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Topic : 08/31 Son-in-Law vs. Mother-in-Law

Number of Replies: 690
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Created on : Friday, May 12, 2006, 10:01:56 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 05/15/06) They’re bound by marriage but at war with each other. Anneka and her husband, Michael, are no longer on speaking terms with Anneka’s mother, Marcia. They say Marcia hates Michael and wants him out of the picture. Marcia says Michael condescends to her, questions her parenting and is brainwashing her daughter. Is it right that Anneka and Michael refuse to let Marcia see her grandchild? Will the couple agree to give Marcia access? Plus, Anneka has a dark secret from her past. Could a terrifying incident be the cause of their current conflict? Will this family agree to find a middle ground for the sake of the baby? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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May 13, 2006, 8:05 am CDT

No need to defend myself

Quote From: kyrosemom

 Why does she keep the children away?  Could you have been a part of the problem? Now, in some cases there are innocent grandparents who this happens to, but in a lot of them, from what I have seen, the grandparent is to blame as well.

I told my husband that if his family could not show me at least basic respect, that they will not see the kids. I do not care if they love me or even like me, but as their mother, I deserve to be treated at least cordially. So far, so good. No one has really been disrespectful in a way that I could not handle, in about 3 yrs.

I do not care who flames me. NO ONE,  even GPs, have "rights" to another person's child.  Grandparenting is a privilege. I am all for GPs. I had wonderful GPs. But, my GP did not treat my parents disrespectfully, either.

I am not saying this is your case. But if you could elaborate further, we could understand better.

There was no reason to keep my daughter away. 


She obviously was a failure as a mother and only wanted a way to keep me with her son.  By taking my daughter away, she knew I wouldn't leave...  


I don't have to defend myself. 

May 13, 2006, 8:15 am CDT


My problem was not my "mother-in-law", but the "father-in-law".  When I came on the scene everything seemed like a happy down to earth urban family, not having any idea of their history and they kept that well hid. 


It was after I was married that I learned about the "inlaws/outlaws" family history.  If I would have known half of what I learned after fact, I would have ran so far, so fast. 


Murray Dale 

May 13, 2006, 8:19 am CDT


I think Mother-in-laws can offer some advice, if they realize they it might not be heeded.  I am a mother-in-law twice and a grandmother of 8.  I would never try to tell my children how to good spouses or tell my son and daughter in law how to be good spouses.  I do give advice to them about my grandchildren, but realize that my advice might not be heeded.  They have to make their own mistakes, just like I did.  I never openly disagree with them in front of the children.  The only time I would absolutely make a stand is if the children were in danger!!!!!!! 


Mother-in-laws would constantly stay in their childrens' business, should get a life and stop living through their children. 

May 13, 2006, 8:24 am CDT

Mother who can't let go!

This could not have been a more timely topic since I have just spent three very long days with my mother in law who can not respect my husband and I as adults and as parents, Our son has some deep behavior problems stemmed from his bio mother's durg and alchool abuse during pregnancy and the life he had the six years following that. My Mother in Law came to our home and disrespected our whole routine , disrupted our entire home and the rules we have in place for our son, She doesn't think the child has any problems and that any disipline put upon him is mean. Any sense of making him accountable is considered mean. As soon as she got home she started emailing my husband about how mean I am to him, and that she told our son that she thinks I am mean so he would confide in her, told our son that I give everything she buys for him to our other son (who is not her bio grandchild)  and told our son (her bio grandchild) that he has no problems, I am the one with problems.   

Just a little background on our story , we have a very blended family, his one son (10) , my three sons (15,13,&8)and ours age 17 months. She makes it very clear in our home that her bio grandson is special and deserves more at birthdays, christmas, etc. and I disagree but my husband says he won't say anything. The biggest problem I have is between my husband and I , he just sits back and won't stand up for his family. He won't defend our purpose or parenting he just thinks it is ok for her to act like this. I am so fed up,   

We just had two birthdays boys ages 9 & 10 (birthdays are three days apart) and because they are so close in age and their birthdays , it makes it difficult to say sorry to one because they did not get anything from the "so called Gramma" and when she tells one not to share with the other....   

I try to talk to my husband about and he just yells at me that he can't control what she does, and it isn't  his problem and just gets mad at me for bringing anything up about his Mother. She has tried to tell him that I resent the relationship he has with his family because I have tried to tell her to back off of subjects that are for me and my husband to deal with , she takes it as I am resentful of my husband's relationship with his family, she tells him that she has all of these  people (her sister , etc) that all say I am mean . Mind you all , I have opted for and am actively participating in unbiased professional counseling , along with the son in question for his behavior problems, and as is my husband. This makes this MIL just mad because she tries to tell my husband that it is all me and obvisiously when the situation is put before someone who is totally unbiased the prognosis is totally different.   

remember that book .... he is just not that into YOU .. well that is my life, and I have just have to do something about it. It just hurts so bad sometimes to realize what you have based your life on with someone you thought was supposed to be your husband is still his mother's little boy. I am totally lost, I am trying so very hard to find out if there is a chance to save my marriage, without making my husband feel like he has to make a choice between his wife and family or HIS overbearing  Mother .   

May 13, 2006, 9:22 am CDT

Mother in-laws you position is a privledge

Dear Couple: 


Take it from me. many, many times my in-law were the fuel in our arguements, and it was his family not mine. We lived to closes, we told to much, we ask opinions , where their opinion should have never been considered. We talked about the children and their behavior, and included them on the disagreements. Stop, Stop, stop, back up, pick up, if you love one another, and want to have what seems to be lost.  


Start now, today, never mind you can't your busy, this is the one thing you must do today. Make a plan, to seperate your family from extrend ones, and that includes, in-laws.  

!. If you kive near them move, fast, number on priority, no offense just the house is two small, and the nieghborhood ot town.  

Live and let live! 


Two, plan your visits, play board games, or plan to go out with them for dinner, do not sit over coffee, and look for things to discuss, you will find yourself discussing things about you, and your spouse or your children.  

Planned visits! 


Annouced Visits! 


Mom and dad, should not just be dropping in, and if they are stop it cold in it tracks. Grab the coats, the keys when you see them coming and say, we will have to see you later, we are meeting friend, then meet a friend. If it is your wife parents, it is hers to tell them not to just show up any more. HIs the same, each does their own dirty work. 


Teaching the kids to answer politely yet clear, that they are not to talk about mom and dad and family business out side of their family. No, Pumping the kids, for answers.  

Teach your child that all families have arguements, and do not always agree, but that we are a family, and we do not want others being critical of us as a family.  


Holiday, we are spending it at home, as a family we will see you for dessert, and coffee later. My sons do this now, it was hard for me, we are divorced to be alone, but now I have it with my brother and his family and see them for dessert. They are  a family, no one put it unders. MYOB.  


Love you in-laws from a distance it make it easier, and never be critical of their son or daughter, their the only one that can love them a lot, they do not realizes that you will still love them too, after the anger wears off. Take to a friend, or councilor, not your family either, you will make hard feelings there too, you are love by them. 

See it really is what you say out side of your home, family and marriage that screws others minds up, they just know that is their daughter or son, or grandchild.  


Keep the love, but make the distance in personal behavior.  

Been there , source of education"college of hard knocks".  




May 13, 2006, 9:40 am CDT


Quote From: grammarock

I have found by personal experience that the most hurtful thing that adult children can do is to keep the grandchildren away from their grandparents.  I have four grandchildren and two of them I have no connection with as their mother kept them away from me for so long.  Two of the grandchildren I see every second weekend and I had to fight for that.  I do not have a good relatioship with their mother, and haven't for three years.  What a waste of life.

The most hurtful thing an adult child can to is to live their life in a manner that pleases only the parent.  Why?  Because that child will expect their children to do the same;  and so on, and so on.  If a relationship is toxic, no matter if you agree or not, it is not only the parent's right, but a duty, to make the necessary changes. If you had to fight even for the two grandchildren you do see, perhaps you should look elsewhere for someone to blame.  Do you expect too much from the mother?  Are you too critical?  Do you bad-mouth the father or mother when they are with you?  Look to yourself for the answers.  Did it ever occur to you, depending on their ages, that they might not want to see you? Check yourself first before blaming other people. 

May 13, 2006, 9:58 am CDT

Just people!

Quote From: antjudy

I agree that there are too many mother-in-law horror stories, and it gets so it's just sensationalism.   I think everyone deserves a chance - and another chance - and another chance ... families are torn asunder by all kinds of things from gossip to control issues to abusive behaviours.  But, if there is any possibility of some measure of peace between people who are either related by blood or entwined in relationship - then every possibility for reconciliation should be explored.  


When a parent is out of control, adult children need to maintain their self-control - if they know how.  


Toxic parents exist; everyone has seen the sad results of their sick way of dealing with their families, but not all mothers and fathers should be tarred with the same brush.  


Parents are not "just people"; they are the people who gave life.  I've never known perfect parents, but 99.9% of the parents I do know would willingly lay down their lives for their children.    


Parents are indeed "just people".  Any animal can give life.  It is a basic, natural , and instinctive act.  Case in point:  My mother gave birth to me.  Except, she tried to abort me first..  She herself told me this.  And she told others, also.  What I don't know is if my father ever knew.    You are very lucky to have 99.9% of the parents you do know  who would lay down their lives for their children. But, are you wearing rose-colored glasses?  My mother's friends certainly did.  Giving life is a basic, natural, instinctive act.  It does not automatically make you a mother in the highest sense of the word.  All that good stuff comes after the child is born.  Get real!
May 13, 2006, 10:08 am CDT

Grandparents have rights in some states

I have been reading all the comments and I am in the same position as some of the other families.  My son married and had a boy and then the situation got ugly--the wife cheating and even moving into the basement with the boyfriend and then got pg again (don't know if it is son's kid or not and son says he raised him he is his!)  I do not like the X-wife because of how she treated my son.  My son worked 14 to 16 hours a day so Nana (me) and Papa raised the boys until they were 4 and 2 years of age.  The mother just walked away from them--NO child support or phone calls--NOTHING!  Then last year she went to court and told a bunch of lies and got custody back and $700 a month child support to boot.  She also gets Food Stamps and government housing.  I am to the point that the boys call me every weekend and we talk as long as they want to talk and see them once a year.  We live a state away from one another---4 hours away.  Son is now remarried with no children and the X now says the boys can't come see us is because they are not allowed to eat meat. (religious)  I do not feel that is right either but that is another Dr Phil show!  In June went I get the boys I drive 2 hours to get them and the same thing when they go home.  That way neither one can be critical about the others way of life.  Keeps the trouble down.  Good Luck to all and remember it is the kids we are trying to have the relationship with not the parents.  They will need us in time- just be patient.  God Bless!
May 13, 2006, 10:21 am CDT

05/15 Son-in-Law vs. Mother-in-Law

Well I can't wait to see the show and see what Dr. Phil is going to say. It's hard when it is family. When we got married my mom refussed to except my husband as family. It was very hard on me. She would always be degrading him and saying awful things about him and it was very hard to listen to. The only way that I got her to stop was that I told her that he was an important part of my life now and either she would learn to accaept him and atleast not bad mouth him to me all the time or she would loose me as well. As simple as that. I know that to some people that may seem harsh but there was no other way and it worked. It has been 8 years agao that mom and I had that discusion and I'm not saying that mom instantly accepted my husband but she stopped bad mouthing him and with time got to know him and now we all have a very good relationship. Mom only lives an hour away from us but once a month she will come and spend the weekend with us and we all enjoy it. Tomorrow is mother's day and my husband phoned me up today, he's a trucker, and asked if we should surprise mom tomorrow by going to her place and having lunch with her. I am very glad that we could wok things out and I hope the same for this family. Life is to short to fill it with so much hatred and ignoring family.
May 13, 2006, 10:21 am CDT

Give Us A Break Please

The first thing we learn about TV production is to go to the extreme. That sells. However, Dr. Phil has a huge following and influence on thousands of people today. The only shows I have seen on in-law relationships on Dr. Phil are the ones that allow Dr. Phil to tell the "mother-in-law" to tend to her own business, butt out, go away!. Science tells us that there are no absolutes. Nothing is ever "always" the same. Sometimes the real problem may be coming from within the psyche of a new, young bride or mother. For the sake of all of us who are just struggling to get it right-why not do a show on how to do it correctly? I didn't get a class in being a Mother- in- law and the only examples for that or for being a grandparent are in my past and according to that, young women today are breaking all the rules of being a good daughter-in-law. The very thing my mother-in-law said to me.I have five sons and trying to just have one day or a few hours at Christmas or another holiday every second or third or fourth year, with all my children, daughter-in-laws and grandchildrens becomes a huge  battle.   

One daughter-in-law loves her extended family, aunts, uncles grands, greats, etc so much that every vacation visit, every holiday is one extended visit or celebration with them. She thinks we are being mean to ask for even one day or terribly annoyed if we  need to change the day-from one  to another for the sake of another wife. She has even called to tell me that I have ruined her holiday and that I had to fix it with her husband, my son. I am really worn out with trying.   

With five sons I can pat them on the back and say,"OK don't worry, we will celebrate Chritmas on June the 4th. With no daughter, I can just see me in a few years hoping that meals on wheels comes by on Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Mother's Day  so I don't have to spend the day all alone.-ANNN- Don't go there Dr. baby! I am allowed a little sorrow once in awhile.  


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