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Help mil is retiring soon

(34 Posts)
Ineedanewmil Thu 21-Mar-19 17:20:37

I have a very interfering mil. She is the engulfer and controller and a bit of the critic from the toxic in laws book by Susan Forward. Dh was the substitute husband for a while when his parents got divorced. She would put the financial worries on his shoulders at a young age. She uses emotional blackmail, bribary, silent treatment, sulking and even screaming tantrums to try to get what she wants. She will even use people's personal medical information against them or as a guilt trip to try and get what she wants. I have started to go low contact with her recently. Dh doesn't think her behaviour is that bad (says I only think her behaviour is abusive because I don't like it etc). At the moment she works full time and is busy with work lots of weekends. She is retiring in a couple of months and I'm really worried that she will try to interfere lots with all the free time she will have.
Anyone have any similar mils? What was it like once they retired?

MyNameIsFartacus Thu 21-Mar-19 19:00:24

I would move house. Preferably to Timbuktu.

Ineedanewmil Thu 21-Mar-19 20:52:35

Moving isn't an option. Thankfully she lives 60 miles away but that does not stop her interfering

Cherrysoup Thu 21-Mar-19 21:09:13

Just say no every single time she tries to overstep the boundaries and mean it. Lord, if she is retiring, do you think she’ll be round every 5 minutes?

Ineedanewmil Thu 21-Mar-19 21:20:19

It's getting dh to say no to her that is difficult and getting dh to not tell her every detail of our lives. Not sure how often she will try to visit, try to get us to visit her (she often tries to guilt us to visit by using her mums health) or have my dc unsupervised (which I don't want to happen).

YesimstillwatchingNetflix Thu 21-Mar-19 21:32:44

My toxic in laws are retired. I've struggled with it for 18 months. Read all the Susan Forward books. Tried to communicate (they hear what they want). Set boundaries (which are ignored).

My DH is similar to yours, he sees 80% of their behaviour as benign because he knows no better. He agrees that the other 20% is toxic, harmful and insane but just expects me to be strong enough to deal with it. I'm not.

He can't bring himself to go NC because of the lifetime of guilt. He is voiceless when they are bullying me in front of him because of a lifetime of falling in line with their behaviour.

I've had enough. I told DH this week we are moving. Ideally to another city, if we can find jobs, but if not we will move to the other side of our own city.

We own our home. We love the area. We have so many friends here. But there is no managing them and we have poor quality of life as a result. It puts pressure on our marriage. We are modeling unhealthy controlling relationships for our son.

If your MIL I suggest you move. She'll never change.

PBobs Thu 21-Mar-19 21:58:33

Does he share details about you with MIL? If so, that would be the first "battle" I would fight. That would not be acceptable to me. I would also be tempted to ask him to not relay news or info from her. Just calmly and politely say something like "I'm sorry. I know she's your mum and you love and respect her but I have no interest in what she is doing as I don't share the same relationship with her". If she contacts you directly you just ignore the message or tell her you're busy and you'll call her back. But I'm harsh and I have very strict boundaries about people interfering in my life - having grown up in an incredibly loving but highly independent family with parents who never interfere in my life without an explicit "please can you help me" request. I have a difficult MIL too. You have my sympathy. My DH has seen the light and it has made our relationship much calmer.

Ineedanewmil Fri 22-Mar-19 09:30:19

YesimstillwatchingNetflix that's awful that you have to move due to your inlaws behaviour. It certainly does put strain on your marriage, my Mil is the biggest problem in my marriage. We live about 60, miles away and mil tries to get dh to get us to stay at her house. She is alot worse on her own turf. I'm also worried about the effect this will have on our dc and worried about mil trying to get unsupervised access to dc, she can't be trusted.

PBobs he used to share most details of our lives, even my own private medical information. He has agreed now that he shouldnt share my medical information but trying to get him to share less about our lives is an ongoing battle. I have started to ignore most of her messages and when she tries to call me to lau on the guilt I just tell her I'm busy and ignore.

Ineedanewmil Fri 22-Mar-19 09:30:48

*lay not lau

PBobs Fri 22-Mar-19 11:43:28

@Ineedanewmil good job on stopping the medical info sharing. That's just weird. MIL and I first fell out of love when DH/we stopped staying over when we visited. Such a weird thing to cling on to. Why would she have unsupervised access to your children? She lives a long way away - it's not like she'd be babysitting. I'm NC with my MIL (it's a mutually beneficial arrangement) but if she wants to see my child she'll have to put up with me. I wouldn't send my child over there without me. Would your DH not oversharing make your relationship with your MIL easier?

YesimstillwatchingNetflix Fri 22-Mar-19 12:17:22

@PBobs Can you tell me a bit more about how you're NC if your MIL still sees the children? I personally would like to go NC with PIL and for my DS to be LC with his grandparents.. but I don't know how to navigate that or how it would work.

YesimstillwatchingNetflix Fri 22-Mar-19 12:18:08

@Ineedanewmil refusing unsupervised access is what set off my PIL

YesimstillwatchingNetflix Fri 22-Mar-19 12:21:24

Oops hit post too soon!

This is the problem with retired toxic PIL- they expect to provide childcare with no thought as to whether this is something you actually want or think would be ok.

We refused to let PIL look after our children unsupervised for a number of extremely sensible reasons. It infuriates them and is the topic of most of their screaming and ranting now.... as if screaming and ranting is a way to show what a suitable babysitter you would be.

Be clear. Don't be bullied. Don't explain or give reasons (this was our mistake). Just simply say 'thank you for the offer but we have other arrangements.' And don't get drawn into a discussion.

Chocolateisfab Fri 22-Mar-19 12:35:00

Not being funny but I had 3dc with exh and mil never had my mobile number. <shudders at thought >
Your dh needs to practice keeping his gob shut.
Practice in front of a mirror some mn phrases.. Sorry mil that doesn't work for us.
And remember the ' no' is a complete sentence one!!

Singlenotsingle Fri 22-Mar-19 12:43:03

It always makes me smile when people talk about "unsupervised access". Wtf? Surely the MIL is a bonus, not a threat? I've always had dgs to stay over since he was a few weeks old. It gives my ddil a welcome break, and now that he's talking he often asks for a sleepover. Luckily, I get on very well with ddil. We're all pulling together.

MindyStClaire Fri 22-Mar-19 13:42:02

Well Singlenotsingle, that's great for you and your son and DIL. But it's clearly not the case here, so I don't know why you've posted that. Surely it's not hard to understand that not everyone is comfortable leaving their children with their in-laws (or indeed their own parents). Not everyone has the same experiences in life.

Stormwhale Fri 22-Mar-19 13:50:53

@singlenotsingle - well that is just great, but completely irrelevant to the ops issue. Clearly you have not behaved in a toxic manner and alienated your family or you wouldn't have a great relationship with your dil would you?

Hazlenutpie Fri 22-Mar-19 13:54:11

I'm completely non contact with toxic MIL. DH goes round there around once a week, just out of duty. He keeps his head down and makes sure conversations are about general issues.

Recently I've even removed my answer phone facility from my phone. I blocked her but she could still leave messages. It's worth managing without the answer phone just so I don't have to hear her voice.

MorningRichie Fri 22-Mar-19 14:14:08

@singlenotsingle whilst we're derailing the thread with irrelevancies, I'm having a cheese sandwich.

Oldraver Fri 22-Mar-19 14:20:52

Single did your DIL really readily agree to hand over her baby at a few weeks old to give her a rest ?

OneDayillSleep Fri 22-Mar-19 14:23:34

I started laughing to myself and thought "God help you" as soon as I read your title. They get worse. You thought they were bad when they were busy working full time well prepare for them to ram up the interference. We are low contact with my in laws due to their interfering and generally not being able to treat their adult son as well, an adult. They won't communicate with me anymore (shame) but still hound my husband. They message him and if he doesn't reply he gets another message, then a phone call, when he doesn't answer he gets an arsey voicemail. My husband has a job where he isn't contactable during the working day, they know this, yet continue.

They have nothing to direct their time and energy into, they were both senior managers prior to retirement and were used to being in charge and having people do as they say. We aren't playing ball and just want to live our life quietly and privately, they in their own words are "frustrated" by this lol!

My mil messaged my husband last week begging to be "involved" in our family life and wanting to help. She wants to wait for it... Wash and iron my husband's clothes, do his food shop and cook. Not my washing, just his lol. He's 36, has a wife and 2 arms of his own, we have a fully functioning washing machine, my husband irons his own shirts for work, takes all 5 min. She thinks he's hard done by having a wife who won't iron for him, hilarious. My mil needs to be involved and star of the show, she wants to basically mother her 36 year old son. I find the whole thing bizarre and amusing. Since she retired last year she's just got worse, I wish she'd get a hobby and leave us alone.

I wish you luck with your mils retirement 😬!

Ineedanewmil Fri 22-Mar-19 14:38:27

PBobs that's a current problem with me, mil wanting us to stop for a few nights at her house and dh thinking we should. Then we go and he doesn't do anything about her behaviour, let's her bully us, boss us around and talk to us like children. Went for a few days at Christmas, I'm refusing to go at Easter. Mil is trying to use her mum not being able to travel well as a reason we must go (even though her mum travelled 100 miles last month and goes abroad atleast once a year). Dc is 15 months at the moment, worried he will take our son with him to her house on his own and not do anything to stop her behaviour when she tries it on dc. Or worse try to push for us letting mil have dc for a weekend or take dc on holiday when he is older.

mondaylisasmile Fri 22-Mar-19 14:42:39

OP, you won't get far with this whilst you're battling your own DH alongside it.

You don't have a hope in hell of setting reasonable boundaries if you don't have an aligned, agreed way of dealing with it set up with your DH - you need to get on the same page together first.

It's a total waste of your energy if you try and tackle MIL issues like this on your own.

Ineedanewmil Fri 22-Mar-19 14:44:19

YesimstillwatchingNetflix I'm worried about that. She will demand unsupervised access and if you tell her no she will not stop until you give her a reason why. She will go to the weak link dh and not stop until he gives in.

Singlenotsingle that's nice for you but my Mil is toxic and will use emotional blackmail and bribary on my dc. Worried about emotional incest. Also what Oldraver said did your dil agree to that?

Ineedanewmil Fri 22-Mar-19 14:53:54

PBobs yeah dh not oversharing would make it easier because she will use the information against you or to try to boss us about

OneDayillSleep how did you get your dh on board with going low contact. Wow to her wanting to wash and iron your DH's clothes, was your Mil trying to get a key to your house so she can just pop in and do the laundry?

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