To think having a good relationship with MIL is possible

(39 Posts)
Primaryteach87 Sat 02-Apr-16 15:34:09

So vested interest here, I'm a mum to young boys. So the whole motherinlaw-daughterinlaw dynamic troubles me.

My mil has done some things which have upset me in the past (and I'm sure I have too) but then so have my own parents, who I'm very close to.

Increasingly I think for most (not all & accept some people are mad, bad and dangerous!!) mil-dil relationships it's about 'framing'.

If I 'frame' mil as someone I love who loves me and can make mistakes and be forgiven, we can have a great relationship. If I 'frame' it as mil dislikes me and I dislike her, we could have a terrible relationship. There are real things that have happened, I could work myself into a frenzy about. But, she is human and negotiating this relationship for the first time, just like I am.

The more I laugh and tease and joke, the more I feel like a daughter. The more I forgive slights, the more I recognise all the nice things she does. The more I seek her out, the less threatened I am. The more she feels invoked, the more supportive she becomes.

So...tell me I'm wrong? grin but be kind or I'll go and have acry about my boys' wives hating me!!

CigarsofthePharoahs Sat 02-Apr-16 15:36:21

I think we could make a very funny book about "How to Not Be A Mil" based on Mumsnet quotes alone.
YANBU, it should be possible as long as each side respects the other.

toohardtothinkofaname Sat 02-Apr-16 15:39:18

It's been 6 years & still getting there with my MIL but I know everything she does is out of kindness, it's just her approach is different from what I'm used to and it makes me feel weird (she's sometimes too nice!). I actually spend more time with her than my own mother who can be emotionally draining.

Hassled Sat 02-Apr-16 15:49:47

I think all DILs should just keep in their heads the fact that their MILs love their sons in exactly the same way you love your DC. It doesn't change as your child grows up - or at least it changes, but it doesn't diminish. I have a MIL and I am a MIL - so I know that if it's lovely when I have the odd bit of time alone with DS, it's also going to be lovely for MIL to have the odd bit of time alone with DH.

SanityClause Sat 02-Apr-16 16:00:48

It's a nice thought, and I'm pleased it works for you.

My MIL would never have "framed" me as a person she liked who might make mistakes and could be forgiven for them.

She has never knowingly forgiven anyone for anything.

She bullied DH as a child, and continues to do so, every time she has contact with him. She has bullied her own DH mercilessly, all through their married life.

The best I can do is be civil.

Although, from my perspective, I do appreciate that she didn't get to be the way she is in isolation. She must've had some kind of fucked up childhood to make her the way she is. So, I do try to forgive her nastiness, but I don't have to be a doormat, either.

BackforGood Sat 02-Apr-16 16:11:23

Absolutely agree OP.

Whenever I read the MiL threads on here, I think people should take the fact she's your MiL out of the equation, and think how they would react if it were their parent who said/did whatever upset them, or a friend, or a neighbour, or a colleague.

With all 'in-law' relationships, they are people who you are linked with for your lifetime, without choosing them - just like your own family but with different habits and traditions and approaches from those you grew up with. Cut some slack. Don't always assume whatever they are doing is through some wickedness - usually it's just a different approach.

Finola1step Sat 02-Apr-16 16:19:08

I think it is all about mutual respect.

I had a lovely relationship with my MIL. She respected the fact that I was DH's wife and the mother of our dc. I respected the fact that she was dh's mum and that they were entitled to have a relationship that didn't always include me.

My MIL had a terrible relationship with her own MIL who thought that no one was good enough for her precious son and only.

My MIL died nearly 18 months ago. She is much missed.

Costacoffeeplease Sat 02-Apr-16 16:22:32

If any random person had said the things that my mil has said to me in the past, I'd have cut them off without another thought - and now, for all intents and purposes, I've cut her off too. I haven't seen her in years and have spoken to her on the phone barely a handful of times. All her doing.

I met my husband at 19, married 3 years later, I just expected I'd have a good relationship with her, but it became clear over the years that that just wasn't possible - hey ho, her loss

If, as a mil, you want a good relationship with your dil, then be nice, be kind, be thoughtful and hopefully it will be reciprocated. As a dil, her first, I tried very hard, but whatever I did got the same response

tibbawyrots Sat 02-Apr-16 16:26:59

My second MIL was a sweetheart and I miss her every day.

First one is still alive and kicking but luckily not part of my life anymore. Devil looks after his own.

itsmine Sat 02-Apr-16 16:32:08

My mil is great, always supports us but never interferes. I know we are lucky though, it isn't because she's my mil that she's great she's just a thoroughly nice person generally.

Its luck really. That said my siblings are both utter pains in the arse and I am deeply envious of people who have close relationships with sibs. It's swings and roundabouts isn't it.

Make the best of the good stuff and try to ignore the shite is my motto.

lanbro Sat 02-Apr-16 16:32:10

I have a wonderful relationship with my MIL and she will often say she has 3 daughters - one actual dd and 2 DILs. She adores out dc and would do anything for us. She's quite elderly and will be a huge miss when she's gone. I think I'm lucky on the one hand but OTOH why should 2 nice, normal women who both love one person not get along?!

edwinbear Sat 02-Apr-16 16:32:52

My MIL is awesome. She thinks our entire family is the bees knees, adores me and worships the dc (who she spoils rotten). She doesn't interfere, just supports us wholeheartedly, she is welcoming when we go to visit and is great fun when she comes to stay. As such, she and fil are very much a significant part of our lives. It probably helps that they live 200 miles away so we only see them 5-6 times a year grin

Emptynestx2 Sat 02-Apr-16 17:08:16

This is something I've wondered about too! My Mum was a really wonderful lady and loved by everyone except my SIL however at mums funeral nobody cried more tears, still don't understand it years later. It made me worry about how I can be a good MIL when the time comes, I have a 19 year old son who I adore and would hate to lose him by unwittingly upsetting his wife one day!

My own MIL is very hands off as she has 6dc's so we get on when we see each other but it's not a close relationship.

Any pointers would be good though I hope he won't be getting married for a few years yet!

RosieTheCat Sat 02-Apr-16 17:21:34

My MIL is the most wonderful caring helpful woman I have ever met she never oversteps boundrys, both her and FIL are even helping us buy our first home
She is both family and a friend
They provide free childcare 3 days a week for a few hours, the only problem I have with this is if I'm off work, term time job, they get upset about not having DD and I need to find an excuse for her to visit them as they worry so much about just asking to see her image we have plans

My DM on the other hand is a bitch and I wouldn't piss on her if she was on fire

mrsmeerkat Sat 02-Apr-16 17:21:52

I have quite a good relationship with mum. I respect her .. she has more miles on the clock than me and wise in ways.

In other ways I privately do not like some things about her - very old fashioned, thinks men cannot cook for themselves. Boring. Very silly and fussy. If she comes out with us she is nosey and only wants to see if she recognises neighbours or who has died in the area.

But I massively recognise my own faults too and they are probably worse than hers.

I cannot forgive people who something wrong to me. I don't have her patience.

I think we have nothing in common. I never ever let this known in real life by the way. Always kind to her.

RosieTheCat Sat 02-Apr-16 17:23:32

*Incase not image

mrsmeerkat Sat 02-Apr-16 17:23:55

MIL not mum. sorry

Pinkheart5915 Sat 02-Apr-16 17:25:29

Absolutely it is possible to have a good relationship with mil.
I get on with my mil very well, I actually enjoy spending time with her she is warm hearted caring person.
I do think it is about mutual respect

Cel982 Sat 02-Apr-16 17:30:29

I have a good relationship with my MIL, as do both my siblings (with theirs) and all of our spouses. And most of my friends, if I think about it. Like in most situations, negative stories get a lot more 'press' here.

Katedotness1963 Sat 02-Apr-16 19:10:38

I haven't spoken to my mil in about ten years. Things started to go south when she told a lie that almost ended my marriage.
Then there were the little things like telling me my baby had colic because my breast milk was bad,
stopping me from washing grapes "because I didn't know how to do it properly", critiquing my husbands painting so much he packed his paints away and never painted anything again,
thinking it was appropriate to let my toddler play, unaccompanied, in the garage with all the tools and cleaning stuff around,
offering to babysit (our first night out in four years) then when I went upstairs to put on makeup, she changed her mind and left the house, it was literally five minutes between me saying I'll go and get ready and coming downstairs to find out they'd left,
first Christmas I spent with them she asked if my family did Christmas on the 24th or 25th. I said the 25th and she replied "well, we do the 24th, so na na na na na",
If things didn't go her way, she sulked.

There's a reason that out of 32 years of marriage we've spent 25 of them with an ocean between us and her!

MiniCooperLover Sat 02-Apr-16 19:12:13

I have a great MIL. She's a lovely lady and never interferes, in fact sometimes I'd happily ask her to be more involved but she's very respectful of us as a family even though I can often tell she's desperate to see her DS/my DH more. So no complaints here.

bakingdiva Sat 02-Apr-16 19:18:51

I had an amazing MIL who was very welcoming, generous and caring. She died before we had DD, but I know she would have been great with her. we both accepted that not everyone does things the same way and we were both flexible enough to work around any differences. I think that is the crux of the best MIL / DIL relationships.

I miss her.

pointythings Sat 02-Apr-16 19:22:55

I loved my MIL. She and FIL were wonderful people - she was very clear about disagreeing with me on some things, but she was also very clear about that being only her opinion and so we could agree to disagree and like each other a lot.

However, there are some people who are not reasonable and sensible and those people will make terrible MILs and DILs.

Primaryteach87 Sat 02-Apr-16 19:40:18

I have total sympathy for people with truly nutty mils. My issue, I guess, is that all of us are imperfect. I won't be the perfect mil nor do I have the perfect mil but that doesn't mean I can't have a loving relationship with mil and (hopefully!!) any future dils.

Chrysanthemum5 Sat 02-Apr-16 19:45:00

It is possible but it depends on personalities. My ex-mil hated me with a passion and really I couldn't do anything right in her view (to be fair to her she hated me because of lies her son had told her) My current mil is honestly one of the kindest loveliest people ever so it's easy to have a good relationship with her.

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