Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships

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    I was wondering if anyone has had any issues with the Guys mother and his wife’s relationship..So Mother to daughter in law.

    been married a few months, my mom thinks that my wife doesnt show interest in wanting to build a relationship with her, like my moms hurt that my wife doesnt call her during the week so they won’t speak until we go to my parents for shabbos and when we are there my wife and mother are friendly, but when we go back it starts all over again. My mothers other daughter in law calls my mother..she thinks that she doesnt show signs of wanting to build a relationship with her. she says shes always on the phone or texting and my mom wnats to take advantage of the time that we see her.

    any help, thoughts, suggestions?


    You did not say what your wife feels,or at least your impression of her feelings.

    If she feels she is building the relationship at her pace, you have a communication issue – explaining to MIL to give her time.

    If she’s not interested in the type of relationship MIL wants, you have a different issue. Bigger one.


    As a woman who just had a run-in with my mom-in-law, i can advise you to ask your wife to call your mother (even just 1ce a week) – but it should be coming from YOU. Don’t say ‘my mother says you never call.’ as for any mothers-in-law reading this, do NOT confront your DIL on the matter if you have such a relationship with her!! (unfortunately my MIL confronted me, and let’s just say i was extremely hurt and didn’t speak to her for a few days. we’ve bH made up since then.) I have a personality where I’m more to myself – I don’t want to share EVERYTHING with her (which is something she expected – she basically wanted a mother/daughter relationship – NOT a MIL/DIL relationshiip). But she learned the hard way – she didn’t have experience with DIL until i married into the fam, so she was basically clueless on the matter. Now she’s accepted the fact that THIS IS WHO I AM.


    A daughter and daughter in law are one and the same as far as relationships. A daughter in law is equal to a daughter.


    Farrocks, not so. In majority of cases daughter will not have same relationship with mil


    Farrocks that is just not so. I have a good relationship with my MIL bH, but in no way am I as close to her as my mom. My mom knows me she raised me there is no fakeneas, awkwardness, grudges it is more of a natural relationship. Granted I have not been married too long and I hope to buil my relationship with my MIL. It is a very comfortable relationship, I get frustrated sometimes with things my in laws do or say but we have never had an issue. On the other hand if I get in a fight with my mom and we yell and cry and and curse(Oy), NO damage has been done. We make up to 100%. With an in law c’v’s I ever do but it would not be the same and there would always be the memory of that fight.


    farrocks – I suppose it is possible to feel that. But in the majority of cases, I believe the normal emotions are that your child is your child, and no one else is, and the same for a parent. And the forced expectation (either by MIL or DIL) for it to be different can cause many problems.


    to op: Mazel Tov on your marriage may you be Zoche to build a Bayis Neeaman Biyisrael!

    Try having your mother do an activity together with your wife.Maybe your mother could take her or the two of you out for pre-pesach dinner does not even have to be fancy, or invite over to the house,in the middle of conversation see if some common interests build up,i.e. your mother and wife both like such and such book,speaker,restaraunt or a certain museum and then your mother could build from there.

    Another thing is if your wife mentions she needs something before yom tov your mother(as long as she will not be interfering) can tag along with you and your wife for the shopping and do the groceries or other tasks together. If it is clothes shopping your mother can solicit your wifes advice about an article of clothing for purchase. This will show your wife that your mother values her opinion and other shopping expeditions and social interactions may follow.

    Spending part of yom-tov with your parents will be able to foster a closer relationship in a very positive and natural manner.As this is your first Pesach together, you should emphasize to your wife how happy your parents are to be having her for yom tov, and have your mother compliment her.There so many easy conversations that can be had over Yom Tov especially Pesach, such as recipes afikoman presents, chol hamoed trips minhagim etc….Let your mother just let the conversation flow naturally. I am sure that their bond will be stronger after Pesach.

    Re your wife: Boruch Hashem I am sure you married a wonderful person with excellent middos,this is an issue that will go away by itself naturally.Bezras Hashem you will soon see the wonderful relationship your mother and wife will develop.

    lost in Europe

    Given that you are married only a few months, you must give it time. Having said that, from my experience of thirty years of hell with a witch of a mother in law, although it should be a two way street, the mother in law has to be the smarter one. She should give her love and attention when they meet, no demands, and with the time your wife should come around. Do Not ask your wife your to call her once a week. It won’t mean anything and she might resent you. When my daughter in law tells me she loves me and how good I am to her, all I answer is, “thank my mother in law for that!” I learnt the hard way.

    Rosh Cham

    Meh, i dunno, depends what type of MIL we are talking about, if the MIL is a yenta, i doubt its going to work.


    First of all, please know that it common for mil and dil to have issues.

    The reason for this is because the mil and dil are in very different stages of life.

    The dil many times already has her friends, sibilings, mom… who she is close with and might not feel comfortable confiding in her mil who she might feel is very different from her.

    The mils forget how it was for them when they got married so they are expecting things from their dils that they did not want their mils to expect from them.

    The mils forget that to make a marriage work it takes a lot of hard work. They must give the dil privacy and space to enable their dils to focus on their husbands to build a good marriage.

    Your wife is working ??(you did not give a lot of details) and also must adjust to the additional responsibilities bestowed on her when she got married. She probably just needs to focus on her relationship with you=her marriage and can’t take the effort to focus on her relationship with your mother also.

    Why? because already by your post, I could tell that your mother is NOT showing the utmost care and concern for your wife (and she does not realize it (please dont think I am bashing your mother-I am just trying to explain from another point of view )). I could tell that your mother has expectations from your wife that might be unrealistic.

    You mentioned you go to your parents for shabbos. So, your mother should feel good about that. She should focus on what your wife IS doing and not on what your wife is NOT doing.I know a dil who rarely goes to her mil for shabbos but always goes to her mother because she feels uncomfortable at her mils.

    Another thing I noticed is that your mother is comparing your wife to her other dils. This is a big error. A good parent does not say “well, yoni is great in school and behaves well, but shoshana misbehaves, so I am insulted that shoshana misbehaves!” No, a good parent realizes that every child is different and ultimately shows care and concern for each child’s needs”

    Your mother is a lovely person, and it is beautiful that she wants to have a close relationship with your wife. However, she must accept your wife for who she is and what she wants. She should never compare your wife with the other dils. I am assuming her other dils are married with kids(you did not give details), if they are, then conversation is easier because one could talk about her grandchildren.

    Your wife might not feel comfortable at this stage talking to your mother. There are many good reasons for your wife to act this way.

    Let me tell you that I am talking from experience. My mil has many dils and has trouble recognizing that my husband=her son, must put my needs first.

    I am concerned that you only talk from your mother’s point of view, but I am glad that I could help realize your error. Now that you are married, you MUST SUPPORT YOUR WIFE’S NEEDS/DESIRES/VIEWS… AND DEFEND HER AT ALL TIMES. What this means is that you should have defended your wife when your mother told you how she felt and then you could have gone to your wife privately and discuss it.

    First, DON’T TELL YOUR WIFE THAT YOUR MOTHER SPOKE ABOUT HER B/C IT IS RECHILUS. Your wife will just feel resentment towards your mother and feel insulted that YOU DID NOT DEFEND HER.


    What could you do to fix this up:

    (note that since you did not give a lot of details,this will have some variation)

    Speak to your mother when your wife is not there and say:

    ma, I love you very much, but I am sure you want me to be happily married. Do you? she will say yes.

    Do you agree that to be a good husband, I must defend, support (emotionally), and be loyal to my wife at all times? Do you agree that if someone disagrees with my wife, I should stick up for her and defend her needs and feelings over others’? she will probably say yes

    Okay, so we both agree, so I feel that when you are insulted that my wife does not call you or… please just think about the fact that you are expecting from me to side with you, but you just said that you want me to have a good marriage and be loyal to my wife. However, you are not putting that into practice because I love my wife and love you, but you are putting me in between you and my wife.

    Please accept my wife how she is. She DOES COME FOR SHABBOS. Are you happy she comes? she will say yes. So, just focus on the positive things my wife does, and it is not fair to my wife to compare her to her other dils; my wife is different.

    Ma, I love you, but I am begging you that at least for Me, your son, try not to be insulted so that I am not put in the middle.

    Thinking mom

    It seems you haven’t been married that long. You should encourage your wife to call your mother, ask for recipes (this always scores big MIL points)and all tat, but understand that she has to open up at her own pace.

    By the same token, assure your mother that your wife has nothing against her, she just needs some time to adjust and open up.


    Then, speak to your wife. Do not tell her what your mother said. You should tell your wife that you love her and want to know her views on a mil dil relationship because you want her to have a good relationship with your mother.

    Ask her if she feels comfortable talking to your mother. Depending on what she answers, you would tell your wife,”I think it will make my mother very happy if you could call her around once a week. Is that something you would feel comfortable doing?”

