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LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 24-Nov-16 16:55:58

In-laws - love them or loathe them?

Family relationships can be incredibly difficult to navigate, but introduce in-laws to the mix and they often get that little bit trickier... Author Ann Richardson shares her thoughts on this age-old way of gaining family members.

Ann Richardson

In-laws - love them or loathe them?

Posted on: Thu 24-Nov-16 16:55:58


Lead photo

Do you have in-laws...or outlaws?

Something very strange happens when you get married. And then again when your kids get married. You acquire in-laws. It can even happen if you or they are simply involved in a close partnership.

You suddenly have a lot of new people in your 'family' who you didn't choose, but who you're supposed to be friendly with. There are their parents, sisters and brothers, and their spouses and on and on.

And we all know it can cause a lot of problems.

Of course there are some who just love their in-laws. I know a woman who insisted that her daughter-in-law should be known as her 'daughter-in-love' from the very beginning. How lovely for everyone.

I also know people who go on holiday with the whole extended family – children, their spouses, and loads of grandchildren. Some do it every year. They are very lucky to get on so well.

More frequently, we just cope. It is hard enough with the parents-in-law, not to mention other members of the family. But somehow, we usually learn how to manage. We work out what foods they eat when they come for dinner, what subjects you should avoid in conversations and, best of all, what interests you have in common.

They may not have your ideas about how to feed them, play with them or what to buy as presents. They may have loads of rules, when you believe in freedom, or vice versa.

Sometimes, they live nearby and you end up seeing each other frequently. Sometimes, everyone does their best to see each other as little as possible.

But when the grandchildren come along, it is a whole different story. If you want to see the grandchildren, the son or daughter-in-law comes too. It is part of the package.

If it is your son's baby, especially, it is hard to avoid his or her mother.

Of course, a baby can be just the thing to cement relationships. You share the love of this new being and that papers over a whole lot of cracks. Indeed, you may well be very impressed with how your son or daughter-in-law handles their new baby, improving your relationship with each other and making your time together even more agreeable.

Yet this is also where the greatest problems can arise. You go to visit the new baby or, later, the growing children, and however much you love the grandkids, you may not agree with their parents' ideas about how to bring them up. Often it is the daughter- or son-in-law whose ideas are the most divergent from your own.

They may not have your ideas about how to feed them, play with them or what to buy as presents. They may have loads of rules, when you believe in freedom, or vice versa.

And you might be tempted to give advice, but do not want to be irritating. 'Every new granny should be issued with a zip', one friend said, and it is true.

Who says being a granny is always easy?

Ann's most recent book is Celebrating Grandmothers: grandmothers talk about their lives, which is published by New Generation and available from Amazon, and you can find out more about Ann on her website.

By Ann Richardson

Twitter: @CelebratingGran

Maggiemaybe Thu 24-Nov-16 16:58:06

Who says being a granny is always easy?

Absolutely noone, in my experience!

Granarchist Thu 24-Nov-16 17:12:40

I have never met anyone in my life who said being a granny is always easy. Cloud cuckoo land.

merlotgran Thu 24-Nov-16 17:24:25

It's only easy if the other one has snuffed it!

morethan2 Thu 24-Nov-16 17:29:01

merlotgran grin

mrshat Thu 24-Nov-16 19:53:58

merlotgran My sentiments exactly!

janeainsworth Thu 24-Nov-16 20:17:24

Tell us something we don't already know hmm

M0nica Thu 24-Nov-16 21:41:26

No human relationship is ever easy, husband and wife, parent and child, siblings, in-laws, work colleagues, friends. People are all different and none are perfect. There is nothing unique or special about two sides of a family not fitting together well.

Why do we have so many blogs going to great portentous lengths to state the b...ding obvious?

merlotgran Thu 24-Nov-16 22:33:09

Because they're flogging a book, M0nica?

Must think we were all born yesterday hmm

DaphneBroon Fri 25-Nov-16 08:59:38

Hear, hear merlot and m0nica, I just hope nobody buys me that for Christmas. How the heck do they get their "blogs" or books published??

Sugarpufffairy Sun 27-Nov-16 09:14:18

I find it particularly difficult when I am the one who has to go out in the middle of the night for hospital and other medical needs and I am the one who is expected to provide money on demand rarely if ever repaid but the other grandmother is the one who gets all the praise and glory and she sees the children on birthdays and Christmas while I am only asked over if babysitting is required. If I dont put up and shut up I dont get to see my DGC. I dont know if my adult child is ignoring this state of unfairness, too daft to see it or under duress.
It is a total disaster.

grandMattie Sun 27-Nov-16 09:43:55

curiously, my son's son and I are very close indeed, no problems from either parent.
On the other hand, the relationship between SiL, DD, GDs and us are not as easy as I would like. DD's PiL are endlessly in her house, with the children, and the rest of SiL's family are much, much closer than we are. And, curiously, always included when we do rarely visit.
Being a MiL holds great terrors and I do my best to keep it sipped, but inevitably SiL finds fault with some simple, unexpected comment from me. I am mute when with them, whether in my house or theirs [both rarely, sadly].
Don't get on with my own siblings, never talk to them now; ditto DH's sibling. Very sad - but whatever they may say, the fault was theirs telling DH to " when he was calling to tell them he had cancer, etc. Not easy to forgive. sad

grandMattie Sun 27-Nov-16 09:44:20

zipped confused

sweetcakes Sun 27-Nov-16 14:29:18

We don't call them in-laws we call them the out-laws grin

Yorkshiregel Mon 28-Nov-16 14:09:09

Not a very good start if you call them 'The Outlaws' is it. Doesn't make for good relations.

I get on with two of my 3 dils. The other one is much harder to cope with. She is a scientist so we get lectures on recycling (I have recycled things all my life)and global warming. I am told that my son,who I brought up and fed along with his two brothers (while OH was totally wedded to his job)until he married at age 29 'wants to be a vegetarian so he cannot eat that', 'He doesn't like meat', etc etc. I have to bite my tongue often, especially when she says 'Oh we don't bring children up like that anymore' as if I know nothing about child care or illnesses (I used to be a nurse); I have tried honestly but sometimes I just have to leave the room when she gets on her soap box. If I buy her a present she gives it away and lets me know she has done that. I stopped her doing it now because I just send money. No doubt she says I do not bother to buy presents, but I know whatever it is I buy she will say, 'they already have one', or 'I don't like that it is hideous', or something on those lines. My other dils say I try too hard to please her. So I have stopped trying now to see if that works. Gradually she has stopped my son from seeing his friends, now it seems she is trying to separate him from his family as well...but she will never win that one. My son says 'Happy wife, happy life' if I complain to him. I dare not say too much because she knows she can stop me seeing my grandchildren. Why are some women like this? It just causes problems where there should be none. I get on with all their Mothers and Fathers by the way. When we meet we always have a nice chat and we always send each other Christmas presents.

Elrel Mon 28-Nov-16 14:59:27

Sweet cakes - a friend referred to his partner's parents as 'my outlaws'' simply because he and DP weren't married. Everybody was happy with his little witticism!

Smileless2012 Tue 29-Nov-16 09:26:37

It's a catchy little title isn't it; 'In laws love then or loathe them', amusing in a way unless of course you're the in laws who are loathed.

We thought we had a really good relationship with out d.i.l.; we genuinely loved her and believed her when she said she loved us too. Things began to change when she became pregnant with their first child. We weren't aware of it at the time because things were being said and done behind our backs.

The ensuing chill once he was born was impossible to ignore. We tried talking to our son so we could fix whatever the problems were, but to no avail as in truth we weren't the problem; she was.

We were eventually cut out when our GS was 8 months old, he'll be 5 in January and that was the last time we saw him and the last time we had anything other than abuse from our son. We have another GS now, he's 1 and we've never seen him up close.

I suppose this catchy, and depending on your own personal circumstances amusing title will help to sell this book but for the in laws who are loathed and lose their own child and only GC as a consequence, it's a twist of the knife that's been so cruelly plunged into their backs.

aggie Tue 29-Nov-16 09:33:09

I know one SIL likes me , and I think the other does , but we do argue about daft things , he winds me up till I see the grin and retire smouldering ....... then we forget it , my DIL is a kind and helpful girl , I see all my GC . Must be doing something right !

aggie Tue 29-Nov-16 09:33:53

Or just lucky ! I am not smug about it

br0adwater Tue 29-Nov-16 09:46:40

Yes, this thread is all about "buy my book" but it gives me a chance to thank all my sister grans for their contributions on this and other treads. Being a gran and MiL is not as simple as it sounds at first and I have found great solace in realising I'm not struggling alone. In fact I'm much luckier than most. Thank you all.

suzied Tue 29-Nov-16 09:52:46

Reminds me of the joke " what's the difference between in laws and outlaws? " - outlaws are wanted!

DaphneBroon Tue 29-Nov-16 10:35:38

I feel we are incredibly lucky with our 3 SILS, if we had had 3 boys instead of girls, I could not have wished for better young men (40 ish is young right?) Each is very different, but complements the DD in question, despite being different they each have some characteristics in common, as do our DDs and they all get on well with each other. They seem to tolerate their MIL /FIL well enough and (so far) have not caused anybody any grief.
( 😈😈 Trust they keep it that way!)
I also get on well with their parents and see different aspects of my character in each of the mums with whom I have more than our children and grandchildren in common.
Lucky indeed.

ginny Tue 29-Nov-16 10:39:33

We are lucky too. I love both my Sons in Law. Don't always agree but that's ok, we don't fall out . One has no family and the other has parents quite different to us. We meet on family occasions and get along pretty well. I am conscious that his parents don't get to see DGS as often as I do ( due to circumstances not choice ).so I tend to stand back a bit when they are around. Only have one Sister in Law and we get on very well as we have shared interests and hobbies. I get along with my Mother in Law although I can't say I have any special feeling for her. She is DH s mum and part of the family . So sad to hear of the problems so many people have.

annrich Tue 29-Nov-16 16:22:38

Yes, I have written a book about the joys and challenges of being a grandmother and I would love for some of you to want to read it (many grandmothers have loved it, as you can see from reviews), but life is more complex than just selling a book. This blog post, as well as my book, was written to help people feel they are not alone in family difficulties and even to encourage them to feel able to give voice to their pain. The title was set by Gransnet and not by me - and was certainly never intended to hurt anyone. The title of my book is Celebrating Grandmothers and I do celebrate each and every one of you (even those who think what I write is the bleeding obvious) because I think grandmothers are not given as much credit as they deserve for what they do. Depending on circumstances, some sail through all the potential difficulties with nothing but joy, but there are many others who suffer considerably as evidenced by these comments. If my writing has helped even one woman to ease some pain, it was definitely worth it.

Smileless2012 Tue 29-Nov-16 19:30:22

Thank you annrichflowers

Perhaps LucyGransnet, knowing some of the subjects regularly discussed on GN, and one thread in particular, a more appropriate title could have been chosen.

Yorkshiregel Thu 01-Dec-16 16:43:24

I agree Smileless2012. What is more, people who talk about In Laws as though they are the joke of the week just make it more difficult for those who are already hurting from a situation that they find themselves in through no fault of their own.

Mumsy Sat 03-Dec-16 09:03:11

I love my daughter in law, shes more of a daughter to me than my estranged daughters!
My son in law, well the less said the better!!!!

Smileless2012 Sun 04-Dec-16 14:19:05


glammanana Fri 09-Dec-16 08:38:13

I do think problems with DILs stem from our DSs not wanting to interfer with their partners decisions and just want a quiet life I know my eldest DS visits us when it is convienient for DIL she controls their social calendar when they are not at work and we and we are always bottom of the list for some unknown reason, we have never fell out over anything we just don't seem to "fit".confused

Yorkshiregel Fri 09-Dec-16 09:45:10

ginny we live 3 hours away from one son. Whenever we go up to see them, and we have to make an appointment first in case they are doing something else, his mil always seems to 'pop round' to do things such as trim the edge of the grass, bring 'those things you wanted' or 'just bought some fresh bread so I thought I would get one for you too' excuses. It drives me mad. It is as though we are not trusted alone with the GC or that dil needs their support when we are there. Very annoying for us anyway. MIL only lives five minutes away so I think it is not unreasonable for us to have our visit to ourselves. Is this selfish?

harrigran Fri 09-Dec-16 10:43:11

When DIL's parents visit I stay away and allow them the time to enjoy GC, I get to see them every week and they only manage a couple of times a year.

newnanny Thu 22-Dec-16 11:03:38

I love my MiL and FiL because they accepted my children from my first marriage when i married their son who had no children of his own, and they treated them exactly like their other grandchildren. They never favour their biological grandchildren and for that alone I can overlook any other things they do that i find annoying.

Smileless2012 Wed 28-Dec-16 10:29:30

Overlooking things that others do that we find annoying is part and parcel of any relationship, it's what we do and hope that it will be reciprocated; sadly this reciprocation isn't always achieved and relationships fall apart.

Anya Wed 28-Dec-16 11:12:11

Overlooking things that others do that we find annoying is part and parcel of any relationship

Spot on Smileless

TriciaF Wed 28-Dec-16 17:47:35

We have 4 children and have fairly regular contact with all of their inlaws. They all seem to love their own offspring, and grandchildren, which is the main thing. We're a bit strange, and so are some of them, so as Smileless says, we overlook the differences.
They're all fairly ordinary people, except for DS1's inlaws, who are very well-off. And sadly that sometimes worries him, as we can't compete. Not that they rub it in.

nananina Fri 30-Dec-16 15:11:19

Yorkshiregel - I could have written your post. DIL No 3 is the problem for me - fine with the other 2. Like you I try to please her or at least not upset her and my other DILs and friends tell me to stop pussy footing around her and I know they're right, but the dynamic is sort of set in concrete. Sometimes she talks to me like I'm under 5 and I say nothing and I'm NOT the sort of person to say nothing! I'm known for being direct. I wish I'd started off differently with her - my son does more or less everything in the house and with the kids and she just takes it all for granted.

My one DIL tells me that I don't need to be confrontational but just to say something back like "did you mean to sound so rude" just so that it registers with her, but it's like I'm struck dumb, when she insults me. My DH can see it but we keep the peace for our son who is very loyal and won't run her down. The granchildren (girls 7 and 9) are lovely and we have a good relationship with them.

Ho hum - I suppose 2 out of 3 isn't bad!

janeayressister Sun 01-Jan-17 11:53:08

I have DILs and SILs. I love the SILs and get on well with the DILS. I am so grateful to have daughters as I don't think having the first GC with a DIL would have been the same. We have had such fun. I do actively encourage the DDS to include their in laws as much as possible.
The difference is that I will always be my DDs Mother but the DILs have their own Mothers.

That is the way it is and I don't have any friends who think differently.

On Mumsnet, MILs get a frightful bashing. Everyone piles in, even though they have no experience of being a MIL, and have absolutely no idea what the experience is going to be like. If you try and be a bit more moderate regarding the relationship you get flamed and attacked. The arrogance of youth ! Actually being a MIL gives you a unique perspective? Doesn't it ?
Mostly Mumsnetters post replies from experience, but not when it comes to being MILs ( or not being MILs, actually) (grin)

Mair Mon 09-Jan-17 23:01:24

ginny we live 3 hours away from one son. Whenever we go up to see them, and we have to make an appointment first in case they are doing something else, his mil always seems to 'pop round' to do things...Is this selfish?

Yes I think she does sound very selfish, and maybe insecure, rather as though she feels threatened by you and wants to stake out her place as Granny number one. Tbf though your DIL is not actively to blame for her behaviour, is she?

I dont think its anything to do with you guys not being trusted with the grandchildren, but all about dominance and territory.

Mair Mon 09-Jan-17 23:06:10

On Mumsnet, MILs get a frightful bashing

Why do you think it is that despite the old MIL jokes being told by men about their MILs, men seem on the whole to be far more laid back about their PILs than women are?

And its mainly MILs/Dils seem to feel the strains, rather than Fils/Sils?
Its largely a female problem.

Aslemma Tue 10-Jan-17 00:40:39

I had three daughters-in-law and one son-in-law and only had a problem with one of the wives. I always made a point of praising all her achievements, going to all of her parties and even phoning her daily from abroad when her father was in hospital, but she did her best to take my son away from our family so they could concentrate on her parents, We all lived close to each other but they seldom called round together, and if my son came she would ring it she felt he had been here too long. Christmas was always spent with her family, despite my son suggesting that they should come here alternate years,

I know I shouldn't say it but I was quite relieved when they got divorced after almost 21 years (an old boy friend of hers came back from the USA and the rest, as they say, is history). He now has a lovely lady in his life, who made it quite clear that she wanted them both to be part of one another's families.

Mair Tue 10-Jan-17 01:25:33

Why do you think men are so much more likely than women to be willing to abandon their family of origin and drawn almost totally into their wives family though?
It truly is, in many cases the old adage of: A sons your son till he gets a wife a daughters your daughter for the rest of your life.
It sometimes happen the other way but far more rarely, though I suspect even more painfully for the parents in this case.

Bbnan Tue 10-Jan-17 06:42:54

Not an easy one......My daughter in law makes the rules we all follow....Her parents are divorced so that is 2 households to compete with....She was home from Canada for 5 weeks.....Stayed with Dad.....Other granny and I had limited visits after friends mates party's...My son did not visit alone...No problem seeing child if we visited her dad's house.....Loved seeing her but we bite our youngest...Easiest way

Bbnan Tue 10-Jan-17 06:45:27

Sorry lounge....damn autocorrect

Bebe47 Sat 28-Jan-17 11:24:20

It's all about how different people can rub along together. I have given birth to andbrought up four very capable and caring sons but they have their own ideas about parenting. Modern parenting is a buzz word - whatever that is - parenting is parenting in my book. Some of the old (1960/70's) ways worked - not so strict - more caring - but there was still discipline and boundaries.

Strugglinabit Sun 05-Feb-17 13:09:51

glammamama - You've described my situation - it is identical! Difficult to cope with when her parents get such special treatment though, visiting to stay sometimes more than once a month, 5 days at a time...
I am useful for immediate help out for emergency baby-sitting but I know DS just wants to keep the peace. Is it control, manipulation of the situation by DiL or just thoughtlessness? I sometimes feel so tired of this situation and coping with my disappointment. When it suits them to bring my dear GD over and leave her, it is imperative she is picked up for her afternoon nap; when they take her out, amazingly this nap-time schedule isn't set in stone.

Mair Sun 05-Feb-17 13:23:08

While your instinct is to go through your son of course, have you considered speakign directly to the DIL? I know its tricky but in a way that doesnt attack her. As in acknowledging that of course you understand that she feels closer to her own parents than you, but that the fact that her parents consequently get to see vastly more of the GCs than you do does make you very sad (not jealous or angry of course hmm). Reassure her that you know this isnt intentional on her part ( hmm) but that you love the GCs just as much as her parents do , and that you would like more involvement in their lives. Does this sound reasonable? You need to have ready some reasonable requests lined up should she act surprised and actually asks you what you would like.

Mair Sun 05-Feb-17 13:26:48

Also strugglin, do her parents live much further away?
They might be making demands on your DIL to spend time with them imagining you being local get to see much more of them!

Strugglinabit Sun 05-Feb-17 14:39:43

Mair thank you for your supportive reply and friendly advice. I did try speaking to her, offering any help anytime needed but eventually my DS told me to come over with a diary so we could definitely schedule time together as I think he realised - though did not say - that things were "unfair" and I was still left out of contact time ; DiL smiled sweetly and did it for a few minutes pencilling in things, then flounced out saying I thought we had finished - and returned a bit sullen when my DS said let's finish the month. I was made to feel really bad so don't feel I want to do this again. Things were good like that for a few months, then during her second pregnancy, it went back to the original situation.
I try to believe it is her hormones now.

Mair Sun 05-Feb-17 16:23:39

"I think he realised - though did not say - that things were "unfair" and I was still left out of contact time "

Are you saying you haven't even spoken to your son openly about feeling left out? If you did then he could perhaps make more effort to include you when its daddycare time. Looking at this from a DILs viewpoint I know my own DD doesnt relish time spent with her in laws, not because she dislikes them at all, but simply because she doesn't have any real 'rapport' with her MIL so just doesn't especially enjoy doing something such as having Sunday lunch with them. She does it occasionally, but its a duty not a pleasure. However she has no issue with her DH taking the GC there for a visit while she enjoys some time off for example!
Maybe your DIL could feel similarly.

I am not sure that your son trying to pin his wife into a schedule was the most tactful approach actually, especially with you there. I can imagine it made her feel very pressurised. If he wants to fight your corner for you then he should speak to his wife when they are alone and remind her you love the GC too, just as much as her parents, and that you are being unfairly treated. If he doesnt care enough for you to do that , or if he feels that she has so much the upper hand over him that he is afraid of her, then including you more on daddycare time is the only other way he can help you, again if he cares enough and realises how sad this is making you. Also you dont say how often you actually spend time with the GC? Are you expecting too much? You should not expect that because she lives nearby she would call by frequently, as perhaps she would if her own mother were local! Thank goodness she's not hey?

Strugglinabit Sun 05-Feb-17 18:33:53

I did tell my son that I was feeling a bit left out as I was only seeing my GD for perhaps an hour or two once a fortnight or less, whilst PiL up for 5 day stay every month and go on Face Time every day. I remember that her mother had said I expect to see my grandchild once a month before her birth - they live a 4 hour drive away.
DS had said the Face Time was a bit intrusive even when Gd was eating her meals, they watch her. DS said that DiL likes things arranged and that is why he told me to come over with my diary as otherwise DiL will get things booked up. I felt I was fitted in as an after thought. That I found hurtful, not that she wants to organise her life in that way, but because she did not think of me as 'family.' I had always thought she regarded me as that.
After this 'meeting' I was scheduled in for some contact at least once or on occasion x 2 a week, such as going over to play with GD for 2 hours whilst she got on with work. If she did bring GD over here, sometimes she'd stay as well, using her lap top or phone, or have lunch, or leave GD for a session when she had any appointments. GD loves being here, just says Bye and runs in to play. I try to make DiL welcome, make her a drink etc., ask about her part-time work, but how do you build a relationship unless you spend time together? As I said, it was alright until the birth of GD, so that is why I was baffled.

Mair Sun 05-Feb-17 23:18:24

That's interesting strugs and a few things you have filled in about the background to this suggest some various dynamics going on, which makes me feel it's not really your DIL who is blameworthy and responsible for your feeling left out.

Firstly you seem to have been very diffident in expressing your feelings to your son "a bit left out" when it seems youre actually really very upset. But your son did respond to this, albeit clumsily, and your DIL reciprocated, even though I think the majority of DILS would not want to be tied into seeing their MIL every week. Where there is a higher frequency of contact it's very often because the MIL is doing childcare for them, not because the DIL is just calling for a chat. It seems as though your son wasnt even involved in these contacts so the responsibility is falling to DIL. Could he facilitate contact by calling in at the weekend with the GD taking the burden off her?

The other thing is that MatGM seems like a very forceful character, probably worried that because they are so far away and you near that she risks being upstaged by you! You do after all see GD in RL with greater frequency than MatGM even though your time spent with her is less!

I wonder if in fact MatGM wasnt so obsessed and clingy, would you be happier? It may be that MatGM is even more involved than DIL really wants her to be but DIL loves her parents and doesn't want to upset her. Staying for so long and every month does sound excessive. It may reduce though when MatGM has other GCs, and DILs DCs get a bit older. Will they even have room to put them up for so long when they have two?

So ways of dealing. You could accept that seeing your GD once a fortnight, while not as often as you like , is still far more frequent than most GPs who live further away see their GCs. Your GD is happy coming to your house, and she doesnt have big gaps in which to become shy and more distant, congratulate yourself on your good relationship and enjoy it, viewing desperately clingy matgran as that and don't try to be like her. GD is not necessarily going to prefer her for it, in fact as she gets older she may even find the over frequent visits annoying as may your son, and he might put a stop to some of them.

You could ask your son to bring GD over, or invite the whole family over at the weekend for lunch occasionally. Your son needs to take responsibility for facilitating your contact by involving himself I think, not bulldozing his wife into scheduling you in when she is alone at home.

Lastly since so many local PatGrans who do have a lot of contact do so through childcare, would this be an option for you? Making yourself a useful unpaid carer is more likely to raise your value to DIL. You said she works part time, well would you be up for caring for the GD one of those days, saving them nursery fees? Do you offer evening babysitting so they can have a night out? Its not much fun in that GD is going to be in bed but youd probably get to go round a little early and do the bedtime story. Its also a way to see the whole family and get to know DIL better.

It would be interesting to see if any comments come from PatGrans who have been able to improve contact and relationship with DILs from a weak base. So often theyve either been lucky and hit it off and seem a bit smug about it or theyre feeling very cut out and annoyed with DIL.

Araabra Mon 06-Feb-17 00:28:26

Funny title, that. Loathe the in-laws! grin

tinaf1 Mon 06-Feb-17 00:56:26

Why is it funny confused

Araabra Mon 06-Feb-17 01:03:56

Oh, the reasons thrown around for loathing, bizarre theories.

tinaf1 Mon 06-Feb-17 08:11:05


Smetterling Tue 21-Feb-17 03:11:31

My ex mum in law passed away at the beginning of the month. I was married to her son for 17 years and she was a true and loving friend for 45. Best thing I did divorcing the son but keeping his mum x

Smileless2012 Sat 25-Feb-17 11:54:58

What a lovely post Smetterlingflowers.

Rosepug Sun 26-Feb-17 06:37:25

Loathe them.

BBbevan Sun 26-Feb-17 06:59:29

I loved my MiL. She was gentle, refined and very intelligent. My FiL,I was wary of. He was a bit touchy feely , if you get my meaning. So I never stayed alone with him if I could help it.

Smetterling Sun 26-Feb-17 13:39:33

Thank you Smileless2012 - I so miss her 🦋

Megs36 Tue 28-Feb-17 11:04:58

Didn't get on too well with my MIL and when I became one I suddenly realised what a b....h I'd been sometimes and vowed to try to be different and learn from what I'd considered had been her mistakes. If you have sons and they marry mostly you'll come second to her parents so you have to work at it. I have 2 DILS and couldn't have chosen better myself, I know I will never be their MUM but try to be the best I can. This applies to their families too and we all include each other in family dos as much as possible as much for our mutual GC as for ourselvvves. Trouble is mostly we don't learn from our own mistakes until it's too late. ...

Sarahlou Tue 25-Apr-17 07:14:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sarahlou Tue 25-Apr-17 07:25:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thatbags Mon 01-May-17 15:54:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thatbags Mon 01-May-17 15:56:51

Whhoops! Sorry, wrong thread. I've asked for it to be removed.

Eloethan Mon 01-May-17 19:26:55

I loved my in-laws from the moment I met them - but they lived overseas and I rarely saw them so perhaps it would have been a little more problematic if we'd had more contact. They're both dead now and I remember them with great affection.

Nicky7of7 Sat 06-May-17 12:29:07

I really sympathise with you. I have one just like that too and find it so hard! Just bite my tongue and try to smile otherwise I won't get to see my son at all!

Norah Sat 06-May-17 15:21:20

I like my 4 SiL, nice men. I am, by nature, reticent. It's lovely to visit and send them all

jessica881 Fri 28-Jul-17 11:03:51

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Maggiemaybe Fri 28-Jul-17 11:14:35

Well, this is fun. Reported.

