How Do I Deal with a Jealous Daughter-in-law

Question: Dear Luise: I love my daughter-in-law, but she is jealous of me. What can I do to let her know that I will always be my son’s mother and there is a big difference in a mother and a wife to a son? Kathryn

Answer: Dear Kathryn: This is a very tough situation because there really isn’t much you can do about it.

Jealousy isn’t something that can be dispelled by presenting logic to the jealous person. Jealousy is often a deep-seated, serious psychological issue that can require treatment by a professional. There can even be a degree of delusion involved. Your daughter-in-law may be misinterpreting the things you do and say and the chances of her getting that she’s off base may be slim indeed. Consequently, if she doesn’t see it as her problem or want to enter into treatment, your hands are pretty much tied.

It may be a very touchy subject with your son, as well. Is that true? If he didn’t see this coming before marriage, he may not want to see it now. From his viewpoint, he may see the “difference between a wife and a mother” to your disadvantage. For many men, marriage entails 100% loyalty to the spouse and there’s good reasoning behind that when a new family unit is established. I suggest that you don’t put him in the awkward position of having to make a choice.

If there’s any way to do it, tactfully, ask your daughter-in-law how you can fit in. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be her call unless your son sees the problem clearly and attempts to help her, or better yet, finds help for her. Even if that happens, it could be a long, hard road ahead for everyone involved.

I’d also suggest that you see a counselor, yourself, to help you through the issues that may be coming your way. What happens when there are grandchildren, for instance? You may need professional support and guidance to help you learn to live with this very difficult situation as it unfolds. Blessings, Luise

78 Responses to How Do I Deal with a Jealous Daughter-in-law

  1. Marie April 19, 2007 at 12:17 am #

    Can someone tell me why mothers are so controlling of their daughters and jealous of them. I have nothing but evil from her. She has told evil about me all my life, what is her problem

  2. Luise April 21, 2007 at 9:21 pm #

    Amswer: Dear Marie: I think you know this is not always true. There are a lot of wonderful and loving mother/daughter relationships out there. What is so sad is that you never got to experience it. It’s time to get that finding the answer isn’t going to make it right. Accept the fact that your mother is seriously lacking and turn toward the things in your life that bring you joy. Things you do have something to say about. Let it go. It is her loss to be the way she is. Blessings, Luise

  3. Jess July 24, 2007 at 2:29 pm #

    I have a sister-in-law who tries to act just like my mother. She spends more time with my mom than hers. Everytime I go to see my mom or am spending time with her, my sister-in-law is either there with us or on the phone with my mom the whole time. My mom likes the attention and uses it against me. I have gotten better at ignoring it because I thought it would gradually go away. I was wrong. What should I do before it messes up the relationship between my mom and me?

  4. Luise July 27, 2007 at 9:28 am #

    Answer: Dear Jess: I am going to treat this as a new question and will be answering very soon. Blessings, Luise

  5. Mary September 14, 2007 at 11:39 pm #

    I have never known anyone who has shown such dislike for me as my daughter in law has. She seldom says a word to me; not even hello or good bye. My grandchildren 3 yrs and 5 yrs. are always happy to see me when I babysit. I live alone and sometimes need to call my son but she has told me because I call him it is causing a break up in their marriage. When I try to tell her that is the last thing I would ever want she doesn’t respond. So I have tried to call her first, before I call my son but she does not answer even if I leave a message and ask her to call me.Now she has put a “stop” when I try to email her (it is the whole family’s email address) and it tells me she is not accepting emails from my address. My therapist said I have no chance of ever having her accept me. It is making me so depressed and altho I take medication for it, knowing things will not change I feel so helpless. I can’t believe there is no hope for us to be a family.

  6. Luise September 15, 2007 at 5:17 am #

    Answer: Dear Mary: How sad. It sounds like this situation is of long-standing. The one positive note is that you get to babysit and have a good relationship with your grandchildren. Your son is still there for you, too. Right? Hang on to that. Many people in the same fix never get to see their child or grandchildren again once these dynamics arise. Blessings, Luise

  7. Withheld October 6, 2007 at 6:26 pm #

    Dear Luise,
    Reading your comments about daughter in law jealousy has lifted my sadness somewhat. I thank you for this!
    My daughter in law is from a very sick family, neglect and abuse abound and sadly I recognize the pattern from my own. I’ve had a lot of therapy to try and work it through and marriage failures.
    I will now get more therapy for me especially since my husband isn’t much help with this ’emotional’ stuff.
    I’ll now certainly avoid putting my son in the middle and enjoy my grandaughter when I get to see her.
    Having missed out on a loving family of my own, and being close to my son I had hoped for a closeness for us all. To make up for what I missed out on I guess.
    My son’s Dad and wife, my spouse all dislike the daughter in law intensely and I have tried to come to her defense. She is not a well woman which I
    need to fully accept…but oh my how distressing!!
    My heart aches…but I DO have my son and grandaughter’s love and I intend to drop back and keep what I have as best I can.
    Are there any other mom in laws that want to talk with me?

  8. Name Withheld November 27, 2007 at 2:46 am #

    Comment by withheld, I have a DIL who is sometimes nice but other times is very cruel. She will ignore me at family gatherings and be out when I say I am going to visit. My exhusband has remarried and my DIL gets on really well with her, even being overly friendly with her at social gatherings and ignoring me. I have cried many a tear & do not want to cry any more.I have turned myself inside out trying to be nice, but nothing seems to work. I have decided not to try any more, and I will keep praying for the whole situation. NW

  9. Luise November 27, 2007 at 9:20 am #

    Answer: Dear NW: What is so terribly hard about your situation is that it is all about her. When we try to understnd what’s going on with another person, we are usually up against a blank wall. Often they don’t even know themselves. We are all complex and much of what motivates our behavior is unconscious. We think we know but we mostly make up answers to fit the question. Your daughter in law has problems. Somehow, she has cast you in the roll of someone she can’t relate to in a consistantly kind and warm way. It may have a lot to do with the “triangle” that includes your son. The other mother in law doesn’t figure into those dynamics. And, it may have nothing at all to do with any of that. Taking it persaonlly is normal but/and it isn’t helping. She has a problem and you are not it. You are wise to dry your tears and focus on the people who appreciate who you are. Blessings, Luise

  10. name withheld November 28, 2007 at 2:17 am #

    Thank you Luise for your answer. I really appreaciate it.NW

  11. evelyn January 7, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    My 20 yr old son met his wife just 6 months ago. From the start, this girl hated me. She was his first gf, and he got wrapped entirely around her finger and would do anything for her. She convinced him to marry her after just 4 months without telling me or his father, and then her parents threw a big reception for them without inviting us. I have only been allowed to see him once since September. When I saw him, he was very happy to see me and wanted to resume our relationship but within two days, wrote me back a hateful email saying that ‘we weren’t ready’ and that I had been ‘looking at his wife’ funny. He has given up his cell phone, so I can’t call without first going through his wife or Mother in law (he lives with his inlaws.) They won’t let me talk to him, even on Christmas. They have cut him off from all his friends. I feel like it’s a cult, almost, and I’m really worried for him – he has no freedom or ability to make his own decisions. This family has total control over him, and this girl he’s married hates me so much that she says she vomits at the thought of me. I can’t tell you how much I’ve cried. My son and I had a very close and loving relationship before he met this girl, just 6 months ago. He’s turned from a kind, compassionate, funny, warm person to a hate-filled, cruel, paranoid, confused and angry person. I offered to pay for counselling for all of us at a counselor of their choice (son, wife, myself, husband, and his mother and father in law) but they refused.

  12. Luise January 9, 2008 at 9:23 am #

    Dear Evelyn: You know and I know that your son has probably made a huge mistake. He is young and inexperienced. I don’t know of anything you can do but wait…and he may not return. He’s stepped out into the world and into what looks like a very familiar,(to most of us), trap. Right now he won’t listen to you or address his “incarceration.” The hormonal rewards are too great. Wait and hope. That doesn’t sound like much but don’t write him off. Be there if and when he starts to come to his senses and seeks your advice. And if it is in your belief system to do so, pray for him. Blessings, Luise

  13. Susan February 22, 2008 at 10:22 am #

    Thanks so much for the small, but real comfort of knowing that I’m not the only one with a broken heart because of a rejecting daughter-in-law. The pain just never goes away – my son and I used to be so close.

  14. Moma B. February 23, 2008 at 10:40 pm #

    I married into a closed family unit. I am a young daughter-in-law with a toddler son. I hate to admit it but I think I may be a bit jealous of him. I mean this…my in-laws never really included me in the family before my son was born. And now it is apparent that they prefer blood relatives over anyone else. It hurts me. I have always wanted a good relationship with my mother-in-law (like the one my mom had with hers). If you watched them together you would think my paternal grandma was my mom’s mother. Grandma accepted her as her own daughter.

    My MIL has often said that my son would be the one to make us closer. Why can’t I be accepted into the family? Why can’t they just accept me for me? I accept them! It never occured to her that just maybe she has to get through me to get to my son. And so maybe she should try to also get to know me. By getting to know me, she would have all the access she wants to him. Does this sound jealous? Maybe it is. But it is not like she doesn’t see him at all. It is just not as often as she’d like because I don’t trust her and because she hasn’t taken the time to consider me in all of this. Am I wrong for not wanting to spend my wkds tweedling my thumbs while she plays with my son?

  15. Luise February 24, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    Answer: Dear M. B.: I will be treating this as a new question…soon. Blessings, Luise

  16. G. Saine March 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm #

    It makes me so happy to see I’am not the only MIL that has a DIL that hates her. She is just like the rest of them She is so jealous. My son has to call me from work. I’m only allowed to see the Grandchildren once a weeki, if she is in a good mood. Pray for us all.

  17. Luise March 30, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    Answer: Dear G. I had a daughter-in-law like that once. My son bought our car and when we delivered it, (over 100 miles round trip), he had to come down to talk to us at the curb. We weren’t invited up. Blessings, Luise

  18. Z. April 10, 2008 at 12:37 pm #

    I have a daughter-in-law who seems unresponsive to our overatures to have her in our family. She is bent on making my son go with her family only. This just puzzles me and I don’t get it. My son is an only child and he waited until he was 39 to get married and she was only 27. The whole thing is sad and I don’t understand someone who did not give us a chance. It is depressing to me not to have a relationship with my son that is open with a nice exchange of information and ideas like we used to have. He was more open and called frequently and was so much more congenial before he met her. I don’t get her at all. It is like she is very insecure and has to have my son prove his love to her all the time in the most childish way. I am disappointed in all this. I tried to hard to be nice and give gifts and be thoughtful. But is just getting harder. This had been going on for 5 years now. There is a lot more but it’s just too long to go into all of it. So any opinions, please?

  19. Luise April 10, 2008 at 6:34 pm #

    Answer: Dear Z. Five years must have made it pretty clear that your dream of an extended family is not going to materialize. Your son made his choice and his wife is not interested in his family. She seems very immature and self-absorbed to me, as I’m sure she does to you. We have nothing to say about the choices our kids make and what they bring to us when they create their own automomy. Collect your dignity and back way off. If he misses you, he may make an attempt to reconnect on his own…or he may not. When we get our offspring raised, they take the reins of their own lives. It’s hard to get that we can be left out of the equation, but unfortunately that often happens. Blessings, Luise

  20. G. June 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    I never had a chance to have or not have a relationship with my DIL. The few times we met, she seemed wonderful. That was less than 2 years ago, and I have not spoken to my son in the past 1 1/2 of those years. I have never met my first and only grandchild. Slowly I am learning to live without him in my life, but I still miss him everyday. I survived a divorce to a man that left me and my three sons to pursue a business, and I found a way to forgive him and even helped my boys rebuild a relationship with their dad. Ironically, my ex has a relationship with my son and his new family and I who sacrificed (freely) everything for them and was always there has none. I so often feel judged – like I must be the evil MIL or something because “Men don’t do their mother’s this way” for no reason at all. I guess they have their reasons but they have refused to talk to me about it – all the more reason I lived with guilt for over a year. I feel as if I will never be whole again, that everything I thought about life and love has been dramatically changed. I am finding it hard to connect with my new stepkids. I’m ashamed to admit it but sometimes I find myself resenting my other 2 son’s for not standing up for me with their brother. I don’t say anything but deep down it hurts me everytime they talk about getting to be with him at their dad’s for family get togethers. I don’t want to be this way, live this way, or even think this way, but all it takes is the mention of his name and I find myself struggling not to cry or let anyone but my husband know how much I hurt. I no longer question why, I don’t blame myself anymore, I know God has a plan, but it would sure be helpful to be able to communicate with others that have experienced this same rejection. G.

  21. Luise June 16, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    Dear G. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. Please read the comments under “My Son Hates Me” for more support. Blessings, Luise

  22. R. October 29, 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    ;My daughter in law was so jeaious of my son’s relationship with me because I was my sons best friend and mom. My son and I sat down with her and she admitted she never had a mom to be close to as her aunt raised her and she was jealous of the close relationship my son and I shared. It was at that point I told her she now had a second mom and friend in me as I always wanted a daughter. We prayed together and cried together and have come a long way since then. Starting going to church together has really made a difference! But often they only jealous of what they wish they had that you and your son have. They just need to understand they’re not on the outside looking in…they’re inside with you and don’t realize it, because they have never been shown love that way. Good luck and GOD BLESS YOU ALL! R.

  23. Luise October 29, 2008 at 9:58 pm #

    Dear R. Beautifully put. Thank you so much! And you are an exceptional Mom because you are also not jealous of her. Blessings, Luise

  24. J. November 22, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    My youngest son married a girl who had practically been abandoned by her family. She was 4 months pregnant when they married. I really did not want them to be married, but worked really hard to accept and love her. It all seemed to work well, when the children were small. I was their only baby sitter for years and my DIL wanted me to accept and love her. I could see the control she had over my son. She wouldn’t let him go anywhere without her. Now 17 years later, she sees herself as wonderful and has even been effective in getting my son to change jobs to a blue collar job that brings in plenty of money so he doesn’t have to travel. My son is enthralled by her. They have joined a conservative church that preaches against so many things and they act as if no one else has it right. I had surgery several years ago and they did not even come to see me. My mother died a year ago and they didn’t visit her before her death. My DIL treats me in a very condescending manner. It hurts me very deeply to see my son so weak and a slave to her every wish. I have learned to visit, love my grandchildren and not have any expectations, but believe me, I feel like I am dying on the inside sometimes. J.

  25. Luise November 22, 2008 at 10:11 pm #

    Dear J. Well, they are still together and they have one big thing in common…he loves her dearly and she loves herself…just as dearly. It’s sometimes strange, what keeps people together. You have learned to live with it and the doors are still open between them and you, no matter how unsatisfactory her attitude is. Good for you to have pulled that off! And yes, I know it hurts to be ignored and devalued. I have been there. It also seems to me that when some of the family belongs to the “Be Right Church” and others don’t it can be a royal pain in the neck. I’ve been there, too. Bless your heart for hanging in there. Luise

  26. J. November 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    Dear Luise: I visited my son and his family tonight. It was his birthday and my DIL was having a birthday party for him and had not even thought of asking me. I also have to have rotator cuff surgery in a couple of weeks. Being left out of the celebration and knowing that they are not even concerned about the upcoming surgery left me in a funk. I surfed the web and found your blog. I really felt cared about when I came back a little later and found your warm response to my first email. Thank you!! J.

  27. Luise November 22, 2008 at 10:37 pm #

    Dear J.: You’re welcome! That’s what my website is about. Blessings, Luise

  28. B. December 24, 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    Dear Luise: I must say that I have read the comments from the mothers in law and I find them all to be lacking any responsibility as to why your daughter in law doesn’t like you. I’m getting married in November 2009, I’ve been with my fiance for 7 years now. When I met his mom she was extremely nice, a little too nice to the point of already telling me she cared deeply for me, over bearing and she had a sense of entitlement. My fiance is an only child and his mom was alone in raising him. I had a relationship with my own mom but it was rocky and she wasn’t my favorite person at the time. His mom assumed that I needed a mom, mistake #1. We were together for about a year when I found out I was pregnant. Her response to me was “Did you get pregnant to trap my son?” That was mistake #2. I tried to get along with her over the next few years but things slowly got worse. I would blame that in part on my fiance. He is very very sensitive about his mother, so when she would say things to me that I didn’t like, he wouldn’t defend me nor would he want me to say anything to her. She would keep going and even go as far as “telling on me” to my fiance which would start an argument. My fiance and I took a “break” in May of this year and his mom was trying to be there for me but then it seemed to turn into happiness on her part. I cutoff all ties with her and haven’t said much to her since. My fiance has come to see how his mother smothers him and disrespects me and has respected my decision not to be around her anymore. There are many other stories in the middle of this that would explain a lot more, but of course I don’t have the time and space. I just wanted to share my experience of being an almost daughter in law. I’m not saying it is always the mothers fault but just realize you make mistakes to and can’t expect your child’s spouse to handle it the same way your child would. Just back off, stop trying so hard to “get along”. Sometimes pushing too much is just as bad as actually doing something bad. You may never have the relationship you think you should have with your DIL, just respect her as a woman, your son’s wife and the mother of your grandchildren, not as someone who could be your child. B.

  29. L. December 27, 2008 at 3:26 am #

    I have been reading about mother-in-laws who claim that their sons wives are jealous of them. I am a woman who divorced her husband of 12 years because I coudln’t take the “closeness” of this mother-in-law to my husband. Calling him on a Saturday, which is family time, to go to the store to get her bath oil and staying for 4 hours deemed me a “jelaous daughter-in-law. Calling him at 9:30 at night to drive 30 miles because she wants to take her dog for a walk is also rediculous. Coming into my home and moving my furniture around to her liking also deemed me a horrible daughter-in-law and wife. Claiming that I couldn’t accept the closeness of this mother/son relationship caused my divorce. When mothers insist that their grown, married sons continue to behave like a little boy who does as he’s told, it is the wife who is deemed “jealous”. I don’t quite see it that way. I see it as the mother who is jealous of her son and wants no other woman to be in his life. It is the behavior of the mother that causes the trouble and they are aware of it, claim innocence and put the blame squarely on the daughter-in-law. Stepping back and allowing a son to establish his own life and family is a very mature thing to do. A mother who can’t do that is the jealous one and is relying on her son to continue the mother/child relationship where she is in complete control. The wife wants a new life. The mother-in-law wants a continuing of her old one. My ex mother-in-law pushed my husband to divorce me. Of course, he had no backbone. They now live together and he doesn’t have to go 30 miles to get her bath oil. But, she “saved” him from his “jealous wife”. L.

  30. Luise December 27, 2008 at 7:06 am #

    Dear L. Both situations can and do occur. What you so accurately describe happens all too often. The initial, loving mother-son relationship evolves into something that can only be described as pathological. The mother makes her son her “everything” and he is trapped for life. The opposite can also happen. A young woman can see her mate as her “everything” shutting out her husband’s mother. Any time anyone makes another person the center of her universe and the answer to all of her insecurities, you have a potential disaster. Blessings, Luise

  31. Luise December 27, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    Dear B. Your advice is very well put and extremely wise. Respect is the answer. Thank you. Blessings, Luise

  32. D. February 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    Dear Luise: I think your answers are so wise and well thought out that it stuns me. You do have wisdom. Thinking back when I was a young bride, I wanted to please my Mother in law so much. I’m a pleaser so that shouldn’t be a surprise. I remember how sensitive I felt at the time. One time in particular, they were walking in the garden. She had her arm around him. I thought, “how warm!” I loved it. So, without thinking, I joined them, putting my arm around him on the other side. We walked and then she said to me in a whisper, “don’t worry, Honey, I’m not going to take him away from you.” Luise! I was devastated. Deeply hurt. I know how sensitive you can be when you’re first married..I do! What’s the answer to this horror? You can’t win at the game…I wish it wasn’t a game but it is a game! When I think about the things my DIL’S have done and said to me, I simply can’t believe it. Is it all about insecurity? I don’t want my sons back. I want them to be happy. I’d just like the opportunity to be a part of their lives, that’s all. People who know me always want me to be with them. (I know I’m bragging but it’s true.) The DILS don’t want me. They don’t know me because I am not myself with them. I become someone who is walking on eggshells around them. I never know what’s going to set them off. Why must they be such ticking time bombs? What kind of war are we fighting here? We’re not in uniform but we’re fighting a war. I surrender. I’m now in a situation where I don’t know how to be or act with them. I’d rather be with rank strangers than these people. Our sons are co-dependent, I’ve decided. I guess I blame myself because I’m a people pleaser so they must have inherited the same disease. One acts like he’s hiding’s so weird. He’s like an actor playing a role. So afraid I’ll see through him and see what he doesn’t want me to see. Hope this makes sense. The other son is like another person. The things he says always are things I’ve heard his wife say. “Christmas is only for kids”. Or, “birthdays..presents shouldn’t have to be given” What? This is all about what his wife has conjured up. Both sons are not close anymore. This is deeply hurtful. The DIL’s are so weird. Both in unique ways. Our sons are wonderful fathers, husbands, friends. They just aren’t thoughtful sons to us. Family doesn’t mean what it once did. If you’ll notice on the websites where the DILS are whining about their MILS, they call family gatherings, “craptaculars” This is what they refer to his family as: his faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamilly. All the insults in the world hurled against a person who loved and cared for their husband and made him into the man he is today. End of ramble…thank you. D.

    • Luise February 13, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

      Dear D. We need to ramble sometimes. Especially when things don’t make sense and we can’t do anything about them. Blessings, Luise

  33. M. March 18, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    Dear Luise: You kindly took out my messages because I was afraid my DIL would see them and they were very specific. They called everyone (after 4 months) and told them the baby was coming. After trying to get them to pick up the phone or answer e-mails, I called his office. He told me he cannot forgive us and that he is not sure we will see the grandchild. I cannot believe what we have raised. (We were the ones who foolishly asked if we could tell a friend who lives miles from then – you said back to me that any parent would have gone ahead, yourself included, and told the news without asking them.) I do think I have lived too long. Fortunately I am old and don’t have much more time. Thank you for listening. M.

  34. J. March 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm #

    I have a situation with my DIL. My son and her live in my house. I am the provider for the bills, groceries, etc. Recently, I asked them to at least start paying the utilities. She is employed and my son pt-time & pt-undergrad. We seem to have conflict because I feel she needs to lend a hand around the house. Unfortunately she can’t cook and isn’t interested in attempting. My concern is when she arrives home, on comes the pj’s and laying in bed. When dinner is ready, here she comes. Well her idea of helping is putting dirty dished in the dishwasher. Thats it! Son does the laundry and runs the vacuum. I really need some advice on how to motivate her. After reading the other comments, now I realize I have been a jerk by talking it over with my son. When my attempts to talk with her about my concerns, she just agrees and says nothing back but will tell my son I am being to hard on her. Okay, if anyone has suggestions, I am so open. J.

  35. D. March 21, 2009 at 8:20 pm #

    I hope you don’t mind me butting in again but I think you’re in a no win situation. She WILL make your son think you are being “HARD” on her. This is what DIL’s do many times. The best you can do is just don’t say anything to her, no matter what she does or doesn’t do. As long as they are in your house, it’s gonna be a problem. Maybe they will be leaving soon? Remember, when they leave, if you haven’t said anything to her that she could take to him, you should be okay. Hard thing to do especially when it’s in YOUR home. D.

  36. Luise March 21, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    Answer: Dear J: I would suggest that you back way up and tell them that you made a mistake to set up living together without any ground rules and that if they plan to stay there will have to be some. Talk to both of them at once, so there won’t be the “he said/she said” triangulation that D. has mentioned above. Let them know that the bills will have to be split three ways and so will the work. Thank your son for his efforts and your DIL for loading the dishwasher. Make it very clear that there are no other options. You are not going to treat them as though they are underage, dependent children. Blessings, Luise

  37. D. March 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    On The Oprah show today, had Steve Harvey, a comedian but also a good man, brilliant really. He has written a book about men and women, what to ask a man before you marry him, etc. “How to act like a lady, Think like a man.” is the name of it.
    One of the last questions he said to ask man that is crucial is: “what do you feel about your Mother? “He said, “if a man can dump his Mother, he can dump you. I’m a man, and I’m telling you that if a man can’t love his Mother, he can’t love you.”
    I’ve heard this before but somehow today when he said it, I realized how true it was.
    So, ladies, be careful when your husband casts his Mother out. He can do the same to you. D.

    • Luise March 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

      Dar D.: That sounds like it comes under the heading of “Daughters-in-law Beware!” Blessings, Luise

  38. Luise March 24, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Additional comment received from M.: We are being so controlled by my son and daughter-in-law – he told me when I finally got him to answer his work phone that they have not decided whether we will ever see the new baby. He and his wife are so, so controlling – when does a son have to work out what he is going to say to two parents who are hurting so much. When do you just give up on them? He has hurt both of us so, so much – I am almost at the point where I really don’t want anything to do with him. M.

  39. D. March 31, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    Dear M: I know that Luise is truly gifted with the right answers and just the right touch for tender hearts. I don’t know what it means about, “it’s about them”. I don’t know if it’s some kind of mental block on my part or what but I’m trying so hard to understand. It doesn’t seem like it’s about them….seems like it’s about us. I always blame us for everything, even when I know we did nothing but love him all his life. D.

  40. D. March 31, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    Ours is 40, too. It’s like we don’t exist. I think with my background, want a family like I did, I should never had had children. Both wives are the most controlling people on earth. Our oldest son is the kindest and I would so love to make his family/my family but his wife only wants just them. I just wanted to belong, that’s all. I would have given my life and I did but it’s not enough. D.

    • Luise March 31, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

      To D. and M.: I can’t wait until we get our Web Forum for Mother-in-laws so conversations can flow more easily. Soon!! Blessings, Luise

  41. R. April 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    Hi All: I came across this website by chance and really feel for all concerned.
    I would like to add my take on my relationship with my soon to be daughter-in-law, in the hope someone may be kind enough to respond with their thoughts. Regarding my sons partner,we generally have a fantastic relationship and have been mistaken for mother and daughter and oddly we even look alike.Her mother recognizes this similarity too. (She looks more like her father). The problem is simple and another one to add to all the scenarios posted. Sons girlfriend is very sensitive in nature and likes to please…..again like her father! Her mother although caring and very family orientated is also very controlling and domineering. This is the problem.Her mother is jealous of my relationship with her daughter and quietly works on her in the background trying everything to put her off me. The reason I know this is because every time she has spent time with her mother or has generally been in her company more than in mine, she comes back to me with a strange attitude as if she is scared of being and acting close to me in case she offends or hurts her mother. So, this cold shoulder is actually spreading to me via her own mother. Hope I haven’t confused you all, perhaps it may be the reason or explanation for some of the attitudes shown to some of you and you haven’t thought about it! Interested to know anyone’s views. On a positive note, my son supports us both and doesn’t really take sides too much and we are so close and open we can actually talk and clear the air (well until the next time)! Any thought? It can be hurtful especially as I know it is happening via her own mum, who I get on fine with in company, but we live miles apart and don’t meet often. R.

    • Luise April 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

      Dear R. That’s an interesting situation. It sounds like you are dealing with it pretty well but it can’t be pleasant. It could get more complex after marriage and grandchildren come along, if her mother can’t cope with those events. Obviously, your to be DIL is very uncomfortable after she’s been around her mother for a while. Would it be possible to openly discuss it with her? Not giving it a name (jealousy) but just reassuring her that you feel her discomfort and would kike to help if possible by reassuring her that you know you and in the number two spot and that’s OK. Blessings, Luise

  42. R. April 23, 2009 at 3:10 am #

    Thankyou Luise, I agree with your suggestion of talking to sons G/F
    about the situation in a diplomatic way,without criticising her mum, as I realise that is a no go area. I think when we do have our talk,which along with my son we have had a few times now regarding various situations (it is what our family do)I will ask her if she ever feels guilty about getting on with me and will then say as if you are betraying your own mum by doing this. If she answers yes which I feel she will, I will reassure her that I would never intend to take the place of her own mum but I would still like to be considered mum number 2. After all when they are married that is what I will be ,a mum through the law. I will also say I have to accept that her mum will be mum number 2 to my son,which is not easy but I have accept it. Above all I will say I want us to be friends that can communicate and not leave each other with feelings of hurt, bottled up and spoken about to others. Yes, I feel it is better to be open about it all, diplomatically of course! R.

    • Luise April 23, 2009 at 7:55 am #

      Dear R. Good for you. Communication isn’t everything, we all have our long and short suits…but it is the best tool I know of to work around the complications that come when we are trying to sort through and around how different our short and long suits can be. Blessings, Luise

  43. R. July 4, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    I have read all the stories on this site and my heart goes out to all. I never felt I would be adding my own. I always loved my son. I divorced when he was going on 5 years of age. He and I loved one another and sometimes had dislike for one another. We did not always meet eye to eye, but he was my world. After marrying his first wife, who I liked. he was divorced after 4 years. It did not take him long to find a girl 25 years old that he soon married, and was pregnant. I did push my son to have a pre-nup in which she disliked me and she told me off. He did get the pre-nup, however, she signed with the intentions I would be out of their lives. I did go to see the baby, bring gifts, did not interfere with anything. At the wedding ceremony I was not allowed to walk down the isle. My sons excuse was he would carry the baby instead. He knew it upset me as I could of walked down the isle as well. I only stayed for the ceremony, and cocktail hour. My son did not want me to have his home phone number, and if I came 10 minutes early, asked me to wait until he came home from work and not to ring the bell. This was very devastating to me, as he did not defend me and has a fear of her. It is 3 years later and I have a grandson. My daughter in law is sarcastic to me or does not talk to me, but my son and I are OK. She is a mommy’s girl, immature, it is all her family. They all go on vacations together, down the shore, holidays, etc. I am only allowed to visit and they have not been to my home in all their marriage. Their is more incidents then I could write. As it stands now, I told my son that he is witness that I am nice to her, etc., if he wants to see me with the grandchildren without her fine. as I forgave her two times already. So far he has agreed to do that. I do not know how long it will last. My advise to all you mothers of sons…put some blame on your sons, also, not all on the daughter in law. If your son cares for you he will talk to his wife and put her in her place, and if that fails he will see you with grandchildren even once in 3 weeks. If your son cannot do that, move on because you are fighting a losing battle and will have heartache. If you cannot make a horse drink water, do not bring the water to it over and over again, wait until it is thirsty. Good luck to all of you. R.

    • Luise July 4, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

      Dear R. You have made some very cogent points. Would you consider coming over to my web-Forum? There is a lot of interest there on this topic and a lot of support. It’s at: Blessings, Luise

  44. M. August 11, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    Dear Luise – I heard on the news that Eunice Shriver died. She did so much in her life. I always thought I was a good person and did good things over my 71 years – and from the notes from friends and kids I know I have. As much as I admired Mrs. Shriver, I feel you have done so much for those of us who are suffering from sons and DIL who have changed our lives – I never thought, me the CEO of a company, would be a victim. You have helped me to get past what my son and DIL have done to me and I hope I am pulling my life together. I will never see my grandchild – but, you know, it is their loss. Thank you for all you have done for me. M.

    Dear M.: Thank you so much for your kind words and your continuous support. I would do more if I could but there is so much of it that you have to bear alone.

    We are all in this thing called “life” together. Through no fault of your own, you have had to face a great deal of pain and work through the suffering that loss brings. My heart goes out to you.

    Blessings, Luise

  45. N. September 29, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    My own mother died six months ago from pancreatic cancer. My two younger sisters were always jealous of my relationship with my mom and dad and only bonded with them. It was a very dysfunctional family but I made the best of it. As my mother was dying, my married son and daughter in law went every weekend to be with her ( I was not invited) and my sisters helped brainwash my daughter in law against me. further than she already was). My son grew up with the problems of my father saying horrible things about me in front of my four children. I was a passive people-pleaser, always hoping things would get better. They didn’t. I was not told of my mothers funereal by my son not invited, and he told me he wanted to END THIS RELATIONSHIP. For ten years I have dealt with a daughter in law who doesn’t speak to me. N.

  46. A. December 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    I have a daughter in law I thought was going to be
    ex-daughter in law soon, but apparently that will not
    happen. She has been in the family for over 20 yrs,
    we have 3 grandchildren by her and love them very
    much. The first time she left our son she met a man
    on the internet from England, she went there and he
    came here for a few visits, she had our son convinced
    he was gay and it was truly just a friendship, until
    he told us this man did not want the kids, and she would be leaving with him and she did not intend to
    take the kids with her, but we would not be allowed
    to see the kids anymore because we might talk bad
    about her, they live 3 miles from us, and they are
    here daily, we might go to their house once a year.
    She did come back home after 6 months, and he took her
    back, we acted like nothing happened and went on loving her and as usual she acted like she loved us.
    Now 7 months ago she left again, leaving the kids
    to go off with her high school sweetheart that had
    just gotten out of prison, we got a e mail from her
    blaming us for this, and every thing she had done
    wrong, including having a long time affair with her
    twin sisters husband, which her sister knew about and
    participated in. Now he boyfriend is going back to
    jail for stealing from our daughter in law, the sad
    thing is the kids know about all of this, we have always told them to love and respect their mother, this is only a very few things she has done, she wants
    our son back and he is going to take her back, we asked him how he could do this and he said we just
    were not with it anymore, this is a 40 yr old man, we
    know she has always totally controlled him, we have
    always giving into each and everything she wanted from
    us just to keep peace, but I don’t think we should have to anymore, she is so jealous of our other sons
    wife, we just do not know how we can deal with this.
    there is so much more that we just can not believe
    anyone is capable of doing especially to there children. A.

    • Luise December 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

      I don’t see anything you can do except be there for the kids. It’s your don’s mess and his decision. Blessings, Luise

  47. S. June 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    To the mother in law that says her daughter in law is jelous. I guarantee the mother in law is meddling in her sons life. Mothers think that they can still parent their adult children. I dont blame the daughter in law for getting mad. She is the wife and its time for mommy to back off. S.

  48. J. October 20, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    I am baffled that I have a dil who only communicates with me by email and once in awhile a short note when she sends pictures of the children. I definitely appreciate her emails and photos, of course, because I only get to see my grandchildren the most 3 times a year so I treasure this form of hearing and seeing small fragments of their lives. The dilema is I have requested to talk on Skpe once in awhile if I am sending something so I can see them open it up and we can talk. When she is on the Webcamera she doesn’t participate at all and ignores me the whole time on camera….almost like she couldn’t care that I was there or not. The children are small so they talk for awhile then go away which is fine, but their mother is so cold to me that I feel uncomfortable. Also, I might have made a certain gift for them that was customized that might have taken many weeks to make and my dil doesn’t even make one comment to me or to the chidren that Grandma took the time to do this. She acts so superior, yet distant. I have never said one unkind word to her or ever interfered in her or my son’s life. I talk to my son maybe 8 times a year and with her only 1 time a year. I have kept my distance with her because of many things that have happened in the past which has made it evident that she doesn’t want me to get close to her or the children. So I more or less accept what she is willing to give me and keep quiet about it. But sometimes I need to talk to someone who can give me some wisdom as why she is warm with an email and totally opposite when we can see eachother in camera form. Also, I have been thinking about maybe sending the children money instead of gifts, even though they don’t need it and I am on a low income. I thought the children enjoy opening gifts more even if they are not expensive. J.

  49. K. October 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    i have a daughter in law, that is rude abusive and violent towards myself my daughter and my sons dad. they have a 1yr old son, whom i miss very much havent seen him or my son for eight months, since she attacked my daughter in the street, we have all tried to make her welcome within the family and she and her son lived with me for 3 yrs. i think she is jealous of our family set up as my son myself and my daughter have always been close since i brought them up by myself since they were very young. but since they have moved out she has taken every opportunity she can to cause arguements with us even though we have been walking on egg shells around her, down to the fact i had to see my granson only at her moms house, my son has not had contact with me for 9 months now, and i miss him and my grandson deeply , so much so that i have contemplated suicide, if it wasnt for my daughter and grandaughter i wouldnt be here now, and my daughter has been my rock through all this, i suffer with bipolar and i sometimes feel i cant cope and i dont no what to do. i cant get in touch with my son and he told me when he left home that he cant take my number as it would cause arguements. she said he hates me , but i know its not true as the day he left he hugged me and asked me if i was going to be ok. please someone help me to get my head round this. K.

    • Luise October 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

      If you are sure you are past any thoughts of suicide, I have a suggestion. However, If that is even lingering in the back of your mind, I am not the person to turn to. You need immediate professional help. If you are stable, then come over to my Web-forum for women who have issues with their adult children and extended families. It is at I think you might find help, understanding and comfort there. Blessings, Luise

  50. S. December 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm #


  51. L. February 25, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    My son and his wife are in their 60,s. I don’t have the slightest clue what my husband and I or any of our side of the relatives did, but she has picked at everything we have said or done and won’t tell us what it is so we can make it right. I barely know my grand-children who are in their 30’s and have two great grandchildren whom I don’t see or know at all. I am so frustrated over the whole mess. My younger son is not much better. If I hear once a year that is something. Please help me, either to let go or have some sort of peace. L.

    • Luise February 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

      Please come over to my Web-forum at where issues with adult children and extended families are shared. You may find comfort there. Many of us have. Blessings, Luise

      • Heather August 31, 2020 at 9:14 pm #

        I am a DIL. And I appreciate everyone’s stories shared. I do have to say, my story is different. In the beginning my MIL tried to split us up so bad, when I got pregnant she said “He’s not going to take care of you and the baby you should move on” big red flag for me. I always knew he had a weird relationship with her. She started so many issues and he was guilty in them too as I was. Then we got married and she wasn’t invited. I cried to him, “we’re only getting married once and you only have one mom! He said “if she changes, in the future she will know why she wasn’t invited”. Do MIL’s realize that YES DILS have influence in their sons life, but a DIL is actually someone closer than a mother in a different way completely? Like even mentally and emotionally. I NEVER suggested she not be invited. That was all him. Of course I got the bad rap. Someone gave her a picture of us from the wedding, she cut me out of it. That was 6 years ago. For 2 years we didn’t really talk to her. We tried every which way but she was hurtful everytime to all of us. Once a man is a father and husband he is the protector of that family. I never made him choose between us, I always just was his gf/wife. Well after 2 years she missed the kids he told me he didnt want a relationship with her. So I asked if could talk to her he said yes. For four years I was the ppint of contact, I tried getting him to take her outto diner he always said no. So eventually she started her little digs at me again, we would fight, and then a stresful period hit in life for all of us. We were on the brink of divorce (she was a huge stressor) and sh offered to talkto him and help the situation. WELL she used that time instead of helping us like she suggested with specifics, to use it for personal gain with her son. He was so mad and told me hedoesnt trust her at all. I stopped trusting her too. Now it’s so sad we aren’t sure whattodo anymore. (she was gonna tell him ABC that she told me but nevertold him ABC as a quick example) I thought we werefriends.

        After so long I don’t care anymore. She tld someone she thinks I’m intimidated by her relationship with him. I’ve encouraged him to forgive her for all the lies in his life. Lied about his real dad etc. Those are their issues she is projecting on me. My husband says she can’t bein Our life. My husband sees howhurtful she is and how I’m not doing anything. I recently said “you take the kids andgo” he still said no. He doesn’t want to gowithout me. Idk it’s nuts to me!

  52. K March 23, 2011 at 5:48 am #

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 8 years but we still live with our parents.
    We do plan to move in together soon as we are better of financially now than we have
    been in the past. We also have a great relationship 99% of the time. We are both mid 20’s.
    The problem for me is that sometimes his mum does feel like the other woman and I know I sound like the typical jealous girlfriend now but just read on. I will take all comments made after this into consideration as I don’t enjoy feeling this way towards someone so close to him.
    When we first got together he wasn’t getting along with his mum and I did encourage him to try and be more understanding with her as I know it’s horrid when you fall out with your mum. However after we had been together for about 2 years and things were only marginally better between them a family holiday was booked which I wasn’t invited on as his mum said it should be a time for her and her son to work things out. This was the first time I felt put out by her actions. They did come back from this holiday closer than ever which I’m pleased about but I didn’t understand why she felt I needed to be kept out of the picture to make this happen. Now that’s where my feelings toward her started to change and now I find myself struggling to not just outright dislike her due to past events over the years. Once I was at my boyfriends house making something to eat while he and her were in the living room and she text me a message saying come look what my boyfriend was doing in the living room. I thought he’d be joking around or something but when I went to see he was massaging his mums feet. I didn’t see anything wrong with this at first so I asked her what did she want me to look at toe which she then replied ‘ I bet he doesn’t do this for you’ and started laughing. He did seem embarrassed by her actions and stopped messaging her feet but I was fuming, it wasn’t that he didnt do this for me as I can’t stand my feet being touched as I’m ticklish but I felt she was proving a point which didn’t need to be proven. Also they sometimes play fight on the floor right in front of me which makes me totally uncomfortable. My boyfriend and I play fight and he used to with his sister which I thought was entertaining at times but I can’t stand it when he does it with his mum. I did live with him at his parents for a time and during this time my boyfriend had to work away a lot only coming back on weekends. the strange thing was during the week his mum would hardly ever speak to me and any conversation i tried to make i didn’t get mug from her. I would sometimes walk into room where a conversation was taking place and it would stop dead in it’s tracks so in the end I spent a lot of my time in his room when not at work. But on weekends when he was back she
    would be lovely and to me a totally different person, at this time I wasn’t getting on with my own mum and felt very isolated at this as my boyfriend wouldn’t believe me when I said his mum didn’t like me much and she would complain to him about me when I wasn’t around which he would then pull me up about. I did finally move back in with my mum when one day while my boyfriend was working away I text his mum to tell her I knew it was my turn to cook dinner and told her what I’d be cooking. That night when I got home the dinner had already been cooked and eaten ( there was no dinner made for me ) I asked her why she didn’t wait for me to cook. She just said I forgot you text me.
    Little things since then just widen the void further between us like doing seating arrangements for parties and seating me away from boyfriend. Cooking Sunday lunches for a the family but not inviting me even though she knows it’s my day off. Making comments about council estate families which is me and use to be her too! Wanting me to move to the other side of the world as she didn’t want to leave her 20 odd year old son behind and said my family were selfish for not wanting me to go when really they just she just wanted me there to get her son there too. She also makes comments about how her son would probably never want children if the decision was left to him. Even though I’ve made it clear to him that’s the case he needs to tell me which causes arguments as he assurres me he does yet I get paranoid that he doesnt. it is sometimes a jealousy issue as it does annoy me when they go shopping together when he wants to buy something new, when they look at apartments that he and I would be moving into ( they don’t view them just drive to them and look at the buildings), or when they discuss and loom at what hairstyles he should have next. I feel these are things we should fo together during the little time we get together because of our work commitments. I have posted this today as I felt at the end of my tether with her and him as I know you can’t always blame her when he is a mummy’s boy. But last night I actually got the feeling she was flirting….and I know that doesn’t happen but I couldn’t help feeling this way as she was trying to get his attention by whispering things he could barely here to get his attention then giggling. He thought it was funny too and they kept laughing quietly. But I felt I was in the way like three is a crowd situation. Then this morning he left me in bed to go work as I stayed over and said see you later but he didn’t leave straight away he went into the kitchen and was chatting and laughing with his mum. I got up and went down stairs to leave just to see in time him giving her a kiss on the cheek and saying bye. Now I need some advice as I felt like she was taking my role and I should be the one he chats with and kisses before leaving for work all the while I knowing there is nothing wrong with him doing that with his mum. I know I’m being irrational but it seems all the little things have built up and I can’t help feel this way. I need to add that she has fleetingly shown kindness towards me that makes me think we’ll start to have the relationship I know we should have, the one my mum had with an ex if my brothers, but then she does something to make me realize we won’t ever be friends.
    Now I would like feedback and not about the shocking grammatical errors haha… Seriously I could do with the advice. K. ps sorry to ramble so much…

    • Luise March 23, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      Her patholigy, and I see it as that, will follow you and probably only increase. There’s no use in trying to make sense of it. Please come over to my Web-forum: where issues regarding extended families are discussed and support is available. Blessings, Luise

  53. C. May 30, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    My son &DIL married 10 yrs. ago. I love my DIL as she is pretty inside as well as outside. My son & DIL talked me into relocating close to them in which my son bought me a house. She and I got along wonderfully. My middle daughter passed away and my DIL took her place. We got along great. My son bought a second house in the beach area that I lived. He thought we should sell the house I was living in and then I could move into this house as they were going to use this as a second, vacation house. I had no idea that my DIL was against that until the house was sold and I had to move. She has become distant, not communicating with me and doesn’t return my calls. I am in a rental house until the vacation house is remodeled. What should I do. I really love her. C.

    • Luise June 11, 2011 at 7:28 am #

      Talk to your son about this to see what went wrong and how it can be resolved. And come on over to my forum for some support: http://www.Wise Blessings, Luise

  54. C. June 28, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    I hate feeling this way and I don’t want to anymore. I feel that my mother-in-law doesn’t really like me. She has always been nice to me and says she loves me but it is what she does that makes me believe otherwise.

    One major thing that bothers me is that every single time my husband and her text back and forth they end their texts with “kisses, I love you”. This is very strange for me because I know him and I do not do this and I certainly do not do that with my parents. I feel like little things like that should be kept between husband and wife as they should have a more special relationship than a mother and son. I believe that God meant for the son to leave his mother and cleave to his wife and they become one. So no other relationship compares to what a husband and wife relationship should be.

    She is remarried and my husbands father doesn’t live in this country but she still calls my husband to do “little favors for mommy” as she calls it. I feel like some of those favors are things you ask of your husband not your son that already has his own family to worry about. Things like, look this up for me and print this out for me and bring it over and come to the store with me so I can purchase a camera. Her husband is younger than she is (he is in fact closer to my husbands age than to her age) and is completely capable of doing the things she asks of my husband.

    She also says things when we are visiting her that really get to me. She does it so subtly that when I mention it to my husband he just thinks I am crazy. She will talk about other peoples weight and say things like “she has a huge belly and I thinks she just gave up, she looks horrible”. I have gained 25 lbs. after having our second child and have not lost it. She is OBSESSED with weight and body image. She always talks about how she is soooo fat and how she needs to work out more. This lady is not fat at all and has a fit body. She makes me feel like if she thinks she is in such bad shape what does she think about me? She will say things about pregnant ladies she says she sees out at the store and says that they are so skinny and only have a baby bump and that she thinks that is SO cute. She never once mentioned anything about how cute I was as a pregnant woman. I was never overweight and I believe I looked really beautiful while pregnant.

    Whenever we are together which is about two or three times a month she continually interrupts me. We are all having a conversation but whenever I want to say something she interrupts me half sentence and I just find that extremely rude. I don’t want to talk over her and want to give her the respect she does deserve and I feel like she does it in such a “nice” way that everyone else would just say or think that is just the way she is.

    Another thing that really bothers me to the point of feeling extremely uncomfortable is that whenever we go to see her she says “hi” to me and my daughters and kisses us on the cheek as it is our custom but to my husband she gives him extremely long hugs and she will hang on his shoulders and squeeze him. I have seen a few times that she will go sit on his lap and hug his neck sometimes. Or she will sit next to him on the couch and turn her legs up and rests them on his. She has asked him a couple of times to take off his shirt so that she could see his progress (like I said she is obsessed with fitness)and she like touches his muscles. It is just super weird to me and I get so uncomfortable. My husband has a tattoo that says “mom” and one that says “dad” and he also has our daughters names tattooed. One of the times she asked him to take his shirt off she say the tattoo that says “mom”, which she had already seen multiple times and touched it and said “awwwww” and hugged him.

    She also always comments on how much our daughters only look like me and how she thinks they do not look like my husband. Everybody else notices how much they look like their dad. I mean, our youngest looks exactly like him but she insists she only looks like me.

    These are all the major things I am really hurt about but there are more little ones she does and says here and there. I do not want to be jealous of her or think that she doesn’t like me but that is all I feel. Please help me because it is beginning to affect my relationship with my husband. I just feel like I will never hold a candle to his mom. C.

  55. S.. November 5, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    My situation is very difficult. I’ve never had the mother-daughter bond. My mother left me and i was raised by my aunt (mother’s sister) and uncke (aunt’s husband). They love me dearly and have done the best job raising me as their own. They never had any kids so I was their only child and i never had any siblings from my mother or father (btw i never met my father). My aunt and i could never get along, in fact i get along more with her husband who is like my father. I am so jealous of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law’s relationship and compare everything my MIL does for her daughter and her kids to what she does for my husband and our kids. It’s just not fair the way she treats her daughter.Part of it is my lack of a relationship. I wish I could have a relationship like this.But the other part is my anger towards her because she makes it so obvious that she prefers her daughter to my husbnad. In her house she has about 8 pictures hung up of her daughter and husband and only 2 pictures hung up of her son. it’s not until i said something that she put up pictures of us. I really don’t know how to deal.I dont want to make my husband feel bad when i point these things out but it makes me so mad and ive told her before that she has two kids not just one. and if thats the what she wants is to only recognize one child than thats fine and we wont be in her life. She even cuts her daughter a bday cake every year and mind you her daughter is 8 years older than my husband and my husband doesn’t get anything for his birthday. I would love for her to treat my husband the same way she treats her daughter and while i do believe that i am also a little jealous of the relationship she has with her daughter i don’t think its fair to blatanly show a preference or show your kids that you have a favorite. Any advice? S.

    • Luise November 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      S. – Your MIL isn’t fair or even wise but there is nothing you can do about it. You can’t change her and she probably can’t change herself, even if she wanted to. She is the baggage you got when you married her son. And she isn’t going to be the mother-substitute you would have lifed. That’s all just fact. Not liking to be the way it is…is harmful. Be kind to yourself and focus on what works in your life, since you can’t change her. None of us have everything we want…what we do have is the choice to either let what we don’t like take us down or what we do like to bring us joy. You deserve so much better…give it to yourself by the choises you make.

  56. they only know me as "Grandma" December 21, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    Aren’t the children part of the equation in problems of this kind, they must have friends who have Grandmas, Mum’s mum and Dad’s mum, it’s usually the Dad’s mum who gets the missing grandchildren and why are not these daughter in laws charged with mental cruelty because of sheer bloody mindedness. Its not good for the children unless they have been fed with misinformation. My own grandchildren I would pass in the street because I just do not know them now, they used to come and visit but, without any explanation it all stopped, my granddaughter and grandson are now teenagers I could pass them in the street and wouldn’t know them, sent them via their father, birthdays and Christmas money because not knowing anything about them and not being part of their lives what were their interests. Their other grandma, her mother, has had it all, I never even got a thank you. If that is not a case of Mental Cruelty what is?

  57. Janet April 29, 2019 at 3:53 pm #

    Best thing to do is say nothing bad at all about your son’s wife this is a no win situation. Face it he is married now and let him live his life and get on with yours. He maybe in your life or he may not be have to accept it. You do not have to like it. Complaining will only make manners worst. I really believe our grown son or daughter loves us they eventually come back around just give it time. Always send birthday and Christmas cared rather they do or not. If you have any grandkids send them cards to really about all you can do of course you can turn it all over to God he is a huge help in my life!

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