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Honored Contributor
Posts: 30,007
Registered: ‎05-17-2010

DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

After time at a beach house (last week) with DS and granddaughters, I realized something interesting. Although my DIL and I have always had a great relationship for 15 yrs., it's very different from how I interact with my DD.

 

When we cooked in, for example, I was careful to let her take the lead. She has a strong personality (?), readily says what she thinks, likes to be in charge and do things her way. To keep from"rocking the boat", I need to step back and give her space. I have a similar personality sometimes, so butting heads could be an issue. I like to keep the peace.

 

Daughters: although we have discussed boundaries, I feel more free to discuss anything. If I disagree with her about an important matter,I speak up freely. I also have a tendancy to butt in more with our relationship. She puts me in my place  respectfully if necessary and within seconds, we've moved on no harm no foul.

 

I tend to tip toe with my SIL, daughter's husband of 22 yrs.....Different story there. He is a retired army captain, quite large being a body builder for years, loud speaking/gruff like still giving orders to troops. I get it and he's a gentle giant, but somewhat off-putting to me. I've learned to be subservient around him and quiet...not my nature at all.

 

How do your relationships differ with kids and their spouses? Do you alter your behavior depending on theirs or just be who you are and let the chips fall where they may?

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,650
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

[ Edited ]

I think it's marvelous, you gave this so much thought.  You're being so thoughtful of feelings and behaviors.  I think it's all so normal in your behavior.  I could see me doing the very same thing.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,975
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

That's so interesting @Shanus .

I have similar (and different with each) relationship with each of mine.

With my children we are all very open with each other and can be ourselves.

With my 2 son in laws, I will speak up and give back opinions to theirs or actions but also will be more gentle when they need it, and they are kind of the same with me.Since I see them most every day we are more likely to feel free to say what we think to each other while still trying most of the time to be respectful. We can kid each other and laugh too without getting insulted and that's nice. But no we don't always say how we feel if that makes sense. I always try to respect that they are the parents but when it's something dangerous, I will speak up.

With my dil who I love and do admire very much, I am more subservient and very respectful. But we don't get to see each other very often either.In different states in the ctry.

I think if people are sensitive, they do change their ways of interacting with each other to some extent while still trying to be themselves and sincere. If we always said how we feel to some we wouldn't have a great relationship and if those relationships are important, then that's how it works., I think for me anyway.

Because some people are super prickly don't you know, you know? So we might have to be more careful with what we say,

or our opinions. I think this goes for family, some friends and neighbors too. 

It's wonderful when you can totally trust each other to always be yourselves and express just about everything.

"If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew. Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? can you paint with all the colors of the wind?"
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Registered: ‎06-08-2020

Re: DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

@Shanus 

 

Like Sammy Davis Jr. 🎶 I gotta be  me 🎶 I gotta be me! 🎶 

 

Sometimes it's great and there's times I get into trouble, but everyone knows where I stand regardless.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,975
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

I know that in many relationships if I always said exactly what I felt there would be arguments and bad feelings. If the relationship means enough to me, I won't engage, or I don't want to get into conflicts, or the relationship is not worth it to me to express things to begin with.

But with my children or close friends, any disagreements we always work it out.

"If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew. Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? can you paint with all the colors of the wind?"
Honored Contributor
Posts: 26,818
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Re: DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

[ Edited ]

Of course our relationships with our kids are different from the relationship we have with their spouses.  We did  not raise our dil or sil, regardless of how much we come to love them, they are not our children.  It's a different relationship.  I have two sil that I love.  I don't have sons but I have a nephew who we practically raised and hubby and I think of him as our son.  I can say things to him, give him advice, speak frankly to him in a way that I can't do with my two sons in law.  I think many inlaw relations take a wrong turn and go bad because people don't understand that our children's spouse are not our children.  It's a different relationship and we should respect that.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,951
Registered: ‎03-27-2010

Re: DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

I respect your reflection and the ability to create peaceful and amicable family relationships as a result.  You are considerate of others and recognize their personality traits.  Your choices show maturity and thoughtfulness.  

 

No, I do not alter my behavior regarding relationships.  My behavior is to observe and consider what is appropriate for a challenging situation.  That is my conscious decision. And, you are doing the same.😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,975
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

[ Edited ]

It can also be helpful to consider how we want someone to receive or accept or at least understand what we want to say, otherwise it's just inserting our opinions no matter the cost, and sometimes caring more about our opinions than that relationship.

Or not caring if they accept or listen at all. Then it becomes an argument.

 

"If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew. Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? can you paint with all the colors of the wind?"
Regular Contributor
Posts: 232
Registered: ‎05-06-2022

Re: DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

@Shanus 

Both our daughters are married but our son is still in college so I have no experience being a MIL.  My husband is an only child so my MIL had no experience being a MIL.  Of course there is a difference in the interactions between your birth family and your in-laws. We all come from different ethnic and religious as well as socio and economic backgrounds.  It isn't always easy to assimilate into your spouse's family. Someone's toes are bound to be stepped on.

 

From reading your posts, you seem to have a strong, take charge personality.  It's nice to read that you and your DIL butting heads could be the result of both your personalities.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,441
Registered: ‎05-09-2010

Re: DAUGHTERS AND DAUGHTERS IN LAW

We only have boys - 3 of them, and 2 are married.

 

Our middle boy, who got married first, has a wife who has her own way of doing things and has very strong opinions.  I disagree with her on things, but nothing is going to change her mind, so I just let things be.

 

Our oldest, who got married last year, married a lovely woman who is rather quiet, but very smart.  We get a long fine, but, being that she is quiet, I am usually the one to start conversations.  Given that we don't get too deep into conversations, we have yet to disagree on anything.

 

It would be nice if my two daughter in laws would become fast friends, but so far I don't see that happening.

 

With regard to my sister in laws - all 4 of them - I don't tip toe around them at all.  I am not rude in any sense of the word, but I do speak up.

 

My brother's wife, oh boy, her name is Karen and that she is.  I have no trouble telling her what I think about things she has done or said.  If only we could pick the spouses of our siblings - wouldn't that be lovely - LOL!

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. Margaret Mead