves again ( both the engagement and the wedding plans) They were arguing why we should get married so soon etc. Again Michelle let it blow over and I tried to keep the peace but it was causing problem for michelle and i. An email was sent to Michelle from my Mum saying how she felt and that before we were really close and that we should have told them. I got the opinion that the email was quite rude but was sure that wasn't how it was meant and told that to michelle. She sent a very nice reply saying that wasn't her intentions, that we are so happy they can come on those dates etc and that she can go dress shopping with my mum. They were really unhappy with the response. I went for clear the air talks again and explained the email and that it contained nothing bad and I was sticking by Michelle and enough was enough. Skiing was again brought up and they were really disappointed that Michelle had not asked my sister to be a brides made. My sister is always brought up and many things are always about her (I think because she is single 28 and spend a lot of time with my parents)
So now everything is apparently fine again and i asked them if they could contribute to the wedding. I informed them how much it was and left it up to them to decide the amount. They gave me a figure well below the 50% I was, expecting saying that because the wedding was in SA they weren't paying for people they didn't know. They would however help me with the honeymoon. I thought this was fair enough as they also they had the expense of flying to SA. When we next went down to visit everything seemed fine but they were annoyed that Michelle had not thanked them for the money. They hadn't actually given it to us yet (not that they wouldn't) but they thought she should have said thank you. My view was that they gave me the money and a thank you from me should be enough from both of us. When I told Michelle she send an email thanking them. It again felt like they were making things about themselves.
If we fast forward a few months to the wedding they were annoyed that I wasn't taking the time for them etc, they understood that I had things to do. It feels like they say good things with bad so that they can say they said good things. The wedding went fine and the build up was fine, although they did things to annoy me I didn't want it to ruin anything. For the trip they had always been talking about my sister, and they tend to do this a lot, is she going to be ok, and making sure that she is fine etc. My Dad then on the wedding day asked me if I could please spend more time with my sister. I nearly lost it and it nearly ruined the day. Thankfully we have such good friend and I really get on with her family. I just feel like they would never be as rude to me as my parents are to Michelle. When I bring this up they tell me not to compare.
We have been married for nearly 2 years and in that time we have been away a lot and seeing my parents hasn't been at the top of the list. I have my own business to. My parent take offence to this and say that we are looking down on them and don't make any effort, yet every time we see them its when we go and visit them (2hr drive). When they moved it was during the week and I was working so couldn't help. They took great offence and my Dad it not happy. The live in the countryside and when they purchased a shed I agreed to help. We picked it up and dropped it off, but then I had to go. Again this was a big problem. My Dad has never asked if I want to do anything and I have told him this many times, through clear the air talk etc. I just feel they don't make the effort and that doesn't make me want to. Michelle wants to have a relationship with her mother in law but doesn't seem to happen. My mum has never emailed or called to go for coffee. It is blamed on her job etc (she is a stewardess but only works 3 weeks a month). Whenever we meet them now they always constantly talk about my sister, we went on holiday with them (again us making the effort) and they mentioned her name 42 times in a day and a half, we counted because we thought is was getting ridiculous.
I finally put my foot down and they came and saw us. This was a few days ago, we had been to Thailand for Michelles 30th bday over xmas and new year (im sure they were not happy but we wanted to go) When they can they spent the first 45 mins talking about my sister and didn't even mention the holiday. We had some exciting news, Michelle is pregnant, as we just found out and it is early we decided only to tell the parents. She phone her and we told my parent when they were up. Michelle didn't want to tell them but I insisted. They were very happy and it was nice to see. However and again I feel they are making it about them, my Mum emailed Michelle in the morning to tell her she was very excited and it was great news, could she tell her the due date because they want to go on holiday in Sept and she need to get her holiday form in by the 25th. Michelle sent an nice email back explaining the dates.
I got a phone call from my Mum again speaking about the holiday. I took offence as it sounded like the holiday was more important and that they were worried about that. They took offence to that and said I was in the wrong and they only wanted to have a discussion, I said there should be no discussion, we have told them the dates, the baby could arrive whenever and if they don't want to risk not being there then they have to take their holiday another time. They couldn't see that it was an insult.
My Dad phoned me angry at me and I was angry back, he agreed that maybe they should take there holiday another time but maybe why he got so angry was because of things that had happened in the past. He said that I looked down on them and that I just want to be with my rich south African friends. This hurt a lot because is not the case, I feel like my Dad has been waiting to say something like that and they love to argue and make things about themselves. I really feel my Dad is jealous as I do have a good life with an amazing wife, great friends, my own successful business and now I'm having a baby. I'm fed up with them taking the happiness away and me trying to be the good guy with them because I don't want to walk away. This annoys Michelle so doesn't help.
I don't know what to do, I'm sorry I went on for so long but I hope you can help me.
Thank you for sharing this with me. It certainly sounds like you are dealing with a lot of problems with your parents and sister.
I agree with you, your parents and sister are thinking of themselves only. To your sister's credit, she has learned this behavior from your parents. Though she is responsible for how she acts now as an adult, she has bought into the "think of ourselves first" mentality.
In every instance in your life, your parents have put themselves first. The skiing incident was the first sign of a problem with them in your relationship with Michelle. While Michelle did contribute some to the problem, she did not mean to and did apologize, which should have been accepted. Your father is the elder here and should have forgiven Michelle for whatever he felt she did to him. Your father also shut you out to force you to come to him and try to make amends. This is manipulative behavior that he uses to get his way.
With your engagement and marriage, your parents purposely withheld any excitement or happiness from you because again, they wanted to control and manipulate the situation. By only saying congratulations, they fulfill their obligation to respond but they also send the message that they disapprove, possibly still based on the skiing incident or just implying they disapprove of Michelle in general. They also do not want you to leave the "family group" which would give them less control over you.
Throughout your engagement, your parents refused to develop a relationship with Michelle even though she has offered and allow you both to enjoy your engagement. Instead, they continued to try to focus on themselves and manipulate the situation for their own benefit.
Bringing your sister up all the time is a way for them to try to make it seem they prefer her over you, by saying she is cooperating with them and therefore is right and better than you are. She is their example of how they believe their children should act towards them, and your sister is so eager for the approval she has bought into the behavior, copying them as they wish her to.
Going to see them to clear the air is exactly what they want you to do. That is the way they can tell that you have reached the breaking point and need to reconcile with them. They know they can push you and you will still come back to them. It is a way to manipulate you into doing what they want.
Their approval and disapproval of your activities and your life is way too intrusive. You are an adult, married and with a child on the way. Your parents should not be this involved in your life. They should be part of your life, but not the deciding factor in the decisions you make. If they want to be there for the birth of your child, for instance, then letting them know the possible due date and letting them decide what to do is the best way to handle them. If they become angry and try to tell you they won't be there, let it go.
The same applies for your trip or any other thing you and Michelle want to do with your lives. You do not need to inform them of anything you do. If they say they want you to attend some event and you are away, then you are away. Say you wish you could be there but it's not possible. End of story. If they choose to make a big deal, tell them you are sorry they feel that way but it's their choice. Then do not contact them or make a fuss over it. As long as you keep responding to their drama, they will keep doing it.
Your relationship with your parents needs some emotional distance. They are too close to you and too much in your life. They use manipulation, guilt and anger to control you. Michelle has been more than kind to them even when they have not been to her. In order to be respected, they need to earn the kind of respect they are asking for. Make them earn it. Set boundaries and keep them at a distance. If they truly want to be part of your family, they will change to accommodate you. If not, then they are just looking to cause you problems by being narcissistic and controlling. They may force you into distancing them even further, but in order to have peace in your family, it may be needed. You also do not want your child exposed to their behavior. Many people with narcissism do not have an issue with dragging children into their games and manipulations. So starting to set limits now with your parents will help you protect your child in the long run.
Let me know if I can help any further,
Thank you so much, that was a great answer and all of your points make sense.
I made sure on this occasion that i didnt bow to what they wanted to do. They contacted me after yesterdays argument. I informed them that i wasnt prepared to discuss anything and bring things of the past up. All that matters to me at the moment is Michelle and our baby. They feel like they are not in our lives and want to be but i said relationships change and they need to deal with that. I informed them that everytime there is something major in my life they try and make it about them or there is an argument. Enough is enough and i wont let it happen anymore. The decisions now rest with them as to being invoved.
You are so write and it is nice to hear as i felt i was maybe being wrong and should be working toward keeping my parents happy. You have made me feel alot better and that keeping my parents at arms length (and protecting my wife and baby) is not wrong. We will eventually live in South Africa i think so as horrible as it sounds maybe thats the distance we need.
That is wonderful! I am glad you were able to tell them how you felt and that you are now placing some distance between your family and your parents. Hopefully, your parents will take what you said, gain some insight from it and try to improve how they treat you and Michelle.
I was very happy to help you. My best to you and Michelle and congratulations on the new baby. He/she will be a blessed child to have you both as parents.
I'm here anytime you need to talk,
I have another question for you. Michelle is hurt at the way we have been treated and really doesnt like my parents, she didnt want to tell them but agreed to as she had told her twin sister and her parents. Now we have the problem of telling my sister. My parent obviously want us to tell her, as they made clear when we told them. i though this was wrong as it wasnt for them to tell us when to tell her. A point i made to them in private.
I want to tell my sister but Michelle doesnt want me to tell her. Her reasoning is that she is only 5 weeks and doesnt want to tell her until we have an 8 week scan. My parents think that because she told her sister i should tell mine. I do want to tell her but Michelle thinks its only because my parents want her to know.
I have said to her that is not the case but she is adamant that she doesnt want her to know.
When i spoke to my mum yesterday she said that they will go on holiday another time than Sept (due month) but we need to tell my sister because she is coming with them and they need to tell her why they are moving the holiday from Sept to July. Again i feel this is making it about them and not on our terms.
Im in two minds.
Hi Nick, it's good to hear from you.
Michelle's wishes about the baby are to take precedent before your parent's wishes. Your parents may say what they want to happen here, but they are not the baby's parents and therefore their opinion is only that, an opinion. They do not get equal say in what goes on between you and Michelle.
It is understandable that your parents want to explain to your sister about the baby. But Michelle feels she has valid reasons for wanting to hold off with the information. Michelle may feel closer to her own sister and want her support right now, so she feels ok telling her before she tells your sister. Also, your sister has not been kind to Michelle in the past and Michelle may not want to involve her yet for that reason.
The most important thing here is that you and Michelle make this decision together, without the involvement of your parents. Michelle does not need the added pressure of your parents having a say so in the decision. She needs your support. So talk with her, tell her what you want to do and reassure her that you want the two of you to make the decision together, and your parents are not included in that decision.
In the future, you and Michelle may want to consider not telling your family about any news until all of your family can be included together in the news. That way, you can avoid the pressure of your parents wanting to tell your sister.
If we try an organise that all of us are together if that doesnt happen for a while they will argue that we should have told them earlier. bot***** *****ne is we cant win! haha
I wanted to email my parents today to say that we will let them know when we have told my sister.
I dont feel i need to explain to them when that is or why we havent told her yet. We are going to tell her after 8 weeks which is on her bday. Its only 3 weeks. i feel like explain that is justifing things and enabling them.
My mum also told me she want to tell her friend at work, i told her i would rather she didnt and that we want to wait until the 12 weeks is over. She said that is a long time but suppose she will have to wait. I really dont understand why they cant just wait and not mention or talk like this.
Going off a little bit. Michelle feels like they havent asked how she is etc and yet the asked about their holiday. her hormons dont help as they blow things up! Do i tell them about the issues i have or just leave it. if i bring it up its going to be a big argumment.
Thanks Kate, so good to have someone to talk to!
You're welcome, Nick! I'm happy to be here for you.
You should not have to offer your parents more than a short explanation of your intentions with your sister. All you need to tell them is that you and Michelle have made a decision and your decision is to wait to tell her. They do not require a reason or further explanation. If they try to get one out of you, keep repeating what you already said. Ignore any dramatic reaction they give you or snide comments. What you are doing here is setting boundaries with them. They will not like it, but if a line is not drawn, they will keep invading your boundaries.
It seems that telling your parents any news like this only causes them to find ways to make your life difficult. Apparently they do not respect the fact that this is your news and not theirs to tell the world about. What they are doing is crossing boundaries with you. They are not treating you or Michelle with the respect you deserve and allowing you to have control over your own life.
I would not share any more about Michelle or the pregnancy with your parents. Tell them only what they need to know, that Michelle and the baby are doing fine and that is it. The more you tell them, the more they will see a reason to try to use the information to cross boundaries and make your life more difficult.
you are spot on and deep down i know that. I think that they expect the same from us as Michelle gives to her family and be equal. But Michelle is close to her sister and obviously gets on with her parents so will share with them. I dont share with my parents and maybe they see that as wrong and that ive changed and they prob blame Michelle for that. Am i right in thinking that the man will always tend to be closer to his wife side of the family when they get married.
One of the big issue when we got together was that because she is South Afican that we will moved to South Afica. They said that because we met in the UK she sould accept that and that is where we should like. I told them that i will do what is best and if that means moving to SA then so be it. I'm dreeding telling them that that is the case even though they know that could be a possibility. However in a weird way what you have said has made me a bit stronger to not be so effected by what my parents say and that it is completely valid to put Michelle first.
I find that if there is a situation like you say, they want to know everything and will turn it to be about them. I dont think me telling them that will change things, i know myself and maybe im not strong enough to stand up for myself and tell them how it is. They will get upset of make points that i cant defend. I will back down and they have got their way. i try my best not to analize every situation and talk it to death, which is what they do.
They may expect that you treat them the same as Michelle treats her parents and sister, but do they treat you the same as Michelle's family treats her and you? Michelle may feel more comfortable with her family because they may respect her boundaries. It is not a matter of who you are closer to, it's a matter of who treats you with respect. If your parents treated you well and respected your boundaries, I have no doubt you and Michelle would be just as close to them as you are with her family. But every time you try to relate to your parents in a normal way, they play games, say hurtful things and try to control you and Michelle. And you cannot have a healthy relationship with someone who does that.
If you and Michelle decide to move to South Africa, then it is your decision. Your parents are allowed to feel sad about it and say they don't want you to go, but saying that you met in the UK so Michelle just has to adapt to the UK as her home is only making them seem even more self centered. That statement is all about them and does not take into account that you and Michelle are married and each of you comes first to each other. Any decision you make is up to you, not them. They lost their say so in your life when you became an adult.
You were used to being raised by your parents and having to share everything with them. You understand their way and that is what you knew. So the urge to tell them everything and take in their opinion is strong. But you are a healthy person emotionally and you are growing. You have been able to see that what your parents do is harmful, selfish and hurtful. Just the fact that you have so much insight means that you are strong and desire to be different.
Learning personal boundaries, which is something they never taught you or showed you, is the best way to keep your parents where they belong- out of your personal business.
So this is not something that i need to convey to them. Tell them that i think they are self centered, and tell them that they try and revert every situation ot themselves etc or will they see this as an attack.
Will it get me anywhere or just serve to break down the relationship completly.
No, I wouldn't bother telling them they are self centered or that they are reverting every situation to themselves. They will only take it as you having a problem, not them. They may even try to shut you out completely.
So far they do not have insight into their behavior and no desire to change. For one, they have never experienced any consequences to how they act. Your sister has gone right along with them and they still feel free to cross boundaries into your life. But as you begin to set boundaries with them, they will protest and try to cause you more problems. As a result, they may step up the intrusive behavior or try other tactics like talking behind your back or ganging up on you. They may even start on Michelle. This will show you that they are not ready to change or hear anything you have to say.
If you ever notice that they are interested in changing, you can try telling them how you feel. You may know they are changing by how they treat you. They may begin to respect your boundaries, treat you better and try to get along with Michelle. They may even apologize for how they have acted. But until they can do these things, they will not be interested in how you feel about anything they are doing.
My Dad fell out with his side of the family ( 2 sisters ) when we were younger. They havent spoken for 15 years or so and have only just got back in touch. It was my dads sister who got in touch.
I dont know much about the situation but from what i gather they exculded my dad in alot of things and didnt invite him to family events etc.
I would be really interested to find out the story from their point of view and if it is similar to the problems i have had. Me not wanting to include him is remarkably simular. It like he is not happy unless there is confruntation.
I have one aunt in mind that i would like to talk to and think she would keep things confidential. I would like to go with Michelle.
Would you see this as a bad thing to do.
It would not be a bad thing to do, as long as you take your time and feel out the situation first. If your aunt has contact with your father now, she potentially can communicate your feelings to him if you are not careful. So take your time to talk with her first and get an idea of how she feels about your father and her fall out with him. Then if you feel it's safe, go ahead and talk with her.
Hi Nick, I am well, thank you for asking.
I would enjoy talking with you for as long as you need to! Anytime you have a question, I'm here.
If you and Michelle agree on that the cost of the gift is too excessive, then you can let your sister know you are willing to compromise. Thank her for suggesting the gift but tell her that you would like to buy something a bit more reasonable in price. If your sister disagrees, then you may want to suggest that you each buy your own gifts.
You are not being tight or stingy by not giving in to your sister's suggestion. There is a reason someone is successful at business and that is because they are careful with money, among other things. And your opinion about this gift is just as valid as your sister's. The cost of the gift does not imply your mother's importance to you or Michelle. It is the thought that you pick something that both of you feel your mother would like and you spend the time with her on her birthday that counts.
If you still feel bad about not buying the expensive gift, you can always do something for your mother in addition to your gift that means a lot to her but doesn't cost much or anything at all. The gesture itself would mean you care and that is what you are trying to convey with your mother on her birthday.
Then it's probably best that you just send your gift along with birthday wishes and let it go at that. You can say I'm sorry we can't be there and wish her a happy birthday. If the tensions are high between you, then it is not worth the trouble of causing a confrontation on your mother's birthday. It is best to allow things to cool down first.
If she wants you there and you are comfortable with going, then that is fine to do. But setting limits like you are doing is important. Telling her that you won't be spending the night is a good limit to set. It tells her that you will give a little by showing up to the party but you won't give in all the way because you will not be spending the night. It shows that you cannot be manipulated or forced to do something you are not willing to do.
Anytime you are ready to talk about your Dad I'm here.
I understand your feelings about not wanting to tell her. She is going to want her way if her past behavior is any indication. But just because she wants a reason does not mean you have to give one. You can always say we can't make it and keep repeating it if she pushes you for a reason. Telling her anything else gives in to what she wants and gives her something to use against you to start pushing you more. She can try to make you feel bad but that is just her way to keep you under her control. You don't have to listen to it because in reality, all she has is her words to control you. She has no other power unless you allow her to.
Thank you, Nick! That was nice to hear.
Yes I agree. You do not need to justify your reasons even if you do have a very valid one. It is just fine to tell your mother that you cannot stay the night. You might want to put the emphasis on the fact that you are showing up for the get together instead of defending yourself about staying the night. That may get your mother to back down faster because it makes her look ungrateful that you are coming to the party.
No, you do not have to do anything you don't want to do. You are an adult but your parents continue to treat you as a child. They try to manipulate you and guilt you into doing what they want. But saying no helps set those boundaries and teaches them that you are an adult now.
Telling you that you look down on them and think you are better than they are is your parents way of controlling you. If someone tells you that you seem snobby, you are going to be concerned. Then you are going to change your behavior because you feel guilty so you seem like you are more compliant. And that is what they are looking for, you being compliant and feeling guilty. It's a game and they are good at it.
It sounds like you told her exactly what you could do and the limits for your being able to be at your parents. That helps set boundaries to what you are willing to do.
It sounds like your sister is acting out what your parents taught her. Her text sounds like she is saying that she needs to be informed of all get togethers, whether they involve her or not. This is a conversation she needs to be having with your parents. What you do with your parents does not need to involve her either.
She probably says you are being funny with her because she is not used to you being firm with her and drawing boundaries. Boundaries are unknown in your family because of how your parents act towards you and your sister. They never respected your personal feelings and your rights as a person. When you start drawing those lines, your sister and parents are going to react with saying something is wrong with you. That shows their lack of insight into the problem. Blaming is common when someone tries to do a healthy behavior within an unhealthy environment.
Keep doing what you are already doing by setting the boundaries with your sister and parents. If you want, cut yourself out as middle man and direct your sister to call your parents about this matter. They are the ones who will be hosting any get togethers so it is up to them to decide anyway. Your sister may not like it, but it is the only way to keep you from being drawn into this issue.
Your sister was well trained by your parents. She follows the same behavioral pattern as they do because she does not have the insight to see it any differently. So you may need to respond in the same way as you do with your parents.
Feeling scared of your sister probably has to do with the how confrontive she is with you and with the techniques she uses to make you feel bad about yourself if you do not comply with what she says. She is an emotional abuser and learned the ways to make you feel guilty, ashamed and to question yourself.
The way to get her to stop arguing is to stop participating. Some of the best ways to do that is stop reacting to her anger and stop responding to what she says. Her goal is to win and to do that, she needs to get you emotionally upset and reacting to her. In order to not get drawn in, you have to emotionally remove yourself from anything she says. For example, if she says you didn't tell me about your visit home, you can respond with sorry to hear you are upset about that. If she says what is wrong with you, say nothing. Do not add to the conversation at all and just respond in a logical and forthright manner. If you do not get upset, she has no control. Do not accept blame for anything. If you question yourself, she will take advantage of it.
If you feel upset or insecure about any conversation you have with her, wait until you end the conversation then check in with Michelle about what happened. She will provide you with balance and support you. You are also welcome to contact me and we can walk through what happened. This takes some time to get used to doing, but in order to cope with your family removing yourself emotionally is the only way, short of not having contact at all.
Taking blame for their behavior is what they want you to do. That is how they continue to control you. You are not overlooking them. If anything, you are more involved than most adult children are.
You are not stubborn, you are just trying to set boundaries. Your father is "punishing" you by not talking to you so you will feel bad and give in. There is nothing wrong with standing your ground. The only people that is wrong with is your parents and sister.
I can understand your anger about it. Your parents and your sister are a sort of dysfunctional group. If you had told your sister and not your parents, it would have been the same thing.
It is difficult to deal with family that treats you that way, especially when you are the only one that sees it. At this point, you have learned that if you have important news, especially of a personal nature, it is better to withhold it than tell them. It's all about how much you can trust them.
I'm sorry but Just Answer doesn't offer Skype, phone or face to face at this time. Maybe in the future!
I got an email this morning from my Mum saying that she hopes michelle is feeling ok and not getting any morning sickness. She said that she didnt get morning sickness and never felt better than when she was pregnant.
She said that they have booked their holiday in June, as they want my sister to come can we tell her the good news so she can book too.
Im not sure how to respond.
You cannot control what your mother does. But you can let her know that you are unhappy with her decision to tell your sister against your wishes. That may warn her that you will not be sharing with her again if she cannot abide by your wishes to keep this to herself.
Thank you in advance for accepting my last several answers.
I would love to continue to work with you. If you could reimburse me for my time and expertise on the last 5 answers I have provided for you, I would appreciate it.
If you are having trouble with getting your accepts to go through, please contact the moderator. Sometimes there is a technical glitch and they can address that for you.
You don't have to accept every answer and I'm sorry if I gave that impression. Some people choose to accept each time and some accept every other answer. It all depends on the person and what they can afford.
Is it ok to keep working together? If you need to make other arrangements, I understand.
Thank you very much.
You said that your mother wants you to tell your sister about the baby so she can book her holiday and have your sister come along. How do you and Michelle feel about that? Do you want to tell her? If not, then let your mother know that you are not telling your sister until you and Michelle are ready. Let her know that she will need to work around your wishes. It may be that your mother wants to manipulate you into telling your sister, so she puts you in a corner so you have no choice. For to refuse, you would be "ruining" her plans for the holiday. It makes you out to be the bad guy and she looks like the victim in the situation.
I am sorry to hear about the argument between you and Michelle. It sounds like part of that is just the tension of the situation and the hurtful things your parents have been saying to both of you and to Michelle. I do agree with Michelle, your mother's hint that Michelle having morning sickness is not very supportive and is, in a backhanded way, mean. This is by no means your fault, but it sounds like Michelle is feeling very hurt by what your mother said, and with good reason.
I think your email to your parents is well thought out and makes your points without being confrontive or emotional. You covey very well your expectations and your wishes to set boundaries and remain on good terms. Although I think it's ok to send, Michelle's wishes must come before what I think. The two of you need to decide what is best for the both of you. Have you both talked about what your concerns are with sending or not sending the email? What does Michelle feel would happen if the email is sent? She may fear that the retaliation is not worth it or she may feel vulnerable due to the stress she is going through right now. It might be worth hashing this out first between you and seeing what each of you feel is the advantages and disadvantages first before making a decision.
Saying what you feel to your parents is important. However, you may want to prepare yourself for their response, whatever it may be. Because you are dealing with people who in all likelihood have personality disorders, they are probably not going to react well to your email. That does not mean you should not send it. But keep in mind that by sending, you are doing this for yourself and Michelle and probably not for a change in your parents behavior. But sitting back and accepting your parents behavior creates frustration, anger, a feeling of helplessness and other similar emotions. It can become so bothersome that it affects your daily life. By saying something, it helps you feel like you are doing something to protect yourself and Michelle and it gives you more of an equal footing with your parents.
People with personality disorders are notoriously resistant to change. They lack insight and feel that everyone else is to blame before they consider they might be the cause of the difficulties going on around them. They are master manipulators and can twist the most logical argument into something frustrating and pointless. Here is a link to describe how to deal personality disorders:
This is not an easy situation to cope with. Many people struggle to handle family members with personality disorders. The main thing to remember is to take care of yourself and Michelle. And if you both decide it's a good idea to send the email, then just keep in mind that the response may not be what you are looking for. But you and Michelle may feel better, which is what counts.
It sounds like your mother and Michelle were being quite friendly to each other and were doing their best to remain civil yet clear where they both stood on the issue of the baby. It's obvious that your mother is excited and wants to start buying things and telling everyone. There is a subtle hint that she might slip and tell your sister. It's hard to tell if she is just talking about her fears or she is making excuses ahead of time if she does tell your sister (even though her last email does say she is just nervous). Given her past history with how she has treated you both, it could be either.
Michelle is being very firm on her feelings about not telling anyone else. Her example of not telling her friends and the trouble she is going through to keep the baby a secret for now is a very direct message to your mother about how the difficulty of keeping the secret is affecting all of you. And Michelle also makes it clear it is very important to her and I cannot see how your mother would miss the message.
Your mother may also be using this to play on both of your fears. If your mother cared enough about putting yours and Michelle's feelings ahead of her own, she would not even need to bring up her fears of slipping and telling someone. She would get the message from both of you that it is a secret and she would drop it until you gave the go ahead to talk about it.
At this point, it's probably best that you and Michelle try ignore the topic all together. Your mother certainly has to have gotten the message by now about how you both feel and discussing it with her any further only leads her to keep teasing you both with the threat of telling your sister or someone else. She may be getting some satisfaction out of bringing it up and trying to get you upset. So dropping the topic, even if she brings it up, may bring you both some peace until you are ready to share your good news.
I wanted to talk to you about my Dad
My Dad was a good dad when I was younger, he would go to football matches that I was playing in, and any sport I was involved in
He would even come when I was older which wasn't ideal but still.
Without going into it too much, there were problems in my parent's relationship, they argued a lot. (Now when they bicker amongst themselves they say it's not arguing but I think it is, Michelle also and she is not used to it.) When I was younger living at home the used to argue quite a lot and my mum used to drink, she wasn't an alcoholic but used to drink and I hated it. My Dad didn't like it and he's still blaming her now for things she used to do. Anyway that is their relationship and nothing to do with me.
I didn't have an especially unhappy or traumatic childhood, but I suppose I don't really have anything to compare it too. I got on with my Dad and we shared, if I had problems I could go to him.
I suppose things started to change when I moved out. I would still talk to my parents and I would go and visit them but I was told that I didn't visit enough. I think the still expected me to participate in family things and friend etc. for example, we had some family friends visiting that we hadn't seen for a while, something came up and I had an opportunity to go abroad which I wanted to do. My parents weren't pleased that I was cancelling as they said I should put this first.
After I moved out my parents had come to visit me and I felt that it works both ways and they weren't making any effort either. I can't bring these things up because it turns into a big discussion which normally results in me backing down or giving in to make them happy. An example is when my Mums best friend was dying of breast cancer, they live in Devon and wanted to hold a small party as she knew she was going to die soon and wanted to see people one last time. I was dating Michelle at the time and things were quite serious. My mum didn't want her to go, which annoyed me but rather than cause a prop I made an excuse to Michelle and did what my mum wanted. I think I should have put my foot down as she was invited.
You then know the following stories surrounding the ski trip, our engagement, etc. This is when the relationship with my Dad really broke down. He sees me with a good life great wife and successful. He thinks I look down and don't want to involve them. Maybe he has a point; the way they are makes me a bit like that. I know it's difficult for you to tell from writing and you only get my point of view but, I'm struggling to like them! What do you think?
Going back, when my parents moved I didn't help them because I was at work. My Dad is really annoyed and still brings it up because he thinks that I don't care and should have taken the time off, because I have my own business I can do that. Michelle didn't want me to help them and she def didn't want to help, which is why I suppose I chose not too. She didn't see why I had to take the whole day to help when my Mum was working too. If they really wanted me to help they could have arranged on a weekend.
Another incident that is brought up, my Dad bought a shed for the garden, it's a big shed he bought on ebay. He had to go and dismantle it and it had to be done on tueday. I agreed and said it should be fine. I did say by the time he rented a van he might aswell pay to have it transported, but he wanted to do it himself. Anyway, I helped him and we made a few trip and got it back, I had a meeting so I had to go plus I didn't want to stay to late. I was getting pressure from Michelle not to stay too late either I think because of everything she doesn't like me helping them out. She doesn't see them making any effort with us.
So now this gets brought up again, that I had to rush off and I couldn't stay and help and that they don't ask a lot etc etc.
I had an argument with my Dad 2-3 weeks ago about and he said his reaction was probably because of everything that happened in the past about not helping with the move and not helping prop with the shed etc. I said that he makes absolutely not effort with me and it a two way street. He said that I look down on them and am only interested in my rich South African friends. I told him that he's been dying to say that, which I feel he has, as we have good friends that we share with and they see we are close to them. He said I just made a mistake and shouldn't have said that. I said conversation is over. I've not spoke to him since and I'm not running after him again!
What do you think? I know your just hearing it from my side but im not sure how to react and im not sure how or if I can sort everything. One thing im sure of is if I turn round and say im not prepared to discuss the past, ive moved on and so should you. If you want to be involved in our lives then you can but you need to act more like a father, move on stop trying to create issues and making things about yourself and make an effort.
Hi, it's good to hear from you again!
I wanted to respond now to get your question off the queue. I need to go to an appointment this morning then I will be back to answer your question in full.
It sounds like your parents want you to put them first in your life. They see you as their son and therefore part of the family unit, just as you were before you left home. They do not include Michele because she is probably seen as an intruder and not part of the family. They are also jealous of your life, your business and your friends. They seem to feel all of these things interfere with you being a part of the family, which in their eyes needs to come first.
When you left home, you stopped thinking of the family as your primary focus but your parents did not. When children leave home, they begin to explore who they are and seek out those things that they feel fit with the future they want. School, jobs, friends and relationships are all important. As you develop these basics in your life, your family is there to be supportive and as a place you can go back to for sanctuary. But the whole idea is for you to keep moving forward with your life with your family's support.
But what happens with your parents is that they want to remain under their control and part of the family first before anything else. And when you do not do what they expect, they become upset and start attacking your choices to try to make you feel bad and get you back under their control. And as you said, sometimes it worked. But lately, it has not because you are resisting the attempts at control and seeing through the criticism your father is imposing on you.
Your father sounds supportive, but only when he wants to be. He acts out his role from his point of view. It is not acting in a way that you need but acting in a way that he feels is what is needed. And when you do not agree to do what he wants, he sees you in violation of his point of view, which of course should be yours as well.
It is ok that you do not want to be near them. A relationship with them involves giving up yourself, your rights and your life to fit in to what they feel your role is within the family. They have made a point to reject Michele which is enough grounds to not deal with them anymore. Michele's reaction when you do have to deal with them is appropriate. She sees what they are doing to you and what they have done to her and she backs off from contact to protect herself and you.
You may want to try limited contact and on your terms. Your parents may not be happy about that, but if they want contact, they will need to agree to it. It is ok to provide some concessions, but only if you are comfortable with them. For example, if your father wants help with his shed then let him know what works for you. Tell him you can only help on a Saturday and only during hours that you pick with Michele. If he argues or tries to criticize you, then tell him you cannot help. By setting these boundaries, you can protect yourself and Michele and get your parents to understand that they cannot rule your life, no matter how much they wish to.
When you are looking at a diagnosis, the criteria is that the person fits some of the criteria and not necessarily all of it. For example, when looking at diagnosing someone with narcissism, you need to see if the person fits at least 5 out of 9 of the criteria.
Your parents can also have some of the traits of narcissism and not meet the criteria enough to be diagnosed with it. Or one of your parents meet the criteria and the other does not. But they can still have traits, enough to make it difficult to deal with them.
You have described your parents behavior to me several times and told me about the things they say to you. And I think your assessment is accurate. You feel they are putting themselves first. Your gut seems to tell you that they may care but they care about themselves before anyone else. You would not be feeling as you do without reason.
And you have Michelle's reaction to your parents to go by as well. How they have treated her has caused her to pull back from them in order to not get hurt again. She would not be doing that for no reason.
In dealing with your parents, it's a good idea to think about what you and Michelle want to do first. If Michelle needs to attend an event, then decide when it's most convenient for her to go then let your mother know what you can do in terms of visiting her. Since she had not let you know of her plans earlier, you need to arrange the plans you do know about and then fit your mother in as you can.
In any case, you are married with a baby on the way. Your family comes first, then your family of origin comes second. That is the best way to look at it when dealing with any conflicts.
You're welcome, anytime.
There is nothing wrong with your point of view. When you come from a dysfunctional family, it is often hard to trust your own views, thoughts and feelings because you were raised in an atmosphere where expression of your views, thoughts and feelings were either not welcome or treated in a dysfunctional way. In your case, your parents put their needs first and ruled the family. You were used to how it worked. But now it's different for you. You have insight and can see the dysfunction. Having a emotionally healthy point of view in a dysfunctional family can feel like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. You want to get a normal response but you can't because your parents are not seeing this in a normal way. They keep responding in a dysfunctional way, making you feel you are doing something wrong. Plus they use blame to make you feel it's your fault. Each time you assert your needs or Michelle's, your parents tell you that it's wrong, in so many words and in their actions. They keep insinuating that you are not cooperating and push a "what's wrong with you" attitude. That is the nature of personality disorders. It's everyone else's fault and there is no insight to see it otherwise.
Think about this- what would happen if you gave in to everything your parents asked you to do? What would your life be like? Would you and Michelle be happier? If your answer is no, then look at why. That will help you see their behavior more clearly.
If your parents were normal in their behavior, they would respect your need to put Michelle first. They would invite you to gatherings but if you could not make it, they would understand. They would say things like "can we help?" or "what time can you make it so we can work around it?" They would try to include Michelle. The would not blame you for being busy but try to support you and allow for your time constraints. That is normal behavior.
You are probably making excuses to not deal with them because it so stressful to do so. Each contact is about what they need and blaming you in indirect ways for your reactions. You realize that so you avoid dealing with them so you don't have to feel bad.
Do you want to put aside a weekend to be with them? It might be helpful to make a list of the good and bad of a weekend with them. Also, see if Michelle wants to do that (I imagine not but give her a chance to have input). If you feel you do not want to see them, make a compromise. See them for dinner or spend one day with them, without spending the night. Don't let them make you feel guilty. This is about setting boundaries. You have the right to say you are too busy. You also have the right to restrict their access to you if you feel they are too overbearing and invasive in their behavior.
Do you feel responding to your father would help you or hurt you? If he has reached out, you can attempt to talk with him. But set limits on his behavior. If he starts to seem abusive cut the conversation off in a gentle yet firm way. He may get angry, but that is because you shut off his chance to hurt you and not because you are doing something wrong.
What your parents feel about you is irrelevant. I know it's hard to think that way. But when dealing with manipulative or dysfunctional parents, they are not going to love you the way you need them to. They are focused on themselves. So it's up to you to set those boundaries and protect yourself from their behavior. Along with that comes how they react. And it's usually some way to make you feel guilty, blamed and ex communicated from the family so they can control your behavior. This is not about who you are or who Michelle is. It's about them. You will not be able to please them unless you do exactly what they want. And even then, they will find ways to hurt you. Thinking of your relationship with them this way hurts and you may mourn what you can't have, but it's something that all children from dysfunctional families have to deal with in order to cope with their families. Protecting your self, your marriage and your family is more important than what your parents feel, and that is how to try to think of it so it's easier to deal with.
It sounds like your parents are seeing your needs and your behavior as having to do with them. They do not see your activities as about your needs or Michelle's needs. So to them, your needs are trivial. Your parents see themselves as coming first in their lives and everyone else's. So to them when you hurry through the visit with them, it's an insult. They feel you need to pay them the attention they feel they are due. And you avoid them for this very reason. To you, their behavior may feel draining and hurtful, because your needs are not met at all and when you do try to meet them, you are made to feel self centered and guilty. So to avoid their behavior and the guilt they try to make you feel, you stay away as much as possible. You are reacting normally in a dysfunctional situation.
You can tell them that you are busy and can't attend. They do not need to know why. If they ask, you can tell them that you are busy. If they pry more, then ask why it is so important that they know. It may not give them what they want and they may get angry, but prying into your business so they can be satisfied with your answer is invasive and uncalled for. Setting your boundaries now will help you in the future because they will understand that you will not tolerate their need to know and be satisfied with your answers.
Most of the timewhen my parents call, usually my mum, i miss the call. Either because i dont want to speak to them or because im at work and im busy. If i dont return the call or return a text or email they point it out when i next speak to them that they tried to phone yesterday or 'did i get their email'.
The reason im saying this is because Michelle had a mis-carrage a the weekend. We thought it was going to be the case a week ago as the scan didnt look good. We told my parents as we were due to go there last weekend. On Friday Michelle was having problems and mis carrage some time over the weekend. She was in alot of pain and had to be in hospital over the weekend. My parents phoned and text alot and i told them that we needed space and that we know we can rely on them if we need anything. They sent a card and have text michelle and emailed to see if we want to go and visit or they can come up and see us. Its the last thing that Michelle wants at the moment.
My parents phoned the day before yesterday and i said we just need time and updated them on the situation. They didnt phone yesterday but they emailed Michelle. They have just phoned again. Im at work and didnt want to pick up, i dont want to discuss anything or feel the need to update them. I feel bad and nervous for not answering as i know that if i dont get back to them then they are going to tell me 'i tried t call you yesterday' expecting a reason why i didnt pick up. What do i say?? They make a comment all the time about how they can never get hold of me or i dont pick up.
I am so sorry that you and Michelle lost your baby. Hearing that breaks my heart. I know the two of you were so excited. If Michelle is aware of our conversations, please pass along my condolences.
It is amazing that your parents cannot respect your and Michelle's need for space at this difficult time. They are only concerned for themselves and pushing the agenda they have, instead of respecting the two of you and giving you the space you requested. To pester you both with phone calls and emails only adds to your stress. It seems that even during this difficult time, they are still putting their own needs above your needs.
Then to add to their invasive behavior, they don't allow you to set boundaries by not answering the phone. By constantly asking you if you got their messages or by always telling you they called, they are pushing into your space and causing you distress.
You have been nice enough to ask them to back off and they are not respecting your request. So you may have to set stronger boundaries with them. They probably will not like it and may protest. but if you want to have space from them, it's important that you give them the message that they need to back off.
You can do this one of two ways (or both if you feel it's needed). Either send an email to both of your parents or contact them by phone saying that you and Michelle are not taking any phone calls, emails or other communication for the next several days (or however long you wish it to be). Tell them you will contact them when you and Michelle are ready. Be clear that you will not be returning any messages nor will you be answering the phone. If they protest, repeat what you said. Then cut off contact. By doing this, you send a clear message and set a strong boundary. Hopefully, they will back off and allow you and Michelle to have the time you need.
Thank you, ***** ***** a tough time, just trying to support Michelle, she is being strong.
Michelle is aware that i have spoken to you but doesnt know that i have spoken to you recently. This is because she understood why i needed to speak to you but was a bit upset that i couldnt speak to her about it,as her thoughtswere the same as yours and that is what she had been telling me. I feel im now going behind her back but this helps me to deal properly and know how to act towards my parents. It can only be good for our relationship.
I am going to email my mum, as i know it is her who calls. My Dad is too stuborn and i really dont want to speak to him now in any case. I dont know how to tell them in person without sounding rude. So i think an email is best. She will probably think that is rude too so im no overly bother because i cant win.
I was going to say:
Thank you for your call, sorry i missed it. We are both fine but really need some time to deal with the situation and try to move on.
I will be in touch when were ready.
Thank you for your card and support.
What do you think? I didnt want to say that we are not taking calls or emails because we are and they might know that.
That sounds good, Nick. You may just want to leave out the "sorry I missed it" part. Although saying that normally to anyone else is being polite and thoughtful, to your parents it will translate as you are at fault for not picking up their call. Besides, that it's a good email. Now, hopefully, they will give you both some space.
OK thanks Kate
I can see there view being that we can talk to other people but not them. We will see.
Dont you think that my dad not getting in contact with me is really bad. it shouldnt matter what has happened before he should at least email to see how i am or offer his support. My mum may take things to far but at least she is trying to support in her own way.
He did sign the card but that doesnt mean anything to me.
It is sad that your father is putting his feelings about your relationship issues ahead of your needs. He seems to feel it's more important to hold a grudge than to reach out over the loss of his grandchild. I'm sorry you have to deal with his lack of support at such a bad time.
It depends on how you feel about it. It is perfectly understandable, given the circumstances, that you cancel, if you wish to. If not, then go. Just be prepared to deal with invasive behavior. If you prepare yourself emotionally and practice your responses to your family's comments and questions, you should be ok.
It sounds like your mother is trying to make you feel guilty for not making her the center of attention. And your sister has become part of the dysfunction in the family and now has the job of spokesperson for your mother. Your mother is perfectly capable of letting you know she is upset, but she makes her feelings known to your sister, who in turn takes it on herself to make sure you are informed so you feel adequately guilty.
What they are doing is part of the dysfunction of the family. You see it because you are healthy emotionally. They do not have any insight so they keep attempting to manipulate you and get you to do what they want you to, which is make them the center of your life.
It is hard to balance a relationship with them when they will not let you be your own person. They are always going to try to make what they feel the priority in the family. Your sister has gone along with this and is now enmeshed in the situation, so she is going to be of no help to you. Your only hope with her is that she might gain insight on her own and see what your parents are doing.
The best way to deal with what your mother is doing is to ignore it. Let her be the one who brings it up to you. If you acknowledge what your sister said to you then you are rewarding what your mother is doing. If your mother does approach you and let you know she felt hurt, then tell her you did what you could but do not accept blame. You can say something along the lines of "I'm sorry you feel I did not do enough for you." and then let it go. The point is to let her take responsibility for her own feelings and not let her dump them on you.
It's odd that the system won't let you accept. We have many clients from South Africa and it's usually no issue. You may want to contact the moderators and let them know you are having a problem. They can process an accept for you if you cannot do it yourself.
What you told your sister is fine. In the future, you may just let her know that if your mother has something to say she can call herself.
Just to let you know, I am going to report your problem to customer service so they can help you accept your answer. They need to know if there are problems with the system so they can address them.
It sounds like your mother is more involved than she needs to be with your situation. You are an adult and do not need checked up on all the time. If she does have business with you, such as something you need to know about family or a certain situation that is an emergency, then it is perfectly fine for her to contact you while you are away. But otherwise, it is reasonable for her to make sure you got there safely then leave you alone the rest of the trip.
Next time you need to travel, you may want to leave her out of it as much as you can. Buy your own ticket, let her know when you will be gone, and tell her you only intend on contacting her when you arrive and that is all. If she tries to contact you for a non emergency situation, then either ignore it or say I'm fine and that is all. If she tries to contact Michelle to do the same thing, ask Michelle to respond in the same way. That way, you can set boundaries with your mother. Otherwise, she will still try to control your situation each time you leave.
It is not typical to involve your mother in your travel plans, but since she was already involved because she got you a stand by ticket, then it would be hard to shut her out after that. You may want to keep her completely out of your plans next time. Make your own arrangements so she is not involved at all. That way, you can keep it all to yourself and if she tries to butt in, you can ignore her.
You're welcome! I did not receive the accept. You may want to check with the moderators or customer service to try again.
Oh, thanks for the clarification. I did not know your mother works the airlines.
In that case, it is a bit harder to keep your activities away from her if you need to fly. But there still needs to be some level of boundaries between you both. Even through she is aware that you are going away, a simple email saying you are fine is plenty. There is no need to contact you further from there. If she does, you can let her know that you will speak to her when you get home and let Michelle know to do the same.
I imagine, just as you said, that your parent's will not like your move to South Africa. It is going to give them less control over you. Moving will create a natural boundary and that will make getting to you and violating your privacy much harder. Unfortunately, they do not appear to be there for you but instead for themselves. That will make it hard to tell them.
You may just want to be blunt with them. As I recall, you mentioned that you have brought moving up before so they may not be surprised by your announcement. But either way, you can say to them that you and Michelle are leaving on such and such date and plan on saying goodbye before that. Keep it simple and unemotional as you can. If they become hostile or upset, say I'm sorry you feel that way and leave. You want to set a boundary with them that says "this is my life and my decision". They may try to convince you otherwise, but as long as you set the boundary, there is nothing they can do.
That is understandable. You are always fine setting the boundaries with your mother wherever you feel most comfortable. If you feel that no contact is needed at all when you go away, then that is fine. She really does not need to know anything. Michelle will contact her if something is wrong or there is something she needs to know. You can always let your mother know that and then tell her you are not going to be responding to emails. You may also want to set a limit on her contacting Michelle. Make it clear that only emergency situations need contact (hopefully, she will not abuse that and deem everything an emergency, but you can cross that bridge when you come to it).
It sounds like your father can hold a grudge. What seems most important to your parents is how they feel about everything and not how anyone else feels. And if your father feels hurt, he is going to carry it as far as he can, or until you give in and give him what he wants. But keeping your distance like you did was great. It is telling him that he will not get his way, which breaks the behavioral pattern of him being slighted (real or imaginary) and "punishing" you for it by giving you the cold shoulder. It's like training a puppy (I don't mean to compare your father to a puppy, but just for the example). You have to show it was is acceptable and what is not. "Training" your father involves not rewarding his cold behavior towards you by giving in and paying attention to it.
It may seem cold to tell them about your move in a factual way, but you do not have to leave afterwards unless they give you problems about it. If they react well or try to, stay and talk about it. Reward their reaction if it is good by giving more. You only have to set a boundary if they try to be invasive or controlling.
This will get easier with time and practice. It is hard to grow up with this kind of behavior and know when they are crossing boundaries or not. But you seem to have the hang of it so you should be fine.
I would tell her only if she contacts you again while you are away. But if you feel she already got the message, then it would be overkill to repeat it, making you look bad.
I do not think you are acting harshly. It may seem so because you are so used to having them invade your lift that setting boundaries may seem cruel. But in a healthy family, these issues would not occur. Your parents would "parent" themselves and not need to constantly control you. They would respect your privacy and the fact that once you got married, Michelle is first in your life. There would not be the assumption that you spend all that time with them. Instead, they would ask you and if you were busy, they would respect it.
So all you are doing is trying to bring the situation to a healthy point where everyone can react in normal ways instead of invading privacy, crossing boundaries and holding grudges. There is nothing wrong with being the healthy one in the family; you may just feel like you don't fit in, which is good at this point!
It has been a while, hope you are well.
I just wanted to ask your opinion about a problem I'm having at the moment. Since the issue i had with my parents after the miscarriage and had an argument with my Dad, i haven't really spoken to him. I speak to my mum and we do see them but he is always off when we see them. He may argue that i too am ignoring him and not making effort to speak to him, but im fed up with doing that. He is acting how he did when he argued with his sisters and didn't talk to them for 10 years. Its just stressing me out and i don't know what to do. I dont want to hold it against my mum but im not interesting in seeing them.
Its been about 7 months and i haven't really spoken to him.
The reason for my question is, Michelle is pregnant again and this time the 8 week scan has showed everything as normal. We are so happy and im pleased we dont have to go through he miscarriage problems again. we still are not out of the woods until 12 weeks but things look alot more positive. Michelle has told her twin sister, her parents and her close friend. She doesnt want to tell my parents until 12 weeks. i understand her reasoning but i just dont feel right about not telling my parents as she has told hers. She feels they ruined things last time and doesnt want it to happen again. I do agree and i suppose deep down she is right and the thing im worried about is the issue if they know we have told other people a long time before we told them.
What do you think? If my Dad acts like he normally does when we eventually do tell them and doesnt feel like he can put things behind him, i dont think i"ll be able to deal with that. Iwont speak to him again. how he reacts also makes me nervous.
Congratulations on the good news!
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Hi Nick,It sounds like your parents are too involved with your life. When you are married, your parents need to take second position to your wife and children. And it does not sound like your parents are doing that. They seem to keep insisting on being considered first. For example, they want you to see them rather than spend time celebrating Michelle's birthday which basically says they feel they are more important than Michelle and what she wishes to do on her birthday. What should happened instead is that they ask you what your plans are for her birthday then they work around what you have planned.What you can do is start setting limits. If they get upset, then that is their choice. You need to put your wife first, especially with a child on the way. So if your parents want you to come over for Christmas Eve, you can say we can't make it and stick to that. If they ask why, say you have your own plans. Then don't say what they are. If they persist, tell them that you don't feel they need to know and that you will see them on whatever date you can make it. If you have to, hang up. They may become upset, but if you don't set limits, they will keep butting into your life.It sounds like your sister is agreeing with your parents because she has been trained by your parents to agree with them. She may not be able to go against them because of the guilt they put on her, so she goes along with them. It may be the only way she feels she can get approval from them.Your parents and sister may not be able to accept your boundaries because they want what they want and are putting themselves first. It could be that they have personality issues or they are just self centered. Putting boundaries on them is going to make them upset because they are not getting what they want. But unless you do tell them no, they will continue as they have been, insisting that they get their own way.Kate
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It can be difficult to go against your parents because you naturally want them to accept and love you. But when they make their acceptance and love based on you going along with what they want all the time, then there is no way to get what you need unless you give in every time. The most difficult choice is to say no to their conditions, but in order to gain your own self respect you may have to. Otherwise, they will keep pressuring you to do what they want you to do in order to be accepted.
If they question why we had people over on xmas eve (Swedish xmas) rather than go down to them, am i justified in saying that "we are adults and don't need to justify or give them a reason. We made a decision and as parents who are supposed to love us they should respect that."
We have already said that Michelle is working and we are not going there after. Its too much to drive 2 hours there in the evening and then 2 hours back.
I dont know if they will ask or if they will react but history suggests thats what they will be thinking or say to us.
I think it comes down to learning to deal with them.
Yes, that is a good thing to say to your parents. They need to understand that you are an adult with his own life now. You have your wife and (soon) new baby to care for and they will need to take a step back. Telling them that you want that respect is not easy, but they need to know that boundary is there. They will probably fight it and that won't be pleasant. But keep to it and you will eventually get them to see that you deserve to be your own person.
Hope you had a good christmas!
Im really trying to but the boundaries in place between us and my parents so they can learn but your right that I feel like im coming up against resistance.
It feels wrong and like im doing something wrong. It stresses me out, I get anxious and can describe the feeling but its like anxiety in my stomach.
Mt parents had organised a family and friends party a while ago and we were told about it. Also told that we didn’t need to come but they wanted of course to tell us. I told them it was Michelles bday and we wouldn’t be going. They didn’t realise it was her bday, they thought it was on the 30th. Michelle said she didn’t mind and we would come on the 29th in the afternoon after she had seen her sister in the morning. Maybe there was a break in communication but we were under the impression it was an afternoon event.
My mum told us we could stay the night. I told her a couple of weeks ago that we wouldn’t be staying the night. She phoned me last week to ask why we were not staying the night and was there a reason why. I told her that we had made the decision and we were not staying. She kept asking and pushing for a reason. I said that she should be happy that we are coming down, especially on Michelles bday and not angry that we are not staying.
Fast forward to last night…
Michelle emailed my mum to ask if we could bring anything and what time they expected us. She replied saying that everyone is getting there at 7 but we could come earlier if we wanted.
Michelle was annoyed because we didn’t know it was and evening event, and the purpose of going was to see my family and family friends. We were not going to now drive 2 hrs there stay for 2 hours and drive back.
We could go early but that we would mean spending time with my parents and Michelle didn’t want to do that on her bday.
I feel caught in the middle again, but I phoned my mum this morning to say I wasn’t aware it was so late and we wont be joining because its too far to drive for a few hours. She said we could come before but I said its michelles bday and we were coming to see everyone, had I of know it was so late then I would have agreed to go in the first place.
She didn’t say anything but I could tell she was upset. Am I wrong or reading to much into it. I think we should go for the day and see people in the evening but its not what Michelle wants. I think she should make the effort.
Im sure your help as always will make me feel better
I suppose it trying to gain the skills (if thats the right word) to dealing with my parents.
Im worried that they are expecting one thing and now we are not going. They feel like we dont make effort with them. And i can see there point that we should be making the effort. Am i completely wrong? Should i be telling Michelle that we should go?
We have only seen them one, on xmas day?
I know michelle will think differently so i dont know what to do.
Also Michelle mentioned to my sister that we had a late party on xmas eve. I told her not too but she did anyway. We left at 9pm from our family friends on xmas day. When i spoke to my mum she made a comment that they stayed later than us on xmas day but not as late as you had your party on xmas eve. This felt like she was saying that because we stayed late on xmas eve with friends, we should have done the same on xmas day with them.
It feels like Michelle knew it would cause problems and thats why she said something.
Happy New Year!
I just wanted to ask you something. I spoke to my mum last week, my Dad doesn't call me anymore as he is obviously still stubborn and wants a relationship on his terms. He expects me to come to him and im not going to do that. I have a great life and if he doesn't want to be part of it then thats his problem. I wont run to him, i know he thinks he is in the right, as do i, but im not giving in to what he wants. Maybe that is wrong and maybe i am being as stubborn as he is?
My question really was, i feel like i should call my parents as i haven't spoken in a week. i feel like they expect me to call but that makes me not want to. i might also be completely wrong and they don't think anything of it?
I suppose it is just trying to live my life on my terms and doing whats best for me and Michelle and our baby (in 4 months!).
Whenever i face something im always looking to see how they will view it or react rather than thinking for myself.
I really want to have the strength to tell them, especially my father that the way he is acting is not acceptable and i don't want anymore contact with them until he changes how he treats me. I think that will mean i will need to justify myself and we will have a big conversation about all the incidents over the years and i cant see that being a positive outcome.
I think that leaving things as they are and working on myself to try and deal with them is a better scenario.
Hope you are well!
Everything has been quite good for the last few months, it helped being away etc. Rather than inflence how my parents and sister are i am trying to adjust the way i react to them. Just some more advice.
The baby is due in a few weeks so it will be interesting how thats going to go so im sure ill have lots more questions for you!!
It is my Dad's b-day in a few days and we have got him a joint present (my sister, michelle and I). My sister just text to ask if we could meet to give her the present as i am having it delivered to me. She then added unless i had any plans so see dad myself. I dont know whether i am reading to much into this and if its me, but i get the feeling she believes i should see him on his b-day. i irgnored and replied that i could see her on thursday. im not sure if this is the best way to handle, or address her question of whether i had plans to see him. i could make an excuse that i want to be near michelle incase see goes into labour (which is the case) but i dont want to justify. Even if Michelle wasnt pregnant i wouldnt make plans to see him.
I am really trying to stop thinking about how things effect my parents and try not to worry about what they think, but its really difficult. I cant help thinking about what they are thinking. I want to tell them all the things that im upset about. I just dont want them to turn it around and then say all the things that upsets them.
For example, even if my Dad is annoyed at me, i dont feel that justifies him not contacting me when Michelle had a mis-carrage. I know we told them not to contact us and we said that we knew they were there if we needed, but even after i would have expected some contact for my dad.
I just feel things will get worse when our baby arrives. I feel like they wont be a help but will make effort to see us because they want to see the baby.
For example, they haven't contact Michelle to offer any support which i think is wrong. My mum has told me that if we need anything then we can contact them and ask. I feel like i am a family with Michelle and she should accept Michelle as a daughter and go to her and ask her, not come to me.
Its the same when we arrange anything, they don't speak to Michelle they ask me. Michelle told them that they should arrange the admin things with her, but my mum said she didnt want to because then she would never speak to me. Michelle said to me after, then she can speak to you about other things.
Im just getting frustrated and feeling really bad trying to keep everyone happy. i dont know what to do.
Hope you had a good bank holiday.
Thank you for your answer. Michelle has told me that she is the wife and is a lot better at handeling the admin in our relationship. So she expects my mum to come to her and not going running to me everytime there is an issue or something need to be arranged. I dont think my parents will want to do that as they dont see us as equal and dont see us as a family. That is just my opinion and i also think that they come and visit to see me and will come to see there grandchild (when he's born) and not visit us as a family. it like they cant accept that, im sure they would be just as happy if they saw me on my own!!
Thank you for your reply.
I'm really trying to get things sorted mentally before the baby arrives and to put Michelle wishes first.
She has not received any correspondence from my parents during the pregnancy, they have come to visit a couple of times but they have not called or emailed her to see how she is. They have asked me and told me to say hi but they haven't gone or contacted her.she is upset about it and now doesn't want them to come to the hospital.she said they can wait to see the baby when we are back home.
I don't want to tell my parents that and don't know what to do.
Thanks! always rate you as excellent!
It makes me nervous to confront my parents face to face as I think this will end up in an argument and with them throwing things back about the things they feel we have done wrong. I don't know why I am scared to do this?? if Michelle does something I don't like then I tell her, but for some reason I cant with my parents. This obviously upsets Michelle. I have thought about writing a letter to my parents or emailing them to explain everything, what they do wrong and how we can go forward. I just don't want to say 'its my way or the highway' but maybe I do?
I'm 31 years old and I'm worrying about this, life shouldn't be like that.
Thanks so much Kate
I guess to simplify no matter what I do it probably wont be right, so I should do what is right for me and hope they accept that. if they don't that is their problem. that way I remain in control.
I just feel I need to justify my actions all the time, maybe that's not their fault but something I feel I need to do. for example If I tell the to come when the baby is back from the hospital I feel I need to give them a reason why.
or I feel like telling them that my father not contacting me when Michelle had a miss carriage as well as not contacting me throughout the pregnancy is not acceptable.
Their answer will be that I haven't involved them or contacted him.
I just feel lost. I feel like writing to them with those reasons but I know it will end in a tit for tat argument and that's not what I want.
Im ready to take a stand and be stronger. It sounds very week as i'm a grown man but I get nervous and get this feeling in my stomach!
I spoke with my mum today and she wanted to text Michelle to say that she can give birth now because she was off for the next two weeks. Obviously this was a joke, but she wasn't sure if michelle would find it funny. I said that doesn't matter, but she doesn't need to make a joke, just phone or text her to find out how she is!
She did text michelle and said: Hi Michelle, I spoke to Nick today and he said you are well. I am off for the next two weeks so you can have the baby now.
Michelle doesn't want to reply, not out of spite but because my mum didn't ask her how she was, or good luck with everything etc.
I told Michelle she should do what she feels is right and if she doesn't want to reply then she shouldn't.
Michelle gave birth to Christian a few days ago!
We have been in hospital for a while because Michelle lost alot of blood and had problems with her legs.
My parents are annoyed at me!
I'll try and keep it short. Michelle gave birth at 11 am on Friday, she had problems and we had to stay where we were for several hours and didn't get moved to a ward because that needed to monitor her.
I text my parent's to let them know and that I will call them to let them know they can visit. We were busy with everything that was happening and I text them to say that we were not seeing visitors that day as Michelle wasn't up to our and was under observation. Which was the truth. We saw no one not even her twin sister. I rang my sister later that evening to explain and tools her to speak to my parents as I couldn't at the moment. I did text them I just couldn't speak to them. I again text them the next morning to say that Michelle was still under observation but hopefully they could visit between 4 and 7. I will ring later.
I got text message asking for updates but the want any. I phoned them at 4 pm. They were angry that I hadn't let them come the day he was born and said I should of let them come and I could have brought him out in the corridor. I said I wasn't prepared to do that and they should respect my decision. My mum said she wasn't there to see Michelle she was there to see thebaby. I thought that was rude and the phone was passesd to my sister. We had a long chat and she respected my decision but didn't agree.
We left it and they come for 10 minutes and saw him.paid no interest in Michelle really or how she was.
Today has been a nightmare so far. There was confusion around them visiting today. This has been sorted and they are on their way.please reply quickly if you can. Michelle sister is bringing us food. I didn't realise they were eating here I thought they were just dropping it off. I told my parent s that they were just dropping and not to bring food so now when they get here and we are eating I think it's going to be a big problem!
I can't deal with this. They will say I should have told them and now what are they going to do? etc
Please help fast
Thanks Kate and thank you for the quick reply.
They didn't say anything about the food not sure if they thought anything but I don't really care.
I'm just so stressed with the situation. And they think they are not doing anything wrong and that I am putting my foot down and pushing them away.
I told them today that if they want to see Christian (baby) then they have to show that they care about her and have a relationship with her. I told them that she runs the diary for my family and when they want to see Christian or is then it goes through her. I will tell you the story of why this came about tomorrow. It may be a long question so if you spend more time let me know.
Tomorrow turned into a few weeks. If running a business wasnt busy enough, having a newborn takes up all of your time!
I wanted to talk to you about a couple of things and to get your opinion. I really dont mind if you critise me or tell me im wrong im just grateful for the feedback.
On the day that my parent and sister came to visit, (my last questions) i had text my mum asking her that if she wanted to come could she please ask Michelle as it was nice if she was inckuded and that we dont always need to go through me. I didnt want michelle to feel excluded especially at this time. i wanted to give to a transcript of the conversation and wanted your honest opinion.
So order is my message then my mums:
- think nice sleeps may be behind us for a while! Much was great last night and managed to get a good few hours.let Michelle know if you want to see him or come up in sure she will appreciate the support. X
- Hi We like to support you Can we come later today? X
- Speak to Michelle she will like it coming from you straight to her
- just got your text. I didnt ask michelle because i didnt want her to feel obliged, not sure whats wrong with making plans with you, especially as she is so unwell. Also i text her twice and she hasnt replied. Shall we come? X
- Please don't feel like that.you don't need to make plans with me. I prefer you to make plans with her, even if she doesn't reply straight away it let's her know you are thinking about her and are there I'd she needs. She needs the support, even if it's some food or putting on a load of washing or changing the baby whilst she sleeps. I know you will do all of those things. But going straight to her and not through me builds a good relationship with her you and Christian. She wants you to see the baby as much as you want but if she can't reply or do it then it means it's not the right time. She will get back to you, it's about knowing she has that support from you and not via me. Especially as her mum is not here
- Thats really nice to know. I didnt realise she wanted that and i will be there whenever she needs me. Now i know i will speak to her about whatever i can do. For now shall we come at 6 and bring dinner? I will text michelle now x
= Today is not necessary we are going to get organised and catch up on some much needed sleep, but thank you x
- Not sure why you didnt say that in the first place? Today was also about us meeting christian properly as we havnt spent time with him, like you said to bond, and i am working now for 7 days. That is why i called to explain and talk which you dont seem to want to do x
- Because I didn't know and I wanted you to ask those things to Michelle. She has no idea I'm texting you and I don't want her to know. She can't always answer straight away. Why don't you call her, I didn't get your call? Not just about christian but supporting her too. That will go a long way and you having a great relationship with Christian
From those messages i then got a message from my sister! She at their house.
Mum just showed me your texts. Sorry, but craziness is going on... all in text messages?? I asked u if we could come and you said 'no idea' when you clearly knew it was 'no', why didn't you just say that in the first place?? Mum did what you wanted and replied with a lovely text and then you responded 'not necessary' for us to come. That's mind games and control and makes me angry, especially because we havn't even met christian properly yet. And when all mum has done is do whatever you both want, waiting patiently each day to hear from you and desperate to meet her grandson... It's obviously not that you want to sleep because Bianca is coming over... Call me if you want to talk otherwise let me know when YOU are ready for me to meet my nephew properly.
I then called sorted things out and they visited
I think that is the key thing, i want her to include Michelle and not go to me all the time. But by going to Michelle sometimes she doesnt answer to reply and then my mum contacts me. So now she says that she is making the efoort but not getting anything back. I told her that it shouldnt be about getting things back as Michelle is busy and its nothing personal she will get back when she can. For example Michelle phoned her back the other day and we arranged to go and visit them. We told them that we would come for fathers day but we just wanted to pop in and not arranged anything special as he is 3 weeks old and we dont know what time we will stay till. We didnt want to commit to dinner at 6 for example and then arrive at 1 and want to go at 5. Does that make us bad people?? My mum expected us to put them first sometimes and arrange to stay for dinner. She said we could sleep and rest there and feed Christian there so didnt need to go home. I had already said that and Michelle confirmed when she spoke on the phone.
They seemed ok with everything and we went down there. We were there for a few hours and did have something to eat whilst we were there. Michelle didnt like it because my mum was all over the baby which was to be expected but when we said we were going to feed him she would hold him and say "you dont need a feed now do you, your quite happy' i said i was going to change him and my mum said :you dont need changing do you" (in a cute voice to him) When we were eating dinner he started getting agitated because he was hungry, Michelle was eating and my mum said she would hold him so Michelle could finish her food. Michelle said dont worry she will feed him as he is hungry. My mum got up and said dont worry i will get him. Michelle said no i will because he needs a feed. My mum said its ok i dont mind and Michelle said you cant take him i need to feed him so he needs to be with me. My mum took him anyway, picked him up and said, ' its ok i;ll hold you mummy just wants to finish her food"
Michelle left it finished her dinner and fed him.
Im annoyed that i didnt say anything but i dont know if i would have been wrong??
There is more but i can continue in the next post
Thank you. That is what I thought and i'm annoyed at myself for not saying something at the time and sticking up for myself and saying what I think is right.
So the next issue was yesterday!
When we had gone to my parents my mum informed us that she was getting all of the family together on 21st July and asked if we could make it. Michelle told her that she thought she had a baby shower on that day and wasn't sure if we could make it. She will email and let her know once we have checked our diary.
When we got home Michelle emailed my mum to say that she had a baby shower on the sat not the sunday but we also had good friends visiting from South Africa so we might not be able to come. She will let her know nearer the time.
My mum called me yesterday to say that she was upset that we weren't coming to the family get together on the 21st. I told her that we hadn't said no we just need to confirm that our friends are coming as we may be going away with them.
My mum wasn't happy with this as she said that it would be nice if we put them first sometimes and that we should cancel the baby shower if it was on that day or tell our friends that we cant see them because we have a family get together.
I told her im sorry she feels like that ( got that from you!) and essentially it is not up to her to make our decisions.
She then went on to say she has tried to phone michelle and she has not answered etc. She brought up a few other incidents like Christmas where we didn't stay the night. I told her that was because michelle was pregnant and we didn't want to stay. Also we don't need to justify why we are not coming or not staying. She wasn't happy with this and said that she is my mother and I shouldn't say that to her, and its not very nice. Essentially tell her why we cant make it. I said im not going to do that because she will judge us and that is not her decision.
So on to today. Michelle sent my mum and email last night saying that if she had an issue with her previous email about not coming to the family event then she should speak to her, and not speak to her via me. My mum phoned michelle this morning and michelle didn't pick up. She has asked me to phone but I don't want to.
My mum thinks that I should put them first and not the friends as we had not made def plans. She said it feels like we are holding out, so if we don't work out seeing our friends then we can go to them. Rather than committing to them straight away.
Also I don't know what to do about phoning my mum. Michelle asked that my mum contacts her and not me and then my mum did and phoned Michelle. Now Michelle wants me to phone my mum but I don't want to.
This just gets worse!
My mum wants me or michelle to phone rather than text or email as they can be read wrong.
She just emailed Michelle to say that they have moved the family event to 11th August because i said that we can make it in August.
I at no point said i could make that date! i would never have confirmed that i could make that date without checking with Michelle. We have also no even said we cant make the 21st July just that we would let them know.
I just sent an email saying exactly that.
Hope you are well and enjoying the sunshine!
Last question I explained about the family gathering, which was changed because we couldn't make it. As I explained that wasn't the case and we were not consulted on the changing of the date to the 11th August. I think my mum arranges the date for the 11th and expects us to put them first and attend.
As I said to them last time I will let them know.
We are free on that weekend and we can attend but Michelle doesn't want to.
The reason is, I was away this weekend ( Thurs - Sun ) and she received no offers of help or effort from my parents. She therefore doesn't feel like going there to satisfy them. This puts me in an awkward situation as I would like to go and don't know what to say to my parents. I do understand where she is coming from put also she wouldn't want there help if they had have offered. Also my mum may have been at work. They have also told us that they are there and only have to ask if we need their help.
Im not sure what to do.
Hope you are well.
My mum called me today and wanted to meet up. She thinks there are things we need to talk about. She wanted to meet at my sisters. I said that if it was just me then why does my sister have to be there? And also that if there are issues then I want Michelle there too.
She didn’t have a problem with this. We then started to discuss a few issues that I had with my Father. I told her that having a conversation about things that went on in the past is probably not going to work. We will not agree on things and that I am sure they think they are right as do we. I said that every time there is an event in our lives they make a way to be about them and make an issue. This has been from the moment we told them we are engaged through to having Christian. She said that we need to talk about these things and that we all need to change. I didn’t except that and said that and talking will just end in a disagreement as we won’t agree as I can’t accept that is how things should have been handled.
I then said that the way my dad has acted over the past 18 month is not acceptable. It’s not acceptable that when my wife has a miscarriage he didn’t call me, or during her pregnancy he didn’t call or email to see how she or I was, if I was looking forward to being a dad. He hasn’t even called since the birth to ask me if I’m enjoying being a dad.
We saw all the family at the weekend, we didn’t speak, he shook my hand when we met and when we left my uncle helped carrying the car seat to the car etc.
I left it as, if they have an issue then we can sit down as adults (the four of us and discuss it) my sister does not need to mediate.
Thank you for your answer.
That is what I was thinking so its good to hear. The conversation was over the phone so there was no involvement from my dad.
I'm going to email them to tell them if they want to meet then we ( 4 of us ) can sit down somewhere neutral and discuss, which I hope they would accept as it shows they want to talk.
We can talk about the past and it might not be a bad thing to let them know how much they hurt us. I just feel like they wont change and we will be in the same situation again because they will not accept the boundaries we set.
I am willing to try though, as is Michelle. But I really hope they respect us enough to accept the new boundaries and how we want to be treated.
Unfortunately from experience with my parents if you give them a finger they take the whole arm so i'm a little reluctant to give in a little otherwise they take it as everything is our fault.
I'm just going to have to be very strong about how I handle the situation. I just cant see things changing. I can see us having a meeting and them thinking that everything is fine and then going back to how it was. I hope im wrong. They will never not want to have that involvement in my life. They will go back to phoning all the time and expecting us to be involved and share everything with them. Then becoming rude when we don't. I have an issue with their mentality and that just doesn't change overnight.
Hi Kate,Hope you are well!My parents have come to visit us in South Africa so you probably knew you would hear from me!I had been anxious for a few weeks leading up to there visit because i knew that there would be some issue at some point. They arrived a few days ago. Everything has been ok, there have been the comments and remarks and opinions which Michelle and I have let slide, for the sake of harmony but last night ended up in an argument. I am again feeling stressed, a bit caught in the middle and definitely don't feel like i can now talk to them because it will be another argument. They will not see my point, and i certainly won't see theres.This was the argument, 'i will try and keep it brief!:We had leant my car to my parents so they didn't have to rent one, they were going to go to Cape Town for the day and sightsee. We looked after my sisters baby so they could enjoy the day. I told them the way to go, where not to go and programmed the destination in the satnav, i also filled the car with petrol. Unfortunately i inputted the wrong destination by mistake and they ended up in the wrong place, and it end up being about a 1.5hr detour!When they phoned i directed them, and they got to Cape Town. My sister gave instructions on her babies sleep time etc and told us that he goes to bed at 8 but they wouldn't be home anywhere near that late. However by 9pm they still weren't home and it was dark so me and Michelle were both very worried, because i thought maybe they got lost again and it was dark and travelling in South Africa, when you don't know where your going is dangerous. They eventually arrived at 9.30pm, and we asked "where have you been" we were really worried" To which my sister replied, what do you mean, we've been in Cape Town, we would have been sooner but you lead us the wrong way. Then both me and michelle said why didn't you try and call. My Dad had a pay as you go phone that had no credit and that was their only way of communicating. So we said when you knew you were going to be late why didn't you find a way of calling, a restaurant or internet cafe. Michelle said to my sister that we had her child so what if we needed to get hold of you, this is South Africa, we wouldn't have been so worried in England but you need to be carful. She stormed off and went to bed. We stayed and talked to my parent which ended in shouting, Michelle then said, she is not used to this, it her house and she doesn't want arguing and she just put Christian to sleep and he should be hearing screaming or arguing. My mum got really angry, and michelle went to bed crying. My mum took offence and michelle got up again to explain why she said she is not used to this. So we all went to bed, my Dad had stay quiet and was actually sensible, said he agreed that there should be no arguing. He also said he didn't realise how worried we would be and it was nice we cared and he apologised.I just again feel this stress in my stomach, they are the only people in my life that make me feel like this and I've had enough. I heard my parents arguing after last night, and my mum essentially telling my dad off! yet he was the only sensible calm one!I don't know what to do now, one thing i won't accept is arguing in front of my children, i had a whole childhood/teen years of that and both me and Michelle won't accept it in our house.