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To feel suffocated by MIL

35 replies

QueenViki · 28/12/2019 07:01

My MIL has been widowed for three years now. For the first year my DH insisted that we have her stay with us every weekend until eventually I found the courage to put my foot down. She is not elderly, she is very able with an active social life but I feel she oversteps boundaries constantly and it’s making me unhappy and affecting my marriage because it causes so many arguments.

She is over here so often and never leaves, staying for hours and hours at a time even if we have other visitors here or if one of us is ill. My dd was very poorly last month and begging me to make Grandma go home. Every time dh is at home she wants him over at her house doing jobs that her husband used to do. She has totally dominated Christmas, we never had a minute to ourselves as a family as usual and typically I didn’t get to see my own family (my Dad is poorly). She also blatantly favours my niece over my dd and that is also causing friction. She’s not even going to see my dd on her birthday as she has a party to go to, even though she expects us to drop everything for her all the time, telling us she’s sleeping over at our house without asking us if it’s ok.

I’m not heartless, I understand that she must feel very lonely at times and I’ve always done my best to support her and invite her out etc. but the boundaries have become so blurred it’s got to the point where I feel like my home is not my own and that there’s three people in our marriage with her always taking priority. We hardly get any time together as our own family and I feel so powerless and resentful. It’s got to the point where I can’t bear the sight of her or the sound of her voice. She’s taken over my life!! Please help (and be kind!)

OP posts:
Northernparent68 · 28/12/2019 07:09

Tell your husband what you told us.

QueenViki · 28/12/2019 07:11

Oh he’s heard it many times, she manipulates him a lot all the time although he has finally started challenging her over the favouritism thing.

OP posts:
TidyDancer · 28/12/2019 07:12

What has your DH said when you've raised this? How frequently are you seeing her now?

Booberella9 · 28/12/2019 07:15

You have a DH problem.

I'd be tempted to get her on her own, mutter some choice words to her and deny it all when she goes running to DH...

QueenViki · 28/12/2019 07:15

She’s over several times a week - mostly at weekends. Dh understands how I feel although sometimes we argue about it when he’s pandered to her demands too much. He is torn because he promised his Dad he’d look after her. We have looked after her but she is emotionally manipulative and plays on his good nature such a lot.

OP posts:
Furrydogmum · 28/12/2019 07:19

I feel for you 😒 Your husband presumably has a sibling - where do they fit in to all this?

TestingTestingWonTooFree · 28/12/2019 07:20

Can you arrange lunch/dinner with her in a fortnight and say you’re busy next weekend so won’t see her? Try and space out the visits.

Gardai · 28/12/2019 07:22

Is your husband always around when she is and do you have to be in the house when she is ?

MyOtherProfile · 28/12/2019 07:22

What do you so when she comes over? Once or twice a week I would probably have a cuppa with her for half an hour and give her a bit of time then the rest of it I would go off and do jobs chill in the bedroom with a good book so that she sees I have a life to get on with, or even say "oh bad timing, we are just going out. Maybe text ahead next time to check she are free?"

How old are your DC? Before long they will be out with their friends too I expect.

QueenViki · 28/12/2019 07:23

His sister has her over too although mostly uses her for babysitting. I feel sil takes advantage of the fact her mum feels lonely and uses her for free childcare but that’s a whole other thread! Mil is over theirs quite a bit but doesn’t bombard them in the same way as she does with us. They’ve never taken her away on holiday yet she comes with us every year. Mil is besotted with sil’s daughter though and talks about her constantly. She knows every detail of the child’s life but lnows very little about my dd!

OP posts:
MyOtherProfile · 28/12/2019 07:25

How old are these children? And maybe plan a holiday that isn't appropriate for her next year, like visiting friends abroad or something. It's important sometimes to do your own thing for a holiday.

Womenwotlunch · 28/12/2019 07:25

Sorry, but this is a dh problem. Your husband has to be the one to put boundaries in place.
If he refuses to or is unable to do so, he risks destroying his marriage to you. One day you will blow up
Looking after his mother doesn’t mean she should dominate your life the way she does.
You may have to start telling her that she cannot come round when she wants to

QueenViki · 28/12/2019 07:25

Children are eight.

OP posts:
finn1020 · 28/12/2019 07:27

There’s three of you in this marriage OP.

Your MIL needs to learn to make a life where she is independent, has her own interests and social groups.

Your DH needs to stop behaving like he’s got two wives.

QueenViki · 28/12/2019 07:30

She does actually have a lot of hobbies and friends, far more than I do! It’s the weekends and holidays where this is worse. I just miss seeing my own parents so much, I go over when I can but whenever I invite them to mine for dinner, she ends up coming uninvited. They don’t even call me when they need help any more because they feel we “have enough on our plates looking after mil”.

OP posts:
candative · 28/12/2019 07:32

Your husband promised his dad he would look after here but then, he also made marriage vows. Time go for him to work out his priorities and for you to assert yourself more and kick up a fuss. Every weekend, not working for you. On your main holiday every year, not working for you. Stick your ground and find ways to avoid in the short term just to break the pattern. Long days out for a few weekends or overnight stay. Coats on and out when she arrives, "oh sorry MIL, we'd planned to go out".

MeridianB · 28/12/2019 07:35

YADNBU OP. This would drive me nuts and I can totally see the strain it puts on you all. Even if she was lovely, it sounds too much, but given the manipulative behaviour, it’s harder and the favouritism is inexcusable.

I agree with others that your DH needs to make significant changes otherwise you will be the bad guy and he will claim he can’t do anything as he’s in the middle. She is invited round (rather than turning up) and no more holidays for a while.

Are you sure she doesn’t talk about your DD at your SILs? If not then quietly call her out (away from your DD) on it every time.

candative · 28/12/2019 07:35

And when your parents are there, assert yourself, tell your husband he will have to escort her home, you'll come pick him up later, or just plain say in front of everyone "sorry MIL we planned dinner just with my parents, not enough for time maybe". Then tell her straight not to turn up uninvited anymore and keep telling her that.

JustACog · 28/12/2019 07:36

Time for some serious chat with your DH about how this isn't sustainable and you're not willing to be in a marriage like this forever.

MeridianB · 28/12/2019 07:37

On her gatecrashing dinners, how does she get this info? Maybe share less or if she tends to just turn up, tell her in advance “We’re not free this weekend but look forward to making plans soon”?

CareBear50 · 28/12/2019 07:38

Def a DH problem.

There needs to be firm boundaries set by both of you or this dynamic is going to become increasingly frustrating.

Invite your parents to stay and tell your DH he needs s firm but kind chat with his mum.

Good luck

YouJustDoYou · 28/12/2019 07:41

Can you not take your dd out with you and just go to your parents? Leave her to it with your dh.

sauvignonblancplz · 28/12/2019 07:41

I disagree with anyone saying you should pop out when she arrives etc that will not work and your husband won’t support it.
You have to stand up to the situation, have a proper conversation with your husband , explain what you want your boundaries to be. One weekend a month or whatever . That you want a set amount of only you guys family meals and evening and days to yourself . Explain he’s being disrespectful and you would prefer that you were a joint force moving forward.
You then have to decide yourself that if he doesn’t support you , that you tell MIL yourself & explain to your husband that it’s no longer about you wanting time to yourselves as a family its about him taking advantage and being selfish and if he doesn’t want to respect your boundaries and home he can go and do as he pleases in her home.
It’s convenient for him that she’s round your house means he has everything he needs at his own home. Would be be happy if your family was over all the time?
Just as an aside the favouring the niece is not part of your problem.

justilou1 · 28/12/2019 08:07

It is your house too. Tell him to take her out - away from you and kids.

justilou1 · 28/12/2019 08:08

(Preferably back to the hole she crawled from)

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