Having some issues with my mother in law, it seems to never end. Any advice?

AOE - posted on 04/17/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Its a long story about how I feel like I have never been fully accepted by my mother in law. It all started when her son and I started dating she was totally uncomfortable with the idea of sharing her son with me . He was her first child to go through the relationship thing and has another son. She would never want me around, never wanted to have a relationship with me, and was always trying to force us apart. She did not want me spending anytime with him on the phone or in person. She was almost to the point of being possesive of him. She never even took the time to get to know me just wanted to drive a wedge between me and her son instead of welcoming me to the family. I always tried to please her with great gifts and smiles but never given a chance. Needless to say she made him basically choose, her or me. He chose me which caused him to part ways from his family. We still attended family events just did not make it a point to keep in touch alot. We married and then needless to say five years later when we announced we were expecting, she kind of started talking to us more. After the birth of our child, she was a different person. It was like night and day with no acknowledgement to the treatment from her. The odd thing is that when her other son got a girlfriend(which was before we were married), she was totally supportive of their relationship and everything they did, but still keeping us at a distance. Now her other daughter in law is her bff. She makes it look like she is the perfect mother in law with her and acts like I am the reason we don't have that kind of relationship. She bends over backwards to please her and goes out of her way to do things for them. And throws around comments to us like don't you wish things would have been easier with you two. My husband's only response is alot of things would be different then. Its like she taunts us with how well she treats them vs us. My biggest problem is that now they have a child and my mother in law is over the moon over the child. She sits right in front of my children telling the child how much she loves her, constantly hugging and kissing her, and never does that with my children. One of my children is old enough to notice this and I hope that it doesn't bother her. She constantly talks about the other grandchild and tries to make a point to tell me about things she does for her. But is constantly making promises to my children and breaking them. When confronted about this, her reply is well I see the other grandchild more that is why she favors her, and that we can make a point to bring her our children and leave them with her if we want things to change. I'm against that because I feel that she has never given us, or actually me a chance to be part of the family until we had children and I don't even have a relationship with her so why leave my children with someone who is basically a stranger to me. Anyone else have a similar situation or advice. Any survival tips or words of encouragement would help ease my mind. I know I should be the bigger person and let it go but I'm so sick of it because she seems to love to taunt us with her wonderful relationship with her other son and daughter in law like we caused the issues between us and not her. She will never accept any blame on how things are and I feel she will never change. We have been dealing with this crap for over 13 years. There are times when I actually think things are going to change then she does something that slaps me back into reality. You think by now something would have changed.

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Corinne - posted on 04/21/2012

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I think after 13 yrs, you know how the land lies with this woman. She is never going to change and saying it will if you would just leave the kids with her, is monkey nuts, it's manipulation plain and simple. As for favouring the other grandchild, let her; just don't have your kids around at the same time as it will really hurt them to see it. As long as you and your man remain together on this and he understands and supports you, you'll be fine.
My little family now has no contact with my husbands mother, step father and gran, as she was very much the same as your M.I.L. I was never accepted, I was told I was uneducated as I didn't have a degree, my career as a dancer was poo-pooed as it wasn't academic, everything I said was quietly shot down. Then, she started with the little digs. 'You do know how safe your birth control is, don't you?', 'Oh good, no more little whoopsies then', ' you got pregnant quick, didn't you?' she even accused me of 'snaring' her son by 'getting' pregnant. I told my husband about these comments, to which he would say 'ignore her, she'll get bored eventually'. Well, she did. That's when she started calling and texting him to say stuff about me (couldn't tell you 'what', as he's never told me). He kept it from me for months, all the while asking other family members about events and things I've said etc. Then, one morning last year, he told me what had been going on. I was stunned, literally. He spoke to his mum that day and has never spoken to her since, she doesn't want anything more to do with us. We only put up with it for 7 years, I don't know how you've lasted this long. I've had 'fan mail' from his gran, accusing me of setting it all up so I could have my husband and kids all to myself?! Apparently, I've been telling him what to do and say with regard to his mum and it's not my place. Erm... Yeah, we're much happier without their negativity and stirring. You are the better person here, as you are still trying to keep the relationship going for the kids. I really hope things get better for you.

Véronique - posted on 04/21/2012

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I know exactly how you feel, my boyfriends mother is one of those sneaky mean people, that wont be directly hostile towards anyone but says things behind your back kind of thing (unless its to her children which she can be very very harsh with my boyfriend to his face), only difference is she says things about me to her children, 2 of which are young enough to be influenced by their mother, so in turn act snobbish when around their mother; and her oldest son, that has had"unwanted girlfriends" in the past but is now dating a very very sweet girl thats about to become a doctor, needless to say his mother adores her. While all the while she has "banned" me from their home. But now she thinks she has a right to have my son at their home whenever she pleases and actually made my boyfriend feel like he had done something wrong which caused this stupid rift between all of us, We've decided she can see our son when WE choose, around twice a month opposed to every few days as I feel its healthier for our son to not be around her negativity.
If I were you especially if your daughter is old enough to notice that her grandmother favors her other grandchild, I would let her visit with them but sparingly and only when the other grandchild isnt around (unless its a family function in which case I would only stay for a short period of time, or leave immediately if she does start that behaviour). I would also try and sit down with his mother and explain to her that you understand that she has her own separate mystery issues with you, but that if she continues to let it affect her relationship with your children, that eventually they will be old enough to see that and it will hurt your children. and if she refuses to see any fault in herself I would simply tell her, thats fine but you cant knowingly let them be put in a situation where they will feel like they're second-string.
Its sad and obviously its not the first choice in a perfect world, but unfortunately any negativity or hostility she has towards you will inevitably filter thru to your children, and thats not healthy.

Louise - posted on 05/07/2012

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My mother in law started off like this but as the years melted away she has mellowed and now we are good friends. As a mum of two adult sons it is really hard to accept another female into your life. I have tred really hard with my sons girlfriends and now my eldest son is moving in with his long term girlfriend I have tried to be supportive as much as I can. It sounds to me that your mother in law thinks your not good enough for her son. This is not going to change unless you make it change. She must of realised by now that a 13 year relationship is a strong one. Your children will notice mine did but it did not bother them. They accepted it for what it was. Now the grandchildren on both sides are adults they take the piss out of each other for how spoilt one set were to mine. It has had no lasting affects.

My advice to you is carry on doing what you are doing, be sociable when you have to be and leave it at that. Just bite your tongue and make her look stupid. You and your husband knows the truth nothing else matters.

AOE - posted on 05/03/2012

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Wow! Its amazing how many of us are in the same boat with m.i.l. Thanks for the advice. My children love her so my relationship with her has no effect on them, but that's grandma spoiling them. I'm sure later on they will see the big picture when they are both older. For now, my husband has fallen for the manipulation and she is getting to get our daughter Friday's after school to spend some "quality" time with her. School is almost out and I feel my daughter is old enough to tell me about her time there. As for my son, he is too little for me to consider leaving him alone with her. I just don't trust her to watch him. After the first Friday, my daughter came home and layed on the couch most of the evening complaining that her stomach hurt. I guess a large Icee, a lolipop, and whatever else my m.i.l. let her have shows what kind of care she is getting from her. We shall see what this Friday brings. Only 4 more weeks of school then I don't have to worry about it anymore. Plus another grandchild on the way from other son so we shall soon be forgotten again!

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