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DH and my mother 'gang up' on me

(24 Posts)
Bibblebo Mon 24-Feb-14 01:20:33

They just can't seem to help themselves. They have a 'dynamic' , part of which I am not invited into and part goading, jibing, and trying to provoke me. There is even some flirting which goes on between them - initiated by my mother. DH is charmed and reciprocates with complements and equal charm. Utterly infuriating. I mainly go silent .. But how would/do you deal with it?

Aussiebean Mon 24-Feb-14 01:44:48

This sounds horrible. The part of you husband is to be your number one supporter.

I have a critical mother and my dh is behind me 100%. I could not be in the relationship otherwise.

I have no idea what you should but it is not something you should be allowing to continue.

Hopefully someone will be along soon with concrete advise. In the mean time I would check out the stately homes thread

maggiemight Mon 24-Feb-14 06:28:15

When does the situation arise?
Is DM round all the time?
Do you have DCs so you are tied?
If not I would clear out of earshot/ the house if they start their fun - go and have a good time away from them, the novelty and point of their behavior will have disappeared along with you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Feb-14 06:32:02

'mainly go silent' doesn't sound like it's working hmm

I'd tell her to stop being a ridiculous old slapper and I'd tell him to grow up and stop taking the piss.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 24-Feb-14 06:33:36

Flirting? Yuk!

I'd tell them strenuously what a pair of twats they were, using examples of their ridiculous behaviour then walk out and leave them to it. I would say to my mother "you clearly fancy DH, he's all yours" and try to shame her into appropriate behaviour towards her daughter.

SanityClause Mon 24-Feb-14 06:40:13

Have you spoken to DH about it?

Tell him you really don't like it. If he says it's only in fun, reply that its not fun for you.

See where that takes you.

If you've already had that conversation, well, it's either time to have it more strongly, or LTB. Because if he is aware you don't like it, and he does it nonetheless, it is bullying.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Feb-14 06:55:13

If you react to the 'goading, jibing and provocation' are you told to lighten up? It's only a bit of fun?

Bibblebo Mon 24-Feb-14 09:38:33

Yes I have 3month old twin girls and a 3 and a half year old. This has been going on for ages. I have told my DH exactly how I feel several times. I do feel it's bullying. The flirting thing is completely initiated by my mother and is unconscious - she craves male attention as has been single for years. I wouldn't mind about that as much I suppose if they didn't then 'gang up'. Usually my mother starts it and I ask her to 'please stop' and then he starts telling me not to be mean to my mother. It's always in front of the DC's and I'm sick of it! DH resumes sympathetic roll when my mother has left and I'm really upset. There is of course 'history' between my mum and I and she does have mega issues. I have had long stints of not talking to her in the past and since she has been 'back' have asked her to leave the house lots of times for shouting at me / being very negative in front of the children. My husband often says that he feels 'got at' by me and so must feel very satisfied watching my mother and I. I used to 'leave them to it' and try to leave the room. Now I'm usually marooned with the twins or my DS. DM has a life coach and it's helping - but after about an hour or so her behaviour around me starts to descend. Once DH is home, things deteriorate. Such had work and poor DC's. I also feel sorry for my mother. Wish she could get more help with her 'personality'. hmm

Bibblebo Mon 24-Feb-14 09:41:54

Sorry - I realise the 'has been single for years and craves male attention' is offensive to the women who are single and not craving male attention or any attention for that matter. It happens that this applies in my mothers case - apologies in advance.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Mon 24-Feb-14 09:43:20

oh goodness me don't let your mum in the house. It's your house after all - a place where you should feel safe and secure.

I would be limiting contact to be honest. Maybe visit her with the grandchildren for an hour or so a week but that's about it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Feb-14 09:43:53

The pair of them sound quite twiseted and it's a vain hope to expect to change someone's personality. All you can do is reject their behaviour and, if necessary, them. I'd resume banning your DM from the house if she's so disruptive and I'd also be thinking very long and hard about whether I wanted to be in a long term relationship with a man so weak and pathetic as to side with someone who attacks you. It is very overt bullying and it's unacceptable.

ladymalfoy Mon 24-Feb-14 09:50:00

Invite me around for a cuppa. I'll put them right. I really hate bullying and from those you love it's the worst kind.
I'll bring some nice sandwiches and cakes. Those Jap Fancies from Vienna Patisserie and a couple of eclairs?
We'll have a proper tea party with your DCs and say 'it's just for grown ups' and exclude your mum and hubby.

ReallyTired Mon 24-Feb-14 09:51:39


I really feel for you. You are in a hideous and toxic position. It sounds like both your husband and your mother are obnoxious and as bad as each other. Do you have anyone else in your family to turn for support. I would not normally suggest anything so extreme, but I suggest you break off contact with both your mother and husband for three months to get some thinking space. Do you have any savings? Could you rent somewhere away from your mother and husband for a couple of months?

Having three children under five is hard and its OK not to feel sexy and to be fragile. Your mother and husband should be supporting you rather than bullying you. I realise its hard if you are financially dependent on your husband, but I feel that your marriage is over if your husband is joining in with the bullying.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 24-Feb-14 09:54:32

A good rule of thumb here is that if your mother is too toxic for you to deal with (I note there has been problems for years) she is certainly too toxic for your both vulnerable and defenceless children. If she cannot or will not behave then she sees none of you including the children.

Your own boundaries re her need to be re-raised; they are far too low currently.

What do you get out of this relationship now with a) your DH and b) your dysfunctional mother?. She will never be the mother you want her to be and will never give the approval and love you so crave.

As for your DH well he is completely spineless and is enjoying too seeing your discomfort. I would be now seriously about thinking whether you and he have a future at all.

MrsTaraPlumbing Mon 24-Feb-14 09:56:05

Can you keep them apart most of the time, see your mum when DH isn't around?
Try to get her to leave just before DH is due home?
And if possible return to seeing less of her. The less you see of her the less she can annoy you.

I think I would not respond to their jibes - it will only encourage them, if you don't reply they can't win and surely have to stop?

Finally, I note that you are at a certain very difficult point in your life, but it will change greatly very the next few years -
I know because I have twins and an older child as well. When mind were the same age as yours I hardly ever left the house. The amount of work involved is tremedous and exhausting - I can imagine you want to put up with your mum so she might help.

I really believe the preschool years with twins are very hard on a stay at home mum and hard on a relationship. Which adds to all the other problems - like a difficult mum.

I'm putting my arm around you and saying I'm so sorry it will be hard for a long time, when they are older join all the toddler groups! And it will get much easier when they are about 4 or 5.

I just thought of something. Don't do anything in haste that you might regret later but over the next year or so think about the balance does your mum bring more good stuff to your life or more stress? If the answer is mostly stress and you don't benefit then you know it will be better to distance yourself from her.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 24-Feb-14 09:59:59

I would not be seeing the mum at all given her own past and current behaviours towards both OP and her husband who seems to be lapping it up as well. Both these people should be given a wide berth as of now; there has to be consequences for their actions.

It is not the OPs fault her mother is this way; she did not cause the dysfunction to arise (her mother's own family did that?.

BTW OP what do you know about your mother's own background and childhood?.

TheGonnagle Mon 24-Feb-14 10:02:33

I also volunteer to pop over for a cuppa with ladymalfoy. THat is really crappy behaviour and I would be seriously considering another extended break from you mum. Your DH is meant to have your back, and it sounds like he is seriously lacking too. Stern words are in order with the pair of them I think.

Iamfrankieheck Mon 24-Feb-14 10:35:00

What an awful situation OP, I would be telling you're Mum (very calmly, you wouldn't want to appear hysterical wink)

You WANT to be able to continue a relationship with her and WANT your children to be able to continue a relationship with her but it is obviously dependant on HER behaviour.

If she feels she can only be respectful and act as a normal loving Mum would for an hour a week for example then that is how it will have to be. Also, because you ARE a normal loving Mum, you feel so strongly about this that you are willing to break all ties in order to protect yet another generation from being damaged by this emotional bullshit.

As for your husband you tell him exactly what you are going to say to her and ask him to think very carefully about where his loyalties lie. Yes, it may be flattering to him and just a laugh but it is a total deal breaker for you. Fact is she wouldn't continue doing it if he didn't encourage her and he needs to decide who/what is more important to him as he is not considering your feelings at all. He also has to take responsibility as a father and the possible effect it may have on his children not only directly but also from the unhappiness it is causing their Mum.

You have to be strong (which is not easy) and make them realise you are serious about this and it is the last time you will be having the conversation. You deserve better than this OP...

Bibblebo Mon 24-Feb-14 11:05:43

Thank you all for your replies.
Well, my mother has real issues to do with being sent away to another country to boarding school at 4yrs old, taught and brought up by nuns who treated her harshly. Then sent to another country to do her A levels at 16. So she says that she's had no parenting model. I myself left home at an extremely early age due to relationship problems with my mother which all started when my father left when I was 11. I have had therapy latterly to deal with my own lack of parenting/consequences of and treatment by my mother who couldn't cope with my behaviour when I hit puberty. I hardly saw my mother during my teens and let her 'back in' when I was in my twenties. Now in my thirties and have my own DCs. She desperately wants to be part of their lives and I expect that being around them brings back a lot of the memories and 'feelings' of being a mother to small children - which she is great at by the way, she doesn't cope well with over 10's!
Last week she came over to help- bit of baking with DS. It ended in her shrieking at me in front of the children because she believed that I had lost or given away some cookie cutters which She said she have to me saying that I value nothing ( I never used these cutters even as a child and certainly hadn't been given them). I had to ask her to stop shouting or please leave..she left, saying she'd never come back.
Last night she used her oft used line 'I havnt come here to help anyway, I just want to see my grand babies'. This riled me - I need so much help with twins and a toddler and ask and get next to nothing. DH feels uncomfortable and joins in (on mothers side). This all happenned after she had been flirting with my DH having a conversation with him about stubble and whether it is attractive or not (he had stubble at the time), I sat bfeeding twins on the sofa.
Ugh hmm
She left in the end, saying that she wouldn't come back until I apologise for asking her to leave the house countless times ((I hadn't actually asked her to leave on this occasion).

I'd love to make things right but it seems impossible.

Bibblebo Mon 24-Feb-14 11:08:23

Thank you lamfrankie - and everyone. Good advice.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 24-Feb-14 11:16:02

It looks like she is using every opportunity to loose it with you. On purpose probably.

I'd tell her before she was invited back [perhaps at a cafe or neutral place] that these are the rules from this moment on:
Do not use every opportunity to have a go at me
Do not flirt with my husband
Do not shout in my house
Repect my rules and judgements
[Add in whatever you want the rules to be]
Basically, behave like a grandparent not like a flirty batshit crazy loon or you will never see your 'grandbabies' again. Ever.

And don't even think of apologising.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 24-Feb-14 11:16:26

lose it

maggiemight Mon 24-Feb-14 14:52:43

I think I would get the locks changed. Then YOU are def in control. There will be anger and shouting on the doorstep but you could keep DCs upstairs and play loud music.

I would say it is way beyond reasoning with or debating your DM's behavior. She needs to change or you are not seeing her. ... for a v long time.
And when DH arrives tell him to clear off to your mother's as he prefers her. And should he wish to care for you and the DCs at some point you might consider letting him in, a night in a hotel might change his attitude. They are both totally taking the piss and need action not persuasion.

FrysChocolateCream Mon 24-Feb-14 19:25:44

Poor you, you have an awful lot on your plate. Three month old twins, a mother with a personality disorder and a shit of a husband.

I would suggest cutting off your mother. For sure.

Then perhaps you could tackle your husband. Why do you think he likes being so nasty and unsupportive? Has he always been like this?

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