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Rejected by my MIL

Started by Confused, July 06, 2009, 04:03:35 pm

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When I first met my MIL, she treated me very nice, and I could tell that she wanted to form a friendship with me, and I was more than happy to be receptive to that.  I grew to love her, she was like a second mother to me.  Around the time when my DH and I got engaged, she started to act differently.  There was a lot of tension in the air it seemed, and she would get snappy with me.  I couldn't figure out why, and I would try to ignore it and figured it was just my imagination.  After the marriage, things were never the same.  She said we weren't visiting her enough and several times screamed at me that I was destroying her family.  There was no difference in the amount of visits we were making pre or post marriage, so I couldn't understand it.  When we would meet her for dinner, she would show up at hour or more late, with her phone turned off so we couldn't find out what was going on.  She would outright insult me and call me names, and so, after a couple years of that, we did start visiting less.  Of course, that just made her more mad, but what could I do?  I felt like there was no way to please her.  Eventually, my MIL told my DH that she no longer wanted anything to do with him.  He's still in contact with his brothers, but I wish we could fix things with his mom.  Several times I have reached out to her to say "lets forget the past and move forward", but she doesn't return my calls.  I'm not sure how to get through to her, and I don't want to come off as desperate.  Maybe we're better off without her, but I would like to have a relationship with her.


My gosh, Confused, what "past" is there to forget about?   I don't understand.


By "past", I mean the times when she has screamed at me, calling me a "b****" and other choice words.  I used to try and argue with her that I didn't deserve to be called those things, and I would expect an apology.  But over the years, I have realized that she feels completely justified, so instead of debating what has already happened, I would just like to move forward with love and respect.  Even if we can't have the type of friendship that we once had, I don't understand why we can't just treat each other with kindness.

I know that she has faced a lot of rejection in her life, and I think that once she suspects rejection from someone else, she just preemptively gets rid of them.  I guess that's what happened with DH and myself.  I just can't believe she wont return my calls.  If she were to call me and leave the type of messages that I have left her, I would call her back in a heartbeat, overjoyed.


Hi Confused: Thank you for trusting us with this. I don't know what to say but I want you to know I'm thinking about it.

Guessing games are so hard to deal with. How often can we ever guess right, if a person won't even offer a clue regarding what's going on..or worse yet, doesn't really know? If issues aren't identified, how can they be addressed? Where's the crystal ball?

I know you didn't post to be bombarded with more questions...but that's what comes up for me. That you are confused for good reason and have really tried. What does your husband say about all of this? He's known her a lot longer than you have...like all of his life.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


This is sad.....even if she can't help it, it is still so sad. Abused children often do this to people they suspect might reject them.  You are right.

I hope that over time, she will soften, seeing what she's lost. Would you have it in your heart to continue trying? 

Many hugs to you...


Back when my MIL and I were friends, she would tell me stories about the terrible things that people would do to her, and after awhile, I started to wonder if the stories were true because some of them were just so outlandish.  Of course I never actually said that to her, but I did wonder.  When she started acting differently with me, she would tell my DH that I was doing "horrendous things".  My DH would ask her to elaborate, and she couldn't give any examples.  I have an Aunt who is sort of that way, very accusatory, and we've all just learned to ignore it.  I think that's what we'd have to do with my MIL if things were ever fixed between us.  I took it too personally at first, and I realize now it's just the way she is.

My heart remains open to reconciliation, but I just don't know what to do.  I wonder if everytime she gets a letter or voicemail she doesn't just laugh at me.  My DH says he'd like to have a relationship with his mom, but she needs to make the first move because he's tired of trying as well.


I don't think she's laughing at you...if she is, she is crazy. She probably has some scars and I'd guess since she has confided in you, she is feeling threatened that you know her vulnerabilities.

I hope this can be worked out!!  She's missing out on so much.  You're a one of a kind DIL and she's run you off!  If your DH is a good man, just remember, he didn't get that way by himself. 

Gosh! I do hope this works out!!!!!  Keep your door open.... :)


Well, that's worrisome in itself, if your MIL doesn't make sense or tell the truth. That sounds like you are trying to treat an unbalanced person as a normal one.

Why would an adult make up stories where she stars in them as the victim? And then branch out with you as the villain? It sounds like pathology to me if her reality is off. And if that's the case, you are probably expecting her to be and do what she can't be and do.

What does the D stand for in DH?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


This too sounds like my MIL. We never got REAL close before she started treating me this way, however it came a time when i forgave and made every effort to get along with her. This lasted for a few months maybe then she hurt me real hard, and since then it's just never been the same. She has told my Husband and I that she doesn't want anything to do with us. She told us not to visit etc. Then maybe a month or more later she will text or email out of the blue and act as though nothing has happened.
They are SO confusing, and I have honestly given up trying to work out what to say and what not to say.