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in-laws so mean and hateful!
July 26, 2005
5:50 pm
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kdog13
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I have been dating the man I hope to one day marry for over a year now and we have always lived away from our families while dating. He has just recently moved back to his hometown to buy a house with his brother and fix it up. I am also going to be living there so I have been coming over to help him fix it as well. Since I have been coming over we have been staying at his parent's house since the new house in un-livable right now. His mom has been on his case constantly, telling him how they can't go on vacation because of him and his house, and how everything in their lives right now is his fault. I have stood by him this entire time being supportive so that he doesn't feel like everyone he loves is against him. Now his mother has turned on me, saying that she has always had a bad feeling about me and that I am controlling and manipulative and obsessed with him. Nothing I have ever done has been mean towards her nor have I ever been those ways towards my boyfriend. I love him very much and this has become a constant thing with her now, picking on me for everything I do, i.e. I sleep in too late (10am) and "I avoid them like the plague" while my boyfriend is at work (translates to me staying out of their way so they don't get annoyed because I am in their house now so often). She has never once said anything like this to my face and their family fits in very much to the codependent description given on this website. I am at my wits end and now I am possibly going to have to live a block away from these people? HELP!

July 26, 2005
6:17 pm
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vesper
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First of all, how does your boyfriend respond to all of this? Sometimes we have to accept that our parents are just that way and we can't change them. But remember, they are his family and there may be strong ties there. Have you talked it over with him and told him how this makes you feel? My best advice to you is to "kill them with kindness". If they something mean to you either ignore it or say something like, I'm glad you pointed that out to me, I'll do what I can to change it. Then remember, you can limit your contact with them once the house is finished!

July 26, 2005
6:34 pm
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"She has never once said anything like this to my face" -

it seems that "everything" is always someone else's "fault" (her son's, yours) but never hers (= mother-in-law), this projective behavior of her must be pretty "toxic" and burdening to you, if you decide to let it slide and don't speak up your mind for whatever reason, you'll probably be playing into her "passive-aggressive" style of behaving.

At some point you'll have to talk to your friend (the man you're engaged to be married to) and discuss if, and to what degree the two of you as a couple want to allow her into your life. If he refuses to support you in this, which I hope not for your sake, things may get more complex (or ugly ...?).

What part do you want her to play in your (married) life, especially if grandchildren get involved ?

Drawing boundaries,
assertive communication,
being consequent (as a couple) towards her ... I suppose you're in for a rough ride ?!

July 27, 2005
11:20 pm
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kdog13
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In response to how he responds, for the most part he is supportive of me, but I think that he is embarrassed and also torn between his family devotion and his devotion to me. I honestly don't think he understands how it feels to be in this position, especially for a woman, you want the mother-in-law to love you or at least respect you.

[email protected], I actually did try to confront her about her perception about me and wrote her an e-mail, stating how I love and respect her family and wish that she would come to me to talk if there is a problem. And that e-mail actually started this whole war. She got so upset and mad at me (I guess no one in that family confronts) she actually took the things I wrote which were not mean or containing underlying messages and distorted them to mean I was attacking her. She actually told my boyfriend yesterday that he should be careful with me, and "what if she's not a good mother?" I just have no idea what she is thinking and he is not even taking any of this seriously...I think he is just sick of dealing with it, which I can understand but I don't think it is the right way to help solve this.

July 28, 2005
2:13 am
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itavarap
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Some of the problem might be that she knows that she only made this or that comment to someone else, and not to you directly. Your writing her an email pretty much points out that other people are talking to you about what she has said behind your back.

Also, writing stuff in an email, or writing things period, allows the person to read it again and again and keep reinterpreting it however they want to, each time they read it. If she started to read it and then realized that she'd been busted for backstabbing you, then she was probably angry and embarrassed and hurt at the breach of trust that whoever told you about what she'd said had exhibited to her.. Then, no matter what you had written, it got filtered through her angry haze. She was then able to apply whatever projected feelings (all bad) that she wanted to, to static, unchangeable things that you wrote.

I would try leaving her alone for right now, and limit any further confrontation with her to in person contact. You can see each other's faces then, and read the REAL emotion that's coming across when someone speaks, instead of it being all one sided (as in reading a letter) and you applying your own filter to it.

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