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Codependent hates in-laws
January 21, 2006
11:20 am
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confused bystander
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My daughter in law of several years has recently been diagnosed as codependent (apparently our son is the benefactor). Looking back over the past several months she has been somewhat "standoffish and much less friendly'. She begrudgingly participates in family activities such as holiday, birthday, anniversary type celebrations, but is very quiet and uninvolved. Anyway, she has recently told our son that she hates us (her in laws). Question, has anyone else ran into this situation? Does she hate us because she does not want to share our son"s life with anyone else, even including his own parents? What is or could be the basis for her new found hate of us? How should we behave and react to this new situation? Absolutely confused!!!

January 21, 2006
11:25 am
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CAMER
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did she tell your son the reason WHY
she hates you...and hate is such a strong word, maybe she dislikes things...etc....I'd ask your son to find out the real reasons as to why she has this feeling, and dig a lil' deeper on how to resolve it.......cuz that's not good having those feelings towards the in-laws esp if there is no real reason behind it.

January 21, 2006
11:26 am
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Anonymous
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Um, I hate to guess - but here is a thought I have - perhaps she "tolerated" you before - as a codependent - we dont' like to rock the boat - so we "pretend" to like people and situations to please our mate or anyone else.

And now that she is discovering she has a "voice" and that her opinions matter - perhaps this opinion of you may be surfacing.

I don't think it's cuz she doesn't want to share - cuz that would have been part of the codependency BEFORE - she would be angry about sharing and manipulative so that she didn't have to.

But perhaps now, she is just starting to admit her true feelings.

Be patient - and thru her recovery - she will learn how to work thru this and perhaps you can work on making the relationship better for everyone involved - on an HONEST level.

January 21, 2006
11:42 am
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hbdude2k
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My X-wife was just like that. Been divorced for 6 yrs. I had a great family, everybody did everything together etc. Well, she didn't like my mom or basically the family. Now that I look back, she never had that in her family and I really believe it was jealously. She would put her act on around my family but when we were away she would put them down. I was super codependent so I would just let it go and make her happy. However, that is why she is my X now....super bitch! I could never go back to somebody like that. I know my X needs lots of therapy to this day but won't do it.

January 21, 2006
12:01 pm
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want2bloved
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Hi Hbdude2k:

Sounds like also your ex also probably wanted more time and attention from you than your mother. You know there are always two and three sides to each story. Did she ever say that you were a "momma's boy." This is also somewhat a co-dependent situation as well. Your ex probably did like your mother but did not like how much time and attention your mother was taking away from your marriage. This is a classic example.

January 21, 2006
12:56 pm
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Rasputin
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Yes, I can so well relate to all of the above. My mother, unfortunately, did not like my dad's family. She always considered them as less superior than hers and always found fault in almost everyone. Her brother-in-law (my uncle) who is wonderful warm man who would take good care of us and buy us school stuff and take us out during the week-ends. She did not seem also to like her mom-in-law (my grandma) who was a dignified spiritual lady and since I looked that her, I was considered as 2nd best, if not the black sheep of the family.

Like Hb, my poor sweet dad had to put up with her till it became a way of life and was pleasing her in all her wishes and wants and we all became brainwashed and thought that what my mom thought was always right.

I would say that life is not fair, but there is always hope is people are willing to work on themselves.

I have forgiven my mom even tho I can't say that I have forgotten what she had done. By doing so, I found so much healing and happiness and today I have a very good relationship with my mom & dad thanks to this recovery process I went thru!

~Ras~

January 21, 2006
1:57 pm
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hbdude2k
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W2B...Yes I was the good child of the family. I am not blaming my marriage on just my X. Going through therapy and going to CODA meetings, I know now that my codependency had a big effect on my whole life. Now that I get it, I see my X every week because of my 50-50 custody of kids, and what I see in her and how she acts, I just wish she would get therapy. However, I see a lot of dysfunctional people now. So anybody who is with me has to accept my family and how they are. Now that I have explained to my mom and dad what I have been going through all my life, our communication is on a whole different level now. Its the greatest feeling in the world not to pretend to anybody including my family....I got to the point where I didn't want to talk to my X, while we were married, or tell her things what went on during the day because she would ridacule me, put me down sometimes, and that just made me not want to talk to her on a communication level. I look back on my past and can't believe how I ran my life. What and experience to see that. This year is going to be a great year. Good luck to everybody on here.....

January 21, 2006
2:21 pm
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kabooom
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yeah i can say that she sounds like someone i dealt with as well ...

I wasnt allowed to go home for the longe st time cuz she felt she was to be MY LIFE, not my family ...

tsk tsk

January 22, 2006
4:52 am
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alycia
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This is a tough one cause i have had 2 serious partners ... So i have met two mums... There were other partners but i am not gonna go there... The first mum in law was a darling, i would even smoke ciggies with her when my x boyfriend wasnt around cause he hated both of us smoking so we had that together, very little but a little bond none the less.... Mother in law no 2, jesus christ, dunno where to start.... First time i met her she sat talkin about how terrible my exes last partner was, that gave me a bit of a clue... For 2 yrs she didnt want to know me, still dont know why... She chose to love me again when i had a baby in my tummy, go figure... Now my partner has left us i have not heard from her once. I never bonded with her, as ali describes it i tolerated her although she wasn't that bad. You could say i liked her. On outings and such it was always hard with my partner cause he speaks spanish and for some reason the most fluent in english speaking latino will speak spanish even while ya standing right beside him, his mums english was ok but too often i would be out with him and his other kids and off they would go in their latin language, he had to remind them all the time to speak english and it did get out of hand where i did not want to go out with them... My point... finally is why would she hate you? I resented mine cause she was fake, didnt talk to me for 2 yrs, decided too while pregnant and when baby came, now where is she? He is living with her, he has always been a bit of a mummys boy, ran to her after every relationship, lived with her also when he was married and she is quite overbearing really, would tell me this and that about my baby who she hardly knew, she wasnt hungry when she was etc etc... Hah i think i needed to get this off my chest... There are 2 or 3 sides to the story as the other person said, try with her so at least u can say u tried.. dont be like my exes mum and do nothing, she asks why i dont take my daughter to see her, i dont take her because her son walked out on us and i dont even get a call once to say how is my granddaughter, are u okay... it disgusts me... Make an effort because there is a reason she doesn't feel comfy. Invite her for coffee and at least say u tried even if u get nothing back, try, or u will have a daughter in law like me who really resents you because u did nothing when she needed u most.... she needs to know u care believe it or not.......

January 22, 2006
9:15 am
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hopeful for change
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I have felt this way to. Although I figured out in my case..My ex's mom kept "saving" him, babying him even though he was a full grown man he never had to suffer the consequences of his actions. Mom was always there to fix it, so their wasn't any reason or way he would ever change. I figured out she was codependent to. Although I also got sick of her always "sticking" up for him not seeing the truth.

For example: He lost his job and fell into this huge depression, wouldn't get off the couch for months, while I was working two jobs. Every single day I would come home and he'd be laying there. Didn't even help around the house. We were financially sinking. So his mom's solution was to give us however much money to get back even. Then she went over our budget and my income and said for the next six months i will give you the remainder of the money you need to survive.

UHHHHH

January 22, 2006
3:52 pm
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want2bloved
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Hi Hbdude2k: Yes, I understand now . . .

January 23, 2006
2:21 am
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benbamboo
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standard codependent toxic family dynamics. everyone is affected by the disease.

January 23, 2006
12:56 pm
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gingerleigh
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Different perspective here, hear me out. Is it possible that your son is not putting her and the marriage first? When two people get married, they are "supposed to" cleave to each other, becoming their own family unit first, and then part of the larger family group of inlaws, cousins, siblings, etc. Do you think your son and daughter in law view their marriage that way, or is it more like she has "married into your family"? I know that with my parents (my mom always put the needs of her parents above my dad's), this was a huge problem, and was a problem in my own marriage (I always chose my family over my husband). Could this possibly be happening here?

January 25, 2006
6:43 am
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confused bystander
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To: gingerleigh

Yes, I suppose this could be an issue because she has spoken of boundaries, but our family is one in which pretty much there are no boundaries beyond "common courtesy" ie no cold dropping in; call before etc. Grandparents were always integral parts of our lives. What should we (in laws) do?

January 25, 2006
8:01 am
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mj
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Your thread intrigues me as I am going through the feelings of hate for my mother-in-law. I loved your observation and comment GL. That is how I feel. Last place and invisible with my husband. My MIL is not outwardly mean. She makes digs while my hubby isn't present. I find her highly manipulative and controlling.

I noticed that you called your son the benefactor of codependency. He is an active participant I hope. We all make choices. I have chosen to stay away from my toxic MIL completely because I really do hate her behavior. Good Luck resolving your conflict if that is what is in your heart to do.

January 25, 2006
12:36 pm
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gingerleigh
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What to do? I'm trying to think how I would feel if I were her and what would help me. Or what I wish my mother would have done with my ex husband. Let's see... I think if I were your DIL, I would be completely floored if you asked me if I wanted to go someplace for tea or coffee and just talk to me. But since she's already feeling defensive and perhaps a bit surly, maybe a letter would be a good thing to start with. Writing to her and explaining what family is like from your perspective, but not telling her that "this is how it's going to be". Just telling her how the integration has worked in the past, and then maybe ending it with a question, like "what's your family like? How do married couples fit into your family?"

I know with my ex-husband's family, I was shocked that he could go for a month without talking to them, and much longer without even seeing them. It wasn't that they were angry with each other, that's just how they were. Whereas I live 3000 miles from my family, but I talk to them several times a week and arrange trips back east to see them several times a year.

I would try to start by talking and relating to your DIL without your son around, get to know her as a person and what her own family background is like. Depending on where she's coming from, she might be unconsciously pushing you away in order to "win" some sort of family drama she experienced growing up.

The caveat to all this is that she might not be willing to embrace the family style you all have. But at least you can come away with an understanding that it's nothing personal, it's just a conflict of family dynamics and upbringing.

June 25, 2009
2:50 pm
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Poor Bystander,

I'm on the flip side of things: I'm the codependent daughter-in-law who can't stand his parents. I don't know how it is in your family, but for me, it's hard to deal with his parents because I feel like they're "always" been against me. For example, they discouraged our relationship; at one point, his dad told him to break up with me. Now that we're married, they want to be all lovey-lovey, but I don't want that because I feel like they already hurt me and I don't want to let them hurt me again. I wonder if something happened in the past with you and her?

Also, whenever I try to talk to him about things I don't like about his family (I don't like how his dad forbade me to eat breakfast on christmas morning) that make me not want to do things with them now, I feel like he jumps to their defense and doesn't listen to what I have to say. I wonder if your son is listening to his wife, or is busy defending you? That drives a wedge between the couple, I think.

I would advise you to not try to force a relationship. I know it's hard for you, but if she doesn't want to like you, she's not going to. And if she's anything like me, she'll just get mad if you try to pressure her. Just wait a little while, and maybe she'll come around.

June 25, 2009
6:07 pm
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sad sack
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Life and Lack, I was wondering if you are aware that the original post written by curious bystander is over three years old. I have been on here for two years and have never seen a post by a person by that name (so it is doubtful that person is still around). Perhaps, begin your own thread with your present situation. I am certain you will get many responses. If you are new here, you will discover that the people here are so wise and genuinely concerned. Good luck.

sad

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