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Daughter-in-law

(25 Posts)
Cookie1961 Sun 21-Jul-19 05:55:56

My son has been married to his wife for almost 2 years. Last October, they were at our house. She sat at the dinning room table and told me that she could not have a relationship with me. I was shocked. My son urged her to tell me. She said she can't have a realtionship with me because she feels that she can't have one with her mother that takes care of her 30 year old sister who is wheelchair bound. Her mother is much older than I am. So there definelty is a age difference. So I told her, Well we have to work on that. But to no avail that hasnt' worked. She never calls me or texts. When I call her, she texts back. Never calls. I am missing the daughter I never had since I have an only child son. Has anyone any advice?

Starlady Sun 21-Jul-19 06:34:13

Cookie, I'm so sorry you're disappointed in your relationship - or lack of one - w/ DIL. Of course, you do have a kind of relationship w/ her, as MIL and DIL. But I think you and she are talking about a closer relationship than that, separate from the fact that she is married to DS. In fact, as you say, you would like her to be the "daughter you never had."

Unfortunately. her poor relationship w/ her own mum is making it difficult for her to have a mother/daughter relationship w/ anyone else. She has made that very clear. I know you think you two can "work on that," but I'm afraid she isn't interested or just isn't capable of it. Sorry to say, I think you need to step back and stop trying to create a closer relationship w/ her that's never going to be. If you keep pushing, I'm afraid she'll push harder in the other direction.

As for the texts, that may be her way of avoiding direct and perhaps more personal conversation. However, a lot of young people prefer texting to talking on the phone, so that may just be her preferred method of communication. She might feel more comfortable if you communicated the same way. But overall, I think you need to cut back contact and give her more space. Hugs!

BlueBelle Sun 21-Jul-19 07:06:17

Sorry Cookie but you can’t ‘manufacture’ a daughter because you didn’t have one She’s yours sons wife not your new daughter She has been very honest with you and that is something you need to accept It hasn’t worked out as you had imagined but that’s life I m afraid it rarely does
Who knows one day she may come round but not if you keep trying
Stop the calls and texts let her make contact when she’s ready you will drive a big wedge if you keep trying and that will be very difficult for your son
Good luck, but do stop trying

Sara65 Sun 21-Jul-19 07:54:14

I think she’s been quite brave, it can’t have been an easy conversation for her

As the years pass, if you give her space, she may warm to you, but really, it’s her choice

Bordersgirl57 Sun 21-Jul-19 08:18:51

Oh dear, I feel your pain. At least she said it to your face and you know where you stand. I have 2 DIL's and they couldn't be more different in their relationships with me. One is like the daughter I never had and we have a great relationship. The other, though we used to have a good relationship - or so I thought - has said to the other one "I don't want the same relationship with her (me) that you have". Message received loud and clear.

Painful though it has been, I just backed off, I am there when they need me but I don't put myself out particularly or bend over backwards to help. I help if I can. For example over the summer holidays we were asked by email out of the blue to have the 3 children six times (almost full days). By the time we were asked, the diary was filling up and I decided I would just do the three days I had free. I have my own life to live just as she does and I am filling it with things for me. We make a big effort to keep a relationship with their 3 children which she seems happy enough about and exploits - but we manage it and have a good relationship with 2 out of the 3 and are working on the 3rd. It's so much work to keep the relationship with the kids going but definitely worth it. The girls of my other son we know so well and they are with us every week and are so at home with us it's lovely.

No family relationships seem easy, be true to yourself and remain calm and helpful and there for her when she needs you. Good luck

Pantglas1 Sun 21-Jul-19 08:39:09

People need to be able to choose how close they are to anyone including family and we all have to respect that as we would like our wishes respected.

You can’t force closeness and the best relationships grow naturally without one person pushing full speed ahead. If you take it at her speed now you may find, like the tortoise, you get there in the end - wherever you consider the end to be of course!

EllanVannin Sun 21-Jul-19 08:42:16

I'd like to know what's caused all these DiL's and D's to behave in this way. There's never smoke without fire !?

sodapop Sun 21-Jul-19 08:56:26

Well I blame it on the mothers EllanVannin !!! There is no single cause for family rifts, unfortunately we mainly hear about the problematic relationships on Gransnet. I am sure there are many good relationships out there.
Your daughter in law was brave enough to explain her feelings Cookie1961 and deserves respect for that. Don't push her, accept how things are for now and be there if needed.

Nannarose Sun 21-Jul-19 09:08:43

I too feel sad for you, but I would like to put this perspective, that I was aware of during my time working with young families:
If a young woman can't have a strong relationship with her own mum (usually because of death, but occasionally other reasons such as the one you have been given) then she often cannot manage someone else in that place. It reminds her too much of what she doesn't have.
I would hold on to the relationship you do have. At some point (and it may not be soon) you may be able to let her know that you value what you do have. She does at least reply!

mumofmadboys Sun 21-Jul-19 09:13:39

Not sure your comment is helpful EllanV

ninathenana Sun 21-Jul-19 09:16:14

I agree with BlueBelle

M0nica Sun 21-Jul-19 09:45:51

Ellen there are always reasons why people do not get on togteher, just as their reasons why people do. This doesn't mean any fault on either side, just that two people, for whatever reason are incompatible.

Starlady Wed 24-Jul-19 05:15:29

Ellen and sodapop, I hear what you're saying, but I don't think anyone here is talking about rifts. They just talking about DILs who don't want a close, "mother/daughter" relationship w/ their MILs. I wouldn't have wanted that w/ my MIL (fortunately, I don't think she wanted that w/ me either). She wasn't my cup of tea. Also, we had our issues from time to time. But there was no rift. We got along nicely and she had a good relationship w/ DD. MIL and I simply were not "close," that's all.

