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Moms/Sons (A DILs Prespective)

Started by lovelymimi, May 22, 2012, 06:52:23 pm

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Okay, so I had some time on my hands and I read through the threads here.

I'm amazed at how many moms out there are hurt by the estranged relationships from their sons... Some of these complaints are about DDs, but most of them seem to be regarding DSs. I'm not sure why that is...

I have sons (ages 5, 3, 9 months) we share a bond that unbreakable. It really makes me sad to know that one day that may end. It also makes me sad for all you moms out there who for some reason or another lost that bond with your own son.

I am expecting that my role in my DSs life will change as they grow (especially when they marry) I just can't imagine not having a relationship with them AT ALL (like some of you). Very, very, sad.

I'm a DIL who hasn't had the easiest road with my MIL, but I would never imagine coming b/t her and DS. Sure I don't care for her very much, but that's still DHs mom. Come to think of it,  I'm certain that my not getting along with her, has had a certain affect on her relationship with DS. For example, if I liked her more, I'd probably invite or over more. Therefore, she would see DS more. Not sure what I should do about that...

Just wanted to say (as a DM with DSs of my own) that even though I haven't walked down your road yet, I am very sorry for the hurt and pain you've experienced. Despite all my imperfections I really wouldn't wish that on any mom. The nine months you went through, the labor & delivery, the breastfeeding, sleepless nights, doctor visits, school, money; And now they can't even pick up a phone and call??? IT'S NOT RIGHT!!!!!!!

Anyway, I hope you can find comfort in knowing that despite your DSs not being their for you like they should be, it still doesn't change the fact that you will always be a sacred part of their life. Though they may not show it, they will always love you.



LovelyMimi, thank you. That was a beautiful post.

IMO, your boys will learn from you and DH how to treat their wives, their ILs and their own Ps when they grow up. With the insight you have at an early stage, I believe you have a great chance of success! If your DH calls his DM regularly w/o complaining your boys may do the same. If they see you making an attempt to be hospitable to your MIL perhaps they'll expect their wives to do so too.

Obviously there's no guarantee because everyone has their own personality traits, but it's certainly worth a try.

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


Thank you Lovelymimi. I'm glad you're here with us. I think we all can learn from each other.

lancaster lady

Well Mimi , you're heads up joining this site when those boys are small . Wish i had ! However Luise was busy doing other things . I still think someone should write a How To Be A MIL book. Is there one ? Anybody ?


Quote from: lancaster lady on May 23, 2012, 12:19:07 am
Well Mimi , you're heads up joining this site when those boys are small . Wish i had ! However Luise was busy doing other things . I still think someone should write a How To Be A MIL book. Is there one ? Anybody ?

hahaha.... the MIL BOOK, should really be a periodical  as it seems the rule change pretty often!!  At least in my experience..   All kidding aside.. I know now the mistakes I made.  None were done with malice, but mistakes all the same.  Wish I knew then what I know now.  It's too late for me, but hoping others here can have a heads up like you mimi!


Mimi, what a lovely post. I'm sort of in the same boat as you at the moment, my DS just turned a year old. He's at a stage where only Mama will do, and I have to admit to relishing the fact that I'm his favourite person right now. Since I started having some issues with MIL, I've been thinking about what will happen when he grows up and possibly marries someday. I get tempted at times to write myself a letter now and tuck it away with all the things I've learned the last 6 months about MIL/DIL relationships, as well as some of the insights that WWU has provided me with in order to get some perspective when the time comes. It really does seem that a lot of the conflicts arise from having DSs and DILs.


I know all MILs here appreciate your post!  I never thought of IL problems while raising the boys.

I take that back!  My parents didn't love my dh at first  but didn't object....they didn't demand a lot; were content to see us at alternating holidays and sometimes a dinner (we didn't live close); dh's family was large and very close and did expect to see us a lot while newlyweds and w small kids although they didn't insist on seeing us for all holidays. 

Before our wedding, widowed fil wanted to buy a house trailer for us and him to live in to benefit us financially and for him not to be lonely!  I was appalled although I liked fil; dh would have gone along w it but he knew I didn't and still don't! like relatives or friends living w us (just too private, I guess.)  DH was sad having to just ignore his df's request; (he went on to live w his dd.)

We were often being "dropped in on" for a weekend visit as their family (meaning parents, siblings, cousins, etc.) was used to that; (my mother hated that practice; had to have a phone call.)  The ILs would help w meals and such but sometimes our plans had to be cancelled....didn't like it at all.

Being passive, I didn't object to all the visiting/dropping by...they did all get it that I was "different" and couldn't stand people living w us, thank goodness, as that was common w the family (in times of financial troubles.)  We sometimes had to lend money, etc....but they liked me and were happy seeing the gkds.....and gradually dh accepted that I wasn't into what I considered communal living!

It seems that way back then (we've been married 30 years) people just accepted these differences and there were no blow ups or cut offs......even today we can visit back and forth, they are my jealousy.....

So...comments, please....would you all (dils and mils both) have had IL problems w this discrepancy in life style?  (DH and I were raised so differently.) I think we were able to COMPROMISE and so many won't today....(dh and I today do the walk on eggshells thing to be sure not to impose on dss and families.....)


Mimi..  your loving unbreakable bond with your sons is no different than what I felt, and feel for my sons.  That bond transcends generations.   I never imagined that my DS and I would become distant... NEVER.   Had anyone told me that when he was a child,  I would have told them that my son and I were different, and nothing could happen to estrange us.   He married at age 28 and we were close then and I believed would be close forever.  BUT.. gradually and insidiously, conversations became more casual and visits fewer.   When he first married, be called me to ask my opinions and advise... however, those calls became fewer and less frequent to now non-existant.  We talk only very superficially about once a month or 6 weeks,  and I know very little about his life now.   How did this happen?  What made it happen?  What would anyone expect me to think? 


Beautiful MiMi.  Thank you for the kind, loving post

.  I too am in the club of 2 sons and if someone had ever told me our relationship would be gone when they were adults, would have looked at you like, "Well, you must have done something terribly wrong.  Must have abused them boys or something to cause that."  I admit it.  I was clueless that when you had a great relationship with your kids, things would change that badly.  I thought the few times I heard about adult kids not talking to their parents that those kids must have been treated horribly to not do that.  I was naive about it and shallow in my thinking.  I expected less contact as they made their own way in life...I didn't expect no contact.

I also had a MIL I didn't like but it never crossed my mind that I could cut her out of our lives.  That was a foreign concept to me.  We had a blowup so bad about five years into our marriage that I refused to talk to her for awhile or go visit, but I still let her pick up the boys and they went to see her with their Dad.  It took me a long time to go back, but I finally did and we actually got along a little better after that.  I did know I didn't have to let her treat me badly, but I didn't ever consider keeping her DS or GC from her.  And honestly, if I had known you could do that, I wouldn't have.  Like you, that was my DH's Mother and my boys GM.  I couldn't have done it no matter how much I didn't like her (barring abuse or something horrible she was doing to the boys).  My parents couldn't stand my DH, but they always treated him well too.

I think knowledge is always power.  I do think you stand a greater chance of having wonderful adult relationships with your Sons because you are armed with knowledge and compassion.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


OS is so hectically busy w work/remodeling/yard work, helping his sahw w housework and childcare that we get calls only when he's driving home from work (bluetooth);dil doesn't keep him from calling;he's just swamped. Weekends are for work/friends/church/her foo....(the last is frustrating to son and to us but it is what it is.)

YS was in an abusive relationship; could tell he couldn't talk if she was in the house;no visits, secrets.....he's out of it now....his gf now is great about communication and he can talk but also has so little time and distance....

Fortunately we aren't cut out of our sons' lives, so grateful, but we are so careful not to overstep....different from when I was young!

