September 22, 2023, 01:57:53 PM


"Welcome to -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

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Topics - Karina53

Dear Wise Women, I am not sure how to handle this situation, but have some ideas. I've been reading everyone else's situations with their AC's and can relate. My youngest AD is 32 and has been married for 9 years. They are expecting their first child in April. I am happy for them, but not sure how to interact with her. Ever since she got married, she has treated me differently. I don't know why, but do know she and her MIL have grown quite close. I've met her MIL and she is a very nice person. I like her. It seems that my DD has pushed me to the side and done some rather mean things. Growing up and early adulthood we were very close, though she has always been a challenge. I've often wondered if she might be bi-polar, though not in extreme manner. I'm usually one of the last people now to find out what's going on with her. She had a miscarriage earlier and told other family members about it, including her older sister and 12-year old niece, but I was the last to know. Also when she became pregnant, my husband (her dad) were some of the last to know. I am hurt. And she has a baby registry on-line, we bought a baby bed through it (I had to ask about the registry), she communicates briefly her thanks, but that's it. I asked her about visiting when he is born, she tells me that her MIL will be there for the first week, but has no preference for when we should come. She says to do whatever we want. I want to be there for her, but seems like she doesn't really care one way or the other. She's very non-commital. I'm torn about when to visit, etc. They are about 400 miles away. I will need to find housesitter ahead of time for our animals. I feel sad about all of this. I am close to my OD and her 2 daughters and am in their lives. Thanks for any insight into this situation.
I am looking for a new way to think about my MIL. I have been married to her DS for 34 years. DS and I have two grown ds and one gd. Over the years my MIL has been getting more and more angry and bitter about her life. She divorced DS's DF after 35 years of marriage. After a few years they both found new partners. Well, her new husband died after a few years. My husband's father died several years ago, as did his new love. My mil is now 91 and lives alone, but near one of her dd's and family. She has always been quite volatile, and spread much hurtful gossip about various family members, including me and my dd's . I also have reason to believe that she has NPD, which has become more extreme the older she has become. To make a long story shorter, I am one of the spouses she has not liked. What hurts the most is that my DH has not told his mother that her trash talk of me is not OK. He listens to her and tells her that I think she doesn't like me, and that I feel uncomfortable around her. He doesn't call her on any of her bad behavior. Her response to him was, "it's hard to like somebody who acted the way she did when I came to visit that time 22 years ago>" I could not believe her reason!!!! I was just stupefied. When our children were 4 and 11, she came for a 10 day visit, and complained the whole time to me about my DH's father, whom she had divorced years earlier. I sat and listened to her many times, finally told her enough!! She was a very bad guest, pitting my children against one another, and favoring the oldest. Did nothing to help. We took her out to a nice dinner, and she later complained about it, saying afterwards that she was angry that I hadn't found a sitter for our youngest. On and on. My husband worked days at that time, and I worked eves. and weekends. I also had a class during the day. She told my husband that she didn't like me because I was so busy and didn't include her in enough activities. She basically talked non-stop while she was here on that visit. It was a 10 day nightmare for me. I told DH to never ever do this to me again. He hasn't, but I have seen her many times through the years, she's been mean and spiteful to me, but careful not to do things right in front of DH. For the past year I've avoided being around her by not going to family functions. She lives 900 miles away. At times I feel quite angry that my H doesn't call her out on her bad behavior. He says, "it's not personal. She treats the other spouses badly too." But, I feel she's worse to me, and have told him. What to do? Anyone else have similar issues? Thanks for listening.
Dear Wise Woman,
I am new here, or fairly new, and have been reading your situations. I am so happy to have found this forum. A few things have stood out to me, perhaps because I myself have also gone through what many of you have in your FOO's. What I'm seeing is that a great number of us had abusive and/or neglectful parents while we were growing up. We decided that we would never raise our own children the way we were raised. As for myself, my DD died when I was a small child. My mom was left with 2 young D's--me and my sister G. Our mom was depressed, and after a year she met 2nd H, J. G and I really disliked him--very authoritarian and abusive. We begged her not to marry him, but she did. I hated him. We had many clashes. He would beat me and demean me. My mother tuned out what was going on. And acted like he was normal and