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"Welcome to -- 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."


Started by themuffin, May 25, 2011, 06:28:48 am

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Hi Holly,

  I didn't think you were pointing blame.  :D It's not my intention to bring any inconsistency to FDIL's life, especially at a time like this.  I only sent the one text of condolence.  I had no intention of contacting her again during this tragic time.  I don't know if I ever planned to contact her again as she had asked me not to. I know this is not about me and she has far more important, deep things on her mind.  This was not an attempt to mend our relationship, this was simply to express sorrow for her pain.  Period.  My heart needed to do that and I was going to leave it at that. 

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Hi Muffin,

Your hanging in there and doing well in trying to integrate all our different feedback. 

One suggestion if I haven't said it already is to be incredibly careful of what you say to dear son about dil, now and
forever, but especially now when there is alot of trauma.  Theres a likely chance that it will get back to her just like
Keys Girls mentioned about text messages.   


Thanks Tara, I appreciate the support and feedback.

When DS came over I expessed nothing but sincere concern for FDIL and her family. DS and I are trying to mend our relationship. Nothing would be worst than to bad mouth FDIL at this time.  I already told him that I would be willing to forget the past and try if she wanted to try.  I sincerely meant it.  I have not said bad things about FDIL as I know that would be the quickest way to send DS out the door. 

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Wow - I said a prayer for you last night, but it was to bring you peacefulness, and enlightenment.  You have addressed many issues here and for almost all of the feedback you have received, I am hearing take care of yourself, protect yourself, don't stick you neck out, or it's going to get chopped off. 

The roller coaster ride has "just begun".  DS contacted you and you have contacted him back, however in his contact there was negativity, and again "don't ask how it happened"; which definitely indicated FDIL has now even more issues as she must feel an unbelievable amount of shame pertaining to the way her father chose to leave this world.

FDIL needs a lot of time, previously from  what you said, she was rocking on your couch and saying no one loved her, everyone leaves her, this girl needs a therapist who is willing to go deep, as there is no magic bullet to change what and how she feels about how people have treated her in the past, and her reactions to it.  She suffers from very low self-esteem, and this partnered with what you describe DS is an explosive relationship.

In emotional bidding there is a ying and yang that goes on.  I feel your tug at her text, and your need to text back and then phone, but my advice would be "stop" more.  The more words out there, the more swords out there, you are not dealing with a full deck at the moment, you are dealing with so many negative emotions and hurt feelings and lack of self esteem, you stand no chance.  Keep you line of communication open to DS, but I would refrain from the past words spoken, and lead him into the direction of a new beginning. 

Muffin, I would also stop apologizing.  Apologies are wonderful when recognized, buried, and people move forward, but when you are in a position that you are consistently apologizing for the same thing, there is no forward movement, you are still stuck in the mud, and then it becomes a choice as to whether you want to stay in that mud, or step out on the side, where it's a lot easier to walk and move. 

I don't like to say this, but in many ways, you are going to wear every bit of her grief, her anger, and her distrust if you allow it to happen.  There is six months to a year, of sending well thoughts, good wishes, but I would be avoiding conversations, and honestly I believe texting is dangerous, as texting is truly up to how a person perceives what they read.  You almost have to be an articulate writer, to ensure what you text is what you are meaning.  In most cases it works, but when you are dealing with people with emotions that are all over the place especially in the war zone, it's dangerous, as it is about interpretation.  Emails often can do the same thing.

The reality is, FDIL has to go through the grieving process as does your DS with her, they both need counseling.  For your own sanity, you know DS loves you, so keep it simple - don't get over involved.

I know I sound so harsh, but "themuffin" you have much to live for and you don't need the next year to be a field of land mines, and that is the direction this will go in. 

FDIL has choices in all of this, if she chooses to be with DS even tho he had another GF, it is her choice, if she chooses to use her path she has lived as a weapon, she chooses to be her own victim, this is far too deep for you to mitigate, and believe me I feel deeply for FDIL, however it is not you that can heal her with with hugs, and gifts, only FDIL can heal herself, if she so chooses.

Take some time out for reflection and maybe journal some of what you have written and re-read; so you can see the pattern of behavior. Or better still leave that for next week, and shut the phone off, and go away for the weekend and have a calming and relaxing weekend.

In kindness and in care.


So sad...This is something that will make whatever estranged us from some of our family members seem so silly.  We must forgive and love while we can and keep soft hearts...Please hug your son and FDIL tight and pray together often.  People need to be told and shown that they are loved often. My prayers are with you all.


Hello Wise Women,

  Sorry that I haven't had a chance to visit until today.  I know it's hard to believe with all the terrible things that have been going on, but I truly had a peaceful and lovely three day retreat.  On the day of the burial I sent DS a simple text saying "I love you and you are in my thoughts. FDIL too". And left it alone.  He did not text back, nor did I expect him to.  I am feeling comfortable with our progress and have no need to rock the boat.

   Donna, thank you so much for taking the time to offer such good advice.  Thank you for your prayer as I did truly feel peace and enlightenment these three days.  It was as if I had been holding my breath and was finally able to exhale.

   I am hoping that our roller coaster ride is reaching a calm as I don't want to ride it again.  I wrote that I would allow DS to come to me when he needs me and I intend to stick to that.  I think of him and FDIL everyday, but I have no desire to contact either one. 

  FDIL does have some serious issues, but so does DS. Maybe together they will seek counseling and begin to heal. 

  I won't be apologizing to FDIL anymore, but I actually feel good that I did.  Not because I think I treated her terribly, but because it shows DS that I am willing to try to make peace in order for us to all be happy.  If FDIL insists on holding on to the past, at least DS will know that that his mother loved him enough to put my own feelings aside.  I don't hate FDIL but I'd be lying if I didn't say that am so unhappy that the one women he chooses to love is the one who has placed distance between us.  I do know that this is DS's life and he should chose who he shares it with.  So much for those wonderful family holidays. 

FDIL has choices in all of this, if she chooses to be with DS even tho he had another GF, it is her choice, if she chooses to use her path she has lived as a weapon, she chooses to be her own victim, this is far too deep for you to mitigate, and believe me I feel deeply for FDIL, however it is not you that can heal her with with hugs, and gifts, only FDIL can heal herself, if she so chooses.

Such wise words. I completely agree.  I do hope she takes the right path because whatever path she takes DS is taking it right along with her.  Thanks for your insight, Donna.  I appreciate it.

Thanks so much everyone. You have truly helped me during this difficult time.

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lancaster lady

Hi Muffin ;
I think you needed that time to re assess your position in all this .
I think it's now up to them which path they take , and when they are ready to share
I'm sure your Ds will be in touch .
Wishing you peaceful times ahead .


Hi Muffin:

I am so grateful you had some days of peace.  You have handled this all with such dignity, how brave you are.

The path ahead of us is never clear and concise, but what is clear is that you have a vision of where your mind and thoughts will be as the future unfolds, and this is your self-respect.

Be proud of all you have accomplished, and as that path goes forward, keep in touch, we are here, and you Muffin will always be in my prayers. 

Hugs and luv


Hello Muffin,

I'm glad you have had some respite. 



Hang in there, Muffin. Bless your heart. Sending Love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama