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In asking DH to speak to MIL.

(159 Posts)
Milmingebag Mon 01-Dec-14 14:14:35

Earlier this year I fell out with my MIL over her unreasonable behaviour. Had a thread on here and the verdict was unanimous that she was unreasonable. I confronted her via email and she denied/was political in her response and we have had a very light touch contact since.

I had a blistering argument with my DH yesterday because he is spineless over Christmas arrangements. Because she moaned about the food I cooked I have told him he is cooking if he is inviting her. I have asked him to make it clear to her that she can stay for three days but won't be hosted beyond that. He refused outright. Last year she stayed the entire time he had booked off of work (14 days). I think this is unreasonable.

Other niggles - she refuses to sleep anywhere else but the front room and this limits how we function as a family. She often wants to go to bed at 9pm because she is an early riser. I asked him to speak to her about this. He refused.

I have hosted her for various extensive stays (every Easter,Christmas etc) over thirteen years and suggested to my DH that she might like to do it herself this year. She has a big enough dining table and large enough house of her own. He refused saying she has never offered.

Last year she bought all her presents off Amazon and asked me to check them to make sure they had all arrived. I decided to wrap them all up, labelled from her as I thought it would save her a job. She was furious and said I had only wrapped them up to see what she had bought. When I pointed out she had asked me to check she then whiffed on about wanting to wrap them herself in her colour co- ordinated wrapping paper. This year she has stated that the adults won't be exchanging gifts. Aibu in thinking that when you are a guest at someone's house you don't dictate what you are going to do but ask if they agree.?She has long had an unusual thing about hating getting presents as she has guilt about receiving. To be honest it has really affected how I feel about present giving. It's gone from being a source of joy to one of anxiety. She sulks if anyone buys her even the smallest thing and has left other presents behind on purpose because she doesn't want/like them. She insists on thing being bought from her Wishlist.

I'm dreading Christmas this year. I wish I could just go off on my own for a few days. When I explained how I was feeling yesterday my DH twisted things saying I was asking him to choose between his wife and his mother and that he wouldn't leave her on her own at Christmas. That was obviously not what I was asking but for him to put some boundaries in place or I said he could always go down to hers and spend it with her just the two of them because after doing this for thirteen years I would quite like a Chrustmas that doesn't revolve around meeting his mother's needs.

AIBU? Any advice appreciated. x

Euphemia Mon 01-Dec-14 14:23:47

You know who your problem is with, don't you?

Sister77 Mon 01-Dec-14 14:24:52

Your problem isn't your mil op, it's your DH.
Tell him you don't want home to choose between you and your mil he's quite welcome to go there.
Sorry ��

Milmingebag Mon 01-Dec-14 14:24:58

Yes- both of them!

CookieLady Mon 01-Dec-14 14:25:46

Ask your husband why he chose to get married if he's going to always to put his mother's feelings above yours?

BlackeyedSusan Mon 01-Dec-14 14:27:16

as you are the bad guy anyway, you tell her. if you upset her enough she might not come nextyear (naughty)

CookieLady Mon 01-Dec-14 14:27:54

No, no, no, minge, you're wrong. The only reason your MIL behaves this way is because your DH won't tell her when her behaviour is unacceptable.

CookieLady Mon 01-Dec-14 14:28:45

BlackeyedSusan grin

outofcontrol2014 Mon 01-Dec-14 14:28:59

OK, let's get a few things straight: staying for 2 weeks (uninvited) is rude and unreasonable. Sleeping in the front room and insisting everyone goes to bed at 9pm because you want to go to sleep then is rude and controlling. Being anything less than sunnily grateful for help wrapping up is awful. Dictating whether adults give each other presents is rude - this is a matter for negotiation - leaving presents behind is just outrageous and ungrateful. OP, she sounds just AWFUL! And you've been doing this for 13 years? You deserve a bloody medal.

Your DH is the one being manipulative here. He's deliberately turning this into a wife vs MIL situation, when you have set up nothing of the sort. I fear that you are being played off against each other for his benefit.

You have been very clear about your boundaries, and you have offered a very reasonable deal to your MIL. She will clearly march all over you given half a chance, as her behaviour in previous years has shown (time and time again, by the sounds of things!). It is absolutely and completely normal for you to expect him to set some limits in the circumstances.

I think in your shoes, I would start making arrangements to spend Christmas elsewhere until DH was in more of a mood to compromise. Do you have relations you could go to?

Ychyfi Mon 01-Dec-14 14:29:40

Christ, no - YANBU. She can and will behave badly - you probably won't be able to change her behaviour after this long - but your DH's behaviour is a different thing. He needs to grow up and take responsibility for managing the situation, rather than allowing her to walk all over your family and the decisions you've made as a household.

Years ago, I went to a friend's wedding. I was a bridesmaid and so also went to the wedding rehearsal the night before. I always remember that the vicar asked whether my friend was being given away and if so, by whom. Friend's dad steps forward. The vicar said to him that the whole action of "giving away" your child (whether or not you agree with the concept generally) was meant to acknowledge the fact that her new family would now take precedence over her original one. At the time, I wasn't yet married and found that a bit sad, but now I would agree. You agreed to commit to each other over anyone else in the world. As a mother, that does make me a little teary, but the alternative (causing DD's long term relationships to suffer because of my over-involvement) would be much worse. Although it hurts, surely any parent worth their salt would consider their first priority to be giving their child the tools to have a healthy, happy relationship.

NotQuiteSoOnEdge Mon 01-Dec-14 14:30:13

Not both. Him.

You aren't asking him to choose between you, because he should never have allowed it to become a situation like this where he feels this torn.

You are his wife. His life partner. His team. If you aren't first automatically, if you have to argue for it, you've already lost.

Refuse to have her. Let the chips fall where they will. He does actual have to choose.

MommyBird Mon 01-Dec-14 14:31:31

Could you pack up and go to your parents? Think i'd be doing that!

Hissy Mon 01-Dec-14 14:32:56

Fuck it, you are in this on your own love, so go for it.

Call her up yourself and say that seeing as your DH told you at great length how she had such a miserable time last year that only the 3 days will be sensible/possible, and that this is non-negotiable.

State too that she will not be taking up residence in the front room, and will sleep where she is put. Again, this is non-negotiable as it disrupts the house and you are not prepared for this to continue.

or would she like a list of local B&Bs?

GraysAnalogy Mon 01-Dec-14 14:33:15

Jesus christ. He needs to get a grip. I would refuse to do christmas until he told her what the deal is.

hissingcat Mon 01-Dec-14 14:34:00

agree with what everyone else has said. She sounds AWFUL.
Do you have DC? If not then I would book a holiday for the duration and leave DH to entertain her.

FannyFifer Mon 01-Dec-14 14:37:38

Why do people put up with this shit.
Do not let her come for Xmas.
13 years of this pish, time for your 13 years of how u want Xmas.

Your DH is a spineless sap.
He'll happily let you be upset rather than his mother, despite the fact that he has to live with you for the rest of the year - this is pathetic.
He refuses to speak to his mother about her appalling behaviour, thus allowing her to blithely continue with it.

Well - you know the answer. Tell her yourself, since he lacks the spine - and if she gets the huff, too bloody bad. If HE gets the huff too, tell him where to piss off to.

As for "twisting your words" - well he's as controlling as she is but just in a much more passive aggressive fashion, isn't he. He's making you feel guilty so that you just fall in with his/her plans, and he doesn't have to upset the apple cart. What a prick!

What are you going to do? Let them both get away with ruining your Christmas again? Or say "Fuck you both, I'm not putting up with this shit, if you want to go to bed at 9pm then go sleep in XYZ room/hotel; and if you don't like my cooking then either do it yourself (since you never offer to host at your house) or go find a hotel/restaurant. As for presents, I will give them to whom I like - and that, luckily for you, doesn't include you, so we'll have no sighing about it, thanks. And if YOU [DH] don't like it, you can go with her. Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Or, y'know, a more toned-down, diplomatic version. grin

littlemslazybones Mon 01-Dec-14 14:42:35

Tell him that she can stays as long as she likes, sleep in the front room, go to bed early, whatever she likes and then the day before she arrives pack your bag and set off on your lovely fortnight long-holiday leaving dh to host misery guts

littlemslazybones Mon 01-Dec-14 14:43:56

That's mil misery guts, not you

SugarMiceInTheRain Mon 01-Dec-14 14:49:27

Thumbnuts grin love that response! I agree with you entirely, though wouldn't have the backbone myself to put it quite like that!

OP, YANBU at all, but you need to act asap, as your DH is being such a spineless mummy's boy.

Gawjushun Mon 01-Dec-14 14:53:48

You are being far, far too generous inviting her for 3 days. Why does she HAVE to come to yours for years in a row? Doesn't she have other family to burden?

My suggestion is to leave DH and MIL to it. Take the kids to other grandparents or extended family.

Milmingebag Mon 01-Dec-14 14:55:27

I don't like my husband very much today. I find it hard to respect him. He is indeed a spineless sap.

Looks like I am going to have to sort this out for myself by contacting her and outlining my position on the points I raised. I am finding it increasingly hard to be diplomatic about it.

I have three children otherwise I would spend Christmas elsewhere.
I still might

hissingcat Mon 01-Dec-14 14:58:19

Why does she have to stay for 3 days? If you have to have her for Christmas can't she go home at night?
Does your husband acknowledge that she's a pain?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 01-Dec-14 15:03:25

According to Lastminute.com �1000 buys you two weeks in the Canary Islands leaving Dec 22nd or �1500 does the same for Barbados.

Give us a budget and tell him to do one. grin

Summerisle1 Mon 01-Dec-14 15:04:24

If your DH hasn't got the bollocks to tell her fortune then yes, you need to make the ground rules abundantly clear. Starting with her sleeping where she's put and not occupying the front room like some sort of totalitarian dictator.

I suspect that the time for diplomacy has long passed and your DH's attitude just enables her behaviour. So it probably is down to you and certainly, I'd not advise mincing words either.

It's a great shame you can't just leave the pair of them to it over Christmas!

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