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Realizing we were wrong

Started by mom2, October 24, 2009, 04:40:49 pm

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 I found this page that some of you may want to read; I really enjoyed it and it gave me a little bit of hope. Be sure you scroll to the top and read all the way down the column because , for some reason, it opens near the end of the story.


As a DIL who has to deal w/ a MIL who competes w/ me, I found the beginning of that article a little disturbing.  The reason is I know that the author realized it was wrong for her to feel that way, but for it to actually go through her mind, (the DIL being thrown out into the cold while mother and son continued their close relationship w/out any interference).  So this article said to me that right from the beginning w/ some mothers their is a competition for the affections of the son. 

I asked my DH what he thought about this competition for his affections.  His response is that he's a grown man and he has no interest in refereeing a competition between his wife and mother.  He feels that he not capable or willing to fulfill the strong needs that his mother has.

I've said this a million times before but it true; when i first met his family I went into the marriage thinking I was gaining a family not that I had to compete for his affections.  I thought he and his mother would have a certain type of relationship and he and I would have a different relationship as well.  But my MIL apparently saw me as a threat the way this author did in this article, however she was able to get a grip in it.  My MIL has not been able and because of her not getting her needs met by her son, she struggles w/ depression, anger and because of me some of her glass/china has been thrown and broken in the back yard.  When I was told this about throwing things and breaking them, I was floored.  I thought wow I didn' realize the pain I was causing her.  So because of this vile behavior on her part we now have a very limited relationship with them.  I think its been a year and half since I've been to their house but we occasionally meet them for lunch and even that's unpleasant because FIL is pouting or making stupid comments about who should pay etc.

I hate to knock our own gender here, but I think sometimes women in general can be so caddy and competitive.  I never have trouble with the men I work with, always the women.  DH said the same thing, he hates working w/ women.  He said their more apt to yell at him and be a jerk.  I wonder if its our hormones?  Dang it! I just want us to get a long!  I want MIL to stop competing w/ me!  Sorry, I just get so mad about this sometimes.


I don't compete w/ her, she's competes w/ me.  I never said that I compete with her.  You don't know my situation so please don't shout at me.   



It was just an article that was dealing with the situation we are all in ( not our specific ones). I can't understand why your MIL would want to compete with you but I know that does happen and with DIL's as well. Personally I think it rather perverse for a Mother and DIL to compete for a husband/ sons attention.  All I ever wanted was to be in a Mothers role because I too have a husband and get all the ' man ' attention I need.


mom2 i totally understand and appreciate you being nice to me about what i said.  but i guess that article was an emotional trigger for me.  i'm not able to understand some of this quite yet, but thank you for being understanding of my strong emotional reaction to the article.


Anna - thanks and no prob.

But I will say that I never felt competitive for my DH's affections for the first 10 years of our marriage.  But once I found out she was competitive with me I think I started feeling that territorial feeling.  I think she is not accepting of me and tries to alter my DH's thinking of me.  I can't figure out why else she would do and say some of the things she does.  I get paranoid everytime they talk on the phone because DH says that's when she throws those little jabs at me.  I like my life and love the nice relationship that DH and I have, so to think that some person is actually out there trying to sabotage it maybe does put me in battle or territorial mode.  That's just my thinking.


You didn't do anything wrong....I don't think you could shout if you tried!!

Same here with the giving of love.  I keep saying, "no more" but each time it still hurts.  I know she's a certified mutated freakoid without conscience who took a great guy and molded him into what she wanted.  It's a shame, a totally wasted life. 

We didn't raise him to become a robot, yet that's what he is.  I blame us, though.  He needed this control freak to balance his life somehow.  I go over this and over this but if you could have seen the precious, beautiful girls who absolutely adored him and loved us, it would make your hair stand on end!

I can't believe this.  He chose her?  He chose a woman who, midway into it, he broke it off with her saying, "I can't marry her."   (he had seen the way she stomps around and acts)

She worked on me by phone.  You would have thought she was the angel Michael, the way she was on the phone with me.  I asked him to please give her another chance.  He did.

My husband says periodically, "why did you do that?  You should have respected his wishes."

Yes, I know that now.  What an idiot I am.  What a sucker. Here I sit with a freak in my life....thanks a lot.



You bring up a good point there and something that had crossed my mind. Our dil was not from a close family either and her parents divorced. She seemed jealous of the love and closeness we had in our family and it was almost as if she set out to destroy that.


I think she may resent me because I do (did) have a good relationship with my son

Maybe you and Mom2 have hit on something there.  I could see feeling threatened by that.  But some act on that feeling instead of finding ways to cope with it.  For some its just easier to do that possibly.  Jealousy can make us act in awful ways at times.


Good relationships don't just fall apart though.  I mean strong relationships withstand the test of time and the test of interference because they are just that, strong.  I think for a good relationship to fall apart there has to be some crack in the foundation.  It might be something tiny and something they're unaware of but it's there.


I think when there is a marriage involved - and someone is in a situation of choosing between making a spouse happy (and keeping a marriage together with someone they love, with or without children) - and having to separate partially or completely from parents and family members, the latter is what will be sacrificed, even if the relationships were good.

Also, it isn't unusual, unfortunately, for a person with a controlling spouse (male or female) to give up family and friends.   

It is soothing and nice to think that all of the problems we face have logical explanations which with the right amount of effort and work can be figured out and corrected.   Some of us have given much effort to this -- with and without the help of counselors, therapists, ministers and others.   

Many of us have found within ourselves the errors we have made, have tried to correct them, have made apologies and done everything we can think of, but because these situations are not one-sided, still find ourselves here, seeking comfort from others who are in the same situation.

Everything cannot always be fixed in the way we want it to be, as fast as we want it to be.



In regards to ' strong relationships don't just fall apart '

That is a very good post and well written.. you summed it up beautifully !


Srong relationships fall apart more often than weak ones.   Because they're so strong, some wives find it threatening and forces the issue.  When you're hounded day and night and forced to choose between a wife and your Mom and Dad, you choose your wife, you have to especially if you have kids. 

If the wife had an ounce of decency she wouldn't force such a thing. 


It isn't just a wife or a mother who is the one who tries to force someone to choose.   Though it does seem on this forum the issues involve the son and his wife and the son's mother.

Used to be the controlling spouse was most often the husband -- and the mother in law jokes and stereotypes used to focus on the mother of the bride's relationship to the son. 

Guess the times they are a changin'!


That must have been way before my time because I have never heard of a man who verbally expressed how he felt about his inlaws.  He might not like them but they never act like it or express it.

The wife can have her way with his family but he can't with hers. Anyway, times have changed for sure.