The daughter-in-law…you have heard that old saying…’you can choose your friends, you can’t choose your family’ and never has this been more aptly applied than with your son’s wife, the mother of your grandchildren, it’s too bad to, there have been times you wish you could have picked out ‘the girl’, however, your son found her, fell for her, and married her – because he could!

You’ve heard or known of those daughter-in-law(s) from hell ~ the too young, snotty, mean, unforgiving, awful, selfish little snits that somehow managed to latch onto those people you love most, your sons.

All too often, you give and give and they never seem to be glad they got and got and turn all of your good intentions into acts of ugliness for whatever reason.

What always comes to my mind when hearing of these selfish little ninnies is how on gods earth did he choose her in the first place? You thought you raised him with keener ‘pick the right girl’ skills, we all did you know.

Should you be one of those very unfortunate mothers that have inherited ‘the wrong daughter-in-law’, please keep in mind that you are not to blame, you are not the one that has to live with her (thank god), and try to keep in mind ‘what goes around comes around’, for your own peace of mind.

Try to keep an open line of communication between you and your son, always try to keep in touch with your grandchildren, they’re the ones that stand to lose the most when they can’t see grandparents who love them, and pray that someday the daughter-in-law will grow up and come to see the folly of her ways. Don’t hold your breath…

Perhaps the most important person to work with here is your son – he isn’t going to choose sides and leave his wife (yet) just because you wish he would or could. His knowing that you are there is perhaps the most essential thing he needs to know.

Life choices and experience will usually win the day. If you’ve always been close to your son and he soon finds that ‘the wife’ has made him lose all contact with members of his family and he is buried under hers, he will eventually come to wonder – ‘what the heck happened?’ In the event the situation is severe – with total alienation and little or no contact – you could talk with a family therapist about an intervention with families, yours and hers. Especially if there are grandchildren who are being kept from knowing you – intervention allows a safe place to calmly talk over real issues, her insecurities, his inability to control who his children can see and when.

If an intervention is totally out of the question, you may have to give your son time to come to grips with the ugliness of his choices and move on with your life, if they refused and you’ve been trying and trying to keep up a brave front, cry again and move on…if you’ve helped them financially in the past, STOP…do not contact them or make any attempt to keep connected at this time.

Serious marital discord usually leads to severe problems down the road – when that happens your son will have no place to turn when the proverbial ‘sh__ hits the fan’ and it will if he has any backbone at all, it always does, though it could take years. Oftentimes there are just too many things going on – your son is being yanked in too many directions and his judgments are cloudy and confused at best.

One suggestion for in-the-mean-time would be to keep a scrapbook with entries of your sense of loss and frustration with your situation, write a monthly entry expressing your love and prayers for a future relationship with him and his children (with or without his wife). Insert photos that chronicle events of your family enjoying time with relatives and siblings that will be heartfelt when and if he comes to his senses.

Once you’ve done everything in your power to have a peaceful, loving relationship with your daughter-in-law, back away, let your son come to you, he will if you had a close relationship before she came along. Forgive her in your heart and pray for your son and grandchildren.