Um, like Vegas and stuff. Baby.

Traci’s sister and her boyfriend are getting married in Vegas in a couple weeks, so we’ll be heading down there for just one night to be there when they get hitched. As is always the case, Traci’s parents are trying to take control and make all the decisions, such as which hotel everybody should stay at and how we should all pay for it, supposedly all in the name of convenience. It doesn’t make much sense how letting them book a hotel for me and then later writing a check out to them is a “convenience” to me. That’s one reason why I’d prefer not to do things with them, because they always want some modicum of control over their adult children. They’ll play the parent role, and they expect everybody else to play the little kid role, including their childrens’ spouses.
Anyhow, we’re leaving Michael here with my mom on Friday and Saturday, but we’ll have to bring Bradley with us. It doesn’t sound like we’ll have much time to play by ourselves, since Traci’s planning on following her mom and sister around the entire time, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do

33 thoughts on “Um, like Vegas and stuff. Baby.

  1. Well, as one of the little kids, I can verify that some of that is true. I have to take the blame for wanting to have one person pay for it, because I was under the impression that everyone wanted to be by each other. The best way I could think of doing that was to have one person book them and the other two people just pay the third person. It sounds to me that the problem lies with Traci. She is used to having my mom around to help with the kids and she has gotten used to that. I don’t blame Traci for wanting her around because she has done a lot for your family, but you just see it as butting into your business. I am not going to say they are not overbearing because I know they are. My point is this; Traci has told me on several occasions that her mom is her best friend. That is one of the main problems as I see it. They should be close, and you should support that, but it looks more like you resent them for caring about their daughter. I guess I fail to see what is wrong with that. My grandfather (who was one of my hero’s and I would have died for) used to say: don’t be so quick to point the finger because there are three more fingers pointed back at you.

  2. I’m not saying anything about your mom simply being around so much–I also appreciate some of the things she’s done for us, although I agree that Traci is to blame for allowing herself to be cowed by your mom most of the time.
    My problem is with them being “overbearing,” as you stated it mildly, and expecting ME to fall in line with whatever plans they have for Traci. You should have heard how indignant your mom got when Traci told her that we were going to make our own reservation and pay for it ourselves. She seemed pissed off that Traci consulted with me on the matter in the first place, which is often the case.
    I can name countless times when I had run-ins with your parents because they wanted to control me indirectly through Traci. You may not know what some of these mean, but Traci and I sure do:
     ? Brian Belnap’s wedding, and the ensuing threat of violence from your dad.
     ? The “generator incident” in Huntington Canyon
     ? The time your mom accused me of starting an argument between her and Traci that I had absolutely nothing to do with, which subsequently resulted in me not attending Thanksgiving dinner at their house that year.
    Those are just a few of the most memorable, but less dramatic incidents occur nearly on a daily basis around here.
    Ask your wife, I’m sure she knows how I feel, though she’s lucky you guys live so far away and she doesn’t have to experience it quite as often as I do.

  3. Right. I didn’t say there wasn’t a problem. I think there is a big problem. What I am saying is that you have your side of the story and they have theirs. We have had our share of disagreements with them and a lot of times I agree with their intentions, but not the actions they take. I just think that you are placing all of the blame on them and it definitely is not all their problem.
    I don’t know about all of those particular incidents, but I am sure that both parties involved were being stubborn and too proud to back down. What results is you end up not liking them (possibly me for saying this) and they end up not liking you. What kind of situation this puts Traci in should be the biggest concern to both sides. She suffers the most and she has told me this. I didn’t want to be in the same situation as she is in, so when I first saw issues with my parents that involved my wife, I called both of them on it. We sat down and had a few good talks about the issues and everyone was set straight about what everyone’s role actually is. I don’t think Traci has a strong enough will to do this anymore because she has been broken down between you and my parents fighting. They can’t fight by themselves, so you have to be contributing too. Don’t think that I don’t applaud you for standing up for what you feel is right, because that is great. I just think that there is no reason to put Traci in that kind of situation. They are wrong for doing it and so are you. I think both of you just need to admit that and learn how to get along for Traci and your childrens sake. They could be around another 20 years or so. If they are not going to be adult enough to make the first move, then maybe you should.

  4. If I am wrong about this, let me know. I would also like to know what others think as long as they are adult enough to respect my desire not to be cussed at for not sharing their opinion.

  5. No, I don’t dislike you for saying these things, just to set things straight. However, you hear about all the horrible things I do directly from your parents 95% of the time–only rarely do I mention them on my website where you can see my side of the story.
    To put things into perspective, why don’t you try to think of a time when your family members weren’t fighting with one another. Hard to imagine, right? Their entire existence is based on arguing and fighting with each other, and it never ceases. Out of Traci’s four immediate family members, she is, at any given time, fighting with at least one of them (independent of me). And at any given time, one of those four immediate family members is fighting with ANOTHER family member, and the cycle never ends.
    I think your reasoning that I’m partly to blame stems from the fact that you’ve never known anything different than all the infighting that goes on in your family. It seems normal to you, so you can’t see it from an outsider’s perspective.
    Take this, for example: Traci has been shit on and treated badly by her entire family more times than I can count, and she always forgives and forgets. She’s used to all the fighting and has learned to ignore all the times she’s been hurt, all in order to feel wanted. It’s like the dog that you kick, but he keeps coming back for more, since bad attention is better than no attention at all. Your family treats its members worse than they would strangers.
    Contrast all that to my family. We get along well, and we NEVER fight or get into arguments. We respect each other, we don’t interject ourselves where we’re not wanted, and we certainly don’t try to control each other. The only exception to that is my little sister–she did something very selfish and hurtful, at the expense of other family members, and now nobody has anything to do with her. I was taught not to put up with shit from anybody, even if that means cutting off contact with family members.
    The difference between our two families is that I am loved and respected by mine as much as I respect and love them, but from my point of view, your family shits all over each other, but they can’t understand why I don’t come back for more like the rest of you do. I’ve been dealt a lot of shit from them, but I don’t deal it back out unless I’ve been shit on first, in which case it’s no skin off my back if they aren’t “adult enough” to admit to their wrongdoing.

  6. Fair enough. I see where you are coming from and I would go so far as to say that I agree with most of what you said. I hope you don’t think I am attacking you…that is not my intention at all. What I hoped would come from this is an understanding. I want to understand what the big deal is.
    I think more harm can come from avoiding the confrontation than by just being pissed off for the rest of your life. My parents are two of the most complicated people I know, but I have a lot more experience dealing with them than you do so I would hope you could learn from my bad experiences. Think about it. The only thing I see happening in future from what is going on currently is that you will both just think the other party is a jerk and just drift farther and farther apart. Tearing Traci and the kids apart as you do so. Therefore it IS skin off your nose, or at least it should be. If they weren’t your family, and I say family because you married into it for better or worse, I would just say screw them. The problem with that is that you are hurting your wife more than anybody else. They don’t care if you don’t come around and you don’t care if they aren’t around, but where does Traci fit? She can’t go either way so she just doesn’t do anything.
    I can’t remember what the whole problem was now, but once my wife was having issues with my parents and she was at the point where you are and just wanted nothing to do with them. In my opinion, that isn’t an option. You probably don’t agree with that, but since Traci isn’t going to let go of her parents, something has to be done. Anyway, we had a very frank talk about it and I had them promise that they would act like adults and allow each side to talk until they were done and then the other side had a chance to express themselves. Long story short, we were able to establish things that we would and would not allow them to do. I have had to set my father straight on a couple of occasions, but the whole point was that we were open and frank about it. They were too, surprisingly enough.
    Just a thought.

  7. one thought from a neutral party. your family needs many a many hours of therapy, and “quiet time”. just a thought :).

  8. I don’t feel like it’s my place to force your parents to behave themselves. If they want to treat me like shit, fine, I’ll give them as few opportunities as possible to do so by not being around them. If Traci is torn between the two of us, then it’s her responsibility to keep her parents under control. She’s afraid to stand up to them for any reason, to the point where she goes along with whatever they say, and I’m the one that ends up suffering in the end.
    Your parents already know how I feel about them, and all their butting in to business that is between Traci and myself, yet they can’t exercise enough self-control to act upon my wishes. Sitting down for a talk with them won’t solve anything, since I always make my feelings well-known, yet no improvement has happened on their end.
    And don’t worry, I don’t feel like I’m being attacked or anything. I can understand you wanting to hash these things out on your parents’ behalf, but the simple fact is that they have no desire to undo all the damage they’ve caused. They’d prefer to continue being the bosses, and they expect everybody else to be subservient.
    The fact that every son- or daughter-in-law they’ve had, with the exception of Dave (so far), has wanted nothing to do with them at one point or another might be the biggest proof that this is none of my doing, and all of their doing. If the problem rested on my shoulders, then I’d feel some responsibility to take care of it. But the problem rests solely on their shoulders right now, as does the responsibility to fix it.

  9. Tried that when I was younger. Didn’t work because an outsider was trying to tell my father that he was wrong. Traci and Dennis will have to sit down with them and have an adult conversation and lay it all out on the table if that is what they choose to do. Strait jackets might come in handy.
    I am trying to remain neutral in this, but I think boths sides need to lose the pride and think about the future.
    Think about this: I am 27 and I have to tell my parents in their mid 50’s to grow up. Sad, but amusing.

  10. No, they are not the sole problem. It takes two to tango and that whole bit. You have to admit that or you will never be able to get along.
    I think you should maybe sit down with Traci and see if what she has told me is correct. I was under the understanding that she wants my mom around because she needs the help with the kids, not to mention that she enjoys her company. When she comes over or Traci goes there, I had the impression that they were mutually involved in an activity. It sounds like maybe Traci isn’t being totally up front with you or me maybe. I don’t know, but I think you and Traci should have a big talk and once you are in agreement about what to do, then you would be able to present a clear picture to my parents. Right now I really think they get one messege from Traci and another from you, which they perceive as you being a rude ingrate.

  11. How about this. Since this has nothing to do with everyone else in the world that read this web site, and everything to do with my disfunctional family, we all need to have our say but I do not feel it should be done this way. Just for some closure I agree with both of you on some points and disagree with both of you on others. And some of the problems are just so trivial that I don’t feel like it is worth fighting about. If you think that makes me weak I really don’t care. As for my parents they are just that. I would do anything for any member of my family. My parents aren’t the youngest or most healthy people so if I can spare them some pain or hurt while they are alive I will. I don’t know how long they will be here. Some of my neutrality comes this and some of it comes from the fact that I DON”T LIKE TO FIGHT!!! I guess I am just trying to say that I don’t let anyone tell me what to think (mother, husband, or brother) and I never will.
    I guess I should also say that, yeah my mom is one of my best friends, next to my husband and others. But if you want it all there is no one person that I share all of every little detail with because I don’t want anyone to take something out of context and, then I have to deal with the on going fight that ALL my family always are in the midst of.
    And I happen to agree most with Nima. But my ENTIRE family is too proud to seek that kind of help.

  12. Even though Dennis doesn’t start these situations, he doesn’t do anything to defuse them either, and I feel that makes him partially at fault.
    Just something to think about Jay, when was the last time you heard anyone in our family appologe unrestricted? (Yourself included… i.e.”I’m sorry you interpred what I said incorrectly.” not “I’m sorry I was a complete jackass!”) Just something to think about.

  13. Well, I agree with Traci. I don’t think this is the place, but I don’t think some of these issues would have been discussed otherwise.
    I think you are fooling yourself though about not letting people tell you what to do.
    Consider a discussion…you never know what good could come from it and things couldn’t get worse than they are right now, so who cares?

  14. I don’t know what’s up with this “it takes two to tango” crap. If somebody walked up to me and punched me in the face, and I punched them back, how could I possibly be at fault for them punching me in the first place? The same holds true for your parents–they shit on me first, then I get defensive about it, and somehow I’m partially to blame for their initial behavior? I hold no responsibility for another person’s unprovoked actions, and your parents certainly have no reason to believe that I ever provoked them.

  15. I’m a complete outsider, but I’m interested in hearing about this ? Brian Belnap’s wedding, and the ensuing threat of violence from your dad incident. It sounds interesting.

  16. That’s what you believe, but I don’t think that is true.
    For instance, in your above example about my father threatening you. If someone called my wife a Bitch, I would be all over them too.
    It really doesn’t matter what she was trying to tell you to do or whatever. The point is, they definitly have issues, but you are too proud to admit that you are just as guilty of causing problems. I am just saying that it can’t hurt to talk to them about it and be adult here. Why not give it a shot? Is what you are doing now working out so well that you just can’t imagine anything better? I don’t think so.
    To answer your question. I can speak from experience. If someone ever punched me, I deserved it. I either did or said something that I probably shouldn’t have.

  17. When somebody calls me at my mom’s house, yelling at me and accusing me of asserting undue influence on my own girlfriend by merely asking her to accompany me to a friend’s wedding, I’d say that somebody was a bitch, regardless of gender. You can’t tell me that women are immune from hearing the truth. Nobody knows what provoked your mom to call me and scream in my ear in the first place, but it certainly wasn’t anything that I did, and therefore wasn’t my responsibility to “defuse.”
    That Traci asked my mom if she could live at her house after that incident, and did so for more than a year just to get away from her conniving mom, only served to reinforce my opinion.
    You keep suggesting that I be the “adult” here and approach your parents about their wrongdoings. My contention is that the “adult thing to do” is to continue on as I have, and do my own thing, trying to live my own life in the same manner as I always have, while ignoring those people who put their noses where they don’t belong. You and I both know that reason and logic aren’t a part of your parents’ lives.

  18. Touch?. Logic…um that wasn’t part of the discussion, and for good reason. Since we are on the subject though, how logical is it to alienate them when doing so would cause more harm than good?
    Maybe I am clinching to something that really isn’t there, but I think that harm is being done to Traci and the kids (unknowingly for now) as well as the extended family. I must admit that our relationship has gone down hill because of your problems with my parents. Point being, others are affected by issues that you and my parents have. The only one I can see benefitting at all from distancing your family from them is you.
    Bottom line…you and Traci have to decide if the benefit to you outweighs the harm done to Traci and everyone else. My opinion is no, but that has to be you and Traci, all things considered.

  19. ok so we all agree that they are not logical. So, I feel that, sad as it may be, it would do more harm than good to sit with them. For one, Dennis remembers everything and holds grudges, so do mom and dad even if they say they don’t. Secondly, it would end up totally out of control, and I am the one who would be flattened by this ugly snowball.

  20. Granted this exchange might have been more comfortable as an e-mail correspondence for some people, I don’t think anybody has to worry about them or their family being judged or criticized. Most of us have some very interesting or flat out messed up families. I know I sure do. Most of which stems from a long line of abuse and religion. Bad combo.

  21. Well, I think you might be wrong about it not benifitting you, but that is your choice. I will say this though, if they don’t have the right mindset going into it then there could very likely be harm from it, especially if one or both sides are too proud to back down or admit that they are partially to blame.
    I would just very much like to see a positive change and that will not happen if Dennis just continues “ignoring those people who put their noses where they don’t belong”.
    Anyway I think you (Traci/Dennis) aught to persue the issue.

  22. Ok, as the only daughter-in-law, I must admit that I have been reading all this. Dealing with the in-laws can be a big headache. It seems that if I ignore the offensive things that do not hurt or affect me in the long term perspective of things, and stand up firm on the things that affect me and my family in the long term, then we are able to get along decently. I must admit that the 1 1/2 hour drive home from visiting has on many occassions been full of me complaining and griping about the things that the in-laws did. But the best part is that Jaysen and I have an understanding in what we will put up with and no matter what the situation, we know what we need to do to deal with it. Sometimes Jaysen has to kick me under the table so that I know that it is not worth getting upset about because there would be no good to come of it. Also, Jaysen tries to make it clear to them that he and I are united in our stand. They will in no way get us to change what we do because we do not do what is best for them, we do what is best for us!!!! This makes his mom and dad think that I control him, but they are not there when he comes up with the ideas for our limits we set. I don’t know if I could picture Dennis and the in-laws sitting around their kitchen table talking about the problems they have, but there needs to be something said–especially out of Traci’s mouth, in front of her parents. It needs to be clear what their stand is, and that she and Dennis have decided it together. You also need to tell them what you expect of them, and what your parents can expect from you. I will guarantee you that they will try and forget these things, but do like Jaysen and I, and keep reminding them. Being stubborn is not all bad if you are being stubborn about the things that really make a difference.
    You can not change them, you must be able to learn how to deal with them the best way for you and your family’s sake. Your children are their grandchildren and they will do anything for them. Dealing with them will only give your kids a chance to really love them without hearing about how much you hate them.
    Hope any of this can help!

  23. Three words…
    Ya know, its a funny thing how hitting your head against a wall doesn’t start to feel better if you hit it in a different place. I wanted there to be an understanding reached and little did I know, Mine eyes would be opened. Anyway, I’m glad neither of you were offended.
    Oh, feel free to choose any three words that you like.

  24. First Of all….Hi Michelle and Jason! Second….Traci you should do something with Dennnis when u are in vegas..then later something with your mom. Sounds like you are all bitter…Tracis parents seem stubborn…but I say Just reserve your own rooms..let the parents do it for everyone else. THey can not control every aspect of your lives. ANd yes they are your parents and you should respect your parents, but they also need to respect you. ANyway….HI Traci.

  25. Haha, very nice Jaysen. My question wasn’t intended as criticizing, I was actually curious if that is what the number meant. I have had gay and bisexual friends/acquaintances, but nowhere near that number. You live outside of Utah?

  26. I don’t know Dennis or Traci from adam, but I used to be a co-worker of Jaysen’s ( at which time he got me addicted to your site, Dennis). I must say though, what a big freaking relief to know the mine is not the only family in Utah that is dysfunctional.
    Anyways, my experience is this: PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE. Especially parents.
    Anyways, just wanted to contribute, however worthless it is.
    Hey Jaysen, long time to see, drop me an email sometime.

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