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Daughters in law

(64 Posts)
Doodledog Sun 15-Oct-23 12:40:51

There are often threads on MN about mothers in law, and I wondered about the relationship from the 'other side', so to speak. We MILs have usually been DILs in our turn, so comments about that would be interesting too.

Do you get on with your DIL, and if not, what are the sources of conflict? Similarly, do/did you get on with your MIL, and does your husband get along with your mother/

I am lucky with my DIL. She is easy to like and get along with, and I see her as part of the family. It's relatively early days, as she and my son have only been married for 18 months, and they met just before lockdown, so we didn't see a lot of her before they married (they live miles away from us). There are no children yet, so I suppose I have had fewer opportunities to get on her nerves though grin. Still, so far, so good, and it's clear she makes my son happy, which is the main thing. She and my son are staying with us over Christmas, and I know from experience that she is an easy guest, and when I say 'Make yourself at home' I know she will, which is what I want.

I'm also lucky with my MIL, who is still with us at 98. She is sharp as a tack, witty and full of fun, although not as agile as she used to be. She made me welcome in her family when I met Mr Dog at 19, and has always been kind and tolerant towards me. I try to use her as a model with my own DIL.

I am in no way smug about my good fortune - I am well aware that families can be difficult, and as often as not it is nobody's 'fault', but different ways of doing things. What are your experiences?

JaneJudge Sun 15-Oct-23 12:47:57

I loved my late Mum in law. She was a considered, thoughtful person and never really criticised me, ever. She was a tough, independent woman and I was lucky to have her.

My husband gets on with my Mum too. We are all pretty laid back about stuff

I get on with my sons partners too but I try not to interfere or pass judgement. This is a general thing. I remember an older friend saying to me once to listen to wat your children are telling you and even if you are unsure or disagree, try not to let them know as if they are ever in trouble they will need you and will be able to talk to you about it.

Grannybags Sun 15-Oct-23 13:01:12

My DH loved my Mum more than his own!

Unfortunately our son is now divorced but I still get on with my ex DIL and meet up for coffee occasionally for a catch up, even though my son disapproves. She makes sure we know what our GDs are up to. We also still exchange Birthday and Christmas cards

SueDonim Sun 15-Oct-23 13:05:09

There were some ‘moments’ with my in-laws in the early days but we overcame them and had a good relationship after that, until they both died.

I have two delightful dil’s, we’ve known both for well over 20 years and they’re simply part of the family. My youngest dd can’t remember them not knowing them! ❤️

I also have a lovely son-in-law. He’d doing anything for us - or for anyone else, come to that - and he’s just a decent, kind man of the sort that the world desperately needs right now.

We are very fortunate, I count my blessings that our children have found people who make them happy.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 15-Oct-23 13:11:18

Unfortunately, I never knew my MIL as she died before DH and I met, but I do get on very well with both DH's sisters who each in her own way resemble their mother.

My DIL and I have little in common - actually the only thing we have in common is that we both love my son, each in her own way. I find her irritating, and she like many self-made business women either despises me or is afraid of me because I went to university - not sure which it is.

We are polite to each other, and I think we both do try to get along with the other, but it never really seems to work, even although I certainly admit that their are faults on both sides.

DH and my mother grew to like and respect each other. This was entirely due to the fact that DH refused to allow my demanding mother to have things all her own way. Not used to such treatment, my dear mother actually respected him for daring to put her in what he saw, she didn't entirely, as her place!

I am a fat lot of help to you, aren't I?

Luckygirl3 Sun 15-Oct-23 13:15:01

My in laws were mad .. totally mad. Both with brains like planets, highly educated, and met at Bletchley Park while code-breaking. But they were truly eccentric ..
and conversation at the lunch table was in French, German and Latin ... luckily I had a working knowledge of these and was able to keep up. They did not give presents or send cards, but once memorably presented my 9 year old DD with a card in a bag, in its cellophane and suggested she might like to write it herself.
I kept on good terms with them by limiting contact!!

Namsnanny Sun 15-Oct-23 14:13:18

I'd have loved to have known your in laws Luckygirl and what form their 'madness' took.😊

Loved my MIL. Glad my sons have found people who make them happy.
No probs with SIL's either.

I would probably have liked to be closer to both SIL and DIL, especially DIL's, but must go at their pace.

Smileless2012 Sun 15-Oct-23 14:19:33

I had a very difficult relationship with my m.i.l. to begin with, but we ended up being very close and genuinely loved one another.

Mr. S. was very close to my mum from the beginning and that closeness remained until she died.

biglouis Sun 15-Oct-23 14:31:23

For the brief time that I was a DIL we were enemies. She made it clear that she did not consider me on the same social level as herself despite the fact that I was qualified in a well established academic profession. In fact I earned as much as my husband. Her idea of social class was who your parents were, not what you personally had achieved.

The first time I met her she asked "Who are your people" and I replied "I dont mind your asking impertinent personal questions so long as you dont mind my not answering them!"

Fortunately my MIL lived several hours travel away and did not come to see us often. I told my husband he was welcome to go see his mother whenever he wished but he would go alone. He was a bit of a mummys boy and that was one of the reasons we split up. I would not allow her to stay with us because the lease of the flat weher we lived was in my name and I kept it that way. She very quickly got the message.

She was also very disappointed because I made it clear from the onset that I would not have children and she wanted grandchildren.

Quokka Sun 15-Oct-23 15:17:23

My DiL is just so boring and negative . She chudders on and on about people I don’t know and how wrong they are. I grin and bear it, just about.

Doodledog Sun 15-Oct-23 17:13:15

Luckygirl's ILs sound bonkers grin.

Luckygirl3 Sun 15-Oct-23 17:16:11

They were indeed. The first time my parents invited them over to lunch, they could not find them afterwards and were worried they might have left! But they looked round the garden and found them both sleeping under a hedge, lying on the ground!!

Namsnanny Sun 15-Oct-23 17:30:26

There again Luckygirl, you have set a scene which I am now very curious of 🤔😆.
Did anyone wake them, ask them why etc?
What an eccentric couple.
Just think how lucky they were to find each other, isnt life strange?

kittylester Sun 15-Oct-23 17:46:11

My MIL was badly disabled by a stroke when I met DH. She was very capable prior to her strike and didn't think I was up to much. Once she saw that i coped with her son, a few children and was a tolerably good cook, her attitude changed. Also, DH had been rebellious teenager so she was not predisposed to like his wife.

DH, being a professional man, was all my mother could have wished for. He saw right through her and didn't let her get away with much.

We have two sons. Both married and divorced. Elder son's wife was lovely and we all adored her but she couldn't cope after he had a stroke aged 36 and behaved very badly. He has a lovely, sensible partner now.

DS2's wife was a b***h of the highest order - egged on by her mother. His partner is fabulous and has brought 2 great son's into the family.

I have 3 son's in kaw. 2 of them are lovely. One is a bit of a plonker!

silverlining48 Sun 15-Oct-23 17:52:12

My dh loved my mum and she loved him.

My mil did not love me despite me always trying to keep a decent relationship with her. Always had to remind dh to invite her to us/ us to visit her as dh lazy about thEse things. She wouldn’t have seen her son and gc at all had I not.
Eventually found she had been regularly critical of me to my young teenage dds while I was in the kitchen preparing a meal fir us all, after turned our dining room into a bedroom for her, as well as picking her up and taking her home, a 4 hour drive, couldn’t believe how ungrateful she was.
I could have done no more.
No pleasing some folk.

M0nica Sun 15-Oct-23 18:01:14

I had a wonderful MiL and we got on together from Day 1. Ditto DH and my parents.

The same with DDiL, she is a lovely woman and we are very fortunate that she agreed to marry our chaos of a son.

Romola Sun 15-Oct-23 18:27:29

Our DiL was quite difficult to begin with, extremely possessive of DS and refused to join in with our family. She refused to come to our 30th wedding anniversary, behaved quite badly at DD's 21st, and she tried to stop her own parents from having anything to do with us. But we invited them to tea in the garden one hot July day. By 10 pm we were still in the garden having had a lot of food and more than enough to drink, and have remained fast friends. I think the "outlaw" parents and also DS told her her fortune as she started to lighten up and has eventually become quite affectionate. She and DS are happy and have now been together for over 25 years. No children, but that's their choice, their life.

Hetty58 Sun 15-Oct-23 18:43:18

Doodledog, I'm wondering which MIL or DIL you mean. My first MIL was a total nutcase, a little ball of nerves and anxiety, on the edge of a breakdown, having just been divorced by my (then) FIL (who married her best friend shortly afterwards).

I did make an effort to tolerate her - but never liked her.

