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Topic : 04/02 In-Law Threats

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Created on : Thursday, October 12, 2006, 06:01:07 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 10/18/06) We've all heard of in-laws who don't get along, but these guests say their problems have reached a life-threatening level. Keri and her mother-in-law, Patti, have been fighting for nine years. Patti admits that she's never liked Keri and calls her names, but she says Keri pushes her to the breaking point. Brian, Keri's husband and Patti's son, says he has been caught in the middle but is ready to take a side. Will Patti see how she contributes to the chaos and learn to change her ways, or is Keri really to blame for what's been going on? Then, Chris says his mother-in-law, Cathy, tried to run him down with her SUV. Cathy says she lost control of her car. Chris has filed charges against Cathy. Was this the right thing to do? And, what's happened to Cathy since Dr. Phil producers spoke to her? Could something more serious be causing her allegedly erratic behavior? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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October 17, 2006, 9:06 am CDT

You are so right

Quote From: aprilsowell

Quote From: rautcr

"I can't wait to see this show!  I have a daughter in law from hell! I contacted the show and told my story and decided because of the grandkids, I had better pull back. I have bent over backwards to try to welcome her into this family. I have showered her with love and she continues to be a smart ass. She is jealous of the relationship I have with my grandkids. My son and I were once very close and she trys to destroy that relationship too. I bite my tongue constantly with her. Her own family ignores her and she has no friends. Think she'd figure it out. She has cost me to miss one of my grandchilds birthday for the last 3 years. She ruins every holiday. Just when I think she is starting to change, she pulls something. I promise, I am a good mother in law and have tried and tried with this girl, but I am not going to take the disrespect any longer. I feel bad because I know my son is in the middle and is torn. Any suggestions?"   -Where is your ownership of the issue? You didn't do anything wrong, your DIL is just psycho IYO I take it? I'd like to hear the other side of that story too, Just reading your post makes me cringe for your DIL because reading into what you wrote I think there are probably reasons for all that stuff that are partly your fault and you're just not fessing up.   Maybe you should ask your DIL nicely what you did to offend her so. I'd bet she'd have an answer for you quick and in a hurry. Besides that your son is a big boy, he makes his own decisions. You need to realize your son has his own nuclear family now that should come WAY before you. Get over it he's not your litle boy anymore, he's a grown man, your relationship with him is probably sour because he's standing up for his wife which is exactly where he should be IMO. I say your son deserves a pat on the back and your poor DIL probably deserves a medal. Far too many times we as DIL's try to be nice because we don't want to be labeled the "Evil DIL" and we get trampled on. If she's being a smartass maybe there's a reason. I'm sure she didn't suddenly develop an attitude without ANY provacation. As for your grandkids, remember being a grandparent is NOT A RIGHT IT'S A PRIVLEDGE. If you can't figure out a way to make things work with this family then I guess you don't love or want to be with them that bad.   To any MIL's or IL's that happen to read this board if you want to have a good relationship with your DIL's and their family (i.e. nuclear family) then you need to remember a couple of things: We are not here just to please you! We have our own lives and stresses and things to do. Call before you drop by, ask if you can visit or if we will visit you DO NOT DEMAND A VISITor just drop by! This is so annoying.   If we want your opinion or advice we'll ask for it otherwise butt out. Don't expect to be in the delivery room, it's uncomfortable and you better than anyone should know that childbirth is an experience that doesn't need extra stress. Don't bug your son for a play by play of what's happening if you are not in the delivery room but are INVITED to the hospital. When he has a chance to take a break without leaving his wife in labor alone, he'll let you know or have a nurse tell you. If you're a smart IL you will let your Son and his wife decide when a visit is appropriate and you will deal with it without being a child about it. Don't be offended if you are not asked to come stay and help out the first couple of weeks and don't insist if you aren't invited. You know the week after you have a baby is not pretty and for some DIL's they may feel uncomfortable having you there. If you are asked and do want to go help, HELP- DO NOT PLAY HOG THE BABY and make a woman who just had a baby cook and clean for you. You should be there to do whatever you can to make her life easier if nothing else than to thank her for bringing your gc into the world. Understandably you are excited about your grandchild but if you can't help DON'T COME! We are not your sounding board if you gossip about other family members we know you are talking about us behind our backs and it will put us on the defensive. Always remember our children are OURS, NOT YOURS. They do not belong to you. You don't own them or us. Whether or not you agree with our choices doesn't matter a bit, they are ours to make, you had yours when you raised your kids.   Understand that your son has his own family and they should come before you. He may always be your baby but he's now somebody's husband. Don't play tug of war trying to compete and try to make yourself a higher priority. Someday your children grow up and become their own people, that lead their own lives and why a mother's love is always welcome there is a point where it becomes too much and it's clear you still haven't come to terms with your child "leaving the nest". Get a hobby enjoy your life, enjoy your children and grandchildren but learn that the more trouble and drama you cause for your child and his family the farther you are going to push yourself away and the more you are going to lose in the end.   I don't mean to make it out like all MIL's are the devil and all DIL's are perfect, but it's hard for us, we are new in your family we haven't had 20-30 years to get used to your behavior and I think that most mothers want to automatically assume the worst of the "outsiders". Watch what you say, if you offend- apologize. Even if you didn't mean to. For all the MIL's out there including mine that are not like some of the MIL's in these stories, thank you. Thank you for not being a nutt job and driving me crazy, for giving my family some space and not expecting anything and letting us give our time and affection as we are able instead of demanding it when we don't have it to give. You're very appreciated.   April
You hit the nail on the head with your post.  You sound like a great DIL and someday you will be an even better MIL.  Remember that our children are not possessions.  We  need to love them, not until it hurts but until it feels good; and when the time comes, let them go knowing that you did your best to raise them to be productive responsible members of society.  Listen without judging and even when you know they are making a mistake let them know you love them and will always be there to support them.
 
