To feel that dh should have listened to me?(11 Posts)
Always had issues with MIL from day dd1 was born (now 2.6) - overbearing doesn't really cover it. Basically when she is around dd1 she assumes parental control and won't have it any other way. When she contradicts my 'orders' to dd1 and I say something back she will grudgingly let it go but tries to avoid that situation. She won't stop no matter how many times I say 'No MIL I said dd1 had to get ready for bed/have a bath/have her tea' etc. With dh she will outright say 'no she's doing this'.
MIL is generally very shy, submissive to FIL, not lots of friends etc. She is very sweet. On this issue though she is quite frankly a monster. Over the 2.6 years dh and I have argued countless times about this - he says I over react and put him in the middle. I am generally ill before we see them and spend the whole time feeling sick. With dd2 she is pretty much ok - it's dd1 she's really focused on.
Before seeing them this weekend dh and I had a MASSIVE row. He basically told me I was making the issue up and had to deal with it and that putting him in the middle was hurting him a lot. We agreed that he would put himself more in the middle of it and listen more. She outright told him to shut up twice when he tried to override what she doing/saying to dd1. He let it go as they were minor incidents apparently. He did however admit that she does want to assume parental control and will not back down, I was right.
I want him to say sorry, I want him to admit that he has put our relationship and me second to his need to feel like he's the one making his mum happy every time we've seen them for the last 2.6 years. All those weekends where she's been allowed to behave 'badly' and not have any emotional upset and all our rows and all my tears and stress! Hmpf.
Am I being unreasonable?
If you vote no then he's getting it straight tonight!
I don't think you're WRONG. I do think you need to think about what forcing him to grovel over the past will achieve when he's already conceded you are right.
I would be having your straight talk about how you tackle this issue - with a united front - in the FUTURE. For the sake of your dd as well as your relationship.
She sounds like she has major ishoos...
But - at this stage - I would try not to have another massive row over it. He's finally taken time to see her behaviour from your perspective, and admitted she's being controlling. If you try to make him decide between his mum and you, it's going to pull you all apart. All future family occasions will be v stressful, you'll all be walking on eggshells and these rows will become a regular and v stressful occurance.
I know you want to hear him apologise and back you over his mum, and I'm sure that would feel very satisfying. But do you really want him to be at loggerheads with his mum?
If you can state your feelings calmly so he understands how you've been feeling, then get him to work with you as a team on the next visit, it'll be so, so much better for all of you.
I would not leave dh and mil alone together (does that make sense?) with the children, because you cannot rely on dh to take proper control of the dc and imo it is not good for them to see mil ignore him and disregard him as a parent.
When he or you say something and she steps in, I would have the confrontation and say 'dh told the dc to do X. Do not interfere or contradict him', then I would pick up the dc and leave the room. I would pick her up on it, every single time. It's not about whether these are little issues or not - it's about her respecting both of you as parents.
I would also tell dh that this is what I was going to do and he can either pick her up on things himself, or suffer the embarrassment of his wife doing it.
I would also tell them both that if this doesn't stop, the dc will no longer be visiting.
It is hard for him, he is caught between wife and mother, but the fact is, her behaviour is wrong and damaging and he is a grown man who should do the right thing and put a stop to his mother behaving that way.
He should apologise to you, but more important is how this is dealt with in the future. I would let the apology go, if he takes steps to change how he behaves in the future.
If not, I would have no hesitation in cutting off visits to her.
i wouldnt rake him over the coals about the past, whats that going to achieve? another argument?
but talk to him about a way forward and about putting up a united front next time you visit
He says that it will just slip away from her as dd1 grows up and that its not worth picking a fight about little things. he does say that both of us should pick her up on it every time (but then let it go??!).
So basically he wants us to slightly nudge her on it but wait until dd1 is like a teenager or something before it goes away? Slightly unsure.
I'm thinking I might email him - I am generally much better at writing very emotive things down that saying them (can't cry or shout hyseterically in an email).
Would it achieve nothing if it at least makes me feel like I've been listened to? Conceding I'm right is not the same as sorry is it?
No it isn't, but I don't think it will help the situation much to insist upon it. Apologies only mean something if the other person gives it to you, freely. If you've had to pull teeth to get it, then it will breed resentment, whether you are right or not.
I think he probably is sorry, but in your shoes, I would focus on getting the end result that you want, rather than get hung up on him saying the actual word 'sorry'.
Better that he doesn't say it, but changes his behaviour, than say the word, but then carry on as before.
He can show you he is sorry, by putting this right in future.
YANBU because when you've have discussed this in the past he has basically called you a liar. He told you you were making it up, you weren't and I think that alone deserves an apology
I wouldn't chew him up about it. He's admitted you're right. He probably hasn't even noticed what seemed obvious to you.
I remember discussing with bil's wives, and we said other bil was dmil's favourite. Both dh and bil jumped in with roars of how she didn't have favourites (as she'd always told them ) and we were wrong. About a month later, dh, after listening to her, and thinking about it, admitted we were right. To me and bil's wife, it was so obvious, it got mentioned as an aside "of course we all know".
You need to discuss the way forward as adults, not let it grow into who was right about it. That is going to be best for your dd anyway.
So I emailed him a very calm and considered version of my feelings and he said he was sorry he hadnt got involved before and that it had taken him so long to really understand and got on board with it.
I do feel better for a sorry <childish>!!!
Join the discussion
Please login first.