Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I actually hate my mil(427 Posts)
I apologise for the rant but there is a lot to explain!
I hate and I mean hate (silently hate she has no idea) my mil. To be honest from the day I went round the in laws house to meet them they proved themselves to be petty, manipulative, controlling assholes and I should have run for the hills! My mil screamed at my other half, crying and telling him he was a disappointment because he hasn't been over in 4 weeks (he had a rough patch whereby he kept himself to himself) and they could not stand the fact that since he's grown into his own person he isn't doting on them, calling everyday, visiting every week and smothering his mother in presents (she actually brought up that he never buys her anything nice when he visits!)
Since then, they've done nothing but bully him, make him feel worthless and guilty for not being a sporty, wealthy, sucsessful banker who visits his parents every other day. His mother has moments of screaming and crying at us, one of these being when we told them we were expecting...I got dragged on a walk with my mil where I was expected to explain myself fpr being pregnant! She cried and made me promise if my baby died not to try again until we were "ready" (shs meant they were ready, when it was on their terms!) They continued to yell and scream into the night about how awful it was that a 25 year old man is having a baby and he should be focusing on work blah blah blah until I snapped and told her she was a bully.
Since having my baby, she has smothered her...brought her ridiculous outfits (I have a tomboy she doesn't want your pink, fluffy, netted dresses) and manipulate everyone to get her way 24/7. They threw paddys saying they wanted us over every weekend which we tried to do but it's tough when my oh works full time and we only get 2 days together to sort everything and spend family time and now after demanding our time constantly and screaming and crying when it doesn't happen they've moved to Jersey because they've been offered work where they can make loads of money (theyre money obsessed and already have loads) and now when theyre back they want us to drop everything and spend every second with them, that or hand our dd over to them regardless of the fact they have moved away from her and don't know how to look after her and she doesn't know them!
They have been nothing but bullies the whole time I've known them especially my mil who simply cries to get her way and I'm sick of it. They offer no support, constantly nag and when we try to treat them and be thoughtful it goes unnoticed or isn't enough.
If she fell off the face of this earth I wouldn't miss her. If I had listened to her my dd wouldn't be here, if in my vulnerable hormonal state their bullying had got to me I could have aborted her yet they think they have grandparents rights? !
They've had a chance to change, you said "they change for a month then resort back to their old ways." You say when your DD is older they will probably treat her like they treat your OH. Do you want her to grow up like him, abused and afraid? Of course not so you both need to protect her from them.
This could have been me years ago.
In the end we cut off all contact - there was nothing we could do to please them. We changed phone numbers and didn't tell them when we moved house.
I suspect you will have to go down this route.
Thing is, I would feel like im depriving my dd of her grandparents, who treat her like gold!
Have a look at your DH, then ask yourself. Do you want to turn DD into him? Do you want to pass on the difficulties with them to her????
Because if you make sure she sees them often, they will continue to expect it and will guilt her terribly into doing it. By giving them a large part in her life, you will give them that ammunition.
While they were in Jersey you should have taken the opportunity to move elsewhere.
Beth I'm afraid loads of people need counselling because of their parents. It's much more common than you'd imagine. Being a parent brings out the best in lots of people and the absolute dregs in other people.
My DH has a mother a bit like your MIL.
He has been going to counselling about her (he's 48, BTW!). It really has helped him to be more assertive with her, and to realise that he can say "no" to her.
I really think you need to have a lot less contact with her.
Incidentally, she is great with DD, now, while she is a baby. Babies are easy to control. It's when they start developing a sense of identity that the "tricks" come in. The tricks she has used so successfully on your DH.
Exactly that about babies. Babies are small and cute and easy to control. When a child gets to seven or eight they start knowing their own mind. This is apparently often the stage when emotional abuse starts, when the abuser realises they have lost a bit of control.
You're all right. Guess I was just ignorant to start with and thought everything could be fixed by being nice. I've only done the present giving for their silver wedding anniversary and birthdays, xmas extra but it just makes things worse. :/
Thing is Beth, in your world things can be fixed by being nice, because that's normal and you're dealing with nice, normal people and you sound nice and normal yourself. What you've sadly discovered is that your ILs aren't nice and normal at all. They're twisted.
Your DD doesn't 'deserve' a relationship with these people.
I am usually first to the defence of MiLs on here, but they sound unhinged.
They will damage her. When she is old enough, what do you think they will say about you in her presence?
You need to distance yourselves and then cut them out.
I guess...I just feel like because they can be "nice" when everything is going their way that I would be being selfish to not see them. Maybe I need counselling, feel like it's my fault and that it's us getting it wrong all the time.
We are planning in moving to Australia, but its a long term plan, im currently studying to be a counsellor (ironic I know!) And oh needs a Couple of promotions to be moved there with work. X
What an awful situation. Realistically, you have to cut down contact and treat them to behavioural therapy - everytime you are visiting (visit them, try and avoid the alternative) and they try and sit dh down for a telling off or say something horrible it's time to leave - you've suddenly remembered an appointment/important chore etc. dd's going through a clingy phase so she isn't happy being on her own with gps. Have it on your terms - you can still be nice, anytime they start trying to screech at you, you leave. If they are round yours, go out. Boundaries need to be set.
This is impossible OP, you will never, ever be able to live up to what she wants.
Sounds like she has narcissistic personality disorder.
All these types of people are nice when things are going their way. For some reason they think things are going well because THEY are controlling everything. As soon as anyone else assets any control, or "gains" some attention, that's when they start being poisonous again.Unfortunately the "nice" periods only serve to knock the confidence out if the people they are manipulating.
You really need to understand this, they will not change. Now now. Not ever. This is who they are.
You say you don't want to deprive your dd of grandparents. Really? So they can do the same to her what they have done to your dh.
Stop trying to please them, call them out on their behaviour and when they get aggressive, out the phone down on them, leave wherever you are with them or tell them to leave your home. Don't let her tears sway you, this is a tactic she uses because it works, because everyone lets her get away with it.
Firstly don't tell them about Oz - you don't need the earache whilst things are in the planning stages.
You both need to, in the nicest possible way, become more assertive. Don't leave each other on their own with mil. If she starts being aggressive, pack up your things and go (cheerfully saying "this is obviously a bad time, we're off"). Is she starts on the phone, tell her it isn't a good time and you'll speak later. Stand up to her, but do it together - if your oh is already traumatised he will need your support.
I wouldn't leave dd with her AT ALL.
And stop with the trying to be nice - trust me, it will not work. I've taken mil out for lunch, driven her to places (she doesn't drive), picked up shopping for her, I've done some of her Christmas shopping, cooked, cleaned, dressed wounds, bought special presents, flowers, made jams and chutneys and jewellery. Doesn't make a jot of fucking difference.
The turning point was when we had a BBQ for dh's birthday and she sat there talking to my best friend, eating our food and drinking our booze! that your first born is always your favourite dc. DH has one older brother . Don't think I'll ever forgive her for that. Thankfully DH was out of earshot.
Support each other, forget about her, she is not important
Oh don't breathe a word about Australia they will go into overdrive.
As previous posters have said, they will not change. I find people like this get a lot worse with age. Your poor OH can't help the fear, its all he's known since childhood.
We cope by having absolutely minimal contact - visits once a year, christmas and birthday cards. To be honest we find this easier than nc as that brings with it it's own issues with wider family, stress for us etc.
And you don't 'owe' your dc a relationship with them. Ours were adoring when they were little, but as they became older and didn't fit into the moulds deemed acceptable the poison and disapproval started. You need to protect her from them.
Australia sounds perfect!
We've already spoken about that, we arent4 telling anyone untill weve sold up, got a visa and are leaving in a month. This is mainly because given the chance they will come too!
Definitely need to be more assertive and work together on it. That's the issue ill be assertive but oh makes excuses instead of saying what he feels in a considerate way, out of fear. He cried the other night when I sat him down and explained that his parents are controlling him and he turns back into a child whenever his mother tells him he's a failure or demands something. Don't think he'd realised until now that he constantly acts guilty even when he's not :/
He really needs to talk to someone. His parents have fucked him up, poor bloke sounds terrified of them
Whatever you do you'll need to do together.
If she starts saying he is a failure, could you be the one to cheerfully decide that you're all leaving? You wouldn't reward a child with an extended treat (your company) if they misbehaved.
And I really wouldn't leave him alone with her. In fact I've gone through similar with DH, he has specifically asked me not to leave him with them so we spent many, many years supporting each other and being joined at the hip
The only thing is, I'm not sure how to start limiting how often we see them. They come back very regularly and last weekend they pretty mich hunted us down. We went out to a play are and told them we were busy that day and they rang obsessively to meet up there! Turned up at the play cafe and insisted that we spend the day with them the next day, we ended Up texting them and saying we were too exhausted (my oh has spent the week in hospital) and we would see them next weekend as its dds 1st birthday. They ignored us completely and only text us today about going for lunch the day before dds birthday and staying overnight. Never enough!
Tried that. She will ask him to come and "help" in the kitchen or I'll pop upstairs to the toilet or to get ready and she'll get at him then. Literally any oppertunity she will take it! X
You need to learn to say no, that is not convenient - perhaps another time.
This is all about control. She has got into the habit of bugging you until she gets her own way.
If you see that she is calling, reject the call. Or put it on silent. If they turn up at your place, open the door just enough to be pleasant and say it is not a good time - arrange something at a time that is convenient for you.
You need to be bloody strong and persistent and in complete agreement but I promise you it will help
And then when she starts crying when we next see her, asking why we wont see her a lot anymore just leave? It's just a continuous cycle of manipulation. X
If they are at yours, when you leave the room, you all leave the room (same with DH) - just leave her sitting there.
Don't meet at theirs - if you can then go for neutral places only.
It may be rude, but leave her completely on her own if you have to. Anything to stop her from spouting her vile shit.
If she asks for help, you all go. Don't let each other out of sight/earshot. Although it would be far easier just to go no contact.
And if she asks, smile sweetly and tell her that you can't trust her not to be nasty. Very, very openly passive aggressive but it might make her stop and think.
you have tried everything and it doesn't work.
you just have to tell them they are not welcome on their terms, you will contact for occasional visits, the contact will be initiated by you
I can't see any other way around it
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.