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Daughter-In-Law Problems

My daughter-in-law is a very mean person. We love our son and grand-daughters and want to try and keep our relationship going with our daughter-in-law but are almost ready to give up. We pray for her and at times see glimmers of hope, but they end quickly. Should we keep our distance?Any suggestions?

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I am a daughter in law. My ex boyfriends mother was very mean to me, yet when we split I never kept her granddaughter from her. I didn't feel it was right for me to get between them, so I didn't. Unfortunately some don't feel the same, and they either have that urge or they don't. I have no suggestions, just want to add all daughter in laws aren't mean.. :0)
---CJ on 1/2/11

I have the exact same issue. - I have no suggestions. But is nice to know I'm not alone.
---karen_t on 12/31/10

Thank you for your comment on your Daughter in law. I am so glad I am not alone. Unfortunately I have no suggestions on how to make the relationship work, I wish I had the answer.
---karen on 12/31/10

we are being kept away from our grand-daughter, we only saw her at her birth, my sons wife is very controlling. she turned him away from us. all i can do is pray.
---sherry_abbott on 10/19/10

Of course keep praying. But, don't be too amazed if God tells you to remain aloof. God is on the side of His people. Most concerned with His people, His chosen people.
---catherine on 9/11/10


What does your son think of his wife? Are they on the verge of divorce? Is he oblivious to your problem? Is he a submissive husband?

All you can do is pray for her. Your son is in a no-win situation. If he backs your play, his wife may dissolve the marriage and he will be living back home in your basement so he can save enough money to pay the outrageous child support payments, spousal maintenance, and alimony payments, not to mention having to pay his attorney $20,000 for a galliant, but failed attempt at gaining custody.

Do your son a favor and leave it alone. Try to love her and kill her with kindness.
---Higgins on 9/11/10

The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful wonderful daughter-in-law. My daughter-in-law is considerate, affectionate, and a great comfort to me and my wife. I pray for those of you who have problems with your daughter-in-law.
---mima on 9/10/10

I have a daughter in law that is vengeful and controlling. I focus on my own life with my husband and I do pray for her. I shed not a tear because there is nothing to gain here but more grief. My peace is in Christ and I trust him with the well being of my son and my granddaughters. I actually pray that God protect me from her and preserve my good relationship with my son.
---deborah on 9/10/10

I think you should let the childrens dad deside that.And obey his wishes if posible.
---Carolyn on 4/20/10

You know you said you love your son and the grandkids but not her...don't you think she scenses you've pegged her out? As christians we are called to leave and cleave and if you are looking at your sons bride like that that is really bringing an attack to that family unit. If a woman came into your house and liked everyone in your family YOUR HUSBAND, YOUR KIDS and called you mean would you want her around??? Pray that God would show you your heart and even clear up misunderstandings you may have of her...she may be boosting her boundaries because of the way you are attacking her as a person. If you treat all of them the same then there may be a better chance for you all to have a healthy relationship.
---Hope on 4/13/10

I am just like you. We are on a roller coaster ride and I lose sleep over this. She even prays to God to get her out of the relationship!
I have no suggestion at all. WE just have to wait and see what happens, I guess.
---Francis on 4/12/10

I understand what you are saying. My daughter-in-law feels she is better than everyone just because she has a two Masters degrees. Only today at a party she sat there and told my son, who owns his own company, works very hard and is true and honest, that she is worth more than him because she is educated. She forgot that it is because of her husband that she was able to get her two Master degrees because he took care of the children while she did it. Unfortunately, after all these years (almost 20) I lost my temper and told her off. I pray the she will wake up and realize that there are people in this world that are good, honest and do not have master degrees. She is a Christian but rarely practices what she preaches.
---Edie on 4/11/10

Pray for your daughter-inlaw for God to just bless her and leave the rest up to Him. You must live for Jesus according to his commandments and just trust in Him. God knows all your sufferings and how we really are. Pray for Jesus to bless her in the way only He knows is needed. Also, this is important: when you see your daughter in law silently bless her and ask the Lord Jesus to go to her and all the members of the family. Do this each time without being discouraged. He will answer in His own way.
---Elizabeth on 4/9/10

