Author Topic: hateful daughter in law  (Read 3563 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

raindrops_on_my_soul

  • Guest
hateful daughter in law
« on: February 16, 2014, 09:54:29 AM »
Hello all......

 Any advice and thoughts are welcome. Just to give you some background, my son married a much older woman 3 years ago. He is now 27, she will soon be 43. I am 46, so we are close in age. She had two sons from previous relationships. One is grown and does not live with them, the other one is 15 and does live with them. They live nearby, about 5 miles away. I love my son very much of course, and love to visit him. He doesn't come over to see me very much though to be quite honest, I think it is because he is just a home body type of person. He does come every once in awhile, but when he does his wife never comes with him. I can say she has been to my house once this entire time, even though I have invited her, she does not come. Seeing how this is the case, and I want to keep my relationship with my son strong, I go to their house about once a week. I try to not go at times when it would be inconvenient, for instance, after they have worked a long weekend. I avoid going over on Mondays, or when I think she may be napping, etc. Sometimes when I go she seems fine, talks to me and such. But much of the time she is very distant and cold. When I ring the doorbell and my son lets me in she won't say hello and usually won't even get up from the couch, just keeps sitting there with her back turned to us. When she finally does get up and say something, her tone is very rude, as if she wants me to feel totally unwelcome, which works perfectly because that is exactly how it makes me feel. One time I had to stop by to take my son something after having visited the day before and she asked me if I would just like to move in. Another time I was standing at the door about to ring the bell when I heard his cell phone ring, and heard her say " is that your mother calling again" in a hateful tone when I had only called to tell him I was coming by so as not to show up announced. She literally cringed when she saw it was me and turned and walked off to the bedroom. She also has a way of not keeping plans that were made and won't even bother to let me know. I have tried to be kind and supportive so I really just don't get it. I would think being a woman of her age and having sons of her own she would understand, but the majority of the time she is swelled up like a bullfrog when I am around. I don't know what to do really. I don't think I can say anything to my son, don't think it would do any good if he can't see what is happening and is blind I can't help him. I thought about just not going over anymore, but don't want to stop getting to see him and quite frankly don't want to let her win, but her behavior towards me is upsetting. Let me hear from you guys....What do you think????

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8947
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 11:27:06 AM »
Welcome - We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the four posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to make sure WWU is a fit. We're a monitored Website.

My take (and you will get many other perspectives) is that your son has made a choice and adapting to it is the best way to honor him. It's a fact, whether it works for you or not. Many of us here have had to adjust our expectations...some of us have even had to give them up entirely. They are something we created and no matter how reasonable the are, no one is obligated to meet them. We do our best as parents...and hope for the best when our job is done. Unfortunately, I no longer see an expanded relationship that includes my DIL as a given...it was a hope of mine that didn't make the cut.

For me, this has been a rocky road. I was hurt and angry and I thought my experience mattered. Silly me. I nearly got stuck in trying to make sense of the senseless and thinking I could 'fix it.' Self-pity swallowed me whole for a while and as I look back, I think I narrowly escaped getting stuck there. What's changed? I have gotten on with my life by getting a life. I don't drop in, ever, and as my interests have focused elsewhere...my need to do that has passed. Was it easy? No! Did it happen quickly? Nope! Am I happy now? Yes! 

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
    • View Profile
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2014, 08:34:44 PM »
Welcome, ROMS. This site can be a good place for support and wisdom while we work towards healing. We can only take care of ourselves and our reactions, as our AC can only take care of theirs. It hurts us deeply when they want to distance themselves, whether they are being influenced by a spouse or acting alone, but we can learn to see the benefit of stepping back and living our own best life.

With my DS & DIL, calling once a week would have been too much, let alone visiting that often. Perhaps your DS/DIL will be more amenable to having a relationship with you if you space out the visits or calls to once a month or longer? Just a suggestion based on what worked for me.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline jdtm

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 05:45:11 AM »
I, too, learned the "hard" way.  I figured I had the "right" to drop in and see "my" family whenever I wished (we have two sons).  Actually, with one of our DIL's, that was O.K.  With the other, once a year was twice too often.  Now, I never, ever drop in without calling first - and that would only be to bring a birthday gift - to either home.  Luckily, we are still welcome at one son's home; the other - I have not sat in their living room for a decade now.  Funny, I don't think that I would ever feel welcome in that home again (and that son is now divorced).  I suppose if we were asked for a meal or even "in" to the home - well, I don't know if I could go - a lot of hurt and bad feelings and emotions ....  My husband feels the same way - like a barricade is across the door with evil lurking inside.  But, we've moved on ...   And, a cautionary note - no one "wins" in this scenario, but if you "pit" yourself against your DIL, you will definitely lose.  I know as I tried.  So sorry...

Offline Pooh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5442
    • View Profile
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 06:56:02 AM »
Welcome and I would add, what does your DS want?  Is your DS ok with the weekly visits and/or phone calls?  It's so hard to see inside someone else's relationship.  Is DS telling her that he wished you didn't come over so much and she's taking her cues from that?  He's being nice because you're his Mother about the visits?

Yes, that's all assumptions on my part to maybe make you think about it and see if you've had a conversation with him about it?  Maybe ask him how frequent he would feel comfortable with?  If she's still put off after you square things away with DS, then frankly, that's between him and her to work out.  Maybe if he says that he would love to see you twice a month, you can meet him for coffee instead of coming to the house?

Again, this is all me playing devil's advocate just because I can see where a weekly visit might be way to too much for them.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

raindrops_on_my_soul

  • Guest
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 11:32:38 AM »
He is fine with my visits as we have always been very close. I have tried stopping the visits temporarily for a few weeks to see what would happen and he called and asked me why I hadn't been over. Of course I wasn't really going to tell him why I hadn't. He is not the problem and I know he welcomes me always.

raindrops_on_my_soul

  • Guest
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 11:38:41 AM »
Another thing I have noticed is....it always seems to be fine when her own family visits, but that double standard doesn't really shock me any. It seems to me that often times the woman is quite happy to keep relationships with her own family connected and thriving, but want to cut off all relationships with the mans family as much as possible. Just my thoughts but to me it seems a bit based in insecurity and really quite selfish and immature.

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8947
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 11:57:51 AM »
Just thinking that it may be time to talk about 'why'. DS lives there...he has to know what DIL's attitude is toward you and what it is costing you. Please notice the word  - may. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pooh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5442
    • View Profile
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2014, 06:16:02 AM »
Yes, there does seem to be a double standard in many cases around here.

I'm with Luise.  Maybe it's time to have a conversation with him or her about it.  You can do it without bad-mouthing the wife.  Either by simply asking him if he knows if there is something you are doing wrong that makes DW uncomfortable.  Don't harp on how she's being rude, but turn it around on yourself.  I personally, would try to have the conversation with DW directly just to see what reaction you get.  I'm more of a direct person and again, I would approach it from not what she is doing, but is there something you are doing that is making her uncomfortable.

And I say that because not that you are doing anything wrong, but people seem much more accepting when you approach it from their side.  If she said you weren't doing anything, then I would simply follow that with something like, "Ok. Good.  I just wanted to make sure my visits weren't causing you stress."  At least then, you have tried to see if she will say anything.  Don't be surprised if she says nothing is wrong and continues the behavior, as many of us here have experienced that was well when we've tried to approach it.  It's at that point you just have to enjoy your visit with DH and not worry about what she's doing.  Easier said than done.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline herbalescapes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 334
    • View Profile
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2014, 07:28:12 AM »
I say let it go.  Not in the sense that you stop seeing or talking with your son, but in the sense that you stop paying too close attention to your DIL's supposed attitude toward you.  Correctly interpreting someone else's behavior, emotions, etc. can be quite the challenge.  Why doesn't your DIL come to visit you with your DS?  Could be that she hates you.  Could be that she thinks you disapprove of their marriage (doesn't matter if you do or not or whether you've ever said anything or not, it's her perception that counts).  Could be that she thinks DS wants to visit on his own.  Could be that DS has told her not to come along.  Could be that she cherishes that time to have their house to herself (I know I crave time alone in my own home - no hubby or kids even though I love them).  Could be that your home décor offends her.  Could be anything.  Your challenge is to accept that she doesn't come visit and not read anything into it. 

