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.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Need advice - MIL very unhappy(40 Posts)
First time poster and genuinely interested to hear people’s opinions, in a nutshell DH & I have put our house on the market.
MIL is very unhappy about our decision to move as we shall be moving 3hrs or so away.
MIL is elderly but v.fit and has lots of family around her. We have tried to speak to her & reassure her that we will still visit, she can stay with us etc, but nothing that we can say seems to help. She says she doesn’t want us to move, that she can’t sleep, having migraines etc and generally trying to make us feel guilty.
The reason we want to move is too downsize, property is cheaper where we intend to move too, also there will be more opportunities for our grown up DS’ as we intend to move to the outskirts of a big city.
We don’t want to upset MIL, we all love her dearly, but feel the move will be better for our family, as I have a progressive disability we want to get settled in a bungalow. DH, I & DS’s are keen to move.
But the opposition from MIL is really getting me down. What would you do? Are we being selfish? I don’t think we are but beginning to doubt myself, if that makes any sense.
I refused to move away from my ageing parents and in laws as I felt a 3/4 hour drive was too far given that they would likely need me more as they got older and I would want to be there for them. It turned out to be fortuitous as my MIL became very ill.
We were in the position of moving away being a choice not a necessity though.
Do what’s right for your family. Plenty of people live a distance away from family, many further away than you’re talking.
How often do you see her, and how close are you currently? Did she give significant help when raising your children, is she recently widowed or had any other recent shocks?
Otherwise, I can understand if she's a little disappointed - but her reaction seems a tad disproportionate! Especially given your changing circumstances, is she in a bit of denial about how this will likely affect you?
How is your dh handling this currently?
Discuss her visit to see you eg 3 months after you move. She might be happier if it genuinely means nice visits to yours.
She is being selfish if there are other family around.
I think she’s being selfish. She’s got a social network. You have to do what is best for you, given your disability.
Do it. Your family comes first.
We considered moving a few years ago & MIL launched into the guilt and negativity about where we wanted to move immediately, not even asking why. I found it incredibly selfish. We would have gone regardless but (unfortunately) DH got an excellent opportunity here.
I wish we had gone anyway.
Is there a reason you couldn't downsize etc less than 3 hours away?
I get her perspective but you aren't wrong to prioritise your children. Being 3 hours away does change the dynamics of a relationship even with visits.
Why cant she move too if being close you means thst much?
It sounds like you have lived nearby for a good amount of time and are moving for valid health and lifestyle reasons.
I would press on with "sorry you feel that way" "perhaps you could look at moving too" and then smile and ignore
It sounds like manipulation she has choices too but she doesnt want to make them, she just wants to maintain the status quo.
I live 5 hours away from my aging parents. One of them became terminally ill and I was still able to make medical appointments and take time for end of life care to support them both (confident driver and flexible work though). I was actually able to offer more support than my siblings who live locally.
Now the other one is alone but still well and I visit regularly.
I assume it's your DH that would take on caring duties with his other siblings as she ages? Or arranging care/nursing support. In which case it's really up to him to speak to her as he'll be the one committing to driving back and forth and supporting her.
As long as you have hood communication with her local support network it'll be fine.
Three hours away is a long way as she gets older. It seems a drastic move unless it’s for work as surely there are properties within your price range a bit closer.
If you are a young family I would say go for it if it genuinely would improve your lifestyle but if you are middle aged and she is quite elderly I would say reconsider.
I think you have to consider your immediate family first - downsizing, moving to a bungalow and going to an area for work for DS are all really sensible reasons. My parents were very unhappy when I moved away for work but then they visited and changed their minds saying they could see how much better the decision had made our lives. I think she is probably just resistant to the change. You've obviously thought it through, have great reasons for moving, reassure her - but be firm and go through with it. Good luck with the move!
Move. You'll end up resenting her if you dont
By the time your MIL is no longer with you, I'm guessing your disability could have progressed or your son could be past the age where the move would be beneficial. Harsh as it may seem, MIL has had her life and her choices. She can't expect to now also dictate yours. It's a pity that she is not emotionally mature enough to accept your choice and support it. She should be happy that you are making a move that is good for your family. That's not to say that she can't have concerns or voice them, but to guilt trip you into not going is unfair and wrong.
I would be tempted to have one crack at a conversation with her (DH should be doing this), explaining how important this move is and how beneficial it will be for her son and her grandson. Explain how you will still see her every X weeks or months, or how you plan to keep in touch. Tell her about the opportunities. Tell her that it would really mean a lot if she could be happy for you all. And then, if she continues to bring it up you just say "MIL we've explained why we are making this move. Let's not keep having the same argument".
I think you need to be quite blunt, explain you need to move for financial reasons, better opportunities for your grown up children etc ... people are often quite 'reserved' about talking factually about money.
I was fortunate, my elderly parents made the decision to move (4 hours distance) to be near us in their 80s, they made the sensible decision to relocate to be closer to us for support.
Thank you so much for responding.
Our decision to move also has a financial element to it, therefore we can’t downsize locally.
MIL has been actively involved with all the grandchildren.
Generally we see MIL, at least every month sometimes more.
I don’t have any parents and only a few family remaining who don’t live locally.
DH’ thinks we should move due to my disability & the lack of opportunities for DS’ in our small town.
I can understand her upset. We never had much involvement with my (poisonous) MIL pre move, so moving an hour and a half away was never an issue. Even now with grandchildren she's not bothered. But your MIL has had lots of involvement with her grandkids. She now won't see them often at all. What are you both going to do about any care she may need in what, several decades (?) time? Or will it be impossible to provide any care due to your progressive disability? Are there truly no closer towns or cities for more opportunities for your ds? Does it have to be so far away?
I think you need to do what's best for you.
Your health and your D's must come first.
She'll just have to deal with it.
Thank you all, good advice and has helped clarify my thoughts.
Does she always guilt trip you like this?
Stop explaining and discussing. Stop telling her why. Just say you’re sorry she’s upset, this is what’s happening and she will get used to it in time.
Three hours isn’t far and your reasons are all valid.
You should not alter your own plans just to take her needs into account. However, you also don’t need to alter your plans for your grown children. Could they not move away anyway?
If it helped, I’m Aussie and moved to The Netherlands with my DH and 3 kids when they were 2, 2 & 4. During the 9 years we were there my dad was diagnosed with MND and ended up dying and then my mum with COPD & lung cancer. She died a month after we moved back to Aus. I was able to fly back and forth for big medical things, juggle Skype medical conferences with doctors, etc. It may even improve your relationship.
People move for all sorts of reasons
Your MIL can visit & if she likes the area, she can also move closer
You can still communicate regularly
She can still see you once a month. I don't see the problem unless transport between your two locations is particularly poor.
And presumably she could stay over too - make a weekend of it.
Please login first.