Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: violetfire on January 11, 2013, 03:26:28 PM

Title: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: violetfire on January 11, 2013, 03:26:28 PM
Hello, I am a first time poster, have been reading the blog for a couple years.  I decided to join, because I'm having an issue with my MIL, and have no clue how to handle it.  I'll start with a little background:

My MIL is generally a pleasant woman, and while we are not particularly close, we are friendly and civil most of the time.  However, she occasionally baffles me with some extremely rude behavior that I have no idea how to handle.  She has become very politically active in her retirement, and while I don't necessarily disagree with her persuasion, I do find her to be a bit extreme at times.  I apologize if my post is not clear, as I'm trying to follow the rules regarding posting about politics, etc. 

My DH has chosen a profession that while respected by most, some believe it to be dangerous to society and believe the people who choose this profession do so in order to exert malevolent power over others.  My MIL is apparently a person who believes this way.  For example, she will email my DH regularly about job openings in our area in completely different fields, or will send newspaper clippings about unfortunate events involving members of my DH's profession.  This is between my DH and his mother, and I stay out of this.  However, it is what she brought into my home, with my young son present, without my permission that I take issue with.

She showed up at my house, unannounced (she lives far enough away that she must plan a specific trip to visit, with plenty of time to give us notice - this happens frequently), with a friend that we have never met, nor even heard of.  My MIL did not introduce her friend (I still have no idea what her name was), just sat down in my living room and started discussing the horrors of my DH's profession with her, in front of all of us.  She completely ignored us to have this conversation, also ignored my DH's attempts to refute their opinions or to change the subject.  She did not even bother to say hello to her grandson.  After about a half hour of this, she tells my DH she brought him a gift, and gives it to him.  It's a book outlining everything that's wrong with my DH's profession. 

Now this is a profession that's not just a job for the people who do it - it becomes part of their identity.  My MIL not only insulted her son's job, she insulted her son as a person with this visit and this "gift." Obviously, my DH was livid.  He gave the book back to her and told her to get out and never give him "gifts" like this again.  She left, with her friend in tow, muttering about how rude WE were.
My DH stopped communicating with her altogether for a while, and the entire time, she continued emailing me with "grandparent's rights" articles from the internet, I guess as a passive aggressive threat for not letting her see her grandson. 

Were we the rude ones?  I understand we cannot dictate what gifts we are given, but this was extremely offensive.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 03:37:11 PM
You were not rude.  Not by a long shot.  Ugh.  I am so curious what the profession is!  Can you PM me?
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: SamiHami on January 11, 2013, 03:44:25 PM
Me too...you've got me curious as well.

As for your MIL, clearly the less contact with her the better. And don't let her grandparents rights nonsense rattle you. If your DH wants to continue a relationship with her, I would suggest making it conditional, as in she needs to be informed that any mention of your DH's chosen profession is off limits in front of your DH, you and you child, period.

She doesn't have to like what he does, but she does have to understand that he is an adult and her badgering will only result in her having less contact with the three of you.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: rose red on January 11, 2013, 03:57:27 PM
No you are not rude and you should block her email address.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 11, 2013, 04:11:16 PM
Welcome to the board.  You and your DH were not rude.  I'm having a problem understanding how anyone could walk into a person'smhome with a stranger, not introduce the stranger and start slamming the home owners. 

If it were me, I'd send MIL one last email saying that she insulted your husband, disrespected you, and you will not interact with her until she apologizes and agrees to drop her crusade of trying to force your DH to change his career choice.  But if she so strongly disagrees with his career choice, then you think it is best for all involved that she not have contact with your family. 
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: artk2002 on January 11, 2013, 04:14:37 PM
Let's see now, she:

* Arrived unannounced
* Brought a stranger into your home without checking first
* Didn't introduce the stranger
* Ignored you, your DH and your child
* Insulted your DH and his profession for an extended period of time
* Gave your DH a book that continues the insult

You (and your DH):
* Told her to get out and to stay out until she could be civil.

