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Cloying MIL making me crazy!

FalonSimoneFalonSimone member
Fifth Anniversary First Comment
edited December 2013 in Family Matters
Does anyone else have this problem? My MIL so sweet and nice that it's almost sickening. I can only handle her visiting for about a day and a half then i pretty much shut down until she leaves. Then after she leaves i feel terrible. 

When she visits, it seems like we can never have any real conversation, it's all chit-chat. i think she talked about how "pleasing" our curtains are for about 20 minutes (no one talks like that!). But then when we do start having a real conversation, here come the waterworks about her life. 
sometimes she might want to watch a show, but it has to be the most G-rated Hallmark movie there is because if there is any suggestion that people in fiction or reality might be living a less than pleasant life, she becomes visually disturbed. It also has to be one that my husband and i have already seen because she has to give a rundown of the filmography of each actor in the movie (then asks what happened because she was talking).  

She also treats my husband, his brother (especially, who is 42yo) and me like we are 8 years old. In OUR OWN house she asks us if we want "something hot to drink." by hot, she means nuclear. all her food and drink has to be nuclear. I don't know why this quirk drives me so crazy.

She came to visit right after Christmas. We had the impression she would be there Friday-Tuesday (even though we had to go back to work on Monday). She started talking about staying through New Years and having her other son come over and spend the night again. This stressed me out because when she's there, it doesn't feel like a day off, so my husband and i go back to work more stressed. Anyway, my husband told her, "You're welcome to stay, but we have to go to work." then she started talking about maybe we could get off from work early (My husband and i are just about the only people in her whole family that have full-time 9-5 jobs, so she doesn't understand why we can't just sit around drinking coffee and chit-chatting all day, every day for weeks on end like the rest of her family). He told her he didn't know if we could. Then she started saying she felt like we wanted her to leave (which honestly, by that point i kinda did, but i was trying very hard to be nice). They went back and forth literally about 30 times, "you're welcome to stay, but we have to go to work." She said crying, "I understand that, but i feel like you want me to leave!" Hubs, "No, i said you're welcome to stay, but we still have to go to work." ... "I understand that, but i feel like you want me to leave!" back and forth, back and forth  for like 30 minutes. i was in the back of the house trying to do laundry to get ready for the upcoming work week, just listening, until i lost it and went in there and yelled, "Do we have to do this EVERY SINGLE TIME!? None of you people listen to each other." usually i'm very quiet and reserved when she's there, so this was probably quite a shocker. open the floodgates! she's sobbing now. I couldn't take it anymore, i just left and spent the rest of the day with my mom and grandma, super aware and appreciative of their sanity.

My husband says she just really loves me and thinks i'm wonderful and all that, which makes me feel even worse, but that the same time, i feel like she can't REALLY love me, she doesn't even really know me because her mawkishness makes me so uncomfortable i can't be myself. 

Re: Cloying MIL making me crazy!

  • I would just apologize to mother in law for your little outburst. We all have them from time to time. Just say to MIL you are sorry, and move on. 

    No need to make it bigger. Not that its even big to start off with...

    (or blame it on your period. Lol J/K)
    :D
  • I would apologize for your outburst, although that would drive me batty too.

    She sounds socially awkward, but hopefully in time she will become more comfortable around you.

    Is there anything you can talk to her about ?  My GPILs are also very awkward to be around.  They smile sweetly and stare at you, but they mean well.  I have found the best way to have a non awkward conversation with them is to ask them questions about their heritage or  background.  They also love to talk about their hometown and what it was like growing up and raising children there.  

    I would also talk to your husband about having overnight guests and setting limits.  This way he still gets to visit with his family, but you don't feel exhausted the entire time.  
    Tofumonkey
  • I think you need to appreciate the sweet (though maybe sickening sweet) MIL you have. I'm sure you know you could have it oh so much worse. 

    I agree with pp about having a set time for visits...though it sounds like you did and she's not obnoxiously overstaying her welcome, just being annoying about it. 

    I guess you probably should have stayed out of it and not had a mini meltdown at her. I would apologize and let your husband handle it in the future. Talk to him about what bothers you and let him deal with it. Let go of your issues with her. Really, who cares if all you talk about is how she loves your curtains. At least she's not cutting on you for everything you do.
    Tofumonkey
  • She likes her food hot? Whatabitch!
    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
    Sillygirl45
  • It sounds like part of the problem is your DH telling her she was welcome to stay longer, when really it would have been better if she left. Maybe if he had told her (nicely, but honestly) that you wanted a little time to yourselves before going back to work, they wouldn't have had the endless conversation about her feeling like you want her to leave. And yes, she probably would have cried, but that's reaction. You can't control it. But you have a right to be honest and say that you need some time alone while you're on vacation. And she ended up crying anyway! Apologize for snapping at her, and next time she comes, make sure you and your DH are clear with her about when she needs to leave, so you can have some alone time.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    You and your DH have to accept that she's overly emotional and will sob over any/everything.  You can't control this about her.  Start being more honest about what you all want.  Don't want her to stay longer?  Then say that.  (Obviously nicer than that!  Leftie had a good way to put it)  Will she cry?  Perhaps.  But hell.  In the end, she'll leave and you all will have what you want.

    And I do understand some of your frustrations.  My MIL is into over complimenting too - and it's honestly to avoid having any type of "real" conversation.  On Christmas she went on and on about the appetizer plates and how nice they were, etc.  Um, yeah - PAPER plates that happened ot have a Christmas tree on them. 
  • I understand your IL frustration, especially when you are stuck in the middle. I love my in-laws and they are fantastic, but they live across the street (Hubby and I live in inherited house his mother grew up in). There are days when I feel rude not wanting to talk/ deal with them. I don't talk to my parents daily and only see them 3-4x's a month.

    His mother usually invites us to dinner 1x week, but recently I haven't wanted to go since 90% of the conversation is about people I don't know or situations where I don't know the full story. I have also made comments about decorating/ fixing up the house. His mother cannot handle even the smallest change/ repair until something major happens (example, leak in bathroom that is causing a hole in ceiling below still not fixed, even though leak was noticed 18 months ago). The house hasn't had furniture/ redecorating since the late 80's and early 90's. Whenever I bring up house she gets awkward since his mother has started acting weird and avoiding real conversation about the house. I know the house is hers, but I am sick of living in a falling apart giant storage shed for other people that looks like it was decorated by an elderly man

    Hubby and I plan on looking for new house come spring, but I really am afraid I will lose it with my MIL and her inability to let anyone help improve the house before then. I just don't get her whole "it stresses me out and is difficult, so I just won't deal with it" mentality.
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