In your opinion, why is there so much tension betwen MILs and DILs? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-10-2011, 03:54 PM
 
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It sounds like you and your MIL share a lot of similar views on parenting. I think if that was the case for more of us, we might have a little less friction with our MILs.


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Old 02-10-2011, 05:19 PM
 
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You're probably right.  Even so, I think that not being able to handle a DIL parenting differently is often a sign of some other insecurities that would likely manifest in other ways if the DIL parented the same way as she did. 


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Old 02-11-2011, 01:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Squrrl View Post

 

The second thing I mentioned is the "judging her replacement" thing, which as far as I can tell is perfectly valid.



 

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Originally Posted by Snowflake777 View Post

 

I also think that MIL's are so used to seeing themselves in the role of mother, they sometimes forget that their children's children are not their children by extension.

 


 

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Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post



FIL was no better. He decided that his perfect son couldn't possibly be going against how he was raised, so clearly his wife must be making all the decisions and therefore must be the one to heap all the blame on! rolleyes.gif

 




 

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Originally Posted by azgirl View Post

 A very hurtful (on both sides) dynamic in my relationship with MIL is that she does not treat me like she does her own children but is very hurt and offended that I am closer to my own mother than I am to her.





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i love my MIL, but i have a hard time liking her. she is a very passive, kind of "fake-dumb" woman. i don't think she's as silly as she acts, but she isn't interested in anything intellectual either.

All of the above!! MIL doesn't understand why Dh would choose me, since I am nothing like her.  She has a hard time understanding that I am the MOTHER of my children. Dh couldn't possibly be choosing me over her (actually his brother accused him of this and Dh said "Everytime, she is my wife.") And doesn't understand that she no longer comes first. Also, she is just plain rude to me, then doesn't understand why FIL (who is such a nice man) and I get along so well and I don't see her as a mother.

 

But yeah, part of it is I don't think she likes me as a person or I her as a person....

 

 

I think when it comes down to it, Mothers are the most important female in their child's life (generally) and when men marry the mother is replaced, when daughters marry Moms get to keep their status.


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Old 02-17-2011, 08:12 PM
 
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I definitely have tension with my MIL but I only see her a couple times a year so I'm able to keep it under wraps except for complaining about it to my friends. For me, the biggest source of tension is that she is a very devout follower of a religion I don't agree with and she seems unable to understand that everyone doesn't share her beliefs. She is also passive-aggressive and I know DH has grown up with it and probably doesn't even notice it but it makes me feel on-edge with her and I often wind up with hurt feelings. DH has also let her take the lead of a lot of things a 33 year old man should have taken responsibility for, ie finances and it's very frustrating for me to sort out things like taxes and student loan payments that DH knows nothing about because his mom has always taken care of for him. Now there's a baby in the picture, it's definitely gotten worse for me because it is really hard to take criticism or "advice" from her...I almost hit the roof when she told me my 11 day old should be sleeping through the night...if a newborn slept 12 hours like she swore DH did I would be taking it to the emergency room. But on the other hand, I know that my own mother isn't always the easiest person to get along with so I'm avoiding bringing up my frustrations to DH because I know the relationship with my mom is hard for him and I don't want to open a can of worms.

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Old 02-18-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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My MIL and I get along very well and she loves me like the daughter she never had. I look to her like my other Mom, who I sometimes get along better with than my own. However, she has another DIL from her oldest son ( I am with her youngest son) and they have total issues. My BIL and SIL have been married for 20 years. MIL definitely sees that DIL as controlling and I believe there is some bad blood due to some borrowed money early on. I think DIL sees our MIL as meddling and judgemental. Which I don’t see at all. Compared to all the women in my family MIL is a total nonjudging, emotionally secure and independent woman.

 

I think the Son choosing someone who is different vs similar to their Mom might be part of it. I am SO much like my MIL – it is a running joke in our family. Seriously DH married his Mom with me LOL But other SIL is very different that MIL and I. I can see how DIL and MIL could clash.

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Old 02-18-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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I really resonate with all the things that have been said that relate to archetypes. In our family it seems to be an authority thing. The ILs just can't believe that we think we know what we're doing. MIL represses and avoids everything so it all comes out in snarkiness. FIL actually let some of his outrage fly out last year and he yelled at my husband "I AM THE FATHER HERE!" Like a man of 35 should just roll over and say "yes daddy, tell me what to feed the baby please?" FIL also said to me "Don't interfere when I am shaming this child!" Needless to say, I interfered. 

 

So over here, I always have South Park's Cartman in my head, mocking them and saying "RESPECT MY AWTORITAY!"

 


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Old 02-19-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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I get along great with my DP's parents now, but we don't have kids yet. They're pretty swell people, but I know they believe in spanking. (I remember his mom asking her two-year-old grandson, "Do you want a spanking?" because he was getting onto the chairs at the kitchen table.) And Catholic school. I wonder how they'll react to their grandkid being parented in a totally different way.

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Old 02-19-2011, 02:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LCBMAX View Post

I really resonate with all the things that have been said that relate to archetypes. In our family it seems to be an authority thing. The ILs just can't believe that we think we know what we're doing. MIL represses and avoids everything so it all comes out in snarkiness. FIL actually let some of his outrage fly out last year and he yelled at my husband "I AM THE FATHER HERE!" Like a man of 35 should just roll over and say "yes daddy, tell me what to feed the baby please?" FIL also said to me "Don't interfere when I am shaming this child!" Needless to say, I interfered. 

 

So over here, I always have South Park's Cartman in my head, mocking them and saying "RESPECT MY AWTORITAY!"

 


dizzy.gif

 

It amazes me that people like that somehow manage to raise sane children!


Mama to a preschooler and a baby.

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Old 03-18-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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My MIL and I don't really have the typical parenting-sytle clashes--probably because I give off the vibe of "don't go there" most of the time lol.  I don't have too many issues with her relationships with my girls.  She is wonderful with them, though at times she has the tendency to manipulate them for the outcomes she desires instead of handling it some other way that I would prefer and would be healthier.  

 

But the main issue I have with her is her pushy and overbearing personality, and that we are very, very different from each other and the traits of hers that I find hard to deal with seem to be getting worse and not better.  I truly think things would be a little better if she had any of her own friends or some other hobby or outlet other than DH, me and my children.  But she doesn't.  DH being an only child exascerbates this.  She seems to have chosen to have her world revolve around my family, and around her husband the rest of the time (another whole issue).  This, to me, is not healthy and it is stressful, for me at least, to have to be a big source of her happiness.  It just bleeds into every area of our interactions with her.

 

The other aspect of her personality that I find hard to deal with is that she has some very conventional attitudes about so many things.  And though I didn't see it at first, I am realizing that she is anti-intellectual as well.  I think she likes to think of herself as "old-fashioned" but really she's just just out-dated and unenlightened. 

 

I have started to get concerned about her passing these attitudes onto my kids.  And it's all very odd because she's a business owner and she obviously raised my DH and he's as intellectual, feminist and counter-culture as they come.  But it's like while she teaches DD1 to do a lot of things (even fishing), there's this underlying "you still need to be a lady" and the "sit up straight", "your hair needs brushing", the overly fancy clothes she buys for DD, and those kind of messages are coming through.  Simply put, MIL is a priss and she seems to like it that way--she absolutely wants to be fawned over, and these are not traits I care for overmuch. 

 

I could go on but I already feel the guilt creeping in for even posting all this. 


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Old 03-18-2011, 12:11 PM
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Great post and replies. I think it often boils down to irrational jealousy. My MIL feels like I've taken her good son away from her. Our happiness upsets her and I think it's because she's not happy. She's pining away for a man (FIL) who she's been divorced from for over 20 years. She talks about him like he's the worst person on earth to anyone who'll listen but still has photos of him all over her apartment and when given the opportunity acts like they are still a couple.

