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DIL would love some advice - bit long

Started by Woody, February 25, 2010, 10:34:14 am

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I understand if you feel as a DIL I am gatecrashing your site but it has really made me think reading your points of view and would love to hear your opinion on my story.

Story is my hubby and I have been together for 8 years married 6 months. In those eight years there has been a regular arguments (about twice a year) with his family over the silliest of things. The whole family (including hubby) are highly volatile and arguments tend to get very heated where they are screaming and shouting at each other, with no side willing to concede and admit they may be wrong. They usually walk away from each other then MIL texts hubby a general 'hi' text and the issues get brushed under the carpet and forgotton about.

Our final argument started on the evening of our wedding where 23 year old BIL believed my 17 year sister was giving him dirty looks. I don't believe this but even if she did so what? BIL caused a big scene wanting to have it out with my sister. Hubby and FIL told him to leave then MIL and FIL left the wedding advising us that them, BIL and BIL's gf needed to put BIL's baby to bed. Hubby only has a small family so was quite hurt his mum and dad would not stay to the end as he was left with nobody. The next day hubby called them and questioned why they did not stay. Everyone immediately got defensive where MIL advised us that the wedding was boring, it was dying a death and the music was no good. I found this quite upsetting to hear the day after my wedding. Also MIL went on to tell me how nasty my sister and other young people in my family are how they were humiliated by us. (The day before the wedding we had a get together with friends and family who were staying in the hotel, MIL didn't like the food on offer so we got her a ready meal and this apparently humiliated her) In the background FIL was shouting how my sister is a nasty b*tch and it is all her fault. MIL then went on to tell hubby that he looks down on her because he has qualifications and he is embarrassed of them etc etc. Everything got heated and I ended up saying to MIL that at future family events they would not be invited as they clearly had so many problems with my family and I could not trust them to behave.

Lots more passed and when we got back from our honeymoon MIL told hubby that I am crafty, vindictive manipulative and bullying but when hubby asked what I had done the response was 'how can you not see it, I can see it, your dad can see and so can your brother' MIL said she had nothing in common with me and tolerated me in all the years gone. Since the wedding I have not spoken to them and whenever hubby has spoken to them they end up arguing. Hubby sent a cleverly worded email detailing all his problems with them just before Christmas and has not spoke to them since.

This week MIL sent hubby an email saying 'Hi how are you mom' Hubby doesn't know what to do and asked me, I really don't know what to say. I really don't want a relationship with my in-laws because I believe the trust has completely broken down. I feel bad for saying do what you want but keep me out of it. Hubby is still angry and upset by his parents behaviour, but I guess he does not want this situation.

Understand this might be a bit odd coming from the other side, but all the other sites will just give the standard MIL bashing response which I don't really need.


First, congrats, on your wedding! It is obvious you love your DH and that will make whatever you have to deal with will be okay.

It sounds like the wedding was a symbol of things that were already an issue before the marriage. I can see where there is a bit of a control issue on side of DH's parents. They didn't deal with these issues, and it played out at the wedding.

I am so sorry you had to go through that. How painful. It sounds like since your DH cannot seem to communicate with them because it doesn't sound like they welcome any other viewpoints--this may be the final straw.

We don't bash here and you are most welcome. These are painful emotions, and we help in ways that we can.

Stay strong. The good thing is that you and DH are united on this issue. He actually sees that his family isn't conducting themselves properly. Your continued respect for husband is going to keep their issues away. It doesn't sound like you attempted to retaliate or be harsh. These folks, I think, should be glad their son has a good wife. You aren't responsible for what your siblings do. However, they should not be allowed to disrespect anyone in your home.

It is too bad, your day was all but ruined. But, start early on being a class act. Some, MILs are wrong. You can make it.



Renny gave good advice and I hope I can help with my two cents. I too am a DIL. I am divorced. I understand your situation too. What your DH can do is tell his M that she and his FOO hurt his and your feelings and that they need to apologize in order for things to be alright. And a sincere apology, not a non apology. You can have a relationship with your IL's but you need to set up boundaries and they need to respect them. Like Renny said the good thing is your DH sees they did something wrong and you two are presenting a united front. That is the most important thing. :)


Welcome, Woody. It's always nice to have DIL input here! I'm sorry for the painful scenes and words you've had to endure. First, let me suggest a "do-over" wedding ritual for you and DH, something very small and personal (doesn't have to cost a dime) to give meaning to your vows since it seems your ILs wrecked your special day. Wipe the unpleasant images and memories away. Start fresh with DH!

I agree with Renny and Second - sounds like some apologies are needed. I hope all works out.

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


Welcome Woody,sorry your special day was ruined.I have to agree with Renny,Second wife, and penstamen.Some apologies are due to you and hubby.Their behavior was inappropriate.

Wishing you the best,hang in there.


Just for clarification...was there an open bar at your wedding reception?  From what you wrote about behaviors displayed by your BIL, (seeing "dirty looks", wanting to "have it out" with your sister) in an inappropriate setting, seems to me that he might have been a few sheets to the wind.  Or there might have been some subtle hints dropped by his GF, to stir up things.  She may have some issues about seeing other family members getting married, while BIL and her are still not. 

While it wasn't your responsibility if that was the case .... it might be a point you need to keep your eye on and be aware of a potential problem on that front. 


February 25, 2010, 04:52:35 pm #6 Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 05:51:12 am by cocobars
The Family in Law thought your wedding was boring, didn't like the food, didn't like the music, didn't like your sister....

I agree.  Have a private "do-over." Just you and Hubby.  Somewhere cozy, with food, music and just you two!  I think you will find it satisfying and will remember it for the special moment in time it was meant to be.  Take pictures.  Nothing has to be expensive or professional - it's YOUR moment and nobody but you should have an opinion!  You will have a wedding you will remember for the rest of your lives and then some!

As far as MIL contacting your DH, I believe your response is more than reasonable.  He is the one your MIL contacted, and it is his decision how he will respond or if and when.  I hope he decides to talk to them, but that doesn't sound like it's working either. 

All that's left to say is - Woody, I am sorry.

DO-OVER!       DO-OVER!       DO-OVER!       DO-OVER!

Something on a top floor with a breathtaking view!  Champagne, chocolate covered strawberries?  Yummy!

I don't know where you live, but if in the Washington, DC area, there is a really special one with a revolving restaurant on the very top of the building!  They have a DJ and some romantic dancing for couples at night.  It's located in Crystal City.  You don't have to give your location away, but you can ask "anyone or place" in Crystal City and they will tell you where it is!  It's beautiful with an overlook of the lights in DC and the water...


I agree with all of the above. And...you are welcome here. This is site for wise, loving, supportive, compassionate women. We attract DILS who aren't interested in bashing, they are seeking to understand and to heal...or worst case scenario, at least survive. You've come to the right place, since that's the same goal as the MILs here. We are less about "sides" and more about the resolution of in law issues and issues involving adult children and grandchildren.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Sorry Ladies,

I should have been a bit clearer. BIL kicked off in the evening reception then the whole family left leaving hubby by himself. I was completely unaware at the time until a few hours later when hubby who was cleary irritated told me, I was a tinseey bit tipsy (ok I nearly couldnt see!! :P). So didnt really pay much attention until the next day when all the arguing started. I had a great day and we had a fab honeymoon which I think was more important to hubby, but I might suggest us doing something special on our third wedding anniversary when we would have been together 10 years. Reason some time away is because hubby always wanted to go abroad for the wedding but had to compromise for a uk wedding as the family wanted to attend and we decided we didnt want everyone there for so long, this will give me some time to save to go somewhere and do something special.

It wasnt an open bar but the BIL has a history of angry aggression when alcohol is involved (he has attended a court ordered anger management scheme and been convicted of common assult) I think renny97 is right this was due to ongoing issues he has with my hubby. He told his mum before the wedding that he was going to have it out with hubby as he didnt feel he was wanted or welcome. To tell you the truth I was really annoyed that his mum let him come after he said that (she never told us until afterwards). I wont go into all the history because it really is quite boring, but in a nutshell the brothers are polar opposites and I believe the bil is very jealous of hubby. Bil can be a really nasty peice of work making racist comments towards me and causing trouble, (he will never say it to my face though, just to hubby) 

Hubby has decided not to reply to his mum because he really didnt know what to say 'how are you' just isnt enough, he wants a sincere apology and for her to admit she is completely wrong. I feel quite bad for feeling happy about this, if that makes sense. I really want him to have a relationship with his family but as far I am concerned I believe the trust has broken down so much that I will not be able to forgive them and move on. I know it will be hard for him to have a relationship with them on his own as we come as a pair now also we are planning on starting a family soon and I really dont know how that is going to work.

Blimming families hey!


Hello Woody and welcome
Congrats on your marriage, may you both grow together into a loving and positive relationship...

I have to agree with all the ladies above...however would also like to add my 2 cents...elaborating a little more deeply.

First of all, I would do as you are doing and stay out of it...and can understand, hubby's hurt feelings, plus embarrassment of his family's behavior.

Our own expectations of how another person should act and feel will never be met...people are who they are, due to the way they were raised...for instance...your MIL/FIL, have initiated your BIL to be who he is, by the many heated arguments...it's unfortunate...somewhere in they're childhood, they were programed to be who they are by they're parents...

I believe for your husband, and you, counseling might be very helpful for you both to understand that his parents will never be who you think they should be...they can't...mentally, they can only comprehend who they were taught to be....encouraged to be...and it's most unfortunate...you cannot give what you've never known...so, hubby will have to understand, they will never live up to his expecations...he must brush they're words off, or cut them off, which ever is easiest to do.

An apology from them would be nice, however, people like that feel they are rigt and will never apologize...and even if they did, would it be sincere....I for instance, would rather not have an apology...the proof is in the pudding and if a person is sincere and wants to get along, over time, you will see changes...they will make an attempt...then later, maybe an apology can be accepted as the real deal....but I doubt very much that these people will extend neither an apology or change...people do not change unless they can acknowledge they have a problem. 

]I hope in some small way, I've helped...in situations like this, sometimes it helps to look deeper into why people are the way they are, it doesn't excuse they're actions, however, you do begine to realize, it isn't about you, it's about they're inability to look beyond themselves and get along...when you are a carring person, and concerned about the feelings of others, you don't cause problems with family...you overlook and zip it and realize, people are who they are, we all have faults, we all think and feel differently about situations...

I'm very sorry your dealing with this...very sorry

does that make any sense?


March 06, 2010, 05:22:34 am #10 Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 05:26:56 am by cocobars
Hi Woody!

Glad to have you back!  Has your hubby returned her call?

I feel this is your husbands family and his decision to call her back, but if it were me, I would encourage him (but only if he feels it's important to do that).  I think he needs to put some boundaries up if you are going to have any contact with them as it appears they are not accepting of you as the couple you are. The racist comments you referred to made to your hubby may be a sign of what to expect, but I would encourage him to return her call and try to set some boundaries, before doing anything with them.   If you have any contact with them in the future, I would want to decide (ahead of the event) what your stance is toward their abuse.  If they start, you two simply say your goodbyes.  Maybe he could have this conversation with her.

If it were me, I would leave the conversations with his family up to him for now, and see if they become more reasonable and accepting of you.  I don't get the impression this idea is a reasonable expectation in lieu of their past behavior, but as his wife I would want to feel  as though I am accepted and I think he wants that too.   I think your husband may feel like he's in the middle of a bad situation, and it sounds like he is standing at your side.  Good for him!  If their abusive beahavior and words continue, I also think keeping your distance is smart! 

Your husband grew up with them and most likely realizes how things will play out.  I would listen to his advice where his family is concerned and believe you're wise staying away. Not all FIL's are healthy.  You have both taken eachother and started a new life together.

I think you'll get alot more responses on this.  Those are my thoughts and I wish you the best in your future, any way this plays out.

Keep us posted here and let us know!  Keep your chin up and don't worry about the people who don't respect or accept you as a couple.  You are! ;D

P.S. -I just read creme's opinion above mine and agree with her opnion!  I also don't believe an apology is something you'll see, just from what you've said here about their behavior.  I guess we sort of said the same thing in our own ways! :) 


March 06, 2010, 07:38:04 am #11 Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 07:50:26 am by renny97
I agree with the other WW. I think once discrimination becomes an issue, that is a real dealbreaker. That isn't viewing the person; it is a full-on attack.

God Bless, your DH. He is aware and protecting you. The BIL, is VERY jealous. So sad. Your DH has risen above the dysfunction in FOO, and probably makes the BIL livid or as CU would say, "livered."  ;) (We love that, right, Coco?)

You and DH, will be fine. You are united in all ways. It takes a special man to be fair and protect wife against personal and racial attacks. He knows you are a beautiful woman and don't deserve the wrath of people who are ignorant.

Live for each other and you can be content knowing you will have years of happiness. You have a great foundation.


Woody, glad to hear you had a great honeymoon and are making plans for your third (tenth) anniversary...and sorry you have to deal with rudeness from the ILs. You seem to have a great heart and a loving spirit. Best wishes! Glad you're here!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Woody - One fine distinction that might help. For me, forgiveness and trust are two different things. I can forgive but I can't trust again, after it is broken. Just a thought. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Luise...I'm with you on that....whoever said, forgiveness is forgetting?  Well simply put  ::)  I can forgive easily...but trust, has to be earned...and once someone lies, while causing malace and hurt, it's a very tough call to forget, unless they do change...and very few people do....