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"Tired of Trying"...What do I do now?

Started by Ihopeuknow, October 23, 2009, 09:28:25 am

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The issues between my MIL and I are long and involved.  We have a 7 year history of discord and I've only been married for a year (our anniversary is in 2 weeks).  Most of our problems stem around my husband because we started dating when he started college (I'm 2 years his senior) and MIL thought I was very controlling because her son was changing a lot--he didn't want to come home every weekend, spent a lot of time on campus, got a job, etc.  He was asserting his independance and she blamed a lot of that on me.  Over the years many things have been said and done and after cooling off I usually write an email, make a phone call, talk to them and try to say let's work it out.  MIL's way of dealing with things is to forget the past and not talk things through, which bothers me but to keep the peace on a number of occasions I've tried to take that approach as well.  Leading up to our wedding we tired to be cordial, neither my husband or I were  really happy with the ILs because they weren't genuinely happy about our impending nuptials and they actually had a huge blow up with my husband at the reception about where SIL was sitting. 

All that aside in the interest of family we tried to put all of that aside.  SIL decided she's not speaking to us and hasn't for the past year so it puts a strain on everyone, but for the past year we've visited a few times, he calls his mother once a week and we even planned a "family vacation" for July. We planned the vacation because MIL was so upset that we spent so much time with my family.  SIL refused to come to the vacation, then showed up for dinner, pouted for an hour and left.  So husband decided to call SIL and try to work things out with her.  She said she said she was "tired of trying" and didn't want to put the effort in a relationship with us anymore because it never goes anywhere.  So we decided to give her her space, because honestly what do you do with that kind of response?

There is so much tension and animosity between all of us and it just never feels comfortable.  Finally I decided to write my MIL a letter.  I told her that I felt that our family needed a leader, that it needed someone to step up and start actively working for all of us to be a family, a real family.  I told her that I felt we all wanted a good realtionship but that we were stalemated and everyone was a little lost.  She wrote back "no one person can do this". So I responded with it's not one person who has to do it, but that we just need a leader to help us do it.  She told me that she wasn't going to write me anymore because all I wanted was her to do what I want and she wasn't going to be dictated to and then she invited us to FILs birthday (on a voicemail to my husband she told him to tell me those things).  I know it sounds weird but it really was all at the same time.  Husband and I couldn't make it the weekend she wanted to do FILs birthday and told her we'd come visit the following weekend.  She told us that she was tired of us dictating everything and that if we couldn't come the weekend she wanted us then to not bother coming to visit at all and she would see us on her terms.  She said she was "tired of trying" to get through to us and make things work with me and she just didn't want to deal anymore. 

And here we are.  3 weeks later.  Husband and MIL haven't spoken and my husband is also "tired of trying" he said he doesn't want to call her.  So my fear is coming true.  It's becoming easier and easier for them to not talk and not see each other.  Their family is falling apart and to tell you the truth after 7 years of being with my husband I too am "tired of trying",

Any advice.  I'm sorry this is so long.


Oh!  Sometimes I just think it's hopeless.  It is; no matter what you do, if you have a son, your relationship with him and his wife is over.

I could break down and sob. 

I hope you can get this worked out for all your sakes but if not, cut it off as quickly as possible.  The damage is irreparable.  It's worse than any cancer out there. 

I wish mine had shot me, both my husband and me. 



I can relate to your story because I too got tired of trying and going nowhere. I did everything I could possibly do to please son and dil and started to feel like it was all their way or the highway. I even told them I was sorry for things I didn't even know I did! I honestly know how they feel. I have to agree with Chickiebaby, cut em loose now and don't prolong it. Sometimes distance is the best thing.


Oh this sounds so like mine. We haven't spoken to my IL's in over 3 years. I would love for all of us to be a family but they are tired of trying. Every time I try to send them a simple "Hey" email, it gets thrown back in my face. I cannot let it go because my family is so close and I really just don't understand how people could just shut out their own son. What can we do to mend things? Time isn't the answer because 3 years (almost 5 for SIL) should have been long enough. I can't make them like us, but I keep trying anyway. DH doesn't even want to try because it ends up as same ole same ole. I feel bad for my kids, myself, DH and them for not knowing any of us (especially their own grandchildren that they haven't seen in over 3 years). What do we do?


