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#1 of 22 Old 06-28-2010, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok so I have MAJOR issues with my MIL. I want to get past them, but I can't seem to and am just angry and protective. What would you do? could you get past this? Or is this something I'll just have to wait until later for?

quick summary. (but still long)

3 weeks old, MIL came over with 'just a cough' after a cold, bring with her Dh's cousin who had just been exposed to someone with a documented case of the swine flu 4 days before. When I tried to explain pertussis she blew me off saying it was just a cough and she needed to see him (DS.) I blew up, kicked her out.

1 1/2 months, we go over their house. I explained before DS was born that I wanted their one dog (they have two) no where near my son, since he was domineering and had bitten MANY people, including a little girl. She insisted on taking the dog out and trying to bring the dog into DS's FACE. (I got in between) I wasn't happy and repeatedly said so.

Dh talks with her. We go over the next week and Oh look as we are leaving she brings out the dog and refused to put him away. Another blow out.

4 months old, we hadn't seen them in two months she calls, blows up on Dh because we haven't been over stating she NEEDS to see Ds. Dh needs to grow a backbone and stand up to me. He should leave me and bring Ds over to her. Which also led to her balling in front of everyone else in the family about how horrible I am and how I Dh doesn't want to be with me (complete and total lie gotta say)

We have a meeting...She says sorry I didn't know you had a good marriage what else was I suppose to think. She then explains that she thinks she has the right to do whatever she wants with ds whenever she want. Which explains why she would literally snatch him out of my arms and glare at me if I was holding him. She gave the examples of her parents who smoked around Dh as a baby and said they could come over whenever and wake him from naps if they wanted to hold him. She also said repeatedly, "No one is like you (read your crazy.)" No apologizes just we'll do what you want if we have to.

fast forward, I still don't like her but have had visits at MY house. yesterday we were at a party and she tried to grab ds from me (literally trying to snatch and grab), I didn't have a good grip because he was standing in front of the air vent (it was SO Hot! he needed to cool down, we didn't stay long), and the dog at the party (whom I really like/trust) got directly in between them long enough for me to move DS closer to me she glared at me and walked away.

I just feel she is unsafe. She seems more concerned about her wants than his needs. (example not wanting to give him back to eat and lamenting over how nice bottles are) And moreover I'm ANGRY she could of kill ds because of her negligence of bring illness around a newborn, got him mauled by a dog, by putting him in the dogs FACE and she insulted Dh's manhood and our marriage and just dismissed oh I was mad, oops I thought it was true. I've left out a lot of the stupid stuff that bothers me too. these are just the main issues.

I can't seem to get past this. Dh thinks we will always be there so whats the harm, who cares what she thinks her rights are, they aren't real. BUT I do....

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#2 of 22 Old 06-28-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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That sounds awful. You're doing a wonderful job standing up for your DS, by refusing to let her snatch him and leaving when MIL does dangerous/disrespectful things. Do you use slings/wraps? That's a good way to make it pretty much impossible for someone to walk up and grab him away from you at family gatherings. (ETA: I just noticed in your siggy that your DS is almost 3, so slings probably won't work since he'll want to be down playing, but you have every right to scoop him right back from someone rude enough to take him from your arms while glaring at you.)

It sounds like your DH is on your side in that he doesn't see his mom's rants as the truth, so that's good. Has your DH ever had a direct conversation with his mom where he tells her that she must respect you as his wife and your son's mother if she wants to have a good relationship with all of you? If he had that conversation with her and she continued to act this way it'd be great if he could coolly say, while helping you pack up and leave, "Mom, I love you but it looks like you're having trouble remembering to be respectful toward all the members of my family. We'll have to try visiting again some other time." Like you would to a toddler, you know?

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#3 of 22 Old 06-28-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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Definitely time for boundaries. In fact, are you familiar w the book Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend? It gives practical advice on dealing w boundaryless people like your MIL. It does sound like you are trying to set appropriate limits and she is just not hearing you-- grrrr!

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#4 of 22 Old 06-28-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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I could get over it if she started showing respect for my boundaries and listened to what I wanted in regards to my kids. She has shown no evidence that she would honor the decisions you have made about YOUR DS. She thinks you're full of crap and she can do whatever she pleases with a child that isn't hers. So in short, no, I couldn't get over it. Not until she changes. Your DH needs to tell her point blank that she is losing precious time with her grandson because she doesn't listen. When she's ready to do that then she can start having visits again. She is the problem, put it back on her and hopefully maybe she'll take some ownership and change her behavior. Until then you need to have very solid consistent boundaries with her to keep your son safe.

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#5 of 22 Old 06-29-2010, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post
(ETA: I just noticed in your siggy that your DS is almost 3, so slings probably won't work since he'll want to be down playing, but you have every right to scoop him right back from someone rude enough to take him from your arms while glaring at you.)
Oops I just noticed. Ds was born 10/7 of 09. I just put 10/7...fixed it sorry for the confusion. He is only 8 months. I do babywear (and get lots of glares) but it was just TOO HOT.

Dh has stood up to her and he seems to think everything is fine now because nothing 'bad' has happened in a while. but nothing has happened because I haven't given her any opportunity to. AND the first time we have been back on her 'turf' she pulls this snatching thing again. Which to give her credit she has not done to me in my home since the big fight.

She is not respecting what we have put forth and is expecting Dh to back down if she has enough people around her on her side. She had already vilified me to everyone I don't see how it could get much worse.

Dh wants me to just get over it and go over their house. I really think MIL has a your house fine your rules, my house MY rules. Which, sorry, my child doesn't stop being my child just because we are somewhere else.

Dh says don't worry we won't let her do whatever. but I'm stressing over the issues she'll cause when she tries. She just doesn't get it. I don't want to be so angry and I want him to have grandparents, but honestly right now being around he doesn't seem worth it to me and Dh doesn't get what the big deal is, (ie she can't kill him while we're there watching)

I just don't know what to do

ETA
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Originally Posted by mum4vr View Post


Definitely time for boundaries. In fact, are you familiar w the book Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend? It gives practical advice on dealing w boundaryless people like your MIL. It does sound like you are trying to set appropriate limits and she is just not hearing you-- grrrr!

I'm ordering it though my library. Thanks for the recommendation!

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#6 of 22 Old 06-29-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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I'm sorry, NO. I would not get over it.

This is YOUR child, not hers. I feel very strongly that when it comes to your children, things are done YOUR WAY. Period. She has shown what I feel is a gross lack of good judgement. (HELLO! You NEVER put your face in a dog's face!) Those kinds of things are not going to change. You can't make someone wise.

My MIL, who is actually quite sweet and loving, no longers gets to watch my child(ren) (pregnant) because she has shown poor judgement in the past. I don't trust her to make good decisions. It's been things like giving DS an empty saran wrap box to play with when he was a baby (you know the one with the sharp serraded edge), giving him a chicken bone to teethe on, letting him splash around in a filthy chemical treated bird bath, letting him color in his books that are NOT coloring books, things like this. Now it's a matter of he's a robust 3 year old who can outrun ME practically and she likes to take him to the front yard to play and she just can't catch him when he bolts. I can't relax when he's with her. That, and she's also getting older and almost choked due to her throat muscles being inflamed on Mother's Day and what if that happpened when they were alone?

Anyway, I think some people are good at watching children and making wise decisions and some people aren't. It may be out of malice or totally unintentional but either way, you make the call. And your MIL sounds like a big HELL NO in that regard.

i would supervise visits in your home and leave it at that.
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#7 of 22 Old 06-29-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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I, too, have major issues w/ my MIL. I decided long ago to basically ignore her and to place no value on her opinions. I go to family gatherings, am polite, but distant - choose to visit with other family members, not her. When she wants to see the kids, dh brings them over by himself, or, she comes to our house to visit. I had to accept that we would never have a good relationship, I would never be on the same page as her, and then I just tried to let it all go - to overlook alot and to not participate in the drama. For the sake of family harmony, dh, and my kids, I decided that I don't want to be a part of any family in-fighting. Long term, it's really worked out for me - and, I've come to realize that, even though we don't click, she does really love her grandkids. Now a safety issue, that's another story. Of course, stand your ground on anything dangerous!
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#8 of 22 Old 06-29-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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I completely know how you feel. My issues w/ my MIL are not so much "safety" as yours are, but they are issues that deal w/ "what is in the best interest of my children vs what MIL wants". Issues w/ her started over 10 yrs ago, when dh and I got together. After dd1 was born 6 yrs ago, more issues came up too.... As it is now, we hardly see her, maybe 5 times/year at family functions and she lives/works only 10 minutes away from us. In some ways I wish she were different, I would value the support of a relative.... but she is who she is and it is NOT in my dc best interest to have her be involved on our lives.
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#9 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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That sounds very hard. I, too, have MIL issues.

However, the tone of your post makes me wonder how you treat her? Did you really "kick her out"? Or did you kindly ask her to leave and come back when feeling better?

