SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
slowdowntherecrazy

MIL From Hell-Long

16 years ago

DH woke up yesterday morning with a horrible migrane. Normally we carpool to save gas (we commute 56 miles one way) and because DH is not a morning person and left to his own accord, he'd always be late. It's just a perk that we get to spend some kid-free time together without the distractions of home. Yesterday however, since DH had the migrane I left him at home and went on to work. He had his car there and when the pain eased, he could go to work.

I didn't know how bad the migrane was or I wouldn't have left, but apparently after he got out of the shower, he passed out on the bathroom carpet for a couple of hours. After waking, he got up and went to work because he felt better.

SD called DH after her lunch hour at school and told him that her ribs hurt and she wanted to come home, so he called his mom to ask her if she could pick SD up.

So after I got off work I stopped by where DH works, picked him up, was informed that SD was at MIL's and we went to pick SD up at MIL's. When we got to MIL's she immediately started in on ME about DH's migrane, why he didn't see his doctor, about how he could have died there on the floor (that was the first I'd heard about the passing out), how DH needs to go on a diet because he's put on a few pounds (Maybe 10), and why I haven't taken SD to the doctor because of ribs that just became sore that day and her back that supposedly has been hurting for a while that I hadn't heard anything about.

Then we were getting ready to leave and MIL tells SD to not forget her food (bags of it) and lets us out.

Needless to say I was pissed, but I kept my mouth shut. First, why is she buying groceries for my house? Do I not visit the grocery store at least twice a week for food items? Secondly, how am I responsible for knowing what people don't tell me? She literally sat there and chewed my arse for a good hour over calling the doctor, telling me "that's what you pay your health insurance premiums for" and all this other crap. No sh!t sherlock! I'm just not taking him to the quack she sees again because the last time he went the Dr. told him the migranes were caused by outdoor allergens. I'd like to know what pollen or mold spore there is to be allergic to in 20 degree weather. My allergies never bother me in the winter.

This isn't the first lecture I've gotten from her, or the first time she's bought groceries for SD for our house. It just pisses me off that no matter what I'm expected to sit and take the abuse and let her demean me and belittle my ability to take care of my home, husband, and kids. No, I don't buy much junk food for the house because we try to eat healthy meals when we eat at home,(We eat out once a week.)but she has absolutely no right to go behind my back and buy things for my home that I wouldn't buy. It's not her home and these aren't her kids that DH and I are raising.

MIL has sat there in MY home and delved into my sexlife like it's her business to know what birthcontrol I'm taking since apparently now isn't the time for a baby and whether her son and I have relations at all. She is always calling DH and screaming at him or throwing threats of a lawsuit for custody of SD that she thinks she's entitled to, tells DH he's a horrible parent, tells DH that I'm screwing his whole life up, and tells him that when he's tired of me she knows he'll be begging her for advice again. What kind of mother is that?????!!!?? I've come home from work to find her sitting on my couch, she has keys to our house for some reason, just to give us a lecture.


On new year's eve she told us that we were coming over for lunch the next day, ok no problem we didn't have many plans anyways since I'd been sick for tbe better part of a week. When we get there I felt like junk, dinner is almost ready and I have to listen to her husband (DH's step dad) talk about how if her were DH he'd do this with SD and teach her a lesson and how DH should give them custody because DH is a horrible father. Not happy about that, I try to help out in the kitchen and get ignored, and we all eventually sit down to eat. After dinner we're sitting there drinking coffee and MIL asks me who cuts my hair and how many layers are currently in my hair. I don't know how many layers are there, so I tell her I don't, and then tell her who cuts my hair and she replies "She did a shitty job, I know who I won't go see."

DH thinks I should ignore all of it, but it's really hard when you feel like the outsider. He's told her to back off multiple times before, but most of the things she says aren't said in front of him and if I bring it up, he thinks I'm b!tching about his mom again and gets grumpy or just ignores it which in turn makes me want to hit him with a lamp for being a jerk. It's also tough for him to tell her to back off of me when he's constantly telling her to back off him. I tell her to back off and she automatically wants to fight, or wants to sit there and sling names like a 3 year old, calling me everything but female and my name.

Sorry everyone, I don't really need advice, I just needed to get that off my chest.

Comments (49)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The Dr. that told DH that his headaches were allergies refused to look any farther into the problem, but prescriped an allergy medication that DH takes daily to prevent the headaches. The medicine has not worked since it was prescribed several months ago.

    I now have to convince DH to go back to the doctor to find the cause of the problem and then the solution.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    what a B. I don't have any suggestions. I don't know what i would do. My grandmother used to say (jokingly): you should marry an orphan so you won't ever have to deal with MIL. Try to stay away from her any time you can. I am sorry you have to deal with it.

  • Related Discussions

    whirlpool cabrio washer from hell

    Q

    Comments (9)
    Hello boysmom. Congratulations on your new machine! I have a couple of detergents I am currently using. Tide original powder and Tide liquid "HE" detergent. I think I may go back to Sears detergent as it is a good low sudsing detergent and seems to rinse well without the need for a second rinse. Sometimes the rinsing in my machine produces more foam in the rinse than the wash cycle. I noticed that with the Liquid Tide "HE"; washing towels, the 2 rinses would be sudsier than the wash cycle; and I only used about a quarter of a capful. Had to rinse the towels a third time. Unacceptable!
    ...See More

    Where do I go from here?? It still isn't over, MIL attacks(long)

    Q

    Comments (17)
    I think your husband needs to stop telling his sister things that get back to your MIL. Your business is private and nothing you say or do should be told to your MIL because she obviously takes that information and figures out ways to use it against you. Also, it would be very enlightening for your husband to hear both sides of a story in a way that he cannot refute. Have him listen in on a conversation with his mother but don't let her know he's listening. Then when she calls him to complain about "how you mistreated her again", he'll see that she is exaggerating everything. Men are fixers. I'm not the least bit surprised that your DH wants you and his mom to get along and that he thinks 2 weeks is enough. Men don't typically hold grudges or over-think things like women tend to do and I think he thinks it's been long enough. (I had a problem like this for years with my late MIL and the day DH figured it all out was an amazing day for all of us. lol She went off on him and opened his eyes forever. BUT, in 2 weeks, he was over it and things went back to almost normal. She was his mom and he wasn't going to cut her out of his life forever, even though she deserved it. She also never apologized or admitted fault, but he knew.) So my feeble advise- never talk to MIL again without a witness in the room, or if it's a phone call, have someone else on the other line, listening. Have a little voice recorder in your pocket if your words are constantly twisted around by her, until your husband sees the light. And avoid her as much as possible if the 2 of you are unable to come to an agreement. Let DH take the kids to visit her, but be careful because she may try to use your kids against you and she will bad-mouth you to them in ways that are subtle but effective. Good luck. I don't envy you at all. My MIL is gone now and my life is a lot less stressful. When she was alive, I was so thankful that I didn't have children for her to corrupt, like she did her other grandkids. Because we had no kids, I was able to remove myself from her drama and lies.
    ...See More

    Anniversary dinner and surprise gift from MIL

    Q

    Comments (10)
    MMMM Caroline,that's a mighty good looking steak dinner! That was sweet of your MIL.She sounds kind of like my MIL.She is gone now but could be hard to get along with at times. Love that silver pattern.It's so delicate looking Have you checked E-bay for that pattern? HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!
    ...See More

    Problem with MIL-very long

    Q

    Comments (33)
    I noticed that you said that if she had Alzheimer's it would have shown up by now. Actually, it and other dementias can show up at any time. Also, dementia can be caused by many things other than Alz. As to wildchild's "no no no," if you feel that in your area the psychiatrists usually handle all the psych issues and that the family doctors would have little/no experience with psych issues, then i have to agree with her. on the other hand, if it's like here (and it doesn't sound like it is as drastic as here since she was able to get an appointment with a psychiatrist once in the past) and the family practice doctors are familiar with psych illnesses, I have to strongly disagree with her. You're going to have to use your judgment, and maybe your SIL has as opinion too. (Just to give you some idea of what would happen here if the family docs didn't treat psych illnesses...I know someone who was in the psych hospital as an outpatient for a week for suicidal ideation (without plan) and under my supervision while not at the hospital. She was seen by the psychiatrist while in the hospital and had her meds adjusted by him. Upon discharge though, she was returned to the care of her family doc who had been managing her meds before. And BTW, I'm pretty sure it wasn't his inappropriate management that landed her in the hospital--I think she was snowing him and the same would have happened with a shrink. As a nurse, I know that her doctor asks the right questions.) So, I just want to try to clarify why I made the suggestion that I did and also to point out that "no no no" is not the right suggestion everywhere either. It may be the right suggestion where she is if there are plenty of shrinks, and thus the family docs there don't have a lot of knowledge/experience with psych illness. It's a judgment call. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren't in a good position to make that kind of judgment. If anyone knows a good psychiatrist who would be interested in living in a rural area of Virginia, please have him/her e-mail me for more information about the area. (It's a wonderful place to live, unless you need a psychiatrist:-) ) I don't think that someone who's been hospitalized _should_ go back into the care of a family doctor, but that's what the patient load of the psychiatrists we have here is like. Sorry to go on so long. I just have to put this out there more for other people who might read it and might live in an area like where I live. And although my opinion is strong, I'm not completely disagreeing with wildchild either. Sarah
    ...See More
  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The idea of marrying an orphan suddenly appeals to me.... my MIL sounds a LOT like yours Slow. Kudos for not dropkicking her into 2009!

    Sadly I have no suggestions either except to stay away from her when you have PMS. Lord only knows what could happen. Ha! :)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    At first, I was thinking she was reacting to the thought of losing her son (thinking that he might have died) and just looking for someone to direct her feelings toward and picked you. and as you went on, I was thinking she is that way with you because your'e the second wife, and maybe she really like the first one. But overall, I think she is just lonely and overbearing. Your DH has gotten used to it or just tunes it out. It must be hard. My mom has never called me a terrible parent, but she did want me to give her my oldest child to raise when he was very young. She also would buy him things when I said no. It was tough to stand up to her and for a short time (a few months), I cut her out of my life completetly so she got the message that I am the parent. It also helps that I moved two hours away from her. I feel bad for you. It's terrible that she would invite you over to insult you. She must be very miserable and unhappy with her life.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There's no reason she should be going into your house without an express invitation. There's laws against that!! (Whether you have a key or not, if you don't live there and weren't invited, it's trespassing!)

    What an awful woman. You have my condolences.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Normally my advice is to always try "kill them with kindness".

    But in this case I say...

    Change the locks!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ... or use something else to kill 'em with! ;0)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    LOL! Absolutely!

    Sweeby, your comment makes me think of something I read not long ago. It's very funny, so I'll post it here just to get a few laughs.

    AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. JAMES THATCHER,
    BRAND MANAGER, PROCTER & GAMBLE.

    Dear Mr. Thatcher,

    I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years,and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core or Dri-WeaveT absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach
    in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe
    and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

    Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from"the curse"? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my "time of the month" is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call "an inbred hillbilly with knife skills." Isn't the human body amazing?

    As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers' monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman
    Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy!

    The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in capri pants.

    Which brings me to the reason for my letter.Last month, while in the throes of cramping that was so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: "Have a
    Happy Period." Are you f***ing kidding me?

    What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness-actual smiling, laughing happiness-is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything I mentioned above sound the least bit
    pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freaky girl, there will never be anything "happy" about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreens armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory. For the love of God, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like "Put Down the Hammer" or "Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong"? Or are you just picking on us?

    Sir, please inform your accounting department that, effectiveimmediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescendingbullshit. And that's a promise I will keep. Always.
    Best,
    Wendi
    Austin , TX

    Remember Slow... Vehicular Manslaughter is wrong!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What a nightmare. So here goes.

    1. First, is there any truth in her words that DH is a horrible parent to his daughter? What is he not doing, or doing that makes his mother believe that he is a horribleparent?

    2. If there is no truth to what she is saying, and that you and your husband are good parents to his child, you and your DH need to find a good marriage counselor, so that your DH learns to establish boundaries in your marriage, for his mother. (many churches counsel for free, but there are good counselors and bad counselors) and you need to find one that is very good, to help you and your DH learn how to establish boundaries to protect you both, and become the adults that you are.

    3. If he refuses to go to a counselor (although they can really help get perspective and clarity on how to solve problems that appear unsolvable, and should provide you with the support you need from your DH) I get it that some people will not go. If so, there are audio (books on tape/CD) available, that will be somewhat helpful. Many library's carry a good selection, but you can also look on the web and order various CD's. Some groups, although they may be religious oriented if you don't mind, may counsel over the phone for free. Off the top of my head, I think there is a organization with counselors called Focus on the Family, or something like that, if you search the web. I may be wrong, but for some reason it seems I heard on the radio that they will counsel people. Others on this forum may have other organizations that counsel (some for free?), and can help you.

    When I am on the road, I flip through channels listening to all of the talk radio stations, and it seems that I heard something like this.

    Anyway, you and your DH need someone to guide you on how to get the boundaries in place so that this relationship with his mom, can be healthy and loving, and not so toxic.

    It seems that she is unhappy, you are unhappy and your DH is unhappy. many people on this forum are talking about something called "disengaging". That they do not take personally or to heart anything said to them by someone trying to hurt them, because they have come to realize that the person using words to hurt them, is speaking from bitterness, jealousy, etc. and often there is no truth in their words...they just want to hurt, not heal. And so they have learned to dismiss anything that person says, and consider the source.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    on a tangent, but perhaps an important one--- Are you saying that your husband actually, literally passed out? As in, involuntarily lost consciousness vs. decided his head hurt so much it would be easier to just lie down here rather than walk to the bedroom? If the answer to this question is yes, he needs to get to a dr pronto. Migraines can be debilitatingly painful (trust me I know from personal experience) but do not generally result in loss of consciousnes. Plus I think that general advice of "when to seek medical advice" loss of consciousness ranks right up there in the head immediately to the closest ER category.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    P.S. I am trying to be nice and offer advice that allows you to establish boundaries, and change some of the dynamics in the relationship.

    Personally though, at this point in my life, I agree with starr.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    And I also agree with quirk. He needs a Doctor. I have never heard of anyone passing out on the floor for a couple of hours from a migraine. Something must be wrong that should be looked at by a doctor.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Literally passed out. Involuntary loss of consciousness for an extended time.

    He has a Dr's appt. Monday.

    Thank you Benice. DH is a good father, he's not always right, as no parent is always right, but he loves his child and does everything he can to help her and take care of her. We both do everything we can for the kids (mine and his).

    We're in counseling and our therapist thinks that MIL may be bi-polar or at the very least projecting her unhappiness with her life onto us and ours. He also says that you can't change a relationship with a person that is unwilling to compromise or be civil. All that can happen is change within yourself. (I don't see me NOT hating her anytime soon, but I'm working on it.) His relationship with his mother has always been like this though. She likes to blame it off on him, and how he is, but I'm sorry you can't blame everything off on someone else. You have to accept responsibility for your own actions and stop behaving like a child throwing a fit over a toy. Yes, DH has his share of flaws, but everyone does. Admit them.

    Personally I think she's just crazy and would like to avoid her as much as possible,but it's kind of tough to do when she's on your couch after work. I don't know about any of you, but after working all day with obnoxious teenagers (I'm a teacher.) I don't want to come home to my MIL. Period.

    I told DH that I would like to change the locks and he wasn't happy about that, he wants his mom to have the keys just in case. He doesn't agree with her letting herself in though. At this point I'm more resigned about the situation than anything. I'm still pissed off about it, but there isn't anything I can do.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Why is your husband letting ANYONE even suggest that he is a bad parent and that they need to take care of his child. The very first time someone told me that I would speak very calmly and very slowly and tell them "If you ever say suggest mumble or hint at taking away my child again, that will be the very last time you see me. And, do not think that you can EVER talk to me like that again. You will treat me with the respect and decency that I deserve not only as your daughter in law/son but as a human being. I will not tolerate it nor do I have to. Do not test how serious I am about this" I can not even remotely comprehend allowing someone to treat you like that (you being you and your husband)

    BTW hecallsmemom.... that was HILARIOUS!!!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Why are the 2 of you sitting there quietly while someone insults, threatens, & abuses you?

    Don't go to her house,
    change the locks on your house,
    do not let her pick up hubs's daughter,
    don't converse with her, let alone give her *any* information,
    & look her & her husband in the eye if they dare to say anything about raising this young girl & say, slowly & distinctly,
    "She isn't a puppy, she isn't free to good home, & if you
    ever say anything like that again you won't be seeing any of us again."

    & make it stick.

    (My first reaction was to think that I'd be very ticked off at hubs for not putting her in her place, but it sounds like she's treated him this way for a long long time.)

    I agree with the others:
    hubs needs a doctor right now.

    If he refuses to go, I hope you have good life insurance on him, & I hope he's made a will & named a guardian for his daughter.

    I wish you the best.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I didn't think to include, in case the above sounds harsh, that these things do not get better, they get worse.

    It's the same dynamic as wife-beating or child abuse.

    Nothing is ever enough; no amount of power ever satisfies.

    The abuser is never content with what he/she already has;
    the victim has to be further humiliated, controlled, abased, ridiculed, etc.

    If this woman isn't stopped (& if she's like most bullies, standing up to her & stopping her one time is likely to change the tide), she *will* wind up running you off or reducing you to the level of a puppet, just like she's already done to your husband, & she'll gain control of your husband's daughter as well.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you Sylvia and Momof4 I completely agree with you both about the doctor and about the MIL bs.

    I don't understand why he's always let his mom treat him like this. To a point I do as we've discussed it before, but really it's a foreign idea to me as I've always been the type that will shoot my mouth off and then think about the consequences. To be fair and not cause more BS I've been quiet about it though, only telling DH half the things she says or does. He doesn't realize that I'd rather saw my arm off with a butterknife than go to her house for holidays or sunday dinner. I've told her to shove it a couple of times before, but been fairly quiet about it and not absolutely firm. My huge mistake.

    With DH thus far I've only really made a few snide comments in passing since it's hard for me to sit there and tell him that his mother is psychotic and I've been tempted more than once to tell her to F off and leave me and mine alone since it wasn't her place and I didn't want her opinion.

    I also agree with the part about her being stopped before she does any of the above mentioned.

    On DH's headaches, I totally agree with seeing a doctor. Preferably someone who won't just rule that they're allergies, but will actually search for the cause. We'll see on monday if I've picked a decent doctor.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It's learned helplessness (you can google it.)

    If someone mistreats a person over & over & over, & the consequences of standing up to the tormentor are so dire that the victim doesn't dare defend himself or herself (for instance, the parent demands that the child bring her the razor strap...& the child brings it, knowing that if she doesn't, she'll get beaten worse, or the child says, "but I didn't do it" & gets a beating for "sassing" the parent), eventually the victim gives up & truly believes that he/she cannot escape.

    In his/her world, the tormentor is all-powerful, like the abuser has the power of God-
    & he/she often really does have the power of life & death.

    It's the kind of thing that makes women stay with their abusive husbands until they really really believe that the husband is about to kill them.

    Then, having nothing left to lose, they kill or try to kill their tormentor, & people go, "What on earth made her do that?"

    Your husband may have had the self-preservation instinct & the impulse to take up for himself beaten or browbeaten out of him.

    btw, momof4, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to repeat what you had said about speaking up, I just probably was struggling with composing my post when you posted yours.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, I can't seem to believe the similarity in our situations. I think I have walked in your shoes (unfortunately). I agree with most of the post's, change the locks, keep your own life private, you and DH go to the doctor, etc. I feel grandparents need to be grandparents and support their grandchildrens parents. As long as there isn't abuse and it doesn't sound like the case. Take control for yourself and yours, try to not put yourself in the situation where either MIL or FIL can talk to you in that way. I am so sorry that this is happening it is very hard to deal with. Of course I didn't take my own advice I called my MIL up and told her to back the hell off and to kiss my @ss. Cool huh, it wasn't right but that is what I did. I also said that when we tell the kids no, she is not to say yes, be a grandparent love them but she just can't over step our authority, and it wasn't just "can I have a cookie" type situation that we said no to the kids. Well she still talks to her son but she does not talk to me. Best wishes for you and your family.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    don't apologize to me I don't think enough people can say STAND UP FOR YOURSELF. Do not let someone treat you that way.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    First, find out what is wrong that would cause him to pass out for several hours. This seems extremely serious.

    Second, I think of all the wedding ceremonies I have attended. The person performing the ceremony says:

    "For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one."

    I have also heard: "For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be united with his wife, and the two will become one".

    I would think the focus of counseling should be for the counselor to help your dear husband find the ability to establish healthy boundaries with his mother. That he would find the confidence to set in place what is and is not acceptable behavior. He is a man now, and it is hard for anyone to challenge our parent, but there comes a time, that we must become a grownup and be able to do this, if our parents are being destructive to our spouse, children, and self.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    LOL! TP2L that's great! I may end up doing that still. I'm to the point of looking her in the eye and telling her exactly what I think of her and her opinion. (Not a good thing.)

    Small update: DH and I saw doctor this morning, see another tomorrow morning. Possible cluster headaches, or so doctor thinks it may be from described symptoms, but more tests to be run tomorrow for conclusive answers.

    I've had no contact with MIL after "getting enough" and telling DH to deal with his mother, her attitude towards me, and her constant browbeating of the both of us or I'd deal with it and I doubt highly that he'd like the way I dealt with it. I think he told her to back off, but probably in nicer terms and I'm sure it will last about a week before she's at it again. We'll see after tomorrow's appointments (SD has an appointment too about her mystery ailments.).

    I agree with you all. I'm fed up with it. Taking my MIL's bs was not in my wedding vows.

    Thank you!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have another one of those MIL from H*ll.

    I listen to the Dr. Laura radio program for a few minutes during my lunch break and a week or so I heard her read a letter from one of the listeners regarding something she had said in a phone call. I have cut some of the points out and pasted them here:

    "2 years ago, my 65 year old father cruelly insulted my wife in public and hurt her deeply, causing a rift between he and I. Months went by, and he never apologized to her or to me.

    Wanting to be the peacemaker, I was tempted to send him cards and gifts at Christmas time and Father's Day, but then on your broadcast, I heard you counseling someone in a similar situation, and you said something simple and profound, "Don't ever reward bad behavior. Furthermore," you advised, "Tell your parent calmly and SWEETLY, 'The price of admission into my life is respectful treatment of my wife. I love you.'" Wow. That was a message for me!"

    I printed the whole letter out and gave it to my DH. I told him that instead of lavishing his family with gifts for the past two years, he should look into letting them, know what the price of admission to his life was.

    I have not spoken with MIL, SD25, SS23 in over a year (and don't miss it) and the other family members for nearly that long. They are all very toxic to our marriage and just as I wouldn't go swimming at 3-Mile Island, I won't go to their places of residence (I wouldn't call them homes.

    As far as I know, we have rescinded all use of keys to our home. I would change the locks, but DH thinks that's extreme. But, None of his family is welcome within our home, and it has been one year that I have protected my "nest" in this way.

    Everyone posting before me is right, you and your DH need boundries. I have sat in MILs livingrom and taken her rude comments, I didn't even hang up on her when she yelled names at me on the phone, but NO MORE!!!

    Don't resign yourself to it! Maybe you can think of someone else who could have access to a key, in case of an emergency. I'm sure Sd has a friend whose mother could pick her up on those rare occassions she might feel ill at school.

    SD is being a self-centered child and taking advantage of MIL because she knows she can get things she wants that way. She isn't to far off most of our children, but she also needs boundries. And who says the food she brings into the home has to stay there??????

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We went to the doctor yesterday with SD and DH both. After X-rays for both of them it was discovered that SD has scoliosis. Since she's 13 her doctor feels that we should wait 6 months and have her X-rayed again to see if it's changing, or is staying the same but in the mean time enroll her in physical therapy to get her to be active again and to teach her good posture and some exercises. She's also been banned from the trampoline at her mom's house. She's really not happy about that at all. While we were in the Dr's office, they did labwork and when we went down to the lab, SD freaked when she found out that they were going to take blood. We found out that she hadn't been to the doctor since she was 6 or 7 and never had labwork done. Needless to say she started crying and squeezing my hand. Not a fun experience.

    On to DH. As suspected the doctor concluded that his migranes are not allergy related, but when he looked at the lump on the back of DH's neck he was concerned. DH had the mother of all migranes when we got to the doctor's office and it kept getting worse as we were there for lab and x-rays. They tried to convince him to take a shot, he wouldn't take it, and they sent him to the hospital for an emergency MRI of his head and neck. They did the first scan of his neck with very little dye, but when they did the scan of his head and injected him with the dye for that it made the pain so bad that DH was all but blind and focused totally on the pain and was sick within 5 minutes of being put in the machine. It was a misserable experience and the MRI results aren't the greatest.

    We have an appointment tomorrow for an EEG and to see the neurologist and an appointment the 23rd to see the surgeon about having the lump removed because it's possible that it's cancerous.

    They prescribed DH Imitrex, but it can only be taken at the start of a migrane or it's useless. I'm concerned with that since DH's migranes never start slowly and build, he usually wakes up with a monster headache or they hit him all of a sudden. In that case, what good is this medication going to do him? And what good will 6 pills do him? The medication directions say to take one at the start of a headache, and in two hours if it's not gone to take another, so if he takes a pill when he wakes up and two hours later takes another with no more than two pills per day, what good is 6 pills going to do? He'll be through them in 3 days at that rate! He gets migraines daily anymore!

    Anyways, I thought I would give you all an update. Please keep my family in your prayers.

    Thank you

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh dear! I'm so sorry to hear about all your troubles, and will be thinking about you and hoping for the best -- Please post back and let us know --

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Seems like you have two main choices:

    1. The "kill 'er with kindness" approach
    2. The "I take no crap from you" approach

    These are extremes b/c her behavior is extreme. The way I see it, you can't issue the kind of ultimatum that makes your husband choose you or her because there's no way he can do that and besides, that would make you as controlling as she is. She will be in your life, that's a fact, and you can't count on your husband doing much about it (b/c he may... or he may not). You can try to change the locks, but don't be surprised if she ends up with a "brand new key"...

    The only thing you can change or control in this situation is your own reactions to her. She sounds bitter and lonely. Some bitter & lonely old gals respond well to efforts to show her extra kindness (or at least she'll feel too guilty in the face of such to start up with their sh*t) and some will actually respect you less for that and treat you even more like crap until you serve up their own crap to them, unflinching and steely-eyed. Or with a superbly accurate joke and/or question that shuts them up on a certain subject for good. From reading what you've written here, it sounds like you can't decide which way to go with her, that you've tried speaking up a few times but it wasn't clear or firm enough. Maybe start a fresh round of tactics, trying the kill 'er with kindness approach first (I mean to an extreme, like playing completely dumb to her insults and doing little favors for her or saying something super-sweet RIGHT AFTER her barbs so that SHE feels & looks like an a-hole)... and then if that doesn't work (which I suspect it won't), moving into the other approach.

    The goal is to have her respect you and be civil or neutral, to the point where she dares not open her mouth with something ugly. The ideal is that she'll actually LIKE you more after you stand up to her (but that may or may not happen). Worst case scenario: she's incapable of liking OR respecting you, so in that case you'll have to get her to fear you (mildly, of course). Not fear that you'll cut her off from her son (NOT COOL) or physically harm her, but fear that when she says something insulting to you, that she risks getting something at least as insulting right back. Or being asked certain questions she'd rather avoid altogether, or simply being so irritated with your gracefully firm handling of her sh*t that dishing it out brings her no pleasure.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am sorry but also glad you went to a doctor now. Please keep us posted re your husband.
    As about scoliosis, don't worry,. i had it my entire life and my DD has it to. it is nothing serious. Focus on your DH now. take care of him.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm sorry to hear your hubs & stepdaughter are having such misery.
    I'm holding them in my thoughts.

    You have got to step into the lead role & protect them & take care of them & get the stress off of them.

    "killing with kindness" works with abused & angry children;

    killing a control freak with kindness just rewards her obnoxiousness, invasiveness, insults, & boundary-stepping.

    She's a bully, & the only thing that stops them is a brick wall.

    Tell her that your husband is ill, that you're in charge, that you will not have *anything or anybody* upsetting your husband, & that she is to leave your family alone, visiting only when she's been told it's okay, keeping her opinions to herself, & behaving like a polite human being.

    & make it stick.

    Do not give her an inch, do not crack a smile, do not allow her to worm into your private affairs;
    change the locks, monitor the phone, & if she leaves groceries at your house, throw them away.

    (I can't believe I just said to throw food away...
    but that's what I'd do here.)

    You're dealing with a "dog pack" mentality, & she's the alpha female.
    The only way to back down an alpha female is to beat her at her own dominance-&-control game:
    plant your feet, look her in the eye...& growl.

    Growl big & run her off.
    Do whatever it takes to *make* her realize that you mean business.

    If she shows up unannounced, don't let her in.
    If she stands at the door & yells, call the police.

    She'll keep coming back to try to take back the alpha role;
    just make sure she never gets the chance to forget that you're the alpha female in your little nuclear pack, I mean family.

    That involves planting your feet & looking her in the eye every single time you see her, & never ever letting her get away with anything.

    I wish you the best.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    SylviaTexas I basically asgree with you ---at least as it relates to SlowDownThere looking MIL in the eye and being firm about not taking crap. But there's a difference between her asserting herself in this manner and reversing the roles and becoming a controlling power-tripping bully herself, which unfortunately she risks if she does or says anything to suggest that SHE is kicking her husband's mother out of their lives. I strongly maintain that this is not the right thing to do, even if it seems that MIL is trying to kick SlowDownThere out in the same manner. Two wrongs don't make a right. And two power-tripping growling females who can't co-exist in the same lifetime don't make this situation any better for anyone. For SlowDownThere to say ANYTHING to this woman to suggest that SHE is somehow "in charge" of when her husband will see his mother is just going to make MIL even more of a b**ch, but the difference being that this time she'll actually have good reason to be b**chy and thus will feel even more justified in her excessive meddling and bullying. Especially since she sounds like she's pushing Slowdownthere's buttons, almost begging for her to turn around and do/say something she can actually point her finger at and call obviously inappropriate. The goal should be co-existence, not a situation where the husband must choose his wife or his mother because neither will relinquish desire for total control of his relationship with the other, which is what that scenario would turn into. And it WOULD be the husband and SD who suffer most in this because no matter how unpleasant and crusty she may be, she is still Mom/Grandma. Slowdownthere can be firm and stand up for herself assertively without issuing inappropriate ultimatums and becoming a dominant control freak like MIL.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Any mother/mother-in-law who is screaming at her adult son, threatening to to sue for custody of their daughter, is either A: right, that the son and daughter in law are not taking care of their child, or harming her in some way, and the mother has an obligation to protect this child.

    B: Or, B,( "if" they are doing a good job parenting this child), than her behavior is extremely toxic and damaging to their family unit, and firm boundaries need to be established.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I agree with you Sylvia. I won't put up with her disturbing him while he's down with the "See I told you that you should have gone to the doctor, now why didn't you listen to me, I'm going to kick your @$$ for not taking the shot at the doctor's office, you should have taken the shot." That's what I heard the other night and worse and I won't put up with that. He already had a bad migraine, and she sat there and berated him for half an hour. That's bullsh!t!

    SD knows that MIL is b!tchy and that she steps over bounds, she said so on Tuesday when MIL called when SD and I were waiting on DH to get out of MRI and threatened to kick my @$$ because he didn't take the shot. SD said not to pay attention to her that she's just trying to scare me and get me to leave so she can have control again. She really said that! I was absolutely amazed.

    I have no intention of making him chose between myself or her. She might, but I won't because that's a good way to find yourself dumped for his mother. He knows that I'd never do that, and he also sees where I've tried the "killing her with kindness" bit. For months I offered to help her put up her X'mas tree, helped cook Thanksgiving dinner, offered to drop a casserole off when her husband had his neck surgery, made a breakfast casserole when she had her neck surgery, and I've house & dog sat when her husband's mother passed away. I've tried to be nice. She just likes to run over people. DH knows that, and he told me that I don't have to see her. If she shows up in our home, I'm welcome to tell her to leave and come back after she calls and asks if it's alright to come over, and to tell her to kiss my @$$ if it makes me feel better. He's even told her to get bent and that if she can't be civil with him, his wife, and his child that she shouldn't be around us because we're a family and we treat each other with more respect than that. If anything my family is suffering because she can't be civil.

    It's a lousy situation to be in right now or really at any point in time, but before now I've tried to keep the peace for his sake and now I'll fight to keep it for his sake. He doesn't need the added stress.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Certainly at times when husband is acutely ill he needs everybody to leave him alone so he can rest. That seems pretty obvious, but I guess I didn't qualify that clearly in my post. Some boundaries are just naturally clear-cut (but obviously not to MIL!). I guess I'm referring more to the regular everyday times when everyone's in decent health...

    You say that your husband has encouraged you to feel free to tell MIL exactly what you think of her, and even to issue the "well then you shouldn't be around us" ultimatum. Have you tried any of this yet? Has it worked? What about the somewhat less "final"-sounding verbal assertions of your refusal to take crap?

    Clearly this woman is rampantly overstepping boundaries left and right, no one's debating that. No, she should not feel free to "pop in" whenever she feels like it, and no she probably shouldn't have a key if she's going to abuse it in the way that she has.

    But in normal, good-health circumstances, it doesn't have to be an "either/or" choice (as in *either* she has free reign to make as much of a pest of herself as she wants *or* she's banished entirely from the family).

    BOUNDARIES, the word bnicebkind used, is the right term for what's needed: an intact relationship, but one delineated by certain ground rules and limits. My contention is just that you can still draw these clear and appropriate boundaries and assert them fully without behaving in as power-mad fashion as MIL does. Again, not only because two wrongs don't make a right but because it very well may not work and might even cause her to up the ante somehow, possibly in a way that will cause even more stress on your family's health.

    You definitely have a woman here who wants to engage in a power struggle. She wants total control over your son and perhaps you and SD as well. If you respond by saying something that sounds like YOU want total control, you will be officially IN that power struggle she's begging for. In every power struggle, that's how it goes, that's why it's called a power struggle not a power yield. One person tries to grab the reins and totally dominate the situation, then the other person tries the same thing, and before you know it it's escalated, not abated. When two people are battling for total control it never ends b/c as long as that drives both, neither will ever accept the "weakness" of giving up control over the other. But there's ways you can battle on behalf of your own *self-respect* without it become a fight for domination. You're not looking to control her, you're looking to minimize her negative effect on your self-respect and your family's health. There's an important distinction there. Besides, there's absolutely no guarantee that you will ever be *able* to control the actions of this woman, no matter what you say or do. You only have guaranteed control over your reactions, and the more you exercise this, the less control SHE has over you.

    Believe me, I am sooooo sorry you have to deal with this horrible situation, but I maintain that there are still many ways you can put your foot down without threatening banishment. If you try all of them and they don't work, maybe *then* consider cops/court orders (the only way you will likely be able to enforce any variation of the "get lost" approach). If she violates those, then consider moving miles away and maintaining a relationship by phone/email/visits that will be much easier for you to filter and delimit than if she lives practically in your backyard.

    Of course these last few things are very extreme, last-resort alternatives. Since it doesn't sound like you actually have done or said much of anything directly with MIL, certainly I would urge you to try that first and with several attempts.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oops, sorry, I meant "she wants total control over HER son" (or "your husband"), not "she wants total control over YOUR son"!!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I wouldn't say that anyone should take the same stance with their loved ones that they take with an aggressor or intruder.

    Just as I wouldn't say that stopping, say, Adolf Hitler means that you have to turn into Adolf Hitler.


  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You're right, I haven't said much to her with the exception of one incedent where we found her in our living room when we got home from work and she proceeded to chew our behinds for something SD had lied to her about.

    You're also right in the fact that she wants total control over the current situation, over DH, over SD, over what groceries I buy, and over how our home is run. It's quite ridiculous when I think about it, considering she hires a maid to come in 3 times a week and she doesn't cook well at all. One could even laugh at the thought.

    In my mind it's not an either/or situation, but in hers it is. She's said so and personally it wouldn't affect me and DH has cut her out of his life before because of her actions and words. He told her recently that she could kiss his @$$ he was a grown man with children and a wife and he didn't need her playing mommy and trying to make decisions for him anymore, she didn't do that when he was a child, why start now?

    Neither one of us want to cut her out and I don't threaten banishment, but if she doesn't get her way she cuts herself out for extended periods of time, or gets "frosty" and mean with the two of us telling us that we're "out to push her over the edge, and she doesn't have to take the abuse from us and that before I came along everything was fine between herself and DH." A lie, but it makes her feel better I'm sure. She was pulling this at Thanksgiving, and since SD was going to her BM's for Thanksgiving, DH and I planned to spend our holiday at home (since she had frosted us out), roast a small turkey and make the trimmings and relax at home with a movie. The tuesday before T-day at 11pm MIL calls and tells us that we're to come for dinner at her house the next day and that I'm going to help cook. Then she told him what I could bring with me! I should have said no, we've already planned our own holiday, have fun with yours, but since she had interupted our sleep already and was still on the phone, I said ok whatever and went back to sleep. Anything asked of me when I'm sleeping is "Ok whatever." I need to learn to say no automatically or to wake up quickly, one or the other.

    I'm a fairly quiet person with a temper that holds under almost all situations until I've been pushed too far. With the health problems we're having with DH now, I'm pushed and stretched, stressed, exhausted, angry, and likely to snap at anyone, I'm also certain that I could break down and cry at any point in time. (Gotta love PMS.) I snapped at a rude nurse yesterday at the neurologists office when DH went in for an EEG. Later, I snapped at SD's principal, my brother (he's 19 and an idiot sometimes), & DH's primary doctor's nurse. Ouch!

    Update on DH: We went for an EEG yesterday, the way SD's doctor spoke yesterday about switching his medication, we thought we were seeing the neurologist but alas, no. According to DH's nurse, the doctor doesn't want to switch medication because he doesn't want to step on the neurologists toes. Thus, the snap.

    We see the surgeon the 23rd at 8am and after an argument where they wanted to push his appointment to the 31st, we see the neurologist the same day at 11:15am. We should know something about the headaches then, but the back of his neck will remain a mystery until after the lump is removed and biopsied.

    Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Slowdownthere, you are obviously under alot of stress with DH's health situation and all this mess with MIL. It's clear to me that you haven't as yet acted in any inappropriate way with MIL... because you've barely ever spoken up to her at all! So please don't take my opinion about banishment threats as any criticism b/c I know you haven't issued any. You sound like a very nice person who hates confrontation and holds stuff in until you're about to burst. I recognize that pattern b/c that's how I've been most of my life, and I've had to really learn and practice how to 'assert' without the stuff-it-until-it-explodes habit. Earlier this week I suggested two simplistic & extreme approaches that may work in some situations but maybe they wouldn't in yours. So in light of that, I would suggest a "middle ground" practice of assertiveness.

    'Assertiveness' being that middle ground between taking too much garbage/feeling scared to speak up about it and that ugly & sometimes embarassing temper explosion that can come out later from too much of the stuffing-it part. This is such a common issue for women, because we're just taught by society to be nice at all costs... so much so that when we do finally let someone know we're upset it sometimes can come out with excessive and inappropriate bile or even rage. (That's the "two wrongs don't make a right" or "bullying the bully" scenario.) Not that you should feel too guilty about having lashed out at the principal or nurses, etc. (it happens, I'm sure they get plenty of that and can take it every once in a blue moon), but I think you'll agree that it was the result of pressure building inside you b/c of worrying about your husband's health but also to holding in some of your feelings about MIL. You lashed out at these folks b/c you don't feel like you can tell MIL how you feel (let alone lash out at her).

    You just now wrote something that I think is very right-on and will be the most helpful to you, long-term: when you said "I need to learn how to say no quickly or wake up quicker..." That's EXACTLY it. Practice saying no ---firmly but with grace-- to MIL about these specific instances that she keeps bringing up, or, as you suggested, changing some aspect of your reaction. NOT at all because you're the one doing something "wrong" but simply to make your own life easier in response to this difficult person/situation.

    In this case with Thanksgiving, you would be absolutely within your rights to not only screen your calls (which I think is a key self-asserting decision in these kinds of beseiged situations) and get back to her when it was a better time for you, but to say: "MIL, thanks for the invite, but we already have plans. We're tired and only feel like cooking something simple this year. Maybe next time we can put our heads together and plan something with more advance notice for all of us, and we can plan the menu together." That would let her know clearly but politely that if she's going to insist on telling you last-minute to come over, that she risks that you've already made other plans and she should give you more advance notice. And that it's not very nice or fair for her to dominate the entire menu, especially if she's telling you to cook part of it. And if she were to insist or throw a fit (a good bet, from what it sounds like), you'd just have to be a little more clear: "Again, MIL, thanks for inviting, but it's short notice and we just don't feel like scrambling at this point to make it happen. I think we all need to share more equally in coordinating plans like this in the future so that nobody has to feel rushed or over-run. Can we try that?" If she still squaks or harumphs, you can say: "Look, we all want to share nice family times with you. But we need to try and find ways of making that as comfortable as possible for everybody. We work, DH has been ill, we have a kid, we have schedules, we're busier than you, and frankly we have less free time. That's just a mathematical fact. Sometimes we want our alone time, it's nothing against you. We love you, we want you in our lives, but sorry, there are just going to be times that we need to do our own thing, and we need you to understand that and respect that without taking it personally or fixing the 'blame' for that on any one of us." And if she keeps on griping or tries to start a fight: "I hope you can understand what our needs are and that we don't want to exclude you just because we sometimes need our own private time. Let's really try to come up with some good compromises... But, look, I've got a call I'm expecting [or a roast in the oven or a visitor at the door or a bad case of gas or whatever you need to tell her], so we'll have to talk later. Have a great day! [Click.]"

    This won't be easy at first, but try to get in the habit of responding to her insults/offenses by addressing them directly, at that moment, and in a way that makes her aware that you don't appreciate it, and why, and in a way that can't be interpreted by her as you starting a fight. And it's always a great idea to end your comments with a question or in some form that puts HER on the spot and challenges her to prove the validity of what she's implying. Like: "When you buy groceries for us, it kind of makes me feel like you think I don't keep a good enough kitchen for my family. I hope that's not the reason, but if it is, would you be willing to pay for us to meet with a nutritionist, in lieu of your gifts of groceries, to improve things? Will you come to the nutritionist with us to articulate your concerns so we get the best possible advice?" And if she insists that she's merely giving you the groceries as a gift from her generous heart, then the very next time she says something insulting about the food situation in your house, you can say: "MIL, when I asked your opinion on this, you swore to me that you found no fault with my kitchen. If you're that concerned, we're willing to let you take us to a nutritionist. If not, then I find it hard to see how your insults are helping the food situation for my family."

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "she doesn't have to take the abuse from us"

    what an invitation!
    You can reply:
    "No, you don't, any more than we have to put up with the bitterness & abuse you're dishing out. 'bye."

    My mother was a truly toxic person, always angry, always about to erupt.

    Everything that came out of her mouth, even "compliments", was a dig, a criticism, an insult.

    I recognized (finally) that I had spent much more than half my life expectancy trying to appease an abusive person who would never be appeased (it would take away her power) & who would always be a powder keg waiting for an opportunity to explode.

    & I stopped.

    My life became so much less stressful, so much more enjoyable, so much more *mine*.

    I agree that we women fret a lot over whether we're too harsh with other people, whether we're making irrevokable decisions...

    & I think that tendency to fret
    1. gives other people a tremendous amount of power over us.
    2. makes us carry a lot of stress that no man would put up with. They'd put a stop to it & never give it another thought.
    (For instance, a guy would have called his mother back the next morning & told her that he had been asleep when she had called, & that he wanted to let her know that he'd already made plans with his wife & child, sorry for the misunderstanding, 'bye.)

    When I finally decided that I couldn't afford to care if my decision was irrevokable, I realized that I no longer cared.

    My mother had been the mother, I had been the child.

    *She* had made irrevokable decisions more than 50 years ago, decisions that put her firmly control regardless of the consequences to her child, & it was time for me to stop being a pawn in her mind/power/control game.

    I realized that the *only* rule in her (or anyone's) mind/power/control game is:

    "I win. You lose."

    I wish you the best.

    (I'm glad you snapped at an idiot doctor.
    Maybe he received a healthy helping of much-need humble pie from it.)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ...& so my post sounds disjointed.

    I meant to say that worrying about alienating a toxic person is counter-productive in that it keeps you right where the toxic person wants you, & that the situation becomes much easier to manage once you stop trying to take responsibility for a relationship with someone whose rule is "I win, you lose".

    She chose control over normal relationships, & the fall-out from that decision rests on *her* shoulders, not yours.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sylvia:

    "...worrying about alienating a toxic person is counter-productive..."

    "...that decision rests on *her* shoulders, not yours..."

    Fair enough, and I'd be a lot more inclined to agree with you that Slowdownthere should divest herself of responsibility for her part in trying to maintain family relationship with MIL if it were Slowdownthere's own mother. Or if the situation was even possible for Slowdownthere to make this decision as pertains to just HER and MIL, which as it stands is impossible b/c they all live so close; therefore Slowdownthere can't remove herself from the equation without also removing DH and SD.

    Not to sound old-fashioned or a**-kissy about it, but I just don't feel like that that would be Slowdownthere's place. Not because she's the wife, or a woman, but because it's her husband's mother, not her own mother. If they've tried everything and they mutually agree to sever ties with MIL, then for everyone's sake it should be DH who sits MIL down and explains why. This is actually very much like the quandary step-parents often find themselves in about disciplining (or boundary-setting) and their step-kids: the general consensus --although it's debated and not without exceptions-- is to leave the official say to the bio parent. And this is even advised when the step-parent has an active role in raising, working and providing for the kids, even when they raise them from very young so that they are in effect a co-parent. So it makes sense that if it's advocated to leave the bulk or the final say on discipline (or boundary-setting) to the bio-parent of *children*, who are actually in your charge as your responsibility, then I would guess that the general consensus would be to leave the official boundary-setting between a DH and his *parent* to DH.

    And beyond even the issue of respecting family bonds and appropriateness issues, I feel like the wife taking the reins on this is likely to strike MIL as unconvincing, to stoke her fires, and to leave her fantasizing that her son's wishes have been taken over by Slowdownthere but that "deep down he still cares".... which frankly is likely to be true (son's ambivalent attachment to MIL no matter how bit**y she is) because she's still Mom. Everyone's experiences & personality are different, but Sylvia I think you'll agree that your rift with your mother has by no means been easy or without ambivalence. (I have a pretty difficult relationship with my father, who's hurt me emotionally to the core, but even still I find it impossible to just 100% forget about him... even if my emotional well-being would be better served by doing so.)

    I guess it ultimately boils down to leaving it to DH to make the final, overall decision on relationship vs. no relationship with MIL. Unless/until he makes a decision to break it off, there will have to be other ways of dealing. And I don't think it would be inappropriate for Slowdownthere to set sub-boundaries in individual instances such as Thanksgiving plans, how MIL speaks to her, etc... I'm mainly talking about DH having to make the decision about a total break from MIL in their lives as a whole.

    I guess the MIL-From-Hell story is so unfortunately common and unbearable exactly for all of the above reasons... which surely many shrewish MILs love to exploit. The wife is unfortunately in a position where she's more-or-less forced into a certain amount respect for even the most toxic MIL, or she risks the ante of bitterness being upp'ed considerably for all involved. It isn't fair and it sucks. I do think, though, that DH speaking up more (no matter what he decides to do about it) would help considerably.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's what OP says about husband's perspective:

    "She just likes to run over people. DH knows that, and he told me that I don't have to see her. If she shows up in our home, I'm welcome to tell her to leave and come back after she calls and asks if it's alright to come over, and to tell her to kiss my @$$ if it makes me feel better. He's even told her to get bent and that if she can't be civil with him, his wife, and his child that she shouldn't be around us because we're a family and we treat each other with more respect than that."

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    how's that workin' so far?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The problem with leaving the responsibility to *handle his mother* to DH thusfar has been of no use. She simply will not listen to him because in her minds eye before I came along there was no problem. She doesn't realize that DH avoided her before I was even potentially a girlfriend, let alone his wife, nor does she realize that she has a major problem with anyone in his life! She gets furious when he plays paintball with the guys and doesn't answer her calls so she'll call my phone wanting to know where her son is.

    DH telling his mom to back off simply doesn't work. You both are right in the fact that I'm a non confrontational person, but I've never been anyone's doormat until his mother and until now I've let it stew and let it stew until I'm absolutely ready to blow at any second. I've honestly thought about calling her just to blow up. She's not called me in a few days, which could probably be a good thing. DH told her what I said to the nurse last week and she's steered clear. I'm sure she'll be back by Tuesday or Wednesday (Wed. DH has Neurologist and Surgeons appts).

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm not someone who hates people generally. I'm not particularly laid back, but at the same time I'm not someone who yells or gets mad for stupid reasons either. Until my MIL. That woman makes me want to be violent and that's not my personality.

    As described here DH has been having some medical problems which we're trying to get resolved. Thank you everyone for your warm wishes and prayers. God listened and we're scheduled for surgery on the 5th of February to remove the knot on his neck and the biopsy done. For his migraines the neurologist (who is also a migraine specialist!) has prescribed Topomax and Toridol. Topomax to maybe help control the migraines, and the toridol to kill the pain. He started taking the Topomax on wednesday, so we'll see what happens. She's made it clear that if he doesn't like it, he can contact her and she'll change it. We see her again in 4 weeks.

    Now, onto the interesting part. Over the weekend SD spent the weekend at her mom's. Friday morning I asked her to bring her laundry and sheets out so I could do laundry over the weekend and got none of it. So, saturday morning I walked into her bedroom and this foul stench hit me and I almost gagged. I stripped her sheets, and discovered they were double layered, several coke cans growing mold, a glass of chocolate milk that had separated and coagulated and stunk, oatmeal stuck to the carpet in front of her entertainment center, and moldy clothes, towels and various other items on the floor, in the closet and in the hamper. I also found broken hangers in her hamper and wadded up notes in the pockets of pants I drug out to be washed. Rule of the house, anything left in pockets of clothes in the laundry belongs to whoever is doing the laundry. That includes money, pens, keys, whatever. I didn't read the notes, but I gave them to DH who read them and handed them to me to be read. I can't believe some of the filth that came out of her pen, but it did.

    Friday report cards came out and since she spent the weekend at BM's house, we didn't see her report card until Monday night when we picked her up from her mom's (they were out of school Monday for MLK Day). We got home and she gave DH the report card when he asked for it and she's failing most of her classes and has notes on the side of the grades from her teachers about her disciplinary problems and lack of attention, not turning homework in, etc. So DH gives her the grades lecture and I gave her the "This is your father and I's house, we keep things clean." lecture and reminded her about drinks and food in her bedroom. No worries right? Wrong.

    Apparently she got PO'd about it and decided to take off again after school for the third time and I went banging on people's doors after dark looking for her and didn't find her. She was at home when I got home. She'd walked 3 miles up a busy rural highway in the dark to go to her friend's house because she was mad knowing that there are 4 offenders not far from us or her friend's house. DH and I were so mad and scared that we both went off and gave her a stern talking to and showed her online the predators that could have taken off with her, took her makeup, hair products and stylers, and her perfumes out of her bedroom and this weekend everything else comes out except for her bed and her hamper. DH is still very mad about it and I am too. She lied to us and took off again and DH with the medical problems he had almost ended up in the ER for a shot. Again. Second night in a row!

    Yesterday apparently DH talked to his mom at some point in time and she asked if she could pick up SD for the weekend, he said yes, and then called me and talked to me after he talked to her, and realized that SD was supposed to spend the weekend with us doing pennance. So MIL calls SD after we got home and asks if she wants to come over and SD (of course) tells MIL that I said it's not ok, she's got things to do. MIL flys off the handle says "Well F___ Nadia!" and heads over to our house where she promptly walks into our bedroom where DH is sitting on the computer and proceeds to chew rear end again. Telling me that it's none of my concern what her bedroom smells like and what she does in there (it's my house) and that they'd never had those problems before me to which DH said that he hadn't had custody of SD before me, then she told DH that he's a "Sorry sack of s___" and she wasn't going to take his bs and that what happened this week had nothing to do with her and SD should be able to go to her house if she wants. Then she said She'd file for grandparents rights and then custody. And last she said she was done with us and she wasn't putting up with the BS anymore, gave us our key, kicked the cat, and slammed the door hard enough to knock pictures off the wall.

    Last night I was so mad about what she did I was half tempted to follow her, flag her down and give her the lecture on what mothers are. They're not obsessed and psychotic on people they love, nor are they like that when their child is going in for major surgery in less than a week and 1/2 and is facing being medicated for the rest of his life because she let a seizure disorder get out of hand when he was a child. That's what the neurologist thinks started the migraines. And she calls herself a mother? She's controlled him his whole life! She could never hold onto a husband or a boyfriend so she held onto DH and he became a posession to her. Her whole view on her family is twisted and deranged. She thinks she's entitled to things that state law says she's not (like EOW with SD. According to state law, she has none because DH never married SD's mom., and she's convinced that she should have custody of SD and still be bossing DH around. This woman's mind is a poisonous place and I'm seriously wondering what she's going to pull next. I'm sure she'll not be gone long before she calls us crying about how she shouldn't have been mad, but we were behaving like jealous children. That's how it always goes. She'll get DH so would up he ends up in the ER, she'll get me so mad I'm ready to punch her, and she lets SD do what she wants.

    I'm still mad and I'm glad that she's gone for however long she's gone. Maybe I'll have some peace in my home for a change. DH is understandably upset, but he says it was her decision to make and she had her mind made up before she came to our house. He's right. She did.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There is a bright side to your situation - she will most likely never ask you to care for her when she's unable to do so herself...

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow.

    The bright side I see is that when (not if) she comes back around, she's burned her bridges.

    Storming into your home, calling hubs names, kicking the cat (if someone kicked my cat, she'd go home with a bald spot at the very least), etc are actions from which there's no return.

    Don't let her back in.

    If she bangs on the door & yells, call the police.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I was so gobsmacked (love that word) by your MIL's Jerry Springer-meltdown-drama-queen episode that I forgot to say I'm very glad hubs is getting some good medical attention.

    Take care of yourselves;
    I'm holding both of you in my thoughts & in my heart.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sylvia, I'm right there with you about what would happen to anyone who kicked my cat! (I'm a huuuuuuuuuuge cat lover.)

    Seriously, this MIL is *really* out of line. Changing the locks is definitely worth trying at this point, she's made it more than explicit that she has no respect for personal space (not to mention your right to insist on basic standards of cleanliness in your own house.) She has no business barging in and out of there as she sees fit, especially since it sounds like she brings a raging volcano in with her every time. Outrageous.

    Don't let her talk DH into making her another key... though I'm hoping, at this point, he would no longer be willing to do that for her.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm a huge cat lover too and China is my baby. She was the runt and sick to boot when I found her and now she's almost a year old and thinks she's the queen of the house!

    *does a little dance* She left her key when DH asked for it. She actually threw it on the counter and broke something, but we have her key so it doesn't matter. :)

    And you're right, she's burned her bridges as far is DH is concerned. He's seriously PO'd and not inclined to do anything for her. I'm seriously contemplating a restraining order because she causes so much havoc and grief. It's quite pathetic the way she goes off about stupid things like being told that SD has to clean her room and bathroom before she can go anywhere for the weekend. It's not outrageous to expect so, but MIL thinks she's entitled to weekends with her. *rolls eyes*

    In our state she's not entitled to grandparents rights because DH and SD's mom were never married and custody would be a shot in the dark because of her health and lack of rights as a grandparent. She just likes to make threats.

    On the downside, she's been calling and texting DH and myself since Friday morning with threats about going for grandparents rights and telling DH that she never thought that he'd be so cold, and telling me that making a choice in my household that regards SD (and my son too) is not my choice at all because she's not my child. She's had us on edge and arguing all weekend because of her temper tantrums.

    Thank you, thank you thank you for your warm wishes, thoughts and prayers. This forum is such a Godsend!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Block her messages.

Sponsored
Dream Design Construction LLC
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars4 Reviews
Loudoun County's Innovative Design-Build Firms