That's the problem with me too.  My family is so close and they say that their family is so close and they are, except when it comes to me and my husband.  I know that the real problem they have is me and I don't know what to do.  I keep trying because I just feel so terrible just letting go.

I just want to know now what the guidelines for "distance" or "boundaries" are?  I know there are no hard and fast rules, but when do we visit? Do we visit? Do we call?  What are the rules?


of course, I don't know your inlaws but is your husband a good man?  Was he raised right?  Those are important questions in this scenario.  If he is, it means they did something right.

We did something wrong here.  I'm aware of that, though it is hard to stomach.  My son has no view but his wife's view, no thought but her thoughts.  Whatever she decides to do, he goes along with it.

In the beginning, she wined and dined us and the day of the wedding, she turned on us completely.  Maybe someone can help me here...why would a human use us and then turn on us like we're criminals?

She is a huffer and puffer, arm folder, stomper, unique silences that stifles the entire room and creates a pall that envelopes a place like the plague.  She comes, however, packaged with our henpecked husband.

His mission in life is to do what she says at all cost.  His last phone call to me was, "Mom, did you know that (close DIL) has not answered (his wife's) email?"

I told him I did not know why and that I was sorry.  (there isn't anything I can do about that)  Close DIL doesn't want to be around her either.  I feel so sorry for her that she is going to have to put up with the control freak at Thanksgiving.

She has never, not one time, thought of other people's feelings.  Not even to answer the phone for us to wish her a happy birthday. 

At first, when she was nice to us, we fell for her, hook line and sinker.  We adored her.  The turn was so quick and out of the blue that we were still struggling to get her back.  Letters, phone calls, anything...nothing worked.

After 16 years, it has affected my health and I am going down fast.  How could she treat us like this?  We are well thought of and just for my husband's sake, why can't she not be so hurtful?  If she hates me, at least act like you care for him.   

If any of you ever have a son, I mean this, just know going in that his wife will, in most cases cause such heartache that it will kill your spirit.  Be careful.  Don't fall for her.

She needed someone to control and my son needed controlling. We created this... it's our fault.  Parents do the best they can.


I want to add something about distant DIL....she was raised in an upper middle class community like we were.  Her mother is a reformed alcoholic (a rich one) which should make it better.  It doesn''s the same thing.

I always have such sympathy for people like this.  They are only trying to numb their pain from the world.  Her Mother, though is a different story.  She is impossible to deal with.  Just awful and I think she and her daughter might be the only people I know that I do not like.

I realize that DIL had no control in her home, that's the way alcoholic parents affect a child.

She grabbed son like grim death because I think she realized that she could get rid of us and take control.  She did.  Pitiful.



When a MIL shuts her son out, believe me, she had to have felt shut out by him as well. My DIL used to say " it's me, they don't like me" and that was NOT true at the time but now I am sorry I ever seen her and she caused that ( where my heart is, is where they put it). I love my son but I refuse to be scolded by my DIL and son. They may say they want to be a family but believe me, it is ALL on their terms and it does not work that way.. it is give and take with both parties


 I want to add some things to my previous post that might help the DIL's on here to see why a MIL may quit trying. We were a very close family with the future DIL included ( we loved and treated her like a daughter ). When she married our son, all of a suddden, her attitude was like she, our son and Grandchild were a trophy and if I wanted to be a part of their life I had to EARN that !! . I feel like that is so wrong because we should already be a part of their family, afterall, I didn't make her earn a right to be in ours.! Just because we are Mom's doesn't make us doormats and after so much of it, we get tired. Should we say what happened to us is okay jut because the DIL and son now want to be family?

I believe a man should  put his wife first and defend her BUT not in the wrong things. When our sons turn on us as well, that kills a spirit. I just wonder how a Son can shut his own Mother out !


I can see that there comes a time when you just don't want to keep hitting your head against a wall, or unlike Charlie Brown with the football, you just don't want to be fooled anymore. You've given me some things to think about - so far we're stalled at the point of "she hates us"  and our son is frustrated by her attitude but we haven't heard that he is rejecting us also...yet. It's good to be prepared for the future (without willing bad things to happen.)

This is all so sad for all of us. Again, why can't there be enough love and acceptance and tolerance to go around??? I still can't wrap my head around the notion that there's a limit on love!!

We must take care of ourselves and be strong. You never know what's ahead, and I for one don't want to be caught in a weak, desperate position. I just haven't figured out how to stop crying :)

I hope you can figure out something that works for you. Best wishes to all of us!

