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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 (:

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 14:28:00

I would love to cut her off completley. from us, the kids. Everything. i wish she would just go away.
And then i feel guilty.
DH is her only son, the girls are her only grandchildren. DHs dad died when he was 15. The family arn't close. she has used 'im all you've got' and 'but im your mother' which REALLY pisses me off. as she IS his mother and needs reminding of that!!
She isn't all he has. He has me and his children along with my parents who treat him as a son and family who involve it. sometimes its like she thinks; he needs her, more than she needs him hmm

she expects alot. She has no respect.
She uses the words 'Mother/grandchildren/nan' alot. like they excuse her behaviour, she hasn't earned these titles, just expects them.

Sorry for that rant. ive made myself angry angry

i have no idea what goes on inside her head. honestly. she is just awful.
I dont think its a 'im special' thing. more of a 'im an evil witch. i have no respect for my DIL, i can get away with it as they won't stand upto me' thats what it feels like!

brettgirl2 Sun 06-Oct-13 14:42:59

Drop the guilt, she's in her early 40s and seriously needs to get a life and start taking responsibility.

I'm guessing you must be very young but if she's in her early 40s she needs to be working out how to be happy for the next 50 years. Maybe take up snowboarding or Internet dating or something? She's hardly in her dotage - surely there must be parents in your dc1's reception class the same age! !! I'm 36 and am one of the youngest grin .

She doesn't need you to look after her. She needs to act like a reasonable person.

BillyBanter Sun 06-Oct-13 14:47:09

Turn that around. All she has is one son and she is trashing that relationship, not you and not him. She's the one throwing it away.

You might be the ones to call time but it is her who has destroyed the relationship.

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 14:56:06

She has a husband. who defends her all the time, which i guess is for an easy life..
Im 24! So i guess im very young even though i feel about 90 thanks to my dds being nocturnal.
Mil had DH at 16. He is 25. She is still mentaly that age.

We had a phone call off Sfil about mil being very upset that he hadn't accepted her friend request on facebook. dh doesnt do facebook.
he had to log on fb; accept her, then text her to explain why he hadn't accepted.
All this happening whilst dd2 was about 2 weeks old and refused to come and see her as dh couldnt pick het up hmm

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 15:00:39

Im just ranting now.
Its just good to know its not us. it is her.
She has a fantatic way of turning it back round on us, its all our fault and she is allways the victim. its allways about her.

brettgirl2 Sun 06-Oct-13 15:06:43

maybe she should try for another baby then. ...
or maybe that's it and it isn't happening so is jealous and finding it hard to deal with.

nameimadeupjustnow Sun 06-Oct-13 15:35:40

You can cut her out. You do not have to keep up with a constant stream of guilt and vileness. You and DH can agree to have no contact with her for the next year, say, or 6 months, or 18 months, or whatever. Just put this issue away for a certain period of time, and say that no amount of phone calls, begging, threatening or guilting will change your minds for the set period. No discussions or backtracking until the 6 months is over (and this includes sudden-onset 'illnesses'). She has a DH, she has a support network. She no longer gets you, too.

After the set period ends, you and your DH can think again about this. But it should not be a constant drip-drip of evil into your life!

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 15:54:37

I know she was trying when she had just got married. (about 10 years ago i think?) and it didnt happen (not sure if this is true anymore what with everything that's happend.)
She has had a few 'scares' (again, true?) and she's told me she's too old now and doesn't wany anymore.
Once again, if any of the above is true, i have no clue.
I dont know if she is jealous.

She has allways had this 'attitude' my husband has allways just gone along with it as it was just him and he could ignore it, but now its effecting me, us, our family and our girls. he can't ignore it anymore.

She texted back 'ok' when he canceled.
im just not sure how long we can be 'busy' for.
I don't know what we can say, for her to accept we don't want to see her, or reasons why.
FIL will most likely ring DH about how upset she is about not seeing the children for how many weeks.
Would it be ok to say 'yeah well Mommybird was upset to find out she had bulimia and other bullshit things mom/mil has been saying about my family'
or is that giving her fuel? She'll deny it staright out.
I have no idea what to say. I had drama. Im rubbish with things like this!

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 15:56:19


Meerka Sun 06-Oct-13 16:06:42

early 40's? She's got a huuuuuge amount potentially in front of her * looks at her own unexpectedly soon-to-be-swelling tummy dryly as her husband paints the new baby-cradle*

If she wants to take it.

if she doesn't, its her responsibility. Not yours.

it must be a terribly difficult position for your husband and yourself, to be in a position where the best option is to keep her very much at arms length, and yes I can understand your guilt. But outside, clear eyes can see that this is a weopon she can use to manipulate you again. You're close to the situatoin, but this -is- what she's doing. I urge you to resist it!

Meerka Sun 06-Oct-13 16:06:59

btw, I'm 44 :D

BillyBanter Sun 06-Oct-13 16:07:44

First decide what you and dh want. Do you want no contact? Do you want it limited. Maybe to meeting on neutral ground once every two months and setting down ground rules. If she breaks them you leave without discussion? Or any other arrangement you deem fit.

Discuss that then you can email her saying her presence in your life is toxic and we are not willing to put up with it any more. Don't contact us or whatever.

brettgirl2 Sun 06-Oct-13 16:16:09

I think sometimes it is pretty powerful to accept things the way they are and work out how to make life bearable around this ifyswim? A friend of mine in the end with her insane mil just sent the kids round with dh every couple of weeks. She tried for ages to solve the problems, change mil but it wasn't happening. It also have mil something real to moan about to all and sundry wink .

If she's determined to become a sad old woman at 40 then that's up to her and it may not be a situation you are able to change

bigbrick Sun 06-Oct-13 16:23:00

Say she can't visit now. Once she has apologised for her lies and put it right with everyone she has told then you will think about being in contact with her.

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 16:25:17

Its a horrible position to be in.
Tbh. I think i'm more upset than he is. he is use to it and he's fed up. he was bought up by his nan who died when he was 18 sad so i dont think he has that bond. It doesnt seem like he has anyway.

Where as im so close to my mum. she is fabulous. i cant imagine her acting the way mil does and if she did it would break my heart. so because i feel like this, I expect him to feel like this as its his mom.
He honestly doesnt seem bothered. He was ready to tell her last night to 'f' off, he was more worried about getting family friend into trouble than cutting his mom off which is awful.

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 16:32:32

I dont want to seem like im using my children as a weapon, i genuinley dont want her near them, if she can lie to people about me whats saying she isnt going to do it with my girls. how can i trust her after this mess?

I like the idea of her saying sorry and putting things right with people she's told as she will have to own up that she's said it...then again how can i trust her to tell people that?
I didnt really trust what she said before, i certainly dont now.

AnandaTimeIn Sun 06-Oct-13 16:50:54

OMG, I'm well into my 50's and am horrified how your MIL is to you. All her own drama where you both get caught into the maelstrom...

I have a 22-year-old DS and wouldn't dream of being such a bitch treating him like this.

Yes, do get that Toxic Parents book (Susan Forward). You could also google it, there must be forums on it.

You are both so young, don't let this spill over into the next generation... (your DC).

Pilgit Sun 06-Oct-13 23:06:19

My wicked step mother (WSM) lies about the most ridiculous things. Apparently DH beats me up (news to me), she has had terminal cancer (had an amazing bout of remission) and heart problems - she has lied about more things than I can remember and over such a period of time. At first I would get agitated and try and put it all right so that everyone knew the truth but she is bloody convincing (and have you ever tried telling people you are not being beaten up by your husband - no one believes you!) and it takes far too much energy. Now I simply shrug it off. She will not change, she will not admit it and if people believe it her bile that is their choice. As hard as it is to do, you cannot change her you can only change your reaction to her - this is not to say you should be a doormat and let her get away with it but simply detach and maintain a distance. Don't engage with it unless it directly impacts you. To say anything about this incident would put your friend in an awful position. The only emotion I waste towards my WSM now is pity. Anything else is a waste of my time and energy.

MommyBird Sun 06-Oct-13 23:15:47

I dont want to get the friend into trouble. i understand she went about it in the wrong way even though her intension was good. im glad its all came out tbh.

Im just now worrying what to say, what reasons can we give to just 'change our mind' regarding coming to visit without getting our friend in the middle.

Just 'we dont want you to visit' and thats it?

Jux Mon 07-Oct-13 08:45:16

You don't need to give a reason. Just that it is no longer possible.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 07-Oct-13 09:02:44


Get your H to tell her its no longer possible for her to visit and leave it at that.

If she is too difficult or toxic for you to deal with she is certainly too toxic for your children to have any sort of contact with.

Why is she this way - its not your fault she is like this, her own birth family did that lot of damage to her. She may well have some form of untreated personality disorder or other type of mental disorder.

Such toxic people never apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions.

I would not feel guilty about cutting out such an awful family member; you would not tolerate this from a friend. Family are no different.

FarOverTheRainbow Mon 07-Oct-13 09:27:56

I have no advice but I know what it's like to have a toxic MIL. All I can say is please make your your DH is on the same page as you and decide together. My XP wasnt and his mother has split our family up and im devastated. Hope you work something out

MommyBird Mon 07-Oct-13 10:01:26

I wouldn't accept this from anyone, i have no idea why i think its ok to take it from her, i think its because his mom. i feel i need to put up with it.

Ive told DH that he can pop up to see her whenever he wants, im not bullying him into him cutting contact with her. no matter how vile she is, she is still his mom. i get that.
Although i dont think he will bother with her anymore.

When DD1 was a baby, we used to take her to see MIL. We use to leave her with her for a short while whilst we did food shopping. made it clear, no smoking. she agreed.
She lied. made my baby ill (not seriously ill, had a few problems with her eyes) this is when i had PND and anxiety.
we was fuming. she told us 'not to bother bringing her up then' never said sorry or accepted it was her. (nobody else smokes!) my pnd and anxity went through the roof, had to go on stronger ani ds.
A week passed and she texted that she's made herself ill thinking we was going to ban her from seeing DD.
Never said sorry to this day or accepted responserbility.

We was very stupid and niave. This is when dh started picking her up to come to our house.
Writing this out i can see how toxic she is and im not sure why i feel guilty or want to spare her feelings.

Meerka Mon 07-Oct-13 10:05:41

We are conditioned to be polite and to give reasons for things. It seems rude not to. However, the woman -is- toxic. Anything you say will be twisted and turned against you.

While it must go very much agasint the grain, in this rare case, I'm not sure you need or should give a reason. Like you say, better to say "we don't want you to visit". Or simply be 'busy' all the time - and don't let her in if she turns up on the doorstep. Either way you're likely to be in for more rumourmongering, you'll be the best one to guess which option is likely to cause less trouble. But it's essential you and your husband are working very closely on the same page, or she can use any lack of communication or slight disagreement to create a wedge and trouble.

agreed with the others, she is not going to be a good influence on you children :/

MommyBird Mon 07-Oct-13 10:36:11

I think you're right.
She doesnt deserve an explanation really does she? She will just turn in back onto us and it'll be our fault.

She can spread rumors, I dont mind. I dont have to deal with her anymore, im sure we will get messages from family memebers and i will set them straight.

I have told my husband to read this thread when he comes home from work.
I want him to see all the comments and advice from people, just to prove it IS her and its not us.

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