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MIL....and Christmas

(54 Posts)
superdoodle Wed 14-Nov-12 10:24:19


I would value your opinions as I don't really know whether I am being unreasonable.

Basically MIL is and always has been a nightmare. She's an alcoholic, rings up when drunk and leaves vile abusive messages throughout the year. MIL has made it quite clear in the past that she would be delighted if DH and I were to split so it could be "just them" again. She has a fantasy that the difficulties in her relationship with DH are caused by me, rather than her own actions when out of her head on alcohol.

We don't really have much contact with her at all, to try and minimise her negative impact on our lives. DH sees her once or twice a year, occasional contact (usually by phone) with our DC.

The difficulty is Xmas. MIL was on her own last year as we were away. MIL has asked whether she can see us this year. Frankly, I would rather be eaten alive by piranas, but DH feels under pressure.

I could probably bear seeing her for a meal on Xmas day, but absolutely can't stand the thought of her staying in our home. The atmosphere would be unpleasant and tense. I don't want that for me or my DC. MIL lives about 1.5 hours drive away.

What to do?

travailtotravel Wed 14-Nov-12 18:30:30

Opps sorry - must read to end of thread .....

olgaga Wed 14-Nov-12 18:30:45

When it gets to the bit about "We also shouldn't forget that she's getting older and the children would like to see her."

How about you say "Yes well you can take the children to see her the weekend before, while I get last minute stuff done. Take her out for a meal. Make a fuss of her. Then our Christmas Day won't be ruined and we will have set a useful precedent for future years".

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 14-Nov-12 18:35:22

How about saying something along the lines of,

"Obviously Christmas is such a big thing, it's really not fair to put pressure on MIL to behave herself on the day itself, so I was thinking perhaps you and she could have a lovely meal out a couple of days before.." etc etc

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 14-Nov-12 18:54:40

Re your comment:-

(thoughtful): Yes superdoodle, I can absolutely see the sense in your suggestion. But that would still mean that MIL will be on her own on Xmas day. She will be unhappy and miserable, and as she was on her own last year it seems a bit sad for her to be on her own again

To which you reply, "But both you and we as a family are not responsible for her actions, nor her happiness. She is. She has caused much anguish to our family unit".

I would ask him to consider speaking to someone about the relationship he has with his alcoholic mother. At the very least he should talk to Al-anon as they could well be helpful to him.

There is no guarantee either that if he did take her out for a meal that she would behave properly and not get drunk. If she lives 1.5 hours away as well, how is she going to travel to you?. Or will DH be expected to go visit and or pick her up from her home instead?. He certainly cannot take her to a pub restaurant or infact any place that serves alcohol.

Presumably he feels responsible for her because he is basically the only one who still puts up her. Its hard to be the last one in such circs, his sister had enough years ago. He still is in FOG and is still codependent with regards to his mother. He still wants her approval. Codependent type relationships also happen where alcoholism is present. His mother is doing a fine line in guilt and manipulation and he needs to see her for what she truly is; something he cannot quite bear to bring himself to do. I think he knows that you are right but he cannot quite bring himself to completely stand up to his mother (due also to inbuilt conditioning and the damaging lessons he learnt when growing up as a child within an alcoholic household).

None of this is any justification for his ways of thinking but the above may well explain a little why he is acting as he is. He is torn really.

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