My husband’s daughter and grandson spend the holiday weekend with us at my invitation and I also invited the 12-year-old to stay for the week to help her out with childcare (they live five hours away) and to try to create a family dynamic. (I don’t have grandchildren yet but I have two kids in their 20s and hope for some someday!).
The trouble is that my husband barely talked to them and left me alone with her while he puttered around the house, washed the car, etc. It felt like I had to do all the work and he was just as remote as he is when my kids visit. I guess my hope was that by being nice to his family, he would be nice to mine.
I am having a cascade of negative thoughts about both of them and dreading the week. Also I am totally judging my husband for not being able to relate to his daughter and grandson and for being cranky with me. The point is that I want him to behave a certain way around his family to make it easier for me to be around his family.Why can’t this be fun? I have the same control issues with my brothers: I want them to behave a certain way around my mother to make it easier for me and it has led to me not seeing them.
So if I think that this is about him and not about me, it still feels like I am giving him a pass to behave however he wants and then I have to clean up. His daughter really is nice and the grandson isn’t the worst (though he can push a remarkable number of buttons!). I still need a lot of work about taking responsibility for others and trying to ‘fix’ everything and control it all. I honestly don’t know why this kid makes us so crazy, I feel like I have already failed.
I did a few models to work out the stress but not sure I am getting anywhere, I can’t seem to have a conclusion that feels true other than I am a bad person, which is frustrating because I was trying to do something good 🙁
C Grandson comes to visit
T He is a pain and this is going to be hard
F Impatience, frustration, doubt that I can pull this off and be nice, not lose it
A Remove myself the way husband removes himself
R Kid suffers, I am stressed, unkind
T he is a challenging child but that is why I offered to look after him
F Nervous, worried
A let him be what he is, I can’t change that but I can be pleasant
R A nice visit (not a perfect visit)
T husband is triggered all over the place and peril lurks that he will lose it
F worried frightened, want to fix it
A let them be who they are, he is an adult and this is about him and not you. The boy is who he is, not my responsibility, I don’t have to fix him
R a more relaxed visit, B- visit!
T husband has no real regard for anyone, even his own child, why am I with him?
F unsettled, unkind, ungrounded, confused
A increasingly grumpy and judgmental
T husband will behave badly
F this is about their relationship, I am not in charge of it
A take the time I need to myself, let the visit be great or not so great
R maybe I won’t change the kids life but it will be ok.
T he is rude and ungrateful and obnoxious
F he doesn’t mean any of it, he is nervous and awkward
A let him be, plan outings that I a comfortable with, don’t get mad
R it won’t be enough fun and games for him but that is ok