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how do you cope with overpowering in laws

(52 Posts)
littleraysofsunshine Mon 08-Feb-16 10:06:58

? And family. It's causing us to argue too now sad

PurpleDaisies Mon 08-Feb-16 10:12:15

Is your dh on your side? We had issues with this and had to get dh to talk to them alone (or they'd just write it off as me corrupting their darling boy). Make clear where you boundaries are and stick to them.

What issues are you having with them?

ConkersDontScareSpiders Mon 08-Feb-16 10:17:41

I couldn't.we ended up splitting up!
In seriousness-could you try talking with dh before you see them, setting a time you will be leaving (so you know how long you will have to put up with them) and sticking to it? And similar re wider issues they want to neb into to-agree your position with dh beforehand, and ask him to try and close down any discussions (politely obvs) that might arise around said topics. It's the only way really as otherwise you end up married to them and their opinions which isn't great at times.

Talcumsoul Mon 08-Feb-16 10:18:36

Disengage as much as possible.
Unless they interfere in your home or children.
Then I agree with Purple. Get your DH to tell them to back off.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 08-Feb-16 10:19:03

I was also going to ask if your DH was supportive of your concerns re his parents or is dismissive. It may also be that your DH is as much a problem as his parents are; do not forget that he has had a lifetime of their conditioning and likely regards their behaviours as normal.

What are your own boundaries like with regards to them?. It may be that they need further raising.

Reading "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward could well help you.

littleraysofsunshine Mon 08-Feb-16 13:22:54

Dh is like me with not wanting any issue. Keeping people happy. But with MIL she will come round, make comments on the kids, (try to make them wear blue for boy, pink for girls etc) when we try to raise them quite mutually. If I say something she will try to over ride it behind my back to dh.

Yesterday it was an issue with SIL. We went for a family meal, i said something that I needed to go, she took it the wrong way and made an attention aiming it at me. I walked out (as to me it's sometimes a bigger thing to do rather than argue) I wanted to get going anyway. Then she came to the car and started asking why I did and when I tried answering she said "well if you want to argue then carry on, slamming my door in my face, my kids sat in the back. Walking back to everyone there (including dh) obviously making out I was the issue.

Dh and I had a huge argument over it, I said he should've stuck up for me and he said I shouldn't have reacted that way.

So my name is now mud despite never letting anyone down in ten years I've been with him, I didn't do anything wrong, and each of the past three times we've had a row it's to do with his family members.

I have felt sick all day as he obviously is siding with them, I don't need this stress as we have three under five, and expecting a baby in 8 weeks.

Oh and SIL took the low note by trying to say I ruined Dh's birthday and maybe I was hormonal????!!!

All I said was that I needed to get home and she started saying to everyone "what is she on about"

School ground or what!!!!!!

At the cost where I just feel like jacking it all in. I can't feel like I'm alone in my thinking, people thinking I'm the issue.

I actually feel sick right now just with anxiety!

littleraysofsunshine Mon 08-Feb-16 13:24:48

And MIL took her side..

Things with MIL like:

Taking over the house when comes round, rearranging things, cleaning and trying to tell me how to do washing.

Dh says it's just how she is and I'm just like what!!!!

rainbowstardrops Mon 08-Feb-16 13:42:49

My mil used to be like this. She'd come round and comment that the pictures on the wall weren't straight as she made them even more wonky, she'd moan if I dressed ds in jeans, she'd always change dd's hair and once even started pinning my curtains up because she thought they were too long! All without permission.

I put up with this for twenty years but a few years ago she totally undermined me in front of my ds. I absolutely snapped, screamed at her to get out of my house and now I'm NC with her grin

One of the best things I've ever done

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 08-Feb-16 13:53:46


re your comment:-

"Dh says it's just how she is"

Oh that old chestnut. Yes and such attitudes simply enable his mother to keep on behaving badly. Your DH therefore is as much of a problem as his mother is. His along with your innate need to people please is not helping matters either. He may also be very much in a FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) state with regards to them.

Re your comment:-

"Things with MIL like:

Taking over the house when comes round, rearranging things, cleaning and trying to tell me how to do washing".

How is she entering your home; with her own key or do you let her in when she arrives?. Your boundaries anyway are far too low when it comes to his family and need to be raised a lot higher. This is your house and your children she is trying to ride roughshod over.

Your DH may want to continue to have a relationship with his family but it does not follow that you have to.

LurkingHusband Mon 08-Feb-16 14:00:31

My MiL was (as MrsLH agrees) batshit crazy. It was only discovering MN which made me realise that all the "incidents" over the 18 years we put up with her were actually a pattern of controlling and abusive behaviour.

However, I had the total support of MrsLH, and it was this which eventually did for MiL - she came round one evening, and ended up physically assaulting me (police became involved). And since then it's been NC between MrsLH and her "D"M, which is the only way our relationship would have survived.

MiLs favourite trick was to have little chats which I wasn't supposed to share with MrsLH (and little chats with MrsLH she shouldn't share with me). Unfortunately we did share[1], so pretty quickly cottoned on there was a huge pattern of lying and manipulation going on. However, without Mumsnet, we had no access to any way of realising it wasn't unique behaviour, and indeed part of a bigger problem ...

[1] because I trusted my wife more than my MiL ...

mintoil Mon 08-Feb-16 14:06:41

Agree with PP, if DH isn't going to support you then you have a big decision to make here.

You need to limit your contact with her, see her less often and for less time. Don't take her calls, let her leave messages and DH can call her back.

Slamming the car door shut on you, particularly in your advanced pregnancy is unforgiveable actually. If DH thinks it is OK for his wife to be treated so poorly and you should suck it up, you have really serious problems.

AlwaysHopeful1 Mon 08-Feb-16 14:11:37

I was with someone like this and luckily it was Just a bf but serious relationship. I left.
Life is too short to be dealing with crap like this. And it's a forever thing because they will always be his family. If your Dh isn't supporting you, then it's up to you to decide how much longer you want to put up with it .

littleleftie Mon 08-Feb-16 14:35:08

You have been with him for ten years, so is this new behaviour from them? You say you have fallen out over them before so I don't think so.

Do you think their behaviour has got worse? Or have you improved your boundaries and self esteem so you won't tolerate it any more?

I think they have got used to treating you like shit, and if your husband isn't going to back you up, that tells you all you need to know about how he views you........

littleraysofsunshine Tue 09-Feb-16 17:40:57

Well we haven't spoke since Sunday despite living in the same house. Plus I'm now unwell with spd and I just can't handle anything right now.

And there's is never going to be such thing as a amicable split with nearly four littles.

So torn

littleraysofsunshine Fri 12-Feb-16 22:29:42

Where do you have your limits? As in what you allow/ don't allow the in laws to do?

Dp & I haven't spoken all week and only just have but still no further forward.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Fri 12-Feb-16 22:40:57

When I had my MIL to stay for a whole four days, I felt she was critical and nit picking with everything I did with my young children. After muttering that I had a favourite son and hiding my baby's dummy for the hundredth time I went into the back garden and yelled 'witch!'
Unfortunately she was in the kitchen with the window open and heard. Didn't speak to me for the rest of the visit grin
Not helpful but you're not alone OP
P.s I don't recommend doing that.

springydaffs Fri 12-Feb-16 22:50:47

You have, or will have, 4 kids and you're not married? Do you work outside the home? Good income?

janethegirl2 Fri 12-Feb-16 22:53:48

I once told my mil to fuck off, it gave me 3 years peace as she wouldn't speak to me......if only I'd known it'd be so easy grin

littleraysofsunshine Sat 13-Feb-16 16:37:25

I don't think it's going to be resolved. Relationship is close to over I think confused

littleraysofsunshine Sat 13-Feb-16 16:44:36

And take today. He said why don't we ask SIL to take DD to the party ( as we would t have been able to do childcare) so she did. But once again she's not bought her back, she's gone and taken her to MIL and now they've taken her out when I said we had plans after the party.

So do I just let this happen? Is it innocent? Because all I see it is that again they are trying to take over. And another bout of ammunition as to why we're basically splitting up as dp doesn't see it from my view.

Or am I over reacting?

I'm at the point where whenever he's on the phone to them I feel paranoid in being spoken about.

I'm questioning if the problem is me?

Or is this just what it seems?

Tell you what my brain is frazzled. I've cried, been angry and just on edge all week. I don't think I can take much more.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sat 13-Feb-16 16:51:00

Can you not just make the relationship with the inlaws over and concentrate on your own family with partner? If this is the main reason to be splitting up I think it's worth trying to resolve it.

I clashed with my MIL and she treated me with very little respect and was frankly rude and belittling to me. I came to the conclusion some years ago that no woman would be good enough for her son. She also thought she had a right to tell me how to raise her grandchildren and run my house. I disengaged with her almost completely and haven't looked back.

I have also accepted that mother and son are bonded and that my DH will always love his mum. If he wants to visit her or meet up that's fine with me but I will not join him. He can also take the DCs to see her. I wont prevent that.

My DH loves me and his mum so I wont make him chose between us but I will have very little to do with her because of the way she treated me and he accepts this.

It's not an ideal situation, but seems to work for us.

TrinityForce Sat 13-Feb-16 16:54:32

Just stop seeing ILs, tell DH to sort them out and handle them - not your job.

Best of luck to you, sounds awful for you.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 13-Feb-16 16:56:25

Your brain isn't frazzled! You're seeing things precisely as they are. Your MIL is overbearing and your partner is complicit. She wouldn't necessarily be a problem if he wasn't cast under her spell. He's had a lifetime of conditioning at her hands. And I can appreciate how from your point of view that would feel like a betrayal. In a way, it is.

littleraysofsunshine Sat 13-Feb-16 17:10:11

Blanking her isn't an option as its just going to cause arguments forever. He says I've accused them of not liking me recently and he's confused why I feel that way.

And it makes it difficult becuSe I know my kids will be turned against me. I wouldn't ever be at ease if it carried on and my kids were with her ( if we split up)

I'm just in a massive shock as how it's come about so sharp. She's completely unaware, and apparently I'm the one who's thinking it no one else.

I never wanted an issue and sometimes she's nice, just a bossy character. But it's the things like today (which happens every time) when I think, am I thinking too much into it? Is there an issue?

If they make plans with the kids, when I say we've already got something planned, they will do it anyway. And if I say something to dp he will say I didn't realise you had plans, they just wanted to spend time with dds, that I'm over thinking it.

It's nice that family members want to get involved, but it's the past six months I've seen that it's just taking over now.

wideboy26 Sat 13-Feb-16 17:11:26

My mum was like this. (She passed on 10 years ago, by which time she'd mellowed/got the message, so it's no longer a problem). Parents lived a good distance away so visits were not that frequent, but when they did visit she would make free with the kitchen, cleaning the oven and polishing the kitchen floor entirely off her own bat. The house was clearly not up to her standards so she obviously saw it as her duty to bring it up to scratch. Bloody cheek! At first I didn't take too much notice as it was what I had grown up with, but DW was very put out by the presumptuousness of it all and I had to tread a very fine line between pacifying her and not upsetting mum. At the age of 40 I finally summoned up the courage to tell her that as as a grown man with a wife, 4 children, a mortgage and a responsible job, I really didn't need her telling me/us what to do and how to live our lives. It was like a smack in the face to her and matters did improve, but there was always an undercurrent of grudging acceptance of whatever we did. As she got older, she mellowed and I accepted that she would never change, so it was for me to ignore her cutting remarks and insinuations and just carry on as we saw fit. I'm glad to say that by the time she died we had largely made our peace and we were on good terms, or as good as they can be with somebody so controlling, and I was able to feed back to her how grateful I was for what she and Dad had done for us . I think it's important for parents to have that feedback from their children at some stage and, after all, she thought she was only ever doing the best thing for us. My children have started to give us that feedback as they now start to experience success in their chosen lifestyles and it really does make us feel that it's all been worthwhile. One thing I'm grateul to my mum for is that my experience made me determined that I would not interfere in my sons' lives once they struck out on their own.

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