Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Flip that Record

Hello Aunt B,

This past Easter, my son and daughter-in-law didn't invite me to their annual Easter dinner. They did invite my daughter-in-law's parents and a few other relatives.
The reason I wasn't invited is probably because I recently had a disagreement with my daughter-in-law's mother who has been spiteful to me ever since we met years ago.
All this time, I've never said anything mean back to her...I wanted to "keep the peace" and avoid an argument.
The final straw was when she kept sending me depressing e-mails after I asked her to stop, She'd send e-mails about death, dying and started right after my husband passed away from cancer three and a half years ago.
What I don't understand is why my son and daughter-in-law feel that I am the cause of the problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've been trying to be the "bigger" person and not respond to her criticisms. I guess ignoring her was condoning her behavior.
Now that I've stood up to her, I've become the outsider and it's going to take time to get over my hurt feelings.
Because I did stand up to my daughter-in-law's mother, my son and daughter-in-law don't want to have anything to do with me! That speaks volumes about how they really feel about me.
I feel that my daughter-in-law's mother owes me an apology for her actions. What do you think?
And. is there any way to resolve this situation?
Thank you.
Dear Friend,

Of course, there are always three sides to every story; Yours, Mine and the Facts. Right? I don't have all the components of this story so it is a bit difficult to cultivate an answer for you.

However, I do have the gift of Intuition. I can see that your sons mother-in-law has not been playing above board. I can just feel it.

I am not sure how you stood up to her, short of telling her not to send the rather inappropriate emails? I feel you had/have the right to not receive those type of emails considering it is a sore spot, she seems to have honed in on. I will ask you if it was a sore spot, you really feel she was digging at, purposefully or was it just a sore spot she fell upon quite accidentally?

I ask these questions simply because I happen to feel you dislike her, have disliked her from the get go. So, anything she may do, you may take offense to? Is it possible that you wrote more into it than was there? I am certainly not taking up for her, by no means. But do you really feel she was being spiteful? If your answer is yes to that question, then I can only hope and pray that Mz. Karma Bitchslap will Wheel-n-Deal with her.

I think your only resolve here would be to write a letter/email of explanation. In that letter you might state how you feel about those emails. But to put things into a diplomatic perspective, you might say something to the effect of that while she may not have realized how depressing and painful her emails were, they were in fact, harmful. You state that you will give her the benefit of the doubt and state that you'd like to wipe the slate clean, between you both. Yes, you state, "in an effort to keep the family together, you would like to start over." Now, I know in your head, right now, you're saying to yourself that you don't owe her a damn thing. You really don't but in an effort to make things work, you lay your cards on the table, for all to see. By writing this email, if she does not apologize or do her best to make amends, it will clearly be seen by all that it is not you who has not made the attempt at amendment.

Yes, as painful as it may be, you write the email, cc it to your son, showing your effort. You are not admitting to any wrongdoing here. No, you are simply stating your feelings in the matter and that her emails were too painful and you asked her to stop. You have this right. You also have the right to have your own anger consume you? take control of it. You own your anger in this situation by letting all know that the emails seemed hurtful thus you became angry. Boom, there you've said it. Now, you state that you'd like to wipe that proverbial slate clean and for the good of all family and affairs, you'd hope that things can and will be resolved.

Now, my Dear, the ball is in her court. She has no choice but to respond or be deemed the evil one, the instigator and most importantly, the one who is not trying to make this work. Flip that record, alright? If only I could be a fly on the wall...

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

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