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.
MIL sabotage comes to a head...(470 Posts)
Hi there - I was wondering if anyone on mumsnet could give me some advice? Myself, my DH and our three children are currently living with my MIL at the moment and have been since October, when my DH was made redundant and we had to give up our rental flat as we could no longer afford to pay the rent. It was decided between MIL and DH that we would come and live with her for a couple of years, whilst we look for work and then, once we have jobs, save for a deposit so that we can buy a house this time. A very kind offer; I had my reservations but because I've always gotten on with MIL (or so I thought), we couldn't really turn it down unless we were to go on benefits instead, which neither of us wanted to do.
So we moved in. It's a bit cramped: MIL has the front double bedroom to herself, DS's (aged 5 and 3) are on bunkbeds in the box room and me, DH and our 1 year old DD are in the back double room. There is only one small bathroom. But however uncomfortable, I am massively grateful for this opportunity. Our kids are very good (we are bloody lucky) and don't cause much fuss. MIL loves them.
DH was out of work until last month, which was very difficult but is now doing well in an even better paid job, thank God. I am a SAHM, as my youngest two kids aren't at school yet but I am currently looking for part time evening/weekend work to boost our income. No joy yet. We have no savings left, as they went on paying our last month of rent and we also gave the rest to MIL for keep. But DH is now earning again and is starting to put some away. I do the vast majority of housework during the day and we all take turns to do the cooking, as it is a hobby of all of ours. I still do the lion's share, I would say.
I always got on with MIL and I thought she liked me but lately she has been doing and saying things that seem like sabotage and indicate that she actually, secretly hates my guts! At first it was little snide comments about my weight, or lack of ambition (she works, I haven't since our second was born). There have been a few goldigger-esq comments as well.
I let these go, as I thought me living in her home her must be grating on her nerves a bit.
But then she started playing games with food. For example, on her nights to cook, she serves everyone else's dishes up first and then leaves mine in the pot/oven and tells me to help myself. She barely leaves half a portion! I'm not kidding when I say on some nights, I'm eating the same amount of dinner as our 1 year old! She'll serve up the DC's and put DH's on a plate in the microwave (as some evenings, he doesn't get back until just after dinner time). On the evenings when I cook, she makes faces and pushes her food around her plate before eating maybe one mouthful and then "fake heaving" and spiting it out in the sink. She'll give the rest of the dinner to her dog and make herself a sandwich or a ready meal. Okay so she might not like my cooking, but it can't be that bad EVERY TIME! She doesn't do this if DH is there for dinner though. If he cooks, he gets heaps of praise for his culinary skills!
She has repeatedly put peanuts in my eldest's packed lunch despite knowing it is not allowed at his school, due to other children's allergies (I have been pulled up 3 times for this). I also think she is rooting through my stuff when I'm not there (no proof, just a hunch as everything seems misplaced). A pair of my shoes have gone missing, as has a cardigan and a bra. I also found my pillow in the dog's basket one evening. She claimed that the dog must have pulled it downstairs and put it in there herself. (The dog is a westie and pretty small).
She is also doing this weird thing to my wing mirror every morning: basically, we're living on a very busy road and we have to park our cars on the roadside. You have to pull in your wing mirrors after you've parked up, or there's a very good chance that a car or bus will knock it off. I always wake up to take my son to school and find that my wing mirror has been pulled out again, despite KNOWING that I pulled it in the previous day. So about a week ago, I watched out the window as she left for work (she leaves before me and the kids and DH leaves before all of us) and I SAW her doing it. I caught her doing it the day after and also this morning as well. It is definitely her and it is definitely deliberate. I think she is hoping it will get knocked off? (So far it hasn't, thank goodness).
But worst of all, this morning I went to brush my teeth and the stench of PISS coming off my toothbrush (before I used it, I hasten to add) was absolutely putrid - even when I'd already put the toothpaste on. I just know that she's rubbed it in the toilet after she's used it (or even urinated on it like a pregnancy test - who knows)?! I have no proof of this one, but honestly, it's got to be her with all the other stuff hasn't it? This is beyond a joke - how can anyone be so disgusting and spiteful? I've never been anything but nice to her and she's really freaking me out now. She clearly hates me but why not just be honest about it? DH will never believe half this stuff is going on (although I filmed her doing the wing mirror on my phone this morning and I have saved the toothbrush to show him). But he generally thinks the sun shines out of her arse. And I have nowhere else to go. What the hell am I gonna do here?!
You may need to change your exit plan and just save to get a deposit and a few months rent on a nice rental. Have a set about of time - say 4 or 6 months - staying there for years sounds impossible. It was a lovely idea/dream to save for a house but your sanity is more important.
if only half of the examples you have given were true I would be out of there pronto. Now your dh is working again, are you in a position to rent privately. Have you spoken to your dh about what has been going on?
You say your husband has a well-paying job now? Excellent. Go back to renting, as you were before.
She sounds sufficiently bonkers that any kind of confrontation would just backfire. Just get yoursel(ves) out of there.
Wow! I'd have to leave I think! Now your husband is earning again could you go and rent somewhere? It would have been great to save for a deposit but you can't live with someone like this.
You need to be clear to your husband that the plan has to change - you will all move out as soon as you've got enough for a rental deposit.
In the meantime, take matters into your own hands, register with some estate agents and make some appointments for viewings.
Get out as quickly as you can.
She's been generous in her offer and it sounds like you've been pulling your weight in exchange.
However for whatever reason she's taken against you. It must make for a horrible atmosphere in the home.
Are you paying her any rent? Do you pool things like food, cleaning materials etc?
Check out to see what financial assistance you can get from benefits (CTC/WTC etc) and move.
In time, you'll maybe get to have a reasonable relationship with her. If you don't move out soon, the relationship will be damaged beyond repair.
Bloody hell, just pick up your kids and go! She sounds like an absolute loon. How soon before she is trying to actually harm you?
Next time you see her do your wing mirror, rap on the window really loud, and ask her what the she is playing at?!
As of food, meal plan with her and your dh.
Call her out on her weird behaviour, ask her, in front of dh wtf she is doing!?
You need to get out of there, maybe you could rent somewhere a bit smaller so you could still save a bit. Even if it takes you twice as long to save half as much, you will be so much better off than staying and putting up with this. There is also no way you can bite your tongue forever and by leaving you might be able to keep family dramas to a minimum. If I was your DH, I would be mortified by even a single example, does she ever make weight/gold digger comments in front of him?
Jesus she sounds unhinged. Call the council and see if you can be emergency housed.
You cannot stay.
Even were these things not happening, it sounds like a difficult situation to live through for a couple of years.
Now your dh just needs to politely tell his mum that you have both decided that you need your own space after all. Thanks for all her kindness. Then leave asap.
I mean, what next? Where will she stop? She doesn't mind endangering nut allergic children. Will she start lacing your food with something poisonous? Don't want to scare you but I would be worried.
She has been generous as she wants to be seen as a dear MIL but now finds it awful, being cooped up with your family, but what can she do?
So I think she is doing weird stuff instead of jumping up one day and saying 'Please get the F out of my house'. Which would have long term repercussions for her relationship with your DH.
So move out. I had friends staying for a week recently and it slowly gets to you, not meaning to excuse her behavior just attempting to explain it.
It may be that you are awful to live with in some way or other, or that it's just a bit much with you all being so cramped for all this time. In those circumstances it would not be at all surprising if the stress was beginning to show generally.
But even if you are a pain to live with (I'm not saying you are) then this is not the way to deal with it. She is being nasty and vindictive.
You can either confront her yourself and her or talk to your DH and show him the evidence and decide what to do from there.
Either way you need to get out of there asap.
Time to start living elsewhere as of now; your family cannot remain within this house any longer.
He may well think the sun shines out of her backside but he will not be able to deny filmed evidence of her wrongdoings; he needs to see that footage as well.
How solid is your relationship with your dh?
Because if it's not he may refuse to believe you.
I wouldn't stay one more minute, not one.
Oh my word, she is nuts, don't put up with that, have a word with DH, get your plans fixed, and get out of there... Is she going senile?! You could play her at her own game and say your worried she's got old timers coming on
If would be very difficult for someone to believe that their mother could do something so malicious out of the blue.
Either she has early stage dementia or she's actually the nastiest human being possible - she's used your toothbrush in the toilet! That's beyond resentment into fucking insane.
I can't even imagine saying that to my dh.
Yeah I would be pulling her up on all this whilst packing up mine and kids belongings!
please don't feel bad about claiming benefits
you would claim on your insurance, wouldn't you?
we all contribute for hard times, which we all face
OMG she sounds like a total psycho. You have to move out. Now.
Get out. Stay out.
Should the worst ever happen again and your DH is out of work go on benefits. It's got to be better than this.
That's just awful. Can you film her on your phone moving the wing mirror from your window? If you do that over the next few days, you'll have proof of at least 1 thing she's doing. I'd then make a point of commenting on it i.e. general observation that someone keeps doing this, don't let on you know/have filmed her. When both your DH and MIL are there, make the general comment to see what she says. As long as you can get her to make a comment which points the finger elsewhere, you can then talk to your DH later, remind him of what she's said and then show him what you filmed.
It gives you something to demonstrate what she's doing, then tell him the rest. This way, the really weird stuff is more likely to be taken seriously by your DH and you can then decide how to leave, together.
Join the discussion
Please login first.