Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Attention: The information provided in this forum is intended for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
    Difficult DIL response
    sunflower1943 posted:
    Hi - I am from now on not going to let her get to me and respond - I usually remain silent - I am going to say "you were very rude just now" and wait and see what she says - if she says "you hurt my feelings" - I will just say WHAT ABOUT MY FEELINGS - I am twice your age and cannot handle this kind of abuse.

    Whatever happens after that who knows but I feel when someone verbally abuses someone else - you are never going to get any respect unless you speak up. Yes, I will be taking a chance as far as my grandson goes but I'm a fool for never saying anything.

    I think most other people would say something - verbal abuse in my opinion is just as bad as physical abuse.

    thanks for your posting - appreciate your comments
    BalconyBelle responded:
    Calling someone out for being rude is one thing, completely disregarding their feelings in return is something else entirely. What you've just described is a plan for deliberate escalation--in short, you're going to turn an already difficult situation into open warfare.

    You may never like your DIL, and she may never like you...but you both need to learn to treat each other with respect, and listen to each other. If your actions are hurting your DIL, you need to find out how & why, and try to stop it---and she should try to do the same for you. If you're incapable of being civil to each other, then you might want to limit your interactions to when your son (her husband) is there to act as a buffer.

    Something else that may go over well (even if it goes against the grain), do not go over to their house without an invitation, and apologize for walking inside without asking before.
    FCL responded:
    Why do you remain silent? That alone fuels animosity. Read over what you just wrote. You tell her that she was rude and she tells you that you had hurt her feelings. So who started it? Think about it. Try not to hurt her feelings and she probably won't be rude to her. Accept your share of responsability.

    Stop trying to put her down and see what you can do to build bridges. She has married your son, is the mother of your grandson and is going to be around for a very long time. Isn't it worth making the effort to be civil for them?

    Hatred is a non-productive emotion that wastes far too many calories and too much time.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    sunflower1943 replied to FCL's response:
    She starts it - not me - she always does - I just feel when she is rude just tell her that - nip it in the bud so to speak.
    FCL replied to sunflower1943's response:
    Then don't antagonize her. What you proposed to do in your first post was like waving a red rag at a bull. That is NOT nipping it in the bud. If you want to let her know she's being rude then by all means tell her but don't goad her into getting mad.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    cjh1203 responded:
    (It's really confusing when you start a new thread in response to an existing one. You can just keep replying on the original thread, and it's much easier to keep track of everything.)

    If you think that she's going to say you hurt her feelings, then it sounds like you know you're saying or doing things that hurt her feelings. If that's the case, then you're probably making her feel defensive, which is going to make her say something to defend herself against you. If you then tell her that she's being rude, how does that help? It will only make her more defensive -- it sounds like a recipe for a big blowup.

    Rudeness is not verbal abuse -- it's just rudeness. If she's always telling you things like you're a stupid cow and can't do anything right, that's abuse. If she gets angry with you for walking into her house uninvited, that is not abuse.

    If you are completely honest about your behavior toward her, how would you describe it? How do you treat her and talk to her? You say you want her to treat you with respect -- do you treat her with respect?

    Have you ever tried calling a truce with her for a few minutes and having a calm discussion with her? Without accusing each other of things or raising your voices? Maybe you could say to her something like, "I want us to be able to get along. Can we talk about it and see if we can figure out a way to do that?" If you can each see how you make the other feel, maybe you can both stop doing the things that are causing resentment and conflict. Just yelling at her when she says something you don't like isn't going to help at all, and your son and grandson are stuck in the middle of your war with your daughter-in-law.

    I don't want it to sound like I think this is all your fault, but I do think that you bear some responsibility in this, even if you can't see it. You may see your behavior toward her one way, but she may be perceiving it completely differently. Try to imagine your roles reversed, put yourself in her shoes, and see if that gives you any insight.
    sunflower1943 replied to cjh1203's response:
    I hear what you are saying but still don't think you understand - these conflicts most of the time are one-sided - she is extremely difficult to get along.

    She interprets a lot of conversation and twists it into something bad.

    For ex a while back we were all going to take the grandson to the zoo - it was really cold during Easter and we were at the Easter egg hunt. It was getting colder and Jared had on a light jacket. After the egg hunt we were to go - anyway I was getting cold too - all I said was once you put a warmer jacket on him it will be fine.

    She interprets this as I am accusing her of being an incompetent mother and told me so.

    I'm sorry I thank you for your comments but this person makes the entire family including my daughter tense because a lot of the time she interprets what we say and makes it into something bad when we did not have those intentions.

    Anyway, I do stay away from her - my nerves cannot handle this anymore so I rarely go over there just to make myself clear as to what I do. When I get calls to help with babysitting I always but always say yes - unless I have dr appt or something. I do a lot for her - actually her mother rarely comes to visit nor does her sister and brother.

    Her brother told my son when they were getting married good luck with her - he didn't know why he was marrying her. Anyway, I am not always the troublemaker - when you get older it is hard to handle stress - I find it more difficult -

    I still feel we need to be treated with respect.
    sunflower1943 replied to cjh1203's response:
    Maybe I didn't make myself clear - I have never said that is rude - I am thinking about saying that when next time comes. I do not know what her reaction will be. Maybe she doesn't think she is rude - maybe she needs to be told that.

    When I feel I have done nothing wrong I need to at least speak up for myself like when I brought over fresh peach pie I made - she says "I do not eat pies" - to me that is rude but said nothing. Maybe if I told her she was rude maybe she would think about what she said.

    When nothing is said how do we learn from that?

    Anyway, thanks for trying to help me.
    cjh1203 replied to sunflower1943's response:
    I apologize if this ends up posting twice.

    I wasn't implying that you are always the troublemaker -- or even most of the time.

    You're right that what she said about the pie was rude, but if you had told her it was rude, she doesn't seem like the kind of person who would think about it and then say you were right. Her response probably would have been an angry one. Hard as it was to do, you did the best thing by keeping quiet.

    Your walking in the house uninvited is a case where you're doing something you think is fine, but she didn't see it the same way. You think you were justified in just walking into her house when she didn't answer the door because it was hot outside. I'm sorry, but I agree with your daughter-in-law that you shouldn't go in unasked. That's what I mean when I say that you may bear some responsibility for the tension between the two of you.

    Your daughter-in-law probably isn't going to change, and I doubt that anything you can say will get her to change. That being the case, all you can do is what you seem to be doing anyway -- limit your contact with her and take the high road and bite your tongue when she says something you don't like. Otherwise, it's just going to get worse and everyone will suffer but her.
    FCL replied to cjh1203's response:
    Just a thought, about the pie thing - I'd have probably tried to defuse that with a smile and "Oh dear, what a pity I didn't knw. Never mind, (son's name) does so he could always eat your slice". In one phrase, you can acknowledge that you hadn't known so you hadn't done it deliberately and you allow yourself to go home knowing that it will be eaten so you don't feel so rejected and in turn less upset. That's what I meant by changing attitude in another thread Break the circle.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    sunflower1943 replied to FCL's response:
    Thank you - I will never walk in her house again unless my son is there but just wanted you to know with my post that I rarely really go over there - I stay away as much as I can because I don't want the stress of her -

    This is not a perfect world and no one is perfect but when you have to watch every word you say it becomes stressful and hard so like I said I really try very hard not to see or talk to her and only do when I absolutely have to.

    As you know, she lives down the street and when grandson sees me he starts moving towards me with, of course, her following which she needs to do as he is very young and have to watch for cars, etc.

    naggingwife74 replied to sunflower1943's response:
    When you said you will never walk in her house again unless your son is there; does that mean that you are still going to walk in if they don't answer?

    I hope that you realize that it is wrong to do whether your son is there or not. That is her home as well as his and you need to repect the things that she doesn't want you to do in her home. If she is just down the road from you and neither of them answer; go home and come back later. Or, make it even easier and call first.

    If you are willing to just brush off what she wants and do it anyways just because your son is there, it makes me wonder what else has happened similar to that.
    sunflower1943 replied to naggingwife74's response:
    You know you have the wrong impression about me - the only reason I turned the knob and went in the home was because my grandson was jumping up and down in the living room and looking at me - then I knew she was home.

    I NEVER go into their home when they are not there EVER so wanted to get that straight -

    I don't think you understand what is going on - on this last post - I am not an interferring mother-in-law - quite the contrary I stay away as much as I can - I let them have their space big time believe me - it's too stressful for me to get involved - I only watch my grandson WHEN they ask me too which is often enough - her mother rarely watches him and only lives 15 minutes away - I do my part and I have helped her out tremendously when she is running late from work etc - I do a lot for her - all I require from her is respect - that's it - she has never done anything for any of us - including helping with the dishes or bringing something - she doesn't do anything and that does include cleaning as well - she has a cleaning lady.

    OK - maybe you don't understand where I am coming from - from all the posts it seems to me that I'm the bad guy - I'm not always the bad guy and it is not always my fault - I do not say ugly things to her okay - I live by the golden rule - but it is very sad that other people don-t -

    Featuring Experts

    Dr. Becker-Phelps is a well-respected psychologist, who is dedicated to helping people understand themselves and what they need to do to become emotio...More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.