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weird/no relationship with mil , where do we go from here? Happy but stuck.

Started by love3, July 02, 2015, 10:54:58 am

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I have no relationship with my mil ,way before my DH and I had our first son she had went behind my back  by saying very ugly and hurtful things about me to her son she could not handle her son growing up and is very manipulating and controlling she always has been says everyone from her family and relatives . I then realized our whole relationship I "thought" we had had been a WHOLE lie .

I let my DH parents see our son but barley go to their house I don't like to because she makes comments that I know are meant to put me down . Like these.

1. "Can I pay for this for you... I can get you a new this... a new that..."( after she said she would stay out of our financial business. (I feel this is to take back control, and will not allow her too) if she wants to buy stuff for my baby that's OK, but I don't like her buying too much because I feel she is trying to always one up me by spending a lot more money than me when we are both shopping for him she does this right in front of me and its very offensive  .

2. comments about my baby : " I wonder when his eye color is going to change"... (he has my eye color)

  "Hes like our family" he does this and that"... ( This is a BIG NO NO) she does not have the right to say these type of things after everything she has done and said to my family and my FOO.

3 .She NEVER compliments me after I do to her . Its weird, she will look me up and down and not say anything . I think she is jealous and insecure because she is very overweight.

4. she makes EVERYTHING about her and will not engage in my conversations about anything she will either change the subject, ignore me, or make it about her again. I feel this is done on intentionally .

5. If I talk about happy things about my relationship with her DS she will not engage at all or ignore it and walk off and she does this everytime I have even tested her on it by continuing to do it and always the same result! She makes it obvious she does not like me to be her DS wife and shows that she still  does not like me deep down inside.

She wants to babysit my child but I wont let her and she gets upset. because I don't trust her and we have no relationship. Theres no trust.  How can I trust someone who has hurt me and denied it? How can I have a relationship with someone who doesn't want a relationship with me and engage in my family's and FOO life and says comments to put me down? How can I trust her when I don't even know her ? I don't know her at all really, I thought I did but it was all a lie so now I am stuck with knowing the true her and it sucks. Its every DIL dream to have best friend relationship with their mil . Its OK though things are great with my DH and me he is currently going to school and I am working we are so Happy have the best relationship with my mom and I look up to her so much she is an angel
. I guess that's why its hard to accept that my mil is like this right now. Only time will tell.   :P



Welcome, L. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First, read the five post placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure it's a fit. We are a monitored Website.

It seems to me to just be able to write down how we feel and share it with others, some of whom have 'been there and done that', is often the first step. For many of us, it's hard to have a working relationship that works when it comes with an extended family that doesn't work. I hope you find support and understanding here.

I had the opposite issue as a young bride...I was drawn to the parents and married to be part of their family. (That didn't work, either.) Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Green Thumb

Hi Love3, welcome! It appears your MIL is not a nice woman and somehow ends up wounding you emotionally when you are with her. Our lives are often full of not nice people, at work, our relatives and neighbors. But when we want a relationship, it hurts us because we don't understand why they don't act nice to us. People who are all about themselves and put themselves first always and are incapable of seeing how other people feel, are narcissists. I would tell you to first accept how she is because you can't change her and she isn't going to change. Second, detach from this relationship. Detach means let go of the emotional connection that keeps you in pain. Accept and detach and this will help you move forward in a way that is best for you. Pretend she is someone that you don't care how she acts or is. Like your neighbor, or the grocery checker, if she was rude, you would just avoid her, you would not really care, doesn't matter in your life, you aren't going to see her much anyway.

Lastly, it probably is not about you, you have not done anything wrong. She acts this way because of some lack or some ugliness inside of her. She is probably incapable of having a loving relationship with anyone. If she's a narcissist, this is a personality disorder and won't change or get better. Learn to say to yourself, Don't take it personally. Because she would be nasty to anyone standing there. It is not about you, it isn't you that is the problem. Knowing this and saying this phrase to yourself will help you detach.


Only one thought comes to mind.....

"Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity"

Are you absolutely positive that she is being mean?

Maybe she is just oblivious. 

I wonder what she is thinking of you if she is using the same filter?

She wants to buy things for you and the baby.  Your baby's eyes may change.  And lastly she feels left out of her DS's  life. 

None of these emotions are bad but they may need to be moderated.  Please do not cut your MIL out because of her inexperience with dealing with DILs.  Just sayin.....

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


QuoteAre you absolutely positive that she is being mean?

I'm on the fence here - wonder if Stilllearning might have a point.

Going through your items - Number 1 - My husband and I often offer to pay for our children/grandchildren's experiences, etc. (not to be involved in their financial affairs) but just to be generous.  When our children were younger, we could not afford many things; today we can.  But, it is only to be generous and not to be controlling.  Number 2 - the colour of babies' eyes often does change so I really don't see this as a point of contention.  Grandparents tend to "look for those things" that remind them of their FOO - not to be cruel or dismissive, just to solidify the inclusion of this precious child in their family (both sides tend to do this and frankly, I think it is endearing).  Number 3 - As for compliments - I am uncomfortable with receiving compliments, and when I receive one I tend to change the topic of conversation (and maybe her weight does make her self-conscious or maybe she feels the compliments are insincere or whatever).  I like to think this behaviour is one of humility.

As for Numbers 4 and 5 - I strongly agree with you that there is a problem there.  And maybe she does not like you or her son being married or feeling as though she has "lost her family" or as Stilllearning said "she feels left out of her DS's life".  I so get this.  In my opinion, when a son marries, his FOO are either included by the new wife, excluded by the new wife, or on the outside looking in" by the new wife.  I have been in all three positions (and two of these positions with the same DIL).  From what you have written, it appears that your husband's family is "on the outside looking in" and from my experience, that is a really painful position to be in - sort of like "walking on eggshells" - or "damned if you and damned if you don't".  In my situation, the loss of my family happened in a heartbeat.  The odd part of this is that we with "ghost families" go about our days with a smile on our faces; pretending the hurt does not exist; often "justifying" our son's (and his family's) actions to easy our pain.

Anyway, Just sayin .....

Green Thumb

QuoteAs for compliments - I am uncomfortable with receiving compliments, and when I receive one I tend to change the topic of conversation (and maybe her weight does make her self-conscious or maybe she feels the compliments are insincere or whatever).  I like to think this behaviour is one of humility.

Since we are saying look at this from the other person's point of view, I am going to tell you how it feels when one person negates compliment. Say person one says to person two, "what a pretty top, that color is great on you!" Then person two gets that dear in the headlights look, breaks eye contact, looks away, and says, "Pretty day outside, huh?"

Here is what person one feels: negated, put down, belittled. Person two is saying loud and clear, "you are wrong/stupid/foolish and I won't acknowledge your kindness". This is not humility. 

True humility is saying "Why thank you!" and accepting the compliment. Humility is putting the other person first. Therefore a humble person would accept the compliment with grace because the humble person wants person one to feel good. If one negates the compliment, person two makes person one feel badly inside, feel less than, feel foolish.

It works both ways people.


Quotenegated, put down, belittled. Person two is saying loud and clear, "you are wrong/stupid/foolish and I won't acknowledge your kindness"

Perhaps - perhaps not.  Depends ....


When we get into interpreting what others are thinking and feeling that motivates their behavior we can easily get lost in the process. We can be curious and we can care but most of the time we can't know. The best I have been able to do is to make peace with my own thoughts and feelings and give others the benefit of the doubt.  Sometimes it has to be from a distance. All we can do here is share our experience. There is always the other side of the coin that can be debated.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Green thumb and Still learning you both make excellent points and I understand where you are both coming from.
To Green thumb I do agree with you I believe and feel that my mil is a narcissist. I have come across narcissism online  before (studied it a lot actually)  because of this situation and she fit into almost ALL the traits/characteristic/and background.  Its scary...  her own older brother even said  she will never change and that  she can not keep relationships with many  of her friends and  family members. Also if she is not completely a narcissist , then I definitely think she has some type of mental/personality disorder. Detaching myself from her emotionally and the relationship is what I am/have been doing and I am proud of myself for that it's not easy.


