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MIL from H#LL

Before she was my mother-in-law, she was cold and distant.  She prefers time alone with her two sons - all of the time.  If my husband brings me along, it's clearly an imposition.  In the five years we have been together she has yet to actually get to know me...my conversations with her are generally initiated by me asking questions about her cat, love life, etc.  I honestly don't even know that she knows what I do professionally (a big part of my life), nor do I think she cares.  She tells my husband that we have "nothing in common," yet she hasn't taken the time to determine whether or not that is true.

Fast forward to our wedding day.  The woman wore earplugs during our ceremony.  That is not a joke.  She stared at a side wall and wore earplugs.  Fast forward a few months (we have been married for 6m) - when my husband initiates a conversation with her to determine how she might be able to involve/welcome me as a new member of the family, she says: "I don't like [my name], being around her is like nails on a chalkboard to me.  I wish you would stop forcing her on me.  I want to spend time with my SON.  Not her."  There was a period during which the two of us did not speak to MIL - approximately one month - until her birthday at which time DH visited with her and she let him know all of the reasons she has convinced herself she doesn't like me.  

My apologies for the novel - that's the background.  My question: What to do about Thanksgiving?

We have 4 sets of parents (both sides divorced).  Both sides of divorcees hate one another, so cannot be in the same room at the same time.  Our thought: to avoid 4 of both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, why not do a joint holiday...the Dads a few days before, the Moms the day of.  Everyone has signed on...except for her.  Because we haven't asked her.  My husband says he is 100% sure she will say NO, and if that is the case we're not sure what plan B should be.  If she declines the invitation do we say, "We were hoping to see you but this is what WE will be doing.  We really hope you enjoy the day." OR do we bend over for her (again) and tell my sweet mother that she'll only have part of Thanksgiving/Christmas day again as we need to spend half of it (with me clearly uninvited and unwelcome in her home) with MIL.

What to do?  Advice appreciated.  Our long-term goal: a healthy, happy relationship with ALL of our parents.  Emphasis on the healthy.
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Re: MIL from H#LL

  • PS - I forgot to note that DH and I are happily hosting both joint events, so it's not as if one set of parents has to go to the house of the other.  Neutral playground for all - we'll even do all of the cooking/cleaning (unless someone insists otherwise - we're flexible).  
  • I agree with PP, your idea is pretty spot on. Let her know your plan, and if she declines, well, sorry, but this is how DH and I have planned to spend the Holidays, if you would like to join us you are more than welcome. At least do it for Thanksgiving, if she sees that you really aren't going to bend backwards for her, she'll probably come for Christmas.
    mrsqbnoffgurlSheMarie82
  • Thank you, ladies!  I'm trying to balance planning - and acting - in the best interests of our future relationship with her with making the process as painless as possible for DH.  He agrees things need to change, and that his mom is a MIL from H#LL... he's just incredibly sensitive to her happiness and doesn't want to hurt her, even if she's doing it to herself.  I'm going to continue pushing the "Hope to see you...this is OUR plan, you're invited" approach and cross my fingers that DH can stay strong.  We keep reminding ourselves: in order to have a healthy, long-term relationship with his mom/MIL, we need to set the tone NOW.  I'm here to stay!
    OtterJnoffgurl
  • Nope, you tell her " Sorry, we won't be able to see you on that day.  Hope you have a good thanksgiving "and let it go.  

    Not to sound like a jerk, but why is your husband more sensitive to her happiness and her feelings than yours ?  

    Look, it's been several years now.  She didn't like you when you were dating, she didn't like you once you were married and I highly doubt she will like you if you gave her grandchildren.  It is time for your husband to come to terms with this and stop fawning over her.   You might not ever have a healthy relationship with her, but the most important thing is that she knows you two will set boundaries.  Let her know now that you are a team and she will not be seeing him without you.  If that means she will be seeing him less, than that was HER decision to make.  She doesn't have to be best friends with you, she doesn't even have to like you, but she does need to be polite and civil.  If she can't do that, then she will have to deal with the consequences of her decision.
    mrsqbVOR
  • I agree with sticking with your plan. I would be truly po'ed if my DH gave in to her manipulations
    mrsqbSheMarie82
  • @Disneygeek77, that's a fabulous question... "Why is your husband more sensitive to her happiness and her feelings than yours?"  Perhaps I need to be a squeakier wheel? :)  I try to lessen the emotional load for him in relation to this issue, while MIL sends nasty-grams via email and text on a routine basis to let him know how disappointed she is in him.  I'm slowly trying to help him create some boundaries (in the background) with his mother rather than manipulating him to do so (like MIL would do)...I'm learning as I go along and so is he :)
  • edited October 2014
    mrsqb said:

    You have an inherently flawed marriage, thaks to the fact his mother always came first. I can't see how this marriage will last or be a healthy one.

    Most of this mess you are reporting is a husband problem...not a MIL problem:

    Before she was my mother-in-law, she was cold and distant.  She prefers time alone with her two sons - all of the time.  If my husband brings me along, it's clearly an imposition. 

    What has your H got to say TO his mother about how you --- his wife and new family  --- are treated?

    2's company and 3s a crowd, then?

    Not on yer life or anyone else's life.

    This treatment you are getting is bullshit.

    He needs to stand up for you and tell it like it is to his mother. And that is no questions asked.

    And if he will not take a stand for you and make sure his mother cuts this mess out for good, you will be an imposition and tenth wheel forever. His mother will come first and you will be treated like garbage by her for good.

    Is this favorable and agreeable to you? I am sure it is not. He has to stand up for you and do it now --- heck, he needed to do this several years ago when you started to date him and it was evident you were nothing in her eyes.

    He isn't exactly a keeper, either: he is letting his mother treat you horribly. He always has! Why did you marry this jerk???

    In the five years we have been together she has yet to actually get to know me...my conversations with her are generally initiated by me asking questions about her cat, love life, etc.

    So you are still a stranger to her.

    This is "on her". I don't know if she is simply a stand offish type or she simply is like this to you only --- what's the verdict?

     I honestly don't even know that she knows what I do professionally (a big part of my life), nor do I think she cares.  She tells my husband that we have "nothing in common," yet she hasn't taken the time to determine whether or not that is true.

    Fast forward to our wedding day.  The woman wore earplugs during our ceremony.  That is not a joke.  She stared at a side wall and wore earplugs. 

    Why didn't somebody stop her? Like....the OFFICIANT???

    If i was officiating a wedding and I saw ANY guest do this, I'd have stopped the ceremony and gone up to that person, pointedly tapped him or her on the shouder and ordered that person to remove the offending objects or he or she would be removed by ME

    Dear God: why didn't somebody stop that monster from doing that???.

    I am starting to wonder if she is a bona fide mental case with an emotional problem. Wow --- who does this???

    And that nobody stopped her positively slays me. Wow.

    Fast forward a few months (we have been married for 6m) - when my husband initiates a conversation with her to determine how she might be able to involve/welcome me as a new member of the family, she says: "I don't like [my name], being around her is like nails on a chalkboard to me.  I wish you would stop forcing her on me.  I want to spend time with my SON.  Not her." 

    Your "husband should have gone off on her and given her hell on wheels.

    And then CUT HER OFF there and then until she came to her senses.

    That's RIGHT: Stop taking her calls, her texts her anything --- until she came to her senses and makes it clear she will treat you civilly.

    You should be positively livid at your husband! This is now an H problem, not a pain in the ass mother in law problem!

    And you say she has a second H? Why isn't this man being a little more proactive for you? He stands idly by and just watches this and lets it go? What kind of creep is he???

    Nobody should permit a stranger in the street to be treated this way! This is all about decency and principle and kindness. What's wrong with him???

    I cannot tell you how revolting this entire mess is. It has to be stopped and stopped NOW; stand up for yourself and let your H know that he has to end this mess immediately, no questions asked.

    You have been married 6 months.

    I would rethink your "husband" at this point -- what are you supposed to do -- go through a potential 49 1/2 years more of this bullshit???

    You need to give him hell for this and how.

    And I very strongly suggest counseling for the both of you. This isn't just an apron strings thing; this is a complete misunderstanding your H has:

    1-The vow is "forsaking all others" and he is forsaking you

    and

    2-YOU are HIS FAMILY now --- you and he are one whole unit.

    He is to put YOU FIRST, without question and without a negative word about it.

    Counseling, stat.

    And if he does not get it that you come first, I suggest you tell him the road is his and to go home to his mommy. I'm serious.


    There was a period during which the two of us did not speak to MIL - approximately one month - until her birthday at which time DH visited with her and she let him know all of the reasons she has convinced herself she doesn't like me. 

    Uh huh.

    And what did this prize prince you married say in reaction to this revelation of hers?

    And not only did he not blow sky high and give his mother a piece of his mind and make sure she STAYED cut off...

    He did nothing and welcomed his mother back into YOUR lives with open arms.

    And didn't say one word when she handed him this punch list entitled "Why I Don't Like Mrs QB"!

    Is he KIDDING???

    WHY are you tolerating this?

    WHY?

    My apologies for the novel - that's the background.  My question: What to do about Thanksgiving?


    We have 4 sets of parents (both sides divorced). 

    You means she has been divorced.... and Miss Charm managed to snare herself another gentleman caller to marry?

    He must be quite the lollapalooza! I'll bet she treats him like dirt. The apple never falls far from the tree.

    And he is a jackass, too, for letting YOU be treated like this!

    Both sides of divorcees hate one another, so cannot be in the same room at the same time.  Our thought: to avoid 4 of both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, why not do a joint holiday...the Dads a few days before, the Moms the day of.  Everyone has signed on...except for her.  Because we haven't asked her.  My husband says he is 100% sure she will say NO, and if that is the case we're not sure what plan B should be.  If she declines the invitation do we say, "We were hoping to see you but this is what WE will be doing.  We really hope you enjoy the day." OR do we bend over for her (again) and tell my sweet mother that she'll only have part of Thanksgiving/Christmas day again as we need to spend half of it (with me clearly uninvited and unwelcome in her home) with MIL.

    What to do?  Advice appreciated.  Our long-term goal: a healthy, happy relationship with ALL of our parents.  Emphasis on the healthy.

    PS - I forgot to note that DH and I are happily hosting both joint events, so it's not as if one set of parents has to go to the house of the other.  Neutral playground for all - we'll even do all of the cooking/cleaning (unless someone insists otherwise - we're flexible)

    What do you do?

    You do not invite your pig mother in law.,

    And I would not invite that H of hers, either. The both of them suck eggs.

    And that his mother and her husband are NOT invited is is as per YOU.

    Your decision and tough titty if your "husband" does not agree with your decision.

    I would make it clear to your "husband" right now-- Thanksgiving is in 29 days --- that his mother will not be invited to that event, nor will she be invited to any event in your home ever and this is your decision.

    And if he doesn't like it, too bad. He can make alternate plans --- the dinner will be minus him and his mother and her wuss husband and the day goes on as planned.

    Do not invite her.

    Shit, why is he still talking to her considering she's treating you like garbage? What's wrong with him???

    All of this is fine by him, by fact of the matter he has not told his mother off.

    Forget Thanksgiving: right now here is what you need to do:

    1-Tell your "h" that he is to get on that phone and tell his mother she is cut out of your lives for good, thanks to her behavior and that she is no longer welcome to be part of your lives.

    If he refuses, send him home to her and seek an annulment. I'm serious: he isn't a husband: he is his mother's doormat and he is treating YOU like one, too. This is zero character on his part.

    Where did you find him? I am curious...

    2- If you insist on staying married to him,:

    Demand you and he get counseling: he needs to stick up for you starting now and he needs to understand he is part of an unhealthy marriage dynamic.

    He is to go with you and if he goes begrudgingly or refuses: Give serious thought to showing him the door. it is essential he break this pattern and start putting you first.

    3-You start standing up for yourself. Why are you permitting her to treat you so rottenly???

    Your "H" has continually dropped the ball, at the expense of his marriage and at the expense of you feeling like a piece of dung and an outsider.. He should be ashamed of himself.

    You have quite the mess here.-- and all courtesy of your "husband." This bullshit should have ended the second she started this mess and I'll bet she was like this once it was clear you and he were a committed couple.

    And to tell you the truth, that is when you should have said goodbye to him. Why do you want a boyfriend whose mother treats you terribly? And why do you want a guy who can't stand up for you?  What you see is what you get, as you've concluded by now, I hope --- he was not going to change.

    He tells her where to go and cuts her off for good...or he suffers the consequences. Give serious thought to telling him to go home to his mother and then you get an annullment. WOW --- you want your KIDS....(if you are dumb enough to conceive with a pushover, a spineless weasel and somebody who puts you last) around a pig like her? Think about it.
    Ilumine
  • Disneygeek77Disneygeek77 member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2014
    Well if I am going to be completely honest, I think you are being a doormat and I am having a hard time wondering why you tolerated this kind of behavior from both of them for so long.  

    Stick to your Thanksgiving plans ( or like Tarpon said, don't even invite her ) and if your husband starts wringing his hands over mommy's hurt feelings, you look at him straight in the eye and say "" Look buddy, someone in this situation is going to be upset.  So you can either upset your mommy or you can upset me, the woman you sleep next to every night and the woman you vowed to ' Put above all others and let no one come between.'  So who's it gonna be, me or her. "

    As you can see, what you are currently doing isn't working, so you need to step it up and be honest and blunt about how HIS behavior makes you feel.  And please don't ever think of it as manipulating him.  You would be holding him accountable to the vows he made to you on your wedding day.  I too have had to use the phrase " someone here is going to be upset " with my husband only once and it was like a light bulb went off.  He realized that I was going to be upset too and it was much better to have an upset mom than an upset wife.  
    VORmrsqbIlumineSheMarie82
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    I can't ditto both of Disney's posts enough. Spot on. You've been around for 5 years. THIS IS WHO SHE IS. And your DH kowtowing to her and trying not to hurt her poor, little, sensitive feelings... you know what that is? MANIPULATION. She is manipulating everyone around her - even YOU. Just stop. Stop playing into her hand. ANd stand a firmer ground w/ your DH.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    I can't ditto both of Disney's posts enough. Spot on. You've been around for 5 years. THIS IS WHO SHE IS. And your DH kowtowing to her and trying not to hurt her poor, little, sensitive feelings... you know what that is? MANIPULATION. She is manipulating everyone around her - even YOU. Just stop. Stop playing into her hand. ANd stand a firmer ground w/ your DH.
  • edited October 2014
    mrsqb said:

    And why is this up to YOU to be the one to run interferrence???? This is HIS CALL, NOT YOURS!!!

    Thank you, ladies!  I'm trying to balance planning - and acting - in the best interests of our future relationship with her with making the process as painless as possible for DH.

    What has he done to make things painless for YOU???

    Think about it.

    And as for this:  Excuse ME??? Are you KIDDING? Hell noes:

     He agrees things need to change, and that his mom is a MIL from H#LL... he's just incredibly sensitive to her happiness and doesn't want to hurt her, even if she's doing it to herself.

    Holy moly, sis: how many times has she hurt YOU and how many times has he looked the other way??? How about he start being "incredibly sensitive" to YOUR happiness and how about he does not want to hurt YOU???

    Read your words, honey: can't you see how wrong all of this is? Can't you see that you are trying to fix what he has to repair himself???

     I'm going to continue pushing the "Hope to see you...this is OUR plan, you're invited" approach and cross my fingers that DH can stay strong.  We keep reminding ourselves: in order to have a healthy, long-term relationship with his mom/MIL, we need to set the tone NOW.  I'm here to stay!
    Eff that: she is NOT invited.

    And you did not have a healthy long term relationship with your H. Everything else pales in comparison.

    Eff what kind of relationship you have with her: she is in the wrong and always will be -- and so will your H if he doesn't get his ass in gear and PUT YOU FIRST.

    THe bottom line is that this arrangement cannot continue.

    Your "H" never had the script for how to act, let alone lose the script.

    Do you want a lifetime of trying to fix things so that it is in her favor, while your H keeps putting her first and ignoring your needs...and while you vanish further and further into the back ground?

    I don't think you want that. You are supposed to be his wife and his family unit and his equal, not a referee and a sargeant of arms and a legal mediator!

    He needs to end the enablement of his mother and he needs to be a team with you.

    You tell him his marriage will end if he doesn't start being a man and a husband.

    If you are observant, speak to your clergyperson. Any cleric worthy his or her salt will tell you that he is to put you first and that the vow is, as I said, "forsaking all others."
  • I just can't think past the ear plugs at your ceremony... Wow. Just. Wow.
    mrsqbnurse714
  • @BlueBirdMB ...I know, right?  I was pretty pissed.
    @Disneygeek77 @TarponMonoxide @VOR - thank you for the "tough love" -  it's clear that I needed it.  And I love the statement "Someone in this situation is going to be upset."  Because it's true.  I have been having routine nightmare about it and am inwardly dying for him to punch MIL in the face (hard) and let her know she's a far lower priority to him than I am.  A lot of the fault is mine, however - I have downplayed how hurt I have been in order to try to make things easier for him.  It is definitely time for him to do the same for me, and for me to let him know exactly what that will look like.  I have no doubt where his loyalty is (it's with me), but he's been given a free pass to avoid confrontation/breaking with his mother for a long while now.  I need to speak up so that it ends in a way that is fair and protective of Me and Us.  

    This was incredibly helpful - thanks to ALL of you - in determining what I need to do for Thanksgiving.  I will invite her - I can't cut people out of my life (call me a doormat) - but on my terms, in my territory, no other options.  Crossing my fingers that B declines...


    SheMarie82
  • Also, in response to why I "tolerate" him... I love him.  Completely.  I knew who he was, and what his weaknesses were, the day I agreed to marry him.  I've known it for years.  I entered into my marriage understanding this would likely be an ongoing issue, but one I am willing to live with in order to be with him.  No one is perfect, and this is one of his big issues.  I certainly have mine as well.  I accept it - but that doesn't mean that I'm going to give up working on it :)
    OtterJSheMarie82
  • I just can't think past the ear plugs at your ceremony... Wow. Just. Wow.
    That is cruel beyond measure and disgusting.

    She cannot be normal. She's got to be mental.

    And it slays me nobody stopped her.
  • Well, it's high time he starts showing his love for you.  Not with words but with real actions.  That means putting you first and that certainly means not standing for her toxic and abusive behavior.  This man is your husband and you need to start expecting more out of him.  

    I understand you love him, but you need to be completely honest about how his actions hurt you.  He needs to know that this bothers you so much that it is giving you nightmares and you have fantasies of him punching her in the face.  You are not making things any easier for him by keeping this information from him.  He needs to know.  

    Be honest, be direct and be blunt.  Don't sugarcoat.  
    VORTarponMonoxide
  • I just can't think past the ear plugs at your ceremony... Wow. Just. Wow.
    That is cruel beyond measure and disgusting.

    She cannot be normal. She's got to be mental.

    And it slays me nobody stopped her.
    Exactly.  You guys will never have a healthy relationship with her.  You both need to accept that.  What matters are most are healthy boundaries and a healthy relationship between you two.

  • mrsqb said:
    Also, in response to why I "tolerate" him... I love him.  Completely.  I knew who he was, and what his weaknesses were, the day I agreed to marry him.  I've known it for years.  I entered into my marriage understanding this would likely be an ongoing issue, but one I am willing to live with in order to be with him.  No one is perfect, and this is one of his big issues.  I certainly have mine as well.  I accept it - but that doesn't mean that I'm going to give up working on it :)
    Honey, I honestly believe you are confusing "quirks" with "problems".  

    One LIVES with someone who leaves the toilet seat up or has to load the dishwasher in a specific way.  One DOES NOT ACCEPT their spouse or ANY OTHER PERSON to treat them in such a dismissive manner. 

    Sure, YOU may have downplayed your hurt feelings, but honestly, he should have dealt with his mother's outright lack of common courtesy and respect BECAUSE IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR ANYONE.  

    Let us be honest, in his business life, would he have allowed an employee or co-worker to ignore another co-worker, call the other coworker names and force him to take time away from a group project to spend excessive amounts of individual time? 

    This goes past him putting his mother's feelings over you. Ask him why he treats you worse than he would treat the mailbox and why he feels that that's ok?

    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
    TarponMonoxideSheMarie82
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    I think to what Illumine said - think of people and situations in your life that may provide good examples for your DH. Definitely use work if that's applicable.  Think of other people in your lives - if you were unwanted in their home, how would he react?  If person A treated person B the way his mother treats you, how would he react?

    How would HE feel if your parents were rude to him and made him feel unwelcome?  Pose this to him and tell him to think about it.  REALLY think about it.  As much as he can, he needs to try and put himself in your shoes.

    And all of this will hopefully lead him to say "Yeah- I wouldn't put up with that" - and if so, then clearly the next question is "then why is it o.k. for your mother to treat me like this?".

    I'll say this too - he's been under his mother's thumb for a LONG time.  You need to talk to him and work through this.  It absolutely won't be an overnight change.  And as such, I'd have to say that you might want to consider counseling for him.  You might need more help in getting him to fully understand how wrong and TOXIC his mother is. 

    but Thanksgiving is a good starting place.  If you invite her over and she says no, then STAND FIRM on "well, if you change your mind, let us know.  Too bad (ha ha ) we won't see you.".

    DO NOT bend over backwards to accomodate her.  This is a baby step.  Your DH needs to take this step with you.  No bending over backwards to scramble up plans to fit in his mom if she says no to a very normal and acceptable invitation.
    Disneygeek77
  • Yup, PPs are right.  

    Not to keep harping on you, but please take some time and seriously think about why YOU tolerated this for so long.  No, love is not an excuse.  I love my husband dearly and I wouldn't tolerate this kind of behavior from him.  This really has nothing to do with love but more to do with something deep down inside of you.  I don't know if it's low self esteem or fear of rejection/ retaliation, but I believe it might be beneficial to talk to a professional about it.  Please know, I don't say that as an insult.  I have been to counseling before and I think it was one of the healthiest decisions I ever made.  

    I also want to say that you both need a plan for Thanksgiving day.  I understand you will let her know she is invited, but I am willing to bet you a bajillion dollars that on that day she will be calling him up asking when he will be at her home.  You both need a plan on how you will respond to her " What time are you going to be here ?" question and how to prepare for the inevitable backlash that he won't be going over there.   In addition, I think you might need your own little plan if he leaves you and your mom on Thanksgiving day to spend time with his mom.  
    SheMarie82
  • @VOR - thank you.  You are right, especially when you mention that he has been under his mother's thumb for a LONG time.  He has already gone to counseling before, per my request, to deal with sorting out anxiety he was experiencing and couldn't pinpoint.  I am confident he would seek counseling again, perhaps more enthusiastically, to sort out his/our relationship with his mother.  I am planning to discuss with him this weekend and will also suggest that I participate in counseling sessions with him, where appropriate.  It will be a process, but one he has verbally recognized (it's a start) is important and something he WANTS to do.  

    Background on his mother - she left home when she was 16 and has been, in her opinion, incredibly independent.  She does not form close relationships with other human beings, it is a miracle she got married, and since having had her two boys she has clung to them for dear life.  She is divorced and is the ONE parent we have who has NOT re-married.  She has been engaged twice and broken off the engagement.  She lives alone, works from home, doesn't have friendships, and relies exclusively on her sons for emotional support.  That's how my husband and his brother grew up, with an incredibly attached, manipulative and needy mother.  They know nothing different.  My husband's heart hurts for her because he knows she is alone and doesn't want her to be sad, but is reaching a point where he is willing to allow her to feel sad if she continues to make choices that hurt US.  He has even gone so far as to suggest she seek counseling (THAT did not go well) to learn how to find happiness outside of her sons and work through her inability to connect with other people.

    It will be a process - and I am willing to work on it.  He knows there is a timeline for how long I am willing to put up with this treatment from her and is an inherent procrastinator...he's trying to wait as long as possible through avoidance of her and the topic until he has to rip the bandaid off.  I think Thanksgiving will be out day.

    Thank you, again, all!
    SheMarie82
  • I understand, but she is putting an impossible and unfair burden on her sons.  They should not and should have never been her sole source of happiness and companionship.  They are allowed to grow up, fall in love, get married and have a family of their own.  

    Again, I doubt his relationship with her will ever be a healthy one.   She simply is not the mother he needs and deserves.  If he decides to separate from her for his own well being and the health of his marriage, then so be it.  
  • @Disneygeek77 thank you - and I completely agree with you.  I am amazed at how well DH turned out despite her parenting.  My heart hurts for him because he is ashamed of the way she behaves and wishes she were different - but she's his mother, the only one he has and has ever known. Step by step, we will create the healthy boundaries that should have been set years ago.  We're just stepping carefully (perhaps too carefully). Our greatest take-away from all of this is the ways in which we will and will certainly NOT treat our own child when our time comes.  
  • So have you told her about Thanksgiving yet ?
  • @Disneygeek77 - we're planning to do it this weekend.  My husband travels Mon-Thurs every week, and I want to discuss it with him in person first.  He'll agree, and then we'll call her together.
  • Disneygeek77Disneygeek77 member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2014
    Again, also come up with a plan because I guarantee she will be calling him up on Thanksgiving morning wondering when he is coming over to her home.  

    Also please, please stop making excuses for her or think that they have some sort of super special circumstances.  She is toxic and abusive towards you and that needs to end now. What does it matter if she left home when she was 16 ?  

     My mom is also the only one I have ever known and I would not let her treat my husband like this.  My MIL is the only one he has ever known and he wouldn't let her treat me like this.  I imagine your mother is the only one you have ever known and you probably wouldn't let her treat your husband like this, right ?  So please stop letting both of them get away with this kind of behavior.  Bottom line, no matter what happened before this is wrong and needs to be stopped.  
    TarponMonoxide
  • You are right.  And I think coming up with a plan is SMART.  I hadn't thought of that possibility, but I should have.  Thank you.  Also, that plan will NOT involve my husband leaving me and going over to see his mother.  It will involve us reminding her of our address.

    You're also right - if my mother tried anything even fractionally similar to what MIL has done, I would call her out immediately and defend my husband.  I would also demand an apology...something I will likely never get from MIL.  

    I'll keep everyone posted, if you're interested, re: how the Thanksgiving plan goes!  Until then...flying off to Berlin to meet up with my husband :)
  • Cool.  Updates would be appreciated.

    Have fun, drink some beer.  Maybe have some Schnitzel.
  • mrsqb said:
    @VOR - thank you.  You are right, especially when you mention that he has been under his mother's thumb for a LONG time.  He has already gone to counseling before, per my request, to deal with sorting out anxiety he was experiencing and couldn't pinpoint.  I am confident he would seek counseling again, perhaps more enthusiastically, to sort out his/our relationship with his mother.  I am planning to discuss with him this weekend and will also suggest that I participate in counseling sessions with him, where appropriate.  It will be a process, but one he has verbally recognized (it's a start) is important and something he WANTS to do.  

    Background on his mother - she left home when she was 16 and has been, in her opinion, incredibly independent.  She does not form close relationships with other human beings, it is a miracle she got married, and since having had her two boys she has clung to them for dear life.  She is divorced and is the ONE parent we have who has NOT re-married.  She has been engaged twice and broken off the engagement.  She lives alone, works from home, doesn't have friendships, and relies exclusively on her sons for emotional support.  That's how my husband and his brother grew up, with an incredibly attached, manipulative and needy mother.  They know nothing different.  My husband's heart hurts for her because he knows she is alone and doesn't want her to be sad, but is reaching a point where he is willing to allow her to feel sad if she continues to make choices that hurt US.

    He has even gone so far as to suggest she seek counseling (THAT did not go well) to learn how to find happiness outside of her sons and work through her inability to connect with other people.

    SHE needs counseling --- for her own good, even if it is just to break the apron strings -- but her problem is a great deal worse than that. She needs extensive counseling. Anybody who does what she did at her own son's wedding has got to be a little nuts. Clinically, certifiably NUTS.

    It will be a process - and I am willing to work on it.  He knows there is a timeline for how long I am willing to put up with this treatment from her and is an inherent procrastinator...he's trying to wait as long as possible through avoidance of her and the topic until he has to rip the bandaid off.  I think Thanksgiving will be out day.

    Thank you, again, all!
    I am pretty sure that at best your MIL has a personality disorder. She isn't acting normally and that thing with the earplugs is not normal behavior. That kind of this is not an expression of rancor alone.

    Another thing I can suggest:

    You and your H move away -- and do not give her any forwarding address, any phone numbers or any other information where she would be able to contact you and  your H.

    That would be the only way to get away from her for good --- but the thing is he still has disregarded you and he doesn't seem to think that is bad.

    Even if the 2 of you cut her off for good, the point still remains that he let somebody come between the 2 of you.  I don't know if that kind of a rift can be repaired.

    What bothers me is that you keep saying "I will fix this" "I will work on this" and "I will find a way to make things normal" -- to paraphrase anyway --- I, I , I , I, I --- what about him??? How come you aren't centered on his waking up and realizing he can lose you and his marriage and DO something about his behavior???

    Bottom line is he needs to speak up and tell his mother where to put it and how many times it can go in when it gets there.

    And for every day he does not wake up and make it clear to his mother you come first and that what hurts him hurts you, the rift between the 2 of you will grow larger.

    Go to a counselor on your own first and speak to him or her about this -- I also don't know if this is a cultural thing. And if it is, things are worse for you: the wife takes a back seat and the mother comes in first: that is how it is in many cultures.

    I also would not invite her to any dinner of any kind, not even take out from a Wendy's -- she is liable to start a scene, and let's face it:

    Why should you allow a pig into YOUR home??? She's made it clear she detests you.

    And what is worse is that your H doesn't care how uncomfortable she makes you feel -- he keeps looking the other way.

    He was in no shape to get married. If you cannot stand up to your parents, then you've got a heck of a lot of growing up to do. You are not fit to take a spouse if you can't be your own person.
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