Question: My mother-in-law was like a mother to met throughout my mother’s illness with breast cancer over 20 yrs ago – My mom was widowed in early life and left with 5 children. She developed a drinking problem however was always a kind and loving mother. My mother-in-law filled a void during those trying years for me. After my mother died 22 yrs ago my mother-in-law started pulling from me – it was as if she was there when my mother was alive and after she died she deserted me – when we were together she would always negatively talk about the other daughter-in-law…she did this for 20 yrs – now the other daughter-in-law is cleaning her house for $$$$ and after 40 yrs they are friends and I am left out in the dark – my mother-in-law talked about her for 30 yrs to me – I never agreed or commented just listened…my mother-in-law is 84 and has numerous health issues – I know her time is limited – please advise me how to cope with this situation…when I am with her she zings me…my husband tells me she is not all there and crazy – i miss all the good times we had together – i have been an orphan most of my life…should I move on? S.
Answer: Dear S.: We usually can’t go back and when other people make choices that affect us, we can’t change those people or their decisions. You are probably not going to re-establish what you would like to with your MIL. You can try. And you can come over to my Web-forum where a community of women help each other deal with issues involving adult children and extended families. I think joining our community might be helpful as you face the prospect of losing her yet again. We are at: www.WiseWomenUnite.com . Come on over. Blessings, Luise