    You must resolve to accept anything your wife says. Therefore, if your wife says she can’t do that then you must accept that she has good reasons and still support your wife even if you disagree with her.

    Remember that your duty is to support your wife first. I know marriages that were ruined because of the in laws.

    This issue might never be resolved. Why? because it could be that even if your wife calls your mother every week, your mother might feel that your wife is not really opening up to her. If your mother is always comparing her dils with your wife, this seems that this will be a life long conflict and realize that this is common, unfortunatly, why?

    because it is all about expectations, boundaries, and priorities:

    In this situation, your mother thinks it is very IMPORTANT for her dils to call her weekly. Your wife thinks it is NOT IMPORTANT for her to call her mil.

    Your mother expects things from your wife that were never communicated to your wife.

    Remember you picked your wife and your wife chose you, but your mother and wife did not choose each other!

    Therefore, your mother needs to take a step back and realize that she is very lucky she is close with her other dils, but if your wife is different, she must just appreciate the times that your wife DOES come over and apprectiate your wife for making you happy.

    Your mother must accept your wife for who she is. So far, it seems your mother wants a close mother-daughter relationship with your wife, but she does not realize that she is acting the opposite of a mother to a daughter, why? because many parents might be insulted but ultimately realizes that they just want their daughters to be happy and do not want to make trouble in their daughter’s marriage.

    If your mother wants to have a mother-daughter relationship with your wife, she must show the utmost care and concern for who your wife is and not just put demands on your wife because that is like a boss telling your wife what to do; your wife does not need another boss!

    In my view, family is to respect each other and tolerate/accept each others’ differences/choices/decisions/actions etc. even if they disagree. That they must love each other regardless of differences which means to show the highest level of concern and care based on each persons’ needs and desires.

    In your case, you could tell your mother that it is expected that she will accept your daughter for what she does do and not “look down” at her (or be insulted) for what she does not do.

    I am interested in hearing what you have to say regarding my posts; I thought lond and hard about this issue because I am dealing with a mil who is a very caring person but does not show care and concern to ME because she always thinks of what SHE would want in the situation and did think of my needs!



    A daughter and daughter in law are one and the same as far as relationships. A daughter in law is equal to a daughter.

    In light of your comment Farrok:- Clearly yoo don’t attend hoRav Yisroel Reisman’s Motzei Shabbos Nach Shiur {or perhaps you do, and you seriously disagree with him}.

    About a year ago, he said, this wish often given to a new Bride/Groom by the future in-laws:- “oh! You shall be to us exactly like a daughter/son” is the most awful wish. Bear in mind how the young Bride/Groom feels:- S/he has 2 biological parents who have been raising her/him for the past 2 decades {or longer of s/he spent a long time on the Shidduch [crisis] market}, and suddenly this middle aged couple whom until say a month earlier, s/he had never heard of, are trying to be on equal with her/his biological parents.

    They may say:- We will be most happy to welcome you into our home & lives & Shabbosses, but not to be a replacement for her/his biological parents.

    As an aside, one does not sit Shiva for in-laws, even if they were your in-laws for over a generations’ worth of time.


    I am so fortunate that my wife gets along beautifully with both of her mothers-in-law (my mother and my father’s wife) and has since day one. Indeed, one of the things I truly give thanks to Heaven above for.

    My mother considers both her daughter-in-law and son-in-law as her own children.

    The Wolf


    I made a mistake with the last sentence.

    it should say:

    “because she always thinks of what SHE would want in the situation and DID NOT think of MY NEEDS!”


    You know what – calling a mother-in-law at least once a week is not such a big deal, so don’t make it into one. She should call her, if that will make her happy. I called my dear MIL O”H every single day (my mom, too), because I knew it gave her pleasure. She was bedridden all the years I knew her, as well as blind, and it made her feel loved and special that her DIL thought enough of her to make that effort to share a few minutes of each day with her by phone. I am not saying you have to do what I did, but for Heaven’s sake, once a week is too much?????????


    Life is too short to get hung up on positioning oneself and becoming immutable. Ask her to call a few times a week for a quick update, hello, show of interest……… big Mitzvah Drabanana and maybe deoraysa!


    147 – His main point, as he wrote in his book, is that the relationship is more delicate, not having the comfort of 20+ years of history. Therefore don’t take the liberties you would with a child, whom you assume will understand you, be forgiving etc.


    BTW, the MIL is not the enemy (neither is the DIL), yet for some reason, we are always perceived that way. Bottom line, both MIL and DIL want son/husband to be happy. It will make him happy for them to get along. So whether you are a MIL or a DIL, MAKE THE EFFORT, be non-judgmental on both sides, and be loving for the sake of the person you both love in common.


    oomis1105, you are not trying to understand from a different point of view.

    You are talking from your experience where your mil loved and appreciated your call which made YOU FEEL SPECIAL TOO, but this seems to be a more serious issue because if the mil is comparing to her other dils, she will probably not be happy with “only a weekly call” because it seems she has some expectations.

    I am talking from experience because I used to call my mil every week but she was not happy if I did not do _ AND _ AND_…

    Yes,ideally the dil should make the mil happy and “just call”. However, this man’s mother MUST also change her outlook for this relationship to work because she is not looking at what the dil DOES but the mil is focusing on what the DIL DOES NOT DO!

    In my experience, I call my mil’s mother=my husband’s grandmother every week. She loves for me to call her and is happy with anything I do because she understands that I work hard, have little children, so I can’t shlep all the time. While my mil is not happy with anything I do for her because she expects me to do everything. So too, in this case, the man’s mother must change her outlook otherwise she is setting herself up for disaster. Notice how she is putting her son in between her and his wife, which is essentially not recognizing his marriage.

    lost in Europe

    From what I read here, although it takes two to tango, the mother in law has to be the smart one. My mantra is if you want your child to be happy, be good to their spouse. A very wise friend told me just before my son got married that most daughters in law think that their husband was born the day they got married, meaning he has no past relationships before they wed. She is only thinking of their present and future. This bit of understanding helped me navigate the unsteady beginnings of my son’s married life. Today’s generation, unfortunately, do not go according to the rules. I did the calling, and if I spoke to my son, I made sure to say hello to her as well. Well, I realized the effort paid off when she called me to tell me that when all her friends were complaining about their MIL, she told me she had nothing to say!!


    She had nothing to say? She should have been raving!


    Scienceprogram, the OP is a newlywed. They have not been married long enough (at least that is what I got from the post) for deep-rooted problems to have developed that cannot be addressed and corrected with a little bit of effort. I agree that not all mothers-in-law are the easiest people, but this particular one,w ho is making the comparisons, is feeling disrespected and uncared for by THIS daughter-in-law. If she would make the effort (the DIL) to call her MIL more often and regularly,as the others are doing (and it really takes VERY little effort, if the DIL really would be honest with herself)and the MIL would STILL have tainos to her, then I would say the MIL is really difficult to please. But that was not what I was getting from that post.

    I always try to see the other side of the issue. In this case, the solution is just SO simple, that it is sad if the DIL misses out on the opportunity to something so small that will yield such large rewards. that’s all I am saying. I have been on both ends of the equation, and I speak from my personal experience, true, but being a thoughtful considerate person, should never be something that has to be debated. The younger person IMO still has to show kibud av v’em to her in-laws, and making a cause celebre over doing so, would make me think that the younger person needs to grow up a little. She too will be a MIL someday, G-d willing. The MIL should also work on being a loving mother to her new “daughter.” Again, the son is caught in the middle between the two women he loves, and that is not right.


    Personally, I think we should abolish mother-in-laws.


    okay oomis1105, I do agree with your latest post, at this point, the dil should ideally try to at least call her mil weekly to make her happy

    only the future will “tell if the mil will be happy with “only weekly phone calls”

    at the same time, if for some reason, the dil does not agree to call her mil (which is the right thing to do), then I still believe that the son has to defend/support his wife in this issue otherwise the wife will feel he is “married” to his mother and she would feel that she would not be able to rely on her husband for emotional support which is not healthy for a marriage.

    what do you think about this?


    I have always believed that a married man’s FIRST loyalty is to his wife. But not when she is being deliberately petty and/or hurtful to his family, and is digging in her heels on the subject. Then he has call her out about her behavior. Likewise, a son who sees his wife being hurt by his family for no just cause, should stand up for her and insist that she be treated with respect.

    It can happen that someone marries someone of whom the parents truly disapprove (he or she comes from a family of a different socio-economic, religious, or intellectual background, they are disappointed in the person’s choice of profession or lack thereof, etc.), but that does not give anyone the right to act with disrespect towards that in-law child. You cannot force someone to love you, but you can expect them to treat you with derech eretz.

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