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Help - Difficult Daughter-in-Law
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sunflower1943 posted:
I have a DIL from "hell" - sorry for the word but she is impossible - they live down the street. My son is just staying married to her because of a child they had together - he is 2.5 years - sad deal.

Am always having confrontations that are ugly. Yesterday I had made a peach pie and brought 2 pieces over to her - my son wasn't home yet. It was so so hot and humid I rang the bell and waited at least a few minutes - I could tell she was home as my grandson saw me and got excited and is so sweet - well, I turned the knob and went in but stayed right at the doorway as I was so very hot and it was cooler inside.

She chewed me out for barging in the house saying she does not like me to come in without being invited by her etc - rolling her eyeballs in disgust. I said nothing as I'm afraid if I tell her off I won't see my grandson. Then, looking at the pie she says I don't eat pies.

I left and was upset - I said nothing - talked to my son and he says there is nothing he can do about it - she is what she is but suggested I go to their home when he is home to avoid this which I will do.

This is not the first confrontation - I really do not say mean things to her or do ugly things - she is just impossible -

How do I cope - what do I do - no one really tells her off - they are all afraid of her.

I would like to tell her to jump in the lake - or something but I am so conditioned to say nothing because of our adorable grandson but frankly I am tired of this verbal abuse.

What can you suggest - I will check this board tomorrow and hope someone out there can give me some good advice in how to deal with very difficult people.

I love my grandson but I cannot stand his mother - she is a "psycho" for sure and my son agrees but chooses to stay with her now for the sake of their child - he said he would have left her a long time ago if there were no child involved.

Please help me - I am wits end. Thank you.
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cjh1203 responded:
I can sort of understand why she wasn't happy that you walked in the house uninvited -- that's something that would annoy me, too -- but she could have approached it in a more polite way. Being so rude about the pie was uncalled for.

Have you asked your son if he thinks there's anything you can do to help the situation (other than not going over when he isn't there)?

Unfortunately, if your son isn't willing to intervene on your behalf -- and if her personality is that strong, there may not be much he could do anyway -- I don't know that there's a good solution. Probably, all you can do is avoid situations that you think might cause friction, and try to visit only when your son is there to sort of act as a buffer.

Frustrating as it may be, you're just going to have to do your best not to make waves, or risk not being able to see your grandson as often as you'd like to. Your daughter-in-law has the upper hand here. Since your son has chosen to stay with her, she's part of your family, no matter how much you may dislike her. I'm sure you've had to bite your tongue a lot, and you're probably going to have to continue to do that.

It would be nice if your son would have a serious talk with his wife about all this, but it wouldn't do anyone any good for someone to just tell her off -- all that would do is escalate the situation.

On another note, does your son realize how damaging it can be to a child for the parents to stay in a bad marriage (if their marriage is truly that bad), just because of that child? Children always pick up on the tension and animosity between their parents, and it doesn't make for a happy childhood.

I'm sorry I can't offer a great answer for this -- your daughter-in-law has most of the power in this situation, and that leaves you in a tough position.
 
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FCL responded:
I wonder whether your situation may just be one of misunderstanding and non-respect of boundaries...?

Reading your post I realized how easily my relationship with my MIL could have degenerated into a situation like yours.

Mine meant only well but had trouble understanding that her son's home was not hers and that we preferred her to call before coming to see us. We never refused but we wanted to be sure to be there when she came. There WAS one time when I asked her if she couldn't come the next day because we were very busy and she said yes but came the same day anyway. She found every article of furniture in the house outside in the garden. We were doing major spring cleaning. She was rather embarrassed.

She had our keys and would come by during the day when we were out and leave cakes and things. The worst was when she did the housework too. That's when I decided that I had to set my limits. So I did. Yes, she was offended. Yes, we spent months not talking to each other but the upshot was that once the limits were established, everyone was more comfortable because they knew they weren't going to offend.

She passed away 4 years ago and I miss her still - she was a major friend and I loved her dearly. However, I can see how things could have turned bad in the beginning if we had let that happen.

Having said that, consider why you are having confrontations. Yesterday, you went to see her uninvited and entered her house by yourself. Yes, you had your reasons but you invaded her territory. Few women like that. Accept that you had a major part in that one.


The fact that you live just down the street does not entitle you to go over there any old time. Have you asked her if she would like you to call first or whether there was a time of day that would be convenient for you to call? She might appreciate the consideration. Learn to speak to the woman rather than standing silent for fear of not seeing your grandson - can't you see that you're feeding that one too?

You're scared of spending less time with your grandson? How about offering to look after him for a few hours at your place (or hers if she prefers) so she can have some time to herself?

Why not try to help her rather than telling her off? You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar... Trying to prove her wrong acheives nothing so why not kill her with kindness?

Sometimes it's all about choosing the right words and the right tone. Try to be positive with her.

Finally, please stop talking about her to your son. You're putting him in a very difficult situation. By all means ask him every day stuff but stop telling him she's a psycho... How do you cope? Start by changing your attitude. You might get a good surprise :)
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
 
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sunflower1943 replied to FCL's response:
I rarely go down there ok - I am not a MIL that goes there often - I can count on one hand how often I go there per year.

I plan on not going there unless my son is there ok - I feel many times she starts stuff - I have never said anything ugly to her so though your advice is good - it doesn't souond like me.

I am always helping her - whenever they need me to babysit I always say yes - AND I do not talk to my son about her - it was just this last time I do - no - I don't do that either. Maybe I didn't make myself clear in this post. I never said she was a psycho - my son told me this - okay - just wanted you to know that.
 
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naggingwife74 replied to sunflower1943's response:
"I love my grandson but I cannot stand his mother - she is a "psycho" for sure and my son agrees"

These are your words and it is clear that you are calling her a psycho. Your son agrees, that doesn't mean that he said it.

Your son agreeing that he thinks she is a psycho, saying he would leave if it wasn't for their child and saying she is what she is could be part of why this woman has some issues. Having a husband that feels that way about his wife would carry over into their relationship. Maybe he does tell her the things you say and she has some bad feelings towards you. Since you keep silent then tell your son what she did she may feel blind-sided because you never said a word to her.

Also, your son telling you these things probably add some fuel to your fire of disliking her. If your son doesn't like her I imagine it would make it more difficult for you to like her.

Just some thoughts. I think you are focusing on it all being her fault instead of trying to mend the situation. Have you ever sat down with her and asked her if she doesn't like you or if you have done something to offend her? Maybe that would be a good first step.
 
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sunflower1943 replied to naggingwife74's response:
I made a mistake in my typing - my son said she is a psycho ok - not me - wanted to make that crystal clear. Ok - he said this not me.

I do not want to ask her why she does not like me - I do not need any more stress with her - for now - stay away as much as I can and that is the best way now to deal with this person. I'm too old for any more stress.

As you get older, it's harder to handle stress.
 
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naggingwife74 replied to sunflower1943's response:
As you get older it is also difficult to make up for lost time. The longer you keep quiet and don't even try to make some sort of relationship the longer you will be allienated from your son, grandchild and daughter-in-law.

It may be stressful, you may not feel it is your "job" and you may not want to hear what she has to say but it is something that obviously bothers you so why not try to make it better? Sometimes being older gives you the advantage of being more mature and able to handle things like this with a more adult attitude.

Good luck, I hope something changes for the sake of your grandchild.
 
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sunflower1943 replied to naggingwife74's response:
Thank you - I am not alienated from grandchild or son - I get along fine with both of them - but thanks for your suggestions.

It could change but I'm living in the present and so far it's fine with my son and his child.


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