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Dealing with awful passive aggressive MIL

(180 Posts)
YummyMummybee Thu 21-Nov-13 13:57:46

Basically to cut a long story short, DH & I have been married for 3 years & I have had ferocious issues with MIL.... She treats me completely differently to my 2 SIL's, she treats them with respect, talks highly of them &whenever I call over always happens to say they call these days, were over for dinner etc however I am never invited.

Dh has 3 brothers & my dd was the first girl in the family for over 100 years,rather than being doted on by grandma she keeps making the point she never wanted a girl, only wanted one to "dress up", all men want a son much more than a woman wants a daughter etc etc.... Its ridiculous & petty plus we were delighted to have a healthy child we didn't care about gender & we worship our little princess who is named after my mom & my grandmother which did not go down too well....

She wore a white maxi dress & hat to my wedding...

Tries to pick an arguement with me when ever she can..

Hates my mom coming up to spend time with my daughter & hates me going home to my moms

Dh has tried to speak to his father about it but the bottom line was I was being oversensitive.... Dh knows I'm right though so no point in going down that route again..

I feel the only way to cope is to avoid her & not leave her know whats going on in our lives... We only live 10 mins away. I used to really try & make the effort but it seemed the more I tried the more power she felt she had & would use it to belittle me & make me feel incompetent... So now I feel the less she sees of us as a family the better...

Also I am expecting dd2 & after dd1 was born & named after my mom we told MIL dd2 if she ever arrived would be named after her.... We have now decided to use 2 names we both love & not use her name at all even for middle name, I have to take a stand & I'm no longer accepting being treated like an outsider & an imbicile... Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

SuburbanRhonda Thu 21-Nov-13 14:03:01

The bit that stuck out to me was promising to use MILs name for DD2, then reneging.

That is not going to go down well, I'm guessing.

Other than that, yes, definitely give her a wide berth, but don't cut her out completely. Especially if she only lives ten minutes away - that could get very awkward!

Sparkletastic Thu 21-Nov-13 14:03:29

IMO you don't need any advice because you're already handling her beautifully. She sounds dreadful so minimal contact and not sharing much personal / family info with her is exactly the right approach. As the mother of 2 DDs I'd be similarly appalled about any hint of them being treated as 2nd class citizens. Keep her at arm's length and absolutely no to using her name for DD2.

Nanny0gg Thu 21-Nov-13 14:08:03

Also I am expecting dd2 & after dd1 was born & named after my mom we told MIL dd2 if she ever arrived would be named after her.... We have now decided to use 2 names we both love & not use her name at all even for middle name, I have to take a stand & I'm no longer accepting being treated like an outsider & an imbecile

There is no point in offering advice really, because if you do the above it will pretty much finish any chance of any relationship I would think.

So, as long as your DH is on board and that's what you want to happen then the decision is made.
Sorry.(and congratulations on your pregnancy!)

Lulu1083 Thu 21-Nov-13 14:10:47

Stuff that surburban, she doesn't want granddaughters why on earth should OP name one after her?

She sounds so difficult, and if any member of my family moaned about the gender of my children I would have suggested they needn't see them!

YummyMummybee Thu 21-Nov-13 14:12:36

Thank you for the advice, apparently she had some form of gender disappointment after her 4th son was born so tries to make me feel like a failure to my husband (who absolutely worships our dd & is absolutely thrilled she's having a sister!!). Btw noone knows we are having another dd except dh & I & the lovely ladies on mn!!! Since I announced my pregnancy all she keeps saying I hope its a boy my son deserves a son, all men want a boy!!!!

My mom lives 4 hours away but gets the train up to us every second week & I go home alot too. My mom is 10 years older than MIL(but a v young, active 70 yo & she is always making comments about how my MIL should be slowing down at her age & is she up again etc.... Also my mom retired as a nurse 5 years ago, she was a midwife so her advice is invaluable however MIL didn't work she belittles my mom saying no woman worked in her day, it was selfish to leave the family home!!

Also she favours the other grandkids, comments on how much clothes & toys my dd has. Last time we were over she asked other SIL's what their kids wanted for xmas & made a point of saying my dd has everything & wouldn't be needing much.....

sparechange Thu 21-Nov-13 14:13:16

IMO you don't need any advice because you're already handling her beautifully.

This. And the not naming DD2 after her, so what! After her comments about DD1 being a disappointment to her, she doesn't deserve to have DD2 named in her honor.
Frankly, I wouldn't want to be reminded her my nasty MIL every time I said my DD's name, so I don't blame you at all for not wanting to give them the same name!

Sounds like your DH is wonderfully supportive, so let her play her silly games and enjoy your lovely family

MrTumblesKnickers Thu 21-Nov-13 14:14:13

"We have now decided to use 2 names we both love & not use her name at all even for middle name"

Uh oh ... I forsee WWIII over this one! Are you sure you can't use it as a middle name?

As for the rest, try and rise above it, as hard as it is. If she's so unpleasant why would you want to go round there for dinner anyway? And don't give her so much info about your mum coming round etc. Fuel to the fire.

kat0406 Thu 21-Nov-13 14:15:38

I have to say I would agree - to have a child named after you would be an honour, and one I would expect that she wouldn't even appreciate! I am so glad you have your DH on board, otherwise it could be a nightmare. You are right in keeping contact to a minimum, life is hard enough without people like that in it!

HappyCliffmas Thu 21-Nov-13 14:20:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kotinka Thu 21-Nov-13 14:21:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyCliffmas Thu 21-Nov-13 14:22:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

diddl Thu 21-Nov-13 14:24:13

I think it's very unkind to say that you would name the next daughter after her & then not to.

She doesn't sound as if she would appreciate it, or that she deserves it, though.

If she says anything, I guess you just tell her that she doesn't deserve it you changed your minds.

AdoraBell Thu 21-Nov-13 14:27:06

OP said she and DH had decided against using MIL's ñame. Maybe he doesn't want To be reminded everytime he heard his DD's ñame spoken.

OP just continúe doing what you have been, you really are handling it Well, and if you and DH are certain about the ñame then I would advize that he tell his mother, not his father, or both of them together.

But don't make a big thing of it, just 'oh, we've been thinking about the ñame and have decided To use X, Anyone want a cup of tea/know what the football score was/do you think it's going To be sunny at the weekend?'

knickernicker Thu 21-Nov-13 14:31:39

Being firm with a manipulative person is difficult and you tread a fine line to get it right. My MIL once told me she'd deliberately put my toddler dd in a dangerous position in order to get a rise out of me. She actually admitted she'd done it for that purpose. It took all my self control not to scream. I calmly said, " I don't find that comment funny." She repeated the word funny incredulously and stormed off back to get the coach home.
Then I had to explain to dp who thinks we need to make sure we try not to upset her.
It is possible to be firm, but you have to have total self belief and serenity so that the bully can't see a chink in your armour.
In your situation I would suggest continuing as you are doing. Keep a good distance and don't feel guilty about children needing a relationship with grandmother.

DeWe Thu 21-Nov-13 14:35:32

I don't think you can do anything about the name other than just tell her the name after you've registered. Would it be worth considering it as a middle just to try and smooth over a little bit?
If she says anything, then "really, did we say that? We just really loved the names XXX YYY and decided to go for them."
Rather than telling her she didn't deserve the honour (which is true) because that gives her ammunition.

Dh's family have a family name given to the first born boy of the first born boy... We thought we'd use it when I was pg with #1 and #2 (both girls). When ds came along we had changed our minds-the name is oldfashioned now-sort of name no one under 40+ I know, which we weren't really aware of then.
We did use the name as a middle name, but just told them "we have a boy, his name is X Y " and they haven't ever said anything about it.

Mim78 Thu 21-Nov-13 14:42:37

Sounds like you are dealing with it fine to me.

hollowhallows Thu 21-Nov-13 14:45:54

It sounds like she is very bitter over you having a daughter while she has only had sons. I feel sad for her because it seems she has coped with this disappointment by drumming into herself, as well as those around her, that husbands want sons and not daughters. It sounds like you having had a daughter, and your DH being happy about it, has shown up that the idea she has been putting out there to console herself isn't actually true and dredged up her feelings of bitterness. Unfortunately it has made the blessing of your DD a living reminder of her disappointment. Sad for her but not a justification for her behaviour.

Trooperslane Thu 21-Nov-13 14:55:09

I'd tell her you don't want to insult her by naming a girl after her when she obv doesn't want them. Silly old woman x

thebody Thu 21-Nov-13 14:57:24

she sounds a daft old bint and jealous to boot.

call your baby what you like and setae as clear of her as possible.

the comments she makes about your mom are funny so laugh at her. also laugh at any comments made about having girls by belittling her. so

'oh you are a funny one arnt you? where on earth so you get these daft ideas from love'?

keep chin up.

Hissy Thu 21-Nov-13 15:02:17

Don't you DARE name your beautiful little baby girl after that poisonous cow.

You ARE handling this perfectly. Do you really know for sure that she actually treats your SILs differently to you? Because it's highly likely too that she is AS nasty to them, but tells you a pile of BS.

Don't pander to her. It may even shock her into actually treating you with respect. You never know... Kowtowing to her certainly won't!

All the best of luck to you and your lovely family!

AdoraBell Thu 21-Nov-13 15:20:11


Is your DH the fourth son? Having re-read your up date I agree she sounds jealous.

Holdthepage Thu 21-Nov-13 17:21:35

It sounds as though she wanted a girl herself & is now jealous of you. You would think she would be delighted to have a gd, what a silly woman.

I definitely wouldn't name my baby after her, just tell her you changed your mind after it became clear from her comments that she doesn't seem to like girls.

fluffyraggies Thu 21-Nov-13 17:36:23

It sounds as though she wanted a girl herself & is now jealous of you.

^ ^ this

She ''doth protest too much'', OP.

My XMIL was the same. She had 3 boys. I married her eldest and went on to have 3 girls.

I think if i had a pound for every time she told me she was glad she'd never had a daughter, that she thought girls were 'difficult' and 'awkward', and not something she ever wished for, never ever - i'd have been a millionaire by the time DD3 came along.

Her actual words, when XH rang her from the hospital to tell her DC3 had been born safely and was a girl, were 'oh ... oh well, never mind'


fluffyraggies Thu 21-Nov-13 17:38:23

So - needless to say i wouldn't have dreamed of naming any of those 'awkward', 'difficult' little girls after her smile wink

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