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MIL drama - was I being oversensitive?

(57 Posts)
tangerinefeathers Sat 27-Jul-13 06:27:43

Not sure where to start. My MIL is a difficult woman & out of her remaining family my DH is the only one still on speaking terms with her.

We haven't seen her for a year. She is very intense, requires constant attention, gets moody and sulky very quickly, picks fights, is incredibly stingy and generally the visits end in a fight and her leaving in a huff.

Invariably my DH and her make up after not talking for a few months and another visit is planned. So this time she wanted to come and we said OK, come for a week. So she booked for nine days (across two weekends), which was annoying as I am 7 months pregnant and really want that time to get things done before the baby comes.

I decided to try and get out a bit so we're not in each other's faces the whole time. I cleaned the house, made dinner, made up the guest room for her etc and then planned to escape, but she got back from the airport before I could leave as a friend rang and I got caught on the phone.

I know it's a bit rude to disappear but she honestly prefers having DH to herself anyway and I don't get much time to myself so thought it would be better for everyone, plus I was going to have a swim which puts me in a much better frame of mind mentally for dealing with her.

Anyway she comes in and I asked her a few questions about her flight, her house etc. She says nothing to me about my pregnancy which is fine. But then out of the blue she says 'You look tired!'. Which is not especially rude but not perhaps the first thing I'd ever say to someone I haven't seen in a year. Then my DH leaves the room and I say, i'm going to go out now, I was planning to go for a swim. And she says, Do you drive there? [this is typical of her, she asks hundreds of questions rather than making conversation] and I say yes, and then she says, So can you still get the seatbelt around you?

Which to me says, you are the size of a baby elephant.

She always, always comments on my weight and I am so sick of it. I just don't think it's something you need to mention. Like many women I am constantly struggling with my weight and feeling fat etc.

Anyway I left and told DH that I wasn't coming home until she'd gone. I know it's a bit unreasonable of me but I just can't do nine days of these comments. She has nothing nice to say, it's always something bitchy.

It's such a minor thing really but it's just coming at the end of about ten years of minor comments and it's as if she piled on that last straw. Anyway my DH said would you consider an apology and I said no, I can't do nine days of this. I just can't. So I've agreed to go to my parents and I'm not sure what's going to happen now. She will be happy as she'll have him to herself which is far preferable for her. He will have to bring DS to me at some point.

He says she didn't mean it, you are pregnant, she was just commenting on your belly, and clearly thinks I'm overreacting, as does she.

Sorry for the essay. Don't really know where to go from here. He is also in therapy at the moment and dealing with a lot of issues about his mother and his shrink basically told him that if she's rude to me he should stand up to her, because she's going to be a nightmare whatever happens, but he's clearly not doing that in this situation. So I suppose I am disappointed in him as well.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jux Mon 29-Jul-13 03:23:39

Quite agree, LunaticFringe. We are taught to be kind, polite and so when we first notice that something's a bit off, we tend to disbelieve it. Then, our h's say "oh that's just how she is" so we try tolerance, but it gets woorse, and evetually it's intolerable. Then our h's let us down and suddenly there you are, leaving the house when she arrives..... Yes, I've been there, could you tell?

tangerinefeathers Mon 29-Jul-13 05:44:36

Yes exactly lunaticfringe and jux.

In retrospect there was absolutely no way in hell I could have had her in my house for nine days. I kept trying to say that to DH but he has a way of simply not hearing. We need to have a big talk about how all this has come about, he can't be so passive and 'nice' all the time, while hell breaks loose around him, it's also something his therapist has confronted him about.

He dropped her at the airport last night thank god. She left by saying we are not welcome at her house but DS is, and she will see him on his own (he's not even three yet so not quite sure how that will work, does she expect us to put him on a bus??). And when DH asked her not to say horrible things about his father she told him that he used to hit her. His father died a few years ago so is hardly in a position to refute this.

She was also apparently very nasty about me but he wouldn't tell me what she said.

All DH can say is how 'disappointed' he is. He never gets angry. It's so strange.

JustinBsMum Mon 29-Jul-13 08:15:36

If he never gets angry he probably has trained himself over many years as he grew up (maybe his father's example?) to suppress it and be resigned to her behaviour (maybe his father's example was so extreme he preferred to suppress his own anger instead).

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tangerinefeathers Mon 29-Jul-13 11:23:36

Oh she hasn't only just started in on the FIL Lunaticfringe! It's been going on for years.... one of the biggest problems is that despite the fact that DH is the only person in her family still talking to her, apparently it's everyone else that is crazy. My FIL was always nice to me, stressed at times but not someone with violent tendencies, it wasn't his nature.

Justinsmum yes he has definitely trained himself not to get angry. No wonder he got depressed instead, don't 'they' say that's anger turned inwards?

Marylou2 Mon 29-Jul-13 12:01:39

Dear Tangerinefearthers, I can feel your stresss and anxiety and I know it's not just based on the comments in your post. I'm sure there's a lifetime of toxic comments and petty attempts to undermine you. I can almost feel this womans anger and jealousy seeping from her. You have every reason to be cross as she is invading your space for such long time as you are preparing for your baby to arrive. Perhaps this time as she's already here you just have to take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other until she leaves As Churchill said "When you're going through hell, Keep going...." Also next time maybe a weekend in a hotel rather than a week in your home.

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