Help with Mother-in-law!


#1

Hi all -
You've heard it many times before that women and their mother-in-laws don't seem to get along...I'm finding this statement truer and truer each day.

My husband and I are moving to Japan on Wednesday. My in-laws flew out on Thursday, the 14th and were supposed to leave the 21st. Well, then they decided they would stay till Easter, and now they've changed it again to leave right after we step on the plane on Wednesday. Not to mention, my sister-in-law flew in unexpectedly this week and my brother-in-law is now flying in today (at the request of my MIL). I understand that they are my husband's family and are only wanting to say goodbye to him, but to come half way across the country unexpectedly is, to me, very unreasonable and causes me to stress out. (This is the prelude to why my mother-in-law overwhelms me!)

When my husband and I first started dating, I was attending a Catholic church, being raised Catholic. However, not really knowing the differences in the denominations, I started to attend his Southern Baptist church with him and his mother and I became pretty close, even though I thought she was a little radical (She's a HUGE, STRICT, ONLY-SOUTHERN-BAPTISTS-ARE-REAL-CHRISTIANS kind of woman). A year after we were married, I started going back to the Catholic Church after having talked it over with my husband and he supported my choice. Last Sunday, I went to Mass while they attended a Protestant service on base. Apparently, this upset my mother-in-law enough to pull my husband aside and have a discussion with him. She told him repeatedly that she doesn't agree with my choice and that I am going to a church that teaches all the wrong things and that the Catholics worship Mary.

Even worse, since then, she has had a pretty conniving manner towards me.
My father flew into town to spend Easter with us (and was already expected to do so) and when we attended the Good Friday Mass, sh*t hit the fan. That morning, I made a big breakfast for everyone. I even made bacon for his family because I know they don't observe Good Friday. Well, she mocked me AND my father. She criticized us for not eating bacon but eating eggs. Her reasoning was that "eggs still come from an animal so what you're doing doesn't make sense". Further, when my Dad left the house, she started giving me 20 questions about the Stations of the Cross. When I explained them to her, she immediately jumped on the "Virgin Cradling Jesus" one and said, "That's funny, because the body was given to Joseph, not Mary. But, I know you Catholics like to do that." After my father and I got back from Mass, she asked 20 questions about how it was. When I explained that they bring the crucifix up and ask everyone to kneel and kiss the feet of Jesus, she just made a face. (Mind you - I was only answering her questions - I didn't bring any of it up myself). We all went out to dinner downtown and did some window shopping, too. I saw this really pretty cross in a store and commented on it, while just her and I were standing there. In a very condescending tone, she said, "Oh, but where's Jesus? Why isn't he on the Cross? OH! That's right, he's not supposed to be there. He's risen," and walked away.

The entire day I was FURIOUS but managed to keep my cool so I wouldn't fuel further tension in the family. But for her to come visit me, prolong her stay twice, and then criticize my every move is absolutely unacceptable. I have welcomed this woman into our home, made her dinner, breakfasts, taken her places, etc. etc. etc. I feel like I have done all I possibly can to be a good daughter-in-law and there is no pleasing her now.
I have one more week of putting up with her and I know it's going to blow over tomorrow when I attend the Catholic Easter Mass.

What do I do?! Can you please pray for me!?


#2

[quote="PolishK, post:1, topic:237328"]
Hi all -
You've heard it many times before that women and their mother-in-laws don't seem to get along...I'm finding this statement truer and truer each day.

My husband and I are moving to Japan on Wednesday. My in-laws flew out on Thursday, the 14th and were supposed to leave the 21st. Well, then they decided they would stay till Easter, and now they've changed it again to leave right after we step on the plane on Wednesday. Not to mention, my sister-in-law flew in unexpectedly this week and my brother-in-law is now flying in today (at the request of my mother-in-law). I understand that they are my husband's family and are only wanting to say goodbye to him, but to come half way across the country unexpectedly is, to me, very unreasonable and causes me to stress out. (This is the prelude to why my mother-in-law overwhelms me!)

When my husband and I first started dating, I was attending a Catholic church, being raised Catholic. However, not really knowing the differences in the denominations, I started to attend his Southern Baptist church with him and his mother and I became pretty close, even though I thought she was a little radical (She's a HUGE, STRICT, ONLY-SOUTHERN-BAPTISTS-ARE-REAL-CHRISTIANS kind of woman). A year after we were married, I started going back to the Catholic Church after having talked it over with my husband and he supported my choice. Last Sunday, I went to Mass while they attended a Protestant service on base. Apparently, this upset my mother-in-law enough to pull my husband aside and have a discussion with him. She told him repeatedly that she doesn't agree with my choice and that I am going to a church that teaches all the wrong things and that the Catholics worship Mary.

Even worse, since then, she has had a pretty conniving manner towards me.
My father flew into town to spend Easter with us (and was already expected to do so) and when we attended the Good Friday Mass, sh*t hit the fan. That morning, I made a big breakfast for everyone. I even made bacon for his family because I know they don't observe Good Friday. Well, she mocked me AND my father. She criticized us for not eating bacon but eating eggs. Her reasoning was that "eggs still come from an animal so what you're doing doesn't make sense". Further, when my Dad left the house, she started giving me 20 questions about the Stations of the Cross. When I explained them to her, she immediately jumped on the "Virgin Cradling Jesus" one and said, "That's funny, because the body was given to Joseph, not Mary. But, I know you Catholics like to do that." After my father and I got back from Mass, she asked 20 questions about how it was. When I explained that they bring the crucifix up and ask everyone to kneel and kiss the feet of Jesus, she just made a face. (Mind you - I was only answering her questions - I didn't bring any of it up myself). We all went out to dinner downtown and did some window shopping, too. I saw this really pretty cross in a store and commented on it, while just her and I were standing there. In a very condescending tone, she said, "Oh, but where's Jesus? Why isn't he on the Cross? OH! That's right, he's not supposed to be there. He's risen," and walked away.

The entire day I was FURIOUS but managed to keep my cool so I wouldn't fuel further tension in the family. But for her to come visit me, prolong her stay twice, and then criticize my every move is absolutely unacceptable. I have welcomed this woman into our home, made her dinner, breakfasts, taken her places, etc. etc. etc. I feel like I have done all I possibly can to be a good daughter-in-law and there is no pleasing her now.
I have one more week of putting up with her and I know it's going to blow over tomorrow when I attend the Catholic Easter Mass.

What do I do?! Can you please pray for me!?

[/quote]


#3

be careful with this woman when the time comes for you to have kids. This type of people will try at all cost to force their religion down your throat.

as on what to do, just continue on being nice to them. Just do it for your husband , I am sure your husband will appreciate this. Just be thankful to the Lord you dont live in the same city with her.


#4

I was thinking about this and reflecting. Based on my experience if you are nice to people and they treat you like Sh##t. then there is no point of you treating them with kindness and being overly nice to them. Just treat them normally. Don’t give them any kind of SPECIAL TREATMENT because the more you treat them very well,the more they ABUSE…

base on my experience there are really people who only treat you with respect when you show them that you are tough and strict. This is really sad but it is reality


#5

Become an apologetic. Make your children apologetics! Dud you say you were moving away? God bless you! Just be the better person. Pray for her. Do not get hurt by her comments as much ad possible. Your husband will respect you and see her for who is is being. My brother in law will no longer talk to me because he married a baptist preachers daughter and is now converted and hates us Catholics. Try being called wicked! But I just turn my head and pray for him to see the truth.


#6

Jesus is on the cross as a reminder of our redemption, by the way. :). A cross without Jesus is a torture device. But I wouldn't even get into it. She will always have something else. Just walk away and pray. Funny how they like to target Catholics huh? They are very interested in us.


#7

I wil pray for you. You are doing the right thing by being loving toward her. God bless you.


#8

Where is your husband in all this? He has a responsibility to his wife and it is his job to keep his mother in line.

As to what you should do? Personally, I would kick her out of my home

CM


#9

I am so very sorry about you going through this. My ex-mother-in-law and I didn't get along, either. To make it worse, my ex-husband is a mama's boy-allowed her the full reins even at the expense of my misery. He was also in the military, along with myself. My kids came along, and both were doing nothing but running me down as a mother and a wife-got to where I just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. I have tried so hard to get along yet came to a conclusion that with some people, you just are not able to get along, no matter what. As tough as it is now as a single parent-and it is tough with teenagers and everything, at least I don't have a man running me down. My suggestion to you is for you to see a good therapist, try to get your husband to come, too if possible-maybe to learn how to support you better and to stand up to his mother. Hopefully, he will put you first and do the right things for you. Hold off on having children until this issue is resolved-if possible-no need to bring them in the middle for they will suffer in the end. You and your husband has a lot on your hands on how best to handle his mother. Remember-maybe you can keep in mind a bible passage talking about us being different part/s of Christ's body-maybe possibly referring to possible christian denominations. My ex-mother-in-law was a die-hard baptist woman when I was married to my ex-husband. Imagine my shock and surprise learning that she is now a practicing catholic believer. I have never knew that she was raised catholic. We both were raised catholics who left to join a protestant denomination. She never did put down the catholic religion (thank goodness). She just ran the show and my ex (her son) allowed her to run everything-he caved in to all her demands and guilt trips. I think she saw me as a threat to her relationship with her son. She was against us marrying and finally got her wish when her son left me while I was 8 months pregnant with number three. Thank goodness for the air force-my lifeline-somehow-I got through the mess, got a VA loan for a house, and still working on providing for my family. I still suffer and refuse to date and get close to anyone-I know how damaging verbal abuse is especially coming from someone you are trying to get along with for the sake of keeping peace with you and your husband. He has to do his part, too-you can't do it all alone-I sure hope that he stands strong with you. Oh-by the way-I am going to yakota this july for my annual tour-heard japan is beautiful-despite the circumstances. Hang in there-keep your faith and remember-pray! Thoughts and prayers-Laura :hug3::knight1::gopray2:


#10

I am going to give you another viewpoint. You married her son, and she presumed that you were at best, a lapsed Catholic, or had converted. You went to Baptist services with her. (BTW, Catholic is not a denomination, it is the One True Church. Denominations are the Protestant churches.) Now you are switching to Catholic?? She can’t understand this and she probably fears for her son’s salvation. This doesn’t excuse her behavior toward you, BTW, in your own house. She shouldn’t treat you like that.

I don’t think your in-laws should be involved in any of your private religious/faith matters. I understand they are staying with you at the moment, which makes it a little trickier. But from now on, keep your reversion details to yourself. If your husband is OK with this, is he going to agree to raise the children as Catholic?

I think this whole thing ought to give you enough pause and concern to sit down with your husband and work out what you are going to do in the future. You can’t just go into this willy-nilly, you need to have a plan, and he needs to set boundaries with his family as far as your religious choices. I hope, for your sake, that it’s possible, but it sounds like his mother is very deeply anti-Catholic.

I wish I could flag this thread as one of the things that happens when Catholics marry outside the Church. Even if you weren’t aware of all the dimensions of being a Catholic, now you have a war on your hands!

Sorry about your situation, I really, really am.


#11

If she were in my home and my MIL pulled that, she would be asked to leave immediately and not welcomed in as long as I was around. Call me harsh and unfair but I would not have been belittled and disrespected like that in my own home. Talk to your husband and come to a decision about what should happen and have him talk to her. That’s what I would do. PCSing is stressful enough without the in-laws making it worse. Good luck with the move!


#12

that would be the easiest thing to do after all the disrespect the MIL has shown her. However, you should also consider the fact that even if she is the nastiest woman on this Earth, She is still his(OP’s husband) mother and he still would love her no matter what and this won´t change at all. If the OP would show a certain disrespect towards the mom then this might irate the husband.

I guess the best option would be the OP talk to her husban about everything that she is going through. She is just very lucky that her husband is accepting of her Faith and does not criticize her in any way. I think the husband shouldbe given credit for that. He himself must be in a difficult position having a mom with a personality like that.


#13

I’m southern baptist, and she was/is way out of line. Her behavior shows nothing of her Christian teachings. No love, charity or just plain kindness. I’m sorry your MIL is this way, please don’t judge us all according to folks like this. Not even all Baptists believe this, as this is debated regularly on the baptist board, and many are ‘on your side’, lol.

I have to ask, what does your husband say about her behavior toward you? As your husband, he should def step in and run interference. More, he should flat out demand she cease and desist her attacks on you. He should make it plain and public to the whole family (both of them) that your religious choices are YOURS (as a couple) and they are not to interfere.

I really hope things clear up for you, and your familys can find a happy coexistence. It’s stupid people are this way.


#14

Hello and Happy Easter!! I appreciate all the feedback that was given to me. Thank you so much for all of your advice and outlooks.

I want to say ALLELUIA!! You wouldn’t believe what kind of Easter MIRACLE I experienced today!! …

My Mother-in-law CAME TO MASS!!!

I will first start by saying that my husband has always been by my side and stood up for me when it came to his family. Thank God he does this! He will be the first to tell you that his mother is very radical in her ways and that he does not agree with her thoughts/beliefs/actions much of the time.

His mother started bringing up religious talk yesterday afternoon and I started to feel my blood boil. I, in the presence of her, my father-in-law, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law, did not want to do anything out of line so I simply stated, “Let’s just STOP talking about religion!” I then grabbed my shoes and walked out the door. My husband followed and we took a long walk talking about everything. When we came back to the house, he took his mother aside and requested she take a walk with him. She did and he told her that her behavior towards “my wife has been offensive and has hurt her feelings”. He told her she needed to stop and that he wouldn’t tolerate it anymore. After their long discussion, she came over and talked to me (FOR TWO HOURS) about every biblical thing she could possibly thing of. I persistently reminded her that I do not have to agree with her and she does not have to agree with me. In the end, she never apologized for anything (though, I apologized for getting offended three or four times). She tried to tell me that it was wrong of me to get offended because getting offended means the devil is in you. Seriously. But, I just chose to let it roll of my back. I was sticking firmly to my beliefs no matter how hard she tried to disprove them. Afterward, my husband and I went home (in-laws are staying on base) and found out in the morning that his family wanted to come to my church with me. I DID NOT expect this. They came but did not participate in much (which is fine, given it was their first Mass ever and they probably had no idea what to do). Our Father did a WONDERFUL homily and the Mass was just beautiful. I have no idea what my MIL thought of it because I refused to bring it up.

All in all, she has been VERY nice to me today. It seems that my husband must have gotten through to her somewhat. Also, we think my father-in-law had a talk with her last night, too (he gets pretty agitated by her actions sometimes, as well).

SO, PRAISE THE LORD! SHE CAME TO MASS!!!


#15

Thank you for your advice. My mother-in-law surely could have never been under the impression I was a Baptist or anything. I still attended Catholic Mass on holidays and never became “involved” in their church. She may have been under the impression that I would someday join?

She is very much a control freak and doesn’t like when people make decisions without her approval. Two of her other grown children let her dominate their families and no one moves more than 2 miles from her house (except for us and my husband’s older brother). I think she thought she could get away with controlling us, too, but she should have known better. My husband has never let her control him.

Marrying outside the Church can be a good and bad thing. How many Catholics wouldn’t be Catholic-converts if their Catholic-spouse hadn’t married them? :slight_smile:


#16

[quote="lauraabarlow, post:9, topic:237328"]
Oh-by the way-I am going to yakota this july for my annual tour-heard japan is beautiful-despite the circumstances. Hang in there-keep your faith and remember-pray! Thoughts and prayers-Laura :hug3::knight1::gopray2:

[/quote]

How exciting!! Yokota is our station! We are heading there this Wed. afternoon!!


#17

I must confess that I didn't read your entire post, but you must insist that your husband defend you and not tolerate her abuse. YOU don't have to kick her out--I would not recommend that--but you should defend yourself politely and, in private, insist to your husband that he speak to her and tell her that this behavior won't be tolerated. And enlist his father's help, if he can.

Your husband should tell her that she is alienating you, future mother of her grandchildren, and she may lose contact with them if she continues this behavior. You have it in your power to keep your children away from her, by a long distance if you have to.

Fortunately, you are leaving the country .

She may be mentally ill or possibly slipping in to early dementia. Or depressed. Possibly she could profit by psychiatric help. Her behavior is inappropriate, to say the least.

In any case, your husband should defend you, because in doing so, he is defending your marriage.


#18

:thumbsup:

This is good - I would also make it a point of letting her know that you are the woman of your domain and that the door of your domain will only be open to her as long as she treats you respectfully in it. Period end of story. BTW- your future children which you will probably be having plenty of since us Mary-loving Catholics also don’t believe in ABC will not be visiting her unsupervised until she can prove her ability to show respect to their mother.


#19

In addition, she may be upset that her son is moving so far away, so she picked on you to deal with her anger/grief.


#20

So glad to hear that she attended mass-- given what you shared about her, I suspect that she has a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be Catholic, and what actually happens at mass.

What a perfect day for her to attend mass-- and she better get used to it since I'm sure she'll be attending many baptisms, 1st Communions and Confirmations in the years to come. <3

Safe travels for you and your dh, and I hope you enjoy Japan!


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.