Being worried that someone with a cough has pertussis and worried about someone exposed to the flu 4 days prior seems a bit over the top to me, but if that worries you, then I respect that. *Amended *


Her actions sound very difficult, and she should not be telling her son to leave you. I wonder though if your reactions to her make it worse? I am not accustom to having "blowouts" with people and I can't imagine not letting MIL hold her grandbaby (within reason).

I'm just asking, I'm not trying to defend her actions or criticize you. It is hard to read the tone sometimes over an internet post.

ETA: I guess my point is - you cannot control her actions,just your reaction to her. You are in control. Hugs!
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#10 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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I'm going to come at this from a slightly different angle. I am not defending her or her actions.

Does she get to hold and play with your DS regularly. So I guess what I'm asking is, if she doesn't snatch you DS out of your arms, does she get a good amount of time to hold the baby and coo at him.

It sounds like a situation where you just don't get along. But I'm wondering if she's sitting there looking at her precious grandbaby and knowing that she's not going to get to hold him at all or only for a few minutes and just doesn't know how to express her frustration with the situation.

I could be off base here, but does she get time to enjoy him. Would it be possible to have visits be at your house with your husband, the baby, and her while you take a walk or something. I'm wondering if once the animosity between the two of your was removed from the situation how she would behave around DS.

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#11 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
Being worried that someone with a cough has pertussis and worried about someone exposed to the flu 4 days prior seems a bit over the top to me, but if that worries you, than I respect that.
At 3 weeks post-partum with a first baby it sounds normal to me.

I can appreciate the intent of your post though -- sometimes it's hard to truly see our own participation in a situation, and it can be helpful for someone to gently remind us to examine our own actions.

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#12 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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At 3 weeks post-partum with a first baby it sounds normal to me.
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#13 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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Some great suggestions I have seen before (never remember to do it myself) is to start questioning her. Right now you are on the defensive - you need to put her on the defensive. If she goes to grab your DS, say what are you doing? She says, "I want to hold your DS." You say, "He's really hot and trying to cool off right now, why would you want to interrupt that?" She stammers.

Counter everything she says or tries to do with a question. Make her try to prove her point. Since she is unreasonable she should have a hard time.

I just wouldn't put up with that though. You don't respect me as a mom, I have better things to do with my time.

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#14 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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Sounds like her parents were bullies and she's decided to emulate them.
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#15 of 22 Old 07-01-2010, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like her parents were bullies and she's decided to emulate them.
I think this may very well be part of the case....

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Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
However, the tone of your post makes me wonder how you treat her? Did you really "kick her out"? Or did you kindly ask her to leave and come back when feeling better?
I did kick her out after calmly explaining there could be an issue of her having pertussis especially when she explained that her awful sounding cough wasn't going away. She then continued to blow off everything I was saying and continued to hold DS and cough ON him and then in her hand and touch his face. I did blow up after she continued to insist it was 'just a cough' when nothing around a newborn is just a cough, but also note I was 3 weeks postpartum with my newborn first son. (The swine flu thing got me because I'm an asthmatic and it was all over the news at the time how the two most at risk categories were 20-30 something asthmatics and newborns) Would I have yelled now, probably not, but I do think its reasonable to require health or at least respect for my concerns.

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Does she get to hold and play with your DS regularly. So I guess what I'm asking is, if she doesn't snatch you DS out of your arms, does she get a good amount of time to hold the baby and coo at him.
She did, but right when he was born was when this started. No amount of time was good enough for her. If she held him for two hours she wanted more and would be upset I chose to breastfeed because she couldn't feed him. I will admit now she does not have a lot of time with him. But the snatching and not giving back was always an issue. She wants him to be hers...

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Counter everything she says or tries to do with a question. Make her try to prove her point. Since she is unreasonable she should have a hard time.
I will defiantly try to do this. That sounds like a great suggestion.

I will say I don't think I am being entirely fair to her, which is why I wrote this post in trying to find a way to get past all this. BUT She is unfair, unloving, disrespectful and proven to lack common sense.

I also think a lot of this is her issues of insecurity. I am an outgoing person, outspoken and truthfully don't care about my appearance much (ie I don't diet or wear makeup, or spend time complaining about myself) She is a very shallow person I don't mean shallow in what she cares about, but there is no depth all she talks about is dieting, makeup, and just general small talk. I have known the women for 9 years and know not one view point, not one. Neither does Dh.

Its hard for us to connect, because she doesn't want to connect to anyone. She is manipulative and was taken back when Dh didn't run to her side when she stopping calling him, or when she yelled at him. out and out she doesn't like me. She thinks I 'tricked' Dh, which I'm sorry he's the one who persuade me for two years and wanted to get married when we did and he knew about the baby, I took drugs to get pregnant! She has also reminded me divorce always an option, in her I don't mean anything but I really do kinda way.

I don't think she is going to change and I currently don't want anything to do with her, so yes I am hard on her and don't have her hold Ds much, but then again we don't have anyone other than us hold Ds much. I just am not sure how to not feel so angry, I can't see her perspective (other than controlling and Dh is the oldest and the only one thats grown up yet)

Sorry for another long post. My tone is hostile, I appreciate it being pointed out. I'm trying. but as soon as I see her I shut down into anger. After the initial fight I was having panic attacks about seeing her, because I felt I had no voice to protect Ds when she was around (also PP hormones, I'm not usually a dramatic person at all)

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#16 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 01:48 AM
 
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She's not going to change (sorry, but probably true with someone like that), so it's up to you to set your boundaries. If you are uncomfortable around her, don't visit with her. Let your dh take your ds to her house for short visits, like an hour. Don't make a scene out of it and be all co-dependent, just set your boundaries and keep to them. The other choice is to decide to not let her bother you, let everything she says just roll off of you like drops of water.

I have mil issues too but in general I have had to stop expecting her to be someone she's not, or to change. I tried keeping distance from her before, even skipping out on Christmas dinner at their house. But in the last year or so I have chosen to just not let her get to me, so I treat her with the respect I'd offer anybody but don't make an extra effort just b/c she's dh's mother.

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#17 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 04:18 AM
 
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Am I over-reacting? If someone said all kinds of nasty things about me and my marriage, no way would I agree to see them again unless they apologize and mean it and I feel like they meant it. And no they don't get to see my baby either especially when they're constantly exposing him to sickness and dogs that bite. DH would be welcome to go to the family gatherings by himself.

Maybe I'm unrealistic because I have angel in-laws and if there's an overbearing MIL around here it's my mom. If my mom started making up lies about my husband I'd shut her out too--again unless there were a sincere apology. Otherwise I'd feel like I'm putting up with things I shouldn't have to, and I'm done with that part of my life.

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#18 of 22 Old 07-02-2010, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She's not going to change (sorry, but probably true with someone like that), so it's up to you to set your boundaries. If you are uncomfortable around her, don't visit with her. Let your dh take your ds to her house for short visits, like an hour.
I understand this idea, but I don't think it will solve anything. The main issue is her disregard for safety and Dh and I as parents, then all the crap of everything else. Having DS there without me will more likely lead to dangerous situations and poor talk about me. Dh kinda shuts down around her and then blows up when we leave (ie "I can't believe blah blah blah") I don't feel DS's safe with her.

I just gotta get to ground where I'm not nasty. I'm reading the boundaries book...I think I'm still scared I guess because she doesn't listen and I don't know that Dh will back me in the moment making me look like the bad guy (like with the dog I said we were going to leave and not come back since she didn't respect our wishes but that decision was Dh's before we went, he just could execute actually stating it)

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#19 of 22 Old 07-05-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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Sorry for another long post. My tone is hostile, I appreciate it being pointed out. I'm trying. but as soon as I see her I shut down into anger. After the initial fight I was having panic attacks about seeing her, because I felt I had no voice to protect Ds when she was around (also PP hormones, I'm not usually a dramatic person at all)
I could have written this paragraph. I have issues with my MIL similar to yours. Mine aren't so much as safety issues as they are respect issues. Although, my MIL tried to feed my then 10 month old peanuts... and ice cream, so it can sometimes been safety issues. My MIL severely disrespected me multiple times right after my daughter was born. I still haven't gotten over it and I'm still harboring resentment and anger over it. Basically, when I was still in the hospital after a c-section, she invited all her friends and extended family to come trooping in on us. Then, when I had reached my limit and was so overwhelmed by all the people continually knocking on our hospital door, demanding to hold my then 1 day old newborn, I lost it and kicked her out. She told me I was mean because I wouldn't allow anymore visitors. Then at 2 weeks postpartum, I had a gallbladder attack, ended up in the ER and my husband emergency called his parents to watch my newborn while I was in the ER (she couldn't safely be there... swine flu was in full swing last summer). I come home, completely stressed out from the whole ordeal and desperately needing my newborn baby. She had ransacked my bedroom. Turned everything upside down, thinking she was being "helpful". I felt so violated. How dare she go through my personal stuff. I didn't want her watching my newborn after the hospital incident, but I didn't really have a choice. Then, at my husband and FIL urging, I tried to talk to her about what was so upsetting to me about her behavior a couple weeks afterwards and she denied all of it and would not even apologize.

