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Thread: Need Advice from Seasoned Women about MIL's

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    Need Advice from Seasoned Women about MIL's

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    Hello All. I have joined this in an effort to find advice and support from women who have dealt with exactly my circumstances. I think it is always so hard to feel like our family or friends understand what we are going through. Hopefully you all agree. In particular, I am struggling with what I believe is a very self-centered trait.

    I love my future MIL. She is helpful, generous, and genuinely loves me and my son (her future step grandson, but she calls him her grandson already). She does so much for us, especially when my SO can't. But, talking to her while he is deployed is killing me. It makes me angry. It's making terrible qualities come up in me. I know it is her baby boy, and it must be difficult to know he could be in harms way. I try to call and check on her, but it just ends up with me feeling like i'm seething underneath. The conversation is always about how much she is struggling with his departure, how she didn't even get off the couch, etc etc. Only asks if he's told me anything about how he is feeling. She thinks they have this special bond, yet expects me to deliver personal information that she could have asked him about when they are in contact. Never concerned about my emotional state. I am just feeling such huge freaking resentment towards this woman who has never done anything wrong to me. She has only done the total opposite. Can anyone tell me if they experienced this too, and how the hell to stop myself from being such a terrible person??
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    #2
    Hello and welcome! you aren't a terrible person first of all. We all deal with things very differently, and I think that's the basis of your problem. Your mother in law is struggling, and I'm sure that you are too (about your fiance being gone, not about your MIL lol) How long has your fiance been in the military? Is this a first deployment for him? I'm just wondering because my guess is that she's never had to deal with someone else going through the same thing. She is used to being able to talk about it without the person on the other side of the phone knowing what she's going through.

    I think if I were in that situation, I would start by telling her how you're struggling too when she starts to talk about how she can't get off the couch etc etc. If she still ignores your feelings, then you should probably have a talk with her, and explain to her that you guys both need to support each other, and that you're feeling it's kind of one sided, and you don't want to keep being upset by that, you're hurting too.

    My guess is that, based on how helpful and generous and loving that it sounds like she is, that she doesn't realize she's doing what she's doing. She'll probably be embarrassed and feel silly that she didn't see it sooner.

    I hope that you're able to get through to her, and fix things

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gaelicmomma View Post
    Hello All. I have joined this in an effort to find advice and support from women who have dealt with exactly my circumstances. I think it is always so hard to feel like our family or friends understand what we are going through. Hopefully you all agree. In particular, I am struggling with what I believe is a very self-centered trait.

    I love my future MIL. She is helpful, generous, and genuinely loves me and my son (her future step grandson, but she calls him her grandson already). She does so much for us, especially when my SO can't. But, talking to her while he is deployed is killing me. It makes me angry. It's making terrible qualities come up in me. I know it is her baby boy, and it must be difficult to know he could be in harms way. I try to call and check on her, but it just ends up with me feeling like i'm seething underneath. The conversation is always about how much she is struggling with his departure, how she didn't even get off the couch, etc etc. Only asks if he's told me anything about how he is feeling. She thinks they have this special bond, yet expects me to deliver personal information that she could have asked him about when they are in contact. Never concerned about my emotional state. I am just feeling such huge freaking resentment towards this woman who has never done anything wrong to me. She has only done the total opposite. Can anyone tell me if they experienced this too, and how the hell to stop myself from being such a terrible person??
    Quote Originally Posted by JennyJennJenn View Post
    Hello and welcome! you aren't a terrible person first of all. We all deal with things very differently, and I think that's the basis of your problem. Your mother in law is struggling, and I'm sure that you are too (about your fiance being gone, not about your MIL lol) How long has your fiance been in the military? Is this a first deployment for him? I'm just wondering because my guess is that she's never had to deal with someone else going through the same thing. She is used to being able to talk about it without the person on the other side of the phone knowing what she's going through.

    I think if I were in that situation, I would start by telling her how you're struggling too when she starts to talk about how she can't get off the couch etc etc. If she still ignores your feelings, then you should probably have a talk with her, and explain to her that you guys both need to support each other, and that you're feeling it's kind of one sided, and you don't want to keep being upset by that, you're hurting too.

    My guess is that, based on how helpful and generous and loving that it sounds like she is, that she doesn't realize she's doing what she's doing. She'll probably be embarrassed and feel silly that she didn't see it sooner.

    I hope that you're able to get through to her, and fix things
    with JennyJennJenn
    One thing that struck me reading your post was the bolded bit - it sounds like you call and ask, "How are you doing" and she answers -- the missing link is that she is forgetting the reciprocal part of that conversation in which she would/should ask you the same. As much as it may seem the obvious response to some, there are those who just don't "get" that that is the expected flow of the conversation. Have you interjected with your own feelings about the things she has mentioned - things like, "I know what you mean, I feel......."? If so, what was her response?
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    #4
    I think JJJ's approach is solid.

    How often are you talking with her? Perhaps you could call a bit less, in addition to following JJJ's advice.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    Thank you so much for your advice. I agree, I don't think she knows she is doing it. The other part that gets me is I have given her A LOT of support during her divorce over the past year, and I'm feeling (probably wrongly) that she just loves having something to be sad about. So unfair of me .
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    Forgot to mention: he has been in for almost 4 years, this is his first extended deployment to a dangerous area. Previous deployments were never "scary", and always short. Today when I called her, I had texted her yesterday in response to a couple texts and just said "I'm sorry, I'm not trying to ignore you, just struggling today". So when we spoke, she told me about how hard yesterday was on her, blah blah, and I said "yeah, I know what you mean". She then asked me if my SO had said how he was feeling. Argh. Mind you, his duty station (when not deployed) is only 5 hours away, and she cries every single time he leaves. It is starting to feel like a competition of who loves him more, which is so ridiculous. I know first hand that a mother's love and the love of your "soulmate" are two totally different things. Please forgive me ladies, I'm being totally nasty. Just having this forum to vent I hope will make me better able to deal kindly with her. I'm feeling pretty immature and selfish.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Grey Mare View Post
    with JennyJennJenn
    One thing that struck me reading your post was the bolded bit - it sounds like you call and ask, "How are you doing" and she answers -- the missing link is that she is forgetting the reciprocal part of that conversation in which she would/should ask you the same. As much as it may seem the obvious response to some, there are those who just don't "get" that that is the expected flow of the conversation. Have you interjected with your own feelings about the things she has mentioned - things like, "I know what you mean, I feel......."? If so, what was her response?
    I agree with this, it could also be other than people not "getting" the expected flow of the conversation that she's just upset too, and not thinking correctly. We're all a little off when we are upset.

    Quote Originally Posted by gaelicmomma View Post
    Thank you so much for your advice. I agree, I don't think she knows she is doing it. The other part that gets me is I have given her A LOT of support during her divorce over the past year, and I'm feeling (probably wrongly) that she just loves having something to be sad about. So unfair of me .
    Quote Originally Posted by gaelicmomma View Post
    Forgot to mention: he has been in for almost 4 years, this is his first extended deployment to a dangerous area. Previous deployments were never "scary", and always short. Today when I called her, I had texted her yesterday in response to a couple texts and just said "I'm sorry, I'm not trying to ignore you, just struggling today". So when we spoke, she told me about how hard yesterday was on her, blah blah, and I said "yeah, I know what you mean". She then asked me if my SO had said how he was feeling. Argh. Mind you, his duty station is only 5 hours away, and she cries every single time he leaves. It is starting to feel like a competition of who loves him more, which is so ridiculous. I know first hand that a mother's love and the love of your "soulmate" are two totally different things. Please forgive me ladies, I'm being totally nasty. Just having this forum to vent I hope will make me better able to deal kindly with her. I'm feeling pretty immature and selfish.
    Is she the kind of person who wants people to feel bad for her? I don't think you're being immature and selfish at all, nor do I think you're being totally nasty. It could be that she is just the kind of person who wants people to feel bad for her, and doesn't think past that to realize that other people are sad too... the worst part about that is, she's going to end up losing someone who sounds like a great support person because she's not willing to let it go both ways. To me, the fact that you're this torn up about this, says that you're far from selfish or nasty, or immature, you're trying to make it work. And you're a smart woman, not getting involved in the who loves who more business, you're right, you both love him, in different ways, and that's what truly matters. The difficult part is trying to figure out how to make it work. I wish I had more advice for you. Please don't think you're being a bad person though, I think you're doing all the right things

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbow Brite View Post
    There needs to be a blowing rainbows, sunshine, butterflies, and happiness up an asshole smiley.
    ]
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    #8
    I think you need to find someone else to be your source of support and confidant and either cut back on your communication with your SO's mother or simply decide that you will be there for her as you can.


    You are both going through the same deployment with the same person but your experiences will be very different. You have very different and important relationships with him and neither one is more important than the other. He is your SO. He is her son. Both are important and the relationship experience that each of you are going through is something that you can not relate to each other on.


    You need to find someone that you can relate to on a relationship experience and deal less with the experience that the two of you share, which is the person, or you are going to destroy the potential for a good relationship with this woman in the future.
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    #9
    I don't know, I feel kind of torn. It sounds like you are inviting the conversation, checking in on her, asking her how she's doing, so that does kind of invite a one sided dialog. And she does love him, he IS her "baby boy", it is her first big deployment with him too. We all handle deployments differently. I mean, I can only imagine how worried a mother must be. She loves him in a different way. I, personally, would cut back on the "check in calls".

    I wouldn't call it a "self centered trait" and she probably doesn't even realize how much it annoys you. To her, you are a person who is in the same boat, so to speak, and someone she can vent to/rely on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reagan View Post
    I don't know, I feel kind of torn. It sounds like you are inviting the conversation, checking in on her, asking her how she's doing, so that does kind of invite a one sided dialog. And she does love him, he IS her "baby boy", it is her first big deployment with him too. We all handle deployments differently. I mean, I can only imagine how worried a mother must be. She loves him in a different way. I, personally, would cut back on the "check in calls".

    I wouldn't call it a "self centered trait" and she probably doesn't even realize how much it annoys you. To her, you are a person who is in the same boat, so to speak, and someone she can vent to/rely on.
    I meant that I was the one with the self centered trait, btw.
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