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Trying to ignore DIL behavior

Started by Pen, July 09, 2010, 09:47:17 am

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Hi all! We've been on a little vacation with DS & DIL @ my family's homestead. It's good to catch up with all of you WW.

I've tried to make DIL's experience with my family a good one (best accomodations, etc.) She put on the charm around them and they are all smitten. However, on the few occasions she had to spend time with me alone she was her usual aloof, rude self. DH is hip & will validate my feelings, but the rest of my family has only seen the charming side of DIL. What hurts my feelings the most are her invitations to my relatives to come and stay with her & DS (we've not even been invited for dinner) and plans to meet for sightseeing/shopping expeditions when they're in town. She's the one who shuns us at events! I thought I had a handle on all this but I feel like I've taken a step backwards. At least I'm not in tears...just tired of this stuff. DS treated us well, very kind and thoughtful. He didn't see DIL's rude behavior and would more than likely deny it happened, so I'm trying to ignore it and move on. However, if the plans for a visit from my sibs pan out and we're shut out all bets are off.

She's an amazing young woman - smart, beautiful, talented, motivated, and she adores DS. We're truly happy for them, but it hurts to be shut out while others are let in.

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


Feet of clay that only you can see, hidden in dancing shoes for everyone else.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Pen, maybe she's just not sure how to "be" around you?  I really don't know what to say, I've always found you to be very liberal in your views and one of the least judgmental people I've met online.  I really think this issue is her issue rather than yours.

I know it doesn't help much :-[


Well put Post. I had the same reaction. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Yes Pen.  At least you know dil loves your son.  Also, you know that your son is nice and thoughtful with you.  Here you have two positives. 

It really hurts to be be left out....  I am also very sensitive about these kind of issues.   I am truly sorry you are hurt.   Just act as if nothing happened and you will see, she will get it sooner or later.    Hugs
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:


This is such a hard thing to say...but I could totally be that DIL.  I don't know, but it might help to hear the other perspective? 

When my inlaws are in town, I emotionally shut down.  I dread their coming so badly, that I've even tried to book a vacation for myself "by accident" when I found out they were coming.  I "hide" at work by working extremely long hours when they are in town, and here's why:

1.  They live 7 hours away, and they have stated that they don't believe the drive is "worth" a stay of less than a few weeks.  So, they literally "move in" for a month or so at a time.  It's way too long for anyone to have company, but DH and I kindly mentioned a shorter stay to them and his mother got upset and threw a tantrum.  She said (and I quote), "This is my son's house, therefore it's my house too, and I don't need permission to come nor will I have restrictions on how long I can stay."  They are retired and love to travel, but since we bought our house they have treated our home as their own vacation home.  It's very rude, but we can't say anything about it that doesn't put her into a rage. 

2.  I feel like a guest in my own home when they visit.  His mother instantly moves into the kitchen and cooks whatever she likes, without asking.  She stocks our cabinets, fridge and freezer with things that we don't eat without asking.  While we appreciate that she buys all this food, she gets angry because it's "junk" food that we simply don't eat.  His father takes over the remote control within minutes of their arrival and controls what we watch on tv...keep in mind, they stay for WEEKS!  When he's bored with tv, he takes over our computer (when you change the tv then, he gets SO mad!).  On top of that, they bring their two dogs.  DH and I both have severe allergies, and we also have a small child, so we choose not to have pets.  But their pets jump all over our furniture, leaving hair and scratches, and one of them pees, on EVERYTHING.  His parents just laugh, and make only a superficial effort to clean it up.  We have tried asking them to board their dogs when they come to visit, but again his mother pitched a fit and said they couldn't afford it, we'd just have to live with it. 

3.  His mother complains that we don't use our vacation days when they come to visit.  She also complains that I don't "entertain" them, or plan things for them to do while DH and I are at work.  She told me once that as the woman of the home, it's my "duty to entertain guests."  I used to care, really I did.  I went to great lengths to make sure they were comfortable, and that they had a car to drive during their stay and I gave them suggestions of places to check out during their visit.  But they never went anywhere I suggested, they just sat in the house, all day, every day, for the WEEKS they were here...then complained that they were bored.  I stopped trying.  Their visits became a nuisance.  If my IL's didn't stay for weeks on end, and were respectful of our home, I could be more inclined to spend my energy entertaining them.

4.  My MIL is a classic Passive Aggressive.  Her snide commentary on how I did everything from cooking to cleaning to raising our child was enough to drive me insane.  But she didn't say these comments to me, nor my husband...she would call his friends and tell them.  Then, they'd call me and tell me what she'd said. 

5.  My MIL is verbally and emotionally abusive to my husband, and always has been.  About the 10th time she screamed at him because he did something wrong (not the way she'd do it), and called him a "bastard" or "piece of s__t," I asked her to leave.  Of course, she told all of her friends and the rest of our family that we kicked her out for no reason.  She totally omitted anything she did to deserve it, then immediately caught the sympathy and attention of those she told about it, and I was, of course, a monster.

So I guess my point is....I'm sure that most of the MILs on here are NOT like the crazy coot I have for a MIL, but before you instantly blame your DILs for "pushing you out," make absolutely sure (and be HONEST with yourself!) that you've done nothing to ask for that treatment.  If you haven't done ANYTHING, then maybe your DIL mistook something you said or maybe she's offended by something you said or did, and maybe this can all be resolved with kind conversation and  GENUINE concern and effort.  We tried talking to his mother about her behavior several times, and asked her to please respect our relationship, our home, and us as people, but she instantly got defensive and denied any wrong-doing.  We asked her to come to counseling with us.  She told us "that's the way I am, if you don't like it, tough!"  Which is, coincidentally, a characteristic of abusive personalities.  If my MIL had made any attempt to correct her behavior, we were willing to turn the other cheek and work with her, but long story short, SHE was responsible for her being ejected from our home and losing any priviledges she ever had with our daughter.  We simply won't allow her the opportunity to manipulate and emotionally blackmail our child the way she's done us, especially her son.   

Again, I'm sure you're nothing like that crazy old bag, but I guess what I'm saying is make sure you're watching your P's & Q's, watch your comments and your actions, and make sure you're not the problem.  Try, try, and try again to make it work, but be mindful and respectful of their relationship, and their home.  If you simply can't come to any sort of agreeable terms on your own, maybe YOU should suggest family counseling for ALL of you.  It would speak volumes that you really want to find peace in this.


I haven't read all your post but when you said a month?  No one should stay a month with anyone. Just my opinion.  Like fish, after 3 days, they start stinking. 


July 14, 2010, 09:48:58 am #7 Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 09:59:03 am by catchingup
"This is my sons house therefore it is my house" So you should have said"No this is our house" Your son and my house.
About the fish. Hide some uncooked fish in each room when they come to visit and stink them out. ;D

I was commenting on facebook about a beautiful picture my son took at the world cup . My FDIL (with whom there has been a problem)and him are in the picture and I commented on the colourful stadium that looked like a bed of flowers with all the spectators in their countries various colours.
He came back and said"It was good being home Mom" and I sent a message back
"It was good having the two of you back home"
I think this is where small things matter.Referring only to him as being home or referring to them as a pair makes her feel a part of the conversation.
Sometimes I think MIL's in conversation with their sons ask questions like "What are you instead of what are the two of you." Afterall they are together--a couple.

Blatantly saying this is my sons house therefore.........Uh Uh


Your house is not her house! How ridiculous! You have the MIL from Hell! Hide! Go on vacation! Change the locks! Hypnotize your husband! Put a contract out on her! Whatever works!!! :o
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Oh, my. I'd run away from ILs like miss_priss's as well. They sound very overbearing, rude, thoughtless and self-centered. We've not done any of the things mentioned; until this vacation we've hardly spent any time with DS & DIL. DIL is more likely to take over my kitchen, criticize me, act like a guest who needs entertaining, bring a hairy pet to stay, etc. We give in equal amounts to DS, DIL & DD for b-days and Christmas, always include her in family plans, never plan private lunches or whatever with DS (although I'd love to be able to enjoy some mom/son time.) I've already covered it all in past posts. Yes, I think DIL may get more comfortable around us as time goes by, although she jumped right in with the extended family immediately...hmmm. We're grateful for what we do have and we're trying mightily to let the rest go. Perhaps one day we'll actually be invited over for something other than helping them move :)

Catching up, the World Cup looked amazing on TV. I'm glad your son could enjoy it in person. Can't wait until it's held here in the States!

Everyone, thank you all for your kind comments and for listening to me go on and on. It really helps to know we have support, doesn't it?
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


"It's very rude, but we can't say anything about it that doesn't put her into a rage. "

So let her rage.  She's 7 hours away?  Well, when she rages, hang up the phone.  If she drives 7 hours to rage on your front doorstep, have the police come.

How can this possibly be a problem unless you let it be one?


One of my biggest regret is "Allowing" my MIL to dictate. Yes we do allow it.
It took me 10 years to put her on her place but so much damage was done in that time.

It was a friend who said to me "No it is not your MIL's fault,it is your fault, you are allowing it"
Fortunately it sank in --she was so right.

You should ask her if her home was her MIL's home.


Aren't friends wonderful the way they give us those one-liners?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama