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To keep the kids away from my MIL?

(17 Posts)
helloworld2012 Tue 18-Apr-17 19:59:10

This is my first time posting. I'm sorry, it's really long. Skip to the 6th paragraph if you only want the basics.

My MIL and I have always had a difficult relationship. It's not just me who has trouble with her; she's fallen out with 4 of her sisters over minor things (comments about the dog not being well-trained for example) and cut contact with them and often falls out with us (my DH and me) whenever we don't do something she wants.

We live abroad, my DH and his family are from here, I'm British. I speak the language fluently but there have been many clashes over differences in culture and their expectations of a dil.

My mil is very controlling and vocal about her disapproval of certain things I do or don't do. Ironing (or lack of), clutter in my house, my make up (I have a scar on my face and cover it using special camouflage make up which she has told me is too greasy), my hair, our parenting, my cooking... all that and more has been criticised to my face.

Anyway we were there for Easter. It was the 4th day of being there and my dh and I were having real trouble being around her. She is mentally exhausting, we actually think she has narcissistic personality disorder. In 4 days she didn't once ask me a question about me, my family, not even about the kids, their school...nothing. If we talk about ourselves she interrupts with a story about herself. Her sister just had breast cancer but there is zero empathy or sympathy and the most important part of that story is how she had to go to an emergency mammogram as breast cancer is now in the family. She also has a very inflated sense of being amazing. If you believe her she is the prettiest of all her sisters (yes, really, she has said it a lot), the best cook of anyone she knows, everyone hates her (she has a lot of enemies) because they are jealous... and I have to spend from morning to night with her, as my dh and his dad go off and bond. I find it so tiring, she expects me to agree with her on everything. She's also super negative and downright nasty about others. She always talks about others, even calling some of them prostitutes and bitches... also she called 2 babies ugly :-( and waits for me to agree with her!! She's so negative that I end up feeling depressed. If I go away to the bedroom for a bit of downtime she huffs and puffs then bitches to my husband, so I felt I couldn't do that. By the time the men came back I admit I was moody and sat quietly for a while, I answered anyone if they asked me something directly but I wasn't the best company. 10 years I've had to put up with this behaviour.

I should probably say that she is a v good hostess in terms of providing meals. I kept asking what I could do to help and she kept insisting that she was fine, and also with the kids she really wanted to give them their bath etc so I let her. I also had really hurt my back after the 6 hour car journey, I've never hurt it so bad before and anything I did do was very slow. My pil knew about my sore back.

Anyway here is what happened. I was in the bedroom having got the kids to sleep. I heard raised voices (not unusual in that house) and I then heard my name. I got up and listened and heard my mil bitching about me to my dh. He was standing up for me. She said I was a lazy shit, that I did nothing while I was there, I was a moody c***, I was so slow and then I heard her tell him I was faking my sore back! She did a crap little immitation of me saying 'ow, ow, ow' and I cracked. I went down and everyone went silent and then it all kicked off. I shouted something like 'you've always hated me but to hear you saying I'm faking my backache? That's a new one!!!' Then all the truths came out from both of us.

It was awful. At one point she grabbed my wrist, her face an inch from my face and screamed at me. I thought she was going to hit me.

Her beef with me, apart from being lazy and 'faking a back ache':
*I should phone her just to chat (she gets phonecalls from dh, but I don't see why I should seperately be calling)
*I sent her an email saying happy birthday instead of phoning (I work, I have 2 kids, it was a week day...)
* in 2015 they stayed 3 weeks with us. Actually they were invited for 2. They invited themselves for the third week, didn't ask if it was ok, if I had plans or anything. my dh had to work so I had to look after them. She says I didn't make them anything to eat at lunch, that she made all the lunches, which is probably true because after 2 weeks of cooking 2 home made meals a day, I asked if we could do something simple at lunchtimes in the last week, like sandwiches. To them sandwiches for lunch is absurd so she cooked. 3 weeks is too fucking much anyway so I suppose I wasn't the best hostess by then.
* many, many other things.

Because the kids were sleeping I said we'd leave first thing and we did. I told her I will never see her again and I will stick to that. She's toxic for me.

Anyway, getting to the WIBU : my babies. She's their grandmother, I know, but they're 2 and 4. I don't trust her not to trash me to them / in front of them. As I had just overheard her trashing me to my own husband how can I trust her?!

My dh is v supportive, but an only child and I understand he kind of can't cut ties with her so easily himself. He wishes he could but he has no one except us in the world and at the end of the day it's his mum. I'm ok with him keeping contact, tbh I think he will cut ties in the end when he's ready anyway as she puts too much pressure on him and the fights and insults she throws at him are getting too much. He understands if I don't want the kids to see his parents in the near future, but WIBU to keep them from seeing their grandparents in the longer term, until I know they are old enough to understand the situation and to be able to report back to me if she steps a foot out of line? They really enjoyed their time with their grandparents but they don't have regular contact anyway, they hadn't seen each other for a year so it wouldn't be painful for the kids to cut contact.

Religionorno Tue 18-Apr-17 20:35:22

She sounds like a nightmare. Don't go and stay again and if they're coming over, they can stay in a hotel and your DH can visit them/do days out with the kids.

DavidbowieMime Tue 18-Apr-17 20:43:50

ha.....you think youve heard it all and then.......a whole new version of hell....

Poor you op flowers I think the best thing to do is let the dust settle but yes dont see her again, i would be wary of allowing a full relationship to develop between them....I mean I saw my own GP a few times a year for a few hours, i don't see why GP need to see gc every day every week etc.
Its not something i would be panicking about right now, just keep visits in future short and sweet and nothing else./

2014newme Tue 18-Apr-17 20:48:58

Don't see her again. You are an adult and can choose who to see. I haven't seen my mother for 7 years, hurrah! 😀

KC225 Tue 18-Apr-17 20:53:25

Why would you stay there if she's been so awful in the past?

Let DH take the kids to see her, but ask him to ensure he is there all the time. You know DH has your back as he was defending you. Get your DH to tell her that any snide or spiteful comments about you to the children will not be tolerated and she will not see them if she doesn't change. And being that young you will find out.

Nocabbageinmyeye Tue 18-Apr-17 20:58:14

Bitch shock I have one myself so I know how you feel wink

I don't go to il's, dh goes alone with the kids, dh and I agreed they could go but on the condition that he is always there (we don't live far so visits are only an hour or so at a time so I appreciate this makes it easier) and that if they so much as breath my name negatively he walks out the door and they never go back. To be fair they haven't and its been three years but she's still in last chance saloon where talking about me badly around the kids is concerned.

ohfourfoxache Tue 18-Apr-17 21:00:59

I'm not sure I'd be comfortable letting the dc go there without me, especially as dh goes off to "bond" with daddy hmm

I think I'd be telling dh he could go on his own

TheUpsideDown Tue 18-Apr-17 21:03:33

If it were me in this situation, I'd stop seeing PIL and only allow the children to see them with your DH, jnder the strict condition that he must always be present and prohibit his DM from slagging you off in front if the DC. If she does she doesn't see them any more.

She sounds vile

helloworld2012 Tue 18-Apr-17 21:04:25

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the comments. Yes, I am definitely doing the right thing in not spending time with her in the future. She is not to ever step a foot in my house.

KC225 I stayed at theirs this time for several reasons, the first being that they hadn't seen the grandkids for a year and I wasn't about to have my children spend the Easter hols away from me. Also, for my dh. And thirdly, I never had one big clear reason to avoid contact. I mean, all of those things are awful but I didn't feel able to use any of them as a proper explanation to her or to my kids as to why mum and grandma don't see each other. Now, screaming in my face and calling me lazy and a liar is a pretty valid reason, I think smile

ChasedByBees Tue 18-Apr-17 21:05:14

No I wouldn't go. The children would be solely in her care if your DH goes off with his dad as fourfoxache says.

helloworld2012 Tue 18-Apr-17 21:13:29

Nocabbageinmyeye poor you, I feel for you! I think the situation will probably end up like this for us. But as a pp said, the men always go off to do DIY, biking or whatever together so it will be hard to enforce that but I'll just need to. Unfortunately, or fortunately (!), we live 6 hours away so v short visits are not possible. I think I could insist on 2 days max though, and I still think I should wait until they're older, I need to hear from their own mouths what the visits are like.

I didn't mention this in the OP but I worry about how she will treat my dd, who is v... strong willed. My dd (2) wouldn't eat her lunch and mil told her not only would she have no dessert but that the following day when they took the kids to the toy shop only her brother would be getting a new toy. She did get a new toy but still, who says that?!

she also told ds (4) that only girls cry when he was upset. I told her not to say that and she gave me a death stare!

WobblyLegs5 Tue 18-Apr-17 21:19:44

After similar bust up with my similar pil I said never again in my house. As I knew I wasn't going to see them ever again this basicly meant they would need to meet dh somewhere that was suitable for 3small, hyperactive, disabled dc which may have meant an hr at local park/small soft play/kid friendly Iibary in town. So basicly then declined. Dh talks to them couple of times a yr. Has seen them twice since I think, if that, at family events. I'm very happy they don't harm our vulnerable children. I guess if they were much older when this came to ahead then I may have made a different decision but my dc didn't even know them, and melted down from the tension whenever they were around.

You are being reasonable op.

llangennith Tue 18-Apr-17 21:21:13

I only saw my maternal gran for two weeks every year till I was an adult and I adored her.
My own DC seldom saw their father's parents after we divorced and haven't suffered from the lack of contact.
I wouldn't want my DC seeing a nasty woman like your MIL for a good few years.

PyongyangKipperbang Tue 18-Apr-17 21:29:04

Well yes your DH has your back to a point but given that he knows what she is like, it was pretty shitty of him to fuck off out every day and leave you and the kids with her.

I would be making it clear to him that he has a part in this too, by leaving you to deal with her alone.

happypoobum Tue 18-Apr-17 21:37:17

Well YANBU going NC with the bitch.

The problem is, if you don't want her to bitch to DC about you (and she definitely will) then you will have to keep them away from her too.

No way will DH agree to not leave them with her unsupervised. flowers

ToadsforJustice Tue 18-Apr-17 21:48:54

Keep your DC away from her. They won't miss her. She is too toxic and spending any time with her would not be healthy.

RandomMess Tue 18-Apr-17 22:04:03

After everything you heard from her mouth before the argument - I wouldn't let my DC near her.

Your DH can visit a few times a year on his own with your blessing, the DC no not ever tbh.

flowers

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