May 24, 2019, 03:08:33 pm


"Welcome to -- 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."

Trying to figure her out

Started by Tryin Hard, November 09, 2012, 10:14:14 am

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Tryin Hard

My son met his wife while he was training in California, he is in the military. He moved back to the east coast for his permanent duty station.  About  a month later, she drove out here and within a few months they were married.  They have been married now for about 2 years and have one son and one due in December.  Both my husband and I welcomed her with open arms.  We tried our best to make her feel like she was part of our family. When they announced to us that they were going to have our first grandchild, I must admit I was really thrilled.  I went overboard and bought them just about everything they needed for the baby.  This was my first grandchild and I was going to spoil him. It wasn't until my son was deployed that I started to feel hurt by her.  She had had some professional pictures done of our grandson and I never got one.  In fact, the only pictures of my grandson I have are ones I've taken myself.  Last Christmas, my husband and I wanted to ride down and give them their gifts and she tells me to just wait til my son got back from Afghanistan.  Again, I'm really hurt..  My other daughter in law texts her a few weeks ago to find out what size the baby is and if he would want any particular type of toy for Christmas and she doesn't even have the courtesy to text her back.  Now the big thing, My son will be getting out of the military in March and wants to move back home and stay with us temporarily til he gets on his feet.  I don't know if I have the patience to deal with her.  And my feelings for her has changed for the way she treats us. This is stressing me out!


November 09, 2012, 01:29:35 pm #1 Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 03:20:25 pm by luise.volta
Welcome Tryin Hard and please take a minute to read the three posts under "Open Me First" to get a feel of how we flow around here.  Nothing wrong with your post, just something we ask all new members to do.

Do you think it's just all the stress of the deployments and being a military wife that could be causing her to be aloof.  I know it's very hard on them adjusting, no matter how well they thought they were prepared for it?  Not that I'm excusing her behavior, but just that there might be things going on with her you are not aware of?
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I think I would ask DS if he has discussed the idea with DIL and ask how she feels about it. I'd let him know that I wanted to preserve and improve the relationship and often coexistence has the opposite effect. I would even offer help with their cost of living for the first 6 or even 12 months (with a definite date that it would end) rather than do the one household/two women thing. Just my take. You may have come on so strong in your first-grandchild-enthusiasm that you scared her...or she may have reservations of her own that usually only magnify with coexistence. I'd be very cautious. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Tryin Hard

I wish I could say they I believed it was the stress of him being deployed.  We went down to see our ds the weekend before he deployed.  When she and I had a few minutes alone, I asked her if she would miss him while he was gone.  She said, no not really he can get on your nerves.  My heart broke at that moment.  Here I was so worried about my son and she said that to me. My feelings for her changed that day. Seems every time we are left alone together, she wants to use that time to complain to me about him. My ds promised her when he got back that he would fly her out to see her mom,  however, a month after he left, she bought tickets and flew out to see her mother.  Now I'm to the point that I don't trust her because of her sneaky behavior.  Its funny, when I talk to my son, he tries to build her up to me, but whenever I talk to her, she tries to put him down.

Both are pretty irresponsible when it comes to finances.  They have known for sometime now that he is getting out and yet neither have saved a dime for furniture and deposits. Two woman in one house thing, especially when I have OCD, and I won't even comment on her housekeeping abilities, definitely isn't a good mix. Maybe giving them a few months rent really is the best solution, and would make a pretty good Christmas gift.  I try to look on the bright side, at least my son will be home, and I will get to see my  grandchildren.


My take, I would never think to ask someone is she was going to miss her DH when he left. I would just think it was a given. Sounds to me like they have a lot to work out and a lot of growing up to do. They're young and and it goes with the territory most of the time. It may be best to back off...and get it is theirs to unravel. Simple but not easy. For most of us here, it's been extremely hard to let go and focus elsewhere...but in the end, that's usually what works.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


If there is tension in a relationship, forced greater intimacy doesn't usually help situation.  I'd be extremely wary of letting them move in with you even temporarily.  You have to be quite tactful, however, in how you phrase your refusal so you don't make the situation worse. 

