It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Betrayed DIL,” who wrote last week about not wanting her MIL anywhere near her kids. Keep reading to see whether she’s re-thought things.
Oddly enough, just a day or two after I emailed you, I received flowers from my MIL. All the card said was “Thinking of You, Love Mom & Dad.” It’s really hard to stay mad at someone when they send you flowers. I was very touched and they were making a very public effort since they had them delivered to me at work. So that night, holding my hubby’s hand, I called and talked to her. I thanked her sincerely for the lovely flowers and then had a long overdue talk with her about how she made me feel. You were right on the money with the hormones, etc., causing me to overreact to things that would normally not send me so far off the deep end.
I explained to her how I felt and that it was ultimately the fact that she had never apologized for hurting me that was holding me back. I also suggested that going forward, if we have a problem or issue, we should TALK. No emails, no letters, no posts to FB (which is not an issue since I made the decision to delete her from my friends list in early January). The written word can so easily be misunderstood or misinterpreted. The feeling and emotion behind it which is pure on the writer’s end can be taken negatively from someone who is already hurt and upset.
Once I said what I needed to say, she did ultimately (after 14 months!) apologize for hurting me. While I have come to accept that she is not the mother-in-law I want, I am probably not the daughter-in-law she wants either. I have decided to take a page from the Grosse Point Blank book: Forget about forgiving and just move on. While I don’t think I can ever forgive that she can be self-centered, I have decided to put this episode behind us and move forward. We are starting with a (mostly) clean slate. I also decided not to bring up the September or December incidents since the major issue was the apology and the rest just seemed petty if she did apologize.
I am not actively avoiding them, and I would never prevent my hubby or kids from having a relationship with them, but neither am I heartbroken if I miss their calls or Skype sessions.
I thank you for your wonderful advice. I was really hoping to have a totally outside perspective which is exactly what you gave me. Looking forward to (and a little bit scared) of what the readers have to say!! — Still betrayed, but no longer angry
Thanks for the update. I’m so happy to hear you got that apology you wanted and some closure on the issue that upset you the most. Good luck to you in your final weeks of pregnancy, and please do talk to your doctor if you’re having feelings of post-partum depression after the birth, or even if you’re simply feeling overwhelmed caring for two children under two. You might even look into support groups for families with special needs children. You have a lot on your plate, and support wherever you can get it is a good thing (and may help you feel less dependent on support of in-laws who may not give you the exact kind of support you want at the right time).
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at email@example.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.