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MIL from H#LL


Re: MIL from H#LL

  • A lot of good advice.

    My ultimate take - I agree, be business like w/ a reply to her email.  She wants drama, she wants an argument.  Don't give it to her.

    BUT as I say that, I really think that your DH needs to get to a place where he can say - and MEAN it- that "if you do not treat my wife w/ respect and include her as a part of this family, then you will not be seeing me either".  Because I feel that needs to happen.  But it can only happen when he'll really be able to back that up.  Meaning - not going to Christmas if she continues to be a bitch about it.

    And I really think that you and DH need to REALLY hash out what it is that the two of you want for the holidays.  Christmas being a gift giving holiday does NOT change anything, BTW.   Your DH can give a gift to his mom some other time if he really needs to.  But it being about gifts doesn't mean he HAS to go over there.  he doesn't.

    As far as being a unit... I don't disagree with what others said about the two of you being a unit, but at the same time - I fully hear you.  Why leave your parents home to go spend time w/ a woman who hates you? 

    While your DH is still working through this- I might be willing to say Christmas is the ONE day that he gets.  The one day where you'll "allow" him to go and spend time alone w/ his mom.  Purely because YOU just don't want to go and because he does. 

    But, that would mean ALL the other times she tries to divide you, he has to be willing to say "no - it's either both of us or neither of us.". 

    And about boundaries - whatever you do in relation to her, you both have to keep it as simple and too the point as possible.  Dont' get into her arguments.  let her cry and whine.  When she gripes about her traditions, your DH has to ignore it.  The message has to be "Treat her w/ respect and include her. If you can't do this, you won't see me either.".  PERIOD. 

    This may have been asked/covered before, but has your DH has any counseling?  It might be worth it in regards to his mom.  She sounds toxic.  He might need some outside help to really understand the impact this has on hm and his life.
  • I can tell you what I did, although the circumstances were a bit different.

    DH's stepmom was an alcoholic.  She was rude and hateful to everyone, but especially DH.  Not me in particular.  In our situation, I felt like I was always being the one stuck with chatting up his step-mom, while DH hung out with his dad.  Also, I was watching our kids, there was smoke in the house, I was the one saying "no, I don't think my one-year old should be eating pepperoni (hard meat)." etc.  Basically, I made everything easy for DH during these visits.

    I informed dh that I was done visiting his dad and stepmom.  I told him I would visit (and bring the kids, be responsible for watching the kids) on three holidays - FILs birthday, Christmas, and Father's Day.  I would also visit FIL outside of their home any time (DH sometimes took his dad to ball games, or if they went to lunch).  Aside from that, DH could visit his dad AS MUCH AS HE WANTED.  He could bring the kids (which I knew he would never do, because they young and the house wasn't baby-proof so they would require constant supervision), but *I* would not be there.

    That was the end of DH's visits.  DH might have gone one time on his own, but he couldn't handle his stepmom without me present to entertain her.

    It worked because I was not giving up on his dad (which would have made DH resentful).  But I was creating boundries that worked for me and that I could live with (3x a year).
  • @mrsqb

    So how did it go ?
  • Sorry for the delayed update!

    So - MIL was invited to Thanksgiving as a shared holiday between the moms and siblings.  We celebrated the previous weekend with both Dads and it was SUCH a success, the Dads get along famously and let us know they'd do it again in a heartbeat next year.

    MIL wrote a pretty harsh email indicating in one line that she'd "rather be alone than spend Thanksgiving with [my]'s Family.  You know how hard it is for me to spend time with [me] in the first place."  So...she spend Thanksgiving alone!  BIL decided not to come home due to "work projects" and DH stayed with my family at our home all day.  He called her late Thanksgiving evening to wish her a happy holiday and she bawled, ranted, and he coordinated a visit with her for the following day.  Apparently she didn't want to discuss me, but she visited our home (with the understanding that I had yoga plans and would be out of the house) for 45 minutes to take a peek, get a quick update and then she left.

    So, for Christmas, here's our plan:
    1.  Christmas Eve at my Dad's house
    2.  Christmas morning (8am) FIL and BIL come over
    3.  Christmas late-morning (11am) my mom, siblings and in-law come over, overlapping with FIL and BIL.  They are all open to and excited about this plan.
    4.  5pm - everybody out!  MIL is coming over soon!
    5.  5:30pm - MIL comes over.  She doesn't want to share her time, but she DID agree to come over to our house!  That's a bit of progress.

    So...we'll see how it goes.  DH hasn't had much communication with MIL since the day after Thanksgiving and I haven't seen her since June.  I'm not sure if she's aware that I have read all of the nasty things she's been emailing DH.  I'm debating a series of snarky things to do and am interested in your input.  Most likely I'll just pre-game before she arrives and go to bed early to escape her, but for fun:
    Option 1: wear earplugs for the first hour she's at the house (making sure they're neon and clearly visible, as were hers during our wedding ceremony)
    Option 2: give her a Christmas Card with "Thank you for being such a sweet and thoughtful MIL.  Love, your DIL"

    In all honesty, though - do I even greet her when she comes over?  If so, how?  Usually there is a forced hug.  Do I avoid this?  Do I shake her hand?  Do I even LOOK at her?

    Best wishes for very happy holidays, nesties!  Thank you for all of the wisdom, support and guidance so far.
  • I would not do anything snarky.

    I was pretty rude to dh's stepmom (who was a monster, and didn't like DH).  I spoke my mind more bluntly/rudely than I would, and I regret it because *I* didn't like the person I had been.  If I could do it over again, I would have been short but polite.  I would be the person *I* wanted to be, and not allow her to change that.  Not because SHE deserved polite, but because I want to be a person who treats people like I would like to be treated.  

    Don't allow your MIL to turn you into a person you would not be proud to be.  You don't have to bend over for her, but treat her like you would treat a co-worker that you do not like but have to tolerate.

    I would make any card to her from you and DH.

    Don't go to bed too early!  
    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • Disneygeek77Disneygeek77 member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2014
    Again, you need to focus on your husband not your MIL.  What is his response when she makes these remarks about you ?  What are the consequences to her bad behavior towards you ?

    Look, you guys can't keep this up, especially if children are involved.  He needs to put his foot down and tell her that she is to not say anything negative about you again.  If she chooses to continue to insult you than he will not be seeing her until she apologizes.  Yes that means he won't see her the day after thanksgiving and he won't see her on Christmas day.   Right now there aren't any real consequences for her behavior.  She still got to see him alone on Thanksgiving.   Granted it was a day late but big deal and it looks like she will also be seeing him alone on Christmas day too.  

    Seriously, he has to be the one to stop this nonsense.  Mark my words, this won't end until he puts his foot down.
  • ^^ ALL of this.

    OP, as far as Christmas Day, your schedule has your guests out by 5pm because your MIL is coming over. WTH. Unless you genuinely want your guests to leave at that time or if they want to leave because they have other plans for the rest of the day - why should they be the ones to leave YOUR house? So you can appease your MIL? F-that. You are adjusting your plans to appease her. Stop that. And make your H stand up for you! He's wrong for letting her badmouth you the way she does. That shit would not fly in my house. And it shouldn't fly in yours!

  • Well, I've been married for 21 years.  I'll tell you what 21 years of marriage has done for me ... I am PERFECTLY o.k. with my husband going to his mom's house by himself, or taking our son with him, without me. If he words it correctly, I can somehow get credit for the visit without even having to go!  I go just often enough over the course of the year not to look anti-social, but get to stay home often enough to feel sane. 

    If your mother-in-law only wants to spend time with her son, I'd encourage him go visit with his mom for a few hours without you on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, and any other day of the year that would keep her off your back.  I know that would certainly work for me!  A total "win-win" situation.

    But that is just jaded ol' me pushing 50 ... I just went out and bought myself a case of Mike's Hard Lemonade to get through all of our Holiday "joy." LOL!

  • I seriously just don't get why he's still willing to go see her alone when she's such a bitch to/about you. If my MIL treated me that way, I'm pretty sure H would tell her off rather than cave to her ridiculous demands.
  • So you just rewarded her horribleness with almost exactly what she wanted...alone time with your DH.

    And you somehow think that things are going to change?
  • I personally wouldn't care if things changed or not.  It's one or two days out of 365 ... who cares if this dumb MIL "gets what she wants."  Trust me, she is not getting what she wants if you are compromising with your husband instead of drawing a line in the sand that might end up in a DIVORCE.  You see, divorce is actually what MIL wants. By giving in on something as unimportant as some arbitrary date on the calendar, you've robbed her of the wedge she's really trying to drive.

    Your husband will never be rid of her, ergo, neither will you.  But there is absolutely nothing wrong with limiting your contact with her as the only thing she is to you is the apparatus by which your husband entered the world.

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