Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Advice on how to deal with DPs mother

(98 Posts)
gamermum Mon 24-Jun-13 11:00:38

Hi I have previously posted about my DPs mother trying to organise a baptism for DS and the way she reacted when I told her this would not be happening. I got some great replies and had the courage to stand up to her and stick to my guns. However since then she has not spoken to me neither has the rest of his family . I don't mind but it has caused fights between me and DP as he thinks I should try harder - I invited them to dinner they flat refused! I also want my DS to be able to know that side of the family (not without DP there ). Anyway his mother has sent me an email telling me she is setting out ground rules for our relationship and I need to have respect for her and listen to and action her parenting advice as she has done it before and I need to treat her like a mother. And a few other crazy things . I am so insulted and she wants a reply!!! I actually don't want anything to do with her anymore but DP can let her see DS . So my question is would you reply? And if I do should I tell her exactly how I feel or should I just tell her I don't wish to engage in her nonsense?
Also if my mother said these things to my DP I would be telling her she had no right to speak to him like that, surely my DP should say something ?
Should also add I wanted a naming ceremony but his family won't attend sad
Sorry it's so long

HollyGoHeavily Mon 24-Jun-13 11:08:45

You poor thing - she sounds hard work.

I think your DP needs to step in here and have a word with his mother - she has no right to be setting out ground rules and trying to dictate the relationship.

Try and distance yourself - no point starting WW3 but don't take any more shit.

Arrange the naming ceremony, invite all your family and friends and have a lovely day. If they don't want to attend it's their loss - they won't be missed if you are surrounded by people who are happy for you, DP and DS.

welshfirsttimemummy Mon 24-Jun-13 11:12:45

I had a similar problem yesterday with my DH grandfather and MIL, they wanted to know if we were going to get 5 week old DS christened and they weren't happy when we said no. But it's up to us and I won't do anything with my DC just because someone else wants me to.

I wouldn't engage with your MIL as if you reply to the email it will just keep going back and forth. Don't be bullied into anything. And yes she is a mother, but not your DC mother! That's you! And it's up to you what you do. She just needs to remember that and get along with you for the sake of your DC even If she doesn't agree with your views.

gamermum Mon 24-Jun-13 11:16:37

Thanks ladies smile I had drafted an email to reply as I was just so angry , I really needed someone to talk me out of sending it! I think she is trying to get that kind of reaction from me.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 24-Jun-13 11:47:58

Your DH is letting you down here. He should be ensuring that you are not exposed to unreasonable demands, and presenting a united front to his mother.

She sounds controlling understatement of the year

HumphreyCobbler Mon 24-Jun-13 11:48:31

I would not engage in an email exchange with her, it will be used as ammunition.

OMG - what is it with controlling MILs at the moment.
They all seem completely crazy.
Yes they bought up their own kids but that was bloomin' years ago.
Things and times have changed. Why don't they get that???
Don't engage. Keep contact with your DC to a minimum.
Give your DH a kick up the backside and tell him to back you up 100%

gamermum Mon 24-Jun-13 12:06:53

Hellsbells your reply made me lol. I dont understand why she cant understand the role of grandparent , I thought my mum would be the bossy one but she has been so amazing and completely understand supportive and respects our parenting style. Thanks all for your replies x x x

Floralnomad Mon 24-Jun-13 12:07:07

It is your partner that needs to speak to her and tell her that you will not be engaging in this nonsense. You are the parents of your child and you will parent him how you think fit . I'd also get him to tell her that you have a mother already and don't need another ! ( apologies if you don't). With awkward inlaws it's best to start as you mean to go on IME.

Would not reply to such an e-mail. And no you do not have to try harder. Any reply just fans the flames; it gives her a way in. Block her e-mail address as of now.

Also "normal" rules of dealing with familial relations do not apply as it is clear that his mother is emotionally dysfunctional. Also such damaged people often do the "divide and conquer" strategy as has been demonstrated here; these other people are only glad that you're in her firing line rather than they. Such disordered people though do fall out of favour with everyone in the end (although that may not happen until many years later).

Your man is in FOG with regards to his mother; fear, obligation, guilt. He is likely to be both unwilling and unable to stand up to her, he would also rather upset you than she as he is far more afraid of her than he is of you. He has had a lifetime of such conditioning and probably just wants everyone to get along (so that he can have a quiet life). That is not going to happen and he needs to realise that quickly. He could end up losing you over this, its that serious.

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward to gain more insight.

If this woman is too toxic/difficult for you to deal with then she is too toxic for your defenceless and vulnerable child to have any sort of contact with. It sounds like his side of the family anyway have nothing positive to bring into your life and that of your son so its no real loss.

gamermum Mon 24-Jun-13 12:20:29

Omg Attila that sounds just like him ! He just wants everyone to get on but will not see what she is doing he won't even read what she wrote because he says its between us ! We had a huge fight about it (very quietly on our balcony as I don't want any fights around DS smile ) and I was so close to leaving him . I will go to amazon and order that book right now. Thank you

Floralnomad Mon 24-Jun-13 12:24:43

My OH was much the same until the ultimatum was speak to them and sort it out or we were splitting up ! He then spoke to them and they never spoke to me again ( 16 yrs so far) . They have minimal contact with our children and TBH no real relationship with them , it's their loss .

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 24-Jun-13 12:33:54

Don't reply to her e-mail: it will do no good. She won't take on board anything you say, and your words will only be twisted.

Your DP needs to understand that you and DS are his family now, his priority, and that if he does not stand up for you he will lose both of you. But you can only issue that ultimatum if you are prepared to follow through.

Until that time, he will continue to put them above yours, DS's and his own interests. It will be a constant and frustrating battle for you, one in which you will be painted as the bad guy by both your DP and his parents. So for the sake of yourself and your soon, I hope you reach the stage where you are steeled to issue your DP an ultimatum comes sooner rather than later.

It is tough, and it's not fair, and I'm sorry you're in this position.

buaitisi Mon 24-Jun-13 14:26:20

Wtf, at least you have physical proof of how unreasonable she is, unlike my mil who will only show her toxic side when h not there and then deny and accuse me of misunderstanding.

What did your dh say when he read it or has he? Does he thinks it's fine?

Don't reply, just imagine her checking her emails all day and getting more infuriated there's nothing there.

gamermum Mon 24-Jun-13 16:57:34

Buaitisi he has refused to read it!!

MrsTomHardy Mon 24-Jun-13 17:50:33

Don't send the email, just don't rise to it.

Sorry but your DP is letting you down big time here.

IrisScentedCandle Mon 24-Jun-13 18:03:23

I agree, don't reply. DROP THE ROPE when dealing with toxic people or controlling people.

Replying just feeds her erroneous belief that you need her permission and her approval. You do not of course and she's deluded and disrespectful to you.

The only thing I ever did that finally penetrated my x's forcefield was to stop defending myself.

ImperialBlether Mon 24-Jun-13 18:43:30

Am I right in thinking that you are unmarried? Hasn't she picked up on this?

I would write her an email saying she is behaving in a very unChristian manner and is treating you disgracefully, as the mother of her grandchild. If she wants a relationship with your son, she has to first be civil to you.

Jux Mon 24-Jun-13 23:41:15

Dignified silence is the way to go. Ignore her.

WafflyVersatile Mon 24-Jun-13 23:48:13

read it to him.

Mixxy Tue 25-Jun-13 00:01:19

Your DP is refusing to read it because he knows she's being outrageous. Sounds like your MIL already has a baby, still.

I would tell DP that if he doesn't support you, you might have to make an exit stage left.

And throw the naming ceremony and invite the inlaws. If they don't show up, too bad for them.

Jux Tue 25-Jun-13 08:49:11

Tbh I don't see much future for your relationship with dp if he won't even read an email to you from his mum. I would be wondering where his priorities lie, and who gets first claim on his loyalty. If it's not you and your children, then you might as well call it quits now.

He can't duck out of this and still be a good partner and father. He needs to enagage and sort it out himself ie, tell his mum to butt out. You have no need to 'action' her advice. That's just unbelievably controlling.

She is a bully and he is a wimp.

DontmindifIdo Tue 25-Jun-13 09:02:16

Dont reply, or if you feel you have to, then don't write a reply to her, write a reply you are happy for the whole family to read.

Re the naming ceremony, does your DP want one too? If so, go ahead and organise it, keep saying to him in a cheery manner "oh, I'm sure they won't insult you by not coming." and stop acting like they are a problem. Just get on with what you want to do, if they come along, great, if not, frame their absense with your DP as "they are chosing not to come" not "they don't want a naming ceremony so we can't have one." Both you and DP are acting like it's their choice, it's not. Their only choice is if they turn up or not, not if it happens or not. Start arranging it and wait to see what happens on the day.

Oh and forward the e-mail to your DP - he might not want to read it now, but give him the temptation, you know that sooner or later he'll snap and open it...

7to25 Tue 25-Jun-13 09:22:22

Why not reply to the email she didn't send?
The lovely one where she asks how you are and when the naming ceremony will be.
She cannot say you were rude and didn't reply and you set the tone of pleasantness for how conversations should be conducted. She dare not show yours to her friends and huff about what a horrible DIL because it will be much nicer than hers.

buaitisi Tue 25-Jun-13 09:59:07

How are things now, OP?
I defo think you should forward the email to your dh.

The cheek of her is unreal, setting out ground rules for your relationship?

If you can, try and take a step back and just laugh at her. She's ridiculous.

What do you think your Dh is at, just putting his head in the sand or agreeing with her?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now