MIL subtle "assaults"

(14 Posts)
docedemenina Thu 20-Mar-14 09:46:09

Hi all,

I'm new here and I need some advice about my future MIL. I'm getting married in just a few months been with my fiancee for 3,6 yrs and I've been suffering for about 3 yrs with FMIL inappropriate comments and actions for 3 yrs.
At first I kept it from my fiancee, but it got so hurtful that I exploded and told him how I felt. He didn't believe me and still says his mum means no harm.

Some examples of her attacks:

Uses daughter-in-law to attack me

She's a half italian (doesn't speak the language, never lived there but insists she's not English), her other son married an italian girl so she uses her to attack me... they will be having extensive conversations about how to cook pasta... and never includes me... I LOVE jeans and have several pairs she once told the italian in front of me but I wasn't involved in the conversation that no one should have more than 1 pair of jeans that no matter how expensive they are still only jeans... but it seems my style is her style now cause she's always wearing jeans. She also told her in front of me how her dead father would be so happy to know the italian is in the family...

Food
When I stay at their house she used to give me always the worse, smallest portions. I remember once she cooked pork belly and gave me 2 very fine slices of basically fat. I looked at other people's plates and they had some meat. She also once cooked fish fillets and served her two sons and herself fish loin and gave me a very thin cut (the one near the fish tail, I don't know the exact name). She had an extra one that was also loin. Why didn't she give it to me?

Various inappropriate comments:

"Toy boys are the best, right?" My fiancee is 7 yrs younger than me.

" No matter what don't get engaged". The made this comment after seeing us for the first time after we got engaged after her daughter asked her why she wrote a letter to my fiance and not an email and what did the letter say to what she replied the previous quote.

"How're you enjoying your life of lady of leisure?" I resigned from my job and it wasn't an easy decision. She knew the reasons and she isn't close to me to make a "joke" about a serious matter. I was still working anyway with 1 month to go.

There are so many more examples... I never said anything back, I was always polite. Last sunday me and my fiancee moved to a new house and she wanted to visit the day after we moved... I stopped that because the house would be chaos... if she and her husband wanted to help they would have come the day before when we moved... so I heard she was very excited about a "home warming present".

The present was 3 large pictures of NY... my fiancee lived there for 1 yr because he had an American girlfriend... her husband apparently told her the present didn't include me and maybe it was rude... he asked me what I thought about the pictures and I said they are nice... she goes "Well, I made this for no one but my son".

I had a lot of work preparing a nice 3 course meal and after the second course she asks me if I'm excited about my wedding and I said yes, I am and she goes you don't sound too excited to which I replied: "I am but I'm in a bad mood right now". She asks me if she did anything to upset me and I said actually yes. Your present doesn't include me and I what you said about thinking only about your son is a bit rude". She's then pretends she had a slip of the tongue and calls me by my fiancee ex-girlfriend name. lol They broke up 6 yrs ago! And she never liked his ex-girlfriend and she calls me by her name? hmmmm

Her husband and my fiancee didn't take her side so she started to cry and said she was going to commit suicide...

What do you think about this? confused

sneakyday Thu 20-Mar-14 09:56:02

I think you care to much what she thinks of you. You are marrying her son not her. You dont have to be best freinds. Smile and nod. Smile and nod.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 20-Mar-14 10:32:42

Her husband and my fiancee didn't take her side so she started to cry and said she was going to commit suicide...

Up till this point I was going to say that she didn't sound that bad and you were possibly a bit over-sensitive. But nope, I think she has serious issues with you being with her son.

However you're still too invested in what she thinks of you. Detach, detach, detach. It's hard but you really need to take a step back and regard her as a casual observer. Her little pointed remarks and gifts aren't doing anything but making her look not very pleasant.

Equally, not everything she says or does may be meant maliciously. Personally I'd see her desperation to ingratiate herself with the Italian DIL as quite funny, and not as a dig at you. So she wants to be Italian not British? So what? Her and her children are British too, whether she likes it or not.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 20-Mar-14 10:34:33

Wowser, my grasp of grammar was completely non-existent in that post. Hope it made sense.

VenusDeWillendorf Thu 20-Mar-14 10:42:24

I feel for you, she sounds very toxic, especially threatening suicide. That's awfully bad behaviour.

So you need to get some strategy in place, because believe me, when you have kids you need to have this one sorted.

Someone up thread says detach detach detach, and I agree, you need to let her comments wash over you and ignore everything she says.

This might be easier if you don't see her very much.

Make sure, I'll say that again as it is very important, make sure your dp is on your side.

Explain to him how those comments you have shared with us make you feel. Say things like when your mum said X I felt Y to him. No blaming or name calling, she's his mum after all and you want him on your side, not just defending her as you seem to attack her if you call her a crazy beeeatch.

Every time your MIL says something, let your dp know how you feel about it. And ask him is it something he would like happen to his dd in the future, that someone is so mean when just starting out.

If she goes on and on about being Italian though, I could see myself biting my tongue not to ask her when she's going back!!

Good luck with it.

docedemenina Thu 20-Mar-14 11:10:09

Sorry for my bad grammar. English is not my first language but that's not an excuse. I wrote the post very quickly and didn't proof-read it. blush

Thank you for your suggestions and feedback. I'm trying very hard not to pay attention and don't let any comments/actions get to me. Maybe I'm over-sensitive but I think that more than anything I just don't understand why someone would behave so irrational when I'm always nice.

In a way I feel sorry for her as she's a struggling artist and she absolutely loads her husband... she wants to divorce but only if all her kids agree with it. So I guess she has a lot on her plate. It's just not my fault.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 20-Mar-14 11:59:38

Oh no, I was bemoaning MY bad grammar, not yours! Goodness, yours is fine, I had no idea English wasn't your first language.

Look, to someone like this, if you're nice in their minds they 'win'. You just need to keep calm and be very neutral when you are in social situations with her.

What you really need is to have your DP on side. Which doesn't mean criticising his mother, just as the PP said you need to talk about it in terms of how you felt when she did X. Specifics always help.

docedemenina Thu 20-Mar-14 12:29:24

Hi ScrambledSmegs! I understood you were talking about your post I just had a look at mine and saw all the grammar atrocities! grin

Difficult to have dp on my side, but I think deep down he can see there's something not quite right with her behaviour towards me. I try not to go to all the events his parents are always planning but he gets a bit upset if I don't want to go. After this last incident we talked and I said I'll try to see my sister who lives in the UK (my only relative here) when he goes to some of their events. smile Let's see if the situation will get better.

hamptoncourt Sun 23-Mar-14 21:03:42

If he isn't going to stand up to his mummy and defend you then I seriously wouldn't marry this man.

Bunbaker Sun 23-Mar-14 21:08:18

I agree with hamptoncourt. It sounds like no-one is good enough for her precious son.

Chottie Mon 24-Mar-14 05:47:50

Detach from this toxic woman. She needs to realise that you are now the woman in her son's life now.

Do not rise to the bait, do not give her any ammunition (I realise this is easier said than done!). Whatever she says, just smile, nod your head and say 'if you say so' and refuse to be drawn. Regarding the pasta conversation, could you just walk away and leave them to it? regarding the food, would your DP swop plates with you? It would be worth it for the shock factor and her reaction to her DS having an 'inferior' dinner.

Keep calm, could you host a family event so she is on your turf? It would just shake everything up a bit. Also invite some friends round at the same time, I bet she would behave better then!.

hamptoncourt Mon 24-Mar-14 08:51:50

That is a great idea chottie. A good friend of mine has a horrid MIL and she had a big party where we, her good mates, were all primed to wind MIL up good and proper with phrases such as..(names changed)

"I have never seen Dave looking as happy as he is with Julie, you must be so pleased."

"Dave is soooo lucky to have Julie isn't he, he's really fallen on his feet there."

"Julie is brilliant isn't she? She's going to make a wonderful mother, you must be thrilled for them."

"It must be such a weight off your mind to have your son so happy and settled with such a wonderful wife."

MIL had to leave early as we were making her sick.

TinyTear Mon 24-Mar-14 09:17:39

About the food, my MIL (together 13 years, married 5) also always gave me small portions, much smaller than my husband, and lots of the crap bits...

I mentioned once in passing to my husband and he thought I was overreacting so I told him to keep an eye out... that very day she serves us what she called 'ham' for dinner (so i envisioned some roast ham and he thougt it was nice gammon...) and she gave us sliced sandwich ham!

Not to mention we have a 2yo and she wouldn't make enough for her, so i would have to give her from my plate and then fortunately DH saw it and gave me some from his plate and also to DD... that very afternoon we popped to the supermarket and bought lots of food for us to have while we stayed at hers...

but it took for me to breakdown and cry in a walk we had by ourselves for him to really open his eyes and notice (this was last Christmas when I was starving all along) and this had always been like this...

anyway... talk to your DH and even if you don't say anything to her, give subtle messages like swapping plates with your DH or asking for seconds or even bringing some extra food with yourself!

docedemenina Tue 18-Nov-14 19:09:15

Hello everyone, smile

Just thought I'd give an update on I'm doing with MIL. I got married in July and married life has been wonderful. My DH and I are happy and promised each other no one will ever interfere between us. MIL has been quiet... she was busy with her other ds and ddil, who were to separate, MIL was all over them trying to ship ddil back to her country. Turns out they made up and now the other ddil can't stand her either.
MIL managed to alienate all her children's partners. We can't all be evil and she's the victim, me thinks. blush

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