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How to find Zen with Korean MIL - Page 2

post #21 of 27
I am caucasian, and my DH is korean-american. I'm pregnant with our first, due in May. My DH is the eldest of MIL's kids, and the only son. Her husband divorced her long ago, and so she used to rely heavily on DH for everything. I totally get the pushiness and the entitlement to "her" family. Luckily for me, my MIL recently moved across the country, so I don't have too much contact with her. When I first got together with DH, she and I used to have a lot of conflicts- her ideas were always right, nothing I did was good enough, I needed to convert to her religion, etc. Finally, DH had enough, and he was the one who took a stand. It's still that way, and if she crosses the line about anything, he calls her on it. Usually she either backs down or he hangs up on her. We do go to visit her 1-2 times a year (she never comes here), and those visits can be quite stressful. DH still holds his ground with her, though. If he didn't, I don't know what I would do.
I think maybe some marriage counseling would help, because it really will have to be your DH that sets the limits with her. He needs to see that you and your child are his family now, and he needs to put you first, ahead of her. She's not entitled to any amount of time with your child, and should feel lucky that you let her spend as much time with him as she does. If you can get other childcare arrangements and create some barriers around constant weekend visiting, I'd consider that. Good luck!
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peepsqueak View Post
you may ask to stay home and take care of them. Most people figure if you are getting help, then suck it up. If not do it yourself and do not be ungrateful to those who help.
You say it as if I go to work for fun... I'm the one paying the rent and all the bills. My husband is working on his own business, but it's not fully up and running yet. I really only want her to watch him to the extent that she would like to to satisfy her grandson appetite. I never asked for her help.
post #23 of 27
Hi mrscookie, I just wanted to chime in and add my two cents. I have been romantically involved with Asian men since high school. No I don't have an unhealthy fetish just a different view of beauty than most (since most ppl tend to find there own race more beautiful than other races). In most of these relationships I have noticed that in the Asian culture children seem to have more of an allegiance to there parents rather than there spouse or partner. This seems to be the case with you and your husband. So it seems your husband cares more about keeping his mother happy than you. In American culture this is not acceptable. We are taught that our spouses and children come before all else. I think it would be healthy for you to point this out to your husband by talking to and letting him know that you understand his culture and therefore his view point and then point out the American culture and view point so that he can understand where you're coming from and
maybe you two can reach a compromise. If not then I would strongly advise marriage counseling due to the fact that my first marriage ended in divorce because my fillipino husband couldn't cut loose of his mommas apron strings. She was constantly criticizing our relationship which caused a strain on our marriage and is one of the biggest things that ultimately led to our divorce.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
It's so hard. These days, we supposedly have somewhat of a routine where she comes Tuesday morning and watches my son on Tuesdays by herself, on Wednesdays with my husband together and then leaves Thursday mornings. There's no real need from a logistical perspective for her to stay over until Thursday mornings, but my husband thinks it's not safe for her to drive in the evening, which I think is just an excuse to keep her with us so she's not at home alone. Fine. Two days I can handle and she's toned down her lecturing to me. I had a few conversations with her about how that stresses me out. But the last few weeks, my husband has been just having her stay another extra day, since she has an activity during the day that is not too far from our house. Might as well just come back and stay with us, he thinks. He gets really mad at me if there's any suggestion that I'd rather she just stay two days. And yes, you can try to frame it as "I'd like to enjoy time with my family", but the bottom line is, and he will cut right to it, that I'd like to spend time at home without her there. Is it unreasonable? Isn't it a lot of time for a mother-in-law to be staying at your house for two nights a week already? My husband will ask me but expects me to cheerfully say "of course!" "great!". How can I even say that I would rather not have her over another day without hurting his feelings? "She's an old lady. Her grandson is her only joy in her life. How many more years does she have to live?"
post #25 of 27
Ahhhh, Mrs. Cookie. Years ago, I was starting very similar threads here at MDC about my Korean MIL. I'm Caucasian, and my husband is Korean American. We live in the U.S. My MIL lives 3 hours away. I've had a long, hard road with her, FULL of tears, stress, anxiety, stress on our marriage, you name it. I HAD to set limits with my husband about her. And I told him, in no uncertain terms, that if HE doesn't set limits with her, I will have to. And he will be embarrassed. But you know what? He does set those limits, to the best of his ability. He does it, trying to be respectful in the Korean sense ("respect" is WAAAAAAAAAY different in KOrean culture than American culture......there is not MORE respect in Korean culture. No. It's just that respect goes in one direction: UP. Korean is a heirarchal culture. That doesn't mean more respect, it means heirarchy.), and she usually listens to him. I, however, get frustrated with how long it takes him to follow thru with this, so over the years (ten), I have learned, unwillingly, to set limits with her MYSELF. "No, Omani, I'm holding the baby now. He's fine.", ...or, "No, Omani, I do not want him to eat that. Please don't give him that." ....or I would go into my room, in your situation, and spend time with my child, with the door shut or locked. If she followed me, I would say, "Oh, it's okay, Omani, I want some time alone with the baby. I haven't seen him all day, so I want him all to myself right now. Thank you for watching him today." and shut the door.

And YES, it is waaaaaaaaaay too much to ask you to have your MIL stay overnight ANOTHER NIGHT EVERY WEEK. I mean, really???? And it sounds like he didn't ASK you. I have found that I have to talk to my husband about these things when he's not angry in the moment, or write him a note, so that he can't walk away or start yelling. But there is some negotiating that needs to be done between you and your husband, if you don't want to live like this, before it gets worse. Pretty soon, YOU WATCH, she'll be staying ANOTHER NIGHT. and pretty soon, YOU WATCH, your dh will tell you he wants her to move in with you. I think it's better for you to be totally open and honest with him.

You should not be expected to act like a Korean DIL and say "Yes" and do something else. You're not KOrean, and you're in the U.S., and your husband married YOU rather than a Korean girl.

Good luck, and p.m. me anytime.
AutumnWind
post #26 of 27
I don't have a Korean MIL, but I have Japanese MIL and I grew up with a Japanese grandmother and a Japanese greatgrandma that lived with us in Sweden and then in Japan when we moved.
I remember than we we lived in Sweden, my mom(Swedish) wanted to disappear my grandma and greatgrandma all the time Becuase they were always behind my sisters and I, I never really cared I mean I listened to them and in my eyes my mom was overreacting becuase they just wanted to help in their one way.

Just like in most Asian cultures my DH is attached to his mother and supports her and I respect that and understand it becuase my father is the same way. But I guess it's different for me becuase I'm no stranger to the Asian culture as a whole.
Sometimes she may drive me insane but I concentrate on the good things and that she adores my children.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ingriid View Post
Just like in most Asian cultures my DH is attached to his mother and supports her and I respect that and understand it becuase my father is the same way. But I guess it's different for me becuase I'm no stranger to the Asian culture as a whole.
Sometimes she may drive me insane but I concentrate on the good things and that she adores my children.
Just curious, does that mean that you are okay with her staying with you for days, going on vacation with you, things like that?
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