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How do we move on from this?

(15 Posts)
wellingtonshat Thu 23-Jul-20 22:32:25

Sorry in advance buts it's a MIL thread!
My DH has always had a strange relationship with his parents and in particular is mother. Should probably add they're European (live in Europe, speak no English etc).

She's very overbearing and emotional she writes him/us lots of poetry, long meaningful emails talking of her love of her children and grandchildren - my DH absolutely hates this but would never say anything for fear of upsetting her. I just stay out of it, it's not my thing and I find it very annoying but it's not my place to say.
There are been numerous run ins between her and DH our engagement party, wedding, having children all ending in her wanting us to do it one way, us not agreeing and her emotionally blackmailing DH until he agrees -'exhausting but easier just to stay out of it.

So not to drip feed and give you an idea of their strange relationship is when she came to visit two years ago, we were just about to have house renovations done so had taken a lot of pictures and photos down. Two weeks after she left she wrote a six page long letter about how there was a lack of photos of her and that side of the family and how upset it had made her - bear in mind he'd told her why it was looking bare and she never said anymore whilst she was here. DH way of dealing with this was to ignore her for six months instead of telling her he was upset with her.

Anyway to the matter at hand a few weeks ago DH was showing me some photo she'd sent and I happened to see the text about which translated to "I'm not saying wellingtonshat is a bad mum but I never see any photos of her with darling grandchild" er probably because I'm the one taking the bloody photos!
She already knows I feel incredibly guilty about going back to work full time and sending DS to nursery so seeing that really upset me.
DH shrugged it off and just said "it's my mother I'm not going to say anything otherwise it'll upset her"

I can let everything else go but this is really bothering me, tonight we've had yet another row about it. DH cancelled seeing them this summer over it but blamed coronavirus, he just won't say anything!
On one hand he's telling me he doesn't like his mother and on the next he's trying to book a trip for us all to see them in December.

Sorry this is so long but I'm at a complete loss of how to handle the situation. Do I tell her I'm upset with her? Do I keep pushing DH to be more honest with her?
Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated - constructive critisim welcome!

OP’s posts: |
EKGEMS Thu 23-Jul-20 22:42:22

You have to ask yourself "Do I want to continue in a relationship with a man who is already in an emotionally incestuous one with his mommy?" Your reply to him should've have been "Well,I'm your wife,you spineless twat!" Seriously he obviously has been trained his entire life to service mommy and her emotional needs or to avoid confronting her with his true feelings-either way makes for an immature grasp on boundaries and relationships. I'd suggest counseling but if you're happy enough in your relationship then I'd just roll my eyes and be grateful she lives so far away

Teacaketotty Thu 23-Jul-20 22:43:57

This is a tricky one OP - I totally get where your coming from and I wouldn’t like it either, my DH is far too outspoken sometimes so would have replied guns blazing but it sounds like your DH is a walk on eggshells type to keep the peace. Half of me thinks let it go, they live far away and you don’t have to interact with them so what’s the point? On the other hand it’s a rude thing to say and makes me think what else she’s said behind your back?!

I appreciate I haven’t helped at all with this post confused

TooOldForThis67 Thu 23-Jul-20 23:29:30

It's too late for either of them to change so you may just have to change how you deal with them. Tell your DH that you won't visit but he can go with the kids. Tell him that his Mother clearly doesn't like you and that's enough reason not to go. Stand firm.

Yawwwwwwwn Fri 24-Jul-20 00:57:33

"Oh darling DH, DO have a wonderful time in December when you take the kids to visit your mother. I'll miss you, but I'll be sure to take the opportunity to enjoy some long-needed me-time while you're away".

She sounds like hard work and your DH sounds like he's stuck potentially in the Fear Obligation Guilt cycle.

snitzelvoncrumb Fri 24-Jul-20 05:24:32

Yes, just let them go and visit without you. Let dh deal with it.

Aquamarine1029 Fri 24-Jul-20 05:31:45

Your husband clearly won't cut the apron strings. What a spineless twat. He can go visit mummy. You will stay home.

londonscalling Fri 24-Jul-20 05:49:27

This sounds very much like my husband's relationship with my in-laws. For years they've made comments that neither myself or my husband have been happy about. However, he won't say anything as he doesn't want to upset them. This made me really resentful. Anyway, after many many years of their crap, I decided I was not prepared to put up with it anymore. The next time we were due to go and see them I refused. My husband said I had to go as they were expecting me. I refused again. My husband and I had a huge argument and I literally stood my ground and said he couldn't force me to get in the car. I didn't go and he went without me. I've now not seen them for about seven years. It's been great. He still sees them but even now agrees that their comments are inappropriate! Best decision I made!!! (I would just add that they've fallen out with all their family members)!

SuePerb Fri 24-Jul-20 07:00:43

I was the same as PP, my MIL used to say really horrible things about me, my H refused to say anything, and in the end I just went NC with her. My H could take the children as much as he wanted, he could talk to her as much as he wanted, she even visited from time to time (not that often because he didn't actually like her much) - I stayed out of it completely. Life got much easier!

Your DH won't ever say anything to her, you need to accept that - all you can change is your own behaviour. Just don't see her, stop comms with her - leave her to your DH.

wellingtonshat Fri 24-Jul-20 08:19:02

Thanks everyone, nice to hear some solidarity from others with nightmare MILs.
I'd love to go no contact but face to face she's actually really nice, no doubt she says all sorts behind my back. The only problem is our family holiday is usually going to see them for two weeks so full no contact might not work.

Having said all that I woke up this morning to DH having it out with her. He said he was upset about what she said and she needs to back off 🤷‍♀️
I've no doubt it won't solve it but for now DH has got my back.

I think you're right that DH can visit in December with DS, might book myself a spa weekend instead.

OP’s posts: |
hellsbellsmelons Fri 24-Jul-20 08:58:01

She already knows I feel incredibly guilty about going back to work full time and sending DS to nursery so seeing that really upset me
You need to tackle this.
Why do you feel guilty?
Do you think your DH feels guilty going to work?
You are allowed to work and have DC.
This bit should not bother you because you made the right decision for your family and she can get to fuck about that.
Stop with the guilt!

Don't go in December.
He can take the DC and you can have a well deserved break!

Fanthorpe Fri 24-Jul-20 09:12:34

It’s very hard for people with emotionally manipulative parents to disengage, they’ve been trained from an early age through guilt to put the parents needs first. Don’t read any letters or emails she sends, there’s nothing useful in them, if your husband wants to that’s up to him. Engaging with her on her terms doesn’t have to be the default.
Find your own boundaries for dealing with her, encourage your DH to do the same. The Out of The Fog website is helpful for clarifying things when you’re feeling besieged by nonsense, it describes the Fear, Obligation and Guilt we deal with in difficult relationships.
Good luck.

wellingtonshat Fri 24-Jul-20 10:01:21

hellsbellsmelons

*She already knows I feel incredibly guilty about going back to work full time and sending DS to nursery so seeing that really upset me*
You need to tackle this.
Why do you feel guilty?
Do you think your DH feels guilty going to work?
You are allowed to work and have DC.
This bit should not bother you because you made the right decision for your family and she can get to fuck about that.
Stop with the guilt!

Don't go in December.
He can take the DC and you can have a well deserved break!


I've dealt with it in terms of "everyone can piss right off, I'm doing what's best for us" but doesn't stop the guilty feeling when I drop DS off every morning.
The irony is she worked full time and sent DH and his brother off to his grandparents.

Yup, you're right, stop with the guilt and let DH and DS go it alone in December 😀 thank you!

OP’s posts: |
wellingtonshat Fri 24-Jul-20 10:02:11

Fanthorpe

It’s very hard for people with emotionally manipulative parents to disengage, they’ve been trained from an early age through guilt to put the parents needs first. Don’t read any letters or emails she sends, there’s nothing useful in them, if your husband wants to that’s up to him. Engaging with her on her terms doesn’t have to be the default.
Find your own boundaries for dealing with her, encourage your DH to do the same. The Out of The Fog website is helpful for clarifying things when you’re feeling besieged by nonsense, it describes the Fear, Obligation and Guilt we deal with in difficult relationships.
Good luck.


Thank you, I'll check the website out.

I just find it very hard to understand how parents can be like that. If nothing else it's teaching me how not to be with DS

OP’s posts: |
Timekeeper1 Fri 24-Jul-20 11:58:42

The only problem is our family holiday is usually going to see them for two weeks so full no contact might not work.

So then make your holiday somewhere else. Make a new tradition. Or go camping or touring or a trip to Paris or something instead. There is no rule that says your holiday must be spent with your inlaws. Your holiday is what you choose to make it.

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