Nope, you weren't rude at all. In fact, I think you were far too accommodating (probably because you were stunned by this.) I agree that the cut-direct is appropriate here. At the very least: "MIL, you are not welcome in our home, you are not welcome to contact us and you will not see your grandson until you can be civil. The subject of DH's profession is off limits -- if you can't leave that subject alone, you cannot have contact with us. Leave the 'grandparent's rights' threats off as well."
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 11, 2013, 04:17:20 PM
Wow! Yeah you're not rude at all!!  She's so far past the line that it's not even a dot.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Queen of Clubs on January 11, 2013, 04:18:14 PM
You were not rude at all and neither was your DH.  Your MIL, on the other hand, was exceptionally rude and I'm not surprised your DH threw her out.  I hope your MIL accepts the boundaries your DH has set, for all your sakes.

Welcome to the board. :)
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: HonorH on January 11, 2013, 04:24:22 PM
I've got a couple of guesses as to your husband's profession. Doesn't really matter, though. She was unpardonably rude. If you communicate with her again, it should only be to make it clear how badly she insulted your husband and your whole family--in front of a stranger!--and that it's up to her to mend the rift. She doesn't have to agree with your husband's choices, but she needs to show him respect. If she's unable to do that, I wouldn't let her in the door again.

Your husband's lucky that you have his back.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: YummyMummy66 on January 11, 2013, 04:28:57 PM
Dh needs to nip this in the bud with mom now.

If she emails, delete.

Next time she talks on the phone with son, he needs to let her know that this is his profession, has been for some time and will continue to be.  Nothing she says or does will change that.  What will change however, is her relationship with not only him, but his family as well if she does not stop.  She is welcome to her "sudden" beliefs, but you, as a family, do not feel the same and since she feels so strongly about hers, you will no longer discuss these beliefs in any way, shape or form now, or in the future.  If she sends something in the mail, it will be thrown out, (or I just might send it back to her in a way that requires postage due!), if she emails, she will be blocked, if she tries to talk on the phone about it, you will very politely, say Goodbye and if she visits and tries to bring into your home, she will be asked to leave and will not be invited back for quite some time.


Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: magicdomino on January 11, 2013, 05:06:06 PM
Rude, rude, rude.  Perhaps not cut direct worthy, but dancing awfully close to it if MIL doesn't stop harassing her son. 

I have to ask, though, what was MIL's friend doing?  Was she a True Believer agreeing with MIL, or did she look embarrassed?  Or even bored.   ???
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 11, 2013, 06:40:47 PM
If she keeps harassing you, I'd send her one final email: "You've been unforgivably rude toward your son.  His career is part of who he is, and if you can't love him despite that, we don't need you in our lives.  We will be ignoring all further communications from you unless they are prefaced by a heartfelt apology."  And then stick to it.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: kherbert05 on January 11, 2013, 06:49:31 PM
She was rude and should not be allowed around your son.


If you have her listed as an emergency contact at your son's school - take her off now. People forget to do that more than you would think.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Softly Spoken on January 11, 2013, 07:18:44 PM
Let's see now, she:

* Arrived unannounced
* Brought a stranger into your home without checking first
* Didn't introduce the stranger
* Ignored you, your DH and your child
* Insulted your DH and his profession for an extended period of time
* Gave your DH a book that continues the insult

You (and your DH):
* Told her to get out and to stay out until she could be civil.

Nope, you weren't rude at all. In fact, I think you were far too accommodating (probably because you were stunned by this.) I agree that the cut-direct is appropriate here. At the very least: "MIL, you are not welcome in our home, you are not welcome to contact us and you will not see your grandson until you can be civil. The subject of DH's profession is off limits -- if you can't leave that subject alone, you cannot have contact with us. Leave the 'grandparent's rights' threats off as well."

POD. POD.
She was totally rude and toxic and you're worried that you were rude??  :o :o No. No you were not. There was nothing remotely civil or acceptable about her behavior. She had no right to do or say any of what she did, and she is reaping the deserved consequences of her actions and words. Unless you count Bizarro eHell, there is no planet where her behavior would be considered appropriate! >:(
Originally, I was curious what your DH does, but now I feel it doesn't matter - I have to say that even someone who had a job I completely disapproved of would still deserve common courtesy, especially in their own home.
I am really stunned that you opened your post by calling your MIL "generally pleasant" and said you were usually able to be friendly and civil. She sounds like a nightmare. Obviously you got along so well up until now because you had so little real contact with her!! :P

Welcome to the board and good luck!! :)
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 11, 2013, 07:22:54 PM
Bullies like to whip out the "rude" card when their victims stand up for themselves.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: violetfire on January 11, 2013, 08:52:14 PM
Thank you all for your help.  I feel better knowing we did the right thing having her leave. 
She lives far enough away that we don't have frequent contact with her, and my DH usually fields her phone calls (as I do for my parents), so I don't speak with her much outside of family gatherings.  In person, most of the time she IS friendly, albeit a bit...er...eccentric.  Since my son was born (he's almost two now), her behavior has just gotten more and more odd.  I'm not sure if she was just this way the whole time and didn't pay much attention to us until she had a grandchild or what.
DH and I will definitely work on setting some boundaries with her if this continues.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 11, 2013, 08:56:14 PM
Thank you all for your help.  I feel better knowing we did the right thing having her leave. 
She lives far enough away that we don't have frequent contact with her, and my DH usually fields her phone calls (as I do for my parents), so I don't speak with her much outside of family gatherings.  In person, most of the time she IS friendly, albeit a bit...er...eccentric.  Since my son was born (he's almost two now), her behavior has just gotten more and more odd.  I'm not sure if she was just this way the whole time and didn't pay much attention to us until she had a grandchild or what.
DH and I will definitely work on setting some boundaries with her if this continues.

I can guarantee you that this will continue. She already is threatening to take you to court to "enforce" something that does not exist.

If I were in your shoes, I'd have a talk with my husband to map out the boundaries now.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: onikenbai on January 11, 2013, 09:57:00 PM
My DH has chosen a profession that while respected by most, some believe it to be dangerous to society and believe the people who choose this profession do so in order to exert malevolent power over others.

Your husband is Batman?!?  How cool is that?

Why have you not blocked this woman's email address?  It seems as if she's just sending you spam.  I would stay out of this one and let your husband take care of it.  It sounds like you're not going to win whatever you do.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Hopefull on January 11, 2013, 10:14:57 PM
Anyone who threatens me with taking me to court for visitation with my child earns a nice cut off. She is nasty and cares only about herself.

Time for you and DH to make a plan. Figure out what you will allow her to do. If you will allow home visits, visits with your child, or what ever it is. Have a plan and stick to it. Best to have DH talk to mil when you have the plan and lay it all out for her. If her relationship with her grandchild is important to her she will abide by your and Dh's rules.

Good luck and WELCOME to the boards!!!
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 11, 2013, 10:16:28 PM
Anyone who threatens me with taking me to court for visitation with my child earns a nice cut off. She is nasty and cares only about herself.

Time for you and DH to make a plan. Figure out what you will allow her to do. If you will allow home visits, visits with your child, or what ever it is. Have a plan and stick to it. Best to have DH talk to mil when you have the plan and lay it all out for her. If her relationship with her grandchild is important to her she will abide by your and Dh's rules.

Good luck and WELCOME to the boards!!!

What you said.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Roe on January 11, 2013, 10:24:58 PM
Anyone who threatens me with taking me to court for visitation with my child earns a nice cut off. She is nasty and cares only about herself.

Time for you and DH to make a plan. Figure out what you will allow her to do. If you will allow home visits, visits with your child, or what ever it is. Have a plan and stick to it. Best to have DH talk to mil when you have the plan and lay it all out for her. If her relationship with her grandchild is important to her she will abide by your and Dh's rules.

Good luck and WELCOME to the boards!!!


Completely agree!

BTW, I'm guessing your DH is a cop?  At any rate, I would be giving her the cut direct and I usually don't agree that the CD is needed in many or most cases.  But if someone were to threaten me using my son, they would never see or hear from me again.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: snappylt on January 11, 2013, 10:53:02 PM
Hi Violetfire,

I am going to agree with everyone so far.  I think your MIL is potentially a disruptive influence on your family and home.  I think you were correct and polite in asking her to leave.

If your son is only two, I am guessing that what she has said so far has gone in one ear and out the other.  As he gets older, though, why give her a chance to upset him?  I suggest that you never allow her to be alone with your son.

(OK, I'll grant you that kids can be smarter than some people give them credit for.  If you can set the stage for your son understanding when he is older that his grandmother has a different opinion about his dad's career - and if you can explain to him why you and your husband disagree with grandma, maybe he'd be OK alone with her when he is older.  But why risk it?)

And those threatening clippings - that goes beyond rudeness on her part - sending those sounds like a threat to me.  It might be worth a $100 brief consultation with an attorney to learn whether that is a valid threat in your jurisdiction or not - and if it is, what you need to do to be prepared to deal with that in the future.  If nothing else, you might want to keep copies of everything and write down what happened so that you have a record of it while it is fresh in your mind.

Good luck with this.  I feel for you - you should not have to put up with this kind of behavior!
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Amava on January 12, 2013, 12:33:18 AM
You say "she has become politically more active", but I think it is more than that.

What you describe about her showing up with "a friend you had never met before", and lecturing you, and giving you a book about how bad your husband's profession is, etc.. screams "sect" to me.

I think it's scary as heck. She seems brainwashed and she is getting frustrated because you refuse to go along with it and "drink the kool-aid" or whatever.

People who think this way, don't realise anymore how rude and inappropriate they are being in their ways of  trying to convince others to think the same way.

I would /not/ break off contact if you or your husband care about her at all, because isolating people from their friends and relatives, once said friends and relatives have made it abundantly clear that they are not the next willing victim, is exactly what sects want.

I would however put severe boundaries on what is and is not up for discussion. I would tell her she is never to bring that friend, or a different unknown-to-you friend with similar beliefs, to your house, and that your husband's profession is not up for discussion. Change the topic whenever she brings it up, cut off a phonecall or conversation when she does, be blunt and direct. And when it comes to your child, monitor her very closely.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 12, 2013, 04:34:42 AM
I have to agree with Amava.  Personally I'd have thrown her out of my house, though.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: SPuck on January 12, 2013, 08:17:22 AM
The way I see it is that you can't control other people, only your reactions. I don't know what's going on with your MIL, but the second she brought that friend over and started sending you clippings on grandparents rights, her well being became the least of your priorities. It is at a point where it is beyond etiquette. She sounds toxic, and at the point where she is going to switch to more aggressive tactics if the passive stuff doesn't start to work.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: TootsNYC on January 12, 2013, 12:05:39 PM
My DH has chosen a profession that while respected by most, some believe it to be dangerous to society and believe the people who choose this profession do so in order to exert malevolent power over others.

Your husband is Batman?!?  How cool is that?


Love it! Welcome to the board, Vicky Vale!
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Specky on January 12, 2013, 01:18:51 PM
She sounds like a member of a particular sect (they roam the streets of a nearby town all dressed alike) we have down here who is mega-anti a certain profession.   My imagination running wild....  I would make sure that my son is protected against this mess.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: zyrs on January 12, 2013, 01:29:21 PM
No, you were not rude at all.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: cicero on January 12, 2013, 02:16:45 PM
welcome to the board!

I agree with everyone - you were not rude, your MIL is.

(I am also curious as to what your DH's profession is!)
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 12, 2013, 03:36:57 PM
(I am also curious as to what your DH's profession is!)

I think I have it narrowed down to police officer or circus clown.  Well, or schoolteacher.  Although there may be other possibilities out there  ;D
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Iris on January 12, 2013, 04:05:46 PM
(I am also curious as to what your DH's profession is!)

I think I have it narrowed down to police officer or circus clown.  Well, or schoolteacher.  Although there may be other possibilities out there  ;D

I liked the Batman option...
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 12, 2013, 04:16:02 PM
I can just see it, if it ever did make it to court (which I honestly seriously doubt)

Judge: Why do you feel you were injustly cut off from your grandchild?
MIL:  They were rude to me because I objected to my son's chosen profession and tried to tell him so!
Judge:  Is he a drug dealer?
MIL: No, he's Batman
Judge:  ??? ??? ??? :o ::) Case dismissed.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: JoyinVirginia on January 12, 2013, 05:16:56 PM
I want to second snappy lt that you and your dh may want to get a consultation with an attorney in your area and perhaps get advice on writing a letter to mil to make your wishes clear. I am not an attorney and do not play one on TV, but I DID watch a Dr Phil episode on the topic once! IIRC, grandparents rights really don't apply except in very specific circumstances, but lots of unpleasant in laws like to throw the term around to rry and get their children to allow them to be unpleasant.
You did nothing wrong. Your dh did nothing wrong. If mil cannot behave reasonably and respect your dh as an adult, then she doesn't get to visit your family and especially does not get access to your child.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: TurtleDove on January 12, 2013, 05:59:20 PM

Love it! Welcome to the board, Vicky Vale!
WIN!!!!
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Winterlight on January 12, 2013, 07:11:38 PM
I think it's time to cut contact with her. Whatever your husband does (growing pot? LEO? extreme sports?) it is not her place to harass him. I'd be blocking her emails and not answering her calls. If she shows up, don't let her in.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: loopyluna on January 13, 2013, 10:45:09 AM
I have one of those jobs that some people love and some people hate, and by now it's such a part of my identity that it's very personal; when people say, "X job is bad," instead I hear, "Luna is bad." It hurts, though fortunately I've never heard it from family. I went to a college whose politics did not at all approve of my life choices, and when people found out what I was going to do after graduation I got a lot of negativity (it got so bad that when a friend told me, "I might not agree with what you're doing, but I'm so proud of you and will always support you" I started crying in gratitude).

I cut off people who openly harassed me. A few people expressed only once in private conversation that they found my choices offensive, but since they never brought it up again we were able to maintain a professional rel@tionship.

I don't have any children, but if I did I would not let someone so vocally opposed to my job be around my son.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Cattitude on January 13, 2013, 12:20:52 PM
I would also cut her off for the G'parents rights comment.  Anyone that threatens that would not be allowed my child.  In some states it is actually possible for a Grandparent to win rights to visits.  I wouldn't geive her another chance especially since she offends her own son.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: VorFemme on January 13, 2013, 02:10:07 PM
She is so far outside the boundaries for "normal, polite behavior" that she is three galaxies and a nebula over from the Milky Way.   

I am going to make a flying leap and figure that your husband works in either law enforcement, "intelligence", or is possibly one of those wicked psychoanalysts who want to control the minds of those around them.  Doesn't matter - HE is not wrong to be in any of those fields (or whatever he does do for a living).  He is not rude for making a living doing a legal job. 

If he's Batman, I want his autograph, please.

Keeping someone who is showing disturbing changes in their behavior out of the lives of small children is generally considered to be protecting the child.  Even if the person who is doing odd things is a grandparent (heck, even if it is their parent)...

Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: FauxFoodist on January 13, 2013, 02:26:46 PM
I was thinking clergy or military.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: VorFemme on January 13, 2013, 02:38:26 PM
I was thinking clergy or military.

Military makes sense - an ex-BIL used to make disparging noises about the American military (never mind that the military junta in his native South American country had very little resemblance to the American military).  Looking back, he was a jerk - dual citizenship and wanted to live in the USA instead of South America - he could easily have chosen any number of other subjects to talk about while ignoring what we did for a living. 

Clergy?  Dad's a preacher (and in his seventies).  So was maternal grandfather.....having anyone object to a preacher in the family never occured to me.  It would be like complaining about having a cook in the kitchen!
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Kimblee on January 13, 2013, 03:13:30 PM
(I am also curious as to what your DH's profession is!)

I think I have it narrowed down to police officer or circus clown.  Well, or schoolteacher.  Although there may be other possibilities out there  ;D

I liked the Batman option...

My mind went straight to military. Not sure why.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: FauxFoodist on January 13, 2013, 03:13:57 PM
Clergy?  Dad's a preacher (and in his seventies).  So was maternal grandfather.....having anyone object to a preacher in the family never occured to me.  It would be like complaining about having a cook in the kitchen!

If the MIL is among those against religion, then she wouldn't approve of her son being part of the clergy is what I occurred to me (and it's definitely one of those professions that one really never "leaves at the office," that is usually respected by society as you pointed out but that those against would feel is a detriment to society and feel that people do in order to control others).
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Poppea on January 13, 2013, 03:22:17 PM
I was thinking clergy or military.

Military makes sense - an ex-BIL used to make disparging noises about the American military (never mind that the military junta in his native South American country had very little resemblance to the American military).  Looking back, he was a jerk - dual citizenship and wanted to live in the USA instead of South America - he could easily have chosen any number of other subjects to talk about while ignoring what we did for a living. 

Clergy?  Dad's a preacher (and in his seventies).  So was maternal grandfather.....having anyone object to a preacher in the family never occured to me.  It would be like complaining about having a cook in the kitchen!

I thought clergy, lawyer or psychologist.  Police too.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 13, 2013, 06:36:54 PM
Clergy?  Dad's a preacher (and in his seventies).  So was maternal grandfather.....having anyone object to a preacher in the family never occured to me.  It would be like complaining about having a cook in the kitchen!

If the MIL is among those against religion, then she wouldn't approve of her son being part of the clergy is what I occurred to me (and it's definitely one of those professions that one really never "leaves at the office," that is usually respected by society as you pointed out but that those against would feel is a detriment to society and feel that people do in order to control others).

My priest told me early on when we met to discuss piratebabe's baptism that she had two grandsons, both in their 20's and the eldest is studying philosophy.  She said she hopes that he does not join the clergy at his age because of the effects of the position on one's health and personal life.   She's in her late 60s/early 70's, I think, and she once joked in a conversation that she at times feels too young for this occupation.  Not that she doesn't enjoy what she does, and she is a wonderful priest, but just that it really does seep into all areas of your life and can be exhausting mentally and emotionally. 

In a conversation she told myself and others of how her grandson, when attending a private Catholic university, asked her to talk his roommate out of joining the priesthood.  She warned him she might not be effective since 1) he didn't really know her as a priest but more his roommate's Nana.  2) She was a woman.  Well she agreed to talk to him anyway, not so much talking him out of it but simply and honestly giving him an insight as to how it would be and sure enough the young man went to seminary...and then left 5 years later.

I have to say, I was rather surprised at first to think of one clergy member gently warning another from becoming one, but when I thought of it, I can see why there would be that desire to caution another to be sure the call is strong enough to give up much of a personal life and sleep.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Redwing on January 14, 2013, 11:48:15 AM
My wild guess was bounty hunter, like Dog!
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: postalslave on January 14, 2013, 01:03:43 PM
Naw, you're all wrong. OP's husband is obviously Santa Claus.

LUCKYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: bopper on January 14, 2013, 01:09:48 PM
I was going to say Bounty Hunter too!

I would back off from MIL.   Put her email on the block list and don't take her calls for awhile.
After a few months, if you want to, then put out the word that if she can consider your husband's job off limits, you are ready to resume contact.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: RebeccainGA on January 14, 2013, 01:26:56 PM
So agree with the consensus - MIL was rude, borderline bat-poo crazy, and you have every right to give her a great big cut direct.

Good luck. Toxic MILs are a cross few have to bear, but they are a BIG CROSS for those that do!
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: MrTango on January 14, 2013, 02:55:08 PM
I agree with PPs who say she was the rude one.  I also agree with posters who say she sounds crazy.

I have three pieces of advice:

1) Cut off all contact between her and your child.  If things improve, you and your DH can decide how (or if) you want to allow contact to resume.
2) Contact your child's school & daycare.  Let them know that your MIL is not allowed to pick your child up or have any contact with your child unless you or your DH are present.  If she shows up, they are to contact you or your DH immediately.
3) If there's any chance your MIL may have a key to your home, change your locks.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: zyrs on January 15, 2013, 05:06:32 AM
My first reply was rather abrupt because while I was making it my wife entered the room - I hit reply because I wanted to read the OP to her.  Her Ghast was flabbered.

You were not rude at all.  Your mil brought a stranger into your home, didn't bother to introduce the stranger to you and spent time allowing the stranger and herself to insult your husband's choice of career to his face in his own home.  That's a pretty incredible example of rudeness - I'm surprised she didn't stand on the coffee table like my own nutcase rude person, but that would have just made it more surreal.

MrTango has some good advice, I would follow it.

Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: iridaceae on January 15, 2013, 06:20:56 AM
He's a mime,  isn't he?

Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Virg on January 15, 2013, 04:41:52 PM
iridaceae wrote:

"He's a mime,  isn't he?"

Impossible.  violetfire said his profession is "respected by most" and nobody respects mimes.

Anyway, I'll toss my hat in with those who say that she should be cut off.  Someone who will do what she did, both during the visit and afterward, should be considered dangerous.  Bringing a stranger into your home with no warning or introduction to sit alongside while she attempts some bizarre intervention on her son, then trying to imply threats with "grandparent's rights" information is someone I'd consider capable of pressing lawsuits or calling CPS on you "for the good of her grandson" or even kidnapping him and so she'd be telling it to a black hole for a long, long time before I'd even consider allowing her anywhere near the family.

Virg
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Softly Spoken on January 16, 2013, 12:16:11 PM
My first reply was rather abrupt because while I was making it my wife entered the room - I hit reply because I wanted to read the OP to her.  Her Ghast was flabbered.

You were not rude at all.  Your mil brought a stranger into your home, didn't bother to introduce the stranger to you and spent time allowing the stranger and herself to insult your husband's choice of career to his face in his own home.  That's a pretty incredible example of rudeness - I'm surprised she didn't stand on the coffee table like my own nutcase rude person, but that would have just made it more surreal.

MrTango has some good advice, I would follow it.

"Ghast was flabbered" is my new favorite thing!  ;D

And did you really have some stand on your coffee table?!?!?  ??? :o :o :o :o Please tell me alcohol was involved and not just batpoo insanity! Please tell me it was a crowded, casual party and not an intimate setting where all involved were gathered around said table - I just broke my brain trying to picture the latter.  :(
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: flowersintheattic on January 16, 2013, 12:44:48 PM
iridaceae wrote:

"He's a mime,  isn't he?"

Impossible.  violetfire said his profession is "respected by most" and nobody respects mimes.

Anyway, I'll toss my hat in with those who say that she should be cut off.  Someone who will do what she did, both during the visit and afterward, should be considered dangerous.  Bringing a stranger into your home with no warning or introduction to sit alongside while she attempts some bizarre intervention on her son, then trying to imply threats with "grandparent's rights" information is someone I'd consider capable of pressing lawsuits or calling CPS on you "for the good of her grandson" or even kidnapping him and so she'd be telling it to a black hole for a long, long time before I'd even consider allowing her anywhere near the family.

Virg

I agree with Virg and MrTango both. (Virg got quoted because I like the mime comment.  ;) )

I also wanted to ask - OP, does your DH have any siblings or does MIL have any siblings that could be talked to? Has her behavior changed when she deals with everyone, or just toward you? It sounds like this is a recent change in her, and it also sounds like it was somewhat sudden. If there's other family, it may be worth asking around to see about the possibility of an underlying health problem (onset of dementia or something that could cause a similar personality change). Obviously, this probably won't work if some PP's are correct and DH's occupation is in the psychology field...but it may be it worth checking into.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on January 16, 2013, 12:48:59 PM
Income tax inspector, surely?
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 16, 2013, 01:32:40 PM
OP, is your DH a spy?

I agree with all those who've said to cut off MIL. She disrespected her son's home, family and career choice in one fell swoop!  Then, when she's told she can't act that way in his home she throws "grandparents' rights" into the mix.  That is just beyond the pale.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: magicdomino on January 16, 2013, 03:28:34 PM
Government worker?  Political campaign manager?   Plastic surgeon?   :)

We had a previous thread where the OP was getting nasty comments about his (her?) profession.  After many guesses, it was kind of a let-down to find out the OP was a fashion photographer. 
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: wolfie on January 17, 2013, 12:27:19 PM
OP, is your DH a spy?


If he was OP wouldn't know - it must be his cover identity that is controversial! :-)

Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: violetfire on January 17, 2013, 12:28:38 PM
Hello again, and thank you all kindly for your advice.  DH has made it clear to his mother that she is not invited into our home until she learns how to behave herself.  She didn't apologize, but did actually listen to DH and admitted she needs to "work on some things." I think that's as good as we're gonna get.

As for DH's profession, he likes to think he's Batman - he works at night, has a "utility belt," a closet full of "costumes," and a nifty car with all sorts of gadgets (lights and sirens mostly). It's what he wanted to do ever since he was a kid, it's not like it was a huge surprise to her when he was hired with his department. 

To the poster who asked about his siblings, yes.  He has an older sibling who has MILs only other grandchildren.  She's been banned from their house numerous times for harassing them about politics, and passive aggressive acts ("accidentally" breaking things, "accidentally" giving the kids things they're not allowed to have according to their parents' rules, etc.).  This seems to be something that happens when grandkids come into the picture.  She left us alone until my son came along, so I never really thought about how clearly off her rocker she is.  I'm sure she's concerned for her son's safety, and in her mind, his conscience, but she really has a funny way of showing it.  I don't think she's a bad person, she's just...off. 
Thanks again for the help!
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: gramma dishes on January 17, 2013, 01:23:28 PM
Violetfire ~~  Even though your husband has talked with her and even though it seems she realizes (at least to some extent) that she had ventured waaaaay past any kind of reasonable boundary lines, I'd still make sure I kept hard copies of those emails and also keep those "grandparents' rights" clippings stashed away somewhere in an envelope just in case another event arises in the future and she begins threatening again.  You'll want and need to have a paper trail of all of this.  In addition, please write down the date she visited your house with strangers and tried to 'convert' your husband away from his chosen profession. 

Hopefully all the stuff can be shoved into a big envelope and stuck at the end of the top shelf of your closet never to be referenced again.  But for your own and your husband's peace of mind, you need to know that you have it there ... just in case.
Title: Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
Post by: zyrs on January 17, 2013, 05:04:43 PM
My first reply was rather abrupt because while I was making it my wife entered the room - I hit reply because I wanted to read the OP to her.  Her Ghast was flabbered.

You were not rude at all.  Your mil brought a stranger into your home, didn't bother to introduce the stranger to you and spent time allowing the stranger and herself to insult your husband's choice of career to his face in his own home.  That's a pretty incredible example of rudeness - I'm surprised she didn't stand on the coffee table like my own nutcase rude person, but that would have just made it more surreal.

MrTango has some good advice, I would follow it.

"Ghast was flabbered" is my new favorite thing!  ;D

And did you really have some stand on your coffee table?!?!?  ??? :o :o :o :o Please tell me alcohol was involved and not just batpoo insanity! Please tell me it was a crowded, casual party and not an intimate setting where all involved were gathered around said table - I just broke my brain trying to picture the latter.  :(

I sent you a private message