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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.

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 21:59:19

And I can't believe this has all blown up just before I go back out to work. She knows I'm dreading it, fucking shit first day I'm going to have.

100mph Sat 15-Sep-12 22:03:21

clutching at straws a little bit but with TEFL is it worth contacting organisations that might still have some money (to pay you better) like big companies preparing staff to do more business with the UK, UK businesses that might want some general translation/ training which you could help with, private schools etc..?

badtoworse Sat 15-Sep-12 22:05:33

The school I'm at is one of the best payers and I've already been translating (that's the failed business...not enough work and taxes too high for self employed. I can do some translation of the side but only up to 3000 euros a year without paying huge self employed taxes, which I can't afoord to do. All v complex and bureacratic and unentrepenuery

SuoceraBlues Sat 15-Sep-12 22:05:47

This is almost spooky.

Me, from the UK, but living in DH's country of origin. Mum divorced, comes to live with us, spends energy not in building new life but making DH feel
like an unwelcome guest in his own home and critisises him as a parent. Which is outragous, cos if he wasn't my husband I'd have him adopt me. He is a fabulous dad.

DH never made me feel like I had to choose. My mum did though.

We haven't spoken since she left that night seven years odd ago.

Not always a good idea to force a daughter to pick husband or mother.

Heads up love, it may come to picking a side if one or the other is determined that choose you must.

LittleBairn Sat 15-Sep-12 22:07:26

Ok you know there is a problem so now you need to find a solution stop being defeatist.

Short term does she have any family in the uk she could vist for a month or two and give you all space? Plus it might make her more motivated to find a away of moving back to UK.

Could she rent the house your all in and move back to the uk and live off the income?
Can you come to a more formal arrangement that your DC are no longer freely allowed to go into your mums living area but maybe they could have a set time each day were they spend time playing together for 30 mins. That way your mum has no reason to play the victim.

squeakytoy Sat 15-Sep-12 22:07:57

Without knowing which country you are in, and the type of area (coastal, tourism, rural, city) it is difficult to try and offer any suggestions.

Does your mother not want to try and learn the language? Is there an ex-pat community that she could involve herself in?

100mph has a good suggestion there, have you tried looking on the UK job pages for jobs that are available in your country maybe?

NellyJob Sat 15-Sep-12 22:10:31

If you are where I think you might be, there must be other people from the UK around, does she have any social life? Could you push her out to language lessons? What would she think of someone who lived in the UK and didn't learn English? Without the language she will always be isolated....

NellyJob Sat 15-Sep-12 22:11:00

xpost skweekytoy

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 06:54:37

I'm not being defeatist, honestly but I don't see a way out. She did go to language lessons but they are too far away and now she can't cos she's not physically up to it. She understands a fair bit of the language and can speak a bit but not v fluent and can't really follow a conversation.
We've had another row this am (me and her) cos she says she'll agree to draw a line under it and get on with things but she fels she's being a hypocrite and I got annoyed, because it's more fucking shit stirring. What's the point of saying you'll agree to disagree and then bellyache about it making you a hypocrite? That's not really the spirit of it, is it?
The solution is that goes back to the Uk, but I'm not sure how.
I'm still annoyed with dh because if he'd just made more of an effort and been a bit more poractive this then she wouldn't have had the excuse. He says, and I suppose this is true, that it would have been something else. And it's true, she creates these rows every few months. There are no expats here really except my friends through work and she's not physically able to go out and do stuff anyway. It's what makes it all worse, she's totally dependant on me in every way.

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 06:55:26

No social life, no..she hardly ever leaves the house. I'd be a fucking misery too if I were her tbf.

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 06:56:30

SuoceraBlues that's what I'm afraid of.

CailinDana Sun 16-Sep-12 07:27:49

I'm not sure what you mean when you say if your DH had "been a bit more proactive" then things would be better. That doesn't make sense at all and you're still holding your poor DH responsible for your mother's awful behaviour even though you admit your mother is a shit stirrer. If you have genuine issues with your DH, fair enough, address those with him, but don't mix up your mother's and your DH's behaviour because it will lead to disaster. Your DH is not responsible for how your mother feels. She is an adult who can look after herself. If they don't get on very well, that's a shame, but expecting him to keep her happy by, what?, doing everything she says? is very very unfair. Unless you start genuinely supporting your DH there is a real danger that over time resentment will build up and it could do serious damage to your relationship. Don't let your mother do that.

As for practical solutions, they do exist, but at the moment you are not ready to contemplate them. You are still hoping to smooth things over. That's understandable, she's your mother, and you feel responsible for her. But it sounds like she's not willing to give an inch, she feels she's right and this is all going to blow up again. IMO if it carries on there is serious risk to your marriage. But for the time being, it doesn't seem bad enough to take drastic action. But eventually it will seem bad enough, and one or both relationships involved is going to suffer.

LittleBairn Sun 16-Sep-12 07:34:21

TBH I think no matter what your DH does she will take issue. Your mothers problems with your DH shouldn't be yours.
When you moved in together did you have any sort of agrement/ rules on how you would live together? Could you maybe reinstate them or make some in order to make sure all of you are happier with the living situation.
I would suggest a family meeting with all three adults to talk about it no matter how awkward.

Is it possible her critism of your DH is in order ( in her mind ) to help you see what he's really like that was if you were to separate you would be more likely to return to the UK with her?

Does she have any family she can visit in the UK?

LittleBairn Sun 16-Sep-12 07:36:59

If there is 50% unemployment then many families must be loving on one wage there will be properties to rent maybe not as nice as what your in now but surely better for you and your DH.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 16-Sep-12 07:45:14

I always think that living under the same roof as a parent when you're an adult is the sure fire way to falling out.

When dd was little I didn't entertain her all hours of the day. Firstly I'd have been bored with it, secondly as someone else said they need to learn to entertain themselves.

I should think (sweeping generalisation) that most dads wouldn't spend time painting, doing plasticine, etc. Even I never did. Well maybe once or twice. DD isn't scarred for life. However if we'd had a willing granny there I'm sure dd would have been running to her to see if she would do something. Kids are very good at unintentionally playing adults off against the other.

Ideallly you need your own house.

nkf Sun 16-Sep-12 07:47:42

It doesn't work so it has to be made to work or you need a different arrangement. 50% unemployment? Surely that means rents are low. She should probably explore returning to the UK because she prefers it.

AThingInYourLife Sun 16-Sep-12 07:48:15

"I'm still annoyed with dh because if he'd just made more of an effort and been a bit more poractive this then she wouldn't have had the excuse."

You want your husband to pre-empt your mother's criticism by not doing anything she might object to?

Good luck with your divorce.

Your son is 4, he doesn't need entertaining.

If your mother chooses to do that, that's up to her.

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 07:57:59

Some serious food for thought here. Will be back later. What a fucking mess it all is.

BranchingOut Sun 16-Sep-12 07:58:03

I think your best plan is to take the risk of coming back to the uk. Rent out your house until it sells.

Use money from the sale of cars/furniture to put down rent.

Rent near a big city to give your husband a chance of finding work.

SuoceraBlues Sun 16-Sep-12 08:02:09


I'm too close to "the problem" to be much help, it's amazing how strongly things can rankle even years later, but...

<big fat hug>

You will find a solution, even it means your hand is forced into one.

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 08:03:52

Did she storm off Suocera muttering about how her heart was broken?

2rebecca Sun 16-Sep-12 08:57:03

Agree with others that you have to look at not living with your mum. Moving in together was a mistake, her coming to the country where you live and she can't speak the language was a mistake.
You tried it, it didn't work. I would be telling her you won't be living together in future. She either has a place of her own or moves back to the UK.
When your mum injured her back and decided she hated the country that should have been when she moved back, not when you moved in with her.
You have turned her problems into your problems. For the sake of your husband and children you have to support the needs of them over your mum.
Let your mum cry, the alternative may be divorce and you your husband and kids crying. she is just one person.

colditz Sun 16-Sep-12 09:05:38

Let's try not to judge the ops mum too harshly, look at it from her perspective.

Her daughter, her beloved child, works her arse off while her daughters husband sits on his arse playing computer games and ignoring his son, her grandchild.

I think it would be very very hard to watch my child live the way the op lives.

colditz Sun 16-Sep-12 09:07:03

And while a four year old might not need entertaining, they don't need treating to the pleasant view of the back of daddy's laptop for two hours either.

badtoworse Sun 16-Sep-12 09:09:03

She leant on me too much when I was a teenager and during the awful years with my dad and the divorce. She had a breakdown then and had to be hospitalised. I've always felt responsible for her and we've always been too close iyswim.
She's being all angry-hurt this morning and saying she's confused and "on the edge" and it's because I pulled her up on this "I'll draw a line under it but I won't forget" shit, which totally defeats the whole point and is more guilt inducing mind games.
But I'm not getting involved, because it only makes things worse. I desperately want to smooth things over but she won't play ball.

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