January 22, 2020, 10:02:49 am


"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- 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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Welcome, S. 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 are a monitored Website.

My painful experience with my eldest son and his wife was that how I felt and what I wanted was of no interest to them. It took me a very long time to get that they had the right, as adults, to choose how the related to and used others. I finally got that the only choice I had was in how I accepted or rejected their attitudes and behaviors toward me. Eventually I decided that my grands were learning that abuse was Ok by example. I didn't want to be any part of that. Self respect mattered to me and I had pretty much lost it over the years.

I removed myself from the toxic relationship they defined and after a while found peace again in my marriage and in my other interests. My expectations weren't met on any level and it finally dawned on me that they were mine and no one had to meet them. My husband and I looked away from our biological roles toward what else would bring us joy and filled our lives by interacting with friends where mutual respect was a given. We started to travel and made new friends and a new life. We never imagined we would find peach but we did.

I don't know if any of that will be useful to you but it worked for us. Hugs!
Hello -- I'm new and this is my first post. I have two sons, one married for 12 years with 2 kids, one single. Our DIL and her entire (but rather small) family have been rude and dismissive of us since day 1 -- which wasn't all that bad since they were all living hours away in another state. About 5 years ago my son's job moved him back to our town, so now they live about 15 minutes away. Initially my son was a happy camper to be living back in his home town near us, his brother, and many of his old schoolmates. We were thrilled as well. But DIL's family didn't like her living closer to us so a year later DIL's sister and husband and kids moved here, soon followed by her dad and his girlfriend, and now all of DIL's extended family members have options when they come to spend weekends and holidays. DIL only allows our son to hang out with her sister's husband. (So much for our son's old school buddies.) Over the last 5 years we've been to my sons house maybe 5 or 6 times. Each time we've literally been shooed away after 30 or 40 minutes. We're not offered so much as a glass of water. A couple of times DIL said "hello" and then disappeared upstairs, never to come back down even to say goodbye. Until 2018, I invited them over for dinner every other Sunday. They always arrived late, ate (a lot!), made small talk for half an hour, watching the clock the whole time, and then left in a quick rush. At the beginning of this year I said "no more," and only invited them on holidays and a few special occasions. Last week for Christmas they were an hour-and-a-half late for dinner and left in a rush asking if I would make up a plate of food for her dad who was getting impatient and hungry waiting for them at their house. Almost all of the other rude, ungrateful behaviors that I have read about on these pages we have also experienced with her -- including causing a rift between our sons. The brothers barely speak anymore. Our once loving, kind, intelligent, gentlemanly son is unrecognizable to us. Even his appearance has changed. Our dilemma is the grandkids and the one thing she wants from us, which is free babysitting. We love the kids beyond measure, but to be honest we're getting a little too old for the rough and tumble, the baths, refereeing squabbles, getting off to school, etc. We just want to be grandparents who are treated with respect. Instead we feel like the kid down the street called to babysit, often at the last minute, and expected to bring our own food. DH thinks if DS and DIL are so énamored of her family, let them do the free babysitting. I kind of think this too until I read posts on this forum from MILs who are saddened that the DIL's mother always gets to babysit and thus spend quality alone time with the GKs. Should this be the way we look at it and be grateful we're asked? Our DIL's mother is not in the picture at all, she's gone, and a relative of DIL is the "stand-in Grammy" for her side. However "Grammy" does not do babysitting and is treated by DIL and son like a royal. The dad and his GF don't babysit and the sister has her own brood. Am I just enjoying the little bit of power I can wield in saying no to something I know she desperately wants to the detriment of myself, DH, and the grands? Thank you all for reading and any wise words you might have for us.
If you read my past posts you can see that my husband and I are going through this also.  My DIL's mother stays with them for weeks.  My DIL takes the kids to her mother's home and stays there for school breaks and over the summer for extended visits, sometimes leaving my son,( her husband, the kids father,) home alone working.  After many years of banging my head and much crying I am realizing that what happens in their life is their choice and I have no say in it.  We get a visit sometimes on holidays.  It is usually last minute, after hearing that "it's not right that DIL's mom is left alone" and then the night before we find out plans have changed and they come to us. It's hurtful every time.  Last year I was told that "MIL does not feel comfortable with us".  Does that mean that MIL is pushing us away?  Maybe it's her, maybe my DIL.  My son can advocate if he really wants to see us.  People do what they really want to do.  My husband and I are hurt, but after dealing with this for years we have no choice but to enjoy what we get.  This place has great support and has gotten me through so many of the down times.  Try not to make their choices personal to you.  You will get through this.  Sending hugs.
Quote from: still-count? on December 13, 2018, 05:32:14 am
We love our daughters - in-law and feel our sons have chosen wisely

As a mother of both a son and daughter, I thought that when the time came, I'd be in a better situation with my DD.  After all, the saying is that "a son is your son till he takes a wife, but your daughter is your daughter for life"?  :-X Well I must have missed that memo?  As a mother of the DIL to another family's boy/DS I can tell you, the maternal family is not always the one that benefits from the extra attention because they are connected to the daughter. :'(
Nevertheless I think your comment about your DILs is lovely, and I think if you remind both your sons and especially the DILs themselves of this, adding that because of such pride and joy that you would like to see more of them it might help?  It may not solve the in balance immediately, but it can't hurt and maybe reinforcing it over time, will help turn things around in your favour with a little extra consideration.
In the meantime, as painful as it might be (and I know it is) try not to focus on the problem too much, but rather be kind to yourself and know that you deserve all the love and respect, as much as the DILs families do but ultimately, you have to be the master of your own happiness and can't rely on anyone else to fulfil you.  Be happy, it can be very contagious and hopefully enough so to rub off on them that they will want to share in your joy! :) 
Hugs to you xx :)
I know exactly how you feel because as a mom of two sons I get the same treatment. It's a very hard pill to swallow when you see the kids you raised and love so much treating you no better than an acquaintance  (until they need something.) When we rarely hear from them and they express no interest in our lives and make no attempt to visit and keep us included in get togethers and so on......the sting of that is incredibly painful. Even more so when you know you have done more and sacrificed more than any other person has and then you get treated so indifferently. It just isn't right and all of us here know it. I do feel the wives have a hand in this because they could include us if it were in their heart to do so. These women don't seem to have a heart at all when it comes to us (the guys family). I think they are quite controlling and don't want us around because we represent something to them that they interpret as threatening. Therefore they do everything they can to keep us at bay and out of the picture. Now I do believe ultimately the responsibility lies with our sons to keep us involved and make sure we aren't excluded. There was a time when I thought  mine might step up and do that but it has yet to happen and I finally got fed up with harboring illusions. I no longer expect that it will ever change and have made adjustments within myself so that I am not going around sad and upset about it, at least not most of the time. I do have my days though when I just can't help it, especially around the holidays when I know their time will be spent with her family and we will come second if at all. We all know people make time for what is important to them. Their actions, or lack of, have spoken volumes. I do get tired of always being the one to reach out or go by to visit but I know that is the only way I will see them. At at the end of the day though we have to accept that there's nothing we can do to change another's heart and we have to learn to take care of and be good to ourselves. Coming here to this wonderful place has had a huge hand in helping me get there. Just knowing I can come here and express myself if I need to or just read and give input has been very cathartic. My thoughts are with you, please check in often!
Welcome, S. 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 are a monitored Website.

My serious issues with my eldest son didn't involve my DIL's family. His 'about face' came when he was in his teens. He decided I was not the mother he would have chosen and his friends had fared better than he did. A mother who virtually never left the kitchen and never spoke a word looked much more appealing. What transpired for me might be of some help to you since he carried that attitude on into his adult life, marriage and parenting.

I eventually learned I was the one who decided my value and gave myself the respect I knew I deserved. My expectations were of my own making. Back then they were the norm in the culture in which I grew up. I got stuck in self-pity for much too long. It was healthy at first but eventually kept me from learning and growing.

My lesson was I mattered, if I said so. Respect wasn't something that another bestowed on me or withheld at will. Self-respect was available. My husband helped me with this and I move beyond would'a, should'a, could'a. We knew we had both been good parents...and the issue was my son's to resolve or not. He choose not. We restructured our lives, looking to what we had instead of what we had lost. My son passed his beliefs on to his youngest son. However, his eldest son and our youngest son never bought into it.

My point is that for me, actually for us, the impasse no longer dominated our well-being. We looked to what brought us joy and fulfillment and healing followed.

Sending hugs your way...
Thank you so much for your responses! They are both helpful, and I am so glad to have an outside opinion. Thank you for answering.
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: Son and DIL having trouble...
Last post by Bamboo2 - December 13, 2018, 09:39:46 pm
Welcome!  We ask all new members to go to the Home Page, check out the board labelled "Open Me First" and read the posts placed there for you.  Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to make sure that WWU is a good fit for you.  We are a monitored website.

I'd first like to say is that this forum does not offer advice, as none of us is trained to provide that.  We do share, listen and offer support and encouragement. 

What I figured out after countless anxiety-filled days and sleepless nights, after I had attempted many ways to try to get her to leave her boyfriend, was that my daughter's relationship issues were and are her own to solve.  My only job is/was to listen, and sometimes I don't even go there, telling her instead that some issues are her own to figure out (with or without therapy).  I don't want or need to know specifics, things that will only upset or worry me.  When I tried to set up conditions for her boyfriend in order to have him be part of our lives, it just made all of us miserable since it put me in the awkward position of trying to monitor his behavior and led both of them to lie about what was really going on in their relationship.  When I stayed out of the whole situation, my daughter was able to see things more clearly and make up her own mind.  When I stuck my nose in it, she just tended to take his side against me, even if she actually agreed with me.  She did finallly break up with him, but not until my husband and I stepped back and let her see how hard her life was with him and that he had no intention of changing.  That process took way longer than we thought, and I'd have been a basket case if not for this website, supportive family and friends, and a good therapist.

My take is that by inserting yourself into your son's relationship, he won't make his own decisions and come to his own conclusions about his wife.  Instead, I'd focus on things that are within my control, which are finding ways to create my own joy in life.  Yes, it can be done and it is a great feeling of freedom and lightness when it happens.
As a mom I cannot imagine expecting or wanting to be involved or included in such a sensitive and private matter where my sons are concerned. It wouldn't be my place to tell them how often they should or shouldn't be having sex. That, to me, just sounds truly bizarre. I think some things are best left to the couple to deal with and I think this is one of them.
My son called me and said he had just left therapy and was going home to tell his wife he wanted a divorce. He said they have only had sex 5 times in 18 months. They've been married 6 years. He also approached us 8 months after they got married and said they had only had sex 4 times in 8 months. His therapist had told him his wife was probably asexual and he had to decide whether to live with that or not.
She asked him to go to her therapist, who told him wife was not asexual. They started couple's therapy with DIL's therapist.
Husband and I feel angry at DIL for hurting our son for so long. We were kind and supportive and sent them to therapy after the first incident, and then stayed out of it. We never asked them if it was better or not.
This time, we feel angry, and want to make him report to us about the sex. We think he should have separated from her. He did not. He agreed to try couple's therapy.
We feel like we cannot be around them, we are angry at her. Advice, please? We think she is probably asexual, as son's therapist suggested, and feel hopeless about her changing.
Thank you.
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