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Why do our sons "obey" princess wives?!

Started by justanoldgrandma, August 18, 2011, 09:17:00 pm

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I know there are countless considerate, wonderful dils out there who are unselfish, giving, loving to family of their dh; who aren't controlling and demanding.   My sil for one was wonderful to my parents and called my mother "Mother"; made sure my brother's family was treated fairly and lovingly.  And I know that today there are great wives/dils so please don't think I am condemning all dils bc I am one myself!

However, it seems in reading posts there are many complaints about controlling "princesses" who cut out their ILs and discourage their husbands from seeing their FOO (us!)  My son was raised in our home where my dh, a proud and good man, would never take commands, bad treatment, rudeness, or neglect of his family. 

Son himself is intelligent and kind; yet as soon as he became serious with his now wife he completely bought into the "the girl always wins" meaning his future wife.  She fortunately has not done the "cut off" with us yet son gives her free rein to set all visits and holidays w her family; I know some of this is only natural but her mercurial nature, sulking, and downright sometimes rudeness to ds, her family, and to us is so NOT understandable!  (although she was raised as a princess.) 

The puzzle is why ds takes the sometimes demands, snappiness, total control of their social/family time...... he doesn't criticize her behavior, justifies it or ignores it..... seems to think it's the way it should be.  I am trying at a late date to be less sensitive to her remarks and sharpness but it's not fun being around a changeable, narcissistic dil who holds the keys to gc!  (DH and I do not complain to ds bc it would simply turn him away from us and we do have visits and want to keep seeing them.

Any ideas on why there seems to be so many complaints from us MILs about WHY our sons are so subservient to the controlling, self-centered princesses  that they have married?!


My take is that their wives receive their primary loyalty which is as it should be and they can't change them once all of the negativity surfaces.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Keys Girl

My answer in addition to the usual is  Once the hostilities began, my future DIL made a point of have a very explicit conversation with a friend in front of me about her sexual prowess.  I didn't comment.  I thought she was crude and rude.  A male friend of mine recently assured me that men don't really understand women until their 40's.

I think some of these young women use the threat of having their husbands "sleep on the couch" forever if they don't cave in to their demands. 
"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown


There are indeed some of these DILs out there, but also a lot of MILs have misconceptions about their DILs.  I've seen it lots, and experienced it myself.  My own MIL has no problem telling everyone I'm a spoiled little "princess" and that I control eeeeeeeeverything in our home and relationships.  Simply put, its just plain false.  She doesn't know me at all, and if she did she'd know that I am anything but a princess.  And the second that anything doesn't go HER way (aka, she doesn't get to come drop in whenever she pleases, without warning) then suddenly I "control everything." 

I think you are right, to a certain extent.  There are LOTS of similar MIL complaints of "princess DILs," but I am realistic in knowing that at least some of them could be faulty perception.



I think it's probably impossible to know what goes on behind closed doors or other peoples marriages.  If it is indeed a case where a new wife takes control, the answer to me is simple -- because new hubby let her.  They found something in each other they like/love and feels works for them.  For some people and especially men, finding a spouse who is willing to take control of the housework and other grown up responsibilities is enough for them to hand over the reigns for *everything* 

For me, the better question is why would someone allow themselves to be treated this way? 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


I agree, there are some people who can't be understood.  Whether sons, daughters, DILs, mothers or MILs.  And often it is just a combination of the chemistry between two people, and not necessarily any one person "being" this or that.

My own MIL thinks I am a gold digging princess.  I noticed she began talking that way when DH and I were coming together as a closer couple and ultimately a little family. When we began to do things our way, instead of her way.  We would never tell her how to spend her time and money. I have always respected that's her decision, hers to make and her to own.  I don't think that spending our money and time the way we want makes me a princess.   But I've been made aware that my MIL does. (DH is my prince charming, but that's another story!  ;) )


Good points, ladies.  Sassy, you are right; understanding other people, even our own families, is sometimes impossible!  What goes on in a couple's marriage is none of my business and thank goodness I've kept my mouth shut and not criticized to dil/ds whether I approve of something or not.  Sure way to get "cut out." 

Thanks..... good perspectives!


I know for *MY* DH, he was very much conditioned to obey the "mommy figure".  FIL's Mom died when FIL was young and so whenever SIL or DH would argue with their mother as teens, FIL would ALWAYS stand by MIL and tell the kids "You don't know how lucky you are to have a mother, don't talk to her like that." - how can you argue with that?

However, I think it puzzled my MIL when DH married me, and especially after DD was born, and *I*  became the "Mommy Figure".  And now he worships ME.

But really, he doesn't WANT to have to make decisions.  For crying out loud, he can't even decide what *HE* wants to eat, when he's hungry and we're going out and ALL the options are open to him.

I think he doesn't like to take responsibility for making a choice.  He doesn't want to be the one to blame if anything goes wrong.  For example: if he pushes for a visit to his P's, and things go south (they always do) and *I* have a terrible time, then he has to hear it from me AND he has to hear it from them.  (I'm not saying it's like this for you JustaGma, I'm saying it's like this for US.) 

It's very hard for him to be wrong.  It took a LONG time for me to convince him that saying 'sorry' wasn't a sign of weakness and it didn't mean he was "losing".  Obviously, growing up, he learned that being wrong meant you got blamed and shamed.

There's also a lot of weight behind the saying "happy wife, happy life".  He has to LIVE with me, and we both know that I have the power to make his life miserable 24/7.  Without even being "mean", I could just withdraw all of the things I do around the house that benefit HIM, down to knowing how much milk there is in the fridge.  It's just not worth it to him to rock the boat.  Can you imagine how hard it must be for a man married to a woman who's willing to be mean?



What an interesting thread.

Expectations seems to play a role, too.  I saw it written once that expectations can be like a one sided contract.  For example, the daughter who has a baby and expects her mother will provide free babysitting around the clock. The daughter gets angry when her mother doesn't honor the contract that the mother never entered.

One of my earliest realizations of this feeling (though not articulated that way) was when DH and I were still dating, and planned a camping trip for Memorial Day weekend.  I remember MIL was angry and upset that we would "leave her alone on a holiday."   I felt a combination of being selfish for letting her down, and plain confusion.  I didn't want to hurt her and it honestly didn't occur to me that us going camping would hurt her.   I think that an expecation on both our parts, let to upset as if a contract was being broken.  Was it selfish of us that we planned a long anticipated camping trip finally made possible by the warming weather and a 3 day weekend free of work? I understand that to her it was selfish of us, because we made a decision and did not consider her when making it.

I didn't immediately realize MIL's expectations, and the implications they held for our relationship.  However, even once I was aware of some of MIL's expectations (such as the two of us, she and I, going on a girl's weekend trip to Las Vegas together) I still didn't meet them.   That's probably around the time the difficulties between us escalated to the point it became damaging.


My situation I look like a princess...I'm a grown woman so I say what I think and feel.  My MIL is one that thinks all opinions contrary to hers should not be said.  My DH had said to her time and time again that he is not going to "police" me so I guess that looks like he's "taking it" from me. 

The whole visitations thing always gets to me.  I am not fond of the way my ILs treat me.  So when a holiday rolls around I always think, I would much rather spend this day with my family.  I bring it up to DH and since he's too lazy to come up with a plan and he generally likes my family's company we go to my family.  The rare times we do go see his family it's because I've planned it.  I really believe a lot of the visitation issues that MILs have as another poster on another thread wrote is really due to lazy sons.


I think it is partially my fault and partially his dad's fault.  I think he saw me making all the decisions, all the housework, all the carpooling, all the homework time, all the disciplining, etc. and his Father doing nothing and having a grand ole' time.  I think he found those qualities in his mate and probably didn't realize there was a difference.  She does all that because she is a control freak and likes drama.  It gives her something to complain about although she is doing it on purpose.  He didn't realize that I became that way because if I didn't, we wouldn't have anything.  I wanted the help and couldn't get it.  I was a control freak because I didn't want the electricity cut off.

So, I think he takes after his Father and is lazy and likes the easy way out.  He found someone that would give it to him.  Her parents fix everything for them at their house and spend money on them.  He may have to listen to her constant complaining but he's not having to do anything.  I think he finds the payoff worth it.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Quote from: QuietStorm on August 19, 2011, 09:21:06 am
I really believe a lot of the visitation issues that MILs have as another poster on another thread wrote is really due to lazy sons.

Ha ha ha....we were posting at the same time!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Pam1 said :

QuoteFor me, the better question is why would someone allow themselves to be treated this way?

That's an excellent question, and for this particular thread topic, it begs to be answered.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had some DH's here to answer?  LOL - IF we could ever get a straight answer from them.

I'm again not discounting the fact that there are in fact some of these "princess" DILs out there, but I would take a chance on saying they are the exception and not the rule.  Grown men have the rights and ability to step up to the plate when either his wife or mother are being mistreated, or if they're not getting along, or if one wants to visit and one doesn't (ie. ANY situation).  When they don't step up, why is it so easy to say "oh, DIL must be controlling him" rather than "wow, my son is really a spineless piece of work.  Where'd he get that from?"

Remember that this shoe also fits on the other foot.  There are "princess" MILs out there too, and where your son isn't "dealing" with princess DIL, in some cases, he fails to keep his mother on the bright side of civil.  Its just as painful to see a marriage fall apart because DH lets Mommy control him (and/or his spouse) into adulthood.


Quote from: Belle on August 19, 2011, 10:11:39 am
When they don't step up, why is it so easy to say "oh, DIL must be controlling him" rather than "wow, my son is really a spineless piece of work.  Where'd he get that from?"

For my case only, it wasn't easy for me to say that, either statement.  Mine is not based on an assumption that she must be a princess because my Son wouldn't act this way if she wasn't.  Mine is based on witnessing her act that way for two years in my home, embarrassing me in front of other parents and friends with her attitude about anything that wasn't going her way and her treatment of everyone.  It's not just me that has been excluded.  It's been my entire family, his brother who used to be inseperable from him, his friends and anyone that wasn't her family or her chosing. 

It was also very hard for me to say, my DS is really a spineless piece of work.  I didn't raise him to be that way...or maybe I did unknowingly.  I can tell you that I never wanted to have to think that way about one of my children.  I never wanted to think that way about one of my DILS.  I have a case of both.

You are totally right and I think we all recognize here that there are MILS, DDS and DILS that are worthy of that title.  Heck, I know a few DSs that are worthy of that title!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


So I asked my DH to answer the question for the boards and he wrote:

"I married you.  I vowed to give you my time, my love, and my patience.  I promised your family, you and myself that I would live my life in a way that would make you happy.  I don't feel bullied when I do things you want.  If you want something and I can provide it and it doesn't bother me to do it, then why not?  I don't care that much what we do half the time so if you have a preference I go with it.  If my parents and my family can't handle that then that's their problem.  The saddest part of all of this is the fact that I learned my mother's love wasn't unconditional.  It was dependent on me doing things her way and that just isn't going to work.  Besides happy wife happy life."