If my DH were about to deploy and someone asked if I would miss him I'd either be offended or assume they were being facetious.  In either case, I could easily see myself responding (sarcastically) "oh no, he's irritating."  For the benefit of your future relationship with your DS/DIL/GKs, I'd re-interpret that exchange and give DIL the benefit of the doubt. 

Similarly, you might want to assume (don't actually ask and risk being told off) that either your professional portrait of GS was lost in the mail or a true oversight on DIL's behalf.  I think any pregnant woman with a toddler can be forgiven for not answering a text.  If DIL routinely doesn't answer calls/texts chalk it up as "just the way she is" and don't take it as a personal slight against you. 

You may think you and DH tried to make her feel part of the family, but her interpretation of your behavior may be very different.  What you thought of as welcoming might feel like overwhelming, suffocating, nosy, interfering, etc. to her.  It's not that you did anything wrong, just that she's different.

She wouldn't be the first DIL/SIL to not feel comfortable hosting the ILs without their spouse along.  Her bahavior is about her, not you.  Don't assume that she is trying to reject you.  Her put downs of your son may just reflect a different communication style.  Or maybe she is immature and selfish.  Giving her the benefit of the doubt, though, can make it easier on you.  If you can stay on somewhat good terms, it's all to your benefit.  Good luck.

Tryin Hard

Thank you ladies for your replies. Sometimes someone looking in from the outside can have a better perspective of a situation.  DH and I have CD's that we were eventually going to give both of our sons in the future when they were ready to buy a home., that we have decided to give them this Christmas.  So, at least now I feel alot of stress has been lifted not having to worry about the living arrangement.

DS knew DIL only a few months while he was on the west coast.  He was sent back to the east coast as his permanent duty station.  Within a month, DIL drives across the country to be with DS. DS drove her up to meet us. Both DH and I thought she was a sweet girl. DIL tells us that her father was killed when she was small and that her mother was never in her life, I won't go into details. She tells us that a friend of her mothers raised both her and her siblings. After about 6months, they marry. DS calls us asks us to be witnesses, only giving a few days notice.  We rearrange our schedules and drive there for the wedding. He states that they have no rings.  So DH and I take our old wedding rings and have them cleaned, giving them something to use for the ceremony. Although DH an I were not at all happy about the quicky wedding, we didn't express own opinion to our DS, we tried to be supportive of their decision.

They have been married now for two years, and we have only seen them about 5 times during that time. Both DS and DIL have no clue about finances and budgeting.  She was 8 months pregnant and they had bought almost nothing for the baby, she had money for Coach purses and he to buy parts for a street car, but somehow no money to buy baby items. So, I did step in and buy what the baby needed.  They need to grow up and put their babies need ahead of their own wants. Presently, their income is twice that of DH and myself.

When they do visit, whenever we are caught alone, DIL rants about my DS to me. I say nothing more than they need to work it out together. We had went for a visit right before DS deployed. DS and DIL drive us on base to show us around. DIL points out a building and tells us that that's where you go to get a divorce. So, entire time DS was deployed, we worried that she might take off with GS and go across the country.

We have very little contact with them, trying to give them the space to work on their relationship. DIL is pregnant again with 2nd GS, due in Dec. We call DS sometimes twice a month to keep communication open. I send DIL flowers for her birthday and Mothers Day, letting her know we are thinking of her, and we never even get the acknowledgement that she even receives them. My other DIL has sent her several texts asking her how her pregnancy is going, and if nephew was into any particular type of toys for Christmas, and she never receives a reply back. Other DIL says she is done trying.  I can understand her feeling this way because sometimes I feel that way too, however, I push those feelings aside so that I can maintain at least some type of relationship with my son.

I love the idea of having my DS and GS's at least in the same area. GS will be 2 and I have seen him only 3 times. DIL has told a family member that I will watch grandchildren since I work from home, however, she has never even discussed this with me.

We will tell DS that this is all the help we will give them, they both need to  grow up and get their priorities straight.