To be tired of DM speaking negatively of my ILs?(31 Posts)
Wasn't too sure of a word but since getting with my now DH, my DM seems to have taken a dislike to him and his family.
For background I grew up, I wouldn't say poor as we were always provided for, but with DM struggling to make ends meet. She went through spells of employment (such as cleaning) off the books and also had a long term job which she also didn't declare her money for, until she was let go when the business shut down. DM was out of employment but now works 5 hours a day in a school setting meaning she has school holidays and weekends off.
My ILs own their own house and my MIL does not work as she is a carer for an elderly relative. My DM seems to begrudge this as she thinks it's lazy and in her terms "unfair" that my ILs can afford holidays when only one is working. However my FIL works 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and from what DH has told me they were never lavish spenders when he was growing up as they had a mortgage. DM on the other hand has always rented and spent most of her money on nights out.
In no way am I now looking down on my own DM but I'm exhausted with her constant digs about my DH and we argue regularly about whether it's "luck" that some people are more well off, or whether it's down to hard work. It's at the point where I just walk away from the conversation and she becomes more angry, does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this?
I think you just need to be blunt and tell her that won't have her speaking badly of your in laws. She can feel annoyed, but she doesn't need to tell you about it. Tell her if she starts you'll hang up the phone or walk away - and then do it. She'll soon stop.
I'd probably just use the well worn phrase 'Comparison is the thief of joy' and point out thay although they may be better off than her so are many people. So what, that's life. If she's unhappy, banging on about it won't change anything.
Tell her you don't want to hear it. If she keeps on, leave, hang up the phone. She'll soon get the message.
Tell her that you are tired of hearing constant digs and jibes about your ILs, and that if it doesn't stop then she will hear less from you.
Her choice - but you need to be prepared to back it up. If she starts moaning on the phone then ask her to stop and if she ignores you, hang up. If it's whilst you are there in person then if she doesn't stop, leave.
She needs to learn that you mean what you say.
She is bu obviously although it probably makes her feel like she has failed.
But in terms of luck success is largely luck. It is being born into a family who ensured you have a good education, having good physical and mental health, having the social skills needed for success, having the inate intelligence etc. Plus the hard work that many poorer people also put in. Life is about shades of grey in my opinion rather than everything being one thing or another. At least to an extent she has a point.
My mum was always a bit like this. She was insecure and jealous of anyone who had more money than her. We were properly poor growing up, there was an entire year where we had no heating or hot water because we couldn't afford to fill the oil tank, but things got better and we did get by. My brother, sister and I have all married people who have wealthy families. Whenever we spend time with them my mum would make little comments about us preferring them to her. I tried to be understanding, she was upset that she didn't give us a perfect childhood with holidays etc.
I think you need to say to her that you’re not going to keep having this conversation and not to say this in front of you almost agree to disagree
As others have said, don't argue with her about this simply say you don't want to hear her making digs at your DH and his family. You might also add that you wouldn't let anyone make similar remarks about your family. Your DM seems to feel a bit insecure but sounds to be the only person making comparisons?
Is success in life down to 'luck' or 'hard work'? Sometimes, either or both. The important thing is to be happy with what you have and that is down to attitude. Health and good people in your life are not things you can buy, although poverty can make life harder. There will always be people better, and worse, off than most of us.
My mil was jealous of my parents , she used to think they were 'lucky ' they had a big house and no money worries but the reality is they worked bastard hard while I was a teen and I rarely saw them . They were often tired and stressed and we were left to it . No I'm my mums 70's she is very well off but dad died so it's not all a bed of roses .. I do believe if you take risks and work hard anyone can do well but no doubt lots of people disagree . 🤷♀️
It’s not luck. It’s risk and opportunity.
My parents were dirt poor when they were young. A few opportunities came their way and they made a lot of sacrifices, took some risks and now they have a comfortable retirement. Nothing about their situation is luck.
Envy is a horrible thing. I wouldn’t put up with my parents slagging off my in laws.
Advice? Stop arguing back about money and make it a taboo area. Arguing with her I can guarantee is giving her the message she isn’t good enough. She sounds very insecure and is actually looking for reassurance that you love and value her.
Was she a good enough mother? If she brings it up, tell her you love her very much and know she did the very best for you she could and that really was enough for you. Maybe talk about anything lovely you did together. If she wasn’t a good enough mother, try modifying this to something you feel comfortable saying. At the very least make this subject taboo.
As you say Yabbers 'a few opportunities came their way', LUCK eh?
crabby & tea I agree that often it is down to luck due to inheritances etc. My DM and my in laws grew up in the same area with a similar upbringing but I think attitude plays a big part in success. I do believe it's a combination of factors including luck though really.
oyster & gubbsy I do think DM is jealous and sees me as "siding" with them when I disagree with her.
Moving forward I think the best thing to do is not engage in it at all, thank you all.
I do believe it's a combination of factors including luck though really.
^^ yep, me too.
Envy is the thief of joy. Tell her DM she clearly have issues, ahe has voiced them, Youve listened, but the listening is over. Tekl her the subject is xead, it is unchangeable, no of her business and you can't compare a life, who knows what goes on behind closed doors.
There lifestyle is not up for discussion anymore. If she starts put your fingers in your ear, sing.
It is unnecessary and causing hassle between you. My own DM suffers with the jealous streak it is awful.
Growing up my DM was like this over my best friend's parents. How very dare they have a nice house and go on holiday etc. It was like an obsession with her - bizarrely enough she and DF both had uni degrees and my BF DP had left school at 14/16. At some point they'd all lived on the same estate and 10-15 years later she couldn't understand how they were doing so much better. It was pure jealousy.
flakeybandit sounds like a really similar situation it is odd how much she obsesses over it sometimes. I'm grateful for my mum but she really does think she's been hard done by, she also dislikes the fact that they can afford holidays.
I had this in reverse- or my dh did- although I was subjected to it too. MIL would constantly judge my dp over their weight, their health, the fact they lived in an ex council house (beautiful four bedroom ex housing association - which my dp own). DH used to get really upset and tell me, MIL did not like me and repeatedly tried to destroy our relationship.
Jealousy had a lot to do with it! DH’s family are very reserved, if you tell a joke you are reprimanded and told to grow up. Where as my df and dm are both hilarious and fun to be around. My dh fell in love with my family and just loved being around them. So the jealousy was slightly justified but if they had been less nasty and treated dh like an adult and tried to enjoy his company (as opposed to reprimanding him for jokes etc) he may have actually wanted to spend time with them.
* we argue regularly*
Just don't argue with her, what is the point? When she tries to argue, try distracting her with a question about something else. You know, the way you would with a toddler....
It may be that somewhere underneath the surface, she is actually worried that you will admire your IL's frugal approach to life more than her 'enjoy nights out' view. There is nothing good that can come from that: i would go for distraction every time.
She is insecure and jealous. My mum can show elements of this and it saddens me that she can't see outside a situation. Like previous posters said some people may have a lot of material things but at the expense if family time whilst they were working.
I sometimes try and explain the other side but when I've had enough I just say stop it I don't want to hear anymore. Maybe she needs to hear how much you love her and that you don't compare your childhood and situation now negatively with your in laws.
A few opportunities came their way ... Nothing about their situation is luck.
what if the opportunities had not come their way? would it have been "bad luck" then?
there is always an element of luck! just simply being healthy enough to put the hard work in is lucky!
It may be that your mother wasn't given a lot of opportunities herself. Her parents may not have encouraged her. At school her teachers may have let her slide under the radar. Perhaps she grew up in an environment where she was just expected to do low-skilled work in order to fit in around childcare and looking after a main breadwinner. Nobody offered her money to invest in training for herself. No one encouraged her to take risks.
And it sounds as though she did what was expected of her but now - later in life - she realises that (perhaps with a bit more encouragement and practical help from others) things could have worked out differently.
Perhaps if you encouraged her to make use of any new opportunities for courses and classes, and fulfilling things to do at this point in her life - as well as making it clear that you value what she did for you - she'd be a bit happier.
Your mother sounds insecure. It could be she compares herself to your ils and feels she failed in some way.
Does she think you admire them and compare her to them and feel threatened by that? Does she feel guilty?
She could be running them down to you hoping you will agree rather than defending them as that looks like you think they did better.
I think she needs reassurance from you that she was a good mum and you love her.
spent most of her money on nights out.
However lucky you are or have lots of good opportunities come your way, if you piss your money away, you’ll be dirt poor.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.