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AIBU to be upset with MIL advice needed

(29 Posts)
MSDP Sun 09-Oct-11 22:23:26

So this is my first time posting and am very unsure if I am overrecting or not.

Bit of background, my DP and I had a baby boy 5 months ago, my son is his second child. My DP's daughter is 5 years old and he has not been with her mother for the past 4 years, they have a relatively amicable relationship and the whole blended family thing seems to be working for us.

So, my MIL constantly calls me by my DP's first child's mothers name and I absolutely hate it. I understand that she is terrible with names and often calls people the wrong name but I hate being called the other woman's name. I don't want to make my MIL feel bad by having a go as she is a genuinely nice person and she feels embarrassed every time she does this but it is really starting to get to me. I'm not my DPs exes biggest fan and I think that is why it irritates me all the more but would I be unreasonable to tell my MIL how much I hate this one thing, especially when she is not being malicious just a bit... I don't know the word but definitely not trying to make me feel bad.

I guess I just hate the idea that I am interchangeable with his ex just because we are both the mothers of his children, I mean she never calls me my BILs girlfriends name.

Please don't flame me if I am being unreasonable I perfectly willing to accept that.

Oh and my DP has mentioned to his Mum how much he dislikes it as well but she just seems unable to break the habit.

ScarahStratton Sun 09-Oct-11 22:25:06

YANBU, my XMIL used to muddle me up with their dog. sad

YellowDave Sun 09-Oct-11 22:26:59

YANBU at all to be pissed off at this.

However, as your dh has already had words with her about it, and as you are sure it is not malicious I don't think you have anything to gain by talking to her do you? Its not going to make any difference and it may well cause friction or upset.

Grin and bear it and then rant on here to calm down!

JamieComeHome Sun 09-Oct-11 22:27:42

I can see this is upsetting, but if you know she does this by accident I can really see how talking to her about it would help her to change.

squeakytoy Sun 09-Oct-11 22:27:56

I wouldnt let it get to you... it happens..

My husband has called me his ex-wifes name a few times.. (they did split up ten years before he met me.. and we have been married ten years ourselves!)... and he has also called her my name.... he calls his daughters the wrong names... some people are just crap with names.. it isnt usually meant personally.

My mum would call me her sisters name.

JamieComeHome Sun 09-Oct-11 22:28:01

can't really see

Arachnophobic Sun 09-Oct-11 22:28:05

If this has happened a couple of times YABU. If this is constant, and she does not have a condition making her forgetful, or isnt elderly, then I am not sure how it's not malicious and YANBU.

FetchezLaVache Sun 09-Oct-11 22:28:05

I'm sure she doesn't think you're interchangeable with the ex, she's probably just crap with names. My MIL sometimes calls me DH's ex's name, they've been split up for years and years, she just can't help it- she also calls me Hilary, which is nothing like my real name and she doesn't even know a Hilary...

I can see why it would really piss you off though. Just don't respond if she calls you by ex's name, or call her Doris. As long as she's not actually called Doris. But if you've told her, and your DP has told her, and she gets embarrassed when she does it, she's clearly not doing it out of malice.

Grumpla Sun 09-Oct-11 22:28:43


Does she even notice when she does it?

I would just start saying (very calmly and politely mind) "No, MiL, that's <DD's mum's name>. I am MSDP." every time she does it.

EllaDee Sun 09-Oct-11 22:29:12

Oh dear. Yes, that is annoying! Mind you, I keep wanting to call my brother's wife by his ex's name ... and, um, the day before their wedding I did. blush

It is really not nice of her but it could be just a tic she's got. For me it wwould depend a lot on how she treats you otherwise - does she know it is upsetting you or does she think it is just a slip of the tongue that doesn't matter?

NorfolkBroad Sun 09-Oct-11 22:29:20

I can completely understand why this would be really upsetting for you. I would also find it really hard to cope with. However, I have done it on numerous occasions to my SILs totally unintentionally, I love them to bits. Don't know what to advise as sometimes the more you think about things like this the more you end up doing it! Hope it improves.

Katisha Sun 09-Oct-11 22:30:28

No just keep calmly correcting her and she'll get the hang of it. Every time she calls you "Jane" just say " Anne" - ok so she will be embarrassed but if you do it every time, even in a jokey sort of way, she will realise she needs to get a grip.

ChippingIn Sun 09-Oct-11 22:31:03

I doubt she thinks you are interchangeable with his ex - in the same way my mother doesn't think I'm interchangeable with my siblings but still calls us the wrong names or in the same way my god-daughters are in no way interchangeable but I still call them the wrong name sometimes!.... I would just give her the hmm when she does it and laugh. She's not meaning to hurt you.

DogsBeastFiend Sun 09-Oct-11 22:31:20

You make it clear that it's not deliberate so I think it would be unkind to make an issue of it (though gentle leg pulling and eye rolling is different of course!). Think of it this way - DP is with you now and you're happy with your family and MIL, in years to come she may still be accidentally calling you the wrong name but god willing she'll still be a nice MIL and grandma too.

If it helps, my mum often absent-mindedly runs through her sisters' names when I call before getting to my name... all 3 of them. As in, "Oh, hello Jean, Anne, Lily... erm...!"

That's okay... but then she calls me John too... John's her brother!

overthehillmum Sun 09-Oct-11 22:31:30

Yanbu, it is horrible, but I would say that your MIL will struggle, maybe every time she does it just say " it is MSDP now remember!!"

My brother dated someone for years and I used to call his girlfriend after that the other woman's name, it was cringing, awful, and I am sure she thought I was doing it on purpose, I actively avoided her after the first 6 months because the more self conscious I was about it the more I did it, it was a shame, I actually liked her more than the first one.

AllGoodNamesGone Sun 09-Oct-11 22:31:35

I can completely see why it infuriates you but, as she is not doing it deliberately, and she is otherwise a nice woman who you would not want to fall out with, I think you will just have to put up with it.

Train your DS, when old enough, to correct her every time in a "Silly Granny" sort of way!

(My Granny reels off all four cousin's names when talking about any one of us!)

DogsBeastFiend Sun 09-Oct-11 22:32:57

"My mum would call me her sisters name."

Squeaky, snap! Again! grin

Are you my long-lost twin? grin

squeakytoy Sun 09-Oct-11 22:33:50

grin you never know!!! lol!!

Salmotrutta Sun 09-Oct-11 22:36:10

It's quite rude actually if she is perpetually doing this.
Yes, I know some people are "bad with names" - and I have, myself, gotten it wrong and had a mental block etc.
But I'm mortified when I do that - and would be mentally repeating someone's name in my head until it "stuck" IFYSWIM.
I have twice called friends' new partners by the ex's name and wished the ground would swallow me up.
But then I dont allow myself to be that daft again. I would have thought that if she does it a lot, and she has been spoken to by your DH she is either extremely scatty or doesn't actually care that much about your feelings. sad

madam52 Sun 09-Oct-11 22:52:30

I agree Salmontrotta and I would blank completely unless she uses my right name - then plead ignorance (it works for her after all !) as in 'oh sorry - you're talking to me - I didnt realise' Also would correct her every single time beyond that - even in mid sentence or if she calls you on the phone and greets you with wrong name - just halt the conversation until your correct name is used.

I agree it is quite rude as it is not something insurmountable on her part with a little bit of carefulness and aforethought when speaking to you. As long as there are no MH issues etc which might be the cause then you should be worthy of that little bit of effort in the very 'basic' courtesy of getting your name right really.

MSDP Sun 09-Oct-11 22:56:06

I guess the general consensus is that I need to suck it up, in the grand scheme of things and after reading some terrible MIL stories on here I really don't have it too bad.

It is perpetual and she is bad with names I just wish she would sometimes try just a bit harder to not do it. Argh it really does annoy me when scatty behaviour almost becomes a running joke as it seems to be within that family. But I do take myself a bit too seriously sometimes, now if only I could pluck up the courage to call her by her ex husbands firsts wife's name....

lurkinginthebackground Sun 09-Oct-11 23:01:22

I very often forget people's names. Infact I called my good friend's partner by her ex husband's name, my dh discreetly squeezed my arm to make me aware.

Salmotrutta Sun 09-Oct-11 23:03:18

MSDP - you don't have to suck it up.
If it's perpetual then she is being either careless or very subtly rude.
That's not on. I'd keep correcting her.

I'm ultra embarrassed if I forget someone's name or accidentally call someone the wrong thing and it is very rude.

Unless she has age-related memory decline of some kind it's not something I'd put up with.

Salmotrutta Sun 09-Oct-11 23:05:25

Yes, we all forget and mix up names. Of course we do.
But we don't all presumably keep getting the same person's name wrong! hmm

MSDP Sun 09-Oct-11 23:06:13

No age related memory decline she's only 50.

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