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MIL - what they say - What they actually mean

(24 Posts)
bobbybob Sun 05-Jun-05 07:30:28

Dh has just had operation:
What she says:
"If there is anything you would like me to do, just let me know."
What she means:
"I want to play with my grandson, if you offer me any activity except this I will have a church activity to get to"

She invited herself, FIL and Aunty to lunch at our place:
What she says:
"Just let me know if I can bring anything"
What she means:
"I have a loaf of bread in the freezer that I bought for half price and if you suggest anything except bread I will bring bread anyway"

Anyone else's MIL got this annoying habit?

ladymuck Sun 05-Jun-05 07:51:07

MY MIL came to stay, and offered to help out in the kitchen (which frankly is a pain as I have to take her through the simplest of tasks step by step, whilst she interogates on every aspect of my family's diet and cooking). I explained that it would be more useful if she could take my boys out into the garden for 15 minutes or so. She went back to the sofa and carried on reading her paper....

ladymuck Sun 05-Jun-05 07:52:28

And her other trick is waiting until I'm down to the last 2 items of my laundry basket and then she offers to do my ironing...

bobbybob Sun 05-Jun-05 08:23:35

Oh good, it's not just me.

bobbybob Sun 05-Jun-05 10:54:44

Thought of another one:

What she says:
"would you like to bring ds to lunch?"
What she means:
"can you pick up some bread, cheese and milk on your way round."

potty1 Sun 05-Jun-05 11:00:12

Sadly my MIL says exactly what she thinks - doesn't have a tactful bone in her body.

irishbird Sun 05-Jun-05 11:09:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jampots Sun 05-Jun-05 11:22:43

What she actually said (to dh I might add)

"What's in your will because your Will has an impact on our Spanish Will."

The way unquestioning dh interpreted this:

Spanish law dictates that the contents of the beneficiaries Will is relevant.

What she meant:

If you've left everything to your wife, you're not getting our money.

Stilltrue Sun 05-Jun-05 11:30:18

"is it alright..?"
-to dress him in that/give him that/let him do that
ie. " I don't think it's alright for you to dress him in that/give him that/etc etc.
She drives me MAD

whymummy Sun 05-Jun-05 11:36:42

"i don't know how my daughter does it but she has 3 jobs and her house is always impecable"
what she means
" clean your house and get yourself a job and stop sponging of my son,you lazy moo"

Catsmother Sun 05-Jun-05 11:39:00

Irish .... that's awful, just plain meanness. Why on earth are you paying this woman's mortgage for her ? (sorry if that's too nosey)

My ex MIL (thank god) was similarly inclined. She also went on several - and often prolonged (8 weeks in South Africa anyone ?, or maybe a Caribbean cruise ?) - holidays a year, changed her car every 5000 (yes, that isn't a misprint) miles "because I don't want to break down in the middle of nowhere" and lived in a 5 bed house, on her own, worth close to £1million.

Yet poverty-pleading was constant. Any normal person facing real difficulty would have downsized to release equity - and boy could she have done that .... but then she wouldn't have been able to play the martyr. We had the "couldn't afford to buy you much as my council tax is so expensive" line over and over. IMO, it was an excuse for her to be spiteful .... 1 christmas my present was a Clinique makeup bag and mirror - the free gift sort - with 5 or 6 bath pearls rolling around in the bottom of it. I'm not mercenary but this felt worse than nothing as I'm certain a point was being made, i.e. you're worth no effort or thought at all.

She also used to leave answerphone messages along these lines:
"Hi, it's me, can you call me back asap"
"Hi, it's me again, I really would appreciate a call back asap"
"This is the 3rd time I've called, I really do need to speak to you"
"Hello, are you there ? This is really urgent, please call me"
"Why aren't you calling me ? I need to speak to you and it's very urgent" ......

.... all this in the space of 2 hours. Pardon us for going out ! What she really meant was that the battery in her smoke alarm needed replacing and she was too damn lazy to get on a footstool and do it herself. I kid you not ! This was a woman in her early 60s BTW. And, of course, there was nothing like a controlling drama !

I could go on for ages .. this thread has had the unfortunate effect of reminding me of a horrendous relationship which is well dead. However her piece de resistance was having brother in law come round to ours on pretext of "mum wants to know what your postcode is as she's updating her will". What, it transpired, this really meant, was a veiled threat to get mummy's boy ex H to toe the line .... of course he phones with his postcode (like she didn't know it already) and of course asks why she's updating her will. Strangely enough, I was told I was never wanted and to "get out" just a couple of weeks later. Co-incidence ???

Phew ... my blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. I'm well off out of it.

jampots Sun 05-Jun-05 11:43:55

Catsmother and for you.

Another of my MIL's favourites as in has said it on many many occasions after visiting here on hols or xmas or birthday:

"Ive bought you this but if you dont like it you can take it to the charity shop"

translates: "I know you wont like this but no-one can say I didnt bother although I might as well not have"

essbee Sun 05-Jun-05 11:46:26

Message withdrawn

jampots Sun 05-Jun-05 11:48:27

PMSL Essbee

happymerryberries Sun 05-Jun-05 11:54:10

God, I am so lucky with mine! She says 'You are the daughter I always wanted' and flipping heck, she means it!

She says , you have a terrible cold, go to bed and I'll take the children out for the day, and then does it!

And when we have visited her she says, 'I'm going to miss you all' and she is telling the truth!

By god, I'm lucky!

Pinotmum Sun 05-Jun-05 11:57:38

My MIL has bugged me ever since I met her. She is the most 2 faced woman ever to walk the earth. She is one of these woman who men feel sorry for and woman can't stand. I now take no notice of her AT ALL. She has 3 dil's and we all know she can't stand us though our dh's think she loves us. In a bid to have all her sons "returned" to her she rang them asking if they would like her to purchase a plot in the cemetary for herself and her 3 "boys" to be buried together. DH said he thought they should be buried with their wives. She was very upset but "understood". I was ready to dig her a hole and bury her alive but dh said what he always says in her defence "she didn't mean it like that" I know what she meant!! WTF

Nightynight Sun 05-Jun-05 12:04:50

catsmother, I just have to post a wave of sympathy to that one!
and to all the other contributions. I love these sort of threads - even just reading them is so cathartic!

ghosty Sun 05-Jun-05 12:12:37

Well, step-witch-in-law-from-hell told everyone that she had skin cancer and needed to go in to hospital to have it operated on. Turns out she has had a face lift ...
Won't do her any good though ... too bloody little, too bloody late ....
Cow.

Catsmother Sun 05-Jun-05 12:31:53

In spite of all this, I am so glad that some people do have lovely MILs ... after all we will probably be MILs ourselves one day and I hope to God I won't be badly thought of !

My ex MIL also used to play the "ill" card all the time. As in, "I've not been feeling too good, I've got a feeling this christmas could be my last" !!!! (aged 63 and recently returned from a Pacific cruise) ... in an attempt to have christmas exactly how she wanted it. Unfortunately, each christmas never was her last .....

My current MIL, to be fair, doesn't really fall into this category but why do I still feel like a silly little girl in her company ? (I'm 40 FFS) She's one of those incredibly organised people who admittedly are very useful in their place, but this does mean that come any sort of family occasion, if you haven't already "staked a claim" yourself 6 months in advance, then MIL will swoop in and do it all. Any objections are, unfortunately seen as ungratefulness - rather than "hold on, I'd have liked to organise something for my own H's birthday" - and when someone has gone to a lot of effort it's very difficult to stop it. Unfortunately H is one of those people who's happy if someone else does all the organising so he sees nothing wrong .... and of course it's his mum too. And more unfortunately, I hate "being organised", but practically, refuse to load up my diary with what I consider undue forward planning when I don't know how I'll feel or what I'll be doing nearer the time. Prime example, MIL phones "have you sorted anything for H's birthday ?, doesn't matter if you have" .... "errrr, not yet" .... "well, I was thinking we could do xyz, and (another relative) has agreed to do a BBQ, and I've booked a table for all of us the next day ...." & so on, & so on.

Am I being an ungrateful cow for wanting to scream at that point - because it bloody well would have mattered if I did have something in mind, because, apparently, MIL had already been discussing the occasion with other members of the family and had already made bookings !

Freckle Sun 05-Jun-05 12:56:23

I'd just say "Yes, actually, but I can't tell you what it is as it's going to be a surprise and I've still a few things to sort out." That way, you can do something at the last minute and she'll never know it wasn't organised when you spoke to her.

I have an aunt who was like this. Would take over every event given half a chance and there was no way to stop her without being blatantly rude, which few people can be.

My MIL lives about 3 miles away from us and sees us about 6 times a year (unlike my parents who make a point of arranging a visit if they haven't seen the boys for a week or so). MIL says she's always willing to babysit, etc., but, whenever I ask her just has to tell me what arrangements she's undoing in order to "help you out". If DH asks her, she agrees instantly with no mention of other arrangements.

Anyway, it's her loss as I normally ask my parents to help out as I'm not made to feel guilty and my parents have a fantastic relationship with my children as a result.

expatkat Sun 05-Jun-05 14:00:21

Once MIL said something to me which I took at face value & thought was incredibly kind & considerate. But then, a moment later, she herself translated what she said--and I saw what she really meant.

I'd been ill with glandular fever in the months approaching her wedding to step-FIL, but I recovered fully about a month before the big day.

MIL: How are you feeling? All better I hope?
Me: Yes, much, much better, thank you so much for asking!
MIL: Oh, good. So you'll look good for the wedding photos.

ambrosia Sun 05-Jun-05 14:25:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eidsvold Mon 06-Jun-05 00:27:22

she sounds like mine ambrosia....
although like others I have had a horrid ex-mil.

My current mil - you and dh are brilliant parents, dd1 is doing so well, dh has changed his life around since he met you - she credits me with 'saving him' from self destruction.

Shame she is in the UK and we have not seen her for over a year. I really miss her. She is so supportive of dh and I as parents, a couple and the dd's as a family.

I hope I am that sort of MIL, rather than like my ex-MIL.

Chandra Mon 06-Jun-05 00:48:27

We cut contact all together some time ago and I'm starting to forget (thanks God!!!). The last thing I rememeber is she told me she loved me very much and then proceded to ask DH to choose between her and me!.

I might be cured!, I'm even grinning at it!

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