Nightmare Mother in Law(51 Posts)
I'm new to forums and have had second thoughts about posting at all but am desperately sad and need advice.
My MIL is making my life hell. My parents live in a different country and I only live (unfortunately) 5 miles from my MIL. I'm not sure where to start as there's too much to say for 1 post but I have a 4 year old daughter who MIL hasn't bothered with for 6 months (not that she bothered with her much before). The reason? My daughter has my mother's name as her middle name and not MIL's. Now, the reason for this is because my MIL hates her name!! Hates it! Won't be called by it and refuses to answer to it! So we never considered it as a middle name for that reason, not because we were being nasty. I won't talk about all the other awful stuff she's done to me and my daughter as it'd take too long. I had a son 4 weeks ago and we gave him my (deceased) FIL's name as a middle name and she's hit the roof. She won't talk to us and hasn't come to see my son once or even asked about him. I honestly (stupidly) thought she would be ok with the name as it means there's a name from my family and a name from hers but I was obviously wrong. She said to my DH 'I get why you used his name, can't compete with a dead man'. To make matters worse she's trying to get the rest of DH's siblings onside by spreading lies and making up things that we say. I'm just devastated. She's trying to ruin the births of both my children. I don't have family living near and wanted so much to have a big, loving family for my kids. I want to cut ties (and move) as I'm sick of her toxic behaviour but haven't said so as I know it's my husband's mother and just don't know what to do any more. I just want my kids to have a happy mum and a happy family 😕. There's so much more to this but that's the gist. Any advice appreciated.
Sounds like you've tried to be very reasonable. What does your DH say about it all?
You need your DH to be onside with this. IMHO moving further away doesn't help much. My (ex) mil could still cause trouble from 200 miles away, mostly by telephone...
Step back, leave your DH to deal with her. You wont be her first fixation, and you wont be the last. A rictus smile with the words "I'm sure you're right" with that head tilt, I find, works infuriating wonders.
I have a 4 year old daughter who MIL hasn't bothered with for 6 months
Lucky escape there^
She won't talk to us and hasn't come to see my son once or even asked about him.
Again...count your blessings^
She sounds unhinged has she always been this way?
Love the head tilt idea!
Leave your DH to deal with her, it's his mother. Sounds like she's being very childish.
If someone's irritating me I just respond with 'okay' to pretty much all they've got to say in criticism.
Constant stream of 'okay..' really annoys people.
Well you should have checked before using the name of her dead husband. Quite inconsiderate of you all round.
It's OP DH father's name also, not just MIL's husband's name. No need to ask permission🤔
It's OP DH father's name also, not just MIL's husband's name. No need to ask permission
Because not everyone is always at the same point about remembering the dead. It may well be that seeing the child will bring up memories that she doesn't want.
It is inconsiderate not to ask.
Just leave her to her own devices!
We fell out with my MIL and haven't spoken for over a year to her or my SIL.
Not for the first time, I might add, we didn't speak for a period of about 8 years - got back to being in contact and meeting quite frequently - then it all fell apart again. This time my husband has washed his hands and said to let them get on with it - we're all better off without her/their drama!
Good luck - it's not easy but you will get to a solution or understanding.
I think issues can become magnified when you have just given birth, and upset you more. Try to detach - if she doesn't have much to do with you, then as other posters have said, it is a lucky escape. Just ignore.
I agree, the mil doesn't have a monopoly on the man just because she was married to him, he was the dh's father!
that seeing the child will bring up memories that she doesn't want.
So fucking what! Bloody hell so the dh cant honour his father in his own, perfectly valid way?
Names aren't property. I've never heard of anyone asking permission to give a particular name to their child. Most people are happy and pleased when a child is given a family name.
This woman does sound unhinged.
It is absolutely basic etiquette and good manners to ask.
DH is also devastated. He's totally with me when it comes to her behaviour as he had a miserable childhood but has tried hard as it's his only remaining parent. We're trying to take a reasonable stand as she's been such a bully but it seems we're at an impasse.
I'm not sure I understand semanwen's comment as it's not just her 'dead husband' but my husband's, much loved, father. I can see that some may see it as inconsiderate but we thought it appropriate. Plus we didn't use my father's name for my only son as we thought it would upset her!
Of course DH can name a child after his own dad!! He Doesn't need permission to use his fathers nane.
It is absolutely basic etiquette and good manners to ask.
Op, you are trying for nothing, believe me. Your dh can cut the strings, she's not interested in her grandkids, he had an awful upbringing with her, why drag it out? She will just jeep hurting you as long as you enable it. Think about what this might do to your kids, would you want a bullying presence in their lives in this excuse for a grandparent?
It's very odd that the MIL doesn't see this as honouring herself and FIL. Many would take this as the highest compliment.
It is absolutely basic etiquette and good manners to ask
poster ollieplimsoles - that's what I think, why subject my kids to a woman who can take or leave them? My DH worries that this will tear the family apart, something he promised his dad he wouldn't let her (MIL) do.
My MIL has also said to me that she'll never forgive me for not letting her take my daughter home from the hospital when she was born?! How am I supposed to make that better??
semanwen really the DH isn't allowed to give his child his own fathers name without asking first? What crap!
OP yanbu Would it be possible for you to up and move to be near your family? Your MIL does not sound very nice at all.
MILDrama please speak to your dh, form a plan and go with it. If your MIL is not interested in your kids, fine. That is her choice and I'd let her stew in her own juices.
You do not need to move if she is not trying to get to see you. Five miles seems a reasonable distance, some on MN live a few doors down from parents ILs!
Make it clear to wider family that MIL is saying some untrue things and you don't really know why and don't want to get into it with them or her.
You are hoping all your dh's wider family will join in welcoming and knowing your son and daughter and your MIL is welcome too (if she still is) and that it is she who is excluding herself.
If any family members take umbrage with you for any reason I would just explain, again, you want a good relationship with wider family and have no idea where any bad feeling is coming from.
NOW I would concentrate on bonding with your new baby, taking care of your dd, enjoying your life with your children and dh. I would create your own 'urban' family, we did this by selecting excellent people to be God parents for our children and they have become like 'real' family to us. We look after each others kid's, share school pick ups or drops offs, share meals, and generally enjoy each other's company. You can create your own wider family however you choose. Blood really is not thicker than water. i know because my son is adopted and he as much my son as if he came out of my own body.
I know from experience that a family can only be torn apart if it allows itself to be. Your DH cannot stop that from happening.
You sound like whatever you do you cannot win with her. Stop trying or caring. Easier said than done I know. Practice the head tilt and if on the phone something dismissive like 'oh, that old chestnut again eh?'
No one owns a name, and as for her comment of never forgiving you for not letting her take YOUR daughter home from the hospital. Words fail me. What was she going to do, not give her back?
You are not tearing the family apart, she is, by acting like an over grown bully.
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