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We have argued about the same thing for two years. . .

(19 Posts)
WillChangeItBack Mon 08-Feb-16 13:32:27

Apologies in advance about the length.

My husband’s mother does not like me. In 2013 there was a disagreement when I visited her at her home. She was trying to get my husband (then BF) a job in her village and had arranged for her to speak to someone who was also running a village fair type event. BF/DH did not want the job but agreed to speak with the man. MIL, FIL, BF/DH and I got ready to leave. She then asked me ‘where do you think you are going?’. I replied ‘With you’. I can’t remember her exact words but she told me not to come as it wasn’t a social event. My BF/DH then spoke to her privately and told her that she was being rude to me and that was not how to speak to people. He begged me to come with them but I couldn’t I was so upset and stayed in their house and cried. The rest of the weekend was awful and I haven’t visited them since.

After the visit she started to email and call my BF/DH saying that she didn’t know what my problem was. In previous visits she has been rude, made some questionable comments about my race and age (I’m over 10 years younger than DH) and is generally not very hospitable. I told my BF/DH that it seemed like she did not like me visiting. She also spent a lot of time bitching about her DIL who was also a different race and made racially charged comments about her. She was always very kind to her in person as the DIL is very, very rich and her other son will side with his wife. DIL hates her and they’ve also clashed and continue to do so.

She calls one night in October 2013 and I tell DH/BF not to tell her what I’ve said (about her being inhospitable to me) as she will lose her rag. Well he did and she exploded. She called up every Saturday for a month for an hour at a time telling BF/DH that he should leave me and that I am a horrible person. She then started sending emails telling him to leave me and that he should take the job in their village (160 miles away from me). The emails are really nasty. I found one in his email address before he did and asked him about it. He asked me why I was going through his emails (we have each other’s emails on our phones). This was all in September –October 2013 and it took him another six months to agree that his mother was in the wrong. We have never been the same since and I think the damage is irreparable.

We get engaged in March 2014 and when DH told his mother she said 'Oh.' That was it. His parents waited until we had invited them and told them that we had paid for everyone’s places to tell my husband via a letter in his birthday card that they were not coming to the wedding and they had told his brother and SIL not to come either. Four months later FIL turns up at our door and attempted to apologise told me that the email wasn’t sent to me so I couldn’t be offended. They ended up coming to the wedding. My DH’s SIL confronts me at my wedding and tells me that our MIL had told them that I didn’t like her because of the way she looked at me (amongst other things) and that’s why they had said they (her and BIL) had said they weren’t coming to the wedding. I explained that I hadn’t said a word to MIL in almost two years and that is wasn’t true and kept quiet about what our MIL had said about her.

I still feel hurt and abandoned and cannot work all the chaos my MIL caused. DH and I went to couples therapy for six months and it got better (we had been having loud and very aggressive arguments for a year, which is very unlike us). It’s been over two and a half years and I still bring it up, monthly if not weekly. I am very angry and verbally destructive. DH apologises and says he’s sorry but I can’t believe it took six months for him to admit that his mother was wrong and he was wrong to not stop her calls.

We’ve just bought a four bedroom house and his parents asked about the possibility of kids and he didn’t directly say that we have decided to start trying for a baby but that was the gist. Now all of a sudden his mum is offering to lend me her baby books and offering us money.

My parents were abusive to their children and physically violent to each other in front of us and I hoped and prayed that I would get the chance to have a family through my husband and in-laws, that won’t happen now and I’m angry and it’s ruining my marriage. (Can you grieve for a family you’ve never had?) My parents’ marriage was ruined by interfering in-laws and this was something DH and I spoke about at length. I never met my grandparents and had hoped for my children to have access to as large a family as possible but I am so angry. His mum was so nasty and the emails were really personal. DH’s cousin who is lovely told me that she had been talking about me to the other family members but that I shouldn’t worry as the rest of the family weren’t like that. I feel constantly on edge and I don’t like speaking around my MIL in case she invents something. I last saw her at my wedding in April but DH goes ‘home’ to them five times a year. I am angry all the time and feel like I am being punished for something she did wrong. I don't know what to do. If you’ve hung in there that long, thank you.

Goingtobeawesome Mon 08-Feb-16 13:37:54

It all sounds exhausting.

You do not have to have a relationship with your MIL. You do need to decide what you are willing to cope with and what is none negotiable.

I just don't know what to say but you can't carry on like this. I don't see why people who are horrible to their children/children's spouse shovel get the joy of the grandchildren.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 08-Feb-16 13:57:17

I second that. This awful situation and her/their behaviour is clearly affecting both your marriage and your emotional/mental wellbeing and it has to change.

Of course you can grieve for something you'd hoped for, even when it didn't come to be. I don't know if you've read Toxic Inlaws which is an incredibly helpful book? There's a whole section in there on exactly this - the more you wish your inlaws will be what you hope - kind, supportive, a positive in your life and your marriage - the harder it is when they're instead corrosive, unkind, hostile, and a barrier between you and your husband/a healthy happy marriage.

If you haven't read it then please do. It might give you an insight into how your DH feels about it all, perhaps why it took 6 months for him to acknowledge what his parents are really like.

Remember that while you have the benefit of an outside perspective on just how manipulative and mean your MIL is, for your husband she's probably been like this so long he struggles to see it. If he did, imagine the difficulty in coming to terms with seeing your parents who raised you without the rose tinted glasses of how you hope they are.

The fact that he got there in the end, despite it taking 6 months, is a huge positive. Hopefully that and your couples counselling gives you a way to manage this together and hope for a brighter future and a healthier family in which to have your own children.

People who are mean to you, never mind racist FGS, don't deserve to have a place in your life. You know that after everything you've already been through, if things don't change you and your DH have years and years ahead of you that will be difficult and painful and cause the two of you unnecessary drama and anguish.

Try not to blame him for what has mother is like, that's not his fault. But you can expect a certain level of decency and civility from everyone who choose to spend time with and you can expect him to back you up when this isn't happening.

You know what she's like to you now. And you also know that once you have your own family the relationship will rest on a knife edge of you giving her what she wants, or the bad behaviour will continue and you'll be opening up the next generation to her bullshit! Take steps now to protect your marriage and your future family.

AlwaysHopeful1 Mon 08-Feb-16 14:06:12

What is your relationship with your Dh now? Is he still supporting you? What are the arguments about. Tbh I wouldn't have continued to be in a relationship with someone whose family hated me so much. That's his family, he won't stand up to them fully. What happens when you have kids? She will make sure her 'rights' as Gm is pushed. How will you cope with all that if your Dh doesn't support you? They all sound awful.

WillChangeItBack Mon 08-Feb-16 15:09:32

Thank you all for taking the time to read through my post. I know it sounds strange but I started wondering if I was just being too sensitive. When I was typing I kept thinking that maybe it didn't sound all that bad. I am going to order Toxic Inlaws.

I am completely exhausted. DH and I will have weeks of being fine, then his mum will call and I want a word for word break down of what she said, then what he said, then what she said etc. I feel like I am losing my mind. I hope I haven't made DH sound horrible, he's a very loving and kind man, he's just a bit weak. He was financially supported by them until he was in his early thirties and he struggles with relating to them as an adult.

The arguments are always about how I still can't believe that he didn't stand up for me and that it took six months of me crying, pleading and shouting to get him to understand. We were happy before all this. I'm not sure how we can go back to how we were. I want to forget it all happened. I feel like my DH doesn't care about me or our relationship and he knew how much I wanted to have a happy family and I don't understand why he would do this. I keep imagining myself as my mother screaming at her children when she should have been sorting things with my father, she hated/s my father and took it out on us. Me and my siblings don't see her very often and I don't want that with my children. I don't want to be my mother but I feel like I am going that way.

ImperialBlether Mon 08-Feb-16 15:17:45

Do you want to stay in a marriage with your husband? If you do have children, things will only get worse, won't they? You don't have a happy birth family but this family sounds horrendous. I wouldn't want any involvement with them at all, yet your husband, naturally, wants to see them.

When you have children, your MIL will be the first at your bedside. Everything you do will be wrong, from the name you choose to how you bring it up. Your husband will take any children there on his own and you know that she'll be saying awful things about you to them.

She wants to be the one your husband loves. She sees you as competition and wants you gone. She will be exactly the same with the children.

Please, have a long serious think about whether all this is actually worth it. Look at your future - it won't be any different.

littleleftie Mon 08-Feb-16 16:33:13

I don't understand why you married him to be honest.

I certainly wouldn't bring children into this.

Isetan Mon 08-Feb-16 19:19:14

Your in laws sound awful but it was never their responsibility to make up for your own dysfunctional family. It sounds like your projecting a lot of your past pain on to another toxic dynamic.

This is the man you married and this is his family and if you really can't accept them then I do not understand the logic of bringing a child into this. Now is the time to speak to a professional about your current and your past feelings.

Fairenuff Mon 08-Feb-16 20:23:22

Do not have a child with him until you get this sorted. There is a very strong possibility that your marriage will not survive this and if you have a child they will be under the influence of your MIL (via your dh) without you having any say in it.

Personally I think he is going to have to choose between you. I can't see any other way that this would work. I am surprised you married him tbh. Do not make the mistake of having a child with him.

RomComPhooey Mon 08-Feb-16 20:35:28

Someone else kind of beat me to it but, as you say he visits his parents alone 5 times a year, how do you feel about him taking the children whilst you sit at home wondering what MIL's getting up to you in your absence? Briefing against you is probably the least of it. I wouldn't ve rushing to start a family either, not least until you have resolved the MIL issue.

ocelot7 Mon 08-Feb-16 20:50:12

I really think you would benefit from counselling - this seems to relate to yr own childhood as well as the current situation with MIL...I'm also concerned about you rerunning the argument (about it taking 6 months for him to support you) with yr DH again & again - you cannot change the past & so will continue to go round in circles & to be upset.

WillChangeItBack Mon 08-Feb-16 21:02:51

I completely understand suggestions to think twice about having children until we have worked through this, but I am not considering leaving him, although it is very useful to see how strongly some posters have reacted. I spent six months trying to argue my point so, as strange as it sounds, I feel now that I had a right to be angry.

I read about so many awful MILs on MN and just wanted to see if it sounded like there was any hope for us and what I could do to stop being so angry. We are mostly happy and his mother is the main source of friction between us. He is very apologetic now and I think it was a wake up call for him. He had not had a serious relationship before me and I think underestimated the work needed to make one successful and happy. His parents didn't speak to him for a while once he finally stood up for me. He doesn't expect me to visit them, does that make a difference? Ideally he would like any children we may have to have a relationship with his parents.

I suppose also she treats her other DIL in a similar way but she and BIL are able to be happy in spite of her. All the insults just roll off her back but she's a lot more confident than I am. I know we're different people and you can't compare, but is it hopeless? I'm going to call our couples' counsellor but what can I do about my anger?

RomComPhooey Mon 08-Feb-16 21:10:08

Ideally he would like any children we may have to have a relationship with his parents.

This will come back to bite you on the arse later unless you both agree how you are going to manage this. Your MIL will massively ramp up the guilt and manipulation once "her" grandchildren arrive. Sounds like your DH has zero ability to withstand it as things currently stand.

Themodernuriahheep Mon 08-Feb-16 21:23:28

Um, I think you need to look at your anger and its cause, possibly through individual, possibly couples counselling.

It might be helpful to ask yourself some of the following questions. I've tried to make them open, to help understanding, not, obv, for answering here ( unless it helps you).

Your DH has apologised, do you think that he didn't mean it? Do you think he doesn't understand the six months pain? If he said he hadn't understood but had learned from it, how would you react?

What is the benefit to you of continuing to be angry? What does it get you? Do you want that? Do you enjoy or rely on being angry? ( that's not a value judgment, some people find its the only way to survive or reclaim power, for example) if you were not angry how would you feel? How do you want to feel? What would help you get there?

What would happen if he said to you, ok, I made a serious misjudgment underestimating your pain, but you have now made my life difficult for x months /years by not moving on?

Are there things you could negotiate on around his family?

If you cast your mind forward eg ten years, how do you see yourself?
With him? Does that make you feel good? And would a condition be to go NC? Or not?
Or not with him? Does that make you feel good?

What would be the trigger point for you to change?

I say this as someone who didn't get on with her MIL either and found myself in a not dissimilar position. flowers

sykadelic Mon 08-Feb-16 21:24:28

Can you grieve for a family you’ve never had?

Yes you can, and I think that's exactly what you're doing.

I want to forget it all happened. I feel like my DH doesn't care about me or our relationship and he knew how much I wanted to have a happy family and I don't understand why he would do this.

Forgetting it happened doesn't change the end result, which is that you will never have the relationship with your in-laws that you desperately hoped for.

You want your husband to stick up for you against them and he doesn't because he still sees them 5 times a year. You're warring with yourself over your hatred for them, his disloyalty to you when it comes to them, and your love for him. You would love for him to stand up next to you and say "I'll stop seeing you unless you start treat WillChangeItBack better" but it doesn't change the past and it won't change the future, because you still don't trust them.

You're asking about the conversations because you still don't trust either what they're saying or what he's saying to them. You're trying to micromanage his relationship with them because, I think, you're worried that they're taking him away from you... when in reality you're pushing him away.

You say you want to forget what happened, but I don't think you do. I think you want to move on from it and you're not sure how to, or what you want (relationship with them wise that is). You know that a good relationship with them might not be possible, so what will you settle for? Cordial treatment? Or simply no interaction with them?

If you have children he will take them to visit his parents, and I think you know that, and I think that's another thing that you're grieving. Because you're trying to imagine your future but you can't, because you're stuck on what arseholes they are (and he was).

I don't think you should have married him with this anger still between you, and I think you realise that too.

* I am angry all the time and feel like I am being punished for something she did wrong. I don't know what to do.*

You said "I can’t remember her exact words but she told me not to come as it wasn’t a social event. My BF/DH then spoke to her privately and told her that she was being rude to me and that was not how to speak to people. He begged me to come with them but I couldn’t I was so upset and stayed in their house"

You later said "she started to email and call my BF/DH saying that she didn’t know what my problem was." and that "She calls one night in October 2013 and I tell DH/BF not to tell her what I’ve said (about her being inhospitable to me) as she will lose her rag. Well he did and she exploded."

In all honesty, though she was a bit of a bitch, your DH started the really aggressive stuff by telling them what you said. He also continued it by not telling her to quit it.

Your problem is not so much with them, as it is with him. He does not have your back when it comes to his parents treatment of you and he continues to show that. So you need to decide whether you're okay with:
1. not having any relationship with them
2. attempting to have a relationship with them, of some sort
3. leaving your DH

You're not happy so you need to do something different. You can only control yourself and your reactions, so I would speak with a counselor to try and get to the real truth here... which is that your DH will never change so you need to... in whatever way that works out best for you.

Themodernuriahheep Mon 08-Feb-16 21:25:49

Sorry, didn't see you were going to see your couples counsellor. Still hope questions and visualisation useful.

I had to work out what my priorities were for me, and learn to move on.

sykadelic Mon 08-Feb-16 21:33:27

p.s. I say this all as someone with toxic in-laws and being with my DH for 8 years. I'm starting to have some form of a relationship with them but I'd be lying if I didn't still grieve for what I hoped our relationship would be like... not assisted by the fact I'm an immigrant here. Some days are lonely. I have a supportive DH of course, who would cut them off in a second if they hurt me (again), but it doesn't stop it being so very sad sometimes.

Curlywurly4 Mon 08-Feb-16 22:00:50

'Your problem is not so much with them, as it is with him. He does not have your back when it comes to his parents treatment of you and he continues to show that.'

He has behaved appallingly towards you and that must have been so very hurtful. It's ok to not want to forgive him for that and you don't need to compromise yourself to do it.

No wonder you are angry. He betrayed you and has broken your trust. He continues to do so by not putting you first.

WillChangeItBack Wed 10-Feb-16 08:07:53

Thank you all for your comments, they have been really helpful.

Themodernuriahheep and sykadelic thank you. I am really struggling with how to move forward from here and it's 'funny' how you can think about something all day for years and still miss things. I'm going to show DH your posts. I do think in a way I 'chose' to be angry. I remember being sick of crying and just deciding that I wasn't going to cry anymore. It feels easier to be angry but we won't be happy if I continue. I want to be married to him and I want him to want to be married to me.

Thank you all again.

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