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Responding To A Cruel Daughter-In-Law

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Dr. Meg Meeker

Dear Dr. Meg,

I have a daughter-in-law of 14-years now! I consider myself as a very good Christian person. I have one son. Anyway, my daughter-in-law is very spoiled, disrespectful, and very rude to me every chance she gets! Her mom is her best friend! She won’t break down the wall and let me in. All she sees is the negitive about me! Her two kids love me!

Even when our son will give me a hug she’ll say sure you’ll hug your mom, but you won’t hug me! She had fours years of physiology in college.  I don’t get into their lives at all! She has got me over a barrel and if I say anything, our son will hate me and I won’t get to see our grandkids any more! I’ve tried so hard with her, but get stomped down by her every time! I am so severely depressed each time we’re with them, and what she does to me. I’m about ready to give up our son, and grandkids! And that is what she wants is to have them all to herself, and her family, and to leave us out! It’s not worth the pain she causes me! I’ve never in my fifty-eight years of my life ever had someone hate me and the ground I walk on. And our one and only son had to marry a girl like her.  I don’t tell our son any of this, because she always turns everything around and tells him that it’s me.

Meg, I’ve never told anyone this before, but I I’ve even thought of suicide, that way I’d be out of their lives, she’d love that! I pray every day for us! My husband is my high school sweet heart and is so very good to me, and I love him so much. I’d never do that to him. He just tells me just let it go, and tune her out! But it hurts me so much! Meg, you’re the first person I’ve sought help from. I don’t know where to go! I can write a book (as you can tell,) on all the mean things she’s done to me all these years! I’m sorry Meg, my question got so long, but I had to tell you just a little about my life and problem! Can you help me? I’d sure appreciate it! I know it would be hard for you to tell me since you don’t know either of our personalities! With my hand on the bible I am a good person, but I don’t want it to look like I’m stuck on myself, I’m not really! Ha!

Thank you,

Looking For Resolution

Dear LFR,

I can tell that your daughter-in-law has really hurt your feelings. For some reason she has decided that you are the enemy. She either feels threatened by you or deeply hurt by you. Probably both. I encourage you to stop thinking about how you feel and try to put yourself in her shoes so that you can try to understand her frame of mind. Of course she thinks very differently than you do and there is a deep insecurity or hurt that continues to eat away at her and she is taking it out on you.

Here’s what I would do. Set asked one month and pray intentionally for her. Ask God to bless her. Then ask Him to help you understand what is bothering her so deeply. When you find yourself focusing on your own hurt, stop and think about her. Praying for someone is powerful because it changes her life and it changes yours.

Then, I would act as kindly as you can to her. Even the hardest-hearted people cave when shown enough kindness. It could be that this young woman has never felt any real kindness in her life- I don’t know. But I do know this: if you humble yourself in her presence and work hard to be nice, she will eventually respond. (And this may take years.)

When Paul was teaching the Romans about how very hard love is, he wrote: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him: if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

At this point, you can either keep doing what you’re doing and lose your son and grandchildren or you can try something dramatic and follow Paul’s suggestion. I highly recommend the latter.

Signed,

Dr. Meg

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