Forums > Social Discussion > Bad mother-in-law situation, opinions please...

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misscorinthian
misscorinthian

old hand
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 27th Sep 2005
Total posts: 784
Posted:I'm sorry I'm going to pour my heart out a bit on this one, but I know you guys are always good at providing varied and impartial opinions....

Basically my mother in law has bullied me for years. I put up with it, and try to get along with her as best I can just to keep the peace.

Until recently... I thought we were getting on ok- I was pregnant with her 3rd grandchild, she seemed happy with that. I would drop my kids carseats off with her on a Monday morning, so she could pick them up from school. I would stand and talk for ages with her, even though I felt like death- just to keep her happy.
Things hadn't been going great for me, I had been feeling pretty rough since the start of the pregnancy but then I had a massive haemmorhage. I was told it was "quite likely" I would lose my baby, and to go for a follow up scan in 10 days time. Those were 10 days of torture, and I still felt crappy too. Paul's mum came over. Unfortunately, I had an evil migraine. I thanked her for the tea she had brought over, and went to bed.
The next day my husband told me uneasily that I had upset her- apparently because I had not sat and talked with her. She was well aware that I was sick. She said how would I feel if I went to her house and wasn't offered a cup of tea, was hardly spoken to and then she went to bed? I had also been avoiding her for weeks on end, and not been doing enough housework. When Paul pointed out that I had been pretty sick with this baby since Christmas, and the last week had been tough to say the least, she stated "yes, well that's her choice."

Needless to say I was a bit upset. The comments may sound trivial, but it was the final straw. I didn't know if my baby was alive or dead, and she had basically said I was in the situation by choice. She also seemed to forget all about the many mornings I had stayed and talked with her on her cold wet doorstep. She came into my house to "help", and expected me to run round making cups of tea for her...and about the housework! I have 5 year old twins, a husband several animals and a house to look after- yes sometimes the dishes don't get washed straight away!
I was so upset at the time, I couldn't even contemplate resolving the issue. After a few days I decided that I was prepared to carry on as we were before after she apologised. Until the apology, I was not prepared to accept her in the house as a guest, or be a guest in her house.

Over 2 months later, and I still don't have my apology. I don't think I'm going to get it. Relations between this woman and my husband + kids have gone back to normal. I am still really upset over this, and it's not getting better. In fact it's getting worse really, I start getting all panicky at even the thought of coming face to face with this woman. I don't know what to do.

I want to resolve this- but at the same time I don't see why I should. I don't think I am in the wrong, I think she should do the ground work to repair the situation. I also know this is highly unlikely.

I want to resolve this- but at the same time I am so anxious about contact with her, I don't know if I physically can.

One thing I do know, if I back down on the apology thing, I will be setting myself up to have this happen again and again...as it has for the last 6 years.

Sorry for the longest post in history, but that is what happened and that is how I feel. The question is, where the hell do I go from here?


XLenX

Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena

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Boz
Boz

sober
Location: Bury St. Edmunds, suffolk
Member Since: 22nd Sep 2004
Total posts: 109
Posted:stick to your guns, people like that aren't worth giving the time of day.

If you do find yourself having to talk to her, make a point of being excessively polite.

hope everythign turns out ok smile

hug

*puts the kettle on for a lovely cup of tea*


*produces sandwich- is happy*

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jo_rhymes
jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 4525
Posted:hug ubblove kiss biggrin first of all big hugs and kisses to you!!! You sound like a saint to put up with this woman!! I really hope her son is worth the hassle!!!
She sounds like a piece of work and could probably benefit from having her face boiled smile
Seriously, you are doing a fantastic job, you've got enough on your plate, you dont have enough room in your brain to even worry about this bi-atch! biggrin
I dont know if you have seen Coronation Street but she sounds like Blanche- an old boot.
really, try and not worry about this woman, she has no bearing on you or your life, dont let her bring you down. you're doing a great job without her.
keep smiling hun hug biggrin ubblove kiss hug biggrin ubblove hug hug hug


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:I read a good thing about criticism a while ago.

You have to give people the chance to criticise you, but you don't have to accept it if it's stupid (which it seems hers about you is... she should well know that you can't always do everything, especially when pregnant AND sick).

And you should give her the chance to hear what you have to say. If she doesn't want to hear it, fine, but give her the CHANCE to understand how you feel.

You're very good in describing what you feel, maybe sending her a letter is a good idea. The alternative is what my friend does with her boyfriend, she keeps a "journal" for him that she leaves open when she goes shopping so he can "accidentally" read it. Apparently he's fine at reading and understanding, it's just when she confronts him that they argue instead...

Anyways, I think you should let her know that you feel she reacted in a wrong way. Anyways, good luck hug

btw, mothers-in-law are scientifically proven to make women's life difficult, so it's nothing in your perception smile


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Igirisujin
Igirisujin

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Preston
Member Since: 10th Jul 2005
Total posts: 2666
Posted:Aww misscorinthian, ide say dont appologise to her, and dont expect an appologie from her. even tho its so blindingly odviouse that you deserve one but thats

A: Mother in laws

and

B: Older people for you, they have different ideas on whats sociable and not.

Ide just say talk to your husband? boyfriend? Well whatever your relationship with your man is it sounds like its time to unload some things and try your best to have a relaxing night in together, and get him to cook you a meal for the both of you and draw you a hot bath at the very least.

Ide carry on trying to keep up the relationship with the dragon, oops I mean mother in law biggrin, you know how some of these go. Mother in laws are never happy and allways abit of a battle axe but in her own way she cares deep down after all if she didnt she wouldnt want anything to do with you at all. And besides she is only just your mother in law, she isnt the person you live with you can allways on those occasions when you feel like throttleing the woman escape from her clutches lol.

You have your children, your husband, your health and your home hun, look at her as a clich who you can have a gossip about with your girlfriends over a couple of martinis or 12 in the future and have a giggle over x x

hug


Chief adviser to the Pharaoh, in one very snazzy mutli-coloured coat

'Time goes by so slowly for those who wait...' - Whatever Happend To Baby Madonna?

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Gnor
Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth
Member Since: 31st Mar 2003
Total posts: 5814
Posted:hug hug hug hug to you darl
At a time when you need total support any slight major or small seems really huge.

To me there are some choices. You can work within her ideas and make them work for you and make the most of it or get unhappier and unhappier the way it is.
It sounds like you have a fair relationship normally. That illness and her selfishness are causing problems.
Does she have much outside of you and your family?

This woman will be in your life for a long long time. Her habits are well entrenched. Is she the sort of person who can change her habits.

Can you appeal to her compassionate side and explain. If she sailed through pregnancy she will not in all likelihood understand your position, if she has never had a true migraine she wont understand that its not just a bad headache.

The other thing is how much do you need her in your lives. Do you need her to help with the grandkids? Does she help you out with stuff alot. Can you afford to alientate the other important woman in your mans life?

Many of us start leaving it all up to the father to be the contact and to ask all the babysitting asks. Problems rankle. I burst into tears the other day at my mother inlaw and she told me to stop being silly and I got really angry at her.
I am blessed that my mother inlaws veiwpoint is to make sure her family get along. My father in law is another story to the point my kids ask why he loves them less than the other grandkids, why he is so grumpy with them. He grunts at me rather than talk. Enough about me.

Its not unreasonable to expect and apology but its probably too late and there is a chance she doesnt know how to give it. Did she try and give it by doing extra with the kids?

Sometimes I think our generation has different expectations. Many of us (except Gabe) dont have a problem with a sink of dishes while we play with the kids or on the computer. We think its resonable to go out and have our own time.

I think leave it until things settle down if you can stomach it. Go to her place with afternoon tea and carry on again as usual. Keep conversation to kids and kids and kids.
There will come a time when you can air it when noone is angry. You will find a time to explain how your migraines debilitate you. Include her by asking for help perhaps. Make it work for you "I cant see straight with this migraine can you come help me with the baby." Motherinlaws have a tricky position. Especially when its a daughter in law.

Im am not condoning her behaviour. It was rude and horrid to a person who is very special in her sons life.
Pregancy changes the way we function. Fear makes it hard to function. Exhaustion makes everything out of focus.
Be kind to yourself and dont let her get to you. Please dont let this problem obsess you.


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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misscorinthian
misscorinthian

old hand
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 27th Sep 2005
Total posts: 784
Posted:Thanks for all the support and suggestions- even the reassurance that I'm not just over reacting means alot to me.

I agree with pretty much everything that has been said, and I have tried almost everything over the last 7 years to sort this out, to no avail. I have done the carry on as normal, the popping over and making amends..I have even tried the explaining how I feel ( I had the phone put down on me).

Unfortunately things have taken a turn for the worse (I didn't event hink that was possible) and she has now started making stuff up about me and telling my husband- i.e. fabricating occasions when I have given her attitude or been rude. This hurts me, it is completely untrue and unprovoked, I mean I haven't seen the woman for weeks!

This is all a bit too familiar to me, I was bullied at school and also by my own mother for years. It's kind of taking me back to how I felt then, which is not good as it resulted in a long spell of depression, suicide attempts and the like. I am very lucky, my husband stands by me on this 100%. He is also upset and confused by what is going on, he doesn't understand why she keeps attacking me like this. Last night it all got a bit much for me, and I ended up taking the car and shooting off for a bit- I just needed to think about something else for a while. This really isn't like me, and my poor husband was really worried. When I returned he asked me to please forget about trying to resolve this situation, and just stay well out of his mums way. He did this for two reasons- for the sake of my own health, and also so she has absolutely no amunition to use against me. I feel happier and relieved that I will not be pushed into nor expected to see her.

It is a shame that the children are affected by this as well, but they know what has happened and they keep saying "Mummy you have to stay happy because when you are sad the baby is sad too" (bless em!) I know they will understand. Other than that, we never see the woman anyway, so we will not be missing out on any help. She doesn't really bother with her son either, and he's had about enough of her so this won't really affect his relationship with her at all.

Oh, and incidentally Paul did mention to her about making an apology- she said she had nothing to apologise for, she had done nothing wrong. I give up. I don't need this in my life. Thanks again for the suggestions about making up, but I think it has gone way beyond being a possibility now.

hug hug hug


XLenX

Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena

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Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:smile It sounds like you have a really wonderful man there. Give him a hug from all of us, and one for yourself too. His support must make a massive difference. I know you probably know this already, but it must be very tough for him to be torn between the two women in his life. Make sure he knows you both deserve his trust and respect, and that you appreciate it infinitely.



I'm not much good on the step-mum advice. I have never had one, let alone a bad one. Maybe I could suggest a book or two on Amazon that got good reviews.



I would also say, do be brave enough to see a counsellor if you need too. Marriage counselling can be about a problem affecting the couple, rather than a problem between them. Professional advice and strategies may be very helpful.



hug Take care


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Asena
Asena

What a Bummer
Location: Shatfield, Hertfordshire
Member Since: 22nd Aug 2005
Total posts: 3224
Posted:The way you describe... I'm thinking...


Non-Https Image Link


Len-gal-bee, hunny

I'd tell her to stick it (nicely tho). P rules btw. Wooo for you both. Your so not in the wrong in any part of it. You been through a lot and she has to understand that... if she doesnt understand, MAKE HER and if that doesnt work... well, just call her nasty words and walk off biggrin

I dont think my post has helped at all actually len... ah well... Still love you tho biggrin hug2 hug ubblove kiss


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Eera
old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay
Member Since: 29th May 2003
Total posts: 1107
Posted:Honey, all the luck in the world to you.

You say you've been bullied most of your life, in effect. Is there something about your demenor that says "victim"? Please don't put up with it, not any longer.

She knows how to get under your skin, and she's basically reminding you that you're the interloper into her boy's life. It needs to stop right now. Draw the line, tell her when she's gone over it. Don't be rude, just say "I really don't appreciate you saying XXX" and don't let your partner do it for you.

She may be worse for a while, the shock of you standing up for yourself may make her react badly, but in time she may come to respect it, or else she'll avoid you, a win either way.

But please, please, please, do not put up with a bad situation for the sake of "peace". Whose peace is that, yours or hers?


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: misscorinthian


Basically my mother in law has bullied me for years. I put up with it, and try to get along with her as best I can just to keep the peace.



It seems to me that if this bullying has been going on for years there are bigger issues.

I would never ever let anyone that I knew continually bully my wife. Especially not my family.

My mom (ironically) made a point that when we get older and are no longer 'living on our parents boat' we essentially have our own boats and then invite our parents and family members onto OUR boat.

If somebody's not behaving on my boat, they gots to go.

If my Mother was treating my significant other poorly, I would intervene. If my significant other was treating my Mother poorly, I would intervene. I'm the one responsible for getting all these people together and hopefully I'd have a confident relationship with both everyone involved to be able to keep any troublemakers in check.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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misscorinthian
misscorinthian

old hand
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 27th Sep 2005
Total posts: 784
Posted:Thanks again for the input guys.

Eera- Yes I have been bullied before, but in completely different circumstances with completely different reasons. I am trying to do the whole forgiveness thing, so I can even see why these situations may have arisen in the past- but I am very clear there is nothing in my nature to incite being picked on. School kids just behave like that, and it wasn't just me but a whole group of us that refused to conform to what was considered normal. We were "different" therefore we were picked on. The thing with me and my mum is a whole separate issue. We don't get on because we are so similar, but she had some deep seated issues from her own upbringing. Unfortunately her way of dealing with them was to re-inact them with me. The case with my mother in law is different again. I don't think it would have mattered who on this earth had married her son and had his children. She would have had the same problems with anyone else. It just happened to be me. (P is an only child by a single mother, need I say more?)

I am more than capable of stnding up for myself, and usually do. I will stand up to her in time, but now I will appreciate this break and concentrate on me for a bit I think.

NYC- You are completely right and I agree with you totally. My relationship with my husband has been a rocky one to say the least, which is why we are so strong now- we have worked through a lot together. In the past he has not been able/not wanted to see what was going on with his mum and me. It has taken this incident for him to finally admit that she has been the one stirring things up, not the other way around.

Interestingly, the stuff about a demeanor which reads "victim"- this is my mother in law to a tee!

Thanks for the book suggestions Rozi, they look like interesting (and hopefully enlightening!) reading.

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to read my outpourings, I am certainly feeling better for writing them hug


XLenX

Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:... and leave the books lying on the table if she ever comes over for tea, if possible with post-its and highlighted passages ubblol hug

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Matty_B
Matty_B

veteran
Location: Blu's Pocket
Member Since: 16th Feb 2005
Total posts: 1314
Posted:I don't think this is so usful but it may bring a smile to your face...

Mother-in-law is anagram for woman hitler . . ubblol


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alien_oddity
alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees
Member Since: 31st Dec 2004
Total posts: 7193
Posted:ubblol

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razza
member
Location: Helensburgh
Member Since: 28th Jan 2006
Total posts: 43
Posted:mother in law or woman Hilter

Horsepower is how fast u hit a tree. Tourqe is how far the tree goes with u

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BurningByron
member
Location: Australia
Member Since: 10th May 2002
Total posts: 340
Posted: It sounds like you are taking a victim role. This is habitually what people do who are chronically bullied throughout life. This is what attracts the bullies. The best advice anyone can give you is to watch a few Chuck Norris movies. Chuck Norris does not get bullied. Be like Chuck Norris. I'm serious here, this is not a joke. If someone called Chuck Norris a name, Chuck would beat them down without blinking an eye. Whether he used his cold icy stare, a round house kick to the head or simply pointing out the truth "all you are is a whiney bitch so shut the FF*kk up!". The effect is the same. Chuck demonstrates that he wont take crap from anyone. If you dont stand up to people around you and tell them where its at then expect to see your children grow up to get walked all over just like you have been. It will take courage but will be one of the most empowering experiences of your life. Ignore the fear and do what has to be done. Good luck soldier

HOW TO FLY 101:
step 1. Throw your self at the ground.
step 2. Miss.

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TinklePants
TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 4217
Posted:Len hun, you need to confront this woman to try to resolve this, tell her you understand how she feels, and tell her how you feel about the whole situation. Tell her your fears, your hopes, your disappointments, and achievements. Try to rebuild a trusting relationship with this woman. As much as she's hurt you, she's still family whether you like it or not. You won't be able to change her opinions on subjects but you may be able to get her back on your side.

The longer you wait to do this, the bigger the problem will get and it will fester, and as you may well know, psychological worries and problems can manifest themselves into physical problems and ailments. Stress can turn into something ugly. So don't let it get the better of you. With any luck, her maternal instincts and her guilt will kick in and she'll realise how awful she's been. Try your hardest with her and if she still is being unreasonable, at least you know you tried as best as you can, let your partner see how hard you're trying to resolve the problem. You'll feel better after unloading this burden.
Keep your friends close but your enemies closer! wink
Communication and patience is the key. hug


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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misscorinthian
misscorinthian

old hand
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 27th Sep 2005
Total posts: 784
Posted:Well , the situation is somewhat less intense at the moment. I think it is too early to say whether it has been resolved though.

I did receive a letter from her- and I'm sure she spent lots of time and effort constructing those 3 lines. I did get an apology, but she admitted she didn't know what she was apologising for. Basically, she glossed over the whole thing and said lets move on now.

The thing is, she did sit and write, and she did apologise of sorts. This is a first for her. I guess I have to appreciate that she tried, and that it is the best I am going to get.

I have however also penned a note (ummm..well 2 sides of A4 paper...). I made sure I acknkowledged her efforts, but made it very clear I will not accept this kind of treatment in the future. I basically said stop judging me and get to know me better instead. I did check with my husband that I got my point across without sounding too harsh ( I don't want to give her any reason to create fuss over it) and he said it sounded ok. When I asked him how he thought she would take it he said we'll have to wait and see. So that's where we are with things now.

I would love to tell her to shut the f*** up, and if it was my own family I would. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of thing you can get away with with your husbands' mum!

And Tink- this woman has no maternal instincts/common sense. I believe it to be a miracle her son made it to adulthood at all. And no, she never had any desire for any more children. I consider this to be a blessing wink

Thanks again for everyone's support.


XLenX

Devoted although mostly absent owner of the 1, the original... Asena

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