Last week I decided to post some items we’re selling on Facebook Marketplace. Little did I know that the “sharing” choices are different for Marketplace ads than for regular status updates, and that difference caused an uproar in the family.
My in-laws have steadfastly refused to discuss our plans to become expats. It’s the unspoken elephant in the room.
We’ve found this refusal enormously frustrating, and I know she’s frustrated, too.
Anyway. . . back to the story. . .
We’ve been trying to sell off a lot of stuff, mostly on Craigslist. This time, I thought I’d add some items to Marketplace as well. That’s when the proverbial stuff hit the fan.
My MIL saw the listings. First she called our oldest daughter and tried (unsuccessfully, I’m glad to say) to drag her into the middle of it. Next she called my husband, berated him soundly, then declared she was too upset to talk any more and hung up.
Aren’t families wonderful?
The Elephant in the Room
You know the old story about the three blind men and the elephant? Sure you do. They’re asked to describe an elephant, and each one describes something completely different. One feels its tusks and describes mighty swords, the next feels its leg and describes a strong tree while the third gets hold of the tail and thinks he’s got a snake.
So I decided to write a letter to my MIL describing the elephant from our point of view.
I’m hoping it will pave the way for her to talk with us about our decision to move overseas, but I’m not holding my breath.
I’ll let you know how it turns out.
It’s Your Life — Not Your Parents’, Kids’ or Friends’ Lives
Only you can make the big decisions in your life. Marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, job changes, moves, you do your research, you examine your heart, you weigh the pros and cons and you make your decision.
Your parents, although they may love you to pieces, don’t live your life. They don’t walk in your shoes or sleep in your bed. Same with your kids, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and coworkers.
It’s nice if they support your decisions, but not all of them will. When that happens, you need to graciously allow them their thoughts and feelings, share yours with them if you can, and move on.
I’m hoping this letter will open a dialog with my MIL, but I can’t force it or insist on it. I’m hoping it will give her the information she needs to understand our plans better, but I’m not counting on it.
We need to do the right thing for us, for our reasons. And so do you. And so does my MIL.
How do you cope with family who don’t support your decisions?
Photo by kevin j on flickr