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aibu to be furious with mil?

(46 Posts)
picniclady Mon 02-Sep-13 09:26:18

Last night pil came for dinner, they don't live locally so hadn't seen them for a couple of months. During the meal, mil did the following:

1 asked why we called 2yo ds his name, why we abbreviated it and said she doesn't like it, it's old fashioned and we should use a different abbreviation. She's refused to use the abbreviated name we've called ds from birth so we were aware she doesn't like it but this was the first time she'd insisted we change it. I argued back but as she thinks she's always right and I'm charge she took no notice. She told us we must'nt use the abbreviated name at school etc (we love the abbreviated name, I told her we only used the full name on the birth certificate and to give dc options when older)

2 told us we should get married in the next four weeks, before we have dc2 and told us we should have a small wedding with family only, when I objected she took no notice

3 told us once we were married we should change dc surname from double barreled (mine and dps) to his only. When I said I'd keep mine, she said we should still change dcs to my dp surname by deed poll.

According to dp, fil told mil on the way home that she'd been rude but only in saying she doesn't like dc name, not the rest of it. Though I try to answer her back, she takes no notice and fil and my dp stay quiet! Dp has assured me he will step in next time...hmmm

Apparently mil is going to phone me today to apologise for being rude over the name, Aibu to tell her to not interfere again, our lives, our dc, our choices? Aibu to be angry or am I being over sensitive? She has form for this type of thing and I want it to stop.

HotCrossPun Mon 02-Sep-13 09:31:33

It sounds like she is quite a strong character and railroads you a bit.

The next time she 'tells' you what you should be doing, just politely thank her for the suggestion but say that you are capable of making decisions about your family. Be unemotional and assertive and then change the subject.

MortifiedAdams Mon 02-Sep-13 09:32:02

Why isnt your DH jumping to your defense? Did he just sit mute during all of this?

As they arent regularly visiting, it may be possible for you to just shrug it off - smile and nod or "weve discussed this before, my stance hasnt changed"

But your DH should be dealing with this, not you.

mrspaddy Mon 02-Sep-13 09:34:54

She has a been in her bonnet.. I would say something on the lines of.. 'MIL, I have the upmost respect for you as DP parents and am shocked you have none for me as a mother to your grandchildren. Tell her she hurt you, that it is not on'.

I would stay quiet then, say you're very busy and go quiet. I wouldn't get into any kind of row with her.

Make sure DP rings her later and confirms he is upset with her too.

mrspaddy Mon 02-Sep-13 09:35:03


MissFenella Mon 02-Sep-13 09:38:39

She is free to tell you whatever she wants. Equally, you are free to ignore her. It is not as if she can actually do anything is it.

In one ear and out the other, smile and nod.

DropYourSword Mon 02-Sep-13 09:39:18

How have you managed not to tell her to fuck right off mind her own business.

nancerama Mon 02-Sep-13 09:40:56

I would be furious too, but she is going to apologise. I would be the bigger person and accept the apology. If she does it again I would be expecting DP to step in to let her know that you are happy with the joint decisions you have made.

fluffyraggies Mon 02-Sep-13 09:42:05

<waiting for someone to say they see nowt wrong with it and are dreading being a MIL>


picniclady Mon 02-Sep-13 09:43:46

Thanks, I like the suggestions. tbh I'm worried she will continue to behave like this as dc get older and I'd hate her to be rude or bullying towards them. Never using their name would become apparent to dc. The joys of mil.

phantomnamechanger Mon 02-Sep-13 09:49:15

I just do not see why ANYONE feels it is OK to criticise TO YOUR FACE your child's name, or your decisions regarding surnames for your DC, which presumably you and DP decided would be double barrelled.

How woudl she feel if you said "you must have really hated your parents for saddling you with YOUR awful name LOL <sweet smile>"

jammiedonut Mon 02-Sep-13 09:53:31

I wouldn't worry about it happening to the kids as you will be thereto defend them. She's only getting away with it because she's not really being challenged. I used to argue back, make excuses as to why I'd decided to do things a certain way until I realised, as other posters have said, that she has no real sayin anything. I now smile and nod and, if she's being particularly rude, tell her that her opinion has absolutely no bearing on my actions. End of.

nancerama Mon 02-Sep-13 09:57:08

It's not unusual for some people in families to have pet names for grandchildren or to call them a different version of their name from the rest of the family. Try to look on it as granny and grandpa's "special" name for you. Just make it clear that you will not tolerate criticising your DC's names to their faces (nor indeed yours).

Your children will be much more upset seeing family members arguing or snapping at each other than they ever will be being called a different name.

Of course if your child expresses that they don't like being called a certain name they should have your full support in that conversation with PIL.

MortifiedAdams Mon 02-Sep-13 10:05:56

Can you start calling her a name hers? Then if she questions it, "oh, well, I dont like your name"?

HairyGrotter Mon 02-Sep-13 10:13:42

I'd just give each of her over bearing suggestions a nod and a 'hmm' whilst really letting it go in one ear and out the other. I wouldn't even pay it lip service

Hopasholic Mon 02-Sep-13 10:16:17

I was just about to say the same as mortified start calling her Ethel grin

SilverApples Mon 02-Sep-13 10:17:56

Good advice from many here, smile and ignore her attempts to control you and your family. You are an adult, she can do nothing.
Ignore her manipulations.

Ragwort Mon 02-Sep-13 10:19:52

Why doesn't your DP say something? Does he just sit there and listen whilst she talks to you like this? shock

If I was you I would be having words with my husband, not my MIL.

ExcuseTypos Mon 02-Sep-13 10:22:58

My MIl can be like this. You're DH has to help you with this, he cant just sit there saying nothing!

Talk to him and tell him he has to speak up next time. He should be the one to say 'mum, we like DSS name, we chose it, I'd really like it if you used it too'
'Mum, we're not getting married at the moment, if we decide to, we will tell you' etc etc etc.

My DH does this and it really shuts MIL upsmile. She doesn't like to tell her little boy what to do, where as she loves to tell me what I should be doing.

coco27 Mon 02-Sep-13 10:29:09

Is the abbreviation 'Dick' or 'Willy' .If soshe has a point, otherwise she is being rather rude.Don't sink to her level smile, nod and ignore!

Ragwort Mon 02-Sep-13 10:51:01

I really want to know what your DH says about all this, does he really just sit and listen whilst your MIL throws all this criticism at you, surely he has chosen your son's name as well as you confused.

If he doesn't say anything then he is enabling his mother to act like this, allowing you to be the 'bad boy'.

Viking1 Mon 02-Sep-13 10:56:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2rebecca Mon 02-Sep-13 11:00:16

If she phones I'd tell her that you don't mind her giving her opinion on things but you do object to her trying to tell you how to run your life and that she can sound quite bullying and critical when she does this.
Discuss the fact that you are both adults and that she shouldn't be criticising your choices and telling you how to run your lives any more than you would do the same to her. She should regard you as an equal not a child to be bossed around if she wants the relationship to work.
She has to move from doing parent-child interactions with you both into adult-adult mode (in transactional analysis speak).

EyesCrossedLegsAkimbo Mon 02-Sep-13 11:21:31

If she phones I imagine she start with "I'm sorry if you think I've been rude" and go down hill from there.

picniclady Mon 02-Sep-13 13:00:19

Thanks for all the suggestions. She hasn't bothered to ring yet so not sure she's too bothered...I had a funny thought this morning that if she rings I could tell her 'oh thanks for the deed poll suggestion, we're very happy with ds name but dp is getting some forms as he's never liked his name'. But I think that would be stooping to mils level.

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