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Anyone have a great relationship with their MIL? - Page 3

post #41 of 68
I had a fantastic relationship with MIL. She was much more supportive of my parenting choices than my own mother. I'm not saying that we haven't had our differences. We spent 3 months living with my in-laws, when we returned to the UK and there were difficult moments. Sadly she passed away earlier this year. I miss her dearly.
post #42 of 68
My in-laws are awesome. Yeah, sometimes, I feel like they're a little weird, and they don't know when it's time to leave when they come over for dinner , but all in all, they're really fantastic, interesting people, and I totally won the in-law lottery. My FIL is a cool retired middle school civics teacher and political junky who plays/teaches guitar and banjo and builds really great furniture (including a Waldorf-style play kitchen for DD). MIL is a retired teacher, too, and is into bird-watching, tai chi, and traveling. She gets me Sierra Club memberships for Christmas, and nursed DH until he was three, so was able to be a really good "milk mentor" for me, since my mom didn't nurse me at all.

On top of that, they're incredibly good and loving people, and did a fine job raising DH and his sister. I'm glad to be part of their family.
post #43 of 68
I love my MIL! She's like a second mother, almost. I do things very differently than she did, and than her daughters do, but she's very respectful and plays along. I totally lucked out in the IL department (FIL is awesome, too).
post #44 of 68
I started "one of those" MIL threads, but I tried to make it clear that she's a wonderful person and we have a great relationship. Same goes for my mom, DH, and all my other family and friends, but of course we still butt heads every once in a while -- I don't know of any close, loving relationship where that doesn't happen occasionally.

I hesitated to use the term "MIL" in my thread because it carries a certain connotation, and I thought that many people would brush off what I had to say because it may be seen as just another stereotypical MIL thread. But the generic "family member" got too cumbersome, so I switched it to MIL to be more concise.

Anyway, yes, my MIL is awesome and I hit the jackpot with my DH's whole family -- they're warm, caring, thoughtful, involved people who love me and our kids a great deal, as I do them. I couldn't ask for a better family. And at the same time, they drive me crazy every once in a while, just like my family does, and just like I probably do for them.
post #45 of 68
I have a great relationship with dp's parents. They are very non-judgmental, helpful and loving people. We see dp's father about once a week for dinner and his mother only a few times throughout the year because of where she lives, so it may help that they don't have an overbearing presence in our lives. I do wish we could see his mother more because ds adores her.

My parents live very close to me and dp occasionally gets annoyed by my mother. But overall they tend to have a decent relationship.
post #46 of 68
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I love my MIL. In a divorce, I want custody!
When my FIL was alive, I said that, in case of a divorce, I got him for my lawyer and my MIL in the settlement. Dh would get my mom. No one wants my mom. She is exhausting to live with.
post #47 of 68
I love my MIL. She's not perfect, but neither am I! She is great with my daughter and a very loving person. I think it helps that she is generally respectful and a good listener. I think she is also pretty intuitive about the fact that I don't want/need a lot of advice. Even before I was a mom I did my own thing, my own way, and she has always respected that--and in turn, I respect it if she wants or needs something, too.
post #48 of 68
I would have a great relationship with my MIL if I could ignore how she is a lying manipulative individual who lives in a pigsty. If FIL didn't always have a beer in his hand and a chauvanistic attitude all the time he would be a perfect role model for my three sons.

Having said that I do try and make sure we meet up with MIL once or twice a month. She does love the boys and they love her. That is worth putting up with the bull she dishes out.
post #49 of 68
Wow. You ladies all make me truly jealous.
post #50 of 68
However, my mantra is "don't sweat the small stuff" and "look at the intention not the action".
Well said. My MIL does that for me as well.

I consider myself very, very lucky to have my ILs in my life. They are just fantastic people and I get to be their daughter! I am doubly thankful that my son has them as his grandparents.

Another factor is that when problems have arisen, especially early in our marriage, my husband handled things promptly, clearly and with love.

I've seen so many otherwise good men totally wimp out when it comes to their own parents. Instead of doing the hard work of drawing new boundaries as a married man, they hide behind their wife or mother and then complain that the two don't get along!

To sum it up, this is how I feel about my inlaws; :
post #51 of 68
I love my MIL. She's really great. We've always gotten along really well especially since DS's birth. She is super helpful and non meddling and non judgmental. She has similar parenting values which helps. Actually she's crunchier than me in a lot of ways.

I have had some issues with perceived inequalities in the treatment she gives DH vs BIL. BIL and SIL constantly receive monetary gifts and are free to take anything they want from inlaws house. DH and I could probably get money but don't ask. The thing is, whenever DH and I get something MIL has to buy BIL something of equal (or more) value "to keep it even." Example: MIL bought DS a crib so BIL got a new carport, not exactly even. The more I get to know MIL, the more I realize that it is BIL demanding and her being unwilling to say no. I also think she sees BIL as somehow weak because he has emotional problems. She actually recently admitted to me that she knows he has problems. Having kids has helped me see that she really feels like she's helping him, and she and FIL do not see DH and I as people who need help. I guess this problem I have is more a problem with DH's brother than MIL.

Another thing that helps our relationship is how truly awful a person BIL's wife is. I mean, awful, mean, and rude in every way. She made no attempt to see DS at all when he was born. She didn't see him until a family function we were both at when he was four months old. They don't have or want kids. So, yeah, MIL loves me too.

It seems to me that most problems people have with MILs seem to stem from over intrusiveness. It's the MILs who make comments, judge, tell you better ways to do things, and can't seem to let go of their sons who are usually disliked. If you can avoid that, you should be golden. It's funny though, I have often thought about what type of MIL I will be.
post #52 of 68
I have a nice mother-in-law. I think sometimes we step on each other's toes and we certainly disagree on some things. I just always remember that she LOVES my husband and kiddo and she loves me too. We don't have to be best friends, but I am glad we have a healthy working relationship.
post #53 of 68
I love my MIL. Occasionally, after reading MIL vent posts I have actually called her to tell her what a great MIL she is. I do have issues with her. But they are on the same scale as the issues I have with my DH and my sister. There is only 1 thing that drove me crazy about her: she insisted on staying in my home when my babies were newborn and was not helpful. She actually told me, "When you have guests, you should expect extra work." I didn't really invite her to be a guest. I actually offered to pay 1/2 for a hotel...

Anyway, that was the only crazy behavior ever. And now I will never have to deal with it again because I am having no more children. I also have learned that I can't invite her to be a guest at my house unless I am prepared to be an outstanding host. I have just accepted that she came from a social circle where she took her job as a housewife very seriously and that included being an exceptional host. I think of it as a cultural difference.

One thing I did after she made the guest comment to me is that I wrote a letter to my daughter to be given to her when she is an adult. I named it "to my daughter upon learning I will be a grandmother". In it, I tell her in what ways I expect to help after the baby is born and stated that I accept any limitations on my visiting that she would want to make. I told her some of the philosophies of parenting that I hold strong opinions about and state that I will not provide unwanted advice on them if she doesn't want me to. Basically, I realized my MIL and I had different expectations on how she would help after the baby came. So, for me and my daughter I figure I will have a discussion on these expectations before her baby is born...

I want to reiterate that my MIL is an amazingly wonderful woman, a good parenting ally for me and a great grandmother. However, it is pretty easy to be negative and complain and vent about this one thing. So if this incident was all you heard me say about her you might think it was a troubling relationship when it isn't.
post #54 of 68
My MIL is great. We aren't super close, partly because we live pretty far away compared to all the other family and partly because we don't have a lot of common interests (I'm much closer to FIL as our jobs are similar), but she is very nice and not pushy, or nosy, or over involved in DH's life, etc. I hope we will get even closer with our first baby arriving soon though that may bring some problems of its own too, but I'm sure it won't be that bad.

The biggest problem with a lot of the ILs people complain about is that they won't let go and let their adult children live their lives. Both my parents and DH's parents have made a concerted effort to do so and my parents have even come out and said we should tell them to back off if they are being too pushy. The all try to give off the vibe that we are always welcome and they always want us to visit or to come visit us, but they don't want to be pushy about it and make us feel like they are trying to interfere. I think that's a good vibe to try to attain with your adult children.
post #55 of 68
I haven't read other's replies, but I have an awesome relationship with my MIL. She's definitely not at all "like" me in that she is very extroverted and I am not, but she's fun, doesn't get all up in our business and clearly loves me too. She also has two of her own daughters and she treats me as well as she treats them. My husband, her oldest child, is also treated very well by her. Her daughters are the sisters I never had and I feel SO incredibly lucky to have such inlaws. Seriously, when I hear horror MIL stories I thank my lucky stars every day.

So, there is hope that not all in-laws are nightmares. BTW: my FIL is awesome too. (both of them -albeit step-FIL is easier to be around then sanguine FIL- , as my MIL is divorced from DH's father and his stepfather raised him since he was seven).
post #56 of 68
My mil passed before we were married but my exmil and I have a wonderful relationship. She has always respected my decisions regarding the kids, supports me in everything, etc.
post #57 of 68
OP - I totally know what you mean. I'm always wondering what I'm going to be dished out!

I haven't always "gotten" my IL's, and there were a couple rocky years in all of our lives (not just my IL's "problems") in which we all had some space between us (for the record that also happened with my own family).

I have to say - my IL's are my family, through and through. They are blood to me. I don't think I would have said that 8-10 years ago just because back then they were "my crazy in laws." We hadn't had the chance to really come together yet (or apart, for that matter).

My IL's are no more crazy than my own family or myself. They're people, just like the rest of us. I think that was another "problem" "They" had 10 years ago - I was superhuman, and everyone else had PROBLEMS! Ahh.. to be 20. Can't say I miss it at all (& I'm sure no one around me misses it either )

Anyway! I have the best realtionship with my MIL. I love her so so much. She's been in FL for the Summer & I miss her like crazy - we used to talk almost every day! She's such a great friend & mentor to me. I can't wait to see her!
post #58 of 68
I have a good relationship with my MIL. We've had our ups and downs, but nothing too bad. I have as close a relationship with her as dh does, which is to say that our differences have less to do with the fact that she is not my mom and more to do with the fact that she is just really different than either dh or me! When I met dh almost 20 years ago, he was ready to move away from his family and not have much to do with any of them. I was the one who insisted on the importance of family and maintaining a relationship with them.

The other thing to remember is that whether you have girls or boys, you will probably be a MIL to someone. If men were the message board type, I'm sure there would be plenty of vents on their about their MILs. In fact, my mom and sister are having major issues because my sister's current UAV of a boyfriend refuses to let anyone from my sister's family come to the house if he's there. (He caused a huge embarassing scene with my mom one time, and has never gotten over it. Apparently, rather than grow up and take some personal responsibility, he will just ban those that were involved so he doesn't have to face it.)
post #59 of 68
Thread Starter 
OP here ~ WOW! Thanks everyone for your wonderful responses...I loved reading about your relationships & why they worked. You've brought me hope for the future! I also appreciated reading about the relationships that don't work & why.

So...it seems keys to being an awesome MIL are being non-judgemental, not offering unwanted advice/opinions, being respectful, loving & accepting, fair & welcoming. Perhaps also walking a fine line between letting go, but still being involved. It was interesting to read how many of you have found certain things to appreciate in your in-laws, even 'tho you may not like everything about them. So, I may really have to work on my non-judgemental appreciation of very different parenting choices, but I figure i've got some time (LOL). And who kows, maybe my children/children-in-law will be asking me about nursing, cd, homebirth, attachment parenting, gentle discipline, bedsharing, etc.

Thanks again everyone, you've really given me alot to think about.
post #60 of 68
I do not have a great MIL. One (bio MIL) is just dysfunctional. The other, Step MIL is borderline criminally insane. 'Nuff said.

Because of some of the bat-sh*t crazy stuff my ILs have pulled, when I read some of the vent threads and responses, I think "you are mad about that?!?!"

I do have friends with fantastic MILs. From what I see, the DILs were as happy to get a MIL as the MILs were to get a DIL, meaning they both were happy to welcome each other into their family.

I know on my side of the family, DH was an addition to the family. No one views him as a spouse. He became another cousin/nephew/grandson. I know not all families are like mine.
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