Question: Dear Luise: My husband and I have one son who’s married to a woman I cannot stand to be around and just recently, my husband mentioned that he’d noticed how she treats me and plans to say something. The problem is, I don’t think he will. One of the major issues surrounds our three year old granddaughter. My daughter-in-law is always pushing her toward my husband and we feel she is intentionally teaching her to favor him over me. This is very hurtful. When they visit and get ready to leave, she’s always told first to tell her grandfather goodbye, then told to do the same with me as if it’s an afterthought. Our son has started doing this, also. Another problem is, she is so self-absorbed that there is no way we can carry on a conversation with her because she constantly interrupts us both, but me more than my husband. Yet, when she picks up our granddaughter we babysit on a regular basis, she stays for at least an hour. There is no walking in, getting the child, and going home. She sits until our granddaughter tells her she wants to go home and gets so ill after being in daycare all day, she finally leaves with her after about an hour. What do we do? My husband knows there’s a problem and tonight took some steps to encourage our granddaughter to spend more time with me instead of him, but he gets a certain amount of pleasure from being Mr. Nice Guy and any confrontation will only make me look even worse than I feel now. Being a grandmother should be a wonderful thing, but it isn’t. My daughter-in-law has taken all the joy out of it. K.
Answer: Dear K.: As much as this aggravates you, that’s how she is and your son and husband probably couldn’t do much about it if they tried. I hear from many women who have been totally barred from ever seeing their grandchildren by unrelenting daughter-in-laws. If I were you, I would tolerate her weird behavior to be able to be part of your granddaughter’s life. Don’t let her ruin these years for you and don’t try to countermand her authority. Work around it as much as you can.
If you want to know what other grandmothers are up against, please come over to my Web forum at: www.WiseWomenUnite.com . I created it for women with issues with their adult children and extended families. There are horrors there that may help you appreciate your off-the wall daughter-in-law (and she is.) Blessings, Luise