Author Topic: Wondering......  (Read 1770 times)

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Offline Stilllearning

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Wondering......
« on: July 09, 2013, 07:43:58 AM »
All of this wonderful advice from all of you wise women has made me think long and hard about my relationship with my MIL.  She has been amazing through the years (35 of them so far) and I leaned on her when my mother died.  I started calling her Mom2 after that but I started out calling her Mom Smith (not really but preserving anonymity).  She calls me her other daughter  :) but how was I when we first got married?  Was I so much different from the DIL's mentioned on this site? 

When we got married my DH was already not getting along with his parents so instead of me being the one who "pulled them apart" I was credited with putting them back together.  Many times during our first years I prodded my DH into calling them and I made sure we stopped by to see them when we were in town, however.....we always stayed at my parents house and not his.  When his father (my FIL) died suddenly we rushed to be with Mom Smith and spent our first night together in her house.  We had been married about 4 years.  I can totally see how my MIL could have written many of the posts I have read here but I truly love my MIL!  I would hate it if I hurt her feelings the way  some of us have been hurt!  Do you think she 'suffered in silence'?  Now she has dementia and cannot remember anything for more than 5 minutes  :'(

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Offline jdtm

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Re: Wondering......
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 09:16:00 AM »
Quote
Do you think she 'suffered in silence'? 

Probably, but she was wise and patient.  You are lucky to have such a wonderful MIL and she is lucky to have such a wonderful DIL.  All the best ....

Offline Pooh

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Re: Wondering......
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 11:42:20 AM »
I guess I would ask you, but in those 4 years was there absolutely no contact?  That is the difference.  I wouldn't care if my DS/DIL spent all their overnights at her Mother's if I was still receiving the occasional call, contact, visit, etc.  If you were still remaining in contact, even if it was few and far in between, I would guess she just chalked it up to being newly married and starting your own life.  I never expected my AC to call me constantly or visit all the time.  I want them to live their own lives and have their own family.  I just want to be included every once in a while.

If there was no contact for 4 years, then she might have suffered in silence hoping that someday the relationships would be better?

I know that's where I am at.  I'm just biding my time and hoping that someday, things will be different.  Not expecting it, not counting on it, but hoping.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Wondering......
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 12:50:19 PM »
Pooh, during those four years they were included in moves, holidays and remembered on special occasions.  I know we called her fairly often but not all the time.  My parents and my ILs lived in the same town so when we visited we 'made the rounds' but we always stayed at my parents' house and now I feel guilty about it.  Oh well, I did the best I could and it eventually worked out.  Once the kids came along I invited my parents for Thanksgiving and his parents for Christmas (we had my MIL's only grands but my parents had many so it worked out) but that was 12 years into the marriage.  Until then we visited them for most holidays. 
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Pooh

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Re: Wondering......
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 01:03:40 PM »
Then I think you were a great DIL, even those first years.  Don't be so hard on yourself.  You even went above and beyond to remind DH about calling and such.  I think the majority here will agree it's pretty normal for the DIL to be closer to her Mother.  I think it is.  I know I have a great relationship with my Mom and so does my Brother.  But it's me that calls her a lot and checks on them, and visits more, etc.  My Brother, rarely, but they still have a good relationship. I have a great relationship with my MIL, but I don't call her nearly as much as I do my Mom. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Lillycache

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Re: Wondering......
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 04:47:37 AM »
Actually, I had quite the opposite experience with my MIL...and my 1st DHs family.   MY FOO was a mess.   My dad was an alcoholic and my mom the  quintesential enabler..  There was lots of verbal and emotional abuse to go around.. and some physical abuse as well.  So when my then fiance introduced me to his family... who seemed so warm, and fun and inviting.. I embraced them with open arms.  I much preferred spending time with them.. We had fun... we played board games and laughed and had a great time.  I more or less adopted the younger siblings as my very own brothers and sisters..   However, when DH cheated on me and we divorced, his family divorced me too..  I was cut out of it and I might as well have been dead.   My BIL explained that to me at my DHs wifes wake on Sunday.   His mom and dad were strict souther Baptists divorce was NEVER an option.  My BILs and SILs were young adults and involved in their own lives, so they never really even knew what had gone on.   It was very hurtful to be dumped by what I had come to consider my family.    Fortunately, my second husband... as well as my present husband did not have living parents so I never had to deal with the MIL and FIL... hurtful stuff again..   Once burned.... well..... ya know.. 

Offline Pen

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Re: Wondering......
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 10:37:32 AM »
I'd be grateful for a DIL like you've been to your MIL, SL. Like Pooh, I just want to be included occasionally and get updates every now & then. I too think about how I was perceived as a DIL, and I hope my MIL understood that we did the best we could under the circumstances (no money, disabled child, huge geographical distance, etc.)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline herbalescapes

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Re: Wondering......
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2013, 06:28:31 AM »
Since none of us is your MIL, we can't say for certain how she felt in those early years.  She might have resented you staying with your FOO and only visiting with her.  She may not have noticed.  She may have been relieved.  Just like not all GPs want to babysit, not all parents with AC really want the AC as houseguests.  I think your post is good to point out how it's difficult to interpret the intention behind an action.  Had your MIL and/or DH been in denial about their difficulties, it would have been very easy to blame you for coming between them and view staying with your FOO as an attempt to keep his FOO out of your lives.  I know many DILs complain that they are painted as the DILFH who has come between an AS and his FOO when in reality, she's the one who keeps the AS and his FOO in any form of contact.  Seems like you got the credit you deserve.  (And to be fair, there are many couples who blame their and/or their spouse's FOOs for problems that are really between the couple.)

Don't feel guilty about anything.  However your MIL may have felt decades ago, it seems like you developed a good relation.  I wish you and DH and MIL and all the extended family the best in dealing with MIL's current condition.  It's not easy.