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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 18, 2006, 11:30 am CDT

10/18 In-Law Threats

Quote From: preacherswife1

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.

Get a back bone...Stop playing the victim...I know this is hard, but sounds like your wife could do a better job supporting you...If not, you need counseling...

 
October 18, 2006, 12:00 pm CDT

10/18 In-Law Threats

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!  I didn't know that someone else could express where I'm coming from with my own MIL.  I wish things were different; but all my experiences with her make me more determined to not be that way when my future children grow up and start their own families.  If I do the exact opposite of her and follow your advice, I'll probably be okay.  It's been very kathartic to read some of the posts on here because I have an outlet and I know I'm not the only one with this situation.
 
October 18, 2006, 12:12 pm CDT

Keep the door locked

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.
If your MIL is setting you up with these visits, do not let her in! Why give her the opportunity to do this to you? Your door can be open when your family is there to witness whatever takes place. Especially since you're not her child. She should be visiting when her own child is at home. I went through many, many years of allowing my in-laws in whenever they so chose. I did this partly from my 'sense of duty', partly because I actually felt honored that they wanted to visit. But I ended up with no life and a million tears. FINALLY, we moved far enough away to drastically reduce the visits. Life became SO much better!
 
October 18, 2006, 12:23 pm CDT

Self before extended family

It really is amazing to spend your entire life (I'm 50) believing you shouldn't 'rock the boat' and that 'Honor thy mother and thy father' means allowing them to do anything they want to do to you and yours and that we must obey them no matter what, when and where. I did the same as you and cried countless teardrops into my pillow, not only because of my in-laws, but also because of my own parents.

 

Recently I have begun to stop letting them intimidate me. My mother’s response to ‘lets set some boundaries’ was choose to have no direct contact with me. She's been one step away from it for the past two years anyway, and, unlike the in-laws on the show, she actually makes very little effort to see or have contact with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It's all about her.

 

Now I wonder how we deal with the hole in our hearts from having a parent (or in-law) that decides since she can't have it her way, she won't have it at all. And just like Patti on today's show, she always states 'they made me do it,' or ‘I was sick,’ or whatever the excuse of the day is (including complete denial, of course).

 

You are so very right that it is far better not having the intimidation, cursing, name calling, and so forth in your life and your family's. But it is also hard to live with the pain of having a parent who lacks the devotion to family to put their own feelings aside enough to actually be a parent. After looking around on the web site, it looks to me like my mother is passive-aggressive and I felt that Patti might be also. They certainly have no ownership in their own behavior.

 

I don’t have to ‘obey’ my in-laws anymore because they are no longer living. I am finally becoming the female head of my family. One good thing has come from all that I’ve been through – I know how NOT to treat my children and grandchildren. We all have a wonderful relationship for the most part. There is certainly not any name-calling and so forth. My children and their families love to visit and we almost always have lots of fun together.

 

I am so grateful that I finally learned not to keep talking about the negative stuff and instead put those efforts into having fun together. It’s so much healthier and happier for everyone, most of all the little ones.

 

I strongly support your message that it is indeed far better to do what is right - for the children as well as yourself and your marriage. If the extended family is so full of issues that they choose to ‘disown’ you for taking the higher path, then so be it.

 

Now I have to learn how to get my grown children to understand why it is better this way, because they disagree. They think family is family and if that’s the way their grandmother is, we’ll just have to tolerate it. Ouch. Now this I do worry about, because they think I should do more than I've done all these years to keep peace with my mother. They believe there is some other answer out there that I'm missing or that I should keep tolerating her behavior.

 

My adult life and raising my children would have been SO much better if I'd learned to get a backbone twenty or thirty years ago! I'll take late better than never, though!

 

For the record, my husband has stayed mute for both his parents and mine. I always thought it should be that each child should be the referee for their parents, but had no one to back me up on it. I LOVE having Dr. Phil in my corner! 

 
October 18, 2006, 12:40 pm CDT

10/18 In-Law Threats

 I believein bounbdaries and spouses need to set them, even with their parents, for when man and woman marries, itis about them, not their parents. I don't have inlaws but I have others wo would love to come into myhousehold and casue tenstion between hubby and I, and you bet, the boundaries are set, no one will come in and interfer with my marriage. I agree that you marry intoa  family but there has to be respect and the family has to realize that husband and wife are there for each other and they have absolutely no reason to cause problems, I say too bad if you don't like your child's spouse, you have to learn to live iwth it, If I had inlaws like this (or if my parents acted like this) they would be the ones to given the boot, not my husband.
 
October 18, 2006, 1:03 pm CDT

I think you wrote my life story

Quote From: kimputing

It really is amazing to spend your entire life (I'm 50) believing you shouldn't 'rock the boat' and that 'Honor thy mother and thy father' means allowing them to do anything they want to do to you and yours and that we must obey them no matter what, when and where. I did the same as you and cried countless teardrops into my pillow, not only because of my in-laws, but also because of my own parents.

 

Recently I have begun to stop letting them intimidate me. My mothers response to lets set some boundaries was choose to have no direct contact with me. She's been one step away from it for the past two years anyway, and, unlike the in-laws on the show, she actually makes very little effort to see or have contact with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It's all about her.

 

Now I wonder how we deal with the hole in our hearts from having a parent (or in-law) that decides since she can't have it her way, she won't have it at all. And just like Patti on today's show, she always states 'they made me do it,' or I was sick, or whatever the excuse of the day is (including complete denial, of course).

 

You are so very right that it is far better not having the intimidation, cursing, name calling, and so forth in your life and your family's. But it is also hard to live with the pain of having a parent who lacks the devotion to family to put their own feelings aside enough to actually be a parent. After looking around on the web site, it looks to me like my mother is passive-aggressive and I felt that Patti might be also. They certainly have no ownership in their own behavior.

 

I dont have to obey my in-laws anymore because they are no longer living. I am finally becoming the female head of my family. One good thing has come from all that Ive been through I know how NOT to treat my children and grandchildren. We all have a wonderful relationship for the most part. There is certainly not any name-calling and so forth. My children and their families love to visit and we almost always have lots of fun together.

 

I am so grateful that I finally learned not to keep talking about the negative stuff and instead put those efforts into having fun together. Its so much healthier and happier for everyone, most of all the little ones.

 

I strongly support your message that it is indeed far better to do what is right - for the children as well as yourself and your marriage. If the extended family is so full of issues that they choose to disown you for taking the higher path, then so be it.

 

Now I have to learn how to get my grown children to understand why it is better this way, because they disagree. They think family is family and if thats the way their grandmother is, well just have to tolerate it. Ouch. Now this I do worry about, because they think I should do more than I've done all these years to keep peace with my mother. They believe there is some other answer out there that I'm missing or that I should keep tolerating her behavior.

 

My adult life and raising my children would have been SO much better if I'd learned to get a backbone twenty or thirty years ago! I'll take late better than never, though!

 

For the record, my husband has stayed mute for both his parents and mine. I always thought it should be that each child should be the referee for their parents, but had no one to back me up on it. I LOVE having Dr. Phil in my corner! 

I cannot believe how people who are supposed to be role models behave and then have the lack of conscience and humility to feel shame.  I remember what Proverbs 12:10(b) says: "but the mercies of the wicked are a cruelty."  We obviously cannot read a person's heart (thank goodness) but their behaviors certainly can be quite destructive to downright evil.  My own mother tore down her own house with her constant foolishness and troublemaking and always had an excuse or convenient memory lapses.

My inlaws are without conscience and have really demonstrated this over the 14 years of my marriage.  Finally my husband put on his pants around 10 years ago and told them no more abuse.  My MIL has no shame and no limits to what she will do to harm another person and to violate their most cherished beliefs.  She even has bragged about putting blood into the food of Christians who take seriously the scriptural commands to abstain from blood and gloated that "She knew they'd eat it!"  Sickening.

Now we cannot associate with them because of the fecal matter she has on her hands and her refusal to wash her hands.  I have a severely compromised immune system and nearly died in 2001 and 2002 and am slowly making a recovery that I have had to fight for my life for.  Literally.  I have a son who is 2 1/2 years old and she has repeatedly jeopardized our safety with her filthy habits and flat out refusal to wash up.  WE handled this sensitive issue as kindly as possible and her husband just does whatever she says to do.  We had a child die here in Idaho who is my dear baby's age from E-coli and she still won't wash up.  It is not dimished capacity, either.

She has always, always, always been this selfish, hateful mean way.  Money is her ticket to buy the right to rape the people around her.  We knew something would be coming when she threw a fit because we wouldn't participate in an activity that she knows we would not participate in because of its pagan origins and our beliefs as Christians.  We have never done this and now, after 14 years, this is where we are at.  Again.  She has these breaks with everyone in her life and bemoans her lack of friends but won't even consider that others are people and deserve to be treated with respect and kindness and honesty.

So, she has cut us off for wanting her to not make us literally eat her poop.  Grandparents need to earn the right to be in a child's life and to realize that they must set an appropriate example, too.  The 'love of the greater number' and 'no natural affection and not open to any agreement' has never been worse in my experience.

I will never, ever treat anyone this shameful way.  I have an adult son, too, who is being the typical difficult 22 year old and I don't mistreat or guilt or abuse him, either, and he actually thanked us for not being like we were raised to act.  My husband and I have made a conscious and conscience decision to allow ourselves to reparented by the Scriptures and we carefully study and apply them so that we are clothed with the 'new personality' that is unlike the meanness and craziness of the societies in which we must live.
 
October 18, 2006, 1:10 pm CDT

Entering a Relationship

I am going to be marrying my boyfriend of five years soon.  I actually have a double-threat on my hands.  My soon-to-be sister-in-law is just like her mother.  I am constantly dreading visits with them, as I seem to be ignored and judged about everything.  One time, his mother visited after we spent three hours cleaning the house and was upset to see dog nose prints on the windows.

 

I feel trapped.  I am a person that constantly speaks my mind and stands up for myself.  I am never rude to anyone, and know when to bite my tongue, but with both of them, I say nothing.  I know it would hurt my fiances feelings.  However, his solution is strictly to get through the year, and then when we move out of state, we won't have this situation anymore.

 

I don't want that to be how it is.  I want to have both of them as part of my family.  I want our relationship to be what it should.  It is always hot and cold.  Sometimes she loves me and goes on and on about it, and other times, she can't stand to be around me.

 

Everyone says it is because I am with her "golden child" son, but I don't see that either.  I am a 4.0 grad student with goals and missions.  I know what I want to accomplish and I have a good family upbringing.  I do everything for her son, and he is nothing but more than happy to be with me.

 

I would just like advice on how to live with her.  I want to have a family.  I don't want to roll my eyes when she calls or dread her visits.  I feel like that's all that I am doing right now.

 
October 18, 2006, 1:12 pm CDT

What do you think.

First I would like to make sure I tell the entire story. I will try to keep it short.

