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Son in law’s parents.

(114 Posts)
Yearoff Wed 21-Mar-18 11:24:27

I’m asking other mums of sons here. Would you ever do anything to jeopardise your relationship with your son’s wife? My DD’s in-laws have been challenging to her since the very beginning. They have two sons (28 & 32) and are very controlling with both of them. Their engagement was hijacked, there were riots during the run up to the wedding (if his mum wasn’t involved in everything I did with my DD) and now they have just had their first child it has gone crazy. My DD contracted sepsis during the birth and was incredibly ill and in intensive care for 2 days. MIL arrived up after DGD was born with a giant balloon (nurses were aghast). My SIL asked them to go home and give his DW space and time to recover. A full hissy fit followed. DD has had a rough time - feeding wasn’t going well, she was still in recovery etc. Anyway, SIL’s parents had a huge fight with him about “not getting to see that baby!” And “her mother” being there more. I should explain I live in the same apartment block and was up in their house doing laundry, housework and making meals for them, not holding the baby. This has now horribly gone on for 4 months with terrible things being said to both my SIL and my DD. Strained visits by SIL’s parents and much stress to both my SIL and DD.
Mothers of sons - do you accept that your DIL will be closer to her own mum than you? Would you tread gently? (I’m a mother of 2 girls and a boy and have a good relationship with my DIL because I was gentle from the beginning- my own DM told me to make a friend of my son’s wife because I didn’t want to be a monster in law!)

jacig Thu 22-Mar-18 10:35:10

I have 2 DD and 1 son, both D's have partners, one sil and one soon to be sil. I get on with both of the other sides but I have to make the effort. My DS was engaged to a lovely girl who was like my 3rd DD, unfortunately they broke the engagement off. I still see her and would love for them to find each other again; at the moment her family don't get on with me( my son broke the engagement)

Coco51 Thu 22-Mar-18 10:40:24

Yes I do. A man’s wife comes before his mother and mothers of sons, like myself, must accept that and learn to let go. They must also accept that in many cases DIL will be closer to her own mother than MIL.

GabriellaG Thu 22-Mar-18 10:46:00

I have only met my second son's inlaws once a his wedding.
We live too far apart to meet socially but they seem very vanilla. My DiL is a wonderful wife and mother and works full time many do.
She and my son visit her parents for occasional Sunday lunch but leave shortly after the meal. When I asked why, she replied that it was boring.
They are abroad for 5 months of the year and have a robust social life. I'm not on fb or Twitter and they very rarely post on those platforms, according to my other children. My other son has a g/f but not married or living together.
I tend not to involve myself overmuch in the lives of my children except when it pleases us both. They all live quite some distance from me (and each other) which makes a day visit out of the question.
I'm not involved with any of my children's MsiL.

grannytotwins Thu 22-Mar-18 10:47:46

I fully understand how the OP feels. My DD’s engagement and wedding was highjacked by her MIL and FIL. When she had a placental abruption at 31 weeks with twins and an emergency c section, I was beside myself with anxiety as to whether the babies would survive or if they did, how much damage there had been, let alone my poor DD going through the stress. They arrived at the hospital jumping up and down, hugging each other with excitement at becoming GPs and with balloons. The next day when we were finally able to see the babies in intensive care, the even brought their own DD’s now ex-boyfriend. We have all had plenty of twin time as they recovered well, but they will never be on my guest list.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 22-Mar-18 10:47:57

Tell me who hasn't been there, at some time, with their SIl's family. I won't go into my own experiences but it is natural that a daughter will turn to her own mother. You appear to have SIl on your side but if you want peace to reign then you must accept, and what I call the 'opposition', have as much right to be involved with their grandchild as you have.Until you have a friendly get together and discuss who will do what and when then there is nothing but trouble ahead and imagine the effect sadthis will have on the grandchildren.

f77ms Thu 22-Mar-18 10:47:59

I accept that my DILs will be closer to their Mums as my DSs are closer to me . I get on well with them both and would never do anything to cause any problems in their relationships . These Inlaws sound like a nightmare but we are only seeing this from one side .

Coconut Thu 22-Mar-18 10:50:12

I must be very lucky, 3 kids with 3 lovely partners and I have lovely relationships with all the other 3 Nans. We are all respectful of each other’s feelings and aware of the possible complexities of the various relationships. The scenario you describe is the reason why so many new parents, start putting timetables in place for visits etc and then they are vilified by everyone as being awkward. Grandparents need to have their own lives that do not always revolve round grandchildren and I personally am very grateful then for all invites I get to visit or babysit, or if they want to pop round etc If you are unfortunate enough to get a control freak of a MIL then they have to be spoken to fairly but assertively, otherwise you just enable the situation to continue, and who wants to live in a war zone, the new parents and baby need to be surrounded by love and support so why would any parent want to cause so much angst. So many grandparents seem to spoil the joy of new parents, with jealousy and control and it’s so unfair.

Missfoodlove Thu 22-Mar-18 10:54:55

I have a similar problem. My daughters MIL has created a competition! She is a domineering woman capable of awful lies and shocking bullying behaviour.
She tries to tell her son we dislike him that we are snobs who look down on the likes of them etc etc.
We have bided our time kept our mouths shut and now our SIL has realised how different our parenting styles are, he puts his mother in her place and leans far more toward us for support and help.
Our daughter also told her to treat her with more respect or she would not be welcome in their home.
So after 4 years of warring finally things are a lot calmer, for some time we feared she would split them up.

Legs55 Thu 22-Mar-18 11:08:04

When DGS1 was born after Emergency C Section DH & I had to do a 3 hour dash to the Hospital, upon arrival I was informed DD already had visitors, as you can imagine I was about to burst into tears as I was so worried about DD. Luckily the In Laws came out & we were allowed in. In Laws had taken DD to Hospital & lived close to DD & her OH. My 1st concern was DD then baby. We stayed for a week as DD was in Hospital for 3 days.

When DGS2 was born last year I had moved closer due to being widowed so I was on hand when required, DD was in Hospital overnight, I provided transport as her OH doesn't drive. I gave them a day together as a family & returned the following day, my DD knew she could call me anytime but I believe in giving them space.

In Laws have little interest in their DGSs & don't even visit, their loss & certainly not anything DD or I have done. I always check with DD before visiting but it suits ussmile

Nona4ever Thu 22-Mar-18 11:32:08

Nonnie I think your reversal scenario was unhelpful. The size of the balloon? Did you actually read what the OP said?

newnanny Thu 22-Mar-18 11:32:14

No matter how unreasonable you believe you dd's il to be remember you will share dgd for all time and things said can't be unsaid. Be friendly, and remember it is often harder to be son's Mum as d will most likely feel closer to her own Mum than mil. I occasionally feel disappointed my sil tends to leave most child care to my dd and gets more free time to himself but I button my lips, smile and never comment about my thoughts. I don't want to lose out on dd, sil and dgc coming on holiday with us and getting to play with dgc on beach. Smile and bite your tongue or you may lose out in end. Let your dd and her dh deal with his Mum.

radicalnan Thu 22-Mar-18 11:40:58

Of course with these scenarios we only hae one point of view to go on, however the old adage ' a son is a son till he takes him a wife' has been around for a very long time, so there must be some measure of truth in it.

None of it is a competition, why is a big balloon of any significance at all? Just someone else's way of doing things.

You can make things hard or easy, the choice is how you deal with it all. Lucky you a new baby in the family and a mother safely delivered after all that worry. Count your blessings and share them

inishowen Thu 22-Mar-18 11:58:01

My dil was extremely ill after giving birth. She had to have a blood transfusion. Firstly, balloons were not allowed in the ward, and secondly we were asked to stay away until she felt better. Our son wanted us to see the baby so we had a very brief visit. The nurse was quick to say her patient was to be left in peace. However her family had long visits. I don't have a problem with that. She felt comfortable with her own mum of course.

gummybears Thu 22-Mar-18 12:23:46

The talk of sharing the grandchildren makes me smile.

Mother and MIL despise each other so thoroughly that all birthdays, Christmas, other holidays have to be held (in full) twice because both of them would have a full meltdown if the suggestion they share the same airspace is even mooted.

MIL refused to attend DD2's baptism because we refused to hold a completely separate lunch for "her" family afterwards. This is after she attempted to prevent me attending the lunch after DD1's baptism by inviting (off her own back) a member of her extended family who in the context of a work issue, had made written threats to kill me and had received a police warning for such.

At the wedding they had to be in separate wedding cars, on two different tables, no joint family photos, not a look exchanged between them all day.

They don't do sharing.

The effect is that neither of them can be invited to any public grandchild event now or in future. No ballet recitals, school plays, anything. They will not be there if they cannot be the only grandmother.

MissAdventure Thu 22-Mar-18 12:28:24

I would hold one event, invite them both, and let them get on with it.
You wouldn't fiddle around having two Christmases for children who didn't get on, so it seems ridiculous to do it adults.

Barnet Thu 22-Mar-18 12:31:04

When you’re married your parents come second, your spouse and children come first. Arguing back and forth creates no end of problems. My DH and I don’t have a lot to do with our SIL’s parents as there are a lot of problems within the family dynamic, but they still have our DGS’s welfare at heart and are never prevented from seeing him if they want. Perhaps a proper chat with both sets of grandparents by SIL and DD with guidelines laid down by them is what’s needed to stop the arguments.

paddyann Thu 22-Mar-18 12:55:00

I genuinely dont understand the my mothers more important than your mother thing.Both should be treated as equals..they are both the childs GM .Sure some girls are closer to their own mum BUT shouldn't they make an effort to get on with the woman who gave birth to the man they love ? They will find themselves in that position one day .

Happysexagenarian Thu 22-Mar-18 12:57:08

I have three sons, two of them married. They both have children. I get along really well with my DILs. They are lovely caring girls and I like to think of them as the daughters I never had. We are also very good friends with our DILs parents and are often invited to join them for their family celebrations. Although we all lived very near for a few years we are now ove 100 miles apart. When each of our grandchildren was born we expressed our delight but kept our distance to give them time to relax and enjoy those early days as a family, and only visited when invited. Someone once told me 'Make a friend of your DIL because she may be the one choosing your care home one day!' I would have no qualms about my DILs if that were the case.

However... our third son is not married but lives with his girlfriend and her child just a few miles from us, and they are expecting a baby later this year. She seems like a nice young woman but it is harder to get to know her as she is quite a private person and not a keen visitor. We have only been invited to their home once and have not yet met any of her family. I can telephone my son but his GF has not given me her number even though I asked for it. If he wants to visit us she has to drive him over as he doesn't drive -yet, and I think she'd like to keep it that way. She can be a bit controlling. So I am going to have to tread very carefully to build a relationship with her, and her son. We may have to accept that we are not as involved in their lives as we have been with our other sons. But hopefully Softly, Softly catchee friendship..!

I would think it only natural for a DIL to be closer to her own mother and I would never intervene in that. But I hope I have created warm and loving relationships with my DILs.

moobox Thu 22-Mar-18 13:07:27

It is never fair on the SIL when the DIL does not respect his parents. He will feel torn between the two, even though his loyalty is with his wife, and even though in this case he has expressed agreement with her.

dragonfly46 Thu 22-Mar-18 13:12:57

My philosophy is that the more people that love my DGD the better so it isn't a competition. If you let them know you love them they will love you back.

Bibbity Thu 22-Mar-18 13:15:45

What the hell?!

OP get your daughter to post on Mumsnet and get some advice.

Although my response to her inlaws would be 'off you fuck'

luluaugust Thu 22-Mar-18 13:54:10

What would you like to do about all this? In a way its their problem not yours and I think you say your SIL has had to deal with problems before. What would your DD like to do? They are adults and only they can sort this one out, if I were you I would keep out of it as much as possible. They need challenging and told what the outcome of carrying on like this is going to be but not by you. Did you all get on before the baby arrived?

Fellowfeeling8 Thu 22-Mar-18 13:57:36

This is such a horrible situation for you and you must feel you are treading on eggshells. While you have to be protective of your young parents I think I do really believe in least said soonest mended. My SIL is hard to get on with, he’s very negative and things never seem to be going well for him. My DD is endlessly patient and supportive but, much as I would like to tell him a few home truths about how he is making their home miserable I don’t want there to be any justification for the thought that “your mother is always causing trouble, I don’t want you to invite her here”. I bite my tongue and then worry if that is being fair to my DD and GDs.

It does sound as though you have the attitude that your DD and SIL depend on. I do hope that as time passes the situation will ease and become less problematic.

Horatia Thu 22-Mar-18 14:48:52

If a man's wife comes before his mother and family, then why not a wife's husband coming before her mother and family. Why has the man got the instruction of family priority and the wife no reminders to think of her spouse?

Sandym8 Thu 22-Mar-18 14:59:40

Coco51 that’s rubbish mothers of sons don’t just forget them just because they have a wife / partner. Both sons and daughters need their mothers all their lives . Also mothers of daughters should try and get on with the other grandparents instead of treating as a competition. I feel sorry for the children who get caught up in all the fighting. It happens far too much