Yes, I have to say this MIL has a pretty sweet deal going. Don't make a scene or YOU will have cut family ties; Don't throw it away or YOU will be wasting food; Don't respond in kind or YOU will be a bad person; Don't give it to anyone other than who she deems fit or YOU will have upset her and ruined the day. Why do you care if she thinks you're a bad person for wasting food? You think she's a bad person for giving it to you and I guarantee that she doesn't give a flying fig for your opinion on that matter.
And a second vote for this. This is precisely
why I suggested what I did in post 166. Don't do it yourself. You already know
that she doesn't care what you think. It seems that she does
care what your DH thinks. That's why I said:
I'm for the putting it in the bin, open, so that it can't be retrieved - but I don't think you should do that. I think your DH should do it. I think you should be careful never to accept a gift unless your DH is in the room, so that you aren't the villain when you don't accept it, or so that you can't be accused of tattling to your DH about 'your mother's being horrible to me!' I think your DH should go nuclear on her every single time and there should be no secondary reward for her in the form of DH/FIL/MIL getting the chocolate.
Frankly I think that you and DH need to stop taking ownership of the consequences of her bad behaviour. Until both of you are ready to actually take a stand and refuse to feel guilty about the consequences then nothing is going to change. From your posts it sounds like you don't really want to take a stand, which is fine because it's your choice, but I really believe that your choices are to either take a stand (via walking out or whatever) or find a way to not get so upset about it. Easier said than done, I know, but it seems that those are your options.
This is bang on the target. Looking back, you've got advice along a spectrum. I think your DH should go nuclear. o_gal in post 179 thinks you should drop the rope and teach yourself not to care. If we leave out some fairly obviously not-to-be-taken-seriously posts early on, we are probably either end of the arc of possibilities. I can see that what you want
is a form of words
that will convince your MIL that her behaviour is unacceptable, and cause her never to do it again.
I don't think it exists, not just in the form of words. You've tried words, repeatedly, and it hasn't worked. Probably everybody on this forum knows the line about insanity being the act of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. You already know
that telling her not to give you chocolate, it's harmful to your health and hurtful to you emotionally, has no long term result.
If you aren't willing to take action - and to get your DH to take action so that it is plain to your MIL that when she hurts you she also hurts him - then you have to find a way not to care. If you can't bring yourself not to care, then you need to take action. Words won't cut it here. I also don't have a good feeling about giving her gifts obviously for your FIL - that says that this is a game, if a spiteful one, and that you're playing. You don't want
to 'play'. It's too important for that.
Iris is precisely right about 'refusing to feel guilty about the consequences'. I do wonder if you might have made a mistake after the last row, when you gave her a hug and suggested moving forward. I absolutely understand why you did - but I think you probably weakened your position. You were the one who had been insulted and injured; it should have been for her
to approach you
for a reconciliation, not the other way around. There's being the Bigger Person and there's being the Bigger Doormat.
The only way that I think words might possibly
work would be for your DH to take on the responsibility of calling his mother the day before every visit - every
visit, without exception - and to talk to her in small words as if he thinks she's an idiot. 'I'm calling to remind you: christmascarol can't have chocolate. Not any chocolate. Not ever. Have you bought her chocolate? Are you planning to give her chocolate? Are you sure? Remember that it's not kind to give her chocolate. Promise me you won't try to give her chocolate. It's very dangerous to give her chocolate. You mustn't give her chocolate just because you think she can give it to me or to Dad or to anybody else. Now remember, because this is important - no chocolate for christmascarol. Not even a little bit.' That might
work, particularly if he refused to engage in any other conversation. No chit-chat. This is a call expressly to ensure that there isn't any chocolate. But then he also has to be willing to follow through, and if chocolate appears with your name on it, he has to assert himself immediately, demand to know what she was thinking, point out that he had called her and told her all this again,
etc, etc, cont page 94. Basically, go nuclear.
I'm curious: has your DH read this thread?