Friday, May 23, 2008

Not Really Any Closer

Another week passes between posts. Oh well. I hardly imagine anyone out there is hanging on to my every word. Gardening (yay!), BB, and cruising in my new Corolla - well, that takes up time!

Back to business - Thanks for all of the advice re: the BIL/SIL situation. I think it would be worth while to "talk it out" a bit here.

Firstly, we do see each other on common ground a few times a year. We pretend that nothing is amiss and then carry on our merry ways. I don't know why, but I feel like that is not enough. I guess it doesn't match up to that Hallmark-family image that I have in my head. The question is starting to become "what is enough and what is reasonable to expect?"

What I do appreciate, though, is that I am not the only one in this type of situation. I admire those of you who have had the guts to say "it's not worth it" and let it all go. But I am stuck in that place where my mind and my soul are warring against one another. My head says "OK, maybe this is just how things are going to be and it is time to feel like that is enough." My heart says "NO! Families are supposed to be close, care about one another, and spend time together. You just haven't tried hard enough yet."

In truth, I haven't really tried to repair the damage caused by the distance of the past 3 years. Partly that is because I don't know where to begin. I don't know if I am blowing things out of proportion. I don't know if I am being self-centered in wanting more out of the relationship with my in laws; more than an afternoon here or there and a cursory family dinner at Christmastime. Not every family is close; I have to realize that.

Partly, the reason I haven't tried is that I am chicken-shit. I don't want to make things worse. And I think it would be easy to make things worse. (Defining worse: I imagine a scenario where I bring up the topic of the estrangement, they play nice, pretend that they have no idea what I am talking about, and then really make sure they stay away from the crazy emotional woman with no sense of propriety. I do get the feeling that my in-laws prefer the "lets pretend everything is okay" way of life and wouldn't appreciate any sort of "OK, let's deal with this" conversation.)

One of the hardest things about this is the contrast between my own siblings and my siblings-in-law. Though, admittedly, I wasn't always super-close with my own siblings, I have always had a sense of closeness with them. And, these days, I talk to them all several times a week and we are always trying to find ways to minimize the hundreds of kilometers between us. I guess I want that with my in laws, too.

I think what is happening is that I am reaching a cross-roads. I am soon going to have to make a decision. I am going to have to either let it go or try to make it better. Neither option is very appealing at this point.

I'm no longer looking for dead-baby-support from them. All I want is for our families to spend time together (which we do actually still enjoy, despite the void in the intervals) and for our kids to get to know each other.

But maybe I should let it go.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Instead of talking about the 'negative' things (e.g. asking why they screen, or why the don't want to get together as much), could you either just start asking them to do things more often (and realizing it may take many no's from them) or talk to them about how you really would like to spend more time together and that you really miss them. I don't know if there is a way to also say that you are willing to pick up where you are now and that you don't need/want to rehash anyone's past behavior....

Good luck, it sounds like a hard situation.