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(15 Posts)
sausagerollsss Thu 24-Sep-20 15:52:35

I don't even know where to start, I suppose I'm looking for those who have pain-in-the-bum-mother-in-law's to share stories so I don't feel so alone.

Don't get me wrong I don't hate her and she has some great qualities but I just don't know how to handle her, we are very different people.

Mother in law in her early 60's, single and has been for 20 odd years. My husband is one of 3 sons (he is 31, then 33, then 36). To say her sons are her whole world is an understatement.

We see her once a week, she's a 25 minute drive away from our house. We ALWAYS host. We haven't been invited to her house for dinner in over two years.

She turns up at our house uninvited, even if I've said we are busy. Example 8.45am on a Saturday morning, she just turns up "thought I would pop over anyway". She has let herself in to our house before.
She doesn't talk about anything but herself, I don't think she even knows what I do for a living even though I have been with her son for 8 years.

She talks in a baby voice, when she sees my husbands she tries to pick him up and kisses him all over his face.

When she messages me, she will say "I hope you are not drinking" or some sort of lecture (I'm a 29 year old woman and my choices are mine, good or bad and I don't even drink much!)

She will play on how lonely she is, however has a very active social life, a lot of friends, goes away for long weekends, holidays, get togethers and so forth but her sons feel guilty

She has kept everything throughout her life, example still has her sons cribs, mattresses, toys, if suggested they have to go, she will yell nooooooo and pretend to cry.

For my birthday she gave me a ripped second hand scarf that smelt (my birthday is in summer) - for her birthday she texts round the family a list of what she wants (an Ipad has been on the list). I don't ever ask for anything for my birthday, I'd rather have had nothing than being insulted by something found in a lost property bin.

Sister in law had lost a necklace, saw it round MIL's neck weeks later.

My own mother is sadly no longer alive (I lost her just before i met husband) but on mothers days it is all about her, wouldn't or hasn't ever asked if I'm ok. She's there with her "boys" (as she calls them) and us wives are sat round a table awkward not being acknowledged.

Right before my wedding day she said to me how sad she was that her Mum wasn't there (her own mum passed away at 89 years old a 3 years before) - which is understandable but mine wasn't either but kept going on and feeling sorry for herself.

She lives in a 5 bedroomed house on her own that she owns, complains she has no money, but won't downsize as I think she believes one day they will all move back.

I always wanted to have a mother in law who could be a friend, but I feel like mine resents me for "son stealing"

Husband has suggested she tries dating, she is absolutely not interested.


OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 24-Sep-20 16:08:57

First off I would change the locks; she has no right to let herself in as she has been doing. She treats your house as her own territory to piss over.

Did you inform your SIL that MIL was apparently wearing her lost necklace?.

Is your H really a mouse when it comes to his mother?. Where are your own boundaries at also with regards to her?. They are too low and you are being walked over also along with being treated with the utmost contempt (all you are worth to her really is a second hand smelly scarf; an item fit only for the bin). You state she has great qualities; what are they exactly?. Is that your feeble attempt to put a gloss on things?.

Would you have tolerated this from a friend?. No?. His mother actually is no different.

She sounds utterly appalling, dishonest and truly selfish beyond measure, wants her own way (hence the waterworks turned on at will) and childlike to say the very least. Its not your fault she is like this and neither you or her sons made her that way. She has never wanted them to actually have lives of their own and still wants to be overtly involved in your lives. Your H may well want to continue to have a relationship of sorts with his mother due also to his fear obligation and guilt but it does not follow that you meekly have to do so.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 24-Sep-20 16:14:45

If you have not invited her over then do not let her in!.

I would also suggest you cut right back the number of visits made to her home as well. You're not welcome there anyway and you are only tolerated at all because of her son. She has done a real number on her now adult sons and they may well ultimately not be able to break free of her until she dies. Given that she is only still in her early 60s she could live for many more years.

What happened to DHs dad here?. Is he still alive?.

altforvarmt Thu 24-Sep-20 16:18:28

You just need to make this not your problem.

She’s unbothered by you, so you should become unbothered by her.

Keep your doors locked (change the locks if she has a key). Don’t answer the door if she turns up outside of when it’s been agreed.

If your husband wants to host her every week, let him. You can go take a walk in the woods, go for coffee, meet friends (when not in lockdown) and only be there for her weekly visit as much as you can cope with (every 2/3/4 weeks or whatever suits).

Dealing with her is your husband’s job. Buying her gifts is your husband’s job. Stop giving her all this headspace.

If your husband begins to find it too much, he can establish his own boundaries (with your support).

Sunnydaysstillhere Thu 24-Sep-20 16:21:48

Have you got dc? This needs nipping before you do...

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Thu 24-Sep-20 16:24:16

^^^ What this PP said ^^^^

but just wanted to add, every single time she says something about herself respond by saying something similar about you - turn the conversation over to you every single time and watch the confusion on her face grin

sausagerollsss Thu 24-Sep-20 16:44:41

@AttilaTheMeerkat Husbands Dad is a bit of a waste of space TBH, he developed a drink problem and walked out of their lives (although part of me can understand why....) and my husband hasn't see him for 10+ years.

OP’s posts: |
ToastyCrumpet Thu 24-Sep-20 17:12:21

This woman behaves like this because other people pander to her. Get your OH on side. Change your locks. When she complains about money tell her it’s up to her to make changes. Give her back any crap gift she gives you. Ignore the put on tears.

Lollypop4 Thu 24-Sep-20 17:20:20

Agree with Altfor

Spied Thu 24-Sep-20 17:31:04

It's not unlikely that she's infiltrating your lives and looking for problems in order to whisk her DS away from you. Definitely don't give her an inch or sniff of disharmony.
My dp and I were going through a rough patch which she'd got wind of from an interfering sil and her own nosiness and she booked a van to move dp's stuff out of our house whilst I was at work.
Dp is her only DS and she thinks the sun shines out of his arse.
I often think she thinks I'm holding him against his will.

sausagerollsss Thu 24-Sep-20 17:44:35

@Spied I can totally relate. Whatever her "babies" do, doing something wrong isn't one of them. Many years ago DH and I got in to a argument, DH got wasted, insulted my family for no reason than just because he was drunk, but woke up full of regret. But he was drinking quite a lot around that time and becoming very argumentative (thank god that's long in the past). I had a very important work presentation for a promotion the day after so said I needed a bit of space to get my head down to prepare. So he went to see his Mum for the evening. The next day (day of presentation) I'm at work, an email comes through to my work address from MIL "I think you may need some help, I have a contact number for a counsellor". I figured DH couldn't admit he did wrong and made up a story, NOPE! He told her the truth but she couldn't help herself writing out an email.... sad thing is, he didn't pull her up on it. I got the promotion though at least even though I was so angry during it.

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 24-Sep-20 17:53:41

I would think that your husband and brothers have been conditioned by their mother to pander to her and to also be afraid of her on some level. That is why did not pull her upon it. Being raised by a mother like this has caused them all great emotional harm and they are all mired in their own fear, obligation and guilt. None of them are really able to stand up for their own selves as men let alone their wives. Your husband could likely benefit from having some therapy re his dysfunctional mother and his relationship with her. At the very least I would give him a copy of Toxic Parents written by Susan forward.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 24-Sep-20 17:55:13

Sorry to read that their father is no longer around, his leaving home has likely also affected your h and his brothers very deeply.

SandyY2K Thu 24-Sep-20 18:19:23

When someone behaves like she does, I have to conclude they have some personality/and or MH issues.

These are not the behaviours of a normal I'd find it hard to take her seriously tbh.
She talks in a baby voice, when she sees my husbands she tries to pick him up and kisses him all over his face

if suggested they have to go, she will yell nooooooo and pretend to cry.

Why does or did she even have your work email address?

With smartphones there's really no reason for this.

Form an alliance with your SIL, as a therapeutic way of dealing with her madness.

Sssloou Thu 24-Sep-20 22:38:46

I am really sorry that you lost your mother so young.

Your MIL is a nasty piece of work. Her words were deliberate and calculated to viscerally hurt you on your wedding day.

Know that.

No one deserves that.

She puts on this silly baby voice and turns on the water works as a manipulation and every one is scared of her erupting so tap dances around her.

Know that she is always judging, plotting, and scheming to undermine you.

She is emotionally inadequate and immature. You need to flex your muscles and slap her back into place quite firmly. Treat her like an errant toddler - call her out on her seemingly under the radar vicious little bullying snipes - each and every time with an assertive “What do you mean by that?” “Is that what you think?” “Wow. Did you mean to be so rude”.

Don’t be too polite or scared of her antics. She is a v unsophisticated caricature.

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