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So upset

(60 Posts)
JammieB Fri 30-Aug-13 12:37:12

Nor sure if I am posting this in the right forum but need some help.

About a month ago my son in law accused me of something that I did not and would never ever do! He knows now that he was wrong and how desperately hurt I was, however it appears that he is not prepared to apologise

My daughter has now invited my DH and I for dinner with them, I don't know if she knows the truth about what happened as it remains a huge "elephant in the room" - I did have coffee with her a week ago and the subject was studiously avoided, she is very confrontational and prickly at the best of times, I understand that her first loyalty must be to her husband and maybe he has dismissed it from his mind at the same time as he "unfriended" me on Facebook rather than apologise - however it has pushed me right to the verge of a nervous breakdown - I can't sleep, burst into tears regularly and lost a lot of weight.

However I know that the only way I can see my grandchildren is to go to their house - I know I have to go and be the "bigger person" but the thought of being in his company makes me feel sick - I love my daughter and grandchildren so much but he makes my skin crawl - can anybody give me any coping techniques?

Ariadne Fri 30-Aug-13 12:54:46

"release, relax, let go." This is what someone once said to me, telling me that bitterness inside oneself , is corrosive, and one should not let the past discolour the present.

Easier said than done, I know, but not the platitude that you might think; it's like opening a window in your head.

The most important thing is your relationship with DD and the DGC, and nothing is more important than that, as you say.

The only alternative is to open the whole issue up again, and I know you don't want to do that.

I hope you can cope, JammieB. You're in a hard place at the moment. X

Lona Fri 30-Aug-13 13:06:32

JammieB I am in a very similar position, and lately had to see my sil in order to see my gc.
I smiled sweetly, said hello to him and then avoided him, and he did the same to me.
I will never go to their home if he is there, but I love my dd and gc, so they come to me.

I will never forgive him but I don't want to bitter for the rest of my life.

It is not easy!

Anne58 Fri 30-Aug-13 13:07:09

You said that he now knows he was wrong, so presumably something has led to you knowing that. Some people really struggle with apologising (silly I know, but there are quite a few of them around!)

Without knowing what the accusation was, and the severity of it, it's hard to offer an opinion. It has obviously upset you very much, which is sad, but you must not allow it to make you ill. ((easier said then done, I know).

The dinner invitation may be a sort of olive branch, so you should accept and go along and see how the atmosphere is. You might find that he is bending over backwards to be pleasant?

What are your husband's thoughts on the matter?

Mishap Fri 30-Aug-13 13:19:55

Here's a tip - every time that bad thoughts about SIL jump into your head, imagine a train with trucks; dump the thought in one of the trucks and watch it set off over the horizon. And do it every time! Works for some.

Movedalot Fri 30-Aug-13 13:49:49

I know how you feel. I had a very unpleasant email forwarded to me in which our DiL made a horrible accusation. I was able to prove she was wrong and the next time she had a hissy fit I mentioned it as pointed out that she had not apologised, she shouted at me that she would not apologise to me. So I would suggest you simply let it go. Some people are just so self obsessed that they have no concern about anyone else's feelings, fortunately not many are like that! Once a person like that gets a thought in their head they seem to lose all sense of reason and will try to justify themselves even though there is no evidence for what they say. You will be banging your head against a brick wall if you bring the subject up again. Sorry to rant, just felt I needed to.

How about humour? When he riles you, think of him with his pants down trying to run! grin

tiggypiro Fri 30-Aug-13 14:01:24

I agree with humour ! Some years ago after a very difficult meeting with some parents I was offloading to a friend who was an ex-nurse. Her advice was to imagine giving them an enema - after half an inch they are all the same ! Every time I saw them after that I had a smile on my face !! It has worked in other situations too.

sunseeker Fri 30-Aug-13 14:16:26

I would agree with the advice already given. My Mother fell out with my nephew's wife some 18 years ago, unfortunately Mum is the sort to hold grudges and to this day they don't speak to each other at all, even at family get togethers they always sit at opposite ends of the table and studiously ignore each other - not a good situation for the rest of the family.

He may be embarrassed about the whole thing and try to ignore it or may even have forgotten about it so again it won't be mentioned. I would go along and be all sweetness and light and reasonable and, hopefully, your relationship with him will get better over time.

JessM Fri 30-Aug-13 14:17:48

Yes, as Phoenix says some people are useless at apologising and demanding an apology just sends them "off on (another) one". Also feeling that someone "should" apologise to you is not a good place to be - it does not help us to move on. Sometimes we just have to shrug and tell ourselves that we are the mature one and can cope with the emotional fluctuations of the younger generations.

Movedalot Fri 30-Aug-13 14:37:17

Just think - he will be waiting for confrontation and be very confused when it doesn't come! This can make things worse though, I know DiL gets annoyed when she wants confrontation and it doesn't come.

Nanban Fri 30-Aug-13 21:05:03

It is far easier to say 'let it go' than to stand in your shoes and do it. But for your own sake that is all you can realistically do - package it up and put it in a small place somewhere in the back of your mind and determine not to open that package - if you stay hurt and upset that damages only you and rewards him. Be sure of yourself and value yourself more than this.

JammieB Fri 30-Aug-13 21:24:28

Thank you - I know you are right - I am in a VERY bad place atm and am going to cancel this dinner as I can't face it yet - will find some sort of excuse and have to give it another week or so, I would be a bit more comfortable if I was on my own home turf!!
I have never had anything like this happen before and think this is why I don't know how to handle it - I was accused of being unkind to one of the people I love most in the world - it broke my heart and there are still pieces of it missing...........

Gorki Fri 30-Aug-13 21:34:58

I don't have any advice for you but just wanted to say how sad I feel for you and your situation. You are probably right to give it more time but situations do improve and healing can come when least expected. Hang on in there flowers

gracesmum Fri 30-Aug-13 21:36:14

I think it is especially hurtful to even be thought capable of doing the sort of thing we would never do if you know what I mean. He should have realised this and even if he will not back down and apologise, a simple "I was wrong" would make all the difference. I think you should try to go as the next time might be even harder. If your daughter avoided the issue maybe she either has not been told or knows that you could not have done whtever he accused you of but doesn't want to lose face. To me the invitation is definitely an olive branch. If you possibly can go, can your DH make sure the conversation doesn't get tricky and that you are never leeft in an embarrassing position? It may be that despite having broken your heart - they have actually moved on. And re FB - you are well rid of it. I strongly believe that family members should NOT be friends as it seems to lead to so much heartbreak.

JessM Fri 30-Aug-13 21:43:51

Well said gracesmum - jammie you have to "man up" as they say so sweetly down under and put on your charming face and pretend this never happened.
There are many members of GN who have fallen from favour with their children and chidden in law and it leads to heartbreak. Do anything you can to avoid an estrangement as once it happens it is very hard to un-do.

LizG Fri 30-Aug-13 21:47:47

So sorry you have been so hurt and understand how you must feel. The advice you have been given is all good but only you can know how much you can cope with. Do keep the lines of communication open with your DD and when you feel ready invite them for a meal. flowers

j08 Fri 30-Aug-13 21:52:43

Maybe it would be best if you talked to your daughter, quietly and calmly, about this. It needn't be in a confrontational manner. Just point out that you would never have done whatever it was your sil accused you of, and you are sad that you were thought capable of it. Don't let it come between you. Perhaps if it was sorted out with all concerned you might be able to start feeling more positive about your son in law.

I wouldn't let it stay an "elephant in the room".

Penstemmon Fri 30-Aug-13 22:14:38

It is a pity you cannot face the get together yet. It may well have been the 'sorry' you need & deserve.
I have people in my family who say things and really do not understand how upset they have made other people. They move on and forget the chaos they have caused.

I hope you can use some of the good 'coping' advice other posters have suggested. Best of luck with and hope you are enjoying happy times again very soon. flowers

Nanban Sat 31-Aug-13 13:52:25

JessM - a good solid sensible bit of advice - stop this bit of nastiness dead in it's tracks and don't let it lead you into being estranged.

Mishap Sat 31-Aug-13 14:33:17

I think that Jess is right - it may not be as bad an evening as you are expecting, and it would be huge pity to miss up this chance of accepting the olive branch.

I can see your problem as you are feeling fragile at the moment and afraid that you might break down. The chances are that you won't and you will be presented with an opportunity to get back to normal; but if by some chance you break down and show your feelings, it may be no bad thing, as they will understand how hurt you are.

Don't let it fester - accept the invitation - there may not be another in the near future!

kittylester Sat 31-Aug-13 14:51:27

I agree with Mishap and everyone else who says you should bite the bullet and go. Let us know what happens flowers

Sook Sat 31-Aug-13 16:01:27

My eldest son has recently had a disagreement with his MIL over his two year old son. He also overheard her telling her DD her (exaggerated) version of events. He refuses to apologise as he doesn't feel he has done anything wrong in his own home but will agree to disagree. She is demanding a full apology I only hope she isn't holding her breath.

JammieB Sat 31-Aug-13 16:10:50

Gracesmum - you have totally said it as it is - it is the fact that he thought I was capable of being unkind to the beautiful creature that I actually delivered! THAT is the crux of the matter - I will get over it but will never be comfortable with him again! I also know that the biggest problem is with me since I am the only person that is allowing me to feel like this!
I also think that any bullets that have to be bit will be on my own home territory - I had originally handed the olive branch to them to come here but due to various family committments my DD thought it would be better if we were to come to them - I think I feel a migraine coming on tomorrow and will cancel!!!
I really, really appreciate all your kind comments and support - my quiet harmonious life will remain sullied a little longer!!
Also thank you for the flowers - these sort don't make me sneeze!!!

annodomini Sat 31-Aug-13 17:17:41

I can imagine how you are feeling, but how are you going to feel if you don't go? You may well go on feeling that you 'can't face it' and inevitably your excuses will be seen as such.

hummingbird Sat 31-Aug-13 17:40:45

Honestly, Jammie? If you think you feel bad now, imagine how you're going to feel if this develops into a full-blown split? I know it's easy to be wise when you're not the one involved, but I think that if I were you, I'd bite the bullet and go for it - putting it off only gives you more time to worry about everything. Good luck and warm wishes! flowers