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daughter-in-law from hell

(178 Posts)
fluttERBY123 Tue 26-May-15 22:58:11

Does anyone else have a DILFH? I have one - how can I get her to leave me alone without involving son or causing trouble between son and wife? He seems to be quite happy with her and their family. The way she is carrying on is a kind of low level bullying. I won't rise. She is used to lots of rows and feuds in her own family.

Loth to put in too many details as very specific.

FarNorth Tue 26-May-15 23:05:45

If it's verbal sniping I guess you just have to keep toughing it out.

Are the feuds & rows bitter ones or is it just a kind of hobby for them?

Jomarie Tue 26-May-15 23:16:58

Bit of a tough one - feel for you. I agree with FN keep rising above it. Avoid one to one conversations if possible - try to make sure someone else is present when talking to her (so you have a witness!!) Have found this invaluable when dealing with my ddil. She has a tendency to tell it how it isn't, if you know what I mean and this has caused problems obviously. I try to keep conversations on a small talk level and sympathise and agree with her as much as possible. It is hard. sad

Anya Tue 26-May-15 23:33:12

Avoid her. In particular avoid being alone with her. If she says anything nasty in company, perhaps feign a touch of deafness and with a smile tell her you didn't catch what she said, could she perhaps repeat it.

RedheadedMommy Wed 27-May-15 07:07:38

Ignore ignore ignore. I know it's hard but it's the only way bullies learn. If you react then you have done what they wanted.
ignoring her, she will hate it. grin

loopylou Wed 27-May-15 07:10:31

Try agreeing with everything she says?
Just say 'You're right' or 'Yes' and then she'll hopefully run out of oomph?

Grannyknot Wed 27-May-15 07:25:42

How about "If you say so" ... for "agreement".

I feel for you flutter - I have a nice DIL but am still feeling my way around the relationship.

loopylou Wed 27-May-15 07:36:54

Good idea Grannyknot
I did this with my MIL, it tied her in knots grin

Leticia Wed 27-May-15 07:45:16

I think that you can only refuse to get drawn in.
'If you say so' sounds a good response. Another one is 'really' said in a mild way,without a question mark.

ffinnochio Wed 27-May-15 07:49:04

Maybe, just maybe, the daughter-in-law is exhibiting learned behaviour from her own family, and is unaware of her impact on you?
You say your son seems quite happy. In which case, I think you're wise to leave well alone.

And another thought. If you see her as a daughter-in-law-from-hell, then she may see you as the mother-in-law-from-hell. Who knows, eh?

Step one might be to stop thinking of her as a dilfh.

bikergran Wed 27-May-15 08:13:51

as other posts. I find the best ways is to say as little as possible, as my mum says "the least said the soonest mended" some families thrive on dramas and arguments, this is a way of life for them, if things are ticking along nicely their not happy so have to "develop" a row or argument.
I am good at keeping mouth zipped (it comes with a h*ll of practice) in fact I have got certificates for Tongue Holding !

Talking about milfh my dds husbands mother could well come under that category, only last week there was one of the usual rows that included dd, sil,and dds mother inlaw, which included her calling my!! elder GS whos 8 a f****ing ponce!! this is as he stood there in the same room!! she reckons she didn't know he was there, he put his fingers in his ears! she called him this because my dd has brought GS up more or less on her own and had made a dam good job of it, with my help, she then went on to say that I (that's me)should get up and get a job (as some of you may know I am still on bereavement) and I should stop wiping dd a*se! throughout all this I was able to keep calm and not say a word, I feel the better person for it, whist she! admitted a few days after that she was a "little harsh"!!! so yes, the least said, the better person you are .Rise above it.

FlicketyB Wed 27-May-15 08:51:16

Try complimenting her on anything, from clothes to how she decorates her house. Just try to find nice things to say to her - and do as others say and ignore her nasty comments.

In a family like hers it is possible that she has never met kindness, nurture and support and will, after possible I initial suspicions, respond well to having treacle poured over her.

Teetime Wed 27-May-15 08:55:43

flutter I'm sorry the relationship between you and your DIL is not good. I wonder if she envies your relationship with your son and thinks she is n some kind of competition with her. Its hard work to keep ignoring her or to rise above it. Equally although I think its probably the right thing to do to be unfailingly nice is exhausting when you'd really like to push her in a pond. I think you are going to have to conserve your energies and keep contact to a minimum. Are grandchildren involved too?

thatbags Wed 27-May-15 09:00:54

Agreed, ffinn. Wanted to say something similar but couldn't find the right way to do it.

Perhaps, flutter, if you left her alone she'd reciprocate. I obviously can't know whether that's doable. It just crossed my mind as a vague possibility.

thatbags Wed 27-May-15 09:02:29

My straight from the gut comment would have been something like this: Oh god! not another one! How do these mothers do it, bringing up sons who choose awful women to marry?

nannieroz111 Wed 27-May-15 09:23:16

Hey biker you deserve a medal. It must have been sooooo difficult to rise above a barrage like that. I usually find just "walk away" and explode when you are in private.

petallus Wed 27-May-15 09:27:15

My straight from the gut reaction was similar: another woman with a lovely son and a terrible daughter-in-law!

bikergran Wed 27-May-15 09:32:40

thanks nannieroz111 as I say I have had "plenty of practice" !
counting to a 1,000 does help... hope that I have brought my DDs to appreciate and respect others no matter what goes on in a relation ship, and to remember that if children are involved to hold their tongues until out of earshot ) or are packed off to grannies whilst they sort themselves out)!

Elegran Wed 27-May-15 09:48:15

He is happy with her? Then be pleased for him, he is lucky. Praise her whenever you can and keep a low profile when you can't.

She probably doesn't see it as bullying, just normal "outspokenness" but she will leave you alone if you
1) don't make her rows and feuds into a two-way vendetta - it takes two to make a feud.
2) don't act as though she has broken your heart if she throws a scene. If that is the norm in her family, then she is accustomed to drama. If you can smile at her melodramas without turning them into a fight, you are winning. Be the grown-up.

Grannyknot Wed 27-May-15 09:56:40

bags I don't know whether son's choice of a spouse is only attributable to how their mothers brought them up ... in fact, I very much doubt it.

Grannyknot Wed 27-May-15 09:58:09

...a son's choice ...

Brendawymms Wed 27-May-15 10:07:24

I wonder, if she comes from a family where expressions of belonging revolve around load interactions and arguments that would be her understanding of being loved and belonging.
You see her behaviour as low level bullying so naturally distance yourself , maybe unconsciously, more. This makes her behave in a negative way even more. Does that make sense.
You say that your son is very happy with her and that should please you to see. Build from his happiness and try to see and appreciate the positives in her and let her know that you do see them. Do things with her you know she would enjoy.
She is trying to find her feet in a different family than she is used to and is reacting as she would have done in her childhood family.
Help her belong in your family and I hope that once she feels safe the relationship will improve.

I trained for a time in family therapy and was part of a family therapy team and this would have been the approach we may have taken in sessions. Family work is never a quick fix but takes time.

thatbags Wed 27-May-15 10:07:48

gknot, true regarding the 'only' part, but I think there must be something if only because one hears so much more about problem daughter-in-law/mother-in-law relationships.

Or may dads-in-law just knuckle down and don't complain.

All speculation, I know, but fascinating for all that.

thatbags Wed 27-May-15 10:09:01

Nice post, brendaw.

thatbags Wed 27-May-15 10:09:25

that 'may' should be maybe