Author Topic: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me  (Read 2408 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline justamotherinlaw

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« on: June 08, 2015, 12:02:13 PM »
Hi everyone,  I am brand new to this site and have never, ever posted anything anywhere before.  My DS and DIL have been married for 3 years.  Although she is very nice and respectful, it appears to me that she is aloof when it comes to being involved with my DH and myself.   She is never disrespectful but she will never go out of her way to call (they live 15 mins away), just to see how my day is going or if I would want to go shopping with her etc.   I don't call her directly because I feel as if I am bothering her and I honestly don't feel comfortable.   I have called her a few times in the past when my DS was away to see if she wanted to come for dinner or needed anything and she always declines.   About a year before they were married, I was having a very bad day over a situation that was happening which had nothing to do with my DS or DIL, but they were staying at our home for a few days and my then future DIL witnessed me being upset,  I admit it wasn't my finest hour.   My DS has then "teased" me during certain occasions telling me my behavior "bothered" DIL.   I have apologized to DIL numerous times for that day and she always shrugs it off as being not a big deal.   Since then, I have always made a constant effort to be friendly and cheerful around my DIL, but it is clear she is only being pleasant to me out of obligation to my DS.   I have asked my DS a few times if his wife hates me, and if so what can I do to improve our relationship?
My inlaws have not always treated me kindly and have said some pretty crappy things to me over the years, but I too, out of respect and obligation, to my DH keep my mouth shut and for the most part deal with it, but I am not close to them and often feel like I am an outsider in the family even after 30+ years of marriage.     I do not want my own DIL to feel this way.  I want her to love our whole family almost as much as her FOO.   Should I just leave it alone and accept that not all DIL are warm and fuzzy and excited to part of another family as well as their FOO?


Offline Pooh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5442
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2015, 12:52:19 PM »
Welcome.  When you get a moment, please read the highlighted posts under "Open Me First".  Nothing wrong with your post, we ask all new members to do this to become familiar with the forum rules.

Your last statement sums it up.  Not all DILs are interested in going shopping or hanging out with their MIL.  I know you probably had expectations (like many of us) that when you got a DIL, you would be friends and hang out sometimes.  It's a realistic expectation, but it is our expectation, not theirs.  Many of them feel like they already have their own Mother and family and don't need another one, or don't feel the need to have a close relationship with the in-laws.  Nothing wrong with that.  You said she is nice and respectful, so that is to me, a good relationship with someone that may not be interested in nothing more.  She doesn't have to love you or your family.  Getting along is fine.

You have made offers and you are nice and respectful back to her.  I would just let it go as far as hanging out with her for coffee or shopping.  She's obviously not interested.  That's ok.  Nothing wrong with that.  Just continue as you have when they are around as far as being nice.  If you let it go, you will be showing that you respect her wishes and treating her as an adult that can make her own decisions.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2015, 10:32:58 PM »
Welcome to the site! Pooh has much wisdom :)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline NewMama

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 07:15:33 AM »
There are MILs and DILs out there who have warm fuzzy relationships and it usually grows organically over time and is dependent on the personalities involved.

I think if your DIL is nice and respectful to you, even if not close, it would be best to just accept that and carry on. You had expectations based on your own experience, but she has no obligations to meet them. And I'd be very careful about going to your son asking if she hates you. If I felt I was being nice and respectful to someone and found out they were asking why I hated them, I'd be inclined to withdraw from that person.

She sounds like she's being supportive of the relationship her DH wants to have with his family, another thing to be happy about. Pushing for more could make things worse.

Online Stilllearning

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 458
  • Life.....never exactly what you expected!
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2015, 09:42:19 AM »
I totally agree with these wonderful wise women!  If you get along ok then let things be.  The only thing that I would add is that any relationship gets better if the other person feels both respected and appreciated so if you can find ways of making her feel those things it would be nice.  My MIL did this by complementing me on my parenting all those many years ago.  I have found that the off hand remark about what a good mother my DIL is goes a long way.  I am not lying, she is a great Mom and a lot less protective than I expected her to be and I am so thankful because it makes me feel more comfortable keeping her DD (my GC).  Things have come a long way since I found something (anything!!) to brag about where she is concerned.  She has stopped doing the things that used to drive me crazy.  When my DS visits he can actually stay for more than 5 minutes without her calling to find out when he is coming home.  I guess it is true....just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!

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

Offline QuietSong

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 08:31:11 PM »
Hello,
I chose to reply to this post rather than start my own.  This is my first post/reply.  I am a bit shy and unsure of myself.  When my ES and his wife were engaged my now DIL bragged about how I was going to be a part of their children's lives.  My ES also said that my handicapped brother would not end up in a resident home if I were to pass away before my brother, but my brother would live with my ES.
My future DIL was all warm and fuzzy with me until after the wedding.  After the wedding they both changed.  I was then treated with tolerance and not always with respect.  My ES and I had a couple of arguments via the phone.  Since we live 10 hours apart in different states there isn't going to be much or often times when we are in person.  To shorten the story, I made an attempt to apologize for my part.  To own up to my part.  My ES said he didn't want to talk about it that it hurt too much.  That was not the son I raised.  Always in the past we were able to discuss our differences.  Now that they have had their first baby, I was told that my brother was not allowed in their house.  My brother has Downes Syndrome.  He is not violent.  Nor has he ever been difficult with babies.  My story is long.  Probably like most of our stories.  I'm just glad I finally got the courage to join this forum.  Thanks for being here.

Offline Green Thumb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 08:20:49 AM »
Oh, QuietSong, I am sorry about your pain. I think we mothers expect to be mothers forever but our children grow up and become adults and then don't want or need a mother any longer. Dr. Joshua Coleman has a book in which he says something about how older generations, say our grandparents expected the child to prove he was worthy of love and a relationship but current generations, well the kids expect the parents to prove the parents are worthy of the kid's love and respect and a relationship. Some of us are caught in the crossfire.

While it would be easier for you, I don't think its fair or realistic to expect your son to take care of your brother, your son is doing what he needs to do in his own life. If your son and his wife are not capable of taking care of your brother will the same love you have given brother, then forcing the issue is harming your brother as he won't be getting good care. What you need to do is find out how to set up a trust and other caregivers for your brother. Make plans for his future when you are gone. Find a guardian you can trust.

What I have found in my own life is to focus on myself and let the adult children (AC) go on about their own lives. I am estranged from two of my three children.

And frankly, at this stage in my life, I am tired of grieving over lost mothering and caring the burden of caring for everyone, being in everyone's business, etc. First step is to change your mindset and attitude and let go of the relationship you want and accept the relationship as it is now, as your AC wants it. I am sending you a bucket of love and good wishes.

Offline QuietSong

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 12:35:06 PM »
Thank you so much for your reply Green Thumb.  I feel confident enough to start a new comment and to tell my story.  I need the women here.

Offline QuietSong

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 02:20:51 PM »
Dear Green Thumb,
Thanks so much again for taking the time to reply to my cry for help.  I was in another fog last night when I wrote my first blog here that you replied to.  I do have another brother and he and I have resolved what to do should I pass before our younger (handicapped) brother.  The point I was attempting was that my ES went from "oh no absolutely no resident homes for my uncle" to "uncle is not allowed in my house".  I personally did not expect my ES to take my DB in but was so emotionally moved by the gesture"............that when he made this "no entry" announcement Last June I went in to shock. My other brother went into a rage but recovered shortly afterwards. My ex husband (ES father) have always been on friendly terms. He thinks that all of this is my DIL. As does everyone else I talk to.
I agree that I need a new mindset and am struggling to get there. I have good moments and bad moments. Good days and bad days. I just had this set back when my new granddaughter was born. I don't know if I will get to see her in person. I do have relatives that have emailed me pics of her. None of which came from my son. That's why I call him ES. He very rarely communicates with me and I chose to not contact him because he usually sounds as if I am bothering him.
Anyway,  thanks again. I am so glad I found this site. I count all of you and Louise as blessings

Online Stilllearning

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 458
  • Life.....never exactly what you expected!
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2015, 06:37:41 AM »
Oh Quiet I have been there!  I tried and tried to get my now DIL to like me.  She didn't.  The harder I tried the worse it got.  Until I finally gave up. Once I really 'gave up' I had to figure out what to do next.  Well, I had been running around making life miserable for myself and my DH and any other person who would listen so I figured it was time to take back control of my life.  No one can "make you happy" just like no one can "make you miserable" without your permission.  I decided that my DS and DIL did not have my permission to make me crazy.  Period.  I could make myself happy even if I did not have the relationship with my DS I wanted.  I had to readjust my outlook on life and in the process I had to look closely at my relationship with my DS.  During that process I discovered something that completely changed my need to be around my DS.  I discovered that I no longer enjoyed his company.  I wanted to be around the DS that I remembered, not the man he was when he first married.

We all go through phases and my children have been through many phases that I did not like.  This was the first time he went through a phase without me being able to pull him out of it.  He had to find his own way out.  Yes I am pretty sure that his wife had a lot to do with how I was treated, and yes I do think he should have stood up for me but it is his marriage and whatever boundaries he sets (or does not set) inside of his relationship are his to live with.  Since I pulled back he has changed.  I now see signs of him standing up for his FOO and I am happy for it.  He and I are getting to know each other in this new set of circumstances and I am finding out that I respect the man he has become.  Since I am "Still learning" I have to accept that he is still learning too.  There is still lots of time for development on both of our parts. I am definitely not the same woman I was when he left home!  No one except my DH will ever have that much control over my feelings again.

Good luck QuietSong!  Go out and do something fun today!!! 
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2015, 09:27:46 AM »
QS, I just realized that you may not have gotten the Official Site Welcome, so here goes:

Welcome to the site! If you haven't read the pink highlighted items under Open Me First on the home page, please do so. We are a monitored site and want to make sure it is a good fit for you :)

SL, your posts lift me up. Thank you!

QS, we'll probably never know the extent (or not) of our DILs influence on our DSs. I do think it's a real phenomenon, but it's also possible that, at least in my case, DS was unconsciously looking for an excuse to pull away and DIL/her FOO are giving it to him. My DS is thrilled to now be part of a shiny, wealthy family that doesn't have to deal with a disabled adult. We are a loppy lot compared to them.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Online Stilllearning

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 458
  • Life.....never exactly what you expected!
    • View Profile
Re: DIL - Cannot tell if she likes me or tolerates me
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2015, 05:46:33 PM »
Penn I am glad I could help!  I have gotten far more from this site than I could ever give back!!  Just the thought that I am helping anyone lifts me too!!

As for the DIL's FOO do not think that your DS is fooled by the money.  My DS also married into a wealthy family and he does (pretty much) have to toe the line, but I know that he knows the difference between love that has strings and love that does not.  He knows that his FOO loves him even if he is broke.  That says a lot!!  Do not sell you and your family short!  There is something special about someone who loves you even with your faults and your DS will one day understand that!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown