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Difficult daughter-in-laws

(111 Posts)
Bea Tue 10-May-11 14:42:37

I have always been nice to my daughter-in-law and never interfere but she has always disliked me and now prefers my grandson to spend more time with her family than ours does anyone else have this problem and how do they deal with it?

dorsetpennt Mon 30-May-11 09:47:00

Gosh I'm lucky as I get on very well with DIL! My son and her are extremely fair in making sure both Grannies [and one Grandad] get equal time. However, as I'm single [divorced] it does fall on me to 'step in' and help when needed, even though I still work 2 afternoons a week.Also her mother is quite a nervous Granny, also gives her time when it suits her - whereas I feel I do go the extra mile. A new baby is due in November as the last one arrived very quickly I'm to go up and just stay until the event.This is because as a nurse I can help if the worse should happen and she ends up giving birth at home!! God forbid. We all love our little granddaughter and we all get on. We are very lucky going by the above stories and those I've heard at work

abuela Wed 08-Jun-11 11:12:31

I agree.

I do feel that at times mothers of daughters can be very insensitive to the needs of the other grandparents.

They could if they wished help their daughters to be more sensitive to thier husbands need to have his family included.

It is very difficult for husbands to insist on this, if it is not happening, as it can be a cause of conflict, which no one would want.

Gally Wed 15-Jun-11 09:03:32

I have 3 daughters and I love and respect all my 3 SILs in a different way. They are all so different, but the important thing is they are in happy relationships and good and loving to my daughters and fun Dads to their children. My only quibble is with Daughter No.2's MIL. D married an Australian and has no family in Oz; she has no help from anyone so you'd think that her MIL would take my place to a certain extent wouldn't you? It's as if there's a constant battle going on in her head. I've had D on the phone many times in tears asking why her MIL is so horrible to her. She 'helps' with the children when it suits her but always over rules D's way of doing things e.g. feeds the children biscuits and sweets 10 minutes before lunch is due; lets them watch endless TV rather than take them out to the playpark. On one occasion when D asked if she could help for an hour, MIL told her she couldn't as she was 'watching the stew cook'!! (I could write a book on her excuses - maybe I will). I am sorely tempted sometimes to talk to MIL but know it wouldn't help in the long run. D has now decided to go with the flow as she has to live (next door!!) with the situation. I think she's amazing and very brave.
Anyway, I am an excited Gally because they are all arriving to stay with us next week for a 5 week holiday.

happyharry Wed 15-Jun-11 10:04:13

I am a dil and I just feel that I have to post. I am just wondering why all the threads re family conflict seem to be mil/dil.
What about mil/son il? I actually think I have a much better relationship with my mil than dh had with his mil. We always visit mil as a family at weekends plus I occassionally see her on my own. We have been away on holiday together twice.
However, dh made little effort with my mum. It was mutual. I don't think my mum ever really approved of him. It is now too late to change as she passed away a few months ago.
I would say that now mum has passed it has made my relationship with mil more difficult. I can see to a certain extent why one dil wanted to visit her mums grave on Mothers Day. I found Mother's Day really hard. Although I did go out with inlaws I found it really hard as my mum had passed away 2 weeks before.
Sorry for hijack op but just wanted to show another angle.

harrigran Wed 15-Jun-11 11:27:23

It saddens me to read of DIL/MIL conflict, why can't people just pull together in the best interests of the children. I love my DIL as if she was my own and there is nothing I wouldn't do for her. Her Mother lives a considerable distance away and can not visit frequently so I am happy to take a back seat when she is on the scene. Why should there be rivalry ?

gillybob Wed 15-Jun-11 14:56:32

Lucyjordan..... Yeah its mine.LOL. I have MS and can't get down as easy as I once could !! Actually he's really quite good at it smile

expatmaggie Thu 16-Jun-11 15:24:45

I've just read Sprinkles story and its heart breaking. Her son would be well advised to get legal help. Have the children got their own passports or are they on their mother's. Perhaps If they are on hers he can get that altered.

It is the MIL with her experience of life and relationships that is crucial to the success of this relationship. Why should it be so upsetting to see your son doing most of the work? Women have done most of the family housework and child- care for generations and it never upset anyone.

I know my daughter's MIL very well, we live nearby and now share 2 lovely GDs. I know that all is not well because of the fact that her son often gets a meal ready when he comes home from work. But it was his choice to be the cook. He loves it but he is very untidy and my daughter patiently tidies up after him. They have got that sorted out and are a happy couple and slowly his mother is beginning to accept the fact.
Family life has to keep going, we all have to keep some of our opinions to ourselves. I remember an interview on BBC TV with a couple, both over 100. What is the secret of a happy married life? the reporter asked him, 'Yes Dear! he replied.
So there we are. We Mothers -in -law. A little bit more of 'Yes Dear'

JessM Thu 16-Jun-11 15:49:19

Oh Sprinkles, my heart goes out to you. Your poor son as well. It is hard standing up to an unstable bully when it feels like they have all the power and you have none. He does need to talk to a family solicitor at least and get some professional advice about how he can best protect his children.
All you can do it try to be very, very nice to DIL and encourage your son to take advice. DIL may be suffering too if her family are giving out to her? Obviously not a happy bunny.

lane70 Tue 28-Jun-11 18:19:19

I have a similar situation. It does get me down but I can understand it. I always tried to be nice to my mother-in-law but I can't say I looked forward to her visits. Now I'm in that role. What goes around, comes around.

I just try to remind myself that my daughter-in-law is a really good loving mum to my grandchildren. That's the crucial thing.

Stansgran Sun 17-Jul-11 15:16:24

awful story from Sprinkles-surely her son should get the children their own passports and keep them safe-ie at his work. it would worry me if the children are girls and later taken off to be married abroad.There is a serious group of people who have had children abducted and are fighting for their return-might be worth contacting them for ideas on prevention.
and by the way I think I had a difficult mil but I may well have been a rubbish dil and probably like Maxgran young and insecure

sprinkles Sun 17-Jul-11 22:39:58

My son says doesn't want to do anything as he wants things to "get back to normal", so we back off. We all live in different parts of the country so contact is by phone, texts and email. D-i-l has sent me gifts as she always did so all in all everything appears normal. But it was like that right up to the day she abducted the children abroad last year.

We are all supposed to be staying with my daughter and her family next week and I'm looking forward to it. Her mother arrives in this country in a couple of weeks but is not allowed to stay at their home. My son does not want to see her again after what she did to the children last November but d-i-l wants to try and see if she can build a different relationship with her. My son has his big brother as support, he listens to him.

The children adore their father. The eldest (then 20 months) was traumatised with what happened and clinged to his dad for a long time. Both children look like their daddy and he lives for them. I can't comment on his relationship with d-i-l and I hope they are building trust again for the sake of the children. They had been married over five years before the abduction and there did not seem to be problems . D-i-l does not make friends easily and uses internet social sites for company and of course speak to her own family.

Bellesnan Fri 29-Jul-11 09:04:31

Unfortunately I got fed up with my dil complaining about my son i.e. having no conversation when he gets home, not playing with the children etc. and generally feeling she had no support from him, the family etc., despite the fact that I had offered to visit to give her help during school holidays but she went behind my back and told my daughter she didn't want me there. The texts/emails went on forever not just to me but to my daughter as well. Even my husband got fed up with it and men, lets face it, never really notice these things! Finally I texted my son and told him to get his house in order and talk things through with her as we were fed up with all the negativity. His reply was that he needed our support - he has not spoken to us for over a year now, we have had no contact despite leaving phone messages. We have not seen our beautiful grandchildren since last August when we visited post my husband having chemo and radiotherapy for cancer.

Libradi Sat 30-Jul-11 07:53:27

I'm reading all your comments with interest and hopefully have learnt a thing or two about dil's. My son gets married 3 weeks today. I get on well with my future daughter in law and really hope we carry on having a good relationship when they are married.

Faye Sat 30-Jul-11 22:07:26

I think Bellesnan that you are going to have to bite the bullet yourself and apologise to your daughter in law. Tell her you were stupid to get involved and you can see that she did have a reason to get fed up with your son having no conversation etc. It will probably be the only way to get your family back together again.
Life is too short to not be supportive of daughters in law. I understand some are difficult the same as some mothers in laws are difficult. But why make problems when there could be none. The best thing is to not criticize daughter in laws, it makes life easier and you could find that you have another daughter wanting to be treated as part of the family not just the woman who married your son!
I truly hope you get this sorted out soon and not find yourself in the position in years to come of looking back and regretting not being a part of you son's family.

glammanana Sat 30-Jul-11 22:23:11

I may need someone to confirm this sprinkles but I am sure your son can have a notice attached to his childrens passport no. in case of any future
problems,my daughter had a similar problem with her eldest two boys,her
1DH tried to keep the boys in Portugual they got out with help from British
Consulate and lucky to get out before father went to family court,when they
arrived home we where advised to have all ports etc notified with their
passport details.This sounds a bit OTT but by the sounds of the family they are not going to change their ways.So sorry to hear of your upset and my heart goes out to you as i have been there x

Nanban Mon 22-Aug-11 20:08:01

I haven't had time to read all the messages on this forum so forgive me if I get the wrong end of the stick! I would have thought that it would be wise to never take sides under any circumstances - almost impossible I know - but listening is good. We are all only too naturally sympathetic to our children and don't get that they may not be as perfect as we think/hope. What to do. Bite the bullet and meet with your DiL to talk and see what comes of it - you may both be very nice people who don't understand each other; she might be awful but you can overcome that for the sake of son and grandchildren; you are a woman chocker block full of life's experiences and wisdom - a place she will arrive at one day as we all know but maybe not in your time!

Sulis Fri 21-Oct-11 13:50:59

I apologise in advance for the length of this.

My 22 year old son, who at the time was about to start his 3rd year at Uni, went on his dream trip to Viet-Nam last summer. When he returned he had met and fallen in love with a 30 year old woman. This was his first serious relationship and she came to visit us in September last year when they were both back from their trip.

I am a 65 year old single parent, my ex husband being foreign. He still lives abroad and comes from a very disfunctional family. We were comparatively poor when my son and I returned from abroad, but circumstances had landed a substantial inheritance on me and I was able to afford to pay my son's Uni fees, to buy a large new house and a very nice car for cash. I had (mistakenly ?) lavished much love and attention on my son, possibly too much. We had a very close relationship as we have no other family here in the U.K. He hadn't had to work to pay his way through Uni and he was aiming for a high degree in order to merit my paying off all his student debt as an incentive to doing well. There was no new relationship for me although I did try internet dating for years, met some nice people, but never managed to create that special magical spark.

I was very excited to meet the new girlfriend and was determined to make a wonderful MIL if they were going to be together. However, although I work in a school and am used to young people, nothing had prepared me for the kind of behaviour and talk which she used whilst staying at my home that first time. When I met her I knew something was not quite right but was unable to put a finger on it. There were lies (I found out later), talk of drugs, no evidence of how she earned her living, she walked around naked upstairs, in front of me, after showering , and made enquiries of me as to how much money my house was worth. Her twin sisters both had babies this year, and I suspected she would want a baby too, especially as she was the older sister, and indeed, that baby arrived this month.

On leaving Uni, my son had no job, he had put all his overdraft allowance into a joint bank account which the girlfriend used to rent a flat for a single person in the centre of town into which they all must fit. He did not get a good degree and blamed it on her constant need for attention and entertainment.

I discovered that since she was a child she had been suffering from an anxiety syndrome. This lead to a lot of screaming down the telephone at my son if he failed to please her in anything. There were upset phone calls from him to me when the relationship became apparently impossible for him, accusing her of being aggressive, belligerent, selfish and self-centred.

He tried to get a job in the army so that he would not have to spend time with her but would still be the child's father. The army did not take him. He himself has been suffering from the lack of a father's presence and vowed that would not happen to his son. He also had to go to the doctor suffering with depression as he was under an incredible amount of stress. I became very worried about the state of his mental health.

At one point they became homeless and I put them up in my home whilst they were flat hunting. I ferried them back and forth collecting their things and bringing them to mine. I filled the fridge up for them, did their washing and took care of them, both of them, considering both of them to be part of my family. I took a three day trip to visit friends in London so that they could have some privacy and space and she took the opportunity to invite her father, sister, brother in law and baby to my house in my absence without asking my permission in advance, just informing me of it once she'd made her plans.

I had asked to meet her family many times but she had always refused saying that her family did not like being out of their own home. The father stayed the night. When he left there was not even a thank you note left for me. Then one day I was ill and my son brought me a cup of tea to my room and sat with me awhile to find out what was wrong and what could he do. When he returned downstairs the girlfriend went quite potty saying that he had spent 45 minutes talking to me when she was pregnant and needed taking care of. The next day she ran away. However, they are still together, with the baby now, in another town, to be near her family, my son to my knowledge still jobless. My son wanted to end the relationship. but is very much under her thumb and they have refused to let me have the new address, I'm not allowed onto his facebook account, and it is clear they have both cut me out completely, my son said that she has a list of criticisms against me and will never forgive me for coming between them. I had not been aware that I had, but am quite willing to looking at whatever it was that I had done wrong. They won't tell me what it was that I did wrong. The night before he left my house my son hurled abuse at me, refused to give me the new address and made it clear I was not welcome into their lives under any circumstances.