A lot of it is that they have grown up and emphasis is on work/family/friends....I see this a lot unless it's a small town where everyone lives there (like the foo mentioned above....they see/call a lot....); otherwise, we have just accepted that we aren't going to see them all that much....

I think the reason, Mimi, that you read more about dss not in their foo's lives is that sons are more independent from their foos for the most part; they can't be mama's boys, whereas the girls can still be very close to their foos; it's just a genetic or "today's world' it seems....sons aren't expected to be at their foos as much....they don't communicate as much....

A generation ago, maybe....


Yes... "Mamma's Boy" is definately a dirty word and is often throw at men by their wives.  Don't think being seen as a "Mamma's girl"  or a "Daddy's Girl" holds quite the same stigma.  No one blinks an eye when a woman calls her parents for advise or opinions, but my son was definately chastized by her for him calling me for the same.  I heard it with my own ears.   Of course boys are "allowed" to love their moms, only at a safe distance I guess.

I only had a MIL for the 9 years I was married to  my sons father.  It never crossed my mind to alienate his parents.  It never bothered me when DH called them.  I was grateful for other opinions and insight.  I never felt the animosity that DIL has felt for me.   I don't think I deserved it IMO, but then again, I was never told the rules.


Refreshing change of perspective!  I appreciate the caring that came through your message.

I'm also part of the "we were so close-what happened?" gang, though only one son has removed himself.

My best advice to you as you enjoy your children is to keep a part of you for yourself.  I think I just turned myself inside out for my kids and gave them my all without any thought to retirement from motherhood.  I thought it would go on endlessly and now I'm having to re-start myself as a childless person.  The good news is that my other adult son is an adult friend now.


Quote from: Doe on May 23, 2012, 01:36:14 pm
Refreshing change of perspective!  I appreciate the caring that came through your message.

I'm also part of the "we were so close-what happened?" gang, though only one son has removed himself.

My best advice to you as you enjoy your children is to keep a part of you for yourself.  I think I just turned myself inside out for my kids and gave them my all without any thought to retirement from motherhood.  I thought it would go on endlessly and now I'm having to re-start myself as a childless person.  The good news is that my other adult son is an adult friend now.

This is so true!!  Very wise words.   I am also lucky to have an older unmarried son who is still my friend and enjoys talking to me and being with me.   Guess that old saying "A son is your son til he takes a wife" rings pretty true in my case, as both my boys were raised together and exactly the same.    OS is in his forties and remains single by choice.


Doe, I think you've made a really good point there about not pouring every last bit of yourself into your children. My MIL was a very dedicated mom, she stayed at home with DH, had no social life, did everything for him. And although he loves his mom, her sacrifices are just completely lost on him. He commented the other day about how his mom kept them very organized and a tidy house, because she had "nothing else to do". As a woman, I kinda wanted to just thump him when he said that :) Knowing her, she was doing it all for him but he just doesn't get it. I think that's part of the reason why she had a hard time transitioning from a mom role of doing every little thing to a grandmother one where she wasn't in charge. It's also been the source of some of the tension between us, because she sees me working or having a social life (no matter how small, and trust me, it's one step past non-existent) as selfish.

I also can't imagine just cutting her out of our lives regardless of us disagreeing over things. I can't imagine doing that to anyone unless they were a serious danger to us or my child. I wouldn't want to put DH or DS in the middle like that.

Beth 2011


Thank you for such a beautiful post.  I wish that I still had that warm and caring relationship with my son but it is gone.  I know this is a fact of life.  Things change each and every day.  I tell you what.... I just had a very serious health scare but I am fine now.  But waiting for test results made me reevaluate my life and truly look at it.  I know I would be open to a relationship with my DS and DIL if they so choose but I will not be a doormat.  I was thinking about the last time my DH spoke with DS and told him the ball was in his court.  My main thoughts were for DD because she is not married.  I do believe in Karma and it has a tendency to pull the rug from under your feet at times.  And you know... I find myself hoping that DS is truly happy.  I read this and it sounds really looney tooney.  :)  But I really hope he is happy.