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To be dreading visit from perfect MIL?

(20 Posts)
Mnetter111 Thu 25-Apr-13 10:39:09

My mil is a nice person in general, dd loves her/all kids love her but we've never hit it off at all and she is pretty cold with me which I have reciprocated, I admit... She makes statements like 'I would never cross the line by telling you what I think', so not that I'm not being judged, just she isn't going to tell me what she thinks. Also things like 'your house is quite clean, given how much you both work'. Anytime I talk about anything, it's clear she doesn't agree with me and is employing all her powers of restraint...I guess most people would be delighted to have a MIL who shows restraint eh? It's the visible effort...

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 25-Apr-13 10:44:56

'I would never cross the line by telling you what I think', - Good. You're right, that would be totally inappropriate and judgmental. I'm glad you're not like that. (optional my friend's mother in law was like that and in the end they banned her from the house. i feel lucky that we have a better relationship than that.)

'your house is quite clean, given how much you both work'. It is, isn't it? It's so nice that we have a balance that works for us.

It'll drive her bonkers but she won't be able to say anything without outing her true feelings and intent. grin

EldritchCleavage Thu 25-Apr-13 10:47:57

I also favour the response of drawled, arch 'Yee-ess' accompanied by an intense, meaningful stare that goes on a fraction longer than is comfortable for the person being stared at, and then no other reaction AT ALL. The person I trained with when starting work did this to people and I cannot tell you how scary and silencing it is when done right.

ThePavlovianCat Thu 25-Apr-13 10:51:11

She's not really showing restraint though, she's hinting at judgement. Also, it doesn't have to be words, it can be body language too (you say you find her cold)

Do you ever spend any time just the two of you and do you have anything in common which could break the ice eg gardening Finding common ground outside your partner and the children could help because you'll see each other as more than mil/dil.

How is she with other people?

schobe Thu 25-Apr-13 10:57:35

Ooh how tricky. I think I'd be forced to go on about how much I value honesty provided it is coupled with tact, and detest two-faced behaviour. I'd probably say 'go on, cross the line. I want to hear what you really think - it's got to be better than the tacit disapproval writ large across your face whenever I say or do ANYTHING.'

But I can see this would be a huge mistake and could lead to a big fall-out. I would just find that very goading and would be unable not to take the bait.

Basically, don't take my advice because I'm far too hot headed. But you must be tempted to say something...

Mnetter111 Thu 25-Apr-13 11:03:24

Thanks hecsy and eldritch, i should react faster. the trouble is, i dont hate her and always feel hurt (shouldnt be looking for approval there though) Oh yeah Pavlovian, really cold, sometimes she won't kiss me goodbye or I get the lean out brief hug/pat whereas everyone else gets a tearful kiss/hug. We don't have anything in common, she has made it clear she isn't interested in me in that respect, she also previously told dh I was lucky to have met him smile she's nice, other people (even my friends who've met her) think she's lovely but it's very superficial, she won't do anything for anyone except her children (grown up) and not my dh. I need to get over it, to some extent I think it's an almost built in conflict of interest..although why she thinks I don't have dh's best interests at heart...

musickeepsmesane Thu 25-Apr-13 11:07:00

get her drunk

Seriously, as a mother-in-law I find it hard to have a relationship with my DIL. We get on fine, I think. She is very, very different from me but I want to have a good relationship with her. The fear of getting it wrong makes me more reserved than normal. Maybe your MIL is like that? Jeez, I hope I don't come across like that to my DIL sad

justaboutalittlefrazzled Thu 25-Apr-13 11:08:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mnetter111 Thu 25-Apr-13 11:08:27

Schobe, that's exactly what I feel like saying, we're grow ups, either don't judge or give your opinion and understand we might not agree...I can be too direct too though and it's not in anyone's interest to fall outlast time. she's made this comment at least twice both the last two times we've met (they live quite a way away).

Mnetter111 Thu 25-Apr-13 11:12:20

Musickeepsmesane, I'm sure it's different, you want to get along with your DIL...I'm fairly certain I'm over sensitive to things too.

schobe Thu 25-Apr-13 11:16:37

Perhaps she's purposely angling for you to ask her what she really thinks. Then she can give it to you with both barrels and point out that you did ask for it.

So go with hecsy I reckon, not least because she's usually right darn the woman.

weeblueberry Thu 25-Apr-13 11:17:33

She doesn't sound perfect so much as entirely passive aggressive wink

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 25-Apr-13 11:27:03

Crikey, music, are you my MIL?

Your post reads exactly as I suspect she privately thinks. sad

Mnetter111 Thu 25-Apr-13 11:27:20

Thanks for the support all of you, you're right, sensible way forward is just to say what hecsy said to pick up on comments at the time and not fester over it. I'm a great festerer over comments smile

DeWe Thu 25-Apr-13 11:31:58

Respond with: "That's good, I won't cross the line by telling you what I think." Sweet, meaningful smile, and hopefully she won't bring it up again.
Or alternatively pretend you're assuming that she wants to compliment you. "Oh no, don't say anything, I get really embarrassed by compliments". grin

I think that's the most passive aggressive statement I've heard yet anyway, so I don't think she's being nice by showing restraint, because I think she knows if she didn't, you would respond and she would find herself potentially on the losing side. So she's being as nasty as she thinks she can get away with without repercussions.

musickeepsmesane Thu 25-Apr-13 11:36:24

DonDraper not sure if I am smile Does your MIL try too hard, then realise she is on a totally different wavelength to you? Does she then get all uncomfortable, makes excuses to leave? Leaving you feeling kind of insulted but not sure why? If I am your MIL, I do like you, really. Its just I know how important you are to my son and I want you to like me but I keep messing up.

StuntGirl Thu 25-Apr-13 11:38:46

Aw music, that's kinda sweet!

Mnetter111 Thu 25-Apr-13 11:40:04

Even when I talk about dd and concerns I have, she virtually rolls her eyes and says 'she's fiiine'. I love the idea of thinking she's going to compliment me! Haha, that'd be completely unprecedented in the many years I've known her.

EldritchCleavage Thu 25-Apr-13 11:52:26

I really wouldn't have any but the most superficial conversations with her. No need to discuss anything much beyond the weather, plans for the day and what's for dinner.

She is not well-disposed towards you. On her own account, she's got lots of negative things she's dying to say. She seems to be determined to let you know she is an enemy. Take her at her word.

DeWe Thu 25-Apr-13 11:52:27

Music why don't you send her some flowers and a card saying: "Thank you for being a lovely dil and making my ds so happy. It means a lot to me."

Dh's dgm used to send me little cards and things sometimes saying how happy she was that I'd married dh, and thanking me, and saying how wonderful her great grandchildren were. It meant a lot to me, and I don't think either of us would have been good at saying it face to face.

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