July 22, 2019, 09:59:40 am


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Looking for Solutions

Started by justdontunderstand, June 14, 2010, 07:33:12 am

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I was wondering if anyone has had success in asking son to speak to DIL about the need to communicate with his family to try and keep lines of communication open. Or is this always a bad idea?


I think there's a lot of room for misunderstanding in asking someone to tell a third party that you need them to change.  If you talk to your son about this, it would probably be best to say something like "I love you and DIL very much, and am really upset that there seems to be such distance between us.  Do you feel the same way about it?  What do you think we can do to make this work?  What do I need to do?" 

You can't fix your DIL (even assuming that the issue is solely hers), all you can do is focus on what parts of this are yours to work on, and maybe enlisting your DS's help in figuring out what that is.  Telling him his wife is wrong and he needs to school her is a losing proposition from the get-go, and will probably create even more distance than there already is.
This too shall pass.  All is well.


I'm not sure whther to answer the poll question yes or no because there's two questions with different answers.

So I'll share that I think a good rule of thumb when communicating with other adults is to treat them like equals.   

As I read your query, I asked myself:  Would it feel wrong to approach the husband-half of a couple I'd want to be closer to, where I don't know the wife very well, and ask him to speak to his wife about what she needs to do to, and how she needs to communicate more often with me?   Would I expect the husband or wife to react favorably to such a request? 


I agree, Elsie & Sassie. Third party explanations, especially when filtered through someone who is in the middle of it, can go awry. Perhaps if your son is a great communicator and very aware it might not be a problem, but how many of us are that lucky? (Luise is :D )

It was very tempting to bring up the subject of DIL's treatment of us to DS, but I sensed that it might backfire on me and kept quiet, much to my surprise (it was very difficult.) DH & I waited, and eventually a situation arose that DS could not ignore. He came to us upset about DIL's rejection of us, and we listened without adding any commentary (again, it was very difficult to stay silent.) We supported his marriage rather than stooping to what might be seen as criticism of DIL. (I know, I'm still shocked.)

Letting DS figure out what was wrong and how to handle it empowered him to deal with DIL & her family as a man, not as a "momma's boy," and it means more to us that he makes an effort to maintain our relationship without being pushed. We see more of him now and have actually heard that DIL appreciates how we let them make big life decisions without pressuring them the way her FOO does. Things aren't fantastic, but they are improving.

Daily I wish I could just sit down with DS and talk it out; I want to know what I can do to make things better, and I want reassurance from him that we are still important. However, considering the way things are currently, I will not bring it up and I will not discuss my feelings about DIL with him. Thanks to all of you I'm better able to step back and let go of minor hurts.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I think that when you ask someone to speak for you, your set up what is called triangulation...(he said/she said) and complicate further what is already complicated. Your son needs to speck for himself and he may not agree or he may have his own reasons for not taking it on." You might try talking to the two of them but my experience is that when you tell people yo like them to be different, it's all downhill from there. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


As a DIL, I am wondering if you have tried speaking to your DIL instead of going through your son.  I am here for MIL issues and perhaps my situation is different.  I feel/am left out of the entire IL relationship - they talk to DH, call only his cellphone, thank him for gifts we (I) send.  I am only the blame person for things not communicated or done to their liking.  In writing this I am becoming aware that I am wanting them to do things that I am no longer willing to do... at one point I made an effort but I was never accepted, appreciated, or acknowledged so I quit.   I can't imagine my MIL actually having an interest in MY life.  I guess I can't blame them for feeling the same way and the chasm grows...

I am not fully aware of your situation but just thought that perhaps a daugher inlaw that no longer tries perspective could shed light.