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"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

Oh ladies I've missed you!!

Started by brandynd, December 02, 2010, 11:12:55 pm

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December 02, 2010, 11:12:55 pm Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 03:45:10 am by luise.volta
Hello lovely ladies!  It's been a while, please forgive me, life has been crazy!!  So.....what's new with me?  Hmm....the hubby and I are no longer having a baby :(.  So sad, but please don't fret for us, God works in mysterious ways, and I know when the time is right we will get our bundle of joy and everything will turn out as it should; so please, no sympathy posts.  Not to be negative, just feel that dwelling upon the heartache and well meaning words will only bring down my positive mantra.

What else?  We're interviewing to be houseparents at what is perhaps the most prestigious group home institution in the world.  Not going to name names, but if you look at where I'm from I'm sure you can figure it out.  So excited and proud that they're even considering us!  I hope we get this opportunity, as I know we can do good for these kids.

I guess I should get to the point.  As you know, MIL hates me, which is fine, but problems with DH sister are flaring up.  Went to DH other sisters to make her dinner (love that lady!!!) since DH had to work tonight, and she and I cracked open a bottle of wine (okay 3 bottles, whatever) and started talking about....everything.  My husband, her husband, her kids, life in general, whatever.  Then the topic of other sister came up.  Turns out she thinks I hate her.  So funny, because I've bent over backwards to try to find my place with her.  I'm just so FRUSTRATED.  I figured that since you ladies are so much wiser than myself you could help me find a way to find my place with DH's sister and mom.  I don't know what else to do.

Much love, and SOOOOOOO happy to be back,


December 03, 2010, 03:51:14 am #1 Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 03:56:41 am by luise.volta
Welcome back, TLS.

Lots of new people here who may find it hard not to comment on what you have been through...since you mentioned it.

Having everyone we know *be the way they are* is what we are learning here. We know there are those who put up road blocks sometimes where we are concerned. Reasons (rationalizations?) come forth that have nothing to do with us...so trying to be different or offer more often doesn't help. It's her choice not to like you and to be immune to your efforts. Talking with her sister about it may get back to her. Best to circumvent that kind of thing if you can. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Hi!!   :) I am one of the "Newbies" that Luise mentioned...Its not easy...But I do agree with Luise in her posting.  Always Beware of talking to someone about someone especially in the family...for you know how stories can change and the next thing you know, something was said--that you "never even said."[/i]  Stories get twisted...

Also as Luise stated--You cannot make someone like you, that is her problem.  And the more you show her this bothers you the more it will continue.  Let her stew in her own pot, dont jump in their with her...  Best of everything always...Faith



We missed you too. 

I think it is good you have a good relationship with your sister-in-law..  In regard to the other sil, probably she really feels you dont like her.....and probably because of the problems you had with her previously, she doesnt know how to come back....or probably she needs to be loyal to her mom.   Whatever, do not spend you energy and joy, worrying about others who do not appreciate you.  Do be polite to her and her mom.....always......and if they are not bad people they will eventually "see the light".   It is so much easier keeping peace than disrupting it.....why do we complicate our lives.....life is so short.

I will have you in my prayers.....

Was the wine good?   I imagined both of you laughing life crazy........what about the day after?  lol.  What did you husband say?

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:



I don't recall your backstory but I'll try to answer based on what you wrote here. 

If you've already bent over backwards trying to find a place with your SIL, and you've heard only through gossip (not from the horses mouth) that SIL thinks you don't like her, well, what else can you do.  Be polite, be kind, limit your expectations (the tough part!) and go on as you would if you had not heard that gossip.  Issue invites, send cards, do whatever it is you do when you like someone you don't know that well yet.  Relationships do take time to develop, some more than others. 

I'm wondering since this is the first time you've heard this about n-s-f SIL, that it could well be that n-s-f SIL hears about you occasionally making dinner and enjoying cocktails with friendly SIL, and n-s-f-SIL's knee jerk response might be to utter a flippant "Well TLS never makes dinner for me, so she must hate me."   (For some people, hearing about other people's good relationships with each other automatically results in comparing themselves to it, as if unique relationships can really be "compared").

In order to preserve your good relationship with the more friendly SIL, don't ever repeat what friendly SIL said to you to others (including not-so-friendly SIL).  In fact, I really would make an effort not to discuss n-s-f SIL at all with the friendly SIL anymore.  Can't see any good coming from that.

You think MIL hates you (or maybe you know for certain ?) but you want to find a place with her? I'd offer the same suggestions - offer invites, send short notes or cards and act "As If" she appreciates the gestures.  Again, though, keep those expecatations in check!  MIL might decline, might ignore, might eventually warm up, but accept that whatever she wants to do is up to her.  You can't change that.   You continue to be your best self, because that's all any of us have to offer.  What someone else does with that is up to them.

Good luck!


Haha...okay, I guess I'm really bad anymore about giving details and whatnot.  I should probably go back and give you the full story, since after reading through my post it sounds a bit confusing.  For those of you who've talked with me before, this shouldn't be overly surprising as I tend to have the attention span of a small squirrel most days.

Anyways...back to what I am lovingly referring to as "The In-Law Chronicles," (and seriously, I should write a novel, at least then I could make some money off of my IL's shenans.  I did not bring up "Alice" to my friendlier SIL "Amy".  We were talking about the fact that Alice went into premature labor at the beginning of the week and gave birth to a little girl.  This is all fine and good, but then Amy started talking about how
Alice was upset that I did not want to hold the baby when DH and I went to visit at the hospital. 

