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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-24-2013 04:03 AM
Viola P That is so not cool.

I think your partner needs to step it up and start sticking up for you.'ot really isn't good to face daily criticism like that. I'd do whatever it takes to make it stop.

If she has to drop off the kids have her do it without coming in. Make your partner set the rule. Make her do it firmly. The kids can go up the driveway on their own, right? Or, if that isn't an option, make it so that you're not there when the kids are dropped off. Or arrange after school care. Present several options to your partner and have her pick one saying the only thing that's not an option is for the current situation to continue. Something,'anything, to stop the dysfunctional pattern of mil bullying you and undermining your relationship.

I too live close to an overbearing mil and dh has had some serious issues setting boundaries. We are still in marriage counselling becaus of it, which has helped immensely. Dh is finally starting to set boundaries - serious boundaries - not in the way a child would asking for permission but actually setting a boundary. It has taken a year and a half to get here and some ongoing therapy.

My family is also far away and I miss them and think its unfair that his family is so involved in our lives and mine isn't, but that's just the way it is. I abandoned trying to get mils approval a long time ago, and would suggest you do the same as she will probably never give you the approval you seek. Accept that you won't be friends, and move on.

Fixing this will require real effort by both you and your partner but you can do it!
12-23-2013 11:08 PM
CocoBird Okay ii have to say that grandma is not abusive to our baby nor do I believe she ever would be. The ornery comment bothers me, but I also know that she enjoys playing with her and taking care of her she just stresses out if she fusses and maybe isn't the best at soothing her. Also, I had this baby WITH my partner and they clearly love each other deeply and she takes great care of her. The older girls have had some struggles. 11 has been diagnosed recently with aspberger's and 15 ODD and substance abuse (although she is doing much better). 11 yr old I am a mom to, 15 yr old more of a step-mom, and that has mostly to do with their age difference. They are my family. Yes, they need to learn to help more and we are both working on it, but it is a struggle. Also, my partner did have the girls with a man (an addict who is out of the picture now) but I am not the first woman she has been with. So I don't *think* that is an issue.

My wife and I have talked about some of the issues with her mom since I posted this. She suggested that her mom not come over as often and when she watches the baby I can drop her off to her house so she doesn't criticize me or stress about the state of the house. Her mom also found out I was upset because she read a text I sent my wide because I didn't know she had her phone (was trying to fix it) and apparently she was surprised and said she didn't want to cause trouble between us. We may have more to work out here but I think we will be okay. Thanks, everyone, for your replies.
12-22-2013 01:03 AM

I know this isn't your biggest problem- but there's got to be some way to get the 11 and 15 year olds to help around the house. I was an only child as well and my parents were divorced- I didn't help as much as my mother would have liked (trying to keep up with her poorly expressed, contradictory expectations is impossible), but I certainly helped where I could and when I was 9 I was able to help my mom with the infant she fostered in addition to helping around the house.  Again, I know, not the biggest problem- but hearing about kids who won't help around the house AT ALL has always bothered me, even when I was a kid. It's just not that difficult to pick up after yourself. And, in case this is their excuse- I've had severe depression and anxiety since I was at LEAST ten. It made it so I couldn't ride the bus after 5th grade and I would have panic attacks when my mom was late picking me up so, yes, totally get where your daughters are coming from on needing to be picked up from school in a timely fashion. No excuse to not help around the house.


Why can't your partner pick up/drop off the other daughter? Does her work schedule not allow it?



Originally Posted by annlea View Post

I really hate to say this but not only do you have a MIL have a partner problem. Based on the anxiety thing with your kids I can understand why she needs to be there to help but there is no reason for your partner to talk to her that much in one day. And there is absolutely no reason for her to share information with MIL before you. YOU are her family now 


And in my honest opinion if your partner won't stick up for you then you need to stick up for you. Something like this will eventually put a damper on your relationship. Tell your MIL to knock it off. Not in those exact words of course.

Seconding this. My partner and I are both protective of our parents- but we put each other first. It is a red flag that your partner confides in her mother before you so often. I would also be getting incredibly concerned that the reason your MIL is so picky about you is that, for all your partner claims that she's happier with you, her actions and words to her MIL paint a different picture.


I'm just going to take a stab in the dark here, but: did your partner have her eldest two daughters (it sounds from your signature that they're your step-daughters) with a man she was in a relationship with? Was she married to a man? Are you the first woman she's seriously dated? If so- this may be part of MIL's deep dislike of you. She may resent you for "turning" her daughter and see you as inferior to the man (any man) her daughter should be with. Just a stab in the dark.


Your MIL also needs to shut up about your baby. Your signature & post makes it sound like the two girls are your step-daughters and the baby is a child you gave birth to, and based on her actions towards your child- you need to fix something fast. Your MIL is setting your child up to me MISERABLE. Find some of the threads from blended families where one set of grandparents/extended family ignores the step children. It's horrible on the children. It's bad enough when they only see those relatives once a year or so- it will be terrible if your baby has to grow up with this every single day. Even if it's not emotional abuse yet, it sounds like it could certainly escalate.


The fact that your partner is letting her mother mistreat this baby is, again, a humongous red flag. Would your partner let her mother treat her own daughters this way? (and, frankly, does she see that dichotomy: are "her own daughters" and "your baby" as two different categories to her? Even if she says no, do her actions say the same?)


Also: WHY is your MIL coming on vacation with you despite your partner knowing how difficult having her in your life so constantly is? If it were me- I would be staying home with the baby and having a REAL vacation. Really do consider sitting your partner down and saying "Honey, I love you, I'm so glad we're a family, but your mother is horrible to me and our baby. I refuse to spend that much time with her without a break. I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough to say this before." and then just stay home and ENJOY your WONDERFUL baby without having some overbearing jerk judging you all the time!


I don't know if you've ever traveled with a baby before- it is not fun. We went to visit my mother over the summer when kiddo was 3 months- managed alright on the way there, was fussy as all get out on the way back and spent a good chunk of it screaming because we had simply spent TOO LONG in the car. The drive was about as long as yours will be, a little shorter. If your MIL insists on driving- will she be willing to stop every time your baby needs you to? What will she do when the baby starts crying during the drive and won't settle down? What will she do when the baby has a hard time sleeping in a new place? Are you truly aware of the giant stress you are setting yourself up for?


Has your partner adopted your daughter, or is she legally YOUR daughter? If it's the latter- honestly, I'd seriously consider moving out and continuing a more casual relationship. You have to do right by your child and yourself. I know that you love this woman dearly- but do you love this woman enough to let your baby grow up being mistreated by her own grandmother while her other mommy just defends her actions?

12-21-2013 02:39 AM

I really hate to say this but not only do you have a MIL have a partner problem. Based on the anxiety thing with your kids I can understand why she needs to be there to help but there is no reason for your partner to talk to her that much in one day. And there is absolutely no reason for her to share information with MIL before you. YOU are her family now 


And in my honest opinion if your partner won't stick up for you then you need to stick up for you. Something like this will eventually put a damper on your relationship. Tell your MIL to knock it off. Not in those exact words of course.

12-20-2013 10:32 PM

I just have to find a way to stay sane.  I have to find a way to not let it bother me. My partner is very protective of her mother, she says she doesn't have anybody else (my partner is an only child, her mom doesn't connect to people well, apparently). And my partner talks to her on the phone probably 50 times a day. Which is a whole different issue (her mom knows about our plans and what is going on with our girls or with my partner before I do!) Well, this is turning into quite the vent session. I think I needed to vent. Also, MIL is coming on vacation with us tomorrow and that is stressing me out! I am sure she will complain about the baby being ornery, the van being messy, and that she will have to drive the whole time because she has to be in control and she doesn't trust us to do it (OMG it's like two 8 or 9 hour days of driving!). I wish we could get along. I wish she appreciated me for who I am and what I DO offer to the family, even though I'm not what she wants me to be. I thought the whole MIL drama was just a silly myth until I had one. AAAAGHGHGHGHH.

12-20-2013 10:22 PM
LLQ1011 That would bug me too. It's nice she does those things too bad about her weirdness though. My mil talks to my kid like a dog. be nice, sit, no, bad. Its ok to talk to him in full or short sentences. and everything he does is bad. They gave him a hammer once and showed him how to hit stuff then took it away when he hit the thing they showed him to hit. It's like they totally forget how and why kids got to 18.
12-20-2013 10:04 PM

Neither of the girls are comfortable waiting after school, so it isn't so much the extra driving ,as the fact that their schools get out at the same time and are in opposite directions. They both have intense anxiety (as does their mom-my partner, and their grandma-my MIL). She also watches the baby and kids during times when we are both working. I am grateful for this, but she always tells me my baby is ornery. My baby is a really happy and content baby! Maybe she fusses a little extra with her grandma, maybe that's because she doesn't like to have other people watch her, maybe because the grandma's anxiety stresses her out...I don't know. But I have seen when she fusses just a little, she says, "What an ornery baby." I try to just pretend smile and chuckle but it actually bothers me.

12-20-2013 09:57 PM
LLQ1011 It is not healthy to have someone criticize you every single day. Could you pick up the other daughter too and cut yourself a break? I feel like the extra driving would be worth it. I clean for visitors the rest of the time it's a walk at your own risk kind of thing. Having kids is hard and working is hard having a relationships is hard. The ladies get older and look back with this Rosie blur of their perfect house and we'll behaved kids and can't fathom why we struggle. Did you know my partner never cried? Not once since he was born. Ever. Now I know this is not true. His other relatives tell me this is not true but the second my kid cries she is baffled.
12-20-2013 09:47 PM

LOL, good to know I'm not alone. She is over at our house EVERY DAY and I don't know how to change that. It is usually for a brief period of time. Our older daughters go to schools on opposite sides of town that begin and end at the same time, so I drop off/pick up one and she drops off/picks up the other. During that brief period of time every day, though, there is sighing and head shaking and scolding over the state of the house or something or other. Good grief!

12-20-2013 09:32 PM
LLQ1011 Limiting time with in laws is the only way I stay sane.
12-20-2013 06:49 PM

My MIL is making me crazy :irked
I feel like she will never think I am good enough for my partner. I get that whole "no one is ever good enough" for your kid thing, but this is beyond that. I know that she is frustrated that I don't make more money and that I don't clean more. My partner also does not make enough money, and also is not the cleanliest. Our house is not a disaster, just messy! Every time she comes over the first thing she does is scold me for something (dishes that haven't been taken care of yet, a dirty diaper not thrown away yet, something that fell on the floor, accidentally dropping my phone, anything!). After that, everything feels fake or forced. I talked to my partner about it and she said she tries to tell her mom that she wouldn't be happy if we weren't together. The fact that she has had to tell her mom that just shows that her mom doesn't like me! I am sad about this. Her mom and step-dad are the only family we live near. My family lives across the country. I wish we could live by them. I don't know what to do about this. I try to clean more but I have a 6 month old and our 11 yr old and 15 yr old don't help at all or clean up after themselves at all! What really pisses me off is that she thinks it would be easier for my partner if I were not there. That is just crazy! She would have more work to do! Maybe my partner does a bit more cleaning than I do, but it's pretty even, and she would have no help if it weren't for me. Anyway, that is besides the point. I just don't know how to fix things between my MIL and I. I think she would rather her daughter have a maid than a partner. I'm just really sad about it. :( She is over at our house every day. She is great help by watching the kids and baby when we are both working, and helping me with getting the girls to and from school. But I hate feeling so judged and I hate having all this resentment and I hate all the fake and forced interactions. I am so kind to her and I do my best, I admit cleaning is not my strong suit. But that is not why my partner married me!

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