(207 Posts)
Hullygully Thu 07-Feb-13 15:36:39


What did you think would happen?

valiumredhead Thu 07-Feb-13 15:37:59

I love my MIL, she is great and when we get engaged she gave me a massive hug and said she couldn't ask for a nicer daughter in law - even if she pisses me off I remember that and it makes me all warm and fuzzy smile

SpicyPear Thu 07-Feb-13 15:38:44

Ooh I can't wait to see how this one pans out!

Pascha Thu 07-Feb-13 15:38:54

That reads as Evil MIL doesnt like her MIL. I like my MIL.

valiumredhead Thu 07-Feb-13 15:38:59

Oh and to answer the OP, I was with someone else and I loather his parents, just couldn't imagine life with them forever, one of the main reasons we split up.

toomuch2young Thu 07-Feb-13 15:39:46

I'm not in this situation, but surely you marry someone because you love them and want to be with them?
I can't imagine that many adults spend that much time with their mothers to put you off marrying them?

ThedementedPenguin Thu 07-Feb-13 15:39:48

I'm not married but I assume its because they loved there boyfriend and wanted to be with him. Doesn't mean they have to put up with crap from there MIL.

soverylucky Thu 07-Feb-13 15:39:56

I liked her when we got married. It is in the years after that slowly and gradually I have realised that we are two very, very, very different people.

MrsKoala Thu 07-Feb-13 15:41:12

Erm, because I love my dh. Why would my feelings on mil affect that? If poor dh could only marry someone who liked his mum then he'd be alone forever. That's not exactly fair on him is it? How bizarre.

Tortington Thu 07-Feb-13 15:41:14

i dont have any intentions of fucking his mum and dh is such a good fuck - it would have been a shame not to keep him

Um. Because you love your partner?

My DH likes fig rolls, which I think are disgusting. Should I not have married him because of this incompatibility?

WileyRoadRunner Thu 07-Feb-13 15:41:55

My MIL only showed her true colours AFTER we were married.


letsgomaths Thu 07-Feb-13 15:42:27

I have never met my MIL - my DW is totally estranged from her!

EssexGurl Thu 07-Feb-13 15:43:14

Because we rarely saw them and I thought that I could cope with a couple of visits a year. They live a 4 hour drive away so even with kids now we probably only see them 3 or 4 times a year for a weekend. Bearable, just ....

maddening Thu 07-Feb-13 15:43:17

Because otherwise there'd be lots of nice lonely men living with their loony mums

weegiemum Thu 07-Feb-13 15:43:20

I don't speak to my (nutter) mother.

So should dh have declined to mary me (we were talking at the time of my wedding) because my mother is frankly toxic?

He married me because he loves me . stuff my mother!!

DewDr0p Thu 07-Feb-13 15:43:25

Hmm I love my dh - it's my MIL I have an issue with (and FIL for that matter)

Fwiw dh and I are of the same opinion. Should he have remained single for ever more?

Tee2072 Thu 07-Feb-13 15:43:53

I didn't marry my MIL, who I happen to like. I married my husband.

Is that how some people choose a spouse? Based on their mother? Really?

Because I fell in love with DP?

He has no more control over the fact he has a toxic narcissist for a father and a lazy grasping mare for a mother than I do.

Luckily we don't have much to do with them so they don't affect our lives.

MummytoMog Thu 07-Feb-13 15:47:13

She's lovely - she just drives me nuts since I had the kids. Fairly common I think.

woozlebear Thu 07-Feb-13 15:47:42

Oh dear....

Well by this logic I should remain a spinster forever, because my mother is frightful. Luckily DH didn't run away.

KirstyoffEastenders Thu 07-Feb-13 15:48:37

I went through with a wedding I knew was a mistake just because I loved his parents and I didn't want to upset them. I left him 6 months later. So I suppose it works both ways.

Ashoething Thu 07-Feb-13 15:49:22

Because I didnt realise what a lazy manipulative cow she was until after I had been married a number of years?

KirstyoffEastenders Thu 07-Feb-13 15:50:24

Also, should I be worried that BF hasn't introduce me to his Mother, even though we've been together for 9 months, we live together, and we're trying for a baby? Maybe she's a nightmare. Thankfully she lives 50 miles away.

bran Thu 07-Feb-13 15:54:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SneakyNuts Thu 07-Feb-13 15:54:51

Well mine was absolutely fine...until I fell pregnant if that helps.

She is a nice lady, just infuriates me sometimes smile

Xiaoxiong Thu 07-Feb-13 15:55:46

My FIL was a doll until DS arrived. Then he flipped out (to the extent that we thought he'd had a stroke or something else to cause such an extreme personality change).

Also what woozle said - DH married me in spite of being fully aware of my mother having worked for her for a while, so thank goodness he doesn't subscribe to this concept.

SneakyNuts Thu 07-Feb-13 15:55:56

FIL on the other hand...angry

Trills Thu 07-Feb-13 15:57:04

YABU because you have not asked an AIBU question, of course.

Not getting on with your ILs only works if your partner agrees with you on how they are annoying.

If your partner thinks that their family are perfectly normal and lovely, while you think they are bonkers as conkers, then this is a serious problem.

Mine was loveliness personified until she cut in on our first dance at the wedding. It's been downhill since then really.

limitedperiodonly Thu 07-Feb-13 16:01:18

I don't mind my MIL. She does make it hard though.

I wouldn't blame my SIL and her small daughter for hating MIL though. She says really spiteful things to me about them.

My SIL is the soul of discretion and tells me nothing. Unfortunately.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 07-Feb-13 16:01:49


I do agree that if I absolutely could not get on with my MIL, and my DP/DH couldn't see any problem, I would think it ill-advised to marry them.


I think that some MILs only show their true colours at certain critical points, having children being the main one.

I think it isn't so much the MIL being the problem, as the DP/DHs attitiude towards them being a problem

I think FILs get off lightly on this

Finally I think I am going to be a tremendous MIL now I've read and digested all MN has to say on the matter

Jins Thu 07-Feb-13 16:02:54

DH dislikes his mother even more than I do.

GetOrf Thu 07-Feb-13 16:04:16

Sometimes though some MILs are utterly awful. It's not just the DILs being cowbags.

My XP - his mother is wonderful and I love her dearly, still call her my MIL even though I have split from XP.

XXP (christ my series of men) - his mother was a mean spirited bugger. HE was horrible as well, even though it took me 6 years to realise such. But when I met him I was stupid in love so just accepted his meanness and hers. Made me unhappy though.

LadyBigtoes Thu 07-Feb-13 16:05:13

I also left someone (or refused to get back together with him when he came crawling back after a break-up) because of the choice between having to deal with his awful parents forever, especially his mum, and having them related to my kids, or being free of them.

However, although I now have a nice (if very uninvolved) MIL, my DP hates my mum. It's OK because I agree she is unpleasant and we can talk about it. But I would be a bit sad if he'd decided against me because of her. <double standards>

I agree it all depends on the attitude of the person whose mum it is. Me and DP can rant to each other about my mum. But my ex was always on his parents (and mad sister's) side and I thought I was going mad when he wouldn't accept that they treated me appallingly.

gordyslovesheep Thu 07-Feb-13 16:05:15

personally because I loved me husband to be and was marrying him not her - her I put up with because he (at the time) was worth it

GetOrf Thu 07-Feb-13 16:05:16

And XXMIL was always lovely to my face. Just slagged me off to my mum, friends, daughter, all sorts behind my back. Strange, spiteful woman.

LadyFlumpalot Thu 07-Feb-13 16:06:46


A) I love my DH
B) She's a fantastic mum to him, and grandmother to DS, it's just me she dislikes.
C) DH is 27. His mother is 62. Sooner or later she won't be around.

DonderandBlitzen Thu 07-Feb-13 16:07:02

"I love you dearly and would like to spend the rest of my life with you, but I don't like your mum, so I won't. Goodbye." Not going to happen.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 07-Feb-13 16:07:23

I expect they thought he was a nice man and that they could cope with his evil mother. I expect they mostly do cope too, but come on here to moan, or moan to mates in RL.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Thu 07-Feb-13 16:07:26

I married him, not his mother.
He likes her even less than I do!
I have grown fond of her (Stockholm syndrome?) over the years, but he grows less and less fond of her each time she treats me or our children badly.

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 16:07:46

Mine only went bad once we got engaged. She was a little odd before then, but not openly rude and unpleasant. So we were very excited about driving up and announcing our engagement. It went like this (on the drive, because we couldn't even wait to get into the house)

DH 'Mum, we've got some wonderful news, DrGarnett and I are getting married!'
Me (smiling, moving forward for the usual kiss on the cheek and to flash my sparkly ring)
MIL 'Oh' (stepping backwards away from me, refusing to look at my left hand)
'I thought you were going to say she was pregnant'

DH just tells her any news over the phone now. I barely see her. I felt absolutely crushed, and it's all gone downhill from there sad

TattyDevine Thu 07-Feb-13 16:07:48

My mother in law was fine until about a week before the wedding. Then she paniced about her son being taken away from her and never seeing him again. In this panic, she did far more damage making it far more likely that he'd run 10 million miles than if she'd stayed quiet and hung in there!

She peaked in evil about 6 months after the wedding, and its tailed off over the past 12 years, a turning point was when our marriage was officially a longer duration than the one of her eldest divorcved daughter.

She still has nothing much to say to me, but that's okay, she doesn't live nearby and I just maintain my cheerful friendly bantery indifference as I have always done.

Husband finds her a pain in the arse and has little to say to her anyway, and he never really did, which is partly where her panic set in I suspect.

Shame, really, as I don't have family nearby and we could have been a nice supplement to each other if it had been mutually agreeable.

GetOrf Thu 07-Feb-13 16:09:18

lol at Stockholm Syndrome

Miggsie Thu 07-Feb-13 16:09:45

Well in my mum's case I think it was because she wasn't qualified to recognise Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

My dad didn't have it and is a decent bloke - you can't ostracise someone for having a lunatic parent.

The biggest issue surely is - if you notice your partner has a dysfunctional family - can you live with the ensuing trauma of the family acting up all the time?

Or my MIL whose 2 sons both married drug addicts? She was a lovely MIL but she had 2 quite dreadful DIL (not me!!!)

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 07-Feb-13 16:11:52

Everyone has a dysfunctional family though, don't they? To a greater or lesser degree. We are all optimistic/arrogant enough to think we won't be like our/their parents and be a ll super emotionally healthy and communicative, and we just mess up in different ways.

crypes Thu 07-Feb-13 16:13:05

My DM and Df were a right nasty pair of shitbags towards my DH. Im glad he saw past their madness and married me, and we are still happily married Why would your parents have anything to do with who you marry?

Narked Thu 07-Feb-13 16:15:24

Mine isn't evil. She can be difficult.

I'd imagine that you don't get the full on awful behaviour until you're already very involved with their (adult) child.

redskyatnight Thu 07-Feb-13 16:18:38

On the flip side ... my mother is a nightmare. No one would have married me me if they'd have to also get on with my mum.

EauRouge Thu 07-Feb-13 16:20:48

The very first time I met MiL (before DH and I were married) she asked us if we were fornicating. My mother put every effort into teaching me how to behave appropriately in all kinds of social situations, but I was shit out of ideas for responding to this one.

But actually she's turned out to be a lovely MiL. Too bad she lives 4000 miles away.

FellatioNels0n Thu 07-Feb-13 16:23:58

I have got along well with all of my MILs. (one ex, one dead, one step.) It helps that the ex became an ex before I had any children, the dead one is dead and the step one is a long, long way away and always has been.

Seriously, I have got along with all of them but I am under no illusions that feathers may have been ruffled had I had to live in prolonged close proximity to any of them. I don't do falling out though. I think my ex MIL was very highly strung and would have become a problem in the long term, although I was fond of her. ex FIL on the other hand....hmm The dead one was lovely but I didn't know her for long and it's easy to canonise a dead MIL who you hardly knew. The Step one is great most of the time but she can be a bit arsey opinionated when she's had a drink and she needs to watch her step as she's on a yellow card at the moment. It's taken 20 years for us to have a cross word though.

My recently departed FIL however, was perfect. A total gentleman.

Masterchuff Thu 07-Feb-13 16:25:15

My MIL is sent from hell itself. I knew this before I married DH and although he still sees her he is sadly more than aware of the type of person she is. But I'm not married to her I'm married to DH. And we have discussed her behaviour and attitudes and their effect on DD and agree on the actions that need to be taken or responses to situations. One thing is for sure, she made my DH a wonderful parent who avoids excess now ( after kicking a drug habit she promoted!) including alcohol and if he questions how to parent a situation does the opposite of what she would have done. Do yes, I hate my MIL and married him anyway so YABU!

I only met my MiL after I'd moved in with DH and we were expecting DD. I'd only met her about four times when we got married (two years later). I had no idea if I liked her or not and didn't care - quite frankly I would put up with Satan himself in the family to be with DH for five minutes if I had to. I couldn't have cared less what his family were like.

JackieandJudy Thu 07-Feb-13 16:28:43

I quite liked MIL before we got married (dh and I did the marrying obviously, not MIL and I). Don't know why I liked her, blinded by love I suspect.

No longer have any contact with her or FIL following massive fall-out about fourteen years ago. Dh was totally supportive, and still is.

TheWalkingDead Thu 07-Feb-13 16:32:27

Well, my DH's DM died before I met him and initially his step-mother was ok. Then the true colours came out, but it was too late for me as I had fallen madly in love with DH and she doesn't like him, he doesn't like her and I detest her (haven't spoken to her in almost 6 years).

It's ok because we all know where we stand. I stay away, DH visits every couple of weeks with the 2DS's (she loves them completely) and FIL knows exactly how we all feel about one another so just goes along for the ride. FIL apparently loves me, even though I can't really be bothered with a man who makes no effort to stick up for his sons or me. If only they were perfect like my family....grin

CatsRule Thu 07-Feb-13 16:35:29

My mil was nowhere near as bad before we got married...she has just become a bigger and more manipulative bitch each day of our marriage and has multiplied in size since the birth of our ds last year...she really has outshone herself so much so that her own son can see her far enough!

I would definitely advise checking out the family, especially mil/fil prior to falling for the guy!

Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Januarymadness Thu 07-Feb-13 16:41:49

mil is a bitch. DH agrees. I married him not mil.

We have extreemly few dealings with her problem avoided.wink wink

AdoraBell Thu 07-Feb-13 16:43:09

Based on your question my OH should have run a mile. He did get off light though because both may parent's died soon after we married. I had already broken contact with my mother so he really never had the MIL experience this time around (apparently his previous MIL was off her rocker on religion).

As for why I married OH, I knew we wouldn't spend much time in the PILs companygrin

goinnowhere Thu 07-Feb-13 16:44:14

His family only became quite so disfunctional after we were engaged. Not about to make the man I love go through even more shit by ditching him because of them on top of everything else! He needs me to cope with them!

expatinscotland Thu 07-Feb-13 16:44:30

I've always wondered that, Hully. Then they go and procreate with the guy. Half the time it's not even a real MIL because the couple aren't married, anyhow.

Januarymadness Thu 07-Feb-13 16:45:04

Oh and having a shitty emotionally, and physically, abusive mother should not prevent a child from finding happiness and marrying. If DH married someone who liked his mum he would have a shitty mother AND shittt wife. Not really fair eh.angry angry

Pandemoniaa Thu 07-Feb-13 16:47:57

I've had two MIL. I very much miss the lovely woman that was DP's mother. We were very close and she was a joy to spend time with.

My ex-h's dm is a difficult woman. She's 95 now and cheerfully as awkward as ever although in fairness, she's certainly not evil. But I was comforted by the fact that she lived 80 miles away so we were always civilised to each other. Had she lived 80 yards away I might have had second thoughts!

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Thu 07-Feb-13 16:48:05

Because I anticipated that I would have very little to do with her. She is of no consequence or importance to me smile.

Blimey. So the children of abusive parents don't deserve to find happiness in marriage then? No one should fall in love with them and marry them, because their parents are awful?

Right ...

AThingInYourLife Thu 07-Feb-13 16:49:43

"If DH married someone who liked his mum he would have a shitty mother AND shittt wife."


I have this picture of a poor bloke, decent to the core, traipsing around trying to find a girl mad enough to like his horrible mother.

Salbertina Thu 07-Feb-13 16:55:22

Fortunately, my DMil is lovely, sadly my own dm is not..

Januarymadness Thu 07-Feb-13 16:57:32

Nothing pisses me off more than people making assumptions that lump eveyone together.

All mothers are lovely
All DILs must be in the wrong
All MNers act like this or think like that.
All problems in relationships are because someone is cheating or abusive.

It is bollocks. Everyone is different. We are individuals and it is our actions that define us, not our labels.

Rant over.

KindleMum Thu 07-Feb-13 16:59:09

"Oh and having a shitty emotionally, and physically, abusive mother should not prevent a child from finding happiness and marrying. If DH married someone who liked his mum he would have a shitty mother AND shittt wife. Not really fair eh.angry angry"

I have to agree with Januarymadness on this. DH has a mother who is entirely self-centred and shows no affection towards her children. He has no illusions about her but I didn't really appreciate how she really was until we married. Before we married, I got her "public" face. Once we married I saw the insider version. And because she has to always be the most important person in the whole world, she got worse when we married and worse each time we had a child, presumably because DH now had important people in his life other than her.

She annoys me but isn't a serious problem as DH has a "warts and all" view of her. He gave me fair warning of what she was like before we married but I would have married him anyway. He's a lovely, loving, warm person who's a great dad, it would be so unfair if, having been denied an affectionate mother, he was denied a warm family of his own.

tiggerishtom Thu 07-Feb-13 17:03:08

oh dear...

Mine was pretty good, until it came to planing our wedding.....

Which then involved many complete and utter meltdowns on her behalf, basically because she wasn't in control.

We live in fear of when our first child arrives in August....

There were a few early signs when we moved in together (opposite her & FIL) but I thought I could cope....

Lucky DH has bigger issues with her behaviour than I do, so united we stand!

Januarymadness Thu 07-Feb-13 17:08:37

oh and hi Jins. I believe we have had competitive my mil is a bigger bitch than yours contests in the past (a few name changes ago). I believe we came to the conclusion that it was a draw!wink grin

Naoko Thu 07-Feb-13 17:10:59

Because I'm with him, not with his mum. DP's mum annoys the living daylights out of me, but he dislikes her even more than I do. She's also several hundred miles away. If he thought the sun shone out of her arse and she lived next door it wouldn't work, but he doesn't and she's far away. Don't see the problem.

deleted203 Thu 07-Feb-13 17:15:14

Because I loved him, and he was the one I would be living with, not her. In all fairness I actually get on fine with MIL, although she can be quite rude. I suspect this is mainly due to the 350 miles between us and the fact that I only have to see her a few times a year. DH actually gets on with my DM better than I do (probably because he is more tolerant than I am, and she thinks he is marvellous - doesn't make little digs at him the way she does at me!).

I'm very fortunate to have a fantastic I'll's, SIL on the other hand is a right tit but lives some distance, so can tolerate her... Just.

However, if you applied the question to my DH then he should never have married me. My mother is a horrible lady. Horrible. Horrible. My DH has known her for ages so knows what a fucking piece of work she is too.

Thankfully I have nothing to do with her now, so life is good. But if we stick to your posed question then I would die alone and to be fair I'm a nice (albeit a grumpy, unsociable cow at times) person and deserve to be loved.

Jins Thu 07-Feb-13 17:31:34

Januarymadness Have we?

You're probably right. The power of mine is fading as she ages

I'd never have gotten married if I had to wait until I found someone who like my mother. She's a bloody nightmare. MIL, on the other hand, is absolutely lovely. She sent me flowers today to cheer me up (as I'm off work sick).

Euphemia Thu 07-Feb-13 17:35:16

DH hates his mum, so it's not a problem.

googietheegg Thu 07-Feb-13 17:45:34

My mil used to be happier and more positive. She also used to be more positive about me. There's always been odd digs or clumsy comments, but since having dd they've felt more personal and I'm less able to handle it.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 07-Feb-13 17:53:18


I was nodding when I read your summary.

MIL who is deceased would have been difficult at first. She was lovely but deeply unhappy post-divorce and I think would have wanted maybe more involvement than I could have handled when mine were small. But I think she'd have been a good granny and I'd have liked her perspective on having two boys, and her memories of what DH was like as a child - FIL can't remember/wasn't there much.

Step MIL is lovely but makes it pretty clear she likes one of mine much more than the other

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 18:07:34

Hully-is this helping, or do you still think we all deserve the MILs we have?

<genuine question, I don't know what I should have done-got back in the car and driven off at the first sign of rudeness?>

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 07-Feb-13 18:07:46

BTW Mil died when youngest was nearly 2

Loa Thu 07-Feb-13 18:09:05

She lulled me into a false sense of security.

She was on her best behaviour first few and far apart visits - then when she started to be occasionally off - I just accepted it as I was very shy and FIL and DH made it O.K. somehow.

She ignored our engagement - weddings she was very difficult but small wedding and easily coped with.

Then she went completely nasty and batty few years after wedding when I become pg. Plus FIL was containing her less and less.

Then she calmed down again and we developed strategies for coping with both IL.

Bobyan Thu 07-Feb-13 18:11:11

To answer the OP, because I married my DH and not my mil.

And the real problems didn't start until we had children.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Feb-13 18:14:44

I'm very glad DH married me even though I have a hard work mother, but then, he'd spent very little time with her before we got married. In fact, until DS came along, i'd never spent time with MIL without DH and FIL at least also being there, and when we got married, we lived in London with PIL living in Kent. It was only 2 years after we got married that we moved to being relatively close to them, luckily, MIL is lovely, however, this is more luck than judgement on my behalf.

DameFanny Thu 07-Feb-13 18:30:43

Yabu. She didn't reveal the full extent of her batshittery until after ds was born, and DH has always normalised her abusive ways so for a while I thought it was just me. It took a marriage counsellor gasping for him to agree that I might have a point.

Hullygully Thu 07-Feb-13 18:41:37

I don't have thoughts of deservingness or not.

I'm thinking about people who knew full well before they married that they didn't like their MIL but would have to have a relationship with her and the family.

That's what I'm questioning. If there isn't estrangement, you are marrying a package. Like stepkids etc.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 07-Feb-13 18:46:30

I don't think alot of women realise what that package is before they marry or fall in love with a man.

I do think it would be an excellent way of controlling the population however; to have to meet and get to knows ones MIL very early on.

That would certainly put paid to any further dates and except in extreme cases would be the same the world over.

People wouldn't get together and meetings ones MIL would stop women procreating.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 07-Feb-13 18:49:10

Because it was two years before I met her.
We get on very well now, sometimes I even polish her urn.

bluemintygel Thu 07-Feb-13 18:49:17

My MIL is lovely. My own mother not so lovely. I'm so glad DH still married me despite my mother.

MrsKoala Thu 07-Feb-13 18:50:16

But i think that's the point hully, I don't believe people come as a package to their parents, children yes - because they are minors. 'Meet my mum she will be living with me for the next 18 years' is different to 'Meet my mum, you'll be seeing her about 4 times per year'.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Feb-13 18:51:01

Hmm, I think before you have DCs, both working full time etc, you don't tend to need to spend all that much time with your ILs socially if you don't get on. It doesn't seem to matter if you only see them for a few evenings a few times a year. Then suddenly, you go from just seeing them a few times a year to having to see them regularly.

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 07-Feb-13 18:52:25

Even my dh didn't like his mother.

Luckily we only saw her about twice a year.

PeneloPeePitstop Thu 07-Feb-13 18:54:18

Cos I didn't marry his mother.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Feb-13 18:54:37

Yes, DCs are part of a 'package' because the person you are dating is responsible for them if they are still children, but thank god adults aren't responsible for their parents. No one needs to spend time with their parents/siblings. I get on with my DB, but due to various working /social life issues, I've not seen my DB since christmas day. If DH didn't like him, it wouldn't matter really to our lives because he sees so little of him. In fact, DH has only seen my parents for a few minutes as he came in from work before they left a few times since Christmas as they tend to visit when he's at work and I'm at home.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Feb-13 18:57:00

BTW - step children aren't always 'part of the package' if they are also independent adults when you get together with their parent.

tallulah Thu 07-Feb-13 18:57:07

Because I was only 20, and grew up in a family where mum's mum and dad came to see us every birthday and Christmas, came on holiday with us and were very much a part of our lives, despite living 4 hours drive away. Dad's parents lived less than 10 mins drive away and were less than interested in us. (But could get on a long distance bus to visit my cousin - their DD's child - also 4 hours away once a month or so). We lived in our house for 16 years and they visited once that I remember.

Rightly or wrongly I grew up with the idea that your mum's parents were the only ones who counted, and fully expected not to have to have anything to do with the ILs after we married <hollow laugh>. My mum was fully aware of how I felt and didn't bother to tell me that my paternal GPs were odd. It was a huge shock when the ILs were on our case all the time from when we set up home.

People are the product of their own upbringing and take a lot of baggage into a new relationship.

MrsWolowitzerables Thu 07-Feb-13 18:59:23

My MIL was lovely, she died when I was pg with DD1 sad

My FIL is a racist, sexist pig and my SIL is the rudest and most ignorant woman I have ever met. I intensely dislike them both but don't see them often.

I married DH because I love him and our relationship is worth putting up with his difficult family members. Surely its not standard practice to only marry people if you like all of their family confused

People get married because they love each other, regardless of their feelings about their partner's parents.

Because I knew that if it came to a fight I could take her...

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 07-Feb-13 19:08:15

"I think it isn't so much the MIL being the problem, as the DP/DHs attitiude towards them being a problem"

Why should the DP/DH be held responsible for the actions of their mother?

bran Thu 07-Feb-13 19:09:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingPhilsWench Thu 07-Feb-13 19:16:36

I love my mil, unfortunately my dhs mil is an interfering cow bag of the first order. I still don't know why he married me, maybe because he loves me and not my mam?

monsterchild Thu 07-Feb-13 19:26:26

I'm in the same position as KingPhilsWench on this one, My Dh never would have married me if he worried about what a nightmare my DM is.

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 19:27:39

I am very close to my family, and always assumed I'd be close to my DHs family. This had always been the case with previous boyfriends/partners, and was true for my relationship with my now DHs family, until we got engaged. Hully, it was as though someone had flicked a switch-my boyfriends slightly odd, abruptish mother justm became rude and unpleasant on us announcing our engagement, as I said. When we tried to involve her in wedding plans or ask who she would like to invite, she said she was too busy to think about 'this wedding of yours'. I asked if she would like to come and look at dresses with me, and she looked at me as though I was something she had wiped off her shoe.

I would love to have a MIL I could talk to, but it's like she actually can't bear to be around me and be polite. I absolutely see my DH as part of a package, who came from his own family, and regularly remind him of family birthdays, to call MIL, get him to organise visits so she can see DGC (we both work full time and have busy weekends, but I want him to know and be involved DHs side of the family). I don't think all MILs are evil, I am a good person, and I would love to find out why she liked me when I was his girlfriend but went off me when we got engaged.

What more can I do? DH has asked me to not to try to get to the bottom of things with her as he thinks it would cause huge family ructions, which goes against how I prefer to approach things, but I have to respect his preferred way of doing things-which is to keep her at arms length and not to delve too deeply (or at all!) into her reasons for behaving like this. Seriously, I would love suggestions.

exoticfruits Thu 07-Feb-13 19:27:45

It beats me that you choose one person in the whole world and then don't like his mother, when she is responsible for how he turned out-either through nature or nurture. It also seems odd when it is entirely possible that any DC could be more like MIL than you!

MyDarlingClementine Thu 07-Feb-13 19:28:33

" We get on very well now, sometimes I even polish her urn. " grin

exoticfruits Thu 07-Feb-13 19:29:03

If her genes did miss DH then it is quite likely they will turn up in the next generation!

flippinada Thu 07-Feb-13 19:29:07

I think it depends on the relationship partner has with the awful parent.

If partner acknowledges/agrees that the parent is awful, but puts their significant other first, and has strategies in place for dealing with it then that's fine.

If partner thinks their awful parent is wonderful and sees nothing wrong with their behaviour or is still in their 'thrall' then that's different.

Hullygully Thu 07-Feb-13 19:31:18

that is v er y sad Dr Garnett sad

flippinada Thu 07-Feb-13 19:32:18

"It beats me that you choose one person in the whole world and then don't like his mother"

What if the parent is abusive? I should think, in that case, it's entirely natural not to like them.

Abusive parents can produce absolutely lovely children.

cravingformilk Thu 07-Feb-13 19:32:29

When you come across threads like this, do you ever wonder what it will be like when we are the MIL/FILs? Especially when so many people have bad relationships with the inlaws.

FWIW my inlaws are not perfect but neither am I grin. They are kind, caring and adore my DC. They interfere at times but I just smile, nod and then quite often ignore it, in the knowledge that they believe they are trying to help.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 07-Feb-13 19:35:02

It seems that its actually most MILS who don't see thier DILS as part of the package.

flippinada Thu 07-Feb-13 19:39:26

Funny you should say that craving

I may or may not be a MIL one day (official or otherwise) and it's never crossed my mind to worry about whether I'll get on with my son's partner - yet it seems to cause people on here genuine concern.

fluffyraggies Thu 07-Feb-13 19:42:18

When (if) my daughters get married i will not expect to be 'part of the package' that their husbands take on! What a cringe making thought. I'd be dreadfully embarassed if any of my daughters made their future husbands think carefully about marrying them because 'mum's part of the package'

Oh my god, just, no!

So why on earth should it be so for sons?

Januarymadness Thu 07-Feb-13 19:47:15

Hully how is that different? its still a MIL story. It is still on mumsnet and it will still cause reactions like yours. oh another MIL story.

I could go into my stuff bit it would be way to identifying. Truth is I have never argued with MIL. We maintain the farce of a relationship as it would be too difficult to maintain a relationship with other members of the family if we made our feelings known. That does not mean her behaviour isnt abusive and it does not mean that my dh doesnt deserve some love in his life. He damn well doesnt now, nor has he ever, got it from her.sad

I will not keep my mouth shut when people assume it is the DILs fault when relationships with the MIL fail. Circumstances are different in every case.

cravingformilk Thu 07-Feb-13 19:50:06

To be perfectly honest flipp I don't really give it much thought either (my son is only very young). It's just when you see all the MIL posts and everyone getting along seems to the the exception rather than the rule it does occasionally make me wonder hmm.

HandbagCrab Thu 07-Feb-13 19:50:17

Some evil mils hide in plain sight hully They don't all cackle and give you the stink eye over their warty conk the first time you go over for roast hansel and gretel Sunday dinner smile

Theicingontop Thu 07-Feb-13 19:51:08

'cus I wasn't marrying his mum...

forehead Thu 07-Feb-13 19:56:20

I didn't know how awful my MIL was, until after i had marriied her son.
My dh has admitted that he didn't want me to spend too much time with his mother before we married, as he was convinced that i would refuse to marry him. He was bloody well right.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 07-Feb-13 20:03:55


What I meant was that if your MIL is horrible to you and your DH does not acknowledge that, the you have problem in your relationship with your DH

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 20:06:07

It is sad. And I feel like I am bundled in with the overreacting, hyper defensive DILS (and I've seen some threads that are fucking bonkers a little hysterical in places) and folk who get the pitchforks out as soon as they see a MIL thread, because I have a stereotypically awful MIL. I'm not like that, but I am someone who has found far more difficulty with this relationship than any other I've ever experienced. And I've just stopped trying to make it work now-we'll clearly never be friends. I always behave politely, and try to make MIL feel welcome in my home. I just wish she'd return the courtesy!

WheresMrMonkey Thu 07-Feb-13 20:07:24

What a ridiculous title??? Kind of obvious and very cheesy. But the answer your looking for is.... Love
You marry someone because you love them, sod their family

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 07-Feb-13 20:09:40


actually flippinada said it better above, too

Antipag Thu 07-Feb-13 20:12:00

Well obviously because I loved my DH. I think if he didn't see how passive aggressive she is and he was always on her side it would be a different story, but he can't pick his family any more than I can pick mine. As long as you put your partner first in the equation the it's just a case of 'shit happens'.

MrsKoala Thu 07-Feb-13 20:23:16

Actually when I think about this more, it started that mil didn't like me not the other way round. I thought we were getting on fine then she called dh (when he was DP) out of the blue and said that I was banned from the house. She then came up with a list of all my transgressions over the previous year. These included, but not exclusive to: not eating battery eggs, not choosing the carpet for our house which SHE wanted and insulting her Xmas tree. I am wondering if you think there is a 'Xmas tree defensive gene' exotic? And maybe ds will have inherited it grin

limitedperiodonly Thu 07-Feb-13 20:25:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 20:31:43

Would someone please take Hully away, sit her in a dark room and ply her with gin some soothing herbal tea or something.

AQuarkTooFar Thu 07-Feb-13 20:32:25

Honestly I was well warned about dh's Mum before I married him. got on fine with her until a week before our wedding and it went down hill from there. I can't forget some of the things she did that week.

His Mum is still hell as I know full well she would be, but, I love DH very much and wouldn't be without him!

He was well warned about my DDad as well!

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 20:37:53

I have the solution! Hully can be my honorary MIL, we will have a whale of a time together. She can tell me the error of my ways as a DIL, and I will buy her extravagant gifts every Christmas and we'll drink gin together and put the world to rights. Name your bribe, Hully

a) cake b) cashmere socks c) a snuggle with baby DS d) all of the above


Loa Thu 07-Feb-13 20:40:10

it started that mil didn't like me not the other way round

I think my MIL thought she got to pick her own DIL. She certainly thought and told people how many DC were allowed hmm - we ignored that one to.

The longer I was around and the more committed we got the worse her attitude. I didn't bugger of when she expected me to.

Thus all decisions that don't fit into her expectations are my fault somehow and I am the evil one hmm. The fact DH had ideas of his own does not compute.

18 years together in various forms and no hint of anyone else on horizon for either of us - I think she starting to accept me - I think it helps the DIL she had picked out who showed no interest in DH or DH in her hasn't lately made decisions MIL approves of.

TuftyFinch Thu 07-Feb-13 20:46:00

Well Maryz I gave her a sofa, so she could put that in there to drink her gin on.
I didn't meet MIL until I'd been with DH about 4 years.

TuftyFinch Thu 07-Feb-13 20:47:11

DrGarnett I'll be your MIL with those sort of bribes.
I'd be a great MIL. I'm kind.

jayho Thu 07-Feb-13 20:53:15

My Dsis's MIL sobbed loudly throughout their wedding. It's all you can hear on the video and her blotchy face intrudes onto almost every photograph. It was hilarious. BIL was 45!!!!!! Oh, and she wore black.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 07-Feb-13 20:56:21


I've just read Daughters in Law by Joanna Trollope (yeah, I know, I'm so hip it hurts grin). In that book, the one of the three DIL who the PIL 2chose" is the one who disappoints them the most.

It's an interesting read. Reminds us that MIL are people too.

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 20:56:40

<Pours Tufty a large gin, pats sofa and cuts large slice of lemon drizzle cake>

I'll be a good DIL, I'm a nice person I just swear like a navvy sometimes

TuftyFinch Thu 07-Feb-13 20:59:40

It's ok about the swearing DrGarnett, I also do swear but not in front of the little children.
<gets comfy on sofa with new socks and cake. Shall we have wine or gin DDIL?>

flippinada Thu 07-Feb-13 21:06:28

I know what you meancraving

I think of it a bit like customer service smile - probably most people have warm or (at worst) neutral relationships with their in-laws and therefore don't post about it on here cos it simply isn't an issue; if people have difficult or nasty in-laws (and you read some absolute shockers on here) they are more likely to complain, for want of a better phrase.

Thinking about awful parents producing lovely children, I can think of at least two people I know very well where that's the case.

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 21:12:20

Oh no Tufty, I've given you the wrong impression already! NEVER in front of children, never never never blush a lot in my head, sometimes on MN, rarely out loud!

<Offers wine, gin and small sleep refusing boy for a cuddle>

Hullygully Thu 07-Feb-13 21:15:19

I don't have a view or an agenda, this musing was brought about by other threads, but isn't about them iyswim

No critism etc, jus tinterested in what people think.

Hullygully Thu 07-Feb-13 21:17:10

My MIL was already pushing up daisies when I met dh, but by al accounts we wouldn't have got on at all. And he is not overly fond of her. I don't know what I would have done had she been around and difficult.

Januarymadness Thu 07-Feb-13 21:20:20

if you are not intending to criticise I definately read the shoutyness of the title wrong.

SirIronBottom Thu 07-Feb-13 21:20:24

I married my DW, not my MIL. My MIL is very, very damaged - PTSD, probable (denied) anorexia, profound martyr complex, extremely passive aggressive, prone to huge mood swings - but she's also a delicate flower with a brilliant mind who means well.

EggRules Thu 07-Feb-13 21:25:06

I didn't marry my DHs family and he didn't married mine. I don't think the situation with in laws is the same as step children.

I don't hate my inlaws; I do think they are a crazy bunch of bananas. I disagree with them 90% of the time but I don't think it means we can't get along. I love my DH and DS and they love them to bits which is good enough for me.

TuftyFinch Thu 07-Feb-13 21:25:27

Hully I didnt meet my MIL until I'd been with DHABI for 4 years. It wasntbuntil the boiled egg for Sunday lunch episode that I realised I may have made an error of judgement. It's a good job I'm so kind.
DrGarnett you go and have a nice bath dear, I'm quite happy cuddling baby and drinking gin. As long as that's ok with you? I'm happy to drink something cold and non alchoholic if you'd rather I didn't mix baby care and gin.

Loa Thu 07-Feb-13 21:29:40

JamieandtheMagicTorch smile

It would have been nice if I could have been smug - the perfered candiate just wasn't mentioned any more by MIL. Had to get gossip from others.

I can see things I like about MIL - her determined happiness and up for a laugh - with people other than me sad - compares starkly with her own parents and my parents constant downers and that come through to at least one of our DC which is nice.

Maryz Thu 07-Feb-13 21:32:55

My mother-in-law was very considerate - she died before I met dh grin

exoticfruits Thu 07-Feb-13 22:20:56

I didn't marry my DHs family and he didn't married mine.

My DSs are not foundlings-they come with parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, old family friends etc etc -only a very controlling woman would want to cut them out. Luckily DH2 is far more generous-we also have DH1's family as part of our family. It is all one family. I have my own relationship with ILs-I don't have to do it all through DH and DH can see mine on his own.

2rebecca Thu 07-Feb-13 22:46:05

I see my inlaws far less than I see my work colleagues and many people just have a brief interview before deciding where they'll work.
I get on with my inlaws fine, although I only see them every couple of months (I don't see my family any more frequently as they live several hours away.)
I think if your husband isn't a mummy's boy and you don't live round the corner then they don't have to be involved in your life that much if you don't want them to be. Most inlaw problems are caused by weak husbands who won't stand up to them and not moving far enough away.

EggRules Thu 07-Feb-13 22:46:14

I stand by my statement that I didn't marry my DHs family and he didn't married mine. I don't agree that my partner and I married "a package. Like stepkids etc".

We get along well enough but I am not my ILs child and have never been treated as such. We are very different, have opposing values and agree to disagree. It doesn't mean I cut them out or that I am controlling. It is very important to me that my DH and DS have a close relationship with them; that doesn't mean I have to.

I have a large step family from GPS generation to my own with foster children and we are all one family.

2rebecca Thu 07-Feb-13 22:47:47

When I got divorced I rapidly realised that my exes family were definitely not my family but his.
They are still my kids' family, but not mine.

PoppyWearer Thu 07-Feb-13 22:56:22

I didn't really know MIL before we got married, because she was living abroad at the time.

She lives here now. I don't dislike her as such, but our opinions and tastes on about 95% of things are chalk and cheese.

Oh boy.

gotthemoononastick Fri 08-Feb-13 01:16:25

Just wanted to remind all you gels,that if you hit your mum,your hand will stick up outside your grave on some dark nights.If you speak ugly and nasty words to and about her your tongue will hang out over your grave.Just go and check on Halloween eve oh brave ones!!!!

ripsishere Fri 08-Feb-13 01:17:20

I met my ILs once before we got married.
I am not saying I wouldn't have wed DH had I known them (her especially) better, but certain ground rules would have been put in place which were difficult to instigate after marriage.
It's all academic now. The cunt is dead.

Bogeyface Fri 08-Feb-13 01:22:31

Because she only turned into a total fucking bitch the day we announced our engagement and she turned into such a bitch that the wedding happened without her and she has never met her DGD.

Another vote for mil's true colours emerging after!

TraceyTrickster Fri 08-Feb-13 06:25:49

Not my MIL, but my nephew's wife ...ie my sister.

My sister was a lovely, sane, normal, well- balanced person. My nephew got married and on their wedding day my sister morphed into something weird.
I can see it so clearly. She does not even see her first grandchild. She is weird and horrible and I NEVER thought I would say that about my sister.

But she has become the MIL from hell. My poor niece-in-law is lovely too..

JakeBullet Fri 08-Feb-13 06:53:45

My friend is currently in a serious relationship with someone whose mother absolutely hates her and makes no secret of the fact. My friend's crime? Potential MIL from hell thought the Xmas presents my friend bought for her family were too small and cheap. So she didn't say thank you but instead told her son my friend was a cheap tart and he could do better than that!

AngelGeorgie Fri 08-Feb-13 06:58:55

My mil was "tolerable" 14 years ago when I first met my DH. Over the years she's done some despicable things, acted horribly ( particularly after our 1st dd was stillborn) which culminated in a massive row 2 years ago. Luckily , I ve had nothing to do with her since & it's bliss!!!
Luckily, my DH is nothing like his mother... I married him not her!!!

exoticfruits Fri 08-Feb-13 07:46:14

It is all caused by mothers who won't let go - they are too controlling and expect to control thoughts in addition to actions. DSs in particular won't stand up to them and then they get a partner who won't put up with 'mother knows best' and you have problems. There are plenty of women on here who will make terrible MILs! There are also plenty of DSs who let them.

exoticfruits Fri 08-Feb-13 07:48:10

I still don't understand the 'he is nothing like'- he has half her genes! Even if he is nothing like, your DC may be 'just like'! It is a lottery.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 08:55:55

I don't really understand the "controlling" thing.

What does that mean? How does it work?

forgetmenots Fri 08-Feb-13 09:04:28

My MIL isn't just a pushy lady, she is abusive to my husband and has been since he was a child. My story though in other respects is quite like DrGarnetts in that I would really have loved a nice MIL and I think (going my ex partners' mums), they get a generally unfair press.

I tried very hard to do whatever I could to ensure she was part of our lives until I realised there wasn't anything I could do to mend her horrible behaviour towards my DH.

He doesn't see her any more and all his ex partners left because of her (a bit like OP suggests hypothetically). He is a lovely person though who shouldn't be cast aside just because of his mum.

I don't know if that makes sense or clears it up Hully, it might be different if you're talking more about MILs and DILs that just don't get on. She of course does not accept responsibility for her behaviour so in her head this is all going to blow over and it won't.

forgetmenots Fri 08-Feb-13 09:07:12

Exotic - genetically you're spot on but my DH is nothing like his mum, think because he has fought against that all his life and her behaviour is pretty opposite to his character. My DB and DM are nothing alike (he is just like DF!) but they get on really well.

Mosman Fri 08-Feb-13 09:10:04

She lived 250 miles away and only wanted the odd phone call and a visit at Christmas. That I could cope with, then she got dumped by her DH and wanted to make up for 30 years of neglect and be near us where she could ignore us unless it suited her but be just a bus ride away. Yay.

AmberSocks Fri 08-Feb-13 09:10:32

does it really matter if you dont like your mil?mines ok but i wouldnt care if i didnt like here,im not married to her.

AmberSocks Fri 08-Feb-13 09:11:41

exctic thats rubbish,we are all products of our upbringing.

Mosman Fri 08-Feb-13 09:14:11

And two of my DC are just like her and she can't stand them lol
I just have to parent them extra hard and love them lots and lots so they don't turn out like her, I believe it's at least 50/50 nature/nurture.

Arcticwaffle Fri 08-Feb-13 09:14:57

The OP chills me, I have really terrible parents (loathed by all their sons and daughters in-law and out-of-law). My siblings and I would certainly all be single if people had considered our parents' likeability. But that doesn't make us bad partners.

I do think a lot of the tension between MILs and SILs is to do with the men in the middle not taking responsibility for family relationships and the women getting too keen on the "wifework" of sorting the whole family and the inlaws. It's much easier for the child of the parents to deal with them, and then it's much harder for everyone to blame the MIL or the SIL. I never argue with my MIL or PIL, if there's any issue then DP deals with it. And I acccept all the nightmare crap from my parents (ok I don't accept it but that's another thread, I don't expect DP to deal with it).

landofsoapandglory Fri 08-Feb-13 09:19:08

My MIL is fine, she is kind and caring and has never interfered in anything.

Flip it the other way round though, my mother is a nasty, nasty cow. We don't live local to her, so she pretends we don't exist. She treats me like shit, "forgets" DH's birthdays, and gave DS1£20 for his 18th when his cousins got cars! DH hasn't got the time of day for her because she hurts me so much, so should he not have married me?

manicbmc Fri 08-Feb-13 09:32:44

I lived with my exmil for 16 years. shock

Moved in with her (separate living room and kitchen in her basement) and the ex 3 weeks before I got married. Seemed okay until I found out 6 weeks later that I was pregnant. Later found out it was twins and she turned into a controlling monster. 'You won't cope' 'You can't breastfeed' etc ad nauseam. I had few options really and so got on with it.

The initial idea had been to live with her for a bit while we saved for a deposit but that never happened. I had never lived in a house with people who shouted at each other so much and became horribly depressed by the situation. After a few years, and a nasty argument because she was hyper critical of everything I did, I suggested to the ex that we try and get a council place. He wouldn't do it. Told me we had to live with his mother to help her (she was 60 at the time). Factor in ds's severe autism and I just felt totally trapped by the whole situation. I was horribly naive and believed a lot of the crap they both spouted. My self-esteem had plummeted. I had no friends and no support. So I put up with it.

When ds went to a residential school, I had an epiphany. And after 16 years living with the most bizarrely selfish people, I found my voice and grew some balls and got myself a house and moved out with dd. Never been happier.

I can't even begin to describe some of the truly awful things she said and did over the years.

She is much more pleasant now I only have to see her a couple of times a year. In fact she seemed fine until I got pregnant really.

MrsLion Fri 08-Feb-13 10:37:31

I have a theory on this... In fact coincidentally, I have been pondering today whether I'd have married dh if I'd realised what a piece of work mil is when we got engaged. The answer is no I really don't think I would have.

The thing is though, mil's (unless overtly vile, then yes, run for the hills) usually only become 'evil' when they feel threatened by you.

It's very easy for them to pretend to be normal when they aren't threatened by you. 

Evil behaviour that we hear about on MN and that which I've experienced, only surfaced when I was head over heels in love with dh, 2-3 years after meeting, and actually really only escalated to MN-worthy proportions when I had dc.

In fact mil's turning bonkers/self-centred/ manipulative/demanding after the birth of GC  is sadly, a common theme on here. 

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 10:56:15

Why is that do we think?

The going bonkers after dgc are born.

twitchycurtains Fri 08-Feb-13 11:18:37

If I had any inkling as to how truly awful she was there was no way I'd have married DH.

She has calmed down somewhat but the first couple of years of our marriage she tried every trick in the book to try and drive a wedge between us. She cried all the way through our wedding ceremony. She didnt see DC1 for months after she was born because she was 'hurt' that she didnt get to name her amongst other vile thi.gs, way too many to mention.

Admittedly, DH is very much a doting son and refused to actually even admit that his mother was a complete bitch to me. However, ever since I grew a spine and told him that I would leave him if he didnt take measures to put her straight, she has calmed down.

I married DH because I loved him, unfortunately I dont think he will ever tell her to fucking do one, I just might though.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 11:25:47

The controlling thing which some parents do is truly bizarre. Both dh and I have astonishingly controlling parents who all show varying degrees of very strange narc traits and aspects of personality disorders. Neither dh or I are like them and I don't anticipate it to be genetically linked to ds. The way exotic describes it we are all 50/50 of our parents, but hardly anyone I know is much like their parents, they are much more culturally and socially influenced in their behaviours. I think we are products of he whole of our environments - parents are just one aspect of that.

Once when we went to choose a carpet, mil called them and told them what carpet we were allowed. When we changed this back to he carpet we wanted (the shop man also said can we say that he didn't have anything to do with us changing it back as he was so worried about her calling and telling him off shock ) she went all manipulative, a series of emails saying how disappointed she was, there were tears, then silence. It wasn't about carpet, but her absolute belief hat dh is an extension of her and she has a right to control every aspect of his life. She does this under the pretext of helping. Very strange.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 11:27:48

dear lord

The MIL going bonkers after dgc are born may relate back to the fact that they are losing control. They want to be in charge and dgc are an excuse to try and be in charge.

I've seen this in the relationships some friends have with their MILs. Mine is great, if overly talkative (and I know far, far more about her bowels that I ever knew I didn't need to know grin).

But I think some women just aren't able to handle the fact that to be a good mum you have to raise DCs to be independent of you, and the dgcs are a manifestation of the fact that your DCs are indeed independent. That your DC is capable of making decision without you, that they want a relationship with you but no longer NEED you to do things for them. I think it is that lack of need that makes some of them go over the top, to start interfering and try to reinvent that need.

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 08-Feb-13 11:31:40

My sister loves her MIL ("Like a second Mother") but detests her FIL (his general behaviour, drunkeness and treatment of his wife).

Should she have married her DH?

Lafaminute Fri 08-Feb-13 11:31:51

because she was dying - had been for years....and still is 15 years on.....

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 11:32:34

After a year mil told dh to end it with me and was really taken back that he didn't. All this is also exacerbated by fil. Who winds her up and just sulks and refuses to speak to people for months, sometimes years over them just saying something trivial he disagrees with. Pils didn't come to our wedding and fil has never even mentioned it.

They have tolerated dh's gf's because they always thought they were transient. When it gets serious they go mental. It's a fear of the loss of control. The only people they speak to are dh and a builder they hire for cheap. Everyone else is banned from the house for the crime of having an opinion, however trivial, any deviation from exactly what they think is seen as betrayal and insult.

If people picked partners based on their mothers I would be doomed.

My mother is dreadful.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 11:40:09


Come on round. I will let you meet my mum.

You will rock in the corner until hometime.

forgetmenots Fri 08-Feb-13 11:43:56

I'm sure people that know my mil think she is a bit abrasive but means well. She keeps the worst for when it's just her and DH sad

Hully I think some are being harsh on you - until I met DH I didn't understand any of this either. It's a whole other world.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 11:50:52

I am hoping that the reason every one finds the mil thing incredulous is because it is, by and large, unusual.

People find it easier to think i am exaggerating or confused when I explain they never saw ds or mentioned him when he was born. In fact they were in a strop with dh and wouldn't answer his calls and emails to say their first gc had been born, because dh hadn't thanked them quickly enough for a parcel of car boot crap for he house that arrived whilst I was in labour.

If you met pils tho, I'm sure you would think them lovely and charming. That's the problem. Thy wait till you leave then dissect every fibre of your visit and retrospectively decide you insulted them.

manicbmc Fri 08-Feb-13 11:51:32

My ex still lives with his mother (out of some misguided sense of duty hmm ) . He is 50 and she won't allow his gf to visit because she thinks it is all wrong that he is getting on with his life (3 years since we split). She treats him like shit even though he does loads for her (shopping, gardening, diy, washing etc). She regularly doesn't speak to him over the most trivial things.

LadyFlumpalot Fri 08-Feb-13 12:07:16

Mine is very much in charge of her house. She doesn't work and is very proud of the fact that she is the home-maker. She runs her family (FIL, SIL and her boyfriend who live them) with an iron rod. I believe she thinks her sons house and family are also under her jurisdiction.

I do get on ok with MIL most of the time, it is only when she starts trying to run MY house under HER rules that we clash. We have proper alpha female battles, but they are done in a covert, discreet and quite sneaky way.

The one thing she did do, that I will never forgive her for however, is announce to me that my own son was going to live with her, to save us childcare costs. She lives over 100 miles away, she suggested we come to see our own son, at her house, on weekends.

I kicked her out of my house for that one.

Fakebook Fri 08-Feb-13 12:12:14

I don't have a mil and neither does my DH. It's quite sad our children have no grandmothers. But I didn't marry DH just because his mother was dead, although my dsis thinks its an added bonus.

Fakebook smile

mrspolkadotty Fri 08-Feb-13 12:15:46

Because she didn't show her true colours and real opinion of me until we'd been together for 4 yrs (married for almost a year). Their other DIL had an affair, caused lots of hurt and upset to BIL. This, it turns out was all MY fault. Their family was fine until i came into it, i'd trapped DH with marriage and babies, yadda yadda. Sun shines out of SIL's arse, she can do no wrong. I on the other hand am the black sheep of the family, half don't speak to me and the rest barely tolerate me. Hateful woman.

If DH and I hadn't already been married at that point then i'd have cancelled any wedding plans. He stood there and didn't say a word to defend me against her tirade of abuse. Milk sap. Made all manner of excuses for her etc. I gave it straight back at her and then threw her out, told her she may bully her husband and sons but if she thought she could do the same to me she'd another think coming. Now we are sickeningly polite to each other grin Old witch.

twitchycurtains Fri 08-Feb-13 12:32:05

Mrspolka: mine seems to blame me for BIL's wife leaving him, apparently I filled her head with all kinds of 'feminist rubbish' as SIL is from the old country MIL felt she would be grateful to be married to a Brit and was 'brought' over. She left BIL because she could cope with a) her husband being a complete mummys boy and b) interference from mil and sil in her marriage.

But of course me being the heathen man hater I must have put her up to it.

twitchycurtains Fri 08-Feb-13 12:33:57

Meant couldn't

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 08-Feb-13 13:04:43

Nobody really notices other people's behaviour towards there family because bad behaviour usually tends to be hidden from the general public.

Very few people are nasty to apsolutly everybody the people who they are nasty to tend to be those involved in actual relationships with them so whilst they may be perfectly nice and polite to the gas man they won't be to someone they have a relationship with who they arnt very keen on,we seam to care more about what strangers think of us than we do other people,that's probably why you havent seen any of this unless you are on the reciving end.

I know I prefer to actively choose who I form relationships with and one would think most people are much the same about things like that.

Obviously your born and you grow up so you have no choice who your own parents and siblings are yet you are expected to form a good relationship with someone who if they went involved with your adult child or the family of your partner you may not choose to have any associating with,I'm pretty sure that's why it can be so fraught for the people in those relationships.

I think that problems can start when a commitment is formed because it kinda like shoving in your face that now you have to form a relationship that's often more than just a transient one.

Or when children come along because when your own parent in there excitement oversteps the mark you can quite easily tell them to back the fuck off knowing that at some stage down the line they will probably forgive you due to all your history and involvement but you can't really get away with doing that to someone else's family.

I can remember once when my mother was totally overstepping yelling "what exactly were you doing at 2:43 on the 17/08/93." Her response "I was with you whilst you gave birth" to which I replayed " well fucking remember you were watching me,not doing it yourself and back the fuck off" at her.

She stormed off but got over it because she had to in our relationship I was the only person she had to get past as my DH would have said "your dd you deal with it I won't get involved" where as if she had fell out with dh in her mind she still had someone with a whole life of involvement with her to work on to get her way ( even tho I would have said exactly the same thing as dh she was not to know that) I think its much the same to your partners and there parents they rely on the whole life involvement.

Its very easy to over step the mark with a baby who you are related to because baby's are mostly the loveliest things and are so exciting and I think lots of female relations who haven't had a baby in the family for awhile can often get hung up on the lets pretend the baby is mine thing even if they don't let on whilst the mothers of those baby's are experancing a perfectly normal biological reaction to having there own baby ( that being generally protective about everything to do with that baby) but its easy to forget that when our own baby's are adults so if your not careful you can do unfixable damage.

And no matter how much you dress it up no matter how much you don't want it to be true when it comes to baby's that are either not yours legally or ones you didn't give birth to,they are not yours and its always going to be down to you to act accordingly and not attempt to behave like they are yours.if you don't or can't then you are going to have huge problems.

Oh this isant exclusively female relations that may do stuff like that my ex fil has recently had my child's name tattood on him ( first tattoo so its not as tho he already has his own dc's names done) its weird.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 08-Feb-13 13:11:05

Oh and I would only not get involved with a bloke with fucked up parent/s if he expected me to go along with pandering to them.

You can never blame someone for there parents only for how they expect me to behave if they behave badly towards my children or mr.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 08-Feb-13 13:33:57


You must be very lucky! I am lucky enough not to have people like this in my family but I have come across them at work, and through friends. The negative energy some people generate never ceases to amaze me - how can spite, rudeness and malevolence be the guiding principles of someone's life?

RainbowSpiral Fri 08-Feb-13 14:03:29

I considered not marrying my partner because of his mum and dad. That was one of my main concerns and it is an issue, but we live geographically far from them. It was just one factor, I married him because I loved him.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 14:18:11

Having pondered this further, I have concluded I would rather be with someone who had a small, difficult, estranged family than a really close, in and out of each others houses, go on holiday together, type one. I find those really creepy tbh. Better the devil you know I suppose. If I met a bloke who wanted to go to dinner once a week at his parents etc, I would run a mile.

Arcticwaffle Fri 08-Feb-13 14:23:54

I agree MrsKoala, people who get on with their parents and see lots of them, that's weird...

Nasty or dysfunctional or just tedious families kept at a safe distance, that's much more normal, I can cope with that.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 14:27:01

normal is just whatever you're used to (of course!)

I am close to my family and see a lot of them, even my third cousins and such. My dc know my cousin's dcs etc. My mum comes ot stay with us on holiday, as does my dsis and also my dh's dbro, wife and three dc. All my family and his family now know and like each other and all came for Christmas which was splendid.

I thoguht it was nice, not weird!

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 14:27:57

Oh, he does have two odd dbros we don't see much to balance things out, tho they are now making efforts and their dc speak to mine on fb.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 14:37:47

I wouldn't find it nice. At best I think I'd find it boring to be with the same people all the time. I like small quiet family units. I would find that all very overwhelming. Both dh and I are essentially only children so like our own space.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 14:40:23

It's not all the time, it's whatever anyone feels like.

We are all different.

I like it, it's nice for the dc to feel part of a big family as I did.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 14:50:42

As you said, it's what you are used to. Everyone I know with big families who do everything together strike me as odd tbh. I would consider seeing my extended family more than once a month 'all the time'. It was once a year while I grew up and that was too much! If we had anything in common I suppose it may have made sense but no one did. My half sister and I can barely manage a few words together. We've never fallen out, just have nothing to say to each other.

Ds will have to grow up with no cousins or extended family. I feel sad for him sometimes, but hope we can have more do and make enough friends to fill any gaps. You've got to play the hand you've got I suppose.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 14:53:37

We certainly do.

giveitago Fri 08-Feb-13 15:05:06

Oh OP - well I saw a few signs but ignored them as I wasn't of their culture. Did that entire well I'm a multicultural person from UK so can deal with anything. Oh wrong. Plus didn't speak their lingo very well. But now, she affects our relationship every day of our life even though we don't live in her country. I blame dh more than her, though. He has choices, he's made his.

DP and I have huge extended families and we all live quite close to each other. We see FIL, SMIL, SGIL, SIL and BIL for Friday tea, and my mum (and sometimes my brother/brother's current GF) for Sunday tea.
We don't see it as being in each other's pockets, it's a regular time for DD to see her family, and for each of us to catch up with our parents.

Suppose it helps SIL and I were close before DP and I started dating.

My MIL is a "raving fringe lunatic," convinced she is chosen by the Lord to be an avenging angel. Every time we see her we're lectured on our sins, and how we will be going to HEEELLLLLL and that we must get DD baptised at ONCE because maybe (just maybe) she won't be condemned then.
She does love DP and DD though- adores them. She's just insane and has no sense of personal space and often smells like mothballs.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 15:54:37

Crikey, I don't think I like anyone enough to see them that much, just thinking about it has made me come over all hot and itchy smile

Bogeyface Fri 08-Feb-13 21:57:24

I see my parents every day, and speak to them atleast once a day too on the phone. They live around the corner, we get on very well (at last) and I help out caring for them as they both have health issue. Luckily they adore H and he loves them too!

FakePlasticLobsters Fri 08-Feb-13 23:52:33

If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have married my DH because of his parents and the way they have treated me.

But we married very quickly, after just seven months of knowing each other, and I thought at the time we would be able to get along most of the time once we got to know each other. I didn't know MIL very well but I believed that as we got to know each other, the odd things she said and did might settle down and we could have a good relationship as we do have a lot of interests in common and we could have been friends.

They never did get better, instead they got worse. To the point now that I don't see them anymore and DH rarely does, through his own choice, I haven't stopped him.

MIL is a bitter and unhappy woman, but she can put forward a good face and if you met her, you might like her. But is is unable to sustain a proper grown up friendship because of her behaviour.

I've always gotten along with boyfriends parents in the past, so it came as a shock to me to realise that nothing I did with MIL would or could change her behaviour (and I have a very long, unanimous AIBU thread somewhere telling me IANBU in cutting contact with her following a detailed description of just some of the things she has done and said.)

We had been married for over six years before she really showed just how awful she could be, married for eight years when DH told her she had to stop upsetting me with nasty comments, and ten years when I finally said enough is enough and cut contact altogether. We are coming up on twelve years of marriage now and these past two have been so much better for not having MIL hanging over us dripping poison into our lives.

It was hard at first as DH felt guilty but even he has admitted now that his parents controlled and manipulated him all his life and have never been happy or normal people. And he says he never could see or speak to them after he left home without coming away feeling depressed and unhappy.

I do love DH but I really do believe that if someone had told me the future on my wedding day, I would have turned and run while I still could.

The poor relationship I have with them is not something I wanted or something I am happy about, but they virtually stalked me and drove me to a breakdown that made me ill for months. I haven't chosen this situation, they have made it happen with the way they behaved. It would have happened no matter who DH married and they have been exactly the same to their other sons wife too. They've now emigrated and SIL says their behaviour was a big deciding factor to do so for her.

DameFanny Sat 09-Feb-13 00:04:29

I've got quite a large extended family - lots of cousins, and we all used to camp together as kids in the summer holiday when different countries' holidays coincided. And we're not close, but we all get on like a house on fire, probably because we've been brought up too make allowances for differences. It's a fantastic craic at weddings and even funerals - it just is.

Compare with dh's family, who used too be geographically close. They all walk on eggshells and seethe with resentment at each other, all unhappily pretending to be close, while working through the latest lies that mil has told them about each other.

The mil that told me after I'd known her a year that her mother had told her to have her dd1 adopted because she was a devil child. The same mother that apparently sexually abused her as a child, bit when I greeted the mother with politeness got told off for not being warm enough.

You're right. I should have run for the hills. [regret]

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