DIL cannot forgive my son

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
DIL cannot forgive my son
15
Mon, 09-23-2013 - 10:37am

Hi, me again.  Well, I checked back to see when I posted about this, and it's been over a month.  Evidently my DIL still hasn't forgiven my son about this.  It was such a stupid thing to be mad about in the first place and then to tell others about it at the family reunion.  I cannot believe it, but she still brings this up and she's still mad about it.  Their counselor said that they won't get anywhere with the counseling until she can learn to forgive him.  To refresh your memory, it was a comment he made to her about her family being fake and they pretend to like each other.  She was the only one that heard it.  He has apologized over and over again.  How many times can you beat a dead horse????   My son is supposed to call me today and I'm going to suggest they go talk to their minister about how to forgive.  DIL likesthisminister so maybe this could help.  The counselor evidently has a crazy schedule that it's hard for them to get in without my son missing a bunch of work.  I'm thinking they'll have to find someone else who has a more flexible schedule.  It's too bad because this is a really good counselor, but that is why he's so busy.  I'm just sick about this, again.  I just feel like there's no hope for them if she can't grow up, learn to forgive, not make such a big deal out of little things, and move on.  She's still spending too much time at her mommy's when he is at work.  (Sorry about those words running together up above, when I tried to fix it it was eating the rest of the words, this has happened to me before anybody know why that happens?)  I'm making an appointment with my own counselor again.  I cannot bare the thought of my grandbaby living in separate households.  But, it seems, by the way she is behaving that she doesn't really care if they are married or not.  She has her baby and she has her life, and many things she does do not include my son either because he is working, or that she just makes plans without him.  What kind of a marriage is this?  I still think they should never have gotten married but too late for that!  My husband has gone so far to say that she planned this.  She just wanted a baby, and now she has one, so she has no use for our son.  Could he be right? 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Tue, 09-24-2013 - 8:34am

Well, he doesn't have the money to buy her an expensive gift, money is what they fight about the most.  He could buy her some inexpensive flowers.  I gave him some new ideas yesterday to try.  I know you all think I shouldn't do it, but if there's a chance what I say could save his marriage and save my grandbaby the heartache of being a child of divorce, then I'm going to try.  They would have to go to counseling every day for a month in order to make the progress they really need right now.  I consider myself an extra counselor since there is no possible way they can talk about everything and solve every problem that quick.  This is a desperate situation and there isn't time to just sit back and say "you can do this yourself"  he needs to do something right now! 

Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Tue, 09-24-2013 - 9:44am

Julsie-I'm sorry that you do not see what you are doing is the exact opposite of what you say you would do. He isn't running home to you physically-but you are not encouraging him to settle things himself. Of course he isn't sharing with his friends-he's too embarrassed to be seen as a wimp to his friends or workmates.

Good Luck in managing his life, his brothers lives & whatever lies ahead for everyone in the family. I'm thinking that maybe you need the help & counseling to learn to let go. I know you feel a need to help, & you feel you are doing what is best for everyone-but if you were the dil-would you appreciate the interferrence? I would not-I'd want my dh to "Man up" & to learn to do what had to be done on his own. Even if I relied on my mother (& for the record-I didn't)-I suspect she'd be more independent if he was.

Nora

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Tue, 09-24-2013 - 10:34am

Hi Nora.  I know I need counseling with this, and I am getting it.  It's just crazy because before I go for my next appointment something else comes up in between and it throws me for a loop.  As I said though, I don't see any problem with my "interferring" in my other son's lives.  My middle son never tells me anything, and I mean NOTHING!  So, there's no possible way I can get in his business.  His fiance' is very mature and responsible for herself, unlike my DIL.  (and she's two years younger)  My third son's girlfriend is also polar opposite of my DIL, so I don't foresee any problems there either.  If DIL wasn't running to mommy, then she could get mad at my son for going to me for advice.  (I don't think she knows he talks to me as much as he does)  I know son and DIL need to grow up, but that isn't going to happen overnight.  I just think he needs a little extra help to get through this. I know you all think I'm not listening to you, but I am reading everything you say, and I am using some of your advice.  I just still feel right now that my son needs me.  I don't think your kids ever stop needing you even when they grow up.  I will talk to my counselor about this, but my appointment is not for another week.  I thought that when my son and DIL moved back to her hometown before they got married that it would be nice that she was closer to her family.  It is the worst thing that could've happened to their relationship.  My husband and I lived away from our families for the first three years we were married and I still say it is the best thing that ever happened to us.  But, the difference is is that both families were away from us, not one close and one further away.  I never had the close relationship with my mom that my two sons have with me, I cherish these relationships.  My mom also became ill with Parkinson's disease when we were first married.  I am the youngest of 6 and my mom was 40 when she had me so when she got the Parkinson's disease she aged very quickly and there was no way she could've helped me with anything.  Even though it forced me to grow up and be reponsible, I many times wished I could've turned to her for advice.  I did ask her for advice when my first son was a baby, but after that she became too sick to help with anything, either by giving me advice or by babysitting.  Anyhow, so all I can do is hope for the best.  That he finds a way to apologize so that she forgives him, and that they can figure out a way to get along. 

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Fri, 09-27-2013 - 1:16pm

Julsie, I am late to this discussion as I have been away for a while.  Anyway I have read all the posts in this thread now.  The one thing/sense/tone I have got from your posts about this is your sense of desperation - a desperation to 'fix' the problem between your son and DIL.  I am sure you won't disagree, actually.  I already know you would wish they solve their problems in their relationship and so that they are a happy family and that your DGD has a happy home (and that you won't feel that you 'lose' her to your DIL in a sense if the parents split up?). 

I think what others here have been saying is that YOU won't be able to FIX the problem despite all your efforts to give advice and act as a 'counselor' to your son in all this.  I get the feeling that the desperation you exhibit is behind all this desire to 'fix' things and well, maybe you just won't be able to.  Something you could consider and think about - to 'let go' in that respect...let go of the keen desire to help so much. 

Now there are ways to counsel, there are ways to listen and that's why there are professionals who do this for a living (with the hope that they do know their stuff!).  I get the strong impression from what you write that you are laying a lot of blame on your DIL and are feeling not just supportive of your son, but actually are feeling 'protective' of him (just as maybe you felt when he was bullied in school).  Counseling is being objective in seeing a situation.  I do wonder if you can be that objective in this case.  I have an older friend who has had a lot of life experiences and gained wisdom (as I see it, in her later years) and likes to counsel her young men and women friends - she's not a professional but I do see that she is enough 'removed' from them (i.e. not a parent) to look at what they tell her in an objective manner.  She also likes to focus on the person's behaviour - so that when they go on and on about 'what she did or what he did' (i.e. the OTHER person in relationship) in a given situation, she likes to bring the young person she's counseling back to where that person looks at their own behaviour in a situation...i.e. in other words, STOP BLAMING the OTHER person for your ills and problems (and expecting them to be different, better, more loving, more this, that or more whatever!).

I see that you are focusing and blaming A LOT on your DIL.  Whether she is responsible for this or that is besides the point...  I have said it before...there takes two to tango and it's no good to keep looking at the OTHER person as the problem in any situation.  I know, I know..in one breath you say this and that about her, and then in the next you say that yes, your DS is responsible too for doing this or that to contribute to the relationship problems. So then you want to give him some advice so he can go and do just what is needed to 'fix' their relationship woes.

We all make mistakes, so many of us have difficutlies in relationships in getting along with others - mostly because of our own hang ups, our own screwed up needs that we hope others will "all make better" in a relationship.  Your DS and DIL were attracted to each other at one time and saw something in each other that the other felt they needed and heaven knows so many of us (or all?) have gone through that early in the relationship "infatuation' period where we see the other person as always more wonderful than they really are! 

Compassion isn't a bad thing to have along with trying to see things in an objective light.  Maybe you won't be able to be objective.  Maybe you need to consider that you really can't 'fix' things in this desperate situation.  Maybe you can listen to your son but can you truly not take 'sides'? Assumptions, suppositions and conjecture about the other person, and the situation are dangerous if you even believe that they are the truth.  The can be false, they can be only PART of the situation and we can never really know all what the other person is truly feeling and thinking.  As my friend likes to say, "We only know this much (followed by two fingers coming very closely together to show how much!) about a person.  

I think what everyone here is saying over and over is that you personally cannot 'fix' things...you are trying too hard to do that and you need to step back - and if possible be more objective.  Perhaps your DIL and DS can't fix it between themselves.  You seem to imply that they would need a lot of effort and time at therapy to get to a place where they will resolve relationship issues.  But again...that takes two to be willing to work at it.  You have no real control over your DIL and your DS in this.  So it may work ..............or it may not. 

I guess that's as much as I can say without repeating myself.  That's my 2 cents!

Shirley

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2014
Fri, 05-02-2014 - 7:30am
It's not your problem, it's theirs. But the one who started it was your son because his comment was rude and it concerns your DIL's family. With just one rude comment from your son, it will ruin a good bonding relationship between two families. To avoid further marriage crisis, http://marriagesavednow.com has some fail-proof ways to save their marriage.

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