June 26, 2019, 10:15:35 pm


"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."

Help me understand my MIL please!

Started by Laila9, February 11, 2010, 09:58:39 am

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Hi everyone!

I'm a lurker and very recent joiner - I see you have a collection of MILs, DILs and even FILs so I felt more comfortable asking my question on this forum!  :)

I hope you don't mind me posting this in here as it's actually about my FMIL and there didn't seem to be a section on MILs but I'm really hoping you can help me understand her better as other than this issue we seem to get along really well!! 

It's about my FMIL and cards (birthday/Christmas/mother's day/etc).  I'll start at the beginning and sorry if it gets long!

I've been with my DF for nearly 2 years now.  After dating about 5 months or so I was filling in my new work diary and asked him about family birthdays on his side.  He gave me the dates and it turned out that FMILs birthday was only a month away.  I asked him what he was getting her and he looked at me puzzled and said he hadn't sent her a card since he was 18 (he's in his 30's now!).   I told him I thought that we should buy her a card this year.

After 3 weeks of mentioning buying a card whenever we went into the supermarket and being told "yeah I'll get one later", MILs birthday was 1 week away and I decided to buy one myself.  I picked a lovely card with Mom on it that had a lovely verse.  I gave it to DF and he really liked it but didn't write on it.  So again I gave him a pen several times and asked him to write it....he got distracted with other things and didn't.

So 2 days before her birthday I saw he hadn't signed it so I wrote it myself 'with lots of love from DF and Laila'...and posted it.

MIL called on her birthday and said she'd thrown the card straight in the bin as "my son didn't write it so I don't want it".  I was a bit hurt.  :(


So roll on Xmas and I again ask him about sending her a card while I'm buying one for my parents.  He says he never does usually but if I feel like it then we can.  So I bought a second card...exactly the same as for my parents.

I even got DF to sign his name this time!! I wrote the message but he wrote his name *rollseyes*. 

When she received it she called to say it had gone in the bin again because "it didn't say mom on it".  There were none left!!! But it was a nice card and my parents had the same one!! It was a 'To someone really special' card.  I was a bit hurt again.  :(


Roll on Mothers Day...same hassle with him for a card...she binned it again "because it was too small...I deserve a bigger card oh and my son didn't write the whole message"


So what do I do??

Have I done something really wrong here by sending her the cards?

Would you be offended to get a card from your son and DIL that she wrote on?

If you would, could you please explain why? As I'm stuck feeling very hurt by it, that I put in the effort to buy it/write it/post it to have it binned everytime because DF couldn't be bothered to write it himself.

Also would you still feel offended to get one if (after over a decade of no card from your son) you get remembered on your special occassions because your DIL thinks of you and cares enough that she doesn't want you to feel forgotten?

Should I just stop sending cards from now on?
Or carry on as we are?
There's no chance of DF buying one as he just doesn't see it as important....although he has NEVER forgotten one of our occasions (my birthday/anniversary/etc) and he can't explain why its different to send me a card but not his mom.

Please help!




I am the MIL and have a MIL.  My MIL would not mind at all if I sent it and signed our name but she is very considerate about cards herself.  Now if my DIL signed one and sent it to me?  I would be so thankful that she liked me enough to send one I would not ever throw it away.   Matter of fact, I would probably frame it.  But she hates me so that is probably never going to happen.

If I were in your shoes though, I would just probably not send another one, only because it seems to be a waste of time and money. 

But don't beat yourself up over it because you are the better person.  Some people just don't do the card thing.  She is probably angry at her son and is jealous because you are trying to mend something that they are comfortable not mending right now.

You really seem like a sweetheart and I wish my DIL had a third of what you have.

HUGS to you and try to not dwell on it.   You are the better person for being so considerate.



I think there is a good reason your DF doesn't send his mom cards and you are now seeing what he's been up against. His relationship with your FMIL is about them and is long-standing. I'd be very careful not to get in the middle. He's made it perfectly clear by giving cards to you that that's not the issue...so don't go there. And don't look for logic in her criticism. My guess is that it's not about you or the cards
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Hi Laila,
I am another FDIL who was driven to this website by my FMIL - the women here are really supportive so you've found yourself a great place.

I agree with the other ladies - I think you should just stop sending cards to her.  I think you may find yourself in a  "damned if you do and damned if you don't" kind of situation.

I remember going through the same thing early on in my relationship with FH - for Mother's day I asked him if he got a card and the blank kind of response I got back made me feel kind of dumb for asking.  The few times I visited them, I made sure to send a short thank you note but I have never been as nice as you in going out of my way to send a card from the both of us.  Based on my prior experiences with FMIL, as well as your tale, I don't think I will plan on doing that in the future either!


I wouldn't send anymore cards...it is obvious she does not appreciate them...but, something is wrong with mother and sons relationship...I agree with Luise.


This may sound like the voice of doom, but I don't think there is one MIL on this site who would ever do such a thing. She sounds like the kind of MIL who gives us all a bad name. Your act was loving and your intention was sincere.  Hard to miss any of that unless you are looking for trouble.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Dear Laila,
This is just plain crazy on your FMIL's part. First of all, here's what we (most of us) would do if we got a card from you:  "Oh, look at this!! I'm so excited...she sent me a card!!"

To return those cards was horrible, just horrible. What a slap in the face to you!  Along with the others, I wouldn't send anymore.  It's not working.

There is something wrong with her....."it's too small, I deserve a bigger one?"  PLEASE!!

I'm sure she'd like to have a relationship with her son but this is not the way to do it.  You sound like such a wonderful person.........too bad for her, she's missing out!


Laila - that is so sad.  Most MIL's would love to have a DIL be so thoughtful.  But the first thing that came to mind was that there is a reason why your DF does not send cards to his mom.  I'm sure this behavior is only the tip of the ice berg with this lady.  Behavior like this can kill any feelings you have for a person whether you're related or not.

I realize that you're trying to reach out to her but I think I'd back off and save yourself the heartache.  What helped me realize that I shouldn't be putting up with this abuse from my IL's was when I asked myself, "would I let someone that I worked with treat me like this??"  You've tried and were so sweet about it.  You don't owe her anything but common courtesy and decency.  I realized that there is no law saying that I have to have a relationship with my IL's.  Once I realized that I've been much happier as of late.  Good Luck.


Laila,I totally agree with every one else.Don't send any more cards.And don't even try to figure her out.What ever her issues are,they are hers!!! take nothing personal.

I would be thrilled to get a card from my DIL or son,either one would tickle me pink.
I don't think you should get your hopes up about a good relationship with her either!!!
Lay low,don't get in the middle of any thing............"you" will only be next on the list for attacks.

Good luck,stay strong


Me, too. Birthday remembrances mean so much to me. I would never critique one. Never! And I also agree with the caution to watch your back down the road. She's out for blood!

The last mothers day my eldest son was alive, (the one that had issues with me) he sent me a ceramic mug full of cut flowers. A teddy bear was attached to the handle and it said..."Big Hug Mug" on the side. I get it out on my birthday every year and put flowers in it.

And my youngest son, who lives in Hawaii, comes over for a MONTH to celebrate my birthday. The first time he did that, he surprised me. I thought his was in Hawaii and he had conspired with my friend to turn up at my birthday lunch. I nearly had a heart attack and cried like a baby.  ;D ;D
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I, too, think your MIL is rude and mean. She reminds me of my dad's mom, who made my mom's life miserable. I don't think any of us here would treat you that way :) I would love to be honored by DIL/DS.

Here's what hurts me as a MIL: DS handing DIL the task of shopping for me without qny input from him; she doesn't know/care about me, so my gifts don't have any special meaning or value. It's nice that they gave me something, but honestly they should have saved the little they spent. I'd never ever throw it away or say anything negative, though!

Neither of them ever plan anything or make any effort for my birthday or Mother's Day, although I know DIL's mom is feted on those days. My DH needs to step up and let DS know what's what, but he's afraid to ruin the progress we've recently made. I won't speak up because it will get turned around to me being a demanding b-word.

DH and I are careful to find out from DS what DIL wants/needs for her birthday or Christmas. We spend as much on her as we do our other kids. I don't think our efforts are appreciated, because she just doesn't like us.

Remember junior high school and how you were embarrassed to be seen with the geeky loser kids? If they gave you something or spoke to you, you would hate it because it made you look like you tolerated them? You couldn't walk with them or be polite to them in any way? That's how I feel - like the geeky loser  kid.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


February 11, 2010, 07:35:07 pm #11 Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 07:44:49 pm by 2chickiebaby
It makes me sick inside to read about DILs complaining that we want our baby's attention and that we'll get it any way we can, even by buying something that we don't know how to use and asking him to help us work it.  Deliberately setting him up to come over so we can get our baby's lovin.

They were our child but they are not our babies anymore. We don't need to resort to measures like that to get his attention. I don't think there's a lower blow than to read things like that said by a DIL just because she's mad at her MIL.

Some DILs think they know what they're talking about but they don't.  Just because they think the MIL doesn't like them, they make sure there's some kind of semi-cut off from us to show us she's the boss.  God help them if they ever have kids.

None of us appreciate being called an "Old Bag" either! >:(


Who said that? Who on our forum spoke of DH being seen as a baby by his mother?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


February 11, 2010, 07:51:21 pm #13 Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 07:55:59 pm by 2chickiebaby
No one on here currently but she has been.  It was said on the dreaded site I shouldn't visit.  I will PM you.

And if she comes back on here and tells me that if I don't like what she says there that she suggests I don't read it.  Well quit saying disgusting things on it!!


Be kind to yourself and don't read it. And if it wasn't mentioned on this thread, be kind to yourself and let it go. We do our best work when we are being kind to ourselves. Bitterness erodes our well-being.

Take a look at my counseling website: www.MomResponds.com and read about the DF who is "one with is mother." That's the other side of the coin. Yuck!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama