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The ILs. Good, bad, or ugly? Relationship wise.

Rags's picture

Ours is overall pretty good.

We maintain a close and cordial relationship with my DW's family.  FIL and I had a close relationship.  Both of us married young single moms with babies.  MIL was widowed a few days before finding out she was pregnant with my DW.  My FIL was the son of close family friends of my MIL's family.  He was there when MIL repatriated from Europe with her deceased DH's remains.  MIL and her DH1 were stationed in Europe in the Army.

MIL and FIL married when DW was 4mos old. I met DW when SS-31 was 15mos old and we married the week before he turned 2yo.  At first I was persona non grata for my ILs. I was 30 when we married. My bride was 18.  We eloped but announced it to my family and DW's.  My mom, brother, SIL, 5mo old niece, Unviersity BFF and his girlfriend were there.  DW's aunt and uncle attended. No one in DW's immediate family attended.  Pretty much MIL and FIL were silent. 

My dad could not attend on short notice as he was overseas.

My DW was my mom and dad's DD from day 1 if not sooner.  SS is their eldest GK.  From the day we married that has been a fact for my parents and for my son.

Mom cried her eyes out with happy tears when the kid told her that he had asked me to adopt him. He was 22 and we had been married for nearly 20 years.

Since FIL passed things have stayed fairly positive in our relationship with DW's family.

In the nearly 30 years since we married, I have devolved to a mostly tolerated kid for my parents.  I pretty much am a tag along for my wife with my own parents.

Mostly kidding, they give me crap along those lines. However, no doubt there is some truth to that.  They truly love my bride.


How does everyone get along with their ILs?  How does everyone's SO get along with your family.

To spread the topic, how does everyone get along with their XILs, or their SO's XILs.  How do does your SO get along with their XILs.

My XILs, I have zero interface with and haven't in 20+ years.   DW has not had any interface with the SpermClan since shortly after SS aged out from under the CO nearly 14yrs ago.

Scratch one-s head


Yesterdays's picture

I really loved my father in law. He was an amazing, funny and intelligent and kind man. I miss his sailing stories and funny stories from his banking days and travels and racing days.

My mother in law... I love her dearly. Things have gotten much harder now that my FIL has passed away and my MIL is aging and getting quite cranky and demanding. I still visit her every week and help but it's becoming upsetting to me how she treats me (with my cancer).. So it makes it hard to have visits with her nonstop... It is hard on my health and wellbeing to have her like that although I am trying with her.

My SIL is in her own world with her horses and kids.. She doesn't work but also doesn't have time to help with her mom and we do most of it. She has basically shunned my MIL, it feels like. I wish everyone were closer... Hung out more together.. I was always close like that with my own family. Now my brother and his partner live far and I only see them once a year. 

AlmostGone834's picture

DH's parents were both deceased when I met him. He has only his siblings now and they are getting to the elderly stage of their life (he's the youngest) with grandchildren and great grandchildren. He gets along fine with my parents. Some of my extended family can be a bit much for him (and for me as well). They are the keep up with the Jones's type and we can only tolerate that in small doses. In general we are both introverts who like to have a quiet life. But my parents are simple people so he gets along well with them. 

MorningMia's picture

I got along very well with my (RIP) FIL (MIL had died before DH and I met; DH always tells me we would have loved one another). SIL and I get along fine. She was one of DH's confidantes when we were having problems with BM, and she provided him with excellent advice. SIL hated BM, but she and I never discussed her. 
My family welcomed DH. BM's family never accepted DH. Looking back, I think their early relationship had all the flashing red lights that read: FAILURE. DH said that even his mother told him that she did not see that marriage lasting. Who knew the impact of that failure would last so long. 
My family was ready to welcome the skids, but the skids rejected them. That would have been a betrayal of BM. Their loss. 

Cover1W's picture

DH's mother had passed at least 3 years before we met. His whole family says that we would have got along supremely well. That said, I really love his entire family; two sisters (I'm friends with his younger sis who also has nightmare SM issues), 1 brother, and step-father.

I met his father (divorced from his mom when DH was very young) about 1.5 years before he passed. I liked him but he had his issues that have effected DH all his life. He was a bit of a kook.  I don't really like any of his cousins on this side of the family. They are stand-offish. However, his uncle took in DH for a year when he was in high school when his dad decided to move suddenly and DH didn't want to move during his senior year of HS. He was a good guy and I did meet him and his wife once, really nice people. Not sure why their kids aren't as well.

My parents like DH much better than my former husband. They were wary he had kids, and they've come to terms that they are NOT also my kids. My parents are difficult and DH had to learn that the hard way; he thought I was eggagerating when I told him my experiences until he himself had an incident with them. He learned distance is better.

CLove's picture

FIL - passed away when DH was 25, and he is 56 now. Everyone reveres him to this day. Husband looks a lot like him. He passed away of a brain anurysm at 60. He was a landscaper and loved fishing and would have his scotch at the end of the day while smoking his pipe.

MIL - she was a sweety who told me she loved me, but then again she loved everybody. When I met her she was starting to "go", and was being taken care of by her local children and grandchildren. She didnt really know why Husband and Toxic Troll broke up (cheating and abuse) and so occasionally when Feral Forger SD25 was taking care of her she would ask Toxic Troll to her bday party or whatever. Towards the end, she passed January before the COVID lockdown in 2020, she would spend alternating weekends with us, and I would help out if she needed anything. We would sit in the living room and have our coffee together.

sisters and brothers - they all like me well enough. Some more than others. Husband is the youngest of 13, so there are 5 left. They all despise Toxic Troll ex. His sister who is closest in age, she loves me, and I respect and admire her for her accomplishments and dedication to family.

Nieces and nephews - they all like me ok. Feral Forger got to some of them, however, and I can feel the coldness, but there has been nothing directed at me overtly except one niece whos a total jerk.

Rags's picture

For me, I like my ILs.  Though they all suffer from an alarming commitment to instant gratification with limited resources to make it happen.

Over time they have all, except for BIL1's bovine bride, and SIL, mellowed some in their more challenging characteristics.

I'm worried about all of the neices and nephews in my IL clan.  With underperforming, immature, get it now focused parents the outcome for our 6 nieces and 2 nephews are frightening to me.  But, we will not intervene.  We have our lives to live and our future/retirement to pay form.  My DW is even less inclined to "help" than I am.  She has been clear for nearly her entire adult life that financially supporting her family would just be throwing good money after bad.

On my side (DW's ILs), everyone is doing fine, very pleasant with each other, my parents worship my bride, my brother respects her to no end, my SIL loves everybody and she and DW get along well. 

Our son, my SKid, is a GK, nephew, and cousin and they all love each other very much.  

 Our niece and two nephews are fine and love their aunt to no end.  All three have completed undergrad degrees. They are on their own for grad school.  All three are professionally employed (youngest neph starts his job in two weeks, making 4X what his dad and I made right out of school) and entirely self supporting. My brother and SIL provided the mom and dad full meal deal college education for all three of them.

Niece is a beauty, radiant, successful, married to a good man, from a good family, athletic, good looking, educated, successful. Their DD is1mo and 3 days old and is truly a beautiful baby like her mama was.

My eldest nephew is educated, successful, and doing well. Though his choice for a partner is alarming to me and I am worried about him.  She is a COD of a Feb to Dec marriage. Her dad is elderly and a devout hippy.  She is dedicated to daddy and that just adds to the weird in that whole mix. Her mom has three young kids all 20+-ish yrs younger than my nephew's DW.  Her DH manages a car dealership and she is very platinum & plastic in her chosen look.  While nephews DW is very close to her very young sibs, she avoids her mom as much as the relationship with the kids will allow.  Nephew and his wife avoided a wedding likely due to her need to keep her mom out of the momzilla of the bride rathole.  My concern increased exponentially recently when nephews DW announced she is bisexual.  Though not clearly stated, apparently she has been cheating as part of that epiphany.  She also has decided she hates her career and the entire profession she has an undergrad and graduate degree in and is pretty much now not contributing to their financial position.  I'm worried about him.   No one has asked, but no doubt my advice to him is no secret here as to what it would be.

My youngest nephew just graduated from Undergrad. As did his SO of 2yrs.  They  moving from their college 8-kid crash pad to their downtown apartment. My nephew starts his fist professional role in two weeks.  His SO is starting a gap year working in a clinic before starting med school.  She is a doll.  A true debutante  who is a COD of a mom and dad who are both well off and legitimately respect each other and engage pleasantly for their adult kids.  Apparently that divorce followed the unexpected and tragic death of their eldest of 3 children that shook the whole family.  

ILs, some win that loto, others lose it tragically. Most are somewhere in between.

Winterglow's picture

I used to joke with DH about how lucky he was that his MIL was at the other end of the continent. They got on well, despite neither speaking the other's language (DH had school level English and had retained as much of it as most pepole who study a foreign language at school - enough to ask where the toilets are and ask directions to the beach ...). Sometimes words are just not necessary. Sometimes I'd find him in conversation with one of mine, each speaking in their own language and communicating quite efficiently. 

He and I had very different upbringings. Mine was geared towards independence at all costs. Not very expressive and definitely not very touchy-feely. His was very Mediterranean, lots of family time, family events, and so on. His mother was very much a mother hen (her own mother was Italian). I wasn't comfortable around her - hated getting hugged all the time. She used to nag at me about getting married and couldn't understand that I was not interested in being wed at that point. Then she would start on about babies ... both of these subjects were pretty taboo in my family because they were considered to be your decision and yours alone. She left me alone when BIL got married and his wife got pregnant.

She had the key to our house and would occasionally drop by when we were at work and leave a cake or something on the kitchen table. I wasn't happy about that at all but let it go. At the time, I was working an incredibly stressful job, leaving at 6.15am, working from 8 to 8, with an hour and a half commute either way. He was in a similar situation. The result was that sometimes things in the house didn't get done straight away due to exhaustion. One day, we got home and she had visited... She had made the bed, done the breakfast dishes and washed the floors. And that's when something snapped in me, I sat down on the floor and wept. I told him he'd better take back her key and explain that it wasn't her home or I would do it, my way

There then ensued 6 months of radio silence.

Slowly, we developed a mutual respect for each other and our boundaries. Then we learned that we had a lot of interests in common. We started going to exhibitions and festivals together. We visited museums and castles together. We had a lot of fun. Sometimes, we even invited DH (lol). We'd let him drive and we'd sit in the back and chat - it looked like he was our chauffeur. She used to enjoy coming to visit in the afternoons and I'd bake something for her (DH was not into cakes and suchlike) and she would get all her worries off her chest and fil me in on the family gossip. Sadly, my daughters never knew her as the woman I had known because she had a neurodegenerative disease and was very sick by the time they were born and died when they were 4. She paassed away 20 years ago and I still miss her sorely.

FIL I only really got to know when she was gone. He'd always been so busy at work and was a farily serious type up until then. I think he liked that I could talk with anyone about anything (and could change the subject of a conversation when things got uncomfortable for anyone) and that I have a daft, droll  streak that emerges when least expected.

BIL, I like, he's easy-going and has a wicked sense of humour. I consider him to be my brother. SIL, I could live without. She's a bossy, interfering know-it-all and the less I see of her the better. She's never approved of me, well, she wouldn't, for her I will always be an immigrant. Her problem, not mine.

Unfortunately, both sets of parents are gone now. You really only know what you had when it's gone. I consider myself to be privileged to have known DH's parents. 

Trudie's picture

My ILs are okay; for the most part they are not rude, but they are definitley dismissive. When I really think about it, dismissive is worse than rude. At best I would say they look at me as DH's 'wife', not Trudie. At worst I would say they see me as a wart on his elbow. They do not 'see' me and I don't believe they are interested in 'seeing' me. I would love to be seen the ways others in my life see me, as an accomplished person who is kind and compassionate to others. As a person who has dreams and goals. As a person whose 'big accomplishment' in life is NOT being a 'Mrs.' DH recently had a cold; it made me think of when I was sick and MIL commented that "she better not make you sick". I overheard DH and MIL talking on the phone the other day, he brought me up 3 times and...crickets! She has no interest at all! Especially since I have set much-needed boundaries with OSD. She would rather ignore the problem, even though 22 years (first time in treatment was age 12) of sweeping things under the rug have allowed her issues to snowball. Not my problem. I will not betry myself to make another more comfortable. Hard pass. His sister is politely 'cool'; her husband is much warmer. Maybe because he is an outsider too? I do not think DH can possibly understand the impact his family's dismissiveness and dysfuntional attitude/expectations with OSD impact both me personally and us as a couple.

My DH hit the jackpot with my mom and kids. When he had surgery, it was my mom who he asked to drive him to P.T. when I was working. (I was surprised at that!) They text each other. I like that they are friendly. My kids like him, although my daughter lives across the country and we do not see her often. My son and he have good rapport; they talk sports, careers (similar fields, know some of the same clients), etc. (It helps that my son has excellent communication skills, he can talk to just about anyone.) My siblings also like him, but we do not see them often.

Quite simply, our experiences have been vastly different.

Trudie's picture add that there have been some changes since DH and I have married that have impacted his family. They may or may not contribulte to their indifference. Our first Christmas together we had Christmas Eve at his mother's house and then had Christmas day at our house. Same group of people, back to back. SIL pointed out to DH, "You don't like to entertain, do you?" The answer to that is no. I am thinking, "What about my family?" and I brought it up to DH, asking if it was necessary to be with his family back to back. He said, "No." I couldn't believe it! I think they had just done it this way out of habit and now they don't. I honestly think he is relieved. Also, he was at his mom's and daughters' beck and call. Not any more. His mom is married, she has her own husband to attend to things. (She still does make an occasional 'demand' posed as a request, if you get what I mean.) YSD is 32 and able bodied; no longer does he remove her snow, take care of her leaves, make appointments for her, run her errands, watch her dog (I put a stop to that when the dog peed on our carpet EVERY VISIT, no matter how many trips outdoors), etc. He will still do occasional errands for her, which make me think, "Why?!" OSD is 34 and she dug her own hole. Enough said.