Daughter-in-law dilemma

My mother-in-law and I were polar opposites, physically and emotionally. She was slender and chic, and wore her hair pulled back in a little bun. I’ve always had meat on my bones, am decidedly not chic and had unruly, curly hair. I usually speak my mind and am suseptible to foot-in-mouth disease. She was reserved and minded her P’s and Q’s. I like to take chances. She ran from risk.

Jane and Jennifer in "Monster-in-Law"

We endured years of rough patches, but  we learned to love each other and respect our differences. I never stood in the way of her relationship with her son or grandchildren.  When she became my former mother-in-law, we remained on good terms. She even recuperated from a car accident in Scottsdale at the home of my boyfriend.

It made me sad when I heard that a FOF friend and her daughter-in-law have a rocky relationship. They, too, seem like opposites: My friend is confident and happy; her daughter-in-law is uptight and controlling. My friend wants to include her daughter-in-law in her life; her daughter-in-law rebuffs my friend’s overtures. When my friend recently asked her daughter in law if she could have a heart-to-heart with her, her daugher-in-law emailed back: “There’s nothing more to discuss.” My friend has no idea what she’s done wrong.

My FOF friend would like to see her grandson more often. You can guess what happens.

Whatever problem this young woman has with my FOF friend, I hope she can move beyond it. I’ve know my friend for more years than her daughter-in-law’s age, and if she were my mother-in-law, I’d be over the moon.

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4 Responses to “Daughter-in-law dilemma”

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  2. Geri says:

    Hi Duchesse,

    Love that you had three MILs who were terrific!


  3. Duchesse says:

    I am reluctant to analyze the needs and intentions of people I don’t know. At the same time, I believe both of these people could get over themselves, for the sake of this child/grandchild. It is not necessary to have a sympatico, connected relationship b/t DIL/MIL, and as you said, that takes time. But both people might consider the effect of such a chill on a child, who loves so openly.

    I’ve always had terrific MILS (three of them). Warm, wise women who were there when I needed them but did not meddle.

  4. Toby Wollin says:

    Your friend’s DIL is afraid of her: she sees your friend as competition for attention – both from her husband and her children. No matter what “innocent” remark set the stage for this early in the relationship (and who knows, perhaps the DIL was predisposed by remarks make by this lady’s son pre-nuptials), DIL is punishing your friend for it now and forever more. The best she can hope for is to speak with her son, develop some sort of relationship with her grandsons through email, telephone, etc. and hope she is still around when the boys are old enough to make up their own minds. It is sad; this happens frequently and really ends up usually after the grandparent(s) pass on with the grandchildren wondering why their friends had relationships with grandparents and they got cheated?


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