Another MIL one(9 Posts)
I have been tempted a few times to rant on here about my 'MIL' (actually just mum of partner of 18 months) but I've tried many times to give her the benefit of the doubt. Whenever I visit her I help around the house, offer to get her things from the shops, often take a bottle of wine to say thanks for having me over (DP and I are long distance so stay with each other for a couple/few days when we have time - just left uni before anyone asks why he's at home).
Anyway, here's the issue that has set me off. Got a text from DP yesterday asking if he's a bad person. I replied not at all, why? DP then said he'd been calling his phone service provider to put his phone account into his name, but had been put on hold for a while and had a meeting to get to, so decided to go to the meeting and then call the phone provider again later. When he hung up, apparently MIL started shouting and screaming at him, calling him a fuckwit and a bully and that he'll end up alone because he's a horrible person. DP is very sensitive, his dad left when he was young and he has a real fear of being 'horrible' like his dad which his nasty mother plays on. I've seen her when she gets into a rage, and I can only describe her as unhinged. When she's shouted at him like this whilst I'm there she often does it through our bedroom door and I just sit in the room willing her not to come in. I wouldn't say I'm scared of her, more her unpredictable, unexplainable rage.
Other issues over the past year:
She's referred to my family as 'idiots' and 'chavs' having never met them
She frequently shouts nastily eg: a cold caller rang her and you would have thought she was talking to her worst enemy, shrieking and spitting down the phone
She tells me how many hours I should be working (fewer apparently) when I'm managing just fine
She doesn't allow her son to do anything for himself eg: he once put pasta on to boil in cold water. Rather than just leaving it and explaining it's quicker next time if you boil the kettle first, she shrieked at him about how he was cooking it wrong and re-did it herself
Her toilet has been broken for the past year (temperamental flush). She refused to fix it, then shrieked and swore whenever it broke, which was foreseeable because it was bloody broken already!!
Last year her roof needed fixing. Knowing she didn't have the money for it, she had it fixed, them asked DP to pay £600 of the bill out of his student grant. DP was living with me at the time and I put my foot down because he needed that money for his share of the rent.
She frequently acts like a frail old woman who needs help doing everything because of various 'ailments' - I have to keep reminding DP she's only 54, not a bloody pensioner!!
This is causing real issues. I've decided I can't carry on with DP. I don't want to be the woman who says 'it's me or her', but equally I don't want to end up related to this nasty, toxic woman. I just feel awful because I care so much for DP and don't want to leave him to be subject to his mother's nastiness - he is such a loving, caring partner and I know he sees us having a future. I'm not really here to ask you all for an answer, I know the answer is to end things rather than string him along, but it just feel awful because I love him and worry about what his mother will be like, considering she often gleefully tells him no one but her cares about him and that he's going to end up alone because of what a 'bully' he is (also bear in mind his father leaving has left DP with serious abandonment issues which we've been working on during our time together). She's the fucking bully. I hate her.
How sad for your boyfriend/DP. How do you know he wouldn't choose you? He might actually be delighted to get away from his horrible, stress-inducing mother!
After all, you're not financially abusive (the rent he was to pay had been agreed and budgeted, rather than being sprung on him, like his mother's demand),
I'm a bit shocked that you seem to have smoothed over her shouting at you through a door, and smoothing over when she said such things about your family: those would have been a perfect moments to have cutcontact with her, and shown your BF/DP that there is an exit!
Have you asked him what HE feels about his mother?
Does he want to leave home as soon as he can and then keep her at arm's length, or does he seem to play along with her and kowtow too much?
If he is trying to get out of home then cut him some slack. Perhaps he needs your support to get out of home? Plenty of wives and husbands have strained relationships with the in-laws. It doesn't always mean leaving the partner. Perhaps he could do with support in standing up to her, as she sounds rather controlling and overbearing.
I don't know, I guess I don't want to go issuing ultimatums as I feel like I'm being unreasonable, I've only realised recently that in this instance I probably wouldn't be.
I think I smoothed those things over because at first I thought they were one offs and that maybe she'd get better, but this hasn't been the case.
It's not that I think he wouldn't choose me, I know he feels a sense of loyalty to his mother and don't want to make him feel torn between the two of us. I suppose I see it as better that I go away and he and his mother work on their relationship/her behaviour actually - but I'm not sure that that would really happen.
He wants to leave home but will then try to justify her behaviour out of loyalty. This isn't about me not cutting him slack Top, more that I know I don't want to end up related to such a nasty person so much so that my love for him can't outweigh the negatives re: her behaviour.
To be honest, I think you're being a bit rash to end the relationship so early on because of his mum. Obviously it's difficult while he's living at home, but how were things when you were living together? Assuming you're planning to live together again when you're able to, won't you be able to put boundaries in place to prevent her behaviour affecting you?
I don't think that if you leave him they will work on their relationship/her behaviour if she was self-aware enough to improve her behaviour then she would not behave that way in the first place. And he is unlikely to stand up to her when he is living there, especially as you dumping him will just confirm her statement about being the only one who loves him.
If you don't want to be with him then obviously that's your decision, but if you love him then I think YABU to throw the relationship away over this. Obviously your MIL is never going to be a lovely person, but you and your DP might be able to put some boundaries in place and have a lovely life despite her bullying.
You don't have to treat it as an ultimatum: what if you were to frame it as seeing how unhappy his mother makes him, and wanting to help him?
Just to be clear, I'm not planning on ending things right now and 'being rash'. But her behaviour is so bad I don't want to be legally related to her, owe her my time as her DIL, have her as grandmother to my children. I find her that unbearable. So it seems inevitable that things won't work out, and is it really fair for me to continue things whilst I feel this way?
Equally, I realise that finishing things will just confirm her statement that nobody loves him. But then why should my decisions be bound by her abusive behaviour?
Also Xmas, things weren't perfect between us when we lived together, and we've agreed that we work better when we live apart. So whilst is mother is a large part of the reason I feel this way about our future, she's not the only reason.
Previous relationships that I've ended have ended because the men I dated treated me badly, but this isn't the case here and I feel like I'm letting him down and abandoning him with his mum, but then I dread seeing her and absolutely hate the time I spend at her house (I've tried the last couple of times to go with an open mind, and every time she's instigated a blazing row with one of her children and created a horrendous atmosphere.)
That's true plu. There's not much I can do to help at the moment as we're going to be living in separate cities for the next couple of years due to further education/work commitments, but we have discussed how he could go about saving enough to move out ASAP.
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