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Liking Her Less

Let me start by saying my father-in-law died nearly 5 years ago. At first, she was horrible to deal with and so needy as he spoiled her and did everything for her. OK. She has gotten better with everything and isn't crying every day. Hubby and I are mid aged and married for 6 years.All that said, she has always expected people in the family to visit her at least once a week. She has one other son who has a wife and 2 kids that also are having problems with her demand for constant attention. She wants my husband and me to constantly do things with her because she likes us better than the other son's family. We go to rock concerts and things like that she wouldn't be interested in. We DO take her to shows she enjoys and take her out for dinner and have her over the house at least once a week. Sometimes...more. Whenever she hears we have gone somewhere to see a concert, she gets ticked off. She starts telling stories about so and so always including their mother in on everything they do. We need private, fun time for just the two of us but she seems to find that rubbish. She tells me to cut my hair because I am too old to have it just below the shoulders. She hates the color too. She had to stay at our house the other night because she was out if power at her house due to a storm. We wanted to take her to the other son's house to stay because they had extra room for her as we do not. She cried and said she feels more comfortable with us and begged us not to take her there. (They are great to her and their is no reason on Earth she not go there.) She is just plain selfish where we are concerned. It always has to be us. We brought her to our home where she spent one night because her power came back on the next day....thank God. I was trying to get a little cleaning done...not much but Sundays are my cleaning days and I wanted to sweep and mop at the very least. As soon as she found out she was going to get to go back home, she said to me as I was in my hallway, "I've noticed quite a few things around the house I'd like to tell you about." Well....I was seething because I am a very clean person and have a very clean house. I went into my bathroom for at least 10 minutes trying to calm myself down before going in and reading her the riot act for that remark. My husband had just walked in the door after leaving for an hour and I am glad he did because I would not have been that nice. I bite my toungue with her CONSTANTLY. She thinks she's helping but it is the "Marie Barone" thing with her. Constant meddling, interfering with our time and criticizing. She ought to be grateful we kept her at our house that night. I am sick and tired of her asking hubby to constantly fix things at her house. (Little, petty things) I told my husband what she said to me about the house and he said he was glad she was out of the house and we had it back to ourselves. He said she can be a pain in the butt. He and his mom had a blow up because she is fighting with his son about stupid things and refuses to have anything to do with him. Hubby and she have made up but she will not speak to his son. (She does hold things against people) She is also holding inheritance against her two boys and if they don't do what she wants, they get cut off. She can be sweet as pie but then again, she can be a miserable force to deal with. I find her extremely selfish, self absorbed and demanding and I do have a fondness for her even after all this but she is making my life a tad miserable because we have to be at her beck and call all the time. I am liking her less and less. She is physically fit for her age and is not helpless but she feels she should always come first before husbands, wives and children. I had to tell somebody about this. Am I being selfish here? Thanks for listening.
ihavehadit ihavehadit 56-60, F 3 Responses Feb 12, 2013

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Thanks again for your support and advice. I appreciate it and I also like knowing I am not the only person with MIL issues like this.

My MIL also will say that the other DIL cooks great (I admit, mine skills are not as sharp as hers) She comments on how the other brother's ex wife was such a clean housekeeper and how much that one loved spending time at her house. (Hoo boy!!!) I do smile and say..."Well good for her!" Things like that. She does say she loves me and likes me better than hubby's ex. :)

The MIL does cook for us too. It does go back and forth and she doesn't mind doing it. I just hate having her over my house now after her snide remark about finding things in my house she wanted to tell me about. Really?? She was there for only 1 night! I am inclined to think she snooped around after hubby and I went to bed that night. I was told she does snoop which is why we won't let her be in our house alone. I would feel so violated. Mind you, this woman cleans her house every day and finds things to clean in her house over and over again and of course, we have to hear about how back breaking it was. (pity parties not uncommon with her and hubby hates it!)

I tolerate her because of my husband. He knows how she is and doesn't like it either but she is his mother. He says she is an old lady who won't be around long. Well she is as fit as an ox and could live to be 100! She is 80 years old. At that rate, I'll be an old woman and it'll be too late to enjoy life with hubby! LOL! I know....that was bad.

I try not to take her too seriously and most times, I can tune her out or change the subject but then there are other times......

She is peeved at my husband deep down inside (she told me this) because he believes his son over his own mother. Ha! She always says..."Well..I am his mother!" whenever another person is mentioned that has been wronged and she is involved. I believe she even thinks she should come before me which is not ok by me at all.

There are those times she is sweet as pie and she is generous but she is too demanding, self centered and she thinks she's Monarchy and above everyone else. I'd rather not have an inheritance than put up with her bull. She knows she's got the boys by the gotchas with inheritance.

She tells me things about my husband and his ex and his kids that I don't want to be told and I have told her to stop putting me in the middle of things yet she persists. Yes, I told hubby this and he just shakes his head in disgust. She can be a trouble maker...well....look what she did to the family with all the fueding!

My mom is not at all like her. In fact, we rarely see her. She keeps to herself with dad and likes it that way. When she does see us, she is polite and very supportive. She never intrudes in our business or makes demands.

I'd like to hear your stories too. It sure helps to hear from others and think maybe we don't have it so bad...or...just to have a laugh and I do believe laughter is the best medicine. At times, what else can we do? I will tell about the cruise sometime next week. I do all this at work and today I have had an easy day so I won't be on until Monday.

Thanks for being there and corresponding with me. Have a great weekend!

Oh boy, my SIL the one that my MIL adores and loves and none of us meets the same standard of this person--enables MIL also to the point that MIL cannot make her own doctors appointments, the daughter does it.

My husband adores his mom, with that being said, I tolerate more than I would normally. I don't tolerate that from my mom who is respectful to my husband. My MIL still acts like my husband lives at home...I told her in our last fight that I was the wife. Oh she did not like that one. I also told her she needs to respect the fact that I am his wife just like she expects me to respect her as the mother.

My husband has seen some of her ugly ways but still he validates and makes excuses for her and says she is 77 years old and won't be around too long. I get that but I told him that I'm 56 and don't need his mom to abuse me verbally either. So I tell her like it is now and tell her she is butting in, and to mind her own business. I do it nicely but firmly.

Your husband does need to respect your concerns, but slowly I would turn dinner onto her, have her cook on the alternate weeks. That was how I started the transition form weekly to bi-weekly. My MIL hates to cook, well I'm not nuts about it either but weekly turns into a big deal when you have to entertain/tolerate (the company).

I would love to hear about your stories, I have some wild ones too--the coffee maker was a hoot!!! I laugh about it now.

Advice, don't take her seriously at times. When she aggrevates you, smile..I do and for the most part it works. I just also made it clear that I am the lady of the household not the MIL!!!! Ugh...

ihavehadit, your story is one just like mine. I hope your Valentine Day was spent with your husband and not with the MIL. Sorry, I could not resist. But seriously you are not being selfish at all. You have been quite the contrary, involved as much as a DIL is expected to be, you have been patient with this person and the thing you probably need to accept is that she will not change, but you can.

I thought that I was a good DIL by having my MIL over every week for dinner, out for a fish fry on Friday's and took her to concerts or plays etc. We picked her up since the passing of her husband 12 YEARS AGO to attend any family functions & events. So since doing that, she has criticized my cooking, the way I look, how clean (yes how clean) my house is, how she does not like our new house (liked the other house since that was the house her son raised the boys), shouted at me, ignored me, caused many arguments at family functions at my house because I was not attentive enough and lies.

My MIL is strong, weatlhy and has her entire family living in the same town. We help her around the house, my husband does her finances & taxes, yet she refuses to get a lawn service because she wants the family to do the lawn. The family is so busy that it is becoming quite a burden! She does not care. We always dread spring because we have to do the spring clean up while she baths in the sun for 6 weeks in Florida!!!!

Recently, I told my husband that he needs to again bring the topic up for lawn service. So he did, he had a nice heart to heart with mommy dearest. Her response is "but I like to mow"....she hasn't mowed in years!!! He insisted that she thinks about it, he told her that he does not have time to do his own lawn let alone hers at this time. She told him she would think about it. Yeah--right!!!!

It is sad to say, but we look forward to her leaving for 6 weeks so that we all can rest without her demanding ways. What kills me most is that she causes trouble but ends up looking like the victim and blames me or her daughter that she cannot seem to hold in high regard. She comes off being so volunerable, and sweet ....so on. She has some nice ways, when she is at her best I actually like her.

I stopped the weekly dinners and outings. We take her out twice a month, my husband alternates weeks and has lunch with her and from time to time we take her to family gatherings. I put my foot down because doing what I did became a burden and an expectation which I can no longer do because it has caused me hardship. My suggestion is to limit your time with her, make those dinners few and far between. Because in my situation limiting our time with her has helped. She realizes that her behavior has caused this. If she wants to see her son, she has to go through the DIL and she needs to be respectful. Oh enlist the other family members to help out and you guys need to refuse some of the chore duties.!!!! (just a suggestion)

Ugh, good luck.

Thanks so much for your response pinterest. Yes, our stories are too darn similar! My MIL also has money she could spend on snow shoveling, leaf clean up in the fall.....you name it...but...my husband told her why pay someone when we can do it? This part is HIS fault and I have tried telling him I am tired from doing it and he says to me to stop acting like a baby. You see...she does give us generous amounts of money at Christmastime and things like that and he says this is the least we could do. (We are in our mid to upper 50s and getting too old for the physical stuff now) She was thinking about moving into a condo where they take care of all things outside but a good friend of hers TALKED HER OUT OF IT!!!! This really ticked hubby and I off but it is what it is now. We can't wait for her to go on her one vacation to her niece's house out west every year. It gives us all such a relief but it is all too brief. (2 weeks) As far as the other brother goes? We are feuding and it doesn't look like there is any hope for reconciliation at the moment. Yes, she is the cause of it. (That is another story) She has managed to alienate herself from her grandson as well so you see...she is the CENTER of all the family problems ...BUT...she refuses to take credit for any of it. Well..ok...that is not completely true. She knows it is her fault with hubby's brother but not with hubby's son. It is all for little crap (she accuses him of not saying hello to her during a family function when he came in the door) The grandson is getting sick of her crying, whiney ways and has gladly stopped having anything to do with her. She has made such a big deal about this that she has totally driven the young man away from her. We managed to have a great Valentine's dinner last night without her I am happy to say. We HAVE taken her out to dinner on Valentines in the past as well as our wedding anniversary dinners but in the past couple years....she hasn't gone with us on those either. I am tired of having a 3rd wheel on those special occasions and we darn well deserve to be alone then. Thanks for asking about that. Oh.....may I say that when hubby's invalid 3rd brother died from MS last summer that she had a memorial dinner with the other son and his wife's parents while we were on vacation when it was Hubby and I who saw this brother weekly and took the MIL with us then too. The other brother never saw him. She doen't know we know this.I have many things I could tell you about this woman and maybe I can tell some stories later on here. I would LOVE to see her just once, twice a month but it is hubby. He says he has been visiting his parents weekly and he says we are going to see her at least once a week. Mu hubby is getting tired of the snow shoveling though and thankfully, her neighbor is plowing her driveway for her but there is still the porches and back deck to do as well as making a path back to her sheds for her. That is still a lot of shoveling as well as doing our own driveway, car ports and walkways. Now...to get someone to do all those fall leaves..........;) More stories from me coming at a later date. Why do MILs have to be so difficult!!!!? It should be outlawed!

I know my husband is enabling her. He won't change either. Her other son enables her too and we poor DILs suffer for it. Forgot to add that. Wait till I tell you guys about the cruise we took her on........