Dealing with awful passive aggressive MIL

(180 Posts)
YummyMummybee Thu 21-Nov-13 13:57:46

Basically to cut a long story short, DH & I have been married for 3 years & I have had ferocious issues with MIL.... She treats me completely differently to my 2 SIL's, she treats them with respect, talks highly of them &whenever I call over always happens to say they call these days, were over for dinner etc however I am never invited.

Dh has 3 brothers & my dd was the first girl in the family for over 100 years,rather than being doted on by grandma she keeps making the point she never wanted a girl, only wanted one to "dress up", all men want a son much more than a woman wants a daughter etc etc.... Its ridiculous & petty plus we were delighted to have a healthy child we didn't care about gender & we worship our little princess who is named after my mom & my grandmother which did not go down too well....

She wore a white maxi dress & hat to my wedding...

Tries to pick an arguement with me when ever she can..

Hates my mom coming up to spend time with my daughter & hates me going home to my moms

Dh has tried to speak to his father about it but the bottom line was I was being oversensitive.... Dh knows I'm right though so no point in going down that route again..

I feel the only way to cope is to avoid her & not leave her know whats going on in our lives... We only live 10 mins away. I used to really try & make the effort but it seemed the more I tried the more power she felt she had & would use it to belittle me & make me feel incompetent... So now I feel the less she sees of us as a family the better...

Also I am expecting dd2 & after dd1 was born & named after my mom we told MIL dd2 if she ever arrived would be named after her.... We have now decided to use 2 names we both love & not use her name at all even for middle name, I have to take a stand & I'm no longer accepting being treated like an outsider & an imbicile... Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

SanityClause Sun 15-Dec-13 09:06:54

I can answer that nenny. My FIL is similar to this. He has been so cowed by MIL and her EA, that it's "anything for a quiet life".

By defending the OP's DD, her FIL would be putting himself in the firing line, and having experienced that in the past, he has no intention of putting himself there again! (So a child suffers, but at least it's not him. angry)

nennypops Sun 15-Dec-13 08:27:46

I'm really puzzled about the situation with FIL, particularly if he loves dd as you say. Surely he can see the difference in he way his wife is treating dd, also the fact that all communication is coming via him? Is he just closing his eyes to it?

ProphetOfDoom Sun 15-Dec-13 07:17:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MimiSunshine Sat 14-Dec-13 23:49:32

I know you've already decided on the name for DD2 but please whatever you do, don't change your mind and include MILs name. She doesn't deserve it and what if she had a complete turn around and made DD2 the golden child and attempted to spoil her while still treating DD1 the way she does?

I'd prepare your 'statement' on the name (or lack of) now, make sure the announcement to family comes from DH (doubt she'll really go got it to him) but both have the same rationale ready so you can state it calmly.
To be honest I'd be tempted to go for polite honesty, something like "we love the name, it's a classic, don't you agree?" And if she actually comments in her name not being used do as others have suggested and say "well you've always made it clear you aren't a fan of girls so we didn't think it appropriate" then smile and say cup of tea?

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Sat 14-Dec-13 23:35:03

Oh dear, it's so painful having your child treated badly, one of the worst feelings actually, as you are hurt again and again and you see your little ones perfect innocence and vulnerability and what a cow to try and hurt that - although thinking about it it probably hasn't occurred to her what effect she's having as that would require thinking about someone other than herself.

I'm very glad your dh in on side with protecting your precious dds, they need him to protect them as well as you.

Well done for being strong and have a lovely Christmas without the unpleasant b*tch!

HansieMom Sat 14-Dec-13 23:31:37

She is making me quite angry. When she gave you the sweater and said she had not knit it for your daughter, it is for SILs upcoming baby, I would have given it back.

My paternal grandma preferred my cousin, about six months younger than me, to me. I remember thinking, why does she like Kathy better than me? I told my aunt this once and she said her first son felt that way too. I did not learn until a few years ago that Kathy's mom was unwed and they lived with her parents for awhile.

Another thing this woman did, and I did not find out about this til I was grown, was at Christmas seventy one years ago. My dad was the first one married, and he and my pregnant mom were there at Christmas. Everyone got a present except for my mom.

I never cared much for this Grandma and have no memories of personal interaction with her. My other Grandma was and is very dear to me, even though she died forty six years ago.

YummyMummybee Sat 14-Dec-13 23:25:01

Thanks Hissy, he is upset but understands MIL is scapegoating me which in turn will be DD, sorry actually is DD, she is the victim in all this.

Hissy Sat 14-Dec-13 22:33:42

Stately Homes thread can really help those with families like your dh, if he ever needs to talk, please point him over to the thread?

Hissy Sat 14-Dec-13 22:29:07

That's good. Your dh has seen the truth.

Trust me though that the brain works really hard to wipe out that shock he's had and he's likely to forget why he's angry with his mother.

I can't explain it, but to live this truth, you have to remind yourself all the time that what the person did really was that bad.

I'm so sorry, this stuff hurts. The réalisation of just how screwed up your family is is like peeling off your own skin, time and time again.

Reassure him. Remind him and gather as much patience as possible.

YummyMummybee Sat 14-Dec-13 22:22:13

Hissy that is a hilarious & very disturbing image haha!!!! No he was never great to call in the first place, he's very close to his dad but not MIL! He is very upset, spoke about it earlier was going to text FIL etc but I stopped him as that's rising to the bait & I'm not having her tarnish memories of DD's 1st Christmas. I am 100% sure she is looking for a confrontation & she makes sure we are aware of how well she treats other grandkids etc... Dh is realising dd is the victim here so he will be towing the line with this, zero contact!

YummyMummybee Sat 14-Dec-13 22:17:05

Today was a real eye-opener for dh, he's livid. As I said it's one of the first few times she's let her guard down in front of dh & as they say actions speak louder than words so she showed herself up big time today. We are avoiding her as much as humanly possible, we exchanged Christmas gifts today so really no other need to see them over the holidays now & I'll be at my own families until after New Years, come 2014 my new dd will be arriving & I simply won't have time to even entertain thoughts of her.

Hissy Sat 14-Dec-13 22:13:44

Trouble is, if DH carried on going around, then it's tacit approval of mil's behaviour (in her little head)

He has to make this, love me, love my family: it's non-negotiable.

He has to show her his balls are bigger than hers in effect.

(although I realise that this is a particularly hideous mental image) smile

YourHandInMyHand Sat 14-Dec-13 22:04:06

You and your DD don't have to have any contact whatsoever with this woman.

You DH can go round there without you both. No going round for family meals. No popping in together. If FIL misses your DD he can pop round without MIL. If they turn up on your doorstep to visit (highly unlikely) exclaim "oh what a shame DD has a play date/ check up we were just about to leave!".

Having any sort of contact with this horrid woman will do you and your DD no good whatsoever. If your DH is resistant to your DD having no contact with his mum ask him, if this was any other adult bullying and excluding his DD would he insist on repeating the experience over and over?

YummyMummybee Sat 14-Dec-13 22:00:42

BlingBang no I'm in my early 30s!!!!! Hissy that's what we have to do, feel bad about FIL as he really is a lovely man & is genuinely crazy about dd, for the last couple months any correspondence like texts/phonecalls has been to him from DH & I. We have cut down to the bare minimum of contact, just need to get the next steps. I never reply to MIL's texts, she very very rarely texts me anyways.

Hissy Sat 14-Dec-13 21:39:19

Just stop taking calls, don't contact them and leave it there. Walk away. All of you.

BlingBang Sat 14-Dec-13 21:30:24

But you really don't seem to be dealing with it. She is walking all over you and you keep coming back for more. You are just going round in circles and enabling the sole drama. You don't have to let you treat you like this. Are you quite young?

YummyMummybee Sat 14-Dec-13 20:10:47

Thanks hissy, Divinity's experience is terrible alright & I can see just how easily it could happen. DH & I were shopping this evening & we brought back the leggings & bibs for a no receipt exchange, picked out a beautiful little party dress for next Christmas so at least we got something we felt was more substantial.
I know I come accross as materialistic but I'm not I just wanted my DD to be treated equally, it's obvious now she never will be so we are just leaving MIL off, DH was so upset today.
I think our passive/non-commital attitude is starting to get under MIL's skin as she was always clever enough to cover up her behaviour in front of DH who always tried to see things from her perspective but now her cover is starting to slide big time I guess it was only a matter of time before DH saw her true colours...

Hissy Sat 14-Dec-13 19:30:15

This is the last year you can get away with this, given divinity's experience.

You have to rule a line here and agree to no more contact, return all gifts and say 'yes, you're absolutely right, they don't need a thing from you, thanks, but no need'

No more visits/calls/nothing.

These are your children, you only get one chance at their childhood.

You will be doing the best possible thing for them.

((hugs)) I know this is hard!

YummyMummybee Sat 14-Dec-13 18:38:33

Thanks for the replies, a confrontation won't work, DH tried to broach the subject with FIL before after dd was born when I was still trying my best to fit in & FIL got very frustrated saying they were really busy hence why they didn't really make much of an effort with DD or me while I was on mat leave. So no will defo avoid that beacuse she is the type who thrives on drama & would love to make me out to be the one causing all the aggro, she can twist any situation....

flamby Sat 14-Dec-13 18:15:22

Hi Yummy. I'm new to mumsnet so I hope you don't mind me wading in with my 2 cents in my very first post! Your post just really resonated with me because I have a whole new family of in-laws and there is a lot of this kind of thing amongst the aunts and uncles and cousins.

Your MiL sounds like an absolute nightmare. My experience of people like that is that they thrive on the reasonableness and kindness of nice people like you and what they like least of all is a direct, calm confrontation. I would suggest that your husband gather his siblings and parents together (no sister-in-laws, without you there either) and explain that you and he feel that there is a problem with the way your MiL is treating your daughter and that you want to resolve it so that you can continue to have a full relationship with the family. If there isn't a resolution you are happy with (e.g. a commitment from your MiL to change her behaviour or at least to respond to you when you tell her she isn't behaving properly) then you will have no choice but to limit your contact with her.

After that, if she ever does anything inappropriate again, you can tell her quite simply that she is crossing a line and it isn't acceptable. If she tries to argue, tell her you don't want to discuss it, you are requesting her to change her behaviour. If she keeps trying, stand up and walk out. Ask your husband to do the same. Don't fight with her, just walk away.

Essentially, I'd say that you and your husband can have control of the situation because the contact with her son is important to her. You need to make it really clear to your husband that you will have a relationship with your MiL and that you support him in his desire to be close to his parents, but that there are limits to the behaviour you can tolerate and you would like his help in setting them. Hopefully that way he can see you are on his side and that you are a team. It isn't about firefighting the individual instances of unpleasantness but having a long-term strategy to establish a relationship you can be happy with and take the poison out of a nasty situation.

She sounds like a mean, nasty bully. Try not to get sucked into her manipulative games. She is thriving on passive-aggression and relying on everyone trying to keep her happy.

Good luck - I know it is really hard, but you can't be expected to be in tears every time you leave her house and you and your husband are bearing the consequences of her unpleasantness. It is time she dealt with them instead! Sending positive thoughts your way!

UmpireHalfTimeKids Sat 14-Dec-13 18:14:58

I think bragmatic has it.
Why be friends? Why try? Why feel so bad about disliki g her!

Yes the mil is a bitch, but if u were more co fident her comments would touch u .

My xmil wanted me to adore her. I never did but i competed with other dils as she wanted us to. She also had only sons. She did dote on my dd but treated me like a lower life form. Interrupted me, contradicted me, let me down at last min when i had pinned her down to babysit.
Now i make zero effort. Well shes my xmil! I feel sorry for her now. She never sees kids because her son is toothoughtless and selfish to include her, and im not facilirating it as she was so vile to me.
I forgive her now though. I just dont care. She is so peripheral now. Its a shame from her perspective necause im nice, too nice for my own good, and if she hadnt gone to war with a nice person to prove...... whaaaat? Then she'd have gc in her life.

Good luck stay strong. If u dont care that she's a crackers old bitch that will really annoy her!

ProphetOfDoom Sat 14-Dec-13 16:59:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chocolateteabag Sat 14-Dec-13 16:40:20

Really feel for you OP

My advice would be to always have a smile on your face when you have to see her. You'll obviously have to think of really nice things/ funny jokes to do it. But nothing annoys a bitch more than someone they can't upset.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 14-Dec-13 16:36:15

Sounds like my mil. Ds received 2 pairs of jogging bottoms for his first Christmas while the dns got a trip to Disney land Paris

AChristmassyJerseySpud Sat 14-Dec-13 16:31:43

tbh now i would be sending DH to visit them by himself. Let him deal with her and keep you DD away from her.

Having a lovely Christmas with your family x

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