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RoseRed135

MIL/DIL conflict - Is it inevitable?

30 posts in this topic

Found this article elsewhere on the 'Net. It's old, no doubt, but thought-provoking. The writer claims that, as a new wife, she was instinctively jealous of her MIL. Furthermore, she asserts that wives, overall, are "programmed" to resent/envy/"fight" our MILs:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1204365/Why-wives-programmed-fight-mothers-law.html

Could it be? Is MIL/DIL conflict more a matter of instinct or biology than anything else?

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What a load of hooey, imo.

I know women who adore their MILs. I know others that like them. I know some who are civil. I know others that wouldn't cross the road to spit on them if they were on fire.

*shrugs*

It's about the personalities, the relationships. If a MIL has a difficult time transitioning from 'Mom' to 'peer', to her ds putting his wife/family ahead of his FOO, there's going to be issues.

If a MIL thinks that she should be an authority figure to her ds and DIL, and get a say in their decisions, there's going to be problems.

If a DIL is a possessive whack-a-doodle, who thinks any moment not spent contemplating the glory that is her is an insult, there's going to be problems.

If a DIL thinks that only her FOO should matter, there's going to be problems.

If the son has reluctance to leave and cleave, tries to straddle the fence and keep both parties happy, there's going to be problems.

If the son thinks his wife ought to accept his mother as an authority figure, there's going to be problems.

It's not biology, it's boundaries.

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I get tired of reading articles like this in which a happy ending has been found between MIL and DIL, so obviously there must be something wrong with me since it isn't this way between me and my MIL.  At least this article didn't contain a list of 10 disingenuous ways to get along with your MIL with such gems as "ask her for advice" or "cook her one of her favorite meals".

I would like to see more articles about it being okay if you don't get along with your MIL and don't like her.  It took me so long to admit to myself and others that I didn't like my MIL partly due to the pressure put on DIL's (and MIL's) by articles like these.  There is no crime in not liking your MIL and creating boundaries from that place. 

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@BSW, you, like IMP have an MIL with an agenda. These MIL don't figure into articles like these, which are just suggestions for normal 'getting along' and maybe discovering some common ground. 

My MIL didn't particularly like me, nor me her, but we got along fine overall. 

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5 minutes ago, Mame925 said:

@BSW, you, like IMP have an MIL with an agenda. These MIL don't figure into articles like these, which are just suggestions for normal 'getting along' and maybe discovering some common ground. 

My MIL didn't particularly like me, nor me her, but we got along fine overall. 

True although I sure do see a lot of articles that lean towards dismissing bad behavior even agenda driven bad behavior and suggests trying to find ways to get along when you really can just admit you don't like the person and how they behave and not see them anymore or see them very little. 

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4 minutes ago, BSW said:

True although I sure do see a lot of articles that lean towards dismissing bad behavior even agenda driven bad behavior and suggests trying to find ways to get along when you really can just admit you don't like the person and how they behave and not see them anymore or see them very little. 

Yet you tried to find ways to get along, this is your beloved husband's mother. And I think you tried harder than many people might. So, you can move forward with no regrets and your DH's full support. The agenda-driven is often hard to spot due to their skills at manipulation...but when you do, the only thing you can do is make it work for you.

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I disagree with this article as well, personally my father was a second son to my maternal Grandmother. Since it was the only relationship with an inlaw I had direct observation of, it was my expectation with my own MIL. I totally just expect another Mom type of relationship and was excited for it since there are many things that really enjoyed that my own mother did not - I had (now foolishly) hoped to fill some of those gaps.  

Unfortunately my MIL also had an agenda, that I was just not prepared for.  I admit I handled things badly at times, but I had never dealt with another family member that had a hidden agenda or that did not really want the best for me...

That was a hard reality to accept for myself... I can only imagine how hard it was for my DH. :(

 

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Posted (edited)

34 minutes ago, Mame925 said:

Yet you tried to find ways to get along, this is your beloved husband's mother. And I think you tried harder than many people might. So, you can move forward with no regrets and your DH's full support. The agenda-driven is often hard to spot due to their skills at manipulation...but when you do, the only thing you can do is make it work for you.

I sleep really well at night and if anything the regrets I have deal with not distancing myself a lot sooner, but my MIL did not reveal her true intentions until very late in our relationship, and until then, I gave her the benefit of the doubt.  Once I learned her actions were done with bad intent, it was a different story.

In all of these situations, the key is getting on the same page with your DH so that you understand where each other is coming from, and that you support each other even with your differences.  This requires getting honest and having some difficult talks. 

Edited by BSW
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I see a lot of truths in the article, but it does seem to put the onus on the DIL to shift her lens to be more accommodating and accepting of an MIL, without regard for varying circumstances. And what of the MIL's agenda to maintain primacy? That's the biggest problem, right there.

I also agree that personality has everything to do with everything.

I felt threatened by my MIL because she was undermining my marriage, trying to constantly manipulate us to meet her voluminous, selfish, emotional needs and wants. And she had henchwomen in my SILs, too, who also learned to manipulate at mother's knee.

I still shudder at the thought "what if we'd had kids." Example:  It's becoming a tradition for my MIL's GKs to spend their 21st birthdays at a bar with my ILs-- their parents, aunts, uncles and GPs. DH and I have marveled at this, since we (and everyone else we know) had spent our 21st birthdays with rowdy friends in celebration of this "independence" milestone.

Everyone can celebrate how they want, of course, but if DH and I had had kids, our kids would have undoubtedly felt some pressure to maintain the new "tradition," which, to DH and me, reeks of the enmeshment that's presented myriad problems throughout our marriage. And DH and I both agreed, if we'd had any hand in our would-be-kids' 21st birthdays (and we'd have rather not), we'd have given them a hotel room for them and their friends, bought gift certificates for Uber and sent them on their merry way, with recommendations to drink enough water to lessen hangovers (and a promise of no bail money, so fly right).

It would've been yet another "one of these things is not like the other" instance that would have had the ILs giving us the side-eye again. No thanks!

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I only have the one DIL, so I don't have to be a different person for different people.  I do hope that I am as understand as humanly possible to both my AC and their spouses.

One thing my own MIL did that was just over the top...after #2 baby girl was born, she started calling every day after lunch and she had never bothered before.  Just as I would sit down to nurse the baby with a 18 month old across my lap, the phone would ring.  (Think recovering from a Csection here) Remember party lines with hard wired wall phones?  There was no way to disconnect the phone and invariably both kids would wake up when I had to answer the phone.  After the third or fourth day of it, I did ask her to wait until about two to call and I could talk.  The calls ceased altogether.  Mean MIL was doing it on purpose as far as I could see.  I swore then that I would never call and "bother" my AC and for the most part that is true.

When DIL had the baby, she mentioned to DS that she wished I'd call her to just chat.  He mentioned it to me and I explained to her my thinking.  She said it really wouldn't be a problem today with cell phones right at hand etc, so I did call a couple of times.  Once she was just pulling into her Moms driveway for a short visit and another, she was bathing the baby.  I went right back to not calling.  I am always cheerful and upbeat when she calls me though.  I'm really not a phone person.

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Posted (edited)

A few random thoughts in response to the article...

Since the time of Chaucer, who catalogued the deadly rivalry between a wife and her husband's besotted mother in the Man Of Law's Tale, writers have found it a rich source of intense drama.

True^^^^. But it's interesting that the columnist chose this example. In the Man of Law's Tale, MIL is the jealous one and the one who tries to destroy DIL - the exact opposite of the situation the writer describes.

A study of hundreds of families has revealed that nearly two-thirds of women complain they've suffered long-term unhappiness and stress because of friction with their husband's mother.

During the research - conducted over two decades - women accused their mothers-in-law of showing unreasonably jealous love towards their sons.

My MIL wasn't OTT in her jealousy. But she did, very clearly, feel competitive w/ me in the early years of my marriage to DH. For example,  I've told before how she would ask what I was wearing to a wedding or other major event in their FOO and then show up wearing the same/nearly the same thing.
 
In turn, mothers-in-law complained that they were excluded from their sons' lives by their wives.
 
I hope MIL didn't feel this way. If she did, I never heard about it. She and FIL used to visit us once a week when the kids were growing up - and I'm the one who initiated that idea. If she was frustrated in any way, it was b/c she didn't have control over our lives/b/c DH was now making decisions w/ me and had, in fact, been making many independent choices since well before we met.
Edited by RoseRed135

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"During the research - conducted over two decades - women accused their mothers-in-law of showing unreasonably jealous love towards their sons."

Interesting.  Hubby himself will tell you that the only value he ever had toward his mother was "slave" labor.  She might have been jealous of any time he spent away from the farm, but it had nothing to do with love.

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I always wonder what the reality of the relationship was like before a CIL came on the scene.

I know my MIL cried to Wolf that 'we were so close before you got married!' (this was in a convo that he'd called her out for accusing me of turning him against her)

Reality? They'd never been close. Ever. There's nobody that believes that. Even extended family has commented that they were never close. Heck, MIL told me that they weren't close when we first married, and pressured me to 'make' them close, b/c she always believed she would've been close to a daughter. It was only when Wolf told her, flat out, that he was tired of her lies and manipulations and wasn't tolerating it anymore that she started accusing me of ruining their relationship.

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21 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

...snip...

 

I hope MIL didn't feel this way. If she did, I never heard about it. She and FIL used to visit us once a week when the kids were growing up - and I'm the one who initiated that idea. If she was frustrated in any way, it was b/c she didn't have control over our lives/b/c DH was now making decisions w/ me and had, in fact, been making many independent choices since well before we met.

This is true for us as well. DH had been on his own for years, living far away from his FOO, making his own decisions for YEARS before we met and married. MIL told DH once, that is her one regret; raising him to be so independent. Two of her sons were raised that way and I guess MIL, FIL decided to change their ways for 3rd son because YBIL is not nearly so independent, nothing like his brothers. The only reason DH and MIL had any relationship at all was because of me. I had to initiate it (that was before I realized I should never have done so! Hindsight! SIGH.) and I had to almost literally drag DH to see her, when we would see her, not so much with FIL as they saw each other more out and about, here and there when MIL was not around.

Far as the article, depends on the people, personalities. I know MIL/DIL who get along great and some not so much. I know moms and daughters who have never gotten along. AT. ALL. Not as parent/child, not as adults.

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My MIL's relationship with DH before I came around was very different, and I suspect her having to deal with that change is part of the problem. But, that relationship wasn't normal or I think healthy. DH was very much her substitute husband towards the end of her marriage to FIL and the time before her next partner came in to the picture. When her SO passed, her substitute husband was now someone else's actual husband, with his own family. She has to be dependent on someone, so there's a new partner now. 

I still think this has so much to do with personality more so than roles. I was never jealous of my MIL, I felt like we had two different but important places in DH's life after DH and I  married. But the kids came along, and the green eyed monster in her was unreal. Coupled with the fact that she is so insecure and needy, things were bound to go off the rails.   

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I guess there is historical proof that MIL-DIL relationships are prone to discord.  I have had it both ways.  I adored my own mother-in-law, more than my own mother, alas.  We were good friends for 20 years before she passed too soon.  My first DIL came into the marriage disliking me and my daughter and every other female member of her husband's (my son's) family, but she left him after six months ( reeled him back in for two reunions before they divorced.)   She had three sons by three fathers when they married, and heaven knows how many more husbands after my son.  He's been married to his second wife for 15 years and we have a good, friendly relationship.  I love her like my own.  My second son is a different story.  He and his wife of 20 years, and 3 previous years together before they married, have been in two different relationship periods with me.  For the first 11 years, they were childless, and we enjoyed a good family relationship.  My DIL was a friend, we shopped, went to movies together etc.  On their wedding day she asked if she could call me Mom.  Eight years later, their first child was welcomed into the family, and that was the beginning of the end.  Long story short, I'm estranged from both son and DIL and see my four grandchildren very rarely. No useful feedback at all during this period about why I became the Monster MIL, and Mother.  I tried (frantically) to do what they asked but it was never right.  The demands were contradictory and grievances often completely distorted from the way the rest of the family remembered the situation.  They have cut themselves off from us grandparents and from my son's other family members, siblings as well as extended family.  The dislike is palpable.  So...let's just say relationship is fraught.  Oh...I haven't yet experienced the return of any gifts to my DIL or son, nor any acknowledgement of same.  When a short-term loan was needed a year ago, his Dad was the first on his list to approach, and of course we complied.  It was repaid in a timely manner.  And yet, a phone call once every few weeks to visit and see how we (80 & 75 years old) is something we still are waiting for.  Our calls go unanswered. "There's naught so strange as folk," as the old saying goes.

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9 hours ago, Suzreads said:

I guess there is historical proof that MIL-DIL relationships are prone to discord.  I have had it both ways.  I adored my own mother-in-law, more than my own mother, alas.  We were good friends for 20 years before she passed too soon.  My first DIL came into the marriage disliking me and my daughter and every other female member of her husband's (my son's) family, but she left him after six months ( reeled him back in for two reunions before they divorced.)   She had three sons by three fathers when they married, and heaven knows how many more husbands after my son.  He's been married to his second wife for 15 years and we have a good, friendly relationship.  I love her like my own.  My second son is a different story.  He and his wife of 20 years, and 3 previous years together before they married, have been in two different relationship periods with me.  For the first 11 years, they were childless, and we enjoyed a good family relationship.  My DIL was a friend, we shopped, went to movies together etc.  On their wedding day she asked if she could call me Mom.  Eight years later, their first child was welcomed into the family, and that was the beginning of the end.  Long story short, I'm estranged from both son and DIL and see my four grandchildren very rarely. No useful feedback at all during this period about why I became the Monster MIL, and Mother.  I tried (frantically) to do what they asked but it was never right.  The demands were contradictory and grievances often completely distorted from the way the rest of the family remembered the situation.  They have cut themselves off from us grandparents and from my son's other family members, siblings as well as extended family.  The dislike is palpable.  So...let's just say relationship is fraught.  Oh...I haven't yet experienced the return of any gifts to my DIL or son, nor any acknowledgement of same.  When a short-term loan was needed a year ago, his Dad was the first on his list to approach, and of course we complied.  It was repaid in a timely manner.  And yet, a phone call once every few weeks to visit and see how we (80 & 75 years old) is something we still are waiting for.  Our calls go unanswered. "There's naught so strange as folk," as the old saying goes.

Once again, I'm so sorry that your relationship w/ YDS and YDIL went sour this way.  Unfortunately, when estranged, it's not unusual for AC/CIL not to acknowledge/return gifts. It's often seen as part of the CO. If they've decided on "no contact," then often, as I've learned on these boards, they don't even return a gift b/c they see that as "contact."

It seems unfair, though, that YDS broke the estrangement, just to ask for a loan. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt by saying perhaps he was desperate. IMO, it was very kind and loving of you and DH to say yes. And I'm glad YDS paid it back "in a timely manner." But clearly, this hasn't changed the situation, overall... sigh... He probably feels it's "enough" that he repaid his debt and, sorry to say, doesn't feel the need to call or make any other contact. (((Hugs!)))

If I recall correctly, this is the DIL w/ PTSD from an abusive childhood. I'm no therapist, but if it's any comfort, that might explain why "grievances" often seemed distorted - she might see some things differently than others/things that wouldn't trigger you or me might trigger her. Whether or not her condition would relate to "contradictory... demands," IDK, but maybe.

I'm a little confused though on whether YDS and family are totally CO from you and yours or just on ELC (extremely low contact). If they are fully CO (except for the loan episode, of course), how do you get to see the grands, even if only "very rarely?" Does that mean that there is occasional contact w/ the parents/YDS and YDIL? Or are the GC now old enough to arrange to see you on their own?

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On 7/10/2017 at 8:13 AM, NewMama said:

My MIL's relationship with DH before I came around was very different, and I suspect her having to deal with that change is part of the problem. But, that relationship wasn't normal or I think healthy. DH was very much her substitute husband towards the end of her marriage to FIL and the time before her next partner came in to the picture. When her SO passed, her substitute husband was now someone else's actual husband, with his own family. She has to be dependent on someone, so there's a new partner now. 

I still think this has so much to do with personality more so than roles. I was never jealous of my MIL, I felt like we had two different but important places in DH's life after DH and I  married. But the kids came along, and the green eyed monster in her was unreal. Coupled with the fact that she is so insecure and needy, things were bound to go off the rails.   

So, in your case, DH's relationship w/ MIL did change w/ your entrance into his life - not b/c of any jealousy on her part, but rather extreme neediness on hers.

Also, thanks for reminding us that jealousy in family dynamics doesn't always come from the same source.

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Thank you for your insight.  No, it isn't "no contact" just low contact, and great emotional distance.  We are now living about 1000 miles apart, but contact was low when it was 5 minutes apart.  I get an occasional text and photo of the children, for which I am grateful, believe me.  They do seem to recognize that the children and I love each other and permit the occasional visit.  Seen them only once since they moved away.  Other than the texts, there's no contact.  I'm familiar with other families who aren't in the same town, who Skype, FaceTime etc several times a week.  (One friend reads her grandson a bedtime story on Facetime several times a week.). No phone calls.  And my DIL hasn't exchanged any communication with me since the move.  When the family was in town recently they were invited to come for a cookout.  My son brought the kids but DIL didn't come and offered no explanation.  His affect was as if he were with people he didn't know well and there was a lot of yawning and cellphone gazing.  But we were with the children and they had a good time and so did we.  I'm aware other MIL's are completely cut off, though I don't know any personally.  My children are in their 40's, as are the children of my friends.  I perceive a difference with the 20-30 group of young married folks.  The value of extended family and maintaining a relationship with family of origin seems less and less important or desirable to them.  I honestly feel that it's an ominous trend in our culture.

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5 hours ago, Suzreads said:

Thank you for your insight.  No, it isn't "no contact" just low contact, and great emotional distance.  We are now living about 1000 miles apart, but contact was low when it was 5 minutes apart.  I get an occasional text and photo of the children, for which I am grateful, believe me.  They do seem to recognize that the children and I love each other and permit the occasional visit.  Seen them only once since they moved away.  Other than the texts, there's no contact.  I'm familiar with other families who aren't in the same town, who Skype, FaceTime etc several times a week.  (One friend reads her grandson a bedtime story on Facetime several times a week.). No phone calls.  And my DIL hasn't exchanged any communication with me since the move.  When the family was in town recently they were invited to come for a cookout.  My son brought the kids but DIL didn't come and offered no explanation.  His affect was as if he were with people he didn't know well and there was a lot of yawning and cellphone gazing.  But we were with the children and they had a good time and so did we.  I'm aware other MIL's are completely cut off, though I don't know any personally.  My children are in their 40's, as are the children of my friends.  I perceive a difference with the 20-30 group of young married folks.  The value of extended family and maintaining a relationship with family of origin seems less and less important or desirable to them.  I honestly feel that it's an ominous trend in our culture.

Thanks for explaining further, Suzreads! Since it's a matter of LC, I'm not sure why the failure to acknowledge gifts. It might be pure rudeness or thoughtlessness, IDK. But I'm glad you do get to see your GC, sometimes, and get an occasional photo of them. It must hurt, I know, to hear about other GPs getting to Skype or do FT w/ their LD (long distance) families. But you're right, some GPs are totally CO. So given the strained relations w/ YDS and DIL, IMO, you are doing ok.

It sounds as if DIL has completely removed herself from the situation, letting DS handle whatever communication (texts) and visits there are. It's called "dropping the rope," and I'm guessing that's what she has done. That would explain her lack of texts and her not showing up at the cookout. Maybe not,- perhaps she just didn't feel well or something - but, looking at the larger picture, I suspect I'm right.

Meanwhile, I'm sorry DS acted so aloof at the cookout. And, IMO, his yawning, etc., was very rude (unless he was honestly tired, for some reason). Very sorry about that. But I'm glad the kids were there and that you and they had fun. Were your other DS and family there, too? If so, I'm sure you enjoyed each other, as well.

Though I know there is such a thing as a trend, the comment about the "20-30 group" seems like quite a sweeping generalization to me. I know some people in their 20s who are very involved w/ their FOO (family of origin). Also, I've known some older people who weren't/aren't. I do think the younger parents tend to focus more specifically on their nuclear families than on extended family, spending more time just w/ their own family unit on the weekends, for example, than w/ GPs (perhaps that's what you're talking about). And that they are more likely to pull away from FOO or ILs if relationships are strained. But that includes many in their 30s and 40s, too, as far as I've seen. Perhaps it's more true of those in their 20s? IDK.

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6 hours ago, Suzreads said:

Thank you for your insight.  No, it isn't "no contact" just low contact, and great emotional distance.  We are now living about 1000 miles apart, but contact was low when it was 5 minutes apart.  I get an occasional text and photo of the children, for which I am grateful, believe me.  They do seem to recognize that the children and I love each other and permit the occasional visit.  Seen them only once since they moved away.  Other than the texts, there's no contact.  I'm familiar with other families who aren't in the same town, who Skype, FaceTime etc several times a week.  (One friend reads her grandson a bedtime story on Facetime several times a week.). No phone calls.  And my DIL hasn't exchanged any communication with me since the move.  When the family was in town recently they were invited to come for a cookout.  My son brought the kids but DIL didn't come and offered no explanation. (1) His affect was as if he were with people he didn't know well and there was a lot of yawning and cellphone gazing.  But we were with the children and they had a good time and so did we.  I'm aware other MIL's are completely cut off, though I don't know any personally.  My children are in their 40's, as are the children of my friends.  (2) I perceive a difference with the 20-30 group of young married folks.  The value of extended family and maintaining a relationship with family of origin seems less and less important or desirable to them.  I honestly feel that it's an ominous trend in our culture.

This describes my son inlaw to a T, glued to the screen of a cellphone, laptop or tv, yawning, not a whole lot to say until he eventually pulls himself away and engages in conversation or activity- My daughter had him beat for some time but has since made an effort to disengage from her cellphone screen -- to some degree- They are this way even when in each others company and I know this because both have said as much in passing conversation not to mention that the children have piped up regarding their parents cellphone usage-   

Growing up we had radio and tv- By the time cable entered onto the scene was when I noticed people having difficulty pulling themselves away from the screen- There was so much more to see on cable that was not allowed on network television not to mention that with cable one could also pay for channels and sporting events- Today, there are podcasts, videos, tons more porn, stories, videos, wikipedia, blogs, forums, facebook, instagram, audio books, ebooks .. simply tons and tons of stuff ..

It also appears to me that extended family it isn't as important for many, but not all-  And by the time their children have grown it may be even less important to them- No way of knowing, really- When I do speak with immediate and extended family members we all share treasured memories of the past when extended family was more important- A few weeks ago on Facebook two nieces of mine that are in the age group you mention had me in fits of laughter recalling different things that happened at family gatherings-

But I think it's important to take into consideration what does matter to the age group you mention and why-

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7 hours ago, Suzreads said:

Thank you for your insight.  No, it isn't "no contact" just low contact, and great emotional distance.  We are now living about 1000 miles apart, but contact was low when it was 5 minutes apart.  I get an occasional text and photo of the children, for which I am grateful, believe me.  They do seem to recognize that the children and I love each other and permit the occasional visit.  Seen them only once since they moved away.  Other than the texts, there's no contact.  I'm familiar with other families who aren't in the same town, who Skype, FaceTime etc several times a week.  (One friend reads her grandson a bedtime story on Facetime several times a week.). No phone calls.  And my DIL hasn't exchanged any communication with me since the move.  When the family was in town recently they were invited to come for a cookout.  My son brought the kids but DIL didn't come and offered no explanation.  His affect was as if he were with people he didn't know well and there was a lot of yawning and cellphone gazing.  But we were with the children and they had a good time and so did we.  I'm aware other MIL's are completely cut off, though I don't know any personally.  My children are in their 40's, as are the children of my friends.  I perceive a difference with the 20-30 group of young married folks.  The value of extended family and maintaining a relationship with family of origin seems less and less important or desirable to them.  I honestly feel that it's an ominous trend in our culture.

I forgot to mention that I think a large part of the disconnect stems from striving to survive in this present day society- I think they have to work 10x harder to secure jobs and keep them due to our ever growing population- This is why I think many have chosen to live much more simply and off the grid-

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12 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

I forgot to mention that I think a large part of the disconnect stems from striving to survive in this present day society- I think they have to work 10x harder to secure jobs and keep them due to our ever growing population- This is why I think many have chosen to live much more simply and off the grid-

If anything, hours seem to be longer in many jobs. That - and the fact that, often, both parents are working, even when children are very small - is probably another reason why many young families feel the need to focus on bonding w/ each other on weekends.

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8 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

If anything, hours seem to be longer in many jobs. That - and the fact that, often, both parents are working, even when children are very small - is probably another reason why many young families feel the need to focus on bonding w/ each other on weekends.

Plus it's harder to disengage from work even at home while not on the clock. Due to email, text, social media, some bosses/coworkers can and do keep in contact through the evening.

We had a job quite a few years ago, DH and I worked together and our boss would call us at all hours of the day and night. Then we'd see him at church and he'd want to talk business. We literally worked 7 days a week but we were not on the clock for that work. We asked him to stop and he didn't. We finally just told him, we don't want to talk at church or after hours and if you call us we will add 2 hours of work to our pay for every time you call us or talk to us while not on duty. It didn't take long after that for him to finally stop. And we did add 2 hours to our pay checks for that time, even if it was just ten minutes. He complained to our Pastor when we did this, but he got no sympathy from him either.

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My mom and my PGM had a very good, respectful relationship from my POV.  My PGM spoke highly of my mom and my mom still speaks highly of PGM, even years after PGM's passing.  

The experience I had with my MIL was a whole different animal.  Little did I know at the time, it was my husband (S2BX) that was contributing to it with all the negative things he was saying to my MIL about my FOO.  MIL would come to visit and have all sorts of negative opinions about my FOO.  She didn't make any points with me behaving like that.

Even though I didn't care much for her biased opinion of my FOO, I stepped in a few times and stuck up for her and FIL when I felt S2BX was being harsh with his words.  Maybe I stepped in where I shouldn't have, but I didn't want the kids witnessing the intense arguments between their father and his parents.

While I'm now the scapegoat for the 3-year estrangement between S2BX and PILs, it appears in the five months he and I have been separated, S2BX and PILs still haven't seen each other.  I find it humorous I'm being blamed, since I was supportive of S2BX while he traveled OOT for work and stayed weekly with PILs for seven years and I hosted them (with hubby barely lifting a finger to help) at least one long weekend each month, in our home, for 10 years.  If I'm so hard to get along with, then it seems it should be easy for them to find another wife/DIL willing to do the same; that is, if conflict between MIL and DIL isn't "inevitable" like the article suggests.     

    

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