July 15, 2019, 04:06:17 pm


"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."


Started by Turtle, July 04, 2010, 03:12:39 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


   Hi...new here...once again feeling the pain of rejection from DIL.
Some background; this girl has been our life nearly a decade and we love her dearly. Our adult kids and us have not always agreed, but resolved to love and respect each other.
   We've gone through stretches with this girl, years even, with daily phone calls etc. ..good times.
   Sometimes he will sit at family do's though, being silent. One knows she is not happy with someone or something. Occasionally we've asked whats up, but have come to recognize this as attention getting. A counsellor has advised us not to "feed" this negative behavior and be manipulated by it.
   Recently we went through a family crisis where one of our kids went through a separation. DIL was very upset with us for standing by our own, wasn't happy that we were still trying to help our kid deal more positively with life and the estranged spouse...felt we should be condemning and tell the rest of the relatives what a deplorable person this was.
   One day after a LONG spell of the silent treatment me and hubby decided to confront lovingly. DH and I were calm. DIL was hysterical. We said we loved them and were going to continue to try to encourage the family unit. She comes to gatherings grudgingly and is quiet. 2 wee grandkids we get limited access to. Breaks our heart. We all live in the same state, and nearby towns.
  Sorry, this got too long. It feels better to just put pen to "paper".


That wasn't long. Some new posts are books!  ;D Please feel free come and go here and you will always be heard.

Yes, that kind of behavior is pretty hard to cope with. The old "silent treatment." Yet you get to decide how you want to respond to family issues and you can't let her dictate. It's a fine line to tread and still keep your hurt manageable. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thanks L. for your kind words.
Yes, it does hurt. When we are in a group, the silent treatment is upsetting. My kids were not taught to deal with conflict this way. We are not by any means perfect, but we did teach respect.
We relocate to another state for a few months of the year. Our kids are all adults and going about their lives, so feel this is a gift to be able to enjoy seeing different areas. We keep in touch with them all regularly, but this year DIL would only call if she wanted me to purchase something for her. When I'd call her it was a very lukewarm reception. We were accused of not caring what was happening in the family, and that we just took off and detached. We verbalized the hurt over the separation but that it wasn't going to dictate our lives. We needed to also focus on the rest of life and well being.
I just feel so sad to be so attacked and criticized.
Sometimes I feel like apologizing for offending her, but for what. When I know for a fact theres been a misunderstanding I do apologize. To apologize for nothing seems to just enable for more undue criticism.
As shocked DH and I were over DIL's recent outburst towards us we continue to keep in touch and not cancel family outings. That seemed to make her angrier. We felt it was important to set the boundary, that we would continue with family times. Our love is not conditional.
We have tried to consider their needs, wishes and preferences when making dates, but it never seems right. She says we are manipulated by the others. I think there is WAY more effort towards her than the others. Some accept the love they are given easier than others it seems.
I welcome any words of wisdom form anyone.


Hi Turtle, I'm new here too. I'm not really understanding what your DIL is upset about? Did she think you should take the side of the DIL who is having trouble with your other son? Or is she upset because your family is close?
My own DIL can be very moody at times. She is really nice when she needs me but as soon as something goes right for her she gets a big head or something and her attitude is like. "I wish you would go away?" Leaving DH and I very confused at times.
My Son and DIL have had rough times but the last two years have done pretty good. Our only grandson was living with us for almost 4 months up till just last week because she took pills and left him alone all day while she was passed out and she was turned in and the Social Workers brought him to our home. Thank God! But they were able to get their act straight and get him back. We've always been very supportive of them since they married almost 5 yrs. ago. They have lived with us most of their married life up till 6 months ago and now have a place of their own. What I'm trying to say is I understand how you can be treated good when they need you. Then act if you don't matter when they don't. It can be upsetting to a whole family unit. Our DIL has pulled this so much that my other son's won't even talk to her anymore. They want nothing to do with her. And that hurts their brother.


Hi Smiles2U,
DIL gets upset about different things. When times are great, she can be such a joy.
The last while the upset seems to be that she took the other DIL's side. Now that the separated couple are together, she seems ticked  that they are  together! She said at the beginning she wouldn't take sides. OH boy, did this back fire on her. Everyone is real patient with her, but are getting on with their lives.
She didn't want to be at the last fam. gathering...said she didn't want to expose her kids to the pretend happiness! Sure we all had stuff in our lives, but theres nothing like a family bonding together through thick and thin. (she ended up coming)
DIL says her bro. in law hasn't said a genuine thing to her in all her marriage, that the other sibs don't care about her kids. You should see how they love on those kids, playing, gift-giving etc. However they will relate to others in the room as well, so...
I do so hope for better times again. I thought we had grown past this, but the latest fam. crisis seems to have brought some negativity thats been stunning to DH and myself. We do so miss those babies, but will take those snatches of time when we can, like brief loving his in their care when they come to get something.
Glad to hear when things turn around for people. Its good to hear that your kids are doing better. Good on you for being supportive and caring in a very practical way.
Happy 4th of July. Time to watch fireworks!


Welcome Turtle and Smiles2u.  I think you are handling it great T.  Setting boundaries seems to be one of things that is hardest thing to do and you are doing it well.  I also think you have a great handle on still doing things for yourself and DH and not letting family things dictate your lives.  It is great when we can say, "I will always Love you but you will not abuse that Love". 

Smiles2u, I think one of the worst things we ever feel with our children and Ils is that feeling of only being needed or wanted when they need something.  My stepdaughter is putting us thru that now and it is so frustrating.

Hope you both continue to come here and vent and jump in.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Hi Pooh, and thanks. You sound like a giving person, even when you have your own challenges.
Perhaps your stepdaughter is insecure or even immature? None the less, that kind of treatment is painful.
Wishing you peace, patience, and more PEACE :)


Today is a new day. I was awake early, remembering and feeling the COLD encounter with DIL yesterday. How do I reach her? If there was a way to fix whatever she resents us for, we would. Sometimes it just plain feels she doesn't like us. Right now it doesn't seem she wants our love. We will not force ourselves on her life, but we will make efforts at family unity, and try to find ways to express our love in a way she can accept. At times I find it difficult not to let this consume me.
At least I got to see by grand babies a few minutes. (yesterday in their car)


It's often pretty futile to try to figure out where another person is coming from. It's an endless guessing game and she may not have even sorted it out herself. I think you are wise to step back and be supportive when you can. She gets to make it up the way she chooses (or is driven.) It's her world. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Quote from: luise.volta on July 05, 2010, 09:18:47 am
It's often pretty futile to try to figure out where another person is coming from. It's an endless guessing game and she may not have even sorted it out herself. I think you are wise to step back and be supportive when you can. She gets to make it up the way she chooses (or is driven.) It's her world. Sending love...

Wise words Luise, thanks...that does help me with perspective.


Hi, Turtle, and welcome.  I'm new here too.  The nicest things about this place is that everyone is loving and support and then knowing that we're not alone.  Everyone says the same thing, only with different variations:  we're not getting along with our adult children and/or their spouses -- sometimes we don't even known exactly why and what the problems are -- and we hurt.  Sometimes there's good news, too.  Just a very good nurturing place to be.  So glad you found it.
(I can't remember how I stumbled across it.  I think we're just meant to be here, so we find it.)



Quote from: BellaTerra66 on July 05, 2010, 10:46:02 am
Hi, Turtle, and welcome.  I'm new here too.

Thanks for the welcome Fran.
I too appreciate the perspectives here. I found this through researching help topics on google.

DH and I feel so misunderstood sometimes, especially in the recent separation our fam. went through. At the beginning, we felt the need to inform the sibs what was going on, without attacking anyone. Well this particular DIL felt we WERE attacking the other separated DIL. We apologized, and said that was not our intention.
At that point she was hysterical and wasn't listening to reason, so we told them we loved them and went our way. We have since tried to show our love in small ways. Invite them out for a treat...a phone call inquiring about a sick gc...etc...
Mostly we get the silent treatment these days.
I guess we feel it would be so easy to explain ourselves to her...then she would understand that we are not trying to hurt anyone. BUT...we feel right know we need to leave her be, and accept it as it is, and be open to healthy communication when/if it happens.

Thanks for listening.


Turtle, How are things today? Any better?
We ended up having a fairly nice 4th with all our son's and grandson also with DIL. Our little town puts on a fireworks show every year in the park downtown. They have BBQ and a band then the fireworks at dark. Our Grandson loved it! My DIL had always acted very strange in public and I was wondering if any of you have ever seen this behavior in any of your family?
Okay, this is the way she acts around other people: She will play Mom of the Year! She won't let my grandson run to me even if he is screaming too. It's like she thinks someone will say something about him standing beside us. By the way we were right beside her and DS. It has always been a total confused mess to DH and I??? I mean no one is going to think anything about a child wanting to stand with Grandma and Grandpa? Geezzz. She just goes so over the top playing perfect mom that she don't realize she is making a fool out of herself.
Back when they lived with us if someone came over she would actually put on the perfect act and as they walked out the door as soon as it was closed she would hand me the baby and go to bed? So again I know this is strange behavior. I'm just wondering if anyone else's DIL acts like this? She acts so different in public I just about can't stand to go anywhere with them because of it. Thank you for the welcomes to everyone! I love this site. I hate it's taken me so long to find it.


Hi Smiles2U,
   Today is quiet...just mulling through yesterday's "frosty" 4th.
DS wanted something from DH so we met halfway between our homes. Got to see the babies for 5 minutes; DS seemed happy to see us and seemed like he was really enjoying the exchange with his dad when DIL told him to hurry, she had errands. We notice DS is gently but firmly establishing some boundaries in their relationship without putting her on the spot in public. We admire him for that. He is showing more interest in our fam. again, and will take those extra few minutes like yesterday, to at least have a short (really short) visit.
   I can relate to the situation re your DIL's behavior in public.
   We have learned not to go sit with them at an event unless asked. The lack of words on her part conveys a clear message: back off, so we give them their space. If they are the ones to initiate, for example sitting together, its a whole different ball game and can be very pleasant.
Even though we know many of their friends and they have been DS's friends since childhood , spending many a time in our home and around our table, she is aloof to us if we come around or try to play with the kids a bit.
   So Smiles2U, DH and I have talked a lot about it. There have been wonderful times with DIL, that's why these times of aloofness are so puzzling. We think  underneath  the "calm" exterior there is an insecure person underneath. She has a need to control the world and people around her. As in-laws we feel hurt by this, but sadly, others notice it too. Anyone that she doesn't agree with is criticized or shunned, sometimes both.
   I don't know if your DIL might have some similarities perhaps?
   May this week have more for you to smile about ;D


Turtle, You hit the nail on the head when you were asking if my DIL had a need to control everything. She is really horrible about doing this. And it's lead to trouble more than once. Where if she would accept help when offered once in awhile she would of avoided messes many times.
Not all I know, But many young women today seem to have a need to control their DH and children? Where if I would of tried that back in my younger days my DH would of set me straight real quick!
But then at the same time they are so quick to point out their MIL's are messing up. My thoughts are along this line. If they are this controlling now what is going to happen when the day comes and they are the MIL? I afraid they are in for a rude shock!
My DH and I once not long ago was talking about our boys who are all grown men now. And about young people in general, We were wondering if while we (Us older people now) raised our children giving them to much? And if we were so worried about their self esteem that we always told them how right and wonderful they are. (The parenting books back then said too) But now as grown people they think they can't make any mistakes and are so sure of themselves they think no one knows as much as they do? Just a thought? They wanted for nothing. As parents if they wanted and we could get it? We did! And they think they are supposed to have it all at once without working for it on their own so to speak. Like I said these were just thoughts that we as a couple were wondering about?