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interesting development I'm noticing

Started by tryingmybest, September 29, 2011, 06:52:07 am

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Well DS is getting used to being a newlywed and DIL is turning out to be kind of controlling...well okay very controlling. What she's probably learning is that approach drives my son nuts, to say he argued over every rule when he was a kid would be a big understatement.
What's interesting is he's getting really testy with me! I'm detached, supportive and totally non pressuring but if I so much as look at him sideways he gets really annoyed. wondering how many of us are the target of displaced anger, simply because our sons know we'll always love them, and at this point they're still not quite sure their wives will.  ???
Maybe the more their wives push into their personal boundaries ( what to wear, what tv shows to watch, what to eat ) they push back against the original woman who tried to control them....just musing...


I have always said that people in general take out their aggression with the people that they love because it feels safe to them.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I agree with Pooh.  I also think the first year of marriage is hard for the majority of couples, still figuring themselves out. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


I agree, Pam.  Marriage is always on those top 10 stress lists with death, divorce, moving, etc.


IDK, my DH didn't snap @ his DM the first year we were married (or ever)...but then I didn't tell him which TV shows to watch or try to control him in other ways, so maybe he didn't have to.

I observed a great MIL (my mom's mom) and a horrible MIL (dad's mom.) I've been a DIL twice and a MIL once - and I was totally unprepared for the treatment I got from DIL and how her behavior in general would affect DS's mood/relationship w/his FOO. It was shocking, actually. I'm glad he wised up quickly; it's still weird but improving.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I think it's probably really hard to tell what goes on behind closed doors.  Yes, she might be controlling but maybe DS is lazy?  Who knows.

I was under a lot of stress when we first married and the next couple of years, I never snapped at my dad or took it out on him, but I also know better than to do that. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Trying - do they live in same city with you?  I know from previous posts that you and I kind of think alike - can you just detach a little more?  Let him initiate contact?  Then you won't be accidentally calling when he's in a bad mood after they just had a fight, for example.  You have to back off and let them work out their own issues. 

However, if the issue is that he is becoming rude to you without fault on your part (such as calling too frequently or dropping in unannounced, or expecting really anything from him) and even if DS is the one initiating contact, then maybe a talk and some counseling would help.  Your husband needs to be part of this, too.   

My husband and I had the same experience a couple of years ago.  Newlywed son.  We gave them all the privacy in the world (other than my one Christmas gift drop-off discussed in way too much detail on another thread) - so 95% of the contact was initiated by DS.  Phone calls to borrow tools, borrow cars, etc. all came from him.   Probably only 5% of contact was initiated by us - especially since we knew DIL had high threshold of privacy.

Despite virtually all contact with DS being initiated by DS, he was very rude to me - even as he was asking favors.  My DH and I ignored it until we could stand it no longer.  Finally DH sat DS down, told DS that DS could not treat me that way under our own roof.    I told DS that he was free to behave any way he wanted anywhere else, (because if he treated me that way at a shopping center or the grocery store, he would simply embarrass himself and I would have the option to leave and go home) but if he was to come to our home, he needed to be respectful and pleasant, or he simply didn't need to come over.

We then suggested some family counseling - and DS agreed (though he clearly didn't relish the idea, he agreed to give it a try).  DH, DS and I had several sessions with the counselor.  We did not involve DIL, as she is very private, and actually it was DS being rude to us - we hardly ever saw her, and she was always civil - so the problem was with DS, not with DIL.   

So we get into the counseling to discover why a married young man was so hostile to parents, especially his mother.  Turns out DS had harbored resentments over some of our rules from his teen years.  Rules like having curfews, not being allowed to go to underage drinking parties, not being allowed to go to boy/girl overnight parties in high school.  Rules DH and I stand by to this day, and would never in a million years apologize for.  But DS was simply *stuck* in a high-school stage of resentment.  Through counseling, he realized we now treated him as an adult, and then he started acting like one. 

Anyway, we now have a great relationship with DS.  But we never criticized DIL to him - even if we thought she might be a bit controlling.  She was not the one being rude to us.  DS was.  (Her being "controlling may have just been her efforts to set boundaries/house rules since she and DS now have a household.)   They have to work that out between themselves.  You can't get involved in that.  What you can address with DS is how he treats *you* and your husband.  That IS your business. 

Maybe his rudeness to you is, like our situation, unrelated to DIL.  Maybe his rudeness to you is totally related to stresses in his marriage.  But whatever the cause, if he's old enough to get married, he's old enough to be an adult towards you and treat you with respect and courtesy (and this is of course assuming you are not intruding, giving unsolicited advice, etc.).  Even if you are intruding in some fashion - he shouldn't be rude to you - he should simply talk with you calmly and work out boundary issues. 

Anyway, my suggestion is counseling.  Not that you drag DIL into it - as it is not her being testy with you, it is DS.  Address the problem where the symptoms are exhibiting themselves - and that is with DS.  If the true cause is something between DS and DIL - they will have to work it out.  But DS is old enough to treat you with respect, no matter the condition of his marriage. 

good luck


Me too.  Heck I was under extreme stress and pressure for 21 years of marriage! I had to work very hard to not take my problems out on other people.

I will admit, although my MIL was awful, it made me more resentful of her because of how lazy, irresponsible, etc my Ex was.  It made me more resentful of her every time she would criticize me because it added the "Wait a minute.  You are criticizing me when I am married to the sorry-excuse guy that YOU raised who does nothing?" thoughts I had.   He was exactly like his Mother and learned much of his ways from her.  They acted identical.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I know what you mean, Pooh.  I have to remind myself that yes, while DH has some of MILs behavior he is not MIL and vs versa.  The non communication was the worst part, I still can't figure out why (and probably never will lol) MIL didn't openly communicate with her kids and now they do the same.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


High school rules...

One son was the model son, followed all the rules.

The other son bent and broke just about every rule we could come up with. 

The difference - the wild one would always be found out and we could deal with stuff.  Now I'm still finding out what he did but we laugh about his antics.

I found out some things that that the other one did but kept secret.   He's the one that we're having a difficult relationship with now.


That is interesting Doe because my dynamics are exactly the same.  The wild child is my closest one and the model Son, the one I am having no relationship with. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Isn't that funny?  Me too. My eldest daughter had all kinds of difficulties, and she is becoming very sweet and readily discloses whatever. 


@Shelby, we live about 30 minutes away and we've only seen them as a couple at a family party. DS and I haven't had words. He just seems " bristly" with me, while he is very eager to spend time with his Dad. Me not so much, and I seriously don't think DIL has a thing to do with it. I've seriously done nothing, except oh wait suggest that putting a FB status up saying you'll be out of town for a few days wasn't a good idea. Dad was a cop, the words just popped out. Then Bristles! He 's mentioned some of the rules he's dealing with, hey I wish her the best of luck he never listened to me. ::)


Trying - maybe your husband can be the knight in shining armour.  Mine was.  If DS is eager to spend time with your husband, but not so much with you - send them on the hiking trip with my DH and DS for some serious guy time.  They can have my room.  :)

Seriously, perhaps your husband and son could have some guy time together, during which your husband mentions that he has notices that DS bristles around you, and explore that.  By your DH initiating the conversation, not you, your DS is less likely to get defensive, could explain what bugs him.  If it's something you can stop, then fine, stop it.  If you are treating DS as an adult and DS is simply being immature - and holding a grudge because, like us, you did not let him go to all night co-ed underage drinking parties or some other silly reason - then it's time for him to grow up and start acting like an adult. 

How about a good old father/son talk? 

PS - of course it is stupid as it gets to say on your facebook that you'll be out of town for a few days.  Did he learn nothing being a cop's kid?  :)

lancaster lady

you should be were I'm sitting !
My DS and his new wife are living with me temporarily , I can see trouble ahead when they move out ,
nope .....this zip is firmly in place and padlocked !!
Newly weds find it hard enough with out my tuppence worth .
They do try to tell me about each other faults , I listen , full stop , no reply , no reaction .
However when they move , where they are moving , I think spells trouble .......more news after the move !