Am I overreacting?

Jocelyn - posted on 01/12/2011 ( 28 moms have responded )

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So to make a long story short-- Barb and Jerry (family friends of both my MIL and ME) gave ME a car. My MIL took the car to get it fixed for us. We put the car under her name because she pays for our car insurance (it's cheaper that way, and our fist big mistake). Well, it's been 5 months. Every couple of weeks I would ask how the car is coming along, and each time she would say "it's not quite ready yet." Then 2 months ago she starts driving the car around town (what, does she think that I have no EYES?!) So this past week I kept trying to get a hold of her (text, email, phone calls) and she was ignoring me. Last night I finally get to talk to her, and I found out that she never had ANY intention of giving us back the car. So we start arguing and she throws it back in our face that she has helped us "sooo many times" (she pays for our car insurance, that's all) and that since her name is on the insurance, that the car is HERS. I am currently driving her old Firefly around because our other car died, which I am grateful that she is loaning to us. But it stalls (and it's an automatic!), the INSIDE windows ice up every night, the defrost doesn't work, and the two car seats that I have in the back, LEAN INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE CAR! It is too small for two car seats, and that is NOT SAFE.
So I am incredibly angry, and hurt, that she of all people would do this. (that is just not her personality) Barb and Jerry were just trying to help us! In 9 months we will have paid off all of our remaining debt, and we were planning on buying a new car anyways. So in 9 months, she is going to be sitting with "her" 2 cars and her truck, all alone (she has no boyfriend or kids left at home) and I hope that those vehicles give her all the love that a family would give her.
So our mutual friends are pissed at her, and her family wont talk to her. I have taken away random-drop-by-visits, and babysitting privileges.
What would you do? What would you say? I'm at a loss, I've never had to deal with anything like this involving family.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Amanda - posted on 01/13/2011

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I read all the posts, I understand that this car is a "gift" but the car is lawfully her MIL's (because of a bad choice to put it in her name). Her MIL shouldnt be paying for repairs on a car that isnt hers. I didnt say Jocelyn wasnt actting like an adult, I was trying to say be the adult in this conflict. Since clearly feelings are hurt, and I am sure no one is handling it as adults (venting about it online isnt being an adult, dealing with the problem is).

All people are different, all people do things for a reason, if you dont like what they have done, find out why they did it and at least try to UNDERSTAND why they did it. It is clear there is a communication break down here, and someone needs to open up the communication, in order to fix the problem.

You also dont know if they passively aggressively "asked" for her to cover the repairs right? Thats just as much as asking directly. You only know as much information as Jocelyn has given, therefore you or I cant actually give her real advice, as plenty has been left out I am sure. I would bet the MIL has a totally different story about why she now has possesion of the car.

[deleted account]

Wow. I'd be mad too. I'd be getting my husband after her, though. I mean, it's his mother, he should do something about her craziness.

Jocelyn - posted on 01/13/2011

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@ Amanda.
We were always going to pay for the repairs, but my MIL has an on-again-off-again relationship with a mechanic who only charges her for the parts (at cost), not the time. We don't get that deal, so we were going to pay my MIL back as soon as everything was done. In the beginning SHE told us that we didn't have to worry about paying for the repairs, but I insisted, early on, because I would feel bad if I didn't. She was always going to get the money, and as soon as we got the car I was going to take over paying for the insurance. Which she also knew.

Amanda - posted on 01/13/2011

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I totally agree that was a shitty thing for your MIL to do. But on the other hand, why do you have her paying your car insurance, and paying for car repairs? You claim you dont ask her for anything, but that is something. Maybe she feels you are ungrateful and dont deserve the repaired car. "She ways for our insurance thats allll" Sounds pretty ungrateful, as thats much more then many parents or inlaws will do for grown children.

Sit down with this woman and find out what she is truely thinking and feeling, and be an adult and work things out. This woman is your MIL until the day she dies, you have had her grand children, so suck up your pride, and FIX it for your children.

[deleted account]

I also wanted to add that, for the sake of the kids, eventually it would be nice if you two could work it out or come to some kind of resolution about it. One of you has to be the bigger person and just let it go eventually. I don't think that it's the best thing to forever take away her visits and babysitting priviledges but I can totally agree that for now, it's fine. Just don't use your kids as weapons against her. It's not fair to them. There are other ways of working out MIL issues. I'm having some of my own right now, so if you figure any passive aggressive, yet not too mean methods, let me know lol

28 Comments

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Jackie - posted on 01/23/2011

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Why cant you have the friends who gave you the car, write a note and receipt giving the car to you, then let your MIL know you can take her to court and she can pay you for the value of the car since technically she stole it.

April - posted on 01/13/2011

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if you ever do get the car back, i wouldn't give her a dime towards repairs. i wouldn't be worried about "ruining" your relationship...it's already ruined. This isn't something you're going to look back upon and laugh. On top of everything, she doesn't NEED it. She took it just because she can. It's cruel and heartless and it's something she cannot be forgiven for unless she makes things right again .

Bonnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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I would be quite upset. If the vehicle was given as a gift, you don't just go and take it back. If she is paying for the repairs on the vehicle that is one thing. She shouldn't have been sneaking around all this time driving it and pretending like she was going to give it back when she wasn't either.

Amie - posted on 01/13/2011

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Amanda,

You should have read the replies. Then you would have seen this:

"Jocelyn Smith - posted 1 day ago

Also to add: She also said that she is not "financially able" to give us back the car because she has $600 invested in it. Which I could go to the bank this second and withdraw to give her. Which I told her. "

The MIL just doesn't want to give back the GIFT that was given to Jocelyn and her husband. It doesn't matter about the circumstances, she has no right to claim a gift that was never for her.

