issues with DIL

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
issues with DIL
Thu, 12-06-2012 - 11:06am


I tried to get on the board with the 50ish and beyond moms, but I could not start a conversation over there, my computer kept saying "page not found."  So, anyway, I'm here now, and hoping for a listening ear.

A little history.  My oldest son got married in August.  They are expecting a baby in March.  Yes, do the math, she was pregnant when they got married.  It isn't a problem for us, but it has caused a great deal of stress for them.  You see DIL is a very emotional, high strung person anyway, and had to be taken off of her antidepressant when she became pregnant.  She is on something else now that is safer for the baby, but apparently it isn't completely doing the job.  She is always worrying about everything, and I know some of this is normal when you're pregnant with the hormones and everything, but she's going overboard with this.  They live in an older home (which many newly married couples do, because they're not loaded)  and there are issues.  They had bats but my husband has helped my son eradicate this.  The other things she's worrying about are just over the top.  She thinks if she runs the stove and the dryer at the same time that the house is going to burn down.  (There were issues with the electrical that have been fixed)  My son put in a fence for his dogs and the gas company discovered there was a gas line UNDERNEATH their detached garage, when he had the lines located.   Well, the gas co. diddled around and by the time they got it scheduled to put the line in the ground was froze.  It's been like this for 30 years and she's freaking out because she thinks the garage is going to blow up.  UGHHH!  She's also inventing other things that will never happen and to make it worse her mother puts ideas into her head.  The other day they were driving and she was yelling at my son saying he doesn't care about the baby because he won't fix X, Y, and Z.  How can she say that to him?!  I don't care what her issues are, he doesn't deserve this!   I told my son she seriously needs to get some counseling and I wish we could talk to her mom and dad because they are not helping the situation.  You see, we own the home, and so they won't do anything when it comes to any repairs or anything because they think it is our responsibility.  We bought this house for them and they pay us rent.  My son lost his last job and had to put his last house on "short sale" so doesn't have good credit at the moment.  Can't they see what we're doing for them?  Why can't they help a little here?  At least they could try to reassure their daughter instead of putting ideas in her head and complaining!   Guess what?  My son isn't rich!!  If they wanted her to marry a millionaire then they shouldn't have let her marry him!!!   And good luck with that!  No one else will put up with her!   I am just very upset with how she's treating my son.  I am wondering if they should have even gotten married, we knew something like this was going to happen!  

So, I am getting my Christmas cards ready to mail, which of course, have pictures from the wedding on them.  I am very thankful for this baby, but DIL is making it not such a joyful experience with all the crap she's pulling.  I'm giving her a shower and I can't even get a list of names and addresses from her.  The shower is about six weeks away, but I feel the invites should be sent about a month before. 

Anyhow, I feel a little bit better that I have vented to you here.  I have no one to talk to about this because it isn't anyone's business and because it is embarassing.  I have a best friend that I would talk to about things like this, but I'm even embarassed to talk to her.  DIL has a good heart and she loves kids so she'll be a good mom, but she has to deal with her issues.  None of this is good for the baby or their relationship. 

Thank you for reading, sorry it got so long!  

Avatar for cowboys_grl
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2010
Thu, 12-06-2012 - 3:08pm

Sorry you are going thru this.  Honestly, I know she is being tough & unreasonable & I know it's tough to see your son go thru this.  But, just try to let a little go....she is pregnant & her hormones are going crazy, so she will be unreasonable about 'anything' that she chooses to focus on, whether it be your house you are helping them out with or a tiny apartment (if they lived there).....the best thing to do , is not take it personally.  Also, if she's on different meds to accomodate, being pg., then there's 'another' thing she is going thru.  And she may just continue to be unreasonable for a good year, after the baby is born, because her hormones will still be screwy.

The only reason, I know this, is I have been pg. 3 times in the last year, but, unfortunately, I lost all 3 of my angels......but, man, while I was pg, I went from angry to sad in 2 seconds flat!  Try to focus on you are having a grandchild and that your son, loves her and he is going to be a father....the rest will smooth out in time.  And her 'issues' really aren't about the house, her issues are she can't control her emotions.  Congrats & good luck.

Kiki (hit my magic age of 45 and no longer TTC),but mom to a beautiful teen DD & 2 angels in heaven & married to my best friend

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 8:12am

I'm so sorry about your lost babies, that must be very difficult.  We are very thankful for this baby and that the pregnancy itself is going well.  I know she's emotional and that she'll probably complain about just whatever, but, she had many of these issues before she became pregnant, before she had to go off of her medication.  If this only all started when she became pregnant and that it was totally out of character for her, then I would understand.  But she's been complaining since the get go.  They had pre-marital counseling because we felt they had so many issues to work out.  (My son was on our insurance and we picked up the bills for this because we felt it was that important.)  We thought they were doing better until she got pregnant.  Anyhow, this is where we're at now, so yes she needs to control her emotions so I hope she does go get some counseling.  All her worrying is not good for the baby. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 3:35pm

Hi, sorry of what you´re going through. As a MIL with a difficult DIL, this is what I have learned.

You need to detach about this a LOT. If your son is ok, with the way she treats him, let it go. Close your eyes, ears and heart, and say to yourself, "If he is ok with it, I´m ok with it".

If your DIL, is not ok with the house, probably you can suggest both of them (in a nice way), to go and find a small new apartment. Probably that will them know  and most of all your DIL, you are not going to listen to an endles list of complains for the rest of your life.

I think it was not a good idea to rent them your house, but that has been done and, that`s it. But you can probably suggest them that you can rent that house (to someone else), and you´ll give them the rent. Because being a MIL, and also a land lady to a relative who is a complainer, IMPO, it is too much. 

Probably she is not happy with the house, probably she is extremly emotional because of the pregnancy or, probably she expected more.(who  knows?)  But don´t let that be your isssue, because they are not.

About the baby shower, I think it is nice from you to do it. I would invite my friends and relatives and ask her for the list, just a number of times it is ok for you.( Probably 3?)  If she doesn´t give the list, you make the baby shower with the people you know will gladlly attend. If she complains, you can recall her about asking for the list several times and...well, you do what you can.

IMPO, I wouldn´t talk with your DIL parents, if you do that, you´re digging yourself more into problems. 

If it hard for you to relate with her, the way she is now. Take some space.

About her issues. You have to get in mind she is not your daughter, and one can suggest things, but ultimately, people do what they  want and live the way they think it is the best. (eventhough you know, and see things are going the wrong way).

Let her and your son make, and face the consequences of their own mistakes. It is not your job, to rescue and fix their lives.

Probably this is going to be a big challenge for you. Try to get clear in mind what is really your issue, and what is not.

Detach, detach. Let go and, let God!   Good luck for you!

I know it is very hard! But I´m sure you will strive, and succeed.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 8:37pm


Well, my son is not O.K. with how she is treating him, that is why he tells me about it. The reason why we bought the house is so they'd have a place to live. In the town where they live, there was nothing for them to rent that wasn't outrageously expensive, that would allow pets. Even if they found an apartment that would allow two dogs and two cats (doubtful) they wouldn't have any room for the dogs. My son is completely fine with the house it is just DIL that has the issues. I will not be talking to her about her issues, he has to deal with her. I can only wish her parents would support them instead of complaining. Nothing is ever good enough for them or their daughter. I came her really just to vent because I was ready to explode! I talked to my son today and things are better, for now. What really got to me was that she accused him of not caring about the baby. I told him today that she can whine and complain about anything else, but if she says something cruel like that again he has to let her know (AGAIN!) that that is completely not O.K. I agree that I shouldn't have to keep requesting a guest list from her. My husband said I should just skip the shower if she doesn't get me a list soon. I wanted to do it, but it would if she's going to be so difficult I don't know if it's worth it.

Thanks for your response, it helps to talk about this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Sun, 12-09-2012 - 4:59am

Hi, again.

Well, I thought you listened her not talking nice to your son in your previous post. But if he told you, I might sound harsh but that´s the woman he has chosen to marry. I preceived in your OP, that you might have a lot of trouble with this DIL. And I would also suggest you (if that is ok with you)  to ask your son not to mention to you all the things he doesn´t like in his marriage, because at the end of the day, they go to bed together under the same sheets, and will eventually reconcile. But you might explode.

Be sure to mention to your son, you will always support him, but ask him not to involve you in his marital issues. That`s a boundary for your own peace and mental health.

You can point DIL( in a nice way) next time she complains about a house´s issue, that probably her parents might want to contibute, because you and DH, have done all the support. She might get the hint and start being less demanding. If she and her family are never happy, let it be their problem.

Good he is going to deal with her about all the house issues.

I feel for you, but you are the smarter and more mature here.

Good luck!



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sun, 12-09-2012 - 12:56pm

I am ready to tell him to just stop telling me things, so that I don't have to have it bugging me.  But, he and I have always been close, he tells me everything.  DIL and her mom are the same way, which in both cases might not be a good thing.  DIL has been known to text her mother in the middle of a disagreement between her and my son.  He finally blew up and told her she had to stop.   (This was happening long before she became pregnant, as I said she's always been high strung and emotional.)   Her relationship with her mother isn't even healthy IMO.  Yes, he tells me things but if he and I didn't speak for a week or two at a time we'd survive.  She'd probably have a nervous breakdown if she didn't speak to her mother everyday.  (Just kidding, I hope!) 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Mon, 12-10-2012 - 9:56pm

Mom_julsie, I agree with Sonyserg that your ds should not be telling you these details of his married life. Even if you don't ask, and he volunteers the info its not appropriate for him to be venting to you. Next time (and anytime) that he starts to share his problems you should tell him that its really not any of your business and you don't want to be privy to it. 

You need to develop a relationship with your DIL based on how she acts towards you directly. If you're always hearing bad things about her then it will be very hard to forget them when you see her. If she is polite and friendly to you then you need to react based on that, not on what happens behind closed doors between a husband and wife. Plus you're just hearing your son's side of the story. 

Tell him that you understand that he needs to vent to somebody, one of his buddies who is also married might be a good choice; or if he thinks he needs professional advice then his pastor or a counselor can help him. The first year of marriage is often a big adjustment for couples, and to have a pregnancy in that time period adds to the challenges.

As for the apartment, maybe sit down with the couple and explain how landlord-tenant relationships work. Point out that a real landlord would also be charging them for the property tax and for a building repair and maintenance fund. Tell them exactly what repairs you can do and when. If they want to pay more rent then you will be able to afford to do more repairs. If they don't like the deal they are getting then they can move to someplace where they can call the landlord for every little problem. You said there's no place they can afford that will accept their pets? Not Your Problem!!! Your son chose to marry a less-than stable woman, have 4 pets, and start a family. Let him live with his choices. The more you solve their problems the less they have to learn how to take care of themselves. Time for them to accept that they might have to make hard choices and put up with a less than perfect living situation.

About the shower, I'd give her a deadline for when you need the list. If she doesn't comply then you can either give a shower with the guests of your choice; or not give her a shower at all.