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I am, so how do I stop?

(18 Posts)
hmmSleep Wed 24-Nov-10 13:16:26

You know when someone does something that irritates you, then you start to notice other irritating habits they have, then finally feel irritated by their mere presence? That's the stage I'm at with MIL and I feel bad.

She hasn't done anything wrong and is actually a nice person, but I find her the most annoying person I know and I can tell I'm not hiding this fact that well blush.

So, any advice on how to change my attitude towards the poor woman and stop being unreasonable?

fedupofnamechanging Wed 24-Nov-10 13:25:32

I think lots of people feel like this about ILs. You didn't choose them, but they are in your life nonetheless. If she is nice and not actually doing anything wrong, then you have to make a concerted effort to be kind, because this is your husbands mum.

Maybe cut down on the amount of time you spend with her, so that when you do see her, it is easier to make an effort.

Deliaskis Wed 24-Nov-10 13:28:52

well it depends on what the irritating things are. I mean are they things she does, opinions she has, things she says, or what? I mean it's hard to train yourself not to be irritated by things like someone chewing with their mouth open or standing too close in your personal space, but if it's more part of who the person is, and how they behave, then I had this a while back with my MIL.

She gossips, she seems to enjoy falling out with other people/family members as she likes the drama, she defends FIL when he's completely wrong and it's hurting my DH, she spends money on ridiculous things, etc.

And all these things were irritating me, but I got over by realising that actually she was retired, very lonely, bored, feels like her purpose in life (the matriarch) has gone, and really that accounted for almost of of the above foibles. When I thought of it like that, I actually had some sympathy for her, she still does all these things, but I am more able to just humour her and think 'bless, she's just trying to fill up her days'.

I can even forgive her some of her non-PC opinions as the time and place in which she was brought up was never going to produce the most enlightened person, and that's not her fault, and it's hard to change these things later on in life.

But this wouldn't help if e.g. it's things like chewing with your mouth open!


hmmSleep Wed 24-Nov-10 13:29:19

I think that's half the problem, she doesn't live nearby, so when she does visit it's normally for a few days at a time, and as a SAHM I'm stuck in all day with her. I've tried to encourage weekend visits instead so Dh is around too, but she thinks she's helping by coming in the week to help with the children.

hmmSleep Wed 24-Nov-10 13:32:43

Deliaskis, unfortunately, and very unreasonably of me, it is more along the chewing with mouth open type things! God I'm awful.

Chil1234 Wed 24-Nov-10 13:42:41

Can you flip around 'annoying' and make it something you laugh at instead? My mother used to cringe with embarassment every time her MIL's (my gran) false teeth shifted position... rest of us thought was hilarious.

hmmSleep Wed 24-Nov-10 13:50:54

That could work chil! I think alot of what annoys me is actually her reacting to my coldness, so if I make an effort she may do less of the annoying stuff in the first place!

CamperFan Wed 24-Nov-10 13:55:39

but I find her the most annoying person I know

I feel the same way about mine, but like you she comes down for up to a week at a time and its me that has to hang out with her. However, I force myself to appreciate her good points and how helpful she can be and how much DS1 loves hanging out with her. If she irritates, I try my best to ignore it and in addition refuse to be drawn to any potentially controversial discussion (her opinions generally annoy me) and change subject.

What are your MIL's good points? She must have some.

hmmSleep Wed 24-Nov-10 14:10:31

CamperFan, glad I'm not alone. She does have good points, the children love her, she has good intentions, she nearly always sticks up for me in minor disagreements with Dh and we actually share many views on life.

I've realised thinking about it the main resentment I have is that she says she's coming to 'help', but actually just creates more work for me and doesn't help at all. I think if it was re-phrased as her coming to 'visit' I would be far less annoyed. I will simply have to substitute the word 'help' with 'visit' in my head!

badfairy Wed 24-Nov-10 14:17:59

I only have to look at FIL and want to punch his lights out ( but he is an arse and a not very nice arse at that) I think it's harder if the person's nice though. Just keep your expectations low and you'll be ok

hmmSleep Wed 24-Nov-10 14:23:28

smile badfairy, it would be so much easier if she were an arse.

sapphireblue Wed 24-Nov-10 15:35:41

I frequently worry that I have reached that stage with DH. Now that is worrying.

coatgate Wed 24-Nov-10 15:39:10

sapphire - me too grin

HelenLG Wed 24-Nov-10 15:41:10

I frequently forget that mine is the most annoying person I know and ask her to help with something, at which point I then wish I'd never asked.

In fact it happened to me just a minute ago...

SixtyFootDoll Wed 24-Nov-10 15:43:42

MAybe shes waiting for you to tell her what to do to 'help'

Maybe if you said to her' Would you mind dong x, y or z for me while I do this?' She will do.

If she doesnt want to really help tehn maybe she will cut back on the 'visiting'

pipkin35 Wed 24-Nov-10 15:46:14

I have this with my own mum who hasn't a clue.
How old are your kids?! When she comes down could you let her take them out herself - even if only to park whatever so that it IS a BIG help for you to get on with something else? Or even just the one, for some 'special time' with Grandma?!

If kids are a bit older, sometimes do stuff where interaction is at a minimum - cinema farm etc...

If at your house, could you use a portion of time to have long bath/shower whilst she watches them?!

The scary thig is, that often when you get to that stage of noticing all those 'annoying' things then its really hard to turn back....

Does she tell you in advance when you come? Can you not say you have plans already.....or at least get her to change her stay so she comes on a Thurs/Fri so that your OH will be there some of the time?!

saffy85 Wed 24-Nov-10 16:38:05

I totally understand. I think my own MIL must know how annoying I find her- and with good reason. She is an incredibly annoying person. I find counting backwards from 10 helps before answering her when she says/does something annoying. long as you do it in your head ofcourse. grin I use a similar tactic on my 3 year old....

hmmSleep Wed 24-Nov-10 16:48:22

So glad it's not just me! I think telling her what would be good for her to do to help is a very good idea. She is a naturally a very disorganised person and I think she really just doesn't see what needs doing.

I have a 4yr old, 3yr old and 5wk old. I'll rush around making them dinner whilst holding the baby in one hand whilst she sits reading a magazine with a cup of coffee. I then might have to dash out to take one swimming etc. and although it's great she's there to watch the other 2 so I'm not dragging them with me she won't think to load the dishwasher or even tidy her own coffee cup whilst I'm out. The thing is I'm sure if I said 'could you just do blah blah whilst I'm out' she would be more than happy to. Like I said she just doesn't see it. I need to learn to ask rather than expecting her to mind read.

grin sapphire and coatgate, I think it's natural to feel that way about one's Dh!

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