My son’s wife has turned him against me
It’s heartbreaking when a parent feels pushed away by his/her own son due to the strained relationship with his wife. As parents, we devote our lives to raising kind, thoughtful, and loving humans.
We pray they find partners who bring out their best qualities and treat them with the utmost care and respect. When that doesn’t happen, it cuts deep.
If you feel your daughter-in-law has come between you and your son, you’re not alone. Many moms end up feeling replaced, cast aside, and deeply hurt. But there are ways to repair the relationship, restore closeness, and find peace.
Understanding the wife’s perspective
When analyzing the rift between you and your son, the first step is empathy. Try to truly understand his wife’s viewpoint. Consider the following:
She may feel threatened
As your son’s #1 woman, his wife may perceive you as a competition. She likely worries about maintaining her primary spot in his heart. Approach her with compassion and reassure her you’re not trying to replace her role.
She may want control
Some daughters-in-law strive for total control over their husbands and their family. If this is the case, don’t react harshly. Calmly establish healthy boundaries and clarify your intent is not to control, but to love.
Her upbringing was different
Perhaps she had an absent mother and couldn’t comprehend your close bond. Or she hails from a family that takes a hands-off approach. Have patience and remember she’s navigating new terrain.
She feels judged
Your son’s wife may believe you disapprove of her and the way she treats him. Make an effort to voice your approval and praise her positive qualities. Compliment her, thank her, and validate her efforts.
She wants to start her own family
As newlyweds, it’s natural for couples to want independence from extended family. Don’t take this personally. Loosen your grip and assure her you’ll give them space.
Having an open, loving talk
Once you’ve put yourself in her shoes, initiate an open and caring dialogue. Here are some tips:
Make it about understanding, not attacking
Don’t view the chat as a chance to vent your frustrations. You want to forge an honest connection. Use “I feel” statements versus accusations.
Pick a neutral location
Choose a setting where you both feel at ease, free from distractions. Perhaps meet at a café or take a walk through the park.
Come from a place of love
Begin the conversation by affirming how much you care about her, your son, and their marriage. Make it clear you come in peace.
Share, then listen
After sharing your perspective, stop talking and start listening. Be open and curious about her viewpoint. Identify areas of common ground.
Take baby steps
Don’t expect to completely resolve the issue in one talk. Small strides forward build trust and pave the way for more progress.
End on a positive note
Before parting ways, express your hope that this will be the first of many fruitful talks. Thank her for having the courage to meet you in a spirit of openness.
Reflecting on yourself
In tandem with understanding your daughter-in-law, self-reflection is key. Ask yourself some difficult but important questions:
Am I overly critical of her?
Think honestly about whether you’re hyper-focused on her flaws versus giving credit where it’s due. Adjust your mindset.
Do I compare her to his exes?
It’s natural to have liked former girlfriends, but resist holding his wife to their standard. Embrace her unique personality.
Am I guilting my son?
Expressing disappointment or resentment will only push him away. Share your feelings healthily without manipulation or passive aggression.
Do I want control?
As moms it’s hard to let go, but smothering adult kids only breeds resentment. Give them space to chart their own course.
Am I relying too much on my son emotionally?
Dependence on your grown son may drive a wedge between you. Cultivate your own interests and friendships.
Do I resent her “stealing” my son?
Your son’s devotion to his wife doesn’t diminish his love for you. There’s room for both of you in his heart.
Ways to strengthen the bond
Repairing the relationship will require patience, empathy and grace. But there are proactive steps you can take to foster closeness:
Make one-on-one time
Invite your daughter-in-law for lunch, shopping or spa day. Quality time together builds rapport. Avoid sensitive topics at first.
Find common interests
Does she love hiking? Crafting? Volunteering? Bond doing activities you both enjoy. Shared interests become a bridge.
Ask her advice
Everyone likes to feel needed. Ask her opinion on topics she’s knowledgeable about. Implementation shows you value her input.
Give them space
Don’t suffocate your son and daughter-in-law. Let them enjoy privacy and independence. Your absence may grow fonder hearts.
Speak highly of her to others
Complimenting your daughter-in-law to family/friends sends the message you think highly of her. Word will travel back.
Send thoughtful notes
Snail mail thank you notes, birthday cards or “just because” greetings will melt her heart. Write specific praise.
Make memories together
When they have kids, create rituals and traditions to bond as a family. Shared memories build tightness.
Have an open talk about your role as grandma. Reassure her you won’t interfere unless asked. Respect their parenting.
Give the gift of trust
As much as feasible, give your blessing, resist judgement, and believe in their commitment. Trust breeds closeness.
Maintaining realistic expectations
While you can do your part to foster goodwill, it’s critical to maintain realistic expectations. Some key mindsets that preserve sanity:
She doesn’t have to be your friend
Aim for mutual love and respect. But don’t force a superficial friendship if you have little in common.
Less time together is expected
Your son’s priority is his wife now. Embrace spending less time together versus viewing it as rejection.
She will do things differently
Don’t insist she cook, clean, or parent exactly like you. Give grace for different styles.
You may never be super close
Despite best efforts, you two may never be besties. Aim for cordial vs. closeness.
Give it time
Blended families can take years to truly mesh. Be patient and don’t try to force relationships.
Navigating tricky family dynamics is hard. Accept awkward moments will occur. Let go of control.
If your rift with your daughter-in-law continues to hurt, don’t suffer alone. Turn to others for comfort and counsel.
Join a support group
Online forums allow you to safely vent and gain insight from women facing similar struggles.
Enlist a family therapist
An experienced family counselor can help you air grievances, mend rifts, and meet each other halfway.
Discuss with close friends
Confide in best friends who will listen without judgment and remind you of your positive traits.
Talk to your spouse
Leaning on your husband provides relief. Together you may gain solutions and reassurance.
Connect with other moms
Fellow moms can relate and remind you this unease stems from an abundance of love.
Write in a journal
Jotting down your emotions, frustrations, and hopes is cathartic. Reflect on journal entries later.
Share with your son
Have an honest and productive talk with your son. Stick to “I feel…” statements to avoid putting him on defense.
Seek professional counseling
When the relationship causes depression or constant distress, seek help from a licensed mental health professional.
Focusing on your wellbeing
Above all, make self-care a priority. Nurture your mind, body and spirit with these healthy habits:
Develop your own interests
Dive into fresh hobbies and pastimes so your life doesn’t revolve solely around your son.
Lean on your girlfriends
Spend quality time with close pals who lift your mood and know your worth.
Pursue new dreams
Set inspiring goals that energize you and capture your imagination.
Savor special father/son time
Cherish the one-on-one moments you still share with your son. Don’t discuss his wife.
Take bubble baths, buy fresh flowers, and sip tea on the porch. Give yourself TLC.
Move your body
The mood boost from exercise is invaluable. Walk, swim, dance – enjoy endorphins!
Allow yourself to feel
Cry when you need to. Write when you’re angry. Feel your emotions rather than repressing them.
Focus on the positives
When resentment creeps up, deliberately shift your mindset to gratitude and blessings.
Learn something new
Enrolling in an interesting class expands your mind and boosts confidence.
Seek counseling just for you
Work with a therapist to build self-esteem and process complex emotions.
Consider letting go
If your mental health suffers greatly, assess if letting go of the relationship is healthiest.
Looking to the future
During seasons when the relationship with your daughter-in-law is strained, looking to the bright spots ahead can lift your spirits. Have hope that:
Time often improves relationships
Bonds can strengthen down the road as habits are established and communication improves.
Grandkids are coming
Focus on your future role as a grandmother. The joy kids bring will be a blessing.
This is temporary
Few rough patches last forever. The conflict will pass and brighter days are ahead.
You’ve done your best
If tensions persist, find peace knowing you made every effort with an open heart.
Your son knows your love
Your son recognizes all you’ve done for him over the years. He appreciates you deeply, even if he struggles to show it.
Other joys await
If this relationship remains complex, purposefully expand your sphere of fulfillment. Pursue other rewarding relationships and soul-enriching passions.
She brings your son happiness
While navigating bumps with his wife, remember she’s the woman your son has chosen. Focus on his joy.
Time brings maturity
As your son grows older, he will likely recognize your abiding love and become more attentive to your needs.
Your influence still shines through
Take comfort seeing your son demonstrate values and character instilled by your mothering.
Forgiving past hurts and giving the relationship to God lightens your load and brings relief.
Like any mom, you want a warm, open bond with your son’s spouse. But every family has its challenges, and the path is not always smooth.
By leading with grace and an open heart – while also nurturing your needs – you can mindfully traverse this terrain. Have hope for sweeter days ahead. Your steadfast, patient love will leave a legacy for generations to come.