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DIL problems advice needed

(57 Posts)
carol123 Thu 21-Jun-12 01:40:38

Son met DIL when she was 18 she was lovely and everyone loved her in our whole family - a kind caring v nice person. 8 years later they had a baby boy Son got made redundant when baby was 5 months old so she returned to work early from maternity leave and he stayed home caring for the baby. Then he had an affair with an old girlfriend. She told us she thought he was seeing X and he admitted it. We were all gutted and our whole family condemmed him for it - none of us knew what was going on.

They kept it together but she changed. Slowly she turned the child against him telling him daddy was mean spiteful nasty horrible. Then she would give the child anything dad said he couldnt have or do Child was 2years by now. Then son copied and did the same - so child is now quite disturbed ie badly behaved irritable agressive to other kids.

Time passed and she got pregnant again - didnt even tell son she thought she was pregnant just left the positive test on the worktop for him to find They have now moved across the other side of town just around the corner from her mum and sister. She never bothers to visit our extended family any more - previously she was best friends with son's aunts cousins etc very close almost part of their families too. She rarely visits us just sends son with the kids. Daughter went to visit (rang first and she just let her in then sat in the other room saying to son 'when is she going' until daughter left. She arranged for niece and aunt to visit then was out when they got there When we tried to visit she was too busy tied up for 2 days etc said she would get back to us but never did.
When she had the first baby we bought her a layette over £200 worth of baby things - she was so pleased and greatful. We took over another for the new baby - she just said oh shov it in the back room I'll have a look later never even said thankyou.
And the worst of the lot every time we buy a present for grandson it dissapears and she goes out and buys him the same. Its the same if anyone in our family buys him anything. Wierd I know but we have seen it so many times now - clothes toys anything she duplicates it herself.
Will it ever improve - should we cut all ties I dont know what to do.

Even on Fathers day she stopped son from going for a meal with me OH daughter other son and girlfriend. They were both invited and the kids but she had to see her father and go to his home instead ( she only sees her dad twice a year as she hates him) I think she hates all our family Cant believe she uses the child to spite son and the effect this has had on the child. Any advice

Mishap Thu 21-Jun-12 07:58:18

Oh dear!
My thought would be that you should have a meaningful conversation with your son - I would not normally advocate interference, but it is unlikely to make things any worse than they already are. They need some sort of help.

Other than that, I fear that all you can do is stand back and hope.

In these days of casual sexual relationships, this is a salutary lesson in why fidelity is so important (unless a couple agree otherwise) and how a "small" indiscretion can have a huge impact on people's lives - and most importantly on the children.

carol123 Thu 21-Jun-12 11:21:56

In some ways I wish they had parted at least then the child would not have grown up with so much hatred spite and malace. Constantly being told how horrible the other parent is has done him no favours - kids that young want to be like their parents and I think this is the route cause of his behaviour problems and violent outbursts.
The affair went on for a couple of months but I dont think DIL will ever get over it. She is still hating our family 3years later. Why I dont know as nobody liked the girl he was with and everyone condemmed him for it.

whenim64 Thu 21-Jun-12 11:34:49

I imagine she feels so betrayed and hurt that she is still lashing out. Is there any chance of repairing your relationship with her, independently of your son? I tried to do this with ex-DIL, who hadn't had any such problems but was hellbent on parental alienation and revenge because my son left her. We got nowhere, but as I didn't engage in any retaliation at least she doesn't send me spiteful texts any more. You need some sort of working relationship if seeing your grandchildren depends on it. Good luck x

glammanana Thu 21-Jun-12 11:47:47

I think that this girl is so so hurt by the affair when she first went back to work after the first baby,and she may not have been ready to return to work but did so to keep the family finances on an even keel,so she feels betrayed at the actions of her husband and cannot forgive or forget it is her way of punishing him and your family she probably cannot see past the point of deception to realise that the rest of the family condemmed him for it.I would put pen to paper and write to her rather than face to face at present and let her make the next move. Good luck flowers

nanaej Thu 21-Jun-12 12:47:24

flowers What a sad and tricky situation. Sounds like they could do with some counselling to face the infidelity and to make positive choices about their future. She is obviously grouping you all together as the 'guilty party' and your grandson is helpless in the middle of this. Is it possible to write to her and ask what she feels you can do to support her as you feel you need to help in any small way to redress the hurt your 'foolish' son has caused her? That way you recognise the damage he has caused, the pain she is in and the need for support.
Can you talk to you son about it all? Are you in a position to offer to fund counselling?

Hope that things do get better for all concerned.

HildaW Thu 21-Jun-12 14:25:08

Your DIL is hurting like hell. I dont agree with how shes handling things but can partially understand.
My first was unfaithfull to me whilst I was pregnant with my first baby (and last with him). His parents were shocked but supportive of his 'Unhappiness' which of course made me see them as part of the enemy camp. His sister however could hardly bring herself to say his name and was a great support to me needless to say.

Anyway life continued for me and sorted it self out with a divorce and an eventual second marrige to a much nicer man.

However, reading your post reminded me of the anger and bitterness I felt at the time. I had to return to work to support myself and the baby and that rankled, my future was not how I had 'planned' it and I was resentful for a while. Because your DIL has not resolved her problems she has carried this pain and resentment too far but, untill she can see the damage she is doing I doubt things will change.
Try not to see everything she does as quite so negative, try to stand back a little from all this emotional fallout. Time is probably the only thing that will help matters and by noticing every slight you will perpertuate this very uneasy situation. When all is said and done a marriage is between the two people involved and they need to sort out what they want. Sometimes we can do more harm than good and I think there is sometimes a time when we should step back and let them find a solution themselves even though it hurts like hell to watch. I've learned this from putting my foot in it with my daughter.
Several years after my divorce I found out that my ex had bitterly regretted what he had done and blamed his parents for making it too easy for him to walk away.

Sook Thu 21-Jun-12 15:13:22

Oh dear! As the mother of two sons I would definately not cut all ties instead I would have a good long chat with your son and keep trying to rebuild a relationship with your DIL even though it may feel that you are constantly banging your head against a brick wall.

Have you ever been able to discuss the affair with your DIL she may automatically assume that you are totally on his side. My MIL thought her son could do no wrong and anything I said about him even in jest brought about her fury. Luckily I am a bit more open minded where my sons are concerned and will often agree with DILs regarding sons faults and bad habits, in fact I feel flattered that they feel able to discuss sons with me.

Is it possible that you might be allowed to have your GS to stop over a night or two so that you can develop your relationship with him.

I wish you all the very best and hope that the problem will be resolved very soon.

j04 Thu 21-Jun-12 15:14:24

Yes, I agree with others that your dil is obviously still hurting badly. But that is no excuse to abuse her child in this way. And that is what it is. Abuse. Of course, a boy needs to love and be loved by his father. And he needs to have an un-interfered with friendship with his dad.

She is behaving abominably and I think your son needs to tell her so. I wouldn't bother about her not visiting you. You are probably better off without her. But your son should definitely bring your grandchildren to visit you. And it wouldn't hurt if you made a point of praising your son to the little boy. You could tell him, too about when his dad was little. Children love to hear about when their parents were young and it might help to bring them together.

I'm not sure how you know she duplicates things you have bought for him. confused. But perhaps give him things that can live at your house for when he comes to visit?

j04 Thu 21-Jun-12 15:16:18

Agree with Sook about not cutting all ties. Leave an open door. But concentrate on your relationship with the grandchildren, and on their relationship with their father.

carol123 Thu 21-Jun-12 16:51:19

Thanks for all the replies. When they lived nearer we used to pop in to see them but she usually went upstairs - only bothering to speak occasionally. It was obvious that she had bought him the same as our family members had - other son bought Chuggington for Xmas This was put away and one she bought was in the lounge. Same with coats, slippers, tops (all good makes Pumpkin Patch etc) she gave them all back to me saying she had just bought him some. So then my daughter bought him a backpack and a game. I gave him some money for his birthday She came round a week later and told me she had bought him a backpack with the money! Its as if she wants the child to have what we buy but it has to be bought by her not us. Its really odd I thought it couldnt be for a long time and that I was imagining it. Even the bike we got him for Xmas - she went and got him another in the Jan sales.
You are right j04 it is abuse hes just a pawn being used in her spite against our son. She did recieve a lot of support from everyone in the family when he had the affair - but after several months some family members were fed up with hearing about all the bad things my son was and some even told her that she should look to her own family for more support as she was constantly running down their cousin/uncle/brother etc.
I feel so sorry for her because its an aweful thing to happen but I do think she will drive him away if she carrys on like this for much longer. And end up with 2 disturbed kids into the bargain.

Sook Thu 21-Jun-12 17:18:17

Why don't you open a bank account for GS so that you can make deposits for him instead of buying gifts. That way a nice little nest egg will be his when he is old enought to appreciate it. I opened accounts for each of my GC which need my signature should they need to withdraw money. Not applicable yet as they are all very young.

j04 Thu 21-Jun-12 17:25:58

When she replaces things you have bought, you could say something like, "If you don't want that shirt I bought for GS I'll have it back and give it to Joan's little boy". Try letting her know you don't actually care (even though you do sad). Or say it through your son if you don't see her.

You need to develop devious strategies! wink

carol123 Thu 21-Jun-12 17:29:26

Son brings the children over once a week so we still see them, but its very hard as the little boy's behaviour is pretty bad - hes been thrown out of softplay for hitting other children and has punched me in the eye and also punched his auntie and hit her in the nose with a toy microphone Its totally unprovoked he just walks up to you and lashes out - no reason no telling off before nothing. Im sure its because hes been taught that parents are nasty and he wants to be nasty too. Its sad that he is this way and she has made him like it. I just hope the new baby is not subjected to the same - ie how horrible her dad is.

j04 Thu 21-Jun-12 17:35:45

I don't know how old he is, but I think you are going to have to talk to him about his behaviour, and keep on talking. It'll be a test of your patience, but he needs to get some understanding and guidance from you. And from his dad! He needs, perhaps, to be a bit more pro-active. I hope he and his dad get to go on outings and enjoy themselves together sometimes. A dad is so important in a young boy's life. You could try to boost your son's confidence in his role. Maybe that's what is needed.

carol123 Fri 22-Jun-12 11:18:34

He is 3 1/2 nearly 4 now and the behaviour gets worse. She even put on facebook that he had been thrown out of softplay for hitting and pushing a little girl and so proud of it. She said Hes just like his mum wont stand for people in his way.
If one of my kids had ever done that I would have been so ashamed certainly wouldnt of put it on the internet for all to see. They would have been sent to bed as soon as they got home Its like shes proud of him for pushing and hitting another child.

j04 Fri 22-Jun-12 11:50:30

Dad definitely needs to take on a bit of discipline. Not too heavy, of course. He is very young. Just guidance really.

And I bet you will be able to make a difference.

bikergran Fri 22-Jun-12 22:57:39

oh dear,, yes I must agree with other posts..that this girl felt so betrayed that she has and is taking it out on the family, and feels very very bitter and cannot forgive.............not really sure what to sujest as it seems you have tried really hard, but hope some thing can be resolved, but unfortunatly some things it seems, just cannot be mended.

Nanban Sat 23-Jun-12 21:41:18

Perhaps this girl thinks you all knew about the affair and helped him out; or maybe it wasn't the only affair and she is battling with all the hurt. If she was loving and loved once, surely that is not all completely lost.

dorsetpennt Sat 23-Jun-12 22:46:44

What a horrible situation for all concerned. Your DIL feels utterly betryed and as others have said on this thread that she probably feels that his family would stick by him - not matter what. She is certainly very wrong to encourage her son to behave so badly - but then your son has behaved very badlt too. I think everyone on this thread has given their usual good advice. Your GS in time will hopefully improve. For your part just ensure you are on contact with your GC - even if their mother makes it difficult. In time when he is older he will realise that despite everything you still wanted to see him.

petallus Sun 24-Jun-12 09:24:01

When push comes to shove blood is thicker than water. When my first husband left me for someone in his office, his mother, who I had always got on well with, wrote to me saying she was sorry but she had to accept the new woman because otherwise her son said he wouldn't visit.

Maybe significant that the title of this thread is DIL problems, not Son problems!

carol123 Mon 25-Jun-12 00:18:27

Petallus sorry u feel that way - thanks to all of u others that replied giving me your time to try and help. I feel really hurt by her constant rejection of us all.
We have always been there for her in times past when her mum was seriously ill, when she had problems etc and now she is not the same person and probably never will be again.
Have decided to see the children when son brings them over once a week or fortnight and not to attempt to visit again. Have tried to explain to son what is happening but he doesnt really believe me and is very much on her side - and Im happy that they are together again 'properly' as this is how it should be. His loyalty should now be to her and his kids.
Every few weeks I get a call from another family member (we are a large loving family who visit each other regularly) telling me how they try to visit but dont get any answer when they know shes home. So Im just going to stay away and not get into discussions about this as most of our family think she has rejected them now. The odd occasions when the 3yr old was visited by family he has attacked them punching hitting with toys in the face smacking nieces little girl in the face kicked bitten etc so its no wonder that they are fed up with her. He punched me in the eye here and DIL didnt think I should tell him its spiteful so really dont think there is any solution to it. On the positive side when just grandson and son visit he is so much better behaved - dont know why but could guess she has told him we are all horrible too.

petallus Mon 25-Jun-12 08:48:49

Carol123 I do feel that when the chips are down we stick by our children even if they are 'in the wrong'.

It does seem that the resentment you and your family feel is now aimed at your dil not your son. I don't think it was realistic of your family to expect dil to get over the affair in a few months and if they told her to stop running her husband down to them and rely on her own family, well that's giving her a kind of message, isn't it, about where their loyalties lie?

I do sympathise with the distress you are feeling though. I have been in a similar situation myself when my DD left her husband. My two GC went through a terrible time and it affected their behaviour at school. They turned against us for a while and it was very distressing.

I think it is hopeful that your son seems determined to devote himself to his family now and repair the damage of his affair if he can. My GC settled down eventually and there is every chance your GS will also.

nanaej Mon 25-Jun-12 17:48:46

It takes a very long time to rebuild a damaged relationship. Just because they are together does not mean it is all OK. You need to continue to encourage your son to keep reassuring his wife she is the best thing since sliced bread! She will be feeling very insecure.
However your GS behaviour needs to be managed more effectively or else it will have a long term impact on him and his relationships, schooling etc! It may be that he is feeling very confused..he loves his daddy and mummy keeps saying he is rubbish! He loves his mummy and she is always angry /sad. He is not being spiteful when he hits out..just very angry and does not have the maturity to talk about this, but whatever the reason for this behaviour it should not be tolerated. A calm but firm 'no you are not allowed to hurt people' and sitiing by himself for a few minutes when no-one talks to him is a good strategy to start with!

carol123 Mon 25-Jun-12 23:45:25

Well what a surprise today - got a text message could she come over with the kids this afternoon at 2.
She turned up at quater to 3 (she knows that my friend visits Mondays with her kids) My daughter was delighted to see them - so was I. She hardly said 3 words to me but little grandson was well behaved and got on well with the other kids so it went well. She left at the same time as my friend and her kids.
Oh she did say something about her sister let her down babysitting the other night and shes not happy with her. Im sorry but I just didnt offer like I would have previously.
I hate to sound cynical but I think I know the purpose of the visit but we will just have to wait and see.