Need Advice Regarding Difficult Daughter In Law

My only son married 4 years ago. I was soo happy that I gained a daughter I never had. I helped them a great deal to get settled down in life. As days went by, I saw a side of her I did not like. She does not consider husband's family as her own and do not want to include us in their lives. It is very sad because my son does not stand up to her. There is a 6 month old grandchild now and I am afraid things will get worse as time goes by. Any advice from experienced mother or mother in laws?

daughterless daughterless
17 Responses Jun 4, 2009

I am sorry you have been disappointed. But please keep in mind that these were YOUR expectations and therefore it is YOUR disappointment to manage. Just because you wanted her to love you like family, doesn't mean she was obligated to do so. We all different values and ideas. It what makes the world interesting. If we all believed exactly the same, we wouldn't be true individuals and the world would be very boring. You wanted to gain a daughter. But she already had a mother and didn't need or want another one. That's not wrong of her. We are all allowed to want to order our own lives as we see fit. She doesn't want you as a mother. Maybe if you accepted that and saw her more as a potential friend or peer, things might improve. She might be feeling pressure to permit you to "mother" her and is resentful of that.
It is sad that you only had one child and so only have "one shot" at a good in-law relationship. But that's not your DIL's fault and it's not her job to make it all perfect for you. YOUR life and YOUR happiness are YOUR responsibility, not anyone else's (except you spouse, since he promised to love you and make you a priority when he married you).
I genuinely feel bad for you. You seem very caring and like you just want a good relationship with all involved. But you seem to forget that your DIL is also a unique human being with her own views of life and family. Maybe she doesn't think you deserve special treatment as her husband's mother. You may believe she's wrong, but her values are RIGHT FOR HER. Your values apply to YOU and ONLY you.
My advice? Back off and give her space. Recognize that she doesn't want to be your daughter (and that's okay) and start looking at her as a peer, not a new child of yours. Work on your relationship with your son. If he values you, he will want you in his life. But remember, he may have different views of family as you too. Be understanding and accepting of that.

Your response sounds like you have had the daughter in law experience; however never the mother in law experience. If you do have children, you will discover that just because your children get older, you do not stop loving them or wanting them in your life. Being a grandmother is surely the highlight of your children growing older and moving into their own lives. One of the greatest blessings children can have growing up is a loving, nurturing grandmother/grandfather. They can love unconditionally and be there in a different way than a parent. I think that realizing that whether or not your are particularly fond of your inlaws is a blessing. Life is not a competition, it is compilation of memories and lessons. The greatest gift God gave us is our grandparents, whether they are maternal or paternal. I always suggest that daughter in laws don't forget that when their children grow up and get married that they will not want to cut from their lives and maybe think twice about "what goes around, comes around".

Typical response from a female your age. "You genuinely feel bad...." What a snot, and disrespectful to the mother who raised the man she married.

very sad my dil move in quick they were engaged then she was pregnant very quick for my son had problems with drinking and she knew that but she wanted a baby from day one i was included to be told when they went into hospital she didnt want anyone knowing only her mother that lived on perth and my son not me , i said that isnt right she said no ,but found out later she told her grandmother , she didnt want me to babysit she wrote a horrible letter, my son and dil have split up , i havent seen my grandson in 2 weeks for my son dosent anwer his phone has gone funny , i think it to stress full now im keeping away im not sure what going on , sorry she didnt tell her grandmother she told her girlfriend , gee i never thought this would be having my first grandchild how family can be so hurtful

My own mother-in-law was wonderful. She was kind and she was a wonderful grandmother to my two sons. I was especially touched when she gave my sons hand-made gifts, such as hand-embroidered shirts, a pieced and embroidered bedspread, their names spelled out in decorative pillows, hand-made Christmas stockings, etc. I treasured these items and kept them through the years. My sons are now in their 40s and their grandmother is no longer with us, but somehow it seems that a part of her remains in these items she so lovingly made for them.<br />
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Now I have 2 daughters-in-law, one of whom I get along well with and one who is--well, thoughtless, but also intentionally cruel. She is the one I want to discuss. No matter what I send her children (two of my grandchildren) for birthdays or holidays, it will be denigrated, stuffed in a drawer or on a high shelf where they never see it, or even tossed into the trash. I once sent a riding toy by mail (they live 1500 miles away), but I never got to see my granddaughter with the toy--it had already been given away by the time I visited. A hand-made costume for her was never worn. It hadn't been given away yet, but it was in a drawer to be thrown out at the earliest opportunity. Although I had requested measurements, such as circumference of head and shoe size, the measurements I got were all too small. Hence, the costume was partly unwearable. On purpose? By carelessness? <br />
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I thought the answer was to ask my DIL for suggestions for gifts. The suggestions I got were often for very expensive items (especially when shipping was included). I complied anyway, only to discover later that the items were unused and unwanted. I sort of feel like I was being manipulated. Why?<br />
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Trying to be a long-distance grandmother, I used to send Halloween and Easter baskets. After finding one of these baskets a year later with the candy still inside, untouched, I no longer do those things. <br />
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Now I am in a quandary about future Christmas and birthday gifts for the children. Do I send money in a card? Savings bonds? The children are under 5 years old and wouldn't understand a savings bond. I would appreciate any suggestions.<br />
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One more thing: This DIL has a blog, and she has made sure we know the website. We no longer read it, however, for we found ourselves talked about ("having to listen to my in-laws bathroom noises"), our son's sex life talked about, etc. It was just another way to insert the knife and twist it. <br />
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I used to anguish over living so far from these precious grandchildren. But now I am coming to the realization that, for my own peace of mind, it's for the best. I am in the process of distancing myself emotionally, as well. <br />
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At least I have two grandchildren who live nearby, with whom I am close. My tears go out to those of you without that comfort.

Your dil sounds carried away with her internet persona to be writing a blog like that, wow! I cannot look at my dil to be, as a member of my family or daughter I never had because she is a lousy dishonest person, and a manipulator. I also cannot accept her parents as anyone I want in my family and I don't wish to be in her parents' family either because they all are dishonest, the girl and her parents and I don't like dishonest ppl. I think back to my parents and they did not have to go hang out with any of our mates' I cannot embrace the daughter I never had thing at all. Just isn't in my make up any way. I have one son who is married to a great girl, I still don't look at her as the daughter I never had. I just enjoy her and am nice to her and we get along well. But the inlaw mush blob, I just can't do. Like I don't see my dil's parents much, maybe once every couple yrs, but we are friendly always. They don't put it on me to be blobbed into them, like my younger son's gf (soon to be dil) does. So, I dont' know about the daughter I never had thing. Altho I really like and enjoy my very nice dil who is a great girl, I prob will never feel she is the daughter i never had. She is a girl my son married, I like her, she is his wife, she will have his kids - she is a great person, that seems to work for us.

Another Mother-in-Law here with an only son. <br />
Initially thrilled with the hopes of welcoming the pretty bride as the daughter we never had. Fast forward to today with Daughter-in-Law's family having ready and constant access to grandkids. Paternal side (us) are kept mostly on the side-lines except for holidays or other specific arrangements. I must confess I was a little miffed thinking this arrangement was unique and, therefore, turned to the internet to seek hints on how to proceed. Now I at least know our situation is common. And, I'm one of the lucky ones with a Daughter-in-Law who is a loving responsible mother for my granddaughters and a happy match for my son.<br />
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Understandably, Daughters-in-Law feel more comfortable with their own family who raised them and will naturally gravitate towards them for advice and impromptu gatherings. By the same token, wives should make an attempt toward equal access and especially if their husband is an only child where her children are the ONLY grandchildren of her inlaws.<br />
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THEREFORE, when my granddaughter's become of marrying age, you can be sure I will do my best to remind them to include the paternal side (their husband's family) with equality when it comes to event planning, family get-togethers and time with grandchildren.

Sorry to say that I have found the more you do for them the more they want. There is no end and whatever you do or however much you give will never be enough. You have to ask yourself is it worth it. My daughter-in-law talks about money (or lack of) 24 hours a day 7 days a week. She never sits at my table w/o asking for money, and it is never $10 or $100 but $10,000, $25,000. <br />
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She is greedy, lazy, and basically a nasty person. She never thinks of anyone but herself and she never does anything for anyone else. If she opens her mouth you know she's lying and if she calls you there is always an agenda. <br />
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She expects you to babysit at a moments notice and will never pick up the child on time. When she does pick her up she sits around for 2-3 hours until you make her dinner. My husband and I have tolerate her for 6 years and put out money after money, paid vacations, weddings, honeymoon you name it we've done it. She manipulates everyone in her life including her own family. <br />
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You have to ask yourself is it worth selling your soul to see your grandchildren because they will never stop until you are penniless and on the street.

Here goes.. I have a wonderful son who married a beautiful young woman. 6 months after they met, they found out that she was pregnant with our first grand child. She has always been a great joy to have around but very spoiled in her family.<br />
Now we find out our son has an addiction problem to drugs which she has been hiding for a year or so and then finally came to us when she felt she just did not know what to do.. Our family would like to do an intervention to get him into treatment but she refuses to let this happen. She is acting like she has all the control which she is using against our family until the situation is desperate again. She is now keeping our grandchildren away from us and this is very hurtful because we have always been so close to them... any ideas?

I also have an only son. his father passed away when he was eleven and I was 35. He married a girl with 4 sisters and one brother. When they were dating I tried to help her because she had some issues with her father and sisters, and the four step Mothers. I think she thought she found a gold mine and took advantage of it and bragged to her sisters and friends. she was introduced to my son by one of his friends to attend a christmas part at his work. I purchased a new home and furnished it for him - one reason I did that was I had remarried and I was running my business out of my home and used the entire ba<x>sement. He was college aed and went out drinking and came home smelling with his friends and they would spend the night in the ba<x>sement which I couldn.t have since most of my accounts were religion ba<x>sed. first I purchased a 2-bedroom 2-bath condo for him then he started a career and wated a house because of this 19 year old dog. So I went along with purchasing a house for a little over $200,000., back to the christmas party, the next day she was moving into the house with my son. I had this house in my trust. My housekeeper and I went out there once a week to make sure it was cleaned, we found her there at which time she told me I couldn't come in. Excuse me. Latter my son called and he was so lonely that I let her stay, so for two years she basically tore u th house, then he wanted to marry her of couse he didn't have the money for a ring. so I gave him a diamond to have set.<br />
well she wasn't happy with the diamond setting which I had nothing to do with - it was white gold and she wanted plattium. (lets back up she grew up in a tiny 3-bedroom one bath home and shared a small bedroom with 4 girls making 5 in one room. So now they are getting married<br />
and they wanted an extremely expensive wedding - I tried to talk to her father and see where we could share the cost - he basically hung up. So as the expensies added up they decided to go to Jamica and get married - so now the $800 dress she didn't want - so I told her I wasn't bying another dress so she could return the guest book, and other things and see what kind of dress she could get and she did get a $199 dress. then when we came back from Jamica she wanted to have her name on the house - excuse me!!! So my son begged and begged so my husband said why don't you sell it to him. She didn't what that house she wanted to sell it or just buy something else - so they looked and look and soon realized they could only afford an apartment again my son cam eto me an ask for $300,000 for the house she wanted - I had paid cash for the house they were living in so at that time I said I will sell you the house you are living in for $100,000 remember it was totally furnished. So thats what happened then one year latter she was pregnant and my son wanted to live in a better school district which I agreed - so they sold the house for $235,000. and again I helped with a washer/dryer and selling some of the furniture and replacing it with something she liked. (OK hind sight is 20/20 if I had the opporturnity to do this again he would have stayed in the condo and they could figure out the rest.) So on th day she had the baby they were closing on the house - So they were almost moved out - my housedeeper and I went over toclean it ablittle for the walk though. It was so bad that it took us from 12"00p.m. until 5:00 p.m. the next day. And the walk through went fine. Which she camplaigned and said they would have understood. She is ver hard headed and doesn't care about anything except gettin her way. So now they have a new baby she returns to work and babysitter after babysitter doesn't work out. So everytime the sitter doesn't work out she leaves the baby with me - but I own my own business and although I run my business out of my home I have to leave for meetings etc with clients. My husband had cancer then a six way bi-pass and then 911 happened and my business was tuffer and tuffer and most of like businesses failled in St. louis. So I decided to watch the baby and hire someone to help until I could work more on the business. then three years later they had another child and I watch him as well. Now my husband retired and so did I. i continued to watch my two grandchildren who were so good - they never wanted to leave my home and loved and begged to come over on weekends. My son and his wife would call at about 4:00 in the afternoon and say hey our friend are going to happy hour and we are going - so now I had the kids from 7:00 a.m. until 12a.m. she was drunk when they got home and my son ask if I could take the kids earlier because they had to pick her car up in the morning and sometimes the kids spendt the night. I always purchased the diapers, formula, baby food clothes etd. and I gave them some for theri house. almost every day they had some kind of camplaint about what time they ate, what they ate etc. I purchased lunch boxes so they could pack the lunch and the kids could eat what they wanted - the boxex never got packed and they continued to camplain an when they did I would say pack the lunch boxes. When the kids were born I gave them $10,000 each toward their education funds and contribute to it and puchased kid furniture they could use latter whn they leaves someday and a matching babybed. et goes on and on. Shopping sprees etd.<br />
It went so far theat she would throwaway gifts in front of my face. Finally I started putting my foot down only to hear about how fat I am etc. six months ago the oldest child was ot of school for the summer and the younges one stayed with me , the summer and they were going to attend camps<br />
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So the fist tuesday of the week I took they to happy joes pizza for lunch,<br />
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When she came home she wanted to start a fight which I would never fight with her, She said what did you feed them for lunch - So all three of us happily siad we went to happy Joes and ate pizza and played games - she stomped her feet and siad to me You call me before you take them someplace like that - now you ruined my dinner because I was ordering Pizza for dinner.<br />
So on Thursday I said I wanted to that the kids to our Lake condo - my son was bringing his new boat down to one our slips. He had some work to do on it. they would be down Friday about 9:00p.m. OK We did our thing and had a ball - we taught the kids how to read highway markers on the 3-hour drive. It was friday and they didn't show up my son called and said they would be latter to go ahead and do whatever. <br />
We went to bed and they came i at about 2:00 a.m. - I wanted to leave friday night. So Saturday I got up and stared to make pancakes which I promised the kids and she said no cooking Rob went to get breakfast at McDonalds. I said I thought they were not allowed to have mcDonalds. <br />
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So then my son went down to the slip to work on the boat she laid around because she was drunk and they were fighting when they arrived. So it was lunch time and she demanded that we go out to lunch so we did, then we went to dinner, of course my son is working as hard as he can on the boat because the carpeting is stuck to the floor and rotten so your fee get black. Finally my husband felt sorry for my son and went down to the slip to help him and they took the oldest grandchild who caught her first fish and had a ball. the Little one broke out from eating strawberries so I mentioned that mayb we should give him a bath in Oatmeal bath and giv ehim some benedrile, with that she was pissed and said she know how to take care of her kids.<br />
So she took him to the drung store and my son had to go along. when they got home I said what did they say, the drugist recommend Oatmeal bath and Benedrile. All this weekend she is throwing her head back and bitching about every little thing. So finally it was sunday morning and my son wanted us to take a ride in his new boat so we did and she acted like she was doing so much - Oh well then my son wanted all of them to get better life jackets so we went to the boat store and they said where can we hve lunch I mentioned that Steak n shake was next to the boat store - so the kids were anty at the boat store so I took them over to steak n shake - finally they were done at the boat store and she came in bitching at me - saying isn't this where you wanted to eat. By the way the night before she demanded everyone in bed at 9:00p.m. and started yellling at the kids so myu husband and I picked u the kids and took them to our room and settled them down and read a book about Alaska to them they fell asleep in each others arms so cute. The next moring I made breakfast and everyone went to the boat except meand her when she told me she didn't want me in the condo when she was there. Excuse me its my condo - I had it with her so I said then ***** its time for you to leave. Latter we went to the outlet mall just me her and the grandaughter. So finally she gets back to the car after several stores and bags to the car - I noticed my grandaughter wasn't getting in the car and she was only half way in the car - she looked at me and said you better never hit me or I'll show you whosboss - What then she takes her packages and my grandaughter's hand and runs for the sidewalk. So I drive over to the sidewalk and said come on lets get in the car and go back to the condo, she says I called Rob he is coming to get us. So I called the condo only to find out that she called my son and told him to pack up and that I hit her What! I didn't hit her. To top it off my son was starting a new job the next week - so now she says I can't babysit this week OK - my son has to quit his old job early to take care of the kids because she only started a new job a month before. So anyway my son came over and begged me to appologies to her for hitting her - I siad I didn't hit her. Then he said my grandaughtersiad I hit her. What. I didn't appologies!!!!! so Fther's day the came over to give my husband a gift and she stool there with her additude and sid we sold the boat ( mY son had a friend go to Michigan with him and haul te boat all the way to Lake of Ozarks and put it in our slip. then he worked non stop on the boat they take one ride and he has to sell the boat or she is leaving with the kids. <br />
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There is so many parts to this its unbelievable. I think it goes all the way back when her mother was still alive. and I have talked to acouple of her mother's sisters ad found out what happened the father married wihin 30 days and never let the kids talk to the mothers family. Now it all makes sence because the two older sisters and that way also and now my daughter-in-law is the third child and then the four girl is now married and the husbands have to tow the line whatever and whenever with no planning in advance just whatever they feel like - the husbands have lost most frieds etc. Thy issolate the husband and kids. My son was much stronger than the other men because he had me as a back up. <br />
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After my husband past, we were poor and I worked extremely hard to become more than upper middle class - then ten years later I remarried. I had a wedding shower for her because her family was doing nothing, when I ask to invite their family her father got mad. I was only going to have a30 people. then because they moved the wedding to Jamicia I had our family and all my sons friends over 150 people at my house so I had a ten brought in , dance floor, hired some of my firends to help and someone to grill steaks and chicken. had a hanks wedding cheese cake which I was took by her no top and no pictures of the cake. whatever. Now 8 years latter she has had over 20 car accidents, who knows how many tickets and 7 cars (more expensive cars than I have. She constantly tells me that she is getting my jewelry, and she is going to decide when I get put out of my million dollar house and go to a home. <br />
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So after the lake weekend I called my attorney and took my Son off the trust and now I'm giving everything to my grandchildren - I have three trustees so no one can touch anything without the three trustees I did make my son one . but this way she can't pressure him to get money or anything I have of value for her., My son is so mad at me he said how do I retire how do i put my kids through college? I sai tell your wife to get control of her driving for one and stop her wasting of funds etc. She pickes at my grand daughter about her weight but my grandaughterhas large bones and you can see her bones sh is not fat. I'm glad they are concerned about her weight. but my grandaughter is so intimidated by my daughter in law - I day I was there and my daughter in law told my grandaughter to kiss her hand because is is a queen and this is her kingdom, then she said knee and kiss my foot. with that I hugged my grandaughter and told my daughter-in-law to knock it off - the sad thing was my son was standing there - I told him he shouldnt let things like this happen. The younges child is only four but stands up to her, of course he gets spanked but she puts up with a lot more from him.<br />
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The the moral of this story is now I cna't see my grandchildren at all. one is 7 an one is 4. but the grandchildren call me when a babysitter is there. I send cards to them. My grandaughter ask me to go to grandparents day and We did. She told me how much she loves me and how much she wants to see me - but I email my son and never get answers. My husband says I should have not told him I changed my trust - but I wanted him to know so he started working toward makeing his own future. With all this my on and his wife always take down to me. Like You fat , you aren't successful, you don't know how to dress, and more. They just can't beat me down - I smaile and go about my business, I sew beautiful quilts etc and do alterations on their clothing. <br />
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So finally I'm taking a stand which i should hve taken in the beginning. I should have kicked her out of the house in the beginning and they could have done whatever. I tried to make it easy for them - I know hat it is to be poor with nothing to eat and just a couple outfits and shoes falling off .<br />
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I supported my mother until she passed at 85 because my dad also died when I was 11 so I felt sorry for my son and my daughter-8in-law because they both lost a parent and I felt sorry for her becaue of the way her father and family treated her, But now Oh well, I'm free no one to support and no babysitting, I'm starting to take better care of myself. I had most of the fat removed with cool lipo, I using my good clothing - who can dress when your babysitting with all the food, diapers etc. along with the inconsistance with the drop off time and the pick up times. Now they are on there own we are slling the condo I purchased it because my son wanted one down ther. The truth is I'm happy no matter what I have. But, hell I worked for everything. So I'm selling the Million dollar house and moving to Michigan near Bay Harbor which has been a dream of mine for over 20 years. I don't know if my son will ever talk to me but Oh well, I'm not going to stop living over it. So the answer to this is don't keep giving in to help them out because it comes back to bite you in the *** anyway.<br />
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I can certainly relate to the above comments. My only son and wife just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in June. I've been a bit more than tolerated on my three brief visits to them as long as I am paying for all the meals and anything else. I feel like I am buying my daughter-in-law's approval (love is out of the question). I've just been informed that they won't be driving here for Thanksgiving(about 4 hours) since it's too much for the baby. Meanwhile they'll be flying 5 hours to California to spend 3-4 weeks at her parents, just like they did last Thanksgiving and Christmas. My daughter-in-law is Obsessive compulsive and probably borderline ( I am a therapist, wish I didn't know this much) I have wonderful relationships with my own daughter , nieces, and many young women who say I'm amazing with their kids. It breaks my heart not to feel closer to my son(who is sweet, often apologetic but hopelessly passive in this area) and to realize that my relationship with my grandson will be carefully monitored and controlled. I push myself to act cheerful and positive, but it's really a drag never to be included or cared about in any way. It's an I-give-and-they take relationship.

I have a daughter in law like yours. I wonder if she has mental issues .i have followed her every rule but she calls when I have their children every half hour or so to make sure rules are followed. I now wonder if she has voices telling her the children are in danger. Years ago her mom was frantic that she was off her meds,but since she wasn't a concern of mine I didn't question her. Now that they have been married and caused so many problems. I questioned her mom. She denied the conversation ever happened. Everyone in our family has problems with her. My dear son is such a great husband that he supports her. I wish he had taken me aside and told me that she has problems and how to deal with her. I would have gone the extra mile rather than thinks she's just a hateful person who tries to ruin every visit I have with the kids. At this point I feel if I exit there lives it will make his life easier. I am heart broken

Reading the above letter has made me realise I am not alone my son was a lovely lad and had a great sense of humour when he eventually met his now wife I was so thrilled that at last he had met the love of his life. When they met my daughter in law was going through a divorce.In the beginning my daughter in law was nice I even gave them my mothers engagement ring for there own engagement but as the wedding drew near I was excluded from any of the arrangements and my daughter was upset as a lot of snidely remarks were made about me in her presence. I was left out of the wedding album my husband nearly came to blows over this with our son.There were lots of instances then they had there first baby some thing we were all so excited about but sadly she only loved 4 days for awhile things were not to bad it appeared loosing the baby had in a sad way made my daughter in law nicer towards us sadly it did not last. Happily they went on to have another baby girl the following year and all was well except my daughter in laws friends were asked to see the new baby before us!! You can imagine it was a very emotional time and to see her friends sitting there when we arrived and they made no attempt to leave made me very upset but I did not show it.<br />
My daughter in law was very reluctant to let us have the baby in the first year even though her mother had her a lot when I confronted my son about this he got very angry and ordered me out the house my daughter in law actually said that her friends said they never left there children with there mother in law only there mothers so she seemed to thing that it was normal to do this. They seem to forget they will be mother in laws there self one day.<br />
I have been left standing at the door when I dropped things off at there house this has happened to my husband to.<br />
I broke my foot and was in plaster for 8 weeks so could not get out with out help, my daughter in law never once visited me or even phoned to see how I was mind you she never normally does that but thought she may have made an exception at that time.<br />
I could write a book on her lack or respect for us she has gradually changed my son. I don't have real conversations with him now we walk on egg shells so as not to do or say the wrong thing so we can at least see our grand daughter again when it suites them. <br />
My son has recently fallen out with his best friend of 37 years because of my daughter in law, his friend says my son has lost his bottle and sense of humour since he got married .<br />
My sons social life consists of all her family and friends his own family and friends are way down the pecking order list.<br />
I am so glad I have a daughter she makes me happy.

OMG Rose I feel like I'm reading my story! Right down to the broken foot. Very sad.

I myself have a very hard relationship with my daughter in law.. my son does not stand up to his wife at all. she makes very hateful comments under her breath at family get togethers. they have two wonderful children that my husband and myself dearly love. my husband has helped them out with money, bought 2 houses for them to live in as long as they wanted. both of these houses were nicer than ours, at the time... each time something need to be changed, new carpet, she did not like the color, etc. we painted her kitchen three times in less that a year... she has no respect for my husband or me. when we have family stuff she makes sure that they have other plans.. this past fourth of july she pouted because her family did not make plans with them until the last min. , so they had to attend out cook out. the whole time she made comments about how she missed her mother cooking and my mothers. she stayed in the house instead of joining everyone outside. the only comment she made about the dinner was, she wished my mother had cooked the meal or that she had some of her mothers potatoe salad... we played with all the grandchildren, and my husband gave each of them a ride on his bike.. she would not allow hers to ride, but they ride with her father all the time. my son dose not seem to notice. my oldest daughters children have a very good time with seems like if she is not getting stuff from us then she wants nothing to do with us... our youngest daughter is expecting a little girl in november, and her comment to us: well soon you will have a little girl to love... but we love her little girl,dearly... it just breaks my heart to be so left out of their lives. we do not get asked to bithday parties or anything. but she will call and tell us what she wants us to buy them for their birthday, her self included... so so hurt.

It was sad to hear you say that you would not be included in your grandchild’s birthday celebrations or any other holidays. That just isn’t right and I’m wondering if you would be able to talk to your son about it. I know it’s tough, but if you give lots of “I” messages (I want to be there to see our grandchild; I want to share holidays with you), then perhaps he would listen. <br />
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My son and his wife eloped and I was devastated when I realized they had left town without our knowledge and didn’t tell us where they were going. I didn’t expect to be at the wedding, but I thought I would at least know what they were doing, where they were going. I had told them from the beginning that it was their wedding and they could do whatever they wanted. When they came back from the wedding/honeymoon, we had a long, long talk about how hurt I was. I think they came to realize that it was not necessary to keep their destination secret from me. It was a difficult conversation (and I fear that there are still some lingering concerns for everyone), but we seem to have gotten past it. <br />
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I find that my daughter-in-law is so nervous around my husband and me at “family gatherings” that it’s better if we invite them out to dinner, or go to the park with them, or take a walk. She seems less nervous, usually holds my son’s hand, and keeps her distance. But at least we’re together and I hope that each time she’s feeling a little more comfortable with us. <br />
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Maybe it would work if you tried something like that. If you live nearby, perhaps you can offer to babysit now and then.<br />
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Good luck!

Thank you for your story.<br />
I have now come to the conclusion that my relationship with my son and his family will be superficial, if I expect anything more I will be dissapointed. We are not included to be a part of our grandchild's first birthday or any other holidays. It is heart breaking, because our son goes along with whatever his wife wants.<br />
Thank you for your advice and support.

Continuing on with my comments from above, and attempting to answer your question: Is there any advice?<br />
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I think you have to just be patient and accept the way things are. I, too, had hoped for a great relationship with a daughter. I taught school for many, many years and had many great relationships with young women in their teens. I am sure that I am quite capable of having a relationship with my daughter-in-law. But if she doesn’t let me in, I’m not going to be able to change that easily.<br />
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I’m hoping that with time she will slowly feel more comfortable with me. But I have accepted that it is highly unlikely that she and I will ever be close. (By the way, she has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. It could be that her illness will always make it difficult for us to be close.)<br />
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It’s a very disappointing position to be in. I did not have a good relationship with my own mother, and I had looked forward to having a good relationship with my daughter-in-law.

I am a mother-in-law with a difficult daughter-in-law and I definitely relate to your story. I, too, have an only son, and we are quite close. <br />
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From the beginning, I think my daughter-in-law thought I would “steal” my son away from her and she was clearly very nervous whenever we were around. My husband and I have a great relationship with our son -- we are truly good friends. My daughter-in-law felt that our son was too close to us (even accused him of being a “Mama’s boy.”)<br />
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I have tried so hard to make her feel comfortable but she just seems so nervous that I will judge her and criticize her. She does not have a good relationship with her own mother, and I think she must think I am like her mother. <br />
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For a while, my daughter-in-law tried to convince my son to stay away from his parents. But he eventually stood his ground with that and said that he would communicate with his parents whenever he wished...and as often as he wished. She agreed to that, but we now see our son probably three or four times as often as we see our daughter-in-law.<br />
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I always ask about her, and I try to send her friendly emails, but she is reticent to respond. She is, as well, often depressed, apathetic, and unhappy. I am not even sure that their marriage will last. <br />
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I know there are terrible mothers-in-law, but I am not one of them. I do understand your frustration and pain.

Gosh, your story sounds very similar to mine! I, too, have a difficult daughter-in-law and an only son. The writing should have been on the wall during their wedding planning when she informed me that it was their wedding and they would do things the way they want to. However, she wasn't at all shy with taking the money I gave toward their wedding. For the first few years, she really showed no interest in getting to know the family &amp; it was only after my son was going to divorce her, that she suddenly grew interest in getting to know his family.

This wasn't long lasting &amp; appears to me now as something that was only performed by her, and not really a heart change of understanding how important it is to have a relationship with his family. They now have a 3 year old &amp; the games have begun in regard to her withholding him from us. I recently wanted to visit my grandson, while my son was deployed, and she refused to allow me to come and see him. I even offered to stay in a hotel if she didn't want me in her home, and she refused. She told me you're not coming! I have never done anything to her or my grandson for her to treat me in such a horrible way. Of course, like so many other sons, when he came home, he supported her position and said if this is what she thought was best, then it was her right to do this.

She constantly feels the need to inform me that they are the parents and it's their right to do whatever they want. My husband and I have never crossed the boundaries with them, and there's just no need for her to continually assert this position with me?

We are supposed to visit in a few weeks and she has already begun her controlling ways by informing me that she wants to know the plans we have with their son, and while we are with him if the plans change, she wants to be called. Again, it is our right. . .we are his parents. Of course we would have done this anyway; especially communicating with them our plans??

When I ask either of them, what have I ever done to make you think that I need this constant reminder of your being the parents; neither of them can come up with anything or anyway that I have violated boundaries or given them a reason to treat me like this.

I seriously am beginning to wonder if visiting is the best choice! I want to cry when considering not going because I miss my grandson &amp; son, but another part of me just wants to stay away from her. : ( I know she has major control issues &amp; her childhood was not a healthy one to say the least, but I am just not sure anymore what to do? It hurts tremendously that my son can't see what she does! My husband had a 5 hour talk with him the other day, and he really seems to be completely blinded when it comes to her. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. I am not perfect, but I know in my heart of hearts that I have never done anything to justify how my daughter-in-law treats me!

It's so comforting to know that other women are having this same experience with difficult daughters-in-law &amp; it's so true when I read that it's usually mothers-in-law that get the reputation for being difficult. I can honestly say that in my case, this isn't so.

I understand the need for me to be cordial with her &amp; I make every attempt when I am around her or talking to her to do this. I have even named her in my caller ID as, "Cordial, Window of Love" as a reminder to me when I see her calling or I call her that loving her is my main goal. Maybe it's just as simple as accepting the way things are, but gosh, this is such a tough pill to swallow! Thanks for having a place where I can share my pain!

Two DILs have commented on my story, I am really looking for MIL for support. <br />
Since the implication is all MIL's are bad, let me tell you more of my story.<br />
I treated her like a daughter, since I am daughterless. She liked in the beginning, but later she said I was overwhelming because I bought her too many gifts. They lived with me for 5 months since she came from another country and my son did not have a job. Now, they live 1000's of miles away. I have never told them how to live their lives. It was too much for her to keep in touch. She has no respect for anyone. I helped them with everything financially, including a large down payment on a house. She did not want us present when our grandson was born, yet her parents lived with her for 5 months. She did not want me to be excited about the baby when she was pregnant and buy things for the baby. Everything is a secret with them. <br />
She does not try to improve relations. She does not seem to care since they make a lot of money now and do not need anyone. My son repeats what she says- the latest being" I have my own family now" - it hurts.<br />
Is there any hope?

Well, I will soon have a difficult daughter in law. She has taken the word difficult to a whole new level. To be absolutely candid, I am very opinionated on a great many things, am vocal, do not like scenes BUT am not afraid of them either. For a bit of background on myself, my children's father is my second husband. As bad as my first husband was his parents, especially his mother were fantastic! In fact, I have tried to be like her as a mother-in-law.

I completely understand your hurt with your son. As I said this girl has taken this to a new level. For the first 25 years of our youngest son's life we have had a very respectful and close relationship. However, in the past three years, he is like someone I don't even know. Since he has been dating her, not one phone call is private. Seriously, with everyone! She reads his e-mail, even deletes those she feels he should not read. Really. In three years, his home is filthy, the yard is completely unkempt and his car is trashed. I have seen cleaner garbage trucks. His own comment was 'if she wants to live in trash fine, I'm not cleaning it'.

Now all this concerns me but it is not the worst. The bad part is she is a chronic liar. She claims I have said and done things I have not. Claims family members ( in-laws) have said things about me that they did not - I checked. And the list goes on. The last and most disturbing, was her claim that I physically abuse a young nephew who my husband &amp; I are raising. That one sent me over the edge. This poor child lost his father (my brother) last year from cancer, the court forbids his mother to have contact because of documented abuse &amp; neglect. In his short life he has suffered more that most people see in a lifetime.

This son is our youngest, his older siblings have been in relationships that I did not feel were an exact fit for them but it is up to them to chose their mates not me. Those relationships did end without any interference from me. But with this one - I have a firm rule - don't lie to me and don't lie about me.

As I said, I am vocal and as of two days ago, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that I am not pleased with this upcoming marriage, nor am I ever going to have a relationship with this person even if it means I will not see my son. I will not be held hostage - put up with me if you want to see your son. Nope sorry, he may have had a temporary brain fart, but you cannot lie about me and expect me to keep my mouth shut. He is a grown man, he lived with me for most of his life he has to know when she is lying. So it hurts but he has to accept some of the responsibility for this behavior continuing.

What can you or I do? Sadly, nothing. Except, tell them we love them, will always have their back and want nothing for them but absolute happiness and success. And that is exactly what I expressed to him before I ended our very difficult conversation. But I was able to state my case so to speak.

I would not suggest that you go to the extreme that I did with my son, but do let him know that you miss spending at least some time with them. That you love him and are proud that you had even small hand in raising such an amazing young man.

Good luck to you.

My experience as a daughter in law came from the other end of the spectrum. My mother in law was always so involved in everything my husband and I did, that even what I cooked for dinner became an issue in a disagreement.<br />
She gave us no room to breathe and tended to cause dissention between my husband and I. It took us five years of conflict to begin to resolve our issues. Unfortunately, my first child became a bargaining chip to my mother in law.<br />
Not that I'm saying your a bad mother in law, but maybe she is feeling pressured by you. She may just need time to adjust and settle into her own routine with her new family on her and her husbands terms.

My husband and I have been married for 5 years but have been together for 7. We have three children.<br><br />
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Speaking from personal experience as a daughter-in-law, I didn't know how to merge into my husband's family at first. It was sort of a nerve wracking experience. I wanted them to like me and accept me so badly that sometimes I think I came off as aloof, rather than "nervous but approachable".<br><br />
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But I have to say, my own mother-in-law really tried to make me feel at ease. It wasn't always easy for the two of us as we were still discovering our boundaries and roles in her son's my husband's life. But continual communication and time really helped bring us together. There are still awkward moments but I think time will eradicate that.