Why is my daughter in law acting so weird?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2011
Why is my daughter in law acting so weird?
Sat, 11-23-2013 - 8:42pm

My son and I used to be very close until recently. He moved to Europe with his wife soon after they got married 15 years ago. Since then I've always visited them twice a year for 10 days each time and I call my son on the phone every Sunday morning. I've never liked my daughter in law but I have always insisted that the whole family is together at all times when I'm there because I only see them twice a year so I want all of us to spend as much time together as possible. My son used to support me in this and whenever his wife tried to go places by herself, he would make her stay with me and she acted friendly to me even though I could sense it was all fake. All of this has changed and now I hardly see her and the children when I visit because the whole time I'm there she is gone. She makes herself very busy and my grandchildren spend a lot of time in their rooms when I'm visiting. My son seems annoyed with my visits and calls and I'm devastated. Since he moved away he only calls me on my birthday and mother's day, the rest of the time it has always been me calling but now it seems like he can't wait to get off the phone when I call on Sundays. Is his wife putting him against me? Thank you for any advice.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sun, 11-24-2013 - 12:09am

 Could be they are trying to give you a hint.  Calling them every Sunday over at least 15 years is confining.  Think of it this way: they have little freedom.  To you it is "keeping in touch" to them it may have out lived it's time.  Give them a break and see what happens.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 11-24-2013 - 12:38am

I agree with Xxxs!  I don't understand parents that must talk to their grown children constantly.  They're adults, and they live their life as they wish......and you don't have the right to go there and demand their attention or attendance.  Even visiting twice a year for 10 days is a bit much.  Once a year for a week would be more than sufficient.  I have a son in his 50's and I wouldn't presume to tell him I'm coming, and you two had better be there......and he lives 1/2 hour away.  I don't bother them on week-ends.....they both work and they have a home to take care of, and deserve a social life, too.  My feeling is that parents are supposed to raise their children and then send them on their way......I have a life of my own, and so do they.  We communicate when there's something of importance to discuss....and we celebrate a couple of holidays a year together.  It might be your son who's told the wife and children that they don't have to kow-tow to you.....bottom line, you need to cut back on your visits and your phone calls.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008
Mon, 11-25-2013 - 1:28pm

I don't really know what it is you expect?  You say you don't like your dil.  I think that is fair - but she may also feel that you don't like her and that is why she distances herself.  You think it is that easy to be around someone and not show how you really feel?   Well, most of us, including you I"m sure, can sense this and then it makes us feel uncomfortable.  Would you want to be around someone that you knew didn't like you?  I also agree that a 10 day visit twice a year is way too long.  Most people don't do well when an outsider comes to visit for that long.  I couldn't spend half that time in a house with my  best friend.  Sorry - it is just how people are and to expect them to feel differently really isn't fair.

I really agree with the others "you insisted that they spend time with you"  Wow - that just comes across as being very controlling. Could you imagine anyone insisting that you did something?  Let's say your DIL insists that when she comes to visit that you do this, that and the other - would that put you off?  Make you mad?

By the way, you also sound like you are living in a generation from the past "my son supported me in this by making his wife stay - or at least in the beginning" - really?   You think that this is the way a good marriage works - expecting that your son would make his wife do what it was that you insisted that they do?  

Dear Lord, I could go on for days on your post.  She makes herself very busy.  Did you ever think that a person with what appears to be teenage kids or younger would be very busy?  And kids staying in their room - some conspiracy really?  You clearly are not in touch with what is true reality with regards to raising a family and how that family progresses and how women should be treated in the real world.  

It's time to face the reality of what really is happening.  You come across as controlling - you clearly do not like your dil and that is not a surprise to anyone - especially  not your son.  He's upset and less willing to talk to you because this is his family.  It hurts him very, very much when his own mother says or makes it known that she really doesn't like or care for his spouse.  That she blames everything possible on her.  

Sorry to sound so harsh, but honestly, it makes me so mad when a mom doesn't even stop to think what her comments and actions do to her son.  This isn't about what you want and how you feel - this is about how your son feels.  This is his wife, who clearly is still trying to accomodate you.  It doesn't sound like they've stopped your twenty days of visits a year or your Sunday phone calls.  And they still try to stay in touch.  

There is someone up to this change in yoru son - someone who is creating it and I promise you it is not his wife / your dil.  It is you.  You need to realize that your attitude, everything is all leading to this.  If one day you get the call that says, this trip is off and then all of a sudden those phones stop being answered on Sunday afternoon, there is only one person to blame. 

Sorry - but 15 years of your expectations and dictating to me about what I should and should  not be doing when you come to town is about 14 years too many.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008
Mon, 11-25-2013 - 1:30pm

Oops - posted  twice

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003
Tue, 11-26-2013 - 4:04pm

You have some really good advice above here and I hope that you listen to it.

10 days at at time twice a year? Calls EVERY Sunday? If you were my mother, I'd move and change my number.

Notice the title of your post "Why is my DIL acting so weird". You blame her for this "weird" behavior. Most likely they have had enough of you and her husband is standing by her side.

Demanding everyone's attention. Controlling the situation. Forcing yourself upon them. Can't you see that all of these are going to make them go in the other direction?

Please give these people some space. Your relationship will improve with them over time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2013
Sat, 11-30-2013 - 8:05pm
No his wife is not putting him against you. You are doing it to yourself. You son owes you nothing. Your daughter-in-law is aware that you don't like her so why should she not go shopping and see pleasantness all around. I agree with every one else. Print these words in large type and read them several times. Wait a hour and repeat.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2013
Sat, 11-30-2013 - 8:06pm
P.S. Stop ringing on their phone all them time. It's bothersome.
Avatar for chimichanga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2000
Sun, 12-01-2013 - 9:22am

Opensoul, I also agree with the others that you are asking too much of your son and DIL. My inlaws live with me for 6 months at a time and my mom has the same expectations of my brother as you have your son and I know my SIL does not like this. What if they want to go on vacation/do other things around the time you visit them but have to cancel because of your compulsory visit? I think as long as your son cares for you when you really need his help, that should be enough. Please understand their needs for privacy and their own personal space.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Tue, 12-24-2013 - 1:25pm

Opensoul, you wrote "I've never liked my daughter in law but I have always insisted that the whole family is together at all times when I'm there because I only see them twice a year so I want all of us to spend as much time together as possible.".

I don't know if you realize how impossible that is for someone to deal with and how controlling it is for you to insist on anything as a guest of your son and daughter-in-law's house.   It is incredibly, and I do mean incredibly, imposing of you.  Furthermore, it is highly disrespectful of you to refer to your DIL like that and then insist that she deal with your undoubtedly subtle but present dislike of her.  You expect your son and his family to put their entire lives on hold for a total of near a month each year because you visit?  To add, you also call every Sunday.  Honestly, while I believe that your intentions are good, it would annoy me to no end and your DIL sounds like a saint to not have said anything in these past 15 years and find that her not being around is her way of taking the high road.  Stop being so controlling and demanding of your son and his family's time and "live like a local" when you go there.  Reduce your calls to once per month.  Let go of the reigns and let the family enjoy your stay instead of dreading it.  I find your efforts to keep in touch with your son and grandkids to be admirable but you are being incredilbly overbearing about it.