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Forgiving MIL.....is it possible and if so how?

(45 Posts)
emmatmg Sat 02-Jul-05 21:27:22

Ok, before I start this will probably be long and rambleing so I'm apologise now.


It's my MIL. I posted my relationship with her all over this site but today I have realised that I will never be able to forgive her for the things she has said to me/about me and the for the way she has treated our DS's.

I have known for along time that she doesn't like me and I can live this that because TBh I hate her more than you can ever imagine. I discovered today one of the reason she doesn't like me is because of my upbringing/background. I'm simply not good enough, because I'm a "working class girl" and horror of all horrors from a council estate. IMO this is an appalling dig at my parents who did there very best for us. She has said some things to me once about my dad who died when I was 13 and a very very long time before she came into my life.
She hasn't seen the Ds's properly since ds3 was 5 months old (he'll be 2 in september). The only time she's "seen" them since then was when she walked passed us in the street and ignored them. Ds2 got abirthday card this year but he's the first one to get one in 2 yrs.
I've suspected for a long while that she will only be happy if me a DH split up and I can pretty much guarantee he will be written out of her will when she dies because I'm married to him (I've hold him I'd never divorce him even if he was unfaithful, as I'd never give her the satisfaction). I couldn't care less baout about her money, she can give it all to who ever she want but it does make me feel very angry on DH's behalf.


Anyway, things have happened today and I've realised that i'll never be able to forgive OR forget this and it scares me that I have so much hate, loathing and rage inside me. It really does scare me.

I don't know how to let it go and I think it's almost unhealthy for me to feel like this.

I was asked to be Godmather for my cousins baby recently and part of the service was to write on a piece of paper something/someone we need to forgive. I knew I should write her name and I just couldn't do it. That really shocked me.

I've told Dh that I don't want her in my life or the Ds's and he accepts that, so really I should be Ok and pleased(I haven't said he can't see her btw, he just hasn't). It just eats away at me and make me feel like shit.

I'm not sure if there any advice you can give that will make me get through this mess but I just wanted to see it in black and white in the hope that it might help.

It hasn't though.


(i@m not going to preview this, so is there any typos, I'm sorry)

nutcracker Sat 02-Jul-05 21:30:37

Hiya emma, I am in exactly the same situation as you except for the fact that me and dp aren't married.

Why do you feel guilty about hating someone so nasty and vindictive ???

She is the bad person in this not you.

emmatmg Sat 02-Jul-05 21:32:31

I don't feel guilty about it, it honest scares me that I could despise her so much.

I didn't know it was possible to feel like this.

I've been in tears today becuse of it.

It really scares me.

nutcracker Sat 02-Jul-05 21:36:27

Oh emma, thats awful.

I do know what you mean, I hate my MIL so much that I have said several times that I wish her dead and was shocked when i realised that I meant it.

Perhaps I should feel more guilty about it and disgusted at my own feelings but she has caused me nothing but pain and upset since me and dp got together and even though we now don't see her she is still at it.

It doesn't make you a bad perosn though IMO anyway.

emily05 Sat 02-Jul-05 21:38:08

Emma, I had problems not with inlaws, but with my parents (and step parents). so I know what you are going through.

I carried around a lot of hurt and bitterness for a long time and I have learnt that you have to let it go or it will eat you up inside. Forgiving doesnt mean forgeting and I am not saying befriend the woman. I just feel for your own sanity let it go. I ended up on a very rocky road and I have let it all go (probably over time as it has been a long time since I moved out) but it was so hard. I tak to my parents even though they treated me wrongly (for instance my step dad physically and emotionally abused me for a long time and my mum did nothing). I will always dilike (and probably hate) him - but I have let it go now.

I think that first thing is to except that it is not you that is the problem - it is her. You can only change yourself, not her. She will probably always be ignorant and mean, just try and learn to let it wash over you. Time does help.
I will try and think of some other things that might help you rid yourself of these feelings.
Wish I could be more help, I do understand how you feel, I hope you are ok xx

Chandra Sat 02-Jul-05 21:38:57

I have the same problem with my MIL and I spent years teying to forget what she has said/done just to be smacked again (in the biblical sense) as soon as I made myself present. The thing has been so bad that we got to a point that I was prepared to leave DH as I couldn't put with her anymore. We have stoped seeing her since then and the things are much better, it took me a time to stop being angry, I don't feel the rage I used to feel anymore but still I'm not ready to see her again. In a way, it can be said that I have not forgive her but I believe that not wanting to see her is also a defense mechanism to keep my marriage happy and to avoid more spiteful comments. I'm sorry for her because she can't understand why we have stoped contact but at the same time I don't feel as "compasionate" as to forget about ecverything and start again for the simple reason that we have gone through that many times with exactly the same outcome.

A couple of months ago I had a session of Reiki, I went to it in the belief that it was a massage (ignorant me ) Apart of getting very relaxed during the session, I noticed that my anger towards my MIL subsided a lot. So who knows, maybe worth a try?

emmatmg Sat 02-Jul-05 21:51:58

This all started when I was 5 months PG with ds1 who is now 6 and I'm quite sure if i'd had PND after having him she would have tipped me over the edge, that how bad it was and has been sporadically ever since.


Emily, your discription of eating away at me is exactly right. I feel like I have no control over my feelings.

DH and I very rarely argue but if we do it's generally about her, with me just ranting and raving(and crying, usually) and him just listening.

I hate feeling like this. I WANT TO FORGET SHE EVEN EXISTS!

emily05 Sat 02-Jul-05 21:53:40

The trouble is this might sound strange, but by feeling like this you are giving her the power.
Do you have to see her much?

emmatmg Sat 02-Jul-05 21:58:59

She lives 120 miles away, THANK GOD, so I never have to see her. She stays with Dh brother when she comes up but she doesn't make an effort to contact DH or the DS's.

I wouldn't stop Dh seeing her but she won't be seeing the Ds's again.

The stuff I found out today was from one of her old friends when she used to live here.


This is how bad I feel : We need tyo get a will done and I've concidered getting a separate one done so that if i dies before she does it will say in my will that She is not to have any contact with te boys, I have no idea if this is possible but that's what I feel I have to do.


Bad, isn't it?

emily05 Sat 02-Jul-05 22:02:34

NO - not bad. That is the way that SHE has made you feel. Also the worse thing that people can do is tell you things because although you will want to know (curiosity and all that) it will only serve to create more damage. Thank goodness that she lives so far away!

If you like, cat me and I will email you some of the ways I unloaded my pain and bitterness (cant put them on here because it is embarrasing and personal, but I dont mind telling you iyswim)
There will be a time when this wont haunt you. She sounds like a peice of work by the way!

emmatmg Sat 02-Jul-05 22:08:29

I will Cat you now Emily.

Chandra Sat 02-Jul-05 22:10:59

Think of her absences as a privilege, I wish MIL had ignored me or DS, her attention was so painful that I'm grateful of not having to enjoy her company any more. You may feel ignored but believe me, sometimes is much better to be ignored rather than puting up with some people's company.

I agree with Emily that by feeling like this you are giving her the power, although I also understand how difficult is to ignore her after she has hurt you so much.

emmatmg Sat 02-Jul-05 22:18:16

Oh, no chandra. i'm very very pleased that she doens't want to see me/us.

I doubt ti will ever happen but i dread the day she asks to be forgiven ( it will proabaly be the same day as hell freezing over TBH) as I know i won't be able to do it.

Chandra Sat 02-Jul-05 22:22:58

Don't worry for her asking to be forgiven that day may never arrive, my MIL has sent a message with another relative saying that she is still waiting for an appology from ourselves PMSL, after seven years of racism, comparing me constantly to DH's ex, demanding to decide on the future of DS and even asking my DH to leave me or else, what's the woman on????

Chandra Sat 02-Jul-05 22:23:47

BEsides, you can always say "I can't, sorry" if she ever asks...

emmatmg Sat 02-Jul-05 22:31:24

the one thing I learnt is how to be a GOOD Mil, so at least I have that.


Your's sounds really nice, chandra.

Chandra Sat 02-Jul-05 22:33:54

I think exactly the same, the only good thing about this is that I assume I would be prepared to accept, respect and welcome any girl DS' decides to date, live with or marry to.

emmatmg Sun 03-Jul-05 10:29:45

Told Dh about all this last night and I'm gutted at his reaction.

He just doesn't see it as a surprise/big deal.

I asked him what he thinks now that it's real that she doesn't like me, it's not something I've imagined, it's real. He said it just doesn't enter my thoughts, likening it to him asking me "what do i think of West ham utd/skydiving/any other obscure thing"

This has made me feel really great. IMO he's just saying he doesn't care, whereas if it was my mother saying she doesn't like him I'd defend him to her, and I'd want an bloody good explanation.


Iwoke up this morning feeling like shit, it's actually a horrible feeling knowing for sure that someone dislikes me for my upbringing/background..... something I have no control over and something that IMO wasn't bad.


I'm gutted DH hasn't seen this in the same way.


He's home all day today so I may not post on this thread as I don't want him to see I done this.

emmatmg Sun 03-Jul-05 16:41:16

anyone around to listen to my rambling?????

lilaclotus Sun 03-Jul-05 16:54:58

i found that forgiving is mostly about setting yourself free. you don't do it for the other person. it's about getting rid of the anger, the arguments in your head and the frustration. if you don't do it soon, the anger and pain will start effecting other parts of your life and you might end up a very bitter person.

aloha Sun 03-Jul-05 16:56:30

I don't think you should be upset by your partner's reaction, after all, hasn't he manage to achieve exactly what you want to achieve. Whatever she thinks does't bother him. He has risen above it. Whatever she thinks is unimportant to him, and of course, is unimportant. He doesn't care what his mother thinks of you as he is secure in loving you and has managed to grow up and leave her behind. This is all good stuff. Perhaps the key to losing some of this anger is to pity her because she has lost her son's respect, company and a lot of his love, as well as the pleasure of grandchildren simply because of her idiotic snobbery. How sad is that? You have kids, isn't this the worst future you could imagine? She can't harm you with her thoughts. Your husband isn't going to leave you or love you less because of what she thinks, your kids won't adore you any less and your friends won't be affected by it. The only person who is really harmed by all her ill-feeling is herself. I grew up in a council house myself and would just laugh at anyone who thought less of me because of it! It's so absurd. Would it help to think of her as a sad, weak creature who doesn't deserve so much of your emotional energy?

Pinotmum Sun 03-Jul-05 16:56:56

I think perhaps your dh is in some sort of denial. He can't acknowledge his feelings, your feelings or his mother's feeling. I think as she plays no part in your lives then put her "to bed". I have issues with my mil but I now have decided not to let it make be bitter. My dh knows how I feel however he thinks I am too hard on her. I don't think he will ever see my point so I'm not letting it fester away in my head and ruin my marriage. If you can ever get your dh to speak about his childhood with her it may be enlightening. My dh can't remember much of his mum as she was too busy being a martyr for the catholic church

aloha Sun 03-Jul-05 16:57:30

And don't let your feelings about your MIL make you angry with your husband! That really would be counter-productive and give her much more power than she should have in your life.

aloha Sun 03-Jul-05 16:59:35

Actually Emmatbg - I can so easily imagine my husband saying EXACTLY the same thing as yours. And he wouldn't be in denial, he would mean it! Men can be very good at not being bothered by stuff that has us tied up in knots. To him, what his mother thinks of you IS unimportant and he DOESN'T care. It's irrelevant to what is important in his life - you and the children.

Pinotmum Sun 03-Jul-05 16:59:38

I think Aloha speaks so much sense and it's just a shame your dh can't say it the way Aloha has really .

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