 

In spite of the things she's done that have personally effected me, I would probably be able to be more friendly with her if I thought she had good qualites about her in spite of how she's treated me but truthfully, I don't like her. I don't think she's a good person and I think she's been a lousy mother to her children. Trying to make DH her defacto husband when her own husband left her. Normally, I feel a great deal of empathy for a woman whose husband leaves her but her personality is so insufferable, if I can barely take her for an hour at a time, I'm not sure how FL stood her for as long as he did and it's not like he's father of the year but MIL shared things with her children about their father that should really be kept between a man and a woman. Things that I am shocked my DH even knows. Exposing children to that info for the purpose of manipulating them is just horrible.

 


i'm sorry do we have the same mil???wink1.gif

 

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Old 03-25-2011, 07:28 AM
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I know for me I have tension with my mil bc we just do not naturally mesh and hat is disappointing to me, so I admittedly get a bit testy just thinking about her. I'm he kind of person who can make friends with anyone and always look for the best. But if someone insists on being mean then I tend to cast them as a villain and stop caring about what they think and cut them out of my life bc hey life's too short and there are plenty of amazing people to spend it with!

Well we moved here and mil had always been so nice and share so many interests with me, I figured we'd have so much fun. Uh, no. We moved here in the summer and I'm a teacher so I didn't know anyone nor did I have work to help make connections. I tried getting mil to go shopping as I outfitted our new home. No she didn't want to go or went once but acted all put out and even brought sil along. I thought we could go see all the girly literary costumey movies we love, but the spouses could take or leave, together. It was like pulling teeth to go once. How about going to the nursery together, mil? Oh she's not returning my calls and I already know she screens calls at home bs she will emphatically not pick up for her mom. I mean these are all things she likes doing and she doesn't work so she does them all the time on her own I was just looking to do stuff maybe once a month or less. But no.

Well since then dh has revealed (and maybe he's learned about this too more) that she's just insanely shy and anxious. Like, she has no friends. Literally. And she can't play any games bc her sister traumatized her as a kid so competition gets to her. I actually don't like competition either but then it's also that she's claustrophobic from her sister locking her in a closet. Except this only ever comes up when dh and I want to take her somewhere, like a concert, but she goes to them with FIL. Fine, her mental issues are her own. But she treats us like we are strangers. Going over for dinner is like going to a fancy restaurant and she is always on. We can never just hang out. We can't just chat, it is always very on edge. Except she loosens up to mock people and things, which has really hurt our relationship bc I feel I can't trust her. She acts super sweet to relatives she has over and then mocks them when they leave. Well I assume that's happening when I leave! And then it turns out our personalities don't mesh so well afterall. She buries her head in the sand and doesn't pretend to care about the world whereas I am a bit of a rabble-rouser as my dad would proudly say. I finally realized she's like a child. I have never seen her get more excited than over a cute doll. And she doesn't listen at all. We have had to tell her over and over about simple things like don't show tv to the kid you are begging to have over to play. Now even dd has started asking me why grandma always buys more plastic toys everytime dd goes over to play and can I tell her to stop?
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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I already posted but can I add something else?!  

 

My MIL makes it nearly impossible to decline something politely.  She either can't take a hint (or won't).  I feel like I do try to be polite and respond in a way that won't hurt her feelings--because that really and truly happens more than I would believe--but then she won't let it drop and then pesters me into a corner basically until I am forced into a reply that is not as nice.  

 

Anyone deal with this and know how to handle it?  


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Old 03-31-2011, 08:35 PM
 
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I get along great with my MIL, she is wonderful! We are fairly similar in terms of our senses of humour and are both fairly pragmatic people as well, so even though our interests aren't that similar we get along great.

 

Proving that so much of this is purely personality, however, my SIL (DH's brother's wife) loathes MIL. She (SIL) bans her (MIL) from seeing the grandkids (once for 6 weeks), she does everything she can to undermine BIL's relationship with his family, and so on and so on. (There is a lot more to this story.) But their relationship started off very badly and now it would require some major work from both of them to even begin to fix it. At the moment, their status quo is uneasy peace broken up by regular bust-ups.

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