Author Topic: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue  (Read 2327 times)

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justus

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DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« on: August 28, 2010, 03:39:53 PM »
Someone said on one of the topics that the MIL/DIL problem was a new one and was because of the difference between generations. I was reading "Growing Up" and believe me, this is not a new problem. The author was born during the Depression. He loved his paternal GM, but he equated her as a spider in the center of the family web. All but one of her sons (the author's dad) married a woman she found for them and her sons did everything she said. The ones that lived close gathered at her house in the evening and the ones that lived far away were there every Sunday. She allowed them to stay home during harvesting. All holidays were spent at her house.

She hated the author's mother from the moment she met her and the MIL's son knew it because she hated the flapper hair cut. He married her anyway because she was pregnant. The GM had no respect for the Mom as a parent. She ignored rules about food, about scaring him with ghost sitings, and paid no attention to requests about time. She did what she wanted with her GS with no thought to respecting his parents or teaching him to respect his parents.   

The problem was that they were both very strong women who expected to be in control of the DH/son. It was a war. He doesn't talk about how his mother behaved towards his GM, but I bet it wasn't pleasant.

The mother raised her son to be under her control and it was only when he was in his late 20s that he was able to break from that and that was more than his dad ever accomplished. His dad died when the author was 5 and his mother moved away from the the small country town the family lived in to escape her MIL. The DIL won that battle.

When the author fell in love, he lead the girl on for four years because his mother didn't approve of her. He knew his mother didn't like her because her comment after the first meeting was, "She could be such a pretty girl if it weren't for all that make-up." That was all she had to say. He finally proposed when it looked like the girl was ready to move on without him. Him mother used all the tricks DIL complain of on other boards to keep him from proposing. She lost this battle just like her MIL ahead of her.

He didn't detail how his mother's relationship was with her DIL only to relate that when his mother was suffering from dementia in the 1980s and was close to death, he went to see her. He expected his W to come in with him, but she refused. He said, "You just didn't understand her, she had a tough life." She replied, "I understand she was a MEAN woman," and refused to go in.

None of this is new. All of these problems seem new because they are new to us and it is easy to blame the younger or the older generation. People are people and I wouldn't doubt that there were the same MIL/DIL problems back in the hunter/gatherer days.

Disclaimer: the quotes are paraphrases as I don't have the book in front of me right now.

cremebrulee

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 08:24:19 AM »
Hi There JustUS, good to see you...
no, this is not something new, and has been alive and well for centries...maybe even since Adam and Eve...?  LOL

I remeber hearing stories over my lifetime about the evil MIL/DIL, however, I used to just shrug it off thinking it wasn't really true...

Whenever you have two or more people involved, there can be problems....


Offline luise.volta

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 02:07:11 PM »
My pastor used to say, "Wherever three or more are gathered you have a potluck and a fight.."  ;D

Women often rule the home and they are Queens. There is only room for one. If boundaries extend beyond the home because they are attached to a person...watch out..because you have a New Queen surfacing. Oh, oh...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pooh

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 07:34:11 AM »
Oh, this is by no means a "new" problem.  My Mother has told me stories about her first MIL and my GM's first MIL that were horrid.  And it was like Luise said, they were the Queens and expected everyone to bow to them.  And my Mother and GM did, because that was how they were raised back then, to respect your elders, no matter what.  How terrible for them.

IMO, I do think the new generations do not value the sense of family as much.  My own DS/DIL would shrug off a family reunion to go to a concert.  And I don't mean they already had concert tickets when the reunion came up.  I mean, they would say they would be at the reunion and then friends would invite them to a concert two days before, and they would think nothing of going to the concert instead.  I do think that is a difference in generations.  My GM, Mother or I wouldn't have thought of doing a concert instead.  Just my opinion.



We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

miss_priss

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 12:32:35 PM »
Quote
Oh, this is by no means a "new" problem.  My Mother has told me stories about her first MIL and my GM's first MIL that were horrid.  And it was like Luise said, they were the Queens and expected everyone to bow to them.  And my Mother and GM did, because that was how they were raised back then, to respect your elders, no matter what.  How terrible for them.

It's funny that you mention this Pooh.  I was too raised to always "respect your elders."  And this never came as a problem for me until MIL entered the picture.  "Respect your elders" is her favorite thing to throw in my face, and in her son's face...in anyone's face!  It really did not take me long to figure this woman out, after she repeatedly used "respect your elders" to get my DH to fund her lifestyle, let her move into the house for weeks on end, etc.  The used "respect your elders" as her loophole to get whatever she wanted and treat her son and myself as horribly as she felt like. 

Which reminds me...now I need to go post about my "favorite" memory of my MIL!

Offline luise.volta

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 12:41:48 PM »
That is such an oxymoron: you don't demand respect or use it to manipulate...you earn it. And those who do, never have to mention it. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

miss_priss

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 02:12:14 PM »
That's so true Luise!

Offline Pen

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 07:10:37 PM »
"Respecting your elders" doesn't mean allowing yourself to be abused by your elders, IMHO.

Regarding the kids going to a concert at the last minute, common courtesy is common courtesy. I was raised to honor the first invitation and graciously decline the second no matter who was issuing it or how much more I wanted to attend the second event. I tried to raise my kids that way, but peer pressure is a powerful thing.

Some people really aren't bothered by hurting other's feelings, I'm finding out. I'd be embarrassed to hurt someone else, consciously or unconsciously. I'm not sure it's generational since I know a lot of older people (my age) who have the attitude, "Just deal with it." They leave others devastated and walk away without any remorse.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

duvexy

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2010, 10:34:02 AM »
I agree,  the "the respect your elders", was a given and I do not think it was perceived to be a term to be used to control others with all situations.  Even in the military there are chains of commands and rules of engagements, which if used properly and honored then the chances of good civility is higher then most.  This is my first time here and now I feel I have been exiled from my family due to their perceived concerns that they have of me.  I have studied the word respect and I was taught that it meant to have fear and love. literally for a person.  That is what my Dad taught me, but my Mother whom is passed away.  My Mother never mentioned respect, but she would tell me, in which manner that I have treated her, will be bought back on me ten fold and so it has.   :-\

miss_priss

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010, 06:29:24 PM »
Anna - I understand your point.  It's frustrating when people simply won't commit, and oddly enough, this is one of my MIL's biggest "gripes" about me...LOL.  She's complained that we don't make the 7 hour trip up there enough, and she's got a point.  We really don't go that often, a just few times a year (even less now that we have a baby, and the expenses that come along with her).  Of course we go even less now that we don't have any contact with her.  We try to maintain contact with the other members of the family by phone, email, facebook, etc...but we don't make the trip much anymore.   

"Lack of commitment" could happen for a number of reasons.  It really could be that they are waiting on a better offer, or it could be that they have "tentative" plans already, and need to see if those plans come to fruition, OR....

speaking for myself and my family (DH and child) here....

Sometimes I just need a break.  It's not that I don't want to commit to an event...it's that I already have so many other plans around that date, that I just need some "home" time.  No family visiting, not going to anyone's house for dinner, no shopping trips, no in-laws coming for the weekend, no traveling, no entertaining....I honestly don't want to commit to anyone or anything other than my husband, my baby, my pajamas, and my sofa.   ;)

Just my two cents...


Offline luise.volta

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2010, 07:31:55 PM »
As most of you know, I am "in recovery" from "care giver burnout" and will have eye surgery (cornea transplant) on Wed. I commit very tentatively and I leave myself a lot of latitude. I do like the whimsy of being able to say I am committed to my glider rocker!  ;D
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

barelythere

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2010, 07:45:07 PM »
My best to you, Luise.  Many prayers and thoughts sent your way on Wednesday.  What a scary thing but also necessary.  You are so strong!  Sit in your chair and vegetate awhile, rock away till you get better.  Sending love back to you.   

Offline luise.volta

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2010, 07:49:29 PM »
How lovely! Thank you! :)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline pam1

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2010, 07:24:19 AM »
As most of you know, I am "in recovery" from "care giver burnout" and will have eye surgery (cornea transplant) on Wed. I commit very tentatively and I leave myself a lot of latitude. I do like the whimsy of being able to say I am committed to my glider rocker!  ;D

Sending you good wishes!  You'll be in my thoughts, Luise.  I hope you get some quality relaxation time :)

I may have been the one to say that DIL/MIL problems are new and perhaps I was unclear.  I know that DIL/MIL problems go way back however, the way society currently treats them are new.

Cut off is a fairly new form of handling relationships. (yes, there were exceptions from back in the day) People today do deal with difficult relationships and especially familial relationships, drastically different.  It is a commonly held belief that the more difficult the relationship, the more you back away.  One side doesn't have the power, if you will, to dominate the relationship.  Society and economic strides (families are less dependent on each other) tells us that *now* to better your life and your chances at succeeding professionally, socially and mentally (which is our societies current goals) is to cut the fat in your life.  It is a go, go, go mentality.

Whether it's right or wrong for society to have evolved this way is largely irrelevant b/c this is what we have, what we have to deal with.  It's basic reality for families today.



People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

miss_priss

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Re: DIL/MIL problems not a new issue
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2010, 08:43:28 AM »
very well put Pam1.  You're right, we are a society of "you do your thing, I'll do mine."  Where our paths really don't have to cross unless we just want them to.