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(70 Posts)
Annali Sun 29-Dec-19 00:27:34

Hello ladies. I am in need of wise counsel, opinion, advice etc. please. Myself and husband have just spent week with my beloved 2 yr old grandchild, and my son and his wife. We had fabulous Christmas- I don’t like my DIL but I do my best for her and am always kind and giving. I spent most of Christmas looking after my grandchild and being helpful to give her and my son a break ( nights out, long lie ins, housework etc). I felt wonderful and happy on leaving, thought we had all had lovely time, although I was a frustrated at how moody my DIL was throughout our stay. 2 days after I got home, my son text me to to tell me next Christmas would be different, they had actually just booked a 14 day trip away for just 3 of them and I wouldn’t see my grandchild at all. I was so shocked and felt like I’d been slapped in the face. My son told me they wanted to do things their way next year. My DIL doesn’t have any family - and she resents the closeness we have, our son (daughter too) and me and my husband. My DIL has actually admitted she feels jealous sometimes as she hasn’t ever had the secure and loving family we have created with our children. I truly, hand in heart, have done my best for her and made her feel welcome and included. She had told me she feels lucky to have me and my husband as in laws. She also knows how we are totally and completely besotted with our grandchild, who is our absolute world. It seems so cruel and such a snub to exclude us from their Christmas next year, and to leave us in no doubt we don’t figure in their plans - on 28th December, 2 days after we left their house after a fun and love filled Christmas.
I am very tearful and hurt. Can anybody please offer me some wise words?
Thank you

BlueBelle Sun 29-Dec-19 20:02:40

I totally agree with luckygirl you have decided very wisely to make big changes in your neediness to be so heavily involved in their lives ?and well done to you but your dislike of this poor lass shines through very clearly even in these reasonable and sensible posts and if we can feel it so can she Going to stay every 6 weeks and expecting them and your other daughter to be part of your family as much as possible is unreasonable They have their own lives to lead and you come across although lovely and loving as (I ll say it quietly) a bit controlling I don’t come from a damaged family but I would hate the structure of having to be part of this jolly happy family on a regular basis I could manage a few times a year but regularly no
Good luck

Maple19 Sun 29-Dec-19 20:06:06

I can understand your sadness Annali. None of us know anything about you or your family. You left their home, feeling that it all went well and then you get that text from your son. Fair enough, they want to do things differently next year, perhaps you upset them in some way, but why not tell you in a few months time, not a year ahead.

SueDonim Sun 29-Dec-19 20:10:11

That’s a very sweet post, Annali and I do hope you feel better about it all now.

I do wonder if your dil isn’t so much jealous as bemused and confused about your family’s closeness. She’s obviously not had the benefit of a kind upbringing and this must feel very alien and maybe threatening to her. I hope you can find common ground.

Bibbity Sun 29-Dec-19 20:40:33

She married your son. Not the whole family. It’s perfectly natural to only way so much of you.

She is now more of a priority to him. He to probably wants to spend uninterrupted time with just her and their child.

How you feel for her seeps through here. I really feel bad for the poor woman who had to deal with that for a week in her own home.

grannyactivist Sun 29-Dec-19 20:44:06

Annali - I'm so glad that you've stepped back and reassessed the situation and are aware of the changes you can make to improve things.

On another note - when you describe your daughter-in-law's background, that could have been me. I had a fairly dysfunctional childhood, left school at fifteen, married (at sixteen), had three children, divorced - then I married my current husband when he was 23 and I was just shy of 33! He was from a close, university educated, middle class family and his parents were (understandably in my view) horrified at what he was taking on. They expressed their concern, but eventually told us they trusted that their son knew what he was doing and so were committed to supporting us in the decision we took to get married. I cannot say how much that meant to me, to know that even though they didn't like the situation they would back us. That was thirty three years ago and for many, many years now my mother-in-law has been my very dear friend and is truly a mother to me.

My mother-in-law did it and I am sure you too can learn to love your son's wife, and in understanding her background you are already halfway to viewing her situation with compassion.

Grammaretto Sun 29-Dec-19 20:55:36

Wow grannyactivist that's a wonderful story.
I don't know if my MiL liked me at first. I think she would have liked a wee Scots lassie like herself. However with our DiL she now has just that.
I like all our in-laws. They put up with our DC. They have produced lovely DGC.
I agree on the 3 day rule though and even staying in a hotel to take the pressure off especially in the morning. My brother always stays in a hotel. I try to argue with him but he just says "it's booked"

Hithere Sun 29-Dec-19 20:57:01

Your dil's background may have nothing to do with it.

You go every 6 weeks to see them. That is 9 weekends a year - do you realize how lucky you are with your dil?
She knows you do not like her yet she allows such frequent visits.

You are not excluded from their Xmas as their time does not belong to you.

Stop blaming your dil. Your son is also part of it.

Being close with your son doesn't mean he is on your side. He is on his wife's side, like he should be.
He is not an innocent victim following his wife's tantrums, like you insinuate on your post.

I bet this vacation has been in the making before they spent this Xmas with you.

My advice?
Leave your dil alone. Let her initiate a relationship if she wishes to have one with you.

You talk to your son about his family. He is in charge of managing which relationship they want with his extended family.

Do not offer help again unless it is requested.

Take 10 steps back. Be thankful for what you have.

Learn the difference between right and privilege.

Negotiate boundaries with your son.
Wait to be invited to visit and stay in hotel if possible.

I know this is a shock. I bet you feel excluded from their family.
You are not.
Expectations are the mother of all evil when they are not met.

Starblaze Sun 29-Dec-19 21:14:07

My goodness, it's so obvious what is wrong here with every new comment. There is nothing anyone can say to make you try to like your dil and you are fishing for reasons to continue the dislike. This will cause you issues down the line. Your son is not the same man who once lived with you, he has his own life and his own family and his priorities have changed. His wife now takes priority in his life and you need to accept that and stop blaming her for changes you don't like in your sons behaviour. He should put his little family first before extended family, that is normal and natural. You have good quality visiting time and family time. If you don't cut the apron strings you may jepordise that. His wife and children come first.

Hithere Sun 29-Dec-19 21:21:03

Btw, don't even tell them that dil "has no concept of family". It is very insulting and demeaning.

She doesn't have your concept of family, which is not the only and universal definition of family.

You truly do not know how lucky you are having such a good dil. I hope you appretiate her before it is too late

FarNorth Sun 29-Dec-19 21:29:24

If you move closer to the young family, you will be seeing them in a more everyday way rather than when you are in holiday mode and trying to make the most of every minute.
I expect your DiL would be much happier with that.

Your son, his wife and their baby are a family.
Your son wants to do the best he can for the three of them and you should support him in that.

Take your lead from the young people, rather than trying to impose your togetherness and jollity onto your DiL.

Well done for deciding to ease off a bit and concentrate more on your own life.

Summerlove Sun 29-Dec-19 21:32:12

Kindly, “Whilst I respect your view that we may have been overbearing etc, that honestly wasn’t the case.”
You don’t actually get to decide with somebody else finds overbearing.

I can see you are hurt by the timing of their announcement, but I actually think they were very kind telling you so quickly. You sound like somebody who loves Christmas and love to getting together with your family. I am imagining there was a lot of comments about How “excited you were to see how excited he would be next year”.

I just see this as them starting to manage expectations.

Summerlove Sun 29-Dec-19 21:41:23

This is all his wife’s idea - I know my son so well; we are a very close family and spend a lot of time together ( me and my husband - and adult daughter when she can) which is part of the problem, I think. The DIL hates it. She has come from very damaged background and has no concept of family. She has no siblings, no parents, no grandparents. Truly, I have included her and been kind etc. it it isn’t really accepted. She tolerates my son’s family and as mentioned earlier, she has admitted to him she feels jealous at times.

Oh OP. I’m sorry, but comments like these? She knows you dislike her and think she’s just as damaged as her background.

You must try to change how you think of her, or you will find yourself quickly pushed to the side by your son.

FarNorth Mon 30-Dec-19 00:22:21

My PiLs were lovely people but were quite overwhelming to have on a holiday visit.
My DH felt exactly the same as I did about this.
Once we had our first child, he asked them to stay nearby and not in our home.
They may have thought I put him up to it, but they would have been wrong.

Annali Mon 30-Dec-19 00:54:25

Again, thank you all! Very kind of every single one of you to take time to comment. I respect all of you views and I taken everything on board x

LovelyCuppa Mon 30-Dec-19 07:34:20

I'm sorry to be so blunt but from your update it sounds like you haven't learnt a single thing.

Tedber Mon 30-Dec-19 10:04:18

Sorry to disagree lovelycuppa but I think the OP has taken a lot of what has been said on board! Fair play to her

I see Her comments regarding her daughter in law as ‘mulling’ it over with us to see if SHE can understand her more. I doubt she would air them to her family and friends.

Hands up how many have family they don’t get along with for whatever reason and can’t understand why or what the problem is? Sometimes you just got to accept things as they are.

I totally “get” why the OP was hurt by receiving a text a couple of days after she felt they had all had a nice Christmas more or less saying it isn’t going to happen next year! It could have waited until after new year - surely. I would have felt the same tbh

As far as I can deduce the OP HAS acknowledged she has to back off a bit and not make her grandson the center of her universe?

I think all the criticism is unwarranted. At least she is listening.

Juliet27 Mon 30-Dec-19 10:58:41

I agree Tedber. The OP has listened to various viewpoints for which she is grateful and is seeing things in a different light. She may have to work hard on the relationship with her DiL but realises and accepts that some changes need to be made which may help the situation. Surely she deserves respect for her acceptance not more criticism.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 30-Dec-19 11:03:35

I feel it was a bit crass of your son to send a text about next Christmas. He could have phoned you, then you might not feel so hurt.

I wondered when I read your post, whether your daughter-in-law perhaps could have felt that your taking over the housework was a subtle criticism of the way she keeps her house? I realise you did it to help, but does she?

I was distinctly annoyed with my DIL when she changed the hand-towel in our bathroom off her own bat, as I had hung a clean one up ten minutes previously. I told her so, which made her feel snubbed, but I felt snubbed by her hanging up a new towel.

I know it sounds petty, but MIL-DIL relationships tend to become petty at times.

Did you ask her what was wrong when she seemed moody? I mean there must be a reason.

I too have a DIL whom I find it difficult to get on with, but I have to because my son loves her and I think you are in a similar position.

Please try not to be too hurt by this incident, Last year my son and DIL went away for Christmas, this year they came here. That seems to be the pattern here, so we make the best of it.

Sara65 Mon 30-Dec-19 11:13:17

I can’t help feeling you’re a bit smug , you may think you have the perfect family, perhaps you have, but clearly, she doesn’t want to be completely drawn into it, and honestly, I don’t blame her.

I think you need to have a good look at your relationship, take a big step back, remember the child is not yours, and hopefully things will settle down.