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My mother hates my husband (long)

(956 Posts)
badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 19:46:56

I don't live in the UK. DH is from the country we live in. Mum came to live here (divorced and then later my father died) some years ago in a house a short drive away. Soon decided it was a big mistake and that she hated it, then to complicate matters then injured her back and became really unable to manage living alone. We sold my house and we moved in with her. All coinciding with me starting a new business venture and DH becoing unemployed. DH has bascially been unemployed (except for a couple of short contracts) since then. When we all moved in together DS was 20 months (now 4.5) and we've since had another child who's 1.5.

Before we all moved in together I was about to go back after mat leave and all set up (at her suggestion) for mum to have DS while I worked and DH at work. DH lost his job three days before I went back but mum said she still wanted to come up in the afternoons cos she wanted to see DS. She (much later) claimed DH had sat on the coputer and let her do it all. He said (we had a big row about it then) he only sat on the computer while DS napped.

My business has been slowly dying a death so I'm going to be WOH from Monday (previously ran busness from home). Yesterday I had meetings all day. DH supposed to be looking after DCs for the afternoon while I'm out.
I told him not to let my mum do too much, to imagine she was not there as it's too much for her. When I came home I asked mum (who I saw first on coming in) how things had been and she pulled a face and said tell you later.
Asked DH if he'd let DS just spend the whole afternoon with my mum and he said, only a bit while DD asleep..she slept for almost 2 hours. Then I ask mum and she says that he'd sat on the laptop and told DS he couldn't play as he'd wake the baby up and she'd felt bad so spent 2 hrs entertaining DS while DH sat on laptop.

I was really pissed off as I'd asked him specifically not to do this and we had a row.

He says she's exaggerating and that he can't believe I'm questioning his parenting abilities/calling him a neglectful parent and talking about him behind his back. He says DS wasn't with her the entire time, he was in and out and he didn't tell him he couldn't play, just that he had to be quiet as the baby was asleep.

She says he's a lazy git and it's the same old shit as all those years ago, she's had enough and would go back to the UK if she had the money. They've been avoiding each other all day and I feel totally caught in the middle.

I'm so angry that he did exactly what I asked him not to but I can't stand this atmosphere, it's like I'm being asked to choose, my husband or my mother.

CailinDana Sat 15-Sep-12 19:57:06

You absolutely cannot dictate what your husband can and can't do while you're not there. That is incredibly controlling. Either you trust him to look after your DCs or you don't, simple. If you do trust him, then you have to accept that he won't do things exactly as you would like them done.

As for your mother, if she's not happy playing with the DCs why does she come over? Just to spy on your DH and make him feel bad?

Imagine if your own MIL did this to you - came over while you were alone with the DCs, then ran to your husband telling him you were lazy at which point, your husband, who is supposed to be your partner, not his mother's turned on you, believing every word his mother said. Would you seriously be ok with it?

CailinDana Sat 15-Sep-12 20:00:26

Oh and as for choosing, you choose your husband, because he is your partner. If you don't want to choose him for some reason then you have to question why you're with him at all.

izzyizin Sat 15-Sep-12 20:06:04

As I understand it, the OP, her dh, and dc, moved in with her dm and they're all living under one roof, Cailin.

If your dm has traditional views on men being the main breadwinners, it's not surprising if she views his long periods of unemployment as being more due to his idleness than it being difficult to obtain work, OP.

Could you clarify 'WOH' as I'm not familiar with that acronym?

PineappleBed Sat 15-Sep-12 20:08:20

Cailin is right you cannot and should not be pulling the "I'm the mum so do it exactly like I say" card. He is looking after his children and unless he's doing something actually wrong then you really need to get off your high horse.

xMumof3x Sat 15-Sep-12 20:09:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PineappleBed Sat 15-Sep-12 20:09:49

Since your mum hates him, your words, then why do you trust what she SAS about him not to be hugely biased?

PineappleBed Sat 15-Sep-12 20:10:09

SAS?? Should be she!

PineappleBed Sat 15-Sep-12 20:10:29

Argh "says"

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 20:27:47

My mum has always been a bit of a supermum, a perfectionist. She had a hard life, grew up poor, got herself a career and then had a useless alcoholic for husband who gambled all the money away. She did a v demanding job with no help from said husband and brought us up, worked full time and used to make a cooked breakfast everyday before work and read us stories. She thinks DH should be actively engaging DS all the time, talking to him. She claims he ignores him. I really don't think that's fair.
She says she doesn't dislike DH but is now saying he's a "useless oik" and he's ungrateful. I would say he isn't ungrateful but that we never asked to have my mother living with us (and I have struggled with it, it drives me mad sometimes..I feel like I'm 15 again).
Even though where we live is almost 50% unemployment she claims he doesn't look for work. It's true, he hasn't traipsed round everywhere with CVs for a while, but he does search online every week and has applied to the council job scheme.
He shares the cooking/cleaning with me or does whatever I ask him to do round the house or does what he thinks needs doing.

I asked him to be careful not to let her end up entertaining ds as we had this row before when we didn't live together when she claimed he let her do everything and sat on the pc. He would say that's untrue, that he used the pc while ds slept.
I find it hard that she comes telling tales instead of just saying, oi son in law, I've been entertaining your son for 2 hours, I'm tired. She says she was scared to in case he was offended or I was annoyed she'd "told my DH off". Admittedly I handled it badly as when she pulled a face I reckoned it was that she felt she'd been left to do it all and that was what I'd asked DH not to do. I'd had a long day...we rowed about it.

It's true she's far too involved in our lives, but I don't see how to sort that out, without her moving away, which isn't really financially possible and would somehow seem terribly final and like a sophie's choice.

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 20:32:30

She's now crying and saying she's so alone as earlier today we were talking while DH was out and when he came back I said I would finish the conversation later as I didn't want him to think I was talking about him behind his back. She's taken this to mean I won't talk to her and am excluding her.

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 20:37:51

Just to clarify, we all live in the same house, so I can't have one of them do it. DS loves his granny and she likes to read him stories, he often wanders into her living area and asks for a story or three. I don't mind that, he likes it, she likes doing it. I asked DH to make sure it was just that so she had no excuse to play the "you're so lazy and you expect me to do it all when I'm disabled" card. H said DS wandered between the two of them and that he never said ds couldn't play. She says DS came back looking forlorn and daddy told him he wasn't allowed to play (making a den) and she felt so sorry for him she spent ages doing it with him and that she wasn't up to it and hurt herself.

izzyizin Sat 15-Sep-12 20:37:56

So what's going to be happening from Monday? Are you going to be at home during usual working hours too?

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 20:42:58

I'm starting work on Monday. I will be out from early afternoon til ten pm. The idea was that DH would look after dcs and then mum would help with bathtie by reading ds a story after the bath while Dh dried and pj'd dd. Then dh would tuck them both in.
He says (in that, tight lipped, fuck you angry way) that what happened yesterday (Him on the pc while ds was with mum)won't happen again. She says she feels so ill with the stress of it all, she may well be in bed all day.
She says she's worried dh will take it out on her and ds by not letting him send any time with her at all, I wish they'd just make their fucking minds up and stop putting me in the middle of it all.
DH says mum is a drama queen and he knew she'd be on the pc looking for places to rent for one (which is what she did this pm).

CailinDana Sat 15-Sep-12 20:49:45

It really sounds like your mother is milking this for all it's worth. It sounds to me like she's trying to manipulate you by getting in the middle of you and DH and then acting the martyr. If she can't play with DS because it hurts her, then she shouldn't do it. Doing it and then moaning about being injured is ridiculous behaviour.

Your DH is the parent. You need to support him and tell your mother to wind her neck in, big time. My DS adores my MIL and if she were in the house DS would want to play with her all the time. I suspect the same is true for your DS and your mother. To me, the thought of having my MIL in the house all day long, judging what I was doing and expecting me to keep DS away from her would be absolute hell.

I feel sorry for your DH.

LydiasMiletus Sat 15-Sep-12 20:56:09

I agree with callin, completely.
Your mum is acting like a drama queen and is interfering. If my mil did this to me I would kick off, in a big way. She is bring very disrespectful and driving (or attempting to) a big wedge between you and your dh.
Either you trust him or you don't. You can't ban as from playing with mil. She needs to move out, or you do whoever doesn't own the house you are in.
She needs to back off.

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 21:01:49

She has done this kind of thing before, been all martyr like. She quite often makes me feel I'm not up to scratch, she thinks the fact that ds watches kid's tv (in his minority language, to improve his vocab) for an hour at breakfast is a bit slack. I think she thinks I should be reading stories and interacting. I think, fuck off, I'm his mother...but I button my lip. Her bugbear before we lived together was that dh got up with early waking ds (6am) and put the telly on and occasionally fell asleep. This was crap parenting according to her, he should have been talking, playing, interacting.
I was just glad dh let me sleep in as I'd been out at work til late.

When dd was about 8 weeks we had this mammoth fight as she felt that the house was a sty and that dh wasn't pulling his weight, but I was shattered so left all housework to him and he was either doing the housework in the morning while ds was at nursery from 9-1 or looking after ds while I tried to look after dd or sleep. I've never really forgotten that, how she made me feel.

I know she's miserable here and wants to go back to the UK, she doesn't know anyone, she's practically housebound, she hates the climate. But I never asked her to come here and I never wanted to live together. She's always leant on me too much, it's always been a bit unhealthy in that respect.
Maybe I'm missing something and my husband is lazy, but I can't see it. But all this is destroying my relationship with her.

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 21:04:12

She owns the house. I trust dh with the dcs, he's a good dad. He could be more chatty, he could do more plasticine/painting etc but then ds does that all day at preschool.

ChitchatAtHome Sat 15-Sep-12 21:10:46

You yourself have said that your mum is a 'supermum' type, and expects your DS to be entertained constantly.

Firstly, that's a recipe for disaster if your DH is a bit more laid back than that - and TBH it sounds like ANYONE would be more laid back than your mum.

Secondly, keeping a child entertained all the time isn't doing them any favours, it's good for them to learn to amuse themselves for periods of time. They need to develop their own imagination.

You need to get your DM to keep her nose out of it, and you need to stop taking her side all the time. By telling your DH what to do when your DM is around (which sounds like will be all the time) you ARE telling him how to parent. He's the father, your DM is only a grandmother, HE gets more of a say than her.

CaliforniaLeaving Sat 15-Sep-12 21:11:20

Maybe it's time to rent a place of your own, and move back out from hers, she sounds miserable, and can move about fine so why does she need you living there?

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 21:19:08

That's where it all gets really incestuous and far too complicated. Since my business folded, because I'm an expat, there's only really one thing I can do (tefl) and the pay is shit. It's also evenigs only meaning we need dh to look after them, if there were work in the mornings, ds would be at school and dd at nursery. We can afford to rent and pay bills and eat on my salary alone and dh's unemployment benefit has run out (you only get a certain amount here, then you're on your own til you find work again).
She can manage around the house, but can't drive or get shopping in or do much physically like hoovering, mopping, cleaning. She doesn't really speak the language much. That's another of her things, she says she tries to talk to dh but he doesn't really talk and never initiates conversation. He says he feels his english isn't good enough and he can't think of the words and can't follow the conversation.

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 21:19:38

we can't afford

squeakytoy Sat 15-Sep-12 21:23:12

If she owns the house, why would she be looking at places to rent.

The situation sounds unbearable for all of you.

Would it not be easier to all of you move back to the UK, with her in a small flat, maybe in sheltered housing so that she gets some assistance, and then you and your husband can get on with being a partnership without her interference.

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 21:27:03

She was thinking she'd rent a place on her pension in the Uk and let us stay in this house so as not to disrupt dcs. dh says it's just melodrama.
I'm sure she'd love to go back to the uk but it'd be near impossible to sell here, and prices have dropped massively ad gone up in the uk, also what would dh and I do for work? I have a job here. He speaks the language. Anyway, I like it here, I've been here 12 years, my friends are here. Things irritate me and I miss the uk but I live here now.

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 21:28:07

I dream of winning the lottery so she can go back to the Uk. I feel awful saying that.

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