My Mil Is Always Looking For Attention

I have lived with my MIL since the day I got married. I don't know why I agreed to it. I was young and stupid I guess. My husband is a hard worker and a good man but he just can't let go of her. The whole family dynamic is bizarre at times so I don't blame him entirely. It seems that he was raised to always care for her.
My MIL must have either aspergers or some type of social dysfunction. She is in her 80s so its really too late for change. She has no friends and people in general do not like her over the long run. So she focussesmher time and effort on her family. She manipulates her son and my two children. When I get mad at her, she'll bow her head and pretend to cry behind my back so they all think ive done something awful to her. Or sometimes she'd say to my kids after she did something wrong, "don't tell your mother or she'll get mad at me". When my kids were small and much more naive, she would tell them to not tell me what she had done, or I might hit her or yell at her. So they would keep secrets from me. At other times she would tell them that she couldn't play with them because I was making her fold clothes, etc.
When they were younger, she babysat for my kids but it was against my wishes. I paid her to do it because she had no income and no money coming in. I paid her holidays and vacation time also. I did this because of her poor behavior, I did not want to give her any reason to complain. Still she would go around my town and complain, or tell people she did it to help us.
One time her doctor called me to tell me that if I were a good mother, I would stay home with my kids and not make an elderly, sick woman watch them. She was about 68 at the time. This woman today, in her mid 80s, walks 3-4 miles every day. There is nothing sickly about her.
I am writing this today, because she has yet ruined another holiday for me. And because she has been so successful in her victim portrayals, my teen kids feel sorry for her and blame me for all the problems of the day.
I love my husband, and my kids. I even love my MIL for the good woman I know she must have been at some point in her life. My husband tells me that she always was crazy so I should just let it go but after many, many years I just can't anymore. I have always been a yeller, but now I'm becoming a lunatic. My worst fear is that the day she dies, will be the end of my marriage. My husband is a good guy but he's a bit oddly attached to her. Who knows what that day will bring. So I offer this to cyberspace as there really is nobody else on this planet who understands and I am the end of my rope. Happy Christmas all!
1 Response Dec 26, 2011

Family, and especially in-laws, can really ruin the holidays. I really didn't like having to see my MIL for Christmas. Sorry that your MIL ruined your holidays. I hope and pray things get better for your situation.

Thank you so much. I had another bad day with her. Imagine having an argument with your husband with your MIL there, and she stays there in the room and makes comments. Really? Ugh!

OMG, I can imagine! It hasn't happened to me yet, but mine is the type to do that, since she is constantly asking questions about what we're talking about in the middle of our conversations (and we might not even know she was close enough to hear).