And I need to know if I did the right thing. I'm indecisive (and anxiety-ridden) by nature and this has been weighing heavy on me for the past two days. I flip flop between "I did the right thing" and "Did I really do the right thing?"
Backstory - my husband and I have been together close to 9 years, married since September. We started dating almost immediately after him and his ex broke up. From jump, his Mom would call me her name a lot (she actually did it once in front of my whole family at a birthday party for me - this was years ago, but he and I were about 4 years into our relationship at that point). With calling me her name, initially I thought "Ok, well they were together some time, I'm sure it's going to take MIL a while to get used to me." Didn't make a terrible stink about it, although my husband (BF at the time) told her to watch what she says.
Since then this girl, the ex, has come up on multiple occassions and my husband has continuously asked his Mom not to mention her anymore. Yet, MIL persists. One of the most recent times was about 6 months prior to us getting married, she came up to me (husband and FIL were not around) and she said "You know, that Mary, she was a nice girl, but I'm happy my son is marrying you." I walked away from her. While this maybe/kinda could be taken as a compliment, I don't understand why it has to be prefaced with the ex-gf, especially after multiple conversations about not bringing her up. I just think it's rude and inappropriate.
So Christmas. We spend it with my ILs this year. My husband and I weren't exactly looking forward to it because my ILs, particularly my MIL is a total odd job - she makes strange, often times insulting remarks, has zero boundaries, etc. She's just difficult to be around. Surprisingly it was a very pleasant Christmas Eve and Christmas morning... until... she brings up the ex-gf once again, at the breakfast table, in front of everyone. It was a flip switched in the room, we sat there silent. My husband once again said "Mom, you have to stop doing this." And then we left.
I'm not overly sensitive to the girl, I don't feel jealous or threatened (some of his cousins are FB friends with her, I could care less). What pisses me off is that despite multiple conversations, my MIL still brings it up. For the record, I also spoke to her about it a couple times. Plus, call me crazy, but I don't want to be 9 years into a relationship and married, and have this girl constantly coming up, it's annoying. She's like this with other issues too. The more you tell her "stop" the more she does it.
So I called her the next day to talk to her about, once again. But she started playing the victim "I can't say anything in front of you two" and "I can't do anything right" and "I'm an awful person" and BLAH BLAH BLAH. She said "I can't believe my own son would speak to me that way" (referencing him asking her to stop talking about the girl). I lost it from that point. I told her this was textbook manipulation, "you throw these digs out there and when someone calls you out on it you play the victim" and "no one gives a sh!t about this girl except for you" and "You don't seem like you're on board with this marriage but I'm not going anywhere." I basically insisted she take responsibility for stirring the pot, for trying to get a rise out of us, and she wouldn't do it. She kept playing the victim, so I got off the phone with her.
So my ILs are clearly upset with me. They think since they are the parents they have a license to do or say whatever they want with no consequences and that we, the "children" have no right to speak up or stick up for ourselves. It's like we have to play by their rules or else. My husband supports me and said this is what it's been like his whole life, it's all or nothing. You either suck it up or it blows up. There is no in between.
I'm just at a loss, this really isn't what I wanted. I'm not proud of the WAY I spoke to her, but I am proud I finally stood up for myself (past the typical "Please don't do this anymore" conversations we've had in the past).
So, back to the original question... did I do the right thing? I start beating myself up over the predicament my husband is in. While I realize I'm not directly responsible, I wonder if I shouldn't have just let it go (once again!) for the sake of keeping the peace. I just feel awful...
Was I justified in what I did? Where do we go from here?
(For what it's worth, my husband spoke to his Dad about it and had my back, he has yet to speak to his Mom. I haven't spoken to either since. I want to give it a few days so we can cool off before we re-address, if we ever should).