I told Amy very sweetly (I'm sure you MILS are going to LOVE this) and I had explained to Alice that I did not want to hold the baby as I had a bad cold.  Heck, I didn't even think it was appropriate for her to insist that I come into the baby's suite at the hospital!  God forbid that I get too close to her, or breath on her.  Catching a cold being a month and a half premature could kill the poor thing, and I did NOT feel comfortable putting the health of a child at risk; so much so that I wore the awesome surgical mask in, and I spent the entire 5 minutes I was in against the wall, keeping at least 15 feet (which is as much space as there was in the room) between the baby and I.

Amy said she completely understood this, and she couldn't believe that they had allowed me into the room when I openly commented about being under the weather.  I was very careful at this point in the conversation to be sure that I did not say anything that would make it sound like I was judging Alice's parenting skills, or her decisions about whom she wanted at the hospital and when.  It is not my place to tell her how to parent her children, and I know had I said anything to that effect my words would have been twisted and I would have come across as mean and judgmental.

Amy said that she understood, and that she was sure that Alice was just tired from all of the stress.  I took her at her word, and I dropped the baby topic at that.  We then started talking about Thanksgiving last week, which was held at Alice's house.  Amy apologized that DH and I were not notified that Alice's inlaws (all 35 of them) would also be at family Thanksgiving this year.  She then told me how proud she was of me for making it through the festivities (I have incredibly bad social anxiety; so much so that in large groups of people I do not know, I often have panic attacks and need to step outside just to catch my breathe.)  After this, she then told me that Alice was upset DH and I left early, even though she knew we had to attend Thanksgiving with my family as well, and that Alice thinks I hate her.  I'm so lost as to why she would think this, when I've gone out of my way to try to be friendly with her, and I'm met with the cold shoulder.

I responded to Amy simply by saying "I don't know why she feels that way; I assure you I have been trying so very hard to find my place within your family, and I'm really having a hard time.  What would you recommend I do to make Alice feel better about my attitude towards her?"

At this point Amy's DH came upstairs ( I absolutely love that man, he has been my biggest ally within the family, and has helped me tremendously, especially with issues having to do with my MIL) and piped in with "Don't mind Alice too much, she's really hard to get to know, and I understand why you feel like she's been standoffish toward you.  If I were you, I wouldn't quit trying; she'll come around....eventually."

EVENTUALLY?  She's had three years to warm up to me, and if it hasn't happened by now, odds are it isn't going to take place at all.  I know I shouldn't be talking with Amy about this, because it will likely do nothing but cause more problems.  So I tried to sway the conversation away from that topic as quickly as possible.  But I have been talking to my BIL, both because I value his opinion, and because I know that anything I say to him I can say in total confidence.  He's kept all of our conversations private, and we have a sort of comraderi, because we both tend to feel like outsiders within what at times is a cliquish and difficult family.

So I guess my question for you ladies is this:  If you thought that one of your in-laws didn't like you, what would you appreciate as a gesture of kindness from them?  I mean, is there something that you would like to see them say or do for you to make you feel more at ease within your relationships with them?  I'm trying to figure out how to approach her and forge that friendship without coming out and telling her "Hey, you know, I know you think I hate you, but I don't." or something equally tacky along those lines.  Thoughts and comments from you are always welcomed and appreciated..

Oh yes, I'll be back within a day or so to tell you about some more awesome in-law shenanigans.  I promise these will put a smile on your face.  Some of the things people do I'm not sure if I should find ridiculous or view as absolute hilarity.

Anyhoo, as always love and hugs and all that other mushy stuff!



Oh--and Nana, the wine was great!  We just got a Trader Joe's here.....2 buck chuck is AMAZING!!  Super cheap, and it isn't terrible.  DOUBLE WIN!!


Thank you for updating us .

Yes I have tasted the Traders Joe's wine (my daughter introduced us to it).  Yes its really cheap and does what it has to do lol.

Good luck

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:


December 04, 2010, 09:16:37 am #8 Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 02:48:32 pm by luise.volta
If someone wants to seek out rejection in the actions of others, they can usually find it quite easily.  Sounds like that's what not so friendly SIL, might be prone to doing.  Such a shame for her, what a painful life experience that rejection-seeking-out will result in for her.

If not so friendly SIL wants to see a woman with a cold or virus not holding her preemie newborn as rejection, (although its possible in the excitement she didn't hear that you were feeling ill?) then that's what she will do.

If Alice wants to take it personally that you were leaving TG dinner at a certain time to see your parents, even after she was told in advance, then that's what Alice will do.  I don't see how you can change who she is, or what she wants to do, if that's what she wants to do.  If it reinforces her life view that she is a victim, then it serves a purpose for her, one that you are fortunate enough not to understand.

Both of those situations you mentioned were sort of half-situations.  To be clear, I don't think you did anything wrong in either case.  Not at all.  But in the interest of finding solutions, looking for patterns can help. Perhaps in the future, if you can't do something all the way, it may be better for your relationship with Alice if you did nothing at all?  I don't know.  Although you found it odd you were let into the room of a preemie despite stating you were ill, it might also be seen as odd to even go to the hospital to see a preemie when one is ill.  Although holidays with large families often require multiple home shuffles, perhaps it is better to decline an invitation from her, if you can not accept all of it.   But truthfully, I don't know if that matters.  Not going to the hospital and declining a family holiday dinner invite are also laden with rejection material for Alice to mine. 

You were told she takes a while to warm up.  3 years seems like it should be enough time to you, but if it's not enough time for her, there is your explanation.  I don't think there's a magic gesture you can perform to change that.  I think time, consistency, politeness, patience, perhaps taking the time to make an overexplanation for behavior you sense might make her feel rejected can at the least help you be secure that you did all you can do.

Do not fret over what you cannot control.  It is a waste of energy.  You cannot control Alice's inferiority complex.  You keep doing your best with what you have (while maintaining dignity and limited expectations) and you will have no regrets.