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Ask Dr. Rossi Your Own Question
Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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what do you do when your daughter in law hates you, but cannot

Customer Question

what do you do when your daughter in law hates you, but cannot tell you why. I talked with her and the only thing that came out of the talk was that my son her husband doesn't have the relationship with her mom that she wants him to have therefore she doesn't want one with me.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

How you handle a cold daughter in law won't differ from how you handle anyone with those tendencies. The issue here is not that she is fake and unloving and cannot rationalize why she's that way, but rather are you OK with her behavior? You know that you cannot change anyone or what they think or feel. In that case, you focus on your own interpretation of the situation and what you feel as a result.

 

Do you really need her acceptance and love to know that you're a worthy individual? Not really. You've lived all of your life w/o her until she married your son. For whatever reason she feels what she feels. Even if he is influencing her, you're not responsible for that. She is. She decides what to feel, what to believe and how to act. She's an adult.

 

As far as how you handle or treat her- you've already done that. Continue to be civil with her. There is no reason for you to feel animosity towards her. Perhaps with time, she will come around to see things for herself w/o external influence. Until then, you accept her the way she is if you are willing to and go with the flaw. Try not to personalize her behavior.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
this is impacting my relationship with my grandson that is 12 months old and I cannot acceept her distance when he is involved...I need suggestions on how to have a relationship with grandson when she is not allowing him to come visit unless she is working and my son brings him over. Then, my son has to deal with her getting upset with him. It is complicated.
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 5 years ago.
You should not have to deal with the alienation with your grandson. This is where your son's input comes in. If he is controlled by his wife, then there is not much that can be done unfortunately. Your grandson is too young to understand what is going on. If that is the only time you see him, then your interaction although limited and in secrecy is what you'd have to make the best of. There is no specific technique that works for everyone. You know what helps you. As long as your son does not put his foot down and stops his wife from disrespecting you. you can not hold only her responsible for this dysfunctional situation. You may try to focus on the time you spend with your grandson, talk to your son to figure out what is making him so passive in his marriage, and focus on peaceful thoughts. After all, you see this is also the dynamics your son and your daughter in law are fueling with their behavior. In a way, you're in the middle of a dysfunctional marriage and suffering the power struggles that the two of them have b/w one another.

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