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Toxic MIL - first meeting since she tried to destroy our relationship

(31 Posts)
wowzers Tue 15-Jul-08 21:48:42

I haven't seen my MIL for 18 months (since she 'accidentally' left a voicemail on my mobile calling me a c*nt). I'll be seeing her this weekend and need some advice on how to handle it.

Last week, at the instigation of DH she apologised for this & asked to see DC on her next visit to the UK. I accepted apology and said OK.

The thing is, she'll be staying with BIL who lives nearby and both MIL & BIL are pushing for her to spend a couple of days with us, 'for convenience' and to spend maximum time with DC.

I am aware that the new truce is very fragile so don't want to be obstructive but
a) don't want her in my house any longer than necessary and
b) don't want to risk being alone with her in case of a repeat of last time: This all started because she told DH I'd verbally attacked her when he was out of the room and he believes her to this day (with the attendant marital problems that's led to).

So how do I keep her at arm's length?
What do I do when she starts the inevitable wind-ups, criticism of my parenting style, criticism of every other living being? Worse is what she'll say to DC - previous statement to DD (thankfully too young to understand) 'Don't cry because I won't love you if you cry'

Telling MIL to apologise is the first time DH has even remotely stood up to her, so I want to encourage that, but can't rely on him to back me up again. Our relationship is still shaky because I feel that he puts her first, so I want to avoid dramas.

OverMyDeadBody Tue 15-Jul-08 21:53:48

Could you have the option of going out when she comes so you don't actually have to see her but DH and DCs can?

OverMyDeadBody Tue 15-Jul-08 21:54:27

and am shock at what she said to your dd!

RusselBrussel Tue 15-Jul-08 21:55:37

I second OMDB - under no circumstances be alone with her. Get dh to deal with her, you only be there when he is too, so she cannot falsely accuse you.
May be harsh, but I would not trust her.

Kimi Tue 15-Jul-08 21:56:10

Could you go visit a friend for the time she is at yours?

ScaryHairy Tue 15-Jul-08 21:56:33

I think you've answered your own question.
She undermines you in your own house and so should not come and stay IMO. You should speak to your husband and he should make arrangements for her to stay elsewhere (whether with other rellies or in a hotel).

I would then make lots of plans (or work longer hours) and make your DH clear his diary. He can entertain his mother as she visits your children. At the end of the day, she is coming to visit her children and grandchildren; she is probably not bothered whether she sees you.

Since she has apologised, I wouldn't refer to her past behaviour at all but if she brings it up I would just say something to her (in front of my DH) like "I'm sure you weren't feeling youself when you left that message, and I am sure you didn't mean it and would never normally say anything so nasty" and leave it at that.

ravenAK Tue 15-Jul-08 22:00:20

& I would probably say it's too soon after the 'cunt' comment to have her actually staying in your house.

If BIL is nearby, she can stay with him throughout visit.

She'd be very much 'on probation' with me tbh. I'd also probably quietly make it clear to dh that should there be any unpleasantness, I'd be off to MY mum's, with the dc, until MIL had left.

wowzers Tue 15-Jul-08 22:11:32

I'd like nothing more than to avoid her entirely, but that's not helping the truce (important to DH). Plus she'll be here for hours at least & I'm BF new DS so would still have to be around for at least part of her visits so she can see him. She's here for a week and I suspect 'surprise' visits during the weekdays (when DH at work. Aaargh!) otherwise due to bed-times she'll only see DC on the first weekend.

Kimi Tue 15-Jul-08 22:13:29

Ok this could be the glass of wine talking but............

Be nice be so so nice, don't be left alone with her....................and put Exlax in the old cows food

MmeLindt Tue 15-Jul-08 22:19:19

Can you arrange a rota of friends/family/neighbours/miscellaneous strangers to be present at all times so that you don't have to be alone with her?

Be very pleasant, don't let her provoke you. That is what she is hoping you will do so that she can go running to DH and complain about you.

shock at her comment to your DD

RusselBrussel Tue 15-Jul-08 22:19:54

Okay, if avoiding is not the thing to do (and you may be right) then have her over for dinner. And then send her back to bils'. Truce will only last if you take small steps. So dinner it is, and then she goes to bil. And then perhaps an afternoon with the children later in the week.
But I really really think it is too soon for her to stay, I really do.

beanieb Tue 15-Jul-08 22:21:39

I agree with Scaryhairy - completely.

Kimi Tue 15-Jul-08 22:29:34

EX-LAX I tell you!!!! grin

wowzers Tue 15-Jul-08 22:34:34

Thank you wise women. I'll stick to my guns about the staying in my house (feels unnecessarily dangerous, a bit like inviting a witch across my threshold). To achieve this I may need to be honest to BIL & MIL about why. (i.e. say it's a bit soon and leave it at that). I'll also keep a 'witness' for all visits. But I KNOW she'll come out with some mad comments, and threatening to walk out won't prevent them.

Uriel Tue 15-Jul-08 22:36:56

If she's that bad, can't you video her to show dh?

Kimi Tue 15-Jul-08 22:38:20

Ask the local priest to tea had have her exocised [sp]

wowzers Tue 15-Jul-08 23:37:28

Good idea! Funnily enough she can't make DS's christening. Either because a) she'd burn up on entry into the church or b) she spent the whole of DD's christening telling everyone how much she hated SIL (who'll be at DS's christening). Memorably saying to DH's (English) friend "SIL's a bitch and it can't be only because she's English"

Will go for exorcism and ex-lax!

HansieMom Tue 15-Jul-08 23:50:12

Is the SIL who she has also bad mouthed the wife to your BIL? Just wondering!

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 16-Jul-08 07:09:03

Would agree with the counsel given thus far.

You both need to put on a united front with regards to this women and your husband must continue to stand up to his Mother. His primary loyalty should be to you, his wife.

Would also suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward.

aGalChangedHerName Wed 16-Jul-08 07:16:09

Can you get your mum/sister,best friend to come and stay for the week. Give you constant support/witnesses?

I wouldn't risk being alone with her,esp when you have a new baby to contend with too.

Poor you xx

BouncingTurtle Wed 16-Jul-08 07:23:49

OMG shock
I'll never say a bad word about my MIL again (she is quite lovely but has her scatty moments grin)

I would not allow this woman in your house, yes I know she is you DH's mum and your dc's gc but she sounds so very poisonous - I think she really needs to prove that she really regrets her actions and her words before she can set foot over your threshhold.
I fear that is she is left alone with you she'll once again go running to your DH with more tales of how you were nasty to her. And since he believed her the last time, I guess he will again sad especially as, in his view, you may have good cause to. Even though you know you won't!

ally90 Wed 16-Jul-08 09:13:04

a) Dh needs to back you up completely (I understand that is not happening)
Plan B) you take control. Yes there is a 'truce' however you need to be respected by them both due to you being mother of children/grandchildren! So, groundrules need to be set down.

1) Visits only when dh is there (tough if she only sees youngest once...her behaviour caused this problem in the first place!!)
2) She DOES NOT STAY...are they mental???? Absolutely NOT. Agree with threat to pack bags and stay with your mum.
3) No surprise visits. If there are, say it is not a convenient time, warn beforehand if this happens she will not be invited in as you do not wish any 'misunderstandings' to occur again.

If you give in to this woman she will try it on even more next time. In fact I think you are being very accomadating allowing her to see you! Is this her last and only chance? Or will you be expected to 'put up' with such behaviour again to keep her happy?

rofl at her burning up if she enters church!!

missblythe Wed 16-Jul-08 09:16:40

Can your DH take the week, or at least some time, off work?

She sounds too poisonous to be allowed in your house at all without him as a buffer.

cornsilk Wed 16-Jul-08 09:19:53

Having her stay at your house is a really bad idea. BIL needs to butt out.

loopylou6 Wed 16-Jul-08 09:41:42

i have a toxic bitch MIL, i absolutely refuse to see her, she has NEVER and will NEVER step foot over my doorstep, we do not allow her to see our DC except on special occaisions when DH will take them to her house for an hour. she does not even have our home number or our address. i think you should tell your DH that the witch stays at BIL's and he can take your DC to see her there.

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