Question: Dear Luise: My grown up son and my daughter in law seem to dislike me. He is married and was blessed with a beautiful baby boy seven years after their marriage. We never like to go to their house without calling first. I don’t consider myself the kind of mother in law that is always interfering in their lives. We live five minutes away from each other and I have been in their home probably 5 times in one year. The problems started since the day of the wedding. His wife has made very clear through her actions that she does not wants me to be part of their lives. My son agrees with that. When the baby turned one year old, we were not invited to the birthday party, which was held in our hometown. My son said that he was going to have a second party so we could go and celebrate the baby’s birthday. I was extremely hurt but I didn’t say anything. There have been numerous times in which we are left out. If I buy something for the baby, their answer is always “oh, my parents already bought him one”, or “oh, my in laws just got him that and they don’t accept the gift. The last one was when I bought the baby a tricycle. I called my son and told him, he sounded thrilled and thanked me, and said they were out shopping but would call me as soon as they were home. The call never came in so I texted him the following day asking if they were going to be home during the evening. He responded that they would but wanted me to go some other time during the week. I said it was OK. Two days later he called and said he hoped I wouldn’t feel bad for what he was going to tell me, I asked him what was that and he said they couldn’t accept the gift because they wanted to buy the baby his “first bike” I told him I had changed a lot and that I understood. That years ago I would have felt offended, and that I knew “I was riding in the back seat”, that his family came first no matter who felt bad or who didn’t. The truth was that I was really dying inside. I can’t understand why every time I buy something for the baby they decline to accept it. Now, he is not talking to me. I have called him twice since the incident and he does not answer my calls. My youngest son and my husband have told me many times to stop trying but he is my son and I love him dearly. Please let me know if I should stop trying to be part of his family. Thanks in advance for your advice. R.
Answer: Dear .R: I have a web-Forum where you can interact with me and with others on this subject. What you describe has been brought to my attention so many times that I started my Forum for that reason. Please join us at: http://www.motherinlawsuite.com
There are insecure and immature DILs out there that are committed to proving supremacy when it isn’t even an issue to their MILs at all. (And yes, I know there are MILs out there, as well, who do the same thing to DILs who have no such hang ups and just want to get along and be accepted.)
It isn’t about what you say or do, how you react or talk or what you buy. You are a symbol to your DIL of her husband’s former life, loyalty and happiness. For that reason, (and it’s no reason of all, of course,) no matter how nice you are or how much you cooperate, you need to be rejected at every turn by her and if possible, eliminated from his life. Please do not try to find any logic in it. It’s pathological not logical.
Your son is part of a new family unit and can’t do much about any of it. She’s who and what he married.
Your youngest son and husband are probably right, but you can only back away when you can stand to do that. It’s a truly horrible loss to have to face and learn to live with. Blessings, Luise