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MIL and trust(16 Posts)
So, I came out last year and split up with my partner of 14 years (male). I met someone new, fell completely in love and we are getting married this year. My kids love my new partner and I’m fond of my stepson. So far so good.
My new partner also ended her 14 year relationship last year too. She has a very large closely knit family. I have a small family and am not close with them. I had quite a troubled childhood and my father was very abusive so I’m NC. I have to censor much of my childhood as it’s quite shocking to others, although it was normal to me.
The problem I have is, to my face my MIL is very complimentary and welcoming. I have craved a ‘normal’ family my whole life. She says she is fond of me and so glad that my partner has me. Behind my back though it’s a different story. She says I am not trustworthy and wants to know about my family, she doesn’t believe things I say. I find it hard to trust people because of
my childhood. I find her confusing and I’m worried about what I say all of the time. I don’t know what to do for the best. I would really like to rarely see her, and now I don’t want her to know anything about me.
I want my partner to still be as close to her family as she is, I’m sad that her mum doesn’t feel sure about me and I’m worried that maybe the things she thinks are true. I don’t want to ruin my relationship with my partner and I don’t want to get in the way of her family loyalties.
This is making me so depressed. I felt like I finally had it all sorted but now I’m back to square one.
Really, I would like some advice on how to make her mum more at ease and also if anyone else has been in a situation like this? Thanks in advance.
How do you know she says this behind your back?
Who is telling you this?
Tell them you don't want to hear it.
When you are around her just be yourself.
If she doesn't it like then tough.
Just be true to yourself.
What others think about you is none of your business (so the saying goes, although that's easier to read than take note of)
Don't disclose anything too personal to her.
If she asks then just say you aren't comfortable answering that and change the subject.
My partner told me these things, but not in a malicious way. My self worth is very tied up in what other people think of me. I feel like my ‘self’ is not good enough. That quote is very true. Thank you for the advice. I feel like if she wants to know things about me she should really just ask me.
Do you think she considers that her daughter is moving a bit too quickly? And has some concerns there?
Her daughter ended a long relationship to a man last year. And is getting married to a woman this year.
It is a fair bit to get your head around. That's a lot of change in a short period of time. Give it time.
I think it is normal for her to ask her daughter about you because she doesn't know you very well yet. But if she continues in the vein of saying that you are untrustworthy then of course you don't have to have much to do with her. You can be polite but distant. You are not marrying her.
I think that is a very fair point. Although my partner was in a relationship with a woman, so that part isn’t new. I would probably also be worried if the roles were reversed. I think time is probably the answer.
I just find these sorts of things so difficult as my family interactions were always at extremes. I just want to make a good impression and do the right thing.
So as to avoid drip feeding I have been seriously ill recently and am having a risky operation soon. Maybe MIL just doesn’t want my partner to be hurt?
Maybe, but you don't have any control over that.
You have a lot on your plate at the moment, so try to put this out of your mind (easier said than done, I know).
Concentrate on yourself, that's all you can do.
If you wanted to post on the General Health section on Mumsnet, you might get support from people who have been through the same thing.
I hope your operation goes okay.
I find it bizarre that your partner is telling you negative things her mother has supposingly said about you. What did possibly she hope to happen by telling you such things? That you would be jumping for joy? That it would make you feel more secure? My parents hated my first husband, but i would never pass that on to him. If I was her mother I'd be pissed off with her for passing on what would obviously been a private conversation about her concerns. Very odd thing for your partner to be telling you! Does she also tell you what other people think of you??
I'd see it as being manipulative and an attempt to make me feel back about myself if it happened to me.
Thank you popchyk.
I did tell my partner I would rather not know these types of things. I think she told me in a venting kind of way, as she was annoyed with her mum for bringing it up. It’s the polar views that have me confused, on one hand very welcoming but when I’m not there very mistrustful.
My partner thinks I should talk to her, but like you Things, I think her mum probably doesn’t realise she is telling me about Jess conversations. I think it would be massively overstepping to confront her mum.
So rather than her speaking to her mother and finding out what the issues are and reassuring her own mother, she wants YOU to talk to her about a private conversation about you? Is she trying to drive a wedge between you and her mum? Gets even more bizarre.
When I see it written down like that, yes it does seem bizarre. In reality though, my partner is very loving and kind and absolutely wouldn’t want to hurt me. I won’t speak to her mum, I think that would be madness. I did ask her to let her mum know if she wanted to know anything about me she would be better to ask me. It all just seems like such hard work. I’m not used to having ‘family’ as such.
I’m supposed to be visiting next week and I don’t know if I can now I known her mum doesn’t trust me. What a mess.
If you do feel like you have to go, then keep it to a short visit (agreed with your partner beforehand) and practise some chit-chat for talking to her family. Talk about the weather, did you watch the royal wedding, oh what a lovely sideboard that is, where did you get it, we can't wait for the wedding, we're having fruit cake and sponge cake, that kind of thing.
If the MIL does get nosey, then just answer factually and politely. And then change the subject back to the safe topics.
And if you don't feel like going, then don't. You are very unwell and aren't up to it. The end.
Mildred, it all seems way too much way too soon but the other thing that strikes me is that you describe your children as loving your new partner and that you're 'fond' of your stepson.
There's something not right here and I suspect MIL can see it. She may even be a big part of it but either way this isn't really a great situation.
I just find these sorts of things so difficult as my family interactions were always at extremes
There's also this ^. Do you think you've picked another family to join where interactions are at extremes because it might be all you know?
All round it seems like you're facing a really tough time right now and I hope that your health improves soon.
Popchyk, thank you for your advice and for your sympathy. I shall keep it in mind for when I visit (if I do).
TeisanLap, I found your post very interesting. I’ve been having therapy for two years and we have discussed the idea of me joining another dysfunctional family. Also, that I don’t know how to ‘be’ as I have never had a good example.
It does seem a lot very soon, if I were a friend hearing about my situation, I would advise more caution than I have shown.
I am fond of my stepson, he lives with us half the time. He’s a lovely boy, but very different from my own children. I want the best for all three of them. I can honestly say my children are much happier since their father and I separated. They are different children and I am confident I made the right decision.
I love my partner very deeply and she has been so kind and supportive. I am sure being with her is the right thing.
What I don’t understand is being welcomed but at the same time disliked. I should really as my whole childhood was based around that.
I might be worrying more about this than is right because I am so frightened about having an operation next month and what the outcome will be.
Thanks for the advice and letting me vent!
do not share your childhood with a malicious gossip like your future MIL.. you also need to tell your DP that your private life is exactly that.. not gossip fodder for the next family gathering.... explain yourself to nobody
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