Cutting off my MIL

My MIL and I have always had a rocky relationship. In the past she’s accused me of being abusive to my children, lied to others about my husband and me, tried to make parenting decisions for us, etc. We tried to take things in stride and decide how to deal with her on a case by case basis but she’s finally shown me that she has no control over herself and I simply don’t want to be around her at all. I also don’t want the kids to be alone with her. Basically, she did something cruel to someone who was dying and then started a fight at the viewing with the daughter of the deceased. DH is of the opinion that if she didn’t do it to the kids then we shouldn’t bring them into it but I disagree. I think that someone with so little control over themselves that they would do something like that (with malice aforethought, I might add) is an accident waiting to happen. What do you all think?

What is it with MIL’s lately. LOL I totally sympathize with you.

Can you have your husband talk to her and try to open up communications between you? Have you tried to talk to her? That is where I start.

If you have done this already…then I think It may be time to back away and not include her in your life or the life of your children. I would not go as far as telling your husband not to see his mother, but IF he does, hopefully he can talk to her and tell her how it hurts HIM that she treats you and the children the way she does.

Failing all that…Forgive her and move on. You do not need people in your life that will bring you down…be nasty to you or behind your back…undermine your parenting skills or lie to people about you. Pray for her and be assured you have my prayers.

Peace

I agree with Debbie.

I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. My prayers are with you.

Good morning, thank you for coming here and sharing this painful story. I know, personally what a difficult cross that is to bear.

I know you specifically asked about your mother-in-law but I would like to side step that question and address your marriage. I beleive that it is your marriage that is the primary issue/concern here and your mother-in-law is secondary.

Your husband is in pain over this and you need to work together. I could agree with you 100% that your mother-in-law is someone to avoid but what good would that do? I would simply be a person on the internet that agrees with you. Even if 100 people here say you are right, that only makes you “right” and your husband “wrong” not a good set-up.

Your husband has had to deal with this woman all of his life. Tell him what a wonderful father he is. Tell him that you love him and trust him. Tell him that you are proud of him for what a faithful person he is despite his upbringing and surroundings. Tell him that you know he will do the right thing and that you love him very much!

I speak from experience my mother-in-law was difficult and (ashamed to say) I often made it worse for my poor husband. Not only did he have a difficult mother but he got a good dose of complaining from me every chance I got. He would listen to me complain for hours sometimes I don’t know how he managed. We had more arguements over her and her behavior then I care to admit it was awful. Not all of it was my fault but I contributed more then my fair share.

I say this because if your marriage is strong then your mother-in-law will not be an issue! If you are on the same page then dealing with this will be stressful of course but not as stressful as it can be. So, concentrate on your marriage instead of your mother-in-law and see what happens. Concentrate on positive things about your husband, build him up and help give him confidence. Hope this helps a little.

I agree with the previous post…stick with your husband on this it will be an easier road. You need a united front.

You will make the correct decision together.

This is one of those situations where I’ve had to take the lead in dealing with her because he just doesn’t. He doesn’t see why I can’t just ignore her. The time she accused me of abusing my daughter is a case in point; I had made my then-Kindergarten aged daughter write “I will not do xyz thing” ten times and THAT was what the accusation was about. He not only didn’t stand up for me he didn’t even ask her to apologize to me before he invited her over for Christmas. Isn’t that supposed to be part of a husband’s job? And a wife’s job, too…aren’t we supposed to protect each other? I would NEVER allow anyone to treat my husband like his mother has treated me in the time we’ve been married.

My husband was the same way with his Father when his Father would say unkind things to me. One example comes to mind…I had just found out I was pregnant with child number 3. He went on and on about how we should have stopped at 2 kids that 3 was too many and that “I” should take care to not let this happen again. When I said that was a discussion that me and his son would make and decide on…he turned to my husband and said…well if she won’t take care of it…you need to. I’m paraphrasing as this was over 20 years ago…but that was the jist of it. He’s also made comments about how my husband should not have married me as I was not “equal” to his son. (ie…his son was a college grad…I was not). This list goes on and on.

I was very hurt at the time by his harsh words and never did my husband say anything to him about it. He just let it slide…and I became more and more upset by the situation to the point I refused to go over to see my in laws.

My husband is a very non confrontational person. He will walk a million miles around a disagreement rather than face a possible disagreement or fight. He’s always been this way. He too told me to just let it go. Now while he may be able to do that…I’m female…it’s not in my nature. LOL I finally decided not to have any contact with my FIL and by fall out my MIL (who never really did or said anything unkind to me). It took my inlaws 50th Anniversary celebration to get me over to the house. My sister in law (his daughter) sat the old man down and told him…“we are not going to discuss these topics…XYZ…You will behave yourself…you will be nice…and if you have to say something…but a bun in your mouth.”. LOL I started going back over after that day…more for my MIL…but I was making an attempt to put the past in the past and move on. Things were a bit tense…but they got better. The huge turning point was a few years ago on the way to their house on Easter Sunday…we rolled our SUV on the interstate. Thank God no one was seriously injured. I was the worst with a big bump on my head…later found to be caused by a flying wine bottle (it did not break LOL) and several cuts caused by climbing out of the car over the glass. He and the rest of the men in the family came up to help us and I and my daughter went to the hospital to be checked out. When we came in from the hospital…he hugged me and told me he was very glad I was allright. From that point on he has been very nice to me. I think it took the shock that we could have all been killed that day to make him wake up and appreciate that I did love his son very much…that I have never done anything to make him question that…and have been a very good wife and mother and Hubby has been a wonderful husband, father and provider. We have mended our rifts…and now can actually laugh and make fun of the past and we poke fun at each other today with no animosity. My point is…my husband did not confront his father…his sister did. My husband does not have a confrontational nature. Perhaps this is your husbands case.

I do feel for you…as I know how hard this is for you. Distance yourself from this woman…be polite when you do have to be in her presence but make those times rare. Pray for your MIL and for your husband. I will continue to pray for you.

My situation is different, but I understand. I wouldn’t suggest cutting off my MIL because things aren’t that bad, but I do avoid her as much as possible as she likes to cause trouble between my husband and I. I should also say that my mother does the same things (we both come from horribly dysfunctional families) and I treat her the same way. I honor (to the best of my abilities) but avoid so I can honor.

My husband will avoid the confrontations also. I have confronted my own mother on her behavior, but she won’t listen to me. She will listen to my husband. As for my MIL, it’s rare that my husband confronts her and because of that, she lets it go in one ear and out the other. She knows that he won’t follow up any threats to cut her off so her bad behavior continues.

Please do not cut your MIL off. I am speaking as a grandmother who has been cut off from two grandchildren because I “did not show enough respect” for my daughter and SIL.
MILs can be a total pain…I know that from experience…It took years to get along with my MIL, now I love her dearly.
Instead, change how you deal with her. Be upfront with her, but not confrontational. If she says objectionable things in front of you, say something right then. Stand up for yourself, but in a cordial way.
If she talks behind your back, again, be upfront with her, and right away. Explain to her that talking behind your back is not acceptable. She’ll deny it, but simply state that you won’t tolerate it. Be firm.
I think you can deal with this without cutting her off.

I am so sorry you are dealing with this.

Again, try this approach and do all you can to build up your marriage. Try, with God’s help to resist the urge to make your husband feel inadequate and that he is not protecting you. I am guessing that you may have had arguements about this in the past please do what you can to break this cycle. I maintain that building up your marriage is the utmost priority here. You seem very angry at your husband for not protecting you. Yes this is his job but you need to do all you can to draw him out and build him up with LOVE.

I don’t know of a single man that was pressured into being a good husband but know of many who were drawn there by a loving wife. Compliment him, shower him with kisses and hugs, draw closer to him and strengthen your marriage. Tell him how grateful that you are that you married him! With a stronger marriage you can tackle this problem with your mother in law I promise you that. Your frustration with your husband is understandable but it is getting you nowhere you already know that. Please try a different approach, God bless you.

I sympathize…I have a very difficult MIL. DH has said to me, “I feel no love for her…I do what I have to as my duty as a son, but that’s all.” He knows I can only take being around her in small doses…and after 37 years of marriage, we have it down to just a handful of times we see each other every year. He will take her out to lunch for Mother’s Day and her birthday…I’m not expected to go along unless I want to. I pray for her…with some people that’s about all you can take without making yourself sick from stress!

It’s vital that you and your husband present a united front with your mother-in-law, but that doesn’t mean your husband can force an apology from his mom. I think the most he can do is tell her, in his way, that both of you didn’t appreciate her accusations. It’s up to your mother-in-law to then apologize, or not. If you husband doesn’t see the importance of a united front, you need to communicate the importance of this in a way you think will make him understand.

Regarding your children. *This is simply my opinion, which you are free to ignore, * but I think kids benefit tremendously from grandparents (abusive ones the exception, obviously). Were I you, I would create controlled situations where grandmother and grandchild can enjoy each other’s company, with a parent close by to step in of need be, for short bursts of time.

Mothers-in-law are a trip, aren’t they?

As an update to this: My DH and I had a long talk last night about this and he apologized to me for not protecting me and the kids from his mother’s toxic behavior in the past. We have agreed that she can see the kids with our supervision but she’s not going to be taking them anywhere alone. I don’t know if she’s truly cruel or just clueless but she’s done and said somethings that are really beyond the pale.

My mother in law is not allowed to keep our two children, she has demonstated that she can’t be trusted with our older son’s medications (she thinks he doesn’t need them). We don’t make a big deal about it, we just never do anything that would put the boys in her care.

That great that you and DH had such a good talk! And it sounds like you came up with a sound plan of action. Keep up the good communication, and good luck with MIL under the new guidelines! I’ll say a prayer for you.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.