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Really need some advice - MIL

(9 Posts)
dontmixthecolours Wed 30-Jan-13 09:29:56

Sorry, this will probably be long, I don't really know where to start. Had a rocky relationship with MIL since DD1 was born 6 years ago. She's v self centered, has always favoured BIL's family, treats DH like a child

She very much favours BIL1's family, babysits a lot, talks about his children constantly. She told DM when DD2 was born that she'd always do more for them because they only have 1 set of grandparents. So she's basically ignored DD2 from the start. We only live 10 minutes away but They only come to visit if we invite them for a meal, they invited us twice last year, they don't like us to pop in so we rarely see them. Any time she babysits she changes the arrangements at the last minute eg my parents had a 60th birthday party, she was going to keep DDs over night, it was arranged months in advance but the week before she changed her mind because she'd had friends to stay and would be tired. FIL doesn't get involved. (he's pretty awful,
that's a whole other thread)

Sorry for rambling, I'll get to the point. She phoned yesterday to complain she hasnt seen DDs since new year. She said she's missing them. And then said 'well really just DD1'. I was so shocked I couldn't even reply! I'm so angry with myself for not calling her on it.

She's been mean in so many other ways, this thread could go on for ages. DH never says anything, his stick response is 'she wouldn't have meant it like that'. I think she knows exactly what she's saying. I rely don't know what to do, I'd like to have nothing more to
do with her or FIL but that puts DH in an awkward position.

What should I do??

Thanks for reading.

BlueberryHill Wed 30-Jan-13 14:06:13

How old is DD2? An difference in how she treats each GD (and with her other GC) will impact on them as they grow up and notice it. It is an awful thing to say and acknowledge what you are doing or feeling. I can imagine some people favouring a child and then denying that they are doing so but to openly admit it, wow.

The problem is though that you DH needs to realise that this is what they are doing (it looks like they favoured his brother and now they are continuing to the next generation) and either to challenge it or not let his / your children be affected by it.

If you continue to see them, you need to call them on this. You were always aware of it, it is just out in the open now and need to be ready to challenge this behaviour. Good luck.

dontmixthecolours Wed 30-Jan-13 14:32:53

Thanks, she's 3. And a really funny, loving girl. Just like her sister. It really breaks my heart.

Cailinsalach Wed 30-Jan-13 16:19:05

Hmmm. My old Mum had a saying about things said in jest but meant in earnest.

Your MIL has clearly indicated she is favouring one of your children above the other. This is not acceptable. If I was in your position I would call her, tell her you need to talk and then face to face tell her how concerned you feel about that comment . She needs to know that there is a line, and she has crossed it.

She will probably back track, say she didn't say that, mean that, would never do anything that, yada yada. However you will have made your point. You can then closely watch how things develop and take action as you consider fit.

How horrendous to make fish of one and flesh of another, as again my old Mum used to say.

kalidanger Wed 30-Jan-13 16:26:57

This is your DH's issue, I think. It sounds like he's had a shitty old time of it from his parents and now he's allowing them to do the same to his DC. You're lovely, so you're trying to figure this all out but really its him who needs to wake up and engage with what's going on here.

I would agree this is your DH's issue but he has had a lifetime of such conditioning at the hands of his toxic parents and thus finds it difficult if not currently impossible to deal with this (hence his weak sounding response). His default position to to try adn deflect it. However, deflecting such awful comments does not work. What he has tried to date moreover has not worked. Its now time for a different tack but "normal" rules when it comes to familial relations do not apply as they are certainly not (and will not ) play ball.

BTW they will never apologise to you nor even accept any responsibility for their actions. This is all about power and control.

Fear, obligation and guilt are but three damaging legacies left too by such people to your H.

Such favouritism should never be tolerated; ultimately it may be that you as a family unit cut them completely off from your lives. As it is neither she or her awful sounding H bring anything positive into your lives or enhance them in any way.

You would not allow a friend to treat your family like this; family are truly no different.

You have likely come from an emotionally healthy family unit where this type of dysfunction is unknown so I can see why you were so shocked that you did not call her on his mother's awful words.

I would look at the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages particularly the resources relating to toxic parents at the beginning of this thread. Susan Forward has also written a book called "Toxic Inlaws" and I suggest you read that (your H needs to read Toxic Parents by that author).

dontmixthecolours Wed 30-Jan-13 16:45:36

Thank you so so much for your re

dontmixthecolours Wed 30-Jan-13 16:49:25

Thank you so so much for your replies, it's so cathartic to get this off my chest. I do understand why DH finds this so difficult. He's a really lovely man who they treat like a child and he feels he has no answer for them.

I will check out the toxic inlaws book, I think it might help a lot. This situation has placed a huge strain on our marriage and I really want to get my head round it all.

Sincere thanks for your advice

dontmixthecolours Wed 30-Jan-13 16:50:00

Sorry, I'm in my phone!

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