Mother Who Knows
Date: May 15, 2018 04:42PM
OMG. I have almost the identical problem with one of my daughters-in-law. I know how you feel! All of my children and grandchildren are "people-pleasers", and this one DIL bullies everyone. She had us all walking on egg shells, for a couple of years. My DIL married my son for his money, and she and my son have even talked to me about my Will!
You can probably find my RFM post and the answers in a search under my name here. Look it up. The advice is really good!
I took some of the good advice, and we have learned how to cope! First, the one thing that will never change is your DIL. All the changes will come from you and your family.
First of all, I told my son and DIL that if they ever mentioned my Will again, that I would dis-inherit them, and leave everything to animal rescue. My finances are none of their business. My DIL is bleeding my son dry, and has no concept about managing money, so I have left my son's inheritance to him in Trust, for his own protection, when she moves on to her next "cash cow", and he has to retire.
Also, like some posters say here, a lot of the problem was my son's whining to me about how abusive his wife is. I had to separate myself from that. All I ever did was listen, but it was making me ill. I told him that if he got divorced or became bankrupt, his family and I would be there for him--but, in the meantime we didn't want to hear about or be involved in his sick marriage, in any way. Yeah, I was that blunt. I anticipate being blamed for everything, anyway, and I don't care.
That's another change I made. I stopped caring what this horrible, judgmental DIL says about us, and I advised my other family members to do the same. My DIL is one of those amateurs who go online and criticize restaurants and hotels, just for the pleasure of ripping on others.
I proudly stood up for one of my grandchildren, when DIL started ripping her apart, and I think that set a good example! No one should have to accept abuse! My DIL did not speak to me after that, and I did not see her for five months. But, that was actually a good thing. We all have a better time, without her drama and her pouting. She was so nasty the next time she came over, that we have stopped inviting her. We communicate our invitations by text, and we text my son separately, to simply inform him/them of the party, date, and time. We don't say, "We are hoping you and DIL will please come", or anything like that. My son usually drops by, alone, and we are relieved.
Let your DIL go.
My family gives DIL birthday/Christmas cards and/or token impersonal gifts, such as a gift card, because they are nice people. We have learned to not expect anything from DIL, so we aren't disappointed. I make a point to not talk about her, the same way that I don't like to talk about negative, unhappy things at a party. It's such a downer.
I'll bet your DIL is just as mean to her own parents and siblings, as she is to your family. Find out if she is (without gossiping). It would help you to know that it's nothing personal that YOU and your family has done.
Your DIL resents the power of your love and happiness, and your high standing in your family, and your son's devotion to you. She resents that your son talks to you. Regardless of what he talks about, he is communicating with you, and she doesn't like that.
Do not alter any of your good times or your happiness to suit her. My DIL used to text, "No, we're busy" to most invitations, and often my son would say she was "not feeling well." She would say we didn't give them enough advance notice, then she would say they "forgot," because it was so long ago. These were obvious, proven lies. All of us feel better when we refuse to be lied to. Like on poster suggests, don't set yourself up.
(A couple of months ago, we did discover that DIL was drunk on most weekends! Posters here on RFM suggested that, and I looked into it, and they were right!)
There's nothing I can do--short of dying and leaving her all of our money--that would please my DIL. I doubt you can please your DIL, either. So live, love, and be happy! Think of your other family members.