Author Topic: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?  (Read 15863 times)

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Bride2Be

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Hello ladies!!

I have a couple questions and I'd like some real feedback.  Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective from your DIL/MIL?  Are you living up the the expectations of your DIL/MIL if so why or why not?  Do you think they have unrealistic expectations?  To MILs specifically,  Can you appreciate that someone is different than you in many ways and not feel slighted when your expectations aren't met?  Can MILs/DILs admit that they are partially responsible for the rift in their relationships with DILs/MILs??  Do MILs/DILs have "entitlement" issues like "DIL *should* like me or MIL *has* to do what I say.

I know this may seem like a question already answered, but I'm curious about these questions.  I've always wondered what are some MILs thinking when they realize they aren't as 'loved' by their DIL as they may think they should be and vice versa.

Here's my answers...As far as hearing another perspective from MIL or her personal truth, no, I can honestly say I don't want to hear anything of the sort.  If I wanted to know what she thought, I'd ask and I don't.  But I don't ask because of disrespect for her wealth of knowledge, I'm sure she knows something.  I don't ask simply because I don't want to to think she can begin to "tell" me things without my asking.  I really don't know what her expectations of me were, I never asked, she never told.  She definitely isn't living up to mine.  If she were we'd get along a lot better.  I always knew she was different and I could appreciate that because her son was proof that even though she did things I would NEVER do with my children, her son is still a respectable man.  Too bad she can't seem to think the same about me.  I think I had unrealistic expectations because I was expecting her to not be interested in me at all.  I expected her to say hi and bye and that was it.  It was a HUGE shock when she tried to act like a mother and friend to me.  I know I'm half responsible for the rift between us, we both have crapped all over the situation so she no more responsible than I am, we both are at fault.  As far as entitlement, I have only felt entitled to respect as a woman, and as a mother otherwise I didn't want anything else from her.

I hope to know what some MILs really think about this, not just why I'm wrong for answering they way I did. 

Thanks in advance ladies!!!

Offline Pen

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2010, 01:29:28 PM »
MarriedChick, I appreciate how you've phrased your questions. It really does seem as though you want honest answers from DILs/MILs. Everyone will have different opinions, no doubt, since we don't all share the exact same experiences/backgrounds.

Speaking just for me, I can appreciate that DIL is different. I also know her FOO is very important to her, and I never expected to be equal in her eyes. However, I do expect to be treated with dignity and common courtesy like I do with any person I meet. I feel that DIL's expectation that we would disappear from DS's life is very unrealistic; we're not going anywhere, much to her chagrin. I also expected our relationship with DS to change, but I never thought we'd be cut off to the extent we are now.

Never hoped to be BFFs, but did hope she'd accept us and our differences as much as we've accepted her and hers. We don't have a great feeling about the future; we know we'll be the GPs the FGC don't know very well, even though DS claims he'll make sure that doesn't happen.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

DDM

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 02:59:18 PM »
I had a really good relationship with my DIL. My number #1 rule was to never try to be her mother. Instead I saw myself more as a role model/mentor, someone with some years of experience in being a wife and parent without all the emotional baggage that so often accompanies a parent/child relationship.  Experience that hopefully would help her make informed decisions. If she took my advice I felt glad that I helped. If she didn't I was at least content that she had heard me. My approach was not to tell her what she should do, but rather share my experiences. What I did, why I did it and how it worked out. Mostly I shared my mistakes and failures. After all those are what teach us our greatest lessons. By showing her I was far from perfect it allowed her to make mistakes along the way without feeling judged or ashamed. It's very hard to live up to the expectations of someone who considers themselves perfect.

I really didn't have any expectations regarding my DIL. She was the person my son fell in love with. All I really expected was for her to love him as much as he loved her. I just figured if she loved my son she would want him to be happy and having a good relationship with his family would be part of that.

I think generally, it is unwise to start off any relationship with preset notions or expectations. Expectations are very hard to live up to and more often than not only lead to disappointment.





Mystic

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2010, 03:05:40 PM »
Dear DDM,

THANK YOU! 

Very good advice!

Offline alohomora

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 03:25:04 PM »
DDM - did it work out in that you all have a good relationship?

cremebrulee

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 03:51:45 PM »
My mistake was expecting my DIL to be just like my son and immediately love me unconditionally...as I would her...don't think I tried to be a mom to her, but wanted to be friends, and perhaps a mentor at some point...however, I had way to many expectations, and refused to understand, that she wasn't who I thought she was...and that wasn't a bad thing, I just refused to see her as she is, which is the only way she knows how to be, which makes us all very signficant human beings...

I now have no expectations at all other then to be friends....and I understand and respect her feelings...which come first and foremost...and always intend to ask her how she feels about me doing this or that...I want to know...even if she feels I'm wrong....it's ok...I'm not perfect...won't ever be...

hopefully I will be able to learn a lot from her....

DDM...outstanding post....!!!!!


DDM

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 04:42:45 PM »
"...did it work out in that you all have a good relationship?"

I guess if the answer was 'Yes", I would not have found this forum!

My son and DIL separated just after a years into the marriage. I tried to talk to her when they first split and got a very harsh and hurtful response. She told me some things that were very personal and inappropriate about their relationship. I know she wanted me to take her side. Unable to, I remained neutral. It just made her all the more angry. Since then things have been pretty quiet between us. I would still like to have a relationship with her. She is my GS's mother and I really don't have a problem with her. The few attempts I have made have not turned out well so for now I am biding my time. I plan to try again once the divorce (nasty) is settled and over.

All you can do is be responsible for your own actions and feelings.

Offline Pen

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2010, 05:00:02 PM »
DDM, it sounds like your relationship with DIL was good during the marriage, and I'm sorry it didn't work out. While the marriage was intact, you didn't do anything to mess up your relationship with her, and she was willing to listen with respect and acceptance. Not all of us are so lucky :( 
I have a DIL who wants me to disappear, so even though I am not a demanding buttinsky, there's nothing to build a relationship on. The one time she asked me about my childrearing experiences I naively thought she was interested; instead, she turned my stories around to validate her decision to keep us away from FGC. Since I'm "less than perfect" she doesn't want anything to do with me.


« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 06:30:53 PM by penstamen »
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Bride2Be

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2010, 04:38:57 AM »
My mistake was expecting my DIL to be just like my son and immediately love me unconditionally...as I would her...don't think I tried to be a mom to her, but wanted to be friends, and perhaps a mentor at some point...however, I had way to many expectations, and refused to understand, that she wasn't who I thought she was...and that wasn't a bad thing, I just refused to see her as she is, which is the only way she knows how to be, which makes us all very significant human beings...

I now have no expectations at all other then to be friends....and I understand and respect her feelings...which come first and foremost...and always intend to ask her how she feels about me doing this or that...I want to know...even if she feels I'm wrong....it's OK...I'm not perfect...won't ever be...

hopefully I will be able to learn a lot from her....

DDM...outstanding post....!!!!!

These answers are all wonderful! Thank you for your honest answers.

Creme, I really appreciate your honesty.  That sounds like how my MIL was about me.  She just knew that since her son's friends all loved her, of course I would too love her unconditionally.  Even though none of his friends has had to deal with her on this level.  When I didn't love her as she had planned, some thing became "wrong" with me.  That was the insulting part.  She wanted love from me and no basic relationship had been established, she was essentially a stranger to me trying to "make" me like her.  She also didn't want to see who I was because I wasn't who she wanted me to be.  I thought that was weird seeing as though she didn't know me at all and never really tried, just expected me to love her.

Ladies,

I find it very commendable that you all wanted to be something like a mentor with more experience to her.  What if you DIL already has people in her life that she considers role models?  Do you think your expectations of being her role model might have marred the relationship?  Do you think it was presumptuous of you to think she even wanted you as a mentor?  What if she wants to learn on her own and make her own mistakes without you there to correct her, for lack of better words?  Can you really handle just being a mother to your son, grandparent to your GC and an associate to your DIL and not her mentor?  I'm wondering if any of these things could have turned the relationship you had with your DIL down the wrong path, not saying its all your fault, but that you played a role in the failure.

cremebrulee

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 05:16:17 AM »


I definately played a role in the failure, but at the time, blamed her, and said some very nasty things about her, which I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive myself for that....I thought she hated me, she thought I hated her...plus I overstepped boundaried big time....

When my son was growing up...our home was the home that everyone hung out at, and I was used to many kids being around on weekends...one even had his own room in our home.  It was a very happy time, plus I love kids....always have...and I expected DIL to feel the same way about me right from the beginning....poor thing, I really pushed myself on her....and acted like some I-rate mom right away....how dare I do that?  How dare I walk in HER home and act anything but a guest....I am so angry with myself now...and when I did those things, she acted out in anger and hurt...and I don't blame her one iota...for being angry, I'm just so sorry I hurt her, and really wish we had discussed this a long time ago...feelings got hurt, then anger, then retaliation....I can't imagine how nervous she was when I'd come to visit...especially after reading other DIL's posts....
Anger and hurt makes people do and say things that are cruel...we both kept trying, however, not understaning each other's intentions and personality, we both kept thinking that we hated each other and we were doing these things to hurt each other or to intentionally drive a wedge between my son and us...and this went on for 12 years...the ache and pain we all went thru was at times unbearable, b/c none of us wanted this...the fights my son and I had were horrible...and all because we misunderstood each other...

I knew my DIL had a sad and unproductive childhood and I wanted her to know she was loved and accepted and make things and life better for her...I wanted to give her structure, and loyalty....and to love her dearly...to let her know that I'd never leave her....no matter what....however, when things started happening, it was awful...and I'm certain that she saw my behavior as controlling....

I remember my mother in law, expecting me to call her mom...I didn't want to...I didn't know her and she did the same thing to me, as I did to my DIL...expected way to much way to soon, you'd think I would have realized, however, I was so excited to have a daughter in law...a daughter...so overjoyed, that I didn't stop to realize, she wasn't my daughter, and I had to give her time, to know me.

there is an instant bond of love, when you hold your grand child for the first time...and that is how I felt about my DIL...I loved her instantly, b/c my son chose her...and I don't believe DIL's understand that...I was so hurt when she rejected me...so utterly devestated....and she wasn't rejecting me, she was actually trying to just establish some boundaries....I'm just so very sorry for all of this...so much time wasted....when we talked about this whole situation on the phone and she said to me, I want you as a friend, I want you to be part of our family....it was all I could do to keep from bawling.  I could not believe she wanted that to...

Thank God...praise the Lord, I was able to put my own feelings aside and view hers and give her credit where credit was due...I am so so sorry I misunderstood her and said horrible things about her....out of stupid misunderstandings....oh, my how things escalated out of the ordinary....and I know she was hurting just as much as I was...I just was to darn stubborn and hurt to realize it....and when you can put those past things in the past, and let them go, that is when I started to see her point of view.  It took a very long time and a lot of forums....even DIL's on other forums yelling at me...when they didn't see my side of it, it was awful....I wasn't ready...and you have to be ready, to assum ownership in this...otherwise, it won't work...stupid human pride, what a sin....
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 05:19:34 AM by cremebrulee »

Offline Pen

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2010, 08:09:05 AM »
Ladies,

I find it very commendable that you all wanted to be something like a mentor with more experience to her.  What if you DIL already has people in her life that she considers role models?  Do you think your expectations of being her role model might have marred the relationship?  Do you think it was presumptuous of you to think she even wanted you as a mentor?  What if she wants to learn on her own and make her own mistakes without you there to correct her, for lack of better words?  Can you really handle just being a mother to your son, grandparent to your GC and an associate to your DIL and not her mentor?  I'm wondering if any of these things could have turned the relationship you had with your DIL down the wrong path, not saying its all your fault, but that you played a role in the failure.

MarriedChick, I am one MIL who did not want to be a mentor. My DIL has a very strong FOO and doesn't need any input from me. She is very smart, accomplished, and confident. In my case, DIL will not allow us to be involved in any way, as associate or otherwise. She is "cutting DS from the herd." As I've said elsewhere, my role was to be a salmon; spawn and die.

I know I'm not the only one with a DIL who has this agenda, but I don't hear from DILs who freely 'fess up to this attitude.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Bride2Be

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2010, 08:10:47 AM »


I definately played a role in the failure, but at the time, blamed her, and said some very nasty things about her, which I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive myself for that....I thought she hated me, she thought I hated her...plus I overstepped boundaried big time....

When my son was growing up...our home was the home that everyone hung out at, and I was used to many kids being around on weekends...one even had his own room in our home.  It was a very happy time, plus I love kids....always have...and I expected DIL to feel the same way about me right from the beginning....poor thing, I really pushed myself on her....and acted like some I-rate mom right away....how dare I do that?  How dare I walk in HER home and act anything but a guest....I am so angry with myself now...and when I did those things, she acted out in anger and hurt...and I don't blame her one iota...for being angry, I'm just so sorry I hurt her, and really wish we had discussed this a long time ago...feelings got hurt, then anger, then retaliation....I can't imagine how nervous she was when I'd come to visit...especially after reading other DIL's posts....
Anger and hurt makes people do and say things that are cruel...we both kept trying, however, not understaning each other's intentions and personality, we both kept thinking that we hated each other and we were doing these things to hurt each other or to intentionally drive a wedge between my son and us...and this went on for 12 years...the ache and pain we all went thru was at times unbearable, b/c none of us wanted this...the fights my son and I had were horrible...and all because we misunderstood each other...

I knew my DIL had a sad and unproductive childhood and I wanted her to know she was loved and accepted and make things and life better for her...I wanted to give her structure, and loyalty....and to love her dearly...to let her know that I'd never leave her....no matter what....however, when things started happening, it was awful...and I'm certain that she saw my behavior as controlling....

I remember my mother in law, expecting me to call her mom...I didn't want to...I didn't know her and she did the same thing to me, as I did to my DIL...expected way to much way to soon, you'd think I would have realized, however, I was so excited to have a daughter in law...a daughter...so overjoyed, that I didn't stop to realize, she wasn't my daughter, and I had to give her time, to know me.

there is an instant bond of love, when you hold your grand child for the first time...and that is how I felt about my DIL...I loved her instantly, b/c my son chose her...and I don't believe DIL's understand that...I was so hurt when she rejected me...so utterly devestated....and she wasn't rejecting me, she was actually trying to just establish some boundaries....I'm just so very sorry for all of this...so much time wasted....when we talked about this whole situation on the phone and she said to me, I want you as a friend, I want you to be part of our family....it was all I could do to keep from bawling.  I could not believe she wanted that to...

Thank God...praise the Lord, I was able to put my own feelings aside and view hers and give her credit where credit was due...I am so so sorry I misunderstood her and said horrible things about her....out of stupid misunderstandings....oh, my how things escalated out of the ordinary....and I know she was hurting just as much as I was...I just was to darn stubborn and hurt to realize it....and when you can put those past things in the past, and let them go, that is when I started to see her point of view.  It took a very long time and a lot of forums....even DIL's on other forums yelling at me...when they didn't see my side of it, it was awful....I wasn't ready...and you have to be ready, to assum ownership in this...otherwise, it won't work...stupid human pride, what a sin....

WOW, Creme you give me hope!!  I have never read on this forum or any other blog a response from a MIL that was as profound as this response.  You have given me hope that not all MILs feel as though they never misunderstand anything or that they can't see the err in their ways.  I love how you took responsibility and can clearly see how that might have been perceived much differently than expected.  I love how you showed your DIL patience and understanding without continually denying any responsibility.  That means A LOT to a DIL like me.  Your situation reminds me so much of my own, it feels somewhat comforting (not that misery loves company) to know that the other side of the story involves just as much disappointment, and misunderstandings as my own side.  Thank You Creme, I appreciate your sincerity.  I agree that honesty about ourselves is the beginning to a resolution or at least better understanding.  I won't sit around and act as if I am completely innocent and I have no fault.  I will also remember that my MIL is a person who was probably just as confused as I was.  Thank you again Creme!!

Ladies, have any of you ever asked yourself these questions?

I'm looking forward to more responses!!  This has been the most fruitful post for me!!


Bride2Be

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2010, 08:39:12 AM »
I'm so sorry that you have a DIL who has that mentality, Pen.  I agree, more DILs should admit that if that was really the case.  I can admit, I was not open to her at all and I wasn't interested in getting to know my MIL the way she wanted me to.  I can also admit I was intimidated at how close my husband and his mother were and not because I wanted him all to myself.  I knew I would have a hard time if I choose to build a relationship with her because my husband was so overprotective about his mother.  So I have always choose to stay away.  I couldn't have an adult conversation with her (which might not have be "nice" all the time) without my husband screaming at me because she cries and then screaming at me because I'm crying, I'm sure it would have been easier still.  But I understand what you mean Pen, but for what it's worth, you can't control her.  Maybe your son is OK with this, it's what works for him.  I'm not telling you not to worry or be disappointed about the situation but maybe you can focus more on you and what works best for you.  Worrying about a situation you really have no control over just makes things harder for you.  I know you miss your son but I think focusing on yourself, no matter what it's about will be a good thing.  Thanks for responding Pen!!

cremebrulee

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2010, 08:44:34 AM »
Married Chick, you have to understand, I didn't always feel like this

there were years and years of pain, confussion, despair and anger, oh my, so much anger...
I honestly, didn't believe I did anything?  I made up mind mind, and believe me, the mind is a very powerful thing, that she wanted to drive a wedge between my son and I, and she thought the same about me...however, I didn't know how she felt, I just assumed...I tried talking to her once about it, in a letter which pointed fingers at her pulling the parent/adult card, so you can imagine how that made things worse......but I imagined all kinds of things about her, without knowing her, and just expected and assumed so many things I was doing was right, b/c I had done them that way, all of my life and no one ever complained...therefore, I became comfortable with who I was and the way I did things...I didn't realize any other way....\

it's the way we both misinterpreted each others actions and everything just escalated way over the top...we were always both walking on egg shells around each other, and everything that was said and done, we took as a personal attack, when none of it was meant that way from either side...what a fiasco...and very damaging....

boy, when you put two women in the same kitchen, look out...LOL

seriously...please know, that, I was not a saint in this, and did many things wrong....and perceived and assumed things about her, without asking her....sad....very very sad...so many years lost....

« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 08:47:10 AM by cremebrulee »

Offline alohomora

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Re: Is it hard to except the truth or hear a different perspective?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2010, 08:46:53 AM »
I think Creme's response was excellent as well. The best I've seen!

I made a lot of mistakes as the DIL in my MIL/DIL relationship. I know that I wanted to monopolize DH's (then DBF) time when we were together and I think it...no, looking back I know, that at 18, I thought Dh's family was much less, for lack of a better word, worldly then the people I was used to and it annoyed me. I took huge offense when they showed a lack of knowledge and biases towards my culture, and I retaliated ten fold by insulting theirs when I felt slighted. It was a terrible beginning to a life long relationship.

I was young and had it happened today, I know I would have dealt with it differently. I would have more patience and perhaps had that been my approach to start with, we wouldn't have ended up insulting each other and instead trying to learn from each other. Well, at least with MIL. I think, nearing 90 now, GMIL was stuck in her views. At our wedding, in a foreign country, she kept complaining that she 'couldn't understand these people' (who spoke better english then I do frankly!) and that everything was 'weird' and she couldn't udnerstand why we wanted to go to this god forsaken country to get married, where 'they' might harm us... LOL! :D Can't change the world right?

Today I'm very, very proud of my husbands heritage. He comes from a long line of hard working people who made their mark through their efforts in their communities, and their devotion to their families and country. Today, in my home, we have a large photo of the first *last name* member of his family to arrive in our country, and I was lucky enough to spend time with his grandmother before she passed away, and learned things about their history that even MIL and FIL weren't aware of - and I look forward to sharing this rich history with our children. I realize looking back I was not nearly the 'wordly' girl I thought I was, having little knowledge of my own country! Hah!