I have a mean DIL. She is abusive towards my son. I did not want to see it, but i finally had to. She has alienated his family, a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins that he was very close to. He now does not come around. His wife was rude at each gathering and alienated everyone. All were good to them, giving, helpful. When my granddaughter was born, she didn't want my son's family to hold her, but she allows the maintenance man at their housing development to hold her. In time, I had to admit that she is mean, and insecure-feels threatened by our son's relationship with his family. My son is a different person. Gone the happy person he was, he's under stress, makes horrible financial decisions and has changed personalities.
---Lori on 3/30/10

Over the years and the study of people, I've discovered there are people that are crusty on the outside---disagreeable, mean-tempered and miserable. They've been hurt, and they carry that hurt like a heavy weight without the freedom of God's forgiveness.

A mean-spirited person is acting out under their accepted belief that it's OK to be mean. Such tend to be self-satisfying, but greatly dependent on others for their sense of themselves.

Pray to be of service to your daughter-in-law, and even ask forgiveness for your bad feelings toward her if you find you cannot love her. If you truly want a way to develop a relationship with her, trust God to give you the tools.
---Elaine on 3/14/10

You mentioned that your other son's refer to her as, "high maintenance." Perhaps she is aware that she is spoken poorly of.

Did you ever think that she may know how you feel toward her, and is simply acting accordingly?
---chris on 3/14/10

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i strongly suggest you give every effort to come to a meeting of the minds with your d/l do it for the grandchildren you love
---len on 2/11/10

I see no reason why you cannot limit your relationship.
---catherine on 2/8/10

Your Son Loves her.
She is His Wife.
Let them grow together as one.
Trust your Sons own decision.
He chose her.
Trust His love for her.
Trust Him.
Trust God.

Let them be.

God is Love.
Here's where you can start.
---char on 2/7/10

Your struggle is not against flesh and blood. Where there is jealously, envy, and strife, there is every evil thing. Mean? Is she on drugs? There is nothing good in any of us (that is in our flesh). You love your son and grand-daughters? You need to pray to love her as you would your own child. She is feeling threatened in some way and fearful of a relationship with you. I do believe you are correct in suggesting to keep your distance at this point. It is important to say only good things about her to all people (even your son). Love your enemies and do good to them that spitefully use you and say all manor of evil against you. Conquer evil with good/LOVE. Seek God with everything in you.:) God bless
---jody on 2/4/10

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Ten Mistakes That Can Cripple a MIL and DIL Relationship
1. Criticizing the DILs House Cleaning
2. Criticizing the DILs Appearance
3. Giving "Shallow" Gifts to DIL or DILs children:
4. Showing Preference or Favoritism for One DIL or Grandchild(ren)
5. Badmouthing the DIL to other family members.
6. Telling your DIL how to parent, cook, clean,etc.
7.Not offering positive feedback or encouraging remarks toward DIL when she does something well
8. Disrespecting DIL and Sons Need for Space
9. Purposefully failing to recognize the DILs or son's traits in grandchildren.
10. Acting anything other than the most proud, approving, and appreciative MIL on the wedding day, fake it if you have to.
---Sue on 2/4/10

I feel for you and understand. My DIL does not allow me to see my beautiful grand children. We live in two different states. She's changed her phone numbers and email address and claims she's moving. The only people who are hurting are the grand children.
---Tammy on 1/6/10

I understand prayer is all we have my problem is my thoughts are unhealthy as I say a thorn in my side to keep me humble
---chris on 9/11/09

Sounds like you have done everything you can do. She is childish not to speak to you, even to tell you what offense she thinks you have committed. If your son won't enlighten you either, back off.

I imagine, if you had a good relationship with your son, he is undergoing much inner turmoil...but he is "cleaving" to his wife.

The next move, if there is one, is up to them. Pray for them and send them a Christmas Card on the Holiday.
---Donna66 on 9/1/09

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I wrote earlier about difficulties with my dil. I sought counseling and was advised to do the very thing I had been trying-invite her to lunch, shopping, movies- to try to bond. She does not answer calls or return messages. I pass on messages thru my son and also sent her little gifts. These are not acknowledged. On the few occasions when my son hands her the phone she hangs up. I asked my son to talk to her to see what I have done to offend her. However, now my son is becoming distant. Reconciliation is a two way street and it is hard to reach out to someone when your hand is slapped away. I like my dil. I am not asking her to like me but acceptance would be a good start. I pray we will all find a solution.
---betty on 9/1/09

It is never easy joining another family. Perhaps your daughter in law feels like an outsider. You messages opens with a subjective comment about her, perhaps she is aware that you dislike her. That would make it difficult to build a relationship. Hold out the hand of friendship to her. Your son saw something in her, respect his choice of partner and as you have grandchildren, you need to keep things amicable for their sake.
I say this as a daughter in law whose mother in law set out to try to destroy a good marriage because she was jealous, but did not succeed. It caused a great deal of unhappiness so much so her son and grandchildren are not close to her now as she alienated them. I am sure you would not want that for your family
---Sue on 8/31/09

---Betty on 6/6/09

I am really sorry for your difficult and stressful situation. I just want you to know that I am praying for you and your family. I know the pain of having such disappointment.

---Jane on 6/25/07

I would never give up.
God wants us to persevere and overcome evil with good.
Rom 12:21, Luke 6:27

Ecc 11:6
In the morning sow thy seed,
and in the evening withhold not thine hand:
for thou knowest not whether shall prosper,
either this or that,
or whether they both shall be alike good.
---SuzieH on 6/7/09

I wish I had the answer. My son is about to marry a mean girl. Since the first day he brought her to meet me she has said I hated her. She used this song to get my son's sympathies which progressed to "love". Now my once close relationship with my son is disintergrating. Any attempt to talk results in venomous assault. I have been trying to plan a rehearsal dinner for 3 months. The wedding is in 3 weeks. I simply asked for their entree selection and it resulted in an onslaught of text messages each one meaner than the last. Grandchildren will never see me when they have them. Prayer may help your feelings. That is all any of us can do.
---Betty on 6/6/09

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Why is the Mother in law always berated or
asked to apologize? I have two very
mean spirited daughters in law. They came
into their marriages checking to see if
they would be mis-treated. Nothing I do is
good enough and if I do nothing that is certainly not good enough. Get in behind
the mothers in law for a change.
---Diane on 10/24/08

NO! Do not keep your distance on account of your Son. You must pray for you D.IN.Law's Salvation. Because without that she will not change.
---catherine on 9/2/07

I am a mean daughter-in-law. I constantly have to have my defenses up, be assertive, etc. The mother-in-law is very pushy, if I relax and smile/be happy around her, she starts demanding that we spend more and more time with her. And she does not take "no" for an answer. When we were studying for medical boards, she insisted on a nice long visit and we were unable to study at all. I agree with the other posters, ask your daughter in law what you did.
---robyn on 9/2/07

My inlaws enable their 26 yo daughter (bailing out, bought her a new house-although she is always at their house, new car, covering for her, drugs, shady characters, raising her children, etc.) They say we "don't try hard enough" to get along with her. They are right, I have given up, I refuse to go over there anymore. I guess they would describe me as mean. :(
---Elaine on 8/15/07

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have you asked your DIL if something you've done has offended her? I would let her know that you care about her....maybe you can befriend her and establish a relationship with her as woman to woman,aside from her DIL role. Do not give up! Good luck and God bless
---bitsy on 7/19/07

Sheilah: Your post is very very sad. I could not live like that. I never want to even be in a relationship like you have described. God be with you all.
Quite frankly, your husband need to see a psychiatrist. He has some very deep and serious issues, if they concern his mom.
---Robyn on 7/5/07

My heart bleeds when I read posts like this one. Why is there so much torment and pain in this world? Why can't people just put their little egos, wants and opinions aside and learn to love, or at least respect others? You have a sizable problem on your hands and its going to take a very long time to straighten it out. Keep praying and hoping for the best.Your daughter in law should try to get along for the sake of the kids and her husband.
---Robyn on 7/5/07

My husband has a lot of childhood anger towards his mother. He won't talk to her. She blames me. Sadly, we have four children she's never met.

She accuses me of horrible sins: I am not allowed at family functions due to gossip my MIL has spread.

Please don't distance yourself too much. My husband has taken an interest in the occult. I would welcome his parents Christian presence if it were not for the painful accusations that I have to endure.
---Sheilah on 7/5/07

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Sharing personal experiences can help someone, especially when there are gray areas. No need to bog down in blogland.
If you don't like their experience, move on. Maybe it's giving you a pinch for a reason. Paralysis by analysis. Women tend to over analyse everything, it drives most men, nuts. Men like the bottomline. Next.
---Jenny on 7/3/07

Susie, I agree. I think personal experiences can be great examples and a common ground to relate to one another. I just meant we shouldn't assume something is going on simply because it happened to us. Oops, there I go again. Can't seem to let this go! :op Well, just know I do respect your opinion, even though it came across that I didn't.
---Katie on 7/3/07

Katie...Sometimes personal experiences are the best kind of go with.
---Susie on 7/2/07

Hi Bob! Wow, I sure am making a mess out of this one, aren't I?! LOL. I apologize for coming off as controlling, and belittling. I didn't explain myself clearly, and should probably stop while I'm behind. I'll just say this, and then drop it: I wasn't trying to tell people not to use personal experiences, I use them myself. However, reading my earlier replies I can see how that is what came across. So, I am sorry for the confusion, and I'll just let my original point go, okay? God bless!
---Katie on 7/2/07

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You have not given us much to work with here. How is she mean. Is it only to you or does she abuse her kids, her husband. Does she tell you not to interfere in her life or try to control her actions. if you do she is justified in telling you to leave her alone. We can love our grand kids and our sons and daughters, but you have to let a couple make their own mistakes so they learn. Even though you are protective doesn't give you the right to interfere. Have you asked what her issues are with you.
---ashley on 6/30/07

2-Many times a young lady becomes a mother and immediately the mother in law wants to impose her will on how they are raised. it is not being mean when she says she would like to raise them without help. it is called freedom to choose which decisions we make in life. too often, people over react and lose loved ones in their life. we should accept them for who they are. if a child is in danger, than yes intervene. The hardest thing we can do is remain silent until a call for our help is given.
---ashley on 6/30/07

Yes, keep your distance. The demons have gotten to your DiL, through her family, her friendships, her past actions, or from somewhere. It is unfortunate, but the less that you interfere, the less that your DiL will have you to blame for the mess that her family will become. Prayer from a distance, and verbal support of your son and grandkids is the only and best support you can give.
---harold on 6/30/07

Katie, instead on being an interpreter for everyone else's answers, we should answer as we are led to.
Other peoples' experiences may help someone else. I don't see it as bitterness at all.
Are you a MotherinLaw, too?
We all answer from our own point of view and because you don't share that, you'll spend your blogging time arguing that we should share your point of view, which I don't.
---Bob on 6/30/07

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Katie, by your lining us out, that we should all answer as you do, I find that very controlling, also.
There is safety in a multitude of counsellors, and we're all entitled to answer. What's bitterness for you may be a heads up for someone else.
---Bob on 6/30/07

Fast and pray, seek the Lord, to have His heart, stand in the gap. This woman is hurting and needs the healing love of Jesus. Keep asking the Lord for His heart, to see her with His eyes of love, seek the renewing of your mind with the washing of the word. Bless each and every one of you.
---Christina on 6/30/07

Perhaps I should elaborate on my observation. I was simply trying not to get too personal, but here goes. I do not mean we shouldn't let the person know we can relate to them. And I'm not even talking about discernment. I'm talking about bringing our bitter emotions into our answer that stem from what we ourselves have gone through. Example to follow.
---Katie on 6/29/07

Maybe a year ago, I was on this site and a man admitted to cheating on his wife. He was broken, and remorseful, and wanted to do the right thing. One person replied back with a harsh insult. While I odn't remember the exact term, he was way out of line. I reprimanded him, and he apologised, and agreed he had been out of line. As it turned out he had just been cheated on, and was taking it out on this man.
---Katie on 6/29/07

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My point: We are replying to these questions because we want to help them, right? So how is it helping them by assuming things are one way because that's how it was with us, or allowing our befuddled emotions make a mess of our answer? I just want to answer with caution (and discernment), and would hope you all agree with me. And not out of a false "PC" exterior, but true concern and compassion for the individual.
---Katie on 6/29/07

The majority of MILs are not like they are depicted. Most want what their children happy. Most will keep their mouths shut even if they don't like their child's choice of spouse. In fact, my ex-husbands mother liked me better than she liked him. LOL!!!
---Susie on 6/29/07

Susie, discernment is a gift from God. Right on!!
---Sherry on 6/29/07

Jane, MiLaws that meddle and cannot let their boys go, will always be somewhere in the middle of a family argument.
Should you keep your distance, yes. Have you ganged up on her, even with your prayers?Praying that she would come around to your way of thinking, if so, it would be better if you did not pray those prayers at all. There are 'witchcraft' prayers where you superimpose your will on top of someone elses. The more you force, the more your DiLaw probably wishes she could move far, far away.
---Trisha on 6/29/07

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Read the muddy clothes blog? I agree with Elder. More often than not, it is the MiLaw that causes DiLaw grief in a marriage. DiLaw pulls back, withholds grandchildren, anything to put some distance there. If MiLaw continues to force her will (with rest of family standing behind her); you can accomplish the mission, force that DiLaw right out of your family.
Why don't you give up, you said you were ready. Why not cease and desist your manuevers; if you stop, she may decide to come around.
---Trisha on 6/29/07

Katie...There are many times that we post because the Holy Spirit has given us discernment of the situation. But, in this case, when the MIL continues to refer back to her other sons and what they think, this is a family problem.
---Susie on 6/28/07

This comment isn't by any means meant to attack a person, or persons, but I thought it was an interesting observation, and something to keep in mind when we reply to questions. It's interesting that many of us will read into situations and give our input based on what is going on in our own life. Perhaps we should come at it from a more objective point of view, thus taking the attack out of our words and causing others to feel the need to defend themselves. Hope you all agree. God bless!
---Katie on 6/28/07

Jane, I think you should keep your distance, are you a meddling MiLaw? We have the flipside blog up ahead.
She probably appears mean because she's married to your son. Would you prefer your son wasn't married so he could move back in with the family?
I really think you should back off and let your son have his wife. If you're forcing your will on her will, it's a war of the wills.
---Trisha on 6/28/07

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I had a meddling MiLaw, she's passed. She ruled the roost of all her children.
The adult children (40's & 50's) were afraid to make a move without Ma's permission. She chewed on the SoninLaws, DiLaws, everything inbetween. Talk about a spirit of control. Some are floundering now without her, they can barely function. One daughter was close to a mental breakdown without guidance (46 yrs old).
There'a a time to let your children go and lead their own lives without control, when they marry.
---Trisha on 6/28/07

Jane, relationships can be hard when the other person does things so differently from yourself. If it were me, I would distance myself from her when she's being mean, and guard my heart when she's being nice. Make yourself available to your son's family, but try not to cross the boundaries she has set, even when they don't make sense. Maybe this sign of respect will earn you her respect. God bless!
---Katie on 6/27/07

What ever you do becareful or you might wind up losing your son because if it.You can't change her so ask the Lord to change you to love her like he loves her faults and all
---Betty on 6/27/07

Thanks. Glad I could help. I'll be praying for you. God bless.
---Sherry on 6/26/07

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One thing I have learned in life. When I have a personality conflict with another woman, it is usually because that person reminds me of myself and I don't like what I see. Did it ever occur to you that if you and the other family members would stop discussing this woman's faults, that they might diminish in your minds?
---Susie on 6/26/07

WOW! Your tough Sherri...I was trying to be kind and not make a laundry list of complaints. I can certainly take the heat but didn't write to irritate you or anyone else. Tks, I think after reading your answers, I am blessed with the DIL I have...
---Jane on 6/26/07

NO! Don't keep your distance. What do you want an easy road? Your son is involved. Keep praying and ask God to give you strength. And here is another thing. It could be God wants to change you. Have a great life, in Christ Jesus.++
---catherine on 6/26/07

All you can do is continue to show the love of Christ and pray for the situation. Only God can change someone's heart.
---maryj9396 on 6/26/07

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You asked for people's opinion of your situation. Although it is hard to understand the whole story, the way you presented it (which is common in a lot of families) is you view her as an outsider coming into 'your' family. Nothing you have said about her is cause for such criticism. Being a mother of young children and a wife is hard work and wears a person down. Patience is often tried and nobody can be perfect.
---sherry on 6/26/07

continued...I have seen too many MIL's who usually don't work and are well rested who see their extended family for a day or two and sit back and judge the in-law for not handling situations as well as they think it should be. It is only a small glimpse of their life.
---Sherry on 6/26/07

continued2...I was just saying that you should love her as your own daughter and find ways to make her feel accepted and be compassionate towards her. Keep your mouth shut and door open. If you can't do this and you're going to continue to nit-pick her and gossip to others, then you should keep your distance (to answer your initial question.)
---Sherry on 6/26/07

Is this where people say if the truth hurts?...I think the reading between lines could be more we have loved her from day 1 instead of saying I didn't include her...why is it the MIL always seems to get the blame when in doubt and a daughter-in-law is sweet and kind. I have often noticed lots of notes about terrible MIL's ..must be we are all in the same boat. Next time try and give us MIL's a little credit...:>)
---jane on 6/26/07

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Jane its difficult to suggest anything, as, you have not mentioned things clearly at all. Neither do we know, who is a True Christian, among you all. Brian. 6933
---Brian. on 6/26/07

My DIL is nice to everyone one minute and gets angry at the drop of a hat the next. She is an "it's all about me person". "High maintenance", as our other sons would say. You are right when you say I perhaps am not praying for the right reasons. I need to change my way of praying. She really needs to find happiness within herself before she can be happy with any of us...tks for the help
---jane on 6/25/07

Genesis 2:24, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." You said exactly what the problem is... "We love our son and grand-daughters." Reading between the lines, you don't love your DIL. I'm sure she senses this. Love them all. She might feel like an outsider trying to fit into your family instead of her own. Remember, she is the one loving and caring for your son and grand-daughters. Treat her like gold.
---Sherry on 6/25/07

I agree with Jack. Unless we know what kinds of things your DIL is doing that you consider mean, we cannot discuss this much. Sometimes our perception of things is not how they really are. Your DIL may think that you are the ones who are being mean. Anyway that you look at it, you want to keep the lines of communication open for the sake of your son and grandchild. Have you asked her why she is mean?
---Susie on 6/25/07

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Just continue to love her. She has probably never received, much less given, unconditional love. She probably has years of hurt and resentment built up and needs the release of forgiveness and love that only God can give through you. Let your motive for loving her be completely other words, not a means to an end. People know when the things we do are being done as an attempt to change them into what we think they should be.
---Linda on 6/25/07

When just loving her becomes a joy to you instead of a tool to change her, then things will change. Besides, how do you know things aren't changing? Count every "glimmer of hope" an opportunity to praise Him and you will begin to see her through His eyes.
---Linda on 6/25/07

All I can say is keep praying and walk carefully. The last thing you want to do is to put your son in a position where he will have to choose between you and his wife.

But in what way is your DIL mean? Is she just mean to you? Or to your son, or her children?

Please elaborate.
---Jack on 6/25/07

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