Moving on a few years (having divorced that excuse for a husband) my second MIL was a real treasure, delightfully happy and relaxed - but quite old and set in her ways. My new husband was ten years older than me and she'd had him aged 43, so was 75 when we met. She was brilliant with our two sons (in her late 70s/early 80s) and would sit on the floor and play with them for hours. Obviously, she never babysat, though, and died before the girls came along. (With women having children later in life now, I suppose future MILs will be ancient.)

Again, I've had a selection of SILs and DILs. My two current DILs are pleasant enough. I don't know them that well, so can't foresee any circumstances where there would be conflict. They trust me to babysit occasionally and we get along at family gatherings. We don't live near each other and I'm not up for regular childcare or being too involved in their lives.

As for my own mother, simple - nobody liked her!

BlueBelle Sun 15-Oct-23 18:48:29

I get in really well with my daughter in law and I really got on so well with my mum in law we weren’t in each others pockets though and we didn’t live very near
I sometimes think there are to many expectations

Greyduster Sun 15-Oct-23 19:08:30

My MiL disliked me, for the simple reason that I wasn’t Welsh. She had someone else in mind for DH and I was like a slap in the face! His very Welsh granny also disliked me for the same reason. She only ever said five words to me “Do you go to chapel?” After I said “No”, that was it😁!
My first DiL made it clear at the outset that she didn’t “do families”, and there would be no grandchildren. She held us at arms length for a long time and then stopped seeing me as a threat and started to thaw. Then, sadly she died. I often wonder what our relationship would ultimately have turned out like.
I feel sorry for my current DiL. We have very little in common but she tries hard with the ancient weirdo she is saddled with! She knows I’m beyond redemption!

crazyH Sun 15-Oct-23 19:37:24

Due to cultural differences, I wasn’t a much liked daughter-in-law. The feeling was mutual.
My son-in-law (now Ex) was a sweet-natured boy. Unfortunately, loved golf a little bit too much. Fortunately my hard working daughter provided well for the family..
Had a couple of difficult years with my older d.i.l. Her mother did a lot of stirring. I have to add, my son didn’t help the situation either. He blamed me. Things are on an even keel now, but I find myself walking on eggshells. My younger d.i.l. is a little sweetheart, but suffers from PMT. and can be slightly moody. She is very generous (with my son’s money 😂) and is always ‘picking up a bargain’ for me, whether I want it or not.

Skydancer Sun 15-Oct-23 20:08:32

I have had 2 MILs and liked both of them. I would never have dreamed of thinking I was more important than they were in their sons' lives. After all, they were their mothers. I cannot understand anyone who tries to turn their DHs against their mothers. I have one DiL who is pleasant enough but as far as I am concerned my son is my son and that mother-son relationship is nothing to do with her. (I don't say any of this of course. I just think it.)

Ladyleftfieldlover Mon 16-Oct-23 12:44:02

I never really knew my MIL. She lived at the other end of the country. Neither of them drove. When we visited we would stay nearby as they couldn’t put us up. When they came to see us they stayed at a local pub because didn’t have room then either. I don’t think over the years I had an in depth conversation with her (or my FIL). OH had been brought up in very difficult circumstances but passed his 11+, went to Grammar School and then Oxford. FIL died while I was expecting my first baby and MIL a few years later.
I get on pretty well with my son’s partner and mother of my granddaughter. She is a lot older than my son and had a very interesting life living all over the world before she met him. About the only things we disagree over are our decorating ideas! She favours white or creamsad I like brightness and colour.

Cambsnan Mon 16-Oct-23 13:01:34

I never had a mother in law but I have three daughters who do. 2 get on well with on laws and one has a nightmare of an mother in law who even contacted me via Facebook to complain about my daughter! I blocked her! I hope I am a good mother in law but who knows.

57VRS Mon 16-Oct-23 13:02:05

I love my mother in law very much but in the early days I found her to be very nosy ( she just HAD to know everything we were doing all the time!)and she was always so perfect in everything she did . She is very kind hearted though and we have settled into a good relationship.
I also absolutely adore my SIL, he’s more like another son. He’s VERY hardworking and very kind and caring and a great dad.
My DIL however is another story. She has totally alienated us from our son and gds. Her parents live not far from them and their lives are all entwined with them. We don’t get a look in at Christmas or gc’s birthdays. If i contact my son re a get together he always stalls so he can discuss it with her( and quite right) but he generally comes back ( much later) with an excuse or acounter offer of dates/ times. This is then awkward be ause my oh works 24/7 shifts and always has so they know this.
This situation makes me very sad but i also know alot of the fault lies with my son. He obviously just wants an easy life.