MIL From Hell!
Your stories made me finally feel as if I'm not alone in this subject. I had a vague idea that I wasn't alone by listening to horror stories about my Ma'amma from my mother when I was growing up and especially after these situations came to pass. But after hearing these horror stories, I know it's not my genetics. It's that there are MILs out there that are just simply awful human beings. Thank you guys for sharing. And I thought I'd share some of my stories with you (and maybe repeat some I left in comments). I thought that was the lowest of all the suggestions, honestly.
Finally the comments and suggestions got to the point where he couldn't take them anymore. I heard a nasty fight between him and his mother where he ended it by saying, "Listen woman, I've been telling you and my other *ucking mommies to let me live my own life and make my own mistakes. I don't need to hear how I'm doing this all wrong. So stay the hell out, you overpossessive, controlling *itches!"
In my eyes, I finally won.
Since then, our relationship keeps getting better and better. It took a great turn in November over Thanksgiving. I don't know what shook him, but when he left he was being a jerk to me. When he came home, he was absolutely wonderful. It was like when we were first together all over again.
How do I still continue to fight the enemy? I make myself scarce and when I know that they're making me out to be a monster, I send cards or flowers. For holidays, for birthdays, and especially when I know that they've talked the worst smack on me, sometimes I send it for no reason. I leave things in the cards like, "I'm so glad that we can share the most important man in our lives." And "I've always thought of you as part of my family! Wish we could spend more time together!" It seems to hit it where it hurts because it makes them look like the *itches.
And again, it's not like I didn't try. Actually, when I finally met all of his sisters, I was excstatic to have three sister-in-laws. I never really had a sister, so I thought it was be great. But they still hate me. Well the middle sister, not so much. I've helped her move a couple times and went drinking with her once. The youngest hates me because I don't wear designer clothes or look like a model. And his eldest hates me because I don't have a professional job.
Won't I be able to throw it back in her face when I start doing the same kind of work she is? And she'll feel like more of an idiot when I'm doing that AND going back to school for my bachlors. Ha ha.
Like most of you said, I honestly tried to build a relationship with my MIL. Even from the moment I met her, I tried so darn hard to impress her. And from what I understood, it wasn't entirely difficult. My fiance's had a bad history with loose and trashy women. I certainly don't have a "pedigree" but I grew up in a fairly religious middle class family. The first meeting with her was amazing. She was warm and friendly. She complimented me on my original style and openness. She also told me that I was wholesome and intelligent compared to the "dumb *****" that my fiance had brought around in the past. These are all qualities that she had me pegged for.
The summer came and went. Her and I bonded after she kicked her boyfriend out. We would sit outside, smoke, and talk. It was about everything and anything. She constantly praised me for being the best woman her child had ever been with. His sister moved in during the summer. Her and I chatted. We were friendly and nice. That was until he and I would have spats in front of her. Of course, she instantly took his side, no matter what. I'm sorry but I feel if you have a guest for the weekend (as I often was) then you should pay attention to them. My fiance had a terrible habit of getting to his computer and staying there for the rest of the day. Of course, I was wrong and ungrateful because he had just bought me a ring.
Then the fall came. He and I were spending nights at friend's places frequently because it was impossible to be intimate when you were sharing a room with your sibling. I suppose his family felt I was attempting to rip him away from them because that's when the claws started coming out. He told me that his mother flat out told him that I wasn't allowed to move in unless I got a job because there was no way I was freeloading off of her. Even me just spending the weekends was too much of a financial strain on her! I made myself a ghost in that house! I showered once the entire weekend and hardly ate a thing, although she cooked for an army! And I had no intentions of moving into that house anyhow.
But as soon as I started receiving my educational benefits, she practically begged me to move into the household! I got notice shortly before Christmas that I was going to recieve my first payment in January. When I went to his home on Christmas, his mother said it was fine by her. Of course it was. I later found out that she wasn't using the $400 a month (for four months) we contributed to the household to pay bills when she got evicted a year later. Her rent was only $200 for heavens sake! After she would complain about me for hours, she had no problem coming to me to borrow money to get her car fixed. And then less than a month after she got her car fixed, she ended up junking it and getting a loan for a new one with my fiance as the co-signer because she was in financial shambles! I also found out that when she was putting herself in a bad financial situation, his eldest sister had to declare bankrupcy due to her outstanding debts caused by their mother.
My fiance and I are very stubborn, hard-headed people. We are highly competitive. We would often fight and she had no hesitation about jumping into the middle of it. I knew moving into that house was a big mistake. He was always the saint. He was at no fault for the bad things in our relationship. Our fights blowing out of proportion were certainly not a result of him hitting below the belt and closing me off. It was a result of my neediness and insecurity.
What about her neediness? Every single time him and I were getting intimate with each other she would call him to assist her with something. It's like she had radar for that kind of thing. And I suspect at one point she probably made an embarassing comment about us getting intimate during the day because around month 2 the sex was confined to times that she was out of the house or hours late into the night with the door securely locked and the light off. There's nothing more of a turnoff than a mother-in-law and a sex routine.
There was this one time that I was interviewing for a college over the phone and dinner was ready before the interview was over. I told them to go on without me because I didn't know when the interview would be over. She yelled up the stairs and held dinner for a half an hour until the interviewer finally told me that we'd try another time. I was so angered by the fact that she'd put mine and my fiance's future in jeopardy over a meal I told them to go ahead with anyhow! (He and I were secretly engaged at this point). BTW: the interviewer never contacted me again.
For the entire duration of living with the enemy, I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want to rock the boat. After all, I was living in her house. I was respectful and generally silent during her passive-aggressive attacks. I never talked back. I was more respectful of her during those four months than I ever was during the 19 years of living with my parents.
By Feb I was tired of it. I went back home to my family in order to take a breather. I was planning on spending a week there when I got a call on Sunday night, only two nights into my stay with my family. It was my fiance and he explained that his mother took back her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend she kicked out 8 months before. He told me that he didn't feel comfortable there and asked me to come home. Of course I obliged. There's nothing more wonderful than having someone out and out telling you that they need you.
Finally the day came when the final straw broke my fiance's back. We had come into some unexpected wealth (extra money from our school loans) so we asked if she and her boyfriend would like to go to dinner. We took her to a nice dinner and on the way home we stopped to do some light shopping. We picked out a new printer because we were in desperate need of one for college. She dropped heavy handed hints that she "needed" a new monitor for her computer. We ignored her, knowing full and well that her monitor, although old, was in fine working order. When we walked out of there without her monitor, she pitched a fit on the way back home. They fought the entire ride back and even more so when we got into the house. She then bluffed by suggesting, "Why don't you go live with her family?!" We knew full and well that I have a very traditional family that would never go for that. They've never even let a guy accompany me above the first floor. But he took the bluff and said, "Fine, we'll be out by the end of the month." He slammed the door and asked, "Want to go apartment hunting?" I said, "You aren't going to back out on me this time?" And he didn't. We were out at the end of the month. No thanks to MIL. Her pre-owned mini van wasn't up to the 30 mile trip back to my hometown! The one that she had purchased less than 6 months before! This is also the van that I ponyed up the cash to assist in a new transmission for it when it failed! The nerve!
Then it started. The calls. She would call up to three times a day to check in on her son. When I was living with them, I only spoke with my mother a few times a week. And he would bear all to her. Every play by play of every fight we had. Every bad incident, each terrible exchange, just everything. Anytime I caught a snippet of a conversation, it was her insisting that he come home. Then she would create situations to try to feel bad for her so that he would come back. She would conviently forget her medication or ensure severe dehydration so that she would have to be hospitilized. (She's a large woman with a slew of medical problems). This is the same woman that didn't feel like she was getting enough attention and affection at home so she made herself so sick that she had to be hospitilized over her son's birthday. And he spent that day babysitting her alcoholic boyfriend so that he wouldn't get wasted and wreck the car. Where was his sister? She was over at her boyfriend's house and "didn't know that she was needed at home." After 19 missed calls, you think that she'd get the point. I remember a specific time that we had some of friends over and she called in a fit of tears. Apparently the boyfriend got drunk and beat her up. He's half of her size and he managed to push her down the basements stairs and assault her! The woman is 300lbs! I'm sorry but I'm a small girl and I can still kick ***. Of course, she claimed that the authorities wouldn't respond so it was up to him to come home and take care of the situation. We had to ask our only friend with a car at the time to take us all the way back near his house (30 miles away!) And she assumed that he'd spend at least one weekend a month with her after she kicked the boyfriend out. And where were the sisters during all of this? The ones with cars?
Things kept slipping downhill between us. I begged him to stop giving his mother the play by play between us and he told me that I was overreacting. She was his only confidant and it didn't mean that she thought less of me. Oh of course not. That's not the reason that she got the notion that I'm a despicable, intolerable woman who bosses her son around and makes him miserable. That can't honestly be why she still brings it up to this day when we start getting closer to putting our wedding together is it? And that isn't the reason that she practically encouraged him into his infidelity of Nov. 04. I suppose that's why she was nice to me for the rest of that year. I thought it was due to the inexplicable pain I was suffering due to dental problems. (That's how the divorce came to pass between his parents. His dad cheated on her).
Then there was the weekend we spent at his mother's house during the period of time I was having my dental work done. I agreed to go although I was on ill due to novacain shots and pain medication. I was loopy and when I was off the medication I was in terrible pain. And I was on a strictly soft food diet because of the temporary stuff I had in my mouth because I had to wait for the lab to get my permenants molded. She knew this and what did she make for dinner? Raw vegetables and sticky foods I wasn't able to eat. But out of starvation, I took the risk and pain and ate enough to sustain myself. That night, I broke off part of my tooth. I woke up in the morning and spit it into my hand. On the way home, his mother took a really nasty stab at me in the car. I was so woozy from the pills that I hadn't the energy to fight back. But I wasn't the only one who noticed it... finally. My fiance squeezed my hand in acknowledgement and I squeezed back in anger. Later at home he held me as I cried in bed.
Finally, a breakthrough. He finally understood what I was saying about not telling his mother everything. She would only use it against me and us as a couple later on. And she did. I wasn't the needy, insecure, self-loathing, manic-depressive, angry, hypochondriac, manipulative mess that she made me out to be. It in fact turned out to be her all along.
Fast-forward to August. We fought, sure, but it was behind closed doors now. He and I attended his ex-step-dad's wedding. He was a groomsman. I guess something about the wedding shook him because when we got home from the fun filled weekend he asked me what I thought about getting married by a magistrate. It was the first time we discussed wedding plans in a long time. At that point I was pretty sure we'd end up as one of those couples that stays engaged for about 10 years and when they actually tie the knot people are like, "Finally..." This was the first time that we announced it to our families. And his mother treated it like he had terminal cancer! She flipped out at dinner and then she started practically hyperventaliated at the table. After she was done with her show she went over her 50 thousand reasons why it was a bad idea. She claimed we were "too young" when his eldest sister was married at the same age. She said that we were "fundamentally incompatible" and that we'd have "small, ugly, fat children" (directing that comment toward my genetics). Her husband actually sat there contradicting her and telling her that she should be happy that her son found someone to share his life with. She replied by saying he was ruining his life.
Less than three weeks after we set the date, he backed out. We had a huge fight that involved his mother, second step-dad, and two out of the three of his sisters storming my house. Him and I fought and he took off. He was on foot just wandering the town and wouldn't take my calls after awhile. When he didn't come home, I called his family to see if he contacted them. My fault... I know but he's famous for dragging them into it. She insisted that she was coming over to find him, pick him up, and drag him home. She claimed that she was ending our relationship. That crossed the line with me. I finally stood up for myself and told her that this all was a direct result of her, it was none of her business, and it wasn't her call. She needed to stay the hell out of our lives. I sat in the house while they held him hostage outside. I heard every word. How I was unsuited. How I was never going to do anything with my life. Absolutely everything. The three of them all offered places at their house and instructed him to pack a bag and come back for the rest of it the next day. In the end, he chose me. But what hurt was that he never directly stood up for. He just told them that he had this situation under control, we both lost our cool and what we needed was some time alone to fix this.
The phone calls continued for some weeks after the incident, one after another basically begging him to leave me while I was at work. I knew this. I was afraid to even leave the house because I didn't want to come back and find it empty.