Relationships with your In-Laws

I know this is a  HUGE part of a happy marriage and I was wondering how you ladies do.


My MIL is very difficult. I cannot get close to her and each time we find common ground, it gets ruined. Our relationship is functioning, we see eachother often, and it isn't like we fight, but there definitely is a wall up. This wall also exists between her and DH. FIL is a dream, I love spending time with him, he and I have so much in common. I feel incredible blessed for our relationship. They are polar opposites and I am always facinated that they have been together for so long. 


How is your relationship with your in laws? Any tips on bonding with MIL?

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 6:32 am
missjess485
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missjess485

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(14) Comments

adamsapple
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adamsapple

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Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry that you are going through this but just remember you are NOT alone!!  I too have a very difficult relationship with my inlaws and I find it very hard (more with my MIL than FIL). 


Can I ask how it gets ruined?


I'm sorry I don't have many tips or much advice but I think that the fact you still see her often and are always making an effort is amazing!!  A lot of MILs put their guard up because they're jealous that their son is now happy with someone else and that they're mother is no longer the most important thing in their life.  They kinda find it hard to let go.


Have you ever spent one on one time with your mum?  Perhaps a trip to the movies or a coffee shop may be a good idea?

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 12:21 am
missjess485
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missjess485

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Thank goodness--everyone I speak to in my "real life" has great in laws, or they aren't quite as rude as mine.


She always ruins little things. Like, we both love to read. So, last year I got in the habit of emailing her about what I was reading, she would give me books she'd read, but after a few months she started making little jabs about how I don't read books with any education value. (I'm ok with fluff! haha) We've gone shopping together a few times and that was a solid disaster. We are complete opposites. I also have been harboring a lot of resentment towards lately, and I know that doesn't help. She is very rude to my DH. He is adopted. One night at dinner she mentions that she felt blackmailed into adopting him. A few weeks later she casually mentioned that she had a big box of pictures from her childhood/college/wedding that she had nothing to do with because she had nobody to hand anything down to. So she gave them to a family friend's daughter. It is a very complex family. She hasn't seen or spoken to my SIL in 12 years and has 3 grandchilden she has never met. I try really hard with her, as does DH. Lately he is at his wits end because she makes us so crazy. She will call him in the middle of the day while he is working to tell him her printer has a paper jam (or a ton of other ridiculous tasks). I really do not think she and I will ever be close, but I don't plan on giving up trying. We see them at least once a week for 4/5 hours, and I love it because FIL is incredible. But lately, DH and I both leave a little depressed after being around her.

WOW--sorry that was so long!!!! 

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 2:54 am
adamsapple
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adamsapple

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OMG I swear our MIL is like the same person!!  Although kudos to you... I've never gone out one one one with mine.  She comes out with jabs and the only relationship we really have are the forward emails she sends me!  And then when she's angry with DH for something minor she stops sending me emails.  It's so hot and cold and I get so uncomfortable because I try so hard to be there for DH afterall they're his family... but they bring him down too and I get down, there's so much drama (they don't speak to one of my SILS either) and I find it SUPER tough!

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:01 am
prinncessjennifer
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prinncessjennifer

I just joined this group!  I have been "lurking" so I figured I would join! 


My DH is 100% greek and my MIL is as well and she is like right off the boat...barely speaks any english.  I love her and she is a wonderful lady BUT the only thing we have in common is that we both love her son.  She is also in her 80's - so it is hard to build a realtionship.  She doesn't understand certain things and she does some things that just irk me!  She holds my BIL on this peddlestool and when he comes to town it's like they gang up on my DH - she will take my BIL side without even listening to what going on (my BIL is a huge whinner and complains about his life so she takes pity on him).  She is never happy if anyone does anything nice for us.  Some close family friends threw me a really nice Baby Shower at an English Tea Room and she was miserable.the.entire.time.  Mind you she will go to every baby shower, bridal shower, wedding etc and sit with a scowl on her face. 

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 6:36 am
Uhlease
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Wow ladies, I'm really sorry you have to deal with this. Here is my two cents. I know they are your MILs...but that doesn't mean they automatically get to have a relationship with you. It is a two way street. And if you guys are constantly giving and not getting anything back, that's not something to keep pursuing. Just like we can't change the men we marry, we can't change their mothers. We just have to accept that is how they are, and keep our distance. LOL. I may sound heartless, and I know it changes when there are kids involved, but why put yourselves through feeling depressed when you see her. It will wear down your positiveness -and cause you to hold grudges and resentment.


And I know this is super hard but don't take those little jabs personally. Just accept that they are THAT type of person. It's hard, but just be very short with them (not cold) just don't try to impress or give in to them anymore.


I know that I may not be the best to give advice because I haven't had to go through this, but I can see it with my sister and her MIL. And it has gotten to the point where my sister will say things she shouldn't (instead of just going with the flow and accepting how her MIL is, kwim?)


I wish everybody could just be nice in the world. lol. Is that too much to ask? :p

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 9:17 am
MrsCaleYoung
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Elise I don't think you sound heartless at all and I totally agree with you. You can't force a relationship no matter how you try especially if you are the one putting in all the effort. She is beyond rude to your DH - the comment that she made about feeling blackmailed into adopting him was thoughtless and heartless! And to give the pictures to a family friend's daughter was just cold hearted. Has DH ever tried to find his birth parents? It sounds to me like more is going on there for her to make such comments. 


I take my relationship with my MIL for what it is. I don't try to push or force anything. She is sweet, but she is set in her ways, fusses a lot and is from the country. I remember a couple of months before we were married, DH's deceased oldest brother's daughter passed away. He asked me to call the family and ask them to put money together for a flower arrangement. His mother called me and said I had no right to call anyone, I was not part of the family and if DH didn't want to do it, then he should have said so and she would have had someone else to do it. That hurt my feelings so bad, I was totally crestfallen. My feelings were totally hurt because I was doing what he asked me to do and we were so close to being married. When he said something to her about it, she of course changed the story and no one in the family attended the funeral except my DH and her. I suppose she has her reasons for doing the things she does and says, so I don't let her get to me. My DH overlooked a lot of things she has said and done, blaming it on her age, but she has hurt him in the past few weeks so their relationship has changed. The father in law is great, he will do anything for me, but she is the way she is because of things from her past and I accept that. Women are an ocean of secrets and as we all know, things from our past shape who we become. We visit with them together once a week for a couple of hours as well, but I don't force anything.  She has done small things to let me in like she would only let DH take her out for her birthday or mother's day. Now she insist that I come and I never asked to come because that was their thing. 


It sounds to me like you have done everything you can to bond with her and I give it to you for trying so hard because honestly, I would have given up!  Accept her for who she is and support DH because this has got to be hard on him as well. Sending you virtual hugs!

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 5:47 am
prinncessjennifer
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prinncessjennifer

Wow Mrs. CaleYoung you nailed it!  I know a lot of my issues with my MIL are because she is set in her ways (she is 82!) and there is no way to change her so I just try my best to ignore it and be positive but sometimes I get b!tchy and I let it get to me :)


She really is a sweet loving lady I just wish we had more of a realtionship and more things in common.  I could have a real witch (like my step-mom!) so I should be thankful!

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 7:50 am
MrsCaleYoung
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Prinncessjen we are human and it is natural to want a relationship with your sweetheart's parents, especially if you reach out!

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 8:37 am
beccabride
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Wow, this is a GREAT POST!!!  My story is very crazy, but the short of it is that DH hardly has a relationship with his mother and stepfather, mainly because of his twin brother and stepfather.


So, even though I have tried to reach out several times to MIL, it has turned out to be a colossal failure.  A quick back story on SFIL -the first time I met this man, he called me motivationally challenged (LMAO - this coming from a man who does not work) and from that time forward, I have had an issue with him.  I have also been told they both he and MIL are ENTITLED to my respect because they are elder, to which statement I told them that no one gets my respect unless you earn it. 


While I would love to have a relationship with them, DH does not wish to have one and I am okay with that.  It's much better for our marriage.  :-)

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm
nenyibabs
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Hm. I guess I got lucky here, because I and my inlaws really really get along. As in, I go to my parents in lawsplace when DH is out of town and spend the night. Ive always been scared of the inlaw relationship issues even before I met DH, but they are like my own parents. My MIL even goes to my own town and spend time with my mum and all 3 of us enjoy each others company.


Actually the thing is this: DH was really picky about women, so they were despairing of even seeing him get married. Then yours truly came along, and suddenly, he wants to settle down. **My guess is that they are so grateful about the whole thing that they just fell in love with e. Which is totally fine by me***

Posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:19 am
kc_babygirl05
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I am new to PW and just ran into this thread. It is strange how hard it is to find people that talk about this issue.  My relationship with my MIL has been strained for quite some time.  I am convinced that she's from another planet.  I see her almost daily... I work with her.  It is hard.  She is narcissistic and someone that I will never be able to have a good relationship with.  It is something that I have stopped trying to push for because I am out of ways to make it happen.  She is, like your MIL, always able to ruin any opportunity of "good" moments with her.  There are always snide remarks and her mood is too up and down for me.  I cannot emotionally or mentally go along with it anymore.  Like Mrs.CaleYoung... you have to just take it as it is.  Being an IL doesn't automatically mean that the relationship is going to be easy or ever be as close as, I think, it should.  All you can do is make sure that your feelings towards her do not put a strain on your relationship with your husband.  

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 10:24 am
jmbuss9
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"to which statement I told them that no one gets my respect unless you earn it." LOVE IT BECCA! You. are. awesome.


My relationship with my mother-in-law is amazing, I don't even see "in law" in there - just mom! :) And my father-in-law he was the best, we had a bond like NO other. Literally. I loved coming home everyday after work and he would be waiting to start up a conversation. I miss him dearly, I would do anything just to have a conversation with him right now cause I know he would have the right words to say to cheer me up.

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 3:04 am
Eurestruly
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Just like with your own parents, you should be respectful, but that doesn't mean you need to be friends with her. She sounds like a bitter person in general and that's a shame because she's missing out on an opportunity to have a great family. That's her loss. 

Give all your effort, love, and attention to growing the relationship with your husband and your father-in-law. Try not to let her bother you and don't always complain to your husband about her. Men don't like to hear that a lot. If she comes around some day then good for her, but  in the meantime, just know there are difficult people out there and it must be miserable to be them.

Posted on August 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm
jmbuss9
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Great advice, Eurestruly.
Posted on August 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm

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