- 3 years ago
- Wedding: September 2011
I usually post under another name, but I’ve dropped enough details about my life that someone could probably figure out it’s me, and I would HATE for this to get back to my MIL or other people we know. This is going to be a novel, so bear with me.
A little background… my husband is an only child, and his parents divorced when he was 4 months old because his dad left his mom for another woman. My MIL had primary custody, with a lot of help from her mother, who lived with them. Grandma has since passed away. MIL is understandably, very very attached to DH, because he’s all she has. She proclaims this fact often.
DH had a decent relationship with his dad growing up and saw him twice a week. But when he was about 25 (7 years ago), he found out through a convoluted series of events that his dad was remarried to the “other woman” with two daughters my DH had never known about. My MIL claims she never knew about the girls, but I have my doubts for sure. DH has repaired his relationship with his dad and has actually forged a decent relationship with the older of the two sisters, who is just out of college now.
My MIL and I have always had a good relationship for the 7 years DH and I have been together. I think she generally really likes me. However, when we got engaged, things got a lot more difficult. She insisted that we spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas with her because otherwise she would be alone, so DH and I split up for Thanksgiving and spent Christmas with her. She wanted to really stack the guest list for the wedding in her family’s favor, and once, after one two many glasses of wine, said some really nasty things about my mother to me. I think she feels like my family should do more to incorporate her into ours, but I have two brothers, one of whom is also married, and I believe it’s not my mom’s role to govern my relationship with my MIL. They have definitely been very cordial to her and have invited her up for dinners and stuff. She is actually coming to my parent’s house for Christmas dinner this year.
So, we hosted Thanksgiving and had her down, and it was really really rough for me. I try to be tolerant and understand that her family is really my DH and that I’m just not the same to her, but she does very little to be welcoming. She spends a lot of time complaining about how she is alone and how DH will never move back home(four hours away), presumably because of me? The first time my DH left the room during her visit, she went on a rant about how she feels she has lost a friend because the friend wasn’t invited to the wedding due to my parents’ limits on the guest list.
She made a ton of undermining comments about the way I ran the house, from my cooking, to the cleaning, to the guest bedroom that we put together just for her visit, to the way that I care for the dog. If I tried to tell a story about my family or mention them in anyway, she would talk over me or simply not respond at all to what I had said. I cooked 6 side dishes by myself and washed the dishes literally 5 times, because we have a small apartment kitchen, and all she talked about was how my DH worked his butt off on the turkey. True, but geez, a little credit? Not even a thank you. She also never lifted a FINGER or paid for anything, which I didn’t expect, but the giant hole in my wallet from this weekend is salt on the wound, haha.
Basically, the whole holiday felt like she wished that it was only her and DHm and I was just the third wheel. Not fun at all for me. He did what he could, but she has an extremely overbearing personality, and when he would say anything like, “Actually my wife did a great job cooking dinner,” she would yell at him about “putting her in her place.” The fighting between them got nasty a few times, and once she got home, she texted me “great first Thanksgiving, when DH wasn’t putting me in my place.” AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
I realize in the grand scheme this doesn’t sound all that bad, but the big stressor is that she expects to spend every. single. holiday. with us for the rest of our lives, because if she doesn’t she will be alone. I promise you, Bees, I am a very compassionate person (to the point of being a doormat) and the LAST THING I want is someone to be alone on Christmas, but I have a family that I love very much, and I want time with them too. It was very nice of my mom to invite her up this year.. it’s a three hour drive, so she will even stay overnight, but (1) her behavior toward me really make me upset, so that makes the holidays hard and (2) I cannot expect my parents to host every year. Is it ridiculous to expect that maybe sometimes she will have to be alone on Christmas?
Whew, that was a rant. I guess I’d just appreciate any thoughts you have, especially on the splitting holidays thing. None of my close girlfriends are married or even in relationships where they have to split holidays, so I am really grateful for any advice. Thanks in advance.