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Just realised that my lovely MIL is envious of me...

(55 Posts)
Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 09:04:50

Always generally got on well (unless visits longer than a few days when gets a bit much for both of us). I've turned to her recently, mainly due to issues with my own v cold and difficult dm and feeling rather depressed and isolated overseas.

I recently unexpectedly received a "pull yourself together" type letter which told me for a THIRD time how my friends must envy me (wtf?) and how "blissful" my life was and how lucky i am in having a good, ambitious provider in dh (unlike FIL).

So, where to go from here? I think i expected too much from her- projecting lovely mother vibes onto her, forgetting she's my MIL and has her own issues...probably not fair to have burdened her with mine. Problem is I've lost a lot of trust and she's due a long visit with us.

Any thoughts please? She is lovely, funny and kind most of the time and I'm very fond of her.

Mollydoggerson Mon 27-May-13 09:10:34

remain fond of her, but back off a little.

Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 09:12:53

Thanks, probably right.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 09:14:18

I would just let it slide, and not confide in her again tbh.

I can relate somewhat - my own mother was lovely but died 8 years ago...and truly I miss that maternal relationship. I have sought it from mil a gentle way, but a couple of incidents (nothing major) have reminded me that she is my mil - my husband's mother, and no matter what, she will view me with a readily critical eye. Not in a nasty way even....but I know I don't have her support especially.

7to25 Mon 27-May-13 09:17:40

Maybe she is not envious, but sees your complaints about your life as complaints about her son. This is a bit of a generational thing as she thinks that your life is the one that HE has provided for you.
Maybe moan to somebody else?

pictish Mon 27-May-13 09:17:42

She is lovely btw - she has never done or said anything negative to me....but she's not wholly that arsed about me either.
Why would she be?

Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 09:18:29

Too true, "readily critical eye" just about covers it! Hard tho when one craves that maternal closeness, isn't it?

claraschu Mon 27-May-13 09:18:56

That is very hurtful, but she probably thinks she is giving good advice (make the best of things, stiff upper lip etc.). She is insensitive not to realise that you just want someone to talk to and to feel like you are being understood- a little sympathy and empathy. Lots of people give advice in situations like this because the don't know what to say, without realising that such advice is almost never helpful or wanted.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 09:19:38

Yes Salbertina it is hard. x

JeanPaget Mon 27-May-13 09:20:12

I think it’s a bit of leap to say she’s envious of you hmm.

As your husband’s mother I think it must be difficult for her to see her son presumably trying his best to make you happy/provide for your family and to have you moaning to her about the life he’s trying to give you. So think that’s probably an issue.

But tbh even if she were just a friend, it can be difficult to constantly support your friends without getting anything back from them. Maybe she feels like every time she speaks to you she’s having to deal with your problems rather than enjoying your company and that of her grandchildren.

You’ve said you’ve treated her like a mother and to be honest I don’t think getting a pull yourself together letter from your own mother is completely usual.

HabbaDabba Mon 27-May-13 09:21:13

Strange post. Would you rather that she told you that your life sucks and therefire your feeling depressed is to be expected?

Your MIL is telling you that you have lots of great positive things going on in your life. That is her being envious of you???

Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 09:21:46

Yes i did find it v hurtful but realise she probably meant well..

Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 09:27:07

Theres more context to me suddenly thinking she envies me. Don't want to elaborate as would completely out me!
Yes, appreciate hard work to be there for someone who's depressed but not been oneway, have tried to help/listen also... Maybe not enough.

Am v sensitive to feeling invalidated by those close to me telling me i shouldn't feel something that i am, had a bellyful of that from my dm growing up. But realise that's my issue not hers.

IamMrsJones Mon 27-May-13 09:28:48

I am going through pretty similar with my MIL. The difference in my situation is she is made of evil. I have massively misjudged the situation and thought we were getting to the point of a nice warm relationship, but something happened recently that showed me I couldn't have been more wrong. DH has told me to back away as she will never be a nice person.

So I think that is the only an

IamMrsJones Mon 27-May-13 09:30:02

Oops, posted to soon. I think we can only back off from them as we will only feel worse.

Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 09:31:25

Sorry to hear that, MrsJ and think you're right to back off.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 09:37:21

Am v sensitive to feeling invalidated by those close to me telling me i shouldn't feel something that i am

I can relate to that too.

MumnGran Mon 27-May-13 09:38:29

She may not have handled it terribly well, but it sounds as though she cares about you but thinks she hasn't got her point across in previous conversations and so has written it down so that she expresses herself clearly and logically and there is no room to misunderstand what she is saying.

Maybe its time to stop and think that there may not be a hidden agenda .... that she just means exactly what she says. It doesn't sound as though she is writing because she is envious, but because she has failed to get her point across in another way.

I would use it as a discussion point with her...... as in "I wasn't sure why you wrote to me, rather than talking." ...... so that you sort it out face to face. That's how good relationship are built, and grow.

Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 09:42:15

That could well be true..and do think she cares.

We're 1,000s of miles apart so tends to be written word or intensity of long visits, all or nothing, otherwise agree, a face-to-face conversation would have been better.

LimeLeaffLizard Mon 27-May-13 09:42:28

Salbertina I really relate to what you've said, especially about feeling invalidated by those close to me telling me i shouldn't feel something that i am, had a bellyful of that from my dm growing up.

Like you, I have a difficult relationship with my DM and a lovely MIL, and once or twice I've pushed things a bit too far by asking too much. Just quickly forgive her response, and get on with it... if she's truly lovely, she'll get over it!

Walkacrossthesand Mon 27-May-13 09:43:12

Good luck with backing off a little, Salbertina - be aware that you may find it hard to change your 'habit' of talking freely to her, and it may take a couple of tries! I know I've had (for different reasons) to decide consciously not to take certain people into my confidence before, and have found myself chatting more freely than I intended, through sheer force of habit... New boundaries can take a while to build!

MumnGran Mon 27-May-13 09:43:47

"otherwise agree, a face-to-face conversation would have been better"


Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 09:44:49

Hi Lime, thanks, thats reassuring, Yes, i do forgive her but can't help still feeling hurt and less trustful.

lougle Mon 27-May-13 09:44:52

There are times though, when the feelings we feel are disproportionate to the circumstance we are faced with.

Past experiences can layer over each other and make each new experience a much bigger deal than it would be in isolation.

I have a family member who feels invalidated if her reaction to something is challenged, no matter how gently. She is reacting disproportionately though, and in fact her reaction is not one that is justifiable at all. It's not about invalidating her, it's about helping her to see that her reaction is about more than the thing that she is reacting to. It's quite exhausting.

Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 09:47:42

Yes, i can see that, must be frustrating. As am i at times, I'm sure. Awareness helps, i had no idea of the root of it till about a year ago.

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