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Old June 18th, 2011, 09:25 AM
bsmith98 bsmith98 is offline
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Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

I'm new here and a new MIL, need some advice. My DIL comes from a very broken family - 8 children from three different fathers. They appear to be close to each other and have good relationships. She said she never had a good relationship with her mother.
She has three children from three different fathers, the third child being our first grandchild. When I met her two other children I fell in love with them immediately. They are darling, and I feel priviliged they call me grandma.
I'd reached out to her dispite warnings from my husband and others on our side of the family who said it would come back to bite me. Well they were right, and I don't know what to do. I took their family out to dinner several times, we spoiled all of them at Christmas, we went to parades together, and I made the effort to build a relationship with my DIL by spending time with her one-n-one. She mentioned she'd never gotten along with any of her previous MIL. Still, I didn't heed that warning...
I found out she had been telling lies about me - saying I told her I don't want anything to do with her children because they are not MY grandchildren, that I don't care about the baby she's pregnant with, etc. My son was the one that told me.
Then I found out she didn't have an OB/GYN and she was experiencing a lot of complications. I found one for her - big mistake. I know I stepped over my bounds, but I was worried about her and the baby. That's when the lies really began - a friend of mine showed me on the net all these posts where she said I was crazy. Really? Am I out of line for thinking that was uncalled for? I can understand venting, but not trashing someone else. I had reached out to members of her family and I found out she has turned them against me. I've noticed a change in how her children react to me. Is it too much to ask for forgiveness? I know I hurt her, but that was never my intention. I truly wanted to help.
So I've pulled back - unsure of what to do at this point. It's such a fine line... should I stay out of their lives as much as possible? It's what I'm leaning toward because I really don't need that kind of drama. BUT, I think the grandchildren will miss out, and we will miss them.

Last edited by bsmith98; June 18th, 2011 at 10:03 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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Re: Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

((hugs))


I applaud you for treating all of her children as your grandchildren (I have/had two nieces whose step-families didn't ... well at first) My DS is a step-grandchild to my DH's DM. She treats him pretty much the same (he's 5+ yrs younger than the others).


There are others here who can give you better advice than I - but it might help if you read a book called "Boundries" or "Boundries in Marriage" by (I think) Townsend & Cloud. Often, when families combine there are differences in expectations & is what is "acceptabel" behavior- not that one way is wrong, but a clash of family "cultures" if you will.

For example, my ex & I had different economic backgrounds, but similar traditions. My current DH & I had more similar backgrounds, but traditions were a lot different.
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Old June 18th, 2011, 10:41 AM
bsmith98 bsmith98 is offline
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Re: Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

Thanks - I'm familiar with the concept of boundaries and might have even read that book. I don't in any way want to impose myself on her. When we visit now, it's generally for less than an hour on holidays and birthdays. The grandchild don't understand why. I just don't understand why she's lying about me, and I feel we are all missing out on a good family relationship as a result.
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Old June 18th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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Re: Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

Have you thought about asking her?
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Old June 18th, 2011, 03:07 PM
bsmith98 bsmith98 is offline
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Re: Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

Yes, I've pondered that. I don't think she would own up to it, and it would put my son in the middle. He said those things in confidence to me, and I would betray him by bringing them up specifically with her. I could discuss the internet posts, but my gut says that compound the issue. She would say I was stalking her or something.
The thing that's most troubling to me is I think she's a nice girl, just young and inexperienced. But I guess nice people don't tell someone you're crazy, eh?
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Old June 18th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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Re: Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

Well, I don't particularly know why, but she must be feeling something that would cause her to behave that way (besides hormonal from the pregnancy, scared from the complications, hurt etc.) and call you crazy.

Here's what I think. You ask if it's too much to ask for forgiveness. No, it's not too much at all but you have to sincerely apologize, own up to what you did wrong (and I'm not really 100% clear on that, but you seem to understand, so I'll go with it ), promise it will never happen again, and step back and let the forgiveness come on her own time. I suspect it may happen when the baby is born and life settles into a routine for her.

I obviously know nothing about your DIL but putting myself in her shoes, she frankly sounds overwhelmed. I remember being overwhelmed when my MIL stepped over the boundaries when I was newly married... it was a shock I wasn't prepared for. Is it possible that you've inadvertently done something that makes her say inaccurate things about her other two children? I think that's something worth asking your son... he obviously came to you with it meaning he wanted to talk or make you aware. Maybe he understands why she would say something like that. Tell your son that it really disturbs you that she thinks you feel that way and you'd like to know what gave her that impression so you can cease the behavior, post haste.
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Old June 18th, 2011, 09:02 PM
bsmith98 bsmith98 is offline
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Re: Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

Thanks very much for your time, I greatly appreciate it. I understand she's overwhelmed, but why would she tell her family and friends I said horrible things that I never did. Like advising my son not to pretend to be the father of her two other children, that I don't want HER children at my house because it will be detroyed, that the baby was a mistake, etc., etc. I never said anything remotely like that. She's misrepresenting me to others. It's been very many years since I've dealt with this sort of behavior, so I was a little perplexed.
Thanks again for confirming my instincts, that pulling away is the right thing to do.

Last edited by bsmith98; June 18th, 2011 at 09:20 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2011, 11:58 PM
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Re: Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

I'm not sure I understand how you hurt her... Is it only by finding her a doctor and reaching out to her family? Or is there anything else? In my books that's not something you have to ask forgiveness about...

Obviously, I don't know your DIL or you... so this is only my guess from the things you said above:

Why she is acting like this. I think the answer is in your first post. She grew up in a completely broken environment. Three different fathers means lots of uncertainty in their lives and probably quite a bit of chaos most of the time. As a small child, she had to develop strategies to deal with them, and at that time those meant survival for her. Unfortunately, my guess is, those strategies involved quite a bit of lying probably, but for her it was a way of protecting herself.

In the present now, even though she is yearning for love, connection and stability, this is not a place where she feels very secure... So she feels threatened by that she feels that she is going to loose her identity and she goes back to the strategies that served her before. Trusting people has probably cost her a lot in the past and she has great difficulty trusting anyone.

Does that sound like this could be the case, or am I completely off?
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Old June 19th, 2011, 06:16 AM
bsmith98 bsmith98 is offline
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Re: Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

No Priscille, that sounds exactly right. I feel so badly for her, but at the same time I'm really hurt that she would so grossly misrepresent me. The comments about me on that website were flamming! I could let it go if it was just one time. But it's ongoing, I can tell from the looks I get from her family and the kids have pulled back. I feel like I can't do or say anything right because it's scrutanized to the most basic level and if I slip up - well that's just proof of how evil I am. Not an innocent mistake. I've tried to be very supportive, non-intrusive and caring. It breaks my heart that we can't be closer as a family.

Last edited by bsmith98; June 19th, 2011 at 06:21 AM.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 06:25 AM
bsmith98 bsmith98 is offline
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Re: Daughter in Law telling lies, should I avoid her?

I think I hurt her by asking my son come over by himself one time. He wanted my help with his resume, and it was not a social call. I thought it would be okay as I'd spent time with her alone and my son was not upset... I just thought we'd be distracted by the children. They are only 2 and 4, very adorably rambunctiuous. Neither of them had a resume, so they didn't know how much work is involved. That was the turning point.
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