Talk

Advanced search

MOTHER IN LAW.....THE WIFES MUM !!!

(15 Posts)
user1484139905 Wed 11-Jan-17 14:11:46

Hi i am new on here i would just like some advice really on how to deal with my wifes mother i will try and keep it as brief as possible . i met my wife in 1995 and have now been married since 2005 . we had 2 children before we got married and then found out that my son who is the eldest is autistic he is now 18 found out about the autisim when he was at primary school...my daughter is nearly 13....my wife and i get on fine 95% of the time we only really fall out when its to do with her mother...i gave my job up when my son was still at primary school so i could be his carer....wife is on quite good money..so i am a househusband...anyway regarding the wifes mother over the years they have come to our house regular and i have cooked some nice meals for them..i do all the cooking btw.and washing up....over the years though the wifes mother will have little digs and insults directed at me......i have over heard her in the past say to my wife that "you picked the wrong one "......i have waited on the mother in law hand and foot over the years and bent over backwards to try and please her.......the last episode was at boxing day 2016....my 2 kids were arguing over a some dog toy present and i shouted at them to behave.....this resulted in the wifes mother turning round to me and telling me to shut up.....i then said if my wife stayed at home she would strangle them....joking of course.....the wifes mother turned to me and said i would strangle you 1st !!!......in these situations in front of a house full of the wifes side of the family i feel belittled in my own home...the wife never seems to want to confront her mother and say things like thats a bit out of order mum...she just stays silent.......in the past i have gone round to make sure they have all got a drink trying to be nice...and get told from her mother to go away and stop mithering...i turned round and said i am trying to be nice...do you want me to be a bastard....the wifes mother turned round and said you are sometimes!!!...again the wife said nothing !!!.....i won a holiday to switzerland i did not go i let my wife and her mother go instead of me coz i thought it would be a nice thing to do.....i have took the mother in laws mother...my wifes gran out shopping on numerous occassions...gone round and cut her hedges etc etc ...i cannot understand my mother in law and work her out as she is fantastic with our 2 kids .and a good gran .she just has it in for me .....i am sick of being treated like a mug and doormat....my wife and i are at loggerheads over this....and it ruined my xmas and my autistic son even said granny ruined xmas.......wife and i are not really talking ......and i really do not know what to do for the best.....i would really appreciate some advice as i feel my mother in law is wrecking my marriage...i said to the wife there are 3 of us in this marriage you then your mum in the middle and me on the other side.......she even insisted on giving a speech at our wedding..and she did not really sing my praises apart from being a good dad to the kids......father in law is quiet as a church mouse btw and just lets her say what she wants to me........you would think the mother in law would do her best to try and get on with me as its complicated enough having to deal with a autistic son....any advice much appreciated thankyou

Pannnn Wed 11-Jan-17 15:07:21

Two things:

1. Remake this into paragraphs - it hurts eyes to look at this script. More people will read it. Cut n' paste into a new post and space it out.
2. Scan read bits - keep noticing 'the wife' come up and in title. This understandably will annoy some folks here. It's pretty naff and objectifies her. Suggest you amend it?

hope this assists your request.

Pannnn Wed 11-Jan-17 17:06:32

Edited at user's request:

Hi i am new on here i would just like some advice really on how to deal with my wifes mother i will try and keep it as brief as possible .

i met my wife in 1995 and have now been married since 2005 . we had 2 children before we got married and then found out that my son who is the eldest is autistic he is now 18 found out about the autisim when he was at primary school...my daughter is nearly 13.

my wife and i get on fine 95% of the time we only really fall out when its to do with her mother...i gave my job up when my son was still at primary school so i could be his carer....wife is on quite good money..so i am a househusband...

anyway regarding m-i-l over the years they have come to our house regular and i have cooked some nice meals for them..i do all the cooking btw.and washing up....

over the years though m-i-l will have little digs and insults directed at me......i have over heard her in the past say to my wife that "you picked the wrong one "......i have waited on the mother in law hand and foot over the years and bent over backwards to try and please her.......the last episode was at boxing day 2016....my 2 kids were arguing over a some dog toy present and i shouted at them to behave.....this resulted in m-i-l turning round to me and telling me to shut up.....i then said if my wife stayed at home she would strangle them....joking of course....m-i-l turned to me and said i would strangle you 1st !!!......in these situations in front of a house full of the wifes side of the family i feel belittled in my own home...

my wife never seems to want to confront her mother and say things like thats a bit out of order mum...she just stays silent.......in the past i have gone round to make sure they have all got a drink trying to be nice...and get told from her mother to go away and stop mithering...i turned round and said i am trying to be nice...do you want me to be a bastard....m-i-l turned round and said you are sometimes!!!...again my wife said nothing !!!.....i won a holiday to switzerland i did not go i let my wife and her mother go instead of me coz i thought it would be a nice thing to do.....i have took the mother in laws mother...my wifes gran out shopping on numerous occassions...gone round and cut her hedges etc etc ...

i cannot understand my mother in law and work her out as she is fantastic with our 2 kids .and a good gran .she just has it in for me .....i am sick of being treated like a mug and doormat....my wife and i are at loggerheads over this....and it ruined my xmas and my autistic son even said granny ruined xmas.......wife and i are not really talking ......and i really do not know what to do for the best.....

i would really appreciate some advice as i feel my mother in law is wrecking my marriage...i said to my wife there are 3 of us in this marriage you then your mum in the middle and me on the other side.......she even insisted on giving a speech at our wedding..and she did not really sing my praises apart from being a good dad to the kids......father in law is quiet as a church mouse btw and just lets her say what she wants to me........you would think my mother in law would do her best to try and get on with me as its complicated enough having to deal with a autistic son....any advice much appreciated thankyou

<hope this is acceptable>

thethoughtfox Wed 11-Jan-17 17:08:39

Plan out what you want to say in advance and tell her quietly but firmly. Good luck. She sounds like a witch.

ShowMeTheElf Wed 11-Jan-17 17:12:52

Hello and welcome.
You have a DW problem more than a MIL problem.

Your DW should be supporting her family (you and children) over her childhood family (DPs). Clearly this issue is affecting how you and your DW communicate, so you need to make it clear that it isn't fair and let her know how you feel. It is up to her to manage her parents.

You do not have to allow them to disrespect you in your own home. If your MIL cannot control herself once your DW has raised it then you are completely within your rights to avoid her: your DW can take the children for visits and you do not need to allow them in your home.

Ilovecaindingle Wed 11-Jan-17 17:17:25

Wow great merit to you that you are still around - and she isn't buried under the patio.
Not that I agree - as my dh is also a sahp - but maybe her old fashioned attitude can't grasp that you are still contributing to your household when you don't have a job outside of the home? Is she a man works - wife stays at home believer? Personally your wife news to get her big girl pants on and speak up for you. Husband /wife it's hard being a sahp and she needs to tell her dm it's what happens /works for your family and she can keep her negative opinions to herself - or she won't be spending any time with you all.

cheekyfunkymonkey Wed 11-Jan-17 17:23:33

If this has been going on for a while, which it sounds like, and has not been dealt with your wife may not realise how you really feel about it and your mil clearly thinks she can say what she likes. You need to calmly explain the situation to your wife emphasising how it makes you feel and what you need her to do about it ( back you up). You need to know what you are prepared to do about this if she doesn't. It will be hard for her to stand up to her mother especially if neither of them take it seriously.

user1484139905 Wed 11-Jan-17 18:17:33

thankyou very much for doing that for me much appreciated

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 11-Jan-17 18:38:14

I suspect that MIL is very old fashioned and does not appreciate a 'role reversal' type relationship. You and your wife are doing what works for you.

I would remind MIL of this is she picks at you. However I would spesk to your wife or even show her this thread if you feel you can. Explain how belittled it makes you feel and that you'd appreciate some support from her when MIL starts.

FlamingOnTheWay Sun 15-Jan-17 03:22:33

This is a scenario much played out on MN with genders reversed. If you have the time, do a search on similar threads because (1) you will get a huge feeling of relief and that you are not the only one experiencing just this and (2) there's lots of ready made good advice. Good luck; MIL sounds quite a challenge.

Patienceisvirtuous Sun 15-Jan-17 04:07:43

OP you and your wife need to put on a united front.

My husband would go mad if his mum spoke to me like this (I suspect she'd love to, but daren't).

Have a calm talk with your wife, explain how you'd like her to support you. Tell her it's imperative that she does in order for your marriage to work. If your mil continues to disrespect you tell her she is not welcome in your home.

Good luck.

jobanana Wed 01-Feb-17 08:29:15

First thing: I think it was mean the guy said do it again in paragraphs and cut 'the wife' label - what else are you to call her? That isn't the issue here. Although, granted, it is a bit easier to read in the paragraphs : )

Real thing: I know this will sound odd, but you have first to understand that ... this isn't personal. The MIL isn't doing this because you're you. She's doing it because you are the male in her daughter's life, and therefore a threat to her authority by definition. She is dominant. The only other male in her circle - her husband - was long ago dominated. Her daughter is dominated because she can't even give a squeak to defend you. She can't even think of standing up to her mother - she'd end up losing you before she ever stood up to her. She just can't do it. It isn't how anybody in the family has a relationship with the MIL - they don't stand up to her, because presumably when they've ever ever not done what she said, or been in any way mutinous, the fallout has been so bad that they decided it is never ever worth challenging her.

This has happened day in, day out, for the years of your wife's childhood. This is her family's culture. 'Mum is fantastic' is probably the line - a fantastic, loving, involved, dependable mother and grandmother, who is like a lioness guarding her family. And that's what she is. It's a very distinct and common type, and there are countries where it's only expected of a woman that she should be like this with her family.

Now that only helps you in the sense that you can get a handle on what you're dealing with here. It isn't that your wife doesn't love you properly, doesn't think her mum's in the wrong, doesn't want to defend you, doesn't wish her mum wouldn't be mean to you like that - it's that your wife has no emotional tools to deal with this. She is completely caught between the two of you. She knows in her heart that you are in the right - you couldn't be kinder and nicer, you actively try to do selfless things to put her mother and her first and are so generous emotionally, BUT, and this of course is the giant and difficult but ... she is totally programmed to be submissive to her mother.

So what should you do?

With the MIL: stop being nice to her. By this, I don't mean be rude to her (I'm sure you couldn't even if you tried - you sound a sympathetic, reasonable person). I mean that whenever the thought comes to you to do something kind - like giving her the holiday, or saying she looks nice, or offering her a drink, or making a special effort with a meal - think: Fxxk it - it's wasted on her. You wouldn't pour champagne down the sink, so don't lavish the MIL with your niceness. It really is water off a duck's back to her. She notices it, but to her it means you're trying to curry favour, to make up for your weaknesses (I know that isn't right, but that's how she sees it). So, stop doing that with her, because it's not what will work with her. She doesn't see it as you would if someone did that to you - she doesn't think 'oh, he's being so nice, what a lovely guy - I'll be nice too - what a great guy for my daughter!' - oh no, she doesn't. She thinks 'hmm, thinks he can get round me like that, does he? No way'.

So: be polite but firm with her. This will take a huge effort on your part, because it's not in your nature, but just play the part. Force yourself. Because what has to happen here is that she, and your wife, have to see that you are not a pushover - that you don't want to fight, but you won't be a pushover either. You have to stake out your territory and the MIL has to respect that, whether she likes it or not. So don't seek out time with her, don't do anything other than the bare minimum. Actively make choices not to be with her or do things for her. She needs to feel the cold.

I would say carry on being nice taking grandma on shopping trips, etc. - don't stand in the way of the kids having a great time with the MIL as well - but don't put yourself out there. Withdraw, and let her notice that. Your wife will also notice.

And then, hopefully, you have at least got some protection - your first defence is never expecting anything nice from the MIL - only expected hostility. Then already you've protected your own feelings when she does exactly what you'd expected - is mean.

As for your wife, I feel v. sorry for her too. I honestly think that although, of course, in an ideal world she'd leap to your defence and tell her mother to back off, this is pretty unlikely, if she hasn't already. I would have been deeply upset with my mum if she'd done anything like your MIL did at Xmas - and my partner is genuinely bad in some ways and probably would have deserved it - but I'd have been upset because it's not Mum's relationship - I depend on her just to be nice and not get involved, even if that's hard for her. And she does that for me. But your MIL has no reason to be cross with you, and every reason to be nice - but she isn't, and won't be. So your wife has no idea what to do. She can't bring herself to attack her mother, and she knows she's letting you down dreadfully.

Personally I think a way throught that would work is - talk to your wife. Tell her you understand she can't stand up to her mum. Don't question that - accept it. Be on your wife's side. Say 'I know it's so hard to tell your mum off - I know you can't do that. So we have to just be quietly on each other's side and I'm going to try to stop getting angry about her treatment of me and just forget about it, because it's never going to change. And I don't want the way your mum is to affect our family's happiness. Without your mum, everything's great - so I'm just going to bite my tongue and put up with it when your mum's mean. I'll go in the other room : )' ... something like that. I know it feels like submission, but it isn't. You aren't going to pussy-foot around that MIL and be nice to her. You're just going to ignore her as much as possible, for the sake of your wife and kids and you - for the sake of your family. And I bet your wife will love you for it. I bet she will feel that instead of criticising her and feeling disappointed in her lack of ability to defend you that in fact you understand and you are on her side - which makes her stronger. She doesn't want to feel against her mum, but the compromise is she can feel very much together with you. And just let her be as she needs to be with her mum. Smile, get a beer and go out on the patio. Just leave it. As much as you can.

That's my advice. The alternative is expect the impossible of your wife and MIL, be disappointed, and allow the MIL to distance you and your wife even further. Don't let the old cow do that - regroup, behind her back. You actually have all the advantage here. Your wife loves you - and your (plural) kids - and everything you do. She loves you for it, and she loves you for not being like her mum. So just tell her how valuable your family is, and how you're not going to rise to the bait with her mum.

And who knows - maybe one day your wife, feeling strong with you at home, will get up the courage to tell her mum to back off. I hope so.

acornsandnuts Wed 01-Feb-17 08:38:10

'the wife' label - what else are you to call her?

My wife? hmm

jobanana Wed 01-Feb-17 18:01:34

Ok but we don't know where the guy is from and maybe that's a phrase he's used without meaning to be disrespectful ... I think the main thing is that she isn't helping, which is probably because she can't.

HarmlessChap Sat 04-Feb-17 10:24:57

I'm afraid I would asked her to leave my home if she can't be civil.

If my wife didn't back me up I would have suggested that unless she feels the same way as her mother she really needs to stop giving her implied approval that she can say those things to me, by allowing it to continue, but that if she does feel the same way perhaps she should tell me herself rather than getting her mother to do it by proxy.

I would also keep a diary of MIL's insults to go through, calmly, with DW so that she can't just dismiss and forget all but the very worst and ask why she feels I should accept that kind of EA.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now