MIL dislikes me because I don’t buy her things(42 Posts)
Ok so back story, and yes this is another mother in law bashing thread.
I grew up very poor but got myself a decent job after uni, but due to mortgage and bills don’t have heaps of spare cash. DH’s family are quite well off, sort of old fashioned snobby.
My brother in law married dh’s sister. He inherited a family business and walked straight into a very very well paid job straight after university. Whilst he obviously works hard, he’s lucky to have been handed it on a plate.
Anyhow, mother in law is a giant snob. She resents the fact her dgc went to a state school, and the fact we live in a non detached house in an area of town that isn’t “naice”. Think hyacinth bucket.
So dbrother in law lives in Vancouver and comes over 3 times a year or so. Every time he’s over he’ll lavish her with gifts, nothing big but like expensive chocolate or coffee. He’ll take them all out for michelin star meals and pay for lots of other meals or days out. She ADORES him, he’s the perfect rich husband for her daughter.
On the other hand she’s ALWAYS commenting about “how kind Peter is” “Peter is very generous isn’t he?” “Aren’t we lucky?”
Basically I can’t afford to waste such money. When we all go on holiday I’ll treat us all to an indian meal in a restaurant or take away (12 of us). Then he’ll take us out to a posh restaurant. Then all we’ll hear about how kind he is whilst she’ll say thanks to us once. I’m basically not good enough and she’s just a gold digger.
I doubt it’s the lack of gifts why she’s doesn’t care for you.
And anyway surely it’s her son who’d she pissed off at not you? Why are you taking it so personally?
It’s the fact she’s so goady about how wonderful he is. She’ll be openly critical about me to my dc. It’s very obviously a me vs him.
Where’s your dh in all of this ? You speak about not being able to afford to waste money and treating the family to a meal whilst on holidays . Do your dh and his family expect you to spend your own income on this? Don’t you pool your finances?
Why do you go on holiday with her?
Why isn't your husband sticking up for you?
Yes sorry we do pool finances, but we still can’t afford such lavish meals etc.
DH gets annoyed about it too and won’t feed into their “Oh isn’t Peter charming” bollocks
What does your husband say when she slags you off to the children? Clearly Peter breezes in 3 times a year flashes the cash then leaves again he is a novelty to her you are never going to live up to him so i wouldn't bother with what she thinks.
Poor BIL. He works hard, spends his holiday time with his wife's family and is resented for his generosity. It's not his fault his MIL lacks tact.
"...She’ll be openly critical about me to my dc..."
I can't believe your husband allows that.
I can't believe you allow that.
Stop exposing your children to someone who openly insults and disrespects their mother.
She’s critical of her son then for not buying her things.
What does she say to you in front of your children and what do you say back?
I'm not sure if it is about money, but think she is manipulating at a level for her own entertainment where if you complain it may make you look childish. It's underhand comparison rather than clear negativity. Even here it can be read as though you are being bratty. I don't think you are, but I think you could try new tactics.
1) 'Grey rock' rather than stoke her comments. Next time she compares say "yes he's the best" and smile, nod, repeat or "hmmm" for similar comments. She may get bored of goading you with no response. If she says things about DCs say you think your DH may have advice, stand back and look at him.
2) Try the above, if she increases her goading wait until she has hit obvious negativity at you. Then quick question to her "Why would you say that", if she evades ask again and say you don't understand her comments. Hopefully she will see there is no point as she will look mean. She wants to make you feel awkward, not to feel it herself.
Honestly OP. All the gushing is bound to get on your nerves.
Your DM is the problem not Peter.
He's obviously loaded so every time she says 'isn't Peter kind, isn't Peter thoughtful' translate in your head to 'hasn't Peter got a lot of money'.
You and everyone else knows that by taking her out for an Indian meal is just as thoughtful and kind.
My Grandmother was like this. She loved being spoilt by her family. Taken places, picked up and dropped off, wined & dined. Irritating.
It sounds like you may be projecting your own anti-snobbery onto her. Please take the chip off your shoulders and be a little less sensitive! She's just commenting on how nice it is to see her DD occasionally. She probably makes a fuss because it is so infrequent.
Is she actually being critical, or just making suggestions - like all MiLs do?
I'd just ignore her, or smile and nod. Just forget her and her preferences. I wouldn't put up with being slagged off to my children by her though. I'd tell her if I ever heard her doing this again, that would be it no contact for good. So can then decide what she wants to do.
My cousins husband could be. peter my aunt thinks he is the dogs dodahs her inlaws who live near her get a bit irritated when the Dd and family visit from abroad he (not her own Dd) is all she talks about it is just weird.
Do you bring something when you visit?
I would always bring something for host family- box of chocolates/nice coffee/bottle of wine/really nice loaf of bread etc.
I’m not well off but to me it’s manners, could it be that?
I know friends of mine wouldn’t think to bring anything or expect anything (nor would I to be fair) so it’s divisive but not a big deal.
I’m confused at your wording though, you speak as if it’s you and BIL rather than two families?
When she comments on how generous Peter is, point out that the reality is that what he pays out is a tiny fraction of his means compared with what you are able to spend.
I would just humour her - Yes he is such a generous chap, so sad he lives such a long way away and only visits occasionally (pa dig).
I would just let it go.
Are you sure P is going to call over 3 times a year for ever, that's a lot of travelling maybe it will tale off.
It is so obvious that it’s a me vs bil. The sun shines out of his arse. Sorry needed to rant.
It’s just annoying that I’ve worked so hard to become a doctor and help people, having come from a council estate. Whereas peter swans in with everything given to him on and is seens as god.
Is it that she wants big, showy expensive gifts, or is it that she sees gifts as a way of showing thoughtfulness/that you think about her when she’s not there?
If it’s the former, yes she’s just a gold-digger and you shouldn’t pander to it. If it’s the latter, it’s all about showing thoughtfulness and how much you know/think about someone, even the smallest of token gifts can make a huge impact on the relationship if they are thought through.
My MIL is the latter and doing things like giving her little bundles of free skincare samples or picking up biscuits she’d like made a massive difference.
I personally would have little to do with her as possible, go low contact with her.
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