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MIL - how to deal with this and support DH

(16 Posts)
Gobbolinothewitchscat Mon 23-Nov-15 19:14:35

I've had various threads about my PILs and received some good advice.

Basically, my PILs are pretty thoughtless people and quite selfish. I'm not bothered about that apart from when it directly impacts me/DH/the DC. They also have form for letting us down with various things.

On the face of it, MIL and I get on fine and can be polite and civil to each other and chat away.

We have a 1 and a 2 year old and a newborn DC. The pils were meant to be coming to see us on Sunday. We had made a bit of an effort with food and champagne etc. pils were to come for food etc. we got lunch ready but no sign of them. DH called them and they said they wouldn't be there at 1 as they had to wait for a delivery but would be there at 2 or shortly after and still wanted food. We got on with lunch as had been hanging around for them and had disrupted the elder DCs sleeps etc. No sign at 2 so DH called again and they eventually turned up at 2:45. DH was quite pissed off. I was upstairs feeding our newborn when I hear shouting from downstairs. MIL was shouting at DH saying that she felt like just going home etc etc and this was all my fault as i was horrible and manipulative etc.

I was shock as we are not shouty people and also I have no clue how it was my fault that the pils were late. Plus I'm not best pleased that mil was carrying on like this in front of my 2 year old and 1 year old. They have total form for either always turning up late or early and never ask us when would actually suit us/the DCs for them to arrive. I suspect this is why DH finally said something to them.

I decided the best thing to do was to pretend I hadn't heard anything and came down the stairs with our newborn and was nice and friendly and smiley. I made sure I sat beside mil and chatted away to her.

I've been trying not to think about things and just out it behind me but I feel very unhappy generally that this happened on what was meant to be a happy day - when they first met DD - and that MIL obviously really doesn't like me. Plus - for once - I'd just like them to out us first and actually come at a time that suits us rather than slotting in meeting their grandchild around their bloody waitrose order. I feel sad for DH as he had made a big effort to make things nice so we could have a lovely afternoon.

I know that DH stuck up for me and told mil that she was out if order but - at the end of the day - this is his mum and he loves her so I feel I can't say to him how cross and upset I am because it's actually going to upset him more.

How do I deal with this and how I feel? I was knackered at the end of the visit as it's s really really tiring being lovely and friendly to someone e you'd quite like to tell to fuck off!

Chippednailvarnish Mon 23-Nov-15 19:27:16

Two issues here;

1) Your inability to actually say something to your DH.
2) Your inability to actually say something to your PILS.

How would I deal with it? I would explain to your DH that you heard everything and that you aren't willing to be anyones whipping boy and you won't be entertaining the Pils until you receive an apology from him and the PILS.

I would also look at why you're willing to let them treat you like this in the first place.

YellowTulips Mon 23-Nov-15 19:33:47

You are not going to be able to change the fact that your PIL are seemingly totally self absorbed and rude.

So you and your DH simply need to be united in how you deal with it. Have a strategy and stick to it.

Depending on the level of contact, if fairly limited you might decide to suck it up. Generally I don't think this is the best approach as overtime, even with minimal contact resentment will fester and one or both of you will inevitably explode either with PIL's or worst each other.

Rather I think you need to set some limits and agree tactics.

For example, if you plan lunch and they are unreasonably late, just have it without them. Microwave theirs when they finally bother to turn up and leave them to eat it in the kitchen whilst you sit elsewhere.

If they are early, simply put them in a room and get on with what you were doing until the time agreed arrives.

If they are aggressive/nasty simply tell them to leave.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Mon 23-Nov-15 19:35:35

I think that's probably a fair analysis

DH stuck up for me with MIL so don't think there was more he could do.

I could ask the PILs for an apology but how worthwhile is it when they obviously won't a word of it?

Sorry - I'm not trying to be one of those posters who questions everything but I'm just finding this quite hard to know how tibdealmwitg this. My parents are the total opposite - can't do enough for us and very kind to DH who gets on really well with them. The thought if my mum shouting rudely about him is just confused

Gobbolinothewitchscat Mon 23-Nov-15 19:41:29

yellow - yes. I'm thinking that your approach is the way to go. Basically we need to stop pandering to the PILs and arranging things to suit us.

Plus, I agree, I need to accept they are what they are. They won't change. This works for them.

I think the thing that is causing me the be most confused is that I now know that mil obviously really doesn't like me. I don't think I've done anything - the family has form for not being particularly nice to women who marry in. So how does that work now it's out in the open? I just ignore it seems best? The problem is that I'm really cross with them for causing so much upset and I'm worried I'll explode at DH re: it

Chippednailvarnish Mon 23-Nov-15 19:44:21

If your Dm was shouting at you about your DH would you then pretend that everything was fine 5 minutes later?

I doubt it.
It's up to you OP, but ultimately I can't see how letting someone who behave like this in front of a young child can be a relationship you want to nurture. Your choice.

tomatotoad Mon 23-Nov-15 19:47:59

She's shown her true colours. dh is probably used to it.
You haven't done anything wrong.
How was it all left?

