I was hoping for some help/advice about my mil. She was a single mom and there are alot of things she ignored about dh's childhood - because it was inconvenient for her - ok she mostly ignored him and put him in some pretty precarious situations as a small child. It was before my time granted, but I see the trickle affect of some of those things in dh today, especially with the way he relates to women and it breaks my heart and yeah makes me very mad. She's also morally bankrupt - has been having an affair w/ a married man for over 30 years - and as wife who is dealing with a former wayward dh, she is a major trigger for me sometimes, because she's so nonchalant about it all like she's entitled to another woman's husband. :Puke Add toxic and master manipulation and it's just a train wreck. About a year ago I felt prompted to get it all out on the table w/ her and ask for forgiveness. I did tell her that it was important that she and dh have a relationship, but she took it as an invitation to come roaring back into our lives at warp speed. She was everywhere - telling dh she wasn't the one who put him in between us, telling me on my bday that I was a lousy housekeeper (she did apologize about a week later), but she's just a circus of narcisism and I really believe that the evil one uses her against me. idk if that makes sense. I try very hard to be kind, loving, get out of the way when she's around, go somewhere else in the house, stare off into the distance, pray about having a kinder heart (not working so far, but still praying and trying to be kinder) etc. But inevitably she gets my goat and then I make dh pay for weeks. I am working on stopping that because it's not his fault. I guess I'm just a big work in progress.
Anyway, yesterday she called my cell phone and I hate answering the phone for the most part. I would rather get a text message any day of the week - from anyone - even my mom or siblings, even friends I see on a regular basis - idk why that is, it just is. But I was busy at the time - so I handed the phone to dh (he does this frequently when my mother calls any of our phones too). Mil wants me to look for some yarn her walmart ran out of for a quilt she's making for dh. Ok, no problem - I write down the color # and say bye. She calls back again - I hand the phone to dh again - still busy. She wants to clarify the type of yarn - yes I know - no problem I will look when I run errands tomorrow. Dh and I had to run to the store because I was missing a key component for dinner. While we're out (about an hour after mil's calls) she calls dh's cell phone hysterical. I could hear her hollering from the passenger seat. She says she gets 'it' that I can't even answer the phone when she calls. That she understands now that I hate her. Dh explains that he hands the phone to me all of the time when my mother calls - we just assume parents are calling for their respective child - regardless of the phone (sometimes I forget my cell and my mom will call dh's - it's actually pretty common in our house). He explains that we were just on our way to look at Michaels for her yarn. That it wasn't a problem at all. She's saying things like she knows our marriage is important and she's going to step back - he doens't need to worry about her anymore. don't even bother about the yarn.
When dh gets off of the phone he starts hollering at me about how this stuff with mil needs to stop and we need to stop putting him in the middle.
He says that mil and I need to have the discussion and say all of the things we need to say to each other and get it out in the open. That given the choice he's always going to choose me, but that she's his mother and until one of us dies - we're all 3 going to have to deal w/ each other. He calls her after we get home - she was on speaker phone but he didn't tell her - and says the same thing to her. She says again that she knows our marriage is important and he doesn't need to worry about her anymore. Focus on your marriage. Then she says that she thought a year ago that the door was back open to her and she's had it slammed back in her face (yep it's all my fault, I am after all evil). Since she didn't know I was right there I chose not to say anything - figured that would be really mean, so I just remained quiet. But of course this insanity ruined our whole night - yeah we let it. We fought about it until midnight. Dh now says that as a matter of showing respect to him, I must talk with mil. I have always tried to avoid conflict with her (other than that lunch a year ago where I thought it was all out on the table and yes did tell her that she is his mother and they do need to see each other, I did not mean she needed to invade my life and tell me what a scum sucker I am on a regular basis). I don't see the point of having a huge arguement with her about this. Telling her that I find her extremely narcisistic and manipulative and mean isn't going to do anything. Hearing that I'm selfish and mean and oppressive, a lousy housekeeper and stealing her baby isn't going to accomplish anything. I understand where dh is coming from because he is caught in the middle - I don't feel that I put him in that place. I really feel like when I met him mil had decided dh was going to cater to her every need for the rest of her life (she even talked to him like she was 2 - saying things like hambooger and I is scared) and she was extremely jealous of me. From the beginning she made me feel like an outsider. I have tried to stay out of her way because she doesn't get to see dh alot - but when she does he's just drained for a few days. I know I don't help by freaking out for a few days about how mean she was to me. Like I said working on that part.
But so now I'm faced with having it out with mil or dh thinking I'm not being respectful of him - which I don't get at all. I told him that I don't want to be the cause of the end of their relationship and he says if that's what happens it does. He knows his mother is manipulative and self-centered and he does the minimum of what he is 'contractually' obligated to do because she's family. A dear friend of mine suggested approaching it from the ok, we both love dh - what can we do to alleviate the burden of this relationship on him? We're never going to be friends, but can we be civil? angle. Suggestions? Biblical references? I know I need to get the toxic inlaws book - probably need to own more of the situation too - but first thing's first. *breathe*