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Daughter in laws relationships with one another

Started by kuka1948, February 14, 2016, 10:26:01 pm

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I have 3 sons who married very different young women, yet all 3 have some things in common - all say they are religious, all are first born children....my three sons are very different as well. The problem is that each young lady has some sort of mental issue - yes, I do, too. We all do. So two are always mad at the other one. On and off they resent me as well. I am very educated, also a first born child, and feel I am very  understanding and loving....I am a therapist....I sense they may feel intimidated by me (no one who knows me can believe that). I raised my sons as Catholics and none attend the Catholic church now. I grieve for the loss of my culture - you know, baptisms, First Communions, etc. But I accept that they have chosen their own paths. The problem is that we cannot all get together without someone getting their feelings hurt, etc. Girls can be really nasty....Since I am in my late 60's and still working, I have learned to not be anxious, depressed, and stressed...but they haven't. Their lives are filled with drama. I ache for them and wish I could hold them in my arms and love the hurt out of them. But I know my boundaries. Yet, it's getting worse, instead of better. I was so excited when my first son married - I was finally going to have a daughter. She made it VERY clear that she had a mother, thank you very much. Does anyone have an idea of how I can get these young ladies (all in their 30's) to get along just for one holiday?  :(


Coming from a daughter in law at some points we don't feel like we fit into another family or feel welcomed. Do you know what your daughter in laws interests are? Do they each share a common interest or what there family tends to do one the holidays?

I ask because my family tends to play cards or board games during the holidays, my husband's family however sits in front of the TV. I personally have a very hard time with this because I think the holidays are about spending time with each other and to me your not really spending time together in front of a TV. While I know this may change some of your families traditions please don't look at it that way, please look at it at changing a few traditions since your family also changed. Good luck!


Welcome, K. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Read Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit, we're a monitored Website.

You wrote: How I can get these young ladies (all in their 30's) to get along just for one holiday? 

My take regarding your extended family is that you can't get anyone to get along with someone else. Each person is on a unique path of learning and growing. The more individuals involved, the more complex it can become. It seems to me that it is about them and the best you can do is what you are already doing...observing, caring, setting boundaries and maintaining your own balance. For me it was a waiting game and much of it didn't turn out to meet even my most minimal expectations. I'm 89 now...and am looking back. My GREAT granddaughter is 22!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Green Thumb

We can't make people change.

We can change our attitudes, which will then change the dynamics.

This thought popped into my head but I don't truly know your situation. One of the first things you wrote about was the differences between you and the DILs, especially religion and your grief or disappointment over the adult children not choosing your religion. Perhaps this has been communicated to the women, perhaps in subtle ways you aren't aware of. Perhaps these women are just truly nasty souls, or perhaps they feel anxiety being around you because they feel that you feel they are not measuring up to your ideals or standards. Just something to think about.

I have a nasty, mean spirited, not nice son, son-in-law, exhusband and daughter. What I try to do is avoid them and if I can't then I try to be as nice and pleasant as possible by asking them all about themselves and saying nothing about myself. No arguing with them when they are irrational and illogical cause you can't force someone to be rational. Smile and nod or say I don't agree but don't try to out argue them. I try to take little gifts for everyone to sort of break the ice. Perhaps flowers to their house when (rarely) invited over. I gave all the mothers, bridesmaids and my (mean) bride daughter a fancy soap wrapped up at the luncheon on her wedding weekend, for example. This is what I call my most nice self and one that takes effort on my part. But don't get me wrong, I am not stupid and I know this doesn't fix the ugly acting ones, but it does fix my attitude and lessens my anxiety around them.

You say they all don't get along. What about changing the dynamics to where you are the one bringing up good things and praising the women at the table or at the event? You may have to write notes in advance to think up things to say! "Susie, I am really grateful you take such good care of little junior, he is so smart." "Betty, you are such a good cook, I admire that so much, these beans are fabulous." "Lilly, hows that job going, they are so fortunate to have you."

I also highly recommend Life Code by Dr Phil. I am sure everyone else is tired of me saying it but it helped me to understand how the mean, nasty, ugly acting people think and how to deflect and avoid them to protect myself.


No, GT, we are not tired of your recommendation of Life Code? It's been a life saver! I didn't check, did you also post it in our Helpful Resources category? Hugs!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama