Author Topic: MIL favors other son and bride elect  (Read 7277 times)

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alicewonder007

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MIL favors other son and bride elect
« on: June 19, 2011, 02:11:57 PM »
I have a kind and loving MIL. However, my husband is the “screw up” and her other son the perfect one, the one who did everything she wanted him to do. When my husband and I got married she told him that there was nothing to celebrate, he was ruining his life. Not as much because of me, but b/c he was waiting tables and hadn’t gotten into medical school yet. She does not know that I am aware of this. She always treated me kindly and seemed to get on board. She has been kind and supportive. Now her eldest son is getting married. Whenever his girlfriend would come into town there was a family dinner. When I got into graduate school, we had a celebration dinner, no family, no cake, no wine. When the girlfriend came, there was always both. Now they brother are getting married. I ADORE my soon to be sister in law. She is kind, smart, hardworking, and fun. Perfect. She is also much more submissive than I am(it is a Latin family, the fiancée is Asian), I am like my less favored hubby. I am outspoken and sometimes say things that are a bit off color. I understand why she favors one son to the other. What hurts is seeing how she treats him, like a loser, that she loves but is still a loser since he is not where she thinks he should be. She tells him to grow up or act right. As the wedding nears my feelings have been DEEPLY hurt. She gave the bride elect a beautiful bracelet at her shower. Told everyone that it is tradition and told me that she wished she could have afforded a gold one instead of silver. I did not have a shower, no one in my family or any of my friends could come. I also never received a gift from my mother in law on the occasion of our wedding. My husband has addressed this fact. Her excuses were that we married so fast ( no faster than the other couple) and that I didn’t have a shower. BUT she had actually bought me a lovely bracelet as a grad school gift. It was very nice. She had it and gave it to him the time he addressed the issue. She just hadn’t had a chance to give it to me. I think that she simply was so unhappy about our wedding that getting me a gift escaped her mind. I do not believe she did this to slight me. My problem is that as a only child, I know that I am a casualty of the hierarchy between the sons. The DILS are just an extension. How do I learn to accept this and not take it personally? I adore my MIL, and yet am so hurt by this and hate her at times. It angers me that she doesn’t value him as much, and by extension me. I know that we are both more independent minded and make mistakes. Yet, we are forging our own path, not following the one she laid out. How can I learn to live with this without feeling constant resentment? My own husband tells me often that he knows his mother loves him, but that she doesn’t like him. In fact, I know she likes me better than him. He simply tells me that life isn’t fair and I shouldn’t get my feelings hurt. He has accepted his “role” and I should as well. How do I focus on all her wonderful qualities and not feel hurt and slighted by her unintentional behaviors? I hate feeling so angry and jealous. The situation is compunded by the fact that my family is small and full of elderly people. I so much want a good relationship with my in-laws as I feel that soon they will be all the family I have left. A.

Offline Pooh

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 02:52:34 PM »
Welcome alice.  I split your topic because I thought it deserved a thread of it's own.  First, please read the "Modified Forum Agreement" under "Open Me First" if you haven't had a chance to do so.  Absolutely nothing wrong with your post, we just ask all new members to read it so they are familiar with our forum rules.

Second, this is the first time I tried to split a topic, and you guessed it...I messed it up.  Luise had responded to you and somehow I managed to split her response off without getting it over here.  I'm going to copy it here:

This was from Luise:

Welcome A. It is very hard to have people be how they are but that's the only place I know of to find peace. Logic often has very little to do with it and when we look for logic we can come up empty handed.

I have spent much of my long life and way too much energy agonizing over not being able to accept what is so and lobbying for what isn't. Like today when my stepson and stepdaughter forget my husband on Father's Day. He's 99 years old. How many chances do they think they're going to get? Answer: they don't care. Does it make sense? No. Can I "fix" it? No. I just have to work around it and get that it's about them...not me and not their dad.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pooh

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 02:54:48 PM »
It is very hard when someone makes it apparent that they favor one person over another.  It's hurtful and hard to deal with.  I am glad that you said that you and her get along well.  I think you can't help but feel jealous over the other relationship and things she is doing because that's human nature when faced with something like this.  All you can do is what your DH said, accept it for what it is and try not to take it personally.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

cpr

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 03:17:58 PM »
It sounds as though you have a pretty good grip of the situation.  I know it can be tough separating the logical from the emotional.  And while your MIL's obvious favoring is hurtful, you see that it is the reason for the slights.  Continue to remind yourself of this when it happens and focus on your DH.  Avoid the temptation to address this with her as it sounds as though your relationship with her could be a lot worse and bringing it up will only put a strain on the relationship you do currently have.  Your DH has addressed the issue with her so she is aware that it is hurting you.  The only response or behavior that you can control is your own.  When you find yourself slighted and hurt by her, think about the loving husband that you do have.  Which would you rather a MIL that loves and adores you or a DH that does? 

Start reassessing your expectations of her.  As you know that other DIL will be the favored one, prepare yourself for future events and set your bar low.  While she is not outright hateful, her behavior will still hurt.  Eventually you will develop the same thick skin your DH has and it will hurt less and less.

