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MIL's comments

Hello ladies,

 

I hope you have been enjoying your holidays. I need some advice on how I should handle my MIL. I will start the post by saying my DH is very supportive; he has intervened and spoken with his mother about her behavior. She cries, plays dumb or says she doesn?t think before she speaks. My relationship with my MIL has had its ups and downs. There are times when she is very funny and we enjoy each other, but there are other times when she is rude, pushy and intolerable.

 

My MIL was in attack mode on Christmas. One of the first things she asked was if she was ?getting us? on Easter. In the past, we have split Easter between my family and his family. Last year my husband suggested we host, since nobody had made plans and his sister, who had hosted for the last few years, was weeks away from giving birth. It turned out to be a war about how they never see us and how dare we host without consulting them. The emails came from his mother and sister. We moved forward with our plans and none of his family showed up.

 

Fast-forward to Christmas? I told my MIL DH and I really enjoyed hosting Easter and we will be hosting again this year. I told her everyone is invited and I was going to mention it in January. She lost it ? she said she never sees us. BTW, they live an hour away and they see us once or twice a month. His entire family live 10 minutes from each other, so 90% of the time we have a 2 hour roundtrip drive. She also said she will never come by our house for Easter because the holidays are all about the children and her grandbabies won?t be there. She also mentioned my SIL?s in-laws have nowhere to go, so my SIL will always host Easter. (My DH has 2 sisters and one of his sisters has 2 children.) My husband intervened and told her to stop. He said it?s Christmas and asked why she would bring up Easter? She didn?t reply. He then said she is purposely complaining and causing problems. Again, she said nothing to him, but she made sure to tell me she was mad at me.

 

Ok, my DH leaves the room and she said she knows when we have children she will never see them. I said nothing. I was fuming but I ignored her and left the room. A little later I walked in the kitchen and a family friend says she loves our Christmas card and mentioned how cute our dog is. My MIL turned around and said, ?I am sorry but there is nothing cute about that dog.?

 

Other comments were made but this gives you all a general idea. My DH and I have been together for 7 years and we have tried everything with her. My MIL and my DH had it out a couple years ago about her behavior. She turned it around on me and then cried. She was nice for a few months after that, but then she reverted back to her old self.

 

I just want to see how other people would handle this. Sorry this is so long. TIA!!

 

Re: MIL's comments

  • Stop spending the holidays with  her.  It seems that words are't working with her so now you need action.  Tell her that you don't want to spend your holiday being guilt tripped the entire time.  So if she doesn't like it, she has no one to blame but herself. 

    It seems her apologies are not genuine and are  only words to appease you two.  Tell her she needs  to back it up with action now.  If she gripes and complains about the holiday, then you won't see her because that is not how you choose to spend YOUR holiday.

    Now she will get very upset when you say this, but you really do need to ignore it and let  it roll of your backs.

  • I am a crazy dog person. If my MIL would have said something like that about my dogs, I would have asked her to leave or left myself.

     But honestly, you and your DH are letting her get away with her bad attitude. Even if your DH has to have it out with her every time, you cannot stand for her behavior. Maybe it?s time to let her know that until she improves, neither you nor your DH will be having anything to do with her.

    KRHagen November 2009
  • I would say, with your husband supports, "if you don't feel like you see enough of us its because your comments are driving us away.  we are having Easter at our house, you are invited to come as long as you are able to behave in a civilized way. If you choose not to come, that is your decision...let me be clear...I will not spend another holiday in tears because of your insults. If this happens again, we will part ways and that will influence if we see you for the next holiday"
  • image Preapproval ?:

     My MIL and my DH had it out a couple years ago about her behavior. She turned it around on me and then cried. She was nice for a few months after that, but then she reverted back to her old self.

    You know she's not the problem here, right?

    fiizzlee = vag ** fiizzle = peen ** Babies shouldn't be born wit thangs ** **They're called first luddz fo' a reason -- mo' is supposed ta come after. Yo Ass don't git a medal fo' marryin yo' prom date. Unless yo ass is imoan. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. Then yo ass git a all-expenses paid cruise ta tha Mediterranean n' yo ass git ta hook up Jared Padalecki on tha flight over while bustin yo' jammies. But still no medal.
  • image zitiqueen:
    image Preapproval ?:

     My MIL and my DH had it out a couple years ago about her behavior. She turned it around on me and then cried. She was nice for a few months after that, but then she reverted back to her old self.

    You know she's not the problem here, right?

     

    My DH told her it was not me, it was her. She then got angry and they didn't talk for a couple weeks. He told her if she didn't shape up, then we wouldn't be around. Believe me, you have no idea how much we have gone through with this woman. Things were fine for awhile and she snapped on Christmas.

  • image Preapproval ?:
    image zitiqueen:
    image Preapproval ?:

     My MIL and my DH had it out a couple years ago about her behavior. She turned it around on me and then cried. She was nice for a few months after that, but then she reverted back to her old self.

    You know she's not the problem here, right?

     

    My DH told her it was not me, it was her. She then got angry and they didn't talk for a couple weeks. He told her if she didn't shape up, then we wouldn't be around. Believe me, you have no idea how much we have gone through with this woman. Things were fine for awhile and she snapped on Christmas.

    Then obviously the change wasn't genuine and she really didn't get it. 

  • image stw_77:
    image Preapproval ?:
    image zitiqueen:
    image Preapproval ?:

     My MIL and my DH had it out a couple years ago about her behavior. She turned it around on me and then cried. She was nice for a few months after that, but then she reverted back to her old self.

    You know she's not the problem here, right?

    My DH told her it was not me, it was her. She then got angry and they didn't talk for a couple weeks. He told her if she didn't shape up, then we wouldn't be around. Believe me, you have no idea how much we have gone through with this woman. Things were fine for awhile and she snapped on Christmas.

    Then obviously the change wasn't genuine and she really didn't get it. 

    Now is your H's chance to back up his ultimatum with actions. He either puts you first or his mom.

    fiizzlee = vag ** fiizzle = peen ** Babies shouldn't be born wit thangs ** **They're called first luddz fo' a reason -- mo' is supposed ta come after. Yo Ass don't git a medal fo' marryin yo' prom date. Unless yo ass is imoan. I aint talkin' bout chicken n' gravy biatch. Then yo ass git a all-expenses paid cruise ta tha Mediterranean n' yo ass git ta hook up Jared Padalecki on tha flight over while bustin yo' jammies. But still no medal.
  • What's to handle? She's shown you her cards and you know her game. She's bitter and angry that you two aren't falling into line with her game plans. She's rude and unreasonable. Stop expecting anything different.

    It's Christmas and she's already game-playing about Easter? You are in her house (or house of her approval/choosing), looking at your face and she's declaring that "she never sees you" and wants to know about the NEXT holiday plan?

    This isn't a woman who's lookng to have a conversation (in any real sense of the word) about holiday plans, she's not interested in your POV, and she certainly doesn't want YOU changing anything. She wants to be in charge. Period. And she wants you to follow what she wants. Period.

    So stop thinking that you are going to come-up with any magical formula, phrase or posture that is going to change these basic facts. That's why she has a bow-up, makes-up, plays nice for a short time and then reverts. Becuase THAT'S WHO SHE IS. That's who she is always going to be. I bet those fun times only happened when things gelled to exact specificaions, right?

    It means that you EXPECT her to bait you and guilt you and you two come-up with a game-plan that fits your needs. I think it's awsome that you are hosting Easter again. 

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Oh, believe me; I know the change wasn't genuine. I should give a little more background; I've cut my own father out of my life and I know how hard it is. My DH has fully supported me and honestly, at times, it's almost easier to put up with B.S. than it is to put your foot down and deal with the aftermath of severing ties.

    I just want some advice on how to handle my MIL. I truly feel like we have tried everything, short of cutting her out of our lives. DH really enjoys his father, his niece and his nephew and so do I. I know my DH and I are partly to blame here. His mother controls the family and if we cut her off then we will have to cut everyone out.

     

  • Thank you everyone for all of the input. I really appreciate it.

     livinitup, you really hit the nail on the head. And, yes, when she's being nice and happy it's when we are doing what she wants us to do....

  • I'm not sure I'm following the bit about your hosting Easter.  Clearly your MIL is upset about Easter.  Is there a miscommunication? You offered to host Easter to give SIL a break and then his family complained that they never see you?  Were they invited?  DID you consult them about altering the family plans before doing so? Does SIL want to go back to hosting?  Is it more convenient for SIL to have it at her home then drive 2 hours in one day with little kids (though I've seen parents manage this)?  And if SIL's IL's have no where to go, could they be invited to your home as well?    Is there room for comprimise?  I hear that your enjoy hosting, but maybe another holiday could be yours to host and your SIL could "have" Easter. 

    Her comment about your dog was completely uncalled for, but who cares if she doesn't like your dog?  You know your dog is fab, your dog loves you, presumably your DH and dog are great pals...what else really matters?  Unless she is mean to the dog in a way that hurts him, let her have her comments and make herself look like a mean old lady in the process.

    It sounds like MIL really gets to you and while I can certainly understand why.  But I think the best thing to do is to change your reaction to her. Not sure what the other comments were but I would practice 1) not taking them personally, 2) clarifying your intentions and her concerns, 3) choosing your battles and letting 99% of them go, 4) saying things like "I'm sorry you feel that way but this is what DH and I have decided".  I guess what I'd do is specific to the situation but you cannot control your MIL's actions, you can only control your reactions.

    HTH and hope things get better

  • image Preapproval ?:

    I just want some advice on how to handle my MIL. I truly feel like we have tried everything, short of cutting her out of our lives. DH really enjoys his father, his niece and his nephew and so do I. I know my DH and I are partly to blame here. His mother controls the family and if we cut her off then we will have to cut everyone out.

    First, cutting someone out doesn't have to be a permanent thing.  I would actually suggest that your DH talk to his dad, tell him the situation and give him the heads up that you all may need to disappear for awhile to really get it through to her that her behavior is unacceptable.  SHe may "control" the family, but once it's put out to his dad how serious this is, his dad may 1- support him, and 2- even try to still see you all even if you're not seeing MIL. 

    And this can all be to send a real strong message to her.

    However, if your DH doesn't feel he can do this, my advice is then to just stop engaging her AT ALL.  She starts in on something?  Walk away.  "Talking" to her obviously doesn't work.  So - if you won't take the action of not seeing her, at least take the "action" of, in the moment, not engaging/interacting with her.

    A simple "Sorry you feel that way" and then walk away, or "THis is what works for us" and walk away (BOTH you and your DH!!), etc.

    Talking to her probably gives her some satisfaction around this.  Or heck, to her "we never see you", your DH needs to say once "We're seeing you right now and if you can't enjoy the time we DO have together, I"m not really sure why you want to see more of us" and this might also be a small wake up call.

    But after that?  Those comments need to be met /w nothing more than "Oh well, sorry you feel that way". PERIOD.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Your MIL is no doubt being rude.  Depression does not give someone the right to be rude.  I am not sure I can even pinpoint why I am saying this, but to me she seems unjustifiably angry and like she may have depression that rears its ugly head via anger.  How old is she?  Has she had a physical lately?  Would she be willing to try counseling?  Again, even if she is depressed or angry that doesn't give her the right to be rude, but a diagnosis of depression or something else going on might explain a lot.  Stand your ground, though, and don't let her manipulate what you want to do for Easter.
  • I have two separate thoughts on this whole issue.

    The most important thing is to spend the holidays as you see fit.   There's no rule that you have to spend them with family.    If you and your DH stick to your guns, maybe your MIL will be more gracious and flexible with you in the future instead of trying to get her way 100% of the time.

    I will say though, it makes absolutely no sense for you to host Easter every year.   If everyone lives in town A, and you live in town B that is an hour away, of course his family is going to choose to go to someone's house in town A rather than everyone load up and travel to town B.   It's an efficiency thing.   Also, it's harder to pack up children to travel and still adhere to a schedule.  It made sense for you to host last year when SIL was 9 months pregnant, but it seems silly to even make a show of hosting his family when they won't come.   Your family will come every year, so you'll just end up spending every Easter with your family.     Which is your choice, of course.   But it is a choice that will naturally exclude your husband's family from Easter every year. 

    As for comments about never seeing her grandchildren, just ignore her.   She'll see them 1-2 times a month.   In that situation, I'd actually say something like, "if by 'never' you mean a couple times a month, then you're correct."   Just to illustrate the absurdity of her statement.     She sounds like someone who wouldn't be happy unless you were living next door and stopping by every day.   Just be firm, cut her off if her behavior starts to get out of control and move on with life.

  • Thank you everyone for the feedback.

    Here's a little additional information to clarify some things and answer some questions. My DH and I don't have children and we are not trying to, at this point, my SIL is the one who has 2 kids. My MIL consistently says she never sees us and she won't see our children -- our future children. Huh? My SIL sees her current grandchildren at least 3-4 times a week.

    My SIL has hosted Easter, so has my MIL and other family members. However, previous to last year my SIL had hosted for the last few years. Last year was the first year I hosted. My DH and I do not host any other holidays; in fact, we end up splitting most of them between my family and his family.  Last year when we said we were hosting, we were honestly trying to be helpful and thought it would be the perfect time since my SIL was so pregnant. We didn't hear of any plans at all. It turns out, my SIL hosted again. Everyone was invited to OUR home, including my SIL's in-laws and nobody showed up.  I am hosting again this year, and if they don't show up, that's perfectly fine. Side note, everything is last minute with his family and it's not unusual for a holiday meal to be served 2 hours late. No joke.

    I understand that we don't have children, but my SIL is a stay- at-home mom with a lot of help and support. My MIL works part-time. EVERYTHING consistently revolves around the SIL and MIL, which is insane. I work 65 hours a week and my DH works 55 hours a week. We have a busy social life. I get that we will have to go out of our way to see them more than vise versa, but there is only so much time we can give.

    Thanks again everyone for shedding some light on all of this. My DH is talking with his father. I appreciate the help.

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