My Daughter-in-law Misconstrues Whatever We Say

Question: Dear Luise: I was having and online conversation with my son and asked if his wife was getting more crap put on her head not thinking any more about it. We were to see our grandchildren at the end of the week and when we stopped by, my daughter-in-law wouldn’t let us in. I then asked if something was wrong with my infant granddaughter because her face looked swollen, instantly my daughter-in-law told me that she knew what I meant by that and said we were not welcome to their home. My sweet grandson started to cry. He is two. We left. I should have known she was a mind reader and likes to misconstrue whatever we say to her own understanding. During this time I had been cleaning out closets and since they were not answering the phones or doors I left my sons stuff on their porch. Also because I was concerned about my granddaughter I left a list of possible problems that could be the cause of her face swelling. After a couple of weeks and me e-mailing an apology to both of them I got the response from my son that they prayed about it and they have decided that we need a break from each other and not to come by their home or his work. He said I was malicious. I then got a call from my sister and was told that on my daughter-in-law’s “myspace” site was a cartoon with the phrase of “mother-in-law from hell.” She claims to be a Christian?. It has been almost a month since I’ve seen my grandchildren. For the nine years I heard her talk and make hateful remarks about her own mother, her mother’s husband, her father, brother, sister-in-law and even about her infant niece. She just started a relationship with her own mother in the past year and a half. I hope it doesn’t go this long. I know some very dark secrets about her that her own family doesn’t know and I’ve been battling with whether to let this information go or not and let the chips fall where they may. T.

Answer: Dear T. I honestly don’t understand the remark you made about your son’s wife “getting more crap put on her head” but apparently they felt it was unkind and didn’t accept your apology. They may have misunderstood your placing his things on their porch as well; thinking it was some kind of statement and meant something. Once things got going in a negative direction, your suggestions regarding their daughter’s face were probably misunderstood, as well. Interpretations and perceptions can easily get pretty unrealistic.

I don’t think I would share the dark secrets about her; things are already pretty tense.

Whether you like her of not, she and your son have established their own separate, family unit by marrying and having children, (just like you and I once did), and within that structure they have their own preferences and rules that you must abide by to be part of the whole.

It might be wise to wait it out and when your son again approaches you, to ask him what is expected of you. I know that sounds unfair but I don’t know of any other resolution to the misunderstandings that have gotten in the way of yourmaintaining an extended family. Blessings, Luise

22 Responses to My Daughter-in-law Misconstrues Whatever We Say

  1. J. January 3, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    Dear Luise: I haven’t seen my grandchildren in 9 months due to a controlling, insecure daughter-in-law and a bi-polar son who has become impossible to deal with. 9 months ago her controlling behavior over my son escalated to physical abuse from him. He talks suicide, etc. and she informed me he has been asking her for a divorce for 3 years. I told her “then give it to him”, next time it could be one of the children hurt, this is not a healthy relationship. My grand children are 9 and 14. My son went to jail and now they are together again. Since then, they do not speak with us, hang up on us, do not return calls. I found my 14 yr. old granddaughter on myspace and she wants to see us badly. Her mother has torn my family apart, putting the wedge between my son and I for the past 3 yrs, now taking the grandchildren. She called around the holidays and said we could see them then backed out the day we were to pick them up. My husband spoke with her lengthly on the phone and she admitted she didn’t want to let me see my granddaughter because she was afraid I would turn her against her. She’s impossible to deal with and hurting my granddaughter very much. Are we suppose to wait until my granddaughter is 18 and can see us on her own? This is heart-breaking, we haven’t done anything wrong. J.

  2. Luise January 3, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Dear J.: This kind of situation is very hard to resolve. Grandparents try to rescue grandchildren for very good reasons but often the authorities do not respond and the parents, no matter how lacking, are seen as the best option. As you know, that’s simply not always true. It’s the children who suffer the most when the home isn’t supportive. You can go to an attorney to see what might be done but usually the grandparents only get the children when the parents don’t want to be bothered with them. You are doing what you can by letting them know that you love them and are there for them. The day may come, and you are right, it may be when they turn 18, that they will come to you. Blessings, Luise

  3. A. February 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Dear Luise: I have two daughter in-laws. Nothing you say will ever be OK and they ALWAYS use the grandchildren for punishment. It is rare I think to have a DIL who respects her in- laws as she would her own parents. DIL’s always want to go to their parents home for holidays or cut in-law’s holidays short. They are jealous if you EVEN buy a gift for a grandchild …unless their parents thought of it..I say do as me and SLAM the DAMN door and tell them to stay the hell out! A.

    • Luise February 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

      Dear A. I’m sure that has been your experience but I also know it can go either way. I had one of each…a DIL who would take a bullet for me and one who wanted to put one in me! Blessings, Luise

  4. G. May 14, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    It was hard for me to believe that there are other women out there who have the same problem as me….a daughter-in-law who wreaks havoc in a family. Mine was wonderful and compassionate until she had their first child. Then, she instigated a competition between her parents and us. She wants the kids to love her parents more. We just want to love the kids. Her parents live an hour from here and we get to see the kids more. We are called upon to do so much with them, because my son and her both work. Naturally, the kids are going to care about us, because they are here at our house 6 out of 7 days. We are a fun bunch and the kids love it here. She absolutely hates the fact that they love us. I don’t know what to do to help the situation. I have tried so hard to make her life easier, but nothing seems to work. And, as time goes on, she is getting meaner. I wonder sometimes if she is jealous of the close knit family that we have? She only has one sister, and it is very evident to everyone that her parents are partial to the sister. We have 4 children in all….3 boys and one girl, and our daughter has even tried to be really good to her….to no avail. Any suggestions? G.

    • Luise May 17, 2009 at 7:06 am #

      Dear G.: You are doing your best. What you are giving your grand kids is priceless. Your DIL’s attitude is something you can’t change. If kindness and warmth would do it…you would have succeeded long ago. What you are offering is a role model for her kids. That could very easily alter their lives now and give them a leg up when they move out into the adult world. Your DIL has issues that contract the world around her. You expand quite naturally and that’s a gift to everyone in your family and extended family. Please consider posting the same issues on my new web Forum: . A problem-solving, supportive community is forming there. Blessings, Luise

  5. P. September 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm #

    I had a very interfering mother-in-law and I vowed I would never be like her. She was a sergeant major in the army —I will leave the rest to your imagination. Now I am saddled with a rude future daughter-in-law. I have never interfered but she drags me into imaginary arguments. Twists what I say and bla bla bla. They live overseas–I Hope they stay there permanently. I have a very busy life with my own interests and dont need a silly, jealous, madam to cause a family feud. P.

    • Luise September 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

      What a bummer! You got the short end of the stick both ways! Please come over to my web-Forum: I think you will get a lot of support there. Blessings, Luise

  6. Franny January 22, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Your daughter-in – law was getting more “crap put on her head.” What does that even mean? Shame on you for such a horrible, hateful remark. Plenty of mature adult women manage to have decent relationships with their mother-in-laws. You’re obviously to blame in this situation.

    • Luise January 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

      It msy be obvious or it may be an “I think.”

  7. Franny January 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Oh no. It’s obvious.

  8. F. May 26, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    I have 2 daughter in laws.One is as sweet as can be- her family is as well.They share the hoildays with us and we have a little grnadaughter that is loved by all and another on the way.They call us we call them- we even hang out together.
    The other daughter in law is from hell and so her is drunken dysfunctional family- she is a size 00 due to throwing up she has had boob jobs tummy tucks botox and she is not 32 yet and she is on some kind of meds for being crazy–although she has self diagonised as OCD.She knew my son about 6 months before they married- he met her on the internet after divorcing another woman just like her – that one was on prozac and had a sex addiction.When they were planning the wedding I stayed out of it..we paid for his first one-yet they begged us to pay for the before wedding dinner.They asked us for $500.00 and said it was going to be at a country club.3 days before the dinner in her driveway she snickered that the venue had changed to a bowling alley.I asked what the price was and she said oh lots cheaper–never offered to return any of the money.We are NOT rich and that was part of our savings.She told me to wear a dress just like her mothers– her mother is a size 5 and was wearing a tube top type dress..I am NOT a size 5 and asked to wear something that fit my frame–I was paying for it.She told me that she was thinking of not inviting us to the wedding if I insisted on another dress.I told her that would be fine.She then said fine wear what you want.She did not talk to us for 1 year after that..we found out through the grapevine that they had a baby.She then told people we never came to see the baby– we did not even know about.We finally talked them into counseling–after 6 weeks the whole thing came down to she was mad because I did not make her a chocolate cake on her birthday and make her feel special.We are like what?????So now they have 2 kids- the woman has accused us of doing sexual things to the children so they can not stay the night anymore– our choice on that- we even suggested they call child services– she then said well it was all a joke and you did not get it.OMG not funny.She then told us that we needed to feed her children only low fat low cal and she had to approve the meals.I said then you can bring their food–she now says we mistreat them due to the fact we will not spend money on them for their”diet”.Her 5 year old is asking how many calories are in stuff and saying she can not have anything with fat in it..the mother has an eating disorder–although she will not admit it.- she came to Christmas folded her arms and never spoke to a person.I am sick of her and my son lets her just rule people.I have no respect for him and he treats us like crap.We sent him a birthday card with money and he never even said thanks or called on moms day.The younger boy and his family said they are done with them and we should be done also.The DIL from hell is rude nasty and self indulged.We have tried to be nice but she always thinks the worst.We have decided that if the penalty is no contact with the grandchildren and our son to be rid of her then it is well worth it.He is older then her buy almost 10 years and all that know them say it will noty be long and she will dump him for a younger party type guy.I just hope they dont have any more kids.I just thnak God for the other DIL– is nice to see that there are sweet ones out there. F.

  9. T. July 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    Wow. You guys my son married a mexican girl, no papers, I worked and helped him get her papers and now she’s trying to start crap between me and my son. I’m a single mom having raised by myself (with God’s help) since he was 3 1/2 months old. Walked 10 miles to get me and him from an abusive man (my ex-husband) when I was 19. Yes, 33 years ago. In May of 77. I’ll tell you what I have told him. I did not pay for her green card for her to come here and start crap and if she does try to stop our communicating to court we go. Take care all. God Bless. T.

  10. J. October 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    I have a DIL that my son met online thru one of those MMORPG type games. He was married & living with a wife, at the time. About three weeks of talking to this woman online & he went to meet her about 800 miles away for a secluded weekend. They hit it off. The wife was, at the time cheating on my son, so it came to a mutual agreement that they break it off & go their separate ways.

    The wife kept custody of the 3 grandchildren who by the way, I had raised on the weekends for the previous 5 yrs; I went & picked them up & I took them home every weekend. My DIL then, (mother of my grandchildren) would never come to my house. For the next year, I did my best to get to know this new woman in my son’s life. I liked her a lot. She could sing, she had a good attitude & all seemed well, I THOUGHT. However, she wrapped my son up within a couple months & moved him far away from our local area (about 1500 miles away), and soon, I heard less and less from my son. If I tried to call, she always intercepted phone calls or text messages. She would answer for him and I would rarely get an opportunity to talk to him. I got on that MMORPG game online, just so I could try to find and talk to my son once in awhile. What I found out was, when I thought I was talking to him, I was really talking to her!!! She did not reveal that she was using his character in the game! I never said much bad about the DIL, I just said, I wished he would move back closer to “home” so he could be closer to the children who loved him dearly. I said nothing bad, really; just letting him know I missed him & so did the children. But once he was gone, the now divorced wife, would no longer allow me to see the grandchildren. In my state, we, at that time, had no grandparents rights, so I had no recourse. I was broken-hearted to the core about not getting to see my “babies” at least once in awhile.

    My son grew farther and farther away from me with his new woman, who he eventually married. I got married & moved away from my original home, just a few weeks after they got married. Over the course of the following year, I talked my husband’s family into funding a trip for my son and his children to come visit me in my new home. We told them we would be sending them the money; not sure when, but go ahead & make the necessary plans to take off work, etc. One day “she” (the DIL) called wanting to know when I was sending the money? I told her in a couple of days. She proceeded to demand the money by the end of that week. I was befuddled, but ok. We did without & sent 1/3 of the money to them. Come to find out, they needed the money to pay bills with before they left on the trip. Then they demanded the balance of the money within a couple more days, otherwise, they couldn’t make the trip. We made arrangements & had the promised balance sent to them. They went to pick up the grandchildren in our home town, visited with my son’s dad, & with my daughter. I heard little from them during all this, but continued making plans in my home for them to come to our house over the fourth of July weekend. I had spent over $2000 preparing for their visit, plus sent them their trip money just to see them & my grandchildren. I was soooo excited! I could hardly wait.

    But … I got a call from my ex-husband who informed me that he didn’t want to get involved but thought I should know that my son & his “pushy” wife had changed their mind about coming to visit me, and didn’t think it was necessary to let me know. Instead they went to visit other friends in another state. I actually found out by seeing photos posted on their FaceBook on the day they were scheduled to show up at our house. My husband and his family were furious! (Can’t say I blame them) and wanted answers. I tried calling my son, but as always was intercepted by the DIL who proceeded to cuss me out with language I didn’t even understand; but any four letter word that you could imagine, she used it against me saying that the reason they didn’t come was none of my business & just continued to go off on me. I was stunned beyond belief! I had no idea what I’d done wrong, didn’t understand the cursing I just got after giving them the money to go pick up the children & come visit.

    This incident blew over, but everytime I tried to talk to my son from that day forward, I was denied, and intercepted in every direction & have never been allowed to talk to him since. Yet, she calls me a “drama queen” which I don’t understand. I am not the one who caused the drama. I just asked why they used me for the money & didn’t come to see me. I finally got a text message about a month ago that says, “We forgive you, but we just don’t want any drama in our life, and we choose not to have anything further to do with you”.

    My son’s birthday is coming up. They have a new address & I am not allowed to have it. I don’t understand. I don’t know what I’ve done. I miss my son & the grandchildren more than you can imagine. I pray a lot & hope a lot. I would have never disrespected my mother in law the way she has disrespected me. To add insult to injury, and consequently, over time, my husband’s family held this incident so much against me that my husband and I finally got a divorce & I have since moved back to my original home state. I still have no contact with my son or his children. J,

    I’m broken. 🙁

  11. M. October 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Dear J,
    I read your post and my heart aches for you. I thought I had the DIL from hell because she’s disliked us from day 1. Don’t know why. We never get to see our only grandchild even though she lives 10 minutes away. My son is deployed to Afghanistan. She has a big family & only spends time with them. She has FB our family and friends but blocks us so we don’t get to see the baby’s picture. This site has helped me see that we are not alone in the pain of rejection we feel. We’ve been devoted to our son. When he needed special medical care growing up, we sold our house and spent our life savings to help him. I have so much trouble sleeping it’s causing health problems. I grind teeth at night so much, one tooth is loose. After reading all of the messages, I finally feel less alone, less isolated, less despondent. Hearing your story especially makes me wish I could reach out and hug you. I hope a cyber hug will do. You are not alone. We are not alone. Someday, we’ll understand why this is happening. Often my mom would say of difficulties, “This too will pass.” Not sure that’s true. However, perhaps the pain will as we find friends who become like family. M.

    • Luise October 20, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

      What a beautiful and compassionate response. Please come over to my Web-forum for women who have issues with adult children and extended families. It is at You will find it a caring and sharing support group. You deserve so much better than what you’re getting. Blessings, Luise

  12. C. August 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    I have a daughter-in-law from hell. She has managed to push his whole family away. They have been married for alittle over a year and have a daughter. We never see our son or his daughter. I blame him for letting this happen. She is a very cold cold person. I wrote her a letter when I couldn’t take it anymore. They both are disrespectful, and he says were not welcome in his home because she says so. She doesn’t allow us to see the baby. I’m to the place of dis owning him. C.

    • Luise August 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

      Please consider coming over to my Web-forum where similar issues are discussed. You will receive support and understanding. You deserve so much better. Blessings, Luise

  13. A. August 25, 2011 at 4:34 am #

    I think your DIL was wrong not to let you see your grandkids, but the way u speak is certainly rude and u must remember that while your son is used to your discourteous ways, your DIL isn’t. Part of the family doesn’t always mean the DIL or SIL should accept things that aren’t normally social acceptable. Imagine what if your DIL jokes to her mom and calls her something like piggie, and then does the same to you? It would be rude to call you piggie wouldn’t it? A.

    • Luise August 25, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      Good point!

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