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My Mother In Law Is A Selfish Person!

Hello everyone,

This is a first for me, but I needed to talk and I thought "why not here?", so here I am!
A bit about me first: I am 25, have a 20months old son, and live with my partner. I am still trying to find a part time job, with no luck, but my partner works full time. We are often short on money but we do our best to make it work. I am French, so I try to go see my family in France at least twice a year.
My story is a bout my futur mother in law. I have been engaged to her son for more than a year now, and I have known her for more than 3 years.
My partner always told me that she wasn't a nice person, that she is selfish. But as I didn't know her at that time, I thought that I should discover for myself how she is and see.
So up until rescently, she never said anything bad to me or never showed that she had anything against me. So I considered that she was nice, very quiet and reserved, but nice.
She is the type of person that doesn't like to be surrounded by people, and that doesn't show her true emotions. She rarely smils, and kind of always looks miserable.
Her family often told me that she has depression, and that she is on and off of medicins. But knowing she has a problem, she never did anything to sort it, like talk to a doctor about it and meet people that feel the same and can then help each over. She does cleaning jobs in the mornings, and then goes home and mostly sits on the sofa and watches TV. she has no hobbies, doesn't go out, has no friends, and doesn't try to get any of these.
So I often tryed to get her involved in our life, like taking her along for days out or letting her spend some time with my son. But she never really said thanks or showed any appreciation towards it.
She never talked much to me except for when she had to criticise. She always found something to say about this or that being dangerous for our son!! it is quite annoying and makes you feel like bad parents, escpecialy if it is your first kid! and we always made sure that it was safe for him, but for her it wasn't good enougth! she never helpt us though! her house is much more dangerous than any other I know, as she doesn't tidy well, has cat hairs everywhere, and pointy and unstable furnitures, but we never said anything to her!
Anyway, a couple of months ago, she was at our flat, to spend time with our son, and I usually live her with him while I do some cleaning or tidying! but she has zero reaction and looks assleep all the time, and my son is really energetic, so you need to be very alert with him. But that day he managed to find a wine bottle and droped it as we realized, and we just had the time to pick him up before he could hurt himself! she should have been looking after him more carefully, but accidents happen and kids always find a way to do naughty things! anyway, i didn't say anything to her, but I was angry though, so I simply asked her to take my son in an other room while I cleaned the mess.
A couple of days after that little accident, she called my partner, she was crying on the phone, and saying that I frightened her and talked baddly to her, and that I was horrible to her! So my partner and me both went to see her and talk about what the problem was: I shoudln't have gone! that day i realized how messed up she was. When we arrived, she was watching TV, for a change, and it took her 15 minutes to look at us and start talking. She said that I talk to her like to a kid, that I don't respect her, that I frightened her and mad her shake so baddly, and clearly expressed that I was a bad mother! She said that she found horrible the way I was talking to her son, and that I treat him baddly and this was hurting her! and she said as well that she refuses to give boundaries to our son and say "no" to him when he was cheeky. As his parents we try to make him understand what is right from wrong, and he understands some which is a beginning, but she just messes up all our work by refusing to follow what we are trying to do! anyway, that day I went home crying because of her, and then I left for France.
My partner and me were really down with money, and coudln't by enougth food, so we decided that I should take our son and go to my family for up until christmas, so we could save up some money. My parents took care of me and our son, and helped us with money as much as they could.
While I was away, my partner had his paretns over one evening to see if his mum was ready to apologies and realize that what she was doing was selfish and stupid! but they went in a bigger argument, as she still didn't listen or understand the problem, and then even refused to leave our flat! I recently learn that my partner even cried on that day, which I never saw him do, so she must have been really horrble!

Since then, we are still trying to sort things out. My partner doesn't want to, as it is the second time she doesn this to him. She actually wants to keep her family close to her, and doesn't want anybody coming in between. So if her son is in a relationship, she tryies to destroy it! she says that she "loves him so much" and says that she is in depression, so in a way it isn't her fault!! but when you know you have a problem, you deal with it and listen to what your family says when they try to help you! but talking to her is like talking to a wall!

I met with her last saturday to see if they was anyway to sort things. The talk started well, she apologized for the bad things she previously said to me, and expressed her problems and that she was now trying to deal with, and then I told her that if we could patch things up, my partner and me would appreciate if she stopped interfeering in our relationship, and if she could stop criticising and start helping a bit, and as well that she had to respect our choices considering our son's education. She agreed to most of it, still saying that it was difficult for her to say "no" to our son, but it was still kind of going well. But then I asked her to explain to me why she said all these things, and after a while of trying to get her to talk, she said again that it was a build up of things I said to her and things I did: she still things I talk badly to her and that I don't show enougth respect. But when I asked for exaples, what she told me sounded more like she takes the wrong way everything I say, like if I say " try to give boundaries to our son", she understands "shout at him" !!! and then it went on and on about that, and at the end, the apologies weren't truefull, as she still believed everyword she told me previously! she just wants to apologies so she will be able to spend time with our son! she doesn't care about the rest!
I asked her as well if she realized that she keeps pushing people away all the time, and that she tries to destoy her son's relationships, and she just kept on saying "i love him so much and wouldn't hurt him", again and again, and didn't understand anything I was saying. I asked her if this would happened again, as it already happened twice to my partner, and she said she is afraid it will happen again! how crazy is that, she clearly says that she will do it again, and that the same time says that she didn't do anything wrong! We were kind of arguing a bit more at that time, and I told her that she really hurt her son, so much that he wouldn't even want to see her anymore! and then she clearly expressed that I was making her son depressif and that I had no right to go in France and leave him alone. She doesn't even try to understand that we had no choice, and that my family has the right to see us! if we had more money, my partner could have joined us! that just shows how selfish she is. Then she told me that I was alone here, me being french and living in uk, I don't know anyone else than my partner's family, and she said that I should be carefull and hold on to the people I know, as I could end up alone!! how bad is that, she tries to fretten me!!

Anyway, my partner and me decided that we will stop trying. But now I feel like she will do her best to make sure that her daugther is on her side and her husband to, and she tryies to brake these relations too!

If anyone has some tips, I would really appreciat it!

PS: sorry for any mistakes, English is my second language, and I am good at it, but mistakes might still happen.
emmanuelleg emmanuelleg 26-30, F 3 Responses Jan 25, 2012

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I feel for your situation here. I had a look at this post because I have also dealt with some outrageous inlaw treatment. Outlaw really, as me and my partner were never technically married even tho living together for three and a bit years. That family took every possible advantage of the situation they could. Not just the mother in law, but relatives of hers as well. It was a horror story...complete with phone calls almost every day, sometimes three to four times a day, and the mother-in-law sneaking in to our bedroom one day while we were out, going through all our dirty washing, picking up her sons stuff, along with some which was already clean and taking it back to her place (next-door). The first I knew of it was when she tried to return it - all dried & folded in a washing basket, through the same side door she'd sneaked it out of. I had seen her car coming up the driveway, so went to the door to greet her, and couldn't see her anywhere. I thought "Where is she!" and looked around, to find her standing at the open ranchslider entrance door of our bedroom with the basket. She started by saying she just thought she'd come and do some washing to "help" saying that she knew we didn't have much water, (it was summer at the time, but we had 3/4 of a 5000 gallon tank full at the time). She didn't set foot inside when she saw me coming thru and I picked my jaw up off the ground to "thank" her, and then told her that we had plenty of water and it really wasn't a problem and not necessary. I saw her off, as she didn't seem inclined to stay around as we had friends visiting, while still trying to pick my jaw up off the ground. My partners response to my incredulous amazement, was to say he didn't mind, he would take all the help he could get. That is just one incident in a book I could write about their collective arrogance, disrespect and provincial bigotry.
Anyway, I do understand how much utter damage can be done by these horribly self-centered people. It sounds like you had some support in all of this from your partner thankfully. Unlike me. My partner knew what was going on but played it all ways convenient to himself at any given point in time, being his mothers on, regardless of the damage to our relationship, and to me personally.
This particular incident happened fairly early on in our relationship and little did I know the full compliment of their repertoire for insult, nastiness, greed and politics. Some of it downright evil - no other word for it. It gets worse as they get older as they are usually well intrenched in these Machevallian stategms, and only get more experienced at playing it out as the years go by, whilst loudly and regularly defending their so called "right" to behave in such selfish, disrespectful, destructive and HURTFUL ways. Which manifested directly in the mothers instant response to my amazement at seeing her standing at my bedroom door with a pile of my partners clothes (not any of mine I might add, those had been left behind...which I was somewhat glad about. I did NOT want or need her doing my washing!)
Thanks for giving me the idea to share in this forum. I so wish we had happier ones to share in this regard...maybe sometime in the future.
I sincerely hope things have worked out for you and your partner and child. All the best to you...
Christina Tracey, New Zealand.

Since she's not really listening to anything you say, or pretending she doesn't get it, you should just stay away from her as much as you can. Or only be around her when your fiance is there. This way he can see and judge for himself. Otherwise, she is going to pull you two apart. gl

hello,i have the similar problems! my in-laws both are selfish person.my husband gives them financial support since he was 18,and he cares them.but his parents always try to contral us,and refuse to help us.they keep on disturb our life,the highly defense,control,be rude to us...my husband is weak when he faces these problems,he feels pain but don't want to change anything.i think what they did is totally wrong,they just don't respect and love us.<br />
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had enough,i choose to leave all of them,i mean divorce.