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leave it at that?

Started by mosquitohawk, September 09, 2010, 12:03:41 pm

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At what point do you ignore an inlaw and commence with your own life?  I am happier when I don't have to deal with my daughter in law, but it goes against my grain to shut out part of the family. 
I believe she is narcissistic and obsessive compulsive, as well as having no social skills at all.  She is beautiful and intelligent, and I hope my son is happy!!
Here's why:
She has never written a thank you note; to anyone, not just us.
No notes or pictures from any of the grandchildren, no pictures forwarded.
Does not respond to email or answer their phone.
In twenty years, no invitations to their house, except once in awhile by my son.
Then, he does the cooking and cleans up, while she ignores everyone, texting on her phone, and screaming at the kids. In twenty years, she has never asked me how I am.  When they are at our house, she never talks to me or helps me in the kitchen, and acts as if our house is impossibly filthy (see obsessive compulsive above.) 


Which it isn't; it's not perfect, but pretty good.
Anyway, I feel for her, because she must be unhappy, but I am not a doormat.
But I still feel that I should be able to remedy this situation; how, I don't know.
Any ideas?


September 09, 2010, 01:34:04 pm #2 Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 01:38:34 pm by Sassy
Don't know that you have to shut her out completely. You probably still will be around her sometimes, if you also don't want to shut out your son and grand children. 

So you could be simply civil to DIL whenever you are around her, only because you are a civil person.   I certainly don't think you should be extending yourself to her, though.   That's probably the line between "polite" and "doormat."  I can get along fine with people I don't like at work, because I only have to be polite and civil to them.  I don't expect someone to ask how I am when I already know they don't care how anyone is except themselves.  I don't feel like their doormat, because I don't extend myself, either. 

After 20 years it doesn't seem reasonable to expect DIL to act any differently.  To continue to carry those expectations this long would be disappointing.   Hmmm.  DIL screams at her kids, but she doesn't scream at you.  Can we call that a "plus" in the "be civil" column?  ???  Instead of shutting her out, can you treat her like you would any disinterested dullard that situations bring you in the occasional path of (see above: people I don't like at work). 

If she acts like stranger to you, then that's probably how she wants to be treated.  Which means you're not rude to her, because you're not rude to strangers.   If you want pictures of the grand children, ask your son to send them.   If you want help in the kitchen, ask your son to help you.   

If you do stop sending her cards and calling her, what will she do to you?  Stop calling and inviting you over? Well she does that already.  If your son will get upset at you if she doesn't get a card, then if you want to continue for that reason, decide you're doing it "for" your son and not "for" her.  Or, you could tell your son if he wants cards for his wife, he can learn how to start buying and signing her name to cards and send them to you (like millions of wives do for their husband's each day).

If DIL doesn't send you cards, no reason to send her cards. If she doesn't respond to emails or phone calls, stop placing them.  If she comes to your house and acts like your house is filthy, then consider the source as someone who is obsessive,  and ignore it.  File that one under "her problem."  If you enjoy your son and grand children then keep on enjoying them.  Just don't clutter up the deal with DIL with expectations for yourself or for her. 


After two decades of tolerating her...I would continue...just because your son chose her. It sounds like that's just the way she is. (What a looser!) Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama