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Anyone have a DM who gets upset if things don't go as she planned/scripted in her head?

(15 Posts)
WonderingOutLoud00 Thu 27-Nov-14 08:49:23

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MarjorieMelon Thu 27-Nov-14 08:52:24

Mil is like this. Everything has to go according to her plans you aren't allowed to make any suggestions or have any input at all.

WonderingOutLoud00 Thu 27-Nov-14 08:54:41

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WonderingOutLoud00 Thu 27-Nov-14 08:58:28

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MarjorieMelon Thu 27-Nov-14 09:06:03

How to deal with it? I don't really have the answer. Over the years it has meant that we have distanced ourselves slightly. Someone like this won't change. With your mum perhaps you can speak to her about it. I can't do that with mil it wouldn't go down well and it isn't really my place.

The odd thing is mil hates regimented people and is openly critical of people who like routines and have their own way of doing things and yet what she doesn't realise is that she is one of the most inflexible people that I have

MarjorieMelon Thu 27-Nov-14 09:06:21


WonderingOutLoud00 Thu 27-Nov-14 09:25:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MarjorieMelon Thu 27-Nov-14 09:34:20

Dh just accepted it because that was the way things were. Mil is very much the matriarch.

LittleMissMarker Thu 27-Nov-14 10:31:47

I have a very controlling father who is probably borderline ASC rather than narc. What works with him is the understanding that his biggest problems are (a) dealing with uncertainty (b) dealing with the unexpected, and (c) seeing other people’s point of view. In his mind the quickest way to deal with uncertainty is to make a plan and stick to it. And he doesn’t naturally understand that different people have different priorities and values from his, so often his plan doesn’t take other people’s wishes into account.

What works with my Dad is not to wait for him to ask. He will not ask, he will assume instead. So I have to tell him my plan first! It's OK for me to make a plan; it's not having any plan at all and saying "we'll just have to see how we feel" that he really can't handle! And if he assumes wrong, then I challenge. “No that doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to go to shopping, it’s too busy. I want to stay at home and have coffee with Jane” or “Have you asked Jane if she wants to go shopping?” (I’m not quite clear if the friend is yours or your Mum’s. Controlling people often attract friends who are quite passive and happy to go along with them.) If I need time to think about the plan then I say so “That plan doesn’t work for me, I need to think about it for half an hour and then we can talk about it”.

Also, my father will also be quite supportive once he has time to get used to an idea. So if he decided university BBB was good and AAA was bad, I would have to say “I am going to AAA because….” And ignore his first response. Because he will be disappointed at first but he will quickly get used to it and start to see the good side. He is likely to end up championing AAA! The sooner he’s put right the less disappointed he will be, because he wont have time to build up a whole set of (wrong) expectations.

Dunno if that will work for your Mum though!

thatsnotmynamereally Thu 27-Nov-14 11:15:00

I have a mother sort of like this. It's sad, isn't it. I often think know that she prefers the planning stage to the actual thing itself, she does a lot of living inside her own head so to speak, and she has been known to spend ages thinking and arranging how something is going to go, only to be inevitably disappointed when it doesn't go to the script she has in her head. I think I have found, after many years, that the best way to deal with it is to play my role in the script, appease her and get away as soon as possible. Sad. My dad does the same but as he's put up with it for 50+ years it is his lookout.

The funny thing is that I have been talking to a counsellor about how similar my abusive H is to my mother (ie strops if he doesn't get his way, threatens, his needs are more important than everyone elses, DCs and I have to tiptoe around him to avoid angering him) but I wouldn't have thought of calling my mother abusive. I now think she is, but too old to change. As with my abusive H I can see what she wants to achieve (a Norman Rockwell picture of family life) but imposing her inflexible vision on everyone and crying or name-calling when it doesn't go her way (shopping a good example, I have to follow her around or forget it, day ruined) isn't the way to achieve that.

WRT Christmas, can you tactfully tell her that you and friend are so looking forward to the visit, so happy to all be together, but shopping allergy or some such excuse means you cannot possibly do as she's planned but you would love to do x instead? So that she can get involved in the planning but it suits your agenda as well? If you cannot broach this I suppose you'll have to go along with it or, if it were my mother, incurring the wrath of satan and be accused of ruining everything for everyone for all of time and then some. Good luck!

sonjadog Thu 27-Nov-14 11:49:00

My mother has gotten more like this with age. I deal with it by largely ignoring it. She tells me how things are going to go, I say, "We'll see..." Nearer the time, I tell her what is planned. No discussion, no input from her in plans that do not concern her. If she is involved then we discuss it there and then. If she gets upset and throws a tantrum, then I go do something else. My mum stomps off when she gets upset, so it is easier to ignore.

lilmisslibrarian Thu 27-Nov-14 12:03:32

My mil is like this, I think it stems from my DHs family being in the forces and where his parents were based involved a lot of planning parties and other events.

Now that my pil has retired and they are now 'civvies' my MIL organises EVERYTHING from lunch to parties at their house and if it all goes awry (normally after booze) she will have a strop and go to bed early.

Initially when I first met her it bothered me but my PIL,DH and BIL let her get on with it and continue having a good time. Now she is much better, occasionally it happens but when she sees that it only affects her and no one else it changes her mind.

Either that or she is drinking more sherry and can't be bothered storming off !smile

LineRunner Thu 27-Nov-14 12:04:55

I think you need to be much clearer from the start - as soon as she starts speaking - that her suggested plan isn't going to happen.

'No, we're spending the day catching up, but you go shopping if you want to.' Repeat.

MabelSideswipe Thu 27-Nov-14 12:32:05

My mother in law does this. She does it even with things she plays no part in but think she knows what you should do. She even says 'in my head you were going to.....'. I find it intensely irritating. Life for her is always one huge disappointment and by default her family is also.

WonderingOutLoud00 Thu 27-Nov-14 13:21:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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