The Telephone Game

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Solong

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The Telephone Game
« on: January 29, 2020, 09:45:59 AM »
Hey everyone-

Recap: DH decided to give MIL one more try after 1.5 years no contact. We saw them twice for holidays and we’ve reaffirmed distance is best. We plan to see them a handful of times each year.

All has been quiet since, but BIL did start up the telephone game- a norm in this family. DH posted something to a professional page, BIL viewed it (DH could see that he did), BIL calls FIL/MIL to notify and FIL calls DH concerned.

I suppose this could all be well-intentioned, but this is their MO,  no matter the cause.

Those who are* in contact, would you just ignore? Send a brief text “all is well. Thanks”?
You do know.

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Bloomie

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Re: The Telephone Game
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2020, 11:35:22 AM »
Solong - I am thankful to hear things have been quiet since you have scaled back contact. My DH's family is notorious for acting on our personal info they have learned through means other than us. Most often through another family member or mutual acquaintance.

Because there is limited contact and in our case and an ongoing shared care for an elderly parent we try to keep it as civil as possible and my DH may reply with a brief "all is well over here" text in return as a simple solution and courtesy.

Keeping it as low drama and gray rock as possible has helped us. We don't continue to engage beyond that courtesy when this is personal information we have not directly shared.

Information is a powerful currency in my DH's family and used and abused. We have learned the very hard way to guard our lives beyond what is natural with a family member. With sharing an elder it is near impossible to keep certain aspects of our lives private - through we limit what we share with uPDmil as well.  The Telephone game is one of their favorites to play.


« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 11:38:04 AM by Bloomie »
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

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Solong

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Re: The Telephone Game
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2020, 07:06:29 AM »
This is helpful, Bloomie. Thank you!
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all4peace

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Re: The Telephone Game
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 11:58:03 AM »
This is classic in DH's family as well. It led to me trying to eradicate any flow of information, but that also became very isolating. At this point in the journey I'm cautious about how much I share anywhere publicly but also do have some online presence that they stalk (as evidenced by what they tell others about, or what they ask us about the few times we see them).

Since you ask for advice, I would advise either responding very blandly if that fits your level of contact, or ignoring entirely if that works for what you want from this relationship.

It can be really difficult to be true to our values and preferences when other people attempt to draw us into contact. It feels rude not to answer, and it took me a lot of painful work to unlearn my immediate info-sharing responses.

I'd say you can do what works for both you and your DH. Good luck!

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Solong

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Re: The Telephone Game
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2020, 11:01:20 AM »
Thanks A4P-

Your right about the bland response. I’ve also developed a bit of a callous recently with an underlying “talk all you want” attitude toward them. That’s helping too!

All the best,

So Long
You do know.