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s/o on mother-in-laws. Do you actually like your MIL?


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My MIL is wonderful. She's a really great woman and I'm quite fond of her. She's thoughtful, smart, interesting, generous, cares about all of us, is eager to help with anything, and raised two truly awesome kids of her own. (I adore my SIL as well.)

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I think MIL and I are finally starting to "get" each other. DH and I have known each other for 8 years, started dating 7 years ago, married for 5 years. Two weeks ago was the first time I had an actual conversation with my MIL. Not a long one, but more than "Hi, how are you?" There is a language barrier, but for a long time she just flat out didn't like me. She's coming around (maybe realizing that her son could have done worse :P ) and I'm understanding her more.

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In the spirit of this thread I mention the one thing I like about my MIL -- that she lives 14 hours away. ;) Seriously, though, she likes me and isn't mean to me. She's just a racist, close-minded, foul-mouthed, rude person who plays favorites with our kids.

 

My step-MIL is just weird and crazy, but friendly, so in comparison, I like her just fine.

 

I do have a step-grand-MIL (!) who is a lovely, lovely woman and I wish we could see her more often, but she lives far away and her health isn't good. :(

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My mil and I had a rough start. I was immature and hadn't learn how to deal differently with people based on who they are. Our marriage also was a shock to her. Since our dating and engagement were a total of 3 months, she didn't even know dh had been dating me!

 

Well fast forward to now and things are great! I truly love her, she truly loves me. We go shopping together. She knows my style, what I like. We laugh, and giggle. I am one of her only friends, and the only one she can share her struggles/feelings with. I listen, comfort, and pray. I share somethings with her, but am very selective. I have learned that we are very different. If there is something she says that I disagree with, and it has nothing to do with me or my family, I am quiet. She has learned that I have boundaries for our family. She is always careful to ask if the kids can have, do, ect... She does not give opinions about our life, and I don't give any about her's. We have learned to love each other the way we are. I feel completely comfortable in her home. She is at home in ours. I thank the Lord, for bringing us to this place.

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I love my MIL, but to be honest, we had some wretched years. My SIL is a squeaky wheel whose children must have all the attention. Nuff Said. BUT it's all worked out-rather, I forgave and forgot. Now she is considering moving in with us and I would love to have her.

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No we don't speak to my inlaws and haven't for about 8 years. That said my mom is great as a MIL to my husband. They have a lot in common and are very similar personality types. They get along great. I also have to say that my mom lucked out in her inlaws (my Mimi and Pappy) She was always considered "one of the kids". My grandfather even refered to her as his "favorite". Even though my parents have been divorced for almost 20 years, my dads family still considers her part of the "clan".

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Nope, I don't like mine. It's not for some societal reason either, like society villifies MILs and therefore I hate mine. In fact, prior to DH, I got along very well with all of my boyfriends' mothers. We'd spend time together, talk, do things -- it was nice. I always expected that my relationship with my MIL would be a close one. Moms like me -- I am a likable person. Then I met my future MIL. She didn't like me. I wasn't good enough for her son. Her son deserved to live in the city with some corporate-climbing, stylish, phony, material-driven diva who wanted nothing more than to go to the symphony and the art museum every night of the week. It didn't matter that that was not the lifestyle her son wanted -- it was MY fault he didn't have that lifestyle because he "settled" for me. She interfered in our lives a lot the first 5-6 years of our relationship (we've been together over 13 years now including the time we were dating). She would call every night to ask what we were having for dinner and then say to DH, "She made that again? Is that all she knows how to make?" Shortly after we adopted our son and I was about 7 months pregnant with DD, we got into a huge fight and she actually said to me, "He hardly goes to the theater or symphony anymore. How can I think you haven't ruined his life?" Yes, DH's life is over because we don't live in the heart of Boston or NYC and he can't go to the symphony every night (not that he wants to or not that he could afford to if we lived in one of those cities). Nothing I ever did was good enough. She immediately viewed me as the enemy who was taking her baby away when I wanted and expected to be treated as a daughter. All of that led to a lot of hurt-feelings on my part. She may not have gotten the DIL she expected, but I didn't get the kind, cookie-baking, "just call me 'Mom' " best friend of a MIL I expected either. All I wanted was to be loved an accepted. I was neither.

 

Things have gotten better, but I'm still so hurt over all the things done and said in the past that I will never, ever truly like her. We have come to a point of mutual respect, but I think that's the best it's going to be. She has tried to become closer a couple of times, but she is a very phony person. As soon as I let my guard down and start to try to like and trust her, I end up regretting it. I get hurt all over again, time and time again. How much of that can one person take?

 

For those of you out there who have great MILs, I am truly happy for you. It's what I wanted too. I get the sense from some of you who have these great relationships that you are truly bewildered that the rest of us don't, and almost blame us for it. Please don't. You are lucky. It's not that I don't want that type of close relationship with my MIL -- it's that she is not capable of offering that type of relationship.

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For those of you out there who have great MILs, I am truly happy for you. It's what I wanted too. I get the sense from some of you who have these great relationships that you are truly bewildered that the rest of us don't, and almost blame us for it. Please don't. You are lucky. It's not that I don't want that type of close relationship with my MIL -- it's that she is not capable of offering that type of relationship.

:iagree: x 100000000000000000000000000

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But get her in person, and she can really drive a person to drink!

 

My Mother can drive me to drink. When she is the only time I drink. (Not ever time she visits, but sometimes when she is here she is nuts. The kind of nuts I wouldn't post about since it's the kind of nuts someone must be making up.) Sometimes she is fine, but other times - oh my.

Edited by Julie Smith
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My MIL was, umm, difficult, to say the least. I won't go into all the hurtful, hateful things she did and said. She has been gone now for around 36 yrs and looking back I can see some things that I could have done different that MIGHT? have made our relationship better or not. The thing is I will never know as after about 3 yrs I became very hands off, leave me alone. It was a very difficult time in our marriage as my dh was placed in the middle time and again. He always sided with me but I know he carries guilt over much of it.

 

The good think is my mom was a very good mil, loved dearly by her dil's and most of her sil's. I had a good roll model and I had a bad roll model. I work VERY hard at being that good mil.:001_smile:

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For those of you out there who have great MILs, I am truly happy for you. It's what I wanted too. I get the sense from some of you who have these great relationships that you are truly bewildered that the rest of us don't, and almost blame us for it. Please don't. You are lucky. It's not that I don't want that type of close relationship with my MIL -- it's that she is not capable of offering that type of relationship.

 

I understand I'm fortunate and I am in no way bewildered by those who don't have great relationships with their MILs. I've read the MIL complaint threads and some of what you guys have to put of with just stuns me. :grouphug:

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I already posted that the first 10 years of my marriage were very difficult with my MIL. What bewildered me is that I would watch her interactions with other people - neighbors, friends, other family members etc. and she was such a lovely person that everyone loved. But when we were alone, she was an entirely different person. It took 10 years for her to finally be the same lovely person with me. I'm not sure what it took - part of it was a realization that I wasn't going anywhere, part of it was dh standing up for me, part of it was me standing up for myself and setting boundaries, part of it was luck? (in the sense that no matter what we do, so much of it was still up to her own choices in how she treated me). Oh - and part of it was me learning to change some of my expectations too. There are many things that she still does due to her personality and culture (which is different than mine) that I now smile and shrug about. And if I'm not prickly then she's less prickly.

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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Tomorrow will be the one-year anniversary of my mother-in-law's death. She was as much my real and loving mother as is the mother who bore me. I'm aching from missing her, and always shall lack something from my life because she is not here.

 

Mama Maria, I love you.

May your Memory be Eternal !

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I like my MIL, and I am very appreciative that my MIL and FIL view me as their daughter. I know they aren't pleased with some of the DILs (and I concur with their reasoning), so I think I am lucky. Dh & I live very similar lives to them, so I guess it stands to reason that we would be comfortable together. Some of their DILs, though, would have a very different story. So, isn't that interesting. Same ILs but different perspectives.

