A son is your son till he takes a wife

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 15
116 posts
Blushing bee

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Smoochism :  Finally, decent advice!

Post # 17
3444 posts
Sugar bee

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Bella1677 :  so are you saying you love him more than your other kids?

Post # 18
2319 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

Future Mother-In-Law has 4 children, but Fiance is her only boy, the baby, and her favorite. Moreover, he had been single for most of the last decade before we met. Because of that, he was always at every family gathering, and she came to expect that would always be the case.


We’re trying to make it clear that they can’t just take for granted he’ll just show up. I have family and friends we enjoy, and his family can be exhausting and difficult. I’ve done my best to encourage Fiance to maintain a good amount of contact and to see them when they ask, but not to yeild to this idea he’s obligated to appear when summoned or supposed to psychically know he’s expected.

I’d encourage you to take a look at how you are communicating your deisre to spend time with them. Is it extended only to him, or do you ask her as well? Do you want him to give you his undivided attention when you are all together, or do you include her in the visiting?

Try and honestly reflect on if you are as warm and welcoming to DIL as you could be. If you find room for improvement, give that a try. If you think you’ve done everything you can, think about if you have voiced your desire to see them enough, or are upset because he isn’t initiating. It might just be she’s super close to her family and he thinks inviting you to visit with all of them is a way to bring the families together. 

Finally, I’d suggest talking to your son. Tell him you miss him, and would like to see more of him. Don’t make it about DIL. Just focus on your feelings and that spending time with him (and them) is important to you and hope he feels the same. If you seem to be blaming or attacking his wife, he may feel the need to defend her and push you further away.

He’s still your son, but he’s at a stage of life where he should be putting the family he is creating first. The best thing you can do is willingly support him in doing that, so he will decide to include you in it.

Post # 19
2000 posts
Buzzing bee

My Mother-In-Law could probably write this post about me. She totally acts like I ‘stole’ my husband from her. I think it’s so bizarre to view it as a competition. He is capable of loving both of us (differently) so why compete!? 

When you get married, your spouse becomes your #1 priority. Previous to that, maybe your parents were, so there is some transition there. When my husband was really sick, I took him to the ER. I would assume prior to me, his mom would have taken him. Does that mean he’s not her son? No. It would just be bizarre that as two adults, we’d call his mom in that situation. It doesn’t mean I stole him, it’s just a different relationship now. As it should be! 

We spend more time with my family because we like my family better. Just being blunt about it: there’s less drama, everyone gets along better, neither of my parents are pushy or nosy. i think it’s also natural for daughters to be closer with their moms, especially regarding pregnancy stuff. I would never be comfortable discussing anything private or personal with my Mother-In-Law. I haven’t told her we’re TTC and when we do get pregnant, I will keep any and al updates as brief and basic as possible. 

How would you feel if your husbands mom was writing stuff like this about you? What would your response be? I think if you look at this from the other side, you might find ways to alter your behavior or expectations and make the relationship better. 

Post # 20
3274 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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Bella1677 :  my older brother is like this. Everything to do with my sil’s family is the priority now. Our family used to be so close. I blame him, not my sil though. She is a great girl. She just prefers to spend time/holidays with her family naturally and rather than create any dissention, he falls in with her plans.. 

I think there is much truth in that old saying which is how they get started in the first place…

eta, you may have done absolutely nothing wrong. I work with someone whos in-laws have been nothing but nice. She will tell you that even. Mil just annoys her though, Anything mil says or does is like “b!tch eating crackers” syndrome. So she doesn’t invite her to school events or anything and only visits rarely under duress. My co worker is a very nice person too. She just finds dh relatives irritating and prioritizes her own fam. I don’t think similar behavior is that unusual sadly….many men just go along with it….

Post # 21
3035 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

If you were to talk to your son right now, what would your complaints be and by talking to him what would you hope would change? What makes you feel left out? Why do you not feel comfortable at his wife’s parent’s place? What has he told you he needs? Has he ever given you any issues that exist in your relationship? Have you stopped to examine any issues and what have you found? Has there been any moments of tension or overstepping? Do you understand precedence of nuclear family and do you respect your son/DIL as adults and parents?

I’m trying to give you benefit of the doubt but first thing that comes to mind with the quotes of your topic title and other sentiments you expressed is generally mothers/grandmothers that have unhealthy boundaries, control issues, and enmeshment. The other thing I find interesting is that you aren’t comfortable at her side of the family’s get togethers which without further detail as to why is a red flag to me. Added with that…the personal notes you’ve made for comparisons with her family, the fact you express him as no longer being your son for normal healthy life progressions with a nuclear family, difficulty in potentially accepting differences in relationship needs, and that you’re discussing this with your other children are also red flags. Without further details into what your relationship is and into what you’re expecting, it’s hard to go any further with this.

Post # 22
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

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Bella1677 :  you daughter is not yous forever… kids do go no contact with their parents if their parents are assholes, regargles of the child’s gender. Not you, just saying in general. 

I always though that sons distance themselves after they get married and daughters stay close… not the case in our case. We just got married and we have been closer with DH’s family  than my family. My mom has been cause a lot if drama and negativity in my life and I am drastically distancing myself with my family…

Post # 23
930 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Your son is not only yours until he marries and a daughter is not yours forever. Those are old school generalizations that irk me but I digress.  You said your son was different before so I feel like we are missing info because a son or daughter doesn’t just change for no reason. Do you know if this change has anything to do with your DIL or your own behaviors?  My husband is super close to his parents and so am I. He has never asked me permission to go see them or spend time with them nor have I ever dissuaded it. I try to spend some really good quality time with them at least once a month. He sees them for quality time at least twice a month and we all text frequently and try to stay in contact despite our very busy lives and different work schedules. 

I’m also closer to my in laws than specifically my own mom due to certain behaviors by her throughout the years. It wasn’t even something drastic…just a very very slow distancing. My in laws are just much more positive people, encouraging, supportive and truly an asset and joy in my life so I naturally want to see them. This circles back to how I feel we are missing info in order to assess your situation better. Regardless, if you haven’t spoken to your son about how you feel without getting too emotional, then I think you need to do that because that’s step 1 towards finding some answers. It could really be something as simple as they are a bit overwhelmed with life right now or it could be something bigger. 

Post # 24
1537 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Please read this to yourself in an unsnarky tone because I honestly don’t mean any snark: We are never as subtle as we think we are. 

Since you are bristling over the hostility you perceive from some of the posters here, and you were able to easily perceive this hostility without any non-verbal cues that people can benefit from when face-to-face, then do you really think it’s impossible for your DIL’s parents to pick up on your resentment of them? Could that not have contributed to the perception that they “treat you differently”, even just a little? 

Even if everyone on here were saying you are the perfect Mother-In-Law and have never behaved with less than perfect courtesy and magnanimity, what then? As a PP already pointed out, that’s not going to change your situation one iota.  And possibly worse, as validation might make you approach your interactions with your DIL and her family with even greater righteous indignation.  I can tell you that will lead nowhere good. 

I would breathe deep and try to look past the causticness of some of the words in this thread, and listen especially to the bees who are offering you a DIL’s perspective.  As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, “Know thy enemy and know thyself.” *tongue in cheek*

Post # 25
2863 posts
Sugar bee

You need to talk to your son, and potentially add in DIL. Maybe there are things you’re doing or saying that they don’t like or they are offended by. Figure that out first. If there are any issues there, resolve those. Don’t treat either of them like children. They’re not. Treat them like the adults they are.

Once you can all move forward from any issues, explain that you’d like to spend more time with them and any grandkids. But at the same time, don’t be a smothering mother figure. Again, treat them like adults and give them their space. Maybe you can set up a routine like every Sunday you play cards together, or have dinner together. And don’t get offended if they don’t want to spend 5 days/week with you. That’s normal. Be grateful for the times you can get together.

Post # 26
9725 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

How often do you see them? Do you invite them to your own home instead of relying on him to do all the inviting?

Is it possible you’ve overstepped with the new baby coming?

Post # 27
6902 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

The underlying truth in this phrase comes from the fact that a woman who has a good relationship with her own mother is more likely to consult her mum on all sorts of things. This is just human nature. If you can talk to your mum about your period and other topics that might be awkward with other people, then it is normal that you might first go to her when it comes to marriage, pregnancy, etc. So that is the “hurdle” that needs to be overcome.

I think the PP who said that you need to relate to them as adult to adults is right. Appealing to the fact that you are his mum and adore him and the delivery you had with him, etc. is, well, awkward. If they invite you to the IL’s home, then GO! Make friends with your son’s Mother-In-Law and FIL! They may prefer to go there simply because of space or layout or comfort or whatever, but if they are inviting you, that’s a good thing. Invite them AND your IL’s to your home for gatherings. You cannot replace your DIL’s mum as the person she might go to with her issues, but you can make yourself and your home a welcoming, non-pressured, safe space for everyone. 

And finally, this has a lot to do with your DS. I have one son who comes to me with EVERYTHING. He came to me in middle school when he heard expressions he didn’t understand at school. I’ve always told him the truth, and he still comes to me as an older teenager with things he is worried about or wants to understand more about. I imagine he will be the same way throughout his life, and will still talk with me and be close with me when he is married. My second son is simply more independent. Despite me making myself a safe place for him to ask questions, he chooses to go to his brother or peers first, and he isn’t as open with me (or anyone). Sadly, I imagine he will be that way throughout his life, too, and I will likely see and hear less from him when he gets seriously involved with someone. That’s WHO THEY ARE, and none of that is going to magically change when they get married. So if your son has always been independent, you may be wishing for the impossible here. 

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