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To ask DIL's how they cope when horrible MIL comes to stay?

(46 Posts)
ilovecatsanddogsbest Thu 11-Jun-15 10:26:15

Desperately need some tips to help me cope with cold fish MIL who shows no interest in any of the family including DH. She's only coming for a duty visit so she can pretend to her friends she cares. She is exhaustingly negative, tries to put DH down at any opportunity, raves on about golden child SIL and her dc and just generally awful. Help!

BarbarianMum Thu 11-Jun-15 10:30:04

That's easy - don't have her to stay. Or (Plan B) only for 1 night (at the weekend) and your dh takes her out for the day. If he doesn't want to do this, revert to plan a.

You reall, really don't have to facilitate her charade or her hurtful remarks -unless your dh wants to see her. In which case he sees her away from the family home.

HarpyFishwifeTwat Thu 11-Jun-15 11:04:52

If she really has to come then keep her busy. My DM is generally lovely, but if we don't keep her busy she becomes utterly negative and exhausting. Plan a couple of events and keep her out of the house as much as possible.

ThereIsIron Thu 11-Jun-15 11:07:15

You be exhaustingly challenging to all of her exhaustingly negative statements, or tell her not to come.

ilovecatsanddogsbest Thu 11-Jun-15 11:32:36

DH is still not ready to tell her not to come and up until now I've felt I have to support him and managed to smooth along the visits. I am now at a stage where I utterly hate her so cannot see how the visit will work, but DH still feels he has to have her come to stay or the guilt is too much. I don't feel I can go out and leave them to it as I feel obliged to support dh.

ollieplimsoles Thu 11-Jun-15 11:36:33

but DH still feels he has to have her come to stay or the guilt is too much

Worrying. Is he aware his mother is horrible and what are his feelings towards her?

Also- is she nasty to the family/ you/ dh directly or is she just a generally negative hard work person to host?

FoulsomeAndMaggotwise Thu 11-Jun-15 11:40:15

Personally I would have her for the sake of dh, but not do anything differently from my usual day. Make no special effort for her, ignore her negative comments, and don't put yourself out in any way.

That might be rubbish advice though as I'm lucky enough to have a lovely MIL who I really like.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 11-Jun-15 11:40:19

How does DH feel about her visit - does he want her to come?

IF he would be OK about it, you could even have some fun <evil> about it, but it would involve blatant horribleness on your part to match her own.

1. Bingo cards. Prepare cards listing expected phrases she will trot out. Do not hide them, and visibly score them out as she says them.
2. Score card. Similar to bingo cards, but keeping count of expected phrases, with room to add new ones as she produces them. Best kept on the fridge door so that everyone can see it and keep it updated.
3. Just say 'You're very rude' every time she is. And then sit looking at her, saying nothing.
4. Ask why she bothers coming, surely her friends can see through her pretence that she cares.
5. Be out when she comes. Maybe for a few days.

Or, maybe just think all these things to help you grit your teeth.

But, it all comes back to your DH. Would he prefer her not to come?

UniS Thu 11-Jun-15 11:41:11

Who invites her? You or dh or herself?

reni1 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:46:50

How long is she staying? I agree with keeping her busy. Prime yourself much in the way you would if going for a work trip with an unpleasant boss or colleague.

Draw up a plan for the day(s) she is there, be exact. Allow for little time to sit and talk, go to the zoo and the theatre or something and watch a movie at night so no sitting and putting anybody down. Meals simple and quick so they can be wolfed down, what damage can she do in 15 minutes of pasta slurping between mouthfuls.

Counter the negativity, "DS is soo slow to do anything, DD is much faster" gets answered with "Oh, but he is wonderfully thoughtful and his decisions are sound", "It's raining again, typical" with a chipper "Ooooh, a chance to jump puddles in our wellies" all delivered with an infuriatingly cheerful disposition. You can do it!

ilovecatsanddogsbest Thu 11-Jun-15 11:49:59

DH doesn't want her to come, in fact he hates her but feels guilty about it. MIL is often rude to him in that she belittles him, rolls her eyes at me about him to try to get me to join in (I never do). If I stand up for him she tells me he has a big head (he has actually had to work on his confidence thanks to her). She pays no attention to the dc really and half the time pretends/ acts like she can't hear them but doesn't ask them to repeat what they have said. She can be very rude, especially if we are at her house and sometimes apologises just as we are leaving saying it is because it is hard work and she is stressed.

Myricales Thu 11-Jun-15 11:51:07

I am now at a stage where I utterly hate her so cannot see how the visit will work

Go away for the weekend.

BarbarianMum Thu 11-Jun-15 11:51:36

Your dh is consumed with fear, obligation and guilt (FOG) which is why he can't break free. Don't try and act as a buffer b/w them - you showing him that it is not OK for MiL to treat you badly is an importnt step in him realising that it is not OK for her to treat him badly either.

In any case out and about is easier than at home.

Myricales Thu 11-Jun-15 11:52:36

DH doesn't want her to come

So why is she coming?

ollieplimsoles Thu 11-Jun-15 11:55:21

If I stand up for him she tells me he has a big head (he has actually had to work on his confidence thanks to her)

Right thats enough then, she is not contributing anything to your DC's lives, her own son hates her and doesn't want her to come. Usually I would advise that the DH sorts his mother out (as mine does) but he is clearly scarred by her past treatment of him.

Time to cut her out I think- I would ring her and end this. She wouldn't come into my house.

ollieplimsoles Thu 11-Jun-15 11:56:43

Shes a bully OP, and bullies need to be cut down and taught a lesson. Be the one to teach it.

CMon Thu 11-Jun-15 12:04:40

I love WhereYouLeftIts suggestion. grin

I'd just be busy and take. The opportunity to catch up with a book or some chores. Sitting MN'ing with your headphones in would work. I think it's best to just try not to care. It's your DHs mum just step right back and let him deal with it. Sympathise with him when he needs a moan and support him in his decisions buttery and remove yourself from any of the crap.

If she is actually rude to you then I think you should tell her that she sounds rude but don't get into an argument.

Good luck.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 11-Jun-15 12:08:40

Oh no. Are those stomach cramps back?
I know you were sooo looking forward to seeing her, but I think you had better go to (that hotel near) the hospital for a diagnosis.
And it's all so last minute and you are really sorry. But it is hurting so much it's making you cry.

Or just be honest and ask why she bothers.

Love the idea of the bingo cards!

bloodyteenagers Thu 11-Jun-15 12:08:48

If this was a random person on the street, what would you do?
The same applies to family. I have no loyalty to families and don't believe in a world where you accept anything because they are related. Nope. Everyone is the same. It is liberating going nc with negative, worthless bullies.

spad Thu 11-Jun-15 12:13:24

Contrary to the usual mil advice on here I would say that you have to take the brunt of it. Your DH has had more than enough to cope with and a lifetime of putting up wit her.

I would try and ignore everything, except any negative comments about your children. And if it really is that bad then just say she can't stay. It is your home and you should be happy and comfortable in it.

Tequilashotfor1 Thu 11-Jun-15 12:16:19

Why are you letting her come? Would you let one of your friends talk to you like this?

I took the situatuon out of DP hands and told my mil not to come to my house any more. She actually lives two streets away but called in daily to terrorise me. Thst was at Xmas at its been bliss. It was scary but I couldn't cope anymore.

I think there is supporting your DP and enabling his mother to treat you all like this. I would support DP by taking matters in to your own hands and saying no, or your busy, or that doesn't work for you.

Tequilashotfor1 Thu 11-Jun-15 12:18:08

spad why should anyone take the brunt of a bully? All it does is enable who ever it is to continue.

GobblersKnob Thu 11-Jun-15 12:19:48

I am infuriatingly cheerful, go miles out of my way to be nice and have a secret version of bingo drawn up on my phone in note, keeps me amused and smiling (I have versions for other people too) winkgrin

Treats Thu 11-Jun-15 12:23:05

Disengage. My MIL is similar (not quite as bad as yours and we don't have duty visits), and I spent years getting upset about her behaviour. Now I just let it all wash over me - it's not my problem and I don't care. I'm always scrupulously polite and take care to be very hospitable when she's here. But I'm just not bothered about her.

Your advantage here is that she is coming to you. It means that you can keep busy with all your usual activities and always have a reason why you can't sit and listen to her rubbish. It would be much worse if you went to stay with her - you'd basically be completely at her mercy.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 11-Jun-15 12:45:03

"DH doesn't want her to come, in fact he hates her but feels guilty about it."
Sadly, I think I'd take it out of his hands then. If it's not his decision, he can't be made to feel guilty about it. Yes, I know he still will, but if he's going to feel guilty regardless, you might as well have him feel guilty and she's not there than feel guilty and she is.

I would consider just telling her that as she insists on insulting your husband and children, she is no longer welcome in your home, nor will you be visiting again. If you suggested that to DH, what do you think his reaction would be?

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