Starlady Wed 24-Jul-19 05:19:52

IMO, if there's a difference in how close two people want to be, the relationship will end up being as close as the least interested person wishes. B/c no matter how hard the more interested person tries to tighten the relationship, that less interested one will resist., and a closer relationship just won't happen.

Sara65 Wed 24-Jul-19 06:28:32

Starlady

Agree, you don’t have to be the best of friends, I didn’t always agree with my mother in law, we certainly weren’t close, and sometimes she drove me round the bend, but she was essentially good and kind, adored the children, and we rubbed along for many years without ever having words

luluaugust Wed 24-Jul-19 09:41:21

I am sorry you are upset by it all and amazed it was all put into words but at least you know where you are. It doesn't sound like a fall out just someone who is aware she can't do the mother/MIL/daughter thing. I think I get on well with my DIL but she isn't always texting me or phoning and is in close touch with her own mother. I just take it as it is, things may settle for you as time goes on.

Smileless2012 Wed 24-Jul-19 09:43:15

Accept the relationship for what it is Cookie and as others have suggested cut down on the text messages you send.

The OP has explained her d.i.l's. reasons for not wanting a close relationship with her EllanVinnan and as well as being unhelpful your post is also wrong; sometimes there is smoke without fire.

MovingOn2018 Wed 24-Jul-19 20:31:56

When someone tells you that they can no longer have a relationship with you - then you have no option but, to respect their choice. So you telling her that Well we have to work on that and then following up with more calls comes across as being very pushy and controlling on your end.

You can't push your will on others, and she has every right to terminate any relationship(s) that she no longer deems as being fit in her life. Continuing contact anyone after they've specifically told you they want nothing to do with you, is a form of harassment. She's not your daughter and you unfortunately can't live vicariously through her. I hope you find peace in all of this.

Smileless2012 Thu 25-Jul-19 17:41:08

Oh for goodness sake MovingOn, a mother of an only child, hoping for a relationship with their AC's wife or husband isn't being controlling. The OP didn't say anything to suggest that she wanted to live vicariously through her d.i.l.

The OP's d.i.l. doesn't instigate contact but does respond if the OP texts her. Of course a relationship cannot be forced but there was nothing wrong with the OP hoping for a close relationship with her d.i.l. and it's a shame that that isn't going to happen.

aggie Thu 25-Jul-19 17:48:15

My MIL told me she hoped I would be a sister to her DD , my OHs sister ! I ran a mile ( figuratively speaking ) you can't force relationships , I was not a DD to my MIL and I don't expect my DIL to be my chum , we have an amicable distant relationship

GoodMama Sat 27-Jul-19 03:18:31

Smileless2012, i understand the spirit of your comment but I'm not sure your critique of MovingOn was quite right.

Cookie's DIL told her something painful for Cookie to hear, but it was honest and kind of DIL to set Cookie's expectations. However, Cookie disregarded what her DIL told her by telling her they would work on it and then proceeded to contact her quite a bit in the aftermath.

All she succeeded in doing was showing her DIL that she didn't respect what she had to say.

You said "...there was nothing wrong with the OP hoping for a close relationship with her d.i.l. and it's a shame that that isn't going to happen."

I would agree that there is nothing wrong with "hoping" for a close relationship with her DIL, but after she learned that wasn't going to happen (at least for now), she was no longer "hoping", she took action by stating she wouldn't respect DIL's boundary and then contacted DIL repeatedly after.

MovingOn is right, this does come off as controlling.

Even though Cookie sounds like a lovely woman who is hurt and upset by her and her DILs expectations and wants not matching up, she was wrong to push after being told DILs feelings.

(MovingOn, I hope i didn't overstep or put words in your mouth, apologies if I did).

Madgran77 Sat 27-Jul-19 07:05:03

I agree with Smileless

Smileless2012 Sat 27-Jul-19 13:48:07

TBH Goodmama I think that the fact that Cookie's d.i.l. responds to any text messages she gets from her m.i.l. shows she's not wholly against any form of contact. This could be something to build on in the future and had Cookie never attempted to contact her d.i.l. following that conversation, which I agree must have been very hard for d.i.l. to deliver, there would be no contact there at all.

I suppose what you see as controlling, sending text messages which can be ignored or blocked if necessary, I see as an attempt from a mother of an only child, to establish some common ground with her son's wife.

It all depends of course on the content of the messages which I very much doubt were an attempt to control or the d.i.l. wouldn't have responded.

There was certainly nothing from the OP to suggest that she desired to live vicariously through her d.i.l. but is something that MovingOn accused her of doing.

GoodMama Sat 27-Jul-19 14:01:57

Smileless2012, I would agree with you. I don’t think Cookie intentionally and spitefully disregarded her DILs request. I think she was just sad and trying to win her DIL over.

But, I think the result was the same. She disregarded her DIL’s boundary.

Her DIL responding is certainly a good sign. I want to add that the DIL didn’t say she wanted no contact, just that they weren’t going to have a super close mother-daughter relationship that Cookie wanted.

The DIL wasn’t offering all or nothing. She was explaining they would have a relationship, but it wouldn’t be what Cookie hoped for.

I can see both your and MovingOn’s point about “living vicariously”. I think you are right that Cookie didn’t say she wanted to be her DIL and live vicariously through her.

But, she did say she hoped her DIL would be the daughter she never had, which is asking her DIL to fulfill one of Cookie’s fantasies.

So perhaps it was a case of using the wrong word on MovingOn’s part, but I understand her point.

Anyway, I think Cookie has probably received wonderful advice on adjusting her expectations and accepting the relationship DIL is willing to offer moving forward.

I wish her peace and good fortune. smile

Smileless2012 Sun 28-Jul-19 14:10:16

GoodMama thanks for your replysmile.