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How to deal with mothers in law--I could really use some help on this one
June 14, 2006
2:57 pm
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loverbee
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Ok, well no I am not actually married to my bf but I do have a relationship with his mother. It goes very up and down. Right now, I am staying with my bf in their apartment on the Upper east side of ny and the apartment is actually a multimillion dollar apt and very nice. THe problem, it is still just an apt and the fact that my bf and I are kind of living on top of eachother is hectic enough. Well for some reason, lately and yes this did just start happening, she is getting very territorial. Every time I am in a room with her that she is in, she gets very awkward like she is trying to give me the hint to get out or else and the fact that her cat likes me is causing problems. She got a cat to deal with the empty nest syndrome that she is having. However, similar to what happened with her children, she got very bored with the cat very quickly and now very rarely spends time with it. Well I am a huge animal lover and I try to spend time with him because he seems lonely so now she is getting possessive of the cat because she doesn't like the fact that the cat now comes to me for attention cause he knows I will cuddle with him. Its all very weird and very complicated. But anyways, she is making me feel totally judged and unwelcome because she is feeling like I am taking things away from her. I think she should have been a good mother when she had the chance instead of entertaining her 50,000 aquaintances and maybe then her son would be closer to her and as for the cat, she shouldn't have gotten the darn thing if she wasn't willing to take care of it. But then again that is what house keeppers are for. The housekeeper raised my bf and his brother and now she is raising the cat. So if she has a guilt complex it is her problem and fault not mine right? Please someone help deal with this.

June 14, 2006
3:07 pm
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nappy
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Well number one that is her apartment. Just because her son and you are staying there, it is still her apartment. You can't change that person, only you can change and if you and your boyfriend is willing to start thinking about getting your own place. How she treat her son is still her problem, you can not correct her on anything that she is doing.
I have been in a situation like that and it is no good. My ex-boyfriend mother was still treating him like he was her little boy and I was in the way in which I was.
The only way that you and her will have a good relationship is when you and your boyfriend move out.
I would be telling my boyfriend that if he wants a life with you and a good relationship with his mother, you guys have to move out.

June 14, 2006
3:15 pm
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loverbee
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No but that is the thing, we are only here for a few days we are actually leaving tommorrow. It happens every time. Even when we aren't in her apartment. It is just wierd because I am not that competitive but she seems resentful of the role that I play in her sons life and apparently now the role that I play in the cats life. Sounds silly huh? I just think she would be able to handle three days where she could be not so competitive with me. The biggest problem is that my bf has never treated her like she was his mother really because she was always out entertaining people and now she has realized that she wasn't there for him when he was 1-20 years old and suddenly wants to make up for it but he feels like it is too late. So I just think if she wants to see her son more often she better shape up cause she makes him hate spending time around her. I agree that she should cut it out too. Its three days for petes sake and she is barely home anyway except about an hour and a half during the day. I don't think it is necessary to spend that hour and a half making me feel uncomfortable. Thank god I am leaving tommorrow. We have actually had our own place for the last three years. We have never lived under the same roof as her so could you explain her reaction now?

June 14, 2006
3:21 pm
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on my way
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I would talk to your boyfriend about confronting her with your feelings. It would be better to clear the air perhaps. However you would need to be compassionate and humble about it. Let her know that you feel odd, that you care for her and that you hope your relationship with her will be a good one. At least you will have tried, and at least you both may be able to clear the air, and then perhaps the same scenario will not happen again.

Sometimes honesty is the best policy.

June 14, 2006
3:29 pm
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loverbee
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I have tried talking to her about it before and normally I am good at dealing with this stuff cause she just won't change and I accept that. But inreality, I am having an alergic reaction to something and my whole face is puffy and itchy and I am just in an intolerable mood so its hard. Maybe that is the biggest problem. I just wish the swelling would go down.

June 14, 2006
3:32 pm
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Careverymuch
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You BF mother is very insecure...yes I think she does feel threatened by you. I think you are right too about the fact that she feels you are taking things away from her. Try to remember that when facing those challenges. Good thing you are leaving tomorrow. Her relationship with her son is just that, hers. I (had) a mother-in-law that used to try to get me involved with her problems with her son, but I politely and nicely refused to do so. I would tell her that was between her and her son when she would privately talk to me. This is manipulation. It might be possible that they can work things about even though she was an absent mother. You don't sound like the kind of person that would stay in the way of that...just be supportive to your bf and wait to see what happens next. When around the mil (mother-in-law), always keep in mind her insecurity and it will help to keep you on track..this is just my opinion of course...it works for me.

June 14, 2006
3:43 pm
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loverbee
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I do try to bring the two of them closer and usually I end up pissing my bf off so I have stopped. The family he came from are very cold in some ways, they would much rather act like there is no problem with anything than address it and fix it mostly because it may screw up the appearance of the perfect family. His mother happens to be the type of person that picks at everyones flaws and right now I am drowsy from taking benedryl and my face is the size of a balloon and she seems to be frustrated with the fact that I don't really want to go outside because I am not sure what caused my allergies in the first place but I think it was a cream I used. I feel as though maybe she is sick of having me here after two days and wants me out. So I will be happy to oblige. I have always been the type of person who needs to live away from the family I grew up with because I need my own space. Maybe I am also just feeling a little trapped cause I don't feel welcome anywhere right now. It sux. Also, my bf's exact words "stop trying to change my mother. We have all tried to change her. It is never going to happen. She is rude and arrogant and judgemental and that is the way it is." So I am at a loss at this point.

June 14, 2006
3:56 pm
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Careverymuch
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Oh boy, I am so sorry. No, you can't change his mother, but you shouldn't have to put up with her rudeness. I read an article once that gave this advice even though it was for a married couple,but I have never forgotten this: The husband/bf should tell his mother that if she wants to have a relationship with him, she will have to accept you as his significant other and rudeness, etc will not be tolerated by the both of you. Basically, in a nutshell it said to tell to mother-in-law, (parents) that if you want a relationship with us, you have to be nice or there won't be a relationship at all. Do you think your bf would be game to this? It shows he really respects and loves you and will not put up with bad behavior from her. If she really wants a relationship with her son, maybe this would work?

June 14, 2006
4:01 pm
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on my way
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loverbee,
take some benadryl for your face to make the swelling go down and counteract the allergic reaction.

June 14, 2006
4:12 pm
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Careverymuch
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on my way, I think she said she already took benadryl, do not take more right away though! If this does not subside by tomorrow, I would either go to the doctor or the Emergency Room.

June 14, 2006
4:38 pm
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on my way
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whoops , exactly, don't take more!

June 14, 2006
7:25 pm
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loverbee
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Yeah, the benadryl started to work which is good. Not so swollen anymore and the itch is starting to fade. Still trying to find out what the heck it was from but I talked to my bf about his mom and decided that it is wierd how it happens sometimes more than others but if I have dealt with it so far, then I need to recognize it isn't me or my problem. If she is insecure it is because she knows she did something wrong. So I don't feel guilty anymore and that is all I needed to get rid of.

June 14, 2006
7:40 pm
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Careverymuch
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OK loverbee, I don't think you are guilty in this situation and glad you realize this, so glad you feel better!

June 15, 2006
8:15 am
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loverbee
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As of today, my face is totally better and We are moving out. I think that it is sad though that rather than expect more out of thier mother, her children have just given up on her because she has such a terrible time admitting she is wrong. Now they just gossip about how horrible she is to everyone and how manipulative but no one will say anything and no one will allow anyone else to say anything. It is the way it is they say and that is that. Meanwhile, she blackmails them into believing that if they do try to call her on her sh** then she will have a mental breakdown. What a scam man. Whatever, I am going to have a great day. It will be so nice living just me and my beau again. Thanks for all the advice.

June 15, 2006
4:19 pm
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Hi loverbee,

This thread is striking some familiar chords with me......the similarities lie in the high level of criticism the mother-in-law AND your beau and his sibs are all exhibiting.

When people seem to need to blame and find fault with and deflect criticism and defend themselves and/or justify their actions......I think it is from a denial of how their own actions or behaviors have been less than perfect.

I don't think you try to hug a porcupine. You walk carefully around it and don't aggravate it. Pretty much try to keep your distance.

June 15, 2006
6:30 pm
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smarterone
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Soon you will be out of there and you wont owe anyone anything. You be the better person and take it till you leave, then when you are in your own place, you will find the right words at the right time.

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