Author Topic: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.  (Read 12172 times)

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violetfire

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Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« on: January 11, 2013, 04:26:28 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 04:37:11 PM »
You were not rude.  Not by a long shot.  Ugh.  I am so curious what the profession is!  Can you PM me?

SamiHami

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 04:44:25 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.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

rose red

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 04:57:27 PM »
No you are not rude and you should block her email address.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 05:11:16 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. 

artk2002

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 05:14:37 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."
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 05:17:20 PM »
Wow! Yeah you're not rude at all!!  She's so far past the line that it's not even a dot.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 05:18:14 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. :)

HonorH

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 05:24:22 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.
William wondered why he always disliked people who said "no offense meant." Maybe it was because they found it easier to say "no offense meant" than actually to refrain from giving offense.

--Terry Pratchett, The Truth

YummyMummy66

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 05:28:57 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.



magicdomino

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 06:06:06 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.   ???

Slartibartfast

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 07:40:47 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.

kherbert05

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2013, 07:49:31 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.
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Softly Spoken

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2013, 08:18:44 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!! :)
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

LeveeWoman

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Re: Hi all, need advice for dealing with this.
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2013, 08:22:54 PM »
Bullies like to whip out the "rude" card when their victims stand up for themselves.