Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Concerned - future mother in law(19 Posts)
I'm supposed to be getting married later this year and can't wait apart from my reservations about my future husband's mother.
I just do not know what to do. I try to have as little contact with her as possible but yesterday with it being Easter my OH asked me to go for lunch with our DC at his mums - it was awful.
She appears to be nice but there are so many red flags with her:
She undermines my parenting - unlimited tv for DC, taking our child upstairs at regular intervals and I am not sure why, if DC is sitting with me saying 'name, come and sit with nanna' over and over again...;
She leans on my oh for emotional support, sharing her relationship problems with him and not giving him any space and if she does not hear from him for one day she becomes even more needy;
She gossips about my OH step-mother and generally makes bitchy comments each time I see her. I have told her I do not want to get caught up in any family drama so would rather she not share with me but to no avail;
I feel like she is competing with me and expects to be involved in all aspects of our life, as if she has the right as DH's mum
She gets jealous when my DC stays with my mum or we are visiting members of my family;
She is extremely nosey about our financial affairs which I find rude.
I have asked my partner to speak with his mum about this since we had our child a few years ago and future MIL will get better, sort of lulling me into a false sense of security and will then revert back to her usual behaviour.
Last night when we got home we had a massive row about it, mainly because I thought that she made such a fuss about my mum having our DC when we go away for a few nights after our wedding. She reacted as though we had said that she could not see DC again. And she does this to get her own way. All the time.
I'm just so confused I love my DP very very much but his mother' behaviour is making me have second thoughts. He's actually there tonight as I said I needed space to think as I was no longer certain I wanted to get married to him.
I'm not a very assertive woman and I really hate confrontation and just feel that I cannot tell her my issues with her and I would rather walk away.
We had such a lovely weekend up until yesterday. I really do not know what to do. We have paid a lot of deposits and would lose a lot of money but I'm not sure I can marry him.
Can anyone help me please?
I just want to add that I am really flexible about her seeing DH and DC, I would never stop or interfere in their relationships at all. I just do not want a relationship with her.
Was there a particular event/flashpoint that led to you being minimal contact?
How long have you been together?
Sadly she is not going to change. So the question you need to ask yourself is "can I put up with this for most of the rest of my life?". And remember, you can't change her. The only power you have is to change how you react to her behaviour.
There are multiple threads on here about women just like this. As PP said, it doesn't tend to get better.
Thanks for replying both. I know, I have trawled through looking for hope.
I can't sleep. We will have been together for five years in June this year and our DC is 2years. This is when I noticed a difference in her.
There wasn't a particular thing as such, and I need to be concise otherwise it will look as though I am drip feeding.
The main things are:
no matter how much I tired to involve her it was never enough to the point where it was impacting on my life, seeing friends and work, family time etc. To me she comes across as very entitled and as much as I want my DC to have a good relationship with her I have my limits... Bearing in mind my DC has four sets of grandparents due to divorce and I try to accommodate them all;
She gossips and I do not trust her - OH family has a lot of drama, possibly created by her and I do not want to become embroiled in it. She has two other sons and they keep minimal contact and her other DIL does not talk to her and has said to me her marriage is stronger because she does not see MIL;
She is attention seeking and has to be the centre of attention - for this reason alone I am wary about her at our wedding;
She drinks a lot and becomes more obnoxious the more alcohol she consumes. I find she is quite provocative and seems to want to get into arguments with me. For example she goes on aboit immigration and I find her views are opposite to mine which she them ridicules. Both me and my OH have asked her not to speak about such hot topics which we completely disagree on as it is pointless and is not like a healthy debate at all. I will not drink with her now as I also get drawn into conversations about her DIL which I want to avoid at all costs. In this dynamic though MIL is desperate to make up with the DIL which is why I want no part of what she says and I want to remain neutral;
On a number of occasions where I have planned celebratory activities for me and DP she has either tried to arrange something else or Ruined our time by saying she has been left out and continually texting!
And the list goes on, parenting advice mainly but in an undermining way, for example she keeps trying to get me to take anti-depressants as 'I'm not as happy as I used to be...' And was convinced I had PND. I have recently been ill (but treated and am feeling much better) so have reduced my physical activities so am not getting as many endorphins but I do feel like saying to her F off and worry about your own life.
I can't sleep. I miss OH and am worrying about being a single mother but he's annoyed me by staying there. Why can't he have stayed at a mates?! I have provided her with ammunition to use against me.
In a nutshell the behaviours she displays are not warm and attractive to me and if it was anyone else (work colleague, potential new friend) I would keep my distance.
my MIL is very clingy to my ds (he's only 10 weeks and the first grandson). when I was pregnant I said to her either my mom or you will look after him when we go out for our anniversary, but she took that as she was and hit the roof/made us feel bad my mum was doing it. she didn't put into consideration that my mum lives further away and she came round every day to see him as my mother didn't. when we see her she constantly picks him up and distrust his rouiten. I reached breaking point and told my DP you either tell her straight to stop or she has nothing to do with him or me. I won't go round and only I know his routine (partner works 6 out of 7 days so only knows bits and dabs if it). she has two undermined my parenting. for example I wanted aptamil for his milked but because she fed my sil on c&g my son needed to be on it and brought the milk and then made out aptamil doesn't do stage one that's why I can't have it.
what I'm trying to say is you need to ask your DP to support you/back you up. I've decided to put up with her behaviour but also threatened both sides what will happen if they don't listen no more.
Happy new mummy - it's true. I do and OH is aware and has spoken to her on a number of occasions but she always goes back to the same behaviour.
she use to be the same. when my son gets hiccups he cries. he was lying on his mat (as I told her too cause he hates being held for long periods) and cause he started to cry she ignored what I said about he'll be over them soon don't pick him up, she picked him up. I think the other reason why she has changed was cause her mum agreed with my way of parenting and told her off for being so clingy.
Flats I'm not surprised that you're concerned, DP hasn't helped by running back to Mummy. Call him out on his reaction, ask him why, as a father & soon to be married man, he went running back to his Mother, why does he think that's appropriate behaviour?
You have a think about what you want.
My MIL has been a nightmare; I've been NC for 8 years now.
You need to calmly, but assertively, tell DP how you see things working out, what you need to make the marriage work & tell him what he needs to do for you & his child.
You will never change your MIL, but you can change the way you react to her & the pecking order that DP currently has you in.
Tell the interfering hag you're not as happy as you should be as you've got her as a future mil and you're seriously considering not marrying her son due to her weirdness. Antidepressants my arse! I've already told my ds(5) that he can euthanize me if I come over weird and dysfunctional with his lovely lady/fella.
Schlong - that is the type of thing I daydream about!
I spoke briefly to OH this morning and we are going to speak when I get home.
I am going to not see her until I am ready to and if she has a problem with this I will then clearly explain to her that I would like some respect as my DC's mum and boundaries/acceptable behaviours.
Of course I will not stop her seeing OH or DC but I am essentially reducing my contact with her further.
OP, you're seeking a solution to something which does not have one apart from NC. These things will not go away, they just get worse.
When you look at DP and think what a great guy he is, remember his DM is also part of the package, IME it is only a mistake to separate the two ideas.
I would advise you not to marry a man with a bitch mother from my own and others bitter experience. But love is blind, I know.
Good luck, you are going to need it.
Op, I also think that you need a serious talk with DP. He should not be running back to Mummy if he wants to be a married man & father. He needs to support you, you are the mother of his child & you are going to be his wife.
Make sure that he has your back in all of this. Start now.
A good rule of thumb here is that if you find any familial relation too difficult to deal with, it's the same deal for your children as well. You cannot afford to keep on exposing your children to her emotional manipulations. she will damage your. Children in the same ways as your man now is.
What do you think your children will get out of any relationship with his mother anyway?. It is hard when you have likely come from a normally emotionally healthy family yourself but you really cannot allow your children to see someone like his mother. You would not have tolerated any of her behaviour from a friend, family are no different.
your man seems completely in Fog when it comes to his mother (fog means fear, obligation and guilt). He needs to also realise that his own inertia when it comes to his mother is simply hurting him as well as you people now.
I would suggest you further lower all contact with his mother and keep your children away from her also. Reading Toxic in laws by Susan Forward could also further help you understand the power and control dynamics that are being played out here.
As I pointed out elsewhere.. You want to buy a dog, it's advisable to see the bitch who littered him.
You have a problematic mil to be.
You also have a problem do.
This won't change unless you make it change. And remember the worst behaviour you see from her is what he is capable of if it all goes tits up.
You have one opportunity to try to force him to change, and that is now, before the wedding.
I wonder what she whispers in DC ears about you?
If she is too toxic for you she is too toxic for your DC.
If DP won't accept that you and DC will be NC with her unless she changes ( which she won't be able to do) then I can't see the point of you getting married.
Morning everyone, sorry was fast asleep by 8pm. Thanks for all of your responses.
I have had a chat with OH and he agrees and will speak to his mum today. We have agreed to limit him and DC seeing her for the time-being but I'm not sure how this will work in practice because part of the problem is her neediness. So this interim measure might be a good indicator of how the long term might look. That said he understands my concerns and he himself has said he finds her too much. He also said that he can see now how she does undermine us, that she does act in an unhealthy way - jealousy, gossiping, taking pleasure in being horrible about others etc.
Really appreciate all of your comments, in response to two things:
Attila- No, I don't particularly come from a healthy family which is why I am probably so sensitive! I want to bring our DC up in a safe and secure environment; Arguing about MIL is not part of that. I do feel a complete bitch but the drinking is the reason I do not want DC staying over night mainly. For safety mainly.
LittleLeftie - So, I'm not sure if you meant this in a funny way BUT she does whisper in my child's ear AND I have wondered what she is saying. Is this common? I thought I was being paranoid.
I don't want to stop contact between MIL, DC or OH, I really don't. I loved my grandmother so much and would not feel happy, at least at this early stage, going NC so my DC might miss out on a good relationship.
As for getting married, I love my OH just not his mother. I am hopeful that we can distance ourselves. That said I suppose we have a few months to see how it goes with MIL.
Thanks all again, OH has read this too which has also helped clarify the situation for him.
Hello flats - I am sorry, I should have qualified my post.
My DM is like this,and although I am NC with her now, she has done a lot of damage between me and my DD. I have seen her whispering nastiness in my own DC ears and my nieces ears. I overheard her telling one DN that since her younger sister came along, mummy and daddy didn't have so much time for her did they? It was all much better before DN2 came wasn't it?
The whispering is part of a pattern of behaviour called triangulation. She is trying to wedge herself between you and the DC, literally causing a rift.
If you try to distance yourselves you will get
a) The Flying Monkeys. These may be other ILS sent in to tell you how awful you are and you should be ashamed of yourselves.
b) The Mystery Illness. MIL will develop a mystery illness. Could be depression brought about solely by you. Could be heart problems, brought about solely by you. Could even be cancer - my DM has tried that one a few times
It would be lovely to think you could have a normal amicable and even loving relationship with her. I am so glad your husband is on side with you and is backing you up. Good luck.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.