Mother- in- law-/ intentional model emotional detachment


Hi Brooke,

New to SCS but not to your podcasts and teachings.
I am currently working on my relationship with my mother in law of 10 years. This is my first marriage and my husband’s second. My relationship with my mother in law has always been trickier than my manual said it was going to be! My manual told me that I would be welcomed into the family with open arms and fully accepted for being me. (My manual also told me it was ok if I sometimes needed to judge other’s behavior in my new family in order to make myself feel better – oops!). One ongoing “problem” in my relationship with my extended family is that my mother in law maintains a very close relationship with my husbands ex-wife (closer than her one with me). Of course that was NOT in my manual and therefore it makes me angry and hurt. My fairytale only has ME in it, and I don’t like having to share what I think is now “my” role in the family with anyone else.

Through listening to you I obviously know how flawed and ridiculous all of this way of thinking is. My rational mind completely gets it, my heart is much more slow to follow the logic. I have convinced myself (and my poor, sweet husband) for years that she is “wrong” and I am “right” and she is not treating me “fairly”. Now, I am having an emotional detachment problem when I work through the model.

unintentional
C- mother in law has close relationship with husbands ex
T- that’s not how it should be, I am the daughter in law now, she should eliminate that previous relationship
F- anger, jealousy, hurt, resentment
A- completely distanced myself from any relationship with mother in law
R- I don’t feel any better and now the majority of the extended family is angry with me

Intentional
C- mother in law has close relationship with husbands ex
T- my mother in law has the capacity to love many people- who my mother in law loves and spends her time with is not my concern
F- calm and peaceful– BUT ALSO TOTALLY DETACHED FROM THE FEELING. Almost like I am writing someone else’s story.
A- love my mother in law
R- eliminate external conflict, inner hurt and resentment??

How do I get my intentional model to feel real to me and not like I am going through the motions? I try to re-wire my brain and focus on all of all of the things I love about my mother in law when she pops into my head. I tel myself she is an adult and she is free to love and spend time with anyone she chooses. But, deep down I believe that I am not dealing with the inner work of why it bothers me so much that she has a relationship with my husbands ex. (control freak much??) I know you say that when we judge others or decide we don’t like some thing about someone else it is because that is some thing we identify within ourselves. How do I get there?