So, I have lost my son and I shall never meet my grandson. I am trying hard to get my head back together and am about to join the Rotary Club. But I am hurt, angry and grieving and find it difficult to see a point to anything.

Grannylin Fri 21-Oct-11 15:00:19

Sulis, I've read your account twice and found it unbelievably awful. No, you aren't being unreasonable at all, you've totally been taken for a ride by a very strange, controlling DIL. I think that, in time, your son will find his life with her intolerable and that you will see him again. In the meantime, you must look after yourself. I would suggest some personal counselling to make you strong again to cope with this.Big hug.

harrigran Fri 21-Oct-11 17:01:35

Sulis there are ways and means of finding people, anybody can get access to the electoral roll. These are acts of unbelievable cruelty, to cut themselves off but more so to deny you the right to see your grandchild. I would say it was a difference in culture but I don't think anybody should treat another human like that.

Sulis Fri 21-Oct-11 17:49:38

Hi Grannylin, thank you so so much for your understanding message. You are absolutely right and I am seeking counselling. I only found this site today and I'm amazed at how many stories there are just like mine. In a sad way it is a relief to find other people in the same boat and that I'm not alone. Thank you and god bless you. Big hug to you, too.

glammanana Fri 21-Oct-11 18:12:26

harrigran How right are you about it being a possible culture problem my DD married a Portugese guy over 20yrs ago he is now her X,he was the only boy in his family and he took all his parenting skills from his mother and sisters,two of whom moved to UK after my 2ndDGS was born.My daughter was not allowed to visit us without him present and he was very controlling,but it being her first serious relationship she was besotted and did not question him,even though she had experienced a totally differant lifestyle before he came on the scene.It took 4 yrs for her to see the light and that is what you have to do be patient and they will return home in their own time,it's a killer on the heart strings but worth it in the end.Your son will see the error of his ways Sulis and will be back with you at some point.I would play it cool at the moment and just make sure any family or friends you both have let him know that your door is always open for him.thanks

Sulis Fri 21-Oct-11 18:14:43

Hello Harrigran, yes, you are quite right about the electoral roll of course - it wouldn't be the first time I've done that for one reason or another. But what would I do then? Turn up on the doorstep? Write to them? I have his mobile phone number, but I have been made aware that my calls are unwanted. He knows he can always come back if he needs, he has a key. But until they are both willing to sort things out with me, I don't feel I can intrude when they make it absolutely clear that I am persona non grata. Everyone has the right to stay away from anyone they don't want in their lives and I will not force myself on anyone. But my son told me to P---S OFF, it is the first time he has ever spoken to me like that and that was in my own home. I think I will not hear from him again until they are no longer together. I do not wish that on them of course, I want them to be happy together. I don't see a long term future, however, because of the unstable nature of the relationship, and it isn't the healthiest relationship either. thank you for getting back to me. Your input makes me feel a lot less abnormal, and I don't feel so much to blame.

Sulis Fri 21-Oct-11 18:22:51

hello Glammanana, That's lovely advice. He does know the door is always open to him and he has a key. You are right, playing it cool is the way as I imagine he's too stressed out to take on board my feelings too. When I mention him meeting his girlfriend in Viet nam - she is actually a Brit - not Vietnamese, and we are also Brits, although my son is in fact half French! My sister in law is in contact with him - she is allowed - and he does communicate a little bit with her. He does know that she was my best friend at art school and I would imagine he also knows that we are in touch with one another, as always She thinks that the girlfriend watches his emails, so he feels comfortable emailing her and knows she will relay information to me. Thank you for your message.

glammanana Fri 21-Oct-11 18:24:08

Sulis just a quick post that how glad to hear you have your son's address,would it be possible to write to him and tell HIM your feelings and try to break the ice that way?

Sulis Fri 21-Oct-11 18:29:19

hello glammanana, no I don't have the address, it's just that they won't be on the electoral role yet as they have only been there a month. I could probably get it in the future. He does know how I feel, but he just wants to be there for his son, he said he had to make a choice, and I imagine she has said I can't have contact and he has said that if the relationship doesn't work out at least he will be living in the same town as his son and would be able to see him at weekends at least. I do understand his choice. But thank you for the thought.