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should I have it out with mil??

26 replies

whereiswally · 18/05/2011 09:13

Yesterday I arrived at my mil's, you can just let yourself in there, no-one uses the door bell and the door is never locked. I let my self in went to the lounge and heard my name so hovered around the door. I heard my mil and sil slagging me off, saying some very upsetting things. Mainly critising my parenting and saying I over react to things all the time, that my dd is spoilt because of me etc etc, it was extremly hard to hear. I left without them ever knowing I was there. I was so upset yesterday. But today I feel really angry. But also I feel maybe it was hard to hear because there was probably (definately) some truth in what I heard, and also some really nasty unnecessary things said. Like saying I am lying about having PND wtf!!! (the only people i have told (about pnd) is mil, dp, my sister and my bf - why would I lie? and it was them that encouraged me to go to the doctors about it)

DP has gone mad and wants to have it out with them. Thing is they were in their own home slagging off their dil i'm sure that this is not a unusual thing for any mil to do from time to time. We do have very different parenting skills, she is very old school and thinks things like the naughty step are ridiculous (and so does sil).

But then I just remember hearing that 'my dd runs rings around me' and is spoiled and I think wtf!?! Why should you even see her!!!! and she said 'she needed our help with dd1 but now she knows what she is doing with dd2 she is pushing us out' and I am making my baby hate her by being over protective of her. Im so confused and upset by the whole situation. Not really sure what to do about it all.

(sorry for any typo's written in a rush)

OP posts:

beesimo · 18/05/2011 09:20

You should not have listened at the door when you heard you name you should of made your MIL aware you were there. Your Mil is entitled to say what she likes to her friend it is not necessarily her being 'nasty' talking things over is sometimes a way of making sense of things.

She has done her best to help you in the past so don't throw the baby out with the bathwater just think of all the things you have said about her in private!


beesimo · 18/05/2011 09:23

Don't creep round in future it is well -creepy


Tee2072 · 18/05/2011 09:24

Don't eavesdrop if you don't want to hear things.


HubbaHubbaBubba · 18/05/2011 09:25

Maybe address some of the things you know are true, and prove to them that the other things aren't true (where poss)

You can't have it out with them because of the way you heard it.

Must be very hard for you though :(


OliPolly · 18/05/2011 09:28

It was hurtful to hear yes but people do it all the time - you probably have done it yourself but just didn't get caught.

I don't think you will come out looking the good person if you had words with her because you were creeping and she was in her house.

Try to forget it and mention it in a jokey way at a later date, pretending that it happened to someone else.



stickytoffeepud · 18/05/2011 09:29

id be thinking about addressing some of the stuff they said that WAS true

and have a good think about the other stuff


SenoritaViva · 18/05/2011 09:29

How unfortunate that you came in at that point. I agree that you shouldn't have listened but made yourself known, as tempting as it might have been to hear in the end the person really hurt is you which is very sad.

Everyone crticises others and often it is to try to get a sense of how to deal with things. It is a shame that they were criticising you so harshly but I think you have to get over this one. I am not sure that I'd want to be known as someone who listens to private conversations. Think about what they said, try to forget the things that are simply ridiculous (like the PND part) and take the part that you think has truth in. Do you want to change those things or think that that is you and they should lump it. Use it as an opportunity to either improve yourself or to realise you're happy with things even if it might gain some criticism.

In future as you open the door I'd should 'Hi, it's just me'. I'd do that anyway to avoid giving anyone a fright.


ohfuckohfuckohfuckduck · 18/05/2011 09:29

There is an old saying that an eavesdropper never hears any good of themselves.


Mumwithadragontattoo · 18/05/2011 09:33

Actually I think if I had overheard this I would want to clear the air. They shouldn't be slagging off your parenting behind your back especially if they have an open door policy at their house which means they risk being overheard. If you don't discuss this with them (perhaps including what you are doing to make improvements where they have a point) it will fester.


Fecklessdizzy · 18/05/2011 09:37

Gah! How awful!

Can't really confront them as you were earwigging on them in her own house. Maybe address the bits you think were a rather close to home and think "Bollocks" to the rest of it.

Not everyone has to like you all the time, do you approve 100% of everything they do? ( repeat to self as necessary ... )


FoxyRevenger · 18/05/2011 09:37

I don't think there's any harm in saying "I came to see you yesterday but when I came into the hall I heard some things that upset me so I left. Can we talk about that?"

It's not as if you rigged up a mike in her living room, it was a genuine accident that you overheard.


alizee · 18/05/2011 09:47

i would have confronted her there and then like "oh well it's nice to know what you actually think about me" but then again i am quite outspoken and it's a bit late now but FoxyRevenge's idea is good. i'm very bad at lying so if i'd be in the same situation i'd have to tell her because you'd see it on my face. if you think you can hide it and it wouldn't bother you long term, let it go, if you can't do that and it will always be on your mind when you see/talk to her then confront her.


Dropdeadfred · 18/05/2011 09:50

I dont think you can ignore this - it won't go away.
I would tell her what you heard and tell her how it made you feel


IsItMeOr · 18/05/2011 10:02

Honestly, I think you just need to put this down to experience - you've learned the hard way why eavesdropping is a bad idea.

From what you've said, it's not news that MIL doesn't agree with all your parenting. You've just heard it expressed a lot less diplomatically than she would have said to your face.

Tbh, if you raise this with them, you come across as at least as bad as them, for creeping around in the first place. For future reference, the correct thing to do when you heard your name was to loudly say hello and walk in and pretend you heard nothing.


whereiswally · 18/05/2011 10:13

Thanks everyone its good to get an insight from outsider point of view.

I shouldn't have listened I know that but hearing my name, something just got the better of me and before I know it I had listen to horrible things and was upset and just had to leave I'm sure it didn't stop there! If someone had said to me a week ago that I would stand there eaves dropping I wouldnt believe them but i did its done and I wish more than anything I hadn't heard any of it.

As I think Olipolly said I have before done the same about my mil so its no different other than she didn't hear me. So I perhaps don't have any right to 'have it out with her' however just not really sure how to get past this, as its going to be hard to ignore, however I am rubbish with confrontation. Foxyrevenger has good advice but if I bring this up its going to escalate into a huge row surely and I am not in the right place to cope with that.

I have never more before wanted to turn back time and just not go round there!!!! I guess I could apoligise for listening and just be honest that I do think there are some truths in what she was saying, I definately need to gain more control over my headstrong daughter she does run rings around me and I do feel as though I am struggling to cope with things atm.

I could really do with erasing it from my mind!!!

OP posts:

CookieRookie · 18/05/2011 10:18

Something like that could quite easily have happened to me. Mil and Sil have known eachother for years and are quite close. I'm the last one in if ye like and have always felt a bit of an outsider. I have bitched about them and I'd be mortified if they heard some of the things I've said, even though I think they're true and I'm sure they have bitched about me which I'm ok with but hearing them being nasty, even with some truth, would be quite hurtful.

I would not be able to continue a relationship with either of them if I let something like that fester. Every time I would look at them I would remember what they said so I think the best thing to do is make it known that you heard. It may clear the air and lead to better understanding for all concerned.

I would confront it head on, not in an argumentative fashion but just raw honesty. I've had to do it with Mil before under different circumstances and to my surprise and shame she cried. I had been thinking about how it all was affecting me and how some things she did really hurt me, it turns out there are always two sides to every story and a lot of the things she said and did where out of hurt, fear and misunderstanding and reaction to something I did. It was a very upsetting conversation but an enlightening one and we both came away having a much better understanding and appreciation for eachother.

Obviously I only know what you've posted so it may not be possible to do this but if you think it could be done, go for it. She's not going anywhere. Better to have her as a friend than an enemy. You might both be surprised what you find out about eachother.

Good luck.


CookieRookie · 18/05/2011 10:22

Sorry, first paragraph makes it sound like I still hold poor opinions of them. What I meant was when I was bitching about them I believed what I was saying was true. I know different now.


whereiswally · 18/05/2011 10:26

I think your right CookieRookie raw honest probably is the best way even if I am labelled as a 'creepy weirdo' for listening at the door. But otherwise I see our relationship (mine and mil's) just getting worse.

Just not really sure mentally I can cope with bringing this all into light iyswim?

Ahhh...just cannot get it out of my head!!!

OP posts:

MooMooFarm · 18/05/2011 10:35

OP how awful for you! Yes I know everybody has a moan about other people, but some of the things they said are particularly hurtful IMO, like the bit about you lying about PND Confused. WTF would they say that?

Yes you were 'eavesdropping', kind of, but it just happened, you didn't plan it. Ideally you should have walked in and confronted them, as if you were walking in anyway and just happened to hear a bit of it. But you didn't, so that makes it more awkward to deal with. I would ask DP to talk to them and tell them how upset you are about what they said. The fact that you left without saying anything can be explained by saying you were so upset you had to leave.

Get DP to support you with this - it sounds like he will anyway. But I would say as it is HIS family, he should really deal with it for you.


MooMooFarm · 18/05/2011 10:36

PS I would imagine they will be so mortified and embarrased that you heard them that they will be tripping over themselves to be nice to you; not asking why you were listening!


LyingWitchInTheWardrobe2726 · 18/05/2011 10:46

Very unfortunate, OP, but you have few options:

  1. Take it on the chin, sift what you know to be true from what you think is untrue and then perhaps get some views on those to see if there is any basis in fact. Eavesdroppers never hear well of themselves, that's definitely true.

2. Brush it all off, ignore it as one person's opinion of you, and carry on as usual.

3. Come clean with your MIL, tell her that you heard the conversation - making it clear that you know you were wrong not to let them know you were there - and that you're upset at what you heard. You can then have a discussion with your MIL about the content of the conversation if she'll talk to you about it.

In your position, I'd probably come clean... if the conversation bothered me that much, I'd want to clear the air.

Don't let your DH intervene; sort it out yourself if you've a mind to. Your feelings are hurt, that's understandable, but you were never intended to hear that conversation. Don't let it fester and spoil your DCs relationship with DH's family.

CookieRookie · 18/05/2011 10:50

I don't think you're a creepy weirdo and nobody else should either. They have an open door, you walked in, heard enough and left. Maybe you shouldn't have stayed listening but that does not make you a weirdo. It makes you human.

Could dh talk to them?


QuackQuackBoing · 18/05/2011 11:06

Well I think you have to just accept the things which are true but not say you are lying about PND is nasty! I don't think I could just leave it though, perhaps let your DH talks to them about it?


fedupofnamechanging · 18/05/2011 11:26

I agree that you need to discuss this or you will never be able to get past it. foxy's idea of how to bring the subject up was very really good.

I don't think this is your fault. If your MIL has an open door policy, then she is running the risk that her conversation will be overheard and I bet 99 out of 100 people would have frozen to the spot and carried on listening if they were in your position.

I think they are bang out of order to say you are making up the PND. That is just bitchy and spiteful and unless they are doctors, they are not really in a position to comment. I think you and DH definitely need to tackle them on that one. As for pushing them out with DC2, it's natural to be more confident once you've had a child and to not be so dependent on others for help.

I think you are being very fair in acknowledging that some of the things they said are true and that we are all guilty of unnecessary bitching. Still, it's one thing knowing it and another thing to actually hear it and I'm not surprised that you are feeling upset about it. There are ways of saying things and if the tone was spiteful, then it makes it hard to get over criticism.

Anyway, I think you do have to bring it up, if only so they are more discreet in the future and avoid causing hurt to someone else.


sausagesandmarmelade · 18/05/2011 12:00

and why is the OP being attacked here??


What I would have done was to have made my presence known...said "oh I let myself in but wish now that I hadn't bothered, and then turned heel and walked out".

What's done is done....probably best to knock next time.

Your DH is right in that the problem needs to be addressed. MIL needs to know that you heard what you did (otherwise how can you carry on with a pretence) and that you feel very hurt! (I would).
I would feel as angry as you do OP and would need to have things out...and set the record straight. You now know what she REALLY feels about you (which is good really) and can take it from there.

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