Trashy, Rude, Disrespectful & Irresponsible

I hate my Mother In Law.  She has two sons, I married the eldest.  She brags about how she got pregnant her senior year of HS.  She was a horrible mother to my husband when he was a small child, she was young and irresponsible and repeatedly put him in dangerous situtaions. 

She's hasn't changed much since his birth some 30+ years ago.  She's diabetic, she has a low sugar reaction every single time I am in her company.  She is in her mid 50's and FAR from thin yet she wears Daisy Dukes and high heals and Harley Jackets with fringe.   She looks like a prostitute.  She feeds off of other men's attention even though she is married.  She's trashy as hell and an embarassment every time I'm with her...

She still pulls my husband's strings.  For instance - we got an invitation to her best friend from high school's daughter's wedding.  Since weekends are so few (and it took a while for us to figure out exactly who the wedding invite was for) I told her we were passing on this particular engagement because we had other plans.  So what does she do?  She calls and tells my husband that he WILL INDEED BE GOING because she is going and expects him to as well.  So the husband cancels our family outing to go to the wedding.  He and my 7 year old will attend, I will NOT.    This is VERY typical behavior for her.  If she does not like the answer she gets from me, she will manipulate my husand into doing what SHE wants.

At Xmas, my husband and I were going thru a hard time and I was considering divorce.  She took the opportunity to send him out of the house (big mistake on his part) and she cornered me and wanted to know what I was doing and how MISERABLE her son was...  This was inappropriate (oh did I mention that she send me numerous emails letting me know that EVERYONE KNEW we were probably going to get divorced) when she knows NOTHING about the situation.  She attacks, preaches and tells me HOW to live my life. 

When she doesn't like the answers she gets from me, she will manipulate MY family to get her way.  HOW do I make it stop?  She called the other day and asked my 7 year old if she wants to go camping with them this Summer.  Isn't that the PARENT'S decision?  The 7 year old doesn't decide what she is going to be doing on weekends.  Another example - daughter had a birthday on a particular weekend and the MIL actually tried to manipulate her into cancelling her plans so she could visit - thank God my daughter stood up to her and told her "NO, I want to go to my friends' party".

She's disrespectful and has SEVERE boundary issues.  She knows I don't like drop ins so she's taken to calling and telling my daughter she's on her way over.  I take this opportunity to leave the house immediately (thank GOD she lives 2 1/2 hours away).  She doesn't get the hint.  She still is prying and sending me emails asking me incredibly personal information and I just delete them... do I tell her of my "issues" - she's heard them numerous times but she does what she wants without any consideration to anyone else.  My current solution is to avoid her at all costs becuase if I DO see her, it won't be pretty...

gwenevere gwenevere
36-40, F
5 Responses May 7, 2007

I too feel your pain as I am going through some emotional issues because of my in laws. My husbands family is very messed up. His mother and father were divorced when he was 7. His father has been on medication most of his life because he was mistreated by his mother as a child. His mother always plays the poor me card. She constantly thinks her children owe her something(money). She is a clean freak and control freak. She thinks no one can raise kids as well as she did. She is very judgemental of EVERYONE. She picks apart their houses, calling them dirty or complains that they are over weight. She always believed her children were perfect and was obessed with their lives. She butts in on both her sons relationships and can't get along with both daughter in laws at the same time. She loves to gossip to spread stories. She has basically told me that I don't know how to parent and that I am a trouble maker between her son and her. She also told her son that he has no balls because he doesn't stand up to me. The unfortunate thing in this whole situation is that my husband has adapted some of her bad behaviours like "the need to control" and rude comments by times. The oldest son is much worse as he is a clean/neat freak and puts everyone down as he thinks he is the smartest, best person on earth and has no problem stating when he thinks someone is fat. He is a pure momma's boy. Anyway, my husband does not take anything off his family. Right now, the mother and his brother don't like me much. His brother says I don't know how to parent and I am the boss at this house. But I know in part they are saying this because my husband isn't putting up with their behaviour. His father and I stopped speaking in the past because he yelled at my oldest son(his step grandson) who was then 7 years old(hurting his feelings) and now things are mended because I know he is a troubled man. But he too agrees my husbands mother(his ex) is manipulative. This whole situation is troublesome to my husband and it does affect our relationship. Not only does it bother me, but makes me feel bad about myself so I just rather them not around. How do I rectify this situation? I do try to get along as best I can. I believe that you should treat people the way you would want to be treated, but I am done with the days of going out of my way to be extra nice.

only thing i can think of after reading your story and the suggestions to follow is ... i wouldn't instruct my daughter to 'not let grandma in the house.' inevitably your daughter will repeat this at the most inappropriate and embarrassing moment. i'd simply instruct my daughter, when grandma calls to say, "hi grandma! hold on." and then she must put you on the phone. i wouldn't allow her to drive me out of my own home. simply don't answer the door and if your daughter is home and going to be home when the woman shows up, tell your daughter she is NOT to answer the door that afternoon, if at all ... until things get cleared up ... i spose if your daughter questions why she can't answer the door anymore, you might tell her you don't think she's old enough or that it's dangerous because of strangers ... i'm guessing, tho, that your daughter will hear the doorbell and look out the window and see it's grandma and at the point yell, "mom, grandma's here!" ... i'm not sure how to address this ... eek! good luck.

It is true. Your husband should get his priorities straight. But you can't make him, and the process of trying to is a huge part of what's sucking the life out of you. It's his control game as well.<br />
<br />
Don't play it. <br />
<br />
The tug-o-war is his way of controlling both you and his mother actually. The thing about a tug-o-war is that two people have to be tugging or else it ceases to exist. <br />
<br />
Don't pull. Don't try to not pull. Don't try to resist pulling. Don't pull.<br />
<br />
Make a decision that that is over for you now. Think of all the things you'd like to do. The new things you'd like to learn about. The interests you'd like to pursue. The time you want to share with your daughter and the woman you want to teach her to become. The energy you used to give your MIL is now going to be used for these things. These things, your life, your real life will expand and you'll create tremendous things with all this extra energy that you now have. <br />
<br />
As far as that showing up at your house unnanounced thing goes (lol)... When she rings the doorbell, don't answer it. That's what doors are for. To let people in, and to keep people out selectively. Pretend you are not home and instruct your child to do the same until she goes away. Do that everytime she pulls that stunt. It doesn't matter if she talked to your daughter on the phone beforehand. Your daughter is seven. Seven year olds don't set itinerary. You are correct about this. You should not be driven out of your house because that woman decides she's coming over to violate you. No one violates you actually. After enough 2 1/2 hour car rides with no one to control on the other end, she'll stop because then there is NO PAYOFF for her. She needs her control somebody fix and if you're not there, she can't control you. If you're not there to abuse, she can't abuse you. Make you and your daughter like ghosts in her life. She will begin to struggle to remember what you both look like. If your husband won't stand up for you, it's OK, you know how to stand up for yourself.<br />
<br />
Don't be where she is. Where she is, is a world of pain. You're never where she is anymore. If you find yourself where she is inadvertenly, you're still not where she is because she's not the reason you are there. Don't speak to her. If she talks to you, go mute and then walk away. This might feel awkward at first. Practice. You'll see how quickly it becomes easy. You're not playing anymore and you're not concerned with what she or others may think of this. And your daughter should be as innacessible as you. She shouldn't be socializing with people who mean you such harm, and she is being exposed to awful values when she is around your MIL. None of my siblings or myself speak with anyone who is disrespectful to our mother. When we were young and didn't understand adult dynamics, we weren't allowed to. When we grew up, we naturally became outraged by attacks on our mother ourselves. Blood relation or not. And this doesn't apply to you and your MIL because you're not going to attack her. She'll simply be dead to you. Yes, it would have been nice for your daughter to have one of those great paternal grandmothers but it didn't happen. Oh well. <br />
<br />
Your husband, may or may not fall in line. When the game's over usually everybody goes home. Who knows? He's been the little flag in the middle of the rope for so long, he probably won't even know where he is when the game stops cold. <br />
<br />
Oh, and once it starts to sink into her sick ******* head, don't buy the fragile old lady act she will definately pull. <br />
<br />
From the bottom of my heart, GodSpeed and good luck.

Oh boy, do I know how you feel. Except that not only do I have the MIL, I have three older sisters to deal with... ugh.<br />
<br />
Don't put up with her crap. You need to put her in her place. One day, you need to basically gang up on her. If your husband agrees that she has "a tedoncy to..." then he's trying to politely admit that she's the ***** everyone knows she is. And I bet her husband probably agrees that she needs to stay out of your business. It worked for me. We had a fight over the phone that was so bad that she stormed my house! She pleaded that he come home with her and leave me and he chose me. That was after her husband and I told her that it was not her place to get involved. Take a stance and be united. And only he can really draw the line so tell him to grow a pair and stand up to mommy. If not for his own personal freedom than for the love of you and your children.

I would say get your husband involved. You are his wife, and its time he stood up for you. Her manipulating your husband into canceling family plans is as much his fault as hers. You two need to make a united stand against her for anything to change. Be careful to make sure you don't retaliate on her level, or everything will just escalate.