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Christmas Argument with the MIL

(15 Posts)
user1483535748 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:22:39

I live with my partner of 5 years and our 2 year old daughter, we are engaged but not married and on the whole have a really good relationship, this year has been pretty challenging with quite a few arguments and illness between us – we never argue about the big stuff just silly stupid stuff.

My mum lives round the corner from us and helps with childcare to cut down on costs as we both work full time so time off is precious and I like to get things arranged for when we are off so we can make the most of it.

My partners parents live about 250 miles away but a year ago bought a house close to us to move to but they have not been able to sell their house back home yet and move closer permanently. My partners father is ill with a degenerative disease and I was truly delighted they were moving closer to us to be closer to our daughter

I generally have a decent relationship with my inlaws but there has been quite a few times this year they have upset me. For example I had a special birthday this year and found out after that they arrived to their house near us on my birthday and made no effort at all to come and see me for 5 minutes over that weekend to wish me happy birthday, they were happy to give me £50 which I was very grateful for but I would have loved their company over such a special time.

I feel that a lot of the time they give lipservice but never follow up with actions, when I was pregnant his mum kept saying that she would call me every week, she called once during my pregnancy and the times I made the effort and called her I felt like I was intruding in their lives. They were in our local area on many occasions house hunting but never stayed with us or made the effort to come and see their granddaughter but kept saying to my partner how much they missed her. I could not understand why they would not want to visit their granddaughter for even half an hour when they obviously missed her so much.

On the day they got the keys to their new house, I collected the keys from the solicitor and they collected them from my house, they had not seen their grand daughter for around 3 months but did not even want to come inside to give her a cuddle despite again saying to my partner how much they missed her and could not wait to see her.

They also did not come to her birthday party this year which I could not understand, surely grandparents would want to be part of special memories like this?

They have turned up at very short notice to their house near us expecting to have our daughter at very short notice on days its planned my mum has her, they expect to have her as they don’t see her that often and expect us to drop everything so they can see her and my mum has been really upset by this a few times, earlier in the year I said no that they could not have her as mum had stuff planned with my daughter and they were not happy. I tried explaining that to my mum its like thanks, we have had a better offer so don’t need you.

They were offered to have our daughter on numerous occasions but there is always an excuse, either they were having to go back home to their other house despite not having any house viewings arranged, or his mum has the cold and does not want to give it to our daughter which is fair enough but she has cancelled babysitting 4 times in the past 8 months which means my mum either has to drop all plans she has made or one of us has to take the day off.

I have given up texting or messaging my partners mother as I never get a response and genuinely don’t know what I have done to upset her but I have had a feeling all year that I have done something. When they come down I usually have stuff planned so my partner will go down to visit them with our daughter but I know his mum was upset I did not go sometimes, my partner did not communicate that I had stuff planned, she just assumed I did not want to see her which was never the case at all.

They are a family that dont communicate and would rather suffer in silence than have a conversation with someone and when I say silence, I do mean huff.

My partner was working one day inbetween Christmas and New Year and we had decided to meet after he finished work and go for dinner, we live about 30 minutes away from the city centre and don’t go into town that often and if we do its for lunch and never dinner so I was really excited about going out for dinner and had booked a restaurant.

This was all arranged with his parents that they would have our daughter over night then a few days before Christmas they asked if they could change their sleepover with eve to the following day, I said no as they were doing a favour for us for a change and I feel that I have had to change a number of plans for them this year and was not going to change more plans to suit them when it had all been agreed.

Just so you know I had already cancelled long standing plans I had one day over the festive season as my partners sibling had decided to come up at the last minute which was great as our daughter does not get to see her uncle that often so I was more than happy to cancel these plans to he could see her but was annoyed at having to cancel other plans already made so I said no, we were still going out for dinner on the Wednesday night;

It was then arranged with my partner and my mum that she would have our daughter on the Wednesday and his parents would have her the Thursday night which I thought was only the fair thing to do so she had a sleepover at each set of grandparents houses.

Christmas eve was great, my mum stayed despite her only living round the corner but she is on her own (and 15 years older than my partners parents), and we had a lovely time, christmas day was great, his parents arrived around 12 noon, they missed seeing our daughter open all her presents but got to see her open their gifts which was the thing that was important to them, we had a really lovely day. I had worked very hard making the house look lovely and festive, cleaning it from top to bottom, buying gifts and wrapping them for everyone and buying and cooking all the food but there were no comments about how lovely the house looked and I had to ask them if they enjoyed their meal as no comments were forthcoming.

Anyway, on boxing day morning, I said to his mother is it ok on Thursday if you collect our daughter from my mums house as we are still going out on Wednesday as we had a restaurant booked and still wanted to go out Wednesday night, in all honesty I probably did say it a bit sharpish but certainly not nastily. The next thing I know my mother in law is crying her eyes out and storming out the livingroom shouting at her husband that they are leaving now, my partner was not happy with the way I spoke to his mum so I went upstairs (they were sleeping in our bedroom and we had slept in our daughters room in an inflatable mattress), to apologise.

She started shouting at me saying how I had made her feel small, why was it such a big deal to change the day we went out etc, I said it had been a miscommunication between her son and me and that I was really sorry, I had not meant to upset her, that I loved her to bits and the last thing I wanted was to argue with her, she kept arguing with me until my partner arrived in the room when her whole demeanour changed and she said she would accept my apology.

I did then shout at her saying that she was happy to shout at me and have a go until her son appeared and then it was a different story and she was playing the hard done to martyr. They then stormed out my house, my mum was trying to distract our daughter during this so she did not get upset about the shouting.

I genuinely never meant to sound rude towards her, I was trying to tell her a fact and never meant it to come across as short or rude.

Since then its been awful, probably the worst Christmas I have ever had and just feel really really sad. My partner said he wanted to leave me because of the way I spoke to his mother and that it was obvious I had a grudge against his all year which is really unfair as I have gone out my way this year to do things for them.

I have apologised in person, via text and also sent a card and flowers but still feel I am being punished, I feel that this will be dragged out for years and always thrown in my face in the future and my daughter will ultimately be the one who misses out.

If this was the other way around my partner would tell me I am over reacting and need to get over it, and that I had created an unnecessary scene.

I am not saying I am perfect, I do acknowledge that there has been some situations I will have over reacted to this year and a number of arguments between my partner and I will have been my fault. I grew up in a very small family and do agree with my partner that I do have to be more accommodating on occasions now I am part of a larger family but surely that means we have to be more organised and not leave everything to the last minute, my partner and his brother both left home about 20 years ago so its just been his mum and dad for that time and I feel they need to remember too that they have more people to accommodate now.

Please help me, I don’t know what to do to move this forward, I love my partner very much and don’t want us to split up, I cant bear the look of upset, hurt, and disappointment in his eyes and he is looking at me like he hates me.

LineyReborn Wed 04-Jan-17 13:36:02

Stop apologising. You're being played.

I hope your mother stood up for you?

How do you feel about your partner now? I'd be really, really disappointed and worried that this was the road to utter misery.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 04-Jan-17 14:12:20

Tell him to run off back to Mummy as he clearly isn't man enough to stand up for you.
You've done everything you possibly can.
You've apologies time and time again.
Sent cards, texts, flowers.
Time to let go now.
Let her come to you if she wants to.
If not then so what.
She's a big pain in the arse anyway.
Great way to get out of going anywhere near her again.
Get round your mums and have a nice cuppa, hugs and chat with her.

Allalonenow Wed 04-Jan-17 14:20:28

MIL is a manipulative bully, and your partner is following in her footsteps.
Heaven help you when they do move just a few streets away, they will try to rule your life with emotional blackmail.

Don't apologize to her any more, stop feeling guilty for doing your best.
You will have a lifetime of trying and failing to please her.

Aquamarine1029 Wed 04-Jan-17 16:58:55

Your MIL sounds very passive-aggressive and it seems to me she is purposely causing drama for drama's sake. My biggest concern is why your partner isn't backing YOU up. I think mommy dearest has her claws in him pretty deep.

flapjackfairy Wed 04-Jan-17 17:46:58

This has been posted twice. On the other one everyone calling op unreasonable selfish and hard work!!
Except me i agree they sound hard in laws to have!!
Go figure?

LineyReborn Wed 04-Jan-17 17:52:21

Was the other thread on AIBU? That board is Daily Mail Central.

tealady Wed 04-Jan-17 17:53:17

You said "My partners father is ill with a degenerative disease" and I wonder if this is significant at all? If they are relatively young and he has a degenerative illness are they under a lot of strain?

Ilovecaindingle Wed 04-Jan-17 17:58:24

Umbilical cord still attached then??
You are ten times the woman I am for putting up with so much shit!!
They are not committed grandparents at all. And when your dd is older she will realise how much he they let HER down by messing U about. Your man sounds like a wet lettuce to me. He has responsibilities to you and your child together not to be pandering to his very odd mother. Give her a wide birth and let your dp visit her with dd. Enjoy the break. You deserve it.

flapjackfairy Wed 04-Jan-17 18:16:35

No on this board!

LineyReborn Wed 04-Jan-17 18:23:04

Maybe the first response really does set the tone, then, flapjack.

flapjackfairy Wed 04-Jan-17 18:32:25

Maybe Liney.
No doubt a psychologist would have a field day ! Interesting!

Alpies Wed 04-Jan-17 19:03:34

You are being played. They r not interested in spending time with you as they don't consider u part of the family. They want to do their own thing, on their own time and terms with their GC and play mummy when it suits them.

Stop apologising. You have done nothing wrong. They r the ones who changed pre arranged things not u. Everyone knows new parents work on routines. They made an arrangement they should have kept to it. Wonder y they tried to change that anyway? What was their reason for trying to rearrange?

Stand your ground. I'm sorry FIL is poorly. But as someone said to me before everyone has to die someday and it's no reason to guilt trip you or bully u into situations.

You are going to have to try to work out a way to make ur point across to DP and not back down. U deserve respect. Ur time or plans are not less important than theirs. They have to fit in with ur routines and arrangements not the other way round.

Christmassnake Wed 04-Jan-17 19:08:57

She's succeeding in driving a wedge between you and hubby...

offside Wed 04-Jan-17 19:11:33

Sounds familiar, and I too was blamed for the breakdown of relationship between my DP and his parents. I decided to email him a list, not exhaustive, of all the things his mother had done to me from the very beginning of our relationship and how I had responded to these, mainly because I had never told my DP about any of it but it was obvious I was struggling to have a civil relationship with the MIL.

This soon changed his opinion and could see the situation for what it is. Could you maybe do something similar so he has a clearer picture. If you haven't told him about how your relationship has deteriorated with your MIL and the things she's done/said maybe he did view your tone with his mother unreasonable.

I do think some of the things you're taking too personally, for example your birthday. Some people just aren't in to celebrating birthdays, for anyone. My ILS aren't, didn't even make a fuss of my DP for his 30th, just sent him a card in the post as they'd gone on holiday.

But I also think when there's a breakdown of relationship, the small niggles do get magnified.

I hope you and your DP don't have any issues over this. He needs to be put in the picture about what has happened. When it's in black and white it's harder to ignore.

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