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My daughter-in-law is a horrible person

(85 Posts)
Grma32 Wed 20-Mar-13 15:46:43

My son married his wife a year ago, and about 6 months ago they moved to another state because of his military status. They have an absolutely adorable little girl that is my first grand-child, and she is almost 1 year old. When they lived here it was difficult to get to spend time with her, because my daughter-in-law doesn't like me for some reason. I am a devout Christian, and she is an atheist, so that could have something to do with it. But I have never judged her or thrown religion in her face. Ever. I have bought her things, given her things, paid her compliments, pretty much everything to try and and win her over. She and I have spent a little bit of time together, and things seem to go fine, but then she will do or say something on Facebook that is just cold and calculated towards me. My son tells me she is bi-polar, so I'm trying to keep that in mind, but it's really difficult.

Recently when my son went into the field on maneuvers and was to be gone for nearly a month, my DIL decided to take a trip. She emailed me and told me she was "going to do some traveling" while he's gone and visit friends and family. I didn't ask where, and she didn't offer anymore information. I got an email from her last week saying she decided to drive straight to her parents house (which is 30 minutes from my house), but that she would be really busy for a couple of weeks, so I wouldn't be able to see my grand-daughter. I was extremely disappointed. A few days later I emailed her to see if we could have lunch or dinner, and also if I could pick up my grand-daughter for a few hours on Saturday. She emailed back and said she would be busy for the next couple of weeks and she has absolutely NO weekends free while she is here. I emailed her back and asked her if I'd done something to make her mad at me (mainly because her response sounded a bit hostile). Her email response to me was 'wow'. The next day I received a long, hateful email from her, telling me that I am verbally abusive, condescending, etc., etc. and the only time that she and her husband have fights is when it involves HIS family. She said that she wasn't even going to tell me she was in town, because she knew I would "harass" her to see my grand-child. She also stated that she is tired of me 'judging' her, and tired of always having to consider my feelings when she says or does anything. I'm not sure where she's coming up with this stuff, because I have been overly nice to her. The one time that she and I had an intense conversation many months ago via email, she went crying to my son and he called and cussed me out and made me cry and didn't speak to me for weeks. I realized that just because she is honest with her feelings in an email, I can't be honest right back because of the consequences. (I forwarded the email string to my son so he could see that I said NOTHING wrong, and he agreed but never apologized for cussing me out)

Anyway, I have decided to step back and stay silent, because she obviously doesn't want me in their lives at all. My grand-daughter's first birthday party is in a couple of weeks, and my son is supposed to be flying in for that. I was planning to attend, but now I am considering not. I don't know what to do, because I don't want my son to be upset with me, either.

Enviousamerican Wed 20-Mar-13 16:00:02

I wouldn't let her keep me away.You want to see your son also. Does she act up in front of your son?Hopefully she is not so self centered she would ruin the party! If she does she needs mental health help and your son should see this.Best to let him know you are there for him.

gillybob Wed 20-Mar-13 16:09:16

Oh Grma32 what a sad state of affairs. I feel very sorry for you not being able to spend time with your grandaughter. I think your DIL sounds to be extremely insecure and is clearly trying to break up the fragile relationship you do have with your son and his child. From what you say it doesn't sound like you have done anything wrong at all you are just a grandma who wants to see her grandchild and your DIL is being a control freak by denying you and her daughter that precious time together. To email you saying that she would be close to you and then forbid you a visit is just plain cruel and she was probably hoping for some kind of excuse to have an argument or else why not keep the visit secret?

