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Help with MIL problem....

(229 Posts)
ilovemyelectricblanket Thu 05-Apr-12 21:20:00

Christmas 2010 we went to the PIL a 5 hour drive away. This way my idea. Things have often been fraught between me and MIL but I was trying to please.

So we arrived to find them out. We had travelled 5 hours in a car with lots of luggage/presents a 3 and 4 year old. NIGHTMARE.

They were busy so we settled ourselves in our hotel. Hotel was necessary - as staying at theirs was too much trouble. Their words.

We let the kids run riot and burn off some energy. Much needed and then we make our way to PIL home.

Was nice. OK.

Then back to hotel to get ready for Christmas day. I decorated the soulless hotel room with a tree and stockings (for Santa to find) and more... then we went to bed.

Of course, sleep, stockings prepared and delivered and then at the usual 5.30am kids awake and of we go......

We had been told the the day before that we couldn't arrive to PIL until after 11.30am. So we made the first 6 hours in a hotel room as fun as possible with the kids.... they are still 3 and 4 years old.... It was pretty shitty really.....

We arrive at PIL and have a jolly enough time of it. We are all making an effort. Its ok. Christmas dinner is late IMO for small kids as it always is. It was 4.30pm before we ate. The boys were over it by then. One ate a bit the other didnt. The littler one was already showing worrying signs of over tiredness.

I have to say they behaved beautifully up until this point. I was very proud.

We (me and hub) ate (in a hurry) and then little one (aged 3) started shouting. I couldn't placate him and I tried every trick in the book. We eventually had to leave. Bath, bed, story etc was much needed.....

He had been up for over 12 hours and was hot tired. Something, I didnt know what, was wrong with him and I knew we had to get him to bed. Routine etc.

It was a 15 min walk to the hotel room in the snow.

We started to leave. Coat alll the rest etc.... while PIL etc were still eating cheese and drinking coffee after Crimbo dinner.

MIL came in and I was on my knees trying to get coat on 3 year old... She just kept repeating (bearing down over me) that we couldnt leave and had to stay as there were more presents to unwrap. I said that we had to go (coudnt she SEE?) and that she wouldn have to be up all night with little one?

We had to 'just leave' my boy was screaming.....

She told me that I just had to leave him to cry....? We dont do that in my house. My children are 11 months apart and when they cry - we go to them....!

We left. It was awful. Little one up all night with a fever... no calpol, no thermoter, no hotel staff just me and my hand on forehead and no sleep....


It took me six months to stop my 4 year old from asking why Daddy is a BLOODY SHIT!!!!

We had upset her because we left early. No consideration for her efforts over Christmas etc etc. FYI. Christmas dinner was reheated and not cooked. Pre preared roast potatoes (the best kind not Aunt Bessies) and all the rest pre prepared too....Not that much effort IMO.

Hub is really upset that they have behaved this way but undersatnds that this is normal behaviour for her.

I am expecect to brush under the carpet.

I was badly absused by MIL 40 hours after giving birth and cant brush this under the carpet again.

Kind of feel like we should split up.... Me and hub.

Sad. :O( Confused....

Thanks for listening. Any help/advice gratefully received. I want to leave Hub even tho I love him so I can be free of the last 18 months of hell Ive been in...... sad


fedupofnamechanging Thu 05-Apr-12 22:29:17

. She is a guest and should respect your boundariesilove, remember that his sister is a product of her upbringing too. You are well within your rights to say to her that you are very happy to see her, love that she is visiting but you won't discuss her mother at all. It's your house - no one has the right to guilt trip you or browbeat you

OAM2009 Thu 05-Apr-12 22:29:35

I'm so sorry to hear your story. My PILs don't sound as bad as yours but I understand how PIL can put pressure on your marriage. DH and I lived in Australia for 17 months. As he is close to his family and an only child, he would ring them every week and EVERY WEEK for 17 months, they asked when he was coming home. And then his mum got cancer but they wouldn't tell us even tho we could tell from their voices and behaviour that something was wrong. 17 months into a 4 year visa, we were back in the UK. So I understand completely.

My advice is to focus on your DH and your family. Don't let your PIL ruin your wonderful, loving family. Your DH can't help it - he's not trying to upset you but for him, the ties are very, very strong. Think of your love for him and try to forgive him for his blind spot where they're concerned. Don't discard your marriage and your children's father over their stupidity - your family deserve better.

When you can speak to him, you need to tell him how you feel and try to agree some rules. Perhaps that he is welcome to see them but you and your children will not see her until she understands what she did, why you're upset and apologises. Perhaps you could pass on to your SIL what you've written down here (maybe edit a bit wink) so she could understand your POV and curb her phone calls.

Hope this is of some help xxx

skybluepearl Thu 05-Apr-12 22:29:51

what happened 40 hours post birth?

my MIL was a nightmare one xmas too (think toddler like tantrums) - although she is genrally anyway. she wrote and said sorry thankfully but I am still very reserved with her these days.

she was also awful 8 weeks post birth. really nasty.

i used to be effected by i/her and it used to really deeply upset me for years. them living at a distance has really helped though as it means minimal contact. minimal contact is ideal! oddly enough I manage to see the funny side of MIL these days. I have to update my friends about any additions to the MIL saga and while any dramas unfold i always make mental notes of what to tell my friends. it's great therapy for me and really helps me get though any horrible time with MIL.

your MIL's behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tollerated by you. that is the main thing your DH and MIL need to know. In your shoes I would allow kids to see MIL at SIL's house or locally but nothing else. Last thing you want is to spend hours in a hotel room or be at the mercy of one of her fowl mouthed tantrums in your own home. You need to make clear to your DH that she is not welcolme in your home unless MIL apologises and agrees to behave.

fedupofnamechanging Thu 05-Apr-12 22:30:09

Don't know what happened with the bold and spacing there

Calamityboo Thu 05-Apr-12 22:31:01

Was it maybe his counsellors idea to make contact? Part of his therapy? <Clutching a big bunch of straws>

ilovemyelectricblanket Thu 05-Apr-12 22:33:00

Oh Outraged you said it perfectly.
Ive tried to convey this too. I do understand.
She is his Mum and he quite rightly loves her no matter how fucked up she is...
I get that. So thats how I have staggered through 18 months....
But to phone her for a chit chat and then come home and tell me alll about it????
So we havent spoken all evening. Its the start of the bank holiday weekend and we are not speaking.
Im properly angry.
I so get he must and will love her.....
But I want to draw a line...? Or something?

Sigh. sad

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 05-Apr-12 22:38:36

Mil will just have to be told that she is not welcome in your home. It's your home, if she doesn't like it she will have to lump it.

Pumpkin, I have broken away from my PIL with the least amount of trouble possible I think. It's not trouble free, but I don't think it ever can be completely. Dh is lovely and completely understands why I don't want to see his Mum, so he doesn't pressure me. I ask him how she is and stuff like that, he tells me the basics. He visits on his own every few months, but he speaks to her a couple of times a week. The only problem I ever get is when he says 'she is sorry for what she did', but if she was that sorry she would tell me that herself. It's much harder now for poor dh than it is for me, and that makes me sad. I wish he could have the happy family he wants, but it just isn't going to happen. Now that I dont have to see her any more, I feel I am much better placed to support dh in what would be a difficult situation whether I saw his mum or not.

skybluepearl Thu 05-Apr-12 22:39:04

Gosh sorry just read that she is abusive on an ongoing basis. Yes I agree. Make a decision and stick to it. She is not to be apart of you or your kids lives full stop. What is SIL like? Maybe you can just be honest but in a gentle way while explaining that your kids have to be your priority. You cannot accept them or yourself being abused in any shape or form.

Hownoobrooncoo Thu 05-Apr-12 22:40:10

I get the impression that nothing less than erasing her from his and your life will be acceptable. I really dread what the future brings being the Mother of only boys. These situations really sadden me, not that I'm planning on being a horrible MIL.

Hownoobrooncoo Thu 05-Apr-12 22:44:11

OAM2009. - sorry but reading your post, what do you understand completely? Your PIL's don't sound bad at all. You sound pissed off your MIL dared get cancer which cut short your time in OZ. Am I missing something?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 05-Apr-12 22:44:41

Lots of cross posts!

It is really hard, I do get that. You need to try not to be angry with your dh. All he wanted to do was to talk to his Mum and then tell his wife about it, which in the grand scheme of things, isn't a bad thing for him to want to do.

It feels like that means he is disregarding your feelings, but he isn't. When he's thinking about your feelings it sounds like he completely understands them. But at times, he will be consumed by his own feelings, and it's only natural that he will wish for a 'normal' happy family. When he's feeling his own feelings about his mum, it's not about you and you need to try and keep it not about you. You both need to try to understand each others perspective, because it doesn't sound like either of you are doing anything wrong.

ilovemyelectricblanket Thu 05-Apr-12 22:44:53

Thats not what I mean HowNoo at all?. And yes I am a Mother of 2 beautiful boys but you dont need to be sad for them as I could never be as abusive or selfish as my MIL is.
I guess when you ask for it enough - you get a slap.
Im going to go now as its late and I guess I have to deal with this myself.
Thanks to everyone. Pumpkin. If its ok - Ill pm you? x

ilovemyelectricblanket Thu 05-Apr-12 22:48:03

Outraged. You are wonderfully articulate and generous and you make much sense....
I will be reading and re reading all of this tomrrow again and again.
Really. I do thank you all for the support.
Its been a long and often frightening 18 months.

Madinitials Thu 05-Apr-12 22:49:36

OP I don't know if her apologising will be enough. Either she needs totally change her behaviour or you need to completely cut her off.

My toxic FIL has been trying his hardest to split DH & me up and him saying sorry would mean nothing to me now, it's much too late. He's a really nasty bully and DH is only just finding this out (it has been the norm for him since he was a child) but DH loves him because, naturally, he is his father. I hope we as a family come to completely cut him out of our lives soon but it's down to DH. It would be such a relief.

fedupofnamechanging Thu 05-Apr-12 22:50:55

OP, if it's any consolation, I think it's better that he told you he'd spoken to his mother, rather than just do it and not say. Better that he is honest with you and doesn't hide things.

But yes, make your decision and stick to it.

ilovemyelectricblanket Thu 05-Apr-12 23:00:03

Madinitials - her saying some kind of sorry or making some kind of amend will mean much to me. I know that the past 18 months has changed us. Hub/Me forever. We wil never be as submissive as we have been and so much will never be at steak so therefore so much less to be angry about.

But if she is sorry - she will never say it. Its something I have come to terms with but Hub is trapped in his own trauma of it all....

Its bloody hard.

Karma. Yes. I think I need to make my own decision. My voice has not been heard since I said 18 months ago that I will be 'up all night with little one' . There is a massive elephant in the room and I dont much want to dance around with with SIL.
SIL wont get off the fence. Too much at stake. While Hub is in trouble she is in the will and in favour..... Its quite understandably a nice place to be...


I dont blame anyone for anything. I get Hub is in an impossible place.

I think what Id like to say to MIL is what I have said to all of you lovely ones...

I think I would like to say MY piece..... But am aware that I will only make things worse.


Shelby2010 Thu 05-Apr-12 23:01:49

I'm a bit confused. Is this the first time DH has had contact in the last 18 months? Is MIL phoning your house and abusing you, or is it pressure via FIL & SIL?

This is a horrible situation for you but I do feel for your DH as its harder for him to admit that his own mother can't be trusted around his children. You see it as the thin end of the wedge, but when all is said and done, all he did was speak to her on the phone. That doesn't mean he has chosen her over you and your children, so don't judge him for something he hasn't done yet. If you don't want to see her then you don't have to, and if you think it would be damaging for you DC then be firm about that too. However if you think it would ease the pressure to have limited contact then I still wouldn't let her in the house. Instead arrange to meet for lunch with the DC at a local pub/restaurant, she may be more restrained in public and if she isn't then it's easier for you to walk out rather than getting her out of your house.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 05-Apr-12 23:04:08

Say your piece if you want to. But say it in a letter, adressed directly to her. Then put it in an envelope, and worry about what to do with it after its written.

Oh, and thank you for your kind compliment smile

DairyNips Thu 05-Apr-12 23:10:26

Sleep wellsmile Stick together with your dh, he didn't mean to hurt you. It's so hard when you have toxic parents. He is clearly a decent person and his kind cant understand why his mother isn't. Therefore he probably thought he'd give her a chance to be the decent person he hopes she can be (she can't!) because, admitting to himself his mother is awful is painful.

I had an image in my head of the mother I wanted, the mother I deserved and unkept hoping my mother would be that mother and giving her more chances. Took a long time to realise she won't ever be and I just got a 'broken' one instead.

Hope you get this all sorted so you're not as stressed x

ilovemyelectricblanket Thu 05-Apr-12 23:11:45

Shelby - there has been contact over the last 18 months. LOTS of pressure from SIL and FIL and MIL to MAKE FUCKING NICE. 'Just play the game' is what they tell Hub to do and then he has to tell me to do.

We have 'played the game' for our entire marriage until Christmas 2010 when it went to a place we couldnt contine. Well. I coulnd contine for the safety of our children.

So constant pressure to pretent it never happend. Constant.

So after 18 months of being strong and the only contact has been to say firmly but farily that if MIL wants to be in our life then she needs to make some kind of apology/accept that it is NOT ok to abuse us in such a way and/or frighten our kids....

he rings her for a fecking chat?

I guess thats what Im asking for. To make some sense of that.

I know and understand that he will always love her. Quite rightly too. She is is mother no matter how damanged.

I have decided that if DH wants to entertain SIL then he can do it on his own. Im not tripping of the massive elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about any more.

fedupofnamechanging Thu 05-Apr-12 23:12:35

There is nothing stopping you from writing a letter to your mil and telling her how you feel and why you won't be having contact in the future. You are an independent person with every right to express your feelings.

That said, you will utterly remove her power by cutting her off and refusing to discuss her at all. With people like her, you can't make them see reason, so I wouldn't bother wasting my energy on trying. I would just make the decision to get on with my life and focus on having a happy marriage and family and take her out of the equation totally. If you refuse to discuss her with your dh, then she cannot get to you, through him.

Just make it clear that the dc are not to be taken anywhere near her.

ilovemyelectricblanket Thu 05-Apr-12 23:15:58

Dairy - yes. You got it. And I get it. smile
Outranged. I want to write. But Im properly scared.... Quite ridiculous as Im 41. sad
Karma - yes. Your right. He had no clue Id react badly. He didnt think there was anything wrong. And ultimately - there isnt.... he had a chat with his Mum. But it feels very wrong - because after 18 months of abuse/blackmail and estrangement.... it is!

I thank you all so much for listening. Really. Thank you.

Hownoobrooncoo Thu 05-Apr-12 23:26:02

Don't think anything she does will change anything for you, doubt you will ever be able to have an kind of relationship with her feeling the way you'd and if she thinks she is right and is unprepared to compromise or admit any fault. Just cut yourself off and your children if you think they could be harmed by her spite and temper. Let your husband have a relationship with his mother as long as he supports your position and understands you want nothing to with it.

ilovemyelectricblanket Thu 05-Apr-12 23:48:42

A simple apology or acceptance at least of her appaling behaviour will change everything.
But that I know wont happen. She wont. She has said.
So what next? I find the strength to try to forgive or brush under carpet and have it happen again.

Shelby2010 Thu 05-Apr-12 23:52:01

Thanks for the clarification OP, everything you say makes it sound worse. I hope you and DH can find a way through this together.

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