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Would love advice from some wise mother in laws...

Started by misspiggy, August 22, 2010, 10:12:05 pm

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Hello ladies, let me say first im not a mother in law basher at all. I have a wonderful mother in law, and I love her to bits. I have all the respect for you all who are struggling with difficult daughter in laws or not being able to see your grandchildren, but I would appreciate some advice from you all. I know this is perhaps in the wrong "category" but I really wanted to ask some mother in laws specifically.

I am an expat living abroad with my husband and daughter. A few weeks ago I have discovered that he has been cheating on me, sending filthy emails and meeting up with someone. Luise answered my question on her front page yesterday actually.

I am returning to my home country in a few days for a bit of space and thinking time, with my daughter of course. If Im honest I don't know if I will be coming back here, I kind of feel that the only thing keeping us here (ie, my husband) has now gone, although I feel incredibly guilty and sad to be possibly taking my child away from her paternal grandparents, I think that in the long term she needs a stable home environment, which It is impossible to have if I stay here. Me staying here and living as a single mother is not an option, and at the moment I just need to go home to my family and get a bit of support and advice. This affair has absolutely devastated me.

So if I was your daughter in law, and I have discovered this (she doesn't know about the affair, as far as I know) what would be the best thing to do?

I want to have a chance to tell my mother in law why I am leaving, and how much I appreciate her love and help, and also how incredibly sad I am to be leaving. Do you think sending a letter would be the best thing to do? Any suggestions or comments would be really appreciated. Please be nice ... Its my first time here  :-\ :-\


Hi there, Good Morning and welcome

I'm so sorry you're going thru this Tragidy...God bless you and your daughter....if it were me, and this doesn't say I'm right, however, when the same thing happened to me, I told my MIL...she, of course didn't want to believe me...and she became very upset....however, she was good to me in a lot of way...and I didn't want to just leave without a word. 

No matter what you do, it's a tough call...either way....but leaving without telling her anything, would not be honest...and she needs to know....I would want to know if my son were running around on my DIL....it would really really upset me...but I gotta tell you, I think I would smack him upside the head....if he did such a thing....especially after knowing what I went thru....

but I would definately want to know, and I wouldn't as a mother be upset with DIL for telling me.



Hi Misspiggy - and welcome!

What a tough situation your hubby has put you into...you're not even in your home country?  Sheesh.  What was he thinking?  Anyway, on to the matter at hand.  I don't think it is YOUR responsibility to tell your MIL about his affair at all!  HE needs to tell her, and HE needs to make sure that your MIL understands that this was his choice, and you did nothing wrong here.  You are a lucky lucky girl to have a good relatinship with your MIL.  Your slimy husband shouldn't have to affect that.  Would it be possible for you and hubby go tell her, together?  I think its important that you both be there.  And after he tells her, you can then console eachother (because I can imagine this is going to be very hard for her to deal with also), and you can explain to her what your plans are, but make sure you make it clear to her that you still want to maintain the relationship with her and that you still want her to be "grandma" to your daughter.  Any woman worth her salt will understand your predicament and why you have to leave, to be with YOUR support network (not his).

Even though I am certain that some will view your leaving as "running away" from your problems, I think you are being very wise to go back to YOUR support network for some much needed clarity and healing.  Best of luck to you dear.   


I am so sorry.  I have been in this situation, without the different country thing.  I wanted my MIL to know she was welcome in her GC lives, but I didn't want to have to tell her why we were divorcing.  I had a difficult MIL and I knew that if I told her, she was not going to believe me.  But, I also didn't want her son telling her lies and thinking that I was taking the kids from her.

So, I choose both.  I called her and simply said, "MIL, your son and I are getting a divorce.  I wanted you to know before you heard it around town and I also wanted to thank you for everything you have done for me.  I want you know, you can call me any time in regards to the boys and see them, but I will not discuss the ending of the marriage with you.  If your Son wants to discuss it with you, then that is up to him."

Now, I had a difficult MIL and she immediately starting saying, what happened?  I can't believe this, what is going on?  I politely told her that she would have to talk to her son, and got off the phone.  The next two weeks, oh lord.  She gave me ugly looks all over town.  People were telling me that she told them, "There is no telling what she did this time!  I'm glad he finally got smart!"  Etc.....

One month later, she called me remorsefully and said, "I am so sorry.  I had no idea."  I was able to reinterate that I was thankful for everything and to call me to arrange to see the boys.  I found out that she kept asking her son what had happened and he wouldn't tell her either, so she assumed it was me.  When he was seen around town with his 20 year old "new" girlfriend, people finally started talking and she figured it out when he brought her over to meet them.  When she found out, it kind of kicked her in the gut after talking about me for those weeks.  Now, in typical difficult MIL style, it turned to "Well, I don't agree with how he did it, but I guess if she had treated him better...."   I can laugh now, because that was always how she had been.  But, she does still call me every once in a while (my boys are adults now) and checks in.  I think deep down, she knows I didn't do anything, but will not admit her baby boy did anything wrong.

I think you should call her, and not go into details, but let her know you are leaving and that she is still welcome in the GC's life.  If she asks why, I would leave it with, "Your Son and I are having issues and you will need to discuss that with him."  She may not understand at first, but eventually, it will surface.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Pooh and MissPiggy, you didn't deserve any of this but kudos for carrying on and taking back your lives. MissPiggy, I agree with Pooh regarding how to handle your ILs. Put it on XDH, where it belongs.

My wake up call came early on in my 1st marriage, so I got out before kids. I didn't tell MIL my reasons, and I doubt that XDH has ever told her that "he's not the Messiah, he's just a very naughty boy!" (one of my favorite lines from Monty Python's The Life of Brian.)

I work with juveniles daily, and I see the trouble parents perpetuate when they deny the possibility that DS isn't "the Messiah" and try to fix everything for them, from bringing in late schoolwork, to getting marks changed, to clearing unexcused absences. The DS has no chance to learn personal accountability. Putting his actions/consequences back on him stops the enabling, at least where you're concerned. Best wishes.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Welcome - Thanks for coming over from www.MomResponds.com to www.WiseWomenUnite.com. I can see that the fabulous women here have given you a lot to think about. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thank you ladies - Im leaving very soon, and I do think I will tell MIL. It has been a tough one to juggle as well, there is also a language barrier (IE Im speaking my second language to her) so sometimes difficult situations and made worse by this.

I will be seeing her in the next few hours, and I might make my husband sit down and tell her. Its hard because he is still denying everything about this affair to me - although I have (what I consider to be) hard evidence. I was considering showing her the messages I found ( I kept them all incase we get a divorce etc) but I don't know if she needs to see those. Although she might believe me more then.

Its a very difficult situation, Im very emotional at the moment which Is not helping at all - I mean, Im leaving my home behind too, although we are not selling it. There are so many memories here, and Im just so very sad...


I agree that she doesn't need to see the evidence. Even if she, she might deny it if he told her it was all a "mistake." So sorry you have to go through with. We walk with you...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama



Good luck misspiggy and know that there IS life after divorce.  I was devestated and an emotional wreck after mine, but you have to grieve and move on.  I now have a better life than I ever have!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Good morning
I've read what others wrote here yesterday and am inclined to agree...my situation was different, and I told my MIL, b/c I knew her son would try and lie his way out of it....so, b/c we were so close, I wanted her to hear it from me....and no one else....it was up to him after that, to do what had to be done, however, I don't believe he ever admitted it to her. 

His sister was a counselor and still is to my knowledge...we are still friends...and she was the one who advised me to tell her mother....by the way...remember, every situation is different...but I have to go along with the girls here....and agree with them despite my post the other day....I could be wrong....it just depends on yoru situation....my first thought is honesty, and if your close to her and she asks, then maybe you should tell her to ask her son...????  I don't know....

However, what the girls say here makes perfect sense. 

Good luck and know your in my thoughts and prayers...this cannot be an easy thing for you to do....it is very un-nerving and your wise to consider all aspects of your actions....along with the feelings of others...please know you are admired for that...hugs...Creme