Immature DIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Immature DIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
19
Tue, 08-13-2013 - 5:04pm

Hi, it's me again.  I thought things were going better with my son and DIL.  They were still planning to go to counseling, but that's not as easy and it sounds.  Trying to schedule these appointments seems to be almost impossible.  I guess the city they live near isn't big enough, I don't know.  Anyhow, I just got off the phone with him and I have no one to talk to about this.  I wanted to call my husband, but he just started a new job and I don't want to bother him.  He'll be on his way home soon.  If I did call him right now, it would be only the 3rd time in our 29 year marriage that I have called him at work in tears.  I guess I've had a really good life.  But, that tells you how upset I am right now.  So, my son was telling me about the latest ridiculous fight they got into.  They were at a family thing and when they got there (they were still in the car, NO ONE heard him say this)  he made a comment about why so and so was there, because he didn't think those certain people would be at this gathering.  O.K. I don't know how he said it, but I don't think it was worth the big deal she made about it.  She flipped out!!!!!!!  She got all pissed off and yelled at him.  Then when she was by her relatives they asked what was wrong (yeah, she does this, I even have pictures of her being crabby) she cannot hide when she's mad about something.  She told them ALL  everything he said, and not only that but she told everybody she'd be spending the night at her mom's again.  OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!!!!!! She is so immature, when is she going to grow up???????   It seemed they were in a little bit better place, she knew they have to put their daughter first and it even seemed like she was coming around about the money issues.  Then she does this!!!    I love my granddaughter more than anything, but I wish she hadn't been born into this situation.  This is not how I wanted to be a grandmother.  I bought a bag full of clothes for her today off of the clearance rack, now I can't even look at them.  This hurts so bad.  I feel like I've done something so wrong in raising my son.  Most ways I think we've taught our kids well.  Something happened with this son.  He doesn't have self confidence to realize he deserved better.  Now he's stuck.  If they didn't have this baby he could just get out, and I'd say good f****** riddance!   I hope someone comes on and reads this I so need someone to talk to.  Thanks.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Wed, 08-14-2013 - 4:14pm

Hello all.  Have you noticed that when we reply, we're replying to ourselves instead of eachother?  Anyhow, thank you to all of you for your responses.  I don't know what else to say, but it seems like this is just a horrible nightmare that I can't wake up from.  I can only pray now that counseling helps.  Maybe they can find their way back to each other.  My DIL gave us handkerchiefs on their wedding day and they said "thank you for raising the man of my dreams."  What happened?  Where are those two people?  Nora, I looked back on my previous threads because I couldn't recall that I called my DIL charming or anything like that.  I have done really nothing but complain about her on here, unfortunately.  I know I've said she has a good heart and some place it must still be in here.  But, like I said before right now it's hard to see the good qualities anymore with the way she's acting. 

Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Wed, 08-14-2013 - 7:55pm

But you don't have a choice-you cannot focus on her bad qualities. She is the person your son married-for better or worse. And the baby was not "immaculate conception"-so there was obviously something your son saw in her too.

I still think you need to make sure neither one involves you in the discussions (ie-arguments). What you did when he was younger-you did for him then, & in his best interests then. Now you need to realize that, as a grown-up, he has to be able to problem solve & adapt. Maybe they need some time apart to realize what they have is better than they think-& what they have in common is more than(but also)their daughter. I do remember arguing with Mike when our oldest was a baby-sleep deprivation, money worries, learning to live with another person-all this is hard. We weren't that young when we married (21 & 24)-but it was a big change-& like I said, we had to adapt ourselves, nobody wanted to hear our petty complaints. (BTW-I still maintain-I was right, he was wrong...whatever the situation!)

But this does not mean you don't see the baby. 80miles isn't far-arrange to go see her-with her clothes & a doll or some toys & act like it's all normal. Maybe they will always be a combative couple...normal comes in many flavours, you know!

Nora

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 08-14-2013 - 9:59pm

Its really too bad that they continue to have problems. And even worse that your ds continues to tell you the details!

You really need to stop him from telling you these things. I get that he needs someone to vent to, but its inappropriate to tell it to his mom. Partly because he needs to be separating from his mom, partly because knowing all of these details will make you dislike your DIL even more than you already do. You need to keep some shred of respect for her because as the mother of your dgd you will always have to have some kind of relationship with her. So all you ought to know about her is what you see first hand. He needs to talk to his brother or a buddy or join a men's support group if he wants somebody to vent to. 

I understand how upsetting it is for you, and you hurt for him and worry about him. I've been through something similar with my dd. She was in a serious relationship (talking marriage) with a man that had a lot of baggage. I don't know if she thought she could "save" him but she stayed with him through a lot. They would have problems and she would call me to complain. I was usually very good about not saying anything bad about him but it certainly colored my opinion of him. Then they would make up and the next time I saw him I had to act like I didn't know all these things that made me think he was an a--hole. Eventually I realized that it was too stressful for me to be privy to info that I couldn't do anything about, so it was better for me to not know. I told her to just tell me the good stuff about him....there wasn't much to say!

A lot of 25yo's are still fairly immature these days, especially when their parents are quite involved in their lives. They really need time on their own without a parental safety net in order to take responsibility for themselves and be able to grow up. And the parents need to step back from the kids' problems, including feeling responsibility for his adult choices or whether he is embarassed if relatives figure out that he's having marriage problems.

The part about her wanting to portray him as abusive so she can win custody of the baby, is that something you heard from him or is that your idea? I'm pretty sure that most family court judges will require more than just her words before denying the father shared custody. But he'll want a good family law attorney if they start considering divorce, and the atty will help him with that.

So I suggest you tell your son 2 things. First, that he needs to stop venting to you about his marital problems; and second that he start keeping a (private, not shared with the wife) log of their difficulties and what they fight about and when and what happens? (do they discuss it  and come to a compromise? does she take the baby and go to her mom's and the topic never gets resolved? Do they eventually work things out after a cooling off period, etc). The primary purpose of the log is so he remembers what he needs to bring up to the marriage counselor, but its secondary purpose could be, in the case of a divorce, that he has documentation of wife's behavior. It wouldn't be a bad idea for them to also have a couples' log where they both write down issues, then bring it to the counseling appointment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Wed, 08-14-2013 - 10:12pm

Hello,

I talked to my son today and I did mention that people go through a lot of changes when they get married, have a baby, etc., and they have to adapt.  I know 80 miles isn't that far, and we've driven there plenty of times, even if it's just for an afternoon.  They just have so much going on, and so little time with eachother (my son works nights)   that I don't want to monopolize their time alone by always going to their house.  I would like to bring the baby to our house for a weekend, if they have a free one where they don't need her to go with them.  Hopefully with the summer coming to an end they aren't as busy. Just maybe some time alone together would do some good.  I just can't believe that either one of them think that they would be better people/parents if they lived apart.  I mentioned this a few weeks ago when things were getting dicey.  But, you may be right, some time apart might be good too, but, she will want to go stay with mommy!  I might be letting my son vent, and he is somewhat dependent on that because I'm just about the only person he can talk to besides a counselor, but I would never let him run away from his problems like she's doing.  Her mother is enabling her by allowing her to come to her house every time there's a little spat!  Oh, she also texts her mother when they're in the middle of an argument, she's done this for a long time.  I told my son I'd take that flippin' phone and throw it across the room!  (I know that wouldn't do any good, but it's what you feel like doing!) 

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Fri, 08-16-2013 - 6:16pm

I know this is hard for you as it doesn't seem to matter how old they get, we still feel our kids pain but you need to keep your comments about your DIL to yourself & not voice them to your son. I agree with the others that you should discourage his sharing with you but like your DS my DD doesn't have anyone else. So I listen but that is all I do. Well at least 95% of the time, I do lose control of my mouth about 5% of the time. You are enabling your DS to dump his problems on Mommy if you provide feedback like you mentioned in your comment about what you would do with her cell phone. You can't be objective, no parent can really be when their child is hurting - so you must be neutral. I had a situation with my DD & SIL last mth. I won't highjack your post with the details but SIL really screwed up. DD was justified in her anger & frustration even SIL would admit this. I frankly just wanted to slap my SIL silly but instead, I listened to DD's ranting, helped her focus on what she could do about the situation & what she wanted to do with her life since this had happened. I didn't judge my SIL to my DD & I never said a single negative word about him to her. I'm human, I blew up to my DD & DS1. It is freaking hard to be quiet & am I lucky that I spent over 25 yrs dealing with employee issues & handling workplace investigations, so I have experience in seeing all sides objectively. I also want to mention that you are only hearing one side when you listen to your DS's & no matter how truthful he is trying to be, he is unlikely to be telling you the entire story. This is just normal. We aren't as objective about our own behaviour & we want to have others side with us for support.

I'm glad they are going for counseling, your DS should discuss how they both turn to their Mom's for support & how they need to learn to communicate & support each other. I feel your fear about your relationship with your granddaughter but she is young yet & is unlikely to be harmed by their battles now. Your gifts are for her not for your DIL so don't deprive yourself of your enjoyment in buying & giving them to her.

Hugs to you & forget that guilt you are feeling. You raised your DS the best way you could & he is now an adult who needs to define his own life. In one of the parenting courses I took years ago they told us "if you are a good parent 50% of the time, then you are an excellent parent".

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sat, 08-17-2013 - 11:29am

Hi Dee, thanks for your response.   I am really bad at keeping my mouth shut, I tend to voice my opinion when there's something I consider unreasonable, as you can see by what I've said here.  I don't know, if I start to say nothing at this point (if I can, it would be really hard!)  he might think that's weird because I normally don't just listen I usually give my input.  He's looking for my support and a safe place to vent, and if I don't say anything doesn't that sort of condone what's she's doing?  I maybe could limit more what I say, but I think what he needs is someone to tell him that what she's doing is unreasonable, since he feels he's been blamed for everything thus far. (He does, btw, take responsibility in this, he just doesn't think he bears all of the responsibility, and he doesn't!)   I don't know.  I haven't talked to him about the counseling yet, we'll see if he wants to talk.  I think it went O.K. though, they were going about normal things last night afterwards. 

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Sat, 08-17-2013 - 12:15pm

Oops, I forgot to mention that I tell DD I'm only going to listen. That it's wrong for me to give her my personal response because it's too hard to be objective when she is hurting. I'm very opinionated & tell her exactly how I feel about her raising her kids, her choices in clothes, furniture, etc & most of the time, it's unsoliciated. But when she comes to vent, I bite my tongue & then if asked I will confirm or deny that her concerns or issues are valid but I rarely say anything negative which is really what I want to say. The main reason for this is that I don't want to lose access to my grandkids. It comes down to the fact that it is their lives & if I say the wrong thing or she tells SIL something negative I said then I could lose contact which would kill me.

Good luck, it ain't easy & takes lots of practise. Just tell him, you will listen but you are trying to allow him to work out his own problems, so you are trying to keep your comments to yourself. Dee

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 08-17-2013 - 3:39pm

<<<He's looking for my support and a safe place to vent, and if I don't say anything doesn't that sort of condone what's she's doing?>>> 

He isn't looking for support, he's looking for validation that HIS behavior is right, which is a whole different thing.  If you refuse to allow yourself to do that, you are not "condoning" anything. 

Both you, and he, need to understand that he IS contributing to the fights.  No one can fight ALONE.  When spouses argue, the fight will end if SOMEONE acts with their brain instead of their feelings.  He can simply refuse to answer her back.  He can take the higher road by saying "I see your point".  He can defuse the situation by saying, "Lets call a truce, and discuss this when we are calm".  He can say, "I will take the FIRST step toward keeping our dirty laundry private.  I will not involve MY family.  Please don't involve yours."

Also remember, counseling does not "fix" anyone.  No one can change anyone else.  The only person you can change, is yourself.  You can change what you do that contributes to the situation.  You can change how to react to a situation.  You can decide if being "right" is worth the damage.  You can model the adult, responsible behavior you want the other person to display--and that you want your child to see--and learn. 

The best way you can help both your son, and his wife, to grow into adults, is to tell your son that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sun, 08-18-2013 - 6:07pm

Hello all, well sounds like the first session of counseling went O.K.  DIL seems open to it so that is the first step.  I know my son needs to model the adult behavior, but what's funny is that, once in awhile, he gives her taste of her own medicine, and when she sees how dumb she's being or how hurtful it is to him, she stops whatever it was she was doing.  Weird, but with her it works.  I know it's not the ideal way to do things, but my son just gets tired of being treated like crap.  So, yes, they will hopefully learn how to communicate and act like the adults they're supposed to be and stop all the dumb stuff they're doing.  I have told him a number of times to be sure whatever it is they're fighting about is worth it, and let go of the little piddly stuff that doesn't really matter.  I am just hoping and praying that they can find their way back to each other, both for them and for their child.  I do not think they are really better people or parents without eachother.  Now, that said, I'm still not sure they're compatible.  Does that make any sense?  I know sometimes love just isn't enough. 

Wedding plans are underway for my next son's wedding.  I am trying very hard to be excited about this wedding and not let my worries and feelings about my other son and DIL's relationship get in the way of the experiences I should be feelng for my next son and his bride to be.  Went with her yesterday to look at wedding dresses, I didn't think I'd get to do this, because I don't have any daughters.  It was really fun and I was happy to be included! 

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