Question: Dear Luise: My son’s wife has told him she hates us. He is upset with her, but we told him to straighten it out with her since she’s his first priority, now. We haven’t heard from our son since he dropped this bomb. We’ve been model in laws and are saddened and puzzled by her sudden change in attitude. She seemed to accept us and honor us even though we are very different from her parents, but now we’re unworthy. I can’t focus on work or other activities, and I find myself crying at odd times. No one wants to hear about a MIL’s hurt feelings because of all the stereotypes (eg. Raymond’s mom.) Although I know in my heart we’re good, loving, giving people, I wonder if there is something wrong with me because my stepmother treats me the same way – she has never accepted my brother or me and treats us like we’re beneath her. She and my dad have vacations and holidays with her kids and grandkids and we are not included. The few times we’ve spent with my dad and his wife have been awkward and hurtful to me; in fact my husband now refuses to be part of it since he sees how they treat me and it hurts him too much. Now I can’t even look forward to the same with my own family! What is it about me that invites this treatment?? And will I ever get over it and move on? How? B.
Answer: Dear B.: You are not to blame for how other people act. They have their own perceptions and filters that drive them. It’s unfortunate that there are people who act like that. They project their own negativity onto others and then go merrily about the process of not liking them as a result.
It isn’t merry for you…it’s miserable. Unfortunately, since it’s their stuff, you can’t change things. What you can change is within yourself. You can gravitate toward people who honor and respect you and who you honor and respect in return. My mother used to say, “the wood is full of ’em.” By that she meant that there are people in your life who appreciate you and people you haven’t met yet that will respond to your positive qualities.
Yes, we would like it to be those close by…especially a step-mom and a daughter in law, but sometimes we can’t choose. You didn’t come to this earth to be anyone’s scapegoat. You came to share you Light with those who want to bask in it.
I applaud you for turning the issue back over to you son. His primary allegiance is to his wife and his new family unit. He may not be able to change his wife’s strange shift but it’s their issue, not yours. I know it feels like yours…of course it does. I would like to invite you to come over to my web-Forum: http://motherinlawsunite.com I believe you will find comfort there.
If you have to move on, you can do that. Not easily or happily but because you know your own self-worth. Look elsewhere for support and camaraderie and look no further for any sign of logic in either woman’s behavior. There is none. Blessings, Luise