 

My MIL can be overbearing and matriarchal (sp?). I had a tough time with that for the first five years. Then we moved across the country, and all the familial relationships improved. I matured, she dropped some of her expectations, and now I have the most grandchildren under one roof. :D Dh very much sees MIL's issues, so we can laugh at her impossibilities.

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Oh how I wish that my in-laws and I got along. But after they bought our rental house, moved in, completely took over everything and everyone, started trying to parent our son because they don't like that we are tough on him, openly mock homeschooling, feed our son sugary horrible foods behind our back, swear and scream at each other on a constant basis, demean my husband like they've always done, and all of the other horrible things that they have done, I don't think that's happening any time soon.

 

That being said, we have a young marriage and I would like to think that things will improve in time and when we move away. But, I already know that that will not be happening because we are moving out of state and I married the oldest son - and though he isn't the favorite, she's already pi$$ed off that we are leaving. And not because she loves him so much - she's upset because he's the only son that she has that helps out around the house without screaming and yelling about it.

 

My in-laws are such nasty people that I seriously considered moving back to my home state (Michigan) while my husband finishes a big part of his degree...meaning we would be away from each other (at the time) for a little over a year. I decided that my son and I couldn't be away from him that long, but MAN....I considered it!

 

My dad loved my mom's mom and my mom got along really well with my dad's mom, so I grew up thinking that was how it always is. But, wow. I was wrong =/

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Tomorrow will be the one-year anniversary of my mother-in-law's death. She was as much my real and loving mother as is the mother who bore me. I'm aching from missing her, and always shall lack something from my life because she is not here.

 

Mama Maria, I love you.

May your Memory be Eternal !

 

This is beautiful. :grouphug:

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For those of you out there who have great MILs, I am truly happy for you. It's what I wanted too. I get the sense from some of you who have these great relationships that you are truly bewildered that the rest of us don't, and almost blame us for it. Please don't. You are lucky. It's not that I don't want that type of close relationship with my MIL -- it's that she is not capable of offering that type of relationship.

 

 

:grouphug: All kinds of people have sons. I can think of at least a couple boyfriend's moms that were just waiting to be some girl's nightmare MIL.

 

When dh and I married, I got two MILs. One was a step-mom, and nice but sort of distant at first. In later years (after the birth of my dd) we had some conversations that made me think we could have been close had they lived nearer. She passed away some years back.

 

My other MIL is someone I adore and have lots in common with. Unfortunately a few years ago she moved about 1.5 hrs away in the middle of nowhere. Now that her husband has health problems, I hope she moves closer.

 

Now my husband's MIL is another story entirely--and she lives 3 miles away. :tongue_smilie:

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I had a great relationship with my MIL when DH and I were dating. She didn't get along very well with SIL at the time, but I assumed it was because SIL was into shopping and going to concerts and I was more into the home arts (as was MIL). Then DH and I got married and had children. She lived in the same town as us and it was my idea that ds could spend an evening at her house every week. I mean, if I lived that close to my parents, I would see them every week and they would spend lots of time with the kids. But things only went downhill from there. Every parenting choice we made that was different than choices she had made was taken as a direct judgment on her mothering even though nothing could be further from the truth. It got to where dh refused to take ds to see her anymore because every time we picked him up we got a half hour lecture on all the things we were doing wrong (including everything we had done wrong but that was now water under the bridge such as when ds started eating solids).

 

Then she moved 8 hours away, BIL divorced, and now MIL comes to visit (she divorced FIL when dh was in HS - she couldn't get along with her husband or her inlaws). She spends her time coming up with all these imaginary offenses everyone commits. On her first visit, I "didn't think she did anything right" so she spent two hours telling my husband every horrible thing about me that she could think of. My grandparents spent the winter with us (my mother's MIL and FIL) every year so I am accustomed to getting along with people who do things differently staying in your home. The only things I asked her to do differently were to not place a pan taken from a 450 degree oven directly on my 1950 countertop without a heating pad, and to not use dry dishwasher granules to handwash dishes. But she left early and didn't speak to me because I "treated her so horribly." I had gone out of my way to be gracious and make her feel welcome in our home - it wasn't like I was on the defensive and it was coming through more than I thought.

 

The next visit she left us alone and tried to break up BIL and his girlfriend who was 6 months pregnant. Her last visit she stayed with us and I again tried to be gracious and make her feel welcome, though I was firm on needing to know exactly when she would be visiting and where she would be staying (with us or not) since we homeschool AND I work from home and having company greatly affects my ability to get things done so I needed to know what her plans were. As it was, we took time off to spend with her during the week and she came right AFTER a long holiday weekend when it would have been much easier to spend time with her. Anyway, about ten days after she left, she called DH while he was at a baseball game with the boys and spent an hour and twenty minutes telling him everything we've done wrong as parents (all the way back to when we gave our first child solids) and what a horrible wife and mother I am and on and on. At this point, DH doesn't want to speak to her ever again. He hates for it to be that way, but she just gets worse and worse every time we see her. She may not call CPS this time, but next time she might, and though we have friends who deal with CPS (PS teachers) and say we would have nothing to fear, everyone agrees that it's not worth risking.

 

The kids love her as a grandmother, just as I loved her when I was dating DH. So it breaks our hearts that they can't see her, but I fear as they get older and become more independent she will turn against them too as she did against me (and her husband, whom she divorced). She now lives with her sister which means she doesn't sleep in her own bed or eat off her own dishes. Every job she's had has gotten outsourced and she refuses to learn any new skills. So I really don't see how she is in a position to be critical of us. But that's beside the point.

 

As the mother of 3 children, including 2 boys, I know I will be a MIL someday. I fear that after having such a bad experience with my MIL, I will not know how to be a good MIL. I really want to be a good MIL, so I have poured over this thread with great interest. Thank you all for sharing.

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i only got to know my mil for a few short years. She died when my youngest was less than a year old. I loved her with all my heart though, and she loved me back unconditionally. I know we would have gotten even closer had she lived longer. I miss her often- she was often more accepting and loving than my own mother was at that time.

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I adore my MIL! She's wonderful! My only problem with her is that she lives on the other side of the country and can't travel because she gets unbelievable motion sickness. So we don't see her as often as we would like.

 

But she's a peach. A feisty, Sicilian peach.

 

Wendi

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I really enjoy my MIL. We aren't best friends or anything, but we get along very well and I always like being around her. She is very private and much more quiet natured than I am (I am in no way, shape, or form private or quiet), but we've learned to work around those things. I try not to talk her ear off every time I see her, and she tries to talk :D.

 

She is a teacher and I was worried that she would disapprove of our homeschooling, but she is actually very cool about it all. She doesn't play cheerleader or anything, but always has books for me and the kids and answers any teacher-type questions I have and offers great suggestions if (and only if) I ask for advice.

 

She adores our kids and I really am quite blessed to have her :)

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For those of you out there who have great MILs, I am truly happy for you. It's what I wanted too. I get the sense from some of you who have these great relationships that you are truly bewildered that the rest of us don't, and almost blame us for it. Please don't. You are lucky. It's not that I don't want that type of close relationship with my MIL -- it's that she is not capable of offering that type of relationship.

 

I had a feeling this thread would make those on that thread feel like this. :grouphug:

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My MIL is great! I always figured it was her experience - she'd been a MIL for probably over 20 years when I married dh and already had 5 other sons- or daughters-in-law. (Dh is the weeeee little baby of the family.) She loves her son and accepts me (and loves me, I think, though she's one who rarely puts such a thing in words) because she knows I do, too. She knows when to keep her mouth shut and doesn't offer advice unless she's asked. I end up asking her more often than I thought I would (I was initially rather scared of both my FIL and my MIL, but that's a different story) at which point she gives good, solid advice. It helps that while our world-views are not exactly the same they overlap at least 85 - 90%. Our ideas of "well-behaved children" are similar, etc.

 

I try my best to be a good dil, making sure the girls know her and she gets some kind of communication from/about them (we live 11 hours apart and finances keep visits at about 1 per year). She's a great grandmother, which is important to me - I only really knew one of my grandparents and that was during/after Parkinson's, so I'm really happy that my girls have 4 (more or less) solid, healthy gps to enjoy. Yes, I know we're very blessed. If it makes you feel any better, not all family members are so solid. :tongue_smilie:

 

Mama Anna

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I barely know my MIL. I've only met her once or twice. We talk on the phone occasionally. She seems nice enough, and hasn't said anything less-than-supportive of our weird choices. She's coming to visit sometime in the next few months, so I guess that will give me a better idea of how we actually get along!

 

I don't know my FIL at all because DH has no desire to be in contact with him.

 

Both my parents had very good relationships with their in-laws, and continued to keep in touch with them after they (my parents, that is) divorced.

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I have a great MIL. She is sweet and always willing to help when it's needed. She doesn't treat me like an outsider, we have great conversations. At camp this year we stayed up until 2 am talking, we had a wonderful time... until the kids woke up a few hours later. Neither one of us function well without sleep.

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Mine is in a nursing home. She has had dementia as long as I have known her son. She smiles at me and at the kids. DH loves her dearly and talks very sweetly to her. She smiles at him. He says she was a sweetheart before the dementia, so I like to think that we could have been friends.

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I love my MIL. She raised 4 boys and a girl and she's just the sweetest, most mild-mannered woman you'd ever want to meet. And all her kids turned out really great - all happily married, functioning members of society. She's very kind and accepting (sometimes more so than my own mom, but don't tell my mom that) and is just a good person!

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No, but to be fair my dh LOVES MY MOM more than his own mom. Too many issues from the past, present and I suspect the future.

 

Having said that, I have great relationships with other people's moms that would sorta fit the description of mil. It is just that my mil has lots of emotional issues.

 

ETA - An example of something she did - The day before New Year's Eve last year, my fil asked me to be his friend on Facebook. I didn't immediately accept the request because he has sent me hurtful emails in the past. I was not sure I wanted to open that can of worms. I was having a difficult time celebrating a New Year that my oldest son would not see. To keep my mind busy, we invited 40+ people for a New Year's Eve gathering. On New Year's Day, my mil called and was very angry with me for not accepting his request. She said, "You have no idea how difficult it is for us here." Excuse me? Huh? I have no idea how difficult a new year with my son being DEAD! That was IT for me... I unleashed 24 years of pent up anger on her and I am so happy I did. Quite honestly, I think it helped our relationship. For the first time in 23 years, she sent my other two kids an Easter gift. Not that I require a gift - I don't. I require that as grandparents, they make my kids feel loved. Something they have always fallen short of. When we were burying our son, my dh was dialing his dad frantically because his dad DID NOT come to the funeral. Again - it was too difficult. Nope - that was the last time I would ever go in their house or even be able to spend any amount of time with them.

Edited by Kari C in SC
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I wanted to have a good relationship with my MIL. We are cordial, but my inlaws are just not loving kind of people. Since I have gotten into the habit of thinking about them in more of a negative way, I wanted to take the opportunity this thread presents and mention some of MIL's good points.

 

She is a workhorse. I really admire the amount of work she gets done in a day.

 

She has had several jobs working with people who need an advocate and she really goes to bat for them.

 

When my Ds4 was born, my mom couldn't come right away. MIL took off work and drove to our place (5 hours) to help for a few days.

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My MIL was a great lady. I think I was very lucky to have her in my life, even if it was only for the first 3 years of our marriage. It was like having a mom again (my own mom had passed away many years before).

 

On the other hand, my FIL remarried and his wife is a kind person when she's not trying to convert my son behind my back. That has since abated somewhat, and I don't have any other complaints about her.

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Wow! I haven't been feeling well today and didn't get to check this thread until late this afternoon. So many comments! I read through them all...which took forever. :001_smile: I'm glad to know that there are so many that have a good relationship with their MIL (FIL too).

 

For those of you out there who have great MILs, I am truly happy for you. It's what I wanted too. I get the sense from some of you who have these great relationships that you are truly bewildered that the rest of us don't, and almost blame us for it. Please don't. You are lucky. It's not that I don't want that type of close relationship with my MIL -- it's that she is not capable of offering that type of relationship.

 

Jujsky....I am sorry that your MIL has hurt you with words and actions, and that she still does. It's sad that you weren't able to have a good relationship with her that you so wanted. I am sorry if this thread brought up hurtful memories for you. I didn't want anyone to feel bad. I don't think that I am bewildered by those that don't have a close relationship with their in-laws; my mom rarely ever talks to my dh.....maybe once a year, if that...and my dad died 16 years ago...so I'm not sure how his relationship with my dh would be right now. I know when we were very, very young my dad once called him a weasel and my dh has never forgotten that. I certainly don't blame those that don't have a friendly/loving MIL....it's not your fault!! :grouphug:

 

As the mother of 3 children, including 2 boys, I know I will be a MIL someday. I fear that after having such a bad experience with my MIL, I will not know how to be a good MIL. I really want to be a good MIL, so I have poured over this thread with great interest. Thank you all for sharing.

 

Pageta, I am sorry that you also don't have a good relationship with your MIL and that she is so hurtful to you. That would be so hard. Thank you for saying that you read the comments here with interest so you can see things that a good MIL does. I know you'll be a good one!! :grouphug:

 

ETA - An example of something she did - The day before New Year's Eve last year, my fil asked me to be his friend on Facebook. I didn't immediately accept the request because he has sent me hurtful emails in the past. I was not sure I wanted to open that can of worms. I was having a difficult time celebrating a New Year that my oldest son would not see. To keep my mind busy, we invited 40+ people for a New Year's Eve gathering. On New Year's Day, my mil called and was very angry with me for not accepting his request. She said, "You have no idea how difficult it is for us here." Excuse me? Huh? I have no idea how difficult a new year with my son being DEAD! That was IT for me... I unleashed 24 years of pent up anger on her and I am so happy I did. Quite honestly, I think it helped our relationship. For the first time in 23 years, she sent my other two kids an Easter gift. Not that I require a gift - I don't. I require that as grandparents, they make my kids feel loved. Something they have always fallen short of. When we were burying our son, my dh was dialing his dad frantically because his dad DID NOT come to the funeral. Again - it was too difficult. Nope - that was the last time I would ever go in their house or even be able to spend any amount of time with them.

 

Wow Kari! I had no idea about your son. I am so sorry!! :grouphug: How heartbreaking! Thanks for sharing. :crying:

 

I wanted to have a good relationship with my MIL. We are cordial, but my inlaws are just not loving kind of people. Since I have gotten into the habit of thinking about them in more of a negative way, I wanted to take the opportunity this thread presents and mention some of MIL's good points.

 

She is a workhorse. I really admire the amount of work she gets done in a day.

 

She has had several jobs working with people who need an advocate and she really goes to bat for them.

 

When my Ds4 was born, my mom couldn't come right away. MIL took off work and drove to our place (5 hours) to help for a few days.

 

It's sweet of you to try to think of something positive (not always easy). When you said how your MIL stayed with your for a few days after ds4 was born....it made me remember that my MIL did this too when both dd1 and ds were born. She drove about the same distance and stayed for 2 weeks both times! At first, I wasn't so sure about that (even though we do get along)...because I was afraid she'd take over taking care of baby. But....she busied herself in taking care of me. She cooked, cleaned, organized, washed laundry, etc. All the things that I found hard to do because of being worn out. Of course, the 2nd time she helped take care of dd1 too. This is another thing I am grateful she did for me. My mom seemed to care less about coming to help me.

Edited by ~AprilMay~
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