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At a Loss

I have been with my husband for 15 years now and married for 12 of it. Anyway his mother never liked me from the beginning. She kept trying to convince my husband back then to leave me cause I wasn't good enough. As the years have gone by, we started having kids, getting married, and then the nasty gossip crap had happened that I was accused of saying things about everybody, when in actuality I didn't talk to anybody. My husband has 3 sisters and 1 brother. I have only 1 sister. His family likes to compete with each other especially the 'Keep up with the Jones'. Well back when my husband and I were setting a date to get married we had planned a day that had meaning to us. Well it was known that my husband's family didn't care for me due to what his mom was telling everyone so we didn't care about having our wedding on a weekday. Well that created such an uproar that his mom and dad drove 3 1/2 hours to take us out to dinner and then chew me out in the restaurant our how selfish I was being for having my wedding on a weekday. I never got to eat the whole hour she was chewing me out due to I was crying the whole time. Sadly to say after the @ss chewing I eventually gave in to shut her up and had our wedding on a weekend. She has always made sarcastic & or demeaning remarks and I ended up breaking off ties for a few years. But 9 years ago my husband's father passed away due to cancer. So on his father's deathbed my husband said he would help take care of his mom when needed. Mind you my MIL is horrible with money and ended up in a few financial downfalls. We can get along for short visits and over the phone but I can not stand her living with us......Yep she is living with us because I stupidly agreed and thought well maybe she had changed... NOPE!!! Plus one of my SIL is living with us too. This is the part I don't know what to do about. The SIL has 2 dachshunds (barking rodents that poop & pee in the house), the female is 3+ years, the male is 1+ yrs. MIL & SIL want to breed 'rodents' again and I keep saying NO MORE LITTLE DOGS IN THE HOUSE. The 'rodents' stay in MIL room which is the Masterbedroom (and now it stinks from all the accidents). I want the little dogs GONE! They have lived with us for a year now and their 'rodents' always bark at us in our own house. They complain when I put their dogs outside for hours with shade and water. They have not trained their dogs and refuse to train them making excuses that they are stubborn dogs and don't train well. Oh & to top it off the male dog bit one of my friends' kids and they blamed the kid. The MIL does not help pay for any bills or food but gladly leaves lights on even when she has left the room for hours and eats and then runs to room. SIL pays little rent so she isn't the problem there. And stupidly I let MIL have her stuff in house due to DH & I thought our house in CA would sell and we would start building our dreamhouse in MT. That went wrong too, house didn't sell, so financial bind ourselves, filed bankruptcy to get rid of CA and debt. So now stuck in sharing house with MIL, her stuff all over, dogs messing and barking, raising 4 kids, and cooking & cleaning for 8 people. Problem is husband doesn't like saying anything to his Mother, and when he does she puts guilt trip of she is a burden. And she claims to be a perfectionist but doesn't help out with cleaning unless it is taking my stuff out of the house and puts it in storage. She belittles my kids, she waits for them to get home from their game or function and tells them to do their chores when she has been home all day sitting on her big butt. She doesn't help with anything just throws out snide remarks and to top it all off, my husband had asked me to just let things roll off my back and not 'nag' to him about his mom & sis. Also she pissed me off so bad earlier this year that I took off for 10 days stupidly leaving my kids and missed Mother's Day with them. So to be a 'good wife' I just bite my tongue and do my thing... So what do you think I should do???  I do love my DH just really despise his selfish ungrateful mother. And her cooking is not that great when she cooks 1 day out of the week.

goingnumb goingnumb 36-40, F 8 Responses Nov 11, 2008

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I would suggest you consider taking some assertiveness or conflict resolution training, stuff like this can eat you alive, and no one is going to fix it for you. My mother-in-law is pretty difficult and my husband would never talk to her about it, so there are times I have to be fairly straightforward with her. It's strange how often we put up with treatment from family that we would never put up with from friends.

PS your husband has a responsibility to build you up to your mother in law. I sure hope he supports you in this way.

I am sorry- when I said let it go I didn't mean it as everyone took it. What I meant by it is implied in my first statement- to transcend it. You have to take the high road. It is never a good idea to avoid your problems- of course not- but you must address them. It sounds like the root of the problem is miscommunication, and you need to confront her with this and tell her you want to take steps to improve communication with her. Tell her that through out your entire marriage you always felt like she did not like you and you can not figure out why she never gave you a chance to get to know you and like you. <br />
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To deal with the present situation you need to set boudaries, but not be exclusive about it but inclusive of everyone's rights. If it is not working out, can you tell her and help her to find an apartment near you?<br />
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These are just suggestions. But the main part of what I am trying to say is that improving this situation will start with changing the interaction between you and her. Even if she doesn't respect you, respect her back in every moment and in every situation. Trust me this will set a pattern and she will then begin to change her way of relating to you as well. Don't expect too much right away - in fact don't expect anything at all- ever. You need to change your way of relating because it is the right thing to do not because you are expecting anything. But it will improve your relationship with her and eventually you will shocked and not even recognize it! People do respond to sincere and consistent respect and love! <br />
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I am in no way suggesting you are ever responsible for another person's behavior, but both parties are responsible for building a relationship, and it has to start with the person who is aware that it needs to change.<br />
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Also though there are real problems here obviously- once the lines of honest communication are open between you both you will be amazed at how much may be based on misunderstandings- and in those cases things will improve fast and you will feel like a weight has been lifted from you.<br />
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Good luck in your life. It is not easy, and it will never be perfect but mother in laws and daughter in laws can learn to be friends - I know because I have a story myself that I could tell.

Shorty, I hope things work out for you after the wedding, all I can say from my experience is it is better to live far from her. When my husband and I got married she lived 3 hours away from us. And then when her husband passed away over 9 years ago she moved to another state. Let me tell you that was NICE!!. Alas we did have decent phone conversations and that is when I thought things were better between us as MIL & DIL. Boy was I wrong. Whatever you do have some DISTANCE from her.....<br />
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and thank you all for commenting, it does help me, have a good day.

SHE SOUNDS JUST LIKE MY WONDERFUL MIL.WERE NOT MARRIED YET BUT WE HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 8 YEARS,WE HAVE THREE KIDS, AND SET A DATE TO GET MARRIED NEXT YEAR.WHEN WE TOLD HER SHE WAS NOT HAPPY.SHE DOESNT EVEN TALK ABOUT IT WITH ME.SHE ONLY TALKS ABOUT IT WITH HER SON.SHES TRYING TO CONTROL THE WAY WE WANT THINGS TO GO FOR THE WEDDING.SHE IS TRYING TO DO THINGS HER WAY BUT MY MAN KNOWS BETTER.THATS WHAT I LOVE ABOUT HIM.I LOVE THE FACT THAT RIGHT NOW SHES HATING THIS WHOLE IDEA.

For the time of the @ss chewing my husband did not back me up nor did his father say anything to stop her. I guess she ruled that roost too. I just don't know.....

I don't agree to let it go.<br />
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What on earth does your husband think of all this?<br />
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There is helping your family, then there is being taken advantage of. You and your hubby and definitely being taken advantage of.<br />
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HE has to tell them to get rid of the dogs- beggars can't be choosers, she has to find a place for her dogs or GET OUT.<br />
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I have to ask, that time when your MIL chewed you out, didn't your husband to be back you up at all? I mean it sounds like your hubby puts everyone else before you... This would definitely have been a red flag to me before I got married.<br />
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Bottom line your hubby needs to put his foot DOWN and tell his sister get rid of the dogs or get out, then tell his mom she has to respect you and do her fair share or get out- I am sure his father wouldn't want his mom to make you guys miserable.<br />
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At least tell your hubby you have tried and she hasn't so you think it's time for her to go.

Everyone has issues with their mother in law, and mother in laws have issues with their daughter in law- you just have to transcend it- let it go.