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Toxic MIL

(108 Posts)
MommyBird Sat 05-Oct-13 18:58:19

Im drainned.
i cant do it anymore and my husband feels the same. alot of things have happened and ive posted a few times looking for advice.

A family friend has had a word with my 82 year old nan as my mil had told this family friend im bulimic ( im not btw!) my poor nan and this friend was so worried, she rang my dad in a state who had a word with me..
Turns out my mil has been lying and making up things to everyone about me, her son and making out she is an amazing nan. she is not. she is awful. my husband is fuming.

I have told my husband i cannot do this anymore. ive had PND and anxiety, ive seen a counseller and been on anti d's. ive put with her for years. so much has happened and shes done so much. i dont really want to go into it.

She is supposed to be coming down next week. i cant be nice/calm to her face anymore. i dont want anything to do with her and i dont want my daughters (4+7 weeks) to be around her.
She brings nothing but stress and negativity into our lives.

I dont want to get this family friend into trouble and mil knowing she has told us what she's been saying.
We just want to tell her not to bother coming down.

Any advice on what to say would be really helpful. sorry if its so vauge or if it doesnt make much sense. im just drainned.
Thank you (:

Nora2012 Sat 05-Oct-13 19:07:11

I just came on to write a very similar post, so I have no words of advice but I give you all my sympathy as I'm right there with you. We're debating between moving further away cause at the moment PILs just pop in whenever they like with no prior arrangement no matter what time, who else is here to however much they're imposing, or me just flat out telling her exactly how she makes me feel. She also make up stories about DD never sleeping, always crying, being a "bad baby"! Complete nonsense. Feel free to rant about her though if it makes you feel better.

Ursula8 Sat 05-Oct-13 21:20:53

OP, just tell her you don't want any houseguests at the moment as you have a newborn. Then go as low contact as you can get away with, or no contact. Life is too short to put up with this kind of shit.
Do you worry that DH will backtrack when he has to face the music with MIL? You need to a be a strong team on this and DH has probably had a lifetime of being brainwashed into thinking MILS behaviour is acceptable and he should just put up with it or she will have some kind of major hissy fit.
Be prepared for her to become mysteriously ill or attention seeking if you have the balls to stand up to her. People like this are bullies and rely on steamrolling their way over others.
I wish you both luck.

MommyBird Sat 05-Oct-13 21:35:11

Ive never seen my husband so angry.
He is such a gentle man who hates arguing or any sign of confrontation, saying that he will not be backing down.
Things have been changing for a few months, he has been putting his foot down alot with her. she hasn't liked this at all and has been in a fair few sulks.
Obviously its all our fault.
I have been reading up on toxic parents and have warned my husband that will probley develop a serious illness over night.
Before dd2 was born my husband would pick her up and take her home once a week to see dd1. She would often cancel for various reasons..then moan she doesnf see her..
DD1 is now at nursery, husband has a promotion (more hours etc) and dd2 is born. he can no longer pick her up and drop her off due to his new hours.
So now its upto her. she hasnt seen
Dd1+2 for 7 weeks. her choice.
We live 15 mins away, they have a car and she catches buses daily. works part time. early 40s.

i will cancel next weeks visit and see what happends then.
She doesnt know that we know about the lies. just wish we could tell her. it will be all our fault otherwise. eurgh.

Jux Sat 05-Oct-13 22:36:02

She may have told others the same lies, so it could have got back to you by a completely different route, and not via your family friend.

Even if it does drop the friend in it, what's the worst that could happen as a result? MIL stops talking to her so no longer feeds her with lies?

Friend stops passing on the lies?

Friend stops seeing MIL?

MIL stops seeing friend?

I can't see what's bad about any of that, tbh.

Cancel next week, tell her why. Tell anyone who mentions it why.

maillotjaune Sat 05-Oct-13 22:40:33

You have my sympathy. My MIL has just arrived in the UK for her first visit since verbally abusing DH big style a few months ago and is currently pretending everything's ok. It's not and like your DH he is still upset / furious and taking no shit.

I have had enough - as I work part time it's usually me that spends more time with her and I have done that as a way of facilitating her relationship with the DCs.

I am now of the opinion that if she can treat her son in the way she has (not just this incident, long history) then I'm no longer prepared to go out of my way.

Sorry that turned into a rant about my MIL - I feel your pain. Don't let it go or it gives her carte blanche to continue.

MommyBird Sat 05-Oct-13 22:49:32

Family friend is a mobile beautician.
She comes to our house, mils inlaws/family which is where all this happened. so all of my fils side think im bullimic and she is this amazing grandma.
If i let on it's her who told us all of this she'll loose buisness and she'll be stuck in the middle.

Such a mess.

I was just thinking of cancelling the visit, she asks why, say 'you should be careful who you tell lies too'
..even though she'll probley deny all knowledge of even saying it. sigh

mandi73 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:04:09

Ring her and cancel, tell her you'e trying to cope with the sudden onset of Bulimia

Walkacrossthesand Sun 06-Oct-13 09:40:13

grin @ mandi - 'well, apparently I've got bulimia, it's a lot to get my head round seeing as I never vomit or anything, but there you are. Can't have visitors. '

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 10:26:02

HAHA! grin
If only i had the balls!

What hurts most is I had PND and Anxiety, i was ill and i lost alot of weigh due to the stress (which tbh she didnt help with!) , i was down to a size 6. i hated it.
So thats the reason i was very skinny.

She didnt care. ive allways felt like the oven thats carried dd1+2. nothing more.
She is allways ill. she is a hypocondriac (sp? Too early, no coffee yet!) and we all have to know about it.

ajandjjmum Sun 06-Oct-13 10:53:15

She's in her early 40s - you have to deal with this now, otherwise she could be having a negative impact on your life for the next 50 years.

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 12:53:41

What would you do?
I have no idea how to handle this..

If she was a fantastic woman who made the effort to see her granddchildren and they loved her, i would probley bite my tounge or just have as little contact as possible..but she isnt.
She brings nothing but stress into out lives. she is a very selfish poisonus woman and i dont want my girls around that.

I want to tell her that i know what shes been saying and have it out with her ( she is a lier, ive caught her out a few times!) i know she will deny saying it, somehow it'll be our fault, she wont talk to us for a few weeks, she'll ring up crying/moaning/'weve made her ill' and there will be no 'im sorry" or accept any responserbility.

Can you tell its happened before?

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 12:55:57

Also. i dont want to get this friend into trouble or get her caught up in the middle. she will loose buisness and that isn't fair.

Whocansay Sun 06-Oct-13 13:00:46

Just tell her it's no longer convenient for her to come and stay. Don't go into 'why'. You don't have to give her an explanation.

BillyBanter Sun 06-Oct-13 13:03:00

Don't contact her yourself. Let your DH handle her.

The reason isn't just this latest lie so he doesn't need to mention it specifically.

He can also contact people and put them straight.

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 13:10:02

She doesn't stay with us thank god
she only lives 20ish minites away so there's no need.

No this isnt the only thing she's done, its been going on for 5 years sad
This is just the latest thing and i cant do it anymore.

DH has texted her and canceled. Just said we're tok busy. just where to go from here.
I things was different.

Walkacrossthesand Sun 06-Oct-13 13:20:26

OP, I think I remember your previous thread - this was the MiL who wanted your DH to carry on picking her up for visits even after he changed jobs and it was no longer convenient - and would often cancel at the very last minute, after you had changed your family plans to accommodate a visit? Have you been tightening up your boundaries and maybe what you're getting now is her cranking up the unpleasantness pressure in response, to try to bring you back into line? Sounds like you and DH are doing a great job - all contact is on your terms and you don't put yourself out for her at all (she lost that privilege by abusing it); you calmly put people right if they report back what she's saying, and remind them that it's always a good idea to check out unlikely-sounding stories before believing them; take away her power to manipulate and control you.

nameimadeupjustnow Sun 06-Oct-13 13:24:06

Can you begin to cut all contact between you? For example, don't share the family friend/beautician who is spreading gossip about you. (She should have known to come to you, not your poor nan, with this gossip.) Cut off as much information about yourself as you can - don't talk about private matters with people you know will report back to her (however innocently). It won't stop her being vicious and toxic, but it will help somewhat.

You do not have to see her - ever. That's okay. You are an adult with your own family and your own home and you do not have to play host to people who bring you down. It's up to your DH how much he wants to see her, and he can do that on his own.

As for how much contact your DDs have with her, you can work that out with DH. Sounds like he'll be happy for none to happen, at least for now. You two can revisit that together whenever you like. Hopefully she will not become a wedge between you and DH.

She sounds an awful woman - good luck!

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 13:35:02

Yep that was me! Its gotten alot worse unfortunatley sad
i have absolutley why idea why she lies.
I kind of understand the lies about coming down alot
and spoiling the kids as this is what she wants to be or wants others to think she's such a good nan. when infact she's rubbish.
But saying in Bulimic?! hmm no idea.

Husband has allways deffended her in the early years as this is 'the way she is' but he has slowley realised what she's like and its not or normal.

RantNowReasonableLater Sun 06-Oct-13 13:39:30

Like Nora2012 I've been thinking of posting something similar and even name changed for the purpose, I've tried writing something three times and given up.

MIL had a five minute, drunken rant at my DH on Wednesday becuase...

... wait for it ...

... I have peaches on my all bran.

RantNowReasonableLater Sun 06-Oct-13 13:40:24

Sorry, clicked too soon, was going to add you have my huge sympathy. It's exhausting.

Meerka Sun 06-Oct-13 13:42:26

its actually very, very nice to hear that your DH is 100% on your side. Some people in your situation have partners who just roll over and let their mothers do anything to them and the rest of their family.

Can you sit down and plan a strategy with your DH, find out how much or little contact you want with her and then how to move contact to that level? Also plan how she might respond, what she might say / do and how best to tackle that? ( eg turning up on teh doorstep unnannounced; more lies to everyone else; being poisonous to your children)

There's a nice book, Toxic Parents, which has some hints on how to basically handle nasty conversations if she does that; it depends on staying calm, not getting defensive, and not getting drawn into a blame game but sticking to your points. Or im sure there's good stuff on the web that can help with phrasing.

I'm not sure there's any need at all to mention your beautician friend. Don't challenge her on the lies, it won't do anything. Simply work togehter to keep her at arms length from now on, be prepared for the 'woe is me, they are such ungrateful / bad people' and keep blandly neutral if she starts questioning / getting temperamental.

It does seem likely she'll suddenly develop health problems or something that just demands attention. You and your husband might have to be prepared for this and decide how to handle it. You can probably be involved to some degree while keeping a certain emotional distance, if you work together.

A united and prepared front with your DH is your strongest tool to handle her I think. Two pairs of gloved hands working in unision can keep a snake from biting, hopefully smile

Good luck, people like this are just awful. You deserve a non-drama filled, non-poisoned life. It will be hard work at first but as time goes on, it will get easier. No one finds change in other people easy, neither will you MIL, especially if you're not playing her game; but it will be better for you both, no matter how hard it is at first.

Meerka Sun 06-Oct-13 13:51:34

Why she lies? Becuase it's mock-concern for you hiding a rather vicious meanness and glee in other people's misfortune ... plus if you two are standing up to her at last, then she'll be being malicious under a superficial sugarcoating of concern. YOu lost weight and had PND? she's taking the events and putting the worst gloss she can on it. If she can get your mother and father and family upset, then all the better.

Not that she would ever in a million years admit it.

nameImadeup has a good point. Your beautician might be a friend but she shouldn't have carried the story to others, even if it was from real care and concern. It might be worth talking to her and very gently pointing out it caused trouble and distress. The only person she shoudl have talked about it to, is you. It will embarass her, but frankly, maybe she'll learn not to do it again. Or simply don't book her again.

MissFenella Sun 06-Oct-13 14:06:44

is it about making a show of being integral to your lives, to back up the top Grandma thing? ie. I am so close to them that only I know Mommybird has bulimia - no you won't have heard that but I am central to everything so I know, I am special.

travailtotravel Sun 06-Oct-13 14:25:06

Rantnowreasonablelater - peaaches? on your all bran?
I think you should send the idea to All bran and wait for them to add a pic of it to the packaging then totally trump your MIL's ass by showing her the packaging with "serving suggestion" on the front. Ha!

Mommybird - please have courage and faith that you are doing the right thing.

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