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Mother In-Law Issues! Help! Need some advise

Hi Everyone,

 I feel like I have no other place to turn to but here. I don't know how to take this in or let me rephrase it I know how I feel but I don't know if my feelings, thoughts, etc. are the right one. So are current leaving situation or since my husband and I got married was to live at his mom's house it's a pretty big house plenty of space and is also divorced, at work most of the time and she's going through some health issues so my Husband though our best bet was to live there so she wouldn't be alone and obviously it would help us out as well. 

Recently, my husband found out from his brother that my mother jn-law is upset and several things that have been going on 1) the garage is electric and it stopped working so or some reason she doesn't know if its "our" fault or the obvious wear and tear of the garage (but she is still mad that its probably "Us"). 2) my sister stayed over a couple nights and she's upset that she stayed over, showered and washed some clothes at the house because she pays for the water. 3) she sees what bills we been getting and she obviously knows we have stuff to pay for & she's upset because of that and to make it clear she opened one of our bills up and paid for it because we weren't taking care of it ( I had already taken care of it and she had made a payment and mad that now their was all this mixup) you created it not us. 4) our dog leaving hair all over. There's more but this is the current issues. 


I don't know how to feel about this anymore...I'm hurt and upset and I feel like I'm bottled up with all my emotions. I want to just leave but we can't I got laid off 6 months ago and haven't gotten a job since than. I don't know what to do I'm seriously driving my self insane with everyone. It might be my fault or is it? What makes me think otherwise is that her relationship with her other son's wife is bad as well she's constantly in their business and has said things to her and made comments that wouldn't be okay in my eyes. We are supposed to be family. 


What do I do?  

Re: Mother In-Law Issues! Help! Need some advise

  • I'm sorry you are going through rough times right now.

    Unless it's a cultural thing,  I don't think couples should get married and live with other people. You say your MIL has health issues but is at work most of the time? Are her health problems that bad that she can't live alone?

    You and your husband need to save up your money and find a place of your own. Your MIL doesn't sound that bad. She sounds like she is complaining about changes in her household due to you guys living there. She loves you guys I'm sure, but ma just be used to living alone. I mean it's her house. For example, the dog hair all over the house.....I don't care how much I love someone, if they had their dog living in my house and shedding hair, DH and I would be upset because we don't care to have any pets. When you are in your own house, you can do what you want. 

    Good luck. 

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    TTC since September 2012
  • Just my personal married people should not live with other adults, especially parents. I think if you are old enough to get married you should be old enough to have your own place. You should sit down with your MIL and your DH, and discuss the issues and come up with a solution. 

  • Lesson learned: NOT a good idea to move in with anybody, whether it's a relative or whoever.

    As you can see, that person will call the shots, since it is his/her place and not "yours."

    You and your H need to sit down with her and tell her what you have told us -- sheesh, the mail is yours; she is not to open it. And she's being picune and petty about a great many things.

    When you can, move out. And again, the lesson is to be learned. Sorry for your troubles.
  • How can she be getting and opening your mail when you are home all day? Unfortunately, you and your DH have put yourselves in the position of having to live like children. Find any job, stop being picky, start saving, sell things and do whatever possible to move out.

     How helpful are you at the house? Are there things you could be doing to make her not miserable with grown adults living there. She might see you as moochers and not being there for her benefit, but your own.

    Apologize to her for having a house guest and in the future ask before inviting someone to her home. It is not your home. She has made it clear you living there is a problem. What is your DH saying to her about her the garage door? Can he fix it? He was wrong about her needing you to live with her and it seems things were not discussed prior to you moving in. Unless, you can all sit down and discuss things this is just the tip of the iceberg with her being annoyed with you and you being upset.

  • To echo PP's, it's time to move out ASAP. I agree that it doesn't do anyone any favors when married people move in with other adults. However, I understand that sometimes life tosses you a curveball and you do what you must to get by. I wouldn't take your MIL's comments to BIL personally -- it reminds me of my own mom when she's annoyed. She doesn't want to be confrontational, and instead vents her frustrations to a secondary source to avoid doing so. The reason your MIL is venting to a family member might not be from a malicious place; she might be venting so that she doesn't blow up and cause conflict in the household. I'm not saying whether that is right or wrong. Obviously she is not an unreasonable woman, if that were the case she would have asked to to leave long ago. It just seems like it is time to move on, and in the meantime a few things could be said or done to ease tension. 1) Have a discussion about/iron out an agreement about visitors, apologize if its warranted and try to understand where she's coming from. It's *her* house in the end. 2) Have a second discussion about her prying into your personal affairs and picking up the slack on your bills - thanks but no thanks. 3) Consider that bringing two adults into her home is likely a stressful adjustment as it is, but taking on a pet as well can be a total hassle. If she doesn't like dog hair, well, I don't really blame her. Perhaps you and H need to come together here and figure out a way to better manage the shedding, maybe pup needs a haircut or vacuuming the furniture he lays on daily. I just think that the dog hair thing should be a common courtesy. 

    I don't think that it boils down to whether or not you're family - it seems clear that she views you both as guests in her home. People in close proximity annoy eachother from time to time, and after a while you may have overstayed your welcome. I think this is all OK; however, if you 3 don't come to a resolution soon the family bickering may turn in to long-term resentment and irreparable damage to both of your relationships with MIL. Time to leave the nest. 

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Are you paying rent? This is the most important piece of information.

    Your sister is your sister and family, not hers. It should have been discussed before you moved in if you could bring guests in. Also, the mail is going to her address so maybe she opened it on accident or maybe she is over bearing and nosey. Get over it.

    You do not get married and then move in with Mommy and expect to be treated like an adult. An adult get married and moves in with a spouse. Yes, certain situations are unavoidable but what are you doing to change your situation? I would live under the I-90 bridge before I lived with my MIL.  

  • Your DH should do the talking while you sit silently and supportively, saying:

    "Mom, I've heard from brother that a few things are bothering you and on your mind. I've also noticed. We really appreciate you and staying here, so lets talk a bit to get this cleared up. I'd really like you to feel completely comfortable with all of us living here.

    I noticed the garage door is broken, would you like us to pay for a repair or replacement? Would you like to split the bill? We didn't cause the damage but as members of the household, we would like to help with getting it repaired.

    Jeansoto's sister stayed over for a few nights and did some laundry. Is this okay? How often is okay? Would it make sense to stock-up on some extra groceries when we have guests or contribute it some extra way?

    I'd prefer if you didn't open our bills. I appreciate that you thought you were being helpful, but it caused confusion.

    We appreciate that you allow us to have our dog live here. Since the dog hair is an issue, you can count on us vacuuming every day.

    Money is tight for us and I thought I was being helpful to you with your medical needs. Is this working for you? We plan to be here another ______ months. This will give us enough time to get Jeansoto working and for us to get enough savings to get a place of our own. Is that a good time frame for you? What is your plan for your health and needs when we move out? Do you need help to make a plan?"

    If you are both grown up enough to be married and living in a household together, you are old enough to have this conversation. It sounds WAY overdue. It is hard work to constantly be grateful to someone for housing. But you have to be really grateful and show it. All the time. It helps to know that you have a plan to get your own place, at some point. And t REALLY helps to contribute finacially and regularly.

  • I agree with all Dallas said.

  • In my opinion it's great that you had someone to fall back on after having some tough times.It's nice to have families willing and wanting to help. BUT your under her roof so respect her. Did you ask if your sister could stay over night and use her shower and washer? Did you ask if the dog can stay? Do you clean up the dog hair as much as possible? 

    If those 4 things really bother her then TALK to her. Not in a "get the eff off my back" way but in a "hey thanks so much for letting me stay. Let's talk this out so things aren't awkward" way. Clear communication is the only thing that will fix things. 

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  • Thanks Dallas, I totally agree...I think it's been long overdue in having this conversation that we need to have. Usually my husband and mother in-laws conversations don't usually go well...I'm used to communicating and talking it over and usually they don't talk about or it doesn't get discussed until its a crazy argument. Do you think it would be okay if I bring it up? 

  • All of this....

    Also why are you hearing second hand about issues and why isn't you, your DH and MIL who live in the same house able to talk to eachother about how the house is run? When I moved back home for school (prior to bing married) it was a huge adjustment for me and my parents as to how we were going to relate to each other as independent adults in the same house....I still felt babied and they felt taken advantage of when in reality it was just a time of trying to figure out our relationship with eachother as adults...learning to have conversations instead of automatically "obeying your parents because they are your parents" or "telling your kid what to do" or assuming we agree with what is reasonable. Its the same stuff as when you first move in with your bf/h/so just with his or your parents. Communication is key.

    If its not working to be able to keep communication open and unemotional as adults...then sit down with your MIL and write up a "tenent agreement"...specifically outlining who is responsible for what (and for goodness sake pay rent!) both financially, in terms of chores, when people are allowed over, who cookes, how mail is to be handled etc...on paper. Its a lot harder to be emotional about it (or snoopy as the case may be) when its been agreed to and signed off on on paper (it doesnt even have to be legally binding...but just so everyone is on the same page).

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