Advice to Dils

Updated on November 14, 2013
R.X. asks from Fayetteville, AR
16 answers

Many posts are here about MIL drama. Can some of you who are MILs tell us what you desire in a DIL?

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answers from Santa Fe on

My mom reeeeeaaaally didn't like my brother's girlfriend...then wife...when she first met her. She could not believe my brother picked this woman. She truly believed that this woman was not good enough for her son. Fast forward 8 years of marriage and 2 kids later. My mom thinks her DIL is amazing and the best. She sees how much they love each other and what great parents they are together. It took her years to get it though.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

I'm not one yet, but what I desire most in a DIL is that she love my son. And that's pretty much it. Everything else is gravy.

7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

It does not matter what you desire. You get who your children pick and you get to accept and love them for who they are.

My MIL said "I love you, welcome to the family" the first time she met me. She had already decided that she loved me and accepted me before we had a chance to meet. It was a great start to a wonderful relationship and I recommend it. My parents were the same with my DH. I heard that one of my sisters asked my dad if he liked my DH after they returned from their first meeting. My dad responded "I decided I liked him before we went".

It's easy to see that with our parent's attitudes we avoided any unnecessary drama.

19 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I'm going to go backward: I'm a daughter in law and I'd like to offer mothers in law and future mothers in law a little tidbit of advice that will make family life a lot nicer and more enjoyable:

Treat your daughter in law like she's actually your daughter, not a parasite attached to your son. When you do that, she will love you and respect you like you're actually her mom.

My mother in law is a wonderful lady whom I love dearly. She has treated me like a daughter from day one, accepting that her son has made a wise choice in choosing to marry me. She treats me as if, when I took her son's name, I also took on the blood flowing in our family's veins. I very much love her and respect her for doing that.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I have 2 beautiful DIL's. My desires of each them is to make my son and grandchildren happy and take good care of them. I also desire that although I expect her to go to her mother if she has problems or questions, that she knows she can also come to me if needed. I desire her to keep me informed of any major decisions my son and her make. And to remember me during the holidays and special events thru the year.

Although sometimes it's hard, I always try to keep in mind she is my DIL, not my daughter. She is going to go to her family for many things that I expect my daughters to come to me for.

I love my DIL's as much as my daughters but I try to be as realistic as I can be. They have things their families did that may be different then the way we did them. And they will raise their children and live their lives the only way they know how to. Some things may not be the way I would do them, but that's okay. I didn't always do things the way my husbands family did either.

At the same time, I do not want her to criticize the way our family does things. I raised 5 kids to be wonderful adults. I must have done something right, after all, she does love one of them and even married him. lol

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

How about what a daughter-in-law desires in her mother-in-law?

I want:
a mother-in-law that accepts me. Which she does.
who includes me in family gatherings. Which she does.
who realizes her son is NOT perfect. Which she does.
who knows that my children are mine and not a way for her to relive her youth. She does.
who respects my marriage. She does.

My mother-in-law sees me as a daughter. She has accepted me and loved me through our 24 years of marriage and 26 years of being together. She doesn't get involved in our marriage. If we have a problem? She listens to both of us and tells us both what she thinks and where we are wrong or right, from her perspective. She doesn't take sides.

You state your son is not married and his last girlfriend broke up with him and complained about you not taking them out to dinner? Give me a break! Why would she expect you to take them out to dinner?

Unless you are arranging a marriage for your son? Accept who he brings home.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

What I desire in a DIL is not for me, but for my son. I hope she is a good and caring person and a good mother if they have children. I hope my son treats her well and that they have a great relationship. If all those things are in place, I would naturally get along with her. I don't intend to railroad boundaries and treat her badly like my ex's mother did to me, so hopefully she will like me too.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Well, I am not a MIL, but I was privileged to be included in a conversation last week with some older lady friends of mine who ARE MIL's. One was having a problem with a DIL and was asking if she was out of line or whack or if the DIL was the one who had inappropriate expectations.

(I agreed with her, her DIL has over the top expectations, btw).

And in listening in, it became obvious that the big factor is communication. Not everyone comes from the same background. I don't mean intact family, same socio-economic status, etc. Although, those can be factors as well. I am talking about the role of the mother in the household. This particular friend, worked when her kids were growing up. It was required for them to give their kids all the things they wanted to provide for them, and also for this mom to be the woman she is (very driven). They lived far away from all their extended family and dealt with life as it was handed them, including crisis situations, without easy help from in-laws. They had to rely on themselves and the network of friends and sitters they had built up. (Much like myself---we've never had the easy convenience of a MIL to take the kids for us to have a regular date-night. It has ALWAYS required we make babysitting arrangements and PAY for services, including getting them to our home and back after the sitting gig, no matter how late, etc).
Well, this woman's DIL did not grow up that way. Her mom was always there and does and helped with ease. She currently lives about an hour from them (the DIL's mother) but is ill and unable to come do everything the DIL needs at the moment (basically being a live-in nanny for 2 weeks straight). So the DIL called up my friend and TOLD her when she needed her to come and how many days she would have to stay. Very summarily. Like dictating what was going to happen.

My friend lives 3 hours away. So this is a move-in thing, not a drive back and forth every day thing. She also has a life. And other responsibilities and things she has obligated herself to do back here at home. So, she tried calling the DIL and explaining that it didn't work for her to be there for 2 weeks, but to find out which days were most crucial so she could adjust her schedule to help out at the most important of those days. DIL would not return her phone call. So she called her son to ask "hey, I can't get an answer, which days are the "worst" so I can plan, b/c I cannot be there the entire 2 weeks". Now DIL is mad.

During the discussion, the conclusion was reached that she is mad b/c my friend reached out to her son, by-passing the DIL. But, the woman wouldn't answer her phone or return her calls... so what was she supposed to do?

But, the real problem came from the fact that the DIL can dictate to her mother and her mother jumps. But MIL doesn't. So...

Maybe if we all took a look at personalities and history, it would help us see things from a perspective that isn't ours. And Communicate! Don't avoid those phone calls just bc it isn't what you want to hear. The girl is mad b/c MIL isn't giving up her life for 2 solid weeks, and instead is willing to (happily) give up one, and come back a few days later for a few more days. But that isn't good enough for her. She doesn't want to have to come up with any other solution. She wants her parents and inlaws to make it easy.

But here's a newsflash for us DIL's: Its OUR problem, when we need help. Not our IL's problem. Accept the help you can get and figure the rest out. Don't be mad b/c you don't get what you expect and assume is the "proper" amount of help. Be grateful you get any. Some of us don't get any.
In other words, grow up.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I wish I had a MIL who respected me for who I am. Someone who didn't undermine our parenting, but who trusted that we were making the best parenting decisions for our children. A MIL who had respect for boundaries and didn't rely totally on us for her social entertainment. A MIL who doesn't say, "You're wrong," when she disagrees with me and refuses to see things from my perspective. A MIL who accepts that I am now a member of the family and treats me like she treats her other DIL. A MIL who when she walks past me at a school event for our daughter at least has the decency to smile and say hello even if she doesn't choose to stand near me. A MIL who tries to engage me in conversation without being critical.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

All I desire is a woman who loves and respects my son, and makes him happy. Of course I would love it if she and I had a close relationship, but that's really secondary. I know he won't marry any drama queens, he has no patience for girls like that, never has. His current girlfriend and I get along really well, as a matter of fact my husband says she reminds him of me. So, yeah, I'm not too worried about future DILs, I've got a smart boy with good taste :-)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

Treat someone in a way that you would like to be treated, and think of them as a friend.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Son's tend to pick women that remind them of their mother's.
Sometimes I think MIL's and DIL's are just so alike it's hard for them not to clash.
Your son will choose who ever he chooses.
You just have to come to accept who ever that is.

Your son and his future spouse have to communicate between themselves.
The fact that this last girlfriend didn't express her feelings about dinner out with you until they broke up just tells me she wasn't the one for him.
Kids (as they become adults) need to pull away from parents.
They are going to outlive us.
They need to build relationships that will carry them through when we are no longer there for them.
It's healthy.
And it's healthy for us to let them go.
Although we are parents forever we're not actively parenting forever.
You have to remember who you were before you had kids and continue to grow in your own way with your own friends and your own interests.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I never thought about what I desire in a DIL.
I dont get a vote.
I hope she treats him well, that's all.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

What I desire in a DIL?

I want someone who can love and care for my son. I want someone who can be strong yet gentle at the same time to keep him on an even keel. I want her to stand on her own and do her own thing. When children arrive, I want her to be the mother to her children and be nurturing and loving. I want to have a friendly relationship with her as a person.

This all about him. I do not have to live with her day in and day out. I just have to have a cordial relationship with her. She is the woman of that home. I am mom and I am second in command -- the wife is first in command.

As a mother of a son, you have to realize that you have put into place all the good qualities that make a man. When he finds that woman, you have to relinquish your hold and let him sail off into the sunset with his new woman - his wife - and to live happily ever after. If you continue to hold on for dear life, you will ruin their marriage.

I have a wonderful DIL and I would love to be closer to her but I live in another state. She is a strong person, she is a good person, she comes from a loving home situation, and I really love her. I have never gotten the chance to really sit down and spend time with her due to the work schedules and the distance in between but we will one day have a good time together - just the two of us.

I hope this helps you some.

the other S.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

its a two way street.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I hope she's an intelligent person with integrity and common sense, and that treats him like he is a treasure. Other than that, I don't get to have an opinion.

I think I can see where your MIL was coming from. I wouldn't assume that it would be okay for me to drop in and visit my adult children without an invitation, because I don't like it when people do that to me.

1 mom found this helpful
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