Author Topic: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law  (Read 19906 times)

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Offline dez

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distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« on: February 08, 2014, 11:07:57 AM »
So discouraged...my son & daughter in law have been married almost 2 years and she hates me & my daughter, his sister in law, and likes my husband ok.  Why?  We have no idea. Honestly, no idea. From day one bshe has not given us a chance. She makes no effort and when I sent my son a private email out of my frustration, she read it and now she is rude & disrepectful to me & my daughter. He has been through a lot in the last 8 years, so he seems to be just trying to hold things together. They seem to get along good with each other as long as we don't come into the picture.  He has a 7 yr old daughter that is with his previous girlfriend and he is trying for the 2nd time to get full custody because his daughter is not living in a stable environment. His wife loves his daughter & is good to her. She just doesn't like us.  My heart is broken. My daughter, his sister, is broken hearted because they have always been very close. Now...it is a struggle to stay in touch with him. He seems distant too.  Our family has always been a close family and we are so sad.  My daughter in law takes no responsibility,,,says we should honor their marriage and just blames us for everything .  My family needs prayers and frankly I need a support group.   

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 02:28:12 PM »
Dez you stumbled into the right place!!  You sound exactly like I did when I stumbled in.  Take some time and read some of the other posts. You will find some really good advice here!!

For now you need to focus your life and energies on being happy.  Try to turn your thoughts away from the things you cannot fix and work on the things you can.  Trust that your DS is an adult and he has made choices that are making him happy.  Work to improve your DD and DH's life.  Go have some fun. 
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline luise.volta

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 07:10:26 PM »
Welcome, D. We ask all new members to go to the HomePage and under Open Me First, to read the four posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure that WWU is a fit. We're a monitored site.

I have been through something similar. I thought my expectations were very minimal and I was willing and eager to go the extra mile but I wasn't given the chance. I too voiced my disappointment to my son with the mistaken concept that how I felt mattered...silly me. What I learned the hard way was that my job was done. My adult Children had the right to make their own decisions and learn from the consequences...or not. And that my job was to get a life. They were my life...not an easy transition.

I agree with SL that reading other threads here may bring you comfort...and offer you a sense you aren't alone with your disappointment. We are here for each other. Hang in there. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline shiny

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 02:37:57 PM »
Dez, so sorry this is happening in your life. The heartache is, at times, unbearable.

I'm in a similar situation except DIL is not rude or disrespectful -- she simply ignores us and pretends we don't exist. This is after a number of invitations to do things together, phone calls, emails, and gifts. She makes NO initiative in reciprocating a relationship, and quite frankly, I'm about tired of continuing the effort (four years).
She is enamored with her life, and while I know they are very busy, they still have time for her FFO -- frequently. Some things just can't be forced, you know.

SL's comment is right: try to focus your thoughts and energies somewhere that's positive. That's what I'm doing. However, it doesn't take away ALL the sadness, because Luise hit the nail on the head with her comment, that her job was to get a life, but the problem was that her sons were her life. Yep, me too!
I'm going to keep trying to get this "new life" whatever it looks like for me, and hope you will find one, too. Prayers going up for you!

Offline Pen

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 03:58:49 PM »
Dez, welcome to our site. Shiny's situation is very similar to mine, and it's been tough...but thanks to this site I'm doing so much better than I'd imagined.

I had a lot of interests, a meaningful job, friends, etc. so "getting a life" wasn't my need. I had to get over the jealously I felt when DIL's FOO became front and center. I had to get over the anger I felt (and still occasionally feel) when DIL & her FOO treat us like losers. I had to forgive their behavior and move on, not that I will ever leave myself wide open or naively trust them again.

The down days are few and far between now. Keep reading and posting!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Pooh

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2014, 11:24:32 AM »


I have been through something similar. I thought my expectations were very minimal and I was willing and eager to go the extra mile but I wasn't given the chance. I too voiced my disappointment to my son with the mistaken concept that how I felt mattered...silly me. What I learned the hard way was that my job was done. My adult Children had the right to make their own decisions and learn from the consequences...or not. And that my job was to get a life. They were my life...not an easy transition.

I agree with SL that reading other threads here may bring you comfort...and offer you a sense you aren't alone with your disappointment. We are here for each other. Hang in there. Hugs...

Ditto all this and welcome Dez.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline luise.volta

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2014, 12:35:34 PM »
I just re-read what I wrote and it sounds bitter. I was. However, I no longer am.

I have a life...and it is full of warmth and wonder. I don't think any of my 'expectations' went beyond my family but... that's where they have been fulfilled. And so my sense of family extends way beyond the biological and new 'kids' (most in their 60s) have surfaced. One is on staff at the retirement campus where I live...one is an ex-DIL, one is an ex-cleaning lady we helped get her GED and advanced schooling, one is from a support group we both left long ago, one was a massage therapist who moved to another state and took my heart with her, two of their husbands have joined the throng, and there's an ex-maintenance man. Beyond that are all of you...my e-kids. At 87 I'm rich beyond my most outlandish dreams.

I couldn't experience any of that until I faced and went through the loss that so many of us are familiar with here. We can't sweep it under the rug and we can't get stuck in self-pity...the operational word, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes, is 'through'. Hugs to all...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Cranky Pants

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2014, 08:12:35 PM »
Dez, sometimes you have to give people want they want - DIL wants you to "Honor their Marriage" which I think translates into "Everyone else but me doesn't matter", but you have no choice.  She's got the "blame" sword out and you are the target.

I would back off and give them some space, no matter how hard it is, and I do know how hard it is, I've been there.

Keep yourself busy as much as possible, and focus on what makes you happy.

Hugs, CP

Offline ohmama

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2014, 08:52:09 AM »
Hi Dez, there was something in your post that caught my eye. You said you wrote your son an email out of frustration. Frustration and anger can make us say some really mean things if we aren't careful. Maybe I misread but I didn't read that you apologized to your DIL.  I also see that your described her only as distant before your email and then disrespectful after. The email clearly hurt her feelings and well sometimes hurt people hurt other people.
And while I'm a believer in blood family being included in issues with in laws,sometimes we complicate things with our "feelings".
I think this could've been solved by simply inviting your DIL to lunch or a movie. The email to your DS could have asked him what activities your DIL enjoys and then finding common ground. Instead of why his wife doesn't behave the way you think she should.
I really feel an apology to DIL is your first order of business and could go a long way in rectifying this.

Offline ohmama

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 09:05:49 AM »
Sorry had to comment that your DIL is great with your GD, her stepdaughter. And she's "ok" with your dH, her FIL. That's a red flag to me about your behavior towards  her. Your DIL isn't just filled with disdain for in laws in general. Her being a good stepmother is evidence of her maturity and capability to exhibit love in a blended family. You did or said something(s) to make her dislike you. Dez, if you really don't know what it could be, you truly have no clue.....Ask.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2014, 01:37:55 PM »
Ohmama you sound like you have had problems with your MIL.  How have you worked that out? 

I found when I backed off (and it was very difficult!) and stopped trying to make it right (apologizing and trying to talk to her with an intermediary involved) things improved.  Did an apology from your MIL work?
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline ohmama

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 02:34:05 PM »
Still learning I am not sure there is a MIL/DiL relationship that doesn't come with its bumps. Sometimes DIL's are just distant because of personality, FOO, or just plain not knowing. At that point it is best to back off and let them come around in time. But Dez described her DIL as a loving Stepmother and ok with FIL so this isn't a push away the in laws thing.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2014, 05:54:33 PM »
ohmama, I don't know of a husband/wife relationship that does not come with some bumps!!!  Often the bumps originate from far away and show up on our doorstep.  When things are bad we tend to vent our emotions on the people we feel the most comfortable with.  The fact that someone does not vent on someone may indicate that they feel less secure with that person.  Trying to dump everything on Dez's doorstep may not be fair to her.  Please rethink your stance. 

Still, backing off and giving them some room is probably the best step.  Dez, go out and enjoy your life!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline luise.volta

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2014, 07:22:45 PM »
Reminder: We always need to remember that this isn't a debate forum. We share our experiences...and offer suggestions and observations. It is not the intent here to judge and/or advise. Due to the nature of the issues we are facing, we're all pretty vulnerable. Hugs to all...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline ohmama

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Re: distant, disinterested, spiteful daughter in law
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2014, 08:06:30 PM »
Yeah still learning im not sure where your going with that last one but the debate Im not interested in. We're definitely all vulnerable and here for support for one reason or another. We're all just sharing. My suggestion was simply to offer an apology for the email and ask her DIL what she can do to further their relationship. She doesn't understand why her DIL dislikes her, I suggested she be direct and ask. If that's dumping on her then hey Dez, I'm truly sorry.