Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am very sorry to know about this situation. This is very frustrating indeed and unacceptable for this person to act out in such dysfunctional ways during your daughter's - family parties.
The fact that she is fine during one on one situations but behaves that way when around people in social gatherings could show her neediness to get attention, feel important and at the very center of things. These behaviors use to be rooted on core personal problems affecting the individual's personality, sense of self-worthiness and ability to share in healthy and acceptable ways.
One of the best ways to cope with it is by looking for a time when you all could seat together as a family and have a serious and gentle, open and honest dialogue with her, where you would discuss about this serious issue, sharing how you feel, and why you feel the way you do, assertively confronting these unacceptable behaviors, setting clear and healthy boundaries about them, for her to know how to better conduct herself during future gatherings or parties.
Then you would need to stick to your words, and in case she perpetuates the same pattern, you would need to assertively confront her behaviors in a private place away from the gathering, without delay, for her to know that you were serious and are not willing to allow such behaviors any more. This is a tough scenario, but it is real and necessary, and in case she does show having a hard time understanding and implementing these changes, showing respect, responsibility and maturity, then she would need to look for professional counseling support to work on the issues undermining her ability to play a healthy role in the family when under such circumstances.
Yes you are right, but this will be hard since my son in law(her son) is sensitive to any criticism about his mom. She seems to have some mental issues due to the fact that she repeats herself and says yes several times under her breath for no reason. She upsets my daughter so much and ruins things for her party. The mother in laws husband stays quiet and so does the son in law. They cope that way, but my husband(other grandfather) is hurt because of no photos of random passing baby around to get candid shots during celebrations.
I hear you, but I do believe that she doesn't think that she does anything wrond and would not seek help. Believe me when I say that I would be the bad guy with the family if I gently confronted her. The family stays quiet and seems to know that she may explode if angered
I see, then it is truly serious, since both, son and husband have been enabling her this much, and it would be unrealistic to expect any improvement here as long as such enabling gets perpetuated. It shows your daughter's son needs to work on his codependency issues a lot in order not to undermine and limit their marital and family relationships. As tough as t sounds, there is no way to do it pain free, because there are serious dysfunctional ways here, codependency is a serious addiction and without addressing it as such and working on rehabilitating from it, families could only build distorted and dysfunctional relationships - experiences, and I do not think your daughter wants to afford that at all, which would not only undermine the relationship with you but her own marriage and the children's well-being.
I cope staying away from her, but my husband complains of no interaction with the baby and I feel guilty. We end up not having fun. She rushes to the door to tell guests goodbye,. She doesn't even know them
I totally believe you, and confirm that you would be the bad guy in this story if the other adults involved do not take responsibility for this serious issue.
The good thing is that she lives out of town, but ruins celebrations even more from not seeing the baby more so her time with him is fast and furious
yES, i think it is the type of family that if they say it to her it's fine, but anyone else says something to her, then it's not
Thus depending on the more or less codependent approach taken here, the situation would evolve into something even worse or not, and it does not depend on one person, but mostly on her son, your daughter and how you all address it.
wHAT DO YOU SUGGEST THEN?
Right, it is very codependent, and that enables and promote further dysfunction while please egos and undermining what is healthy. My biggest concern here is not about the parties, but how such unhealthy, codependent approach would continue to undermine and distortedly shape your daughter's marital and family situation, that is very sad and concerning.
Here the ones responsible to address this situation first are your daughter and her husband. Whenever it is about their parties, they choose what they want to make of them. Whenever it is about you and your husband, parties you organize, you have the right to set boundaries and make of them what you want, then your daughter, her husband and parents should be very aware of the rules and boundaries they would need to respect in they want to participate. Again, this is tough, but there is no way to create a healthy and fulfilling experience together without this hard work.
If your daughter wants to afford the consequences from it whenever it is about their parties, then she has the right then the responsibility to do so, and there is nothing anybody could do to change that since it mostly depends on how she handles it with her husband.
I suggest marriage counseling for them to discuss about this issue, the codependency and how it impacts their lives beyond family parties.
Ok Thank you. I will have to give this some thought. My daughter is pregnant again, so this is stressful and a delicate situation. .
I see, you are right, this is not easy but tough, and it is also true that the sooner this serious codependency issue gets addressed, the better, since time would only reinforce whatever healthy or dysfunctional already exists there.
You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust.