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To be fuming at my mother in law? Very long sorry

(42 Posts)
ShakeysGirl Sun 26-Aug-07 17:41:41

I cant moan about her to my partner so heres the next best thing.

Ive been with my partner for 9 months and we recently moved in together. I have children from a previous relationship and we waited until we were really sure about each other to introduce them which we did a few weeks ago and it seemed to go well.

Ive always caught the odd strange look from his mom and got the general impression that she would love to hate me but couldnt find anything to hate me for. Ive always been on my best behaviour when we've been there and never spoken up about the fact that i think she is controlling,manipulative and spiteful!

Yesterday it all hit the fan, she had been generally unhappy since we told her a few weeks ago that we were moving in together. She had problems in the beginning with our relationship because I have children but she seemed to get over it and accept us being together. We went round for sunday lunch last week and then went to a quiz with her as we do every week on monday night. Yesterday he got a text message from his mother saying that as he never goes round he can forget about coming for dinner today and that she may be a prat but shes not a stupid one. She then called him and told him that he wasnt the person he used to be and that he was never around anymore and didnt call her enough (she hasnt even been to see where we live and doesnt call him except to call him a fat slob, tell him his going to die of a heart attack and that hes useless!) He was in tears after the phone call and couldnt understand what he had done wrong.


It got worse yesterday night when we were out and one of our good friends came over to him and told him that his mom was very upset because his "manipulating, controlling girlfriend had taken him away" and that he was treating her "like a stupid prat" he said she was in tears about it.

Im so angry that shes hurting him like this. Hes 26, more than old enough to be starting his own life. I understand that hes still her baby etc but it seems that him being happy means nothing to her. Im hurt too that I could have sat there every sunday and made time for her and introduced my children to her when its all be fake and shes been slagging me off behind my back. I would love to say something to her but I cant for fear of causing problems between me and my partner. He feels torn and its almost li8ke she is trying to make him choose between her or me. I dont want him to choose I was and probably still will be when im less angry more than happy to do the whole family thing with her for his sake.

Sorry this is long but any advice greatfully recieved.

I rarely get internet access so please excuse me if my replies are few and far between. Alot of the time I can read but not post - using a mobile phone so realy will be appreciating your advice before i have to see her tomorrow!

purpleduck Sun 26-Aug-07 17:49:43

Probably not what you want to hear, but i think i would take the high road, if only for your dp. Ultimately, its your dp's mum, and its up to him to say something. However, you certainly don't have to be in her company. Sounds absolutely horrible, Good luck!

juuule Sun 26-Aug-07 17:51:40

She's upset. Be nice, do whatever you planned on doing before this happened. She'll get over it.

gess Sun 26-Aug-07 17:54:34

She's out of order, but he needs to tell her that, and it sounds as though he will have to force the apron strings being cut. Ideally he'll tell his mum that he's very sorry she feels like that, but that he loves you, is very happy with his life and she's welcome to visit whenever she wants. He's sorry that he isn't welcome to Sunday lunch and he hopes he will be one day soon. Calm and logical.

I don't think there's much you can do other than hope he does that (show him this thread?). You can't really interfere. I hope he does sort it out because if he doesn't she sounds like the type of woman who will interfere with his life for as long as he allows her to. Hopefully if she realises he's serious she'll stop acting like a tantruming toddler and you can all build a good relationship.

ShakeysGirl Sun 26-Aug-07 18:00:23

I wouldnt argue with her it would only enforce what shes trying to get people to believe if that makes sense. I know shes upset but im not sure why, if i knew why I would try and fix it because the last thing I want is the stress of him being upset and feeling that he cant be happy with out hurting someone.

I think and im probably wrong that she feels he only comes round when hes hungery or needs to kill time. Her house is nearer to his work than ours is. She probably wants him to come round because he wants to rather than because he has nothing better to do. She wants the odd phone call to chat about the football results or ask how her day has been etc which is all normal and fine but she is going about it by sulking and trying to hurt him and pushing him away and making him not want to go round because all she will do is have a go at him. I really dont understand how this all suddenly becomes my fault though angry

Its the little things that are annoying her, like he popped to hers from work the other night and she had his dinner ready. Unfortunatly I was cooking as well and he knew this so told her that his dinner was already being made. She gave his steak to the dog. She cant accept that her baby has grown up and that he doesnt need her in the same way he once did, but that he does still need her.

It drives me crazy that a simple conversation with him could have sorted all this out but instead its turned into some big row, im the bad guy and hes not welcome at there house anymore.

MyTwopenceworth Sun 26-Aug-07 18:00:32

I know I will be on my own with this opinion but....

you don't have to maintain contact with someone, even if they are a relative (of you or your other half!).

It is an accident of birth. Nothing more.

I never understand people who work hard at very unpleasant relationships with people who are vile, just because of shared genes, when that person is toxic.

Most people seem to think it is something that must be done, that it is owed somehow. It's not.

I stopped contact with half my family when I was 15, because they were vile and I really got nothing but grief. So they're relatives, big deal, I don't like them..they're gone.

What I am trying to say is, if you choose to work at something with someone, let it be because you want to, not because you believe there is some sort of obligation.

gess Sun 26-Aug-07 18:13:03

i agree mytwopenceworth

gess Sun 26-Aug-07 18:14:12

she needs to learn to ask him whether he has plans for dinner that night before cooking. Her problem.

alicet Sun 26-Aug-07 18:25:26

I agree with mytwopenceworth when its your own family - absolutely no obligation to toxic people who make you feel shit.

Its a more tricky situation though when it's your dp's family. I think the best thing the op can do is to keep the moral high ground by being pleasnat to her dp's mum (not a doormat and not going out of your way but polite and civil). Then let her dp come round to the idea that his mum is the unreasonable one. He will do in his own time I am sure - if you put pressure on him to choose you may end up losing out. If she is actually unpleasant to your face then thats a different matter - I would calmly say to her that she is out of order and that you are not prepared to be spoken to like that. If it continuies to be behind your back it is probably best to try and ignore it and let dp deal with it in his own time meanwhile supporting him while he comes round to this.

Helennn Sun 26-Aug-07 18:26:35

Sounds to me you were right saying she is trying to make him choose between her and you! Maybe him living with somebody who already has children wasn't quite her image of how life would be for him, ie. big white wedding, virgin bride, buy cute little home together then have lots of babies together. We are all quite used to this happening these days, but maybe she didn't think it would be her son's choice!

If she was always used to bossing him around maybe she doesn't like the lack of control over him she now feels?

Not sure how you should deal with this, (really helpful heh?), but don't stoop to her level, but don't be a doormat either!

Best of luck

Beelliesebub Sun 26-Aug-07 18:26:38

You're not on your own at all my2p.... I feel exactly the same as you and consequently have nothing to do with my own toxic mother.
Having said that shakeysgirl, I can understand where you're coming from but the only advice I can give, is you have to encourage him to stand up to her and the only way you can do that is by giving him advice and your full support. I don't think you should fight any battles for him because that would just be replacing her with you iyswim....
Depending on whether he still wants to have anything to do with her or not will guide you in what advice you should give...hth

ShakeysGirl Mon 27-Aug-07 12:31:02

Thanks for your replies. It got much worse yesterday. I suggested tohim that he leave his phone off for the day, the reasoning behind it being that A) the texts and messages were upsetting him and B) that if his phone was turned off it might make her realise that you cant speak to someone the way she was and expect then to not to be hurt and upset, that maybe if she realised how her behaviour was affecting him she might start to think that if she continued she would lose him for good and change her attitude a bit. He left his mobile off until about half 6 and then turned it on to be greeted with a lot of messages saying "Turn your bloody phone on" etc

He wasnt in work yesterday but his mom not realising this called there and when told he wasnt there got even more upset and angry. How dare he not inform her that he wasnt working that day?? He also works in the evening dj-ing at a pub and about 10pm his dad turned up there. It turns out that his mom and dad had a huge argument on the Saturday night about her saying he wasnt welcome in the house etc and she ened up spending the night at her daughters. His dad had told her that she was being out of order and that she should be happy that her son had found a bit of independance and was building his own life.

I also spoke to his dad last night (whom I have always gotten along well with) and explained to him that I felt it was unfair that I was being slagged off and blamed when there was no blame to be had as my partner hadnt done anything wrong! About 10 minutes after he left we recieved a text message saying "I never said anything about (me) yesterday and I dont need this stress so turn your bloody phone on"

I suggested that he call her tomorrow as it was now late and he was working and arrange for us all to sit down and talk as we each felt that we had a problem with things that had been done and said. My partner agreed this was a good idea and said that as we were a couple and were planning to stay that way then it needed sorted. This morning he sent her a text saying that we would be round this eveing and it would be nice to sit down and talk. She called him straight back and said that I wasnt welcome and this was just between family. She was shouting at him that he wasnt being fair, that he had changed and that he didnt care about her anymore.

He said he would go on his own to talk to her, which I am really angry about. It really gets to me that he cant stand up for himself and allows himself to be bullied by her. I love him and its hard to see someone you care about being hurt over and over. We argued over it and he said that he felt he was being put into the middle. I dont agree i think im making an effort to be the bigger person and offer to sort through it when really I would rather just bang her head against a brick wall!

Hes left for work very upset and we havent made up. Ive turned my phone off, I dont do arguing by phone or text and would rather wait until I see him face to face, which unfortunatly will be after his mother has finished with him. We are all supposed to be at a quiz tonight. I am not going, why should I put myself into an uncomfortable position. (Although he seems to have left the quiz stuff and the music rounds here so quite how hes going to do the quiz i dont know. He will probably phone me and expect me to bring it with me tonight forcing me to go.)

I wont have a relationship full of stress, I dont need it. I have more important things to worry about than whether she is going to play up. It would be so much easier just to pack him off back to his mothers and move forward on my own.

Sorry this is so long!

MatNanPlus Mon 27-Aug-07 12:47:22

I feel for you SG, maybe he wants to go alone so he can let rip and not involve you, maybe he realises she is the issue and he knows that with you there she would be very nasty and wants to spare you that?

That being said, i have little contact with my sister because of her attitude and this has actually improved the relationship when we do meet up.

It is true to say you can choose your friends but not your family.

Hope the two of you are able to do more talking tonight.

ShakeysGirl Mon 27-Aug-07 12:53:58

I dont want to talk to him I want to beat a back bone into him blush

He will go alone tonight.
She will tell him what an awful person he is.
He will agree and say sorry.
She will tell him what a bad influence I am.
He will make a lame attempt to stick up for me and say "but I love her"
She will tut at him and he will cry.

And then next time he does something she considers wrong it will all start again with his poor dad being stuck in the middle.

I am actually a bit nervous of her blush shes a pretty dominating and severe woman but I wanted to go round to show her that im a reasonable adult and that I wont be bullied.

I need to take up kick boxing or something to release the frustration! I feel like a tightly wound spring at the moment. Not good!

wannaBe Mon 27-Aug-07 13:10:59

I agree with mtpw. but I am afraid to say that I think this could be make/break for your relationship. By him agreeing to go alone tonight, your dp has already given in to her demands, and has already, indirectly, agreed with her that you should not be welcome at her house... I wouldn't stand for that - no way.

Obviously it would be unreasonable to make him choose, but as his partner he should at least be defending you against his family, and should at least be showing a united front with you. By agreeing to go alone he has made you second best to his mother. And as this is a young relationship things can only get worse imo.

Obviously if he is on your side and prepared to stand up to his mother and refuse to let her talk about you like that, then you can work things out and there's no reason why you ever have to talk to her ever again, but if he's not prepared to do that, then I would be questioning whether I wanted to stay in a relationship with someone who had no loyalty towards me and whose mother could still make him cry at 26.

maisemor Mon 27-Aug-07 13:28:10

Is there any way that you can still go to the family meeting tonight? meaning that you just show up when you now that your husband is due there?

Personally I feel that you should go. She can't use the excuse of it being a family meeting. You are part of her son's family now, whether she likes it or not.

Tell him at the door that it will also save him having to recount everything to you.
It will help him feel stronger towards his mother.
You will be there for him.

You could always suggest that;
If she admits that it is you that she does not like, then he can go see her every second Sunday alone without you and the children.
However, the alternative Sundays he will spend with you and the children.
X-mas/Mother's Day/birthdays etc. can be spent the same way.
IF you are willing to going about it this way that is wink.

I know it is a bit extreme the whole "sharing" him, but it seems to be a better suggestion than hers which I read to be either her or you!!

amidaiwish Mon 27-Aug-07 13:33:55

actually i think it is good that he is going to see her alone.
it sounds like the real issue here is that her son doesn't really need her anymore (her cooking him dinner, wanting phone calls to "chat", him to pop in to spend time rather than kill time etc.)

you're being made the scapegoat but really she knows her issue is with him and not you.

and yes, with children already you're probably not what she had imagined for her son, but i don't think that is the biggest issue here so try not to let it become the crux of their problem as that would be too easy for both of them. Rise above it! Be civil, polite as other posters have said and don't get drawn in.

Anna8888 Mon 27-Aug-07 14:10:47

Your MIL is having problems letting go.

Keep her at arms' length. Don't make concessions but don't do anything to get her excited. Don't get upset. She will get over it in due course.

ShakeysGirl Mon 27-Aug-07 14:23:22

Thanks for your comments. I know this is her problem not mine but I feel very let down and disappointed in him. I really know if I want to carry on the relationship with him knowing that there will always be this problem of him not standing up to me and being controlled and bullied by his mother.

Do you think I should go to the quiz tonight? Him and his mother run the quiz and I play with a group of my friends in a team. If I do go I will be walking in blind as I wont have had a chance to speak to him to find out whats been said and how the situation stands. On the other hand, why should I not go, I have friends who I sit with every week. Its a difficult one.

Anna8888 Mon 27-Aug-07 14:32:33

He will learn to put you first above his mother over time, wink especially if you are calm, collected and reasonable and generally grown-up about things. Patience.

maisemor Mon 27-Aug-07 14:35:46

Definately go to the quiz. Go have some fun with your friends.

Beelliesebub Mon 27-Aug-07 15:12:59

By the sounds of your op, am I right in thinking that you have both made a commitment to each other? This being the case, I feel that you should switch your phone back on (you're just leaving yourself wide open to attack from his mother) and tell him that although you love him you feel that by agreeing to go alone to his mothers he is making a huge mistake. Not only will she be able to attack you and your relationship, it will undermine the very foundations and to be honest that is exactly what she wants. It is true what they say about divide and conquer!
I think you should get him to agree that you should go to the meeting.

ShakeysGirl Mon 27-Aug-07 15:25:55

I turned my phone back on but he hasnt even tried to call. I would like an opportunity to talk to him before he goes to his mothers but I am not going to get chance as he is going straight from work, so she will find it even easier to damage our relationship as he will already be feeling insecure about it because we've argued. sad

Shes a scary woman! I was already really nervous (although not showing it) about going to talk with them tonight and turning up uninvited isnt a pleasant prospect.

We've been living together for a few months now and its been great. I really thought that this was it forever but I think that she really is damamaging our relationship to the point of me not wanting to be in it anymore.

She doesnt realise that if she forces us apart she might get her precious son back at home but he will resent her for taking away everything that made him happy. If he does what she wants and gives up his own life he will end up sad and lonely and on his own because the next girl that comes along willbe treated just the same.

I know im playing right into her hands by not wanting him around me and arguing with him but its so frustrating to have a man whos such a doormat and lets himself be treated like this that it just winds me up to see him looking so sad and knowing that he has the power to make himself happy and sort this out but hasnt got the bottle to do it.

maisemor Mon 27-Aug-07 15:48:53

Can you not phone him?

Beelliesebub Mon 27-Aug-07 15:50:13

What would happen if you just turned up? Are you more scared of upsetting her or your dp? If you're more scared of upsetting her I'd chance it because by the sounds of it she's got your back against the wall. If you're at the stage that you're willing to leave the relationship anyway, I would say you have nothing to loose, at least you'd have the satisfaction of sticking up for yourself! and you never know it just might make a man of him yet?

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