Doesn't (or didn't) anyone have a great mother-in-law?

phoggieJune 29, 2008

Some of these messages make me so sad that there is so much heartache in your families that my little problems are so petty.

Are there any of you, like me, who had a great mother-in-law? God bless her soul, has been gone for many years now, but she welcomed me into her life and gave me so much good advice and I was GLAD that she loved me enough to care about me and give me that guidance. I never felt for one minute that she was "interfering" into our lives...she did speak her mind if she felt it was necessary and we took her advice to heart.

I never did think for one minute that anything she did or said was anything but love and acceptance. Why has things changed so much? Do you think that young people now do not have the Christian values that we shared a generation ago?

Let me hear of some "up-lifting" stories that you would like to share.....maybe some of the younger ones might also read them and know that not everyone has a "witch" for a mother-in-law. I sure am grateful I had a great one~~

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I do, I do! Two in fact. While my first husband was a defective human being, his stepmother (my MIL) was an absolute gem. I don't miss him one bit, but I do miss her.

And dear Hubby's mother should be nominated for sainthood. She's as kind and generous with her time as the day is long. She is loved by all of her children, and grandchildren and all their spouses. In fact, even ex-girlfriends still call her. I am grateful to her for having raised such a wonderful man; and she appreciates me for making her son happy. Life's good --

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 10:09PM
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I also have two great MILs! (My DH's parents were divorced, but both his mother and step mother are still very involved in our lives and wonderful). Of course, there may be times we may not see eye to eye -- but it is never a source of the type of conflict seen here on these boards. We are able to express our feelings as adults with each other and resolve our differences, if any. But really, we haven't had any major disagreements at all -- and are all very close. However, my own mother, who is now deceased, used to be an incredible source of pain and frustration in my marriage. I think it really depends on the personalities and backgrounds of all involved. It's a very complicated issue and very difficult to judge by just reading posts online. And I do believe every situation is unique and different.

And not to be antagonistic, but hopefully to just demonstrate a different perspective -- I am a Buddhist -- my mother was a devout Catholic. One of my MIL's is more eastern in her philosophy, and the other is Christian. I don't think this issue has anything to do with one's religious or philosophical beliefs. I think it has more to do with how healthy one's interpersonal skills are. JMO.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 10:38PM
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Me too! You asked about "great". I don't know about "great" but certainly darned good. The second one I'd say deserves "great".

I've had two MIL's. I have loved both. I had a hard time leaving my ex because I hated that my leaving would hurt my in-laws. That seems ridiculous in retrospect but that's how I felt. I loved them and it killed me that they would be hurt.

My 1st MIL was eccentric but goodhearted. She was the oldest of many siblings. She was very tidy. Everything waS always immaculate. She loved to have family over for meals. She loved to cook. Food was almost worhshipped. She loved her sons. She would order us around. "Sit!" "Eat" "Hug!"

I didn't like being judged over housekeeping. She was a fanatical housekeeper and judged anyone who wasn't. I made other things priorities over housekeeping. Her son was not tidy. So that difference in priorities about tidiness kept me from being closer to her because I disliked being judged. I did love her. I am sure that now she is ordering God to have more food. Eat! Eat! I mean this in the most affectionate way.

My 2nd MIL is a dear sweet person who is the most patient woman. I wish that we lived closer so that I could spend more time with her and also so that I could help her out now. She is in her eighties and my FIL is not well.

She has been an inspiration to me and has motivated me to try things that I don't think I would have tried without her as an example. The first years that I knew her I was critical of how much she talked. She is a great talker. Over time I got used to the talking. I appreciate her kindness and her love. I wish that I could do more for her than I am able to do because of the geographical distance between us. I love her.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 10:42PM
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Since there has been so much talk of estrangement, I want to add that my 2nd set of in-laws were estranged from my FIL's entire family. My FIL cut them off probably over forty years ago. They rarely talked about it. My FIL's family apparently had some professional gamblers in it and that may have had something to do with the estrangement. But my FIL never saw his younger brother again or his other six siblings or his parents.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 10:50PM
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I love my MIL! Since I first started dating DH over 27 years ago she welcomed me as one of the family and made sure to bring me a gift as she did for DH and his siblings when she travelled overseas with my FIL. She is generous with her time and with gifts, and treats me as an equal with all her children, who are very close. She has similarly welcomed DH's siblings' partners.
At times she offers advice and I take it or leave it as it suits, without being prickly about it. (I learned at my mother's knee to say, "You may have a point." :-) ) In fact my relationship with my MIL is a lot better than my relationship with my late mother, who was touchy and defensive of her role as Queen Bee.
MIL has pitched in and helped at my family events, when my own not so DB and SIL were content to sit around and be waited on. I know that if anything happened my MIL would rush to my side to help.
I know others have poor relationships with their MILs, but I wish mine could live forever!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:48AM
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I have a wonderful MIL that has always been very involved in our lives. My hubby's mom is so sweet, loving, and understanding. She never made me feel like an outsider, and she still to this day has no problem showing her love and support for me. She has stood up for me when I needed it too.

I do think there is a huge difference in the way the milennial generation views and judges the most important people in their lives. There has been a steady decline in respect, and morals. The kids are/were allowed to run the ship since too many parents felt guilty for both having to work. Also, so many friends I know allowed themselves to be friends first to their kids, instead of parents. This set this generation of kids up to feel entitled, superior, disresepctful, unaccountable.

Sad that an entire generation may not have nearly the love shared by parents and their children as all previous generations have experienced. But I'm sure that this generation has rationalized and justified it all.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:55AM
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Phoggie, I'm glad you asked. I've moved away from my family (not a lot of career opportunities in my hometown), and am so thankful to live in the same town as my MIL and FIL. They are generous, kind-hearted people who are devoted to our children, come over anytime we need a hand, and expect the same from us :)

Since I have four children and a workaholic husband, it is hard for me to spend much one on one time with each child. MIL and FIL make it a point to go on school field trips when I can't, ask the kids over individually for sleepovers, drive them to the orthodontist and take them out to lunch after, etc. My MIL also shares her books and recipes, helps me pick out stuff for the house, and goes to Mother-Daughter events with me - things that my own mother would do if we lived closer.

I feel guilty sometimes that MIL does a lot more for me than I do for her - I hope that it's because I am at a "needier" time of my life than she is (and not that she's way more generous than me), but who knows, she may need some help in the years to come. And I will have to try to "pay it forward" when I have a DIL.

It is amazing to me that I only know a couple of women who sincerely love their MILs. Maybe it's loving the same man (athough in completely different ways!!) that makes it so hard for a MIL and DIL to get along - I feel very lucky, though.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 6:04AM
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A huge THANK YOU to phoggie for starting this link - wow, how great to read about love for MILs instead of hate. Can I adopt all of you?

Colleenoz - I did excactly what you said your MIL did - when my son's GF, now wife, came into our lives I made a special effort to include her in everything. There was a little gift each woman in our family had so I bought her one so she would feel connected with us. She never even thanked me.

And the religious differences - we learn from each other. Our neighbors were Morman and I can't tell you how much I learned from hearing about their faith. My DIL, however, has no respect for anyone who goes to church/synagogue, etc. as she is aethist.

This is an up-lifting site and I want to come hear to hear your wonderful stories about your MILs because I have another son who still isn't married so maybe his wife will be like all of you. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 8:16AM
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Oh yeah, I had a wonderful mil, she was one of my closest friends and taught me so much from cooking to gardening. My son absolutely adored her and would talk with her when he felt he couldn't talk to us, his parents. She was the salt of the earth, one of the most loving and kindest woman I have ever had the plesure of knowing. I miss her still.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 8:52AM
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It was to refreshing to read these comments this morning and I hope there will be more that post on this subject.
Sometimes we get so involved in finding fault and point fingers that we forget that when you are pointing a finger, three are pointing back at you.

Keep them coming....we all need a lift sometimes.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 10:20AM
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My MIL is the greatest. Actually, when GW was still a paid site, I bought MIL a membership and we frequent some of the same forums. She welcomed me and my children with open loving arms, has never interfered in our lives once. The first time she invited my kids and I for a visit, she pranced us around the local grocery store introducing the kids as HER grandkids and has never treated them differently than her own.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:49AM
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I LOVE my MIL- she's the best mom, MIL, grammy, friend and woman I know. She is supportive and loving. Of course she has some qwirks but even she makes fun of them!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 12:51PM
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My MIL calls me whenever her son hasn't contacted her for months...she thinks that I may hear from my Ex more often than she does, and she's probably right. She's always been part of my life, even after I divorced from her son. He, on the other hand, tries to avoid her AMAP. Having been the estrangee from my daughter, I have every sympathy for my MIL. She has always tried very hard to be loving and supportive to me, and I always try to be the same for her.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 9:53PM
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My MIL was wonderful. She's been gone a little over a year and I miss her terribly. I was lucky enough to give her her last grandchild and she loved that little boy so very much. She got to go to all my ultrasounds (every 2 weeks) and she even got to see the 3-D one. She was also at the hospital when he was born. That made her very happy and I'm glad we got to share it with her. I loved her so much and I miss her !!! I LOVE YOU MOM !!!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 10:31PM
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I did have a great in-laws with my first husband but now with my second I do have a good relationship with the father-in-law but not with the mother-in-law. I still have a wonderful relationship with my ex's parents. They are wonderful people. Actually I still have a great relationship with all of his family...and a decent one with him and his wife. Which is nice.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 7:25PM
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I don't about great but my mother-in-law minded her own business and was very cordial and I always felt I did the same. My finance's mother (we've been together 7 years) is the same way. She is very sweet.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 4:24PM
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My MIL is as flaky as pie crust, but a fine human being who takes life as it comes. She has a good perspective on life and knows what's important. She never talks behind anyone's back, and that's important in a family. Sure, she can drive us all nuts, but she's a good person, giving and caring, and that is what counts!

And she's a great cook, too.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 11:35AM
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My MIL was a spoiled baby who caused trouble and couldn't stand to see her own children get along. She could be good as gold or very mean. I always treated her with respect, even when she tried to hurt my feelings, etc. I never kept my children from her. There were times I had to take a break from her for a few days..she called about every day...but I never kept the kids from her, or estranged myself.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 5:18PM
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My exMIL is a nice lady. We are still friends even after divorce. She is also a great grandmother. She is a part of my life even now when my daughter is grown. We know a lot of the same people so we sometimes gossip. lol

My mother is also a very good MIL. My SIL has no complains. My mom also is very good with grandkids and she is the kind of having clear boundaries. My mom NEVER interfers in anyone's life and yet is there when she is needed. She has this wonderful ability.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 6:56PM
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I did have one, but we weren't married long when she died. My first mother in law was a nightmare. The only reason I survived it was because we lived 300 miles apart.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:58PM
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I've been so fortunate to have TWO great mothers-in-law. The first was such a delightful and special lady. We had a lot of good times together. I only regret that I HAD TO divorce her son (psychopathic) and I don't know if she ever knew why. My therapist was puzzled when I brought it up!! I hated losing her in that mess. She was so special and I take every opportunity to tell my children about her. An amazing lady!

My second MIL was a lovely lady who was so kind and loving. I wish I had had more time with her - not so much as the first one. She was so sweet and dear - I know we would have been great friends if we had only had the time - she passed away several years ago.

There was NEVER any attempt by either of them to run my life or interfere. They were just gems. And I'm going to do my best to be that kind of MIL. My son married two weeks ago - to a lovely, wonderful girl who is so good for him. I am so happy with her and hope that our relationship can be as positive as the one I had with BOTH of my MILs.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 6:32PM
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