The Mother In Law(21 Posts)
I need some help please.
My Mother in law (to be) and I aren't on speaking terms. Long story but I had a disagreement with her daughter and granddaughter and in turn, the MIL decided (without ever having a cross word or saying anything to me) to side with them. As a result I am not allowed to enter her home (you may read this and add that there;'s no smoke without fire, but my MIL is an unreasonable lady at the best of times and is known for being miserable). She lokos after our 2 year old (whom she adores) twice a week, but I have to toot my horn to indicate I've arrived (her partner, my fiance's step dad is absolutely fine with me, if anything he over compensates for her behaviour). Anyway my fiance said he'd take our little boy to visit her on Christmas Eve and she wants to know why she can't see him Christmas Day... He replied and said because she wouldn't let me in her house and how could he leave me home on my own on Christmas morning for a few hours. I'm penning a letter to her to say she is welcome to my home Christmas morning for breakfast and that I accept our relationship is what it is, but we need to be civil for the sake of our children. Has anyone any tips on how I can word this tactfully - I want to be the better person in all of this and avoid conflict as my little boy grows older. I'm a very strong person and will not tolerate bullying from her or her daughter or granddaughter so please don't think i'm a shrinking violet. Thanks in advance everyone.
You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, family are no different.
You likely come from an emotionally healthy family where this type of familial dysfunction is thankfully unknown. Therefore this type of dynamic is unknown to you but what you are suggesting will not work out. A letter no matter how nicely worded, will be used against you somehow.
I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward to further understand the dynamics being played out here.
What is your man's opinion on his mother's behaviour; are you really expected by him to tolerate this?. Does he say things like, "well you know what she is like". His own apparent inertia when it comes to his mother (is he really afraid of her deep down, it seems so) is hurting him as much as this is hurting you now. Both of you are in a fear, obligation and guilt state when it comes to her.
There is already conflict here but it is not necessarily of your making.
You are already tolerating her bullying behaviour of you by allowing her to look after your child twice a week. You are also tolerating having to toot your horn outside their house when you arrive there. Now you want to write her a letter saying that she could visit you Christmas morning for breakfast, this is really appeasement on your part and that never works out well.
What you need to do (along with your fiancé) is totally reassess and raise higher your boundaries (these are woefully low) with his mother. A united front needs to be presented. She is not and no longer rewarded for bad behaviour, if she cannot behave decently with either of you as this child's parents then she should see none of you. All the visits need to cease as of now. You will also need to find alternative childcare for your child twice a week.
It will also not do any children you have any favours at all for them to keep seeing you as their mum so disrespected all the time; children need decent role models as grandparents and his mother is patently not that person. Infact it would not surprise me if she was to use your son against you as his mother as well.
Re your comment:-
"I'm penning a letter to her to say she is welcome to my home Christmas morning for breakfast and that I accept our relationship is what it is, but we need to be civil for the sake of our children. Has anyone any tips on how I can word this tactfully - I want to be the better person in all of this and avoid conflict as my little boy grows older".
This above thinking is further proof that you likely come from a more healthy family of origin that your man's. He has also had a lifetime of her own conditioning, he may well be totally unable to assert his own self here when it comes to his mother. Some men do truly revert to child mode in their mother's presence.
The above is all well and good if you were actually dealing with an emotionally healthy person in his mother. But you are not so this idea is flawed. The rule book for dealing with familial relations goes out the window entirely when it comes to such dysfunctional families of origin. Also such people like his mother never apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions.
It is NOT your fault his mother is the way she is; you did not make her this way.
Attila, thank you very much for your well balanced reply. You're abs right, I do come from a very healthy family (we have our ups and downs but we respect one another). My fiance is to a point, accepting of her behaviour sadly, as he says he's had a lifetime of her behaving in this frankly, odd behavior. The MIL is very apt at cutting people from her life if they cross her, and this is what my fiance is frightened off - he says that "she is my mother afterall" which i understand, but this behaviour is bizarre and unbalanced.
I can completely see her behaviour is unjustified and that I am not the prob (the prob is as i see, is that my partner had a very large no of casual girlfriends prior to us meeting and I think when she met me, she saw me as another passing fancy. We became engaged very quickly and I fell pregnany - we're both mid 30s. I think she's jealous as he's settled down now and i'm very independent - i've an excellent job, had my own house etc and i think she was jealous of this). If my fiance were engaged to someone else, i've no doubt she would behave the same - she is in effect a bully and if it were down to me, I'd speak with her face to face, tell her my thoughts of her and her bizarre behaviour and be done with her. It's the love i have for my fiance that prevents me from doing this...
I will certianly purchase the book you've suggested too. Thank you.
re your comment:-
"she is in effect a bully and if it were down to me, I'd speak with her face to face, tell her my thoughts of her and her bizarre behaviour and be done with her. It's the love i have for my fiance that prevents me from doing this..."
Talking to her will be of no use whatsoever, if anything is said to his mother your man needs to tell her. Is he really a man or a mouse when it comes to his mother, he is also an issue here as much as she is. He may want to have some sort of a relationship with his mother but that does not follow that you have to. You are not tolerated by her at all as it is. Your man seems really afraid of crossing her; the comment, "she is my mother after all" is indicative of that along with the fact that he does not want to make a choice of you or her. Will he break free of her overt conditioning of him, more to the point does he want to break free of her control and conditioning?.
You may well be setting yourself up for a life of misery at his mother's hands; she will never accept you and your man may well just go along with that dynamic for want of a quiet life. He may well be really like his mother's partner - a bystander and enabler. You are indeed correct in one respect; she would have acted exactly the same no matter who your man chose for a future wife.
Protect your child from her malign influences as well.
I can't help because I'd find the situation unacceptable as it is. There is no way that my child would be looked after twice a week by someone who would not let me into her home.
I'm afraid my children wouldn't be going on their own to visit anyone who wasn't talking to me when I hadn't done anything wrong. It just wouldn't happen. I suggest you look for alternative childcare for those days. In the meantime, don't just sit in the car - go and knock at the door! People tiptoe around these buggers and let them think they've got all the power. Time to take that power back.
You really need to find alternative childcare. No way would she be looking after my child. What will she say to your DD when she is old enough to realise mummy isnt allowed in Grandmas house?
Another vote for finding alternate childcare - she can't refuse to let you in her home but still take care of the kids.
Time for your DH to make you his priority and stay at home with you Xmas Eve rather than letting his mum exclude you from family get togethers.
Ditto to the changing of childcare arrangements, if she's that rude to you imagine what she's like behind your back!
I agree with the others, finding alternative childcare would be a priority.
Your children are going to learn from her that it's all right to exclude people, and it most usually isn't. They won't even know they've learned that their mother is inferior, it will just always be something they know.
Your dh could step up, too. I realise it's not as easy as telling him she's in the wrong and expecting him to take that on board and do something about it: he will be well used to her and not fully realise it's wrong.
I wouldn't even bother with a letter to be honest.
What was the situation with her daughter and granddaughter?
Don't send a letter! Really, don't. You can't reason with people like this and they will just use it as victim fuel.
Also... You let his woman have access to your child twice a week? And she won't let you in the house? No no no. Just No. Not only is it taking the piss but can you imagine the things she's saying to your kid? You need alternative childcare and you need it pronto.
Your approach should be to emotionally disengage, find alternative childcare, stop dc from going round there and shrug off the fallout - no one in their right mind can argue with "well, mil won't let me cross her threshold so no, dc don't see her. She's very difficult isn't she? We just try not to let it bother us.."
Thanks everyone for your comments - they're much appreciated and i will take them all on board...
The background to the nirce (granddaughter is....
The niece (who is 21) and has a history of being rude to me, came to my house and treated it like a doss hole whilst staying a few days and always talks to me like s*it. The final straw came when she broke wind at the dinner table, deliberately mid way through a meal... absolutely disgusting behaviour to which she laughed and didnt bother to apologise or excuse the behaviour. I told her it was disgusting and sprayed air freshener in the room as it was pretty horrific and she accused me of bullying her....ridiculous behaviour from a rude little manipulator that I can see straight through, yet her family can't.
Her mother, my sister in law, accused me of not wanting them to stay ( i didnt mind them staying but i wont be disrepected in my own home) and then a few months later i was accused of deleting both the sister in law and her other daughter from facebook.. I hadnt - someone else on their side had. I called my sister in law and was greeted with "you c*nt" ... i can't even go on as they're a group of individuals who dont have any respect for themselves, let alone me...
Don't you see they are of the same brush.
Be lucky you have nothing to do with them.
Read the book suggested.
These families don't know boundaries.
And take you child away and keep her away from them.
Your man needs to step up and be a better support system to you.
Your own family comes first now.
I hope with your house you have a prenup as I don't think your man will step up and you will one day have enough and kick him out.
Can you find alternative childcare?
Because your DC will soon be old enough to wonder why you're not allowed in Grandma's house.
Find alternate childcare so you arent held hostage by her. Your partner can tell her to come to your house if she wishes to see the children
Totally agree- you need to find alternative child care for your DS. Why expose him to such toxic behaviour and who knows what she will say to him about you when he is older.
If she wants to see him she knows where he lives
They are not your problem, they are your DP' s problem.
You are not responsible for their happiness or their behaviour. (It took me 16 years to learn that )
Step away from the crazy.
You cannot leave your Dd with them & not communicate. What will you do if she's off-colour & you need to speak to her childcare provider when you drop off or they need to contact you during the day?
Your Dd is YOUR CHILD you DO NOT have to leave her with them.
DP needs to set them straight, not you.
They don't want anything to do with the woman who took their little boy away? Fine. They relinquish any family claim on the baby that the woman who took away their little boy gave birth to as well.
If your DP then wants the problem resolved, let him resolve it.
Anything you do will be used against you.
Step away & let them & DP get on with it.
Watching from the sidelines can be quite entertaining too
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