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Weird MIL situation - AIBU or is she?

(67 Posts)
TheBookofRuth Tue 02-Apr-13 14:44:10

My MIL lives in a fairly remote bit of the country, quite some distance from DH and I. Ever since DD was born, just over a year ago, she has gone on and on (and on and on) at me to bring DD up for a visit - just me, as she knows DH doesn't get enough time off to come with us.

This is not something I want to do for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it would involve a five hour train journey each way, and I've said so, politely. However, the three of us did all go up at Christmas (even though we'd have really preferred to spend DD's first Christmas in our own home), have promised to all go up for a few days in the summer, and I have repeatedly said that she is always welcome to come and stay with us (she drives, and has the money to travel first class if she wanted to, plus wouldn't be travelling with a toddler, so it's easier for her.)

However, she won't let it go and asks about every time we speak. We called her over the Easter weekend, she asked again, I reiterated that it wasn't possible but that the three of us would come up in the summer and in the meantime she was welcome here - and got a very sniffy "well you just let me know when you'll deign to come up and I'll be here" in response.

So far so mundane, but what makes it weird, to my mind, is that the past couple of times when I've seen her, she has got me alone (quite literally told DH to take DD and "leave Ruth and I to have a chat") and proceeded to talk at me about DH's ex-GF - how they'd all loved her, assumed she was their future daughter-in-law, how much the ex adored DH and how devastated she was when they broke up (she left him, btw!), how they'd all thought it was very sudden when DH and I got together and assumed it was a rebound thing (I didn't even meet DH till several months after the break-up, btw, it had nothing to do with me!)

Quite apart from the fact that DH and I have been together for ten years, and married for five, so why being this up now, what exactly is she expecting this to achieve other than pissing me off?! It hardly makes me more inclined to want to spend time with her.

I'm not BU, am I? Or are DILs everywhere all rushing to leave their DHs behind and go and spend time with their MILs??

kennyp Tue 02-Apr-13 14:47:06

I would sooner kiss john mc cririck passionately than spend time with my mil. If she is giving you the snotty "when you deign to be here" treatment i,d just continue with your "cant make it" excuses and eventually it sounds like she might run out of puff.

Surely she'll understand/get the hint that you dont want to go there, for whateverr reason.

YouTheCat Tue 02-Apr-13 14:47:17

She sounds odd.

At least your dh is backing you up about not going on a 5 hour journey with a baby.

neunundneunzigluftballons Tue 02-Apr-13 14:47:26

definitely a 'do you mean to be so rude' moment and yes I visit my MIL all the time without dh becase she lieves 40 minutes away if she was 5 hours away we woould all be travelling together YA Soooooo NBU

neunundneunzigluftballons Tue 02-Apr-13 14:48:06

ooops sorry about the spelling

PommePoire Tue 02-Apr-13 14:50:38

Ok I was all set to say that it's is not U to of your DMIL to expect a visit from her son and his family until you got to the part where she harps on about your DH's ex-girlfriend. Now that is Odd with a capital O.

YANBU to not wish to visit a woman who seems to enjoy unfavourably comparing you, her DIL of ten years to the ex-girlfriend, who split up with her son more than ten years ago.

What does your DH have to say about his DMs comments to you?

Sugarice Tue 02-Apr-13 14:50:56

She's being very cruel to bring up the ex girlfriend like this and also weird!.

I suppose because you're not dancing to her tune and going onto her territory she's being as hurtful as she can be without actually telling you what she really thinks.

Don't back down either.

DontmindifIdo Tue 02-Apr-13 14:57:43

have you told your DH what his mum says to you? I'd say he's not allowed to leave you alone with her as a condition of you going up this summer. If she does get you alone and starts going on about it can you just say "can I stop you a minute MIL, why do you keep going on about DH's ex-girlfriend? Because to me it sounds like you are saying you wished DH married her instead of me, can you not see that's rather rude and hurtful, or are you trying to be rude and hurtful?" of course she'll say you're being over sensitive, she doesn't mean to upset you, just making conversation etc

Broken record "well if you want to visit us, you're welcome" I'd also not call her, let DH do all the contact. She's being weird and rude, and obviously doesn't want to put herself out for you. Do'nt bother.

EldritchCleavage Tue 02-Apr-13 14:59:49

Tell her to take the visit issue up with your DH. Or better still, get your DH to ring her about it. And while he's at it, he can ask why on earth she is bringing the subject of his ex into conversations with you.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 02-Apr-13 15:00:12

The ex-GF would have become the DIL and gone up to MIL every oppurtunity she had -

that's what she's trying to tell you wink

She sounds grim and a big bit weird, TBH.

fluffyraggies Tue 02-Apr-13 15:01:20

Very very odd. Talking about the ex. privately to you like this. Especially as you and your DH have been together so long confused No idea what this is all about, sorry OP.

Just to say though, that when i married my DH my MIL requested a special day a week before the wedding, just me and her to chat about the big day coming up and 'have a bit of girly time together'. I was a little hmm about it as we'd never had 'girly time together' in the 4 years i'd lived with STBDH, but gracously said yes, how lovely.

Well i swear she spent the whole afternoon just talking about SIL, SIL's wonderful wedding dress, SIL's wonderful wedding, and SIL's fantastic figure. We hardly talked about my up coming day at all. Seriously. (SIL is divorced, i might add. Her wedding was 6 years ago, cost £25K and they split after a year).

I found it odd and uncomfortable actually. Like i was being made to feel my day wouldn't live up to SIL's.

Odd MIL behaviour.

TheBookofRuth Tue 02-Apr-13 15:01:52

Pomme, I completely agree that it's perfectly reasonable for her to expect her son and his family to visit - it was me who persuaded DH that we should spend Christmas there, and that yes, he does need to use some of his precious annual leave on a trip up there in the summer. It's the idea that I'm expected to take DD up there on my own that I'm objecting to, plus her rudeness in not taking no for an answer and bringing up the ex-GF.

DH was very cross about her bringing up his ex and wants to have a word with her about it - the first time it happened I told him not to, as she'd had a couple of drinks at the time and I was hoping it was just drunken reminiscing, but when she did it again it started to feel personal so I've told him to go ahead.

What makes me quite sad about it all is that until all this happened I thought she was quite fond of me.

BabsAndTheRu Tue 02-Apr-13 15:05:48

Is it a new thing talking about the ex. The only reason I ask is that my mil has dementia and one of the first signs we had that something was up was hurtful comments, talking about the past and saying we never visit her, we see her twice a week btw. Just a thought.

Otherworld Tue 02-Apr-13 15:07:31

Aside from the wierd ex GF comments, I think you could make more of an effort with her.

I do spend time with my MIL so don't see it as odd. Maybe she trying to build a relationship with you albeit in a ham fisted way.

scaredbutexcited Tue 02-Apr-13 15:08:41

YANBU. You are not stopping her from seeing you or your DD. You have told her she is welcome to visit. She would prefer you to go to her but this is more difficult and in any case you don't want to.

I would stick to your guns. I am guessing the ex conversation may be linked to the ex being forced into agreeing with her on occasion. Maybe this is in some way linked to way she left!!

StuntGirl Tue 02-Apr-13 15:08:44

What does your husband make of his mothers comments? I assume he doesn't kniw and thinks there's some kind of 'girly bonding' going on when she ushers him out of the room?

MrsKoala Tue 02-Apr-13 15:10:21

i would answer 'well whenever you deign to visit us we will be here also'. Or even say 'is there a reason you don't visit us?' i hate that. PILs never visit us either (DS is nearly 7mo and only saw him for the 1st time at xmas becasue we took him up) but always want visits up there.

The gf thing is weird too. i would not be alone with her when you visit next time. I do this with my MIL (she also goes on about what a great catch DH is and all his previous gf's etc), when she starts i breezily say 'oh just nipping for a wee' then go into our room and read my book till DH gets back.

MothershipG Tue 02-Apr-13 15:11:21

My MIL recently became very focused on family skeletons from years and years ago and would want to talk to me about it (stuff that happened when DH was little, well before my time!) and tell me not to tell DH, putting me in a very uncomfortable position.

However she has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers so I'm now pretty confident that it was probably one of the early symptoms of that. sad She also has become increasingly reluctant to travel away from her home.

TheBookofRuth Tue 02-Apr-13 15:11:38

Otherworld, how far do you have to travel to spend time with your MIL?

MothershipG Tue 02-Apr-13 15:11:59

Xpost with Babs!

DontmindifIdo Tue 02-Apr-13 15:13:05

Actually I think you need to be less accomodating, next Christmas stay at home! Make it clear after this summer she is welcome to visit, but I don't see any reason why you should have to do the travelling if she can't be arsed to do it to you. I'd refuse to go up again as a family until she's visited you.

Assuming you have space for her and will make her feel welcome, and as you said, she can drive or afford the train costs, then there's no reason for her not to do it.

TheBookofRuth Tue 02-Apr-13 15:13:48

Oh dear, Babs, Mothership, that's a bit worrying...

Snazzynewyear Tue 02-Apr-13 15:14:57

The ex girlfriend thing is weird. I would definitely get your DH to deal with it. In fact he should be doing a lot more of the dealing as Eldritch says.

Has she ever taken up the invitation to come and stay with you? If not, then I would be saying 'Oh, it's your turn to come to us, we'll come up to you after that' every time this gets mentioned.

Do you not drive / not have a car? Just checking whether you have options beyond the train if you were going to see her.

Does your DH work weekends often? Again, just trying to get the sense of how difficult it is to visit. I think she is rude to go on about it but I can also see how some visiting might not seem hugely unreasonable - though of course she should also be prepared to come to you. But if you did an occasional visit to her you could make a case for her to come to you 3x as often, or something.

StuntGirl Tue 02-Apr-13 15:15:22

X post. Let him talk to her. She needs someone to tell her!

TheBookofRuth Tue 02-Apr-13 15:16:03

Dontmind, we have just redecorated and refurnished the spare room with her and her DH in mind, and told them that we've done so. We have room, not masses of space but enough for them to stay in comfort.

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