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whiterabbit14

Controlling Daughter in law

102 posts in this topic

What do you do when your daughter in law tries to run your life and forgets this is a free country? She tries to control where I go and how I spend my time. She will do anything she can to drive a wedge in between my relationship with my son and my grandchildren. I have never known anyone so controlling in my life, it is always something. I think she looks for reasons to be wrong so she can complain.

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I meant to say that she looks for reasons for things to be wrong so she can complain. Can someone please tell me how to edit my post?

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This sounds complicated. I think you're dealing with two different problems with your DIL: first, the control; second, her interference with your relationship with your son. Dealing with the first: does she try to control your life all the time, or do you think she's being controlling by telling you what is and isn't allowed for her children? If it's the latter, it's her right, and I hope you wouldn't be here complaining about that. If it's the former, you can just ignore her. You're an adult. She has no right to tell you what you can and cannot do with yourself. As for her interfering with your relationship with your son, can you give some examples about how she does that? Does she refuse to let him talk to you--and if so, how? I'm assuming he's also an adult, and capable of making his own decisions. With regards to her children, well, she might not be letting you do whatever you want with them, but that IS her right. She's the mom. Her word, as far as you're concerned, is law.

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I'm sorry, whiterabbit, that your DIL (daughter-in-law's) behavior is frustrating you so much. But as Elven's post suggests, it would help if we knew whether or not she's trying to control what you do all the time or only where it affects her and her children. And yes, it would also be helpful if you could give us some examples of how she interferes in your relationship with your DS (dear son) and GC (grandchildren). Please fill us in. As for editing your posts, unfortunately, there are only two ways to "edit" here: 1)carefully read what you've written before you hit the Post button and make any necessary changes then or 2)if you've already posted, correct any errors via an additional post - as you did! I wish there were an Edit button but there isn't... sigh...

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Your DIL has no control over you. You are letting her control you because of her threats to keep your son and GC away from you. If your son allows his wife to dictate who he can and cannot speak with, then you have a bigger son problem than a DIL problem. As far as the GC go, your DIL is their mother. Irrational and/or disturbed she may be (you really haven't given us much details to go with in order to know if she's trying to "control" you or if she's trying to set up reasonable bounderies, which most boundery-challenged people see as "controlling"), what she says goes. If she thinks you would be a bad influence on her children because you have red hair and you wear yellow pants, then she has the right to keep her children from you. Again, it's up to your son to work through these issues with his wife. If your son is too scared or too apathetic to deal with the situation, then you have a son problem, not a DIL problem.

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@WP - Where did the OP say that her DIL threatens to keep DS and GC away from her?

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"She will do anything she can to drive a wedge in between my relationship with my son and my grandchildren." Just how I interpreted that statement. Again, the OP is not very forthcoming with details.

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As PPs have said, it very much depends whether the "controlling" is attempting to control you or what you get up to with her kids when they're in your care. The latter, she has every right to do and you'd be shooting yourself in the foot if you complained about this to either her or your son. If she's trying to control you as an individual, that is very rude, but as long as you're not living in her house, you can ignore it. If you are scared that she will be able to manipulate your son and make things difficult in your relationship with him and your GC, you need to work on your relationship with your son. He should be your gateway to a healthy relationship with him and his kids, not your DIL.

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DIL tries to control where you go and how you spend your time? Is DIL setting you up on blind dates, booking you flights to Kalamazoo, and signing you up for Calligraphy classes? Smile ... then go where you like and spend your time how you like anyway. Unless what DIL's trying to control is where her children go when they're with you, and how her children spend time when they're with you. Cause after all, parents are _supposed_ to control that with their own little children.

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Don't LET her control you. Your life is you own to control. Do as you want with your time. You have no control over DS, DIL, or GK, DS and DIL control themselves and GK. What's the real problem?

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How does she try to control me? She tries to keep me from attending activities for my grandchildren and son. Just this week my oldest grandson had a little league game and I was going to come and take them all out for pizza afterwards. She told me the game was cancelled, but afterwards I found out it wasn‘t. She lied so I would miss it. My son recently won an award and I was not told about it until afterwards or invited to the ceremony. Another example, I saw my grandson riding his bike and invited him in for a snack. He told me his mom said she doesn’t want him to come over here anymore when he plays outside. He also said she told him not to tell him she said that, but you know how kids are. I haven’t brought that up to them because I don’t want to get my grandson in trouble. We invite the whole family over, but she always makes excuses why she is busy. My son used to come over with the children, but now when I ask him over she tells him he can’t come because she needs him to do some other inconsequential thing that could wait. Last weekend I invited them over and she told him he had to go to Target to buy a new air filter and move the boxes in the garage to change it. Of course this only came up because I invited them over. I have asked her if something is wrong and she says everything is “fine” but I see that she is trying to push me out.

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That's not controlling you - that's avoiding you. It may be a "free country", but you still need an invitation to be allowed into family moments like games and award ceremonies. It's not "controlling" of her to want to share these moments with just her immediate family members. It's not "controlling" of her to rather do chores than visit with you. She's not "controlling" you at all, she's just declining invitations.

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That isn't actually an attempt to control you. That's her trying (and succeeding!) to avoid you. Two very different concepts. And, as mentioned, she has that right. Invitations are not royal summons. She has no obligation to spend time with you. She also has the right to decide that certain activities are *family only*--and you're not part of her family. Her family is her husband and children. Full stop. As for the snacks, that's a no-brainer. Of COURSE she doesn't want her kids going into someone's house without telling her first! She needs to be able to keep track of them at all times. And children shouldn't be accepting food from anyone other than their parents/designated guardians. Not even their grandparents. If you give your GC a snack, then mom does too (because maybe GC isn't going to be honest and tell about yours?), that's unhealthy. You need to stop making it harder for her to do her job as a mother. She's maybe not going about this in the best possible manner, but I get the feeling that you wouldn't take it well if she were honest and told you to stop trying to insert yourself where you don't belong. If you can bring yourself to back off, stop trying to force yourself into their lives and activities all the time, stop trying to take over her role as mother, and stop assuming they have to come running as soon as you summon them, you *might* have a chance of repairing this relationship with your DIL. Your other choice is to continue as you are doing, and end up completely cut off.

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1. It's possible she'd like to keep the some of the activites for them only. Its normal. Not saying this is true, but is it possible that instead of the activity being for who it's supposed to be for, it somehow turns into about you? I ask because it's a classic move for my FIL to pull this. 2. You have a DS problem. If he wanted to include you, he would. If you're feeling left out you need to take that up with him. More than likely, any decision made about the kids is coming from both of them. 3. Is it possible that when your GC were out Playing and you invited them over you didn't let her know where they were? I'm sure it's a terrifying experience to expect to hear or see your child periodically and for them to go missing, and then all along they were at grandma's. 4. Yes, it's a free country but it appears your DIL is acting like the parent to her children in setting boundaries in regards to your involvement. Perhaps a discussion with your son as to what prompted the boundaries is in order.

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I agree with what many of the previous posters have said. It sounds like she is trying to avoid you, which she has every right to do. If you would like more time with your grandchildren, I think it would be best to talk with your son. I know that I personally prefer my IL's to contact DH, rather than me, when it comes to visits, questions, complaints, etc.

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I too would like to know what is so terrible about a grandparent wanting to see her grandchildren as often as possible. Why would someone want to be so selfish as to keep grandparents away from activities involving the children? Are grandparents only there for an occasional babysitting job when the DIL and son want to go out? A grandparent has many wonderful things to share and teach the GC. We have already fulfilled our motherly duties for young children....now it is time as we are older and wiser and definitely have more time on our hands to enjoy our children once again through our GC.

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Oy vey Wity- the children are DILs not yours!

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"I too would like to know what is so terrible about a grandparent wanting to see her grandchildren as often as possible." "As often as possible"? Are we talking moving into their bedrooms and shadowiing them while they're in class at school? The issue isn't "keeping" grandparents from activities and selfishness. The issue is that too much togetherness wears on people. Grandparents are great, but they're not part of the nuclear family. The parents have the right to decide to share certain things only withing the nuclear family. They are the ones feeding, clothing and raising these children, and they are the first ones entitled to create and keep memories for themselves. It's the grandparents who are whining they should be a part of everything that are being selfish. These memories and moments are not yours for the taking. If you invited to share in some of them, then you've been given a gift. If someone gives you a diamond necklace and you whine that you didn't get the matching earrings, nobody's going to want to give you anything more.

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Witycitykity - out of curiosity –exactly how do you define “as often as possible”? I would love to see my 10 and 13 year old daughters 24 hours a day /7 days a week sometimes – but that’s not possible. I would love to see my best friend more often – but it’s not possible. I would love to have more date nights with my DH but it’s not possible right now. And what happens when your definition of “as often as possible” does not match the parents’ definition? My parents and ILs see my children “as often as possible.” Sometimes that’s once a month, sometimes once every couple of weeks – sometimes every day if my children are with them for an extended visit. It appears to be as often as they like because we never hear anything negative. But some grandparents take “as often as possible” to extremes. Is it necessary for grandparents to be at every school event, holiday play, athletic event, ballet recital, awards ceremony? It depends on the parents – not the grandparents. Some things DH and I like to be just us..other things we open up for the GPs to attend. Some of those things the GPs pick and choose and can’t always make all of them. But my mother and MIL are not sitting with baited breath waiting on us to call and give them another opportunity to see our girls nor are they showing up at our home to see them unannounced or complaining that they don’t see them enough. What happens when “as often as possible” interferes with their family time? Or the kids’ time with their peers? What is the limit of “as often as possible”?

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It is not "controlling" of your DIL not to allow _you_ to control what she and her children do. In fact, I think you may be far more controlling than you probably realize. Your heart is in the right place, and you do things out of love. Your habit of running the social show isn't well received now that your kids are grown up and running their own show. You chose the word "controlling" to describe a young mother who won't allow her children to be controlled by you. I noticed you didn't say you invited DIL and GS our for pizza after the LL game. You state you were "going to" take them all out. You obviously weren't even invited to the game itself, and yet you made plans for someone else. That's controlling. That's why she told you it was cancelled - how else to handle someone who invites themselves and makes plans for other people. You want to control what your grandson does when he goes out to play. His mother sends him outside for exercise, and you want to feed him snacks instead. You're mad you can't control what he does. It seems you forget he's someone else's child. When you invite someone for dinner and they say no thanks, do you ask "Why not?" Did you know that's very rude to do? It might not seem like it, but asking "why can't you come?" is officially in all the ettiquette books as rude. It puts people on the spot to have to give you a reason, when "no" is all the answer you need. If they could or wanted to come, they'd say yes. People run away from people who try to pull yeses out of no's. Act like a telemarketer or a car salesman, and they'll aviod you like one. As for house chores, you don't know the details of their marriage and home life. (And if you do, that's too much). DIL wants to be with her husband, and there's always chores to be done. Should DIL feel like she's in a race with you, that if every block of their family time isn't all filled up before you ask - then that time is yours to fill. I think you'd be smart to step back, stop inviting yourself to other people's stuff, and don't make plans for other people and be flabbergasted when _they_ do what _they_ want instead of _they_ doing what _you_ want. And for goodness sakes, don't invite kids off the street into your home and get angry when they say they're listening to what their mother wants for them. Fill your time however you like - with other people who want to see you, and other social activties. Having a life of your own will improve your realtionships with your DIl and DS more than you can imagine. Treat your DIL and DS's time like it is _their_ time you're asking for. Not like you have some right to their time that they're denying you.

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I think you would be doing yourself a favor if you took the time to objectively examine why these things might be going on. Why do you think DIL didn't not want you to attend the game? What has happened at past games that might lead her to lie to you in order to make sure you didn't come? Or do you think it was the pizza plans afterwards? Or both? I wouldn't appreciate it if someone lied to me about the game being canceled either - but I wouldn't have planned to come if I wasn't invited. What would have happened if she had asked you to not attend the game? or skip the pizza party? or both? Has she kindly asked you to not attend events in the past? and how did you respond? Also - the time(s) you invited your Grandson to stop in for a snack - can you objectively examine why a mother might have a problem with that? Did either you or yor Grandson call her to let her know where he was? Did he end up getting home later than expected? Was it a healthy snack or a treat? I know there is a school of thought that Grandma's can give the kids whatever junk they want, but that can cause friction with parents - especially if you live so close you can call him in off his bike - how often was this happening? Why do you think your son didn't tell you about the award and/or invite you to the ceremony? Are you sure DIL is the "bad guy" there? Is it possible he is throwing his wife under the bus in some of this? Changing air filters is important, it can cause a lot of damage if you let them get too old. How do you know it hadn't already been put off? It sounds like they are a pretty busy family, the baseball games alone are a huge time commitment. That said, changing a air filter really isn't that big of a project, even if you have to run to the store to pick it up and move some boxes. Maybe they just wanted some family time at home? What is wrong with that? How much time do they actually have to just hang out at home, just your DS, DIL & kids? Do you feel that they should always say yes to you if they don't have other plans? Can't being home, alone, as a nuclear famlily be a plan? I bet they are on the go quite a bit. I think GPs forget families usually only have eight days a month together. Eight. That's really not much. Add in baseball and other commitments, they're probably stretched pretty thin. Is it possible they think they see you so much they don't have enough space? If you sense they want more time for just them, they probably do. Why not respect that and concentrate on enjoying the time you are together and find another way to occupy some of your free time?

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Yep, I have to say PPs have pretty much nailed it. It is not being controlling to not invite you to everything. It is not controlling to not bring the kids over when you issue a summons. As far as things that could be put off until later, how do you know they already haven't been? If your DS works during the week, as I'm assuming he does, often the weekends are probably filled with "inconsequential" house hold tasks. That is how it goes. I'm a stay at home mom and try to get as much done during the week as I can, but it isn't always possible to do EVERYTHING. And some things require 2 people. And to the PP who said it is selfish to not invite grandparents to everything the kids do, well I'm sure you will have plenty of issues with your SILs or DILs if you don't already. It is allowed to do stuff with JUST your family. Especially if one or both parents works outside of the home. Their time is limited as well, and frankly, parents time with the kids should be a far bigger priority than grandparents.

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It is allowed to do stuff with JUST your family. Especially if one or both parents works outside of the home. Their time is limited as well, and frankly, parents time with the kids should be a far bigger priority than grandparents. THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Most of you who replied to my comment must be DIL's. I didn't say move in and control.....just have some fun time. How often is as often as possible? Could be a couple of times a week or once a week or even every couple of weeks. My son and DIL live only five house away from me. GC is too small to come down on his own. As my kids were small I would have loved to have received a call from Grandma for my child to come over and it could have allowed me time to do some chores or just have "me" time. Never happened. I grew up without grand parents. Never had any at all.....they were deceased by the time I was born. All I am saying is why does it have to be a babysitting job or some prearranged major happening event? Why not just a call and say "GC" wants to come over and play. DIL is stay at home mom.....I can understand not taking time away from family time....that would be at night when son was home too. Some of you sound angry and I can tell you must not get along with MIL. I abide by all the rules my son and DIL make. Just saying don't punish me by not letting me see GC. If you have something you are upset about with me then talk it over and I bet we can come up with a solution. Most of the time the things DIL is upset about is so menial I would have NEVER guessed that it would be a problem.

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"Most of the time the things DIL is upset about is so menial I would have NEVER guessed that it would be a problem." Fastest way to stay permanently at arms-length with a DIL and to be treated as a stranger: deem her concerns or irritations to be "menial."

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