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Who should I punch - DH or MIL....or both???

(122 Posts)
Usernamewillautodestrustin Mon 14-Oct-19 16:50:03

Long running issues with MIL. She is manipulative, controlling and annoying. She likes to try and offend me without it looking like she is offending to anyone (if that makes sense).

Anyway...we had her over for lunch yesterday. She cooks and brings it with her. No matter how many times I tell her I am happy to cook she puts on an offended look as if I have slapped her and says 'her son deserves a break'. I don't get this because DH never cooks but I ignore it and move on.

Cue the insults - oh I see you didn't have time to clean....didn't mummy do your hair (to my 5 yeah old DD), looks at me and says 'Oh you look tired'...but the worse one was my DH saying that our youngest DD is starting to really look like me. She looks at DD, looks at me and says 'Well hopefully her looks will come in soon - they change so much at this age'.

DH carried on doing what he was doing and I felt an overwhelming need to punch her, I didn't but I did look at my youngest DD and say 'well I hope you don't change, because you are beautiful'. Then I gave MIL a look and walked in to the other room.

Why oh why is she such a bitch???

Jollitwiglet Mon 14-Oct-19 17:14:57

Do you remember the show timmy mallet? I used to have a soft toy of the mallett. I would want to bop her on the head with it every single time she made a rude remark.

PanamaPattie Mon 14-Oct-19 17:16:45

Just whisper in her ear as you pass by, "cheapest home I can find".......

pallisers Mon 14-Oct-19 17:17:11

says 'her son deserves a break'. I don't get this because DH never cooks but I ignore it and move on.

She means "deserves a break from your cooking". smile You really have a dose there. I'd try to be out when she comes tbh.

NoSauce Mon 14-Oct-19 17:17:26

Go and stay with friends/family next time she’s over? Or tell her to her face that you’re not putting up with this shit anymore ( in front of your partner ) and let her squirm.

Troilusworks Mon 14-Oct-19 17:18:32

I'm sorry OP but it's really important for your children to stop this kind of thing. It's very damaging for people's confidence. I had all this from my mother and it's worse than out and out insults because you can't argue with it so easily. So my mother would say regularly how pretty other girls were with their tip-tilted noses, when mine is rather large and hooked. Or ask if I'd brushed my hair when she knows it's flyaway and fine. Or say I was just like my father with a temper when I had just stood up for myself.

It really does a number on you and is designed to both put you down while driving you so crazy you eventually explode, at which point YOU are accused of being the unreasonable, unkind one!

Olivia Colman demonstrates this beautifully in Fleabag as the stepmother.

I would make it clear to both her and the DH that she won't be seeing the children unless she stops that shit. It suggests a narcissistic kind of personality, so she won't like it and will try and discredit you. But your children's well-being is paramount. And they tend to believe what important people in their lives say about them.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 14-Oct-19 17:18:47

She sounds a massive bitch. Your dh needs to stand up to her.

Grown women crying when their found out, pathetic.

Coyoacan Mon 14-Oct-19 17:19:05

Well she's started insult your child's looks.

But I do think the best response to this is to make it a family joke, as suggested above.

Nearlyalmost50 Mon 14-Oct-19 17:19:45

Your children will grow up and understand what she's saying! How is that good granny behaviour? Also, that last remark was an insult to your dd as well. Already. I wouldn't put up with one of these remarks in my own home. I would ask your husband to back you all the way, tears or no tears.

flouncyfanny Mon 14-Oct-19 17:19:53

You need to ask DH for kick boxing lessons for Christmas, oh and one of those free-standing "punchbag" things they aim at when training.
Then when his back is turned stick a photo of MILs smug bitchy face on it.
Don't put it away when she visits, and if when she notices just casually say
"Yeah, it's done wonders for my stress levels" gringrin and flounce off!

averythinline Mon 14-Oct-19 17:22:37

Dont leave your DD with her! your DH obviously doesnt get it/care what if she said that to your dd without you ther to pull her up....

He needs to tell her before she comes over again

LuckyAmy1986 Mon 14-Oct-19 17:23:45

Agree @Nearlyalmost50
OP it’s not good for your kids! And horrible what she said about your DD looks too.

Owlypants Mon 14-Oct-19 17:24:07

It's almost Halloween, get a wicked witch decoration and next time she comes over point out the resemblance

PickAChew Mon 14-Oct-19 17:25:59

She needs treating with the contempt she deserves. If she turns on the waterworks when you point out her lack of manners, then tough shit. She might learn not to be such an unpleasant cowbag.

Sallycinammonbangsthedruminthe Mon 14-Oct-19 17:26:17

Mil is coming to visit...DH says
Oh no she bloody well isn;t ..is your reply Do you want to tell her or shall I ?

Drum2018 Mon 14-Oct-19 17:27:20

The signal - Dh, your mother is being a grade A bitch again, are you really going to let her speak to me like that.

mbosnz Mon 14-Oct-19 17:27:58

My FIL (who is already estranged from everybody else in the family, we're the only ones that will have anything to do with him at all), said to my younger daughter upon hearing she was changing the horse she leased, 'is that because you've got too heavy for the horse?'

When I found out about this (I wasn't present, I can't stand him! My older daughter told me - which I went ballistic at DH about because he hadn't told me), I told the girls they had the right to opt out of further communications with him. And they have.

Be vicious to me - that's one thing. Start in on my kids, and it's war, buddy.

Agedtoperfection Mon 14-Oct-19 17:30:24

I really don't mind her coming here. She is a bitch to me but she adores the girls
Just keep doing what you’re doing then

StroppyWoman Mon 14-Oct-19 17:30:27

Don’t invite her over. Tell her that you won’t welcome someone into your home who belittles you and insults you in front of your children.
If she can’t be polite she hasn’t earned a welcome in your home.

I took 3 years of abuse from my in-laws before I confronted them. Turns out that not seeing their son or grandchildren for 6 months did wonders for their manners.

bluebeck Mon 14-Oct-19 17:34:21

She looks at DD, looks at me and says 'Well hopefully her looks will come in soon - they change so much at this age'.

She doesn't adore your girls. They are ammunition to attack you with. Why are you exposing your DD to this shite?

ImNotYourGranny Mon 14-Oct-19 17:36:30

So you don't want your DH doing the 5 hour round trip on his own, you don't want to refuse to have her in your house, and you don't want to address her rude behaviour when it happens. So what do you want?

MirandaGoshawk Mon 14-Oct-19 17:36:39

OP, I had the same sort of thing from my MIL. DP said it was funny that she was jealous, as she would never be his wife and I would never be his mother. (And that is a really good thing to remember!) But he never stood up for me - he found it funny/pathetic and said I should rise above it. Everything changed, though, when she became ill and I helped her out & was a friend, basically. Then I went to stay there and took some very nice presents with me, to thank them for putting me up. Me being nice to her and presenting her with unexpected posh skincare really took the wind out of her sails and she couldn't be bitchy to me any more! I'm glad I didn't confront her about being bitchy - she would've loved that. I have a different relationship with her now. I don't know if any of this is helpful or could be relevant, but it just shows that things can change.

TheGoodEnoughWife Mon 14-Oct-19 17:37:56

Agree with others. If she adores the girls she would treat their mother with respect.

Call her out on it Every Single Time.

I suggest...

Did you really just say .... MIL? Because that would extremely rude. Do you think it is okay to be extremely rude to me?

DuckbilledSplatterPuff Mon 14-Oct-19 17:38:16

Your current plan to leave your own house to avoid her will not work. She will use the opportunity to downgrade you to your DH and DD whilst you are out.
You've tried asking DH to stand up to her, he does it a bit but as you say he is oblivious to some of her more underhand remarks.
You have to do this yourself.
You have to be prepared to stand up to her each and every time.
eg "DH and I would it if you didn't make comments that damage DD's confidence." (although what you said was good too)
Don't shout or swear, don't namecall...Just calmly identify what is wrong or offensive about what she's saying and say its not acceptable. EG.. call her out on "my son needs a break" and she "prefers his ex." ask her how is that a helpful comment to make? and make her answer. Why does she feel the need to say such unkind things? What is her reasoning? You might get another hurtful answer back. It might identify what her problem is, or call her out on that too.
Its really really difficult to do face to face, but it's better than letting her carry on like this. Good luck

99BehaviourProblems Mon 14-Oct-19 17:39:12

I had a similar issue with my MIL, and like you I never used to say anything back. Just get incredibly upset later on (after she had left) and cry to DH about it. I used to hear exactly the same disgusting and unacceptable comments about our children and about my abilities as a wife/mother.

DH tried setting her straight in his own way (quite feebly, but we were both to blame for this as I told him he was not to be harsh or she would only blame me as she did with everything else). So basically we were both pathetic.

The only way I was comfortable dealing with it was to stop seeing her. We stopped inviting her round and we wouldn’t visit her (and DH was fine with all this as he knew she was out of order and upset me) and we even stopped FaceTiming with the kids. Your children don’t need to be around such nastiness and negativity. Basically we cut contact except for the odd phone call here and there.

She must have got the message loud and clear. Fast forward to a very close family wedding, after she hadn’t seen us for 8 months. She was a completely different person. Complimenting me, and not a hint of criticism. In fact, she was showing me off to her closest friends and distant relatives, wanting me to meet everyone, smiling and hugging me. Initially I thought it was fakery, but she has been the same ever since. She now has a great relationship with the kids and with me. I honestly don’t know where the nasty MIL I knew for five years has gone - but I can safely say she’s gone.

Stand up for yourself one way or another. Hopefully she will realise like mine did that she cannot get away with that behaviour. Fingers crossed, you’ll end up with a decent MIL and a good relationship. I was very cynical at first but it turns out people CAN change. Good luck!

DuckbilledSplatterPuff Mon 14-Oct-19 17:41:14

Crossed posts with @TheGoodEnoughWife - great name!.. exactly what she said

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