October 17, 2006, 1:48 pm CDT

Hey, did you get a lawyer yet?

Quote From: ronsvulcan

         My wife passed away in May of this year, very unexpectedly.  This was her second marriage as  her first husband was killed in an industrial accident 20 yrs earlier.  When we got married in 1998 my wife never changed her will. The deed to the house is in her name and her will leaves all her assets to her children.  In 2000 she and I remodeled the home and took out a very large 2nd mortgage for over $100k.  My name is on the mortagage loan, but not on the deed to the home and not in the will.  Ever since my wife passed, her parents have done nothing but cause havoc in my life. They want me out of the home because they say it belongs to her children, both of whom are grown and gone and neither of whom has any interest in the home. My wife's daughter, whom I spent 7 yrs loving and supporting and now lives in FL with her grandparents has joined in the fight and is making my life unbearable as well.  The county coroner determined my wife's death to be an accidental overdose of prescribed medications she was taking and heer family holds me responsible for that as well.  Ever since she passed on, my life has been and continues to be a living hell.  If it were not for my familiy and a few close friends, I"m certain I would either be in a rubber room or in the same place my wife is at.
 Because I looked up Ohio rules, and you can elect to receive a portion of the probated estate.   If she has two or more children, you can elect to receive one-third of the value of her probated estate.

Lawyer! Lawyer! Lawyer!
 
