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Jealous Son-in-law

Started by beachymom, December 16, 2016, 06:39:15 pm

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This is my first post. Just joined a couple minutes ago. I need some advice. I have a 33yr old daughter who got married 2 yrs ago. We live on the beach in SC, she moved to his hometown in NJ. They have bought a home, both are successful in their jobs. The problem is my son-in-law is jealous of the close relationship my daughter and I have. His mother left his father when he was 8 and remarried and had children. His mother lives in FL. She does not come see them and only calls occasionally. Their relationship is very broken. I see my daughter about 4x a year. She comes for a week by herself twice a yr and we have a wonderful time. Our family is small and we all live here, so she sees everyone. When I go visit them or when he comes with her, after a couple of days he will find a reason to get mad at someone....his father, his brother, whoever. Never me. But he ruins our visit. Every time. It is so obvious to us all that he just cannot take but so much of not having her undivided attention. Last week I went to visit and same thing. Got there on Sunday morn, he was mad at something by Tues nite, and we left 2 days early. What is the right thing to do? My gut is telling me to just enjoy her when she comes by herself and be happy with that. And yes, I have called him out on what he is doing which he denies. I am hoping a more experienced mom-in-law can give me some advice.


December 16, 2016, 09:52:05 pm #1 Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 09:54:39 pm by luise.volta
Welcome, B. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open 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.

My experience has been that I often think I know why I'm exhibiting some kind of behavior and only figure out in retrospect...and sometimes never...that it is about something else that I haven't been able or willing to address. I work through it when I do and am not very good at listening to others regarding my take on things. If this is what is going on with your SIL, he may not be willing to improve until he decides to do so on his own...if ever.

In addition is seems to me that it is about their relationship...even though you are a secondary target. If so, it is their issue to iron out...or not.

You sound wise to see that your daughter's visits are probably the best place for you to continue your lovely closeness.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Hi, Beachy, 
I'm sorry you are dealing with a jealous SIL.  Whether done consciously or not, it sounds like SIL is souring your family visits single-handedly by his acting out.  Is it possible to ignore his behavior and carry on visiting with your daughter and others, in essence not rewarding him by reacting to his poor behavior?  (Kinda like ignoring a moody teenager?)  I wonder what your DD thinks and how she copes with this situation.

Some of my family members have been known to throw a wrench into holidays by picking fights.  Unfortunately, what becomes memorable about the get together is the conflict that was caused by these people and not the warm fuzzies of a family gathering.  There is a payoff for them to do this (albeit a sick one), but the rest of us would have rather been someplace else having a nice time without the drama. 

I think it's wonderful that your DD continues to want to keep family ties with you.


My daughter is very easy going and does not like conflict. We both were crying when I left. I do not know what she said to him after we left. I am not going to ask....if she wants to talk about it with me, she will. I have two sons also who are married for a little less than her. I stay out of all their relationships unless they ask my advice on something. I am going to just have a wait and see attitude. I cannot control anyones actions but mine. Thanks for being a support system for me. I am so glad I found yall!


Welcome to the site, Beachy. We're glad you found us, too! I hope your SIL becomes more secure and comfortable around you.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Welcome.  I would do exactly as you were thinking.  Enjoy your time with her, and do your best when he's around.  It is truly her issue to work out with him.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell