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Typical Mother In Law - Daughter In Law Feud

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  • Typical Mother In Law - Daughter In Law Feud

    Hi all, I am more venting than anything else, but, if you have any suggestions, I am happy to hear them.

    First of all, I am not the over bearing mother. My son is married and 24 years of age. I let him live his life and do not make any demands on his time. If we can catch up for some food for an hour in a week then I am happy, if not a phone call is just as good. He rings me if he needs help, which is rare. We tried encouraging her to participate but, she wasn't interested

    My initial feeling about this woman was never good. Previous to meeting my son she had 2 children to 2 different men, that not being the issue, the 2nd one was a married man, that was the concern.She is 8 years older, doesn't work, doesn't have transport or a drivers license.

    On the rare occasion we can actually catch up, it is never any longer than 2 hours. The moment he sits down she is on the phone. If the texting doesn't work, then she is calling him, saying that if his family is more important just stay there. . She is full on screaming down the phone so, I can hear every word. I dropped him off one night and she had locked him out and refused to open the door, encouraging her 5 year old daughter to tell my son to go away.

    I have been pleasant and not caused issues, I have helped her time and time again. I was even in a position to put down a deposit to purchase their first home. Nope, she doesn't want any part of it.

    So, in a nutshell, she is 8 years older than my son and feels threatened by me and wants total control over my boy, and she has it. He will do anything to make sure she is happy.

    She fell pregnant with a third child and claims it is my sons, (no, I don't believe it is my sons as I believe she was seeing someone else around the time of conception. He has taken all 3 kids on as his own. She actually told my son that I was to have nothing to do with her kids or my grandchild. My son was devastated. I told him don't worry. I confronted her and said not to say that to him again and I will stay away and to this day, I have done that. That youngest one is now 2 and a half. She is not brave enough to say things to my face, instead she abuses my son.

    My son isn't an angel. He is untidy, doesn't have a good head with money and can be immature but, he is completely devoted to her, puts the kids and her first and just shakes it off when she talks down to him. I wish for him to be happy and if it is with her then so be it.

    She kicked my son out of their home because he got a job.. I am not kidding, he got a full time job and he was told he was selfish and he doesn't care about his kids. (Real truth - she lost her pension she was being paid from the Government) so now, he is kicked out she is on a full pension and gets child support from my son, but he is there nearly every day to look after the kids.

    Today, he needed to have a wisdom tooth out and he wanted me to help by taking him to the dentist. That was at 10:30 this morning. She called to see where he was and abused him because he went to the dentist instead of picking her up to take her into town. (She has no car, no license, no job). Town is 15 minutes by bus.

    It is just hard to sit back and watch all this and not lose my temper. I wish my son believed in himself to know he deserves better. I tell him every time I see him, that if he is happy then that's ok, but, I would like to see him way happier than he appears to be now.



  • #2
    Solaceinme I'm a mother of 2 sons and I'm a DIL (daughter-in-law), too.

    I'm sorry you're experiencing a rough time as a mother and MIL (mother-in-law).

    Your son is a grown man and made his decision to marry her. Since it's obvious that he married a controlling, manipulative, diabolical wife, it was still his choice to be with her. There's nothing you can do about it even though it sickens your heart due to your observations and knowing what you know.

    It is a power struggle between two women: the man's mother and his wife. In most cases, the wife wins and the MIL has to take a back seat.

    I'm glad you ended up NOT getting involved financially regarding the deposit on their first home which would've complicated legal matters down the road!

    Perhaps whenever you're with your son, you can request him to put his phone on "silence" so he won't be interrupted by her phone calls and / or texts. If he refuses to cooperate with you, then it's always a package deal whenever a new member marries into the family. (I've experienced this myself with my BIL - brother-in-law from hell. His wife, my sister deserves better but she's stuck with 'Mr. Mega Money Bags' and 3 kids. She enables and defends his obnoxious and humiliating behavior towards others because she's certainly not going to jeopardize her meal ticket and very affluent lifestyle. She doesn't wish to become a single, struggling mother just like my mother was. No way.)

    All you can do is control yourself, control your temper and always exercise self-control. Keep the peace. Don't do nor say anything you will regret. Don't start a fight nor escalate it even if you have to bite your tongue and look the other way in order to have peace. If you lose control or don't think wisely before you speak, you will lose your son and then you'll ask yourself, "Was it worth it?" It's better to err on the side of caution and keep your mouth shut. Don't text, email, message or leave voice mails you'll regret because if you do, it will backfire sorely.

    Accept that it takes two to tango, your son is a big boy now and he has to live his own life whether you agree with it or not. I'm sorry it's a helpless feeling. I'm in your shoes with my own story. Our stories are different but the sentiment is the same! I can relate in my own way!



    "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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    • #3
      Have you talked to your son about seeing a therapist to help him figure out why he lets himself be abused like this?
      He's a grown man and in charge of his own decisions and yes, right now you can't do much else. But maybe if he gets some much needed help from a professional, he'll get the strength and confidence he needs to leave her.
      You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Chantelle and Ayla,

        Biting my tongue is certainly a challenge and yes, I have lost my temper and held nothing back on a couple of occasions with my true thoughts and feelings. He did distance himself and I made a mends by saying sorry following that with the fact I just want to see him happy. Sitting back and watching is the most painful thing I have had to do. I spend a lot of time thinking where did I go wrong when I raised him where he feels this is an acceptable way to be treated. I was always a strict mother but, I never thought that would spill into his relationships.

        I did suggest he go to counselling but, ironically, there must have been a situation where my son snapped back at his wife and she suggested he needed to go to counselling for his "anger issues".. As I type this I am shaking my head. At least he will go now she has said to I guess.

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        • #5
          He enables her to be the bitch she is and you enable him to stay with her by biting your tongue and giving in when he distances himself from you. I venture to say that because you offered to give them a downpayment on a house when you don't even like the fact he is with her. I'd not be doing anything to make him even more apathetic to leaving her and her abuse. Your son needs therapy and It wouldn't be a bad idea for you to go to family counseling with him.

          This is no "typical mother and daughter-in-law feud.

          Where is your son's father?
          Last edited by phasesofthemoon; October 19th, 2018, 04:38 PM.
          "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

          Comment


          • #6

            Solaceinme I feel for you since I'm a mother of 2 sons and I'm a DIL (daughter-in-law) so I'll give you perspectives from both ends.

            I've come to realize that there are two types of people on this Earth regardless of gender. There are emotionally mature, reasonable people who are peace-loving, willing to compromise if necessary, humble, willing to apologize, desire to make amends and do the right thing. Then there is the other camp. Difficult people are a selfish lot, highly emotional, very charged, engage in endless gaslighting (google that word), change the subject on you at every turn, manipulative, controlling, test you with psychological warfare, smash you to bits if you dare reason with them and wield their power over you all the time. The only time you can get along with them is to kowtow to them, be a "yes" person to them and / or remain boring as hell. Talk about the weather and it's as far as it will ever go.

            If you are with the former in your life, you're very fortunate. Unfortunately, for me the majority of members on both sides of the family tree are not easy to get along with as aforementioned. Therefore, I've since decided years ago to enforce healthy boundaries with them. While I'm polite and civil, I'm deliberately distant and frosty towards them. It works marvelously.

            Your situation with your son and DIL is unique so tread lightly in order to prevent alienating your son. Based upon history, always remember what worked and hasn't worked for you. If blowing up, gives you results, then blow up in anger and frustration. If speaking calmly gets you results, go that route. If getting angry and voicing your strong opinions gets you results, then do it. If those scenarios get you nowhere, then don't do it. Remain calm and quiet and let them live their lives. Leave them alone and stay out of it.

            Don't beat yourself up regarding what type of young mother you were while raising your son. I'm sure you were a GREAT mother. Any mother who tries her best to raise her children is a GREAT mother to me because I know how hard and difficult it is to raise children. I've had many jobs during my years of employment and while motherhood had been the most rewarding and joyous role, motherhood by far was the hardest job of my life. Responsibilities were so heavy. I was a strict mother, too and raised my sons to become very moral men. However, as mothers we have to let go at some point. We teach them well and after that it's up to them to use their wisdom when dealing with people in this worldly world.

            Once we're done raising them and sending them off into the world, we can't babysit them forever. They take their tools and what they've learned and run away with it. It is their job to exercise discernment and if they don't, they must learn how to navigate their own lives. No one can live their life for them nor dictate where they'll go. Birds must take their wings and fly away from the nest. It's an adjustment as a mother but you pass the torch and you're job is done.

            I'm sorry you feel helpless as you watch your son suffer in a dysfunctional marriage. Naturally, we want to see our grown adult children happy. Just know it is not your fault. It's his decision to be where he's at today. You have to let him live his life the way he will according to his choice. Also, you don't know what the future holds. Perhaps one day, he'll get a wake up call and realize he's sick 'n tired of his marriage and decide to call it quits. Maybe he'll burnout one of these days.
            "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi, it must be very frustrating to see your dearly beloved suffer in a horrible relationship as you describe! But unfortunately, there's little you can at this point. He is married and is a head of his own household now. You can offer your insight and wisdom when he asks, but until then, you can only watch and pray for them. He sounds like he has little sense of boundaries. He doesn't know when to say no when things are hurting him. There is a book called "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud I would like to recommend to you for a good read. I think it can help you handle your relationship with your son & your daughter inlaw. Wishing you the best~

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't feel like you've let go of your son, to be honest. You seem very distrustful of outside influences and a bit edgy and a tad overprotective. I don't blame you because your son's wife sounds like a real piece of work. I just don't see what you can do to change such a situation when it's already progressed this far except to trust him fully with his decisions and cut him loose a little, be a little less involved. You mentioned you talk every week. Imo, that's a bit much. Distance yourself a little for your own mental health. I know that's not easy as a mother. Sometimes kids need to learn the hard way.

                Comment


                • #9


                  Solaceinme Biting your tongue is certainly a challenge but in many cases it's best to bite your tongue and look the other way as opposed to saying and doing something you'll sorely regret later. Naturally he distanced himself but at least you made amends and apologized. I agree, as a mother we want our adult child to be happy. I hear you, sitting back and observing is indeed very painful but there is nothing you can do. It's his life, he is the one who chose this life of his. It's his decision to be in it for the long haul, again, it's his choice. Even if you don't agree with his life, you have to accept HIS choices. You don't have to like it but you have to grudgingly accept his choice to be with her. All you can do is remain on standby if he needs you. Be patient. You never know what the future holds. Perhaps he'll burn out and have a wake up call one day and call it quits on his relationship with her but in the meantime, as a mother you need to just stay out of the way. It's hard to yield but you have to do it to keep the peace. Peace is always the goal. It's not idyllic peace but better to have non-perfect peace than discord any day.

                  You were not a bad mother nor are you a bad mother now. You did your part with raising a man which was a tremendous responsibility. Then you learn to let go even if it's painful to do so. It's an adjustment period for all mothers which is universal. Hang in there. What helps is focusing on your own life and do what you enjoy whether it's exercise, being with friends, having hobbies or going on outings. Healthy distractions will be good for your mind and give you less brain space for angst. Don't be preoccupied with your son's life. It's time to concentrate on you and your mental and physical well being.
                  "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
                    He enables her to be the bitch she is and you enable him to stay with her by biting your tongue and giving in when he distances himself from you. I venture to say that because you offered to give them a downpayment on a house when you don't even like the fact he is with her. I'd not be doing anything to make him even more apathetic to leaving her and her abuse. Your son needs therapy and It wouldn't be a bad idea for you to go to family counseling with him.

                    This is no "typical mother and daughter-in-law feud.

                    Where is your son's father?
                    Hi Phase,

                    I have had my say don't you worry. It just resulted in him not talking to me. I felt he was put in the middle and made to choose. They have been together for 4 years now, so I haven't gone through the timeline of events. I would definitely be keen to go to counselling, but, the boy is stubborn. I had to put up a wall in the end because when he would want to talk about it, I was just getting angrier with every sentence and therefore could not provide unemotional advice.

                    Unfortunately, his dad passed when he was 9. He really never let himself be close to any other males, well, to anyone else, except his now wife.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Joy<3 View Post
                      Hi, it must be very frustrating to see your dearly beloved suffer in a horrible relationship as you describe! But unfortunately, there's little you can at this point. He is married and is a head of his own household now. You can offer your insight and wisdom when he asks, but until then, you can only watch and pray for them. He sounds like he has little sense of boundaries. He doesn't know when to say no when things are hurting him. There is a book called "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud I would like to recommend to you for a good read. I think it can help you handle your relationship with your son & your daughter inlaw. Wishing you the best~
                      Hi Joy,

                      It is frustrating indeed. Thank you for the book title. I will definitely get that. thank you

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rose Mosse View Post
                        I don't feel like you've let go of your son, to be honest. You seem very distrustful of outside influences and a bit edgy and a tad overprotective. I don't blame you because your son's wife sounds like a real piece of work. I just don't see what you can do to change such a situation when it's already progressed this far except to trust him fully with his decisions and cut him loose a little, be a little less involved. You mentioned you talk every week. Imo, that's a bit much. Distance yourself a little for your own mental health. I know that's not easy as a mother. Sometimes kids need to learn the hard way.
                        Hi Rose,

                        Thank you for you reply. I feel I need to disagree with you about letting go of my son. He has been independent since he was 17 years old and I have left him to his own devices during that time. That was over 5 years ago now where we hardly spoke. Not because he was with his wife, but, because he was finding his place in the world. I wouldn't have thought talking once a week was too much but, I respect your opinion

                        There is nothing I can do to change the situation. He is one stubborn kid and he is loyal to her to a fault. I guess what I want to do is be available to pick up the pieces because if he has that support network he might not feel trapped or wanting to go back to her.

                        I will agree that I don't trust a lot of outsiders. I am in my 40's now and have my fair share of pain in the past. I try not to transfer that onto others, but, I prefer to be wary and proven wrong.

                        I will distance and if he want to communicate, then hopefully we can discuss other things.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You left a teenager to his own devices. At a crucial time. That resulted in him becoming involved with an older woman.
                          Who you subsequently disapproved of.

                          You said you didnít like her from Day 1. Something she obviously picked up on.

                          You willingly told her you would stay away from your grandson for what reason exactly??? So she would stop telling your son to keep him away from you?

                          You say your son is not good with finances so why would you enable that by offering a deposit for a house for him and the woman you hate? Iím glad she had the sense to reject the offer tbh.

                          Something isnít adding up for me here.



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Solaceinme I've found whether it's family, friends or acquaintances, you have to give people what they want and give them a wide berth. Whether it's your son or others, you need to give them all the time and space they want despite your maternal instincts to protect him. I'm a mother, too and I've since learned to adjust. The more you fight (not argue per se), the more push back you will receive. As hard as it is to do, you have to let go, let him live his life as he sees fit and start a new journey with your own life. It's not easy but it's part of maturity for you by allowing your son to grow and learn from his own mistakes. You can't teach what he must learn on his own from life's experiences even if it is painful for him and you. Life will teach him just like life teaches everyone harsh lessons on this Earth.
                            "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              @Maggie.. I have to admit that feels like a judgmental response. I hope you can appreciate that I haven't put our life story on here.
                              In response to your assumptions....

                              I never "left my teenager" at all. He lost his father at a very young age and I am the only parent he has. What I did was give him space to find his place. I was still always there.

                              Yes, I don't automatically treat girlfriends like family immediately. Previously, I had made his wife feel welcome, assisted her with finding work, helped her move/clean house, tried to help her get a car license and even talk to my son about the responsibilities he has now he has married as his money spending was a concern. They have been together for 4 years. These particular events only progressed in the last 18 months.

                              The reason I said I would stay away was because I could see the strain it had on my son and the relationship. If their marriage was going to improve with me out of the picture and if that was what my son wanted, then I would do it, if that made him happy. Children shouldn't be in a toxic environment don't you agree?

                              I thought helping out with a house deposit would settle a number of issues. The only reason the wife said no was because I couldn't afford the house she wanted to buy and the one I offered to buy wasn't good enough.

                              chanelle, thank you for your response. We sat down and had a great chat a couple of days ago. I just said I loved for him and wanted the best and I would love to see him achieve and grow. I didn't get much out of him except for "I know, and yes mum haha, but, he I think he listened. I know there is nothing else I can do but, give advice if they ask for it and let them know I am here for them whatever the future may bring. We can only wait and see.

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