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This is going to be very long, I'm sorry in advance!

My husband and I got married about a minute before I got pregnant with our 3 week old DD, and our one and only major argument and issue throughout our marriage so far has been his mother. His mother is extremely strange, and has no sense of boundaries or manners. I can give you a few examples...

We eloped, and planned a wedding reception for a month later. His mom told me that she used to make wedding cakes. I'd tasted some of her baked goods, and they were wonderful, and I trusted her word, figuring that if people paid her to do it, she was decent at it. She also volunteered to make many other dishes, despite my DH and I telling her many times that she didn't have to, since she was driving from about 4 hours away. So the weekend of our reception comes. MIL is supposed to arrive Friday night...reception is at 2 pm Sunday. MIL does not arrive until 11 pm on SATURDAY night, and she has not prepared ANYTHING for the reception ahead of time. She tells us she will get up at 5 am Sunday, that we should sleep in because she doesn't want anyone in her way while she cooks. We wake up at 930 am, and she is still sleeping. Nothing is done. She sits around drinking coffee while casually beginning to make things, and promises me everything will be done in time. Fast forward until the afternoon, when I am FREAKING OUT while trying to fix my hair and makeup because none of the food is close to being done. We ended up having to go out and buy food for the reception at Publix, and she showed up with the wedding cake (which looked and tasted HORRIBLE) a half hour before the end of our reception, as we started cleaning up. My DH spent the entire time on the phone with her, first urging her to hurry up, then giving her directions to the place, etc. Nobody really met my MIL or DH's best friend, who went to our house to help her, and my DH still says that the reception was one of the worst days of his life...it was so stressful, which is exactly what we didn't want, hence the elopement! Also, everyone was there for me...DH didn't have a single person there that was 'his' to celebrate with him! MIL told DH to tell me she is sorry, and when he told her how upset we were, she became manipulative, telling him she is old and she works so hard and her arthritis was bothering her, etc etc. Some time later she did apologize to me over the phone but she never took responsibility for not preparing or planning ahead, blaming everything on her arthritis. She then invited herself back to our house to stay the night although she had planned to leave after our reception, despite our other house guests saying to her, "We found somewhere else to stay tonight so they can have their 'wedding' night alone."

Each time she comes in town, MIL does the same thing...tells us she will be here at a certain time, then shows up much later...we end up waiting up until all hours of the night for her. She always brings us a lot of junk--falling apart, ripped, stained stuff--that she has bought from yard sales or thrift stores that we cannot use. Then while she is up here, she finds something around our house that she needs to fix or make for us, and the night before she is supposed to leave, she starts on this project, and ends up inviting herself to stay an extra day or two. When she is not in town, she often calls my DH 2-3 times in one day. Sometimes, if he does not answer his phone, she will call multiple times, or she will call mine within 30 seconds, as if it is some sort of emergency, but when we call back, she has a non-urgent question or was just calling to talk...these calls usually interrupt meals, sleep, trying to DTD, etc.

This last visit was the straw that broke the camels back. I didn't want her to visit so soon after the baby, but she was adamant about coming up right away. I made DH fend her off for 2 weeks, and he told her she needed to stay in a hotel...since the last time she visited us, we moved from a 2 bedroom house into a 1 bedroom apartment, and with having a new baby, an out of town visitor would be too much. She, as usual, didn't arrive on Friday when she was supposed to, so although we'd scheduled our weekend around her arrival, she didn't get here until Saturday night. She spent a few minutes ooo-ing and ahh-ing over her grandchild (not her first one), then spent the rest of the weekend glued to my husband...she really had nothing to do with the baby. I spent most of the weekend alone with the baby while her and my DH did various projects (finishing up cleaning and repairs at our old house, etc) She was planning to leave Monday morning first thing, and after having the new baby and moving, we were really looking forward to spending time as a new family, just the three of us, for the last few days DH had off of work. She checked out of her hotel Monday morning, we all went out to breakfast, and at breakfast she said, "So I guess I am not staying another day..." DH and I said, "Yeah, but we will see you when you come back in a month or two." Awhile later, she says to my DH, "I know you really, really wanted me to stay another day." Awkward silence. DH said nothing. A bit later, I hear her in our bathroom on the phone, cancelling something she had going on in her hometown later that day, saying, "My son asked me to stay another night." I tell DH, he takes her aside to talk to her. He told her, "I did not ask you to stay another day." So she begins to guilt trip him, saying that we always want to get rid of her, that she isn't welcome here, and 'why does Kara dislike me so much?' He doesn't give her any answers, but tells her he will talk to ME about her staying! He told me he didn't mean to throw me under the bus, he just didn't know how to say to her face, "Leave!" and was trying to stall. Well, she never asked him or I again. She went out, and bought a bunch of stuff to start a sewing project for us, and started making it. She assumed she was staying with us. In our 1 bedroom apartment. With a tiny baby. She ended up not leaving until Tuesday close to dinner time!!!

My DH is annoyed by all of these things, but says to me over and over that his mom is the only family he has (she is married but he is not close to his step dad), and she is old and sick and sad, and he doesn't want to hurt her. He also says he's told her a million times that she needs to respect him as an adult and that she just doesn't listen. He says he is done arguing with me about it and that I just need to try to like his mom. He also says if I have a problem with her I am the one who needs to talk to her about it and he refuses to confront her about the way she crossed boundaries the last time she was here.

It makes him sound like such a jerk, but he really isn't. He is absolutely the most laid back person I know, and prefers to just let things slide. One of the things I love about him is that he is so sweet and gentle and kind to the women in his life...but it's starting to cause a serious problem in our relationship. He thinks he shouldn't have to 'choose sides' between his mom and I, and that her inappropriate behavior isn't that big of a deal. I, on the other hand, would be 100% fine with never having her visit here again. In fact, I am at the point where I feel as if she comes back to visit before apologizing and stating that she understands our boundaries, then I will take the baby and go stay somewhere else while she is here. Otherwise, I am afraid I will end up blowing up and saying things that are extremely damaging to my MIL and I's already fragile relationship.

How can I make my husband understand how important it is that his mom doesn't keep walking all over us?!?
 

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first, to give yourself some release, just accept that when she IS coming, she will be late.

second, make specific arrangements to 'end cap' her trip. for example, we tend to make afternoon plans on the mornings when my ILs are coming so that things don't drag on. my husband doesn't like to 'disappoint' his parents, and therefore will let things go on, and during this time, gets emotionally thrashed by them, so, i started planning events for 3 in the afternoon. they leave at 2-2:30, and we have something at three. even if we don't, i tell my husband that we do, and he gets a sense of urgency about their visit having an end.

with this, it's helpful to learn about her guilt-methods and work on them before you know that you'll inviteher. that is, you know that she may say "why does K not like me?" and your DH can answer: it's not that she doesn't like you, it's that she likes to know her schedule well in advance. or something similar. having scripts is really helpful.

good luck!
 

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Sorry, no real advice, but this jumped out at me:

Quote:
He thinks he shouldn't have to 'choose sides' between his mom and I, and that her inappropriate behavior isn't that big of a deal.
Umm, didn't he "choose" a side when he married you?

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
make specific arrangements to 'end cap' her trip. for example, we tend to make afternoon plans on the mornings when my ILs are coming so that things don't drag on. my husband doesn't like to 'disappoint' his parents, and therefore will let things go on, and during this time, gets emotionally thrashed by them, so, i started planning events for 3 in the afternoon. they leave at 2-2:30, and we have something at three. even if we don't, i tell my husband that we do, and he gets a sense of urgency about their visit having an end.
We have done this. So she says, "Well I will just stay here and wait for you to get back!" And she does. Urgggggggg.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lynn08 View Post
Sorry, no real advice, but this jumped out at me:

Umm, didn't he "choose" a side when he married you?


No doubt. I was so angry for so many years when dh would give me this "I won't choose sides" thing. Then he finally got fed up with her enough to decide he was on my side.


MIL issues are a PITA.

My MIL is similar .....she will say she will do something for us, and then mess it up, and then give us the guilt trip with "I'm doing the best I can."

I've learned not to rely on her.

Also, I've learned to not ask my dh to talk to her about something. I just talk to her myself if I'm upset enough. Confront her yourself. Maybe if your dh doesn't like that, he'll quit giving you the "I'm in the middle" line.

Also, we do two things about MIL being late:

* we tell her an earlier time than we really want her, knowing she'll be late.
* we start dinner (or whatever) without her. We don't wait for her. If we were going somewhere and she is late, we go anyway. We just don't let her "hold us up" anymore.

I know how hard it is, but you have to set boundaries now, or this will ONLY get worse.
 

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Umm do we have the same MIL?! Lol it is crazy, my MIL sounds JUST like yours. My husband and I have been married for 5 years and she has wreaked havoc on our marriage. I think for us (and prob. for you too) it is going to come down to having very firm boundaries with her. My MIL not only invited herself to visit but also to LIVE with us. After a very long 4 months, tons of drama and stress etc we had to just kick her out. While she was living here she was rude, nosy, bossy etc. She gave my DH and I no privacy...we live in a tiny 2 bed 1 bath duplex so it is not like 5 people were meant to live here anyway. My husband and I almost separated during that time because it took such a toll on us. Now we have very firm boundaries with her. She can see the kids once a week, she cannot call more than a couple times a week (was calling 5 or more times a day) and she cannot be rude to us or cause any drama. It seems like she has settled down some so that is good. Our life is finally going back to normal.

Anyway sorry to turn this into a thread all about me and my MIL lol but I can totally commiserate because I know how it feels to have a strange and annoying MIL! Good luck to you and if you ever want to PM to talk about it I would love that!!
 

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BTW I felt a lot of anger and resentment toward DH because I felt like he needed to be a strong man and stand up to his Mom and put his 2 kids and wife first. There was a lot of conflict about that. I think he finally realized that he needed to be firm with her and take a stand and we are doing a lot better now!
 

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I agree with PP.

Do not sit around and wait on her! If you have to leave somewhere, leave a note on the door with your number and when you expect to be back. If she gives you grief tell her "Well, MIL, we expected you much earlier in the day and we need to get this errand done." And leave it at that. No more waiting around for her to show up whenever.

And I totally agree about making plans for the day you expect her to leave. "So sorry, MIL, but we have XYZ to do that was scheduled around your visit time."

Expect her to be late. Expect to get the guilt trips. I get these all the time and I have learned just to let it slide off my back. It is a difficult skill to master though.
 

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To me the biggest issue is her extending her visits.

The late thing is annoying, yes. But try to look at it as one less day you have to spend with her. I am sure she has your cell phone number. If you aren't home when she finally arrives, she will give you a call.

The project thing happens with ym MIL and it drives me crazy. What we do now is invent stupid simple projects for her that we don't really care about. Or, ask her to cook some meals for you to put in the freezer. Even if she is a terrible cook, it will keep her busy and you can just throw them away when she leaves if need be.

Now, coming back to the leaving thing. This one really you need your DH on board with to make it happen. Maybe if you completely let go of all the other stuff he will agree to enforce it. If not, maybe you should step up and be the "bad guy" and tell her she really needs to leave. When/if she acts offended or asks why, tell her the truth (or a version of it anyway)- that you are an introvert and it stresses you out soooo much to have company and you also really like to stick to a schedule, so you will be needing her to go ahead and leave as planned. Then load her stuff into the car, hug her and tell her goodbye, and go back into the house. Hopefully she isn't crazy enough to follow you back into the house- you can't send a clearer signal than that!
 

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I just want to offer you a hug because I have inlaws with boundary issues. And say that you need to tell your husband that when he married you became his primary concern and now his child as well. That if he puts his mother first you will have to adjust and by that you mean, leave if she shows up. A one bedroom apartment is no place for any guest and she doesn't even know how to be a good one. I would set your boundaries with your husband. She may come for X days and stay in a hotel. Don't wait for her. If she is late, go to bed or go out and do what you want. She can call your cell when she arrives. Go on with your life. If she decides to stay past when you said you could accomodate a visit, go to your mom's or a friends and stay till she leaves. I had to be very firm about things with my husband first. He didn't like where it was taking OUR relationship so eventually he became very firm with his parents. It got better once I stopped being wishy washy and accepting BS from him first.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ihugtrees View Post
We have done this. So she says, "Well I will just stay here and wait for you to get back!" And she does. Urgggggggg.
Can you tell her that on your return you will be having wild monkey sex all over the apt. and that she better like to watch?

I seriously think you need to say, "your visit is over now and I would like my home and husband back now". If she needs to see your dh more often then he needs to go visit her. At her house. I have done this as well. My dh goes to his parents once or twice a year now. Saves me a lot of aggravation.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by homewithtwinsmama View Post
Can you tell her that on your return you will be having wild monkey sex all over the apt. and that she better like to watch?


:
 

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Wow!! I am so sorry you are going through this! That sounds crazy! I am sorry I have no advice for you, but wanted to give you a hug!
 

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Originally Posted by nummies View Post
And I totally agree about making plans for the day you expect her to leave. "So sorry, MIL, but we have XYZ to do that was scheduled around your visit time."
Do you have a friend or relative with a guest room 1-2 hours drive away? Make a plan to leave at 2pm (or whatever) and go visit your friend. Have a massage scheduled, or something else nice to look forward to. If your husband does not want to go along (or has work) it can be his problem to get rid of her.

It is your husband's job to gently ask his Mom not to bring things from the thrift shop. "We have a one bedroom apartment, we just don't have room." If you want to be "nice", you can give her a super narrow list of things she can get for you at the thrift shop - Hanna Anderson clothing, Playmobil toys, and unopened Lego sets. (all very hard to find) At a yard sale recently, my customer was only "allowed" to buy t-shirts and shorts for her grandsons. She did not whine about this at all


If your husband needs more time with his Mom, you may suggest that he visit her (weekends) on his own. The MIL will get the attention she needs, and your husband will come to appreciate your calm, quiet house even more than he does now.
I would always encourage/offer these visits, as they will be self-limiting and will help him separate from her. Over time, your daughter will have more "personallity" and your husband will realize staying home with the kid is more fun than visiting Mom.
 

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I have a MIL much like that. Fortunately, my husband has no problem standing up to her and he always has my back. As for me, I'm more like your husband. I hate conflict or thinking that I've made someone feel bad. So your MIL either cannot read social cues, chooses to ignore them or is willfully ignorant. Although I think husbands should handle their own parents and wives, theirs, in this case, you probably need to work as a team. The next time she visits, and it is Monday and she's not leaving, you and your DH need to stand side by side and tell her together that it was great seeing her but you need her to go home today. You could come up with some reason, but you two standing there saying it together should give your husband some courage when she pulls him aside.

Don't know - wish there was a cure for annoying MILs.
 

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for me, it's easy enough to say that i don't feel comfortable with that (that is, them hanging around until we're done), and also that we've had our time together (as scheduled) and now it is time for our lives to go back to normal.

in our situation, we are busy, busy people. when people visit, we essentially put our lives on "hold" for them, to be with them, and we cannot afford to extend that beyond the parameters of the visit. therefore, extensions are not allowed (they are also very rude).

while your husband believes that he shouldn't have to choose between you and that her behaviors are "normal" (and no doubt, they are normal "for him" and "for his family"), the fact is that you two are creating a new family now and a new culture that needs to take into consideration YOUR needs and expectations.

he needs to listen to your needs and stand firm to her. my husband STILL struggles with this, but knows it is important. so your DH has to learn to say "no mom, it's time for you to go. we set aside time for your visit and now it's time for us to get on with the things that we need to do here. we love you, but we cannot have you stay indefinitely."
 

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My husband's mother was just like that!!! OMG, I hated it! She would just walk into the bathroom or into my room any old time she pleased, she'd stay overnight whenever, she insisted on visiting after my middle one was born even though dh and I both told her to WAIT and give us some time to adapt to another little one in the house, she would "help" but it ended up being much more work for me than if she hadn't tried helping at all, she was critical, overbearing, and controlling.

She died last year. I couldn't be happier.

You have my sympathy.
 

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This kind of thing aggravates me to no end. I don't understand why some men are so willing to forget about the feelings of their wives, and mothers of their children, to coddle and satisfy the selfish whims and whines of their mother.

I love my mom. I really do. But, there is no way in HELL I would tolerate such shennanigans from her. Ever.

Men (and some women) need to think about who comes first. When you marry, your spouse and kids come first. They need to grow up and put Mommy in her place if need be.

Oh and the "she's old and sick" thing doesn't fly with me either. If she is so sick, she doesn't need to be visiting and staying on so long. Being old and even being sick, is not an excuse to be rude.
 

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I hope I never act like that when I am a MIL.

However, I hope that my sons will be gentle to me, if I do act like a jerk when they are grown up and married. Just as I am doing my best to be gentle with my parenting - even when they are unreasonable.

Once I started thinking of things that way - imagining myself on the other side of the MIL fence - I found a way to be nicer to my MIL. I vent my frustrations after her visits, but I also find ways to tolerate more than I thought I ever could, in the name of respect for the woman who raised my fabulous husband. BUT - it took *me* feeling confident that my husband had my back 100% before I could easily let go of my issues with MIL.

In that vein, I think SuzyLee had good suggestions - find a way to deal with the lateness and the projects, and pick and choose where to draw the line - like ending the visit at the specified time. Or maybe invite her for two days, but in your mind, plan for three days starting one day later than the planned arrival. Or, if you don't like playing mind games, be very extremely upfront about your availability, and then make yourselves unavailable for real (as PPs suggested) at the end of her visit. That's not cruel to her, and she will by necessity learn soon enough not to play mind games.
 

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He ABSOLUTELY has to take sides, and the side he's on needs to be yours.

And it's not a matter of you having a problem with her. SHE is the one with the problem, and it's HIS responsibility to set her straight. However, if he won't, then you have to.

OMG, this would be an absolute deal-breaker for me. Hugs to you.
 
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