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MIL always putting DH down

(21 Posts)
LivingOnTheDancefloor Fri 06-Jan-17 14:18:25

First I will say that I like my MIL, she is a nice person and I like her company. We live in different countries and see each other 3-4 times a year for a week or so.

However what annoys me is that she always seems to point out how DH is in a bad position / unlucky / failing. For example: she will ask about his career, and the conversation will go
DH "I have been promoted, now I do x. We are working on y as lately it has been causing issues"
MIL "oh, you are having issues with y?" [completely ignore the promotion bit]
...
MIL "what a bout Brexit? Is it affecting you badly?"
DH "not really, nothing has changed yet"
MIL "but are you worried? What about your house? Will it loose value?"

Same with the DCs. If one wakes up during the night (2min cuddle, back to sleep), in the morning she will act all concerned "do they wake you up every nights?"

These were just examples, but last night I wanted to laugh as it was getting ridiculous, literally every thing DH would say was answered by something negative. She isn't like that with me or anybody else, when we talk about other subjects than our family she isn't negative at all.

My theory is that as SIL (DH's sister) doesn't have a good career and has a nice but quite wild child, she doesn't want DH to have it all and is trying to find faults. SIL is definitely her favorite child.

AIBU to be annoyed? Or shall I consider myself lucky that I have an overall nice MIL and stop being annoyed by this? Or just get a laugh out of it...

Pingles Fri 06-Jan-17 14:22:48

Does it bother your husband?

It's nothing to do with you really. It's their own mother son relationship.

Some people are just negative, meh

DJBaggySmalls Fri 06-Jan-17 14:27:05

I wouldn't consider someone like that to be nice, shes a good actor and hides it better for most of the time. Nice people dont have a favourite child and a scapegoat.
If your DH asks for help dealing with her attitude, back him up. Otherwise I wouldn't draw attention to her behaviour.

LivingOnTheDancefloor Fri 06-Jan-17 14:27:43

DH doesn't really care, he is the most laid back person I know...
When I tell him about it he agrees it is strange though.

AmeliaJack Fri 06-Jan-17 14:29:40

Just call her on it (nicely) Steer the conversation back to the positive thing:

"we're very proud of DH's promotion - aren't you?"

Jaysis Fri 06-Jan-17 14:31:56

Could be that she's just a worrier by nature. I know people who even when something nice happens, they focus on any potential negative that may arise.

If he's not bothered then just ignore it.

Pingles Fri 06-Jan-17 14:32:53

If he doesn't care, it does matter then

Don't make an issue out of nothing

You can't change someone who is deeply negative generally

drinkswineoutofamug Fri 06-Jan-17 14:33:23

I agree, each time she tries to put down you oh , spin it round. Hit back at her negatives and if she still hasn't got anything nice to say tell her to shut up until she has.

DailyFail1 Fri 06-Jan-17 14:34:01

What culture is your dh/mil from? Some cultures (I come from two!) make negative thinking a bloody art form. The only thing you can do is stop sharing about your lives.

BIgBagofJelly Fri 06-Jan-17 14:36:33

Does it bother DH? I guess it really depends what her motivation is, is she really trying to put him down relative to the sister (not very nice) or is she just being overly worried. Me and DH are both massive pessimists and even when something good happens (promotion, new house whatever) we'll always find the one negative to worry about. If she cares about DH and is normally nice could she just be a worrier (especially as it was your DH that brought up that he was having issues with y)? OTOH if she's deliberately putting him down that's spiteful.

Maybe you could just go the other way and bring up all the good "y is only a small issue, it's an amazing promotion we're so happy for DH"

LivingOnTheDancefloor Fri 06-Jan-17 14:36:35

That is the thing, she isn't a negative person usually, only when talking about DH / our family.
I am afraid I won't have enough self-control to ignore it, but I will try to be extra-positive every time she does it!

LivingOnTheDancefloor Fri 06-Jan-17 14:38:04

DailyFail She is French, same as me, not specifically negative (although we moan a lot about everything!) but as I said, she is only like this in regards to DH not on other subjects.

Pingles Fri 06-Jan-17 14:42:11

she is only like this in regards to DH not on other subjects

Doesn't bother your husband. It's just their relationship. Doesn't matter

dollydaydream114 Fri 06-Jan-17 14:47:06

Hmmm. The examples you've given don't really sound like she's putting anyone down, as such. It sounds like she focuses on negative things, which can be a bit annoying, but it doesn't actually sound like she's being critical.

Maybe she's just one of those people who is a 'voice of doom' (as my mum would say) and always frets about the worst possibility.

I can see why you find it irritating, but it doesn't sound to me as if she's being deliberately unpleasant.

arbrighton Fri 06-Jan-17 14:49:46

His mother, his problem....

Don't interfere

mereswinesaliva Fri 06-Jan-17 14:50:11

MIL "oh, you are having issues with y?"

Yes, but it's nothing I can't fix - I've been promoted for a reason grin

MIL what a bout Brexit? Is it affecting you badly?

DH "not really, nothing has changed yet"

MIL "but are you worried? What about your house? Will it loose value?"

I expect our house will go UP in value if anything according to the economics stuff I have been reading (insert some mumbo-jumbo that sounds high falutin' in here until she wishes she'd never asked). grin

"do they wake you up every nights?"

Not every night, but I just love it when they do. There is nothing like those cosy middle-of-the-night cuddles. They are only young for such a short time. Will really miss this one day grin

Positive-spin on every comment MIL makes from now on, OP! Be your own PR person.

Aki23 Fri 06-Jan-17 14:57:33

Sounds like she is bored and needs the negative gossip for entertainment. My DM can be like this sometimes. If it doesnt bother DH just answer with a positive spin as mere says

needmymouthsewnup Fri 06-Jan-17 15:04:02

Sounds like she is bored and needs the negative gossip for entertainment. My DM can be like this sometimes. If it doesnt bother DH just answer with a positive spin as mere says

^ this! My parents and grandmother are all retired and much as I love them, they're so flipping negative about everything, I think it's because they don't have much going on, so like to grumble about something as it gives them something to talk about! I just reply with the positive and they eventually get the hint (until the next time!).

LivingOnTheDancefloor Fri 06-Jan-17 15:13:29

Mmh that is possible aki
You are all right, I should let it go...

problembottom Fri 06-Jan-17 15:27:24

My DM is like this with me, she is like this with all four of us kids though. Doesn't really bother me as I'm used to it. DP, on the other hand, is baffled as his folks think he's the best thing since sliced bread.

So when my DM says: "your job isn't very important" or "you run to fat like most of our family" my DP says: "tell your mum about your super promotion/payrise, hasn't she done brilliantly DM?" or "DM she's just run a 10k and I'm super proud you must be too!"

It's hilarious as it throws my DM completely on the backfoot and she'll grudgingly say something nice. So you could try this!

ThreeShiningStars Fri 06-Jan-17 15:29:21

My DM is a bit like this.

It's constant and led to many a big row. When we had our house done I invited the family over for dinner but said to Dad 'If Mum has nothing nice to say then tell her to say nothing at all, and if she can't say nothing, then she can't come in'.

It had an effect for a while but she has sort of returned to her ways. Me and DH treat like a game now, and I just try and laugh it off or just refuse to acknowledge.

My absolute favourite was this recent gem after we had massively decluttered our house...

DM - 'it looks to sparse in here, it's too bare and empty, you should get another sofa and more furniture'
Me - 'No it's tidy and clean, you should try it sometime'

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