... to not want to spend time with MiL without DH?

(36 Posts)
VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 13:17:35

There is nothing "wrong" with my MIL. She's independent, politically 'right on', has a wide range of interests and hobbies, is very generous and is a lovely Grandma to DS (2).

But bloody hell she is so 'try hard'. And the more she pushes to try and be my best friend, the closer I get to snapping in her face and creating WW3.

I find it so tiring to be around her, she is incredibly intense. It's like a job interview, constant stream of questions 'how's work, how's the pregnancy, how's your Mum, how are you siblings' etc. I am SURE she thinks she is just being kind but it's exhausting.

I feel guilty finding her irritating because she is just trying to be friendly, but how the fuck do I persuade her I don't want to be her mate?! I just want to be a DIL and encourage her to have a good relationship with DS.

She's called and tested so often since I've been on mat leave wanting to meet up, I've ended up running out of polite excuses so have agreed to go swimming with her and DS tomorrow. I'd much rather she took him and I had a rest, but she is determined to "spend quality time" with me. Why? Why? Why?! Am I so U to not want this?

She is in her 50s with a (PT) job, partner and plenty of hobbies and friends btw so it's not about humouring a lonely little old lady.

Anyway, AIBU?.

2rebecca Tue 18-Jun-13 14:28:19

Just say no then. She can ask, you can say no.
I don't think that the person who wants more contact has to be the one who gets her own way.
Just tell her you are busy, which you are, and keep repeating this.
It sounds as though she is well meaning, but you'll just resent her if you feel forced into socialising with her.
Men don't get this crap with their inlaws forever wanting to see them without their wives, women are the ones expected to be endlessly sociable and accommodating.
Try behaving like a bloke and say no.

Crinkle77 Tue 18-Jun-13 14:30:31

Can sort of sympathise OP. My partners mother is lovely and treats me so well but she is hard work at times. She talks and talks and talks and sometimes it is so wearing. She will tell a story but instead of getting to the point she goes all round the houses. She is always trying to force feed me. When I go there she always checks I have eaten and flaps if I say I don't want anything. I stayed at my boyfrinds parents one night and when I got up I said I was going to my mums and would eat there as she was doing lunch and she went in to panic mode saying my mother would think she was terrible sending me to hers without having any breakfast. I was like err my mother wouldn't care cos I am 35 and can feed myself. Anyway OP know where you are coming from as I too feel guilty for having these mean thoughts. Is there anyway when she wants you to go out together that you just tell her you are really tired and it would be a great help if she took the kids out on her own so you could have a rest?

ShatnersBassoon Tue 18-Jun-13 14:33:06

I think she's trying to be decent by treating you as a member of the family rather than as the gatekeeper to the grandchildren like many MILs seem to. Pity that's the exact opposite of what you want!

Be honest with her and tell her to take the children places without you. Why don't you call and say you don't feel up to swimming but you're more than happy for her to take DS if she'd like. It might give her the confidence to take him on her own, and you can keep suggesting it in future.

VinegarDrinker Tue 18-Jun-13 14:58:52

I think you are right shatner

She does pester DH to see him every week on his day "off" with DS but I think he finds it a lot easier to say no to her or say he is busy with work.

My job normally is pretty full on so it's not so much of an issue, although it does drive me potty if she is there when I get in from work as she will follow me round the house like a lost puppy asking "how ARE you?" rather than play with DS and let me have a cup of tea in peace like my DM would.

I sometimes feel like she wants the upsides of being "family" (close relationship, seeing each other regularly etc) without what are IMO the benefits ie being able to relax in each others' company, just have a cup of tea or me get on with the cleaning etc while she entertains DS.

Someone asked about her MIL - she never had one. She was a single Mum by choice (sperm donor) and her partner now has only been on the scene a couple of years.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 18-Jun-13 15:01:41

You need to be more assertive then, and tell her what you'd like her to do - "Watch DS while I sort out this washing", "Stick the kettle on" etc. Force her to become part of everyday life. She'll probably love it!

SarahAndFuck Tue 18-Jun-13 15:21:06

It was me that asked about her MIL. Thanks for explaining.

I don't get on with my MIL, and haven't seen here for about two and a half years now. It's been lovely smile

Seriously, my MIL is a cruel woman. I'm not sure if she is casually or deliberately cruel or both, but in the end it had the same result. She made me ill and we stopped seeing her. DH visits rarely, DS and I don't go and PILs are never invited to visit us.

Before that, we got along at times, had our moments of not getting on well, but we could have been friends. We have similar interests and it could have been different, but PILs are controlling, manipulative and unhappy at the best of times and it just hasn't worked out that way.

But I do remember the constant pressure from them to visit, to be visited, the demands on our time when we just didn't have it, the dropping in unexpectedly, the crying down the telephone if we went passed their house and didn't call in (even if we'd already seen them that day).

So your comment about always wanting to see DH on his day off made me think of that. Sometimes your day off is busier than your day at work, with things that have to be done. It's not leisure time or having something better to do, it's the only time you have to do everything that has to be done.

My PILs didn't understand that, and they took offence if we tried to explain.

AaDB Tue 18-Jun-13 15:28:11

Yanbu.

After 12 years could, you treat get more liked your family. If this was your mum or sibling how would you behave? I think it's ok to be direct and proactive.

I don't want to spend time with my ils without my DH. He doesn't want to spend time with them but without meconfused. They don't want to spend time with ds on their own. It's tricky.

AaDB Tue 18-Jun-13 15:29:54

Sorry my phone turned that to crap. Treat your milk like a family member or friend. Be direct and firm.

AaDB Tue 18-Jun-13 15:30:26

Ffs mil not milk (gives up)

MrsLyman Tue 18-Jun-13 15:32:37

I'm wondering how much of the annoyance that you're currently feeling is to do with the fact that you're 38 weeks pregnant, isn't generally a time in our lives when staying at home on our own is a very common thing to want to do? (I'm not doubting that you always find her annoying I just mean why the annoyance currently feels magnified)

Perhaps in reply to a question about your late pregnancy symptoms you could respond that you're very tired and grumpy and if she could take DS to the park whilst you went and had a lie down and a grumble it would help loads.

WinkyWinkola Wed 19-Jun-13 22:36:09

Fwiw, I refuse to be with my mil without dh or fil. She really rubs me up the wrong way.

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