WendyS Sun 10-Sep-17 05:03:36

suzied AWESOME joke.

Reminds me of the joke " what's the difference between in laws and outlaws? " - outlaws are wanted!

WendyS Sun 10-Sep-17 07:22:41

Loathe, I wouldn't cross the street to throw water if they were on fire.

mumofmadboys Sun 10-Sep-17 08:38:46

That's a terrible thing to say/ think wendy.

Serkeen Sun 10-Sep-17 10:05:59

Loathe them is a strong word. Not get on with them, Not your kind of people, Yes.

But for the sake of the rest of the family IMHO you need to put up and shut up

angmhay Thu 19-Oct-17 17:04:09

Sounds exactly like my situation😥

Marydoll Thu 19-Oct-17 17:12:48

Despite having eight other children, my father in law loved me and treated me like his own daughter.
If it hadn't been for him, I would never have been able to go back to university and do my post graduate teaching qualification. When he heard that my mother told me it was a "stupid" idea and I should be at home with my children, he offered to pick up my three children from school each day. I had great affection for him.
My MIL, onthe other hand, never forgave me for taking her eldest child away from her. grin.

Coconut Mon 30-Oct-17 17:58:48

Married twice, I loved both my MIL’s, it was their sons I had issues with !! And funnily enough both of them actually agreed with me !!
Personally I am so lucky having 2 wonderful DIL’s and one very kind respectful SIL.

lauerss Fri 03-Nov-17 09:50:24


Heather23 Tue 14-Nov-17 11:21:30

I would dispute that comment Merlotgran. My DiL lost her dear Mum during her pregnancy and as the sole granny I feel more responsibility to be the best granny I can be; knowing how different I am from how other granny would have been; wondering how DiL feels when she sees me with her children, only naturally wishing her own DM was here to enjoy them and how unfair it is that she is not. I have no grounds for thinking this way, I have the most wonderful DiL but can only imagine that is how it might be for her. My DH didn't know any of his grand-parents and feels that loss to this day. As grand-parents we all have our own experiences to draw on and share with our DGC and even though we may not agree at times, what we share is love for our DGC and that bonds us through the trickier times imo.

Granfran Thu 16-Nov-17 06:07:05

Sounds very familiar. Doesn’t help that the other gran (my sons mother in law) is a bitterly divorced lady who lives in the north east.

moonbeames Thu 16-Nov-17 23:19:54

A big thank you annrich, your words are most appreciated. It is not easy being a grandparent, especially as some others have said, when you are stopped from seeing your grand children. It is very painful and distressing. You have helped me and I thank you for it.

Madgran77 Thu 21-Dec-17 08:14:00

sugarpuffery that is exactly how I feel. We do all the work, the other family get to do all the "fun stuff" - parties, fireworks, birthdays, trips out, holidays - every year the list of things get longer and gets added to their family list of "things we do together ever year"! Anything I suggest, even including both families, is apparently impossible! This year it was a Kew Gardens lights trip -no, too much on apparently, ...then they all went to the Eltham Palace one together last weekend! I'm looking after my GC this afternoon whilst Mum is at work ...which will be lovely, but how nice if we could spend some time together as a family rather Tha my just being useful for childcare. Oh well, I know it is better than nothing and I am luckier than many on here!

Cabbie21 Wed 27-Dec-17 19:10:41

It is true, I am much closer to my daughter and her family than I am to my son and his family.
One thing that hurts is that he and his family have spent every Christmas with his in- laws. DS and I usually work out at least one day when I can visit during the holiday period, but this year it was before Christmas and he and DIL then went out. I had a great time with the grandchildren, but I do feel I have missed out.
I rarely invite them here as we have just a small house, no room to move. This year they are away for a whole week anyway.

GlamM Fri 09-Feb-18 10:01:03

I absolutely love my outlaws! They are a source of great support and amusement to me. I am very lucky to have a great relationship with my MIL, we talk as women and friends and there is no hierarchy or awkwardness. I know that I am lucky to have this and I treasure it!