Can't connect w/ future MIL

posted 10 months ago in Family
Post # 46
2533 posts
Sugar bee

I think you have issues with wanting to control other people and your environment. Do you have a lot of anxiety?

It’s really not healthy to go through life deciding how people “should” be and then holding them to an expectation you’ve created for them in your head that has no basis in reality.

If this woman was a warm, affectionate type and THEN she read your sweet card without comment or thanks, you could take that as a snub.

But if she’s unemotional and matter-of-fact and socially-out-of-sync in this way all the time, then you are really TRYING to be offended when you take it personally. 

You have to accept people for who they are. Study them, learn how they are with a variety of people in a variety of situations. THEN develop your expectations of how they will/should be with YOU. Your expectations should always be grounded in observed reality.

Adjusting your expectations of this woman and your relationship with her will fix this “problem” you’re having. 

Learning to have better control over your thoughts should help as well. You should absolutely NOT be thinking (much less saying/typing) all these awful, judgemental things about your FMIL’s home, style, personality, interests, etc. I don’t care HOW rude you imagine she’s been to you. That is the excuse weak-willed people give for their own weak thoughts. 

Strong people do not allow others to decide how they will think about or treat them. You CAN make up your mind to view this woman with a detached benevolance for the sake of your own mental health, and for your relationships both with her and with her son. 

My own Mother-In-Law has pulled QUITE a few stunts. She has come right out and made it obvious she does not like me, and will never accept me. My hsband resents her for it. But I refuse to allow her to decide how I will feel about her. It is in my own best interest to put boundaries in place and then otherwise view her with detached benevolence, and that is what I will continue to do. 

I would NEVER say (or type online) the sorts of things you’ve said about your Future Mother-In-Law. Judging her clothing and style, her interests, etc. I am not her judge and jury. It’s pretty self-important to think people should develop themselves only in such a way as to be found interesting by YOU. 

As for how to proceed in future. When in doubt, always use the mirroring trick. However she is toward you, be that way toward her. Does she seem to be unaware of your presense? Be unaware of hers. It’s not rude to do to her what she’s doing to you. It’s being reciprocal. 

If you don’t enjoy talking to her, then you really don’t have to talk to her. Just be pleasant when interaction is required, and otherwise mirror her apparent apathy back at her. Not in a bitter, vindictive way, but in a “this is the way things are” way.

You’re never going to manipulate her into being different than she is. So stop trying to “be a certain way” to affect a change in her. That’s not a good way to live anyways. You shouldn’t be constantly trying to “get” people to be different than they naturally are, or “get” them to like you. Just be yourself. People will either like you or not, and it’s not up to you to decide FOR them. 

Post # 47
2918 posts
Sugar bee

Okay, this thread has got out of hand.

People can be shy, difficult, closed off and a dozen other things.

I can understand you wanting to have a good relationship with your Mother-In-Law, especially as your father’s family were so mean to you and your mother.

All you can be is yourself. You can’t make others change.

You can, however, be kind and thoughtful, even if you don’t get much of a response. If your Mother-In-Law is on the autistic spectrum she won’t be able to change.

What was the area of science she was researching, by the way? I’ve found talking about science to scientists to be a great pleasure. I learn so much. It might be a way to connect a little.

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