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"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."

Round and around and around we go..

Started by Lillycache, May 06, 2012, 01:49:38 pm

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I have a dear friend IRL that is going through a similar situation with her son and DIL as many of us are.  When we talk,  inevitabley the conversation comes around to this topic.  Then we lament and comiserate and try to support each other.  Acutally we are just dredging up the samo-o-samo... Nothing gets solved.. nothing resolved.  There seems to be no answer.  All we can do is support one another, listen to each others story and know that we are not alone.  I know this site is meant for problem solving... but what if there is no solution?  We can't change the past, or soften hardened hearts.  We cannot go back and find out what it was that made our sons distant.  We can't fix it now even if we knew.  I like this site.. It is gentle and kind.  There is no blaming or finger pointing.  For those who feel hopeless... this is a place to know that others feel the same.  In a way, that is comforting.  I welcome the input of the DILs here.  The tone is easy and it's good to hear their side without harshness, and a level of understanding. Life is do complicated.  The MIL/DIL dynamics are frought with pitfalls.   As in my case, we often we find out what the problem was long after there is a possibility of fixing it. 


I agree with you Lilly, and that's a lovely thought, it is a gentle and kind place.  That in itself is the solution for us.  Love and tenderness heals, and when our spirits heal, we are winners.  It isn't dependent on whether or not our trying and perplexing relationship with our d/c heal, if our bruised and battered hearts heal, then we are well.  We can endure the storm.  But most of us don't have any place in our common lives to go for that healing human touch.   Our families are worn out with hearing about our problems, they are out of ideas, and we don't tell our friends because we have to face them every day and we'd just rather they didn't 'know'.  It would be a joke to go to our Pastor.  But it seems when you know that at least one other person you can contact has walked in your shoes, it is powerful.  Before I came here, I did not know that what had happened to me with the estrangement of my DS had ever happened to another mother.  I thought my experience was unique, and I interpreted that as meaning I was a monster. 


Quote from: Lillycache on May 06, 2012, 01:49:38 pm
We can't change the past, or soften hardened hearts.

Lilycache - Oh how I wish you were my MIL! Your post reminds me how much I wish things could be fixed with my own MIL. MIL/DIL relationships are so complicated, I wish there were an easy answer to make things better. Sadly, that isn't the case with everyone involved. I never saw my IL's as people who would or could 'hate' me, but that is the truth. I try to have a positive outlook, that isn't always what happens.... But I still try. Sending prayers & good thoughts your way!
My Love for My Husband is like a Circle - It has No Sides to be Broken, No Ends to be Ended & No Angles to be Measured!


Lily... Your post was very moving.  And I do think sometimes there are no answers.  Often times acceptance sometimes is the only outcome.  I am a DIL estranged from my inlaws and although my dh is not estranged... He might as well be.  At one time we had a close relationship... And they drifted away.  They became very selfish and uninterested in others.  I began to see the relationship as one side and drifted away myself.  It took them 3 years to notice.  My dh had several frank discussions with them.  They ignored his feedback.  They live 2000 miles away and they drive thru about every 18 months and my dh and kids have dinner with them.  It is all very superficial and they seem fine with the situation.

So if you haven't already... I'd have a heart to heart with your son.  Tell him what you told us.  Tell him you want a more meaningful relationship.  Ask if there are specific things you can do.  Then I'd write a short note to your DIL.  A casual, friendly... "can I get to know you better without interfering in your life?". Keep in touch with email or cards... Phone calls can be intrusive.  Do not stalk. Follow their lead.  Keep it brief a cordial at first and maybe something meaningful can build.  At the end, acceptance may be the outcome but at least your son and you knew you tried.

If my inlaws would have worked a bit harder... I would not be on this board.  It would have gone a long way in mending our relationship.


This whole thing is exhausting.  Another near sleepless night.  4 hours total, and now I'm at work trying to concentrate.  This is what I  mean by "around and around".  It's like a merry-go-round with spans of intense resolve to not let all this bother me and let go of any expectations...  followed by spans of lamenting the situation and wracking my brain to figure out how it all came to this point.   The fast approach of Mother's Day has not helped.  There is the unrealistic feeling that perhaps this year it will be different followed by the nagging realism that it won't.    MY IRL friend and I go over and over our situations time and time again.  All it does is leave us both sad and exhausted.  Why does a forgotten  Mother's Day seem more hurtful than birthdays or Christmas.  At least it is to me.  It's just a "made up" holiday afterall.. right?   I need to let this go.


My dh truly has lost all respect for his parents.  And his parents have been awful to him.  But never in a million years would he forget mother's day.  He will send a gift and call.  It will be fake but he will do it to honor the women she WAS.  I even think she deserves that. 


Lily - I agree mothers day is ( was) more important to me than holidays or birthdays.  Now even that does not really bother me much, it is just a day.  For me, it was because it was the role most important to me in my life, and I made a lot of choices around that important role in my life. Not having it acknowledged on that day by a card when my son wasn't with me felt invalidating, silly really perhaps in hindsight.
I'm looking for an elderly lady who is alone to spend time with Sunday - no lack of those in the nursing homes! My way out of the funk is to be of service somehow.


One thing I love about this board is that there are such great dils who, unlike the dils on a site I won't mention!, want a good relationship w their ILs and aren't sulking, spoiled young women!  I don't know why my son married one (well, she's beautiful, a strong point to a young man), and (she does have her good points, honestly, sometimes very considerate to us, just used to having her way and being taken care of now by son who is beginning to see he's being worked way too hard while her life is relatively easy)....

(Which is not my business, hard to watch, but it's his life; he chose it and is in it and we honestly stay out of it and dh and I do whatever we can to keep them in our family, giving up a lot....I am taking less "sass" from dil, though, enough!) If son chooses not to change things, it's his own life. I've never said anything against my dil to him or to her and God help me never to.  We keep our opinions to ourselves; thank goodness dh and I can vent to each other.

I feel for the dils who are treated badly by their ILs and go out of their way to try to keep the peace.  I'm glad the dils here realize the stereotype of the mil in the old song, interfering, demanding, downright mean, doesn't apply to all of us!  And it's good to read your stories to remind me that there are kind, considerate young women out there! (I have a friend whose dil is "difficult" so she and her dh have "adopted" a young family for holidays, etc, who love having substitute parents.)

I won't have Mother's Day, of course, except w dh and I am grateful for him.


I'm feeling much better today thanks to all of you.  I guess this was just a very difficult weekend... especially coming to grips with all the things I've learned in DILs writings.  I'm seeing them with a clearer eye today.  There are a lot of instances  that I can understand where she is coming from... and a lot of things that were taken totally out of context and intent, but at least now many mysteries are solved and I understand. It's hard to be kept floundering in the dark not knowing what to think.   I don't believe it's posssible to mend fences at this point.  I am grateful for what I do have though and I am going to work at having a happy Mothers Day... even if DH and I celebrate it by ourselves.

Beth 2011

LillyC, you are so right.  Everyone here has been very kind and open to me even letting me vent and blow off steam when I didn't sound very nice in my posts.  When I found this site, I felt like I was walking around with a magnifying glass.  With everyone's help and wisdom... I am now able to put things in perspective.  I feel like I am talking with my DGM.  Oh, I do miss her.       


Thanks for the compliments about WWU!

I'm in a similar boat in that there is nothing I can do.  I can vent, scream, pout or cry but I can't actually change this situation.  It's out of my hands.  I did realize I do have a choice, to do nothing.  It seemed like anything I was doing just continued drama or caused some kind of longer term harm, so I choose to do nothing.  It's quite liberating just saying that!
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Yes it is!  When I came to the site Lilly, I wanted to know WHY????  I wanted someone to write someone that just fixed it all for me!  What I found was kind, compassionate women from both sides of the fence that all had the same goals.  They wanted to make their relationships better and most were at the end of their ropes trying to fix things with no help from the other side.

What I have learned from here and all these wonderful people, with Luise as our leader, is that all you can do is realize that you were a person before and it's up to you to find that person again.  No one defines us.  We may play all kinds of definate roles in our lives, Daughters, Mothers, Wives, MILs, DILs, etc., but not one of them defines us a person.  And the lack of any of them or all of them still doesn't define us.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell