Deadbeat MIL…is it ever okay to say something?

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
  • poll: What should I do?
    Do nothing. It's not my business. As much as it sucks, just watch him get hurt. : (54 votes)
    81 %
    Buy her a plane ticket against DH's wishes. : (2 votes)
    3 %
    Send a passive email. : (5 votes)
    7 %
    Send an aggressive email. : (6 votes)
    9 %
  • Post # 2
    457 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Support your DH in whatever decision he makes, and let him say what needs to be said to her. If he wants to cut her off because she has such little regard for him in her life, that’s up to him. Clearly, she could make the trip if she chose to prioritize it, but she didn’t– that is her decision, so why put yourself out for her selfishness? You could try to reach out to her, I suppose, but if she won’t listen to her own son, I don’t see her responding any better to you.

    It’s rough to see someone you love go through something painful. It’s also difficult to understand how a parent could do certain things to their own kids, especially when there’s no way we could do it ourselves. My mother was an alcoholic, a vitrolic one at that. Even the rare times when I’ve been both drunk and angry, I could still never say anything half as bad to her as the things she shouted at me for years; how she could say the things she said to me, I’ll never understand.

    The best thing to do is to focus on DH and your kids. Focus on the positive side of things, like how good of a father he is, and so on. He will deal with it in his own way.

    Post # 3
    1765 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    Sorry Sweetie….big hug first of all…huge hug….I have a good guy friend who has a relationship with his mom…unfortunately….the only time in his ENTIRE 28 years on this earth that she has ever really acted like she cared were when he was little and she got attention for how cute he was….as he grew his dad was his hugest supporter and goes to the moon and back for his son to this day….(his parents are divorced as well) he was good enough for her when he was a big highschool football star his junior and senior year, and in the off season she could have cared less…then pretty much had nothing to do with him until he graduated lawschool and got a job with a great company, and was making tons of money….then she cared….because he was useful and had money which she wanted….<br />i worry for you that thats part of the reason she is feigning interest in him doctors make good money when loans are paid off….hopefully that isnt the case….<br />but hun….she will never change, no threat of grandkids will change that….nothing will….and all you can do is stand beside your hubby and help him through this….its his choice let him make it…it may hurt temporarily….

    **just remember if HE makes this choice, yes it will hurt him to do it…and be painful to watch and be there beside him for…and he will always have that piece missing….BUT whats better to help him grieve and move on….or to make him keep trying and in a sense keeping the cycle going….and watching her do this over and over again not only at his events…but to your kids…which will hurt him too….just let him take his time….be his rock and hold his hand as he goes through this…

    Post # 4
    624 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2015

    This MIL and her lifestyle could become a problem in the future for you two. Based on what you described in your OP, she very probably is in deep debt or will be at some point. The problem with paying for her flight, meals, etc, is that eventually she might start expecting that and more. Be careful. Support your husband in his decision and try to make his graduation day as special as possible, with your kids and your family. I have the gut feeling that the farther away this MIL is, the better it will be in the long run.

    Post # 5
    63 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    It’s worth phoning your MIL and clearly communicating whats on the line.  That way she can’t weasel out of it and say, “Oh, I never knew it was that important to you.” or “Oh, I didn’t know it was that date.|   I learned this technique for dealing with toddler temper tantrums and it may work for your conversation with the MIL.  1.  Identify the behaviour that is wrong (If you choose not to come to DH’s graduation, the most important day of his life…)  2.  Tell her how it makes DH feel (…then he will be really hurt and upset and he’ll think you don’t care about him…)  3.  Identify what the consequences will be (…and the consequence may be that you end up permanently damaging your relationship with your son…)  4.  Suggest an appropriate behaviour they can do instead (…so I suggest you make every effort possible to be at his graduation on date, time, place)  Tips:  Make sure you identify the behaviour as bad rather than your MIL.  Be firm and non judgemental.  Don’t call her a crappy mom and a selfish bitch.

    After you’ve said your bit, let it go.  She will have to live with the consequences.   Your husband won’t want you to beg, nag or yell at her, but maybe he won’t get mad if you inform her of the date, time, place and consequences of her actions.

    Post # 6
    6667 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

    My wise therapist once told me “you can’t make a relationship happen between two other people”.  As in- only your husband and his mother can make it happen.  You cannot fix what is between them.  I think you need to respect your husband’s wishes and leave it alone.

    Post # 7
    173 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 2012 - Country Club

    I have a similar situation with my in laws, although my hubby continues to try to connect with them and they make no effort. i.e. not even telling him happy birthday this year. If my hubby said he wanted to kick them out of his life, I would let him. It kills me to see him upset and I don’t feel it is even worth it at this point. Maybe after he tries to remove her from his life she will get her act together and try to make things right. If you feel you have to say something to her, I wouldn’t be nice, not horrible, but not nice.. she doesn’t deserve it. Hope everything works out! 

    Post # 8
    491 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I would let your husband decide how he wants to handle this. If you go behind his back and try to make other arrangements you might make a bad situation worse

    Post # 9
    6450 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Option 3. I totally get why people say to stay out of it if they haven’t been in a similar situation but I think one last e-mail wouldn’t hurt.

    We were in a similar situation where FIL was being ridiculous. I tried so hard to stay out of it because I knew it was DH’s decision in the end but I had a hard time seeing him so hurt. I ended up sending a very long text message basically saying that I knew it was none of my business but it hurt me seeing his son so upset and that I thought he (FIL) was just plaing wrong. FIL called DH the next day and things have improved.

    Reach out with one PASSIVE e-mail and then leave it to your husband to decide the rest.

    Post # 11
    389 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2014 - Norton Country Club

    This is a reminder that the ability to have kids makes a mother, not a Mom. I’m glad your DH has you so he knows not every woman is like this- with you, he seems to have found the love and compassion he never got from her. 

    I would definitely let him call the shots here. She’s his mother and will bear the brunt of any judgment about it. Listen to him and support him through it. You might have to let him be angry with her for a while and that can be tough. 

    Post # 12
    1029 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2015

    Miss Boone:  I’m so sorry that you and your DH are going through this and I know what hurts him hurts you too. I know oh to well how he must feel. He has to come to a decision that if she has  caused him pain/disappointment throughout his life what’s the point of even having her in his life. I hope he cuts off the hand that offends him because one day it will be the grands reliving the pain that she has always caused your DH! I feel sorry for your MIL that she doesn’t realize that people are always more valuable/important than things and should be treated as such! 

    Post # 13
    864 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    Neither of my parents wanted to be parents, and neither enjoyed it…as I got rather tired of hearing when I was in my late teens/early twenties.

    Neither of them have ever shown much interest in my life…in fact, I’ve not had any contact with my father in 25 years.  I don’t even know if he’s still alive…and frankly, I don’t really care.  He made his choice not to be part of my life, I’m not going to force him to be.  

    I especially wouldn’t like it if my FI tried to make me have contact with either of them – at the end of the day, it’s none of his business.  And as some who has been fine without grandparents in their life, I wouldn’t be making your kids spend time with her either.  

    Post # 14
    3586 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    If she wanted to see him, she’d find a way.  Stop taking the kids to visit her.  She’ll only disappoint them the same way she has your husband.  If your husband wants to cut her off, I honestly think it will be the best thing for him so she can’t directly hurt him any more.

    Post # 15
    1272 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    Miss Boone:  I think you need to go along with your husband on this one. I know this situation sucks, and I’m so sorry you both are going through it. If his mom wants to be involved in your lives, she WILL find a way. In all honesty, if her being in your life is causing drama, cutting her out completely will probably help. Your children will be totally fine not seeing her, and it’s just important to stand by your husband completely and be his rock in this difficult situation. Good luck to both of you!

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