I met my husband seven years ago. During that time I thought he had a set of twins. So did he. After a petty argument about money the mom decides to take him to court for more child support. The judge orders him to pay 965 per month and a dna test. My husband tells the judge he never had a dna test. The mom of the twins tried to change the subject. He became suspicious. I will say that prior to this I told him they were not his. He never believed or listened to me. They were not his children in the end. During this time my mother in law played a very active role in their lives. She constantly called the twins and schedule  visits. She lived in a different town from the twins and their mom. She always made sure she sent birthday presents, cards, easter baskets etc to the twins. I had a daughter shortly after we were married. She never came to visit. She never sent my child an easter basket. She did send a birthday present usually a gift card. It really hurt my feelings because it sent a message that my daughter was not that important. My husband would always tell me not to worry about it as long as my daughter has everything she needs. I dropped the entire situation and just basically kept my comments to myself.  Last Christmas my husbnad was very angry. He never gets angry. I always joke and call him Mr.Rogers.(he's so friendly) He finally told me how he really felt. He notices the way his mom is different towards our daughter.  He asked he to be more active in our daughters life. That never happened. The only time she calls our home phone is when someone dies. Not to often. She strictly calls  his cell phone. She never ask to speak to my daughter or how she's doing. My daughter doesn't know her at all. My husband was leaving for a deployment. My mother in law came to visit. My daughter said "granny would you sleep with me?" She chose to sleep on the floor in a different room. She was acting very weird. My husband wanted to go out to eat just the two of us before he left. My mind said to setup a tape recorder. I did. I heard her yelling at my daughter whom she hasn't seen in two years and then she called her a REJECT. I no longer speak to her. I can't. She sent a present(not a card, but an actual present from the store)(guilt trip) to my daughter. I sent the present back. My daughter told me she was really mean and looked scary. I didn't want my daughter to call and say thanks. I just decided to send it back.  I told her not to contact us until she can apologize to all of us and explain her reasons for calling my four year old a reject. She claims she never said it. yet, it's clear as day on tape. My husband was angry because I taped her. Why should I trust her if he doesn't

 
October 18, 2006, 1:26 pm CDT

No one fights alone.

I hate to see all the young women automatically side with each other against the older woman.

 

I also hate to see the men blamed for not siding with their wives.  The MIL is the woman who gave birth to him, raised him, sacrificed for him and walked the floors with him when he was sick.  Of course he should treat her with respect.

 

Todays MIL's were obviously nasty but for all we know the younger women were too.  They sit through these shows with a smug expression on their faces as though they have no ownership in all this.  My MIL wasn't perfect -- she was sometimes critical and intrusive -- but I bit my lip and let these small things pass for the sake of family peace and so that my children would have the loving presense of their grandmother in their lives. 

 

I really don't think these young women would be called names for absolutely no reason.  There has to have been some nastiness on their part, also.

 
October 18, 2006, 1:40 pm CDT

I DO NOT AGREE

Quote From: fluffyfat

I hate to see all the young women automatically side with each other against the older woman.

 

I also hate to see the men blamed for not siding with their wives.  The MIL is the woman who gave birth to him, raised him, sacrificed for him and walked the floors with him when he was sick.  Of course he should treat her with respect.

 

Todays MIL's were obviously nasty but for all we know the younger women were too.  They sit through these shows with a smug expression on their faces as though they have no ownership in all this.  My MIL wasn't perfect -- she was sometimes critical and intrusive -- but I bit my lip and let these small things pass for the sake of family peace and so that my children would have the loving presense of their grandmother in their lives. 

 

I really don't think these young women would be called names for absolutely no reason.  There has to have been some nastiness on their part, also.

WELL, I REALLY DON'T AGREE WITH YOU.....YES THE MIL GAVE BIRTH TO THEIR CHILD, BUT IN THE BIBLE IT SAYS TO PUT YOUR SPOUSE FIRST.....MY MIL IS A COMPLETE BITCH AND I AM A YOUNG MOTHER AND SHE HAS A PROBLEM WITH ME JUST BECAUSE MY SIL HAS A PROBLEM IN LAW WITH ME. MY SIL USED TO LOVE ME TO DEATH AS LONG AS I SPENT ALL MY TIME GOING SHOPPING AND HELPING HER WITH HER KIDS, WELL AS MY HUSBANDS AND MINE RELATIONSHIP CHANGED, AND WE GREW CLOSER, SHE HATED IT AND CONSTANTLY CAUSE PROBLEMS, THEN SHE BROUGHT MY MIL IN IT AND MY MIL STARTED, SO I DEFENED MYSELF LIKE I WAS TAUGHT AND LIKE MY HUSBAND TOLD ME TOO.
 
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