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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.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 08-Jan-13 13:27:56

Guessing that actually DM will rather enjoy the drama of "then they left me" (all of 800m away) "but God forbid I stand in the way of their happiness" etc etc and would probably feel a tiny bit cheated if all fell through which it won't .

badtoworse Tue 08-Jan-13 14:42:16

At lunch today she looks all tearful and says (choking back sobs) will I be able to read DS a story this afternoon? I said, as many as you like. She says, "but not before bedtime" and I said no, I think that's for the best and she did the silent weeping. Then all hurt and clipped answers like I've done something terrible to her. She's mad. So, after calling DH a shit dad and saying he's horrible and makes DS cry at bedtime and ruins what should be a happy time, she thinks she's going to be allowed up there to watch over him as he does it?
I'm nervous about the answer from the rental. I expect I won't even get an answer today as the agent was to speak to the owner's daughter and I think she'll say she has to speak to her parents with the new rent up front offer.
I'll ring the other (slimeball and totally disorganised) agent tomorrow and see if he can show me anything. DH bumped into the grandad of one of DS's schoolfriends today who has properties int he village apparently and has just rented a house for 450, but we're too late and he has nothing else available at the mo. Grr.
If the 425 house would accept the rent up front offer (we're offering to pay a year up front) we could move and at least get a bit of bretahing space, DH might have some luck with work and I can ask to be kept in mind for any promotions at my company. Would give translation a renewed push but don't really have the time in large enough blocks and as it's not a constant income it doesn't help with proving levels of income. Helps with cashflow but not with renting issues.
Feeling low, hoping work (starting in a min) will take my mind off things and get me through the day.

DistanceCall Tue 08-Jan-13 15:03:41

You'll get the flat, Bad. One year's rent in advance? In Spain? Right now?

They are insane if they don't accept. Any landlord in his right mind would be jumping for joy.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 08-Jan-13 16:05:10

Let's stay positive and see. You have done your utmost today, see what tomorrow brings.

Not surprised at DM. In a few painful episodes I have felt very unprepared and things seem almost unscripted for want of a better word. Alternatively on some occasions things come to pass as predicted and the thought's gone through my head, "Right on cue".

So much of what other posters predicted has happened. Sorry you feel worn down at latest antics. Can you outwardly retain composure by staying detached and dispassionately mentally tick off a checklist or bingo card? I know it's your mum and a colossal wrench but she casts herself in these roles, put upon matriarch, misunderstood MIL, doting DGM, tugging at your heartstrings.

tribpot Tue 08-Jan-13 16:07:21

Agreed - I can understand why the landlords are nervous about your income vs expenditure but the offer of a year's rent up front should have them snapping your hand off, even more so when the property's been vacant for a while.

If this one doesn't work out, though, another will - renting is the right solution for you right now.

And remember, don't engage. Just factual answers. Yes you may read stories this afternoon. Not this evening. End of.

Btw I think you should reconsider whether her going ape-shit is a factor in how you speak to her - you no longer have to feel intimidated by her.

pictish Tue 08-Jan-13 16:22:47

She sounds very very entitled.
She believes herself on a par with you and your dh as a parent to your child(ren).
She cries when she is reminded that she is not - as though someone were doing something cruel to her and taking her parental rights away.

This is a woman who has had her own way for far too long.

HappyNewHissy Tue 08-Jan-13 16:26:33

Bad try not to panic/worry, everything will be OK, it WILL work out.

I have long suspected that houses/homes come to you, not you go to them.

If you don't get the house for E425, it is because there is a better one out there for you.

Have faith, think long view. I know how desperate you are to be moving on, and you will, but trust in fate. I can't properly explain it, sounds a bit woooo, but it really seems to ring true for me.

MinnieBar Tue 08-Jan-13 17:37:02

I am a landlord - not in Spain mind you - and I would love a tenant who pays a year's rent up front.
Well done on the not engaging. Inspired by you I've been doing it with the DCs - works quite well with them too wink

badtoworse Tue 08-Jan-13 19:23:45

They've said yes to the idea of up front rent. Will talk to the agent tomorrow about details (for example what if we leave before a year is up, will need our money back) But at least it means we have things back on track. At work, so no idea how things are going at home..I expect she'll just do a lot of po-faced nonsense and then strop at me when I get home.

wheredidiputit Tue 08-Jan-13 19:36:39

That's good.

It gives you a year breathing space as to where you go next.

tribpot Tue 08-Jan-13 19:51:03

What's the normal length of a tenancy, badtoworse? When I had tenants who paid up front (both recently back in the country so no credit rating) they paid for the duration of the assured tenancy (six months) - thus they couldn't leave before the end of the term anyway. After that they moved on to paying monthly.

I would get some advice on a Spanish site about how up front rent is usually handled. You just need to make sure you can get the money back, as you say.

But really good news that you have the place in the bag.

ThreeTomatoes Tue 08-Jan-13 20:09:45

Yay, that's great news. Hope the details work out fine too.

Your mum is completely balmy. I just can't imagine my mum coming to me choking back sobs to ask a simple question, it's so weird. My mum is fiercely independent and she's always been the one, as I was growing up, saying "You can do it yourself!" etc (to my dad too grin "Just do it!!" she used to snap, when he'd be mithering (not sure if that's a real word, it just came out!) about something)
I always remember one time we were trying to get a desk or cupboard or something up the stairs, me her & my dsis, and we were struggling a bit and me & dsis were saying "Oh let's wait till Dad gets home," and my mum said determinedly, "Nope, we can do it, come on!" We did, as well. i always remind myself of that when I come up against something challenging.

Oh, and funnily enough just the other day I found in dd's room a picture my mum had given her of an elephant helping its baby up, with the words "Nothing's impossible, my mum says so" written on it! smile

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 08-Jan-13 20:29:16

Good. Back on track. Yes possibly more po faced nonsense this evening but yada yada, it's another script and you aren't obliged to be an audience.

badtoworse Wed 09-Jan-13 06:51:33

Well I don't get in til 1030 so I didn't see much of her. I called through hello and got a stroppy sounding hello back. Then I sat in my living room and did some admin for work. When I went up to bed I was surprised to see she'd already gone, but DH said she'd called through "Night" although I didn't hear it.
DH said DS spent the afternoon with him using his etch-a-sketch so no doubt she'll see that as "grandson stealing". She really does think she's an equal parent, that she has a right, not only to be involved in everything but then criticise how it's all done. It's that whole "taking over/muscling in" thing she's always done.
At lunch yesterday after asking about reading stories to DS she said (again, choking back sobs) would I switch on her electric blanket when I went to bed. I said fine, do you want the heater on? She strats to cry and says no, there's no point it makes no difference, the room is so cold. I said OK. The room is cold, it's the coldest in the house as it has 3 exterior walls. it has a bit of damp in the corner, which she was asking if she should wipe with bleach. But If she had the oil filled radiator on low it DOES keep the room warm and it helps keep the damp at bay. It's not like she can't afford to have a plug in radiator on low (on a thermostat) in the winter. It's always the same, she won't do stuff which would help her or eliminate a problem and then she cries and wails. She's always complaining about that room, I don't know why she's not keener for us to leave so she can have one of the other rooms...she can have our room back with the en suite shower.
Got a bad back and a headache today.

tribpot Wed 09-Jan-13 07:41:58

But she doesn't want to improve her situation, she wants to be able to martyr herself to your comfort/need/wellbeing so that you're constantly living with guilt about not feeling more grateful. Why are you in the warmer room, out of interest?

Remember as well, the reason she 'can't afford' this is because of the need to save her pension to even out this ludicrous inheritance situation she keeps you living under as well.

All very sad - but all the more reason why you must get away.

badtoworse Wed 09-Jan-13 08:34:39

We're in the "master bedroom" which has the en suite. Her idea when we came to live here was that as a couple we should have the bigger room and this would sort of compensate somehow for giving up our own house, that it would be our area. I wasn't keen as I didn't want her then to throw it in my face at a later date. There are 4 bedrooms upstairs. They are all doubles. I suggested we take one of the other ones and she keep her room as it was her house and it made more sense as the en suite is a shower tray, so no stepping over the bath. She insisted...wanted us to have the big room with the bathroom, to hav more privacy..would almost be like a little hotel suite etc etc (it's not that big) so I went along with it. I said she should have what is now dd's room (we hadn't had her when we moved in) but she decided to go for the cold room. It's colder because it has 3 exterior walls (it's a terraced house but her room juts out at the back iyswim).

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 09-Jan-13 11:07:32

That was what, 2.5 years' ago, now it's a major problem just at the point of you moving out (and freeing up space she can move into ) confused.

As ThreeTomatoes said yesterday, it's a low level mithering that irks and stays audible enough to drive you potty but is never entirely vanquished because the person doing it won't accept any solutions.

Jux Wed 09-Jan-13 11:15:38

Exactly what tribpot said.

Glad your landlords have seen sense; a year's breathing space is what you need.

badtoworse Wed 09-Jan-13 12:05:13

Yes, low level mithering is very accurate. She has mithered about the cold in that room before but then won't use the oil radiator, which DOES heat the room up quite well.

Went and had a long meeting with the agent (God, that man can talk the hind leg off a donkey) and hopefully we can sign this Friday, if not it'll be the following Friday as the owners can't sign in the morning and I'm at work in the afternoon Mon-Thurs.

It is like an assured tenancy in that we can't leave (without losing the money) until the 11 months are up...but that's OK. Have sourced a good washer/dryer from a local place that will deliver and plumb it in within about 3 days of delivery.
So, hopefully will be out by the end of the month at the latest, which will be around 6 weeks since it all started.

I have a terrible headache today and I'm exhausted, just want to go to sleep. Feeling teary again today, finding this not engaging and avoiding really tiring and although she's been awful, she's my mum and I miss her. I'd like to be friends but there's too much shit and manipulation going on while I'm here..hopefully we can be a bit less fraught once we've got a bit of space.

On the positive side, have sent an e mail to my boss as I've heard a rumour that there might be an academy up for sale in my village, so just reminding him of who I am and that I live here and that I want more responsibility any time he's looking to promote people. can't hurt.

There's a course DH would like to do at the end of the month, but it's an afternoon so he's asked at nursery if there are any nursery staff who would look after the dcs while he does it (and be paid, obviously). Then he's hoping to do another, related course on a Saturday (they're once a month). It'll improve his CV. Other than that the plan is to try and tighten our belts as much as poss and maintain the savings intact as much as poss so that if he gets work we might be able to use the savings as a deposit to buy somewhere.

Thanks for listening to helps so much to be able to write it all down and be reminded that I'm not be cruel to her or irresponsible striking out on our own and that things will be OK again.

AutumnDreams Wed 09-Jan-13 14:11:27

It`s inevitable that your physical health is suffering Bad. I have always believed that emotional pain manifests itself physically. Once you are away from the poisonous atmosphere, you will feel so much better.

It sounds as if your H is already feeling the benefits of getting away, and looking at things to help him get work. Even if the courses don`t actually result in anything, he will feel so much better for having done them. You have both been having the life slowly sucked out of you. Not long to wait now.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 09-Jan-13 14:17:11

although she's been awful, she's my mum and I miss her

Children of whatever age have such a capacity for forgiveness. We can feel disloyal even when justifiably upset or bewildered by parents.

I think whether it's headache, skin complaints or stomach ache, we have some way of showing our pain or stress in a physical way. Your backache/headache is probably from tension. How well do you sleep?

badtoworse Wed 09-Jan-13 14:37:10

I sleep OK actually. While all this was going on but I was on holiday I was going to bed at about 10pm as I found it all so exhausting I just couldn't stay up any later. Found the stress of sitting downstairs in my room on edge in case she came and picked a fight really tiring too. Now I'm back at work I don't finish work til 10pm and I'm home by about 1030. I can't unwind enough to go to bed til around midnight, even if I'm knackered. Kids are up at 7am. I sleep very soundly, although I did find that my back was so sore the night before last that I had to sleep on my back with a cushion under my knees.
The headache is stress I think. I lost 6lbs over Christmas cos I just couldn't eat, couldn't physcially swallow. Have got past that now but just feel so run down. I'm quite angry with her for pulling this just before Christmas as she's an ex teacher and knows how tired you are at the end of the first term. I feel like I had no break really. No more holidays now til Easter.

badtoworse Wed 09-Jan-13 14:44:34

At lunch today DS was whinging a bit about eating his food and she butts in to say that if he finishes he can help her pick some oranges to make marmelade. DH was then saying that after DD's nap they were going to the supermarket. DM misunderstands this (DH speaking Spanish) and says all stroppy "So, they're going out right away are they?" like he's deliberately stopping her from picking the oranges. I said, no after DD's nap. Then she starts getting ready to go out and get them while he's still not finished his main course. Eventually she's half out the door, but DS still hasn't had his yoghurt. I let him go and said he could have the yoghurt later. DH was annoyed with her saying she acts like he's not there and just rides roughshod over what we're doing and nags for DS to be allowed to help her before he's even finished his lunch. And it's true, she says "thank you for the food DH (he cooks), it was lovely" and then ignores him.
It is true that she really thinks she has an equal or greater say in everything that goes on with regard to everything in the world childrearing.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 09-Jan-13 14:56:33

As AutumnDreams said upthread, once you are out of this poisonous (very apt!) atmosphere, you'll feel better.

This doing-as-she-likes with your children is exceeding grandparental assistance, if you haven't requested such input. It isn't actually helping anyone if she challenges how or when you and DH do things. I let him go and said he (DS) could have the yoghurt later is playing into her hands but I know you're trying not to turn every domestic scene into a battleground.

badtoworse Thu 10-Jan-13 06:55:17

Dear God, she's such a fecking martyr. Went into her room this morning as the dog had gone in there and I asked if she wanted me to put the big oil radiator on. "No, it doesn't make any impact on the room". This is a total lie. Before the window was replaced an oil radiator didn't help and it was very cold. But I set it up in there before this big row and left in on low all night and the room was warm. Both she and I commented on how well it worked. So, I said (I know I shouldn't react) "well, it worked before xmas because you said how warm the room was". "Oh, I don't remember". I offered again to put it on. "No, don't bother". So I left. It's like she's deliberately making her own life miserable to she can say it's all my fault.
It's like all the "I've ruined my life, I should never have come here" episodes. There was a while ago when she was doing one of her I hate it here 3 day emotional binges that she was complaining about the food we eat. Bear in mind she doesn't shop or cook and that DH does almost all of the cooking. She went on about how we (as a family) didn't eat the type of food she liked and she had no control over any of it, that we ate too many (homemade) chips and too much meat and it wasn't the type of food she would ever choose to make and she was getting fat and we didn't eat enough vegetables...yadda yadda. I felt really bad at the time, really guilty, but I look back and think WTF? That's really rude. It wasn't unhealthy, we'd eat pasta dishes, salads, grilled chicken with homemade chips sometimes.
Woken up again with a headache.

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