Author Topic: MIL Strikes Again? Objective opinions solicited!  (Read 8222 times)

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Margo

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Re: MIL Strikes Again? Objective opinions solicited!
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2012, 09:17:54 AM »
I agree with all those saying speak directly with BiL and FiL and make it clear to themthat they need to speak to YOU, not to MiL, about plans which involve you or you home.

I think you need also to sit down with your hsuabnd and agree on how you are going to deal with his mothers behaviour. In one sense, it doesn't really matter *why* she is behaving in this way - the issue is about how you adress it. If your husband feels it is due to lack of emotional maturity then *he* can have a conversation (or many) with her when he explains that while she may not have intended it, her actions are inappropriate. But first, you and he need to agree on what the two of you will *do* and then stick to it.

This could be -

(1) any time MIL makes aragnemtns for you/your home without speaking to you, when she tells you what she has done, the response is "We've explained before, you can't invite people to our home / tell people they can visit us. You will have to call back BIL / FIL / Whoever and explain to them that you hadn't cleared this with us and that they will need to contact us directly" And if necessary, contact that person yourself and tell them that you're very sorry, but MIL did not consult with you before offering your home/services and it simply won't be possible.
The effect of this is that it puts the problem firmly back in her lap - she has to make the explanations, find the alternative arragnments. It may reduce the frequency with which she commits you without asking you, plus any 3rd parties are given a heads up that she is not authorised to make those pronmises or issue invitations on your behalf. (for family, I'd contact them directly, first, and ask them not to make arrangemetns with MIL which involve you. If they still do it after that then refusing to play ball, even if it means you miss out on a visit once, is likely to be worth it in the loger term)

(2) Re: 'leaving her out' of trips etc I'd go with the faint suprise approach
Her "You went to see Avengers and didn't invite me!Why did you leave me out"
YOu / DH *faintly surprised tone* We didn't invite anyone. It was just for DH & "
Her "But I wanted to see it!"
You/DH "You should invite some of your firends. Or you could look into joining a film club"

Don't make excuses. Don't give her excuses.

It might be helpful if DH sits down with her and tells her, clearly, that while you are happy to see her, you will invite her when you want to do stuff together, she can invite you if she would like to do stuff together (but you may not always be able to accept)  but that she needs to understand that you have your own lives, and that is being unreasonable. He can remind her of that conversation everytime she makes an unreasonable demand. The key is that you and he are both firm and don't cave in just because she makes a fuss.

You could, if you wish, find details for her of local clubs or groups she might be interested in, if she hasn't made many local friends, but this is not your responsibility.

GSNW

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Re: MIL Strikes Again? Objective opinions solicited!
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2012, 11:01:46 AM »
Sort of an update.

DH had lunch with MIL yesterday (I didn't go because I have a friend in town) and talked to her about the issue of not inviting people to stay with us without clearing it with us.  He also told her we were annoyed that she basically hijacked the dinner for her own convenience the last night FIL and BIL were in town. 

I could have predicted this, but her response?  "Whaaaat, I had no ideaaaaaa, of course BIL could have stayed with meeeee..."  and "Ooooh, I didn't even THINK OF DINNER THAT WAY..." and when DH pointed out to her that she a) refused to let BIL stay with her and b) usurped plans SPECIFICALLY because the other plans didn't work for her (and only her), she turned on the waterworks and started asking him why *I* hate her and why everything she does is wrong.

Basically, this proves that the advice received here was right.  Deal with BIL and FIL directly, cutting MIL out of the process when necessary, and a firm NO to all future without-notice boarding requests.  DH also had a very frank conversation with FIL regarding the problems presented by MIL's antics and asking that he not buy into them in the future.

I am so sick of dealing with her at this point, and the fact that she treats me poorly after all the efforts we've made with her, makes me sick to my stomach.  In addition to the "wah poor me" speech presented last night, she also cried about Christmas (which DH and I are vacationing alone for) - she originally planned to fly a few states away to spend it with her sister but now it's "Waaah, I can't afford it, and I'll be left all aloooooone...."

I know this is partial resolution and partial further rant, so I'll quit now.  I will continue to figure out ways to deal with her nonsense that have a limited impact on our home and our marriage.


GrammarNerd

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Re: MIL Strikes Again? Objective opinions solicited!
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2012, 11:38:09 AM »
Sort of an update.

DH had lunch with MIL yesterday (I didn't go because I have a friend in town) and talked to her about the issue of not inviting people to stay with us without clearing it with us.  He also told her we were annoyed that she basically hijacked the dinner for her own convenience the last night FIL and BIL were in town. 

I could have predicted this, but her response?  "Whaaaat, I had no ideaaaaaa, of course BIL could have stayed with meeeee..."  and "Ooooh, I didn't even THINK OF DINNER THAT WAY..." and when DH pointed out to her that she a) refused to let BIL stay with her and b) usurped plans SPECIFICALLY because the other plans didn't work for her (and only her), she turned on the waterworks and started asking him why *I* hate her and why everything she does is wrong.

Basically, this proves that the advice received here was right.  Deal with BIL and FIL directly, cutting MIL out of the process when necessary, and a firm NO to all future without-notice boarding requests.  DH also had a very frank conversation with FIL regarding the problems presented by MIL's antics and asking that he not buy into them in the future.

I am so sick of dealing with her at this point, and the fact that she treats me poorly after all the efforts we've made with her, makes me sick to my stomach.  In addition to the "wah poor me" speech presented last night, she also cried about Christmas (which DH and I are vacationing alone for) - she originally planned to fly a few states away to spend it with her sister but now it's "Waaah, I can't afford it, and I'll be left all aloooooone...."

I know this is partial resolution and partial further rant, so I'll quit now.  I will continue to figure out ways to deal with her nonsense that have a limited impact on our home and our marriage.

If she's going to act like a child, then treat her like a child.  Tell her once to stop doing something, and if she doesn't, there are consequences.  If she starts whining and crying over nothing, then look at her and say firmly, "That's nothing to cry about.  You're an adult; you can handle it.  Now do you want to continue this conversation like adults, or should we try another time when you can keep your composure?" or just "Stop whining."

Don't talk to her any more about it.  Now, act like she knows what's expected (because she does).  Call her on it EVERY TIME.  It's amazing how much someone like that will shape up if she knows that a certain person won't put up with her behavior.  My toxic/disturbed sister would call everyone else and rant to them (often about me), but she never called me because she knew I wouldn't put up with it.  Blissful peace.  I was the bad guy because I hated her, etc.  Well, no, I didn't hate her, but she hadn't really given me any reason to really LIKE her. 

If you see her and she starts in with complaints, try to deflect a few, but then just point blank ask her if she wanted to see you so she could complain, or so you could do XXX (dinner, etc).  Because it's really no fun for you and DH, and if she wants you to WANT to spend time with her, then complaining constantly isn't the way to make that happen.  Be blunt about it and don't beat around the bush.  Call her on it.  Alternately or additionally, tell her that you don't choose to spend your free time listening to a litany of complaints, so please find something pleasant to talk about or you'll find something else to do.  And this includes rants about FIL.  Shut her down, or leave. 

Get in the mindset of looking at your MIL like she's a mouthy 7 year old.  If you wouldn't take pouting (or name calling) from a 7 year old, then don't take it from her.  If you'd tell the 7 year old to stop pouting or go to another room because you don't want to hear/see it, then do a version of that with MIL.  Likewise, if the 7 year old does something nice, you genuinely praise him.  Same with MIL.  Basically, you have to make it really uncomfortable for her to continue the bad behavior around you; make it so uncomfortable that she consciously chooses to behave herself.