loving. G and I relied on one another alot. Our mom had 4 more C's, and mostly we took care of them, esp. during the summer when school was out. I took care of the C's mainly, while G waited on our M. Due to all this dysfunction, G had very inappropriate demands of me, while growing up and as grownups. After many years of counselling, I had a counsellor tell me that it sounded like G has narcisistic personality disorder. I constantly tried to please G, to give her what she wanted, etc. It was never right, or never enough. She raged out at me anytime she could, and also would demand that I meet with her in a room, or place, where no one else was, so that she could again verbally abuse me!! Most of my FOO don't admit that she has a problem, they look past her behavior to me. They think I should try to get along with her! Which is totally impossible. I finally had to go no contact with her. Being raised with the abuse that I knew, and having a narcisisstic sister set me up to want to please people and not have appropriate boundaries. I think I would have been firmer with my D's growing up, more consequences, and not let them get away with some things. I just knew I wouldn;t raise them how I was raised. I wasn't allowed to have friends over growing up. So I was like the neighborhood mom, which I loved. I vicariously experienced some normalcy. I listened to their problems, tried to be open and understanding, etc. I think many of us have put up with stuff from our kids that we shouldn't have, or tried too hard to be their friends, and be overly understanding of everything. They sometimes see that as a weakness, and resent us. And they resent us at times when we think we are helping them, thinking that we may see them as unable. We want to fill ourselves by helping them, but it doesn't work. I'm finally understanding all the implications of this. I no longer want their dramas to affect me so much. They're adults now, and must stand on their own. I no longer want to rescue either of them. I am deep into being me and all that entails. I love what Luise said, that we were individuals before we had kids, and now we get to be individuals again. I think parenting is so intense, that after 25 years of it, it's hard to shift gears. But we must, and we must continue to grow. My DH and I aren't even quite sure how to be a couple, and are rediscovering how. A friend of mine recently moved back to town after living in LA for 12 years where her 4 AC's now live. She says she now realizes how much we depend on our children (she means to give our lives meaning), and enjoys not being in the middle of their dramas. She has given me great insight. I feel that a new chapter in my life has opened up. It's hard, but also thrilling and exciting.
This is my first post, and I want to say thank you for being here. I am not sure what to think about my AD. She's almost 25, married to a very good loving husband for almost a year now. I'll call her "E".She has recently become quite rude and disrespectful towards me. I don't know why. She lives about 1000 miles away, as does my oldest daughter "G" and her family. E has always been a handful, even as a baby, and had quite a temper even at 4 weeks old! Her pediatrician even noticed. We got through the teen years--it was hard, and at last I felt relieved that she had become human again at about 21 or so. We are not a wealthy family, not poor either just middle class. When she moved away, we knew she would need a car where she lived, drove a car down to her with new tires, and flew back home. We have helped with her tuition, etc, tho she has also had to work to help pay. What I'm saying here is that we loved her, helped her, encouraged her, etc. I thought we had a good relationship. Lately it has changed with her behavior towards me. When she comes home, she leaves huge messes--ie, food left out on counters, water, towels, etc in bathroom, etc. I have become used to order and all. Last time she was here, she took something of mine (a very nice makeup palette worth ab out $200) back home with her, thinking her sister G had left it when she was here. She took it to G's house and was told that no, its mom's. E never told me about it, just kept it. I was searching everywhere for it, couldn't find it after looking through every drawer and cupboard, so I called her to ask if she knew where it was. She told me what had happened, but that she didn't think it mattered, so she didn't bother to tell me or to send it back. When I asked her to please send it back, she became angry and defensive, and hung up on me. I was very upset, mainly because of her disrespect for me. I wrote her a letter, telling her that I loved her and wanted her to return it and to treat me respectfully. After about 3 weeks, I got it in the mail today. It was thrown into a large bow, wtih a few paper towels around it. It had broken into many pieces, due to her packing of it. Much was ruined. I told her what had happened, she told me that it was my fault for "demanding" that she return it.  I let her know that it wasn't the makeup so much as her disregard that hurt me. This is the latest example of other thingss she has done to me since Christmas. I am saddened by her recent changes. She seems to single me out. Any ideas on what's going on? She has always been somewhat immature for her age, but I had thought she made progress since being on her own more.