Mother-in-law issue


#1

My husband and I just started going to the Catholic church during Lent. I am a returning Catholic although I was not confirmed. My husband wants to go through RCIA in the fall. I’ve been so happy to hear that as now that I am back–I can not leave my faith again. Naturally life would be easier if we both are Catholic.

My husband has been trying to deal with issues regarding his mother who is an alcoholic. I have some anger issues with her because I can’t understand how she can choose alcohol over her only son. But I’m trying to let him deal with his on issues/anger without involving mine. So, he called her yesterday…

Bottom line–she is NOT happy with his decision to join the Catholic Church. She wanted him to ask our priest if he was “saved”. She also said that she wants something to think about when she comes back from church and with all that standing/kneeling she doesn’t come back with anything to think about.

Now my husband did a VERY good job of responding to her. He told her "no I will not ask Fr. that because he preaches it and he lives it. Really our priest is the most wonderful tenderhearted priest–he’s a large part of why we have found our way home. And he said that “I always have LOTS to chew on when I come back from Mass” and “you do know that we get three readings from the bible every week and that our priest does a wonderful job in his homilies of relating that to everyday life”

Bottom line–I don’t want her to be so mean to my husband about his decision to join the Church and I’m going to have an AWFUL hard time being nice to her and letting my anger go if she keeps belittleing my faith. I’m sure she doesn’t like me anyway–she never did and I’m pretty sure that she blames me for leading her son astray.

HELP–SUGGESTIONS? :shrug: I don’t want to behave badly about this…I want to do what is pleasing to God.

Thanks.


#2

I also have an anti-Catholic mother-in-law. She had said and done some beastly things while attacking my faith. While you are at a crucial point in returning to your faith, it might be wise to just keep a polite distance from her. If she is petty or insecure, she will only keep fighting. It really has nothing to do with God, but with her own pride. IF she is able to listen to you, then share your faith, but if her ears are closed to the truth don't stress yourself out. Just pray a lot and be secure in your choices. I wish I had more advice, but after being battered by my MIL and also blamed for "taking her son" all I can tell you is to keep a distance.


#3

Al-Anon offers support to families of alcholics. You can find it in the telephone directory. Your church might have meetings in its hall.

I’d talk to your priest. It might help if she did meet him. This isn’t necessary.

Curious as to why you and your husband thought it necessary to tell her your husband will be going to RCIA classes. That’s five months away. Why involve her?

If she would rather attend her own service on Sunday, drop her off and pick her up. Or your husband could go with you on Sat. and escort his Mom on Sunday.

Her thoughts are muddled do to the drink. Until that is out of her life, you will not really know her. And she will not know herself.


#4

We didn’t tell her that…and haven’t yet. She has heard through the family that we are going to the Catholic Church. We had to get a copy of his baptismal certificate and so we were talking with his aunt and uncle (also his godparents). They are on his dad’s side (his dad has passed away). His dad was Catholic but left the church shortly after my husband turned 5.

We wanted to get things rolling on our convalidation–which is in June. We also haven’t told her about that…and with the above happening…will not be inviting her. I just don’t think she will behave.

It makes me sad because this is her only child.


#5

Best piece of advice I can give you…step back.

She’s his mother and his problem to deal with. All you need to do is be there for your husband and support him. Don’t try to fight his battles for him, that’s a no win situation. That puts him in a position of having to choose between you and no matter what her faults, she’s his mother. If he chooses to distance himself from her…support him. If he decides to try to keep her in his life…support him. If she gets on your nerves, if she makes you angry, if you find yourself wanting to step in…step away.

Pray about it. Talk to your priest about it. Vent about it here. Other than that…do nothing.

Best of you luck to you and welcome back home.


#6

[quote="LemonPoppy, post:5, topic:196816"]
Best piece of advice I can give you...step back.

She's his mother and his problem to deal with. All you need to do is be there for your husband and support him. Don't try to fight his battles for him, that's a no win situation. That puts him in a position of having to choose between you and no matter what her faults, she's his mother. If he chooses to distance himself from her...support him. If he decides to try to keep her in his life...support him. If she gets on your nerves, if she makes you angry, if you find yourself wanting to step in...step away.

Pray about it. Talk to your priest about it. Vent about it here. Other than that...do nothing.
.

[/quote]

He hasn't been talking to her in the past. I've encouraged him to talk with Fr. (which he did) and I think that's why he called her. I want him to be able to make peace with her and himself but haven't done too much other then that suggest we take her out to breakfast for mother's day.

I don't want to fight his battles....but yet I don't know what to do when she gets nasty towards me....something she has done in the past. And I don't want to have to sit there while she attacks my faith.:(

It's sad what some people will give up for alcohol.:(

Thanks for your suggestions.


#7

That is VERY nice of you to take her out for Mother's Day. Even if she doesn't go, send a card.

What about going to Al-Anon?


#8

I'd sure not discuss religion with your MIL at all....why? This is your choice, you and your husband. If there are problems, he should deal with her. Go about this quietly without involving her.

stormy


#9

This is just the devil's way of trying to disuade you and your husband from joining the Catholic Church. Stay sweet and strong. Pray about it, pray with your husband, and PRAY FOR YOUR MOTHER IN LAW.


#10

[quote="Annabelle_Marie, post:6, topic:196816"]
I want him to be able to make peace with her and himself but haven't done too much other then that suggest we take her out to breakfast for mother's day.

I don't want to fight his battles....but yet I don't know what to do when she gets nasty towards me....something she has done in the past. And I don't want to have to sit there while she attacks my faith.:(

[/quote]

When you deal with alcoholics, the "normal rules" are turned upside down; the alcoholic becomes the child, and the kids end up being the adults in the situation. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Additionally, from what you have posted and my own experiences, if she doesn't get nasty due to religion, she will find something else to be nasty about, so please don't go out of your way to please this woman, because women like her can't be pleased. Don't live your life around her; concentrate on your Catholic faith and husband (and any children you have).

And if she attacks your faith and looks for something to "chew on", I'm sure you can say "well, we don't learn that it's OK to get drunk and be nasty". Maybe that will shut her up, which more often than not is half the battle.


#11

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