I know, not another mother in law thread!!!!! Apologies but I'm sooooooooo anxious. My MIL is coming to stay for the weekend. We have a very hostile relationship. Shes said and done some awful things to me over the years. To cut a decade long story very short we've not spoken since laSt summer when she was going to bin off my kids (we live 6 hours away) in favour of going to the cinema with her other grandchildren. Myself and hubby both told her in no uncertain terms that we weren't happy, that she makes no effort with our kids etc etc she promised she'doesn't change. Nothing has changed. Why she's coming to visit is beyond me. But what I really need is strategies! She's staying in our house. I can barely look at the woman. I just don't know how to be civil with her. Anyone got any tips?!!!! Surprise, surprise she's bringing her other grandchildren (my kids cousins) so that's a distraction but apart from copious amounts of wine I'm at a loss as what to do not to just blow!!!!! Or cry!!!!! Or be a bitch!!!!!
Believe me hubby is in the dog house for agreeing to her staying! This is the problem: he can never stand up to her!!! We've had blazing rows about it and for the sake of our marriage I've just had to agree that she's visiting! I'm already planning to be "very busy" cooking, dog walking, ferrying kids here and there. I'm so down and anxious over the visit
Turn it on it's head... she's the one that should be anxious over the visit as you'll be on home territory with the power to tell her to piss off order her to leave if she's a less than considerate guest.
Ply her with vino and put a slug of vodka in her tea/coffee/soft drink and make sure she's too sozzled to do much more than sleep it off until it's time for her to go
Do not feel under pressure to get in lots of expensive foods etc. Just buy what you would normally have, but enough to feed everyone. Then you will not end up resentful and out of pocket. Do not make any extra effort with meals but do usual family ones. Feel free to get yourself some nice wine and treats though.
Have a long bath and a long dogwalk every day. Pop out to the shops on your own. Prime a friend to call you for some "emergency" help.
Let your husband look after her and do his fair share of the work. Let him know your expectations before the visit so you are both on the same page. Tell him clearly that you expect to come first with him and therefore you expect him to have your back.
Speaking of your back Lily, did you know you had a bad back? You do you know and you're ever so sorry but you must lie flat for an hour. Make sure you are just propped up enough to drink the wine and read your book. There, that is much better!
Yep, he definitely needs to step up, his invitation or agreement to the visit, his mother, his problem. He can entertain her/sort out food/sleeping arrangements, mine would get a 'crack on, love' and that would be it
Thanks everyone! I can't really "jump ship" however I have just arranged a girly night out that weekend and I won't be doing anything extra ordinary food wise etc. It won't be appreciated in fact it will only cause friction when she moans about it! DH and I are going to have a chat tonight where I'm going to lay some ground rules for the weekend and I'll just let them get on with it. I just really struggle to even look at her or be civil after the hurt and upset she's caused. I really don't understand my husband's relationship with her or why he won't stand up to her. I sometimes wonder what it would take for him to do that. I feel for him as he's between a rock and a hard place trying to please us both. Wine I think will be my only saviour!
Ground rules- 1) he does everything. Cooking, cleaning etc. you will be going out for the night, the remainder of the time walking the dog. When you are in the house you are their in presence only. You will not be fake and if she doesn't Like it the door is there.
2) in future no guests without prior discussion. He pulls this shit again you will book into a hotel, at his expense, for the duration of her stay
Remember its your home not hers. If she is rude then you can be too. Pick her up calmly on any spiteful or unpleasant words. "That's not very kind MIL." "I dont like to hear you say things like that." Work out a few sentences that you will be comfortable to say. And nothing else once she gets going.
Dont take up any argument - drop the rope and walk away as soon as you can.You will be in the right then - the bigger woman. Basically treat her like a naughty toddler if she misbehaves when you are around her. Her reward comes from seeing you upset. Calm and lightly amused will drive her potty! Imagine yourself acting on a stage in a play with difficult MIL. Step outside the emotions. Tricky that, I know. Family food will be best for a group of children, pizza, cottage pie or a takeout type stuff. Make the weekend easy on yourself.
I'd book a spa day asap or a shopping day I like my pils but I arrange things to do by myself to get my necessary down time. I also go to bed earlier than I normally do and settle in with a good book and a glass (or bottle...) of wine.
Your DH is very much in a FOG state (fear, obligation, guilt) with regards to his mother and he is far more afraid of her disapproval than he ever would be of you. You have also put up with her for a decade as well. He will likely always kowtow to his mother at your own family unit,s expense as well, what he needs to realise here is that his inertia is simply hurting his own self as well as his family unit. He still actively seeks her approval and still hopes that she will like him. That is perhaps why he has agreed to her staying.
his primary loyalty should be to you as his fame unit, not his mother who has never really let him go.
I would suggest you read Toxic Inlaws by Susan forward, will your DH ever consider speaking to a counsellor regarding his dysfunctional mother. I would also suggest you post too on the well we took you to stately homes thread to get some further pointers.
I would be out for the whole duration and keep your children Away from her as well.
Puzzled is correct, your problem is also your H as well as his mother. your H has had a lifetime of such conditioning at her hands (is his dad still around) and he will always find it difficult to say no to her. In fact I would think that the word is no at all in his vocab when it comes to her. He is very afraid of her, far more than he is of you because you have also put up with her to date as well. his mother should really have been cut off years ago.
I do not think your chat with him will get very far because when it comes to boundaries with his mother, they are skewed in her favour anyway.