Help me with my daughter in law....

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Help me with my daughter in law....
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 11:55pm
I hope that someone can help me!

My son and DIL have been married for 2 1/2 years. Shortly after they married, I had a horse back riding accident that left me unable to care for myself, so they moved in with us to help me.

After I was able to care for myself, they continued to live with us. (We didn't mind, my husband and son are very close)

My DIL had a abusive childhood and was out on her own since the age of 14, going from house to house. We are a normal upper-middle class family and welcomed her into to our family because our son loved her.

For some reason, a few days ago, she packed her things and left saying, she was sick of being "married" to three people and couldn't live with us any more.

Why do some people have to create or "make a scene" instead of talking and saying that it is time to be out on our own.

My son is now torn between us because she won't come back, but they don't have a place to live together yet.

She is sleeping on a friends couch and he goes to see her after work and then comes home to sleep.

She has brought alot of stress to aree lives, and for no reason.

How do you talk to someone who never listens, can't admitt when they are wrong?

Please give me any advise you might have.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 9:15am
My advice would be to stay out of it. This is your son's wife and your son's marriage and it's it up to them to work it out between themselves.

There is no reason for her to admit anything wrong to you. She feels what she feels and there is nothing you can do about. If you are there telling her or your son that she is wrong, you expect an apology or you are expressing your distaste for here "making a scene," I can certainly understand her point of view.

Everyone deserves privacy within their own marriage. Apparently, she does not feel she has that and she got fed up and left. As much as I am sure you want to give helpful advice, the best thing you can do for your son and your DIL is to not comment on the situation other than to say I really hope you two work this out and let it go. And if your son presses you for comments, I would tell him this is between you and your wife.

I cannot think of a single wife who would be happy to know their in-laws know everything that goes on between them and their spouse.

Avatar for jennyfromdablock
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 10:16am
I completely and totally agree with rahammy. She put it perfectly.

Most of us on this board have problems with our MIL's being too involved in our marriages. Some of them mean well and some are just in a class of their own but take it from me the last thing a wife wants is her in-laws involved in her marriage and knowing everything about her marriage. I understand her need to be away and feeling like she is married to 3 people even if you do mean well and from the sounds of it you do want to fix these problems. I hope all works out but please take a step back and let your son deal with it. he took the vows for better or worse. Now he has to follow those vows!



Avatar for nmitford
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 11:15am
I agree that your son and DIL need to work this out on their own. If your son, however, is like my DH, he might have needed something as dramatic as her walking out for him to recognize how deeply she feels about it. My DH would not do anything about the problems we were having until I told him that he could join me in marriage counseling or he could leave the house. Otherwise, he would have let things just continue to drift along they were without taking positive steps to change them.

We like your friends and we LOVE your mom -- Terri Clark "Girls Lie Too"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 11:21am
I agree with the others! I currently live with my so and his sister in "her" house, and she constantly makes it known that this is "her" house. We moved in there to help her since she had just bought this new home and had more finances that she realized and now we cant seem to cut her loose. Every time we mention moving out, she says she cant afford this on her own but the next day she is telling me to leave. I dont know how much more I can take.

Im sure your intensions are only good but they do need their own space.

Avatar for acosawa
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 8:20am
darma, you didn't ask for advice but since you mentioned you and your dh aren't obliged to live with your sil if she is steadily pulling rank. i mean does she really appreciate your financial help? are you helping HER at the expense of your own peace of mind and self esteem? she could always solicit for a true roommate to help out but another question is "will she ever be able to afford the house on her own? if not, she should deal with reality. she either has to have someone in "her house" or she has to down grade..but she should not belittle others who are contributing to HER dream. i truly don't know where you and your DH are on this emotionally, financially, psychologically..
Avatar for acosawa
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 8:45am
you stated "shortly after they were married". that sounds as though they nver had the typical "first" apartment for too long. she may have initally agreed to help you out..but thought after you were well enough the two of them would return to a "just us" exsistence. most american wives do dream of nestling in with their husbands after marrying. i mean there is shopping for furniture, having friends over on the weekend, playing little games, establishing routines, baksing in wach other's glow..because "WE'RE MARRIED, I found my true love".

she however, for the bulk of her marriage has had to consider YOUR needs in her daily plans. certainly it wasn't deliberate for you to need them to be so much a part of your life but now?? perhaps she has asked your son to move out and he has resisited? perhaps she just thought their stay would be have been shorter in duration.

i agree with not give your son advice, instead encourage him to ,"work it out honey". do not make him/her obliged to stay any longer. you say that you are upper middle class..then that connotes the monetary means to hire a part time companion/nurse to take care of any intermediate assistance you may need. put yourself in HER place wouldn't YOU want to be alone with your DH?

lastly, she most likely has scars/wounds from her childhood. she has to learn how to overcome/ let go and deal with them. she at first has to acknowledge them. your son obviously found her attractive he too has to help her learn that they both bring their childhoods (scars?)into the relaionship. so she had chosen to declare independence in the only way she has found effecitve by throwing a tanturm,declaring independence. it's not the best way but, she's had to take care of her self.hopefully in time and perhaps therapy she will learn to listen and realize others opinions. but as your son has chosen her...let him handle it. you should continue to thank them for their care and encourage them to make their marriage a success.

now, allow your son and she to take care of each other.

Avatar for sheri_bheri
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 12:25pm
Sandie, I didn't read all the messages but here's my take. I agree that this is between your son and DIL and you should probably stay out of it, unless you're going to encourage him to find a place for the 2 of them.

I know it's hard, but try to think like someone who's been abused. When has 'talking about it' ever helped her? She took as much as she could and she left. I don't think you should take it personally. A young couple should be on their own. They need to make mistakes, it will bring them closer together. I LOVE my parents dearly, but I could NEVER live with them again - I value my relationship with them too much to ruin it that way. Because our relationship would SURELY suffer.

Can you afford to give them first and last months rent for an apartment? The absolute sweetest thing you could do would be to hold a "family meeting". Sit them down and tell them how GRATEFUL you are that they helped you when you needed it, and that you're SO SORRY that their relationship has suffered because of living with you, that you're NOT taking it personally, and that you think a young couple SHOULD have their own space. That being said you'd like to give them this cheque (in an envelope - no need to discuss amount) towards "first and last" for an apartment as a THANK YOU for their help. That you're glad to reciprocate and help them during this tough time. Big hugs all around.

Other than that, they're going to have to work it out themselves.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 1:49pm
Wow, you are so right! Perfect way to make lemonade out of lemons. She winds up being a huge hero instead of "the MIL".
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 3:28pm
Hi Sandiegosun, welcome!!!

I agree with the others in that it is hard to have others live with you as a newlywed. They are trying to get to know each other and there is a third party in their house.

I realize that you have needs, but so does she. I am not saying that you have intentionally interfered with her needs, but maybe she feels like she has no privacy.

You may be a great MIL, but the fact that you are there with them, I'm sure doesn't sit well with her.

I can see both your points. Maybe you can move somewhere close by and have someone come in and help take care of you? It also sounds like you are looking for them to take care of you. While that is not a bad thing, but I think that is a lot on newlyweds.

I think that they need to sort it out between the two of them. Obviously, she has issues with him and they need to sort it out together.

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 4:17pm
That's a GREAT idea - you're so smart!