Author Topic: yet another mother-in-law issue  (Read 7871 times)

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Marbles

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2013, 06:55:20 PM »
i think from now on i'll just stick with what heartmug suggested:
"Let your Dh pick out gifts for her for EVERY occasion from now on.  If he forgets a birthday, holiday, etc. oh well.  She wants picks?  Ask DH.  He gets to deal with her and you get some peace."

or am i obligated to get her a gift if she gives me something?

You can just give as a couple. Your DH can just sign the whole family's names to it.

Slartibartfast

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2013, 07:07:37 PM »
I legally changed my daughter's middle name.  The court order cost $30 and is attached with her birth certificate.  This was done over thirty years ago and she was three years old.  Her original middle name, was my mother-in-law's first name.  The woman hated me with a passion and had no problem informing family and friends of what a lowlife I was.  They continued to refer to my daughter with the original middle name. Everyone else knows my daughter by her new middle name.

i've thought of this, but because he chose his grandfather's name, that would be getting the rest of his family up in arms and wouldn't impact my MIL much. the rest of his family are really kind, wonderful people and it would be a shame to cut them off for what she's done.

I assume that it's also possible - given that it was a family name - that she happened to latch onto a name your DH liked anyway, and he pressed for it despite his mother's influence.

CakeEater

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2013, 07:20:41 PM »
What did your husband say in response to the devil/evil/cultist texts?  Or the threat that he would leave you?  Because those are issues HE should be responding to, not you.

he just shakes his head and says "you know she's crazy, so don't worry about it so much." i'm quite unused to this sort of behavior while he's learned to ignore it while growing up. i think (after considering the feedback) at this point it would best to be cool and reserved and expect the worst. part of the struggles i've been having is trying to make the relationship better. i can't do that on my own, so a bit of emotional distance (coupled with the physical distance) might be what's needed. and hope she's not seriously thinking of moving out here.

"She's crazy" is no reason you need to put up with being called evil. Someone who cals me evil is not someone I'd be putting any effort into being friendly with, at all. That's not OK.

weeblewobble

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2013, 07:37:20 PM »
What did your husband say in response to the devil/evil/cultist texts?  Or the threat that he would leave you?  Because those are issues HE should be responding to, not you.

he just shakes his head and says "you know she's crazy, so don't worry about it so much." i'm quite unused to this sort of behavior while he's learned to ignore it while growing up. i think (after considering the feedback) at this point it would best to be cool and reserved and expect the worst. part of the struggles i've been having is trying to make the relationship better. i can't do that on my own, so a bit of emotional distance (coupled with the physical distance) might be what's needed. and hope she's not seriously thinking of moving out here.

"She's crazy" is no reason you need to put up with being called evil. Someone who cals me evil is not someone I'd be putting any effort into being friendly with, at all. That's not OK.

POD.  "She's crazy" translates to "We choose not to hold her accountable for her actions, because she reacts in a loud, unpleasant fashion.  It's easier to just let her get away with whatever she wants and make excuses for her."

*inviteseller

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2013, 08:27:31 PM »
My ex MIL is a nasty she devil who did not like that I took sonny boy away from her.  I gave up trying to be friendly with her and just went into 'she can't get to me anymore' mode.  Your DH needs to deal with her by himself.  I would suggest never allowing her unsupervised contact with your kids..she sounds like the kind of woman who would attempt to poison them against you.

zyrs

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2013, 11:15:05 PM »
part of the struggles i've been having is trying to make the relationship better. i can't do that on my own.

Please stop trying - you can't make the relationship better, she won't let you.  The only thing you can do is get your husband on board with you as to how much she is allowed to impact your life.

GSNW

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2013, 11:36:02 PM »
I can understand the "don't let it bother you" response, only because I get the same from my husband.  It's not acceptable or OK, and I agree with pps that you need to have that same conversation with your DH (I get that it's hard - I'm trying to have the same with mine and my MIL's transgressions have not degenerated into her calling me the devil, yet).

It is time for him to sit his mom down and tell her, "You will NOT insult my wife, you will NOT call her the devil, you will NOT threaten our relationship.  Ever.  And next time you do it, you are cut off."

He owes it to you to stand up to his mother when she is mistreating you.  If your family treated him this way, how would you react?

And you are perfectly within your rights to stop interacting with MIL on any basis.  She uses it as a chance to abuse you, so stop giving her the chance.

Yes, I'm working on this too, so again... I understand it's hard.  I'm sorry.

delabela

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2013, 11:43:56 PM »
The way I see it, you have 3 choices.

1. Cut her out of your life.  Doesn't sound like your husband is willing to do this, so probably a no go.

2. Leave things like this and try to please her while being called names and insulted.  Sounds terrible..

3. Stop caring.  She wants to see you as a son-stealing, name-vetoing she-devil?  OK.  Just detach.  She says something nasty - just walk away.  It's her birthday - guess your husband better get to shopping or she won't have a present.  She's coming to visit - hope your husband has some good ideas to keep her busy, as you have plans of your own. 

It sounds like a tough situation.  Good luck.

blarg314

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2013, 04:50:08 AM »

Your husband's reactions are very, very normal for someone who grew up in a dysfunctional family - he filters out what he can, and gives in on the rest.  It's a coping mechanism he developed when he was not in a position to leave or defend himself.

While normal, though, this type of reaction can cause serious problems in other relationship, as you've just seen. Personally, I would be absolutely livid about the name issue - he let his mother win and get to choose the baby's name, *and* he used the fact that you were reeling from extended labour to push it through.

Family counselling can really help in situations like this, with a therapist specializing in this sort of thing. It can provide an independent viewpoint, and teach you constructive ways of dealing with toxic relations. A toxic relative, and a spouse who gives in to them, can destroy a marriage. The name thing, by itself, would be my point for insisting on family counselling for the sake of the marriage. If she can get away with that, what will the next thing be?

As far as other stuff goes - drop out emotionally. Stop buying thoughtful gifts for her. Let your husband handle birthday/christmas cards and gifts, and any phone-calls, emails and letters. And make it very, very clear to your husband that she is to have zero input or control over anything in your relationship or involving your children, making as big a fuss as necessary to get the point across.

ThistleBird

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2013, 06:33:45 AM »
Quote
I assume that it's also possible - given that it was a family name - that she happened to latch onto a name your DH liked anyway, and he pressed for it despite his mother's influence.

This is what I was going to say. Especially considering what you've clarified about your DH's attitude toward MIL, the name really may not be a sign of her undue influence over him--there are often half-a-dozen reasons for choosing a certain name, and it's not always obvious what the chief one is.

Take me and DH. We're middle-naming our soon-to-be-born son after my FIL. At least, that's the official version. The truth is I suggested the name to DH originally because I liked the meaning and admired a couple historical figures with that name, and DH kind of said "meh" and we picked a different middle name. Later on we had another discussion and reconsidered. DH realized it would be a good gesture for his dad to help make up to him for the fact that DH chose to take my last name. And in fact it was an excellent gesture--FIL was deeply moved. So I voluntarily keep my mouth shut about my real reason for liking the name! And who could guess it if I don't tell them?

It may be somewhat similar. It's possible your DH's real thought process was "That's a very good name, and I would love to honor my grandfather. So what if my crazy mother likes it as well--it'll help keep the peace I guess."

MommyPenguin

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2013, 09:55:45 AM »
Yeah, with the name thing, we have the same situation.  Our youngest has the same name as my MIL's MIL (so my husband's paternal grandmother).  He wasn't particularly fond of her, and neither was my MIL.  (Apparently once during her marriage, when my MIL was really struggling with some stuff, she sat down with her MIL and asked if she could talk to her about some problems she was having.  Her MIL said, "Oh, problems?  You think you got problems???  Lemme tell you about all the problems I'm going through!"  Yeah.).  But we happened to like the name, and had another point of reference for it, a friend with the same name who nicknamed it a particular way, a nickname that we'll be using.  It's also possible that your DH hadn't thought of the name before his mother suggested it, but then had fond thoughts of it as well because he loved his grandfather.  So I would probably want to talk to my husband first before jumping to conclusions.

padua

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2013, 04:55:32 PM »
Quote
I assume that it's also possible - given that it was a family name - that she happened to latch onto a name your DH liked anyway, and he pressed for it despite his mother's influence.

This is what I was going to say. Especially considering what you've clarified about your DH's attitude toward MIL, the name really may not be a sign of her undue influence over him--there are often half-a-dozen reasons for choosing a certain name, and it's not always obvious what the chief one is.

Take me and DH. We're middle-naming our soon-to-be-born son after my FIL. At least, that's the official version. The truth is I suggested the name to DH originally because I liked the meaning and admired a couple historical figures with that name, and DH kind of said "meh" and we picked a different middle name. Later on we had another discussion and reconsidered. DH realized it would be a good gesture for his dad to help make up to him for the fact that DH chose to take my last name. And in fact it was an excellent gesture--FIL was deeply moved. So I voluntarily keep my mouth shut about my real reason for liking the name! And who could guess it if I don't tell them?

It may be somewhat similar. It's possible your DH's real thought process was "That's a very good name, and I would love to honor my grandfather. So what if my crazy mother likes it as well--it'll help keep the peace I guess."

if that were the case, there wouldn't be as much of a problem. i'd still be a little miffed it was at her suggestion, but it would still be his choice. the reason why he dropped this tidbit of information was: "you know what i'd name my kid if i was given the choice?"
when he said this, i was really caught off guard. "you did have a choice- you picked out the middle name."
"no, that was what my mother nagged me to name him."
and that's when my head nearly exploded.

padua

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2013, 05:05:37 PM »

Your husband's reactions are very, very normal for someone who grew up in a dysfunctional family - he filters out what he can, and gives in on the rest.  It's a coping mechanism he developed when he was not in a position to leave or defend himself.

While normal, though, this type of reaction can cause serious problems in other relationship, as you've just seen. Personally, I would be absolutely livid about the name issue - he let his mother win and get to choose the baby's name, *and* he used the fact that you were reeling from extended labour to push it through.

Family counselling can really help in situations like this, with a therapist specializing in this sort of thing. It can provide an independent viewpoint, and teach you constructive ways of dealing with toxic relations. A toxic relative, and a spouse who gives in to them, can destroy a marriage. The name thing, by itself, would be my point for insisting on family counselling for the sake of the marriage. If she can get away with that, what will the next thing be?

As far as other stuff goes - drop out emotionally. Stop buying thoughtful gifts for her. Let your husband handle birthday/christmas cards and gifts, and any phone-calls, emails and letters. And make it very, very clear to your husband that she is to have zero input or control over anything in your relationship or involving your children, making as big a fuss as necessary to get the point across.

i totally get dropping people out of our lives when necessary. i think what's best for us at this point, however, is what you (and several others) suggested as far as dropping out emotionally. and letting my husband know that even though he may consider this normal, this still isn't okay. we've done some counseling already (which was great, by the way)- i wish i could convince him to do one-on-one work, though. this goes way beyond what i feel about it.

i also feel significanly strengthened knowing i'm not the only one who would react to something like this. i do tend to filter out what i share with my family because i don't want there to be a nuclear explosion. i think creating an emotional distance will be helpful to keep me from being so vulnerable to her seemingly random attacks. in no wise am i excusing her behaviors because others have excused it in the past- i just don't think i'm going to be the one to get her to change. i'm the interloper.

so i'll chalk it up to this being her issue and not take it personally. and i have the sneaking suspicion that if i let this get to me and i react, she 'wins' (in her opinion). i hate to see it that way, but i don't want to give her a reason to repeatedly continue these chats she seeks out with me. that also means making the decision not to be alone with her.

ThistleBird

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2013, 05:52:24 PM »
Quote
if that were the case, there wouldn't be as much of a problem. i'd still be a little miffed it was at her suggestion, but it would still be his choice. the reason why he dropped this tidbit of information was: "you know what i'd name my kid if i was given the choice?"
when he said this, i was really caught off guard. "you did have a choice- you picked out the middle name."
"no, that was what my mother nagged me to name him."
and that's when my head nearly exploded.

Oh. Well, dang, then.

Yeah, OK, he needs to grow a spine. If she's "crazy" she shouldn't get to decide what he names his kid!!

TootsNYC

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Re: yet another mother-in-law issue
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2013, 10:28:40 AM »
if that were the case, there wouldn't be as much of a problem. i'd still be a little miffed it was at
her suggestion, but it would still be his choice. the reason why he dropped this tidbit of information was: "you know what i'd name my kid if i was given the choice?"
when he said this, i was really caught off guard. "you did have a choice- you picked out the middle name."
"no, that was what my mother nagged me to name him."
and that's when my head nearly exploded.


Your poor husband!
I hope you can kindly help him to see himself at someone who doesn't need to care about whether she likes his decisions, etc. That's a tough, tough road for him.

I hoe you can be a source of quiet strength for him. Modeling the right behavior is probably your most powerful tool for that. So--no more thoughtful gifts. Think of her as a semi-distant aunt. Someone that you vaguely feel positive feelings for, or mild obligation. An afterthought.

And make every reaction based on that mental image of her. It's not angry, punitive, or judgmental--and I think that therein lies its power. It can be too hard to go to the extreme--so if you can just slide way down to nearly neutral, it'll be easier to maintain.

And another tactic that might help you help him is to fill your life up with other people, other activities, other influences. Even a full social calendar, or lots of projects to keep you both busy around the house, will make it easier to view her, and her influence/pressure, as peripheral to your lives.