There are plenty of reasons people don't answer the phone - they don't hear it ring, the battery died so it doesn't ring, their hands are otherwise occupied, they are involved in another conversation and feel it would be rude to ignore the person in front of them.  Try not to assume your DIL is avoiding your calls.  Just leave a message.  She may hand the phone off to DS simply because she assume you want to speak to him, not her.  Or maybe she's not a phone person. 

This is a stretch, but maybe the broken plans are because a) what you think is a firm plan is only a potential plan to her and since there was no follow up confirmation the plan isn't a go or b) your DS is supposed to keep you in the loop.  Many couples adopt the attitude "your family, your responsibility."  The easy solution, don't make plans with DIL. 

You've tried to have a close relationship to DIL and you deserve credit for that effort.  For whatever reason, she is not receptive.  There is nothing wrong with that.  You can't change her (or your DS), you can only adapt your own behavior.  Don't make your relationship with your son about letting DIL win or not win.  Continue to call and visit your son and treat your DIL with politeness.  Respect her boundaries and try not to take her behavior as a slap in the face.  Maybe it's meant that way; maybe it isn't.  Good luck.

raindrops_on_my_soul

  • Guest
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 08:00:00 AM »
Herbal,
 
 Thank you for your rather sarcastic response, but I do understand all the reasons why people may not answer their phones. Not sure where you're getting that from, as I never said she didn't answer my calls. I never call her so that isn't a problem.

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
    • View Profile
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2014, 09:57:05 AM »
ROMS, I sense that you are in a very raw, aching place right now. If this is true, please know that I completely understand! I was there not so long ago myself. When we're in that place it's hard to hear some replies...but I think Herbal means well and is trying, in her way, to help you (because she really does care.)

What made a difference in how I viewed my situation w/DIL & DS was finally really knowing that I was only hurting myself by trying to figure out what I'd done, what was keeping DIL from liking me, what she meant by her comments and actions, etc. etc. etc. After two years I had to let it go.

We don't see DS as often as we'd like, because DIL's FOO is front and center. I cried almost every day about that until I got sick and tired of not living my best life. Now I simply accept it. I don't like it, but I'm moving on.

Now when DS calls out of the blue it is very special! When DIL is out of town, DS makes a point of getting together with us. I have to be secure in the knowledge that he loves us, continues to think about us, honors us, but also has to live a happy life with a happy wife. The less I obsess about DIL's behavior towards me the better.

Let me add that I'm a work in progress - I occasionally still have my moments. But I'm much better now!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Stilllearning

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 463
  • Life.....never exactly what you expected!
    • View Profile
Re: hateful daughter in law
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2014, 04:15:02 PM »
ROMS the posters here come from both sides of the field.  Sometimes reading their previous posts lets you know where they have been and what experiences they are relying on when they offer advice.  I think everyone who posts here honestly wants to help.  There are many of us who have not done anything wrong (sometimes our DIL/SIL/DD/DS even tel us that!) but have found ourselves on the outside looking in at the wonderful family that we helped create.  The more we protest against the injustice the worse our lives become. For us the only choice is to look at something else, something that makes us happy.

As Luise says...we were whole before we had our children and we can be whole again.  Take your power back.  Do not allow your DIL to ruin your mood or your life.  It is amazing how things changed in my life when I started living it for myself and my DH again instead of spending every waking moment worrying about what I did wrong and how I could fix it.  Now when I think about my DS/ DIL I firmly tell myself "It is their life, their choices and their consequences.....it is not my problem!".  No, I do not have it solved but it is much better!! 

Good Luck!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown