Adult son and daughter in law(30 Posts)
Hi I really hope someone can help me see clearly through this one ... I feel my adult son is being controlled by his new wife, I feel he’s not allowed to be himself and has to do as he’s told! Consequently I’m treading on egg shells as to not upset anyone but finding it hard to see him in this controlling relationship. He’s not strong enough to stand up to her and sadly it’s all about her and her family. I keep telling myself to stop worrying about it but I’m having sleepless nights. I would never speak out of turn to either of them but it’s breaking my heart.
Thank you for any guidance I receive.
You clearly aren’t happy, but is he happy?
You say he’s doing what he’s told, does that mean that he’s no longer doing what you tell him?
He’s an adult, if he’s newly married he needs to work out how to manage his own marriage. Interference from you isn’t going to help him or his marriage. He needs to do this himself.
Be very careful you don’t damage your relationship with your DIL, if they have D.C. she will be your gateway to them.
Be kind, be cheerful, be a good guest, be prepared to make compromises.
Your relationship with him is your business. His relationship with his partner really isn’t.
You can wring your hands all you want, and call it caring. Truth is, you never know the dynamic in any marriage, even if you birthed one of them. You certainly won’t know enough to judge.
If you are having trouble with ‘them’ then own it, and get therapy. For all you know, your worries stem from a ‘you’ thing. Projecting what you wished for your own relationships on him? Guilt about something in his upbringing? Lack of boundaries or jealousy on your part? Who knows.
For the rest, you just stick with the Prime Directive from every parenting guidebook, don’t you? Be there for him, should he need an ear or ask for advice. Fill your own life, over which you have full agency, with the behaviour you’d like to model. Your power and influence lies there.
And as a PP said, be quite careful what disapproval you show on the outside. However justified you feel, whatever evidence you think you have. Your DIL will hold a lot of the cards if/when kids come.
He chose her, you’re stuck with it unless he decides he made a mistake. You can’t choose your relatives, hey?
Thanks for your replies. I would never let onto either of them how I feel. I have a great relationship with DIL. It's just something I need to chew the fat on. When ever I try to have a family get together for a birthday or special occasion he sounds keen when I speak to him then all of a sudden he can't come. I appreciate they lead busy lifestyle's.... Christmas is the worse time for me. We spend it on our own as each year they go to her side of the family. It would be nice if they can take it in turns or perhaps I'm expecting too much. I have a loving relationship with both of them and would never let on how I feel. I always fit in with their plans and am cheerful and happy when around them if a little soft. My life is busy I have my own business, friends and interests. Perhaps I just need to man up
Have you met her parents? I'm wondering if her family aren't as laid back and nice about everything and therefore it's easier to go along with what they want?
I would also speak to DIL rather than son when you're doing the inviting as well, see if it makes a difference. It's not always as easy to say no to someone directly as it via someone else.
Her parents have separated. The dad lives abroad. Mum seems to have barriers up and seems quite hard if that makes sense, so I guess it's easier to keep her happy?
Yes I'll consider speaking to DIL about arrangements but don't want my son to feel totally out of control. I know he's a bit of a soft touch like me and I would like to keep a little bit of a relationship with him.
You sound lovely - I have experience of this. It is a massive adjustment for everyone after adult children get married, some families are more demanding than others, whereas some people are reasonable and sensitive and therefore feel that they are at the back of the queue when it comes to time spent together. It does get easier, I always try to see it from their point of view that they have busy lives and they also need time to themselves. Having said that, I had a massive bout of depression last year from this very issue - but like you, I realise I have a very full life with a lovely husband and great friends. The fact that you have a good relationship with your daughter in law is a great positive, things will resolve themselves, I'm sure. Just make sure you bite your lip and don't give any indication of upset. I feel for you very much.
Could it just be that he is a bit rubbish at making plans? My in laws have to be very proactive with DH, I never try to stop him seeing them but at the same time I won't make arrangements for him.
Could his wife's family be the sort who make plans way in advance so he gets "booked up"?
It could be that your DIL doesn’t know how important Christmas and other events are to you because your son isn’t telling her.
You need to have an honest conversation with him and really stop blaming his wife until you have that chat. He may just not have spoke up because he wants an easy life, which in turn means he is hurting you.
Do they have children? If they dont' you might find they visit more where the DCs are most welcome. Or where they are allowed to leave DCs so they can go out.
There's is only one Xmas each year. Perhaps aim to have a visit at a different time.
We don't do Christmas at PILs because they have form for 'kicking off' and causing a scene. We go for MIL's birthday instead, which is soon after. Perhaps you could invite DIL at that time of year and have a 'second Christmas?'. It might be less pressure than Christmas itself.
We used to have wonderful Christmases when he was younger so he knows how much we enjoy that time of year. We have talked about it and I've asked if they can take it in turns but sadly to no avail. He's not allowed to make his own plans he did mention to me once that she was like a school teacher I didn't believe him but I'm beginning too. Put everything aside we have a great relationship I've had to really work hard at it tho as I know how easily the tables can turn.
They are expecting a baby in January. They have just found out about the pregnancy. I'm very happy about the news.
Can you agree to seeing them Christmas Eve or New Year's Day as a compromise?
Hi son, which dates are you free for a visit? Give him choices and see what happens
He's not allowed to make his own plans he did mention to me once that she was like a school teacher I didn't believe him but I'm beginning too
Oh dear, and he is a big wooss who is scared to speak up - and this is the son you brought up to be like this.
Sad but he is partially to blame in this.
Approach them both together about Christmas. Nice and early to give them time to discuss.
You could invite her Mum to join the celebration at yours if she’d otherwise be alone.
It’s really hard to balance everyone at Christmas. It may be her Mum isn’t as reasonable as you.
What if you suggested a meet up and asked him what date worked? Would she refuse to let him even if it was a date that was free?
Are you alone on Christmas if they don't come to you?
If dil mother is on her own then no doubt she feels obliged to be there for her possibly? You may seem very independent in comparison.
Have you considered befriending her mother? That is what I would do. Invite all of them to your house for Christmas
Thank you everyone for your kind words and advice. I have a few ideas that I'll put into action and keep my fingers crossed. Im non confrontational and don't want to create a situation so I'll just go with the flo as my very lovely mum used to say.
Thanks again all
My DH is like this with his mum. He always says yes to plans and sometimes changes his mind but it is nothing to do with me; he doesn’t like socialising much. As it’s his family, I let him decide if he wants us to go or not. We rarely go out with my family, if ever, so there’s no competition there.
I’m sure his mum blames me though. We got married with just two witnesses last year, she was one of them. She blamed me for keeping it a secret and not having any guests when it was actually mostly my DH’s decision.
People change all the time, even your adult children. They may not be the same person they were when they last lived with you.
Do you have a partner? Because if so, it would certainly seem unfair to leave DIL's mother actually on her own at Christmas, when you have a partner?
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