YellowTulips Mon 23-Nov-15 19:58:05

Ok so MIL doesn't like you.

Who's problem is that? Your the mother of her grandkids and you aren't going anywhere.

She can be polite even if you are not BFF's if she wants to come to your home and see the children and her son.

It's her that's on the back foot here not you. The problem is that she and FIL are too arrogant to see that and you are trying to be a good person and forge a positive relationship.

But here's the thing. You can't forge or fake a situation that isn't reciprocated. So why even bother?

Think of them as toddlers without boundaries. Let them have their dramas and tantrums but don't reward them for it by bending over backwards or offering treats to behave nicely. Just dis-engage - preferably with the MN Classic of "did you mean to be so rude?".

petalsandstars Mon 23-Nov-15 20:16:09

Maybe think about how you would react if your mum was shouting at you about your DH while he was upstairs in the house. Then he came down all happy to chat etc. Would you be happy to sit down and relax with her or would you be telling her to leave? Would you want her playing happy families?

I certainly don't socialise with people that don't like me.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 23-Nov-15 20:25:14

If they are rude to you or about you in your house then DH tells them to leave.

You and DH agree this before their next visit and help each other enforce it no matter how much they wail and weep.

Show your DC how grown ups should behave in the face of nasty behaviour.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 23-Nov-15 21:09:54

I was not at all surprised to read that your own parents are not like this i.e. emotionally healthy. However, your DH is not so lucky.

You are playing nice with his parents, unfortunately such people like his parents never play nice or even by the rules. Only their rules count, your DH and his family unit now do not matter. They also never apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions. They've never apologised for their previous lateness have they?.

You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, family are no different.

The "normal" rules of societal convention and familial relations actually goes out the window when it comes to emotionally unhealthy families like your DHs family of origin. You're being nice at you and your own family's expense to such people. They see that as weakness on your part and hone in accordingly. They are treating you and he with contempt and your children are seeing their parents being denigrated by their grandparents as well. This is NOT the message you want to be sending your children. I would seriously not see these people ever again to be honest with you.

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward to further understand the dysfunctional dynamics.

Why are you still having any contact with his parents at all?. They are just completely toxic all round. They were not good parents to him and are crap examples of grandparents to your children as well. Their actions towards him and by turn his own family unit now are not loving ones.

pocketsaviour Mon 23-Nov-15 21:51:29

Link to Toxic In Laws which Attila recommended. I think it would really help open your eyes to the dynamics here.

You do need to confront this, because they're not going to suddenly become reasonable human beings. They've treated our DH like shit his whole life, most probably, and by extension they will treat you and your DCs the same way if allowed. You need to step up and protect your DC from their influence. Don't be thinking "Oh they're just a bit rude but they're basically okay" - this is the tip of the iceberg, believe me.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Mon 23-Nov-15 22:22:37

OK - I'll read the book. Thank you. Have downloaded

Bloody hell - why can't the PILs just be normal.

A question - both PILs are very selfish and self-absorbed. To be fair to MIL, she had a very toxic upbringing and her mother is not very pleasant (still alive). How has DH managed to be so normal and kind? It's because he is so lovely that I think that the PILs must be OK underneath. But maybe he's nice despite of them?

PunkrockerGirl Mon 23-Nov-15 22:28:43

Yellow your last paragraph is perfect. smile

Wishful80smontage Mon 23-Nov-15 22:39:40

Op I wonder the same about my dh he's so lovely and sweet I can't see how he ended up like that when his family are just so nasty and cruel?
I've drive myself mad over the years trying to figure out why my inlaws hate me what can I do to improve the situation but the answer is nothing- its not my issue its theirs and their behaviour I can't make them behave how I want them to so I've given up trying.
I think the best thing you can do is speak to your dh and set some clear boundaries and help impose them- our for instant is clear to mil now after a recebt strop we've quite clearly said if she shouts in front of our dd again she will not be allowed in our home- full stop.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 24-Nov-15 08:15:02

"A question - both PILs are very selfish and self-absorbed. To be fair to MIL, she had a very toxic upbringing and her mother is not very pleasant (still alive). How has DH managed to be so normal and kind? It's because he is so lovely that I think that the PILs must be OK underneath. But maybe he's nice despite of them?"

Your MIL has instead chosen to carry on the behaviours that her own mother did; toxic crap like this does filter down the generations. Its no excuse for her actions then or now. His parents will never be at all nice or kind; their actions are not loving ones. These people are not just a bit rude, they are actually the masters of, "come closer so I can hit you again".

Do you really want to have any sort of a relationship with these people who are so self absorbed and selfish?. I would hope not, what would you get from it?.

Your DH is nice despite them. I would look at the role he is himself playing within his dysfunctional family of origin; he is very much the scapegoat here and that scapegoating will extend to his own family unit too.

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