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My mother hates my husband (long)

(956 Posts)
badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 19:46:56

I don't live in the UK. DH is from the country we live in. Mum came to live here (divorced and then later my father died) some years ago in a house a short drive away. Soon decided it was a big mistake and that she hated it, then to complicate matters then injured her back and became really unable to manage living alone. We sold my house and we moved in with her. All coinciding with me starting a new business venture and DH becoing unemployed. DH has bascially been unemployed (except for a couple of short contracts) since then. When we all moved in together DS was 20 months (now 4.5) and we've since had another child who's 1.5.

Before we all moved in together I was about to go back after mat leave and all set up (at her suggestion) for mum to have DS while I worked and DH at work. DH lost his job three days before I went back but mum said she still wanted to come up in the afternoons cos she wanted to see DS. She (much later) claimed DH had sat on the coputer and let her do it all. He said (we had a big row about it then) he only sat on the computer while DS napped.

My business has been slowly dying a death so I'm going to be WOH from Monday (previously ran busness from home). Yesterday I had meetings all day. DH supposed to be looking after DCs for the afternoon while I'm out.
I told him not to let my mum do too much, to imagine she was not there as it's too much for her. When I came home I asked mum (who I saw first on coming in) how things had been and she pulled a face and said tell you later.
Asked DH if he'd let DS just spend the whole afternoon with my mum and he said, only a bit while DD asleep..she slept for almost 2 hours. Then I ask mum and she says that he'd sat on the laptop and told DS he couldn't play as he'd wake the baby up and she'd felt bad so spent 2 hrs entertaining DS while DH sat on laptop.

I was really pissed off as I'd asked him specifically not to do this and we had a row.

He says she's exaggerating and that he can't believe I'm questioning his parenting abilities/calling him a neglectful parent and talking about him behind his back. He says DS wasn't with her the entire time, he was in and out and he didn't tell him he couldn't play, just that he had to be quiet as the baby was asleep.

She says he's a lazy git and it's the same old shit as all those years ago, she's had enough and would go back to the UK if she had the money. They've been avoiding each other all day and I feel totally caught in the middle.

I'm so angry that he did exactly what I asked him not to but I can't stand this atmosphere, it's like I'm being asked to choose, my husband or my mother.

SuoceraBlues Sun 16-Sep-12 09:09:59

She walked out in the middle of the fucking night. We live in a rural corner of nowhere. Down a track 4k from the nearest decent sized tiny town.

We searched, couldn't find her.

I slept not at all.

We left the house early to take DS to school, left the door open just in case.

Came back to discover more stuff gone.

Called my sister in the UK.

Some million phone calls and five hours later my sister reports she is at the airport, but there are no flights.

At midnight we get home from bringing her back to the airport. Not one word is spoken. After what felt like a lifetime with no sleep we entered the house, I spoke for the first time, told her to sit at my puter and book a ticket home.

Two days later took her back to the airport. She left.

There was a note on herillow. Telling me one day I would understand.

Well I'm still waiting to understand why she wanted to try and undermine my marriage. It's a good one. My husband is good man. He loves me. We mutually treat each other well. I couldn't keep paying the price of her marriage to my dad ending so horribly becuase in some warped way she wanted to normalise what happened to her, by trying to make the same thing happen to me, (dumped with kids and no money).

I don't know her address or phone number. She knows mine but thankfully took the message via my sister seripusly and has never tried to contact me.

I'm not the most forgiving person on the planet, I know that. But we reached out to try to help her. And she spat on us and tried to hurt us. I know it's not her fault. I know she broke when my dad left. But ...I don't have it in me to forgive.

I hope your end this end better. I waited too long love. I let it decend too far before intervening in a decsisive manner. I wasted time chuntering at my husband (unreasobanbly) becuase he was the more readonable of the two.

I could have saved my relationship with my mother by easing her home far earlier with a foundation for rebuilding the relationship once limited anger and upset had subsided.

But I didn't, and then it was all too late.

All the luck in the world sweetheart. So hard to juggle practical aspects and realities with people sticking extra nonsensicle spokes in the wheel, cos for some reason for them the apple cart overturning means shared, common disappointment and unhappiness makes life less painful in a warped and distinctly odd way.

SuoceraBlues Sun 16-Sep-12 09:10:40

sorry above response to this

Did she storm off Suocera muttering about how her heart was broken?

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 09:10:53

Well, you colditz, that's my problem, I'm annoyed with DH too cos he did what I specifically asked him not to and what DM claims he did in the past.

SuoceraBlues Sun 16-Sep-12 09:11:40

*Add message | Report | Message poster badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 08:03:52
Did she storm off Suocera muttering about how her heart was broken?*

Jesus. Seperated at birth ? Your mum and mine I mean.

I have goose bumps.

SuoceraBlues Sun 16-Sep-12 09:12:36

arrrgggg wrong paste job

She leant on me too much when I was a teenager and during the awful years with my dad and the divorce. She had a breakdown then and had to be hospitalised. I've always felt responsible for her and we've always been too close iyswim

That's what is giving me goose bumps.

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 09:14:45

I just don't know what to do for the best...I slip between thinking she's being totally manipulative and awful to feeling sorry for her and understanding why she's pissed off. But I don't see what I can do to make her happy.

SuoceraBlues Sun 16-Sep-12 09:21:53

You have had a lot of training to feel sorry for her, to be responsible for her, to be the adult to her helpless child. It is hard to break the habit.

But it may be that you have to choose to force her give up the status of cheif victim of her own life and take the baby steps back to some semblance of responsibility (albeit hard at this late stage) or lose one of your relationships altogether.

And I'm so sfuxking sorry, heart and soul sorry, becuase I am under no illusions as to how hard this is going to be either way.

Christ on bike, leaky face hijacking me.

If I could reach through the screen and give you a real hug, I would.

Happypiglet Sun 16-Sep-12 09:26:13

But that is the point badtoworse you are her child. You are not responsible for making her happy, she is responsible for that.
I have this same guilt trip issue with my DM on a much lesser scale. DDad left when I was 16, I became confidant etc etc . All through my adult life I have felt in some way responsible for her as she is alone and so she needs considering in everything I do. Interestingly neither of my bros feel this way!
I know she is lonely etc but occasionally I do need to stop and say to myself that her ultimate happiness or lack of it are down to her not me.
On the other hand as a other I do in part feel responsible for my DCs happiness and hope I always will. It appears you DM has forgotten this.
I also agree with suocera that she may be trying to undermine your marriage either consciously or unconsciously to get you in the 'same boat'. I have had this too.
You have to try to live separately IMO.

Happypiglet Sun 16-Sep-12 09:27:37

As a mother

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 09:29:16

she says dh has ruined the relationship btw dm and me .

Dozer Sun 16-Sep-12 09:32:01

Your basic problem is that you and your DH cannot support yourselves financially independently in the area where you are currently living. So you either have to move somewhere with more job prospects and both apply for jobs you don't want, or accept that this situation will continue and bumble through.

You and your dh need to decide whether you are willing to care for your mother long-term in return for her money! As you have been doing so far. And if your marriage can survive it.

She sounds v difficult, imagine that she's v lonely, has regrets and in a lot of pain, that doesn't make it OK for her to be like that though.

In the meantime if your mother moans about your DH cut her off and tell her to take it up with him!

SuoceraBlues Sun 16-Sep-12 09:37:37

she says dh has ruined the relationship btw dm and me

Everytime she says it

"no mum, you are doing that all by yourself asking me to choose you or the man I love and have built a family with. And push comes to shove and you continue to try and make me choose, please know..I will choose him"

It will half kill you to say it, it will knock her for six to hear. But my sister chose to say (again and again and again until it sank in) this instead of being a bunny in the headlights like I was. She still has a relationship with our mum.

Shakey. But not hanging by a thread. And mum is a damn sight more careful around her. Lots of best behavoir.

Sad that she has to live scared of losing the last remaining child and tiptoe on eggshells. Sad that she broke to the extent that she strew her maternal relasionships with eggshells.

But better than the chasm that exists between her and I.

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 09:39:28

I expect things will settle at some point ...at the moment we're in the "my life is ruined, nothing can be the same again " phase.

2rebecca Sun 16-Sep-12 09:42:25

It isn't your job to make your mother happy, it's hers. She just isn't very good at it. Some people aren't good at getting the most out of life, that doesn't turn it into your problem. Of coourse your husband has affected your relationship with your mother, you married him. It sounds as though your marriage didn't affect your relationship with your parents enough if they came traipsing after you when you moved away. She is way too clingy.

LittleBairn Sun 16-Sep-12 10:17:53

I think Suocera is right you need to make it clear your DH and the family you made together is your priority and that you choose them. Make it clear if she continues to interfer that is her who you will leave not your DH.
Once she realise the power games won't work she may settle down.

quietlysuggests Sun 16-Sep-12 10:40:46

can I just say something about your husband being the computer - that bit.
You know it isn't actually important but I understand this part.
I have a sister exactly like your mother. So judgemental, always right.
It is hard to describe but when she is looking at me judging me, specifically my parenting, I shrivel up inside.
I am a very happy parent, always affectionate and kind, yes a bit of television is watched (like now) but lots of running round, building dens, painting, dressing up etc etc
All the normal stuff.
But when I am with her, I freeze. So she sees me being stiff and distant with them. It isnt a conscious thing at all. I just cannot be myself with her around disapproving. So she fusses over my children muttereing about how bad a mother I am and how she could teach me a thing or two.
Aagh..
So even though it isn't important, I understand completely why your DH would slink away from your mother and all her nasty sanctimonius judgemental opinions and do exactly the thing you told/asked him not to.
You have got to separate them. You cannot afford your current lifestyle - the price will be your relationship with your mother.
You cannot afford the country, the house, the area.
You need your mother too much, so you have to put up with this shit.
But if you keep putting up with this shit you will lose either your marriage or your mother (and then also her money propping up your family)
And I do feel very sorry for you. Some parts of europe are very different now to what they were 5 years ago. I know.

nkf Sun 16-Sep-12 10:48:15

Whoever talked about the money is right. You are all bound together by lack of cash. There are three adults in your household and only one is working. I don't see why, with two adults in the household during the day, two children can't be looked after fantastically well. Work with your husband to see what would be best for your family ie you, your husband and the children. You might be better off with a smaller house than this large one that you can only afford with help.

nkf Sun 16-Sep-12 10:49:30

Where are you by the way? I'm assuming Southern Europe for some reason.

Mumsyblouse Sun 16-Sep-12 10:56:56

I agree with everyone that the money is the issue. You are financially dependent on your mother, and this makes for a very uncomfortable situation all around. I would do what nfk says, and downsize to a smaller house or even a flat, just you and your husband and the children. Your mum can then choose to stay in this country or go back to the UK.

You cannot run a marriage with a third-party criticising on an hourly basis! if the price you pay for a nice house and two old cars is your marriage, it won't be worth it.

And, whilst it is a shame your husband can't find work (and to me, this is a separate issue anyway), you don't need someone calling you names/lazy/criticising your childcare. I would be livid if my MIL called round, saw me on the computer, then told my husband I was lazy or not caring for the children properly.

The only other short-term solution I can think of is to divide up the childcare hours. So, your husband does Mon Tue Wed, and your mother does Thurs Fri. If she is too disabled, then I would leave her out of the childcare altogether until you are back in the house (so they see Granny mornings). The children are muddled about who is in charge (this happens in our house too, with relatives caring), and so end up playing the adults off against each other, running to one with tales of the other.

Your mum should have said 'go back to daddy, it's up to him what he does this afternoon' and shut her living room door, not done the 'oh, poor neglected child, come and play dens with me'.

Being caught between two adults, and being emotionally manipulated is far more damaging than learning to entertain yourself for an hour whilst daddy is on the computer.

nkf Sun 16-Sep-12 11:00:19

Good point about the childcare. That's what I was trying to get at. I know it would drive me mad to come home after working and find two non-working adults complaining about how the children were looked after. Or one complaining and one defending.

Mumsyblouse Sun 16-Sep-12 11:20:30

nfk- actually, two people both parenting at a time is often a recipe for disaster. I have so many friends who say it is easier to parent on their own than when their husband is there, or mother helps out, and I know my parents love having the children on their own too as I am not constantly interfering or just asking about lunch. I think it helps to have one person 'in charge' in these situations, unless it is two people who are very synchronized (e.g. granny and daughter together). In this situation, asking them to negotiate who is in charge, and asking the children to keep trying to find out which parent is parenting is asking too much. If granny is doing bath times, she needs to keep her door shut, then come over and do bath and bed. You can't have two people managing that time, especially a MIL and SIL who are defensive/mum hypercritical.

nkf Sun 16-Sep-12 11:22:08

I agree. It sounds as if mum and dh both sort of think the other person should be doing something.

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 12:01:38

am reading ....will be back later.

BranchingOut Sun 16-Sep-12 13:01:50

Sorry, but I think that where you are living is the biggest problem.

Your husband's job prospects are shit - what is that going to do for his health, wellbeing and self esteem in the longer term?

Your job prospects are extremely limited and in a sector renowned for bad pay and poor treatment of employees. Self employment has already failed. What happens if you become ill or cannot work for any reason?

Your mother is miserable and in poor health.

I think you need to make a plan to come back to the UK:

Your husband is likely to be able to pick up some kind of manual work, maybe take a college course or even re-train.

Your job prospects are significantly better.

Your toddler may be entitled to the new entitlement to 15 hours care for two year olds - beginning Sept 2013 and being extended to more people in 2014. That will solve childcare problems.

You will probably be entitled to some benefits/tax credits.

There may be some services that would support your mother. Even if she could get out to a day-centre or similar once a week (there is one around the corner from me and elderly people on my road love it), it would be better than her present situation.

Seriously, make a plan - sell whatever you need to get a few month's rent together and just do it.

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 20:38:44

Yes, to whoever asked, we're in Southern Europe. DH cracked earlier and went and told her he was sorry if he'd upset her. She cried and said he'd ruined her relationship with me and that she hadn't done anything wrong and it had all made her want to go back to the UK. He left the room and said he couldn't cope with a conversation like that in a foreign language. I told her nobody was ruining her relationship with me but her.
We had to go out to see the PILs and everything seemed much calmer when we got back. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow, first day at work and they have to sort themselves out and decide how to handle the afternoon, but for now things have settled down, but I've been adding things up to try and work out how much we could pay in rent if push comes to shove.
I've been remembering stuff all day and there's all kind of shit like this she's been pulling for years. I think the next time there's a huge blow up I'm going to suggest she/we go back to the UK or stop living together. Although, the one thing I'm not doing under any circumstances is going back to the UK and ending up living with her anyway in an even smaller house, with all of us on benefits. I'm just not.

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