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"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."

Ok, dils and mils, unite! And wise ahas from 2 dils to remember!

Started by justanoldgrandma, June 22, 2011, 09:21:11 am

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Being a newbie, I was anxious to try out the quote function but since the topic "Where do I start.... my dil" was exhausted and locked, I don't think I can quote themuffin and Scoop so will cut and paste what they said, which I thought was so profound and yet so simple and I love it so want it to not go unnnoticed.  Moderator, if it's not ok for me to quote what they said in another thread, it can be removed.

There was some disagreement as to whether dils and mils can understand each other.  Suddenly Muffin said:

"Muffin:  OMG!!!   Tryingmybest!!!  OMG!!! I just realized I'm a DIL   

No, but serious...I truly just realized that.

My MIL and I didn't get along in the beginning.  In fact I was not allowed in her home for an entire year.  I was 17 and her DS had opened his first bank account and she named herself beneficiary on it.  I had also opened a bank account and named him.  When he told MIL he wanted to change it so it named me she became very upset.  It was very ugly.  I wasn't allowed back into her home until the day we told them we eloped and I was pregnant.  From that day forward it was as if the ugliness had never happened. It took time for us to warm up to each other.  We were cordial but I wasn't very fond of her.  Now all these years later she is second to my own mother.  I adore and love her. 

I guess I just wanted to put it out there that there is hope for all of us.


Then from Scoop: 

"Muffin - I had a similar thought this morning.

The people on this board who are MIL's have also (usually) been DIL's.  So they can usually see both sides of any story.

However, the ones who identify as DIL's haven't been MIL's yet, so we can't completely understand that side.  Oh, we can sympathize, sure, but we can't *know* what it's like.

Also, I for one, really try and play devil's advocate and intentionally try to give a DIL's perspective.  (Except for Pen's DIL - I can't get on her side at all!)"

Muffin and Scoop, I am a MIL who was once a dil and still have ILs.  Many times I resented them as many dils resent their ILs; like, an IL said to dh, we don't see you much anymore!  Well, no bc we married and moved a distance away!  I can recall listening to stories of my dh's former g.f.s, humorous stories to them, but hurtful to me.  So many little things.  An IL wanting to move in w us when first married (widowed) to help us out financially and of course, so he wouldn't be lonely.  Horrors!  I liked him but didn't want to live w anyone but dh, esp. after newly married!  So dh, who would have agreed, had to stay silent, resentful of me for hurting his surrogate father, bc he knew I'm a private person and wanted dh to myself!  Several times he had to take the brunt of such suggestions to pacify me and there was resentment on his part and probably on IL's part but they stayed silent and didn't insist.

Many things, thankfully not so major as to cause estrangement, but I try to remember how it felt to be a dil and feel not as good as dh's FOO in so many ways as I was still learning.  I like privacy, they were one happy family; very hard to adjust to!  But they were kind to me in so many ways.

However, it is easy as a MIL to forget my days as a young dil when problems arise.  Especially since I shut up and took whatever & my dils today are much more likely to do the spouting off, although I am sure they bite their tongues at things I say!

Off topic, I got.  I want to thank Muffin and Scoop for saying, hey, we don't have your experience as being both dils and mils and we suddenly get it why you mils feel that we don't always "get you."  They are saying they don't mean to patronize or put us down.  They sometimes don't get what we are saying just like we forget what it feels like or felt like to be a dil. 

If we can keep this in mind and try to put ourselves in the opposite role, it can really help keep us from too much criticism or seeming to side w one dil or mil....... and hopefully we can continue to sympathize and kindly help "the other side" meaning mils can help dils by sympathizing and not being critical and vice versa.  It almost would be good if we didn't know if the poster was a mil or dil but then the advice wouldn't be worth much bc the poster couldn't say, "well, as a mil (or dil) I have had such and such experience."

I also have to remember I was born and raised and had my young married years in a vastly different era as dils of today and therefore I need to listen to "the way it is today, not 25 years ago!"  Things have changed!

Thank you, Muffin and Scoop, for the aha moment that I think we all have had! Your statements were smart and wise and generous to us MILs and I think we all can benefit from trying to walk in the other person's shoes!


We are all just people doing our best. The titles don't define us, right? You talk about it being different now than it was 25 years ago and you make me think again about how different it was 64 years ago, when I became a DIL.

I have to really stretch my perceptions and conditioning sometimes. My beautiful, wonderful, bright, talented, thoughtful, honorable non-DIL has been with my son sixteen years and is definitely there "until death us do part." Their structure is strange to this octogenarian...but/and it works for them. I have a deep respect for it, even if I don't understand it.

Conversely, I have said, "Til death us do part" 5 times and have moved on four times after hitting walls too strong to get past. Legality didn't solve the issues at hand.

My parents, who were both born in the late 1800s, didn't understand us, either...and thought our migration from Michigan to the west coast when we were in our late 20s was totally off the wall. (It wasn't a "transfer", it was a choice that we made together to head off in a different direction and listen to out own drummers.) Unheard of in my FOO. That was 57 years ago!

It's hard to keep up at times and yet change is built into life and usually makes a lot of sense when we pass on being biased. Head-in-sand never alters facts. However, I still get sand in my eyes occasionally.
Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Hello Justanoldgrandma!! 

   You just made my day!!  ;D  I think what you have written is very wise.   ;D  You had me thinking back on the early years of my marriage.  I have to say that my MIL was pretty good about allowing us to live our lives.  She was there, always,  but on the sidelines.  She supported us when we needed it.  But she never took sides.  She never just dropped by and she doesn't call a lot.  We usually talk every other week.  She's a great lady!

   There were two people that I wanted to be like.  I want to be a grandmother like my grandmother. (THE MOST WONDERFUL GRANDMOTHER IN THE WORLD) and a MIL like my MIL, also WONDERFUL.  She's a better MIL than I am a DIL. ;)

Thanks JAOG, you made my heart feel good.

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Yes, I agree! I'm so glad you posted, Justanoldgrandma. I wanted to thank Scoop and themuffin for their posts on the other topic too.

Just for the record, I loved my second MIL dearly. She was sweet and supportive, and not at all critical or overbearing. It must have been hard for her to keep quiet at times, but she did so. I have tried to model myself in MIL-hood after her.

I also love and admire my DIL. She's been through a lot but has worked hard to be successful. She's intelligent, ambitious, compassionate, feisty and devoted to DS & her FOO. These wonderful qualities are showing themselves more as her criticism and disdain for us lessen. This site gave me the support & advice that worked for me and my situation.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I love this post and the muffin and Scoop's!  What wonderful words from everyone.  I had a horrible first MIL, whom I swore I would never act that way when I was an MIL.  I still gave her respect and worked with her, but it was miserable for me.  My MIL now, I absolutely adore.  She is sweet, kind, giving but yet unintrusive.  I love to visit with her.

I am absolutely sure as a young DIL that I made some huge mistakes.  I took everything to heart that my MIL said and did, instead of being able to recognize that she was just that way and move on.  I resented her, I dreaded seeing her coming and I am sure that I wasn't easy to get along with as well because I was looking for her to do something before she ever got there.  Not a good attitude about the entire thing and I am sure I was giving off bad vibes to her as well.  She was not easy to deal with, but I'm sure I didn't help.

I love that Pen said such nice things about her DIL, even though she was treated badly by her in the beginning.  You're a class act Pen. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I can say too, my MIL and I got off to a rocky start. My DH parents were opposed to our marriage. Can't imagine why...we were 19 and 20 respectively. I had a job, he didn't. Stone broke. Not much cents OR sense. We thought they were just SO unreasonable.
Fast forward 40 years. I have gone on trips with my IL without my DH. My ML and I have gone on two mission trips to pretty rough areas of the world. She is a second Mom to me and I am like a daughter to her. When they were in a bad auto accident, I traveled to their home and took care of them. (DH was out of the country)
Things do work out sometimes!


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


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


Rose99-I loved reading about you and your MIL.  Made my heart feel good and gave me happy chills. 

Thanks Grandma,Pen and Pooh.   :D  You've all made my heart very happy tonight.   ;D

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Hi.  I love this thread!!  I am having such a hard time picking a "screen" name.  I'm a mil, a dil, & a gramma!!  I'm also a mom, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, & a neice.  I was a granddaughter, but all my grandparents have passed so I don't know if I still have that title.  I have been reading here for a long time, & have struggled through issues with my sons & dils, issues concernng my grandchildren.  I have cried many, many tears, I have been angry, but I think I am now finally healing.  It has taken years to get to ths point.  I know I still have a long way to go, but I am hoping that I am finally on the right road... the road back to me.


Welcome Im a mil and a dil :)  Glad you found us!

Please read the Forum Agreement in the category Open Me First if you haven't already done so.  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post :)

Good to hear you're on the road back to yourself, hard but very worth it!
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Yes, WELCOME Im a mil and a dil.  ;D  You have many titles, lol.  I too, have all of those titles, except gramma.  Perhaps one day!  Of course, I'm not sure what kind of gramma I'm going to be allowed to be unless FDIL and I can put our issues behind us.  As a DIL who once had MIL issues (only recently made the connection  ;D) I have renewed hope that it is possible.  Which reminds me....I have to call MIL and chat for a while.  I have vowed to be a better DIL now that I have been enlightened.  Remember always hearing how everything comes back to you?  You know how your mother tells you that one day you're gonna a child just like you only worst?  Well, I've been thinking...maybe my FDIL is just a taste of me coming back to me only worst?   ;D  Just wondering.......

But surely, I couldn't have been that bad! LOL

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Oh Muffin!  My MIL used to say that one a lot to my DH - "I hope you end up having kids just like YOU were!"  My answer was always "Oh yeah?  Then what did *you* do to deserve DH?"  Sadly, my MIL doesn't have a sense of humour and took affront to it.

But Muffin, if you hear that one again, turn it around on them and see what kind of response you get!


LOL TheMuffin!

I was just asking my dad for some tips for my DD, she doesn't respond to any kind of discipline.  He just said "perseverance."  And said I was the same way, send me to my room, ok I'll play with toys.  Take away tv, ok I'll make a fort outside.  I told him thanks and he just kept on chuckling, karma at it's finest.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift