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AIBU-limiting my visits to MIL? Please advise me if you are generally thought of as kind and reasonable.

(16 Posts)
iloveitalia Mon 26-Dec-16 22:18:38

Like many of us, I find my relationship with my MIL a very difficult one. I am cross with myself as I generally consider myself to be reasonable and fairly compassionate, but I am unable to show the same compassion and kindness to my MIL. Every time I see her, I come away feeling upset and very unsettled. I think it's in part because my fathers is dead, my mother is incredibly ill with dementia, and I had probably hoped to feel with my mother in law, that she would somehow feel caring towards me and interested in me a little. However she is a self absorbed person and not interested in me in the least, so I suppose I am a bit disappointed. She just talks about herself and doesn't want to know anything about me. I am the mother of her only grandchild, who is the centre of her universe. My husband visits his mother every couple of weeks so she can see her grandchild, but I don't go as there is no point. I used to visit but I think she wanted my daughter to herself ( I understand that-it is fine) and preferred me out of the way, so I stopped going. She can at times he quite unpleasant to me but mainly just almost acts as if I am not there at all. I therefore now only visit if it is an important family occasion or birthday celebration- basically when it would look strange or rude for me not to show my face. We visited today because of Christmas. I feel upset because my mother was in hospital for a week until Thursday last. She was seriously ill and I thought I was going to lose her. Today my MIL did not ask after her at all. My husband mentioned the fact that I was at hospital last week-to which my MIL said 'Oh? Who was in hospital? I am so cross and upset. My MIL has no age related memory loss at all, she just doesnt care.
God, sorry, this has got really long. The above was only an example.of her usual attitude-it is not the reason for my question. Would it be awful to limit my visits even more? We are supposed to.go to my SIL ( her daughter, who is a bit like her mother) next week for another family get together. Would it be reasonable not to go, but make excuse of a prior arrangement? I really have to.psyche myself up before I visit and I can't cope with it so soon.

FrancisCrawford Mon 26-Dec-16 22:22:54

Be kind to yourself. It is so very hard when you have a parent with dementia - possibly only those who have lived through it can understand it.

If limiting contact let's you cope a little bit better, then do that.

I'm very sorry about your DM. It is such a hard road to walk.

Sn0tnose Mon 26-Dec-16 23:07:29

I'm sorry about your mum 💐

I think that you should keep remembering that her behaviour is no reflection on you. She's not being this way because of you or anything that you've done, but because she is who she is.

Especially when you have so much on your plate with your mum's health, I think you should try and protect yourself wherever you can and limit your contact until you're able to just brush it off. As Francis said, be kind to yourself.

MooPointCowsOpinion Mon 26-Dec-16 23:11:04

I think if you can avoid it, then it's reasonable of you not to go. Right now you've got enough on, and you were hoping to have another well of support from your MIL but instead you have found disappointment.

How does your DH explain her behaviour?

Trixiebelle16 Mon 26-Dec-16 23:14:11

I'm sorry you are going through such a horrible time at the moment. You can't control what is happening to your mum and you can't control your mil's behaviour so you must feel overwhelmed, scared and angry at times. You are only human so don't put these high expectations on yourself. You are a worthwhile person and that does not change if you keep your distance from a difficult person who is making your life harder. Have the courage to do what is right for you and your own sanity.

OurMiracle1106 Mon 26-Dec-16 23:16:56

You don't need to make up an excuse. State facts. "As you are aware my mum is very ill so i feel that I need to be with her at this difficult time"

It's not a lie and there isn't much anyone can say

Go spend time with your mum or relax

PlugUgly Mon 26-Dec-16 23:19:58

If you come away from seeing her or your SIL feeling worse than before you went STOP ! Do not put yourself through it, you have too much on your plate without adding to it flowers

R2G Mon 26-Dec-16 23:21:55

YANBU - I wouldn't make a prior arrangement up. I'd just send your husband and say you weren't feeling well and needed to rest as you have so much on your plate. Closer to the truth anyway. And don't stay at home feeling guilty, book a spa day.

WorraLiberty Mon 26-Dec-16 23:28:40

No I think it's fine to limit your visits even more, as long as you're not preventing your DH and child from visiting.

Life's too short to make yourself miserable.

SirMixALot Mon 26-Dec-16 23:30:04

YANBU. I would have posted pretty much what OurMiracle1106 posted. Very sorry for your father and your mother. flowers

WorraLiberty Mon 26-Dec-16 23:30:56

Christ, I think I'd rather move in with the OP's MIL than suffer a spa day! fgrin

iloveitalia Mon 26-Dec-16 23:31:50

Thank you everyone. I appreciate your advice. You are helping.

Moo- husband tries to avoid talking about his mother whenever possible. He knows ( after it is explained to him) that she can be a bit difficult, but he has a 'stick my head in the sand and hope the problem miraculously goes away on its own' mentality.

fourandnomore Mon 26-Dec-16 23:33:43

Yanbu at all, as others have said her behaviour is no reflection on you at all, it is the person she is and you could do without that at the moment. Be kind to yourself, don't make up an excuse, be honest, you don't feel up to it because your mum is very ill, I am so sorry you are having to deal with all of this.

BertrandRussell Mon 26-Dec-16 23:36:18

I am sorry about your mother. And it is lovely if people can have close relationships with their mils. But there is absolutely no reason why you should. Her relationship is with your do and your children. Any relationship with you is a bonus.

FrancisCrawford Tue 27-Dec-16 08:09:11

Good morning, Italia.

Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better.
i have found that there are times when I need time and space to myself to help me cope with things. Just something as simple as an afternoon alone in the house, with a cuppa and a magazine. Do whatever it takes to make you feel better.

Best wishes

AmberEars Tue 27-Dec-16 08:16:07

To go against the grain a little, as you have already cut down your visits to important family occasions I wouldn't limit them any more in general. Just try to let your MIL's comments wash over you - accept that she is a selfish old woman and isn't going to change and try not to let that bother you.

However, if you need to make an excuse for next week because if your mum's condition then that is absolutely understandable. But I'm just saying to consider that a one off rather than the start of even more limited contact.

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