Sydney & Denny

Sydney & Denny
September at the Park

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holidays with the Inlaws!

It's always fun!
So, I just got home earlier from an evening with my wife's side of the family. It was designated as a Christmas party, and even Santa visited. Now from the heading of this paragraph you may see some implied sarcasm. Well, there is a little of that, but for the most part, I always have a decent time with Stacy's side of the family. There are a lot of people that I really enjoy talking with and hanging out with. Stacy has a bunch of cousins that are close in age to us, and they all have kids, so there is always something to talk about with them. Then of course there is my mother-in-law. 
I'm not her favorite person!
Well, let's just say that there is tension when her and I are around each other. I'm not sure why. When I first met Stacy, I was the greatest guy in the world. My mother-in-law(from here forward she will be referred to as K) thought I was just swell for coming along and making her daughter happy. Then about the time Stacy got pregnant the first time, something changed. Now, I'm a piece of crap. I've mentioned that I am experiencing some physical problems that I think is Rheumatoid Arthritis here a few times. When I was feeling the worst, I was at K's house for the day and could barely walk or move. For the next couple of weeks when Stacy would talk to K on the phone, you would think she would at least be curious about what was going on with me, but no. Not even a single question about my problem. I don't think she cares. And that's fine. For a few years now she has made little snide comments digging at Stacy and particularly me. She gives me these looks and roll her eyes at me letting me know her displeasure for me without saying anything. That's all well and good, I've gotten to a point where I don't really care about that crap anymore. She can hate my guts for all I care. But, there's one thing she does consistently that I am going to put a stop to!
Undermining my authority!
Well, K pulled her crap again tonight. We walked in to the party and Santa was in the middle of speaking with all of the children in attendance. Both of my kids were scared of Santa and didn't want to go up and see him. That's fine, but then it happened. Santa came over to both of them and gave them little gifts. Sydney had a Barbie that she was holding and wanted me to carry it around for her. I told her that I was taking the gifts and her Barbie out to our van so I didn't have to hold them all night long. Sydney got a little upset, but I told her that my decision was final, and she was fine. At that point K stepped in and said "Denny, just let her keep her doll if she wants. It's fine." HELL NO IT'S NOT FINE!!! I had told Sydney it was going to the van, and now Grandma was stepping in and making me look bad. So, I gave the doll back to Sydney for like two minutes before I took it back and went to the van. I didn't say anything to K because I didn't want to cause a scene, but I was seething. That's not all though. After Sydney ate, she wanted one of the cookies we had brought as our dish to pass. K heard me tell her that it was okay and that I would get her one. "We are not letting anyone have dessert until everyone eats dinner, Denny. She will have to wait." ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???  Does K really want to keep her granddaughter from having a cookie, that we had brought mind you, or does she just want to make me look like an idiot to my daughter? I think it's the idiot thing. I'm basically positive that it's the idiot thing. Again, I was seething. This woman stood at the sink washing plastic plates and silverware for the better part of the evening, spending ZERO time with her daughter or grandkids. The same people she has given me hell for not being able to see much. She yelled at me once because she never sees her daughter due to us moving back to my hometown. So, needless to say, I was pissed off again at a get together involving K. 
I've come to a decision!
At this point, I'm done playing nice. Stacy has a hard time saying anything to K because she's her mother. I get that. She will always be her mother, no matter what happens between Stacy and I. However, I'm past the point of pissed. I will not have that woman continue to treat me like this. EVERY time we are around her, she says something that undermines my position as authority figure to my kids. EVERY SINGLE TIME! Well, that's over. We are going to their house on the 28th of this month to celebrate Christmas. I can GUARANDAMNTEE
I'm not sure if anyone reads this blog that will pass this information on to her, but if so, please know that I'm not imagining things. Stacy sees it every time it happens. She gets just as pissed about it, but for some reason we just let it go. The time for letting this sort of stuff go is over. I can just see a time in the future when my kids are older and they see Grandma basically telling their dad that they don't have to do what he says. What does that teach my kids? That Grandma runs the show and not Dad. That Dad doesn't have the balls to stand up and say that's not the case. That is what they will learn. Not happening.
Okay, I've ranted on long enough about this. What I'd like to know is if any of you have had in-law issues and how you went about solving those issues. Please feel free to give advise and tips on how I should handle the impending storm.
Once again, have a great day and enjoy your Sunday.


  1. I haven't been reading since you started, so I don't knoe how long you've been at home. But do you think it might have to do with the fact you stay home and your wife works?

  2. Eric, the only problem with that theory is that I've only recently started staying at home, within the last 6 months. AND, K doesn't even know that I stay at home! HA joke is on her!!! She has been like this towards me for years now. Like I said, it's going to hit the fan soon. It's really too bad that it has to come to this sort of reaction from me. I feel sorry for it.

  3. Have you ever heard of a "Come to Jesus meeting?". Google it, I think its high time that you and momma had one. Lets me say that I'd first clear what you are going to discuss with wifey and when she gives you the greenlight, pin the ears back on it and say what needs to be said.

    Issues like this can/do almost always get worse over time. Be courteous and polite, but you just gotta set the ground rules.

    Good luck bro!

  4. Papa, I know all about the "Come to Jesus meeting." And, it will happen. My wife is in full agreement with me on what needs to happen. She has wanted to say something about the way I'm treated for a while now, but has a hard time. I plan on being nice, but sometimes I get fired up. I don't want a war, but if she brings one...

  5. I'm with ChopperPapa on this one...

    The key is calm, civil, and adult discussion. We have had to do this a couple of times ourselves (I think it's fairly common to one degree or another).

    Regardless of how she decides to behave, it's in your best interest to simply remain calm. I suspect she will try to "escalate" the discussion into an argument - but if you are able to remain calm, you will own the discussion, and the "rational thinking" part of the discussion.

    Hey, just a thought. It may seem weird, but see if your wife would "roll play" this discussion - practice keeping calm, and let her go all crazy like on you!!

  6. Well, to the three of you who have commented, and any one else reading the comments: The proverbial shit hit the fan. Someone passed on this blog post to my in-laws, they don't have a computer to read it themselves, and now I am no longer welcome in their home! My wife is pissed, and all communication has been cut off. It's not pleasant, and this is not where I wanted things to end up. It's actually quite sad.

  7. Well, this may now be the catalyst to initiate the necessary conversations - on both halves.

    Remember, there are two sides to every story, and as much as you want to get things off your chest, so may she.

    I suspect there will be some hurt feelings for a while now - but perhaps in the Christmas spirit, you could offer up an "olive branch" of sorts, and apologize for HOW she found out your feelings (by reading it here in a public format rather than face to face in person) - and you could sit and have an opportunity to say what it is you want (respectfully) to the other.

    Set up some ground-rules, stick to them, and have the difficult (but necessary) conversation.

    Admittedly this may not the ideal situation, but in the end (down a long and winding road) - maybe this was supposed to happen to help heal the rift within your extended families..

    I wish you (and your WHOLE family) all the best.

  8. Father of Five. I agree with you that putting this in a public forum may not have been my best call. However, they knew about this for a long time now. This crap has been going on for about 5 years now. My wife is even upset with them over how I've been treated, it's really bad. My father-in-law finally called my wife and we thought it was going to be the start of fixing things. But, he just wanted to know if he could make the drive up here to drop my kid's gifts off to her at her work. No mention of how things are right now. This has just gotten really sad.