October 17, 2006, 9:45 pm CDT

Amen sister

Quote From: aprilsowell

Quote From: rautcr

"I can't wait to see this show!  I have a daughter in law from hell! I contacted the show and told my story and decided because of the grandkids, I had better pull back. I have bent over backwards to try to welcome her into this family. I have showered her with love and she continues to be a smart ass. She is jealous of the relationship I have with my grandkids. My son and I were once very close and she trys to destroy that relationship too. I bite my tongue constantly with her. Her own family ignores her and she has no friends. Think she'd figure it out. She has cost me to miss one of my grandchilds birthday for the last 3 years. She ruins every holiday. Just when I think she is starting to change, she pulls something. I promise, I am a good mother in law and have tried and tried with this girl, but I am not going to take the disrespect any longer. I feel bad because I know my son is in the middle and is torn. Any suggestions?"   -Where is your ownership of the issue? You didn't do anything wrong, your DIL is just psycho IYO I take it? I'd like to hear the other side of that story too, Just reading your post makes me cringe for your DIL because reading into what you wrote I think there are probably reasons for all that stuff that are partly your fault and you're just not fessing up.   Maybe you should ask your DIL nicely what you did to offend her so. I'd bet she'd have an answer for you quick and in a hurry. Besides that your son is a big boy, he makes his own decisions. You need to realize your son has his own nuclear family now that should come WAY before you. Get over it he's not your litle boy anymore, he's a grown man, your relationship with him is probably sour because he's standing up for his wife which is exactly where he should be IMO. I say your son deserves a pat on the back and your poor DIL probably deserves a medal. Far too many times we as DIL's try to be nice because we don't want to be labeled the "Evil DIL" and we get trampled on. If she's being a smartass maybe there's a reason. I'm sure she didn't suddenly develop an attitude without ANY provacation. As for your grandkids, remember being a grandparent is NOT A RIGHT IT'S A PRIVLEDGE. If you can't figure out a way to make things work with this family then I guess you don't love or want to be with them that bad.   To any MIL's or IL's that happen to read this board if you want to have a good relationship with your DIL's and their family (i.e. nuclear family) then you need to remember a couple of things: We are not here just to please you! We have our own lives and stresses and things to do. Call before you drop by, ask if you can visit or if we will visit you DO NOT DEMAND A VISITor just drop by! This is so annoying.   If we want your opinion or advice we'll ask for it otherwise butt out. Don't expect to be in the delivery room, it's uncomfortable and you better than anyone should know that childbirth is an experience that doesn't need extra stress. Don't bug your son for a play by play of what's happening if you are not in the delivery room but are INVITED to the hospital. When he has a chance to take a break without leaving his wife in labor alone, he'll let you know or have a nurse tell you. If you're a smart IL you will let your Son and his wife decide when a visit is appropriate and you will deal with it without being a child about it. Don't be offended if you are not asked to come stay and help out the first couple of weeks and don't insist if you aren't invited. You know the week after you have a baby is not pretty and for some DIL's they may feel uncomfortable having you there. If you are asked and do want to go help, HELP- DO NOT PLAY HOG THE BABY and make a woman who just had a baby cook and clean for you. You should be there to do whatever you can to make her life easier if nothing else than to thank her for bringing your gc into the world. Understandably you are excited about your grandchild but if you can't help DON'T COME! We are not your sounding board if you gossip about other family members we know you are talking about us behind our backs and it will put us on the defensive. Always remember our children are OURS, NOT YOURS. They do not belong to you. You don't own them or us. Whether or not you agree with our choices doesn't matter a bit, they are ours to make, you had yours when you raised your kids.   Understand that your son has his own family and they should come before you. He may always be your baby but he's now somebody's husband. Don't play tug of war trying to compete and try to make yourself a higher priority. Someday your children grow up and become their own people, that lead their own lives and why a mother's love is always welcome there is a point where it becomes too much and it's clear you still haven't come to terms with your child "leaving the nest". Get a hobby enjoy your life, enjoy your children and grandchildren but learn that the more trouble and drama you cause for your child and his family the farther you are going to push yourself away and the more you are going to lose in the end.   I don't mean to make it out like all MIL's are the devil and all DIL's are perfect, but it's hard for us, we are new in your family we haven't had 20-30 years to get used to your behavior and I think that most mothers want to automatically assume the worst of the "outsiders". Watch what you say, if you offend- apologize. Even if you didn't mean to. For all the MIL's out there including mine that are not like some of the MIL's in these stories, thank you. Thank you for not being a nutt job and driving me crazy, for giving my family some space and not expecting anything and letting us give our time and affection as we are able instead of demanding it when we don't have it to give. You're very appreciated.   April
Wow, you did hit on the nail.  Thanks for speaking up for all of the DIL's.  Fortunly I am lucky my MIL is good, there is times you tries to butt in but she has learned to just to step back and let us deal with it.  My own mother wants to butt in, but she has learned the same.
 
October 17, 2006, 10:54 pm CDT

Ouch

Quote From: preacherswife1

Wow, you did hit on the nail.  Thanks for speaking up for all of the DIL's.  Fortunly I am lucky my MIL is good, there is times you tries to butt in but she has learned to just to step back and let us deal with it.  My own mother wants to butt in, but she has learned the same.

 

 
October 17, 2006, 11:10 pm CDT

Boundaries

Quote From: caveman42

When you marry, you get the whole family.  Keri should have worked this out years ago instead of letting 9 years go by. If you don't get along with your mother-in-law stay away from her or move if you have too. Brian should step up and talk to his mother instead of being in the middle.  He needs to be the mediator and try to work something out between his wife and his mother. Too many marriages have been broken because of in-laws.  I personally have a great mother-in-law and would not trade her for anything. She never butts in to our marriage and has always supported us when we needed her.
The real issue here is boundaries.  Some people don't have any and when their children grow up and move out of the house they haven't detached from their children.  A man is supposed to leave and cleave to his wife.  She becomes his first priority above all else, they are to become one.  So I agree with you on the point about Brian stepping up and talking to his mother.  The husband should speak to his mother respectfully and take care of the situation before it gets out of hand.  There wouldn't be mother-in-law problems if the husbands would step up and take care of things.
 
October 18, 2006, 7:14 am CDT

Here's an idea Patti....GROW UP!

I had you as a mother-in-law five years ago.  Thank the good Lord above I got rid of the likes of you.  My ex mother-in-law made fun of me from the first day she met me.  I wasn't good enough for her precious son, and she even went as far as to question the paternity of one of my daughters.  Stupid me, I actually stayed in this marriage with this pathetic woman and her even more pathetic son for five years before I got out.  At least I learned, but it took this woman trying to kick me in the stomach and kill the "illegitimate" child I was carrying (in case you needed to know, the child was NOT illegitimate.  Just another delusion in this sick woman's mind.)  Her son did nothing to protect me or his child.  That was enough for me to decide.

 

YOU are the problem.  You need psychological help; a professional can snap you out of your obsession with your son.  Your son is also the problem.  He should have cut off ALL contact with you ages ago.  He is so very mamby-pamby about this whole thing it sickens me.  In short, you really need to grow up and let your children make their own decisions....and their own mistakes.  I don't blame his wife for one moment for lashing out at you.  You're lucky; down here in the South, a lot of meddling mother-in-laws get their fannies kicked for doing what you do.  Try acting your age for once, will ya?

 

And by the way, for the poor belittled wife, you might want to consider looking for better options.  I met the man of my dreams right after the divorce, and his mother treats me so good sometimes I have to pinch myself I can't believe my good fortune!  As for the ex mil?  Her son got remarried and.......wait for it......she can't stand the new wife.  Go figure!

 
October 18, 2006, 8:43 am CDT

Got to tell

Quote From: henderc

 Dr. Phil
 I live the life of these people, and God knows I feel for them.I have a mother in law who has made my life hell. She comes to my house after my wife and daughter leave so no one else knows she is there and then makes wild allegations about me. Then states if I say anything she won't trust me!!! She has even go so far as to accuse me of sexually abusing my nephew knowing full well its a lie. She loves to hurt me and then says its my fault and I am just over reacting.  My wife is caught in the middle but I am at the point I am ready to tell everyone in the family just what she has done to me. Last time she  came to my house and made threats I tried to call the police and she said my wife would never beieve me, and at times I almost believe her. She sets it all up, comes when no one is around  and then leaves before they come home.
 I am at a loss as to how to deal with this women and just wonder how far she is willing to go to try and ruin my life.
Got to tell someone.  It isn't right what she is doing.  If you haven't ever lied to your wife in the past, I believe she should be able to believe you on this.  Set the MIL up, and then your wife could catch her saying what is saying to you.  Put a recorder in the house somewhere so it record her saying mean things to you.  Then play it to your wife when she comes home.
 
October 18, 2006, 9:07 am CDT

IN-Law Problems

I know I'm not alone with the inlaw situation. My in-laws have always been very obsessed with my oldest son since he was born. My MIL calls the shot with everybody in the family, even her husband. We all know not to cross her. She is very controlling and deceiptful and often shows signs of a sociopathic personality. She always said when and where she would have my son, then one day I changed plans on her b/c I was invited to do something very fun with my boys (they were 3 and 5 at the time). I told her that I would drop them off in the afternoon instead of the morning. She was so angry with me and blasted me for changing plans on her. Her plans were to take them to the mall to see the Easter Bunny. Anyway, the next day a girl from DSS came to my door accusing my husband of leaving the kids in the car. Of course I was so shocked and called my husband home. After talking to the girl and my husband we figured out that it was all about a time when my husband was at the gas station and was standing by the car but the doors were shut and he was talking to somebody. My son was very upset about it. I talked to my son about it b/c he had told me about it too. Anyway, it turned out that my son told my MIL so she decided to get us back for changing her plans on her. My husband and I would never leave the kids in the car. I hate to even have them in the car when I return the shopping cart in the parking lot just several feet away. Anyway, this is just one of the many many things she has done to me. She has sent me an anonymous letter implying that my husband was having an affair. When I was first pregnant with my son she also told me that she was afraid that my husband was having an affair. She used to call our house and hang up all the time, do drive by's, call me many times a day just to be in our business. She has even told me that I need to not spend so much time at my mothers.  It got to be too much so when the whole DSS thing happened, I cut her out of our lives. It is difficult b/c she lives just 5 miles from us. I did not let her see my boys for almost two years. Like this girl on the show, I was scared for my life. Not to sound melodramatic but my husband has told me that his own father has expressed the same fears (Although he is still with her) My husband is on my side b/c he has seen the destructive things his mother has done to many people, however, he feels that they are still the kids' grandparents. I now let them see the boys and have them at their house once every two weeks. However, that is not enough now. They want to take them on a Disney Cruise and we will not allow it. My in-laws want to know how long this punishment will go on. It is not punishment, I just don't trust them.
 
October 18, 2006, 10:20 am CDT

100% agree

Quote From: kamkms

I know I'm not alone with the inlaw situation. My in-laws have always been very obsessed with my oldest son since he was born. My MIL calls the shot with everybody in the family, even her husband. We all know not to cross her. She is very controlling and deceiptful and often shows signs of a sociopathic personality. She always said when and where she would have my son, then one day I changed plans on her b/c I was invited to do something very fun with my boys (they were 3 and 5 at the time). I told her that I would drop them off in the afternoon instead of the morning. She was so angry with me and blasted me for changing plans on her. Her plans were to take them to the mall to see the Easter Bunny. Anyway, the next day a girl from DSS came to my door accusing my husband of leaving the kids in the car. Of course I was so shocked and called my husband home. After talking to the girl and my husband we figured out that it was all about a time when my husband was at the gas station and was standing by the car but the doors were shut and he was talking to somebody. My son was very upset about it. I talked to my son about it b/c he had told me about it too. Anyway, it turned out that my son told my MIL so she decided to get us back for changing her plans on her. My husband and I would never leave the kids in the car. I hate to even have them in the car when I return the shopping cart in the parking lot just several feet away. Anyway, this is just one of the many many things she has done to me. She has sent me an anonymous letter implying that my husband was having an affair. When I was first pregnant with my son she also told me that she was afraid that my husband was having an affair. She used to call our house and hang up all the time, do drive by's, call me many times a day just to be in our business. She has even told me that I need to not spend so much time at my mothers.  It got to be too much so when the whole DSS thing happened, I cut her out of our lives. It is difficult b/c she lives just 5 miles from us. I did not let her see my boys for almost two years. Like this girl on the show, I was scared for my life. Not to sound melodramatic but my husband has told me that his own father has expressed the same fears (Although he is still with her) My husband is on my side b/c he has seen the destructive things his mother has done to many people, however, he feels that they are still the kids' grandparents. I now let them see the boys and have them at their house once every two weeks. However, that is not enough now. They want to take them on a Disney Cruise and we will not allow it. My in-laws want to know how long this punishment will go on. It is not punishment, I just don't trust them.

I totally agree with you.  If my MIL ever acted that way I would do the same thing.  I am lucky my MIL isn't that bad.  She has her moments when she wants to over rule my decission, but now over the past year she has learned that its my decission what the kids can have or cannot have when I am around.  If she wants themt to push her over when its just  her with them thats fine, but not when I am around, they will behave and listen. 

I believe you did the only thing you could do. 

 
October 18, 2006, 11:20 am CDT

exactly

Quote From: caveman42

When you marry, you get the whole family.  Keri should have worked this out years ago instead of letting 9 years go by. If you don't get along with your mother-in-law stay away from her or move if you have too. Brian should step up and talk to his mother instead of being in the middle.  He needs to be the mediator and try to work something out between his wife and his mother. Too many marriages have been broken because of in-laws.  I personally have a great mother-in-law and would not trade her for anything. She never butts in to our marriage and has always supported us when we needed her.
I find it interesting that Brian only half way sticks up for his wife. If Patti was my mother in law, my husband would have told her to treat me with respect or get out of our lives. It is clear that Patti has an unhealthy attachment to her son and that Keri is married to a marshmallow. Patti seems to also have an exaggerated sense of entitlement. Personally, I think kids are better off not seeing their grandmother rather than seeing her treat their mother badly.
 
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