I am at my wit's end. My in-laws, in short, are nothing but drama & stress, & always have been. In a nutshell, my husband is a recovering opiates addict who did his share of RSS (really stupid s***) in his 20s. One of those stupid things involved marrying very young to a woman with a major "golden uterus" complex. They subsequently divorced, but only after having a son. Ex-Wife changed their son's last name, slapped my husband with a series of (spurious) restraining orders, & has basically ensured that the only way we'll ever see him is if we can afford a lengthy court battle & are willing to accept a handful of supervised visits per month, if even that.

My husband is very quiet, & has gotten used to being the sounding board for his parents' marital problems (which no doubt contributed to his substance abuse before he got clean). So he won't speak up when they're stressing him (or me!!!) out, making hin uncomfortable, or just flat out making him depressed, sad & angry.

We recently revealed our baby's gender. It's a boy. We are beyond excited. What did his mother do on the evening we did our baby reveal party? She sat there, waited for him to leave the room, & then immediately started telling stories at top volume about First Son.

We stopped by on Father's Day. What did MIL do? Pulled out all her photos of my husband as a baby, First Son as a baby, & her one ultrasound photo of OUR son, & compared them. Loudly. Then she dragged out her framed photos of First Son & proceeded to shove them in my husband's face, then somberly declare, "Happy Father's Day." My husband was so distressed by it that he walked out of the room.

I do not know how to handle this. My in-laws are NOT the trustworthy type, & we've had nothing but problems in our marriage with their lack of boundaries. My mother in law gossips with her "dear friend", who just happens to also be OUR LANDLADY, about what goes on in our apartment & what my husband "should be" doing with his life, that I (the evil, manipulative, selfish wife--yes, she's used those words) won't let him do. Then, I found out that she CALLED my husband's ex-girlfriend (who is a real piece of work as well, but suffice to say the ex-girlfriend has no place in our lives, especially to know abour our marriage or pregnancy). She apparently called the ex to wish HER a Happy Mother's Day. I got no such phone call. Not even a text message. And the ex is not the mother of my husband's child. So, wtf. The ex proceeded to Facebook my husband & tell him that she had "been talking to his mom, so congratulations on the marriage & the baby on the way". This person has no call even knowing he's married or that we're expecting! Who knows who else MIL is gossiping about us with!!

I've explained to my husband that I really hate that she brings up his past & makes sure he can't process it on his own, forget it or realise that he deserves not only forgiveness, but a little respect & privacy. I've told him that I don't believe it should be her prerogative to bring up his first son anytime she wants-if anybody should be explaining that to others, it's my husband. He, of course, doesn't know what to say & therefore says nothing at all. He has no idea why she talks to anyone from his past, but I don't think he knows what to do about it, either.

I am NOT looking forward to having to explain to her that I do not want her babysitting my child. I don't trust her, & I just cannot have someone I don't trust alone with my baby. On top of that, she's a chainsmoker who would want to babysit in the ILs house, which REEKS of smoke. They smoke inside & don't even bother to think about what that might do to a baby or child. (My niece, who is now 7, has been babysat there for years. I worry so much about her health...plus, who wants their kid going to school smelling like cigarettes?)

Uugh. Sorry this is so long, but any advice greatly appreciated. How would you go about setting these boundaries with YOUR insane MIL? How would you go about showing your spouse how inappropriate her behavior is without looking like "the bad guy?"
mnh1982 mnh1982
31-35, F
2 Responses Aug 19, 2014

My MIL has almost no personality and basically dissolves when you even try to question her about anything, so I can't say I've tried this advice I'm about to give. BUT I say its time for a come to Jesus moment. Take MIL out, some place at least somewhat public that you feel comfortable at (and where she can't smoke ;) ), and let her have it. Set the boundaries and tell her exactly what you want her to do and stop doing. Tell her that unless she can stick to those boundaries, you don't feel comfortable with her spending one-on-one time with your baby. Although your MIL and mine are probably polar opposites, I have had success with trying to establish a relationship with her. That relationship can look like what ever you want it to, but it needs to be between you and your MIL. If your hubby needs to have a similar chat with her, that's about his and her relationship together. And both of you should make it clear that you will each have a relationship with her, but that she is not a part of yours and your hubby's relationship. Hope it helps!

My mother in law enjoys sabotaging my relationship...shes an old ***** to me...**** Her!!!!!!