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dil's different upbringing

Started by Kinzey, October 08, 2009, 11:51:33 am

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Like I said a jury would have to decide whose right on this one.  Kinzey and Ihopeuknow also made good points.  I don't have kids so I can't put myself in mommy mode of thinking.

I know that I've seen my MIL compete very hard with her own daughter for the affections of her grandchild.  Its like a tug of war and MIL wins everytime because my SIL is very passive.  I remember when my nephew was first born, DH and I walked into the hospital room and there was SIL sitting in her bed and MIL sitting in a chair beside her holding her new grandchild.  Mil was beeming like she was a new mother herself.  We were there for an hour or so and I never saw anyone else hold the baby except MIL.  MIL told me one time that she wished her daughter would move away but leave the grandchild with her and FIL.  Then another time she said that grandchild would rather live with her and FIL.  I didn't believe that for a second.  So I realize that MIL is not only competitive with me but everyone else around her.  She's a bottomless pit that can't be filled enough.


Just2b: I find that my MIL is very competitve as well.  She feels the need to be the center of attention and takes credit for a lot of things.  If someone is talking about their job, she discusses how she was praised at her job.  When my husband graduated from Law School it was because she raised him right and when he got an award it was because of her.  When Grandmom-in-law(my MIL's MIL) was sharing some of the family history MIL interrupted her to say how her family history was rich too.  I feel like I'm in the middle of the song "Anything you can do I can do better" and people around her are so used to the behavior I think instead of fighting it they just indulge it.


I keep trying to point out that this isn't a MIL - DIL point only.

There are some women who are just competitive with other women for the attention of .. men or others. 

My mother competed with her sisters for any male attention (maybe because they grew up without a father or male in their young lives, I dunno).   She then competed with me for my father's attention, then with my sister and myself.    She tried to compete with me for my boyfriends and husband's attention and when that didn't work, undermined them. 

I have also seen mother in laws on both sides of families compete for the attention of their offsprings families and for grandchildren's love.  My ex-husband's ex-wife used to try to compete big time with me for my grandson's love through gifts (she had more money, I didn't even try to compete on that level).   My mother one Christmas found out what my in-laws were giving the kids, duplicated the gifts and gave them early. (My MIL just laughed and said now the kids had two of the gifts, how nice).

I've seen stepmothers competing with their husband's ex-wives for the attention of the husband's sons.   I've seen daughters competing with the stepmother's for their father's attention. 

Some people compete and really get into it, some step back.  Doing anything from a point of competition is a losing game I think.   Nobody wins, especially the kids.


There are some women who are just competitive with other women for the attention of .. men or others. 

Amen to that!  AnnieB you always seem to have a good perspective.  I dont think this is all DIL/MIL issue either, I think its about women who need to be the center of attention.  I see the big picture with my MIL.  Of course I personalize the crap she does to me, but believe me I see her doing to competive stuff with other people.  But its weird because its only certain people.  Its like you must fit a certain role before she'll start this competition with you.

Ihopuknow - it sounds like your MIL needs to feel important.  She probably has low self esteem.  When my uncle and my dad both retired they both talked contanstly about the good old days at their jobs.  My dad could be very agressive about it too.  He'd talk AT you for an hour sometimes about his old job.  I think he was just needing to feel important again.  He had been a vice president of an insurance company.


In comparison, let me tell you about my daughter in law.  A pall comes over the room when she enters, much like a morgue.  If son says anything that takes attention away from her, she interupts him or us to re-direct the attention to her again. He must never laugh or get tickled at anything.  She is the center of attention.

When our lively debates get going, which we love and we encouraged here for IQ building, she gets very upset.  She knows nothing about the world, politics, different cultures, TV shows, funny situations, nothing.  All the sons' silly verbatem movies they used to recite, they can't do anymore. Silly things like Smokey and the Bandit...they would do their routines and recite every word but no more.  It's just too stupid, you know.

Anything that's funny, she doesn't get or thinks is stupid.  "that's so stupid", she says.  Yes, it is stupid that's why it's so funny.

I can totally equate her to a marching soldier.  That's what she does, march, in step, no veering off, just marching.  She's cold, focused on herself and her mission to get what she wants. Everything would be fine if we just never had to see her again but we do to see son. 

So, we sit quietly.  Never doing any of our routines, never mentioning anything we once loved so we can do the dance of the eggshells just because she's in the room. Close DIL, I know would rather drink Castor Oil than have her there.   


Maybe it's a little bit of "Herd mentality" :

After all maybe it's easier for everyone to band together than it is for one person to reach out to her.  It's easier to go along with everyone else than to be the odd duck.  Maybe there's a fear if someone bonds with her that the group will turn on them too.

I know that my husband's family (including his extended family on MILs side) have found it easier to shut us out because that's how they bond.  They feel it shows loyalty for all of them to support MIL against us than it would be to help us feel comfortable and in doing so help us come closer to the family. But husban's father's family has been really nice to use and Grandma-in-law has been especially keen on being kind to us and that's what keeps us in any contact with his family.

Perhaps both of your DILs are terrible people.  But maybe the reason others don't like her might be because they feel it is disloyal to you to like her.   


Anna: You probably couldn't.  I'm of the stock that believes that no one can possibly try everything.  It's the reason I kept trying with my MIL and will probably continue to do so.  I believe that there is always something we're missing.  I believe that if we look and hunt enough that there's on clue I'm missing or a clue she's missing and if we could figure it out then we would find ourselves on the right path.


I don't think that at all, that a DIL should just sit back and watch her MIL work hard and do nothing. I think that's unfair.  I do think sometimes it's hard for people though.  I think that sometimes no one knows where to start.  I think that sometimes there's a lot of mistrust and distrust.  I think pride gets in the way sometimes and at others it's fear. No one wants to be hurt anymore and everyone feels hurt so we go into self-preservation mode.  But I also think that 'Life isn't supoosed to be easy, it's supposed to be worth it' and I know that the roadblocks in life don't matter, what matters is what you do when you come against them.  I think, so what if your DIL fights you at every juncture, you fight harder for the good you want.  So what if she ignores you at every point when you try to get through to her, you try harder.  So what if she puts you down and she hurts you, you stand up and say to yourself "I'm better than this". And you do whatever it takes at all costs to get what you want...A happy family.  Because a happy family is worth it.  It is worth it. And everytime you have a set back you look for support and you look for comfort and then you dust yourself off and you try again because you're the Mom.  You are the MOM. And you can do it! That's what I think.


some very very wise points presented in this thread. are my thoughts...I'm with YOU all the way...I couldn't be smothered like that, and as much as family traditions are nice, happy and festive, one cannot expect everyone to feel the same way.  I wouldn't ever want anyone to come to my home on a holiday, if they didn't want to be there...and, when a newly wedded couple becomes one, then, it's they're choice together....where they wish to spend the holidays.  Yes, it hurts, but life isn't always easy and we can't always have it the way we want, we cannot expect our kids to live OUR dreams of what we feel life is.

2nd, I surely wouldn't want anyone swearing around me or my, I tell people right BIL is notorious for telling off color jokes and getting into politics and he is way staunch repuplican...and loves to start an argument and then tells you off when you, I tell him...we won't have that in this house.  Usually on holidays I have a mixed set of frends and family come, and everyone has theyr own believefs and those beliefs should be respected.

I would definately discuss this with your husband to be, BEFORE your married...and make certain, he isn't dependent on his him money is not right, it's a way to say, ok, when we need something we expect you to be's controlling...and enables children to become dependent on parents...wrong!

I used to go away for Christmas vacation and my family didn't understand it or like ti, but that's where I wanted to be...and it wasn't anything personal...I just wanted to be on an island somewhere...or by the ocean. 

So, maybe what you could do is have a holiday dinner and invite your inlaws and your parents the Sat. before Chrismas and tell them, you want to do this or that...there is always a way to work it out, if everyone is flexable, and once your children get married you have to be flexable.

Again, I would seriously consider counseling before you get married so your BF realizes how dependent he has become on his parents and how important it is for him to leave the nest....there has to be respect for each others ethnic and cultural background...from both sides...but, whatever your BF grew up with, is how he's going to feel, so this may cause severe problems for you...heartbreak and givig up who youare and what you is so important when dating to get these things ironed out in the very beginning, b/c if your not mentally compatible, one person is going to give more then the other, and that's ok, it's normal...but then there is the extreme and you don't want to find yourself buried and being smothered to death.  It's a real killer, beleieve become very resentful and unhappy.  There is nothing worse then that feeling of lonliness when you give up who you are and what you believed in.

Good luck...