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Dealing with inlaws... - Page 2

post #21 of 59
Thread Starter 
BelgianSheepDog, as much as I hate to admit it, you're right, my mil IS abusive. I hadn't really thought of it that way, which is rather ironic considering I've just spent the last few years of my life confronting and healing from the abusive situation I grew up in.

As scary as it is - and it is nothing short of TERRIFYING in my opinion - I guess I'm going to have to take a stand against my mil. She called last night and told me - yes, you heard right, TOLD me, not ASKED me - that she would be coming by after work Thursday to see the baby. I think that I'll start by telling her it's not a good time when she calls Thursday from work. If she tries to bully me into submission by saying something like "Well how about if I only come by for a few minutes?" I'll just stick to my guns and restate that it's not a good time. As for dh, even knowing how I'm feeling lately, he's already asking me how I'd feel about going over to his parent's house for dinner this weekend. I think I'll be giving him a big ole NO as well.

Thanks for all the support ladies. I don't have much family around me here and I have even fewer friends, so it's easy to get worn down by my mil sometimes. Thanks for reminding me that I'm in the RIGHT and she is in the wrong!

Kristin
post #22 of 59
Sounds like you're getting a good start with the boundaries! Please let us know how it goes.
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by kfowler
The problem with talking with mil or trying to explain my expectations to her is that she has ZERO respect for me as a woman, a wife or a mother. I was very clear in my last talk with her that I didn't want ANY visitors, regardless of who they were, staying for more than an hour or two right now. I don't know how I could have put it any clearer. And still, just the day after I had spoken to her about it, she stayed for over seven hours. She KNOWS she's being wrong and disrespectful, she just doesn't care.

As for being blunt, I have a very hard time with confrontation. I think it is most likely due to my abusive upbringing but I have a bad tendency to just stew silently rather than take a stand and stick up for myself. I don't know what it is exactly that I am so afraid of, I only know that when push comes to shove, I get terrified and back down. I know this needs to change if I ever hope to fix this problem with my mil, I just have no idea how to go about overcoming that fear and changing it.

Next time she refuses to leave, after you have said something to her 3 or times, say it "I am sorry, but I need you to leave now. I have asked you times already in the last X minutes. Please leave now, or I will have you removed from my house."

The other option is, that when it is time for her to leave, just take YOUR baby, and walk away into a room with a locked door and refuse to come back out. She will eventually leave, because you are not there, nor is the baby. Or, if you do come out, leave the baby in the other room.

another option would be to say, after she finally gets ready to leave, when she refuses to leave for you and tries to make plans for her "next visit", say "I am sorry, but you constantly refuse to leave when I ask. If you wish to visit further, I am going to ask that it be while my husband is home with us."

If your husband has an issue with it, then he needs to stand up and learn that his mom is not your child's parent. That you and him are the parents of that child and your wishes "should be" respected and honored, not berated and/or belittled, nor do you deserve to be berated or belittled by your MIL.

I have similiar issues, but my husband has learned to stand up to his parents over the past 3 years on many subjects, but there are times where he does just eventually give into his parents, because they just keep grating and grating and grating till they wear him down.

I can give you tons of examples of issues with have with hubby's parents, but you will probably experience them eventually for yourself.

Melissa S.
post #24 of 59
Wow, I could have written your post. I've had these MIL problems. . .all the manipulation, the guilt trips, the crying, the backstabbing, the bitching. . .it goes on and on and on. She tried to dominate our relationship when we first started dating, she dominated the engagement, the wedding, our first home purchase, and now, the grandchild.

To my face, she's all sweet and smiles but then turns around and tells anyone who listens (including DH) that we don't love her, we neglect her, she never sees the baby, etc. In fact, it got so bad that I removed her from the "authorized visitors" list at DDs daycare because she'd show up and take DD home (without telling us!). We originally told the daycare it was okay for her to get DD in case we were stuck at work or had an emergency. But never did I imagine MIL stopping THAT low. The daycare doesn't even let her in the door now. MILs mad, but too bad. She abused our trust.

Will it go away on it's own? Not a chance. You HAVE to do something. For the sake of your sanity. I've thought long and hard about confronting her myself, but all I can see is doom and gloom coming from that. So I worked on DH. We've discussed it 2-3 times a week for the last TWO years and FINALLY he sees just how she is. See, she's always been like this. DH knows no different from a mother. I think what truly helped was him seeing how my mother reacted. . .no manipulation, no guilt.

I finally started being straight-up with him. I told him:

- I was his wife and DD was his daughter, WE are a family
- I should now be the most important woman in his life, not his mother
- We need to be united and don't want to raise a child where one parent is always against the other
- It was either her or me, he better pick. Oh, and actions speak louder than words.

Sounds harsh, I know, but he seriously needed a wake-up call. He needed to know that if he wasn't going to support us, the family he CHOSE, then he had a very real risk of losing us. I wasn't going to spend my whole life playing second fiddle to my MIL. An ultimatum of sorts, I guess, but it's the truth. That, paired with the slow realization that his mother is just manipulative, got him moving.

So now, I don't even talk to her. When she calls and I'm home alone, I don't answer the phone. When DH's home, I make him answer. He gets to be the "bad guy". He runs interference with his parents and I run it with mine. She cries him a river, but he tunes her out and ends the phone call. She still likes to stop by and see the baby and still complains she doesn't get to do enough of either, but at least things are better.

So in conclusion, I recommend you have a REAL sit-down with your DH. Just lay it all on the line. You're a new mom, you're vulnerable, and there's no way you should be dealing with this now. He better step up to the plate and defend his own family. My opinion is that any man who can't do that needs to pack up and move back in with his parents.
post #25 of 59
You've gotten some wonderful advice here and I'm so glad you are acting on it. Please let us know how it goes on Thursday afternoon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kfowler
If she tries to bully me into submission by saying something like "Well how about if I only come by for a few minutes?" I'll just stick to my guns and restate that it's not a good time.

If she shows up anyways are you prepared to not let her in? I really think you need to get into that mindset before the time comes when she could be there. You've drawn your first line in the sand and she's going to push to see if you'll really follow through. If you do, fabulous!!! First victory to you. If not, she's going to know that she can push you around no matter what.
post #26 of 59
What a witch of a woman. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with her, it's just not fair at all. You should be enjoying your new baby.

I agree with suggestions pp have made, but I worry a little that, after a while, she will just show up on your doorstep and then you'll be face to face with her, and she evidently has it in her to bully her way in.

I don't think there is a nice, amicable way to deal with her. You know, not everyone has to like you, you don't (and can't, btw) make everyone happy. You're putting this woman's happiness above your own, and sooner or later, you will snap or have a nervous breakdown.

I suggest telling her, one more time, looking her dead in the eye if you can, that you really mean it, that you are changing the rhythm of things in your life now that you've "settled into motherhood," and that you need her to respect your new boundaries. Black and white. You need privacy as mother and baby, husband and wife, new family, to figure things out for yourselves. That means with her not around all the time. Black and white. Ask what she thinks is a fair visitation increment, schedule, and tell her you'll consider it and get back with her on it. I'm sure she'll want more than you can give. When the conversation is over, and it's been long enough for you to handle, show her the door. If/when she stubbornly sits on your couch or doesn't want to leave, you MUST insist that it's time for her to go. Unflinching, making no excuses or small talk, do not back down. It will kill you, but you must do it. Stand at the door with the door open, if it's in view. Put her things outside. Or stand at the doorway of the room leading out of the house, and stand your ground. Be ready to "go there." Ask twice, then tell her you really mean it, she must leave. If she doesn't I'd call the cops. If your husband isn't going to back you up or provide reinforcement (even if he's at work...he's not backing you up emotionally, and you might need help) you've gotta get it somewhere.

So yeah, it's probably going to cause a scene. But you must be firm.

She may balk later about being thrown out of your house, or be snide about "when she TELLS me it's time to leave," and all you have to respond with is something about how if she had respect for your boundaries, could take a polite hint, or would've honored, in any way, your wishes, things wouldn't have had to happen this way.

If things have to go to the extreme, I'd not allow her around except when dh is home, and he is to deal with her...or else you (or the cops) will again.

T
post #27 of 59
Thread Starter 
Okay. Update. For the past couple of days, dh and I have been busy. Mostly so that mil couldn't come over but also because we just had stuff to do.

So mil calls on friday and said she wanted to come by and see the baby. Dh told her that we were on our way out the door to do some errands but that he'd try to bring the baby out to see her sometime this weekend. Mil apparently asked him to promise to which dh replied that, no, he didn't promise because you just never know what will happen with a 7 week old baby. If we were up all night the night before with him, then obviously we wouldn't be up to going for a visit. Mil was apparently ticked but, who cares?

Then yesterday morning, fil calls last minute and says they want to come over and see the baby. I told him that, unfortunately, they were too late with their call as dh's friend had just pulled up to go to a movie and that my mom was on the way over to the house and she and I were going out shopping. I could hear in the background that mil was pissed but, again, who cares? That's what they get for calling at the last minute all the time.

Okay so forward to last night. The phone rings around 9:30pm and dh answers it. It's his dad on the phone wanting to know what we said or did to mil because apparently she's been crying for hours. At that point, dh got VERY angry and said we'd done nothing to warrant her crying. Fil said, "Well she says she's tried to come see the baby the past couple days and you all told her she couldn't come over?" Dh replied, "Yes. We had things to do. We are busy and have a life, a life that includes a 7 week old baby, and sometimes it's just not a good time for a visit." He also added that we have better things to do besides just sitting around waiting for mil to call and ask to visit.

According to dh, fil was nice enough about it. Didn't yell or chastise dh or anything. Still, I was freaking PISSED that mil would manipulate the situation in this way. I told dh, as nicely as I could, that this was going too far and that we desperately need to sit down and have a talk with his mother and lay everything out on the table and let her know what will and will not be tolerated by us from here on out. Surprisingly, dh agreed with me completely.

So, we are scheduled to go over there tonight to have a talk with her. Actually, it's going to be more of a talk between she and I with dh and fil mediating. For mil's sake, she'd better not try to pull the ole "boo hoo" act with me because I won't buy it the way her dh and sons do. The only reaction she'll get out of me with that crap is anger. Hopefully though, things will go allright and this will help change things for the better.

Wish me luck!
post #28 of 59

Good luck

Hey that's great that your husband made the point about your being busy to his dad and agreed a sit-down was needed. That is a definite step in the right direction. Just be strong and stand your ground tonight. I know how hard it is, but if you don't nip this in the bud now it will only get worse. Be prepared that your husband probably won't back you up as much as you would like. We had a confrontation with my in-laws about something and it was worse for me because I was so surprised when my husband didn't stand up to his mom as much as I wanted.

You might want to try to practice in your head the most important things you want to say to her tonight. Even make yourself a list. I am no good at confrontation either, but I find practicing what I want to say helps some. It would also help for you and your husband to sit down this afternoon and focus on what your expectations as a family are and what your boundaries are going to be. That will decrease your MIL's ability to create conflict between you and your husband this evening.

Good luck again and let us know how it goes.
post #29 of 59
:
What happened?
post #30 of 59
I too am glad your husband will be involved. I can't wait to hear how it went!
post #31 of 59
Thread Starter 
*sigh* Am getting really ticked. So dh calls mil to tell her we're coming over tonight and she says that it's not a good night, that she has church tonight. I'm all for going to church and being religious and all but there is such a thing as going overboard if you ask me. The woman goes twice on Sundays, Wednesday nights and Friday nights. And another thing, she's got an awful lot of nerve complaining that we "never let her see the baby" when she's turned us down now FOUR times. So anyways, we are scheduled to go over there tomorrow night. I'm curious as to how it will go. I'm betting she either cries or gets nasty and blames the entire thing on me. I'll be sure to let you all know how it went. Wish me luck!
post #32 of 59
She IS an expert! She's giving you a taste of your own medicine, m'dear If she cancels again, drop it. Don't ask to come over any more and continue with only seeing her if it's convenient for you and for the length of time it's convenient. Set the boundaries at the start of the visit and enforce them at the end. Ask for a friend or your mother's help by asking them to come over at 3 pm for a "prior appointment".

GL; sounds like you're doing a great job remembering who is the momma bear here
post #33 of 59
Kristen, it sounds like you are doing a great job with this - growing that mama bear bone!

I've had to learn...it's hard...and your mil is truly toxic by any stretch of the imagination. Hang in there and be strong!
post #34 of 59
I agree if she cancels again, forget it and then see her only when and if you feel like it. She doesn't want to talk to you...mission accomplished!!
post #35 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog
I agree if she cancels again, forget it and then see her only when and if you feel like it. She doesn't want to talk to you...mission accomplished!!
I couldn't agree more. I told dh that this was just one more attempt from her to manipulate and control the situation. Thankfully, he seems to finally be seeing the light where she's concerned, though not yet to the same extent that everyone else sees it. Still, it's a start! But I agree, if she cancels again, then she will see the baby only when and if I feel like it and only at OUR house, not at hers, which is what she seems to want more than anything.
post #36 of 59
I guess I'm kinda the minority opinion here. I'm the mama of 2 boys, I'm not sure if I'll ever have a daughter. I HOPE I can someday have a good relationship with my DILs. I know how stong a mother/daughter bond can be, and I also know I'd hate to be the odd woman out when my grandchildren come along. I would be devestated if my son told me I couldn't see my grandchild while my DIL and her mom and new baby went out shopping... if would have wished I'd been asked to come along. Now I certainly don't know your MIL, and maybe she is totally wack job, but I might give her the benefit of the doubt (a little!). She might just be feeling left out, which isn't your responsibility to fix... maybe you and your DH can have a real heart to heart talk with your MIL/FIL and find a way to help include her in your new baby's life... but also help keep your sanity/boundaries.

My MIL has three sons and no daughters, but she makes no effort to come see her only 2 grandchildren... we have to go to their house! Which we rarely do.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by greymama
I guess I'm kinda the minority opinion here. I'm the mama of 2 boys, I'm not sure if I'll ever have a daughter. I HOPE I can someday have a good relationship with my DILs. I know how stong a mother/daughter bond can be, and I also know I'd hate to be the odd woman out when my grandchildren come along. I would be devestated if my son told me I couldn't see my grandchild while my DIL and her mom and new baby went out shopping... if would have wished I'd been asked to come along. Now I certainly don't know your MIL, and maybe she is totally wack job, but I might give her the benefit of the doubt (a little!). She might just be feeling left out, which isn't your responsibility to fix... maybe you and your DH can have a real heart to heart talk with your MIL/FIL and find a way to help include her in your new baby's life... but also help keep your sanity/boundaries.

My MIL has three sons and no daughters, but she makes no effort to come see her only 2 grandchildren... we have to go to their house! Which we rarely do.

The child is only 7 weeks old and the OP did say that the MIL calls many times a day and has seen the child quite a bit. I think she needs to back off and grow up a little, and learn that it is not always about her.

I am also the mother of all boys. I will not be having any more children and so, will not have a daughter. However, I vow to be there if needed and back off and give my son and wife and new baby some space, if/when the time comes. I vow not to give unsolicited advice and will not whine about how much the DIL's family sees the baby. I will trust my son and his wife to do the best they can by me and DH.

I have learned enough from my own inlaws and the inlaws of others to know what NOT to do.
post #38 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by greymama
I guess I'm kinda the minority opinion here. I'm the mama of 2 boys, I'm not sure if I'll ever have a daughter. I HOPE I can someday have a good relationship with my DILs. I know how stong a mother/daughter bond can be, and I also know I'd hate to be the odd woman out when my grandchildren come along. I would be devestated if my son told me I couldn't see my grandchild while my DIL and her mom and new baby went out shopping... if would have wished I'd been asked to come along. Now I certainly don't know your MIL, and maybe she is totally wack job, but I might give her the benefit of the doubt (a little!). She might just be feeling left out, which isn't your responsibility to fix... maybe you and your DH can have a real heart to heart talk with your MIL/FIL and find a way to help include her in your new baby's life... but also help keep your sanity/boundaries.

My MIL has three sons and no daughters, but she makes no effort to come see her only 2 grandchildren... we have to go to their house! Which we rarely do.
I have made much effort to ensure mil gets as much time as possible with the baby. Originally, I had told her that if she wants to come by every day after work for up to an hour that that would be fine. Either that or she could come by on Saturday with fil and they could stay up to 4 hours. But mil took my generosity and abused it by coming Tuesday, after I'd told her she could come by for a COUPLE HOURS, and wound up staying here for seven and a half hours. Not only that but she also called later that night to see how the baby was doing as well as coming by every other day that week and staying for at least an hour or two. My problem isn't that she wants to see the baby, it's that no matter how often she sees him it's never enough. I've become convinced that the ONLY way she'll be content is if dh and I move in with her or allow her to move in here. That's the only way she would be satisfied with how much time she sees the baby.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad she loves him and wants to spend time with him as much as possible. But there is such a thing as going overboard and mil has gone WAY beyond the normal grandmother/grandchild relationship. I had been feeling a certain way about this but said nothing to anyone about it, including my dh. So I was surprised when weekend before last at the baptism party three people came up to me seperately and said to me that they felt mil was not only obsessed with the baby but that she also acted as if she wished SHE were the child's mother and that that was evident by the way she criticized everything I did and attempted to take over and do it herself. So I now know it's not just me over-reacting or anything. Mil definately has issues.
post #39 of 59
Please don't think I was slamming you at all. I know if my MIL had stayed at my house for 7 hours, I'd be looking at the bottom of an empty vodka bottle. Then again, when my DH#2 was born he spent 10 days in the NICU, and my MIL who worked in the SAME hospital couldn't even be bothered to come a see him. I do see your point how she has overstepped the boundary. Good luck.
post #40 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by greymama
Please don't think I was slamming you at all. I know if my MIL had stayed at my house for 7 hours, I'd be looking at the bottom of an empty vodka bottle. Then again, when my DH#2 was born he spent 10 days in the NICU, and my MIL who worked in the SAME hospital couldn't even be bothered to come a see him. I do see your point how she has overstepped the boundary. Good luck.
No, I didn't think you were slamming me. I was just wanting you to understand that I am not the bad guy here.
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