I am not sure how I would handle this except to say you are going to have to try and keep some kind of dialogue going with DIL . Perhaps say that you will wait for an invitation to visit her and GD but in the mean time you would love it if she would keep you up to date with your GD's progress and send regular pictures (praising her for how lovely your GD is along the way). Good luck and stay strong. flowers

Nelliemoser Wed 20-Mar-13 16:26:49

Grma32 Oh that is a dreadful situation. I can imagine how distressed I would feel if I was prevented from seeing my little DGS. (((hugs)))

Lilygran Wed 20-Mar-13 16:27:49

What is your relationship with her parents like? Could you invite the whole lot to visit you, with your granddaughter as your son will only be there for a short time? I'm very sorry to hear your story Grma, it must be dreadful not to be able to see your little granddaughter on her birthday.

Grma32 Wed 20-Mar-13 16:28:12

Enviousamerican, she does not act up in front of my son. She puts on a happy face and is actually nice to be around. That's the part that's difficult for me to understand, because we just visited them in December and she seemed fine the entire time. I think my son does see that she needs mental health help, but he just wants to keep the peace at home, so if that means no contact with his mom, then so be it.

Grma32 Wed 20-Mar-13 16:35:03

Good suggestions for the rest of you who responded, and thank you so much. I will answer Lilygran about the DIL parents. I met them awhile ago and saw them a few times when I visited my GD in their home. DIL has convinced them that I am a terrible person, because they haven't acted as nice to me as they first did. The father is a buddhist, and I'm not sure but I think mother is Christian.

I see pictures and video on Facebook, so I keep up with my GD that way. I have looked forward to her birthday party for months now, ever since I spent time with her in December. When I found out they were already in town, I was excited that I would get to see her sooner, but now my DIL has taken the wind right out of my sail.

I just don't want my son to be mad if we aren't there for the birthday party, but I know his wife doesn't want us there, so I'm conflicted.

Nelliemoser Wed 20-Mar-13 16:35:53

She sounds a bit like my DS's partner. She can seem all sweetness and light but I am not entirely convinced by that image.

Grma32 Wed 20-Mar-13 16:38:27

Oh, and gillibob, she told me she was going to keep her visit a secret, but decided not to after talking to my son. He told her I would be mature and understand (supposedly). Now she is saying I am harassing her, which is what she didn't want! I don't believe I am harassing her, but I guess in her confused mind I am.

specki4eyes Wed 20-Mar-13 16:46:25

Hey Grma32 - don't get me on the subject of daughters in law - i've got two - the one is only marginally worse than the other! Its jealousy - for some reason she wants to make sure she is ahead of you in the pecking order - not necessary at all I know but there are young women like that..its a control thing. You go to the birthday party, see your granddaughter and your son and be ultra pleasant, polite and sweet natured. You have the right to be there!

Grma32 Wed 20-Mar-13 16:48:34

Thanks, specki4eyes! I may just do it!

NfkDumpling Wed 20-Mar-13 17:09:11

Agree with Specki all the way. If you don't go you'll still be in the wrong but not there to show how nice you are. She could still be a bit up in the air emmotionally, after all your DGD is only a year old and having babies plays havoc with the hormones - especially without the backup of a husband who vanishes off on manoeuvres. Just go and be yourself - and smile a lot!

(I had a problem with my MiL when I had my first DD. She seemed to be good at everything, the perfect wife and mother. And she was so nice too. I felt really inadequate. It took a while, but with her patience and calm we ended up the best of friends.)

Good luck. flowers

LullyDully Wed 20-Mar-13 17:15:40

Awful story I agree with everyone. I think trying to contact her parents is a good idea and explaining how you feel without running down their daughter...takes some tact, so think it through before you put anything into words, particularly written words!!!!

In my experience the relationship DIL to MIL on son's side can be very difficult. But if she really feels threatened by you {despite you trying hard} you just have to have a relationship with GD and not have too much to do with her. Surely she can not begrudge you that!

Your son will have to be the go between. Do not criticise her to you son and try to be positive {through gritted teeth} and keep religion out of any conversation. Good luck and DO NOT give up. Mx

Grma32 Wed 20-Mar-13 17:45:36

Thanks so much everyone! I'm glad I found you all!

