Author Topic: DIL has never shown respect  (Read 5000 times)

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Offline Thumper

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DIL has never shown respect
« on: June 15, 2015, 08:14:48 AM »
Before our son moved 650 miles away our relationship was healthy and strong. He has been away for 7 years. He met his wife 6 years ago and has been married for 4 years. We now have a grandson. My DIL is from a family that makes it no secret they do not like people. My DIL was never taught social skills and ruled her parents roost while growing up. Unfortunately she has never given us the respect we give to her and our son gives to her parents. My son and husband speak on the phone daily because of our sons risky job. During our last visit my DIL voiced her dislike for my husbands advice to our son. For example the baby was fussy and so my husband said perhaps he was hungry or teething. My DIL called me to instruct us to stop suggesting these things...the baby is only fussy with our son! A week later the baby's first tooth came in. I keep my mouth shut with her and turn the other cheek when she tells me I'm goofy. There have been no plans to come home to visit us and if we want to see our son and the baby we travel down to them. But are instructed by DIL we can only stay a few days...one day for travel - the next full day of a visit and have to leave the next day. Which is fine, we don't want to interfere. But now our son has stopped calling my husband and during our last visit his joke telling and smiles have gone away. His good neighbor friend no longer comes to say hi when we arrive...our son says he isn't sure what happened to their friendship. I just wanted to share that as a mother of a son, it makes me sad that we won't be in his life to share. Not to meddle in his private life but to share and be included in this next phase of his life with his little boy. I will get on with re inventing things to keep me from having a broken heart. Thanks for letting me share.

Offline Lillycache

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 10:33:17 AM »
Welcome... and know that you certainly are not alone.  Most of us in someway or another have had our expectations dashed when it comes to our involvement in our sons' lives.   It is not anything you did..  it is not anything you can fix... but it is something you can accept.   I know that sounds defeatist, but acceptance of the situation is part of healing from it.   It is difficult, but eventually we all come to the realization that our expectations are just that... OURS... and our sons and DILs have no obligation to meet them.  Forcing the issue is not going to help and will make things much worse.

 It would be wonderful to be included and to feel wanted, but for many of us, that's just not the cards we were dealt.  Moving on and building happy lives for ourselves is what we must concentrate on.  We cannot and should not rely on them to make and keep us happy.    It's getting to that point that is the hardest, and it's usually two steps forward and one step back.. but it's a journey worth making..  Feel free to vent here anytime..  There are lots of listening ears.

Offline jdtm

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 10:57:31 AM »
Lilly has wise words - I, too, was in the same situation.  This morning as I was walking, I was thinking of being a mother of a son who marries.  From my experience (and I have had three DILs - only two sons though), I feel the DIL chooses the position of her own as well as her husband's extended family (unknowingly or knowingly).  One position is inclusion - we are accepted and treated as part of her and our son's family.  Another position is exclusion - we are ignored and not included at all (probably forgotten) as part of their family.  The final choice would be a combination - on the outside looking in.  Here we are included at times; excluded other times.

I have been in all three positions.  I found that if I was excluded, well - acceptance and getting on with my life seemed to be the only answer.  Oh, I tried to be "included", but it only made matters worse.  To be on the "outside looking in" can be hurtful, but I am learning how to be thankful and appreciative of the times we are included.  I have been lucky enough to be "included" with one of our DILs and I thank God and her dear mother for this.  I wish when I gave birth to our sons someone told me this - the last couple of decades would have been a lot easier and a lot less hurtful.  Please keep sharing - it does help to know that you are not alone ....

Offline Monroe

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 11:10:03 AM »
My DIL . . . . ruled her parents roost while growing up. Unfortunately she has never given us the respect we give to her and our son gives to her parents. My son and husband speak on the phone daily because of our sons risky job. During our last visit my DIL voiced her dislike for my husbands advice to our son. For example the baby was fussy and so my husband said perhaps he was hungry or teething. My DIL called me to instruct us to stop suggesting these things...the baby is only fussy with our son! A week later the baby's first tooth came in. I keep my mouth shut with her and turn the other cheek when she tells me I'm goofy. There have been no plans to come home to visit us and if we want to see our son and the baby we travel down to them. But are instructed by DIL we can only stay a few days...one day for travel - the next full day of a visit and have to leave the next day. Which is fine, we don't want to interfere. But now our son has stopped calling my husband and during our last visit his joke telling and smiles have gone away. His good neighbor friend no longer comes to say hi when we arrive...our son says he isn't sure what happened to their friendship. I just wanted to share that as a mother of a son, it makes me sad that we won't be in his life to share. Not to meddle in his private life but to share and be included in this next phase of his life with his little boy. I will get on with re inventing things to keep me from having a broken heart. Thanks for letting me share.

Hi Thumper.  You will find you are in good company.  For me, that helped a great deal, to know it wasn't just me.  For starters, I would have to agree with everything Lillycache said. 

Next, you say she ruled her parents' roost.  Could she be one of the trophy kids, and expect you to worship her as the special snowflake that she is?   I fear my Dil may be one of those - I gave her a warm welcome - but did not worship her, and that may have been part of her wanting nothing to do with me, if she is used to getting her own way. 

Of course your husband is right about the baby having been teething.  He may have just been making conversation, but most of us MILs here have learned to not make any suggestions whatsoever.   I am just glad it was your DH making the teething comment, not you, because if a MIL makes such a comment, many DILs are greatly offended and take it as an insult that the MIL thinks the DIL isn't a good mother, etc. etc.  So most of us don't go there - and would not even suggest a raincoat if it was raining cats and dogs. 

You say they don't visit - that you have to do the traveling.   Do you stay with them?  If money is not an issue, I would probably suggest a reasonable motel or B&B nearby.   Personally, I would not be comfortable staying with a DIL who treated me the way she treats you - so it would be worth the money to not be a guest in her house.  At least that is what my DH and I do when we visit our out-of-town son and DIL. 

The way your DIL is will not change.  Sorry.   You might read the No Win Deal thread - many many posts by MILs who have walked many miles in your shoes.  It won't change anything - but you will see that you are not alone.   

My concern is that your DS' behavior has changed.  Not calling your husband anymore.  Your DH could talk to your son about this - (you shouldn't as it was not you the DS had been calling.  the daily calls had been to your DH - so he is the one to explore with your son why the change) -- not suggesting that your DH interrogate your son - but maybe call him, ask if all is OK between father and son - and if daily calls are too much, maybe son could call a couple of times a week - or even just once a week.   This wouldn't be a call about problems the DIL's behavior is causing - - leave her out of it.  It also wouldn't' be about your hurt feelings.   This would just be a conversation between son and father about what has changed between the two of them. 

Anyway, these are just my basic thoughts.  I'm sure others will chime in.  But you are far from the only loving mother whose son married a woman who, for whatever reason, wants nothing to do with her in-laws.   

Offline Monroe

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 11:15:15 AM »
JTDM posted while I was writing - just wanted to say that I agree totally with you, JTDM.  You hit the nail on the head when you say the DIL chooses whether there will be inclusion or exclusion.   

Offline Lillycache

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 08:34:06 AM »
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Of course your husband is right about the baby having been teething.  He may have just been making conversation, but most of us MILs here have learned to not make any suggestions whatsoever.   I am just glad it was your DH making the teething comment, not you, because if a MIL makes such a comment, many DILs are greatly offended and take it as an insult that the MIL thinks the DIL isn't a good mother, etc. etc.  So most of us don't go there - and would not even suggest a raincoat if it was raining cats and dogs.
 

Just a funny story.. and it underlines how TRUE your statement is.  Right before my final break with DIL, when the youngest grandson was a newborn, I made the horrific mistake to commenting that I was pretty sure his eyes were going to be brown.. not blue like the other kids'...  Holy Moly...  you would have thought I was predicting he was going to grow up to be an ax murderer.  She told me that there wasn't any way I could see that and the look on her face and tone of her voice were pretty scary.    HAHAHAHA... guess what.. He's 5 years old.. and has the prettiest BROWN eyes you have ever seen!

This just shows you how true Monroe's statement is..   Some of us cannot even open our mouths or give an opinion.  Who wants to be around people like that anyway? 

Offline Monroe

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 10:09:53 AM »
Lilly - in "Gone with the Wind", after Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) gives birth to her daughter, Rhett (Clark Gable) comments that the baby's eyes are as blue as the bonny blue flag, therefore they will call the baby "Bonny".  Melanie (Olivia DeHaviland) tells Rhett that all babies eyes are blue when they are born.   But Rhett was not offended, neither was Scarlett.   Darn good thing Melanie wasn't somebody's MIL.    ;D ;D ;D

Offline Green Thumb

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2015, 05:18:59 PM »
I would echo all the above posts and add a little more. Definitely stay in a hotel and come and help her cook and clean, play with the kids, etc. -- if she'll let you. Don't be just a guest be a helper, bring her flowers, cook, do the dishes, just act polite and pleasant and do the best you can to stay even keeled and not getting angry at her. You do this for your son, to help him have peace at home and not give her any ammunition. I keep posting the same thing, but consider if she is a narcissist and google character traits of a narcissist and also traits of a narcissistic family. Surely sounds like she is the N and your son is the enabler, his role is to focus on keeping the N happy. Which is a daily beating.

It is hard when our AC chose someone like this. My AD has chosen a guy who is only interested in himself and his family. See it works both ways and is not just sons who drift away, this SIL is a mama's boy and mama intends to be the super grandmother and involved in her AC lives and really that is all there is time for. My AD is passive and her father is pushy and demanding of her time also -- so something has to give and that is ME being pushed aside. It takes a while but I have made peace with it. I don't want to be that demanding narcissistic MIL, I would rather be ignored than be pushy and demanding and making it all about me. We all have to find a way to feel okay about what is our reality. Accept it, etc.

Offline Monroe

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2015, 08:27:02 PM »
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Of course your husband is right about the baby having been teething.  He may have just been making conversation, but most of us MILs here have learned to not make any suggestions whatsoever.   I am just glad it was your DH making the teething comment, not you, because if a MIL makes such a comment, many DILs are greatly offended and take it as an insult that the MIL thinks the DIL isn't a good mother, etc. etc.  So most of us don't go there - and would not even suggest a raincoat if it was raining cats and dogs.
 

Just a funny story.. and it underlines how TRUE your statement is.  Right before my final break with DIL, when the youngest grandson was a newborn, I made the horrific mistake to commenting that I was pretty sure his eyes were going to be brown.. not blue like the other kids'...  Holy Moly...  you would have thought I was predicting he was going to grow up to be an ax murderer. 


So, Lilly - I'm dying to know - - is your your adorable grandson an ax murderer??   :D :D ;)

Offline Lillycache

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2015, 04:32:08 AM »
Not yet...  at least that I know of..    :P

Offline Pooh

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2015, 01:19:44 PM »
Hiya Thumper.  Sorry that I didn't welcome you sooner.  The mods lives have been a little chaotic lately.  Welcome and when you get a chance, please read the posts under "Open Me First". Nothing wrong with your post, we ask all new members to read them.

The Ladies here gave you some excellent words of wisdom.  :)
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

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2015, 01:00:12 PM »
What do you mean by your DIL and her family do not like people?  Are they introverted?  Non-talkers?  Lots of people are comfortable with only minimal personal interaction.  That's not bad or good, just the way they are.  If you only met your DIL 6 (less?) years ago, you are not really in a position to comment on how she was raised.  You didn't witness it. She may have been taught social skills but chooses not to use them. She may have been taught different social skills that makes her behavior come across as rude to you, but would be perfectly acceptable to many others. Maybe by her standards you are rude and boorish and your DS is highly disrespectful of her parents.  There are many ways to interpret each action.  Is it rude or polite to take off you shoes when you enter someone's home?  Some think it's rude; some think it's polite.  There's no definitive right answer. 

 What does your DIL do that makes you say she has no social skills? Does she spit on you?  Insult your religion/race/ethnicity? Steal from you?  Spread lies about you?  Share too many details about her personal life?  Ask you inappropriate questions about your personal life?  Limiting your visits to 3-ish days, not visiting you and telling you not to put in your own two cents about her child is not lacking in social skills necessarily.  Those are her prerogatives as an adult.  (It's a good thing you didn't say anything about the tooth thing - just because the baby got a tooth a week after being fussy doesn't mean the tooth caused the fussiness.  If the baby is only fussy with his father, chances are it wasn't the tooth.)

Are you trying to blame your DIL for your son not visiting you, not calling anymore, being on the outs with his neighbor and not telling jokes and smiling?  There could be plenty of reasons for these things that have nothing to do with your DIL.  Blaming the DIL (just like blaming the MIL) is an easy out.  Personally I find the idea of daily phone calls with a parent suffocating.  That's me, though.  Many parents and AC speak every day or even several times a day.  As long as both parties are ok with it, nothing wrong with it.  Your son may have outgrown his need/desire for daily phone chats.  It doesn't matter how dangerous his job is, he's not required to call or answer a call every day.   Your son wouldn't be the first AC who used the spouse to create distance with the parents, and you wouldn't be the first parents to blame the spouse for distance with the AC. 

I know there's more to your story than what you've written.  There always is.  You could be right on the mark about DIL being rude and nasty.  However, you might want to consider trying to evaluate her behavior in another light.  Many times people post here with a complaint, then after reading how others find the behavior OK, realize the relationship is not lost.  Good luck.

Offline shiny

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2015, 05:23:08 AM »
Herbal, it's always refreshing -- for me -- to hear your thoughts!
Sometimes I/we get trapped in our own little world of thinking and can't 'see' outside the box ...

Offline jdtm

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2015, 05:37:50 AM »
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But now our son has stopped calling my husband and during our last visit his joke telling and smiles have gone away. His good neighbor friend no longer comes to say hi when we arrive...our son says he isn't sure what happened to their friendship.

Here is another thought from "outside the box".  The poster's situation reminds me of our son and ex-DIL.  After several years of marriage, she left our son and abandoned her children (not to say this will happen in the poster's case).  Later, we discovered our ex-DIL was an alcoholic, diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder and probably suffers from a difficult-to-treat personality disorder.  I hope I am "way off base" in the poster's situation; but this was ours.  The parts I quoted are major "red flags" for something being amiss.  I hope I am wrong.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: DIL has never shown respect
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2015, 05:55:54 AM »
Thumper I think H was having a bad day.  I totally agree with LC.  And to be honest teething or not is not the question.  I think your DIL does not want any suggestions whatsoever.  I think your DIL may be struggling with feelings of inferiority and may interpret any suggestion as a negative comment on her parenting abilities.  It would be hard to sit by and watch your GC hurt when you know of a possible solution but cannot even suggest it without such a violent reaction so it may be easier to not see your GC as often.  Sad but true.  Sorry!

Good luck on filling your time with thoughts and activities that you and your DH enjoy!  When the wonderful women here convinced me to concentrate on my own happiness it made such a difference in my life!  We are going camping this afternoon and DH walked up and hugged me really hard last night.  He said he knew that he would get grumpy during the hard work of setting up camp and he wanted to have something in the "emotional bank" to offset the bickering we always do.  I laughed so hard!  We always disagree on multiple things when we are canoeing to the campsite.  I am always steering the canoe and he is always front seat driving.  But we both love going sooooooooo much!  Happy Father's Day to him!!!!!!

 
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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