The MIL Chronicles
The MIL Chronicles
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Tag Archives: Husband

When It Works – A Daughter-in-Law’s Perspective

Supportive, loving, nurturing, thoughtful, respectful, this is my mother-in-law in just a few words. If there was an award for best mother-in-law, I would nominate mine a million times over. From the beginning, she has embraced me as her very own daughter. She lives thousands of miles away so I treasure our time together. As a working mother of three, I look to her for perspective and guidance. She always lends an ear and offers words of encouragement & wisdom. I admire her commitment to weekly Skype check-ins, and value the connection she has created and maintains with my sons despite our distance. I never witnessed a successful marriage and the accompanying MIL & DIL dynamics. My parents married when I was 4 and divorced when I was 12. On the contrary, my husband’s parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year. My husband is the eldest of three, the only male, and the only married sibling. Shortly after we were married, my mother-in-law told me that calling her Mrs. Lovejoy was too formal, that I was welcome to call her Mom but she would understand if I didn’t want to since I already had a mother. She said that I could call her Mom Lovejoy or whatever felt comfortable to me. That brief conversation illustrated her respect for my feelings, my decisions, and my family. It showed me that she understood her role in my life and my marriage. Her honesty and openness created an environment for positive exchanges and mutual love & respect. Don’t get me wrong, our relationship is not always rainbows and butterflies. However, the positives far outweigh the negatives. In the rare instance when my mother-in-law & I have had a disagreement, my husband has stood behind me 100%. He listens to my point of … Continue reading

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My Rite of Passage – A Husband’s Perspective

The makeup of my family seems normal from where I’m from, and I have the typical single mother story. I am the oldest son of 3 children on my mother’s side, and my mother became pregnant just before my father left for college in 1974. The issue was that she was 14 years old when she got pregnant with me, and my dad was 19. My mother met my father sometime before she went to high school. I never really asked her much about it, but as far as I could tell she loved him. She has told me that she was in love with my father, but I believe it was more so infatuation. My grandmother gave me most of the information about my father. She said that my father was the youngest of 14 children. I don’t think my parents had a very long relationship, as my mother was extremely young when she pursued my father. No one has ever opened up about it, but I think my mother may have led him to believe she was much older. My grandmother said that she didn’t blame my dad, because she knew how manipulative my mother could be, and that she was accustomed to getting her way. Obviously my mother kept the baby because I’m still here, and I know that she loved me. I’m sure abortion was never a question for her because she needed to feel loved. And her baby would always love her, as long as she was an involved mother. I was the first grandchild, and everyone showed my mom extra attention because she had a baby. I think my mom enjoyed the attention, and she at least had love from her child even if she no longer had a man. My grandmother said that … Continue reading

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Thicker Than Blood……In God’s Eyes

To the naked eye, and in literal terms, blood is thicker than water. And in most situations, I would agree with the phrase. But when referring to two married adults, is this the case? We’ve all been told at some point in our lives that blood IS thicker than water. That is, your family, your blood, should always come first. You never turn your back on your family. Yet at times family can hurt you more deeply than friends, leaving you to wonder who needs enemies with family members like mine. And sometimes your friends are there for you, and more supportive of you than your own family. Even Oprah has said that Gail, her well-known best friend, is the mother she never had and the sister she always wanted. On the flip side, there’s nothing like having a sister or brother, or another member of your family that knows you and allows you to be yourself. The fellowship and unconditional love and trust is like no other. But when your family doesn’t accept who you’ve chosen as your spouse, and simply refuses to trust your decision, and/or respect your relationship, what do you do? How do you move forward? I remember seeing an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and hearing Teresa Guidice yell to her brother, “Be a man and stick with your blood!” She wanted him to protect and defend her, his sister, and not his own wife. He was somehow weak and ultimately wrong for “choosing” to stand by his wife’s side. It makes me wonder, when put in the situation of having to choose between your spouse and your family, what’s the right choice? It’s an understandably difficult situation since choosing your spouse can mean losing more than one member of your family. … Continue reading

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Therefore Shall a Man Leave His Father and His Mother…

In the animal kingdom, though it varies by species, a mother releases her young into the wild as soon as they’re done nursing, learning how to hunt, and have been given the necessary tools to survive. The mother trusts that she’s done her job in preparing her young, and seems to inherently know that she must let go and is easily able to do so. The young grow to procreate and form their own families. So why in the human species does there seem to be such difficulty giving in to this rite of passage? Do animals in their most natural environment have it wrong? “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis chapter two verse twenty-four describes the biblical interpretation of a man’s rite of passage as he enters into marriage. Interestingly, the biblical command to leave is given to men. However, veteran marriage counselors and authors of “Restoring the Christian Family”, John & Paula Sanford, explain that far more often they find men rather than women unable to do so. It makes me wonder why this is the case, and what is it about the relationship between a mother and son that creates this inability to “cut the cord”? According to Bill Lawrence, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries, and Adjunct Professor of Doctor of Ministry Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, marriage demands a commitment of the deepest nature because it requires a total identification between husband and wife. And before this identification can take place, there must be a separation from other relationships that have been given identification in the past. To leave means that both people must change the way they relate to their parents. It doesn’t mean that we cease … Continue reading

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It’s amazing how people come into your life even when only for a short moment. I can’t remember how I began talking to the wonderful woman I met at Pottery Barn Kids. I was obviously visibly upset, and probably told her I was there to clear my mind of my mother-in-law issues. We immediately bonded and connected and began to share our stories. It’s mind-blowing how we had similar experiences and could immediately relate to one another despite having never met before that day. As she put it, “Honey, I understand”. It had taken her husband three years and three children to “get it”. We ended up embracing, and really feeling a sisterly bond despite not knowing each other, and having conversed only for a few moments. Her story and knowing that I wasn’t alone or crazy for having the feelings I had, really gave me the comfort and support I needed to go on with my day. Having this, and other like experiences is how The MIL Chronicles was born. I know a lot of women need a place where they can find comfort and a wider support system; where they have an outlet. The MIL Chronicles is that therapeutic outlet. It’s a place where girlfriends, fiance’s, and daughter-in-laws everywhere can bond and find comfort and support, while discussing various topics surrounding one fundamental issue, the complicated threesome between a husband, wife, and the “MIL”.  I invite all women to comment and share their thoughts and experiences on this site. My goal is that by discussing this very real issue, the unhealthy dynamic, and dysfunctional cycle will start to be broken and healing will ultimately take place. And my hope is that through reading other’s stories, daughter-in-laws everywhere will get the therapeutic release they need with an audience that … Continue reading

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