The earliest source I can find for the title quote, "My son's my son, till he hath got him a wife, but my daughter's my daughter all dayes of her life," is John Ray's 1678 Collection of English Proverbs. The book itself is available here.
Takes one to know one
"People who have never experienced the rejection of a son at his wife's behest won't understand it."
Sounds like things are great then
"A few days ago I heard from a mother now in her fifties who has not seen her firstborn son for ten years. They never had a quarrel. She had been a model parent."
Look how she massacred my boy (fat and bald)
The mother had been to a ball game. A family member came up to her during an intermission and said, "Did you see who my husband was talking to over there? That was your son."
She couldn't believe it. She had seen the woman's husband talking to someone, but hadn't noticed who it was.
"It didn't even look like the son I remembered," she said. "He's big and fat now, and doesn't have any hair."
I bet some of them said why
"Most parents' stories are similar. They enjoyed their sons during childhood and young adulthood. There were no serious problems. But when the sons married, everything changed. Suddenly the parents were regarded as 'bad' persons who might interfere with the sons' relationships with their wives. The sons couldn't say why they were bad. They just didn't want any more to do with them."
Most sons and women normal
"Thank God, not all sons behave this way and not all daughters-in-law make their husbands stop seeing their parents. In fact, most sons and daughters-in-law are normal, friendly, respectful, and eager to please both sets of in-laws."
Well what if my bitch daughter-in-law were lymphoma. What then
"But there seem to be an increasing number of sons who, once they get married, decide that they want nothing else to do with their parents. My own estimate is that this is the case about ten percent of the time. Ten percent may not seem like a very big rate. But it would be awfully big if we said one out of ten persons now will have lymphoma or one out of ten persons will die at the hand of an assassin. In those cases, even one out of twenty would be a horrible percentage."
Have you tried Peter Pan
"I was surprised that no one had ever written anything about lost sons."
Certainly a comparison
"It's the same as with parents who have Downs syndrome children. Until a few years ago, many parents of Downs children quietly placed them in special homes without telling anybody. There is more openness about such things now because there has been more publicity about them. And in a few years there will be more openness about parents whose sons have forsworn them after getting married, because the evidence will show that parents are seldom responsible for this kind of behavior."
"But I wanted to shield them as much as possible, even though I feel that they have wronged us terribly."
I think I can guess
"I am not sure how your son and daughter-in-law might react if you gave them a copy."
This is the book's actual dedication
"This book is dedicated to all the dear parents who have lost a son as we have, not to war or disease or some terrible accident, but to a woman who turned out to be the worst enemy you could have had."
Something incredibly off-putting about describing a human being as "blond-headed"
"She was Richard's second wife. The first one, Betty Sue, had been the love of his life. She was a cute little blond-headed girl he met in college, and we liked her immensely. But she had changed a lot during their ten years together. She worked for the government and spent a lot of time away from home. The work and her associations at the office made her callous. She was also ambitious and didn't like it that Richard, who was an artist, made so little money. They didn't have children. She said it would ruin her figure."
Stop, he's already dead
"We weren't surprised when we learned she was leaving Richard. But it devastated him. He would have done anything to keep her."
...Who's a MODEL by the way
"I'm sure he felt complimented that she was flirting with him, even though he himself was very attractive and often received attention from women."
Perhaps on reflection you came on a little strong
"The next day she went away on a trip, and Richard couldn't stop talking about her. When he went to the airport to pick her up on her return, my husband sent a big bouquet of flowers with him that included a 'Welcome Home' card with a handwritten message: 'Please marry our son!'"
Midwestern nice, baby
"We went home that night feeling very ordinary. Monica certainly had an interesting family."
If you think your father is eating dinner at four you have got another thing coming mister
"A few days before Easter, Richard e-mailed me to say that Monica wanted to have Easter brunch with her brother and his partner and therefore they'd like to come to our place for dinner about four. I e-mailed back, trying to stifle my resentment, and suggested that we have dinner another time, as they appeared to be quite busy on Easter. I think I reminded him that his father had never eaten Easter dinner at four in the afternoon and wouldn't be too pleased at the idea."
Yes. Go there
"My husband, upset with his response, e-mailed him to remind him that before he was born I had refused to have my pregnancy terminated when he attempted to abort, and had gone to bed for weeks in order to keep him. How could he say I had never loved him?"
Play stupid games win stupid etc
"Finally, in exasperation, I wrote Richard and said that in view of their feelings about his father's "bias," maybe it would be better if we didn't come to their wedding at all...We couldn't believe we had painted ourselves into a corner and they wouldn't rescue us. Surely, I thought, they would be horrified at the suggestion that we might not attend, and would insist that we come."
So did it work
"On the day of their wedding, which was a Saturday and meant that my husband had a couple of weddings to perform at the Little Stone Church, we rose early, walked up into the woods at the center of the island, dug a little hole in the ground, and buried their photograph as a ritual of exorcism to put the whole business behind us. Maybe it was a juvenile thing to do, but we thought it might make us feel better."
Not sure where the triumphantly part came from
"Monica was all smiles. I guessed why. She was clearly and triumphantly pregnant."
Are you picking up what I'm putting down? I love my son a normal amount. This freak is too excited about his sister having a baby...maybe it's HIS!!!
"When the baby was born, a few days after Christmas, we were invited to the hospital. Her family had already been there, and her brother had filmed the birth. In fact, he was so emotionally involved that in some ways it seemed like it was his child who had arrived, not Richard and Monica's."
Hard to get worked up over this one, I dunno
"Monica even invited us to attend Abigail's Gymboree class when she was nine months old, and see her moving to music with the other children, all of whom were considerably older than she. It was clear that Monica was already programming her daughter's life in a big way. She had also enrolled her in a swimming class."
A rich rich rich text...rich and fraught
"Abigail was allergic to her mother's milk when Monica ate certain foods. So I volunteered to fix whatever she needed and wanted to eat, and frequently took in whole dinners that could be reheated for two or three meals. I had never been happier."
"We loved little Abby. She had red hair and looked exactly like my husband when he was her age."
I wonder if some of that certainty is misplaced
"There was a great thunderstorm...Abby seemed to be afraid, just as her mother was whenever there was a storm [God bless this woman for never missing an opportunity to get a dig in]...John spoke excitedly to her about how the noise always followed the flashes, and would say, 'Ah, there's a big flash over there! Liste, now, Abby. Let's hear the thunder!' And when the thunder came, he would laugh uproariously. Soon she was mimicking him, and the two of them were watching keenly for the next bolt of lightning so they could crack up when the thunder rolled. I knew she would never again be afraid of thunderstorms, no matter how long she lived."
Sadly, that's the end of the free preview, but if you're starved for more you can always filter for one- and five-star only reviews. You will not be disappointed, I assure you:
"The woman who wrote this book is in denial!! She and her husband are undiagnosed narcissists (most people are...undiagnosed) so she blames the daughter-in-law for every problem...How do I know this? Because I, as a 56-year-old female, finally self-diagnosed my entire family with narcissistic tendencies (you also must read "The Narcissistic Family) and we are all healing."
"Ignore the negative reviews. They were obviously written by young women who don’t care for their mother-in-laws. They should not be weighing in at all because they don’t know the devastating pain caused when a young wife turns her husband away from his family who has loved him his whole life."
"These mothers do not do not want to give up their sonsbands."
"This was a jaw dropper of a book. We had it made with our son, an only child who could have been an envy of many parents. Loving, kind, sensitive....yet very humble. I could go on. ALL of that changed when he met 'the one.' I will compare him to now having 'Stockholm Syndrome.'”