Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

MIL driving me mad, help?!

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice MIL driving me mad, help?!

Viewing 11 posts - 13 through 23 (of 23 total)
  • Author
  • #848365 Reply

    She doesn’t actually help with childcare at all since I moved in as she doesn’t need to because I do it all, not all children live here all the time, some at uni, some with their Mum’s one week and with us the other, but they still take up alot of our time.
    I think she may feel a bit redundant now I’m here, but his parents aren’t getting any younger, his Dad had a mild stroke last year and I wouldnt want to put on them, plus we dont need to.
    I have tried to to front her out, for example talking back to her about the exs and adding in information I know she doesn’t know, which I know will wind her up that she didn’t know, as she always likes to be right and is very nosey. But it still gets me down, I kind of feel like I dont want to get locked into a battle of wills with her, one its pathetic and requires more effort than I can be bothered with every Sunday on my day off, and two i feel like why should i have to, shes the one being horrible and I guess I hoped she’d of tripped herself up and shown her true colours by now.
    I dont know maybe I need to up my game and continue to front it out that it doesn’t bother me and hopefully she’ll get bored, like a bully in the playground. I’ll definitely do that with the name thing though, she wouldnt like that, mindfulness is a really good idea.Its draining but I dont really want to lose my relationship, we would honestly be really happy if it wasn’t for his Mother. And if I’m honest I haven’t really spelt it out completely to my partner as I dont want to make him feel under pressure and awkward in an already awkward situation, none of it is his doing and his Mother really isn’t the easiest of people to deal with. Maybe I need to have an honest conversation with him about how I really feel, I just dont want it to split us up.

    #848373 Reply

    And if I’m honest I haven’t really spelt it out completely to my partner as I dont want to make him feel under pressure and awkward in an already awkward situation, none of it is his doing and his Mother really isn’t the easiest of people to deal with. Maybe I need to have an honest conversation with him about how I really feel, I just dont want it to split us up.

    That’s your problem right there. We’ve said you have a partner issue, not a MIL issue but the truth is you’ve not really told him how much this is bothering you. You need to talk to him. Keeping these types of things to yourself is going to make it worse. Be honest, and work together to figure out how to solve this issue. He’s the only one who should be dealing with her. He should be taking the lead with his mother. Why does she have a key? Does she actually need the key? I don’t think being rude or petty back is going to help you or the situation at all.

    Maybe she should only come over only when you’re out at the gym, maybe he sees his family at there house, what ever works the best.

    #848384 Reply

    Yes you’re right, its graduation day tomorrow so I will have to spend all day with Mother so undoubtedly something will be said, so I guess tomorrow night will be a good opportunity. Thanks

    #848386 Reply

    I’m curious as to why you think an honest conversation would split you up? Are you worried he will not react well? That there would be a big fight? Or that nothing would change and you’ll be forced to leave because the way things currently are is unsustainable?

    I think it may be time for a few sessions with a couples counsellor. I’d frame it to him as “I’m having a lot more problems with your mother than I can continue to live with. I’ve been afraid to bring it up because [reason], but at this point I’m worried about us splitting up, which i really don’t want to happen”. Hashing this out with a trained referee would be beneficial. Also, maybe write a list of potentially achievable goals (boyfriend shuts down talk of ex’s, boyfriend explains key will be taken away if snooping continues, cheap security camera/nanny cam is installed to ensure snooping stops, you limit your time around mother, doctors visit is suggested for mothers “memory” problems, etc)

    #848404 Reply

    That’s a really good question and one that I haven’t asked myself, you’ve got me thinking now.
    I guess I’m acutely aware that shes been around longer than I have, if it were a completion, which I know it isn’t I feel she would win. I also think it’s because when I have mentioned it he sort of shuts it down with comments such as “she does like you, it’s just the way my mum is, theres no harm in her, she’d do anything for you” or he has passed some of it off as being age related, her losing it etc. To him she is a very loving, caring Mum that has helped him out a lot.
    I guess I’m worried he wont see my point of view, as she does most of it when hes not there, I dont want it to sound like I’m just slagging off his Mum. As then I’d be as bad as her but in his eyes look like I’m the one causing the problem because he doesn’t see what’s going on, he wouldnt notice things like moved toothbrushes and let’s face it, it sounds ridiculous. When she pops round to do jobs she’ll make out like she thought I was going to be in, which I can see through but he wouldnt, shes quite clever with it, as I’m sure shes aware he wouldnt put up with it if he thought she was being deliberately out of order.
    I dont want go sound like some paranoid trouble cause. But I think if I actually spelt out all the incidences he would see what I’m saying as I dont think anyone would be able to deny that she clearly has an issue, so I think that is what I’ll do. I hoped she would just come round to the idea of me being here and things would get easier si I wouldnt have to raise it, as once I do I know it will then force him into a situation of feeling uncomfortable, i dont want him to have to worry about family events, inviting them round, Christmas,etc.

    #848422 Reply

    Start touching him. Seriously every time she brings up an ex, just very lovingly and briefly caress him. Put your hand on the broad part of his back and give him a little scritch-scratch, touch his thigh, get up and give him a peck on the top of his head, softly pinch his earlobe. Nothing sexy. Just a little physical affection. If you can randomly goose him – even better.

    But yeah – your problem is a boyfriend problem not an MIL problem.

    #848433 Reply

    Eh I wouldn’t advise you try to “compete” or egg her on in any way by doing things like touching him in front of her. It just strikes me as, marking your territory. It’s just going to throw more fuel on the situation, is that really what you want, to escalate things? Like you said, if this becomes a competition you’ll probably lose.

    You need to work with him to back you up and set boundaries. If he won’t do that – you have a decision to make, can you accept the situation as it is forever and make peace with that, or is that not tenable and you need to leave the situation (and therefore him)?

    When you around her, I would act above reproach. You don’t want to give her any additional ammunition to pick away at you.

    #848434 Reply

    Yeah I wouldn’t either. Getting into a tit-for-tat escalation with your (future, maybe) MIL is never a good idea. You always need to deal with it via your S/O, and if that’s not working then your relationship may not be that strong. You can try to create appropriate boundaries with her yourself, but I don’t agree with the advice about trying to dish it right back to her.

    #848435 Reply

    Could you just make yourself unavailable for Sunday lunches? Maybe leave the house and do something nice for yourself. Get a pedicure, go to the park or a movie, meet up with a friend?

    When you do have to see her I think acting as unaffected as possible when she starts up with her BS is the way to go. No reaction to the ex talk, maybe smile sweetly and correct her when she calls you by the wrong name. She wants to annoy you, don’t give her the satisfaction

    #848436 Reply

    No reason to deviate from the standard rule for in-laws here. It is the bf’s responsibility to address this with his mother. LW addressing it can’t end well. If bf is unwilling to address the issue, then that is a strong indication that he isn’t going to support LW when his family acts up and this relationship isn’t going to work long-term. Better to find that out now. Some people are totally unable to set boundaries with their birth families. Makes life hell for their spouse. If bf won’t help, MOA. This isn’t something you sound able to put up with long-term.

    #848439 Reply

    If you frame it as a competition, you will lose. But one of you doesn’t have to ‘win’ for the situation to improve.

    Step 1- your bf needs to acknowledge that his mother does not make you feel good. Stop letting him tell you you can’t feel what you do. His mom may not intentionally mean to make you feel the way you do (in your bf’s eyes) but what matters is that her actions, regardless of the intent, DO make you feel that way. And that’s something that he needs to recognize, validate and act on. Some couples counselling may help here.

    Step2- your bf needs to let his mom know that her action and words, despite her best intentions, are harmful. He can only do that in an appropriate and consistent manner if he truely understands how you feel. He needs to be the one shutting it down on the regular and encouraging new, more positive interactions.

    Even the stuff she does he doesn’t see (like the popping in when she thought you were going to be around) can be fixed only if he believes you. And really…how many times does it have to happen before the believes you? Don’t set up the conversation around her having a nefarious intent to push this boundary, but rather set it up as “we seem to be having constant communication issues about when is a good time for her to drop by. Please help”.

    End of the day- you have a boyfriend problem. He refuses to believe and validate your feelings and set appropriate boundaries with his mother. I think you know that and that’s why you aren’t addressing it fully with him. In order to address it appropriately though, you can’t frame it as you vs her, or assign intentions to her behaviour. Remain neutral and point out facts and your feelings. Don’t assign meaning to her behaviours, just point them out and how they make you feel.

Viewing 11 posts - 13 through 23 (of 23 total)
Reply To: MIL driving me mad, help?!
Your information: