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Not sure what happened

Started by mom58, May 09, 2014, 09:07:56 am

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My son and dil, have been married for almost 2 yrs. and lived together for 2 yrs before that.  She's always favoured being with her family for occasions and reading alot of stuff tells me that is common behaviour for many dil's.  Thinking back I remember that I would have rather been with my family, but my mom was always the one who pointed out that I should spend time with his family because it was the right thing to do.  My mil was awful to me, and used me alot, but I never would have treated her the way I am being treated.  I also vowed that I would be a good mil when my time came.

My dil and her mom are best friends.  I was left out of bridal shower and wedding planning, even though I contributed financially to the wedding and paid for half the shower.  I had some input into the baby shower (I'm a new grandma) but I wasn't allowed to have more than 10 people because she wanted to keep it small.  As a result, I didn't invite my cousins because I would have been over the "10", so I had a total of 5 people attend including myself( there were about 30).  I paid for half the bill.

Fast forward, the baby is born.  I take a back seat because I'm the mil.  I never dropped by unannounced, I call ahead to ask when I can visit.  Brought homecooked meals and groceries over to their home for the first month or so, helped with the housework, etc.,  I offered to go stay with the baby so she can get out of the house.  She takes the opportunity to spend the time with her mom shopping, having lunch , taking yoga classes, etc.,  I don't mind because it gives me time with that little bundle of joy.

Holidays are spent with her family, and we get a little time slotted in.  This past easter, (I host easter every year), I invited her parents, brother and his girlfriend.  It was baby's first easter so I thought it would be nice if we all had it together, and, since her family was here , she wouldn't want to rush off like she always does to be with her family.  I was wrong.  I had barely finished putting the food away after dinner, and she announced that her and the baby, as well as her parents , were leaving.  Her mother and her had been having conversations in their language here and there.  They always do this.  I think it's rude since they both speak very good english, but I let it go.  Her and her mother decided it was time to go home.  Baby had napped, was changed and happy, and fed.  She used the excuse that the baby was fussy.  My son asked her not to go.  I practically begged them to stay. I had all kinds of desserts and fruit to serve after dinner with coffee, but they declined.  I was very hurt.  I walked them to the door and thanked them for coming and reiterated that I wish they'd stayed for dessert and coffee.  After they left, I sat on the porch and cried.  I work full time and had worked so hard to make a big meal for all of us and make the holiday special.  My son said he would have a talk with her.  I asked him not to say anything because I didn't want to come between him and his wife.  Well............he must have said something because neither one of them have talked to me in almost 3 weeks.  I texted and phoned her, but she doesn't reply.  I did the same with my son.  No reply.  Just that they're "busy".  Not sure how to proceed.  Do I apologize to her for God knows what?  Go over there and ask if I can come in so we can smooth things over?    My heart feels like its breaking.  And to you dil's out there, if you're going to reply, your help or insight is appreciated, but please remember that one day you too may be a mil, and also ask yourselves, if this was your mother, would you want your husband to treat her this way?


Welcome - M. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and read the four posts placed there under Open Me First. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

My take is we can't change others or expect them to make sense. I don't like that at all but/and that's been my experience. We have expectations...often totally reasonable and they are ours. No one is responsible for filling them. The beliefs and behaviors of others make sense to them just like ours do to us. I would back off and get it is a separate household and they get to make the rules. None of this is easy...yet they are adults.

I suggest that you read Pen's post titled Mother's Day 2014. She was in a tough spot when she came here and some of her circumstances were similar to yours. I think it might help. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


May 10, 2014, 07:24:17 am #2 Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 10:07:24 am by luise.volta
I think the hardest thing to deal with is injustice. You have been treated unjustly, for no reason at all;...and after you have put in so much effort. Gawd...yes that hurts.The problem  with injustice is there is no sensible way to clarify it or justify it or excuse it,  since it's wrong from the beginning.
The only thing I can suggest is you write a letter to them. Leave it for a few days, read it again, leave it...read it again. The letter  should not accuse them of anything. Instead tell them how you felt. Tell them you  cried after they left. And ask them if it is something you do that makes them  distance themselves from you. I have found in the past that  the truth is the best way to go. And if they still don't respond or change their ways, then you know  where you are with them. Then you know you have to make a new beginning without them. It's the struggle that is so painful. But if you stop struggling, you'll start to heal.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne


May 12, 2014, 06:35:35 am #3 Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 09:00:23 am by luise.volta
I second Freespirit's post..  Yes.. Mom58... it's unfair and hurtful.  Very much so.  BUT, believe it or not, you can and WILL heal.  I didn't believe it either in the beginning when I realized where I stood with my DIL.  It was so hard to not dwell on the injustice of it all.  Eventually however, I began to realize that the problem was HER problem. AND I learned, just like knowing not to touch a hot stove after being burned,  not to deal with her.    I have other things in my life to deal with, like an impaired older son, that takes up my "worry time"..   I have good things in my life that give me pleasure.. like a loving husband, and pets, and friends and other hobbies., as well as a satisfying full time job.   So I do not define myself in the parameters SHE has decided I fit into.  As Louise always says, you cannot make sense of the senseless... eventually, you quit trying. 


I was so happy that my ds came over on mother's day with the little grandbaby.  My dd was already here visiting from out of town and she told me he was coming so we could all have dinner together.  But honestly,  I kind of mentally prepared myself for a phone call citing some excuse that he wouldn't be able to make it, or come but not bring the baby, or stop in but not be able to stay long.  All these things went thru my head, and I thought to myself, whatever happens , I can't control it so I may as well just go with whatever it is.  My dh had  left early in the morning to visit my mil who lives 2 hrs. from us.  I decided to go out and spend the first part of the day doing relaxing things that I like to do.  I visited my mom at the cemetary, missing her wisdom and thought about what advice she would offer, went to some nurseries to look at the plants and flowers , did a bit of shopping, then came home and relaxed a bit.

I had texted my dil early in the day wishing her a happy first mothers day.  To my surprise, she replied 4 hrs later with thanks, you too.  First I've heard in 3 weeks, but I was glad to hear.  It also gave me hope that I would see my ds.  I didn't question the behaviour of the past 3 weeks, or the whys/whats/ etc.,  Instead , I focused on the fact that I had my children with me on mothers day, and my grandbaby, and thanked God, and my mother for it.  I told them how happy I was to have them with me and we just enjoyed a nice dinner and some time together.  Not sure what will happen next as far as any dialogue with dil or what the future holds with being a part of their lives, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


Sorry to hear your having trouble with your dil. I suspect the "silence" is a direct result of him satying something, they fought and he just didn't want to be in the middle. Eventually maybe she realized she's being a little self centered. Or maybe she complained to her mom and between them realized it wasn't quite "right". 

As a DIL I distinctly remember feeling dragged off to celebrate at someone else's place when all I wanted to do was be at home and comfortable - It's "my" holiday too!  Once we had kids it was easier to have reasons to just stay home - but I'm sure there were other hurt feelings. As aas a MIL i make a point to have NO expectations of my children on the actual holidays. I remember clearly how much it could ruin a day, running here to there and no matter what someone's feelings were hurt.  I don't want my kids to have to go through that.

For instance - Mother's Day 2014.  I have 3 sons. I saw my middle and oldest sons on Sat evening.  Middle son's GFs mom died a few yrs ago and this day is so hard for her - I won't intrude on her pain and memories for a Hallmark Holiday.  I know he loves me and is very happy with our relationship etc always - doesn't have to be just one day a yr.  My oldest son worked on Sunday, so he grilled steak and we had a bonfire Sunday night.  My youngest works overnight so we went out to lunch today (his day off).  We all spent precious time together reaffirming our love and devotion - people make WAY too much fuss about an actual date.

So - while I agree, that was VERY rude what happened on Easter, my thought is to celebrate on the "off" day. Ie - celebrate Easter on Saturday (Thanksgiving on Fri, xmas on xmas eve etc). Then your granchildren have multiple days of clelebrating, and everyone gets to see all of their family and no one is hurt. And who knows, maybe one day her family will invite you for dessert!  You spent his whole childhood making compromises for his happiness - why stop?  Do it for your son. And for your own sanity.


The trouble lies when there is no compromise.  Compromise means celebrating on a different day, or every other holiday spent with the other family, things like that.  The hurt comes from when it is always the other side that gets the holidays or the alternate dates never work out for them.

I'm glad things are working out for you PFORTE, but we have many members here that have tried all kinds of things to accommodate and compromise only still to be pushed away.  They have given and given and given and are still treated badly.  At some point, you learn that you matter as well.

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


We do matter!  and after all, we were moms FIRST!  LOL! 

I prepared the garden, planted the seeds, weeded out the bad and nurtured the good, all the while, showering him with love, sunshine and time.  Now it is his time to grow a good crop of his own, on his own and with his time. Now my garden is empty with fruit but flowers remain as long as the love and sunshine continue to nurture my own soul and do my best with others.   The seeds planted have become my legacy and will remain until the end of time.

I made a difference in his life and he knows I did my best out of the pure love I will always have for him.  I did my job and did it with pleasure and best intentions and am now focusing on what's next in my own great adventure that is this crazy life I am happy to live.

Wishing you peace during this tough holiday!


Thanks everyone for your views and your support.  It's true, it's difficult when there's no compromise, but after this time , I've decided that as long as I see my grandbaby and my ds, then that is the best I can hope for.  And that will make me happy.  I really hoped that dil and I could atleast be friends, not that I wanted to crowd in on her and her mom, I just wanted to be part of her life .  My dh says she will need me someday.  I don't think so.  She seems to have everything she needs in her family.  We do split holidays up, like they are with her family on christmas eve, so we have christmas day, but again, they have to leave by a certain time because they are going to her family again.  So you see, we never really have a holiday where it's just them spending the time with us.  I suppose there are people worse off than we are and if we do get to spend some time together then it's better than no time at all, and I am grateful for that.  I also decided after this "drama episode", that I will not be trampled on.  I matter.  I was a very good mother and I gave my heart and soul to my children.  Their father was absent for their early childhood because he worked alot of hours, and had a gambling problem.  After the divorce it was just us for 8 years, before I married my current dh.  My life wasn't easy, but I was always grateful that I had my children.  I think that some moms get a bad rap, and that mil's definitely get one.  Their is already the "stigma" and the bad reputation that a mil has.  I thought that if I was kind, and minded my own business, didn't interfere, asked to visit instead of just showing up, helped when asked, etc., that I would be ok.  So you can imagine how this has shaken me and I'm left thinking , "what the heck is going on?"  I suppose it will remain a mystery, this "thing" that I did or said.  I have a life, and I'm going to do my best to enjoy and be grateful for what I do have.  That's that!


M-58. That post sounds like you feel complete with this thread. I guess we have all checked in. Would you like to close it?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Something struck me in your reply " I really hoped that dil and I could at least be friends" - and maybe that's part of the difference.
I never expected to be friends with my children's spouses.  I only hoped that they wouldn't hate us or alienate our children from us.  We are always grateful for the time that they do take to share their lives with us.  'Kids' are SUPER busy these days, and I respect their decisions in who and what to prioritize (and who/what not to).  Would I prefer that someone would've shown up for a family dinner instead of going for a hike?  Sure.  BUT above all, I want them to be HAPPY.  YES, sometimes it hurts - I'm not a robot either. But I also thinks it comes around in the end.

I also look at it from a "daughter" standpoint.  My mother would have me over to dinner every single night if it were up to her.  I see my (divorced) parents every couple months.  They both live the same distance away - but my dad and I are MUCH closer. The respect and understanding that he gives us for having a hectic life, means so much more than her need to reaffirm that she's 'My Mother" and wants to always visit.  My mother always tells me "This isn't how I raised you children" and "When I was growing up, we wanted to be with our parents" etc - those types of things.  I'm sure she has no understanding of just how busy we truly are.  Does she deserve more time?  I suppose.  Will she get it?  Maybe - after she stops 'ordering' or 'expecting' it.  I don't do things from obligation and I don't expect others to either (nor should she want this!).  We're on this earth for such a short time, I only want to be with people that want to be with me - so if someone is too busy for me, that's fine, there are plenty of others that aren't.  And when their hectic life calms down enough to include me, then the time together is sweeter than anything forced could ever be.  Just some food for thought.

You can't force your child-in-law to do anything - the most you can ever do is act in a way that they WANT to.


Ffootloose...that was beautifully said.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne