We all try to adapt and make peace with our in-laws, but what are some sure signs that you have a toxic daughter in law and if you do identify that fact, what can you do to remedy it?
First things first, let’s over exactly what toxic signs to look out for if you believe your daughter in law has issues with you…
1. She Only Responds via Text & Phone Calls
She might be busy or she might not be the type of person who likes to initiate contact.
If she’s quick to respond and is being nice, there’s nothing to worry about.
If she always has her husband talk to you or if she’s rude when she talks to you, don’t ignore your instincts.
2. She is Controlling Access to Your Son
If your daughter-in-law doesn’t like you, she’ll find ways to keep you from seeing your son, who is a big part of your life.
She may bad mouth you to him, or give him an unbalanced view of the situation that puts you in a bad light….saying absolutely anything to justify why he should stay clear of you.
Therefore, if you have noticed a big change in the amount of time your son spends with you or a lack of contact compared to before, then this is a major sign of a toxic daughter in-law.
3. Your Daughter in Law Makes Excuses about the Lack of Visits to See You
Your daughter-in-law likely does not like you if she is constantly finding ways to avoid you. For example, she never visits even though you live close by.
OR if there is a big geographical distance but she just never makes arrangements for you to visit a few times a year, this is another major red flag.
No matter how much time she’s given to plan her visit, she just won’t compromise her time to be with you.
4. She is Amicable but Not Overtly Friendly
How does she act when she is around you? Trust your instincts…
If a daughter in law has issues with you, she will likely keep her guard up. If you are in her company and she goes off and talks with others or doesn’t expand beyond typical polite conversation, this is a sure sign of underlying issues.
5. Your Son Justifies her Terrible Behavior
A sure sign of a toxic daughter in law is that your son is always justifying her decisions and bad actions to you.
He’ll make the typical excuses like the dog ate her homework…no, but seriously, he will say whatever to make it look like she is busy with work and not just avoiding your company.
The justifications he provides you will be go-to, unoriginal and some may even say “obvious”.
6. Your Daughter in Law and Son spend More Time with Her Family
Have you noticed that your son spends more time with your daughter in laws family than you?
This could be a sign of toxic behaviour, but it actually depends on the circumstances, which it’s why it’s important to consider all of these points in combination…
For example, if they live closer to her family, it may be more convenient and cheaper to spend time with them.
However, if the distance between both families is around the same, there really in no excuse.
7. Passive Aggressive Daughter in Law
This is perhaps one of the most obvious signs your daughter in law is a toxic influence.
Passive aggressive behavior includes things like making negative comments about you and attempting to turn it into a joke.
All families make jokes, have banter and maybe even do make negative comments, but if this isn’t normal for you or your family, it needs to stop and is potentially being done to cause harm.
Therefore, if your daughter in law is being passive aggressive, constantly belittling you, then it’s likely that she isn’t fond of you.
8. Your Son Visits You Without Her
Does your son visit you, but your daughter in law stays at home?
Of course people are busy with work etc but if there is a pattern of her not coming to visit you and it’s always just your son, there is a possibility that she is just trying to avoid you.
For instance, if your son visits more than half the time without her, it’s likely that she is actively seeking to avoid you at all costs, but if it’s less than this, maybe she does genuinely have other commitments.
9. She Treats Others in Your Family Differently
Do you notice that her behavior changes depending on who she is talking to?
If your daughter in law talks and communicates more openly or appears to be more content communicating with other family members, it’s a sure sign she doesn’t like you.
Monitor her behavior, how does she respond to them? Does she ask things she wouldn’t ask you? Does her emotions and facial expressions seem more engaged than she would be with you?
Note: of course if your daughter in law is a similar age or just has more in common with them, then don’t take it personally.
10. She Treats You Better in Your Sons Company
Does your daughter in law act differently in your sons presence vs when it’s just you and her in the room?
Obviously, it could be that she’s just anxious and feels more comfortable in front of your son, or it could be a sign that she’s not your number one fan.
However, if when it’s just you she isn’t obviously nervous or uncomfortable, but simply says little to nothing, it may be a sign she has toxic intentions.
How Can You Improve Your Relationship with a Toxic Daughter in Law?
If you are noticing any of the signs of a toxic daughter in law seem to fit with you and your situation, you need to realise that there is something you can do. Don’t simply surrender and accept it.
First things first, be willing to accept any poor behavior on your part and be willing to discuss it openly and honestly.
It’s essential that you appreciate that everyone is different and they may not necessarily fit your definitions or be in keeping with your standards. You need to accept that this is not in your control if you want to move forward.
Be willing to empathise with her…
Is she anxious or uncomfortable due to your previous behavior? Or is that just her temperament?
You’re not to blame for how she may be feeling, but it’s certainly something you should be aware of and be willing to empathise with.
Be willing to be open, be patient with your daughter in law and communicate that you are there and willing to communicate without judgement.
Be aware that everyone is different, everyone has a unique past, a story and perhaps have ideas and thoughts that you may struggle to relate to…but with all that, be willing to stay the course and be the encouraging voice in this situation.
Communicate with your son…
It’s essential that you maintain healthy and honest communication with your son, even though that may be tough at times, he should know your thoughts and feelings, so that he can deal with the situation holistically and so that he can empathise with both his mother and wife.