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My mother doesn't seem to like my DH.

(47 Posts)
TheseLittleEarthquakes Sun 12-Jun-16 17:29:09

Tbf I don't think she likes me that much either. There's a lot of history here so I'll try to keep it concise.

DH is a wonderful man. We've been together 9 years and he is Dad to my young teens from previous relationships (he has PR for them) and we have a four year old. He works full time in a professional role on a highish wage. I don't work due to ill health. He starts and finishes early so he can do the afternoon school run. We have never argued and are very loving towards each other.

My mother is constantly coming out with 'digs' about him. She has sneered in the past about him working 'part time' (comparing him to my BILs). The other day she asked how much he earned and I told her a ballpark figure and she made a face and said it was obscene. When I mentioned he was going for a promotion she scoffed and said it was very unlike him. She seems to have him pegged as lazy and a bit ineffectual. Even when he does overtime she feigns surprise that he's bothering as he's so 'lazy'.

He does at least 50% of the housework and childcare. But my mother is constantly comparing him (us, actually) to my youngest sister and her DH. They have two under three and she works pt, he works in a manual low paid job. They go on holiday about four times a year and my mother always says to me, oh they deserve their holidays, they both work so hard. We haven't had a holiday for two years.

She has said before that DH doesn't have much 'gumption', whatever that means. We always seem to come up short against my sister and her DH.

She has lent substantial amounts of money to both my sisters to buy property. My youngest sister hasn't paid the first loan back and has now been given a further loan to move house. When we were looking to move I tentatively broached the idea of a loan and got snapped at that 'the bank of mum and dad is closed'. We've never borrowed money from them. When I asked her a few weeks ago why this was she just said I didn't need their help, I have DH. A loan would have meant a much better mortgage deal for us, but whatever, we did it on our own.

She never seems to want to celebrate our successes. She seems to look down on DH but I can't understand why. He is friendly, had a great sense of humour, would do anything for anybody.

The awful thing is that without me telling him anything about the digs she makes, DH has now noticed that she doesn't seem to like him very much. We have a family event to go to soon and he really doesn't want to go, but will to support me.

What, if anything, can we do about this? It's breaking my heart.

OurBlanche Sun 12-Jun-16 17:32:20

"Mum... you seem to resent the fact that, unlike X and Y, I don't rely on you for money. Fuck off with your nasty comments. Bye!"

Then leave her to get on with it... she brings you no joy, does she?

ElspethFlashman Sun 12-Jun-16 17:33:25

I'd tell him not to bother going to the event tbh.

And then I'd decide not to go either!

Hunstanton Sun 12-Jun-16 17:35:33

It seems to me that if you want to continue having a relationship with your mother, then you'll need to raise this with her to understand where all this is coming from and why.
He sounds like a lovely husband and father. Does she know something about him that you don't? Why on earth does she treat him like this? Is she known for being quite sharp tongued generally?

TheseLittleEarthquakes Sun 12-Jun-16 17:38:16

She is quite sharp tongued generally yes. She's one of those people who, if challenged, will say 'I just say it like it is'.

Theres no way she knows something i don't, she can't hold her water and would be sure to tell me. It's highly unlikely anyway, DH is the most moral and straight person I know.

Yoksha Sun 12-Jun-16 17:39:55

What OurBlanche said. flowers for you OP

Paniniswapx3 Sun 12-Jun-16 17:43:02

Agree with OurBlanche, she's said it perfectly!

TheseLittleEarthquakes Sun 12-Jun-16 17:44:17

I have reduced contact massively in the last few months, outside of a few situations that are unavoidable.

I think we just need to detach, detach, detach. I'm railing at the injustice of it though.

RiceCrispieTreats Sun 12-Jun-16 17:44:32

What, if anything, can we do about this? It's breaking my heart.

You need to detach emotionally, so that her actions no longer break your heart.

She won't change. So the only way to stop her behaviour hurting you, is to
1) See her less
2) Stop caring so much.

She will not give you the love and approval you seek. In fact, she derives pleasure from putting you down. She will not treat you the way she treats your sisters. In fact, she derives satisfaction from placing you bottom of the heap.

It's heartbreaking indeed, but this is who she is.

So, determine how often you want to see her, how often you want to speak to her on the phone, how much of your private life you wish to share with her knowing that she will do her best to piss all over it, and stick to that.

Consider going to therapy, or at least reading a lot of good books and websites, so that you can see that you are not alone, and start to heal and to need her less. The "Stately Homes" thread in Relationships has a great list of resources in its opening post.

Good luck!

Zarah123 Sun 12-Jun-16 17:49:15

She sounds jealous. She doesn't need to be jealous of your sister because her DH is in a 'low paid manual job'. You have married a man who earns (in her eyes) an 'obscene' amount of money.

You do need to tell her each and every time that her behaviour and comments about your DH are unacceptable. If she thinks you will tolerate them, the comments will get worse.

Is her money just hers or is it your dad's too? It's unfair that she treats her DC differently but you're doing everything yourself, and don't have to thank her for any of it.

mummyto2monkeys Sun 12-Jun-16 17:49:23

I would warm my mother that if shedding st o p running me and my husband down, I would have nothing more to do with her. Your Mother sounds like a narcissist, you sound like the scapegoat. I honestly would be incredibly hurt that you have allowed your Mother to run him down, if I was your husband. If another. Woman posted that her MIL was talking about her like this, she would be told that she had a dh problem.
Personally I would just go no contact, nothing that you or your husband do will ever be good enough. Get rid of this emotionally abusive, bitter woman, before her vitriol contaminates your marriage and children. You all deserve better.

mummyto2monkeys Sun 12-Jun-16 17:51:16

Warn not warm

mummyto2monkeys Sun 12-Jun-16 17:54:45

gah auto correct . First sentence should read

I would warn my Mother that if she didn't stop running me and my husband down.

HangingRockPicnic Sun 12-Jun-16 17:56:55

'I just say it like it is'. = I'm bloody rude.

FrancisdeSales Sun 12-Jun-16 18:06:40

She gets emotional power from undermining you. I think detaching is the way to go, also if you see her at all always have other people around if that seems to improve her behaviour. Stand up for your DH and either go NC or very LC. If she is a true narcissist she will be very jealous as she will believe she deserves what you have. Your dad is probably long suffering and/or an enabler of her behaviour.

The best way to deal with this is to enjoy your husband and family and have a full and happy life.

Thank your lucky stars you didn't borrow money as it would've come at an extremely high cost. You are both independent of her control and she can't stand it.

Hissy Sun 12-Jun-16 19:01:38

There was a poster who was called BadtoWorse (now known as GoodtoBetter)

She had this very scenario. It was destroying her and her h relationship. The op Challenged her mother on it and the DM resisted.

This is not going to be pretty, but you absolutely have to shut this down, regardless of what happens.

You have to be prepared to go nc. This woman is violently jealous of you and wil stop at nothing to bring you down. mummyto2monkeys hit the nail on the head wrt the scapegoat dynamic.

Put all your energy into your relationship with your h and your kids. Distance yourself from your m. Don't give her any ammunition, be grey stone boring if need be.

If she says anything about your h, be clear that you won't have a word said against him, and if she insists you'll leave. Do it Again and you won't be in contact. This is a war she won't win, so best she gives it up now.

TheseLittleEarthquakes Sun 12-Jun-16 19:07:07

I think the jealousy thing may be true, actually. She is equally snippy towards my middle sister who is a single parent earning £££ in a very senior job. With her the main criticism is she doesn't think of her children.

We've both decided that because our youngest sister is following the same path Mum did, young children close together, little money (although I boggle at that as they have plenty to go on holiday and the aforementioned five figure loans) and working evenings, that she is in favour. These are the things mum praises her for.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 12-Jun-16 19:13:03

We have a similar situation with my dh's mum its not a nice position for your Dh to be in I can testify to that- I'm glad you are a supportive partner op. I've personally had go detach it hurts too much to be constantly criticised for everything whereas my sil cannot do anything wrong ever. I would love my Dh to stand up to his dm more but he isn't there yet- I think you are ready to challenge your dm though.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-Jun-16 19:22:22


Would not attend this forthcoming family event under any circumstances. Self preservation is needed here.

You may want to read "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward if you have not already done so. Also do look at and post on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages.

People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles; your sisters are more favoured (the golden children) though theirs is a role also not without price. Toxic stuff like this really does go down the generations.

You are the scapegoat for all her inherent ills and as a result all your family now get not too dissimilar treatment to what you got in childhood. Your DH has certainly copped her barbs. She is not and will never be the nice mother you perhaps still so want her to be. She will never give you the approval you perhaps still seek from her.

It is not your fault she is like this, you did not make her that way. Her own family of origin did that.

You need to be prepared to go no contact with your mother. She is really not worthy of the term and nor should she now be seeing any of your family. Bad behaviour cannot be rewarded at all by further contact.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 12-Jun-16 19:27:46

Definitely read Toxic Parents.

Also Google "golden child" and "scapegoat".

You give her far too much information. No way should you be disclosing personal info like salary to someone who only uses such information to knock you down.

Ineedmorelemonpledge Sun 12-Jun-16 19:29:04

Can I just say your DH sounds bloody wonderful Op?

My mother was equally judgey...divorced people were used goods (until she got divorced) and she stopped speaking to me because I went out with the son of a single mother with kids from 2 different men and who lived in a council house.

We lived in a council house for 6 years and the estate he lived on housed my Grandad and auntie for a good few years also!

But just like the thread I see on here - you can't argue with Batshit crazy.

So I gave up. Keep contact a minimum and don't engage in any conversation on your private life. You just can't win.

Give your DH a huge hug. smilewine

Sassypants82 Sun 12-Jun-16 19:32:30

Sounds exactly like your mum thinks you've 'gone above your station'. Your DH is hands on, supportive, has a great work life balance & you have an amazing relationship. She's quite simply jealous of you both and your lifestyle. Same goes for your middle sister. She approves of your youngest sister's lifestyle as it mirrors her own choices. Leave Ger to her bitterness I say & stop bothering with her. If she can't treat your DH with respect, good luck to her.

TheseLittleEarthquakes Sun 12-Jun-16 19:33:20

Thank you. He really is a gem.

I've read toxic parents. In fact I think it's time I read it again. I'm in therapy (not for this but for MH issues and it all ties in) and a lot of the strategies have been really helpful. It just really upset me that DH has noticed her attitude, I thought her bile was all aimed at me but he's picked up on it too.

annielouisa Sun 12-Jun-16 19:52:01

Build your life with your DH and put yourself and him first. He is your Rock and your DM is a bitter resentful woman.

A parent who cannot celebrate their DCs difference and belittles some and praises others are a poor example of parenting. This woman probably didn't have the life she wanted and now she is punishing the DC who she perceives are achieving more.

happypoobum Sun 12-Jun-16 20:21:39

I think you need to show DH that you support him and are willing to put him first. I wouldn;t force him to go to this event. To be honest I probably wouldn't go myself.

Your DM sounds toxic - I have one of my own so I recognise the species!

Take some time to reflect and read up on NPD and toxic parents.

Nice to hear someone who has a nice DH for a change!!

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