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MIL acts crazy when out socially + funeral

(28 Posts)
meadowofflowers Sun 20-May-18 10:17:01

My MIL loses her head when in a social situation. NC, Trying not to drip feed but just give the facts.

MIL and I get on really well. She’s massively opinionated and I’m laid back so I don’t really care most of the time when she probably oversteps.

She loves to be the life and soul of the party but acts crazy when out. Starts whooping, shouting, scream insane laughing at nothing, crazy dancing (not on dance floor) waving hands and in general acting drunk. I’m usually pulled aside and asked how many she’s had and no one then believes she hasn’t had any alcohol. She’s in her late 60s.

My WWYD relates to my FIL funeral and her behaviour.

She divorced FIL when DH left home in the 80s as a teen and shes been remarried for years.

FIL was twenty years older and an old man in sheltered housing who you’d never put together with this intelligent full of life woman.

She helped massively with care after we found 2 sets of carers were stealing from him and she practically took over as we were other end of the country. She did complain constantly and tell me she didn’t like him but was doing it for DH and she did go above and beyond.

When he died, I had no one to look after my baby & toddler for the funeral who were too young and definitely wouldn’t behave In the church. Her attitude was that I would just have to miss it then and not be there to support DH (who is an only child.)

I was surprised she didn’t consider not going, seeing as she was the ex wife. My DSC were baffled and voiced that their gran should miss it and I should be there for their dad and them.

In the end I found a relative willing to miss it to babysit. MIL kept checking babysitting was definitely still happening with relative over and over in the week leading up to the funeral until my DH pointed out she was acting like a lunatic.

MIL viewed herself as a VIP and integral part of the funeral.

At her house, before the service she was half way through getting ready when she started grabbing her pet screaming that it was dying. She was hysterically crying squashing it to her face while her DH told her there was nothing wrong with it. I couldn’t believe of all days she would turn up in a state and couldn’t keep a lid on it for DH sake. We had the car coming and she wouldn’t finish getting ready.

She tried to push in behind the coffin to get a seat at the front and DSC said “for fuck sake look at gran”

After the service DH and I stood outside to thank the guests and she shoved to the front and accepted all the sympathy, putting out her hand to them when they offered it to DH. She was basically acting like the widow.

DH was generally unaware in cloud of grief and went in separate car to the wake.

MIL and I walk through cemetery when we saw two old friends of FIL. She greeted them and to introduce me said “this is (pause) well I don’t know WHAT to call you really, this is DH girlfriend” I looked at her like she had two heads and said “well technically fiancée” she waved her hands dismissively at that so I told the men DH and I had two children and had been together 10 years!

DH and I have been together engaged nine years, two DC and only refer to each other as husband and wife even though we haven’t had a ceremony.

It pissed me off that she was trying to dismiss me as a girlfriend as she would never ever EVER have said this in front of her son.

She then started recalling stories from when they knew each other and was scream laughing while a burial was taking place nearby and the guests were giving us daggers. I kept trying to move her along, out of earshot and in the end I said

“look that funeral over there are really unhappy with all the laughing” she said “I’m sure they are!”and still wouldn’t move so in end I walked away from her.

That’s unlike her, she is a caring person but she said it to me like she was an obnoxious drunk.

So WWYD in that situation? I dealt with it by doing nothing but she was really rude all day and made the funeral all about her with zero thought for her son. She would have been happy for me not to be there even though DH wanted me there and when I made it happen she was trying to be the star of the show.

MyPuppyIsADick Sun 20-May-18 10:21:59

YABU that she should have missed the funeral to babysit your DC. She may not have been on good terms with him but she shared a lot of her life with him and they had a child together. YANBU at the rest of her behaviour but I’ve no idea how to handle it - I think you should ask your DH to deal with her but he may not be up to a confrontation while he’s grieving. It’s a difficult one.

kissthealderman Sun 20-May-18 10:28:36

She sounds like she has a personality disorder.

Buzzlightyearsbumchin Sun 20-May-18 10:33:53

Grief does odd things to people. They were married, had a child together and she was good enough to care for him when he needed it.

You were unreasonable to expect her to look after your FIL but miss the funeral to look after your dc.

You were also a bit weird with the 'technically fiancée' thing too. Does it matter?

She seems like an OTT sort of person, but was also good enough to care for her ex husband. I would have just left her to get on with it. You were there for your dh and she knew that.

meadowofflowers Sun 20-May-18 10:45:31

Thank you.

Yes I did think is this all a grief reaction especially insisting the pet was dying.

In hindsight yes she had a past life with him to grieve so she should have been there.

No one has ever pulled her up on the behaviour and I was wondering if I should have. It would be much easier not to. There's not many family social events but it will be the same thing again.

DistanceCall Sun 20-May-18 10:54:25

It would have been difficult to pull her up in a funeral - it would have made things worse.

What did your DH say?

flumpybear Sun 20-May-18 11:00:54

She probably knew him better than most others at the funeral so had every right to be there. Your DP Needs to pull her up on the girlfriend thing, or just be confident and laugh and say 'well if 9 years engaged, two children and living together x years counts only as a girlfriend then hey ho, but our relationship lasted so far more than many marriages!

Tabathatwitchett Sun 20-May-18 11:01:15

The whole "we refer to each other as husband and wife" thing is nonsense. You are his girlfriend/fiancé unless you have an actual wedding.
You were being really unreasonable to think that she didn't have a place at the funeral- given that she had been his carer!

Whisky2014 Sun 20-May-18 11:06:11

But the MIL does sound unhinged.

Flomper Sun 20-May-18 11:08:12

My MIL is exactly like this, theres nothing to be done, she wont change and will get worse. Just try and avoid being in public with her.

Gu33s3inpark Sun 20-May-18 17:35:52

I am sorry for your partners loss. As per many discussions on MN. Legally you are both single or married, there is no such thing as 'common law wife status. To protect yourself it is usually better to marry. However, your status is your choice. Your MIL sounds odd and attention seeking. However if MIL cared for FIL she was kind and generous

Strawberry2017 Sun 20-May-18 18:00:21

She sounds bat shit crazy!

meadowofflowers Sun 20-May-18 19:42:04

Thanks everyone. She is bonkers but usually lovely I just dread when it's any kind of gathering because she turns into a different person.

We definitely need to sort a wedding, I totally agree it's better in every way. 9+ years is ridiculous!

Aprilmightbemynewname Sun 20-May-18 19:44:17

Op you missed the opportunity to shove her in there with fil imo...

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sun 20-May-18 19:51:30

Is there any chance she might be taking a Valium or something before big events? I only ask because I have a friend who gets stressed takes a beta blocker (I think) and then says random stuff all evening, which she thankfully doesn't remember afterwards (I think).

Otherwise I agree with PPs that it was unreasonable to expect her to miss the funeral, and I think if you are not married to your DP then girlfriend is not inappropriate. But she sounds like a right handful, and you seem to handle it in a very good humoured way.

Imchlibob Sun 20-May-18 19:53:20

My best friend was engaged for 16 years before they got around to marrying - no kids though. Do go ahead and do it. Given his mum, I recommend a registry office with mumsnetter witnesses and no guests.

Weezol Sun 20-May-18 20:01:28

Beat me to it Imchli!

meadowofflowers Sun 20-May-18 20:26:30

grinwink a massive reason we haven't is I Don't want to do the whole guests thing, I'd love to slip off and do one of those runaway bride ones in Devon with just the DC. However MIL would never get over it as she didn't get to go to the first wedding as the first wife couldn't stand her shock

meadowofflowers Sun 20-May-18 22:31:35

@Tawdrylocalbrouhaha I know what you mean, if she was under the influence of something it would make sense. However because of a condition she can't swallow any pills and isn't really a drinker

Weezol Sun 20-May-18 23:57:19

Don't let MIL prevent you from getting married. That's just grim. Go and do it your way, if for no other reason that it affords your family legal protection in the future.

Alternatively, serve some brownies about an hour before the wedding and make sure hers is a space brownie. Or shove a couple of full whack piriton in her cup of tea, that should mellow her out.

Imchlibob Mon 21-May-18 00:13:03

But she's not going to get any less mad, and I am not sure there's a notch worse than she already is. Seriously, just do it. Currently if either you or your fiance were to die, the survivor would not get the benefits and support that the law gives to widows/widowers. That alone means your kids are vulnerable. Protect them. Get hitched.

CalF123 Mon 21-May-18 02:03:14

I agree the MIL sounds bonkers but it would have been really weird for her to call you his wife when you're not. 'Partner' would probably have been better.

meadowofflowers Mon 21-May-18 06:51:20

Interesting about widows, I wasn't aware!shock. Yes partner would have been good!

Last night I started googling the local registry office and what we have to do. I'm on it! Told him let's sort it and he's smile well I always wanted to.
If one good thing can come from it, it would be to sort ourselves out!

Sparklyshoes16 Mon 21-May-18 08:10:53

Definitely MIL is unhinged!! My own mother does things like this!! I have occasionally when she's managed to naw away of what patients I have left snapped and then acts all upset in front of everyone...luckily my DH has started noticing and pulled her up on it...example saying at my uncles funeral very loudly when everyone was silent...I'm surprised he didn't need a double coffin!! At which my Aunt gave daggers and looked like she was about to put my mum in with him!

Or the time she told me just before she left for the church at my wedding, that my dress didn't look right and wasn't a good fit then said very cheerily see you at the church! My bridesmaids mouths were on the floor! I had to pretend every time she was near everything was fine for photos etc these and many many more incidents were when she's sober!!

Try your best to ignore it's toxic attention seeking!! I've honestly found the more I ignore and just walk away the less she does it! I've left her standing on her own when she's being horrid! No audience=her looking very foolish!!

Definitely get married and have the wedding the way you want it...plus you'll have the security for you and your DC...if I could do it again I would get married just me and DH there and then invite everyone to a big meal/party afterwards smile

Sparklyshoes16 Mon 21-May-18 08:11:48

*Patience not patients! smile

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