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(28 Posts)
kettlebob Sun 14-Aug-11 14:05:54

I came across an old photograph some years after marriage to DH of himself with old girlfriend seated at the dining table of the in-laws. Looking at this photo brought the realisation that I myself have never sat at the dining table of the in-laws home. In fact, although my DH and I have been married for almost 12 years, in that time I have never, not once been invited to the in-laws home. I have been there briefly a few times over the years to drop off Christmas pressies and the like.

DH and I have entertained the in-laws at our home and in restaurants etc...until MiL took great exception to the lastest invite, telling me that she felt insulted by the length of time between the invite being given and the dinner which it was for. This invite was for the Christmas, New Year period and I had wanted to give plenty of notice so that they would be available to join us. MiL says she felt that it meant that she was not allowed to visit us until the day of the event itself. God only knows what gave her that idea.

DH was given a full run down by MiL on just how upset she felt and DH used the opportunity to ask her why he and his DW aren't invited to her home whist his sister and her husband are regular Sunday lunch guests.

Dearest MiL, who generally ignores me, comes to my home to tell me to my face that I will never be invited to her home but should feel free to pop round anytime I liked. The in-laws live 45mins drive away in a village which is not en route to anywhere.

I was pretty stunned by this even though previous behaviour should have prepared me. Couple of examples:

<Begging that I read a suggested, 'brilliant' book, which turns out to be full of insults to my Mothers' native country.
<Tells my DH that the gifts he buys her are not expensive enough. A Liberty pashmina was the last cheap, rubbish gift!

Recently MIL told DH that she had not seen me for three years. I quite frankly do not know what this statement is supposed to mean. For me, those years have been blissful but DH is quite unhappy with the situation and being near her makes me miserable. I feel that she's playing games and her behaviour confuses the hell out of me as she appears to be a really nice person most of the time.

NB: MiL has an OU psychology degree.

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Aug-11 14:08:32

What a rude woman!

Did she say why she wouldn't invite you to her home?

In your position, I would say that if you are not invited to hers, she is not invited to your home.

Your DH should be standing up for you - is he doing that?

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Aug-11 14:09:38

She does sound a very, very strange woman! I wonder whether she actually learned anything about human behaviour on her OU degree?

FakePlasticTrees Sun 14-Aug-11 14:14:14

just don't pop by, and tell your DH you don't want a big show down with her, but she's not going to be invited to your home/to go for dinner with you until she invites you to theirs first. It's their turn to 'return the invite'.

As the issue of her not inviting you over has been pointed out to her, then eventually she'll work out she should invite you, so she'll either dig her heels in and you'll not see her again (would that be a bad thing?) or she'll invite you over.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sun 14-Aug-11 14:22:41

What a most peculiar woman. It seems that she has learned nothing from her OU studies.

You've implied that your dm comes from another country. Could it be that your MIL is racist?

catgirl1976 Sun 14-Aug-11 14:23:53

She sounds like mine sad

Fancy forming a support group?

Do you have DCs? - I have noted a shift in my MILs attitude now I am pg as I assume she would like to see her GC and realises she better improve her behaviour (not that I would ever use DC like that but it seems to have made her think a bit more about how she behaves)

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 14-Aug-11 15:18:46

A lot of people take Psychology courses to self-diagnose IYSWIM.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sun 14-Aug-11 15:26:19

They certainly do Mrs Pratchett and they frequently arrive at the wrong diagnosis grin

NRGless Sun 14-Aug-11 15:32:11

Wow this woman sounds like an idiot!! From your post I get the impression that she is racist and I actually let out a little knowing laugh when I read she had a psychology degree!! The problem with a psychology educated person is that they have learned how the human mind works and are able to play on that without allowing you to realise what's happening.
Personally I would retract the xmas offer, xmas is a happy family time and if she makes you miserable then that will make your family miserable. Besides, do you really want your DC's (if you have any) to be surrounded by her negativity towards you?

Katisha Sun 14-Aug-11 15:34:15

My understanding of this is that she thinks your (DH and you) relationship with her should be one that doesn't require formal invitations, but rather something more casua. SHe seems to have got the hump about "Invitations" in general, thinking that if you issue one to her it formalises the relationship.

If you were to "drop by" would you get a warm welcome? Or a sniffy one?

Is there any sort of cultural misunderstanding going on here?

EuphemiaMcGonagall Sun 14-Aug-11 15:38:18

It sounds as if she feels invitations are too formal between family members: did she grow up in a family where people just popped in? I know my mum did, as no-one had phones in those days. It sounds as if she's offended by receiving such a formal approach.

Have you really not seen her for three years? Have you/DH explained to her why you're unhappy with the "pop in any time" arrangement?

LuceyLasstic Sun 14-Aug-11 15:40:20

do you both speak the same language as your mother tongue

i get the feeling that wires are being crossed and miscommunication in some of the things youare relaying. Other things seem to be "mountains out of molehills"

maras2 Sun 14-Aug-11 15:47:56

What a loon.Hope to Christ that she never uses her psych degree to practise as a health professional.I think that Izzy is right and MIL is an out and out racist.So sorry that you have to put up with this Kettle. Mx.

kettlebob Sun 14-Aug-11 15:56:48

I do feel that the degree has further enabled her game playing.

Katisha Sun 14-Aug-11 16:00:47

Yes but games apart, is there a difference between how she thinks families should be with each other, ir not on formal invitation terms, and how you think it should be?
What aspect is DH unhappy with? Can he not talk to her about how you can't just "drop in" and would appreciate finally being asked over and some hospitality extended?

Miggsie Sun 14-Aug-11 16:01:03

I'd say that your MIL doesn't like you, and I don't think she likes your DH much either. I suspect she sees him as the under achieving one while his sibling gets all the kudos and love. Throwing gifts back as "rubbish" is also a classic emotional abuse technique, implying that perhaps one day he might be able to get her gift that isn't rubbish, but this will never happen, but she knows you will keep trying and uses it as a form of control.

Frankly, if someone told me they would never invite me to their home (thereby implying that I am not fit to mix with any of their friends) I'd stop seeing them.

As I also am doing an OU psychology degree I can tell you that nowhere does it say "are you a well balanced person?" in the registration details! It is also possible to know all the theory and never use it on yourself. For instance, the child psychology modules do not require you to have any interaction with children!

BadTasteFlump Sun 14-Aug-11 16:02:32

She's a loon. I would make absolutely no effort to have anything to do with her from now on. Accidently don't hear the doorbell if she calls round - and make sure DH knows it's all because she's making you so unhappy and you don't need that toxic crap in your life. Hopefully he's on-side with you anyway. Sorry for you anyway OP sad

Katisha Sun 14-Aug-11 16:02:41

Sorry to harp on - just trying to establish whether "you will never be invited" means you are not welcome, or whether it means "you should, as my DIL, feel able to turn up and get a welcome whenever you like"...

kettlebob Sun 14-Aug-11 16:09:38

I just want to say thank you all for this feedback. It upsets me so much that I don't normally discuss it to any length with friends. It's interesting to hear differing points of view as I do sometimes wonder if I'm being too sensitive but that tends to lead to further reflection.
I have no idea if she's a racist, doesn't like the fact that I was previously married and have two children from that union, wouldn't like anyone married to her DS or simply dislikes me.
The games are what I find the most troubling and I've no intentions to return the fire. MiL behaves well towards me only when others can hear or see her.

kettlebob Sun 14-Aug-11 16:18:11

Never be invited refers to welcome to pop round anytime. When we do they are invariably not in.
Perhaps there is some cultural difference. Not having the 12 years wife of your DS to your home to share food with you is odd any culture though isn't it?

Katisha Sun 14-Aug-11 16:32:04

Yes it is very odd and rude. Sounds like she has built up some sort of issue and now is incapable of asking you round.

What aspect doesn't DH like though, and is he prepared to talk to her about it? Or does he just want you to cave in?

gotolder Sun 14-Aug-11 16:32:51

I have this in the opposite direction: it's my DiL who never invites us to their home; we always have to invite ourselves and (probably) 7 times out of 10 DS is there but she and the DC are not. On the occasions she is there, she greets us with great enthusiasm and tells us that we are "always welcome", but rarely feeds us and doesn't really talk to us but leaves DS to be host.

When they were first together (18 years married) we did everything we could to make her feel welcome to our family, but something just didn't work between us and never hassad.

We read a lot about MIL problems and I must be a "problem MIL" but I don't know why. We have just got into the habit of seeing them very occasionally and making sure that the DGCs know that we love them and think of them even if we don't see very much of them.

We do have very good visits with DS when he is the only one theresmile.

kettlebob Sun 14-Aug-11 16:45:02

Gotolder, sorry to hear about your situation. Even though people say to ignore someone who treats you like that it can't be easily done with family and shouldn't be either. It is painful.
How very sad not to be able to spend a lot of time with your grandchildren because of your DiL. Would she allow the DGCs to stay with you for weekends etc...?

gotolder Sun 14-Aug-11 17:48:09

kettlebob NO WAY, we have never even been allowed to babysit, DIL preferring to take DGS to her mother's rather than leave him in the house with meconfused.

I could understand it a little more perhaps if any of my DCs had a problem with me but my DD1 always said that she hoped she could be "as good a mother" as I had been, and left our DGD with us all the time.

To add to my perplexity, she has never wanted any family contact with our other DCs, and when DD2 married my DS's best friend she stopped inviting HIM to stay and no longer sends him a birthday card. She obviously feels we are a toxic family except for DSsad. Would love to know how to get past this but fear we are stuck with things as they are.

( Feel this is turning into a thread on it's own and should not have started it: sorry!)

Adversecamber Sun 14-Aug-11 19:19:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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