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The grand Matriarch Mil

Does anyone have any experience with one of these?

A very lovely gracious hostess who runs her family and they all think she's the greatest. All her DIL's and SIL's call her all the time for her sagelike advice and listen with vapid expressions as she tells them how it truely is? In turn she doses them with gifts, raises their kids and expects that at any given time it's completely appropriate to show up at their house and determine their furniture needs to be re-arranged.

I got one of these and i do okay as long as I keep my mouth shut and steer clear as much as I can which can be very hard.

My friend has one too. My friend is much sweeter and easier to run over and her Mil has basically kidnapped her 4 year old daughter to Germany for the entire summer (a three week trip turned into the whole summer without Mommy's consent) but because she's the grand matriarch of the family everyone is treating my friend like she's crazy for having a problem.

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Re: The grand Matriarch Mil

  • Your friend needs to grow a set. If my MIL (who I really like) decided that she was going to keep my hypothetical child on vacation for longer than we had agreed upon, I'd be on the first flight to go get my child.

    Also, the both of you have huge DH problems if your husbands allow your MILs to act inappropriately in your house.

  • no, she doesn't do that in my house. She does to her other kids. She doesn't understand why I don't come to her with every f-ing decision I have to make since she's so smart and wonderful (and why i don't tell her she's so smart and wonderful all the time) so she's learned to proceed with a bit more caution around me.

     I agree about my friend. I'm just wondering if there's an effective way to get along with a woman such as this without allowing her run your life.

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  • Well, I wouldn't allow my 4 year old to go away with grandma for four weeks in the first place, and if she "kept" her, I would hop on a plane to get dd myself, or contact the police. 

    Yeah, that would get me in trouble with "the matriarch" but I wouldn't really care! 

    Your friend should never allow grandma to babysit again.  Ever.   If she does, she deserves what she gets.

    And I would suggest she and her dh move.

  • I guess I don't see what you're talking about.

    If everyone loves and respects the woman, and she acts accordingly.....what's the problem?  If your SIL's want and value her advice, what's it to you?

    Your friend is a doormat, that's not her MIL's fault.  If she isn't ok with her daughter spending the summer in Germany, she needs to tell her MIL no and to bring her back or else she'll report her for kidnapping.

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  • image Maybride2:

    I guess I don't see what you're talking about.

    If everyone loves and respects the woman, and she acts accordingly.....what's the problem?  If your SIL's want and value her advice, what's it to you?

    Yea I don't get what your problem is either. You say your MIL respects you and proceeds with caution around you. Why do you care so much what type of relationship everyone else has with her? I hope you don't constantly complain to your DH about this - he is going to tire very quickly of hearing you complain about his mother for no good reason.
  • I guess the problem lies in the fact that in our seperate families my friend and I are the only ones who do not necessarily get along with our MILs and resent the fact they feel entitled to say whatever they want and expect us to go along with it.

    Being a free thinking woman with my own education, my own upbringing and my own feelings on things, I have a very hard time keeping the balance with my MIL. She basically, very politely, treats me like an idiot and constantly tries, to no avail, to manipulate me.  DH is on my side all the time, but in his family she is the goddess of the world and doesn't always realize when she's manipulating him.

    In friend's family, her H actually went to Germany to get their daughter, it was he who convinced her to let her go in the first place, and was convinced by his mother that she was having a great time and therefore should stay all summer like they all wanted. He called my friend from Germany and told her he'd decided against bringing her home (and yes, she has no backbone but he's supposed to be on her side)

    I think she should report a kidnapping too, but if they have her H's consent I don't know if it would do any good.

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  • Oh no, she does not respect me. She called my family lower class to my face because they live in a typical suburban neighborhood and she lives in a small mansion. She said it with a big scoop of sugar so it wouldn't sound like the insult it was.

    I walked out of the room.

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  • I would never have allowed my child out of the country for three weeks without me in the first place.  Then, the second my MIL decided that they would extend the trip without my permission I would have been on the phone with #1 the police to report the kidnapping, and #2 the next airline with a flight to Germany.  Then my child would NEVER see his/her grandmother again.  EVER. 

    For your situation, there is really nothing to do but be polite and avoid her.

  • image linzica:

    In friend's family, her H actually went to Germany to get their daughter, it was he who convinced her to let her go in the first place, and was convinced by his mother that she was having a great time and therefore should stay all summer like they all wanted. He called my friend from Germany and told her he'd decided against bringing her home (and yes, she has no backbone but he's supposed to be on her side)

    So why is she blaming her MIL in all this? Her H was in Germany and had every chance to bring their child home but chose not to. HE is the one she should be angry with. And if she was really THAT upset, she'd be in Germany already to pick up her kid.
  • As soon as grandma takes your friends dd back to the states, your friend should divorce her husband and move.

     

  • image linzica:

    I guess the problem lies in the fact that in our seperate families my friend and I are the only ones who do not necessarily get along with our MILs and resent the fact they feel entitled to say whatever they want and expect us to go along with it.

    I guess I still don't get it.  You MIL can say whatever she feels like saying.......so I guess in that regard, she is entitled to say what she wants.  But it doesn't matter what she expects - you call the shots.  You can kindly tell her thanks but no thanks.  Or you can tell her to shove it. 

    I'm a "free thinking woman" with my own education too.  I can respect other women who feel the same way even if I don't agree with them and have no intention of doing what they think I should do.  If you really feel like your MIL is treating you like an idiot, start limiting the time you spend with her and information you give her.

    And your friend doesn't have a MIL problem, she has a spineless-wimp-of-a-husband problem.  It's not a kidnapping if her husband gave permission for her to take her.  I think I'd be seeing a divorce lawyer if my DH ever pulled a stunt like that.

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  • I'm just wondering if anyone can relate and how they've managed to get along so that DH is happy he gets to spend time with his mom who doesn't hate his wife or try to undermine her.
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  • What did you husband say when you walked out of the room ?
  • You should NEVER have walked out of the room when she called your family lower class. With just as much sugar as she poured on you - You should have pointed out to her that class isn't about the size of your home - and if she had any at all - she'd realize that. Or - you could have simply said "wow, that's probably the rudest thing I've heard this week." THAT's how you deal with people like her. You walking away from her allows her to continue on with that behavior. Stand your ground at all times - and stick up for yourself and your beliefs... and call her on her rudeness.
  • I would be on a plane in the morning.  Period.  All of hell would not stop me.  What is your friend's problem.
    Seriously, people. If your faith in humanity is destroyed because your parents told you there was a Santa Claus and as it turns out there is no Santa Claus, you are an ignorant, hypersensitive cry baby with absolutely zero perspective. - UnderwaterRhymes
  • image SueBear:

    As soon as grandma takes your friends dd back to the states, your friend should divorce her husband and move.

     

    No kidding.

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  • image linzica:
    I'm just wondering if anyone can relate and how they've managed to get along so that DH is happy he gets to spend time with his mom who doesn't hate his wife or try to undermine her.

    Ah, well that's simple.  I married a man who actually puts me first and would stand up for me if his Mother were to ever be insulting to me.  I also married a man with kind and generous family that have never been outwardly rude to anyone in my presence and go out of their way to be polite to me an my family.

  • image stw_77:
    What did you husband say when you walked out of the room ?

     

    He wasn't there and I didn't tell him. I know if I were to react strongly to her, it would be a family wide situation and I don't want to put him in the middle of that. He has my back, but doesn't always see everything that's going on and I'm not going to whine to him about it when I can take care of myself.

    I'd just like to figure out where to let this woman in and how to keep her out of where she doesn't belong.

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  • image ictoana:

    image linzica:
    I'm just wondering if anyone can relate and how they've managed to get along so that DH is happy he gets to spend time with his mom who doesn't hate his wife or try to undermine her.

    Ah, well that's simple.  I married a man who actually puts me first and would stand up for me if his Mother were to ever be insulting to me.  I also married a man with kind and generous family that have never been outwardly rude to anyone in my presence and go out of their way to be polite to me an my family.

     

    That's very lucky for you that your inlaws are so nice.

    I wasn't asking if anyone had nice in laws. I was asking if anyone had any experience with ones like mine.

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  • The next time she says something rude, just look at her and say with a confused tone of voice "Why would you say something like that?"
  • image linzica:
    image ictoana:

    image linzica:
    I'm just wondering if anyone can relate and how they've managed to get along so that DH is happy he gets to spend time with his mom who doesn't hate his wife or try to undermine her.

    Ah, well that's simple.  I married a man who actually puts me first and would stand up for me if his Mother were to ever be insulting to me.  I also married a man with kind and generous family that have never been outwardly rude to anyone in my presence and go out of their way to be polite to me an my family.

     

    That's very lucky for you that your inlaws are so nice.

    I wasn't asking if anyone had nice in laws. I was asking if anyone had any experience with ones like mine.

    And what you're refusing to hear is that most people won't intentionally join a family they need a strategy to deal with, whose husband won't stand up for them.  Now that you've made this bed, since you want advice, be as polite as you can, and accept this is how they a) do things and b) think of you.  That's kinda life...

    Seriously, people. If your faith in humanity is destroyed because your parents told you there was a Santa Claus and as it turns out there is no Santa Claus, you are an ignorant, hypersensitive cry baby with absolutely zero perspective. - UnderwaterRhymes
  • image casmgn:
    The next time she says something rude, just look at her and say with a confused tone of voice "Why would you say something like that?"

     

    That's not bad. Thanks.

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  • image sprky79:
    image linzica:
    image ictoana:

    image linzica:
    I'm just wondering if anyone can relate and how they've managed to get along so that DH is happy he gets to spend time with his mom who doesn't hate his wife or try to undermine her.

    Ah, well that's simple.  I married a man who actually puts me first and would stand up for me if his Mother were to ever be insulting to me.  I also married a man with kind and generous family that have never been outwardly rude to anyone in my presence and go out of their way to be polite to me an my family.

    That's very lucky for you that your inlaws are so nice.

    I wasn't asking if anyone had nice in laws. I was asking if anyone had any experience with ones like mine.

    And what you're refusing to hear is that most people won't intentionally join a family they need a strategy to deal with, whose husband won't stand up for them.  Now that you've made this bed, since you want advice, be as polite as you can, and accept this is how they a) do things and b) think of you.  That's kinda life...

    Ding! Ding! Ding!

    You get to choose who you marry.  This means that you get to choose whether or not you are going to have nice in-laws.  This is not a choice you made.  NOW you get to smile, be polite, and avoid situations with your MIL without being rude and causing unnecessary stress for your husband.  (Because when push comes to shove he will pick her over you)  That is the only option you have left if you want to stay married.

  • I have one like that too but guess what?

    I'm in charge in my house and she knows if she doesn't like it then she doesn't have to come over or talk to us.

    Your friend needs to stop being such a pushover. She isn't sweet, she's a doormat.

    If you are being treated like this continually then your DH is not on your side. He's either on her side or neutral, which is not one of the preferable places to be.

    image
  • Geez! Okay! Yes, I picked the wrong man 'cause his mother can be a pain in the butt.

    I was asking if anyone had any experience with a ML like this. I wasn't aware that everyone else had great in laws, and i wasn't even really asking for help. Just some points of relation.

    Sorry if I offended anyone, I agree with everything you guys have said and I appreciate your honesty, but seriously, just looking to commiserate.

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  • image duckie11905:

    If you are being treated like this continually then your DH is not on your side. He's either on her side or neutral, which is not one of the preferable places to be.

    Agreed
  • I didn't marry into a family with nice in-laws.  I married into a family with toxic inlaws. 

    However, I also married a man who put me and our children first.  Now, by dh's own choice, we don't speak to the SIL who insulted me and stopped speaking to us, and we have no contact with the stepMIL who treated our kids like second-class citizens.

    I would not hide what MIL told you from your dh.  He is supposed to be your best friend and parner.  Why in the world would you allow other people in his family to know what is going on between you and MIL, when he doesn't know?  Now, the fact that he wasn't there will limit what he says to her - - if he's not there, he can't go back to his mom without her saying "oh, she blew it totally out of proportion, I didn't say that, I said.." etc. etc.  But let him know.  There is a woman who posted about toxic ILS who had a 24-48  hour rule about reacting.

    I would also learn a line that you use ALL THE TIME with MIL instead of saying "F*** You."  Something like "well, aren't you precious!" (said in sugary sweetness to match hers).   Let dh know that it's your secret way of saying "Go f*#@! yourself!"  so that the joke is on MIL.  Sooner or later, MIL will "catch on" to the fact that you are onto her, and you have a line of your own.  But there will be nothing she can do about it, because you're just telling her how precious she is.  You'll be beating her at her own game, and not allowing her to see how angry you are.

    Good luck.

     

  • C&P from the other post with the 24-48 hour rule:

     Also, I would suggest addressing most of the issues at the time it occurs. For instance, if your MIL arrives unannounced at your house and this is upsetting to you, invite her in for a cup of coffee (or wine!) and then say, "It's so nice of you to stop by, but I am doing A,B, and C and have to leave in thirty minutes." This shows her that you're not going to drop everything just because she is there, but still allows you to be polite and non-offensive. Or, if you don't even want to see her tell her in a nice way that it was nice of her to stop by, but this is not a good time for company and reschedule a time to meet her, maybe even away from both of your homes. The point here is, you can't allow her to come in/take you away from what you were doing/etc and not address the issue, and then allow it to be added to a list of things she has also done to upset you. It's much more difficult to say every third month, "MIL, when you did all of these things over the last 12 weeks I have been very upset." 

    Finally, I always keep in mind the 24 hour rule for major issues (for instance, SIL got married three weeks before DH & me and at the wedding did not make arrangments for me to sit with DH & family members or be in any family pics because I was not a part of the family for three more weeks). In this case, where you are upset/hurt/irrate/whatever your emotion is, I think it is best to wait for 24 hours, and write down exactly what was done, how you felt, and what you think should be done in the future. ("MIL, when you did not treat me like I was a member of your family DH and I were very sad and hurt. In the future, I would like you to treat me as my parents treat DH--just like a member of their family.) Address the issue between 24 and 48 hours after the incident, and take your notes with you! Until the lines of communication are completely open this will allow you to speak your mind calmly and prevent her or anybody else from accusing you of being irrational. If you reach the 24 hour mark and the issue seems less of an big deal, let it go and never address it. If you are still upset, address it before 48 hours passes, or you lose your right to do so--dragging it out past that puts you in the category of making long lists of infractions and fighting them every three months rather than when they happen. (side note :: i'm not an expert, nor do i think that 24/48 hours is the best guideline for everybody. set the time frame that seems acceptable to you and DH, but whatever it is you pick stick to it everytime. this is setting up a pattern of behavior that people will come to expect from you.) 

    I have found that addressing the situation w/o running every detail past DH is not a terrible idea. I think with him the very idea of a "drama" makes him want me to keep my mouth shut. When I just follow my "strategies" from above there's not much he can say about it in the aftermath. As long as you're respectful of his family he has no legitimate argument to make. 

    I think this is pretty good advice and useful in all kinds of situations, not just ILs. 

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  • Your friend is crazy, but not for being pissed her MIL and DH did not return her child in 3 weeks. She is nuts because she let them both get away with it. I'd say she is hopeless since there could be nothing bigger than someone messing with your child. If she is going to let that go then frankly she should get a sharpie and write doormat on her head.

    Sounds like the rest of the pack wants to sell their souls and minds for a few trinkets. Bet if MIL did not have the $$$ they wouldn't think she was so freaking wise. As long as everyone is agreeable then she isn't getting away with anything they didn't hand to her.

    My MIL is the Devil but if she took my child from me with my H's consent his balls would be in a jar and her as$ in a sling. I'm a very non violent person, but that is my line in the sand. Your friend needs therapy on why she thinks being sweet or kind means she cannot say GET my Daughter home NOW.

  • So you and your MIL get along like oil and water...you knew this before you married her son, right?  The odds of her changing, or the family dynamics changing, at this late date are very slim.

    I know how tempting it must be to want to stand up to her and put her in her place and tell her exactly what you think of her, but it won't be worth the drama.  She won't respect you for it; the rest of the family will be horrified; and you'll have created a situation which will affect your relationship with her and with the rest of your DH's family for a very long time.  The best you can do is to keep your distance and stand firm on those things that are important to you.

    As for your friend's situation, that's a whole different story and it is 100% a DH problem.  If my husband consented without my input to somebody keeping my child overseas, I'd be on the next plane there and whisking my child out of there so fast that heads would spin, and my next call would be to the meanest, most ball-busting divorce attorney I could find.  Your friend is crazy for putting up with this crap from her husband.

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
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