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MIL driving me mad, help?!

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  • #848293 Reply
    avatarjosie45
    Member

    I have been with my partner for almost 2yrs, living with him in his house for almost one. Everything between me and him is great but his Mother is driving me mad.
    She is one of those Mother’s who has never liked any of my partners or his brothers wives or girlfriends. Certain things she has done I have tried to exclude as a slip of the tongue or errors, like calling me his exs name and giving me her slimming world books with his exs name all over. But she constantly talks about his exs to me, particularly the most recent one who he has 3 children with. It is becoming quite apparent that she is deliberately doing it when my ex isn’t in the room. She will also sometimes say to him “Do you remember when you two used to…” and then go on to share some irrelevant memory, which I’m quite sure she does to make me feel uncomfortable.
    My partner and his parents are very close, they come for lunch every Sunday, which if I’m honest I’m starting to dread. They have a key for the house and will come round when we’re at work to do jobs such as gardening etc, but I also know she has a good snoop around. Even if I have just cleaned the bathroom she will rearrange the toiletries and I know this sounds paranoid but once only my tooth brush had been put away, no one elses-daft I know but it does leave you wondering why! His parents have done a lot for him over the last few years, financially and helping him with the house and childcare and deep down I think the root cause of the problem is shes probably jealous or feels I’m stepping on her toes.
    Help, how do I deal with this, I have mentioned it to my partner but he doesn’t see it, probably because most of it happens when hes not there. But it’s really starting to bother me causing me to feel down a d quiet on occasion which I feel is causing a barrier between us.

    #848295 Reply
    avatarConfusedBride
    Guest

    Look, I’m no stranger to feeling at odds with your partner’s parents but it seems like you two are bringing this upon yourselves. For example, why are his parents coming over to take care of things that you two should be taking care of yourselves? It’s your home after all. Or is it? You say that his parents have helped a lot financially. Do they contribute to the mortgage at this point? Why do they have a key to your house?
    It seems as like your partner is very co-dependent with his parents which is not good. Its a dynamic that is unlikely to change, and there’s a chance that his parents feel like he “owes” them his privacy, and therefore your privacy.
    You need to talk to him about setting up boundaries with his parents. He’s a grown man, not a teenager still living under their roof. As for the comments about his exes, just steer the conversation back to things you do together and tell him that they bother you so he can help steer the conversation when his mom starts back up again.

    #848296 Reply
    avatarele4phant
    Guest

    Look – I feel for you, but the fact of the matter is, you have a partner problem, not an in-law problem.

    They are only able to walk all over your boundaries because he lets them. Your partner has this tight relationship with them, always has, why would that change now? Your partner and his partners are a package deal, so I feel like you can either take it all or leave it all.

    If you were both young, I might suggest you try to have a come to Jesus conversation with him to push him out of the nest…but, you guys aren’t that young. He’s already been married, he has his own children, and yet the apron strings are still there. He’s not going to change his relationship with his parents.

    #848297 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Why do you let it bother you? You know she would do this to anyone her son is in a relationship with, it’s not even personal. You’re playing right into it by getting upset. Try to limit your alone time with her and do not react when she talks about exes. You’re not interested. She calls you by the wrong name, politely say, “Josie,” like she’s any old lady who gets someone’s name wrong.

    Talk to your boyfriend about the rearranging of stuff. If he doesn’t think it’s a problem and isn’t willing to ask his mother to stop touching your stuff and moving it around, your problem is with him, not her. Everything isn’t actually great between you if he “doesn’t see it” and isn’t willing to try to do something about things that make you uncomfortable.

    #848298 Reply
    avatardinoceros
    Participant

    Since your partner doesn’t seem bothered, then the two options appear to be learning to deal with her and not let it bother you, or not be together. If you can do the former, great. If not, consider that this likely will be how it is for the foreseeable future. Don’t officially commit (get married, have kids, etc) until you know for sure that you can deal with this situation forever.

    #848300 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    Agree that you have a partner problem, not a MIL problem. If you’ve talked to him about how you feel about this and he doesn’t see the issue, the issue is with him, not her. His mother helps take care of his 3 kids and seemingly the house, too. So he needs to take it up so her. That’s for him to do, not you. You can try to calmly make your case with him again, but it quite honestly sounds like something you will have to figure out how to deal with. Stop letting it get to you.

    #848301 Reply
    avatarjosie45
    Member

    Thanks guys. Some food for thought there. Re.the house, it’s his house, he pays the mortgage but they did contribute prior to us being together when he went through a bad patch post divorce. Re.the jobs, we would do them if they didn’t get there first, we both work full time and have 8 children between us so dont always get jobs like gardening done as quickly as we’d like to.
    I know nothing will change re.his relationship with his parents I get the impression that’s how things have always been, ie they have a key because they always have, and I think itd go down like the titanic if he asked for it back.
    I’m not as bothered by the key, jobs,etc as I am by her trying to upset/wind me up, i know it isn’t personal to me as it started too early on for to know enough about me to dislike me. I just think it’s really nasty, and makes me feel like I’m not part of the family, she tries to make me feel uncomfortable and succeeds, I haven’t said anything to her about it as I feel she’d enjoy the fact that I’m bothered by it, but I do worry that one day I may push my dinner into the middle of the table and tell her to ring the ex and come round and eat it instead! Lol, no thanks guys, you’re right this situation isn’t going to change so I guess I just need to decide if I want to carry on putting up with it.

    #848302 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    You can deal with 8 kids but you can’t deal with this bitch?

    #848304 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    Wow. Eight kids! I’m surprised you have time to even think about what whoever said. Chore Chart!

    Maybe she brings up the ex because the kids like to hear about their mom? I don’t understand why you even take the time to think about the dumb stuff she says. Because if she is doing all these things AT you, to make you feel unwanted, etc she IS winning. You’re letting it get to you when you could take some of your willpower and just laugh at everything she says. Inwardly or outward. You are, at this moment, contemplating leaving because you can’t stand his mom.

    You say it’s not personal, so really try not to take it personally. Practice mindfulness. If you don’t want her to have a key, and it’s not crucial that she have one, ask your bf to ask for it back. If you moved in with a momma’s boy, you either have to deal with this or not. Quite honestly, you should have voiced these concerns before you moved in. Considering the previous financial help, how intertwined there lives are and the plain fact that you have EIGHT kids, I’d take her help, comments and all and just try to kill her with kindness.

    #848324 Reply
    avatargolfer.gal
    Guest

    When she calls you an ex’s name and your boyfriend isn’t around, say in a bland, calm tone “I’m Josie, MIL. I know as people age memories tend to go!” And smile. Whenever she does it again say “Oops MIL you’ve had another memory lapse! I know those happen more and more with age”. Basically continuously bring it back to her old age and forgetfulness. If she’s doing it a lot you may want to say she’s been forgetting a lot and suggest a visit to her doctor because you’re concerned about her. I bet she’ll start calling you the right name lickety split.

    #848325 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    You could definitely do that, or make it less aggressive and say sweetly, “I’m Josie, Barbara.” Like implying that you think she’s losing it without actually saying so.

    #848350 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    I agree with above. Start fucking right back with her. Bring up exs before she has a chance to. Tell stories about your exs. Cringe when she calls you the wrong name and ask her if she’s thought about mentioning her forgetfulness to her dr. I would go insane if someone was going through my house. I would have no problem shutting that down. But if I had 8 kids I would probably tolerate a lot of bullshit if it eased my workload

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