To imply Jocelyn isn't acting like an adult, is rude also. The "that's alll" comment was directly after her MIL threw it in her face all the "help" she's given. Which, in reading the OP, isn't all that much.

I do not see where they asked for her to do the car repairs either, she offered it to my understanding.

Ez - posted on 01/12/2011

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Holy shit! I often wonder how people sleep at night. As a mother, I can't imagine taking something from my child and their family. It's outrageous!



I'm not sure what I would do... probably flip my lid and then go to ground for a while. It's not feasible to never see your MIL again, and I'm sure you want to preserve a civil relationship for the kids' sakes. But I think you're well within your rights to back right off and take a breather from her until it all blows over.

Jessica - posted on 01/12/2011

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Oh wow...actually knowing your MIL, I'm surprised she is doing this..sorry to hear Joce. I would be wicked pissed to.

Jocelyn - posted on 01/12/2011

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Thanks ladies :) Glad to know that I'm definitely within my right to be PISSED.
And Kate, Jordan didn't say much, but he punched a hole through the door in out basement o_0

Kate CP - posted on 01/12/2011

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What a bitchy thing to do. What does your husband have to say about his lovely mother's behavior?

Sharon - posted on 01/12/2011

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let her keep the damned car and keep the $600 to put towards your new car and let her eat that shit. fucking cow.

Nikkole - posted on 01/12/2011

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No your not overreacting i personally hold a grudge for a while (one of my faults) i would let my husband take the kids to see her but yea i wouldn't talk to her for a while and see how she likes it! good luck

Amie - posted on 01/12/2011

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Oh, I just read the replies. You have the money to give her because she's not "financially able", yet she still has the car.

I'm not sure it's possible but I agree with you even more after reading that. She's being petty and cruel.

Amie - posted on 01/12/2011

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Oh holy hell. That sounds like my FIL. "Well I did this and this and this, so you OWE me, even though I said I would help and it was a gift, you still OWE me." He drives me insane with his BS.

With him, it got to the point where he demanded $22,000 from my husband and I. Money that he tracked back all the way to when my husband was a teenager( and had nothing to do with me btw but I owed him too apparently). Ugh. He did the same thing with a slightly higher price tag to my husband's sister.

We (all of us) didn't talk to him for months after that fiasco. He got the message and while he still has his internal ticker going (which plays a big part in why we never, EVER, ask him for a favor of any type or accept any that he offers) we're all getting along fine.

Family is the worst when it comes to these issues. I had no idea though how bad it is for some until I met my FIL. My parents are not like that. It will pass but you are fully entitled to be as pissed as you are.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/12/2011

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I would not have been happy at all. The safety of her grandchildren should come before herself. Just keep doing what you are doing...eventually you will get your new car...and guess what? she can't drive it! Definately don't take it out on the kids...missing grandma and all...but she deserves a cold shoulder from you!

[deleted account]

I would be pissed and I don't think your over reacting. At some point you have to let her see the kids for their sake. Honestly I would pay the extra to get your own insurance policy and not deal with hers.

[deleted account]

I'm sorry. I don't have anything helpful, but my car and insurance are both in my name... yet my mom pays the insurance.

I'd be VERY upset too!

[deleted account]

Sounds like me.....any minute now I'm supposed to call my MIL and ask about her babysitting Saturday so Steve & I can go out. We're "not speaking" but I still have to call her and I'm dreading it. As you can see, I'm here instead of on my phone, which is about 6 inches from my left hand right now lol

Jocelyn - posted on 01/12/2011

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And I won't keep the kids away from her forever. I've never been one to hold a grudge. Give me a couple months and things will probably be back to "normal", but certainly not forgotten or forgiven.

Jocelyn - posted on 01/12/2011

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I was naive and didn't know that the name on the car and the name on the insurance didn't have to match. I've never had to pay my own insurance before! Lesson learned indeed.!
I have the same world view as you do Joy. Which why this makes it so hard for me. I spent the better part of two days crying.

[deleted account]

I'd be pissed and hurt. Hurt more than anything else. Your family friends were trying to help YOU and she took that away from them, as well as you. I'm an emotional being, so I probably would have done something similar to what you did. I have this view of the world (a skewed view, according to many) that you treat people the way you want to be treated. If you want respect, give it. Your MIL, even though she's helping you by paying for your insurance, had no right to intervene in an act of kindness given by someone else. If she had a problem paying for your car insurance then yeah, it would have been her perrogative to make a stink about that. But the issue with the car you were supposed to be given? WTH? Maybe she started out getting the car fixed, realized how much it was going to cost and somewhere along the way just felt like it should be hers if she was paying that much. It really doesn't matter, since she did it in such a sneaky way. If she decided somewhere along the way that she wanted the car for herself, she should have told you or offered you the chance to pay for the repairs. Her name or not, it was meant to be YOURS. And yeah, I agree with you...your first mistake was putting the thing in her name. Why did you do that? Even if she pays for your car insurance, she can still do it with a vehicle in your name. All she has to do is write a check or call in a credit card number. Lesson learned girl lol The hard way.

Jocelyn - posted on 01/12/2011

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Also to add: She also said that she is not "financially able" to give us back the car because she has $600 invested in it. Which I could go to the bank this second and withdraw to give her. Which I told her.

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