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How do I handle abuse from son in law and daughter?

Started by Alberta01, February 22, 2015, 10:53:00 am

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 My daughter is married with a baby.  She and her husband are both professionals with successful careers.  They live a plane ride away so I don't see much of them.  I try to keep in touch a couple of times a week by phone calls, text and facebook but lately, it seems like my daughter rarely makes an effort to call me anymore.  Its always me having to call her.  It seems ever since she got married and moved away, she has become more distant and cold towards me.  When I do speak to my daughter or see her, both she and her husband seem to be overly critical of me.  I am a good person and a good mother. I am independent and work full time and I am liked by everyone who knows me.  With the exception of the usual mother/daughter stuff, I have always had a good relationship with my daughter, but now, she and her husband seem to go to extreme with their nit picking and criticism of me.  Her husband talks disrespectful to me and criticizes me on an ongoing basis.  I am the butt of his jokes and he just generally acts as if he doesn't like me.  At times he can be nice, but I feel like its not real.  The last time I visited them, we went out for breakfast and I mentioned that the pancakes were cold when I got them.  He told me in front of everyone that "He doesn't like that I said something negative about the pancakes because he doesn't want his baby around negativity."  Later on he told me, "You don't do anything terrible, but I don't like when you say negative things and I don't want my baby around that."  I feel that he can't really find anything horrible about me, so he looks for something to justify him not wanting me around.  I felt like saying to him, "look who's calling the kettle black."  This is a person who is overly critical and negative about a lot of people and things. His ongoing criticism of me is negative in itself.   I have even heard him tearing my daughter down by calling her an idiot.  Is that not negative? 
I feel as though my daughter is drifting away from me.  She sees her inlaws almost on a daily basis, and since my daughter moved away she seems to have become closer to her mother in law than she is with me.  My daughter seems to go out of her way to please her mother in law... she speaks so sweetly to her mother in law and shares things with her that she doesn't share with me.  Most of the time when I speak to my daughter I feel like I have to hold up the conversation because I get a one word answer.  I'm glad she has a good relationship with her mother in law, but I want the same respect.  This hurts me deeply and I just don't know how to handle this.  I don't feel comfortable in my daughters home anymore, and honestly, I don't feel welcome there especially when my son in law yelled at me one day and said, "You're not welcome in my home anymore and you're never going to see this baby again." My daughter made light of it and didn't take it serious.  After that, my daughter wanted me to go to her home for a holiday. I reluctantly went.  Her husband apologized for yelling at me, but his disrespect and criticism of me followed in the next sentence.   My son has even witnessed their treatment of me and he said something to my daughter about it.  My son told me he doesn't even want to go visit them anymore because my daughter is even nasty to him.  I have cried over and over because I feel I am losing my daughter.  Growing up, she was the sweetest kindest, most considerate person you'd ever want to meet and I was always so proud of her.  I don't know how to handle this.  I am at the point where I feel like I might be better off if I just stayed away.  How would you handle this?


Welcome to the site, Alberta01. You've come to the right place, IMO. Please take a minute to read the pink-highlighted items under Open Me First on the homepage. We ask this of all new members to make sure the site is a good fit and that we all understand site policies. Your post was fine :)

I was in a very similar situation to yours except that it was my DS who was absorbed into DIL's family. I was devastated! It must be even more difficult when it's your DD. You are not alone, as you have probably already found by reading past posts.

From my experience it gets less painful as time goes on and you get busy doing things that make you happy (baby steps on this; pick something that nurtures your body & soul.) Sometimes when we practice "loving detachment" our AC wake up and come back around. But no matter what happens, the good news is that you will have cultivated a good life for yourself regardless.

We can only control our reactions to others; we can't control what others do, unfortunately. Please keep reading and posting!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Welcome A.  Sorry you had to find us, but glad you did.  You will find great support here.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell