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To think my mum is in the wrong? Stuck in the middle of my partner and mother

(110 Posts)
Kmoggy Mon 05-Sep-16 07:53:20

I can't cope with the tension between them. It's been going on 3 yrs now and it's really stressing me out. I have spoke to them both about countless times but nothing changes. They both have a personality clash and each of them is to sensitive to the others behaviour.
I just had our baby on Thursday and feeling a bit under the weather just now so the last thing I want is to be dealing with this. My mum drove 3 hrs today to come see us. I was hoping it would be all ok for once as a happy occasion but my mum just doesn't seem to have a off filter. She literally has no emotional intelligence and just says things as she thinks them. Sometimes this comes across as rude/pushy etc. I know how to handle her as she is my mum but my partner can't deal with it and refuses to accept the old argument of " it's just the way she is"
He bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers easily about £50 for coming home yesterday and she mentioned them when she saw him as a topic of conversation. She said "what beautiful flowers, where did you get them from" he told her and she continued on to say that the place isn't the best florist and the one up the rd is better, she said something along the lines of the place I got ***'s flowers is the best! He then said that this was the place my aunt recommended but she still went on. @yeah she is a good florists but I still think the one up the rd is better"
Now instead of just closing her down politely he didn't say anything and got mad. Ignoring us all and staying out the way.
I feel terrible As he doesn't know how to deal with her at all and although she is always like this " I know best, my way or the highway" attitude. As her daughter I can deal with her harmlessly but he hates her and it's just another things she does that annoys him.
I love my mum dearly but she is a total pain in the bum. She just says what she thinks without thinking of how it comes across etc. She continually tries to give us better ways to run our lives. I know all of this comes from a place of love and care but he doesn't because he doesn't have that relationship with her.
It's going to reach breaking point soon between them and that's something I don't want to happen as I'm an only child so without me and the kids she's not got anyone else!
I hate to always be on at her about but do you think I need to sit down and tell her how she comes across as pushy/rude /dismissive etc? I just feel I'm always having conversations with her and him trying to minimise any arguments. Feeling like I can't cope with it any more.. They just don't get each ither! My mum can't accept diversity and that people are different to her or do things differently and that's ok too! She is an extrovert and he is introverted, he is also dyslexic which affect the speed in which he remembers things etc, she doesn't get this either

toomuchtooold Mon 05-Sep-16 08:07:17

do you think I need to sit down and tell her how she comes across as pushy/rude/dismissive etc?

I would, and tell your DH that you're going to do this as well. Your mother sounds awful, and I don't expect she'll take a talking to well - but if she flounces, let her. You have a baby now and you won't have time to manage her emotions the way you probably have your whole life.

Your husband's been a little bit of an arse by going off in a huff when she criticised the flowers (but seriously, who the hell does that? That was so nasty of her!) but see it from his POV: his MIL is frequently nasty to him and his DW, his DW doesn't want to stand up to her, and expects him to pander to her and smooth everything over when the woman's frequently unpleasant to him. I'm not surprised he went off in a huff.

Notsoslimshady Mon 05-Sep-16 08:09:10

If this was reversed and his mum was coming in and pushing all of her opinions on you and basically telling you she does everything better than you do, how would you feel?

NapQueen Mon 05-Sep-16 08:10:13

I don't think it's fair on your DP that you sit and watch a debate like this happen. Countless threads o here where a MIL harassed her DIL and the question is "why didn't do step in and support you?"

You should have cut your mum straight off with "Well I adore them, now who wants to change the baby's bum?"

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 05-Sep-16 08:12:20

Two things strike me about your post - one, that you say you've spoken to both of them before (so what will you do differently this time?) and two, that you've just had a baby.

Did you want your mum to come down? If you did, and your DP didn't, I do have some sympathy for him, as it sounds as if she does wind him up a treat and her comments sound quite mean to me. But if neither of you actually wanted a visit this soon, why the blazes is she there? Does she just walk all over you?

I'd be inclined to cut the waffle of 'dealing with' her (sounds like this might mean humouring her?) and say, mum, your comments to DP were really inappropriate and upsetting. Then just go quiet and let her respond. She'll probably go on and on, but you can just keep saying well, they were inappropriate and well, we were both upset. Because it is not actually very nice to you, is it, if you loved the flowers and she's running them down?

I have to say, this sounds like a little row, but it also sounds so much part of a pattern, that I can see why it's getting to you so much.

PeacesofAte Mon 05-Sep-16 08:15:32

Your mum's a bitch. HTH.

ChasedByBees Mon 05-Sep-16 08:17:35

I think NapQueen is right, you need to tackle these as they arise. In that situation I would have said, 'it sounds like you're criticising the flowers. They're a beautiful present'.

Just pull her up every time. I think a conversation about how it has felt up till now would be good though.

Squeegle Mon 05-Sep-16 08:21:20

It sounds like your mum is completely insensitive. My dad is like that. I wonder why - sometimes I think he definitely has something that stops him understanding. V if you have talked to her and you know that it's not coming from a place of malice, and she really can't change, then I think you have to explain that to your partner. Explain she is not normal. And then together you have to work on a strategy to deal with it. Ie, he absents himself when she is around.
Someone has to play the adult here, I have a feeling it won't be your mum. People on here seem to think you can change someone's personality just by talking to them, but in my experience that tends not to happen!

Kmoggy Mon 05-Sep-16 08:25:59

Yeah I see what you are saying. Everyone that knows her just puts up with her coz we all love her and she does have a good heart it's just she comes across as interfering etc. I have dealt with her and her emotions all my life so feel after a few sessions of counselling I am able to deal with her much better. More about changing how i react to her rather than get uoset and try and change her(which obv won't happen)
Ooof there is so much history we would be here all week if I had to go into it! Bottom line is every time she visits there is a problem either her with him or him with her! She doesn't stay here as the atmosphere is that bad but is now talking of trying to rent somewhere for winter to be around to help( which with3 children 1 and under would be great in an ideal world) but realistically I think it's going to be a niggtmare😉
I think she wants to have this perfect family /granny relationship but since she lives 200 odd miles away it's not like that. She can't come into our house and expect to get her own way and do things as she is a guest. She doesn't get this as all her friends etc do this for their daughters and grandkids. But the familiarity is there with them all its not with us!

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 05-Sep-16 08:30:08

DM definitely in the wrong here. The extent of her involvement right now should be doing your dishes and telling you how gorgeous your baby is and what a great job you're BOTH doing.

Does she really have no idea she's causing you both to be stressed at an already stressful time? She really is oblivious? If so, tell her to back off because you have a new baby and it's not fair on any of you. If she knows, and she probably does, then tell her she won't be welcome until she learns to be civil.

I imagine you're both sleep deprived right now so I think DH's response was pretty understandable. I'd have either snapped at her or kicked her out most likely. If you didn't say anything then it's fair enough if he was annoyed at you too. You have to take care of each other first and foremost.

Kmoggy Mon 05-Sep-16 08:34:20

I do normally step in but I wasn't in the room at the time and just caught a bit of conversation! It was my mother in law that filled me in with the blanks! I feel bad for my oh too as he is constantly getting portrayed as being an asshole to her.. He just can't deal with confrontation very well and his social skills re communicating aren't great at best of times.

Kmoggy Mon 05-Sep-16 08:36:25

He defo not his tongue coz of me and he told me that if it wasn't for me and the kids he'd have went off at her. I just don't know how to manage everyone's feelings as I feel so responsible for her being hurt too! I know I'm not but that's 36 yrs of dealing with this mother has on you! I don't want her to be hurt at all!

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 05-Sep-16 08:37:03

To be honest, though, I don't see how your DP could cope with this one well. I don't think it's his communication/social skills at fault!

After all, this is his MIL, and he can't be as blunt with her as you can. I think you need to step up and tell her not to act this way. Otherwise it's just rotten for him. You are excusing her rather a lot here.

JudyCoolibar Mon 05-Sep-16 08:37:22

my partner can't deal with it and refuses to accept the old argument of " it's just the way she is"

I don't blame him, because it isn't an argument. If you've all been shrugging your shoulders for decades letting her get away with it because "That's how she is" it's not surprising that she's such a nightmare. Absolutely sit down with her and tell her that she has to stop and think, because otherwise you will be forced into make a choice between her and your DP and it isn't going to go in her favour.

It worries me that you say she doesn't accept diversity. Does that mean she doesn't accept the effects of disability and/or is racist? If so, do you want her round your children anyway?

And do NOT touch with a bargepole the idea of her renting somewhere nearby for the winter. She will never be out of your house and it will drive your DP away.

ParkingLottie Mon 05-Sep-16 08:46:27

You need a selection of phrases ready at all times that you can wheel out to let your Mum know she is veering over the line, and also signal to your DH that you recognize it and are on his side .
Something like "you're beyond your job description now Mum" or "traffic lights are at red , time to stop, Mum" or "we have that message now, shall we move on?" "Thanks for your opinion, we'll consider it", etc. discuss this with your DH and suggest you try this out and that once you produce one of these phrases neither of you engage in the discussion with her any further.

My MIL says outrageous things, no filter, I don't engage and don't take it personally . I do think you need to let your DH know that you recognize that her behavior is not acceptable .

Arfarfanarf Mon 05-Sep-16 08:46:46

I think she is rude and overbearing and you have simply been conditioned from childhood to accept it and make excuses for it.

it's just the way she is. Yes, ok, rude is just the way she is.

That's not ok.

Stand up to her, tell her off!

Like most people who 'tell it like it is', she will undoubtedly have a tantrum of epic proportions when you who has been carefully moulded to accept her behaviour as normal actually tells her to pack it in. So be prepared.

FrancisCrawford Mon 05-Sep-16 08:47:41

Actually, she doesn't have a good heart if she is thoughtless, rude and dogmatic.

It is very telling that "everyone puts up with her" rather than saying "that is rude and thoughtless." That is very telling. It shows she is a bully and has made her family too afraid to say anything. It's a very unhealthy dynamic.

If she really cannot learn when to keep her big mouth shut and is incapable of recognising when she us wrong and then apologising, then your partner might want to start to sit and criticise her! What he did was very tactful and you should have backed him up. You undermined him by not telling her that she was being very rude. I'm not surprised that he is annoyed. When she starts bitching about your children in front of them, are you going to let her get away with that too?

Your mum is a bully. People are letting her be a bully because they are afraid of her. It is never too late to change negative behaviour patterns, but your mum isn't changing because she is getting away with it and that makes her feel superior.

Until you change the subservient role she has assigned you, then she is going to keep on like this. And you are right, it is going to get worse and worse unless you make active changes.

ParkingLottie Mon 05-Sep-16 08:48:18

Look, your Mum is an adult . If she gets hurt as a result of saying horrible things to people, that is HER responsibility , not yours.

Foslady Mon 05-Sep-16 08:48:49

It's the way she is is not an acceptable answer. If your MIL did this to you in your own home you'd be devastated. And Gid help your marriage if she moved closer to interfere with her opinion help

blitheringbuzzards1234 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:53:52

Your mum sounds pretty overbearing, must have the last word, maybe a bit of a bully. My late dad was like that and the same old excuse of 'it's just his way' was constantly rolled out.
In the end it does nobody any favours - least of all the bully as it only validates their behaviour as acceptable. They need to be told to SHUT UP. Just because they have an opinion they don't have to share it. Tell her to back off every time she oversteps the mark. It's the only way or it'll go on forever.

Topseyt Mon 05-Sep-16 08:55:08

Tell her that this bollocks has to stop right now if she wants regular contact with you and the children.

Tell her bluntly that you were also upset by her crass comments and that she doesn't necessarily know best . If you want her advice you will ask for it but until then would she please stop pissing on everyone else's parade. Yes, I really would be that blunt otherwise she will just continue to not get your point. Don't pussyfoot around her, as I think you might be doing

No harm in getting angry and upset with her if it gets your point across.

FrancisCrawford Mon 05-Sep-16 08:55:18

Just read your latest updates.

Poor you. Your mum has really done a job on you.

You say you don't want to hurt her feelings - classic FOG. Fear, obligation and guilt.

Your mum likes to cause trouble. She stirs things up and manages to make you feel bad about it!

You cannot manage everyone's feelings. You can't even manage your own.

What you can do is to recognise that your mother can cause trouble in a empty room, and refuse to tolerate her behaviour any longer.

If you have to, resort to the MN favourite "did you mean to be so rude?"

She will probably counter with "I wasn't rude, I was just saying that...".

So you have to be firm. "Yes, and you were rude and you hurt us when you said that."

Every time you let her be rude and do not challenge the behaviour, you are reinforcing her position of superiority over you.

She sounds a manipulative nightmare. Would you really blame your partner if he refused to entertain her in your home again?

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 05-Sep-16 08:56:09

Also, do you openly admit to your husband how awful she is? Or do to defend her? I'm sure he needs to know that you know. Maybe some predictions about what awful things she'll say this time will help lighten it to eye-rolling rather than getting really upset.

She actually sounds a lot like my mother except she criticizes me rather than DP. She tried it with DP a few times but I made it clear in front of both of them that she would not be visiting again if she went on. She did not try it again.

diddl Mon 05-Sep-16 08:56:09

Why are you stuck in the middle?

Your mum is so obviously in the wrong!

You liked the flowers so wtf does it matter what X florist up the road does?

I think that you should tell your partner that it's OK to tell her that he disagrees or even that she should just shut up about something.

Why was there a need for her to ruin the flowers that had been bought for you?

She doesn't sound very nice.

debbs77 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:57:12

You needed counselling because of her?? You need to tell her off. And stick up for hubby

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