Author Topic: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?  (Read 9851 times)

Kitsune

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Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« on: April 17, 2016, 02:19:01 PM »
So: I'm assuming everyone has to do this, yes? Tips and tricks, guys, PLEASE.

I'm getting better at setting boundaries. It's enforcing them, in the face of my mom being like "I am hurt and don't feel that was deserved", and then enacting a masterful performance of Hurt and Suffering (TM)... Holding up against that and not causing additional hurt feelings... The WORST. How do you guys do it??

For the record: stepping down, in this case, is not an option. Hard line: I am asking you to be at your granddaughters birthday for 3 hours, and process your dislike of my inlaws (who I quite like) with ANYONE BUT ME afterwards. Or don't come. I am asking you to deal with your marital difficulties with my father with ANYONE BUT ME. I am not a therapist, and I don't want to hear it.

But the the Hurt Looks start and I feel guilty and responsible and UGH.




Kris

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 02:40:57 PM »
You are not being unreasonable. As you know. Counter her manipulation attempts with more firmness. A line I particularly like: "Mom, it is not like I am asking you not to talk about these things with anyone. Just not with me.  There are 7.4 billion other people in the world I'm perfectly happy for you to talk to about anything you please."

Kitsune

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 02:59:25 PM »
Oh, I tried that. And then I got hurt tears, and "I see how it is, you can vent to me but I can't vent to you, unequal!!!"

And I'm like, a) never again venting to you about anything omfg. b) maybe I'm crazy, but I'd generally assume that my daughter can vent to me but I can't really vent to her? Especially about people she cares about? So... ?

argh family.

I can set boundaries, but holding them in the face of my mom crying and being hurt is haaaaaaard.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2016, 03:09:17 PM »
Yup. Been there, have many teeshirts.

Both my mother and my inlaws were pretty crazy for years. Resulted in a total cutoff of inlaws. Husband still has no contact with his mother other than sending her a birthday card... used to send mother's day cards, but he stopped that after she sent one back with a rant written all over it about how she has no idea what she did and she just cries and cries all day every day... She knows what the conditions are, she just refuses to acknowledge the boundaries and is angry about the fact that her son is an adult and won't let her run his life anymore.



So first things first:

You need to work on YOUR feelings of guilt and responsibility towards your mother. She is taking advantage of you and disrespecting you. You have two choices when this happens - allow it or don't allow it. It really is that simple. Choosing to tell someone that you have firm boundaries is not something you should feel guilty about. Enforcing said boundaries - same thing. She is the one that should be feeling embarrassed and contrite, but instead she flips it back on you (projecting her poor behavior as your fault) since she should be allowed to do whatever the hell she wants? No. Just no.

Think of your mother as a 5 year old. (okay, stop snickering) But really, this is the attitude you need to adopt. She is acting out and has no boundaries unless you place them there and give her firm consequences. If your child was being a crazy brat, would you ignore it and let her run all over being a brat? I don't think so. You'd tell her to stop, then you'd tell her what behavior you'd expect from her, and there would be punishments/corrections if she continued. This is really the same thing.

You're not asking for unreasonable things. If you weren't related, you would have already stopped trying to include her in your life. Friends and more removed family don't get to treat you like crap and run roughshod over you, so why should close family? They are supposed to love you and care about the relationship you have together. She is clearly saying that your wants and needs are not important.

Definitely start working on the idea that you are being reasonable, you are not being mean or rude or hurtful. You are asking for basic things - she's the rude, unreasonable bully here.

So what do you do about bullies? You give them very clear guidelines. You tell them in plain speaking exactly what you want and expect from them, and then you tell them the consequences of their violating those guidelines.

And you follow through. That is definitely the hard part. But it gets easier each time you do it.

For instance, about your daughter's party: Tell her "Mom, here is what I want from you: The party is at 2pm on Saturday. I expect you to show up on time and be pleasant. Any rude behavior and you will be asked to leave. If you love me and your granddaughter, I would hope this is possible, but if you feel you can't contain your dislike of other guests attending, do not come to the party. And just a word of caution; you will not be invited to future events if you do come to this event and don't behave nicely."

And the follow through is this: if she behaves herself, positive reinforcement in the form of acknowledgement "mom, I know you dislike the inlaws, but I really appreciate the fact that you were nice to everyone and "daughtername" is so happy you could be here for her birthday. Thank you."

If she shows up and starts making rude comments or otherwise being disruptive. Either bring the party to an end early, or pull her aside and remind her that she is to be on best behavior. "mom, I heard you saying 'snarky thing' to MIL. That's exactly what I was telling you is unacceptable behavior. If you can't control yourself for just a few hours for the kid's sake, please leave."

But honestly, if you know for a fact that she will show her ass at this party... don't invite her. Have the event without her. Go to visit her if your daughter wants to see her other grandmother, and tell her if she asks that no, you didn't invite her because she had proven in the past that she didn't like the inlaws and refused to act nicely around them, so rather than ruin your daughter's birthday, it was best if she didn't come. If she wails and complains, tell her that it is on her own head that she is not being invited to events. If she can promise in the future to behave more appropriately, you might be able to start including her in larger get-togethers again but that is completely up to her.

In future, be very clear about what you want (or don't want) from her. And visits should be you going to her rather than her coming to you. The reason is that you have control then on when you leave. IF she insists on berating you, or going on about something you told her you do not want to hear, then you tell her to stop discussing this or you're leaving. And LEAVE IF SHE DOESN'T. "Mom, I'm not going to talk about this stuff and I've asked you to stop but you won't so we're going to cut this visit short. I'll see you sometime next week."

Same for phone calls. If you are chatting and she starts in, one warning "mom, I told you I am not discussing this with you. Please change the subject." she continues on same subject... "okay, you are ignoring me, so I'm going to stop you there and I guess we can talk another time when you're willing to have a pleasant conversation with me." Then hang up. Really. And don't answer if she calls back. She gets a time out - we used to do one week of no contact and then call up and see if they were willing to chat about other things and check in. No "So sorry I had to hang up on you last week" or anything. Just be pleasant and if she starts in with the hurt routine "you HUNG UP ON Meeeeee!" Tell her that you told her clearly that would happen if she persisted with X behavior. Then tell her that you love her and are willing to work on things if she's willing to do the same.  If she starts the wailing and crying thing again, repeat the same script.

And every time your mother cries at you... you have to recognize that this is blatant manipulation. She KNOWS that works on you because she keeps doing it. It's her ace up the sleeve. I remember one therapist saying something along the lines of "of course your mother knows how to push your buttons. She's the one that installed them!" You have to tell her that the crying is very manipulative and she is capable of talking to you without crying at you, and you expect her to do so.

If she's the drop by your house type? First, if she has spare keys, get them back and make sure to change the locks if you think she made copies. Tell her that drop bys are no longer allowed. She needs to call to make sure it is a good time, and accept no for an answer if it isn't. If she still drops by. Two things: you don't have to answer your door. If she can't see in the house, how does she even know you're home? If she can see in, answer the door, but block it with your body, and tell her now is not a good time, she was asked to call first to make sure and that you had other plans and shut the door.

ETA: one of the books recommended (I think the Emotional Blackmail book): Don't get caught up in the mistake of letting your mother manipulate you into JADE. You are allowed to say "because I said so" or other variations because you are a grown ass woman. :D
http://outofthefog.website/what-not-to-do-1/2015/12/3/jade-dont-justify-argue-defend-explain


Sure some of this sounds rude on the face of it, but she is sounds like my MIL; the type that will not listen to you until you are forced to be blatantly blunt and then accuse you of being mean and then using tears and tantrums to try to get you to ignore the fact that you did not actually do anything wrong. Being nice hasn't gotten you very far as it is really easy for this type to bulldoze right over you and then get angry or cry and whine with you ask them not to do that. So you need to stop asking for their permission to set up your boundaries. You need to do it and make sure to stay strong on them. So say things without anger, pleasantly, but VERY FIRMLY. If she was the type that would be able to moderate her interactions with you where you didn't have to set boundaries... well, there wouldn't be a problem at all would there? So don't get caught up in the idea that you're being rude or hurtful. Her actions have forced you to be much more firm about this than you ever wanted or should have to be. But because you care about her, you're still wanting to make an effort to include her in your life... that is you being a good person and she should be damned grateful you are still willing to do this! ;)

My own relationship with my mom has improved considerably, but it took some work (counseling too) and constant enforcing of boundaries on my end, and she honestly was able to take a giant step back and see how her behavior was hurting our relationship and make changes on her own. In my husband's case, his mother remains incapable of introspection and personal responsibility, so he holds out no hope of her changing and remains pretty much cut out of our lives (which on the surface sounds sad, but honestly it is bliss not dealing with the constant drama and anger and demands).

A few books that might be of interest (and helped both myself and my husband immensely):

http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Blackmail-People-Obligation-Manipulate/dp/0060928972/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460926437&sr=1-3&keywords=susan+forward

http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1F6PH2CT75FC3NV986HY

http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Walking-Eggshells-Borderline-Personality/dp/1572246901
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 05:34:06 PM by Frankies Girl »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2016, 04:19:03 PM »
^^  What they said.  Plus I recommend Captain Awkward, lots of bad boundary horror stories there, lots of good advice.   http://captainawkward.com/


FIRE me

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2016, 08:05:00 PM »
For the record: stepping down, in this case, is not an option. Hard line: I am asking you to be at your granddaughters birthday for 3 hours, and process your dislike of my inlaws (who I quite like) with ANYONE BUT ME afterwards. Or don't come. I am asking you to deal with your marital difficulties with my father with ANYONE BUT ME. I am not a therapist, and I don't want to hear it.


I don't think you can change your mother. I think the choices are to put up with her as she is, or else estrange yourself from her.

MMMaybe

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2016, 03:17:45 AM »
I just change the subject when my mother gets on a big negativity binge/starts venting to me about the in-laws/family/my dad.

Seeing as she has very little interest in what I am doing (beyond a surface level), I reserve the right not to deal with her issues. Plus I just don't want to get caught in the middle.

Kris

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2016, 06:29:44 AM »
Oh, I tried that. And then I got hurt tears, and "I see how it is, you can vent to me but I can't vent to you, unequal!!!"

And I'm like, a) never again venting to you about anything omfg. b) maybe I'm crazy, but I'd generally assume that my daughter can vent to me but I can't really vent to her? Especially about people she cares about? So... ?

argh family.

I can set boundaries, but holding them in the face of my mom crying and being hurt is haaaaaaard.

Ultimately, nothing you say will get you the response you want, so keep your standard line handy and change the subject calmly every time she does it. Rinse and repeat.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2016, 06:44:12 AM »
Oh, I tried that. And then I got hurt tears, and "I see how it is, you can vent to me but I can't vent to you, unequal!!!"

And I'm like, a) never again venting to you about anything omfg. b) maybe I'm crazy, but I'd generally assume that my daughter can vent to me but I can't really vent to her? Especially about people she cares about? So... ?


Complaints go up. Exactly how I imagine parents should act...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKbdE5LOGNQ

Sibley

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2016, 07:31:41 AM »
+1 on the Captain Awkward blog.

And yes, it's awkward enforcing boundaries with your mom. She's the one responsible for the awkward, not you.

Kitsune

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2016, 08:47:04 AM »
Thanks for the... reassurance that I'm not a horrible person for knowingly doing something that hurts my mother - because I do sincerely feel horrible about it, but just not enough to not set boundaries, because I've TRIED that and I wind up feeling shittier than she does now, and it's just so UGH.

And I know way too much about their finances, and I'm just scared that I'm going to be called on to subsidize their old age and/or divorce, and... argh, I don't wanna be involved!!!

For instance, about your daughter's party: Tell her "Mom, here is what I want from you: The party is at 2pm on Saturday. I expect you to show up on time and be pleasant. Any rude behavior and you will be asked to leave. If you love me and your granddaughter, I would hope this is possible, but if you feel you can't contain your dislike of other guests attending, do not come to the party. And just a word of caution; you will not be invited to future events if you do come to this event and don't behave nicely."

And the follow through is this: if she behaves herself, positive reinforcement in the form of acknowledgement "mom, I know you dislike the inlaws, but I really appreciate the fact that you were nice to everyone and "daughtername" is so happy you could be here for her birthday. Thank you."

That's what I'm trying! It's that, on my side, the boundary is "I expect you to show up and be polite (which she ALWAYS is, to e fair), and then, if you feel the need to process the behavior/relationship of people I care about (my daughter, my father, my husband, my in-laws: OFF LIMITS. Anyone else, fine), you do it with someone NOT ME. Talk to your friends. Talk to your husband (unless the issue is him, obv). Talk to A THERAPIST (please, god, get a therapist. I don't understand how she can have a phd in psychology and this poor an awareness of boundaries). But I don't want to hear about how you think my in-laws are 'emotionally unavailable' and how that means you can't be friends. I don't CARE if you are friends. I need you to get along for 3 hours a year, during your grandchild's birthday.

Also: occasionally, we host holiday dinners. You can either be there and be polite and NOT make me hear about it for 2 months (see: last Thankgiving, omfg I totally lost it after 2 FREAKING MONTHS of hearing about how 'they must not like our family, look at *unsubstatiated evidence* and proceed to reassure me' every time I saw her...  for the record, they like you FINE, they're just kind of stand-off-ish people, DEAL WITH IT) OR you can not be invited next time and I DON'T want to hear about how we're 'chosing' them over you. We are 'chosing' the people who won't give me emotional BS for 2 months. Jeebus.

But in practice, it's not quite as simple as 'I expect behavior X' because it's not measurable, and not provable. And, naturally, she only does it when my husband and sister aren't in the room, and then it's my fault for 'hurting her' by 'being too blunt'. (In my defense, what I said was 'I don't want to have this conversation, can we switch topics' AFTER being uncomortable, shutting down, not answering questions, trying to change the suject, etc... like, if you won'T listen to soft redirects, what else am I suppoosed to SAY???) And my sister is all like 'well, that's too blunt, why don't you tell her about your FEELINGS' and I don't WANT a half-hour talk about my feelings. I want the crappy subject to GO AWAY.

And I don't want to be my mom's marriage counsellor. Seriously, I shouldn't KNOW that my dad drinks too much and can't get it up and that's causing marriage issues. I DON'T NEED TO KNOW THAT. Even if she needs support and it's affecting her. Like, she can get support elsewhere, right???

ETA: one of the books recommended (I think the Emotional Blackmail book): Don't get caught up in the mistake of letting your mother manipulate you into JADE. You are allowed to say "because I said so" or other variations because you are a grown ass woman. :D
http://outofthefog.website/what-not-to-do-1/2015/12/3/jade-dont-justify-argue-defend-explain

This link: is perfect. THANk YOU.

The problem is convincing myself that I am allowed to say 'because I said so' in the face of hurting someone I care about, and not be a horrible person in addition to being a grown-ass woman. And, like: she's genuinely hurt, it's not 100% manipulation. She USES the hurt, but it's not fake, which makes itharder to deal with causing it. I guess that's my side of the emotional labour.

Ultimately, nothing you say will get you the response you want, so keep your standard line handy and change the subject calmly every time she does it. Rinse and repeat.

Standard line brings tears and accusations of 'unequal emotional relationship' (wecome to parenthood, mom, but it's good to know who I can absolutely never go to again for emotional support, EVER, because it'll get thrown in my face, I suppose - kind of a rough realization that parents have decided they're done parenting). I guess I just have to build a thicker skin, because it's not likely to change, huh...

I
+1 on the Captain Awkward blog.

And yes, it's awkward enforcing boundaries with your mom. She's the one responsible for the awkward, not you.

Oh, man. I think I'm gonna be mainlining some of that... Thanks for the blog rec! Sensible advice about boundaries, woot!
 

debbie does duncan

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2016, 09:13:52 AM »
Quote
And every time your mother cries at you... you have to recognize that this is blatant manipulation. She KNOWS that works on you because she keeps doing it. It's her ace up the sleeve. I remember one therapist saying something along the lines of "of course your mother knows how to push your buttons. She's the one that installed them!" You have to tell her that the crying is very manipulative and she is capable of talking to you without crying at you, and you expect her to do so.
Stolen from Frankies girl !

Remember your daughter is watching. Stand up to your mom and say NO.
This is what you want your kid to learn , self respect.

G-dog

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2016, 10:01:29 AM »
You need to do this for yourself, your family, your kid, and your mom. Your mom is being a big baby about what I think are very reasonable boundaries - go ahead and complain about person X to anyone but me. Frankie's Girl and everyone is right on target.

Sure, your mom is actually hurt, but that doesn't mean she isn't using that to be manipulative too! Let me repeat that - she is hurt but is also using that to MANIPULATE you. Just like the 2 year old that has a tantrum when you refuse to buy them that candy bar at the grocery store.

You cannot keep her from ever being being hurt. No one can. You can help her by setting boundaries so that she learns there are consequences for bad behavior, and if she wants a good, long-term relationship with you and the grandkid(s), it is in her best interest to learn some coping skills and get appropriate resources to handle her own god damn feelings.

I think it is fair for you to tell and repeat to your mom why you don't want to have these conversations, including your feelings. You don't have to gush on about them, but a simple statement is fine. 'Mom, I cannot be your confidante about issues with Dad. He is my father, and I love you both. I can't be in the middle of this. When you complain about him to me, it makes me feel like you want me to pick sides (love him less, tell you that you are ight and he is wrong, whatever you feel), and I cannot do that. if you bring this up again, I will stop the conversation.'

Carolyn Hax gets tons of these kinds of questions. It really is a common issue for all of us, and it is hard to deal with, most especially with those we love. Funny how you can love someone, but not Abe able to stand them sometimes!

Metric Mouse

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2016, 04:58:18 AM »
Standard line brings tears and accusations of 'unequal emotional relationship' (wecome to parenthood, mom, but it's good to know who I can absolutely never go to again for emotional support, EVER, because it'll get thrown in my face, I suppose - kind of a rough realization that parents have decided they're done parenting). I guess I just have to build a thicker skin, because it's not likely to change, huh...


Wait... you want to cut your mother off from emotional support, but expect her to still be there for you? Is that really a productive expectation?

Also, perhaps you could show your mother your last post - it is complete and to the point of your issues with her, and her reaction might open up so good dialogue.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2016, 05:36:39 AM »
Quote
And every time your mother cries at you... you have to recognize that this is blatant manipulation. She KNOWS that works on you because she keeps doing it. It's her ace up the sleeve. I remember one therapist saying something along the lines of "of course your mother knows how to push your buttons. She's the one that installed them!" You have to tell her that the crying is very manipulative and she is capable of talking to you without crying at you, and you expect her to do so.
Stolen from Frankies girl !

Remember your daughter is watching. Stand up to your mom and say NO.
This is what you want your kid to learn , self respect.

OMG... I am pretty sure that the last time I saw my mother cry was in 1987 when her father died. I'm glad I have emotionally stable parents.

Zamboni

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2016, 05:56:54 AM »
Both my brother and I eventually had to just quite rudely tell each parent to shut the hell up with their complaints about our other parent. It literally went on for decades after they divorced. In the very first line of the very first book I read about parenting children of divorce during my own divorce, it said "take the high road and never say anything bad about the other parent to your child or even within earshot of your child." How fucking clueless are people that they think their own children want to hear repetitive monologues about how their spouse or ex-spouse doesn't meet their expectations? And your mom is a psychologist? WTF?

Quote
I'm just scared that I'm going to be called on to subsidize their old age and/or divorce, and... argh, I don't wanna be involved!!!

I hear you. Consider laying it all out for her now, the next time there is a peep about money. Something along the lines of "the money we earn is needed for our own children, and we are planning for our eventual old age so we are never a burden on them."

G-dog

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2016, 08:38:05 AM »
Quote
And every time your mother cries at you... you have to recognize that this is blatant manipulation. She KNOWS that works on you because she keeps doing it. It's her ace up the sleeve. I remember one therapist saying something along the lines of "of course your mother knows how to push your buttons. She's the one that installed them!" You have to tell her that the crying is very manipulative and she is capable of talking to you without crying at you, and you expect her to do so.
Stolen from Frankies girl !

Remember your daughter is watching. Stand up to your mom and say NO.
This is what you want your kid to learn , self respect.

OMG... I am pretty sure that the last time I saw my mother cry was in 1987 when her father died. I'm glad I have emotionally stable parents.
Just for the record, and this may not be what you meant - but crying or showing emotions is not a sign of emotional instability.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2016, 09:06:17 AM »
you absolutely cannot discuss problems she is having with your father. I suspect once that pandora's box is open the complaining about your inlaws seems like nothing.

As for the party, if you know she will wait to complain about your inlaws after the party(through a phone call, or next day visit) then just avoid(pretty firm "can't talk now, I'm busy" or just "not discussing your problems now or never") her for a week or two when it blows over. Of course if all visits and conversions are toxic then you may have to go nuclear (at least until she gets it)

Me personally, I'm in the bunker waiting until the radiation clears. I haven't spoken to my mother since thanksgiving and her going to the hospital is not going to change that. It was like this for a few years before but she seemed like she had gotten better, but then took a down turn recently. GL

SwordGuy

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2016, 10:32:53 AM »
It's not fun telling your parents to behave.   But it's a lot better than not doing it.



Kitsune

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2016, 01:20:44 PM »
Thanks for the back-up, people. I seriously needed the boost before having a talk with my mom. :)

Update: so it turns out that the reason my mom wants to talk is that my in-laws have been making passive-aggressive judge-y comments about her - you know, the kind that are delicately JUST under the border of what's polite, so you can't really call them on it, but that still affect her.

ARGH HOW CAN A GROUP OF PEOPLE IN THEIR 60S BE SO DAMNED CHILDISH.

So, new boundaries:
- For my mom: You don't have to interact with them, like them, or acknowledge them, but I am having children with their son, and I need you to grit your teeth and smile through the next 15 years of birthday parties and NOT have me bear the cross of your suffering.
- To my in-laws: You can dislike, judge, or be snarky all you like, but be polite and I don't want to hear the areas in which you find the people I love lacking.

And to be clear: in this case, they're judging my parents for giving too many presents and financial help (... 3 bags of presents. Rough value of MAYBE 200$, estimated. Judging-the-rich-people isn't any classier than judging-the-poor-folk, yo, especially for amounts of around 200$, get a life), and trying to get into a pissing contest about who is 'closer' as a grandparent. THEY BOTH SEE THEIR GRANDKID AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK. ARGH.

So, I maintain: I can't be the sounding board of one side of the family to the other side. But the boundary applies to both sides. Be adults, act respectfully, and if either I or my daughter hear about it from EITHER side there will be hell to pay.

For crying out loud.

G-dog

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2016, 01:30:23 PM »
For some people, everything is still a contest.

Have you noticed any of these comments? Any chance your mom is misinterpreting what is meant to be a nice comment? Just wondering....

Kitsune

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2016, 01:33:55 PM »
For some people, everything is still a contest.

Have you noticed any of these comments? Any chance your mom is misinterpreting what is meant to be a nice comment? Just wondering....

I haven't heard them about my mother, but what she recounted sounded similar to some stuff I've heard them say about others, so I can believe it.

Honestly, I think it's 50% my in-laws being passive-aggressive, and 50% my mother being oversensitive and misinterpreting. Not that that makes it any less of a mess.

Like, for crying out loud, people. Shut up and be nice, how hard is that???

RetiredAt63

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2016, 02:40:52 PM »
In-laws - Some people just have to be competitive, even with those that should not be seen as competitors.  Sad, really. 
Your mother - maybe she has seen this before from others?  And that has sensitized her?

And yes, everyone has to play nice at your house or there will be your consequences.

Sibley

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Re: Setting/enforcing boundaries with family - halp?
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2016, 03:56:29 PM »
Aside from my parent's wedding, I really don't think that my mom's family and my dad's family have ever gotten together. Keeping them separate may be an option, and you can just alternate things or have 2 events or whatever. But yeah, it'd be nice if they could just get along.