Author Topic: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house  (Read 24697 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #75 on: July 25, 2013, 12:25:10 PM »
I know that my parents are untrustable when it comes to boundaries. When we moved into our current place, they did buy us new bookcases (we had them scattered in our old place, and since they were all going to be on one wall in the new place, we wanted them to at least be the same size). and helped us assemble them. However, they also 'helped' load them up, putting all DPs Christian related books (she's a minister - there are a LOT of them) at the bottom of all the shelves, where she can't get to them, and put all my fiction paperbacks (mostly cheap ones that I am weeding through and discarding) right at eye level so it's easy for me to find them. *boggle*


That doesn't sound so much like bad boundaries as simply not thinking things through, or not asking for directions.

yachtchick

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #76 on: July 25, 2013, 12:57:50 PM »
I had an "interesting" relationship with my MIL, Eloise.  I think I would have laughed until I cried, called her and said "Oh, Eloise, you are so funny.  Now get over here and let's clean up this mess."  She had no boundaries to speak of and I always treated her as the funniest woman ever and about seven years old.
You can not control the wind - you can only adjust your sails.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #77 on: July 25, 2013, 02:22:10 PM »
My parents and brother have a key to my house and I have one to their homes.  I would have had no problem with my late MIL having a key (or FIL even though he and I never saw eye-to-eye).  They would have never crossed such a boundary with me or DH.

While I was recuperating from my latest surgery my mom came to help out.  She washed our clothes and left them neatly folded in the baskets for me or DH (or DS) to put away.  She always maintained that putting the clothes away was far too intimate.

She's not working for the summer and asked if she could paint our master bedroom while she was off (it needed a sprucing up).  I picked up the paint and she and DS did the job in one day.  I stress that she asked first and left the color choice to me.

lakey

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #78 on: July 25, 2013, 02:39:48 PM »
"She spent hours and tons of money, so am I being crazy, ungrateful, oversensitive?"

This is one gigantic Yikes!. She's not being helpful, she's snooping and crossing boundaries that no normal person would cross. Your boyfriend may have been willing to put up with her going through all his stuff and invading his privacy when he lived in his mother's home, but you are not her daughter and she has no right to go through your stuff.

You need to take a good hard look at your boyfriend and his relationship with his mom. If this can't be gotten under control early on it will only get worse.

lakey

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #79 on: July 25, 2013, 02:42:14 PM »
Also, sometimes people who are over-bearing and controlling mask their attempts to control you as being "helpful" or "generous", don't fall for it. Buying you things and then rearranging your drawers is a very manipulative way of controlling your life.

daen

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #80 on: July 25, 2013, 06:29:43 PM »
One year in college, my roommates would rearrange the apartment's living room every couple of months. They were home, had the time, thought "Why not?" and went ahead with whatever plan. I would find out when I came home.

They were householders and had the right to rearrange things, and had they asked if they could, I would have said "Do what you want" - but I was still slightly unhappy the first time they did this without notice.

If someone who didn't live with me rearranged my furniture, I would be considerably more than "slightly unhappy." And replacing my things - there would be some barely-contained fury.

miranova

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #81 on: July 25, 2013, 06:34:36 PM »
Also, sometimes people who are over-bearing and controlling mask their attempts to control you as being "helpful" or "generous", don't fall for it.

Oh absolutely.  I'll never forget a conversation I had with my MIL before I got married where she "warned" me that sometimes people get mad at her because she is too helpful.  I remember thinking at the time "I'm sure that was not their word for it".  I was right.  Everyone I've spoken to in the family has had their boundaries trampled by her, and that is always her excuse, she is just being helpful!  It's so unfair and mean to be mad at her when all she is doing is trying to do is help!  It is the battle cry of the emotionally manipulative boundary tramplers of the world.

floridamom

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #82 on: July 25, 2013, 07:28:22 PM »
WOW!!!! And I thought my ex MIL was bad, who is just like Marie from "Everybody Loves Raymond".  It was bad enough 5 yrs ago when I was having my hip replaced and she snooped thru my emails.  She saw that I emailed her daughter.  Ex MIL found out that her sister was in town (who she had been feuding with and not speaking to) and I had her over and spent the day with.  Ex-MIL refused to care for my son (her grandson) who was 8 at the time, while I was in the hospital.

RebeccainGA

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #83 on: July 26, 2013, 08:48:49 AM »
I know that my parents are untrustable when it comes to boundaries. When we moved into our current place, they did buy us new bookcases (we had them scattered in our old place, and since they were all going to be on one wall in the new place, we wanted them to at least be the same size). and helped us assemble them. However, they also 'helped' load them up, putting all DPs Christian related books (she's a minister - there are a LOT of them) at the bottom of all the shelves, where she can't get to them, and put all my fiction paperbacks (mostly cheap ones that I am weeding through and discarding) right at eye level so it's easy for me to find them. *boggle*


That doesn't sound so much like bad boundaries as simply not thinking things through, or not asking for directions.
Oh, no, bad boundaries. Mom and Dad are, shall we say, less than thrilled that I married a minister. And since I've toned down my dress style and go to church (well, I 'm not single any more, of course I don't dress like I did when I was single and looking!) that DP is 'trying to change me'. The books were a 'this is what you should be reading' message.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #84 on: July 26, 2013, 02:35:22 PM »
Also, sometimes people who are over-bearing and controlling mask their attempts to control you as being "helpful" or "generous", don't fall for it.

Oh absolutely.  I'll never forget a conversation I had with my MIL before I got married where she "warned" me that sometimes people get mad at her because she is too helpful.  I remember thinking at the time "I'm sure that was not their word for it".  I was right.  Everyone I've spoken to in the family has had their boundaries trampled by her, and that is always her excuse, she is just being helpful!  It's so unfair and mean to be mad at her when all she is doing is trying to do is help!  It is the battle cry of the emotionally manipulative boundary tramplers of the world.

I know that type, in my own parents.  Martyrs who are just "trying to help because that's what you do for faaaaaaaaaaaaamily!"  ::) Often i didn't want the help, they'd push it on us and then whine about how put upon they are.  ::) If you refuse their help you're ungrateful and if you don't fall to the ground kissing their feet and/or their rings for help you didn't need or want, you're wretched and ungrateful. 

A dear friend of mine on the other hand, is a problem solver.  I recently just stopped telling her about problems I knew I could deal with on my own because she'd tell me how to solve them.  But recently she realized that she does tend to take over and micromanage and it was when she found out about something I'd not told her that it really made her realize that.

To be fair to her though, I've been told by others that I'm not always clear when I'm asking for advice or just venting so I do need to work on that.
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

Julia Mercer

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #85 on: July 26, 2013, 03:14:25 PM »
When I was still living at home, in my early 20's, EVERY TIME I went out with friends, I would come home to find my bedroom repainted or redecorated somehow, with the rock posters taken down. Then again, DM used to intercept my mail and throw away any fan club packets I would order (she and I have a better relationship now), so I went and got a post office box.
 She cut a concert shirt into rags because of a word on the back, which was mostly starred out (it was Up All F&%)ing night (something like that) I never really wore the shirt, I kept it because it was my fave band. I had a band autograph my denim jacket, and she washed the autograph out.
 Just a few years ago, I had a tank top that I had made saying Proud To Be A Canadian Redneck Girl, she destroyed that because she didn't like the word redneck! She actually emptied my suitcase from my Nashville trip that year and did my laundry for me.
I had a big mug that said BSers on it, and when we were packing her place for viewings to sell it, she accidentally on purpose dropped it on the tile floor. Didn't apologize, and when I asked what fell, she nonchalantly said just an old mug.

Anyhow, I could regale you with a lot of other stories, but that is what my mom used to be like. Sorry for the thread hijack! Please continue to post!

Pandora

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #86 on: July 26, 2013, 03:22:33 PM »
 I am also concerned with the boyfriend's response. While she was living under her roof was one thing ..... but he thinks it was acceptable for her to go into another person's home and re-decorate?  :o :o :o :o

unnalee

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #87 on: July 26, 2013, 03:47:44 PM »
Someone up-thread mentioned this being about control.  That's my opinion as well.  MIL is finding a roundabout way to exert control over the new living situation and woman in her DS's life, all under the guise of "helping". 

My mom does this too, though nowhere even close to this level.  In some situations, she just feels she's the only one who knows the "right" way to do things.  For example, we recently moved house.  Our new place was about 30 miles from the place we were renting.  Rental place was just a few blocks from my parents.  My mom first poo-pooed our decision to move into the city (their house and our rental were in the middle of nowhere).  Then she made half-joking, but still guilt-inducing comments about how living in the city will be less safe for our kids.  We just ignored, and my DH and I made every effort to move as much as we could on our own, since we knew how we wanted things packed, knew where we wanted them put, etc.  We knew from past experience that the second we accepted mom's offer to "help" she would try to take over the whole process.

We cleared the house of everything but the biggest furniture that wouldn't fit into our car and things we couldn't lift on our own (I'm pregnant and limited on what I can do).  Then WE arranged with a cousin to borrow his trailer, and a neighbor to borrow his truck.  My dad and brother came to help DH move the freezer, couch, and bed and they had half the stuff out of the rental and on the trailer when my mom showed up and started telling my dad that it was arranged all wrong.  He's been a doormat for far too long and went along with it, even over everyone else's protests that it was arranged just fine.  I put a stop to that since we had to have the truck back to neighbor by a certain time.

As mad as she makes me sometimes, even she would NEVER think it was OK to trample as many boundaries as the MIL in the OP. 

magicdomino

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #88 on: July 26, 2013, 03:49:45 PM »
Come to think of it, I have a relative who used to do that.  Normally, she doesn't have enough money for stealth decorating, but for a while, she had a sizable inheritance.  One time, we were chatting on the phone, and she mentioned spending $5000 on linens, curtains, throw pillows, etc. for a friend who was depressed.  Sounds very nice, right?

"Your friend must have had a good time shopping with you"
"Oh, she wasn't interested.  I decided she needed something cheerful."

Perhaps I should mention that this relative's tastes extend towards the foo-foo.  There is no such thing as too much lace, ruffles, and giant flower prints (in this case, pink roses).  I really, really hope Relative's friend shared the same tastes, because giant pink roses would make me even more unhappy.


Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #89 on: July 26, 2013, 04:13:06 PM »
Come to think of it, I have a relative who used to do that.  Normally, she doesn't have enough money for stealth decorating, but for a while, she had a sizable inheritance.  One time, we were chatting on the phone, and she mentioned spending $5000 on linens, curtains, throw pillows, etc. for a friend who was depressed.  Sounds very nice, right?

"Your friend must have had a good time shopping with you"
"Oh, she wasn't interested.  I decided she needed something cheerful."

Perhaps I should mention that this relative's tastes extend towards the foo-foo.  There is no such thing as too much lace, ruffles, and giant flower prints (in this case, pink roses).  I really, really hope Relative's friend shared the same tastes, because giant pink roses would make me even more unhappy.

Gaah, me too.  Mind you, I like some feminine touches in decoration, such as sheets with lacy or embroidered edging.  But I don't go into the froo-froo-la-la, as a friend would say.  I don't do ruffles and while I do have a rose colored carpet, it's because it was there when we moved in and we intend to replace it at some point. And I do not do pink, not since I begged for a pink bedroom at 10 and had to live with it till I left for college 8 years later.
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