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AIBU? Mother in Law (MIL) is getting on my last nerve!

(79 Posts)
BubblingRage Mon 26-Sep-16 16:24:23

So I will give you a bit of backstory, apologies that it's a bit lengthy.
While myself and my OH were at University, he was living with his parents during non-term time and we were away up north while we studied.
My MIL and FIL were married for nearly 30 years.
2 years ago, it came out the MIL was having an affair with another man and had been for sometime. My OH was told by his mother that she was leaving his dad, had someone else and was leaving the home city. BY TEXT. Out of the blue.
The family home was to be sold once my OH had finished his studies and had found somewhere new to stay- effectively forcing his hand to move out and cut short his studies (he was planning on doing a PHD).
My FIL had to move out to live with his aging mother and to become her fulltime carer.
MIL fast tracked the divorce stating unreasonable behaviour on FIL's behalf- Untrue and contested.

Now, this is where my main problem lies. My MIL, was forcing OH to meet her new partner. It turns out that her new partner was terminally ill and would not see the year out. Everytime the conversation ensued, she would cry and guilt my partner into meeting him- something which he was not comfortable with at first as the whole situation was still too raw for him.
She would not meet us or my OH unless her new partner was with her and we literally went for months without seeing her.
We were emotionally blackmailed into attending their wedding, as she rang us up in tears saying that they were getting married that day in London as his health had deteriorated. We immediately left work and got a train to London to support her.
Please bear in mind that in the two years they were together, we saw her less than once every other month. However, when she needed help we gave it to her without question and I personally believe we have gone above and beyond.
For example, we had her cat for 3 months while she was caring for her partner- never to be offered any money towards supplies/food etc.- to be told that it's okay the cat was clawing up our carpet as that's just what it does. To be told that she wouldn't take back her cat until we'd got a Vet certificate to prove it didn't have fleas!!!!!!
I helped her with the wedding, shopping for her wedding dress last minute (literally an hour before the planned ceremony) only to be told it didn't suit her and she would never wear such a thing, she didn't want to look like a slut on her wedding day.... It was a white scooped neck midi dress from John Lewis....
We helped clean his flat and sort through his belongings once her partner died. Not once did we receive a thank you for any of this.
On the day of his funeral, she offered to come round and iron my OH a shirt as my ironing skills were not up to scratch and she didn't want her son "looking like a tramp infront of her new family". I declined, as it was rather insulting and she'd have enough on her plate during the day without worrying about that!
As soon as she saw us, she greeted every member of the family apart from me and said "I shouldn't have trusted you to iron, look at the state of that!!!" and proceeded to mock me along with her new in-laws. Now, I don't mean to be insensitive here, but we didn't particularly go to the funeral for her partner but to support her. Finding faults with me should have been the least of her worries, yet she still thought it was worth while being rude to me.
Now that he has died, understandably, she is lonely. Both my OH and I work 60 hour weeks and on weekends we just want to slob in our PJ's. If we do not make plans to see her every weekend, she just turns up at the house with a lame excuse like she has bought the OH crisps he likes or that she has half a loaf of bread spare and she thought we would like it.
Everytime she comes in she makes a point of wiping down the kitchen surfaces or wiping her finger along the tables looking for dust.
She also LITERALLY WIPES HER FEET ON THE WAY OUT. angryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangryangry
As i've said, we each work 60 hour weeks so I cannot spend an hour a day cleaning the house but it is in no way dirty.
I have had enough of her incessant need to criticise me when she has been no where near perfect for the past 2 years. She criticises me for the "way i look after her boy" even though I was the one to pick up the pieces when she swanned off for 2 years, rarely seeing her son.
I have about had it with her and I feel like I've given her enough time to stop taking the death of her husband out on us.
How do I talk to my OH about this? AIBU?!?!?!

chicknquack Mon 26-Sep-16 16:35:02

I'm not sure why the PhD is relevant.

I think I would say something like

"Hey OH, I need to talk to you about your mother."

"I don't want to hang out with her any more and I don't want her coming to the house. I know you want to support her and I don't mind if you do, but she is critical to me and about the house and I'm done hearing about it."

Crazycatlady123 Mon 26-Sep-16 16:38:25

You are definitely not being unreasonable. It made my blood boil just reading it. I completely empathise, she sounds like a complete fucking nightmare.

I think you've just got to speak to your OH completely honestly but sensitively when you've got some downtime at the weekend when you're both away from the stresses of work.

LastBusHome Mon 26-Sep-16 16:50:20

Chick, the PHD is relevant because OP's DH wanted to do a PHD but couldn't because his mother wanted him to hurry up and finish his studies so he could move out and she could sell up the house after she left his father. Not very supportive behaviour.
She sounds very selfish and needy, totally unaware of others' needs and feelings. I would ask your DH to tell his mother that you need your quiet couple time, and would she mind calling before dropping round. This will give you a chance to make excuses on the phone about why you are not up for a visit. I think minimising the time you spend with her is the way forwards as you are not going to change her personality. Take deep breaths and count to 10! You have my sympathy

GipsyDanger Mon 26-Sep-16 16:56:38

If my mil had done that to me in my house, I would have pointed to the door, told her to get to fuck and don't let it hit her on the way out. Good riddance. wink

fuzzywuzzy Mon 26-Sep-16 17:06:16

Sod that, if anyone tried that in my house I'd tell them to get cleaning then.

Talk to your DP and don't let her in to your house on the weekends. If she turns up with his favourite crisps take the crisps thank her and shut the door.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Mon 26-Sep-16 17:11:26

Close the curtains and ignore the door and all calls. She will soon get the message.

DixieWishbone Mon 26-Sep-16 17:12:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TaterTots Mon 26-Sep-16 17:12:50

OP's DH wanted to do a PHD but couldn't because his mother wanted him to hurry up and finish his studies so he could move out and she could sell up the house after she left his father. Not very supportive behaviour.

Would you stay married to someone you didn't love for years so that your son could keep on studying? Hardly selfish.

My opinion changed about halfway through the post. My initial thought (partly due to the PhD comment) was that the OP's other half was the selfish one and expected his mother to put his life on hold for him. However, the rest of the post suggests his mother is just a cow.

Next time she says anything about how she looks after 'her boy', tell her calmly he is not a boy, but a man, and more than capable of looking after himself.

kate33 Mon 26-Sep-16 17:13:20

Wow, what a piece of work. What does your oh say about his mother's treatment of you?
Please don't put up with this awful woman.

Yorkieheaven Mon 26-Sep-16 17:13:47

Screw her she founds bat shit crazy.

Tell your dh you don't want her round st the weekend and if he wants to see her he can visit her.

Take day gifts off her at the door, tell her you have plans, shut the door!

Marmitepasta Mon 26-Sep-16 17:14:07

She does sound like a nightmare. However, I don't think the PhDs is relevant either. He's an adult, she didn't need to keep the house for him during the holidays! PhDs take 3+ years!

BubblingRage Mon 26-Sep-16 17:16:22

I'm so glad, I'm not alone with thinking she's out of line!
The thing is, she constantly makes sarcastic and rude remarks when OH is not in the room. I've spoke to him before about it but I just get the impression he thinks I'm being over dramatic.
In regards to the house, he doesn't pick up on half of the stuff and doesn't get offended when he does notice her inspecting! maybe its a man thing? I don't know!
I didn't mind her coming round as I wouldn't want anyone just sitting at home alone, but now I've just had enough.
Everytime anything about her behaviour is mentioned, she just plays the grieving widow card.... confused

RatherBeRiding Mon 26-Sep-16 17:16:59

There is very little in your post about what your OH thinks of his DM's behaviour or indeed how he feels about her in general. But her treatment of you both, but you in particular, is appalling and I am amazed that you have put up with it.

How do you talk to OH about it? Maybe show him your post - or if you would rather not then tell it to him just as you have told it to us, and tell him you are not prepared to be treated like this any longer. It doesn't have to affect his relationship with her - it just means they will have to meet elsewhere, or he will have to visit her. It's your home just as much as his and to be treated so poorly in your own home means you are definitely NBU not to want her there any more.

But don't worry too much about being "sensitive" about it - she has all the sensitivity towards you of an out of control steam train. Just say you don't want her there anymore unless she can be polite and civil.

RatherBeRiding Mon 26-Sep-16 17:20:16

Why would she be sitting at home alone? Does she have any other family, siblings, children, friends? Anyway - harsh as it may sound you are not responsible for keeping her entertained and if she can't behave like a respectful guest then she deserves to sit home alone.

BubblingRage Mon 26-Sep-16 17:31:53

OH is very reserved when it comes to opening up about her. He knows he has been manipulated by her but feels like it is his job to cheer her up....She's text him saying he's "got to give her something to wake up for".
I just know that when I tell him how I feel, it will end in a massive row! He's snappy whenever I call her out on her pettiness!

She has a sister but she is pretty occupied with 4 small children! It seems that the obsessiveness she had for her partner has now shifted over to my OH as she makes him feel guilty when we try to live our own lives!

liletsthepink Mon 26-Sep-16 17:33:03

Talk to your partner. Explain how you feel and say he needs to ask his mother to stop coming round unannounced. Tell him you don't like being criticised in your own home and it has to stop or you can't promise that you will be able to remain polite next time she is rude to you. Hopefully, your OH is a decent person who will stand up for you.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 26-Sep-16 17:34:15

I can just imagine the threads you'll be posting on here when you start a family with your DP.

He needs to set boundaries.

Alternatively can you go out for a few weekends leave him with his mother and see how long it takes before he decides he's had enough?

liletsthepink Mon 26-Sep-16 17:35:09

I cross posted. If OH can't stand up to her then you suggest that he goes to see her by himself.

Chickoletta Mon 26-Sep-16 17:46:34

She sounds like a nightmare. I think you need a good row with her to clear the air. 'How dare you come to my home and criticise me!' etc. She is being unreasonable and probably knows it so will either mend her ways or go off in a strop (ah well!).

As for the PhD, plenty of people, myself included, fund and support themselves through a PhD without having to live with their parents! I don't think you can blame her for that one...

namechangedtoday15 Mon 26-Sep-16 17:46:53

I personally think the PhD is irrelevant - if he's old enough to be studying up north away from the family home, its tough luck if his parents want to sell the family home. He was completely able to do a PhD if he'd wanted to - blaming it on having nowhere to crash in the uni holidays is rubbish.

But I think you have to tread carefully - this is not your battle to fight, and if you do fight it, you will alienate your MIL. Whilst thats not necessarily a bad thing if she's overbearing, it puts your DH in an awkward position and makes things uncomfortable. Have been there, got the T shirt only bloody yesterday, again.

But its a conversation you need to have about how it affects you, and then leave it to your DH to sort.

IhatchedaSnorlax Mon 26-Sep-16 17:48:21

YANBU Op - that's too much. You need to find a way to calmly talk to your DH & explain how you feel & get him to get her to back off.

Failing that, I'd keep all curtains & doors closed & ignore her when she calls round.

chicknquack Mon 26-Sep-16 17:59:00

I think it is irrelevant because I don't think that 24 year olds should expect that their parents support them while they do advanced degrees, I especially think that they shouldn't put their life on hold so that an adult can do it. If a family wants to do that then that is fine but they shouldn't have to and they certainly shouldn't have to delay a divorce and settling marital assets to do so.

If he is going to get angry when you talk about his mother's pettiness then don't talk about it, don't bitch or whine about her and her terrible behaviour. Simply say that you no longer want to spend time with her, you do not get along, that you have tried and it isn't working.

Greyponcho Mon 26-Sep-16 18:31:46

Eurgh.
Just... Eurgh! What a piece of work she is! Next time you're with her, record her. Your DP can't argue that and will hopefully stop being a mummy's boy & open his eyes & ears to what a nasty mare his mother is to you.
Good luck with this one OP don't envy you one little bit

Dogolphin Mon 26-Sep-16 18:33:22

Record her on your phone. Might help him understand.

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