All Things In-Law...

Dr. Deanna Brann's Blog

DIL mad at MILDoes your daughter-in-law say and do things that seem completely off base and then says it is your fault that she does and says those things? She indicates that she is acting this way because she believes you’ve offended or mistreated her in some way. And you’re scratching your head wondering, What is she talking about? I didn’t do that or I didn’t say that! She’s nuts!

I know you probably see yourself as someone completely different from that person your daughter-in-law says you are, and you may hang on to your belief about yourself for dear life. Regardless of how you see yourself, if your daughter-in-law sees you so differently that it creates a problem in your relationship with her…well, you probably have some work to do. At least you do if you want a relationship with her, your son, and your grandchildren.

Trust me, I know what it is like to think of yourself in one fashion and have your daughter-in-law see you in a completely different way. It hurt (and angered) me to think she saw me as she did. Unfortunately it is easy to get stuck in this place – this place of feeling hurt, angry, and completely misperceived. You feel justified in telling your friends, family, anyone who will listen how unappreciative, selfish, childish, or even crazy your daughter-in-law is for how she treats you. It is easy to keep the focus on how wrong your daughter-in-law is and all the things she does that prevents you from having that relationship with your son or grandchildren.

By doing this, though, you keep yourself stuck where you are – in the pain, heartache, and helplessness. I know you’ve heard me say in my writing or with you in person that “It doesn’t matter if your daughter-in-law is right or wrong, what matters is her perception.” If you stay focused on the fact that you see her to be completely off base and you are justified in feeling wronged by her, you do not do yourself any favors. In fact, you hurt yourself more than anything your daughter-in-law could do or say. When you stay in this place you keep yourself from getting what you really want – time with your son and grandchildren – and even your daughter-in-law. You miss out on that sense of “family.”

To really make a difference and help her see you more accurately it is necessary to understand how she does view you. And yes, it will make you crazy at first just taking in all of her misperceptions, but if you let yourself sit still and really listen, you will find some nuggets of gold in her misperceptions. Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it?

These nuggets of gold will help you gain just enough insight into her world to understand how she is able to view you so differently and, more importantly, what you need to do to shift her way of thinking. All the information is there for the taking as long as you can allow yourself to listen to what she has to say – and really hear it. Once you are clear on how she views you and what it is that makes it possible for her to view you in the way she does, you can begin the shift to help her see you more accurately.

If you would like help digging up these nuggets of gold so you can shift your daughter-in-law’s perception of you, which will not only help her see you accurately, but will create a closer, more comfortable relationship with her, please email me –

Share This