About DH and MiL?(11 Posts)
This is not a standard overbearing MIL thread!
DH is one of 4 siblings, much younger than the others. MIL is quite elderly. DH has always been a bit sad that his parents showed no interest in him. FiL died about 5 years ago.
We're trying for kids of our own and DH is increasingly mentioning his mum, how it's sad our kids won't have a relaionship with her etc.
She lives a short plane/ferry ride away and has visited twice the whole time we've been together (over 10yr) she only phones when she wants something from him as he's by far the most sensible of his siblings. Since leaving home at 17 he has never received cards/gifts from her. On his 30th birthday she phoned to ask him to speak to the solicitor about her mortgage. No happy birthday. We send her a small xmas gift and card every year, and visit fairly regularly. However last time we went she had forgotten we were coming and gone on a cruise!
She is very interested in her other 3 children and has many GCs and some GGCs.
I think the situation is exacerbated by my DPs being very involved, friendly to DH and he and my dad getting on well. DH has frequently said how good it is that my.parents will be good GPs.
I really want to have words with MIL but AIBU? Should I expect less? DH just sort of sadly accepts it and gets on with his life, but I had a lovely relationship with all my GPs and want to try and have something similar for any future DCs of ours.
You can't create a relationship for DH and your DC. If DH is not too bothered, you need to follow his lead.
I had similar with MIL: once DD was past the toddler stage she lost interest, whereas my parents were taking her for the weekend, having days out, etc.
DH had no real relationship with his mother. He wasn't bothered and neither was she. So I lowered my expectations and followed his lead.
You're probably right. It does upset DH though. Every so often he gets really down about it and it all comes out as an upset rant.
Last time we visited she gave us a sort of collage of pictures of him as a boy. We thought it was quite nice until she said it was so she could make space on the wall for GC photos and would we please take it away! it's that sort of thing that does bother him - though I think it's more thoughtless than nasty.
You can't make her a better mother. I suppose you could try and remind her of things, e.g. His birthday, but I wouldn't bank on it working.
I think your DH needs to speak with his Mother about how he feels. It might be more about protecting herself emotionally than being distant and she may not realise your DH wants a close relationship.
She sounds like a very complicated and self-centred woman. I can't believe you went to see her and she'd gone on a cruise!!
Sadly, if she herself can't see that she has a duty to be fair to all four of her own children, I don't think there's much you can say or do to change this. People are weird and would she be a particularly great influence anyway? You may well have dodged a bullet, by the sound of it. I think all you can say to your DH is that he's lucky now to have a family of his own. Focus on that and take pride in the fact that you will not be recreating her mistakes in regard to your own children.
I think I'd prefer to protect my DC from being hurt/rejected by her the way DH has.
The kind of relationship you had with your grandparents probably won't be available to your dc with your MIL because of the person she is. I would let it go.
You can't say anything. She won't change. I don't think MIL is a great parent or GP. Once hers became adults, it's like she was done and would never have tried to help either of her adult children in any way. She does buy presents but barely ever visits, always DH that does the running and only when she has nothing else on, then she can get a bit demanding and whiney. Sadly DH's dad died before we met and DH said once before that he would have been a great DGD, the type that is genuinely interested and gives a fiver etc. MIL does nothing like this. Thankfully my DCs have my GPs but they are getting on and no other family really bothers with us at all so your DH has my sympathy. Just be glad to have your family. It really does make a huge difference. I'll be lost without my GPs.
Can your dh step back when his mum asks for help? He could try referring her to the other 'golden' children to help her call the bsnk, solicitor etc. You should say nothing but he should start putting up boundaries to protect himself from further hurt. But it has to come from him and not you.
I think if you try and do anything it could make it worse. You could cause a big argument that then results in her being even more distant and disinterested.
Concentrate on the family you and Dh will have and be happy with that.
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