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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:
BeyondMyWits · 28/12/2019 08:16

Instead of all the "you have a DH problem" etc, (you don't have a DH problem, you have a failure to set your own boundaries with another human being problem)

on a practical level you have to be a bit harsher with her. Actually bluntly tell her it is not convenient. Bluntly tell her she can't stay round. Get her coat and say you have stuff to do now, so you'll see her to the door. She is not "old", she is able, she has an active social life - you are entitled to one too. What do you want to DO that she is interfering with? Start doing it instead of just being there when she calls by.

Though, if she is always at yours, always at his sisters and has a whole heap of hobbies and friends how the heck does she fit it all in. Does she come to yours for a rest?

AnnaMagnani · 28/12/2019 08:48

He promised his Dad he'd look after her

Perhaps you could have a chat about what this looking after should look like?

How much 'looking after' does a healthy woman with an active social life need? Maybe 'looking after' looks like helping her stand on her own two feet?

It's not unreasonable that the next call for jobs round the house gets met with a number for a handyman because he is too busy. Making sure she has appropriate tradesmen to do jobs is also 'looking after'.

CalmdownJanet · 28/12/2019 09:20

New year new start. Start your year as you mean to go on, invite your parents for new years dinner and say to mil "Have you new years plans? My parents are coming for dinner, just in case you were planning on popping in, please don't as it will be just us for dinner, I have nearly seen my parents"

If she doesn't call great, if she does call great too "I told you about our plans mil, look to be honest this popping in and telling us when you are staying has been too much for a while, so a new years resolution for all of us will be more time for us just as a three, and you calling to ask if it's ok before you come over"

JasonPollack · 28/12/2019 10:22

Exactly what @CalmdownJanet said. You need to work out your boundaries and then enforce them! Say no to her, because it doesn't look like your husband is going to.

SUBisYodrethwhenLarping · 28/12/2019 11:33

Do you have a calendar in your house that she can see when she comes over or do you have it all in a diary or phone?

If it is hanging on the wall then she can see what plans you have come up - this could work in your favour or against it

Depends how you want it to be

Fill up your weekends or the times she comes round with other activity and put in huge letters an "appointment" for her to come over and put it in her diary or calendar too

Not same day each week cos otherwise that will determine it for ever after - like Sunday lunch will mean from now to eternity every Sunday

Your DD might want to take up girls football training or ballet or drama or netball or fencing or sailing or brownies or sea cadets (junior version) or swimming or whatever that might be happening evenings or weekends locally so you take her or a hobby that you can do as a 3 with you, DH and DD - dog walking for a neighbour or borrow my doggy

Agree with the numbers for handyman/woman locally to her home

hellcarryingahandbag · 28/12/2019 15:00

No is a complete sentence

fargo123 · 29/12/2019 00:52

She also blatantly favours my niece over my dd

For this reason alone she'd be banned from having anything to do with my child, let alone coming into my home on a regular basis.

If nothing else, MIL needs to be stopped from coming over so that your DD knows you have her back. And I'd be very blunt with MIL as to why she wasn't allowed in my home or near my child/ren.

justilou1 · 30/12/2019 03:16

I don’t think you should let her in the door. Just greet her there and say “Actually, now’s not a good time for us, MIL. Could you please start calling first as we have discussed?” and ask her to leave. It is YOUR house as well and the children’s also. You all outnumber DH and deserve peace.

LadyTiredWinterBottom2 · 30/12/2019 04:35

She doesn't hound your sil thr way she does you because your sil doesn't let her.

I totally sympathise as someone with in laws who don't know what boundaries are. It would be nice if your DH would deal with it but he isn't going to, so you are going to have to put your big girl pants on and take action yourself. Screw what DH has to say about it, he had his chance. If you don't, your marriage will go down the drain.

Sausagerols · 30/12/2019 06:40

Following op as i coukd have wrote this my self
Even down to the favoritism of the other child
Does your mil turn up unannounced?

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