Author Topic: Advice needed - Future daughter-in-law is allowing contact only via her  (Read 32622 times)

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Offline Keys Girl

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I have been in an ongoing subtle but nasty battle with my future daughter in law and son for almost a year.  After refusing to fund the engagement ring and an elaborate, extravagant wedding (I'm a pensioner living on a shoe string), the you know what hit the fan when she dictated that I was going to pay for a huge open bar for her large, extended family of 150 people.

She is a very controlling, aggressive individual and is now trying to prevent me from speaking to my son, emailing him and allowing all contact to them via her.  My son appears to be beaten into submission although he has yet to marry her.  I'm running out of patience for her "She who must be obeyed" attitude and despite her young age, she's used to pushing people around and them giving in to her every whim.  I am no longer prepared to try to do everything and anything to please her.  She has used the "cold shoulder" treatment on me for the last 2 months and in that time, I got used to them not being in my life.  While it was very difficult at first, as the weeks went by, I went on with my life and actually enjoyed the peace and quiet.

She sent a email asking me how come they hadn't heard from me? Since I had already sent 3 emails, one in which I asked for their new address so I could send a housewarming gift (which went unanswered), the blame shifting mechanism is in place.  I called my son around the same time and he said he would get back to me and never did.  He's done this before, I've heard her say something to him and he gets off the phone with a stupid excuse.

Here's the question.

I'm starting to believe that there is no point in keeping any semblance of a relationship with them unless I want a steady diet of humiliation and hostility.  I'm not prepared to eat that for anyone.  If my son has decided that she is the woman he loves and wants to marry, so be it.  I'm not marrying her.  I'm thinking of letting them know that our relationship is subject to one more try.  That I will give them a chance to rebuild our relationship with cooperation, respect and courtesy, but if that doesn't happen, I'm prepared to end it and wish them the very best of luck in their new life and get on with my life and enjoy the peace and quiet again.

Any ideas?  My family is really my son and my aunt who lives quite a long distance away, but I do have a family of friends who are wonderful.  I've been burying so many of my friends who are dying of cancer, that if it's my turn next I don't want my last years to be full of this little brat and her demands.

"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

Offline luise.volta

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I always hedge with an ultimatum..."one more try and here's how you have to be." I think you are asking for qualities they either don't have or refuse to apply to you. They are how they are and they are probably going to continue to be how they are. You can't tell them how to be, even when you're 100% right. Just my take on this. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Orly

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When you are talking to them on the phone remember to plaster a smile on your face.  Yes, even though you are not happy or are irritated, this little trick will make your 'voice' sound pleasant.  Then for every request made for financial funding a "Oh, I'm sorry, my budget won't stretch to cover ANY of that, so no I can't help you with it."  As to your e-mails for addresses, evidently they really don't want any housewarming gifts, so go with their implied wishes and do not send any.  Send e-cards for all of their events (b-days, anniversaries, etc), again since they will not supply you with an address.  Respond to her "cold shoulder" tactics as if they aren't really happening....how deflating it is when a person's snubs are not noticed.

I'm sorry that your son and soon to be DIL are acting this way, maybe when they get tired of trying to get your back up and run off with your goat, they will realize they are wasting THEIR energy and time.  Or else they will bruise their foreheads sufficiently and quit banging their heads against the wall.

Sending a wall of support your way.

cadagi101

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Hi keysgirl,  you are luckier than many, you have other family and friends and a great attitude to hold your head high when it comes to that FDIL how awful it must be to be in that situation.   My first thought if it were me is to just what you are doing - staying out of their lives, maybe you feel like being there for them if they ask you, maybe you don't but it will be a wake up call  for FDIL and ds if they have children.   You might be surprised how they need you then.!!  Depending how they treat you in the meantime though if it continues to be rotten who could blame you for not being available. I do not have married children so I am talking through my hat really but from what is often written here lots of MIL's keep the peace with difficult DIL's to have contact with gc.    I would give it one last try with both of them if that doesn't work,  on the sly I would tell ds you are dissappointed the way things are going - but that you accept it and will stay distant he might be concerned and dissapointed in gf's attitude  as well.   Also and hearing it from you might be just what he needs to get a grip.  -who knows he might call the whole thing of...if he knows he has your support.  Similar story with my SIL and my parents.   It took her getting breast cancer to realise her dm wouldn't drop everything to help out with her 4 children but my mum was more than happy to help.  dil is a changed person, I could never have believed someone with a heart of stone could melt.
keep your head and dignity in tact.

Offline Pen

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Oh my. She's not likely to change, so you'll have to have a coping strategy. Continue to be as independently fabulous as you are and even crank it up a bit! Here's hoping your DS then decides he wants to maintain a relationship with you, since you're so interesting and not at all the typical clingy cartoonish M/MIL that everyone expects, and informs his fiance that although she will always come first, his mom is still an important part of his life. FDIL can accept it or move on. What a concept!

We can dream, eh? Best wishes to you, KeysGirl.

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

Offline luise.volta

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Oh, I love that!  ;D
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

catchingup

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Hi keys girl. "She sent an email asking"HOW COME THEY HAD NOT HEARD FROM YOU" Thats the key
Let them seek you out. Let them think you are totally independant and self assured and sound jolly and full of life if you do have contact.
Running after anyone and allowing them to think you are "Dead" without their contact will drive them away even more.

I agree wholeheartly with the advise "Orly" gave you.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2010, 10:47:15 PM by catchingup »

Offline Keys Girl

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Thank you very much to everyone for their feedback.

I don't speak to them on the phone because they don't call me and when I call my son says "I'll call you back in 20 minutes and doesn't".......

It's curious to me that they are being oh so hostile BEFORE their wedding.  I never thought I would think this but attending the wedding is not high on my priority list, especially since the bride deliberately schedule the date to coincide with a big charity event that I work for every year......."oh, I thought it was around then......." was her subtly hostile reply when I found out the date.

At this point in time, I will deal with them via email........maybe once every 2 months, that's 6 times a year, and send emails to them for birthdays, Christmas and make a donation to a charity.  Last year when it was my birthday, no phone call, no email, no nothing.  On Mother's Days, no card, no flowers, but my son did make a phone call late in the day to wish me Happy Mother's Day.

Now that my son is into his 30's, I expect more.  His GF has a habit of calling him constantly if he is with me alone (like once every 3 years).  One year on Mother's Day, he came to my apartment which was across the city to wish me Mother's Day (no card, etc.) and she phone him 23 times in the 30 minutes he was with me.

I'm not going to worry about the whole "be nice to us or you won't see your grandchildren"........that game works both ways, "Be polite and courteous to me or their grandmother may be on the other side of the globe, helping out other people's children in a refugee camp".

I think these DILs live for the fight, so they can prove to the MILs that they are the "Boss"......I can't get an enduring portrait of her dressed as Hitler in a little mustache and a "Sieg Heil" salute out of my mind. 

She is who she is, and since her parents have spoiled her and catered to her every whim, she's expecting me to do the same.  I have done my best for 5 years, buying gifts, dinners, etc., etc. but no longer.  My son was not brought up that way (I brought him up on my own) and while there were many times when he was growing up that I was so proud of him that I thought my heart would burst out of my chest, this is definitely not one of them....I have to say that I've been overwhelmingly sad in the last 2 months, it's like a death in the family, and it is, the death of my son as the person who I thought he was and I now I have to deal with the reality that who he has become, under the thumb of "she who must be obeyed" and too passive to stand up to treat his mother with basic courtesy is not a pretty picture.  While there were many things about my ex-husband that I didn't like, he never would have tolerated me being bold and demanding with his mother, and I wouldn't have considered it let alone followed through on it, MY mother would have had a fit.

This future DIL is looking for the squabble, so she can get her jollies.  She won't get it from me.  The only thing she will get from me is distance, geographical and otherwise and the bare minimum of courtesy.  I'm not going to sit down with them and try to be honest.  There's no point, her constant plague of phone calls is indicative of someone with "stalker" type tendencies and being honest with those people is always a big mistake.  Knowledge is power and I won't give her any more knowledge other than the fact that I am still on the planet, which I will make sure she gets every 60 days.

I have decided that since I live some distance away from them, I won't make to effort to drive to see them, stay with them or have/buy meals for/with them.  They have never come to visit me, despite my many invitations.  I will deal with them via email alone, and likely will decide to attend the wedding......but will hire a big, ugly, burly motor cycle gang type actor dude as my escort.  I'm not looking forward to spending a minute with my ex-husband now that his long term relationship has ended, with the whole emotional "Oh don't they look lovely together"......so me and "Tiny" can arrive, stay as long as necessary for the ceremony, photos, speeches and then skeedadle on the back of his Harley.  He can count his earnings for the wedding gig and then I will go to a lovely hotel for a massage and spa treatment followed by a quiet evening in the company of a couple of wonderful friends.

It's very sad, disappointing and not the way I had expected that things would work out.  As my aunt said to me "I'm sorry to have to say this to you, but "That's life".
"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

Offline Keys Girl

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Oh, one more thing.

Next year on Mother's Day, my phone will be turned off, I'll go white water rafting or something, make a big day of it for myself and if my son calls, well, thank goodness for voice mail.
"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

cremebrulee

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Yes, I do....I'd let my son know, how I felt in no uncertain terms....and I'd ask him straight out..."What did you do in your life, that you believe you deserve so little"....and then, I'd also let her know, you won't tolerate this behavior, it's unacceptable...with both of them together, I'd let them know you mean business, and it's they're choice....but you will not tolerate this for no one, not even your son....and then tell them both, they need counseling...let them know this behavior is not normal....and ask your son, why he takes it..?  Why he allows someone else to dictate to him when he can and can't call his own mother, spend time with her and other family members...and make sure you tell him, after they are married it will only get worse....and if she wants a big wedding, then she and her parents can pay for it, that you simply cannot afford to do so and won't. 

I'm really sick to death of these kids today, expecting parents to fund they're extravagant weddings...she is not in love with your son, she is in love with the idea of love and having this huge princess wedding at everyone else's cost.  Ridiculous. 

It sounds like your on the right course...it is not easy to cut your child out of your life....I did so for 3 years...it was hell....for me it didn't get better, but at least I felt like I had my own peace and self respect....I was unlike you, trying to hard...walking on egg shells all of the time....a lot of it was my own fault...I was being fake, and she knew it...the harder I tried, the harder I failed...

Sending you hugs in hopes it all works out for you, but it sounds to me, like all your ducks are in a row....LOL

Creme

barelythere

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Thank you very much to everyone for their feedback.

I don't speak to them on the phone because they don't call me and when I call my son says "I'll call you back in 20 minutes and doesn't".......

It's curious to me that they are being oh so hostile BEFORE their wedding.  I never thought I would think this but attending the wedding is not high on my priority list, especially since the bride deliberately schedule the date to coincide with a big charity event that I work for every year......."oh, I thought it was around then......." was her subtly hostile reply when I found out the date.

At this point in time, I will deal with them via email........maybe once every 2 months, that's 6 times a year, and send emails to them for birthdays, Christmas and make a donation to a charity.  Last year when it was my birthday, no phone call, no email, no nothing.  On Mother's Days, no card, no flowers, but my son did make a phone call late in the day to wish me Happy Mother's Day.

Now that my son is into his 30's, I expect more.  His GF has a habit of calling him constantly if he is with me alone (like once every 3 years).  One year on Mother's Day, he came to my apartment which was across the city to wish me Mother's Day (no card, etc.) and she phone him 23 times in the 30 minutes he was with me.

I'm not going to worry about the whole "be nice to us or you won't see your grandchildren"........that game works both ways, "Be polite and courteous to me or their grandmother may be on the other side of the globe, helping out other people's children in a refugee camp".

I think these DILs live for the fight, so they can prove to the MILs that they are the "Boss"......I can't get an enduring portrait of her dressed as Hitler in a little mustache and a "Sieg Heil" salute out of my mind. 

She is who she is, and since her parents have spoiled her and catered to her every whim, she's expecting me to do the same.  I have done my best for 5 years, buying gifts, dinners, etc., etc. but no longer.  My son was not brought up that way (I brought him up on my own) and while there were many times when he was growing up that I was so proud of him that I thought my heart would burst out of my chest, this is definitely not one of them....I have to say that I've been overwhelmingly sad in the last 2 months, it's like a death in the family, and it is, the death of my son as the person who I thought he was and I now I have to deal with the reality that who he has become, under the thumb of "she who must be obeyed" and too passive to stand up to treat his mother with basic courtesy is not a pretty picture.  While there were many things about my ex-husband that I didn't like, he never would have tolerated me being bold and demanding with his mother, and I wouldn't have considered it let alone followed through on it, MY mother would have had a fit.

This future DIL is looking for the squabble, so she can get her jollies.  She won't get it from me.  The only thing she will get from me is distance, geographical and otherwise and the bare minimum of courtesy.  I'm not going to sit down with them and try to be honest.  There's no point, her constant plague of phone calls is indicative of someone with "stalker" type tendencies and being honest with those people is always a big mistake.  Knowledge is power and I won't give her any more knowledge other than the fact that I am still on the planet, which I will make sure she gets every 60 days.

I have decided that since I live some distance away from them, I won't make to effort to drive to see them, stay with them or have/buy meals for/with them.  They have never come to visit me, despite my many invitations.  I will deal with them via email alone, and likely will decide to attend the wedding......but will hire a big, ugly, burly motor cycle gang type actor dude as my escort.  I'm not looking forward to spending a minute with my ex-husband now that his long term relationship has ended, with the whole emotional "Oh don't they look lovely together"......so me and "Tiny" can arrive, stay as long as necessary for the ceremony, photos, speeches and then skeedadle on the back of his Harley.  He can count his earnings for the wedding gig and then I will go to a lovely hotel for a massage and spa treatment followed by a quiet evening in the company of a couple of wonderful friends.

It's very sad, disappointing and not the way I had expected that things would work out.  As my aunt said to me "I'm sorry to have to say this to you, but "That's life".

I wish there was an icon for hand clapping.  You are my hero.  Well said, Keys Girl.

Offline luise.volta

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(( )) Hand clapping?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

cremebrulee

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yes, indeed, hand clapping and standing ovation...love her attitude! 

barelythere

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Oh, one more thing.

Next year on Mother's Day, my phone will be turned off, I'll go white water rafting or something, make a big day of it for myself and if my son calls, well, thank goodness for voice mail.

Keys Girl,
Will you be sure to write again soon? You give me courage and the oomph I need.  You have to be Auntie Mame reincarnated.  (((((( )))))))

Offline Pen

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Hear, hear! Love your style, KeysGirl. Even those of us on tighter budgets can adopt your "Auntie Mame" attitude. BTW, if your DS is 30 years old, he and his GF should be funding their wedding completely by themselves, IMHO.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb