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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, 10:26 am CDT

Just Remember

Quote From: bcrusher

The show hasn't been on yet, but I've read a million stories like theirs on the Mother In Law Stories message board. They should just cut off the mother in law and just forget about her forever. Moving away would be nice too. So what if she's related. They don't owe her anything. They have nothing to gain from a relationship with her. The problem people have is they put up with way too much crap from their parents. You should just think of your parents as just people and discard them as easily as anyone else who treats you badly. Bad parents take advantage of your kindness and your guilt to hurt you more. Also the idea that parents are sacred is a lot of self-serving bullshit that parents created for their own benefit.  



Just remember this the day you become a parent. Print out your message and frame it and then when your day comes go and read it and see how you feel then. It is eay to say a whole bunch of stuff when you have no idea what they are talking about. Obviously you don't have children and I am guessing from your attitude that you are probably alone.
May 13, 2006, 10:33 am CDT

Get As Far Away as you Can

I believe that this show should have been part of Friday's show in dealing with Toxic Relationships. If you would not put up with this type of crap from a friend or aquaintance then why would you put up with it when they are family. My own mother is very controlling and tried to split my husband and I up on more than once occassion. It was hard but I managed to cut my mother out of the picture for most things.  


With that said however, I did not use my daughter as a pawn to play between us and her. Instead I took the approach that my daughter has a right to know her grandparents and to spend time with them. Too often children are used as pawns to prove a point to another adult. Be strong, hold your ground, but don't shut the children out of their grandparents life. It is the child that ends up losing in the long run.  

May 13, 2006, 10:35 am CDT


My husband gets along with my parents just fine but we have the opposite problem.  My mother-in-law was created in hell!  Sixteen years ago she told me off.  I spent  the next five years alone on holidays, telling my husband to take the children to his parents.  I would never keep them from developing a close relationship.  I reminded him of their birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day , Father's Day, and Christmas and even bought the presents.  I soon apologized (for what I don't even know to this day).  We began to get close and then last year my daughter went to her home and out of the blue she cornered her and began to tell her how much she hated all of us (except her son).   She made up horrible things that my son supposedly said and more.  I actually managed to prove to my husband what came out of her mouth was lies.  There was no reason for this except she wanted totally controll of our family.  This time, since my children were now adults, I let them choose if they wanted to continue a relationship with either grandparent.  They all (3 of them) declined and want nothing to do with them.  Even if they apologize, they know the true feelings of this woman her husband (he yelled too).  They sent back Christmas cards with money to them.  They had sent them and my husband checks and cards.  Not me of course.  I never defended my children to her or myself.  I have never spoken to her since, trying to take the high road.  I am not even allowed to say their names, because it causes my 23 year old daughter to cry.  I just don't know how to deal with such a destructive personality.
May 13, 2006, 10:44 am CDT

response to bcrusher

Quote From: bcrusher

The show hasn't been on yet, but I've read a million stories like theirs on the Mother In Law Stories message board. They should just cut off the mother in law and just forget about her forever. Moving away would be nice too. So what if she's related. They don't owe her anything. They have nothing to gain from a relationship with her. The problem people have is they put up with way too much crap from their parents. You should just think of your parents as just people and discard them as easily as anyone else who treats you badly. Bad parents take advantage of your kindness and your guilt to hurt you more. Also the idea that parents are sacred is a lot of self-serving bullshit that parents created for their own benefit.  



I think bcrusher needs therapy. she/he obviously doesn't have a mother-in-law, and furthermore, must have had a bad relationship with his/her parents. Without MOTHERS/FATHERS none of us would be here. RESPECT IS NOT IN OUR SOCIETY ANYMORE.
May 13, 2006, 12:14 pm CDT

Cut the Apron Strings

The mother-in-law needs to but out and let her daughter live her life.  She can offer her daughter advice, if she seeks it, but otherwise she needs to grow up and cut the apron strings! Her daughter needs to be able to stand up for herself without the aid of her "mommy".  It is one thing to give advice when it's not wanted, it's another to control every aspect of her life.  She's adult, let her be one.
May 13, 2006, 12:15 pm CDT

Been There... Done That


 I've been in the same place. My emotionally disturbed mother-in-law sued us to see the kids. She really didn't  want to see the kids, she wanted to see her son who finally had enough of her. Well, she took us to court and was granted two hours a month. She came twice, and when she saw her son was nowhere to be found, she stopped coming. We spent a fortune on lawyer fees because we knew she would be a dangerous influence on the kids. Thank g-d she gave up. My advice is, go with your gut. If she is crazy with the adults, she is dangerous to have around the kkids. Keep her away. They are better off without a grandmother!  

May 13, 2006, 12:16 pm CDT

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

Quote From: jamibean

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. 

 I think I misunderstood. I thought you were the mother of a grown son whose DIL is keeping the grandkids away.

If I misunderstood, I am sorry.
May 13, 2006, 12:18 pm CDT

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

Quote From: biblbelevr

I agree that it's hurtful to use children as a "prize" for behavior, however, IF the behavior of the MIL is DAMAGING to the children, and I said "IF"..........then there is a time when the children need to be pulled back for their own emotional well-being.  


I have a MIL that would love to make my life very difficult, however, I let my husband handle her and I get on with my life.  I have had to put her in her place several times after she's made ridiculous suggestions to my husband to go visit an old girlfriend on vacation.....and she's left me alone ever since.  


She treated my 11-yr old daughter horribly after first meeting her (this is our second marriage - his first wife died a few years ago) and I've decided for my daughter's sake, and also with my husband in 100% agreement, to keep them seperate from each other.    


Children are innocent and never ask to get caught in the middle.  If the relationship is damaging to the children, I say do whatever it takes to protect them, even if someone else's feelings have to be compromised.  


My daughter does continue a relationship within the family with someone I don't agree with, and I allow it.......I ONLY allow it as long as it doesn't become my daughter's problem.  As long as the boundries are respected as far as their relationship with my daughter I will allow the relationship between them to continue.  If they cross the boundries, I'll make my decision as the parent to protect my child at the cost of any of the adults' feelings.  


Concerned Parent in Colorado 


I do not want my kids to be around people who openly disrespect me. I also have heard/seen my inlaws disparage other DILs in front of the DILs and son's children. That is why I came to the decision that I came to.

Children do not need to be around toxic assholes who cannot respect their parent even in the most basic manner. Children do not need to hear their parent run down and talked about like a dog.
May 13, 2006, 1:15 pm CDT

Mother in law issues


  I went through many years with a very interfering mother-in-law. In my case I had to deal with her obsession with our relationship and with myself. She would call many times a day to see what I was doing, who I talked to, what I thought of this person and that person who were family or friends of mine. When I became a new mother the calls increased substantially and she would drop unannounced at any time of the day. If she could not speak to me she would become very angry and keep calling until she reached me. If we were going to visit my parents and  she was aware of this, she would show up at my parent's house.  One early Sunday morning when we were still in bed, we heard the doorbell ring. As we were not dressed yet and just getting up, neither my husband or myself felt inclined to get the door. The doorbell was rung incessantly, the door knob was being turned, and finally the door was  body checked. We started to get alarmed as to who  was trying to break into our house. As we were living in a two story house we were able to peek out the upstairs window and see that it was my mother in law. I said to my husband  that if he wanted to get the door to go ahead and answer it as I certainly was not. We both decided to not respond. After around ten minutes of trying to break into our house she left in frustration.  I started to feel stalked.  It was a horrible feeling to feel that I could not go anywhere or be in myr own home without my mother in law showing up. This is just one example of many, many incidences that occured. On one of the many occasions she would drop by, if I was not available as I was busy working at something in the house and did not sit with her, she would complain to my husband on how she received better treatment on the street. Her constant involvement caused alot of stress between my husband and I. I started to feel such a strong sense of resentment towards my husband for not taking a stance with her. He felt guilty and intimated to say anything because everytime he tried to talk to her, she would start to cry. As my mother in law had a history of perscription drug abuse and  had  had a few mental breakdowns, he was always worried about her mental state.  While I also felt torn because I felt sorry for her also, I could not take care of all her emotional needs and a new baby.  We had tried speaking to my mother in law on many occasions about how we needed some time as family to adjust to parenthood, but it would go through one ear and out the other. There was a very strong lack of respect for our marriage and a lack of  respect for personal boundaries.  I chose to seek counselling because her behaviour was taking a toll on my marriage and my health.  I was advised to remove myself from the situation. I was advised not to go to anymore family gatherings that she held, until she could show she could control her behaviour.  I encouraged my husband to go visit with my son, but I was no longer visiting. This caused my mother in law a great deal of anger. Due to my mother inlaws instability I was nervous about leaving my son in her care. She would get spiteful if she was not able to control our plans. We did not want her spitefulness to be taken out on our son and we feared it would, as there had been some incidences that led us to believe this.  Unfortunately we were never able to resolve our differences and my mother in law died of an aneurysm. My husband and I have had to deal with the resentment that we feel when we look back at that time of our lives. We were unable to fully enjoy the birth of our son because of her constant demands of attention and the strain on our marriage. We have had to seek spiritual conselling to deal with the anger and let go and forgive. My advise for any interfering mother in law would be for them to get their own life. My mother in law was in a very unhappy marriage and chose to stay in denial. She chose to focus on us rather than work on her own issues. If she was happy with the state of her life, I truly believe we would not have had to deal with all the problems that we had. I am the mother of two boys and I have told my husband as our sons move on with their lives, if he notices that I am EVER interfering in either one of their relationships to take me to the backyard and SHOOT ME! (just kidding). Seriously, I have made it clear that if I am perceived to ever be meddling, I truly would want to be made aware of it. I would never want to inflict the kind of pain on my children that my husband and I had to go through in the early years of marriage and parenthood.        

May 13, 2006, 1:32 pm CDT

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

Quote From: adelphi

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.  


 Rather than be concerned about  having to worry about meals on wheels spending the holidays with you, why don't you put the effort into trying to find new interests and hobbies? Rekindle old friendships, go away with your husband or if you are single, find a friend and go away to a resort on the holidays if you are going to be alone. Don't put the responsibility of your happiness on whether your children wish to spend the holidays with you or not.  Trust me, your family will chose to spend time with you more often, if they do not feel pressured or guilted into it.  Wouldn't it be better to have someone spend the time with you because they really want to, not have to?    
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