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To think its daft to worry about being a MIL to sons wives but not to worry about being a MIL to daughters husbands? (Inspired by another thread - not a thread about a thread)

(101 Posts)
Salmotrutta Sat 04-Jan-14 22:16:47

Why is it just future/present DIL who seem to cause the angst?

Why do most people on here worry about them but not present/future sons-in-law?

A son-in-law could be just as awful surely?

(Mine is lovely and is a great DH and dad)

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Sat 04-Jan-14 23:54:27

sorry, women want to chat more...not men! confusing

Salmotrutta Sun 05-Jan-14 00:01:44

When I had my children I did not exclude DHs mum because I was post-partum.

She was welcomed in the same way as my own mum was welcomed.

I find all this "I don't want my MIL there" very odd if I'm honest.

As I've said - I don't see eye-to-eye with my own MIL but I'm a grown adult who knows how to handle situations.

When you encounter difficult people in life (as long as they aren't actually evil) it's best to find a way to cope with them.

laza222 Sun 05-Jan-14 00:17:29

I'm not sure what the original thread was. I always try to treat my MIL equal to my own mother. When we were planning our wedding I included her in everything, however it often feels as though she isn't interested. I think she is just terribly insecure about the fact her son has now got married so I try to be sensitive to that but it is frustrating at times. She insisted that everything would change when we got married (with family relationships) - I really think it hasn't however also feel she is almost subconsciously engineering it to at times. She somehow feels that I'm replacing her which I can't understand really but try to be sensitive to it. It is frustrating. I will still tell her if he is ill (he suffers from a medical problem) and ask her opinion on what to do, to the point where I called her on our honeymoon. I appreciate her opinion and advice. However she almost pushes us away at times now and then acts like we don't want her involved.

I'm sure I'm not perfect by any means but find the way she is acting very hard work at times. Funnily enough we had a great relationship for the decade before we got engaged. I'm not sure why it changed. I still love her very much though and hope that she will be heavily involved when we have children. I just hope she doesn't push herself away from us then too and then be sad that she isn't as close to us any children as my family are.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 05-Jan-14 00:33:43

I was going to post some long explanation but ComposHat's third paragraph sums up pretty much what I was going to say.

It does seem like to some posters that there is a Son/Husband switch that men should flick once they are married.

Some posters also forget that for DP/H that have been brought up in toxic families telling them that they "man up" is just ridiculous.

mayorquimby Sun 05-Jan-14 02:09:35

Objectively yanbu
But tbh I've seen some threads on here, and to be fair they tend to rotate around visiting post child birth or parenting criticism/advice whichever way you view it, where its a case of "it's different because she's my mum" but the dh mother has to walk on egg shells.

I don't think it's universal by any means but I've often been left thinking thank god my oh doesn't think that way because there'd be war if I had a partner and she tried to treat my parents as second class.

mayorquimby Sun 05-Jan-14 02:14:40

Seeks I pretty much just x posted with compas hats posts

There's been so many posts I've seen on here over the years which I've instantly just thought "thank fuck that's not my partner" because their attitude would break my mums heart but they think its ok because their mum is their mum and their husbands mum is just someone who has to fall in line or be punished

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Sun 05-Jan-14 02:20:15

i think the relationship between DILs and MILs is a battle for alpha female status a lot of the time

My take on it is - when in a committed relationship /children come along - they are their own family unit and heads of that family unit

I think a lot of MILs just don't get that

I think a lot of DILs do get that, and a lot of DILs go far above and beyond trying to pacify MILs

I also think many (not all) DH/DPs are spineless jellyfish when it comes to being firm with their parents.

after being 7 shades of cunt over the past 25 years ive been married, my mil shit it with me 3 xmases ago.

I'm not being nasty to her - im not doing anything, i'm not reminding dh about her birthday ( he will forget) i'm not visiting her (dh doesn't want to)

I dont get why MILs don't realise the DILs have all the power

2 of my three grown children are in relationships - i know their partners are now more important than me

mayorquimby Sun 05-Jan-14 02:31:43

"My take on it is - when in a committed relationship /children come along - they are their own family unit and heads of that family unit

I think a lot of MILs just don't get that

I think a lot of DILs do get that, and a lot of DILs go far above and beyond trying to pacify MILs

I also think many (not all) DH/DPs are spineless jellyfish when it comes to being firm with their parents."

But surely it's this alpha/head of family / stand up to thing that makes problems.

I just can't wrap my head around it. If everyone is semi normal and considerate really no problems would arise.
My mother has some self awareness so she's conscious that she doesn't want to interfere with my wife and my relationship and will always be at pains to act appropriately.

My wife is considerate and rationale do at no point would try to casually make it clear that he family takes precedent over mine.

There's many cases on here I've felt sorry for a dil but equally (as composhat said) you see so many times when a wife's mother is to he welcomed/accommodated and given preference on here.
Or the other issue where a man talking about relationship/ marriage issues or confiding generally with his mother is slated as a mummy's boy etc but a husband getting mad about his wife discussing similar issues with her mother is controlling.

As I said in my first post I don't think the op is unreasonable in their assessment but I can see why being on here would give you cause for second thoughts

Piscivorus Sun 05-Jan-14 02:32:58

I think there was some research a few years back which showed that when in extreme pain or distress men tend to call for their partners where women call for their mothers. This suggests that women will stay closer to their own mother than a man will to his.

Agree with custardo, and posted on the other thread, that MILs need to be aware that when a child is in a committed relationship, that takes precedence.

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Sun 05-Jan-14 02:41:17

yes i agree mayor

If my MIL ( who sounds like a lot of other MILs mentioned on here) was even half normal, i would go above and beyond for her

I dont think it is a conscious 'i am top dog your world must revolve around me and my word is most important' at all. I think MILs have been queens in their own kingdoms for a very long time 20 to 25+ years at least, so when they are no longer the sun in their childrens universe and their grown children have ttheir own universe, its hard for them to adjust.

FixItUpChappie Sun 05-Jan-14 02:44:15

My DD is a good mum and I never interfere - I just follow her way of doing things.

yes Op but obviously this is not universally the case.

It think whatever strides we've made, the home and the kids remain disproportionately the woman's domain. As such I think women take much more personally perceived criticism, perceived interference or slights regarding how they manage their families and household - especially from ILs who are to many wives essentially strangers.

I think it's more complicated than wronged DILs and misunderstood MILs - and a lot of the problems I see on here go far beyond minor issues. I agree with you that women don't worry as much about relationships with SILs....if they popped over to gransnet and heard some of the nightmarish stories regarding Harris SILs they might start.

FixItUpChappie Sun 05-Jan-14 02:45:43

hmm... I don't know where "Harris" came from. you get my just.

mathanxiety Sun 05-Jan-14 03:32:46

My own problems with my exMIL went way beyond minor issues. I was more than prepared to meet her half way -- living an ocean away from my mother meant this was a necessity if nothing else -- but she turned out to be pretty much the OW in my marriage. She was not and is not a normal person. Or semi normal.

I didn't see the other thread.

Spermysextowel Sun 05-Jan-14 05:22:18


Most posters on here are female & many don't like theirs. Composhat is our lone male poster tonight & doesn't like his. I will do my best to be a great Mil but I accept that at some point I will be found wanting. I didn't have children with how I would handle a Dil/Sil in mind. You do what you think is right & then it's up to them.

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 05-Jan-14 05:42:46

Women are expected to have relationships with their inlaws, spend time with them, host them, socialise with them WITHOUT THEIR DH! But men very rarely are expected to do the same with his partners family. I think this is where a lot if issues come from.

I don't see my inlaws as my family - they are my dhs family - he can deal with them. I wouldn't expect my dh to call my family, remember birthdays or arrange visits... I deal with my family. Much healthier.

BillyBanter Sun 05-Jan-14 05:43:41

Agree with composhat

I don't think a DH should automatically take his dw side either.

BillyBanter Sun 05-Jan-14 05:44:23

Agree with baby too.

mathanxiety Sun 05-Jan-14 07:17:49

If it comes to the point where he is expected to take sides then the poor mope of a DH has completely failed to keep up with the plot and is in danger of losing everything he holds dear.

There is no way it should ever come to the point where sides must be chosen. If it does, then one or more individuals have failed to understand that the young couple are a separate unit. That misunderstanding can come from the parents' side or from the individual members of the couple, but it is a big mistake to allow third parties into the marriage in any form and parties trying to insinuate themselves need to be shown in no uncertain terms that they are not welcome.

'Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife' -- There is a bit of wisdom in Genesis.

Spottybra Sun 05-Jan-14 07:49:49

I think it's unfair to base assumptions on a forum. Most mil from hell posts I read I sort of shrug off as the op needing a rant to get it out of their system. No one comes on and says my mil is amazing, she turned up with an item if clothing for me which I had been admiring and mentioned it in a discussion (which mine does regularly. I get more treats than her ds) with presents for the gc too.

I find our relationship hard because I don't think that we would be friends if we had met under other circumstances. Our values are vastly different. But she has a heart of gold.

Spermysextowel Sun 05-Jan-14 08:16:04

It's telling that in dire circumstances my ExH would call in order; his wife; then me; then my mother; then his brother; then his younger brother. His mother would come way down on the list. The reason wives state 'we're his family now' is perhaps because they are.

fluffyraggies Sun 05-Jan-14 08:28:39

There are always going to be lots of threads on MN from women posting about their MILs as it's a forum mostly used by adult women allot of the time posting about their adult families. This includes ILs.

No one on posting on the Relationships board ever says ''oh god another husband thread ... why oh why can't these women get on with their husbands - there must be something wrong with them?'' do they?


The reason there is more scope for tension between the adult women of a family is because they are the ones who tend to the lions share of all the communicating and child raising.

My husband doesn't have to negotiate anything with my mother because when my mum rings the phone gets passed to me. I never have to negotiate anything with my FIL because it's always MIL who rings up.

heartisaspade Sun 05-Jan-14 08:32:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JapaneseMargaret Sun 05-Jan-14 09:00:55

The reason Dadsnet doesn't really exist is not because men don't want to chat. It's because men don't really define themselves by their fatherhood status, nor give up their careers en mass, to be fathers.

Other forums exist for men to chat in. They're just more hobby/interest-based.

And while mother-in-law and son-in-law relationships might not necessarily be very fraught in the way MIL-DIL relationships are - you can bet your bottom dollar that there are plenty of father-in-laws and son-in-laws who don't get on. They just don't have the opportunity to bitch about it discuss it like we do.

thegreylady Sun 05-Jan-14 09:20:42

I think that a lot of men aren't comfortable armound physical illness which is why a woman may find her mother more nurturing. One way we know we have succeeded in bringing up our children is when we see independent, fully rounded adults with loving partners and/or with children of their own.
Even then they sometimes need a hand from mum. Tell me, if you vomited all over yourself , the bed and the cat who would you rather have clean you up- your mum or your mil? Leave partners aside for now I am just talking about why, post childbirth or in sickness you would prefer your own mum before your mil.

BohemianGirl Sun 05-Jan-14 09:34:09

"Marry a man who treats his mother well, because he will treat you the same"

^^ One of the best pieces of advice I was given.

You tolerate from your own family females (Mum, sister, to an extent best friend) things that you do not tolerate from outsiders - and that includes MIL/SIL/Great Aunt Agnes.

However comments like this I don't see my inlaws as my family - they are my dhs family - he can deal with them show how selfish and self absorbed people have become. Your inlaws, blood relatives to your child, are not family; that is the sort of comment where I shake my head.

As soon as you marry, your alliance is to your spouse. Not your parent, not your friends, not your children but to each other - you took the vow "let no man put asunder" - that means united in everything.

You = a generic You, plural that means man and wife

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