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to STILL dislike my PIL's?

(150 Posts)
sillysalley Tue 06-Oct-09 23:49:09

After 11 years of trying ...

Over the last few months, I have tried wtih all my might to TRY to like them, but I think we are just cut out of completely different cloth, and well I just dont 'get' them!

There is so much to mention about them and how we have got on over the past 11 years, but I have just come to the decision - it will just never be one of those relationships. And it makes me pretty sad really! To try to explain a little, they seem to revel in annoying me, maybe it s just me but ...

I ll give an example, I have asked (many many many times) that they only buy DS presents for a reason (I want him to begin to understand that we need to work hard to get things and we dont get what we want for nothing etc)e.g. birthday, christmas, presents from holiday, or more importantly for doing something good/ helpful etc

Well they just dont listen, they buy him something everytime we visit (1-2 times a week). It is driving me crazy and now DS is beginning to expect it!

I promise you, I really have tried to get on with them, I know there are much worse PIL's. But they just seem to 'rubbish' my parenting and do it their way IYSWIM.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 06-Oct-09 23:53:59

Weeellll, I'd need to know a bit more about the 11 years, but on the face of your post it's a bit unreasonable to hate your PiLs for being generous.

sillysalley Wed 07-Oct-09 00:04:26

Not hate - just dislike them, cant bond with them IYSWIM. The thing is I have really tried, even to the extend of inviting them on a weekend away to try to get to like them more ...

I dont want to dislike having to visit them, but I do, I dread the weekly visits from them - it is wrong of me I know.

But they just seem to do the opposite of what I ask. And they seem to revel in doing so

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 07-Oct-09 00:13:14

I can't say I ever got close to my PILs (FiL is dead now) but maybe that's why my MIL and I can still rub along after 25 years. grin We are totally, utterly different people, and I recall getting really wound up that she bought Christmas/birthday presents for her imaginary DIL rather than for the real, live me, iyswim. For years I deliberately bought her the most hideous things I could find, and claimed the DC had chosen them, so she had to keep/display them - she may be a better actress than I, but she stymied me every time by seeming to actually like them, the bitch. grin

However, all these years later, I've come to understand that there was no malice on her part, (just mine blush) she's just utterly self-centred and oblivious to anyone else (unless she has decided to Take An Interest) and that she's like that with everyone. I don't take it personally now, and have her down for Xmas so she can burble on to her heart's content about folk I've never met...

But I didn't have to see her every week; and tb absolutely fair, I don't recall her ever trying to interfere with my parenting of her only DGC. That would be very demoralising.

ErikaMaye Wed 07-Oct-09 00:27:46

Thing is with PILs... You have to forge a relationship with people that you wouldn't nessicarily be involved with if they weren't your partners parents! So sometimes you're lucky to get on fantastically with them right from the start - and sometimes not.

I can understand why you're annoyed. Is he their only Grandchild though? I totally agree with you about his learning to earn things, but maybe they just want to dote on him whilst they can. Have you mentioned it to your DH? Maybe he if he had a word with them they would take it more seriously.

mumofsatan Wed 07-Oct-09 06:58:14

I've tried so hard with my ILs but have given up now. They can't be arsed to make an effort so neither will I.

DH's mum refused to come to our wedding 4 years ago because his dad was ill and she didn't want to come on her own, even though we'd arranged transport for her. (His dad is fine now by the way, was just a minor illness)

My mother had been in hospital until the day before the wedding but at nearly 80 years old managed to travel an hour by taxi to attend the wedding.

The ILs didn't give a shit when we announced I was pregnant last summer. My mum was over the moon (lost dad 5 years go this month) My mum couldn't wait to see her new grandson who was born in February but sadly died 2 weeks before she was due to meet him (he was born abroad) I took new DS and DD to see the ILs in the summer a few times and his mum even refused to move a few inches to have her photo taken with them and didn't even bother sending DD a card for her 3rd birthday last week.
My lovely mum would have crawled over broken glass to have met my baby son and cuddle DD. I know the word hate is a bit strong but .....angry

diddl Wed 07-Oct-09 07:54:42

With the example you have given, I actually think it´s a little sad that you object to your ILs bringing presents.

I don´t think it´s so harmful if he thinks that grandparents spoil grandchildren, TBH.

But it´s up to you to tell him not to expect it everytime.

So, on what you have said, YABU, I don´t see how they are "rubbishing your parenting".

Disclaimer-I retain the right to change my mind about OP being U/R, should further information come to light. grin

Firawla Wed 07-Oct-09 11:11:10

yabu if your main problem is them buying presents, i think alot of people have it much worse with inlaws than that!

WinkyWinkola Wed 07-Oct-09 11:21:36

Well, you're allowed to dislike people even if they are your in laws.

But then what? Is that it - you just dislike them and that's that?

Let them buy your DS something every time you visit. He'll come to regard them as gift giving factories and look forward to the present rather than seeing them. That's their mistake but it's up to them and woe betide they should forget to buy a gift one time because his response will show them what they've done.

Maybe visiting 1-2 times a week doesn't suit you? Too much?

ninedragons Wed 07-Oct-09 11:26:11

YANBU. I don't like mine particularly. We don't have anything at all in common. I just can't imagine being actively fond of them - polite distance is just fine by me.

Twice a week is too often for presents. Can your DH intervene? They're putting your DS on the road to bratdom.

Fajitas Wed 07-Oct-09 11:42:57

I completely understand your position.

Whilst the instance you give is, of itself, not enough to explain your mindset (although the "road to bratdom" point is a good one), it's the cumulative effect of years and years of them that informs your state of mind.

To the outside world, my PILs behave impeccably. But an incident which took place a matter of days before my wedding, the best part of 2 years ago, has effectively poisoned my mind set. (My MIL told me that there was a side of her that I didn't want to see, that she was a tigress, that my then husband to be would always be her baby boy ... It lasted for about an hour, and it was awful). In consequence, I find it extremely hard to judge them on how they are now, as opposed to how I perceive them (and specifically my MIL) to be in the light of that exchange.

edam Wed 07-Oct-09 11:50:15

buying presents isn't that bad - might irritate you but all that ds will learn is that granny and grandad are a present factory - he'll still that presents are occasional treats from you.

diddl Wed 07-Oct-09 11:55:58

My goodness, Fajitas, so she effectively threatened you?

My (not quite at the time) MIL, phoned my Mum to say she was concerned that I would end up hurting her son!!shock

I wonder what she thought my mum would say-oh yes, my daughter´s an absolute b!tch, I´d tell your son to run!!??

My husband was angry and blush.

MIL ruined it-with me & her son, before we were married.

WinkyWinkola Wed 07-Oct-09 12:10:06

Fajitas, I know exactly what you mean about the bigger picture informing our reactions to other people.

I was heavily pg with my DS when I happened to be on my own with MIL who was weeping because her own daughter and gcs weren't available to see her on the day MIL got back from visiting us.

I asked if there had been an existing arrangement. MIL turned to me with a fierce look, tears magically dried up and said in a steely voice, "No but you don't know me very well yet and believe me, I always get what I want,"

And lo, when my baby arrived, she started behaving as if she and her preferences should take preference over everyone elses.

It's fine now mainly because I wouldn't let her bully us but if somebody complains about someone else, I now realise there's usually an awful lot that's gone on beforehand.

crazylizzy Wed 07-Oct-09 12:21:55

YABNU, I totally sympathies, my MIL is just the same, and despite years and years of trying to like her, I just can't, and like you WinkyWinkola, I just don't "get" her at all.

We have the same problem with the present-giving too. To me though, the problem is where I've told her several times (very nicely and politely) not to buy presents, yet she still does hmm We have no space in our tiny house and her constant and compulsory buying was becoming a real problem. Still is!

She has no morals what so ever, which I just can not accept in people. Another example of her typical behavior is DH had to plead with her to come to our wedding years ago, to which in the end she did in the end, but left after the service because she said she was bored hmm DH was devastated sad

This list goes on....buy YABNU, you've tried for 11 years to be fair!

NanaNina Wed 07-Oct-09 12:29:41

I am a bit reluctant (to say the least) to post on here as a MIL because I have been accused of all manner of things on another thread because I was trying to give my view from the side of a MIL. before I say more can I say that I have 3 sons and 2 wonderful dils (the daughters I never had) and 1 dil who is very nice but I have to tread a little carefuly with her as she can be prickly.

I was of course a dil myself once and my MIL became very instrusive and bossy when my children were babies and was always telling me what I should and shouldn't be doing. I was quite young when my first son was born but I had a lovely mom and 3 older sisters who all had children so I had loads of help and advice and looking back I wonder if my MIL felt a bit left out and that was why she was so intrusive. Never thought of that at the time. However I never fell out with her and just took no notice and we remained in good terms till her death a year ago. She was not really "my kind of person" but she meant well and was never unkind.

Now from the position of a MIL myself and a grandmother, some of the MILs on here sound horrendous and I would never ever speak to my dils in the way some of you describe. However there is one thing I would like to get across which I honestly believe is at the root of a lot of dils and mils problems. The thing is that the love and need to protect your baby never ever goes away even when they are grown men and husbands/partners/parents themselves. The worries change of course over time but the intensity of the feeling doesn't change and there is no way you can know this while your children are still young. I am thinking of the MIL who said she was a tigress etc etc. I think she expressed it very badly and should not have said it in any event but I think I understand her feelings.

No matter how much we want our grown sons and daughters to form relationships and have their own kids, we still want to protect them and as far as sons are concerned there is often a feeling that we are "losing" them to another women. Please please don't take me too literally as others have done, it's only a fleeting feeling and comes and goes and doesn't necessarily affect our r/ship with our dils. I have friends who like me are MILs and grandmothers and believe me I could tell you stories of very difficult dils and one of my friends is quite afriad of hers and trys hard not to displease her but is actually fighting a losing battle in my view, SO it is a 2 way street you know.

When grandchildren come along, it is hugely exciting and it brings back all the feelings you had when your own children were babies and I think there is a tendency for MILs to rush in and be intrusive sometimes because of this feeling. The thing is you have to understand that thisis NOT your baby and you have to stand back and work out how you will fit in with the young family. I am lucky as my dils are very generoous about gchnd and I am able to see them lots. We also love out grandchildren soooooooo much and sometimes yes we spoil them a bit but I would never go against the wishes of the parents.

Just a view from the other side...........have yet to see MILs posting on here.

ErnestTheBavarian Wed 07-Oct-09 13:16:18

My mil was very generous with my dc. I would ask her to limit the number of presents, as I didn't want them to be spoilt, and also, practically, we flew to visit, so only had a limited amount of space in our case and on the plane. Nevertheless, Chrismas morning we would be greeted with literally sack fuls of stuff. She just could not help herself. I found it annoying at first, but at the same time I learnt to take a step back and see it from her pov. She really loved the kids so much she'd be out and just see bits and think of them and couldn't help herself. I learnt to accept it, at the same time, sometimes politely suggesting we put something aside for birthday, or took it back.

You have to accept your mil has her own unique relationship with your dc and always will. YOu cannot, and should not be able to control every aspect of his life.

TBH when you say things like 'they just don't listen' it sounds like a power battle bwt the 2 of you, rather than a problem with presents.

DO the things stay at their house or come back to yours or a mixture?

Instead of building up a huge resentment, have you tried looking to find a mutually acceptable solution. Just saying don't buy him stuff won't work. You need to work out a compromise rather than just trying to impose your will over theirs.

Your final sentence "But they just seem to 'rubbish' my parenting and do it their way IYSWIM." is also interesting. How do they try to rubbish your parenting? DO they openly critisise you, or is it just that they have a different style and different way of looking at things/doing things?

tobytortoise Wed 07-Oct-09 13:36:19

I get a bit tired of hearing that all MILs love their grown-up sons soooooooooo much. My DH's relationship with his parents has been monosyllabic since teenage years. His childhood was far from rosy. They never ask him how he is or show the slightest glimmer of affection or love towards him. They are always telling 'amusing' anecdotes of things that happened to him (accidental injuries, some quite serious, due to their negligence) without a flicker of remorse. No-one else finds it funny, least of all DH! I have never heard either of them say anything positive about him in 8 years. And yet they are oh-so-keen to be doting GPs once a month, although this is 95% gift-giving and 5% taking an actual interest in the children. I can't stand them, and this is (mostly) because they don't seem to love my DH at all.

diddl Wed 07-Oct-09 13:44:28

That´s an interesting post, NanaNina.

But when mothers lose their sons to another woman,what many seem to forget is that they had lost them years ago in terms of them already having left home and being independent.

I think for some, it really is jealousy, that they really cannot bear that their son actually loves another woman.

Not only that, prefers to spend his time with her rather than his mother.

Afterall, he has actually chosen to live with this woman.

ErnestTheBavarian Wed 07-Oct-09 13:55:37

diddl, I found that post really rude and abrasive. It is normal and natural for a man to leave the family home, become independant and eventually marry and have his own family. Of course, but I think mthers/ men here can't win.

If the man remains close to his mother, his a mummy's boy who needs to cut the apron strings, and she's an interfering mil who needs to accept he ds loves another woman more so there.

Yet when a girl grows up, becomes a woman, marries, she's allowed to stay close to her mother. No one says her mum has to butt out, and that she loves another man more! It's an eternal mil/dil battle that seems like loads of people here subscribe to Jeez, how many women here have sons? I am dreading mine growing up, knowing that I'll be villified for wanting to have anything to do with my own kids, and God forbid, taking an interest (but not too much, cos that's interfering, but at the same time, it's not enough and I'm not helping out enough) sigh. I'm sure there are some eveil mil out there, but really, it feels like the mil cannot win.

When I was growing up, there were loads of jokes slagging off the 'mil' (from men.) Now as an adult, I just seem to here women bitching, really bitching about mil, dh mum. Hate it.

MorrisZapp Wed 07-Oct-09 14:00:22

Really great post NanaNina. I think you make good points.

Most of the people here complaining about their MILs are nowhere near the stage of watching their own kids have relationships and start to put somebody else first.

If we could all fast forward in a time machine I think things might be very different and many posters would maybe start to have a bit of sympathy for the MIL they slagged off.

The fact is, ILs are basically random people who happen to be the parents of your partner. It's not a surprise if you don't have anything in common, or have to make an effort with conversation every time you see them.

I don't know why it worries and upsets people so much that they don't like their ILs (within reason of course, I'm not talking about nasty or abusive ILs). You just put up with them don't you, then go back to your own lovely life and get on with things. You don't have to spend much time with them if you don't want to.

diddl Wed 07-Oct-09 14:24:49

Well, Ernest,

My post wasn´t intended to be rude/abrasive.

Generalising here, but perhaps often mothersand daughters are closer than mothers and sons?

As for daughters being allowed to stay close to their mothers, I think you´ll find that in a lot of cases sons are allowed to stay close to their mothers also.

But a sons idea of closeness might not be the same.

For example, I have never stopped my husband phoning/visiting as often as he wants.

He just doesn´t want to do it very often!

buttercreamfrosting Wed 07-Oct-09 14:26:09

That's a lovely post NanaNina.

I'm in the minority amongst my friends/family in that I have a really good relationship with my MIL. She doesn't have great relationship with her other DIL and I know it's a great source of sadness to her. I don't why we get on - we're very different, she is closer to my DH than to her other son and hasn't ever seemed upset that I am 'stealing' him.

I am going to take comfort in my relationship with her and remember your post - I also have 3 boys shockgrin

mumofsatan Wed 07-Oct-09 14:53:00

NanaNina, wish you were my MIL sad

Fajitas Wed 07-Oct-09 15:00:26

Yes - it certainly felt like a threat. She told me that if she didn't want the wedding to go ahead, she simply wouldn't turn up, in which event there was no way her son would proceed in her absence. Reading Nananina's inciteful post, I would infer that she really did feel threatened that her baby boy was aligning himself with someone other than her, and wasn't coping with the prospect too well.

As you can imagine, the run up to the wedding was enormously stressful. Our wedding was at a hotel, and when we all met up the day before the wedding, there was palpable tension in the air. And when DH was 15 minutes late for the rehearsal the day before, I genuinely believed he'd legged it. Having said all of that, on the day she behaved completely differently. She cried and (whatever conclusions I might have jumped to about the real reason for those tears) told everyone it was because she was so happy to welcome me to her family.

All very confusing, and no mistake.

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