At Still learning and Jdtm , there have been some altercations/incidents with his mil that makes it positive and has shown me that she is being mean, I wish I could write them on here but she is  VERY nosey women. I do agree with you that she may feel left out of her DS life, I understand she wants a bigger part in our life. But I didn't make it this way, she did and she needs to prove she can be trustworthy. It is seeming like my mil is a narcissist from shocking stories I have heard of her other family members and her continuing behavior towards me, which is what I'm dealing with right now. I'm not going to COMPLETELY write her off she can still see her GC and us but I need to detach emotionally as green thumb explained.

Thank you all so much for the feedback and advice!  Great website: )


Do you feel it is time to close this thread, L.? It seems to me everyone has had their say. If you do, please know and I will close it. We are here for you and would appreciate your sharing on other posts. It gets to be kind of a family for many of us.  :)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


The thread can continue I like sharing and getting feedback. It's nice to hear other people's perspective and stories in similar situations,  even if at times it's hard to listen it is one of the best ways to understand anything from a mil.


I'm sorry love3, but our reply can only be based on what is written.  I assumed (silly me) that your MIL was just feeling "left out" - a normal reaction; not that she was suffering from some mental health issues.  Please know this - most of here have lived through some sort of mental health "hell".  I have - not with my MIL - but with our ex-DIL and now deceased sister-in-law.  Usually I can sense when mental health issues are present, but for some reason I missed that "sense" when I read your thread.  I feel for you.

My FIL was a mean person - I attended all family events with my husband but never went near him.  I always spoke to him and replied when questioned - but, I was as distant (in both mind and body) as possible.  I let my husband do all of the interacting with him (luckily my MIL was a wonderful person).  I did this for several decades.    And, I did not trust him either.  So sorry ....

Green Thumb

The best thing you can do with your MIL is to know by her behavior, words and deeds, who she is and how she is. Accept it as what it is and don't hope for different or think you are the cause or the problem. If you can be as kind as you can, yet still have boundaries and not allowing abuse of you or your child or husband, then this will make things happier in your own mind. She is not going to change but you can change your attitude and thinking. You can detach from expectations and hope. You can set boundaries.

No person has all the characteristics of any mental illness or personality disorder. My understanding is a personality disorder is a way of acting, thinking, & being, that cause long term difficulties in relationships and functioning in life in general. We have contact with PD people all through out life.


Welcome love3.  I truly can sympathize with you on this one, as she sounds extremely like my Ex-MIL.  The way you described her, fits my ex one perfectly.  The one thing I did learn about myself through that 21 years of dealing with her, was that my resentment of how she treated me (legitimate issues) bled over into everything she did.  Even if she was doing something nice or said something that my own Mother could say and it wouldn't phase me, I immediately bristled because it was her saying it.

I said that to say, from the outside looking in, I agree with some of the others about #1 and #2.  When my DIL and I go shopping together, I do tend to spend more than her and offer to purchase most everything, even if it's something she picks up.  It is by no means because I think I will get any kind of financial control over her, but simply because with a one-income household and three babies under 3 years of age, I know they struggle.  They are very good with their money, but it's just me trying to help them out.  I would never tell them that I was doing it because I thought they couldn't afford it.  I usually look at her when she says that I don't need to spend that much money and say, "Don't you know it brings me intense joy to buy them things?  You spend your money on doing something fun." 

#2, I wouldn't think a thing in the world about making a comment about the babies eyes, as it is common for them to change color.  Nothing at all to do with DIL.  All three have been born blue-eyed, as is my DS.  DIL has darker eyes.  I have made comments that I wonder if their eyes will change over to more her color. 

The rest of your list, I'll totally agree with you and it brings back such memories for me of how my Ex MIL was.  I did the same thing you are doing as far as not keeping her from her GC, but kept my distance.  I did let her babysit, because I could trust her with the kids.  No matter how badly she treated me, I knew she would never jeopardize their health or wellbeing.  Did she do anything like I did with them?  Why no.  Most of the time she took great pleasure in letting me know her way was better.  I learned to just smile and say, "Well I haven't killed them yet."  :)  I really could have cared less if she dressed them different or fed them different as long as they were safe.

I'm sorry you are dealing with an MIL like this (as far as 3-5), as I know it is frustrating and hard. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell