I’m thrilled to have an appointment with my therapist today. I need tools to deal with my challenges tomorrow: the visit from the Ex-Mother-in-Law and niece.
Like most Mother and Daughter in-laws our relationship has been rocky at best. She has attempted to insert herself into our (not broken) marriage at every turn. She even came to see us 3 weeks after we were married! I would love to write about all of our altercations, but alas I’m trying to focus on the current issue.
Tomorrow, EMIL will be visiting with L (a granddaughter) to watch Lucy’s field hockey game. They are driving 4 hours for a one hour game. Then we are to go to dinner and they will stay at a local hotel. All if this is fine. In fact, I’ve already visited with EMIL since we’ve been back. It was awkward, but doable.
The following weekend we are meeting at a field hockey tournament. That means an entire day, night, dinner, breakfast, lunch, and day with both the EMIL and the EPIL.
Here are some of my concerns:
- What do I call them? I’m okay with first names, but the EFIL has always been referred to as Pop. I’m not sure I can do that.
- Both are very opinionated. Thomas and I plan on visiting a nearby university. It’s not their “approved” university. How do I handle that pressure? I’m a firm believer that Thomas gets to choose where he wants to go (and can get into).
- I don’t know what they know with regards to the details of our separation. Do they know that Adam isn’t responsible for any part of college? Do they know how little he is actually paying?
- I’m worried that I’m going to snap if they begin interjecting their opinions. In the past, it has been tolerated, but “Girlfriend don’t have to do that no more.”
These are just a few reasons why I’m looking for tools from the therapist. How can I calmly listen to them? How do I make sure I’m not jumping at any false statements? How do I make sure I don’t start the problem? How do I act natural around them?
Somethings I plan on doing:
- Bring a book – it’s a great way to escape after dinner conversations
- Bring a camera – it’s a great way to escape day time conversations
- Don’t tell them our plans – hmm, that might be avoidance, but that this stage it might be best.
- When confronted with an uncomfortable questions, I’ll defer it to Adam. (yup, that avoidance again)
Well, that’s all I have for now. Hopefully, I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. But I’m from flat country. Everything is a mountain to me.
Guiding Card of the Day: Change Direction – yes, I hear you. Time to look for a new direction in life and not worry about the past.