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Mil suspicious of my relationship with FIL

(121 Posts)
SchoolOfLife2 Fri 29-Mar-19 13:56:28

Dear all,

I changed username as I’m not sure what responses I will get.

My FIL and I used to know each other before I even met my DH, because he was a long time friend of my dads.. they haven’t been in touch for a while but he does have all those caring fatherly vibes as he literally knew me since I was born.. but lost touch after.

When I got together with DH, I noticed something that made me feel uncomfortable. My MIL behaved extremely protective of FIL Infront of me. When he talks to me she would glare at him, when I talk to him she makes me feel uncomfortable.., this is simply me saying hello how are you ...

She has tried her best to tell me all his flaws and make out that he is a bad man which I refused to give in to ... things like how as soon as he would pick me and DH up from the airport she would say to me ur FIL makes our lives difficult don’t u agree (Infront of him) and knowing her I know she is exaggerating and so I just awkwardly giggled and said “ I see him as a father figure and wouldn’t say that about him, it’s nothing I’ve witnessed” to which she would escalate and look extremely intimidated.

She hasn’t made many inappropriate jokes to my DH about how I’m the only person that “gets his fathers jokes” and how he needs to be careful that I won’t go fancying his father.... she made DH very uncomfortable....

I am now very conscious of what I wear as I constantly feel judged by her... I once asked him if I could join him in the car to go to the market (it was abroad and no public transport) and there was a very weird odd silence in the room as if I had requested something dodgy.... he accepted of course and looked at his wife for approval... MIL said you won’t want to go with him, he will make your shopping trip hell... to which I refused and said no it would be fine as it’s just a 5 min journey and he is like a father figure.

It has come to a point where FIL is scared to speak to me , if DH calls him to speak to him and I’m sitting next to DH , FIL would call his wife and give her the phone.

My FIL has never been creepy... he is extremely appropriate and polite.. he never has any conversations aside from small talk... things used to be a lot more normal before me and DH got together.

Furthermore, when I first arrived to the airport to visit them with DH, I did the polite thing of hugging MIL and her daughter and when it came to FIL I came to hug him (I didn’t know at that time it was an issue) and he suddenly shrugged away and said no no.. , when my FIl dropped us to the airport , and MIl wasn’t there... I basically just waved goodbye and got going... and then he said, oh come here I’ll give you that hug.

When I had a baby, he had to hide from his wife to call and see my baby via video call and tell me that he wishes me safe recovery..

It’s not like it’s bothering me, but I feel really judged for what should be normal..

To put things into context, my FIL told DH that he things his mum has developed insecurities and mental issues. He seems polite and respects that and doesn’t like to trigger it.. but I think her issues are translating to hostility directed at me as she constantly tries to convince my siblings in law that I have weird intentions to their dad...

Furthermore, due to her issues, I’ve had serious tension with her trying to absolutely control me and my life... DH father has been the only voice of wisdom who told MIL to leave us be.. I saw him as my only hope.. and I genuinely feel like this is why she is painting me as a weirdo to him...

Worthy of mentioning, she has also made my husband believe that it is disrespectful to her that he shall have a relationship with his dad that doesn’t go through her.. my DH is absolutely weird with his dad, if he talks to him on the phone he needs to first check that his mum is there. I can’t explain it.

So my question is... I’ve somehow just played ignorant so far. As I see this as in fact domestic abuse and control over her husband And I’m not happy being part of her gang. I pretend to be ignorant and just say hello to him and I don’t just ignore his messages.. he hasn’t done and never done anything creepy... and in Fact she is making this about my behaviour when the only thing I have done is say the polite hello to him...

Is it wrong that I just don’t see why I should respect her wishes I’m having no relationship with FIL if I’m being totally appropriate ? And that I don’t need her permission ?

louisvootin Fri 29-Mar-19 13:57:15


SchoolOfLife2 Fri 29-Mar-19 13:57:56

*she has been making inappropriate jokes

Happyspud Fri 29-Mar-19 14:00:16

So basically your FIL is being abused by your MIL, and your DH too (emotional abuse)?

Because if what you say is true and not totally one sided, then that’s what is happening.

TheQueef Fri 29-Mar-19 14:01:15

I wonder if he has said something to her about fancying you?

ImpossibleGirl Fri 29-Mar-19 14:04:21

If your parents were friends, how much do you look like your mother?

If MiL has always been a little insecure then it could be triggering old responses ...

BlueMerchant Fri 29-Mar-19 14:06:03

I also wonder if he has said at some point that he fancies you.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:07:35

I'm wondering if your FIL has a history of cheating. Perhaps that may explain your MIL's bizarre (and awful) behaviour.

WhenISnappedAndFarted Fri 29-Mar-19 14:08:02

Very good question by @ImpossibleGirl

This sounds like it goes further than just jealousy. She's controlling and abusive to both your DH and your FIL.

SchoolOfLife2 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:08:05

Happy honestly there was nothing whatsoever to instigate this. I swear, the only real relationship I had with FIL was when I got engaged to DH.. before that I was more meeting MIL.. he was my fathers friend but when he visisted I would just say hello and he would have polite conversation with me and my dad until I got going with my day... he was simply a fatherly figure and I am an extremely shy person, and didnt even know how to make conversations. They were uni friends but he lived abroad and so dad hardly met him anyway afterwards but they were pretty close .. maybe 3 times in my life I met him before he became FIL..

This suddenly happened when he became my FIL. I have no idea how to interpret this. i Don’t know if I’m being biased but all I know is my first meeting with him as a FIL I suddenly was under her magnifying glass, and if I didn’t behave like a stranger on a street when I’m in their house, she would assume I’m unto him.

So while I don’t know all the details about their relationship but From what I’ve seen, yes I feel like it’s emotional abuse.. and my question is how do I behave ?

TheDarkPassenger Fri 29-Mar-19 14:08:51

I think fil has either done something similar before or has said something he didn’t mean to about you...
She does need to pack it in though

alonerinlona Fri 29-Mar-19 14:10:10

* If your parents were friends, how much do you look like your mother?*

I first took this to mean that possibly FIL had an affair with your mother then that must mean you're married to your half brother. Blimey I thought I was in a soap opera.

Miffymeow Fri 29-Mar-19 14:17:29

This is bizarre. The only possible reasoning I can think of is that she's found pictures of you on his phone, etc, or he's said something about you that's inappropriate or he's said that he thinks you have a crush on him. Or if she has caught him with a younger woman previously she could be projecting that onto you.

Stargazer888 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:17:34

I think this all sounds crazy but I think you continuing to say to mil that your view fil as a father figure probably sounds forced and unnatural. I wonder what your fil's relationship was like with your parents. Something has set her off.

ContessaIsOnADietDammit Fri 29-Mar-19 14:22:24

She just sounds like a standard paranoid controlling sort to me op (sadly). Also, quite a few mothers don't like their children to speak to their dad without the mother being present; mine was like this. I used to long to chat to my dad without her eavesdropping... I think she was suspicious that we'd complain about her. Maybe she shouldn't have been such a psycho then hmm

Anyway. Your MIL sounds similar!

CSIblonde Fri 29-Mar-19 14:28:25

She's probably an insecure person anyway & he's said something harmless about you like 'what a nice girl' (meaning you're a great DIL) & she's totally over reacted. Not sure how you solve it apart from being v hands off hug wise etc with her too, so it's not too noticeable & awkward you're not hugging him. Your repeating the father figure thing might seem to her like 'she doth protest too much'. And I'd prob not text or video call him, that's fuelling her paranoia.

SchoolOfLife2 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:31:55

I do look quite a lot like my mother.

But no, my mother did not have an affair with the man confused, and I don’t think she has those kind of suspicions of my mum as she seems to like her (my mum is a very weak beta woman).. they don’t interact a lot and my mum has too much respect for herself to be that sort of woman. I do however believe that my FIL has aloot of “respect” for my mother, not in the slightest sexual way.. but he has previously told My DH that he beleives I was raised by a very good mother who has endured a tough life and remained true to her values... he had said the same to my dad.

She does however say shit about my family to her husband and she does seem to have toxic jealousy issues in general. So I really am inclined to think this is all about her. I was slightly sympathetic in the beginning thinknt it must be FIL.... but I have seen her slag off many women Infront of her DH. Women who think they are her friends...

When I say slag off, she would go to her husband describing their Boobs as “dragging on the floor and saggy” for absolutely no reason. This comment was on a woman who was a wife of his other friend.. he seemed to respect his friend and his lifestyle , nothing at all sexual. I’ve heard her say horrendous things about the women in that family. Or fat shaming. Or after her polite smiles at invites pretending their food was disgusting...

She has issues I believe. Deeply routed ones. So I’m inclined to think it’s all her.. her insecurities are based on her fear and distrust and I’m inclined to think that it wasn’t instigated by FIL either. I’m inclined to think she has an obsession with appearing to be the only woman who is eligible for “respect”.

He simply is not allowed to show any “respect” or “appreciation” of any woman other than her. He has a lot of respect and loyalty to her and in fact he seems to understand her issues and make her feel secure by giving in to her, and he constantly goes around telling everyone how his wife is the best and looks the best and so on.... however it seems to me that he knows what his wife is saying is inappropriate but almost gave up on it.

She is an extremely attractive woman. Extremely successful in her career. Absolutely lacking in nothing, but she feels the need to feel tall by chopping everyone’s Heads off...

I don’t think it’s my business as that’s between her and her husband... but She has tried this approach with my DH - about me and my mother.

I just want to know if it’s best to give into her mental behaviour or to actually treat FIL as a human being, as he is in fact the only sameness parent of my DH and I would like to have his support on many things we are facing..

CantStopMeNow Fri 29-Mar-19 14:34:32

I don't think you or your fil have done anything wrong here - the issue is all hers.
She is probably just as manipulative and controlling with your dh and doesn't like the fact that he has another important woman in his life - you.
She wants all family relationships/interactions to be triangulated through her so she can control everyone and the dynamics.

You need to have a frank discussion with your husband and tell him that her behaviour is unacceptable -and dangerous.
She is basically one step away from accusing you and fil of having an 'inappropriate' relationship - she's already alluded to that by 'joking' to your dh that you fancy fil.

She's determined to drive a wedge between you and fil and also between you and your husband.
She wants to be the only 'important' woman.
She's probably always been like this but fil is covering up for her.

SchoolOfLife2 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:35:47

*the only sane

Absolutepowercorrupts Fri 29-Mar-19 14:43:19

SchoolOfLife2 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:46:58

I think this all sounds crazy but I think you continuing to say to mil that your view fil as a father figure probably sounds forced and unnatural. I wonder what your fil's relationship was like with your parents. Something has set her off.

My intention of repeating to her that he is like my father is because she is trying to force a ganging up relationship between me and her right Infront of him.. and I was hoping to reassure him that I view him as family and change the disturbing context she is imposing on me..

I agree though it does sound like im protesting, I really don’t know how to handle comments like this. How would you respond ?

SchoolOfLife2 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:50:03

My father actually really admires him as a friend.. they have been long distant friends for decades.. and when me and DH got together my FIL was proud that his son married his friends daughter.

Mind you they have both aged and life drove them apart and they’re different in many ways. MIL says to me that she has a lot of respect for my father but I’m sure that’s just another fake sentiment and she probably hates him - seeing how much respect they don’t have for any of their friends.

SchoolOfLife2 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:52:57

*She is basically one step away from accusing you and fil of having an 'inappropriate' relationship - she's already alluded to that by 'joking' to your dh that you fancy fil.

She's determined to drive a wedge between you and fil and also between you and your husband.
She wants to be the only 'important' woman.
She's probably always been like this but fil is covering up for her.*

Yes I think that’s how I see it too. Just don’t understand this whole dynamic.. whether I should just respect it as a family way of life, or if I should forge my own healthy relationship with FIL

sighrollseyes Fri 29-Mar-19 14:55:06

Does FIL have a history with other women or did something go down between your dad and FIL?

Wallywobbles Fri 29-Mar-19 15:00:07

Or is she judging others by her own moral standards?

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