General Etiquette > Family and Children

Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.

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violetfire:
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.

TurtleDove:
You were not rude.  Not by a long shot.  Ugh.  I am so curious what the profession is!  Can you PM me?

SamiHami:
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.

rose red:
No you are not rude and you should block her email address.

Hmmmmm:
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. 

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