The Bright Side?

A bright side to a mother-in-law you ask, what could that possibly be?  Well the only positive thing I have to say about my MIL is that she lives a thousand miles away.  However, her path of critcism, simple-mindedness, broad assumptions and manipulation of my husband is far reaching despite the fact she only visits one time a year.

Recently, I am guilty, yes me, for calling my MIL out for her dysfunctional ways.  It all started about 4 months ago and slowly but surely morphed into my MIL showing her true colors.  Unfortnately, my MIL has visited twice in the last 6 months, the first visit came after I had shoulder surgery and she just could not understand why I didn't open up my house to her upon her visit. 

Most recently a few weeks ago accompanied by a entourage of 2 Aunt-in-laws, and a grandma-in-law.  For a solid three days, she took up space in my house as she "visited" with her family, all under the guise of trying to get to know my sons (from my previous marriage).  Four weeks before the blessed day of her arrival, she called me to tell me what she would be doing in my house.  Since she felt that you can't visit in a restraurant and only can have discussions around a dining room table, my house (which my husband bought from her) became her meeting place for her to entertain her family and ignore me and my boys.

The first night as I lay sick on my sofa from food poisoning contracted earlier in the week (I seriously thought it was an MIL contracted illness) she walked straight in and surveyed my house.  Her scrutinizing glare extended into opening my bedroom door and looking inside for the "cat" (damn, why did I not have the 12" ***** on nightside table).  Then her next statement after looking in my room of disarray, is "Everytime I visit you are sick." No, I didn't say what came into my mind but defended myself saying that the last time I had surgery. 

By Friday she permanently set up residence and invited everyone over for dinner.  On Saturday, as I rushed to cook a breakfast casserole and drink coffee, I sat at the end of my table as my in-laws (aunt, MIL, and grandma) offered "suggestions" on what I should do with my house and how little money it actually takes.  These thinly disguised critcisms decorated to look as "pearls of wisdom" went on for over an hour.  We know more because we've lived longer was their battlecry.  My husband sat there with a dazed look as he tuned all of the rhetoric out.  Taking my therapist advice, I decided I would take my children out ot the park to "get away" and to take a breather.  That then extended to my MIL & AIL in tagging along and thereby telling me how angry I am, how negative, how if I want something done in my house, I should do it.  I can only change myself, stop trying to change their beloved son.

I could not get an word in edgewise, impossible when someone is talking over you and/or isn't listening to what is being said.  By the end of the weekend, I was vibrating from stress and hostility all the while holding it in.  Finally as they left, my sons came out to tell me how the aunt-in-law had asked them a lot of questions and how uncomfortable they were.  My husband heard the whole ordeal and then tried to dismiss it.  It reared it's ugly head upon my ex-husband sending an email telling me that no one in my husband's family should be asking personal questions about him.  Damn, I hate when the ex is right.

So in trying to be proactive and possibily somewhat of an instigator, I decided to forward the email to my MIL for "clarity" as to how to proceed with discussing the matter with her sister.  Let the fireworks begin! Her family was beyond reproach, everything they did was absolutely perfect and that I am the one who is so "dysfunctional".  How dare I accuse her sister of doing anything inappropriate? She is so spiritual, she used to be a kindergarten teacher, how dare I do such an atrocity. Then the flood gates opened, I was a "whoas me person", I live in chaos, I am in crisis and they were just trying to help.  She even went as far as to say that apparently I was not working the program with my therapist because I am so dysfunctional by always slapping her hand when she extends help.  How could I ask for help, I couldn't get in a word edge wise?  Oh, I don't take responsibility and blame everyone else for my problems.

I then was the scapegoat for her sons not having a relationship, my husband needs to attend Al-Anon meetings to be able to deal with me (I drink 2 drinks a month and by no one's definition am a alcoholic).  And I needed to take responsiblity for what I am doing and how dare I drag her son in the middle of all of this.  All the while, she is cc him on all the emails and then trying to send other emails to him.  I had left him out of the email chain after the first email.

Three days later, in an attempt to get her son to talk to her (yes, he was burying his head in the sand) she offers money for him to take certification exams.  Then sends an Easter message saying a few days later (after he did not respond), "I hope you have a good Easter with your family, if you can."  

Last night, my husband finally talked to her about her behavior.  Now in her distorted reality, I insulted her and I owed her an apology.  She then played the victim (for which she accused me of playing) by stating that she had only wanted to have a good visit and to offer help.  She only wants a relationship with her son, no one cares about her life, I want to ruin her relationship with her son because I have problems with my mother, I didn't say good-bye to her when she left, she will not take the blame, everything that is wrong is me, etc., etc.

My husband, who is known not to communicate with his mother and his mother just does not know why, shut down completely.  He started off well by telling her that she owed me an apology and that she needed to mind her own business but then lost steam as his mother began pulling the tears, the emotional blackmail, and the guilt trips.  Classic textbook of toxic parenting. Oh and she hasn't been able to sleep and her sister and her are having dreams.  It is so sad there is no laughter in our house, blah, blah blah....

Now just to stir the pot more, I am tempted to   send her the book titled "Toxic In-Laws" by Susan Forward for mother's day.  She is acting under the assumption I want her to like me, when in fact, I could care less.  If I'm going to be made the bitchy scapegoat, then I'm going to run with it.

For all of you reading my very long rant, thank you for sticking with it.  I wish all of you soulful well-being. Call out your MILs for their bullshit.  Don't take **** from your MIL and stand your ground!!!

bonobabe bonobabe
31-35, F
23 Responses Apr 12, 2007

im sorry your mil is nutcase. but you stood your ground and stuck up for yourself good for you

All my in laws are like that!! They do no wrong and I'm awful. We tried to announce us getting engaged and she shut us down then went home and went to bed. Then when I was upset because all I wanted was for them to like me and want us to get married (honestly what's wrong w me right?) They were mad at me. I also didn't do anything but avoid them. I said nothing and they were mad at me. When my hubby asked if they even considered how I felt it was oh. Well no I didn't. Nice to know I matter. That's only one example but they're ridiculous and nothing is ever them. I know I'm not perfect and can be wrong but they have just made me out to be totally stupid

I like your attitude. You so should have had the ***** out. Make sure you do next time that will be priceless. I have gotten to the same point with my in laws.. I am taking no crap off of them. Fortunately for me, my husband is on my side. He has seen the light and isn't gonna let them treat me like this anymore.

When you finally call her out is when S*&T gets real. I did that after taking it over and over again. My future Mother in Law however is only brave behind a keyboard!

I appreciate your story...helps very much! You sound incredibly strong mil is a complete headache...and hubby has already stood up for me once, but she still keeps on. Your story will help me call her out next time.

Wow thats really harsh. I'm sorry for your situation. I wish there was something I could do to help.<br />
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Cheers,<br />
Thomas<br />

Kudos to you and I like the thought of sending my MIL the 'Toxic in-laws' book too for Mother's Day but then again why should I spend money on my MIL...

Most men don't have the balls to let their mother know how she hurts the DiL. They'd rather let it pass and hope for the best...but there isn't always a best. The Mil feels then that she has free reign to do and say whatever she wants.

Most men don't have the balls to let their mother know how she hurts the DiL. They'd rather let it pass and hope for the best...but there isn't always a best. The Mil feels then that she has free reign to do and say whatever she wants.

Before my mother passed away many years ago, she told me to take care of myself because no one else would. I have responded a couple of times when my MIL has mouthed off...yes...mouthed off...and I did so in front of a roomfull. She doesn't hurt me as she thinks she does but she really ****** me off. Too bad it had to be me instead of my husband telling her.

*Claps* That was amazing. And You sure as hell better run with it girl! Stupid ***** needs to leave you two alone.

In my experience, men don't read the MIL daughter in law game well and don't get why we feel setup in all the various manipulative ways that an evil MIL can devise. So if he stuck up for you once, that's probably good enough to let it go... rather than have it eat at your relationship with him.<br />
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She's not going to change. I used to get physically sick at the thought of having my in laws to stay.....all the backhanded suggestions as to how to raise my kids,keep my house, etc. and she's just so bigotted and opinionated in general it's awful. THEN I DISCOVERED SHOE THERAPY. I got so anxious about an impending visit/inspection that I went out and found myself buying 11 pairs of shoes at an outlet. Every time she said something that rubbed me the wrong way, I looked at my new shoes and felt happy and could block out her crap. Find an ob<x>ject that makes you happy, keep it with you when she visits, remember she'll be leaving soon (let's hope) and think happy thoughts.<br />
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You can't expect too much from your husband. How he treats his mom is an indication of how he will treat you. You also want your kids to treat you well when you are a grandparent, they pickup on how you treat their grandmother so go for restraint and avoidance if you can. Lower your expectations for your husbands behavior, be realistic - it's his mom.

Wow....lots of hostility from her and she is determined to make sure you know about it. Unfortunately, men if they do cut the apron strings from their mothers don't do it until later. If your fiancee is only 21, you have many years ahead of you if he cuts the apron strings and that is a big "if". Love is a powerful thing but in the end mothers usually have the last word. Sort of like the adage, your wife is your wife but your mother is for life.<br />
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I would reevaluate if you want to go down this road or not. If you so chose, the road is very bumpy and full of drama, tears, heartache, fights, etc., and in the end you may not end up with Jeff. Waiting to get married to iron out all these issues may be your best choice. Because after marriage, these types of issues may and often do become worse. <br />
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And as for grandchildren (I just had a baby girl) it doesn't get easier with them as well if you have MIL issues. Many men cave at this because of wanting to know if their baby is anything like they were at that age. Fatherhood tends to breed the need to go back to one's roots which is where the MIL has dominion. <br />
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As for "grand parent" rights, check your state. These rights are not guaranteed from state to state and vary dramatically. In most cases (i'm not attorney btw, just had lots of experience) the parent(s) have to be considered unfit for grandparents to assume custody. If the grandparents are known to be abusive in anyway, they can be denied visitation rights (again check wth your state). Keep this email as proof and any further correspondence. I hope for you and your fiancee it does not et to that point. <br />
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Good luck and blessings.

You are dealing with two issues here. The son who may or may not know how to stand up to his mom yet-yet being very important-is he going to try? If he can't bring himself to change (which is his right) then can you accept that he may grow eventually but maybe too slowly for your wishes. It could take many years. Then there is mom who is mean and manipulative. Do you have to accept her in your lives together? If best to break the strings from this woman as soon as possible. If your fiance won't back you up, you then she can have him. If she thinks people's lives are about winning and losing then she has a lot of problems that hopefully she hasn't passed on to her son. By the way, if you do marry, save her emails as proof for your defense in court if she thinks she can go that route.

my mother in law is doing some pretty bad things to me now... and i dont know how to handle it.. she sent me this email and my boyfriend whom i am soon to marry isnt doing anything about it.... i am confused.. and told to just ignore her.... what do you think i should do?<br />
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Little girl you have a lot of growing up to do before you even begin to think about being a wife and a mother. You should try to act like a young adult, then maybe you will be treated like one and respected like one. I sent the email to Jeff not you, I didn't tell him you accused me of poisoning him but when we spoke on the phone I could tell that you had an attitude about it. I've worked in pharmacy for 14 years little miss and in addition I have been Jeffs mother for the last 21. I have extensive knowledge and experience in caring for and treating sick people. I know what works and what doesn't and what kind of pain tolerance my son has. He was warned to eat or he would most likely vomit, but he was too worried about getting back to you. He should have stayed here and got to rest and eat proper food and not be hounded and harassed by an insecure adolescent girl. If you really love Jeff you will learn when it is wise to fight and when it is not. You think there is some sort of competition between you and I?:<br />
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1. There is not.<br />
2. If there was and if I choose it to be that way you would lose. Plain and simple.<br />
3 If you think by forcing Jeff to choose you or me will make your life better, think again. He may choose you at first but as time goes on that big heart of Jeffs' will start to break because this family means a lot to him.<br />
4 If you think threatening me with the possibility of never seeing my grandchildren will work, it won't the courts have recognized the rights of Grandparents and can even take children away from unstable mothers and place them with the paternal grandparent or foster care.<br />
5. You are an immature and spoiled and ungrateful brat. Who pays for the van and insurance? I know you drive it. <br />
6. You both have a lot of growing up to do.<br />
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I love my son Jeff with all my heart (and he may not realize this now) but I want him to be happy and I am sick of watching him throw his dreams away to please you. He loves you, he wants to make you happy and spend his life with you not me. I am his mother, I want him to move on away from us and on to the next part of his life. When you can grow up and stop acing like such a ninny* maybe we can be friends again. So stop this asinine bullshit now, and next time if I want to email you I'll send it to your address.<br />
Sincerely,<br />
Tana Jacks

You go girl!!! It takes a h.e.l.l of a woman to put up with that s h i t!! Kudos to you, I couldnt put up with it.


insist you have your own home without inlaws then tell them to **** right off hubby has a choice stick up for you and stand by you he will if he loves you . if you dont stick up and have respect for yourself then noone else will and you will be writing into pages like this forever i recently stuck up for myself and told my mil she was a nasty horrible firebreathing insanely jealous old dragon with a swishy tail and it feels great so what are youn waiting for

Hi, I read your story and omg what hell! I need to spill my guts. I hate all of my boyfriends family. They are always doing some s*** to me and he tells them nothing and i am always the bad one! I am on here today because today is my sons b-day! To start out the day i had to take a real estate lissence test and after all that i was going to spend the day with him bake a cake together and have some fun. Well I baked the cake and somewhere in between ----- ( Ok i hope you are ready for what i about to tell you ) my boyfriends sister and cousin decided to take my son to their other cousins house to play with their kids and have him cake and icecream there with him. So i am now sitting home alone while my son has his 5th birthday party without me. They did not ask me to go they just showed up and left with him. My boyfriend thinks there is nothing wrong with that and that it is tottally normal to have a birthday party for a five year old without his mother. I even told them not to come for him but they still drove here to pick him up. Oh and did i mention that my man bought a house and made my in-laws a apartment in the basement. we have been living in the same house for over a 2 years!!!!!!( i bet that just made you pull your hair out) When ever we have a fight they are in our buissness. Oh and not only that! within 10 munites of a argument my mil will call all of her family to tell them my buissness. I am always wrong and she is always right! What to do What to do?

your story made me shudder ... it brought back to life the miserable 20 months i was married to my ex and what a 'peach' his mother was! i feel for you ... please update us and let us know what you ended up doing, how your husband is handling things, what your relationship with him is like now, and how things are going ... i'm curious ... and KUDOS to you for being able to stick in there.

oh God you are so right-if you're going to be accused of the crime, you may as well be guilty of it! My hubby's and my best friend is a lesbian (she is also a psychologist and offers me insight, LOL) and my MIL is VERY OVERLY AND SELF-RIGHTEOUSLY RELIGIOUS and makes sh&*y comments all the time about who we hang around. Also, my mom's business partner is a gay male. (Just for the record, we are all straight.) I swear I am going to buy one of those "I'm straight but not narrow" t-shirts to wear it over to her house. This is in addition to god knows how many other criticisms she has. You've got a great idea!

As I read your story about your MIL, I thought that your MIL and mine must have had tea together on more that one occasion! Do they bread these spiteful, hateful, mentally deranged women somewhere? Thank you also for your comments.

i been married for 17 yearws and i came across your story and it what i been going through so i did what you did guess what the ***** an it in our life no more i'm soo happy!