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


As I re-read your story I see that you're an MIL of only a year and that your son is not happy about this dislike towards you.  I think you have some time and space to let the situation mend.  Sometimes, unfortunately, she keeps on and on with your son until he gives in to her..that's what happened to us.

She truly has made him think his family never loved him and that only she is his savior.  So unfair.  So out of bounds.  Unspeakable!!!

There should be no limit to love...that's its beauty, it never ends!!

When you're weak and desperate, that's when your DIL will treat you worse.  I hate to equate this to the animal kingdom but it's much like that.  I am talking to myself as much as to you.  I can't let her see that I'm weak. 

I hope we can live through these holidays and I hope your DIL lets you in her life!!  Best wishes to you!



I hope your situation mends too... it makes me sick to see a mother go through all this heartache :(.I am so happy I found this site because I really did think I was the only Mom who this had happened to and when we grieve we do need someone to talk to. Like Chickiebabys son, ours became brain washed... he talks like her, has all her ideas, acts like her... it's sickening.


Quote from: 2chickiebaby on October 23, 2009, 03:30:48 pm
My son has no view but his wife's view, no thought but her thoughts.  Whatever she decides to do, he goes along with it.

Is there no part of any of you that thinks that their son changed of his own accord?  That his thoughts and views changed as a result of time and not because someone changed them for him?  I mean I like to think that my husband is strong willed and has a mind of his own but my MIL doesn't think that.  She thinks that I make him change his mind and that he thinks like me because I make him think like me.  Don't the Moms out there believe their sons are intelligent and have maybe made a conscious decision to think the way they do?


I can't speak for others but for our son, I can.  Yes, he is very bright and accomplished. What he thought when we knew him were his own thoughts.

Now, however, things that were polar opposite of anything he might have thought, he now thinks.  Now, how did that happen? 

First of all, his wife was and is a total religious fanatic.  I want everyone here to know that so are we but our religion, though the same as hers is not one of condemnation but love. That's how he was raised.

He was raised to love others, not beat them down with a set of rules that if not for grace would be impossible to keep.  Any of you who are lost in my translation just skip over this. Any of you who know what I am speaking about will understand.

An example: they had a friend, dear friend, who had a tragedy befall him and because of that, this person started behaving in a manner that was not befitting them.  Instead of staying in there and being a friend, my son and his wife just pushed that person aside and never spoke to the person again. 

This person even said, "I never dreamed you two of all people would do this to me.  Because of this, I have lost all faith."

This kind of action was so foreign to our son before he married this mutation that it could be compared to night and day.  Our son showed God's love in action, word and deed.

This is only the tip of the iceburg.  There are so many examples that even his one time friends are stunned. 

Another example:  Her Mother is just like her. She made the statement to me that she did not believe in depression.  What?  Really?  Seems like somebody has a screw loose.  Mankind gets depressed, so do dogs.  It's the condition of humanity as long as we're on earth.

I said in one of my other posts that I blame us for him falling for her. Something we did caused him to go toward a woman who sulked, bossed people around, was rude, showed zero sympathy and casts a pall over a room a mile long.

We caused it and we're paying for it.  All his effort is given to watching her and endlessly trying to make her okay. If she's not, he goes to her and works on her to make her settle down.  (she throws fits like a two year old)

She once screamed at me because I worked my rear end off to make her a dinner and poured the wrong beverage in her glass.  The silence in this house was like a funeral parlor. 

Anything else I can think of I'll pass on to you.  This boy/man, our son, is a grown man who we no longer know.  So, yes, he changed on his own accord.


I think some wives take advantage of their husbands natural need to break away from their parents. Like cancer cells that run amok, this need goes haywire until all family ties are broken. So, what might have been a small change becomes one of damaging proportions. It's almost like joining a cult! Cult leaders know the psychology behind brainwashing and use it to gain control and power. Do you blame the cult leader or the person who was manipulated to join up?

At least this is how it feels to me.

Our son, being raised in a rural and less-materialistic lifestyle than our city-raised DIL, liked all the pretty, shiny things his wife's family provided and fell for their attitudes big time. Now he's seeing the downside and she is not pleased! Yes, our sons may make choices on their own, but they are often being manipulated and pressured to change in ways they wouldn't have if left alone.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb