July 22, 2019, 09:54:38 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."

I had hope and then it was dashed...

Started by QuietStorm, August 14, 2011, 05:26:50 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


August 14, 2011, 05:26:50 pm Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 07:18:25 am by pam1
We sat for coffee my MIL and I this past weekend.  We were trying to do it once a year as a "state of the family" kind of thing.  I thought it was a thoughtful idea so we don't ever really dwell on bad things - we talk them out and then move forward.  Well MIL was upset by a whole slew of things...Long story short.  We ended up talking about how MIL felt she was in competition with my family and what not and I tried to assuage those fears as best I could, but I told her that I wished DH had a closer relationship with his family, but that it wasn't something I really had any control over.  She replied, "He did until he met you..." not angrily but very as a matter of fact...this isn't something she hasn't said in the past, but I believed that the last time she said it was the last time she was ever going to say it.  Now I'm so upset I've decided to cut her off...it's unfortunate but if after 9 years of being with DH she can't change her mind about me "tearing the family apart" then I won't spend a minute longer trying to make good of it.


Welcome - We have to a draw a line sometimes and simply say, "No more!" It's called survival. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I so get what you are saying.  My husband's family (sister and father) believe that "blood is thicker than water".  What they don't get is that "marriage bonds are stronger than blood".  We're civil to each other now (after a two-year period of silence) but, in order for my husband's family to "get what they want", I will have to "give up my marriage" and I will not do that.  We're moving a distance from them - more for my sanity than for anything else.  I am so looking forward to not having them constantly in my face and in my life ...


That is so proactive. You, are in truth, your own advocate. Good for you!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Wow QuietStorm, cut-off, just like that?  I don't know, it just doesn't seem to be an offense "worthy" of cut-off.  Okay, we don't know all of your history and background, so maybe it was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Could you not just agree to disagree on this?  Meaning that she has to stop harping on it too.  Because it seems to me that you're already working on having a decent relationship with her.

I don't know.  I just always think of a cut off as being a "last resort" when the situation is really untenable any longer.

So please, come and fill us in on the rest of your situation, maybe we can help.


I would like to hear the rest too.  My first thoughts were just like Scoop's, "Really?  Cut-off for that?"  I was reading all that as a positive until then because I would love to be able to sit down with my DIL and air out our differences.  If I told her it was not they way until she came along, I would love for her to say, "Ok, that is so not true.  I try all the time to get him to call you and come see you and he says no."  My perceptions could be totally wrong, because being honest with you here....I do feel like my OS changed after meeting her.  That's all I have is the perception because they will not communicate.  I have only saw what I can see with my eyes, but there could be so much more to it.  I will never know if they are not willing to talk about it.  Even if she will not believe you, you could have told her that it wasn't the truth and you wished she didn't believe that and moved on.  I would have told her that I didn't know what else to say to make her believe me, so I was going to just say that I was sorry that she felt that way. 

Please come back and tell us more because my second thought was maybe this was the last straw and you have already had that conversation with her.  Maybe she has tormented you for 9 years and then I would totally understand being done with her.    I also would like to hear what DH thinks of the cutoff?  Did he want it too? 

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Welcome Quiet Storm.  I'd like to hear more too.  I can understand trying so hard and then feeling like it was for nothing.  IMO, in your conversation with MIL, you hit the nail on the head.  It's really about DH having a closer relationship with his FOO.  It doesn't matter before or now, his relationships are his responsibility.  It's highly inappropriate to blame you.

Hope you stick around and post some more.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Quote She replied, "He did until he met you..." not angrily but very as a matter of fact...this isn't something she hasn't said in the past, but I believed that the last time she said it was the last time she was ever going to say it.

I understand you interpreted this statement as blame.  But, it may simply be a a matter of fact.  Your DH grew up. That's a fact.  DH probably did have more time to spend with his parents and sisters and brothers, before he had a girlfriend.  Before he had a wife.  The life of an 18 year old or a 22 year old single student, is vastly different than a 25 year old married man.  That's life.

My DH paid my MIL's bills.  Until he made plans to marry me.  Did I stop him from paying her bills?  No.  When he met me and we planned a wedding, a home, a retirement savings account, that is when he had more expenses and had other things he wanted to spend his own money on.  My MIL does blame me.  She calls me a gold digger.  Because the money he used to spend on her he spends on himself and his future.  And yes, on "us" not "her."  He and I understand "that's life" and so I don't feel the blame is mine. 


It's one of those things that you can only try so hard to convince someone of your good intentions before them not believing you is just too much.  Over the years we've had our differences and always I've spoken with DH and tried to figure out ways we could make MIL feel secure that I wasn't stealing her son.  I've organized family vacations, sit down talks, less stressful things like just popping in for the weekend, I always remind DH to call home and check in.  It has never been enough and if we so much as miss one event she wants us at she goes off on her tangent that I want to break her family apart.  After all I do to try to keep our families close I just can't take it anymore. I refuse to put so much effort into helping her mend her broken family only to be blamed for it's demise.  It is not my fault DH isn't close to the .  MIL used to complain about me and DH to anyone who would listen and she's alienated DH from the rest of the family - he just wants nothing to do with them now.

I'm sorry that's really jumbled but it's the best I can do right now.  In any case DH is completely supportive.  My cut-off isn't not total in the sense that I will still go with DH to see them for certain things.  But outside of the obligatory meetings and with DH by my side I won't see or speak to her.


My DIL announced to DS one day that she "hated us" (meaning me & DH.) No reason, nothing we'd done, she just hated us. DS told us only because we'd all made plans together to attend an event and he had to un-invite us.

Needless to say, DH & I were hurt, shocked, confused...and realized that any future meetings would be veeerryyy awkward. Did we cut her off? No, because we didn't want to lose DS. We continued to be polite to her; on Christmas we asked DS what gift she'd like and he said to give her nothing. Of course we couldn't do that, but we did scale back from the year before. I'm glad we didn't do anything rash because she is nicer to us now, and we're hoping she'll actually accept us one of these days. DS is happier, we're happier (but not delusional..we know where we stand.) 

DILs have no reason not to cut off their ILs, so I think the cut off becomes an easy response to pain.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


What a mean thing to say, howbeit it probably is true.  When we meet our mates and move towards marriage and starting new families, its the natural order of things to begin to pour more time, effort, energy into our new love, our new families.  I am not at all saying that we should in any way abandon our FOOs on either side, but some families  realize that growing up and finding a partner is the way its supposed to be, and it means that DS/DD will have to share their time, love, affections, etc with another person and even their FOO.  They let their children do their own thing and don't require the same level of FOO involvement as before.  They don't look at that new person as "tearing the family apart," but instead welcome them as an addition.  And then some families (in most cases it seems to be the mothers from what I've gathered) don't see it that way and that causes a lot of problems.

Relationships (even family ones), evolve and "cycle through," even grow and/or deteriorate over time.  That's not necessarily the fault of any outsider, or anyone's "fault" for that matter, but is the natural progression/regression of any relationship type.  When we start the "tug o' war" to regain control on either side...the one on the middle is the one that really suffers.  Your MIL was right...your DH's relationship did change when he met you.  What she doesn't understand  (or like) is that its supposed to.  He has to divide his time and efforts between more people now, that that sets the change in motion, and apparently its hurt your MIL or she wouldn't have said that to you.  Some accept it and go with the flow, some don't.  Unfortunately I don't know of any way to make someone realize that that doesn't understand it naturally for themselves.   

I'm like everyone else - This statement in itself doesn't seem to justify a total cutoff forever-and-ever-amen.  But we don't know what's been going on the last 9 years either.  I think its wonderful that you are comfortable and confident enough to sit down one-on-one with your MIL, I admire and envy that quality about you!  And it sounds like you've handled her unneccessary comment(s) with grace.  I don't know that I couldn't have let that go without at least letting her know what a hurtful thing she'd said.

How does DH feel about what she said?  How does he propose to handle that? 


It doesn't sound like you are cutting your MIL off, in the way I think most people think of the term, "cut her off".  It does sound like you are finished making efforts to try to prove to someone who is regularly accusing you of false intentions, that your goal is not to hurt them.  It sounds like you are stepping back from a losing battle.   Which, to me, sounds very wise.


Okay, yeah, Sassy's right, it doesn't sound like what I think of as a cut-off.

QuietStorm - you are definitely within your rights to step back and REALLY let their relationship find it's own level.  I did that, and let me tell you, it's not pretty.  But it has removed a great deal of stress from MY life.

Silver Spring

I believe that when someone says something hurtful, something they won't change their mind about, space is the only way which either an alteration of their point of view may come to pass, or (and this is more likely), that I just accept that is how they feel. Just because they feel that way doesn't  make it true. I am not sure that your cut-off implies what the rest of us are going through/are afraid of. A little space and time once in awhile has helped me build werewithal to be able to not be bothered by someone else's inaccurate perception.
If this is what you mean  when you say cut-off, I say I've done that myself a few times, and have been able to work it out when hurt feelings subside.


Thanks for coming back and giving more of the story.  I totally understand being tired of trying and feeling like you are making all the effort.  I still don't understand MILs or any title not being gracious that you have to split time between your own family and yourselves once you are married.  I have never been able to grasp the stories on here about MILs that demand every holiday and event be attended.  I don't grasp what an MIL is thinking when she does that.  Heck I can't grasp when anyone demands that. 

I think you are doing the right thing then.  It sounds like you have made every effort to maintain and cator to that relationship and a step-back is well warranted.   
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell