to be worried that MIL will ruin our life together?(4 Posts)
Hi all, I am posting here to gain some impartial perspectives on my situation. Any point of view is welcomed.
I am a European woman, who was raised in the most caring, healthy and open-minded family you can think of. DP is of East Asian origins, though he was educated in NZ and UK so he is very Westernized and open-minded too. We have been together for over four years now, and our relationship couldn't be better. We have been talking about marriage and kids and we would both feel ready to take those steps in the next future.
However, I am hesitant to commit to marriage and kids with DP because I hate my future MIL.
My future MIL is so awful that I the idea of putting up with her for the rest of my life makes me feel sick. As I said DP's family is Asian (Chinese) and quite traditional, especially when it comes about the roles within the family. PILs are based back in China but MIL spends long periods of time in the UK as well, so I still have to deal with her at least 3/4 times a year for a couple of weeks each time.
While FIL and the two SILs can be self-centered, narrow-minded and pushy, MIL is a whole new level of nastiness, irrationality, arrogance and stupidity.
She thinks she is the queen of the family, if not of the whole world. She bursts into rage whenever someone does not agree with her or does not want she wants. She literally is like a spoiled baby. She often has hysterical reactions to absolutely meaningless situations, up to the point where she sometimes is physically violent with her own family members. This happens nearly every single time DP or his DSis spend time with their mother. Every. Single. Time. There is no way to spend time with MIL without dealing with at least one or two drama-filled episodes.
DP literally hates his DM. He also dislikes the rest of the family, though with much less intensity. However, DP was raised in an Asian environment and feels it is his duty to maintain some kind of relationship with his parents and family, even though it really is only surface.
Because of this, going NC will never be an option for us. I understand his point of view and I support it (I would never force anyone to go NC with their own family if that was not what they want), though I find it hard to accept I will have to put up with such nonsense for my whole life.
Sometimes I think if DP's family disappeared our life would be so much easier. I have one life only and I intend to live it accordingly with what I believe is right. Being bullied by a nasty woman is not included in my life plan.
AIBU to be worried that MIL will ruin our life together?
Your DP will need to help ensure she doesn't, if he wants to marry you.
If he 'literally hates his dm', then he should have no trouble in seeing she doesn't get to tell either of you what to do/cause you misery.
Once he does that, if she chooses to go NC then that's up to her.
I think this is a very natural, very sensible fear and it's good that you're confronting it head-on.
There are two problems here: your MIL and your DH. First, let's look at your MIL.
I suspect many posters will tell you to go NC! That's usually the stock reply. And there's nothing wrong with it as a solution. However, for some couples I honestly believe cultural factors or abuse can mean that limited contact is a more workable solution (practically and psychologically than NC).
The first thing is that you need to set some boundaries. There is no way around this and it will be tough. A 2-week visit 3 or 4 times a year is WAY too much to put up with. Try to reduce it right back - much, much shorter visits.
Secondly, you need to ensure that there isn't a payoff for bad behaviour. If people get loads of care and attention by behaving atrociously, they normally continue to do so. So working out a way of disengaging completely when she is unreasonable - literally leaving the environment for instance - is important. Other arrangements may need to change for you to do this, e.g. you put your MIL up in a hotel instead of inviting her to your home.
Now, your DH. He needs to stand up to his mother. It's all very well saying he 'hates' her, but he's clearly not asserting strong boundaries in her presence. It may be that he needs extra support to do this - it sounds as though there is a BIG history of violence and bullying here, and it will have left its legacy. Assertiveness training or counselling DO work here.
Make sure she never, ever, ever stays with you.
Always have something going on like reworking or a major plumbing job with your house or flat. And never get a house with a spare room she can use.
Ask your own mum to stay (because of her remodelling/ plumbing issues) when she's in the uk so MIL can't stay with you.
Make an arrangement with a bnb/ hotel that she gets a reduced rate, and be totally unswerving about her staying some place else.
I find when people you don't like can't freeload, they tend to leave you alone.
Don't be put off marrying your dp by fears about your prospective mil.
You need to talk with him about how you see his role protecting your marriage from her, and talk with him about her role in your marriage. Make her over involvement and drama filled interference a deal breaker to him and he'll see where his loyalties lie.
Make sure he's 100% on board with your marriage health and safety rules and boundary line management of MIL before you have kids, because then is the time they will be tested to their limit, so they need to be habitually and strongly enforced before then.
You and your dp need to be a team and you need to have mil management procedures explicitly spelled out and agreed upon in advance, with absolutely no deviation allowed when kids arrive. There needs to be time limits on day visits as well.
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