Offline Pen

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 04:03:17 PM »
Welcome, Alice. It is difficult to feel "less than." I'm getting up in years and have yet to fully ignore that treatment, but I am better than I was at letting it all go. My own DF favors his stepchildren (they weren't young when he married SM, so it's not like he helped raise them) and I understand that they are more his type, but it still hurts. I've kind of detached from him and that helps; still respectful, still attentive when appropriate, but no longer craving his love and attention. As Luise said, he is who he is. It's more about him than it is about me.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline luise.volta

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 06:07:48 PM »
Welcome A: Good to have you on board. I think knowing what you are up against could be your greatest asset. Set your expectations accordingly and see what happens. She can only be how she is and it doesn't sound like the fact that she doesn't make any sense and isn't fair has any bearing on her behavior. Give what you can be comfortable with and set limits where you feel uncomfortable. I know that sounds simple but it isn't easy…at least not for me. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 01:41:22 AM »
Hello Alice and Welcome .

I think your MIL is unaware of how her behaviour is being taken .
Sounds as if she loves her family to bits .There will always be some kind of rivalry between siblings .
Maybe she realised the mistakes at your wedding etc and is making amends with this one .
It is not a slight on you IMO , if you are close to her , you should mention how you feel , she might be shocked .
You should join in the celebrations as you ARE one of the family .


Offline Rose799

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 09:30:23 AM »
Hello Alice and Welcome .

I think your MIL is unaware of how her behaviour is being taken .
Sounds as if she loves her family to bits .There will always be some kind of rivalry between siblings .
Maybe she realised the mistakes at your wedding etc and is making amends with this one .
It is not a slight on you IMO , if you are close to her , you should mention how you feel , she might be shocked .
You should join in the celebrations as you ARE one of the family .

I agree with LL, but do it lovingly.  Many of us would give an arm to have a dil/dd like you...   :)

alicewonder007

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 10:28:27 AM »
Thank you all for your support. It has been six years since I entered the family. I am doing all I can to be supportive of my in laws. I have offered to pick people up at the airport and told the bride elect that I can help with anything her bridesmaids may not be able to do on that busy day. It is going to be a huge wedding, 400 or so. I know that it is a big task for all involved. I guess I will just continue to focus on being the DIL that I feel I should be and focus on only the good things about her, of which there are plenty. I have made plans to meet with my aunt and uncle who live in the city the wedding is at for dinner and to visit my father's grave the morning of the rehearsal dinner alone instead of joing my MIL and her sister shopping. I think that will help me. I did spend the day with my 15 year old SIL the other day.  It reminded me that I am happy to be the person that I am and that my new family does need an addition like me. She is the baby and has been very sheltered. She is beginning to get into her own sense of self and style. Going a little alternative. She is starting to feel that there will be some conflict with her mother about her growing into herself. She commented that no one else in the family will do the things that I do with her, such a visit consignment stores and art galleries (I took her for the first time to both). I told her that was what sisters where for. I also reminded her that her mother loves her very much and just wants what is best for her and that the differences between them are normal. I told her that I was always there when she needed an ear and not to forget that when she first met me, I had purple hair. If anyone in the family will understand her new "sense of style" it will be me. However, as long as she lives in her mother's house she must follow her rules and there will be plenty of time the rest of her life to make her own choices. In the end my MIL may not always value me as much as I would like, but I know that my DH and SIL do. I will have to be content with that. Afterall, as someone mentioned my DH is the most important thing. I feel that I got the best deal of the two brothers. He is openly affectionate, easy to laugh, and passionate about life. That is better than a MIL who adores me.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 10:32:03 AM »
Last line…beautifully put. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Rose799

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 11:23:30 AM »
For all of MIL's lack of understanding, be grateful that you & dh "get it."  I've learned a lot from the DIL's at WWU.  Hopefully, your MIL will learn a thing or two from you & new DIL, as well.  And yes, that last line was priceless!


Offline Pooh

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 12:04:14 PM »
Also Alice, you just might be surprised several years from now, how much MIL does appreciate you.  I had a horrible MIL, but I have had 2 people tell me, 20 years later, after my divorce, she admitted to several people that I was always a good DIL and she always knew she could count on me and not worry about how the kids were raised.  So it may be that your MIL doesn't worry about you, because she trusts you and feels she has to pay more attention to the other son and DIL because they need it! 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

alicewonder007

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2011, 01:44:03 PM »
Soooo.....my BIL told me at his cousin's wedding a few weeks ago that in fact the "jury is still out" on me with some of the family, but that he has begun to warm up to me. He offered to "help me out" and I told him that I don't need any help. The family will simply have to judge me on my own merits and that like it or not, they are my family, I will always think of them as so and act accordingly.

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2011, 02:08:34 PM »
I never ever fitted in with my DH FOO , could never understand it really ....what's not to like ??  lol
It was their loss , I got fed up trying to make an effort so we went our separate ways , you know , it never
bothered me .
some people just do not gel .

Offline pam1

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Re: MIL favors other son and bride elect
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2011, 02:52:18 PM »
Alice, wow, what a weird thing for your BIL to say.  I don't even know where to start!  lol

Ok, first I can't see why they are talking about you.  Regardless of what they think of you, you *are* family.  Their opinion is not going to change that, it is a fact.  Maybe they mean they haven't come to a conclusion of how they would treat to you?

And secondly, wow they think mightily of themselves.  It would never in a million years occur to me to not only judge my brothers wife, apparently find her lacking, inform her and offer to "help."  Oh my, that is just weird, weird, weird.  How did you keep a straight face when he said that to you? 

And to my final thought lol, why do they think their opinion of you really counts to anyone besides themselves?  I guess that ties into point number 2, lol, I just can't get over the audacity.

Naughty Pam would be tempted to say the same thing back to him, the jury is still out on your new family members and see how he takes it!
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift