New MIL drama(33 Posts)
This was my last MIL thread and I hope the link works.
We have all been NC with MIL pretty much since my last thread and it’s been blissfully quiet. My husband caved just before Mother’s Day and sent her a card which he made the kids write in, and (of course) posted it too late to arrive on time. As I mentioned in the link, she has been playing favourites with the kids and they received a group email from her which she had addressed to “Sweetie” (Favourite Kid), “Kid Two’s Name” and “Kid One’s Name” talking about the cake she was making herself for Mother’s Day... 🙄 Whatever....
She rang a few days ago after receiving the card and spoke to my husband for a very long time. Great. According to him, things are fine and all resolved. Perfect.
Last night he told me that as I hadn’t spoken to her since she left my house a year ago, he would like ME to call her and bury the hatchet. I asked him why it was my job when she had behaved so vilely towards me (in my own house) and my children - and that she should be the one picking up the phone to apologize and make peace with ME! He said that she had told him that she had sent a card and left messages. What a fucking manipulative liar!!! I am reasonably certain that he knows I was not lying when I told him that this is not true, and once again I am certain he’s choosing to be all fluffy and useless about it. I was so shocked by this turn of events that I took the dog for a very long walk late last night and he was asleep when I got back, or I would have exploded! I am going to make it very clear tonight that I will not be playing this game. I am also going to let our eldest daughter tell him what was said to her (and later tell him what was said about her as well).... I wonder why I have been trying to protect him from this viper of a woman?!?!
Any other hints would be greatly appreciated!!!
What did she say to your eldest daughter?
I'd like to say that I'd explain I was happier being nc and not call her but in reality I think I'd call her but not apologise. In reality though I wouldn't have had the balls to go non contact.
Your DH is being incredibly unfair, he never even consulted you in regard to starting up contact again! I imagine your MIL is a narcissist who is incredibly manipulative with your DH? Well done for standing your ground! Have you read the Susan Forward book Toxic Inlaws? If not I highly recommend it, if your DH isn’t too far under your MIL’s grasp then you could read together the book Toxic Parents (also written by Susan Forward)
Can you tell us what she said to your dd?
She sounds utterly vile op
Tell him to get you a hatchet and you will bury it
In her head.
Seriously he needs to know exactly what she said to your dd. Full facts before he moans to you.
She took over my daughter’s room for four weeks when she came to stay. She went through every item of clothing, allowed her no privacy. (She was a couple of weeks away from turning 13.) She made snide comments on her reading choices (They were mostly school books), and told her that she was “just a little girl” and should “act her age!” She told her that she would end up in “trouble” and that she was behaving like a “slut”. (She is a highly academic kid with a) No burning interest in socializing with anyone - she’s a bookworm and b) All the intelligence, tools and support to ensure that she wouldn’t get into “trouble” in the first place. She picked and picked at what she wore, how she ate, how she wore her hair, if she put lipstick on, if she didn’t, etc... Basically bitchy, dangerous self-esteem-damaging crap. (I know I’m biased, but this kid is smart as a whip and stunning, and we are all very close!)
MIL mistakenly feels that my youngest is built in her image. (Ironically she looks a lot like me!) And she favours her with attention, gifts, etc... comments like “You look lovely in Red. Nanna looks lovely in red, too. Don’t you think we should both wear red dresses, Darling?” and treats her like a brain-dead, two-year old mini-me. No 2 daughter hates her also (and has thrown out the red dress).
She kind of ignores our son. He’s okay with that. He couldn’t be arsed with the drama.
I have been the one trying to justify her behaviour for the sake of the kids and my husband’s feelings. DH knows this. I don’t want to call her because I feel like she is lying about the cards and messages to get a reaction and I don’t want to play into her next trap. I am trying to find a way to explain to DH that I lost sleep last night trying to see through my own anger to find a way to explain to him why I feel like I am being cornered.
Btw - I didn’t lose my shit at her speaking to my daughter in this manner because she got pregnant at roughly the same age and had the baby adopted. All this was calmly discussed with daughter in private. Daughter is smart enough to get it. Projection, much?
He's chosen to side with his mother against his family, so let him deal with it all from now on.
Stay clear: if he wants contact, he can go to her. You and DC should remain NC - she sounds like a horrible woman. The fact that she had pretty much lost her DS and his family, and rather than thinking (when your DH contacted her) 'I really mustn't let that happen again' , she is basically straight away up to her vile tricks. She will NEVER change, and you and your DC will be far happier and confident without her in your lives. Let your DC tell your DH how they feel about her: children should be kept away from negative influencers like her.
Why doesn't he already know about what was said to and about your eldest dd? You make it sound as if going nc was a decision you made and have forced him into, and now you're cross he's not toeing the line. Why are you cross he's being "weak and fluffy" of you haven't given him all the facts?
You so should have told him. Your kids sound fantastic, your DH not so much! I'd be staying NC & allowing your DC to do the same if they want.
So the kids don't like her/aren't bothered, you aren't interested in a relationship with her-I'd just leave him to have the relationship that he wants tbh & keep yourself & the kids well clear.
She is projecting her own issues on to your DD1. This is not on. Your DH needs to deal with his DM to ensure she doesn't pass her issues on to your DC.
That's a disgusting way for a grandmother to speak to her granddaughter! You DH needs to know this! It may make him think twice about trying to get you to speak to you MIL. I certainly wouldn't be entertaining her delusions of needing an apology. She sounds toxic, you and you DC do not need that in your life.
He's being 'fluffy' because it's his mum for one and two, you haven't told him this piece of important information - my OH went nuclear at his DM over me for much less than this!
Why isn't he angry that she plays favourites and lets the others feel like shit (the $) ? That should wake up even the most laid back fluffy son. Sounds like you're fighting a battle with one hand tied behind your back
I am reasonably certain that he knows I was not lying when I told him that this is not true,
As PP have said, why have you not told him the full details of what she's said to your DD? He can't force any of you to contact his mother, it's up to him what he does. Though she'll poison him against you if she has full access. Surely he knows that? She'll tell him 'your wife is jealous and possessive', 'that little bitch made it all up to cause trouble' 'I sent cards and presents and never a thank-you' etc..
Your MIL got pregnant when she was 12? That cannot have been consensual and must have left an enormous mark on her - this does not excuse her behaviour of course but what a horrible early life she had.
posted too early - do you think her mum blamed her for what happened to her 'acting like a slut, wearing lipstick ,asking for it" etc.
Inexcusable none the less but perhaps and explanation.
Why not just leave his relationship with his mother to him if he has got in contact. Tell him you won't be having anything to do with her - at all. (I pretty much take this line with my MIL but make sure I don't say anything negative either). A simple "I've thought about what you've asked me to do long and hard and I've decided not to do it".
Are you in a position to have the children having little or nothing to do with her? Can they express their choice? Is the choice likely to be listened to by the adults? And if they chose to have a relationship with her could you handle that? They would be the questions I would be asking myself.
My children are young adults now and whilst they still have occasional contact with my MIL she has little or no influence on them simply because they have no value on her opinion. They've seen her be horrible to me in particular and instead of it making me look bad it has made herself look awful. I don't and haven't - like you - point out when she was unfair but children aren't idiots - they can see this stuff for themselves.
She was either 14 or 15 when she got pregnant, but that story has changed depending on how it suits her at the time.... She was raised in as a very spoiled, sheltered, Catholic princess who was totally boy-crazy. (FWIW, my kids are none of those things.) MIL’s recall is very “flexible” in all matters to suit her.
You’re right that I shouldn’t have protected DH from her behaviour towards DD. I am going to make it clear that I will not be pressured into a relationship with her. My own mother was bad enough. DH is awesome. He is a grownup and she is not. She has looked to him to “rescue” her constantly through our relationship and we put or foot down on that when we got married. I just want to ensure that he and I are on the same page. He knows that I have not been divisive despite her behaviour. I will be making it clear that I will not be calling her and see how he takes it.
Just want to say that DD1 just whispered “Mum! Come here!!! I have a cunning plan!!!” She wants to post some photos of herself on social media for her auntie and cousin (who are also awesome) to spread around posing with her bestie pretending to be in love. Her bestie is obv a girl and is from a racial background much maligned by MIL and DD1 said “Three stupid birds with one stupid stone! Maybe that would shut her up! Bestie would be all for it!!!”
I suspect that it would be sensible not to do that, although I'd have a hard time resisting, and your DD is clearly exceedingly fab!
Distance is a wonderful thing. She lives a very, very long way from us. We are in Australia and she is in a very remote part of the country that takes several days to get to. (Amen.) I just told him that I felt that he lying about sending the card and leaving the messages was to manipulate me into calling her which was something I really didn’t want to do. He’s not thrilled, but he can’t force it either. I said that if I am backed into a corner like this it’s not going to end well for anyone!
DD IS AWESOME!!! (And no, neither of us are serious about doing this, but it sure feels nice to giggle about it!!!)
Honestly, I would rethink how I was addressing the issue with my DD if she felt she could do that and you would just find it funny. I reread the previous posts you linked to. The inappropriate present of the first post - its you just looking for offence. I've been there with inappropriate presents from MIL with my children. (think second hand hair bobbins with hair still on them, little miss stationary set for my then 10 year old son, a girls hat and scarf set split in two - hat for my son, scarf for my daughter). Rise above it. Thank you and move on. Play the long game of tolerating no racist stuff etc but starting no offences either.
Thats whats worked in my family - my DH now sees his mother on her own. The rest of us are polite when we see her. Nobody mocks her - even just to me when my DH isn't there. It's amazingly stress free.
Don’t let your dd fall into the trap of lowering herself to game playing.
Honestly, if she wants to post photos with her friend fine and normal.
But she’s a kid, and I really think you need to start putting boundaries in place.
You’ve explained some things = fine. But this collusion isn’t good for her.
Other than that, I think the only thing you did wrong was allow your husband to send her a card from the kids. I really do. She’s poisonous and not a good person to be in their lives. And you’re their mother.
If he wants to have a relationship fine but the kids shouldn’t. And to be honest, I’d he seriously questioning my future with a man who wants to speak to someone who treated his wife and children so abominably.
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