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Yet another MIL question!

(11 Posts)
tiggerkid Tue 02-Aug-16 12:00:17

We've recently had multiple issues with MIL, which resulted in my decision to stop all contact with her. My main issue with her is that we don't live very close to her and when we used to visit her, she was completely ignoring me, DH and DS. She would just sit on the sofa, watch her soaps and never even made any conversation with any of us. When her birthdays, mothers' days came and Christmases came, I duly organised presents for her and DH's family. In 20 years that I've been married to DH, I have NEVER received a single card from her for any occasion. When my dad passed away, she didn't even bother making a phone call to us for courtesy.

We moved house almost 3 years ago and she's never been to visit us. We lived in our previous house for almost 10 years and she only came to visit us twice. When she did visit, I cooked dinner and all she did was turn her nose up and complain. Example: I made some spaghetti bolognaise and she asked me to serve it to her without the sauce, i.e. plain boiled with nothing on it. And it's not as if she even tried the sauce to say it wasn't to her taste. Before further questions on that matter, I have seen her eat bolognaise on many occasions before when we went out.

So, long story short, because of this and many other issues, I decided to cut her out of my life. This sadly resulted in DH also stopping all visits as he doesn't want to leave us alone during weekends. I understand that MIL is is his mother at the end of the day, so I tried offering him to take DS one weekend to visit her. I just explained that I am really struggling to like his mother myself and maintain my polite front. I am just tired of being ignored and disregarded. I visited her every week for at least 10-12 years of our marriage and nothing has changed.

She never calls us except when she needs something. She doesn't even call DH for his birthday. Since I stopped contact, I still made sure I organise for birthday and Christmas gifts to be sent to her by post. Last Christmas, she called DH to say thanks. It was a 3 minute chat during which she asked him if he intends to come up to visit. He invited her to visit instead. She made up 10 million reasons for which she couldn't do that and ended the conversation quite quickly.

DH's siblings also nag him and guilt trip about not visiting but he tells me that he understands how I feel because he has been largely ignored by her pretty much all of his life, so isn't surprised I don't like his mother. He said she isn't exactly easy to love.

However, despite all that, I feel somehow guilty that by cutting her out, I've effectively cut her out of my son's and husband's lives too. At the same time, I can't bring myself to ever look at that woman again or make another visit. I just literally can't stand her anymore.

What would you do?

sleepyMe12 Tue 02-Aug-16 12:11:05

You have not cut her out of DH or DS loves you have suggested they go along for the weekend.
The fact that DH can't be bothered speaks volumes, in fact I'd stop sending cards etc aswell surely your DH is more then capable to send his own family cards.
I'd continue as you are, life is to short to have to deal with toxic people.

sleepyMe12 Tue 02-Aug-16 12:11:25

*lives not loves

ilovelamp82 Tue 02-Aug-16 12:16:31

It's not your fault. I would do the same in your position. The fact that your dh says that he was ignored most of his life and that she has made no effort means that your ds is not missing out on anything. There doesn't need to be any bitterness about it. If she decided to make the effort to come and visit and your dh wanted her to I would accomodate that and be polite but beyond that it sounds like you're doing the right thing.

tiggerkid Tue 02-Aug-16 12:40:15

Thanks, ladies.

ilovelamp82, if she does visit, I will definitely accommodate. However I don't think she intends to, so I suppose I don't need to plan for that at the moment. The bigger issue is that DH's siblings definitely have a problem with us not visiting. DH's older sister commented on the subject on many occasions and she tries to guilt trip DH into feeling bad by saying: oh you know, mum is always asking about you. You really need to make more effort... blah-blah-blah...

It really winds me up that they don't seem to be having the same chat with their dear mother about NEVER visiting her son or not even calling her grandson for his birthdays. Never calling us to me just means that as a mother she is essentially not worried about whether we are dead or alive and doesn't really care. How often can she possibly ask DH's older sister about him when the older sister spends half a year living overseas and doesn't herself maintain enough contact to know whether DH is ok or not?

Amelie10 Tue 02-Aug-16 12:45:15

Op don't feel guilty, you have made an effort for 20years!! She is not worth a day more.
I know you feel guilty about your DH but why force a woman so cold and unloving onto them. Your DH seems to have accepted his mother's ways and so should you. As for his siblings, you need to just learn to not let it get to you. They obviously are their mothers children so are biased, their opinion doesn't really count.

Gottagetmoving Tue 02-Aug-16 12:52:38

Don't worry about it so much.
Your mil sounds odd to say the least, but some people are strange!

You don't have to make all the effort, just back off without making any big 'stop all contact' statements.
You have tried your best. It is up to your DH whether he bothers to visit her or not but it would be nice if he took your ds to see her occasionally.

TheDayIBroke Tue 02-Aug-16 13:10:39

I was in your position once. MIL couldn't even be bothered to open the door to us, so she would leave it unlocked. She couldn't be bothered with her son (my DH) or my DCs either. She wouldn't get in contact unless she wanted something; he would be the one contacting her and it was as if she couldn't get him off the phone quick enough. She was all over her daughters and would be in contact with them each day. I mentioned this to my DH and we said we'd see just how long it would take for her to message him. By this time, he had made himself less available to change a light bulb, or cut the grass, and let her sons-in-law do some of the work (seeing as they were the be-all).

Well, it's been over 10 YEARS and not a single text, phone call or visit. She has no excuse - she lives nearby.

The only reason I can think of as to why she doesn't bother with him is that she just doesn't like him. I have no idea why, but from what I gathered from previous conversations with her, he was a "difficult baby". She mentioned this many times, like it was something he could control. She also wanted a girl and was very disappointed he was a boy. She also did some particularly nasty things to him as a young child to "teach him a lesson".

Do we feel bad that our DCs have no relationship with her? No, she was never interested in them and they were beginning to pick up on it. I felt we were flogging a dead horse by trying to get MIL to be interested in DH and DC.

Let your DH decide what kind of relationship - or not - he wants with his mother. You have tried with her and have nothing to feel guilty about.

tiggerkid Tue 02-Aug-16 13:38:02

TheDayIBroke, I am strangely glad to see that I am not the only one to have had the misfortune of having such a strange woman for a MIL.

I never really asked myself why she doesn't seem to ever wonder how her son is and, in that sense, thank you for offering a different perspective to me on that. I myself only have one child, so I don't know how parental feelings can vary when you have more than one. In theory, I guess they shouldn't but, in reality, we are all human and we feel all kinds of things, which we can't control. I am not sure what the deal is with her but from all responses here, it's starting to sound like I need to work on not thinking or worrying about the relationship with her.

She isn't nice to me and never has been. DH's brother's wife is treated entirely differently. We were once in DH's sister's house and MIL was practically dancing around her other DIL all day even making sure she puts on her jacket when going outside because it was a bit chilly etc. She didn't even say hi to me when i was there. At some point after dinner, I started helping DH's sister wash up, the sister asked me to leave it and not to worry about it. My MIL asked her to leave me to it right in front of me and just walked off. The entire day that was the only thing she ever said in relation to me. So, yes, I do struggle to like her.

TheDayIBroke Tue 02-Aug-16 14:24:26

tiggerkid my MIL hasn't been nasty to me, just not interested. She seemed to view me like she did her son. I used to feel agitated when we had to visit her as she acted as if we had interrupted her day - a day filled with television. We always made her feel welcome in our home, too. One Christmas we bought everything for the Christmas lunch, the drinks etc. I prepared it, paying attention to how she liked it, puddings made that she liked. She ate very well. DH, MIL and the SILs and their families went into the living room whilst I washed up and tidied. I poured myself a glass of wine and went in to join them all - to find that MIL was preparing to leave, she had to go home now. The reason? To watch her television programme that was being recorded anyway. She was offered to watch it at ours, but no, she had to go home. So they all left. SIL1 and her family took her home, and the other SIL2 had a hangover from the previous night's merrymaking.

Once they had gone, I turned to DH and said that that was the last time I would ever host Christmas again. And I didn't. He was pissed off with her! I felt like the hired help.

Honestly, OP, life is too short to endure the kind of behaviour she has chucked at you. You've tried and persevered for many years. Stop now, and enjoy the rest of your life. She will not change. flowers

myownprivateidaho Tue 02-Aug-16 14:33:24

I can definitely understand why you would have stopped making an effort with her. I think it's a shame that your DH can't make the effort to help your son to see her a couple of times a year (and obviously a shame that she doesn't make an effort either). But that's his choice ultimately. It definitely wasn't the "result" of anything you did!

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