Originally Posted by TinkerBelle
Why is it that you have to be the one to "get along" and give, but his mother can just swoop in and be obnoxious and controlling?
I would tell MIL exactly what I thought and DH could go twist in the wind if he didn't like it. And, you know what? You could make her leave your home, if you wanted to, no matter what anyone else thinks. You simply don't want to, because it would cause a problem with your husband, and I understand that totally.
Tell her that DD is your child, not hers, and that her advice is unwanted, unwarranted, and she needs to back off and drop it. Limit her time with your child.
Relationships with ILs can be very complex. There is a fine line between sticking up for yourself (and family) and getting in between the relationship of your spouse and parents.
If you are not careful and end up doing the second, you can easily wreck your marriage. However, if you don't put your foot down (preferably with your spouse's support) it's very easy to let those ppl control your life and make it miserable. Marriages have either ended or been made very miserable over such things.
I've come close to ending things with my husband, bc of his folks. I never had a problem with a SO's parents before, but my husband's parents (while loving and well-meaning) can be very controlling over his life.
His father, in particular, can be a huge bully and very immature. We've had it out a couple times. The man loves confrontation and to start battles over stupid things like someone's different lifestyle choices and politics (he brings it up) when there are a million and one other topics to talk about. When I've tried to defend myself against these verbal attacks, I almost always end up being the bad guy. This is because my husband has been so accustomed to growing up around his father's nasty behavior that he has a blindspot for it. Nagging, griping, and complaining has not helped him see things at all.
But then I came to realize where he came from. My family is not perfect either. In fact, my mother and stepdad can be very judgmental, and my biological father (who is an abuser) is so toxic and manipulative I ended up making the painful decision to cut him out of my life for now....
But the thing is my husband always left these choices open to me. He rarely spoke down about my parents (even when they were rude), and if he did ever say anything it was very objective and nonjudgmental. This left me with more freedom to see things for what they were versus feeling like I was being backed into a corner by my husband. It helped give me the power to open my eyes to my parents controlling and/or abusive behaviors and start creating healthy boundaries with my family on my own. That is *much better* than feeling like my husband has come between us.
So recently, I've been trying to give him the same respect with his family. If his father tries to push my buttons, I just let him blast off or I just walk out of the room (and objectively talk to DH about it later). And you know what? It's working!
My guy is actually finally seeing what I'm talking about with his parents, and he is starting to stick up for us. This also prevents his folks from attacking me so much they aren't viewing me "the puppeteer" of my husband's choices anymore. Instead, we are coming off as a unified front and that makes us all the more strong.
It is a long hard road, and things aren't going to completely change overnight, but we at least get a relief from the drama as we are learning how to avoid these explosive situations with our folks together.