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  #1  
Old Jul 5, '05, 7:13 am
carynh carynh is offline
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Default What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

DH and I are an NFP teaching couple. MIL is one who thinks that two kids are enough and people can't afford more than that. When I was pregnant with my second child and had just found out the sex, she called me and had a very long conversation trying to convince me that since I already had one of each sex that we shouldn't have any more. When I politely disagreed, she pulled out all of the standard arguments [my age (36 at the time), finances, health, "what if you have retarded children?", etc] all of which I refuted. DH and I discussed this and decided we wouldn't tell them (in-laws) the next time we got pregnant until well into the pregnancy, since they seemed to view any subsequent pregnancies so negatively.

Sadly, our next pregnancy ended in miscarriage this past February. DH felt that we should tell her, but I was feeling very uncomfortable about letting his relatives know. However, I told him to do what he felt was right and he did let her know.

Fast forward to last night, July 4. We were at a party at her house and discussing my sister's upcoming wedding next year. My mom was asking if I planned to stay longer than just for the wedding (they live in the next state) and I jokingly said, "That depends on how pregnant I am". MIL immediately jumped in "Are you pregnant?" "Not yet", I replied. "Oh well then I'd better pray." I thought she meant to help us get pregnant, and I was amazed at how God works. I said something to my mom later when we were alone, and my mom proceeded to tell me how the conversation had gone after I left . She had told my mother that, in fact, she was praying that we WOULDN'T get pregnant because she is convinced (despite many protestations to the contrary from DH) that he is stressed out and the stress is due to me (sahm) and my two children. She cites his rosacia (which can be caused by stress as one of many causes). My mother argued with this reasoning, citing my older sister's (also sahm) rosacia. In fact, his own father has rosacia. I was immediately angry, then hurt. I still am hurt but now I'm feeling sorry for her. What a profound misunderstanding of God, and just the entire situation, this woman has!

Later she and I were having a discussion about DH's work situation. She wanted to know why he was doing work at home (hmm, could this be the cause of stress?). I explained that it seems that all he does in the office is attend meetings and therefore has little time to write the programs that he works on, so he does what he can on his laptop at home. She seemed upset about this and said he needed to have balance in his life. I agreed, thinking I might be getting somewhere with her. I went on to explain that he was looking for a new position within the company since his group was dissolved and he was back in a department that he worked so hard to get out of. "I hope for more money!" she interjected. Why, if she is concerned about his stress level, would she be eager for him to take a higher position which presumably comes with more responsibility and stress?

I have thought about this and come to the conclusion that this whole thing stems from her extreme materialism. She lives in a very expensive and huge home that she has no need for, since both of her children are grown (built after both left home). It is decorated by a designer and landscaped by a professional. (we, by contrast, live in what she considers a "starter home", with secondhand furniture and in her words "too much junk"). DH says she has always been this way, that she was always out to impress the neighbors. When I told him that she was praying against us (we've been praying ever since the miscarriage) he scoffed and said "My mother doesn't pray!" DH, BTW, was raised nominally Presbyterian before he converted to Catholicism, which was when we were engaged.

Obviously I have worked some of this out for myself, but I still have problems with this. I'm pretty sure that someone who is asking the Creator not to create doesn't have a good idea who they're talking to, but how much does this interfere with my own prayer which is in direct opposition to this? I know DH says she doesn't pray, but I know that even people who have never prayed in their whole lives can start if they think circumstances are dire enough.

Also, one final note, which thoroughly confuses me, and maybe someone can shed some light on this. MIL had a complete hysterectomy not long after the birth of her second child. She often describes the first c-section (when DH was born) as a complete butchery and says she almost died, and FIL says they had to do major repair work on her after her daughter was born. Therefore, I assume that it was because of this and not some attempt to sterilize herself. She has said on a couple of different occasions that she wished she had been able to have more children. Why the contradiction? Why would someone who knows her own regret at being unable to have more than two wish infertility on her own child?
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  #2  
Old Jul 5, '05, 7:25 am
La Chiara La Chiara is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

Do not let this woman bother you. She seems to have problems knowing the healthy role of a mother to a married, adult son and his family. You can not control what she says or thinks. So you need to let her comments roll off your back like water off a duck's back! (Definitely, hard to do, but all things are possible with God.) She is not going to change. So you need to work at not letting her get to you. Pray for the grace and serenity to endure her without getting upset. And pray for her too.
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  #3  
Old Jul 5, '05, 7:30 am
MarilynIN MarilynIN is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

I can't explain the contradiction. Maybe it's not so much that she actually wanted more children as much as she wanted the ability to be able to have more children and she is blurring the distinction.

As for misguided prayers, God hears them, but he answers them in His own way. Perhaps His answer to her will be His Blessing of you and your husband with another beautiful child!
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  #4  
Old Jul 5, '05, 7:37 am
carol marie carol marie is offline
 
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

It sounds like this woman is so narcisistic - she experienced the heartbreak of not being able to have more children, but unfortunatly that didn't translate into empathy for others. She is totally focused on her son, but doesn't seem to care about your feelings - especially in reagards to the loss of your last baby. (Which I'm very very sorry about - been there as well. ) Maybe she resents that her son has to work to support you, his stay at home wife (sooooo none of her business) and maybe it has something to do with the fact that she's materialistic & wishes her son looked more well off which she might think makes HER look good. Warped.

Ok, but about the prayers. I would pray that God's will be done. He knows the desires of your heart - He knows your longing for another child. And He knows what's best for your family. Trust Him. If God wants to bless you with another child, there's NO stopping Him -

God Bless,
CM
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  #5  
Old Jul 5, '05, 7:57 am
lgatny lgatny is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

it sounds to me like she is bitter that she was unable to have more children, and therefore doesn't want anyone else to have them either. misery loves company.....lets pray that she is able to fully mourn the loss of not having more children and find joy in the children of others.
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  #6  
Old Jul 5, '05, 7:59 am
kaymart kaymart is offline
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Post Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

Sometimes a persons bitterness towards others stems from fact they can't have what you have namely more children. Pray for her, she is quite misguided. I had a childless friend who was so mad about not being able concieve she became bitter over any pregnant woman she saw. Although still in my prayers,with her toxic behavior, I cooled the friendship years ago. I know you can't do that with a MIL but there is ways to cope. This could be the root of your MIL problem, and knowing that could help you understand her more.
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  #7  
Old Jul 5, '05, 8:08 am
jrabs jrabs is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carol marie
Ok, but about the prayers. I would pray that God's will be done. He knows the desires of your heart - He knows your longing for another child. And He knows what's best for your family. Trust Him. If God wants to bless you with another child, there's NO stopping Him -

God Bless,
CM
I second Carol Marie's advice. Pray for God's will in your life and a trusting heart. God's ways are mysterious and best.
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  #8  
Old Jul 5, '05, 8:21 am
ally704 ally704 is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

This is such a sad situation because so many people are hurt by this type of thinking. I can understand your feelings because my own mother talked negatively about us having more than two children. I'm sure you know deep in your heart that the Lord's will will be done regardless of what she prays for; trust in Him. I think the saddest part of what you wrote above is that your DH stated she does not pray. In my opinion, she is in tremendous need of prayer so that she can open her heart and mind to our Lord. That's when her eyes will be truly opened to the truth. I will pray for all of you.

Ally
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  #9  
Old Jul 5, '05, 8:44 am
StratusRose StratusRose is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

When God answers prayer he says Yes, Maybe, or I've got something better. He doesn't say No. So if your MIL prays against you getting pregnant He'll tell her, that he's got something better for her in store. I mean really, what Grandmother could complain about an extra grandchild? Perhaps you should tell her that you will pray that she will stop being so materialistic, then see if she changes her tune!


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  #10  
Old Jul 5, '05, 10:57 am
Arlene Arlene is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

The first time I got pregnant, no sooner did we see the positive sign on the test then we went running across the driveway to tell DH's parents, who were so less than pleased that we left in tears. So we went home to call my family in Texas who were overjoyed with us.

When our son died, I didn't even want her sympathy, and her sadness seemed hypocritical to me.

It took us two years to get pregnant again. When we finally saw the positive on the test we again went running across the driveway to tell them. This time they were happy for us because they knew how desperatetely we wanted another baby.

We all thought we were done. We had our longed for baby, and I didn't want to tempt fate again, nor did I want to go through another difficult pregancy which my doctor told me any subsequent pregnancies would be. So we carefully counted days, abstained when we needed to, and felt wonderfully blessed with our daughter.

Three years later I got pregnant again. A surprise, yes. An oops, no, because God does not make mistakes. DH was mad at me for not counting days right, but got over that in a day or so. But there was no way I was going to tell his mom. I made him do it. I have no idea how the conversation went, and I never want to know.

But now my girls are 10 and 6. They are both the delight of their grandma. "May I go outside and play?" usually translates to "I'll eventually end up on the other side of the driveway at Grandma's house."

God will do what He is gonna do, no matter who is praying for or against.

We call our younger daughter "our unaswered prayer" from the Garth Brooks song "Sometimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers." because my prayer with her was "Dear God, please don't let me be pregnant!"
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  #11  
Old Jul 5, '05, 1:43 pm
NFPfamily NFPfamily is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

Well, as a fellow NFP teaching couple, I can relate to your story in some ways.

When we got married 3 1/2 years ago, DH and I decided after two months to try to have a baby (you know, to test out the NFP system!). Well, we got pregnant and we were so excited. We first told my mother and sister (who were both ecstatic) and then went to tell his family. We all sat at my MIL's kitchen table and told them the news (we were both beaming!). My MIL sat expressionless and remarked "I'm not old enough to be a Grandma." My FIL immediately jumped up and said "Speak for yourself!" He came over and gave us hugs and congratulated us, while she eventually moped over to us and gave us pats on the back.

We've since had another baby and she was pleasant when we broke the news, but not excited.

Now, his sister is pregnant and she is just a bubbling brook of excitement. She told an acquaintance of ours that she "couldn't wait to be a grandma" and he told us he though that was strange- he asked us if she was our kids' grandma.
We thought so anyway!

We just learned we have to let most of this roll off our backs.
Just make sure that you and your hubby stay on the same page and let him know how much support you need from him in this, since it is his mother. If possible, have him talk to her about the hurtful things she's said and done. Maybe she'll see that she could be causing him some of the stress. Perhaps giving her the idea that you need support, not criticism, for making your family's personal decisions would be a blessing to everyone.

God bless you and your family! And God bless the mother-in-laws who think they know what's best for us!
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  #12  
Old Jul 5, '05, 2:06 pm
StephanieC StephanieC is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

Carynh~

I'm going to take a pass on the opportunity to comment on any of the dynamics here. What I would like to say is how refreshing it is to read what you wrote & to come away inspired!

You sound like a woman with great charity of heart who is sincerely trying to understand her situation better, not whine or attack. God bless you, your husband and children & future children!

Why is it that Jesus's intruction in Luke 9 comes to mind? "Shake the dust from your feet and move on..."

And, thank you (and dh) for being a teaching couple!
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  #13  
Old Jul 6, '05, 4:47 am
cheddarsox cheddarsox is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

My mom was never happy for me when I was pregnant either. it was her own bitterness leaking through. She had more babies than she wanted, and couldn't get happy or imagine anyone happy over the upcoming birth of a child.

Don't let her rain on your parade. I am sorry that she refuses to share your joy. I hope, through her own prayers, God opens her heart.

best to you,

cheddar
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  #14  
Old Jul 6, '05, 8:14 am
turboEDvo turboEDvo is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

I would just shrug it off. But then again, I have never particularly cared what others say about me, so it might not work as well for you. I really just wouldn't pay attention to it, and pray that her heart be turned.

Eamon
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  #15  
Old Jul 6, '05, 8:31 am
carynh carynh is offline
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Default Re: What do you do if someone is praying AGAINST you?

Thanks everyone for all of your replies. It's good to know that I'm not alone in this and hearing other people's perspectives on how God works is really helpful. I guess the thing that really frustrates me is that she will raise the specter of her opposition to more children and then she won't say anything for months (sometimes even more than a year) which gives the mistaken impression that she's had a change of heart.

My next delimma is this: when and if we get pregnant, do we tell her, or do we just let my tummy speak for itself? I've thought about not telling her this time around, given her extreme negativity to the idea. To be honest, I noticed that she wasn't thrilled with my second pregnancy when we told her (I think she thought it was too close to the birth of my son). Should I wait until she asks? I just can't help but think of her praying for another miscarriage if we tell her too soon, not that God would answer her prayer. Is there a possibility of "someone else" listening to that request, if you know what I mean?
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