Greatnan Wed 20-Mar-13 19:14:29

I don't think different religious views are the problem, as you say you would not try to influence her in that way. It sounds like classic fear/jealousy/feelings of inadequacy on the part of your DIL. Trying to build a bridge through her parents seems a good suggestion and of course, never criticising her to your son. Best wishes and good luck.

Faye Wed 20-Mar-13 21:42:34

Go to your GD's birthday party, otherwise you will appear to be the one who is being difficult. Also if you miss her first birthday you might not get invited again. If you see her being spiteful on Facebook ignore it, in fact ignore all nastiness and try not report her comments to your son.

You say you are a devout Christian, sometimes those who are devout bring up God or Jesus in many of conversations without particularly discussing religion. You may not realise you are doing it but it can irritating for those who have no Christian beliefs.

Your DIL does sound quite odd, unfortunately you will have to tread carefully if want to be able to spend time with your granddaughter. Best wishes. flowers

nanaej Wed 20-Mar-13 22:23:50

Sound a tricky situation for you. If your DiL is really suffering from bi-polar disorder then she does need help to manage the condition. It can be hugely debilitating for the sufferer and demanding on the family.

I echo the advice already offered. Ignore the nastiness, try to be aware of how you may be unintentionally expressing your faith views and go to the birthday party and enjoy the company of your DGD. Always better to keep the door open no matter how much you feel like slamming it shut! Once closed it is harder to re-open. good luck.

glammanana Thu 21-Mar-13 12:05:04

It does sound like a jealousy problem but have you thought your DIL may be feeling daunted with the responsibility of being a lone parent at the moment I know that you son is away with his work and how lonely partners can get as both my boys are Military,has she been medically dianosed as bi-polar or is she just showing the signs she could be depressed and when young mums feel that way they will gravitate to their own mum's.Keep the dialogue open and friendly to both your DIL and your DS and try not to critisize to your boy as he has enough to deal with at present. Best of luck flowers & ((hugs))

Movedalot Fri 22-Mar-13 11:13:30

I think a lot of GNs have similar problems and all feel they are not to blame so perhaps some DiLs do feel intimidated by the woman who has been special for so long in their husband's life. I know that quite a lot of atheists seem to feel very threatened by Christians as if they feel their own lack of belief is being critiscised which, of course, no true Christian would ever do.

I would avoid confrontation at all costs and if expected to apologise for something you feel you did not do, apologise. You can do it in a way that does not compromise you.

I would suggest that you ask your son about the party and what you should buy as a present. I don't think you should put yourself in a situation where she has the opportunity to tell you not to go.

Good luck flowers

dorsetpennt Sat 23-Mar-13 09:57:58

Movedalot I'm sorry but I don't know of any atheists that feel threatened by Christians - bored with them banging on - but not threatened. One of my least favourite phrases is 'as a Christian I would never do so and so' implying the rest of us would.
However, there are always two sides to a story and we don't know the DIL's side - it may be nothing to do with religion but something else. So to paraphrase a 'book' 'Let us not judge lest ye be judged' - despite my views I know my bible.

j08 Sat 23-Mar-13 10:05:40

I don't believe we know the whole background to this, not by a long way.

The thread title says a lot about the original poster IMO.

whenim64 Sat 23-Mar-13 10:32:06

I have never felt threatened by christians, Moved. I don't know of any atheists who do, although obviously I only know a few. What is this assertion based on? Live and let live as far as I am concerned. smile

bookdreamer Sat 23-Mar-13 10:35:39

I thought so too j08. I was shocked when I saw the title of this post.

annodomini Sat 23-Mar-13 11:00:33

I see no reason to feel threatened by Christians. I used to be one and now feel perfectly secure in my Humanist skin.
I too felt quite upset by the title of the thread. 'Horrible' is such a horrible word.

Jadey Sat 23-Mar-13 11:48:52

I agreee with anno you should not feel threatened by Christians, if you do they are defentley not acting Christian smile