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Years of Trouble With Mother-In-Law
September 22, 2003
12:38 pm
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Jeanine
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Hi,

I'm new to this board but am at a loss as to how I can handle this problem. I have a mother-in-law who has d me from the beginning. She has trashed me to my face & behind my back. She is manipulative, demanding, & a tyrant! My husband was her favorite son growing up because of all her kids he gave her the least amount of trouble & tried to please her.

Even though we have been married many years, I still get very upset even when she calls or sends an e-mail (beserk when she comes to visit). There is a lot of history there. I have pretty much cut off all contact with her but my husband of course has not.

I know I should not get so upset & go crazy but I can't help it. My husband is good to me but I know what my mother-in-law is capable of & believe me she has many times put a wedge between us. She never feels remorse in fact one time she told me that "I speak my mind & if you can't handle the truth that's your problem".

I know I should not be bitter but I can't help it. I feel like I'm driving my husband crazy & he is trying to keep things smooth between the both of us. If anyone out there has any words of wisdom for me I would really like to get over this. I know she will never change - she's pretty much made that clear. But I want to get rid of my hatred toward her & not let her rule over me that way.

Thanks for listening.

September 22, 2003
2:17 pm
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goosey
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I have had my own run ins with my oh so lovely inlaws and feel for you. It's hard dealing with their hatred or what not . I did not spend any holidays with mine for 3 years . My husband of course , went to all . I felt he didn't care and that I was second in line . We almost broke up over it a couple of months ago . But , Im trying my hardest to not care what they think etc . It's been so hard for me . Im not going to get into why they resent me , but it was serious , and I was only looking out for my children . As usual , Im to blame . Soo , trust me when I know how you feel . Hope everything is going better for you .

September 22, 2003
2:59 pm
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Jeanine
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Thanks Goosey,

I feel the same way about my husband when he allows her to be so spiteful to me. He pretty much just lets her humiliate me anyway she wants. She has no reason to me except that I married her son.

I want to let go of this bitterness & hatred but I can't seem to. I feel like she will break up my marrieage one way or another. How do you handle it when he visits his family without you? I can't stand it because that is exactly what my mother-in-law wants. But I guess I should just it go - I just don't know how.

September 22, 2003
11:05 pm
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Zinnie
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Hello Jeanine and Goosey,

Well... oh boy, I could tell you stories that would curl your toes.

Would you believe that three days before my husband and I got married, my Mother-in-Law called me up and invited me to lunch. She had always been stiff, but cordial and I thought she was trying to perhaps be a little friendly.

WRONG!

She told me that I was a "phase that her son was going through, and I had to realize that it would never work out because he comes from a family of wealth, and he has a much higher education, not to mention as do his parents. After all, my folks are immigrants who did not even finish grade school, and are blue collar workers." I don't know when my husband is going to grow out of his "phase" but if it helps, we have been together now for 15 years.

How did I handle this? Well, it took a really long time, and I felt exactly as you are decribing above. Add to that, when ever we have been around his family they make snide remarks to both of us, but mostly to me. When I get upset and tell my husband, he will say "they are like that, don't take it personally."

Well, I DID take it personally! It finally dawned on me one day when I was watching him interact with all of them, that he does that very thing. If they say something he does not like, he simply walks away!

Now, my Mother-in-Law is in a nursing home. Whenever there is a family gathering, my husband and I are not invited. But, his brothers and sister will tell both his Mom and Dad that we were, and we just did not show up. No matter how many times my husband has told her and his father this is not the case, they still will not believe him. He has never lied to them, frankly he is often painfully honest.

After a time, I have come to grips with what I'm comfortable with. First and foremost, I told my husband that if he wants to see his family, that's fine, but I will not have them in my house. So, if he goes to their homes for what ever reason, I don't go. Now, if it is a holiday and he tells me he will be home at a certain time, he generally is. But, I have told him in no uncertain terms, that I have no problem doing my own thing should he not want to spend his holiday time with me.

Now, the funny thing is that prior to my Mother-in-Law going into the nursing home, she would demand that we be at her house for every holiday and every weekend at 3:02 p.m. (or some such none sense), and if you were not there she would throw a fit. Then during the entire time she would complain about how much work everything was, yet she would never accept any help that I would offer. My brothers and sister-in-law all carp at each other. So I was like "why would you want to spend your holiday's with each other, if you cannot stand each other?" Of course, no one had an answer. So, anyway, after the two holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas that we spent it at our own home in the fashion that my family celebrates the holiday's my husband is hooked! We eat "when ever" and who ever wants to show up is welcome.

There is a book called "In-Laws, Out-Laws" I can't remember the author's name, but it did help me a lot.

Just know that you are not alone. It does take time to get used to. Right now my husbands birthday is on Thursday. I'm giving him a surprise party next weekend. In order to have his favorite uncle (who I adore) there, I have to invite his Father (don't get me started). My solution? We are doing this at a restaurant, so I will just sit at the other end of the table.

Is this the perfect solution? I don't know, but it seems to have worked for us.

By the way, how long have you been married?

Love,
Zinnie

September 23, 2003
2:44 am
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gingerleigh
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Ugh, the mother in laws... I have dated a few very nice men in my life (really!) and brought them to meet my mother, and she was awful to them. It's her problem, not theirs. I bet that your situation is similar. Do your best to be sweet and let her say what she wants... she will be gone soon enough. And you are far better off than she. Best wishes to you...

September 23, 2003
2:49 am
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Squeezles
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"she will be gone soon enough"

*L*

September 23, 2003
4:57 am
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Zinnie
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It is really hard though when you are in that situation, I know.

Coming from a Hispanic back ground, I grew up with the "Man, the head of the house hold" standing up for what he believed was right. If anyone ever insulted my Mom, trust me Dad was right there... even though my Mom could very well take care of himself.

The other issue I had with my husband's family is that if one is mad at the other, they call all the others and it becomes this huge fight, then they see each other and it's this phony "hi, kiss, kiss." YUCK!

One day he asked me why I was so confrontational with my family. I was shocked! I said what do you mean? He says you guys will get into these knock down drag out fights, but then by the end of the conversation you have worked it out. Part of it comes from being in a family of eleven kids I'm sure.

Now his family, if they are mad at one or the other, they all go call Mommy and Daddy (with the exception of my husband) and literally tattle on each other. I mean come on... these are people in their 40's and 50's. So one day when the conversation came up I told you, you know if I have a problem with Mary, I don't tell Rich that next time he talks to Andy to tell Chuck should he get in touch with Tim to call Rudy and have him tell Jason to tell Mom and Dad that I'm mad at Mary. I will just tell her myself!

I hope that helps!

Love,
Z.

September 23, 2003
9:00 am
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goosey
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Jeanine
I don't handle it well with my husbands family . But finally , a couple of months ago i was tired of my anger toward them . Tired of fighting with them . They all wanted me to forget the past that made me so pissed off . ( Im not going to get into that subject ) My husband was going to leave me . He said he felt horrible going to all the functions without me there . Im giving in . We made a deal that I would go to all the functions through Christmas time , and if I could deal with it , we would stay together .
A bit of the reason why I stopped hanging with them is the dil lied about something I said . Most everyone hated me for it , and also they could not understand my panic attacks , thus made them think I hated them all . Not the case , but tis is how they react to things . How childish huh ?
I called the mil ( who can be ok at times ) and explained to her that I wanted to try and my marriage would fail if I did not . She agreed that it would be a good idea , but at the same time she told me to " Stop blaming everyone else , that I was pretty much the reason for the family fights ." whatever , she can think what she wants . I love my husband , and the humiliation and hell is worth it ...Hopefully .
I did go to dinner with the intermediate and it actually went ok . I let go of my anger and just remembered to myself that I was the BIGGER person for taking this step . My husband was so happy and I felt good and seemed we might actually have a chance . Maybe we all were fake , but atleast I was with my family .
We will see if it goes this way for the rest of the family fiestas . Do I want to give in ? Hell no , but right now I will hate myself for not trying . Hopefully I will continue with my " free spirit act " and forgive them for hurting me so much . I can't say I will though . Next time I might ruin it again with my anger toward them . We will see though ....

September 23, 2003
10:27 am
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Zinnie
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I don't know what or where the answers to these problems are. I really don't.

I will tell you though that during the holiday's sometimes, I feel an over whelming sense of sadness. I am here in TX alone, all of my family is still on the west coast. So, essentially when I married, I hoped that my in-laws would welcome me. It is not just me though, they don't like anyone that has married into the family. The other in-laws hate each other, but they are that "fakey nice" to each other yet talk badly about the other behind their backs. I cannot do that. If I like you, great, if I don't, well then my choice is just to generally leave you alone.

My husband over the years has come to enjoy my way of doing things, yet, I struggle with my own guilt of feeling that I have cut him off from his family. Although, intellectually I KNOW for a fact that is not true.

Case in point...

We dated for a year, were engaged for three months (we had a six month engagement) before I ever even met any of his family. Now for the clincher... they all lived within walking distance of where he lived! However, I am a convenient scape goat for them.

Oh yes... then there was the time his sister actually sent him a certified return receipt letter marked "personal and confidential" no less... telling him to leave me because I'm such a bitch, and only his family truely loves him unconditionally!

Goosey, how long have you been married to you husband?

Zinnie

September 23, 2003
11:47 am
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Jeanine
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Hi Goosey & All,

Thanks so much for understanding where I'm coming from. My husband & I have been married for almost 20 years now. You would think we would have resolved this issue by now but we haven't.

There is so much ugly history - the last straw was when she told us she didn't have time for our kids to visit.(she doesn't have time to take care of them, she's raised her kids). Which is funny because we sent our 15 year old son to visit her at her insistence only one time without us & that was only for a week. She made visiting her impossible for me but now she doesn't even want anything to do with my kids. I think that she tries to use the kids in her warped manipulative ways. She just wants my husband to visit her alone & pretend she is still the one & only woman in his life.

I could go on.. My husband tries to stand up for me now but didn't earlier in our marriage. She almost caused us to get a divorce.She is devious & he is easily manipulated by her. It hurts me when she says such awful things about me to him, & he obviously doesn't make it clear to her that he won't tolerate it because she still does it.

The real issue, I guess, as I mull this over & over, is that my MIL has a stronger will than my husband. They have a 50th wedding anniversary coming up soon & I know I'm going to be a wreck! It will be tough not to go. But she really makes me physically ill. I don't want my husband to go without me - I don't trust her & I don't trust my husband with her. She is a smooth talker & can really twist things.

Also, I don't want my husband to go without me or the kids because that is exactly what she wants. And he almost never lets me visit my family without him - he likes to be included & he doesn't like me to leave him for any extended period of time. The event isn't even until next summer & I'm already sick over it.

I love my husband & in every other way we have a good marriage. She has already but a deep wedge in our relationship.By-the-way, my father-in-law never says anything, he has no backbone whatsoever. My MIL is ruler over this family & whatever she wants she gets because she does not let up until she gets it. It's almost like watching a 2-year old throw a temper tantrum.

Sorry, for rambling on. I really appreciate you guys letting me vent. I it that I have so much bitterness for her but I can't make it go away. I wish I could rise above it but I can't. It's nice to know that you guys understand.

Cheers 🙂

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