Jealous of DS's perfect GF (Will I be a toxic MIL?)(86 Posts)
OK OK OK. I know IABU. I just need people to straight-talk a bit of sense into me.
We are a fairly average family, averagely happy, averagely paid, averagely sized, averagely eccentric etc. DS (18) is not average - to me at least. He is very clever, witty, great company and a lovely person that I am immensley proud of. He is going out with his first serious girlfriend. GF is very bright, gorgeous, polite, friendly and talented. All fine and lovely.
So here's the unreasonable bit. GF and her family are just too bloody perfect. Perfect GF's parents are both extremely successful (well-known, top of their respective fields -
yes I've been googling them ). The family is mega wealthy (think mansion with grounds) and all the siblings (there are several) are also fantastically good looking, highly successful in a range of high-powered professions and according to ds, all great company, hilarious and interesting. To cap it all, perfect dad is also a successful member of a hobby group that ds is obsessed by.
Since October ds has spent all his spare time with perfect GF's family and I feel like he has almost dropped our family and been adopted by hers. He's included in their family get-togethers and is FB friends with them all. We, on the other hand, have met GF a sum total of twice for no more than 3 minutes each time (enough to say hello and smile and for ds to then pull her out of the room in case we embarrass him by talking to her). We have suggested to ds lots of times that he invite her to ours or she joins us on a family outing or whatever, but ds is very uncomfortable with the idea and it's never convenient.
Am I BU to be a tiny bit jealous of perfect gf's perfect family and perfect life? Is it U to feel a tiny bit sad that clearly her family can offer ds so much more than we can? Am I being a future MIL from hell to wish that DS wanted to spend some of his time with his perfect gf here in our family home instead of all their time at hers?
Yes. I know I am. Now give it to me straight.
I would be devasted [looks at DS (under 10)]
my dad used to say about 18 year olds knowing nothing but learning a lot by the time they were 21 (or something like that - wiser people will be along than me!)
I was prepared to say you were being BU from the title but on reading your post I sympathise. You would be able to handle the perfectness if your DS was happy to spend time with you.
I was the girlfriend in a situation like this (not perfect but BF spent as much time at our house as possible as he felt he fitted in better with us for various reasons). As we got older he relaxed more and we spend equal amounts of time with both sets of parents now and I get on very well with MIL.
I do feel a bit guilty about "stealing" DH from his family, especially as I now have sons the same age and would be hurt if they kept away (I suspect DS1 would like a shot!).
Your son's girlfriend obviously really likes him. The issue here is that you haven't had the opportunity to actually get to know her. I think you need to arrange an activity and invite her to it. Bypass your son and invite her directly. I'll bet she is keen to meet up properly. Yabu to think her family life is perfect- but you know that. Fwiw, I think your family life sounds pretty perfect!
YANBU! Ask her why he's hiding her! If she was really that great she would want to meet you herself!
I did exactly the same at 18. Fell madly in love with my boyfriend and his glamorous and accomplished family. I thought them wildly superior to my own and wanted to spend all my time with them.
It was only my boyfriend's desire to spend time with my family and the fact that he loved them to bits, that brought me out of my fugue state.
This too shall pass!
Ah, I really feel for you - i would feel the same
But i do think that he will come back to you ... i think that that this often happens with boys x
YANBU. It must be hard for you, but it's still new for him. The novelty will wear off a bit and he and perfect gf will come back to you. Be glad he's so happy
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
― Mark Twain
It's your son's behaviour that is causing the issue, I'd definitely feel hurt if one of my children made it abundantly clear that they were embarrassed of me/us. Don't fixate on her as the cause of the problem though, it's easily done and from experience most people prefer to blame the partner rather than the relative. That won't go down well.
Is it U to feel a tiny bit sad that clearly her family can offer ds so much more than we can?
is he spending more time due to this ^ or simply becasuse he/she feels more comfortable at their house,
im my experience with a large family with all degrees of wealth from mega wealthy to very poor, people wanting to spend time with people is never down to size of house, its always down to feeling at home.
if your sons gf wasnt from mega wealthy family, whose parent were top in field but say poor, father in prison....small council house...would you be saying she was manipulating him into spending all time there...what would your excuse be?
i bet either your own home isnt as welcoming or comfortable as you would like to think ....your relations with your son are not as good as you think...
OR he is simply shy and she is and she feels more confident and comfortable at home with her own surroundings...
but I bet all of it has nothing to do with bigger houses and money
Oh thank you for the understanding!
To explain a bit more, ds openly admits he's weird about having friends around (not just gf) and always has been. He hates being a 'host' and has made us promise never to ask gf round for a meal without careful planning first. (He needs to hide all his baby photos ). We are not in any way weird or unusual. We don't have upside-down crosses on the wall (or right way up ones) or walk round in onesies or mankinis, but he just finds it cringey.
All four of my kids have done this. They tend to dump their parents for a year or so while they spread their wings. It's hard at the time, I won't deny that. As hard as it was I let mine go, all of them returned and we are all very close now.
When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years
Love this quote!
Don't fixate on her as the cause of the problem though, it's easily done and from experience most people prefer to blame the partner rather than the relative. That won't go down well.
YY the root cause of most mil/dil problems!
Mine did this too... they come back and realise their own family aren't THAT bad in a couple of years DD1 and DD2 (aged 23 and nearly 21) brought their g/f and b/f home for Xmas this year, to our small 3 bed house, despite their partners kids having much grander families. Hang in there!
Take them out for meals if he is embarrassed about the house (not that he should be but he obviously has issues there so make it on neutral ground?
We are not in any way weird or unusual.
Op I am sure your not, but my In Laws always stress how normal they are too and they are the least normal people I have ever met, now I love eccentrics and so on but they are not eccentric they are hard line. But they think they are normal as they keep telling us!
I absolutely don't think gf is manipulating ds. He has even told us that she teases him about never bringing her here. The issue is with ds
and obviously us
As one on the other side of this it doesn't matter if you are or aren't being unreasonable, just how you deal and get over it.
We have the same issue with DH family and only see them once a year due to his harpy mother. I can't help my family but she made me and DH feel rubbish about it - so we cut them out.
He is 18. I am sure loads of us behaved exactly the same at that age; being embarrassed by your parents is pretty universal. He will grow out of it, just as ours did, but YANBU to find it a little sad when it first happens.
Very comforting to hear about others whose teens have done the same thing.
(As an only child myself, I'd always had a bit of a Waltons-style fantasy of my dcs bringing home friends and eventally partners to create a big noisy home with teens dropping in and out, raiding the fridge or whatever. Instead our home is quiet and tidy and I don't like it. Now I am being U )
Talk to your son without any guilt tripping and ask what you can all do as a family that he would be comfortable inviting gf around for.
In the mean time he's probably embarrassed over something trivial like how you tell bad jokes or something. He'll grow out of it as he gets older.
In the mean time continue extending the invitation and try not to guilt trip or pressure him. Plan events and go out without him so you both have your own lives
and you have something to distract you.
* Instead our home is quiet and tidy and I don't like it
potential triggers for me....
look i am sure its all innocent but now you have started down this road, looking at your home in terms of how easy it is to be in it....is not a bad thing at all for this and future GF.
as i said my in laws think they are the most amazing hosts, generous, warm and friendly who are normal and have bent over backwards for us.
The reality is....a show home where its made crystal clear the furnishings are more important than the guest, floors you cant walk on, surfaces you can't use without thinking....terrified to have a cup of tea as there is much angst and pressure to finish and get that cup safely in the dish washer, no music, no back ground noise just YOU and your un chatty hosts....VERY AWKWARD. Everything carefully measured and rationed out...
Sitting perched awkwardly, shoeless on side of sofa..making a mess with very presence...horrid.
In contrast, my DM or DF would be a bustling chatty, warm persona, welcoming people in, shoes on,( we trust our guests to wipe feet and judge shoes...) lots of interest in the person and family, questions jokes, chatty....muck in, grab that....oh dear, somethings knocked over, never mind laugh and carry on.
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