Mother-In-Laws


#1

Ugghhh! One of my burdens is an overbearing mother-in-law. I could tell stories that would curl you hair about them but basically they make me feel horrible while appearing polite. Okay, here are just a couple: 1.) When we were engaged they sat my husband down privately and told him not to marry me. They said I would disgrace their family name, if he gave it to me. 2.) His mother demanded that at least 50% of the matchbooks I ordered as wedding favors list my husband’s name first “to be fair”. 3.) His parents stop by our house daily unannounced (usually to drop off their newspaper “in case we want to read it”). My own home is not a sanctuary for me. They also call a minimum of 3 times each day. 4.) His mother makes food that I’m allergic to (or never eat by choice) when I come over for dinner, despite the fact that I’ve been coming over for several years now and each time can’t eat the seafood, mushrooms or onions she prepares.

In truth, they have never said a mean word to me, but it has been clearly established that my only value in their eyes is to keep their son happy and give them grandchildren. I also know they think I am overly religious and “intellectually lacking”. (I have a Masters and have held some impressive jobs, but the fact that I’m a practicing Catholic must mean I have some mental defect.) They think I clearly don’t love their son “for who he is” (which is the most important thing in their eyes) when I encourage him to practice his faith, because “I’m trying to change him”. My husband is a momma’s boy and will rarely admit that his mother is overbearing, but never anything more. He thinks that any problems I have with them are my fault.

I know I should grin and bear it and just be nice to his folks – for my husband’s sake, if nothing else. But it is so hard! I’m not outright mean to them, but I don’t want them anywhere near me – I just don’t trust them at all. My husband knows I’m uncomfortable with them and anything involving them has a good chance of causing a fight between us. What can I do?!?

Just today, my husband mentioned that he wanted to loan his parents the car I drive – I got this car before marrying him and it is my only sanctuary from his parents. The thought of them inside my car makes me shutter! I can just see them sneering at my pope windshield clip and Christian CDs/radio stations, thinking rude thoughts when they see the wedding picture I have posted above the passenger windshield, or finding some personal note I jotted to myself and lost under the seat. When I expressed a hesitation to lend them my vehicle (mentioning that I had a day trip planned for Saturday), he got mad and started tearing into how I treat his parents like the plague and how he doesn’t treat my parents that way. (My parents also live in our town, but call and wait to be invited before they visit. They are also satisfied seeing us once every one or two weeks. And, of course, they are my parents, so I’m biased toward them.)

[font=Arial]Sorry this is long as rambling, but I’m freshly frustrated. What can/should I do when I don’t want these people anywhere near me, but my husband is a momma’s boy and offended by my discomfort with them?[/font]


#2

Step one: Marriage counseling… The most urgent thing is for the two of you to get on the same page w/ respect to the relationship with parents (yours and his).

I certainly would not loan the car … Why on earth does he want to loan your car out?


#3

Well, I just say to love her and treat her the way you want YOUR daughter in law to love you someday.

I have the greatest MIL in the world, and wish she were nearer so she would just “drop by”. After years of marriage, I realized that what early on I took as criticism was in actuality nothing at all - love her, pray for her, respect her.


#4

In-laws PERIOD!


#5

I LOVE my 1st husband’s mother!
Even though her son & I have been divorced for 35 years, she still always remembers to send me a birthday card. She was always so good to me and the children.


#6

[quote=JGheen]My husband is a momma’s boy and will rarely admit that his mother is overbearing, but never anything more. He thinks that any problems I have with them are my fault.

[/quote]

I have to second the marriage counseling advice because of the above quote. You both HAVE to be on the same page about this if your marriage is going to work; your respect for your husband on account of his attitude is clearly at a low, and as long as you’re blaming each other, for whatever reason, the problem will become exacerabated.

My mother-in-law, while a wonderful person, is not always an easy individual to be around. My husband is very close to her, but I always know that he will unequivocally stand by my side as my husband and support any questions, opinions or objections I have where my in-laws are concerned, even if he’d rather “keep the peace.” In fact, his support DOES keep the peace…I am always confident of his love and loyalty, and my MIL knows that he is first of all my husband, then her son. She has great respect for that, even if it doesn’t always go her way.

Please try counseling and let your husband know how much you need his support for your marriage to function and grow. Lack of respect - either way - will kill your relationship.


#7

I vote for moving at least 50 miles away from both families. That’s close enough to visit regularly but far enough away that it won’t happen without warning.

With a bit more space you and your MIL might actually become friends.


#8
Explore Virginia Stefano

Your mistake was not trying my strategy.
Ruffle your feathers.(everyone including DH will know to keep distance)
Look scary (but not really- pretend)
Bark (but don’t bite)
Shake hands with all the love in your heart (just be sure to squeeze a little too firmly)
Smile (knowingly)
Keep **yourself **an outlaw…(much better place to be :smiley: )
simple
Make yourself an outlaw.

Don’t worry about that cash reward over your head.
You are too smart for them to catch.


#9

[quote=JGheen]1.) When we were engaged they sat my husband down privately and told him not to marry me. They said I would disgrace their family name, if he gave it to me.
[/quote]

I’m still shaking my head, trying to figure out why he would have relayed this particular information to you. You didn’t need to know this! Besides the fact that it is NOT true, what good has it done your relationship to know that they said this? Grrrr…

I agree with everyone who has suggested counseling. You both need to be able to communicate on this issue without it escalating into a fight. A dispassionate third party might be of use in this area. It also sounds like his entire family needs a few lessons on reasonable boundaries. Perhaps a counselor could suggest constructive ways for you to “educate” them.

I wish I had some more suggestions. My MIL is the opposite. She’s agoraphobic and an alcoholic, and we hardly ever see her. We live “too close to Detroit” for her to leave her small town and visit. Right now it bothers my husband a lot but otherwise is not a huge deal. When we have children I can see it becoming a big problem, especially if she’s demanding to see the grandkids but expecting us to pack them into the car and make the trip every time. Hopefully that won’t come to pass. She’s a sweet person, and seems to like me, but she does things that really hurt her children and it’s hard to stand by and watch.:frowning:


#10

[quote=SMHW]I vote for moving at least 50 miles away from both families.
[/quote]

We moved 1200 miles away from the in-laws. That still didn’t help. Now they come for regular visits and stay for weeks at a time. As a matter of fact, I’m heading off to the airport in a few hours to pick them up for their next visit – which is going to last from tonight until Thanksgiving :eek:


#11

My daughter has the in-laws from you know where. She has accepted the fact that after 7 years and 3 children she will never be “good enough” for their son because she is not only Catholic but she is also Spanish. They bribed my son in law before and after the marriage to divorce her and they would give him money and “set him up somewhere” Now they sprew their vemon on the grandchildren especially our grandaughter because she is quite Hispanic looking and they said in front of the little 2 year old girl amd her 5 year old boy that “They can’t stomach the sight of her, she is ugly like her grandfather”(my husband) My son-in-law heard this and has not spoken to his parents for over 3 weeks now. The newborn grandson’s Baptism is Nov. 6, This should be interesting,:hmmm: About your in-laws stand your ground and sooner or later they will dig their own hole as my daughter’s did or Much better, they will just come around to respect you for who you are, don’t change who you are for anyone. I would get conseling because your husband needs to know who comes first. They did (still are) and just a few months ago he would never have to nerve to speak up to “Mommy dearest” I stay out of all this garbage because its my daughter resposibility as a married woman. I could say a lot to my son-in-law in the past but it is not my place. (I do Pray a lot though:) ) Best to you…Kay


#12

BOUNDARIES!!!

Go to marriage counseling and learn how to set them and keep them.

I really feel for you; my husband’s parents have serious issues and are quite abusive. PM me if you ever want details about our journey.


#13

[quote=SMHW]I vote for moving at least 50 miles away from both families. That’s close enough to visit regularly but far enough away that it won’t happen without warning.

With a bit more space you and your MIL might actually become friends.
[/quote]

I second this idea… move!


#14

I vote for 850 miles. My Mother-in-law would make a nice friend for yours. :rolleyes: My husband and I will be married for 14 years next month and she would still like me to just go away. So we did. About two years ago we moved 850 miles away. Now I see her only when I am in her town. She has not come to visit us at our new house.
OTOH, my husband has the same issues with his mother. So we are on the same page. It took a while for him to see what she was doing to me. Once I called his attention to it, his eyes were opened. :eek:


#15

Yep. boundaries. Your husband has to learn to set them. Remind him that it says in the Bible that a man will LEAVE his mother and father and CLEVE to his wife. You are his immediate family. They are just extended family.

Get caller display and don’t answer the phone. My MIL took it upon herself to start with the daily calls continually when our first baby was born. She liked to ring at the worst times. I just didn’t answer the phone (I knew it was her because of the times).

The situation with your car is just plain silly. It’s your car, if you need it, you need it. He should have asked you first if it was convenient.

Time for him to cut the umbilical cord.

Do you have children? If not, try not to have any before this is sorted because all heck will break loose once there are grandchildren on the scene.


#16

my MIL says hateful things to me just to upset me. For example: 6 wks after having my baby I went out of town to visit my parents. When I returned she said " I see you gave up trying to loose the beby weight." She says many things like this. I’m supposed to take it all. Many times a week I just blow up at her. My husband says when I get angry I’m letting her win. It’s just so hard when she constantly hurts people’s feelings just for something to do.


#17

I lived in a situation somewhat similar to yours for 10 years!
My ex mother in law was unbearable. She has 3 kids, the
firstborn is arrogant racist, and rude. The middle one is neutral.
The 3rd one, I married. She hated my family, and would pick
on me silently most of the time, just openly showing her disgust
by not paying me any heed when we went over for dinner every
Sunday afternoon. She never said one direct bad word because
she is a jw. But, her husband didn’t seem to mind! He is racist,
rude, and has bad manners. The third child, my ex was their
favorite child. The dad openly criticized my family, made fun of my
mother, ridiculed me as I was not good enough for his son, ext.
My ex never stood up for me until the marraige was over. ( too
late ) At least he did though. He never wanted to politely take
his parents aside and tell them not to treat me shabbily. I
once made a very beautiful centerpiece with a lovely Chinese
type fan in the center of it, and the ex mother in law just hucked
it aside like it was garbage. It hurt pretty bad. I once picked her
some beautiful flowers, and she put them in a room unnoticed
to anyone. ( her choice ) she came up to me once and asked
me, " have you cooked my son supper yet" ? I told her, " yes,
I do that everyday" she sneered at me! She took a photo of us
when we were newly married, and she has a little bookshelf in
her living room, and it has her family photos on it. ( she had
just found out my family were Catholics ) so she hid the part
of me in it behind one of the other frames, and left the part of
her son showing. ( I was quite cranky about that, but never said
anything, never ) It stayed that way for the whole 10 years!
During their family dinners, her first son would openly ridicule
me and they never corrected him, and didn’t care to. I was
treated like a hunk of garbage for 10 years. My situation was
different than yours, but the hurt is the same. Whenever I would
talk about my mom, and I love my mom believe me, and I was
very very proud of talking about her, I never said it in a rude or
overbearing my mom is better than your mom attitude, I simply
talked about my mom once in awhile, and would say how much
I missed her, and wanted to visit with her, they would get sneery towards me. Like oh why bother, she is just a Catholic after all,
or , it figures, once a Catholic always a Catholic. ext. I never
spoke about my families Catholicism to them, I didn’t want to
cause conflict, and I never made my mom out to be better than
his mom. Never. Not to him, and not to his family. I have defended
my family very much so, but never in a manner where it was us against them, ext. Their attitude was unbearable, and I did do
some complaining to my ex about it, but he never bothered to
do something because he didn’t want to take sides, so he let
me get verbally bashed, and insulted. I think in your situation,
you should talk kindly to you hubby, and speak gently to his
parents, and see if you can find some common ground. Definitely
speak to your priest first! Definitely! I would! My current mom in
law hates me as well. Why? because I married her only son,
her only child, and he is not in Germany. She is angry about the
fact that he is interested in Catholicism, and she told him to
just stay in Canada with your Catholic friends! I told her on
mulitiple occasions that she is a lovely woman, and I like her.
I do like her! I told her i understand her feelings, she misses her
son! i understand, and she told me she hopes I die a horrible
death, ext ext ext. I just overlook it because i know she loves
Frank, and she can say all the rotten things about she wants.
I don’t even speak to her beecause she barks at me and says
hurtful things. So, when Franks speaks to her he tells her
at the outset of the call " we are not discussing my marriage"
He does it lovingly and politely, and they don’t talk about it.
They simply talk about things other than me, and our marriage.
It keeps the peace. His mom is really ticked at the fact that
he left Germany to come to Canada to marry a non German
girl, and a Catholic! ( imagine that! ) his mom is a strict evolutionist with old socialism morals. Anyways, I will keep you
in my prayers, and please. talk to your priest! Talk to your hubby
gently, and maybe then you can all find some common ground.
Good luck!


#18

Your husband does not understand that when he married you he left his parents and you became his primary family.

You need to drag him in by the scruff of his neck to your priest and have a counseling session. He needs to stand up to his parents and support you. Being a momma’s boy is unacceptable. He has to be educated that you are more important than your mother-- that came from my DH.

In my opinion, you also need to just put your foot down and say NO. You must establish boundaries and tell them what is acceptable and what isn’t. Lock the doors, get caller ID and an answering machine.

He (your husband) is bullying you and that is wrong. He should be supportive. Unfortunately, the time to confront this bad behavior is before the wedding, but you’ll just have to do it now. You should not give them your car or do anything else that you are uncomfortable with.

It will not change unless you force it to change. Being a good Christian does not mean allowing someone to abuse you. The next time your mother in law makes a dish you are allergic to-- simply state that you are allergic in front of everyone and ask her to not make it again when you come over. Then the next time she does it, just flat call her on it right in front of everyone. If she refuses to ammend her bad behavior, then abstain from visits to his family. I’m serious, what she’s doing is dangerous if you have allergies to certain foods. What if she slipped it in a casserole and you had a reaction???

I’m sorry that your husband is unsupportive, but he must be made to see that this is NOT being a Christian husband if he continues with this behavior. Perhaps Marriage Encounter would help.

I’ve also heard of the book Toxic Inlaws, which you may want to investigate.

The most important step to solving this problem is getting your husband on board with what the marital relationship entails and with setting boundaries.


#19

[quote=kaymart]Now they sprew their vemon on the grandchildren especially our grandaughter because she is quite Hispanic looking and they said in front of the little 2 year old girl amd her 5 year old boy that “They can’t stomach the sight of her, she is ugly like her grandfather”(my husband) My son-in-law heard this and has not spoken to his parents for over 3 weeks now. The newborn grandson’s Baptism is Nov. 6, This should be interesting,:hmmm:
[/quote]

Kay,

This is, perhaps, the rudest, meanest thing I have ever heard. Especially as this awful woman was speaking about her sweet little granddaughter. I’ll add your daughter and her family to my prayer list.:frowning:

JGheen,

My mother is the type of MIL that yours is. It took me awhile to see how manipulative and cruel she was. Her nonsense caused a great deal of difficulty in my marriage and in the marriages of my 3 siblings.
A wonderful book “Children of the Self Absorbed” My Nina Brown, PhD really helped me in dealing with her, and to set boundaries. Perhaps your husband could read it.
You’re in my prayers.


#20

[quote=JGheen] 1.) When we were engaged they sat my husband down privately and told him not to marry me. They said I would disgrace their family name, if he gave it to me. 2.) His mother demanded that at least 50% of the matchbooks I ordered as wedding favors list my husband’s name first “to be fair”.
[/quote]

These were the clear warning signs of what was to come. The fact that this wasn’t addressed at that time only made her more bold. This is important to know as it shows how you got here.

3.) His parents stop by our house daily unannounced (usually to drop off their newspaper “in case we want to read it”). My own home is not a sanctuary for me.

I’m guessing your husband is not home for most of these “visits”. If so, the best way to handle this is to politely but firmly say, “Thank you for stopping by, but right now isn’t a good time.” Then shut the door. This is a control issue for them. They are making you conform to their schedule.

They also call a minimum of 3 times each day.

As some else said, don’t answer the phone. Allow them one return call per day.

4.) His mother makes food that I’m allergic to (or never eat by choice) when I come over for dinner, despite the fact that I’ve been coming over for several years now and each time can’t eat the seafood, mushrooms or onions she prepares.

This is where your husband needs to get involved. He knows your allergies and likes/dislikes as they do. For them to purposely serve food you don’t like is rude. Serving food they know you are allergic to is cruel and should not be tolerated. Your husband should explain your dietary needs and decline any invitation that conflicts.

A refusal on his part to get involved in this issue shows his disrespect for you.

I know I should grin and bear it and just be nice to his folks – for my husband’s sake, if nothing else. But it is so hard! I’m not outright mean to them, but I don’t want them anywhere near me – I just don’t trust them at all.

You have no reason to trust them. They have proven themselves to be untrustworthy and cruel (if for no other reason than by serving food they know you are allergic to). You are not required to “grin and bear” this.

You can’t make them like you and you should not return their actions in kind. But you are not obligated to keep exposing yourself to this abuse.

Just today, my husband mentioned that he wanted to loan his parents the car I drive – I got this car before marrying him and it is my only sanctuary from his parents.

With everything they’ve done, I would have serious suspicions about their motiviations for taking their car. Again, you are not obligated to loan them your car. Their actions to this point have not created a trust to let them.

I suggest you tell your husband they cannot borrow your car and let him make any arrangements he sees fit for other transportation.

[font=Arial]

What can/should I do when I don’t want these people anywhere near me, but my husband is a momma’s boy and offended by my discomfort with them?[/font]

No one would want these people near them. Again, your husband is not showing you respect in expecting you to submit to this treatment. If you want your marriage to last, you need to get him into counseling. Submitting you to that cruelty is unacceptable for a husband.

Another consideration is how it affects your marriage. Surely it is hard to respect a man who allows his family to treat you this way.

As someone said: Boundaries. You both need to set them. Here is the catch. It isn’t easy to do. There will be conflict and it sounds like your husband likes to avoid it with his parents. Is it easier for him to argue with you than them?

You can allow the conflict to continue at a low level for years while accepting this. Or you can face the conflict to prevent this treatment in the future.

You deserve better.


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