Author Topic: Why can't we all just get along?  (Read 2071 times)

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2chickiebaby

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Why can't we all just get along?
« on: April 13, 2010, 01:00:58 PM »
Why does this relationship (MIL and DIL) have to be a battle?  I guess I have to face the facts, DILs just don't like
their MILs.  It's hard for us.  My friends are so terrified that what has happened to us, their Daughters will do to their husband's mother and dad that all they do is drum "not to do this" into their daughter's head.

One thing that just killed me was a great friend of mine's husband told their son:  "if you allow your wife to do to us,
especially your Mother, what has been done to Chickie and her husband, I will never speak to you again"

The son said, "Dad, their home could not have been a good home for him to allow this to happen"

Oh!! This breaks my heart and my friend will never know how that hurt me when she told me.  Surely this is not true.  Please
God, not true. 

Note: One of the reasons that I can be online so much is that I have a business that I run and I'm in and out of here all the time.  End of story. 
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 01:04:19 PM by 2chickiebaby »

dirtyglassgrl

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 01:17:49 PM »
I feel bad for you, that you are hurting.  And I totally disagree that your home must have been for your situation to escalate this far.  I came from a great family and yet I am in conflict with one of my sets of inlaws too, and it is not because I came from a bad home.  I have a nice family. 
I am still close with my exinlaws as I have said before and I think alot of it had to do with my exmil making me feel welcome and always telling me how nice it was to have another girl in her family and that she had waited along time for me to come around in her life.  She also told me when we got married that I will always be "hers" no matter what and that she was just my mom and the mom of my dh not my mil.  She said she did not want the title mother in law as it had negative connotations in her mind and she never wanted that.  She wa totatlly open to me and I was to her.  I had room in my life for another mom and she had room in her life for a daughter.  I think if we can all make room for eachother and invite eacohter in without titles or expectations things can work. 

2chickiebaby

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2010, 01:21:36 PM »
You are precious, DGG....so thoughtful and kind. Sending love to you.



I feel bad for you, that you are hurting.  And I totally disagree that your home must have been for your situation to escalate this far.  I came from a great family and yet I am in conflict with one of my sets of inlaws too, and it is not because I came from a bad home.  I have a nice family. 
I am still close with my exinlaws as I have said before and I think alot of it had to do with my exmil making me feel welcome and always telling me how nice it was to have another girl in her family and that she had waited along time for me to come around in her life.  She also told me when we got married that I will always be "hers" no matter what and that she was just my mom and the mom of my dh not my mil.  She said she did not want the title mother in law as it had negative connotations in her mind and she never wanted that.  She wa totatlly open to me and I was to her.  I had room in my life for another mom and she had room in her life for a daughter.  I think if we can all make room for eachother and invite eacohter in without titles or expectations things can work.

MLW07

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2010, 01:21:56 PM »


The relationship does not have to be a battle.  For me it was about respecting me as a person/individual, respecting my marriage and not using me as a pawn is my MIL control game.  Not all DILs hate their MILs; most all of my friends and their MILs truly love each other.  I wish my situation was different.  I would love to have a relationship with my MIL and the family.   My DH and I have done all we can to reconcile and it have been thrown back in our face.  You need to step back and really look at yourself and if you can say you have done all you can, be at peace with the situation.  Try to let it go and you will see such a difference in yourself.  I know it is hard....I still struggle everyday with what has happened in my situation.  Just remember, there are MILs and DILs that are totally Innocent and we are just the unlucky ones to have crazy MILs/DILS.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 05:04:35 PM by MLW07 »

Offline Pen

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 01:29:33 PM »
I agree, MLW.. However, there's one little difference we MILs have to deal with, and that's "letting it go."

We lose our sons; the DILs who decide to let it go don't lose anything.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

dirtyglassgrl

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2010, 01:33:37 PM »
I decided to let go and here is what happened, my two bigger kids lost their papa and my youngest has never even met him.  My dh lost his father and dh and I both lost on having a nice normal family.  But I do not know if I could/would change it.  It hurts my heart but at the end of the day would it hurt more to continue being berated and mistreated?  Probably

MLW07

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2010, 01:35:26 PM »
I agree, MLW.. However, there's one little difference we MILs have to deal with, and that's "letting it go."

We lose our sons; the DILs who decide to let it go don't lose anything.

I realize that and I can honestly say it hasn't been easy for my DH.  He just woke up one day and decided it wasn't worth the high blood pressure (very high and he isn't even 30 years old).  He had to let it go for his health, sanity, and state of mind.

I know...I know...easy said than done.

MLW07

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2010, 01:38:00 PM »
I decided to let go and here is what happened, my two bigger kids lost their papa and my youngest has never even met him.  My dh lost his father and dh and I both lost on having a nice normal family.  But I do not know if I could/would change it.  It hurts my heart but at the end of the day would it hurt more to continue being berated and mistreated?  Probably
.

At the end of the day it really sucks.  My situation weighs on my mind heavily and I don't even have children to consider yet.  Is the hurt, abuse and pain worth what good things you actually get from the relationship?  Probably not.

willingtohelp

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2010, 01:53:31 PM »
I don't think it's safe to say all DILs don't like their MILs.  Many do.  My mom and my sister in law get along famously.  In fact, we also get along great with my sister in law's mom, too, and my mom and dad stayed with sister-in-laws parents when DB and SIL had their two kids and have this Norman Rockwell thing going on that would make most people a bit ill.  My sister's MIL is also wonderful to her, and they get along well.  I think if all DILs hated their MILs and vice versa, these sites would have way way more membership than what they have.  Thank goodness, I suppose, that we're in the minority. 

I think sometimes you get a MIL or DIL who is toxic.  Other times, you get a MIL or DIL who's just annoying.  More often, you get a MIL or DIL who has quirks, but you like her.  Occasionally, you get a MIL or DIL who clicks instantly and is the best thing since sliced bread.  We just didn't luck out in this department.

2chickiebaby

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2010, 02:09:11 PM »
I'm so sorry you were treated like that, DGG. It is so sad...all the lost memories and little treasures that cannot be done
again. Gone forever.

I can't help but think that because our first DIL was so rude to us that our son had to make a choice. His brother's wife
didn't make things easier. She was glad to do whatever she could to make things worse. She left them out of many
events when they lived in the same town.  So sad, nearly broke my heart.  Even with the way she treated us, it still
broke my heart for her to be excluded.

So we've all just lost....lost...all those things that can never be replaced.  As Mothers, we lose everything when we lose.




I decided to let go and here is what happened, my two bigger kids lost their papa and my youngest has never even met him.  My dh lost his father and dh and I both lost on having a nice normal family.  But I do not know if I could/would change it.  It hurts my heart but at the end of the day would it hurt more to continue being berated and mistreated?  Probably

dirtyglassgrl

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2010, 02:40:15 PM »
Chickie you don't have to answer me ofcourse but I am just curious what kinds of things DIL's have done that make you say things like that "the way we have been treated" or having your posting here.  Do you have contact with them?  Are you estranged from your family?  Have you tried all going to Family counseling or mediation?  Are your DIL's sisters who married your sons?  I am sorry but I do not know your background and was curious.

2chickiebaby

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2010, 02:47:57 PM »
DGG, I would tell you about all that but it will all end up as conversation elsewhere.  I do have contact with them, just not like
it's fun to do...I don't have a family, just a brother.  I am going to therapy, just group now....I wish the counselor had
suggested one on one....it was that way at first but she suggested group.  No, they would NEVER go for any type of
counseling.  The DILs would be so mad at the suggestion.  They are not sisters....Lord no!  Two different people. 

It has gone on so long....so long. I should be further along but am stuck.


Chickie you don't have to answer me ofcourse but I am just curious what kinds of things DIL's have done that make you say things like that "the way we have been treated" or having your posting here.  Do you have contact with them?  Are you estranged from your family?  Have you tried all going to Family counseling or mediation?  Are your DIL's sisters who married your sons?  I am sorry but I do not know your background and was curious.

Offline Pen

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2010, 04:52:55 PM »
I decided to let go and here is what happened, my two bigger kids lost their papa and my youngest has never even met him.  My dh lost his father and dh and I both lost on having a nice normal family.  But I do not know if I could/would change it.  It hurts my heart but at the end of the day would it hurt more to continue being berated and mistreated?  Probably

If my DIL is causing the pain, but DS loves us and wants us all to be a family, how can I let go? That would be awfully selfish of me, since I'm not the only one involved. I'm going to suck it up as long as I can for the sake of my family. DH would be heartbroken to lose his son. How would DDD (dear disabled daughter) handle never seeing her brother again? How would I explain it to her? And all the extended family as well?

I'm truly sorry your grandkids don't have a relationship with their GP and I'm sorry you don't have a nice normal extended family. It is very sad & heartbreaking; but it's different than walking away from your child because of your child's spouse. I cannot imagine losing a child for any reason, especially if I can try to prevent it. DIL's rudeness is not enough to make me walk away; the pain of losing my son would be much, much worse.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

womenrule123

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Re: Why can't we all just get along?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2010, 08:34:07 PM »
Hello Chickie! I'm very sorry for the "lack off" relationship developed between your dil and yourself. I found an interesting article posted about mil and dil relationships...modern day clash! Have a read...I found it interesting! Take it with a grain of salt...so to speak! Would love to hear everyone's opinion!


Newsroom post:

This is how it begins: Your guy pops the question and tells you that his family is just going to love you, especially his mom. You're the daughter she never had. You assume that means she's going to be supersupportive of all your choices, will offer help when you ask for it, but otherwise, stay out of your life and marriage. How perfect.

Meanwhile, his mom has a fantasy of her own. She assumes that since you're so crazy about her son, you see her as an authority on marriage and children—and her son. Of course you'll want lots of advice from her because you want to be just like her. She can't wait to start "helping."

Call it the clash of the fantasy lives. The result: 60 percent of women use words likes "strained," "infuriating" and "simply awful" to describe their mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.

If you listen to mother-in-law jokes—and there's a lot of them—you'd think that the main combatants were sons-in-law and mothers-in-law. But based on years of research, Cambridge University psychologist Terri Apter says it's now clear that this is primarily a woman-to-woman problem. In her new book, What Do You Want From Me? Learning to Get Along With In-Laws (Norton), Apter says most in-law problems can be traced back to unspoken but conflicting expectations and assumptions.

For instance, a lot of daughters-in-law assume that no matter how modern their mothers-in-law are, they are judging them based on the standards of traditional housewives: the ability to keep a clean house, be a good cook, and raise respectful children. At the same time, mothers-in-law often interpret the decisions of their daughters-in-law to do things differently as a rejection of their own choices. Daughters-in-law assume that as a fellow woman, their mother-in-law will be their ally when they disagree with their husband. But guess what? Her role as his mom trumps the call to sisterhood.

It's the disappointment felt by both women that "gives these relationships their distinctive negative charge," Apter says. Add to that a mother's conflicted feelings of pride and loss as a son marries; a wife's insecurity that she's adequately balancing work and home responsibilities, and the tendency of most women to be more sensitive to slights and criticisms than men, and you have the formula for years of trouble. In some respects, Apter says, the ensuing jockeying for position has a lot of similarities to the games "mean girls" play in middle-school hallways. As Apter sums up in her book: "Each is the primary woman in her primary family. As each tries to establish or protect her status, each feels threatened by the other."

And what does the son/husband do to ease the tension? Typically, not much, says Apter. Men tend to ignore, or are oblivious to, the little digs and disses that pass between their mothers and wives, and don't want to get involved. "Daughters are better at reassuring their fathers that they are still their darling little daughter and will sustain that role, even as their lives change and they draw new boundaries. Sons are not as good at reassuring their mothers that they will continue to have a role in their lives or confronting her and saying new boundaries are needed. If they fail to do that, the negative conflict is played out between the women."

These tensions do more than cause friction within families. They can put even the best marriages at risk. An Italian study, for instance, done by the National Statistics Institute, found that the odds that a marriage will last increase with every hundred yards that couples put between themselves and their in-laws. Italian courts found this evidence so compelling that they have ruled that a wife has the right to a legal separation if her husband is not effective in preventing his mother from "invading" their home, Apter says.

In-law troubles can also increase stress, and even impact health. The most extreme cases may be seen in cultures where newly married couples are expected to move in with the husband's family and the bride is expected to be subservient to her in-laws. A Japanese study published in 2008 in the journal Heart found that women living in multigenerational households (grandparents, adult children, and young children) were two to three times more likely to experience coronary heart disease than women living with just a spouse. Are you surprised to learn that the men living in those multigenerational homes experienced no increased risk?

Although she's a psychologist specializing in family relations, Apter admits that she has fallen into some common in-law traps herself. An American who married a Brit, Apter said she assumed that she and her husband "were forming an independent couple" and that her husband's parents would not have a big impact on their lives. She soon found out how wrong she was. And years later, after raising her own children and seeing them marry, she had to make the "very difficult" transition to being a mother-in-law herself. "I now am very aware how important the relationship with your children remains throughout your life, no matter how old or independent your child is," she says. "I can also see that as much as the newcomers enrich our family and are crucial to my children's well-being and the continuity of our family, I still get concerned about what's right for my children, and I worry about whether their spouses put them first."

Maybe she's not the world's best mother-in-law yet, but Apter's working on it. In the meantime, here's her advice on avoiding the most common pitfalls:

 The Five Biggest Mistakes Mothers-in-Law Make:
1) Assuming your daughter-in-law wants your advice. Most don't want to hear "This is what I did so this is what you should do," says Apter.

2) Thinking the mother-son relationship will not change after his marriage. Instead, says Apter, "mothers should assume that they will need to negotiate" a new way of communicating with their sons. "Mothers have to find a new mode of asking for their son's help or giving him advice and getting access to him," Apter said.

3) Offering to help out with housework or disciplining the children. "Offers to help are often perceived as criticism," Apter said. "Walking into the house and saying, 'Let me iron my son's shirts for you,' implies to the daughter-in-law that you think that's her role, and she may bristle at that notion."

4) Trying too hard to be nice. "Some women are so worried about being perceived as an awful mother-in-law that they are too polite, they never say anything spontaneous, and that can put a real strain on the relationship," says Apter. "You shouldn't act as if you're worried that any disagreement could make the whole relationship fall apart."

5) Criticizing your daughter-in-law to your son. "This should be obvious but it's worth highlighting how damaging this is, because the son is very likely to bring up the topic with his wife," says Apter. Not only is she likely to get mad at the mother-in-law ("Why didn't she tell me to my face!?!"), she'll probably feel resentful toward her husband as well ("Why are you bringing this up to me? You're supposed to be on my side!"). "It just makes things worse," said Apter. "It's better to talk to your son and daughter-in-law together."

The Five Biggest Mistakes Daughters-in-Law Make:
1) Being thin-skinned. "Don't take offense at little things that aren't meant personally," says Apter. Daughters-in-law can be very sensitive to anything their mothers-in-law say about the appearance of the house or the behavior of the children, Apter said. "Daughters-in-law expect their mothers-in law to be critical and they tend to take offense too easily."

2) Taking a confrontational stand too quickly. If your mother-in-law expresses a view that differs from yours, you don't have to get your back up about it, Apter says. "You can just say, 'That's interesting, and I'm glad that worked for you, but I think I'd like to try it this way.' You can show respect for someone else's experience while still making it clear that you want to do things your own way."

3) Expecting equal treatment. "Don't expect your mother-in-law to care as much about your career and your potential as she does about her son's," Apter said. "It's not that she is incapable of valuing a woman's career, but she is his mother, and her son will always come first to her. It really helps if you expect that and try to see it from her point of view."

4) Letting things slide at the start. If you find that your mother-in-law is interfering too much, or visiting too often, or offering too much advice, don't put off talking to her about it, says Apter. "It is much better to start out by setting limits. Otherwise, bad habits become quickly ingrained. If a mother-in-law is good at manipulating things, once she succeeds at it, it's hard to change things later."

5) Failing to put yourself in her shoes. A mother-in-law is more likely to respect boundaries if she is reassured that she will continue to be a respected and important part of the family, and that you will make an effort to include her in your family's life.  :o