Now my daughter is nearly a year old and there have been other minor things to have happened in the past year, but I just can't seem to get over that initial disrespect. It doesn't help that whenever I see her, she grills me for every time bit of information which I cannot stand. I am not a social person and she's just too over the top for me. So I'm left feeling extreme resentment and anger towards her to the point where I hate even the thought of having to see her.

I have a lot more issues playing into the matter. I'm going to the doctor today to try to get a handle on depression that has silently and slowly taken over my life. I'm going to try to talk to a psychiatrist and see if talking through this resentment to a neutral 3rd party will help me to get over it and move on to having a healthier relationship with my ILs. I know, deep down inside of me, that my inability to let go of this problem is rooted in my total lack of sleep from a HNs baby and this depression that has taken over me.

Sorry for the book but I can relate to what you're feeling because I'm there too. Hoping that, you and I, can conquer our problems with our MILs.

A tired mommy to DD (7/09) and loving wife to DH (08/06)
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#20 of 22 Old 07-05-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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Classic case of Freudian psychology. She sees you as "the other woman" and its really a phenomenon with MIL and daughter relationships I think. She was the first women in his life, etc. She views your DH as hers and I'm sure she believes the same about "his" offspring.. sounds like a really pronounced case here. I don't know a way around it but maybe knowing the "mechanics behind the crazy" helps a bit.
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#21 of 22 Old 07-05-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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dakotablue - inspite of everything one thing i hear clearly - you still want to amend. you would like to have a relationship with your mil.

and i say you can.

but its only if you work on your own.

it really has nothing to do with MIL.

you know exactly what's going on. you know she probably envies the confidence with which you are the person that you are.

the thing is you have to find a place to relate with MIL. if you can connect with that she is trying in her best way to love your ds it will be sooo helpful. if you can see her as a gma trying her best to connect with her gchild. wanting to connect with her gchild. half your battle will be won right there.

this truly works. but you have to do the work. you have to connect with the 'mother' within her - no matter how crappy that mother is. and as you connect with that your body language will change. and you wont seem as 'aggressive' as you do otherwise. and i promise your relationship will improve.

things have gotten much better between ex and me ever since i learnt to see him as a father who loves his dd and is trying his best. instead of being angry with him, i felt sad for him. and somehow i noticed our relationship changed. we are much better with each other than before.

it doesnt happen overnight. it takes a lot of time. but the more you look at her as the 'enemy' rather than a 'friend' with many flaws - it will be tough to forget the battles.

good luck.

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#22 of 22 Old 07-06-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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OP - I feel for you, I have been there, pre-child, with similar in-law problems. So much of your posts sound so familar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post
I understand this idea, but I don't think it will solve anything. The main issue is her disregard for safety and Dh and I as parents, then all the crap of everything else. Having DS there without me will more likely lead to dangerous situations and poor talk about me. Dh kinda shuts down around her and then blows up when we leave (ie "I can't believe blah blah blah") I don't feel DS's safe with her.
I remember the bold well, too well. It makes me cringe for you. I hated seeing how my ILs behavior negatively impacted DH.

I agree with the other posters who mentioned that you have control of the situation in that you can control your reaction to her BUT I am also of the opinion that your DH also needs to step up and help correct/control the situation. So it sort of turns into a martial issues between the two of you first, a MIL problem second. Your DH shouldn't be dumping on you after visits with MIL. He also needs to learn coping skills because his reaction and lack of action is affecting you and your DC. (maybe he isn't dumping but just venting but still, that can wear you down after a while.)

Yokosmile mentioned knowing the mechanics behind the crzay can help and I agree with that. More information/education will help, whether that comes in the form of professional counselling or reading.

Some people are better than others at dealing with the crazy-making. I know some women/men who are so smooth and unruffled in their dealings with nutty family members. I admire them. I just couldn't do it, no matter what tatic I tried, they found another way "in"

For me, I was completely blown away by my ILs behavior. Sure, I had been around off/difficult people in my life prior to meeting my ILs but their irrational behavior and complete lack of boundaries was something I never knew existed. The dog thing you described is something mine would have pulled too.

I didn't have any tools in my box to cope with their behavior and more importantly, I didn't know how to be a good partner and support DH. The impact on a child of this type of person is HUGE. Mistakes were made and marriage and individual counselling saved our marriage.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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