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To ask for phrases to use with MIL

(84 Posts)
DisgruntledGruntle Mon 23-Apr-18 18:00:03

Give me the words to use with mil. She is very rude, and whilst i would love to go even lower contact with her (i have already reduced the amount of time i am in her company), to keep the peace with DH, i have to have some dealings with her.
DH can see how rude she is, but copes by putting his head in the sand and telling me...'well you know how she is'. She is very controlling and will sulk/cry if thwarted, so my DH, who has a lot of contact with her, takes the path of least resistance and lets her get away with her behaviour.
So, to give you some examples of her rudeness so you can help me with phrases i can use (i've considered 'did you mean to be so rude?', but for DH's sake, i don't want to push her into a sulk/crying fit as he and FIL will have to pay the price).
I have short, straight hair and it is obvious when it is recently cut, about a week after i last had it cut, she suggested if i changed hairdressers, they would style it for me nicely...implying that my current hair style is neither styled nor nice!
Making a comment about my legs resembling turkey legs mid conversation about the butchers.
Offering me a hot cross bun, then commenting that i wouldn't be able to fit into my clothes at a forthcoming wedding if i carried on eating like that, and then offering me another hot cross bun!
Etc etc.
So, please kind Mumsnet what comebacks do you suggest?

DairyisClosed Mon 23-Apr-18 18:05:07

Just practice your bemused but slightly disgusted look.

Aprilmightbemynewname Mon 23-Apr-18 18:07:16

Mil have you considered a surgeon for a frontal labotomy?

Idontdowindows Mon 23-Apr-18 18:08:49

I've found for some rude fuckers simply doing a distracted "hmmmmm?" works. As the only reply :D

LemonysSnicket Mon 23-Apr-18 18:09:51

‘What was that?’


‘Oh, well you’d know as we’re so alike’

IHateToCashew Mon 23-Apr-18 18:12:32

Ohhhh grin SNAP! I have one just like that. A MIL and SIL.

To be honest, I think just directly pull her up on her rudeness. Demand to know why she thinks it's acceptable to poke fun of your appearance.

If she cops a strop, she's just acting like the child she seems to be.

AlwaysDancing1234 Mon 23-Apr-18 18:12:52

Lemony comment of “yes we are so alike” works well when comments are made about putting in weight I find!
Just ignoring the snide comments (whilst calling her all worst swear words in your head) will mean she gets bored quicker.

MIdgebabe Mon 23-Apr-18 18:14:24

My mother says " is that so?" DH Says " that's nice" when they get a situation...I really have to chew my lip to stop me laughing as I know what they mean!

Pengggwn Mon 23-Apr-18 18:14:24

'Sorry, I didn't catch that.'

'You are very funny' [deadpan]

'I like my hair.'

Unforgiving2 Mon 23-Apr-18 18:17:12

Well the favourite is 'dis you mean to be so rude?'

Op I have a similar mil problem (asked if I didn't swim because of my weight, compared to ugly male celebrity, accused of being a lioness with the kids, laughed at and humiliated at family functions, all sorts over the years!) but some of my faves to cope are:
'sorry what did you say, I MUST have misheard that!'
'oh my goodness mil has that wine gone to your head'
'wow, I'll be right back' leave room shaking head in disbelief
Turn to DH 'just wow'
'why do you say that/think that?'

Often making her repeat herself, or explain herself makes her talk herself into a corner and look silly.

SelkieUnderLand Mon 23-Apr-18 18:17:59

Not my mil but a woman i know, i always say "i must have misheard" when she asks me how much maintenance i get or what size dress i am wearing etc..

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 23-Apr-18 18:19:59

There is nothing to stop you going even lower contact with his nasty mother and keeping the peace with your DH is no reason to not do that. You must maintain and affirm your own boundaries as and when necessary. He is too mired in his own fear, obligation and guilt to see what his mother is really like and actually may never get over his inertia re her.

They were not good parents to him when your H was growing up, do not let them do not too dissimilar emotional harm to your child.

Your DH may want to continue to have a relationship with her but that does not mean that you have to do so as well. She also has an enabler in her H as well because he is also a weak man acting out of self preservation and want of a quiet life.

Your DH is also part of the problem here because his own inertia (as well as fear, obligation and guilt) is hurting him as well as you. He is not really coping and putting his head in the sand ostrich style hurts him. Unfortunately he has been conditioned by his mother to put her needs and wants well before his own and that is also why he is conflicted as well.

Head tilt look is good and I would certainly ask her whether she did mean to be so rude as well. Be prepared also to walk out if she starts on you.

SelkieUnderLand Mon 23-Apr-18 18:20:03

"Ouch" is another good one.

Ive an uncle who is very judgemental. Everything he says i just reply 'ouch'now. It is calling him on his bluntness but nobody can misquote a simple ouch

OliviaStabler Mon 23-Apr-18 18:20:28

she suggested if i changed hairdressers, they would style it for me nicely.

'I'm very happy with the cut' + a Paddington bear hard stare

Offering me a hot cross bun, then commenting that i wouldn't be able to fit into my clothes at a forthcoming wedding if i carried on eating like that

'Why offer me a bun then' + a Paddington bear hard stare

zzzzz Mon 23-Apr-18 18:22:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

happypoobum Mon 23-Apr-18 18:25:26

"Fuck off you cunt!"

OK, maybe not. However, you do know that you have a DH problem here don't you? I wouldn't really see or speak to her aside from big family events or at all

milliemolliemou Mon 23-Apr-18 18:26:41

You can go the "sorry, could you repeat that, I didn't catch it?" which can be used twice - often the repetition embarrasses the rude person - and you can follow it up with "did you just say I'd have problems fitting into a wedding outfit if I eat this hot cross bun? - why?"

Or the simpler "is that what you've found?"

frasier Mon 23-Apr-18 18:28:53

My MIL was like that. Past tense because she’s cut off not dead. Well she might be dead, who knows.

I used to be passive aggressive I suppose. There was no point in asking her to stop, that would just tell her what upset me and give her ammunition, so as her Achilles heel was SIL her golden child, who has made a complete mess of her life, I would counter each dig with a question about her.

So MIL would announce seemingly out of the blue that “Jane is putting on weight now... as well...” inferring I was also, and I would say “Has SIL got a job yet?”

P/A as I say but SIL was just as cruel and I was trying to train MIL in s sort of Pavlov’s MIL way... she’s rude = she gets to feel embarrassed seconds later. It sort of worked.

DroningOn Mon 23-Apr-18 18:29:21

Get out of my house, until you learn to behave like an adult and treat people properly you are not welcome here.

YouTheCat Mon 23-Apr-18 18:31:27

As with small children who say 'why' for no apparent reason, I'd always answer these comments with a question. She either digs herself into a massive hole or will be stumped.

So 'why do you think that?' etc might work.

Unforgiving2 Mon 23-Apr-18 18:35:04

I agree questioning works and makes her look small:
Eg: 'maybe you should change hairdresses.'

'why do you say that?/does my hair look bad?'

Whatever she answers just makes her look worse or backtrack.

DisgruntledGruntle Mon 23-Apr-18 18:35:55

These are wonderful, (particularly liking 'fuck off you cunt'), but i will use the 'wow, i'll be right back', while shaking my head and leaving the room. And 'ouch'...short, sweet and to the point. Thank you all, i will recall this thread and smile to myself next time she starts.

NotTakenUsername Mon 23-Apr-18 18:40:39

I’m a big fan of making them repeat their rudeness.
“Say it again?”
“I didn’t catch that...”
“I don’t understand.”
“How do you mean?”
“Ah right, how so?”
Makes them think twice about it when they know there a good chance they will have to quantify their subtle nastiness.

DisgruntledGruntle Mon 23-Apr-18 18:40:54

@AttilaTheMeerkat you are absolutely right, and i have been working on my boundaries with her (hence the lower contact) and i do feel less helpless around her, hence this thread. A few years ago i wouldn't even have been able to do the head tilt and 'hmmmm'. Now i can and i'm wanting to take the next steps.
Liking the idea of questioning my legs really look like turkey legs? Is my hair really in need of further styling?

yawning801 Mon 23-Apr-18 18:41:06

"Sorry, I don't get that. Could you explain it please? hmm" normally works for me.

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