Post # 1
Basically, my MIL has always been sort of standoffish toward me, but it seems to have worsened since we got married… A little background for you:
- DH is an only child.
- His mom is sort of needy & his dad is a bit irresponsible (but very friendly and welcoming and likes to socialize). DH seems more like the parent in their family.
- DH & I met in September of 2008 and married 1/1/11. We’ve always spent a lot of time with my family because we all live near one another and enjoy getting together often (birthdays, holidays, Sunday dinners, football games, game nights, etc.)
- We have invited his parents to several of my family’s functions and they have attended 4 including our wedding (one holiday, DH’s surprise party, rehearsal dinner & our wedding). His father has attended a few more without his wife because she “didn’t want to leave the house.”
- I invited MIL to participate in wedding planning from dress shopping to looking for a venue, choosing flowers and picking invitations. She chose only to attend a tasting at the reception venue.
- In all of our wedding photos, she doesn’t quite look unhappy, but doesn’t look happy either. She looks like she might have cramps or be constipated or something.
- The in-laws picked us up when we got back from our honeymoon and she said nothing more than “hello” to me and then said to DH, “We never see you anymore since you got married.” —Um, we got married, left the reception around 1AM & left for our honeymoon @ 9AM so when would you have seen him?
- She generally doesn’t speak to me and answers my questions in one word answers.
- DH & I didn’t live together before marriage and often when we’d call one another in the morning, his call waiting would beep & it’d be his mom. Since we’ve been married, she calls his cell phone to speak to him in the morning when I am home, but when I get home from work, I can see on the caller id that she does call the house during the hours when she knows I’ve left and he is still home.
- For her birthday 4 weeks ago, DH asked me to bake her cake (the night before at the last minute) so I stayed up late making this elaborate three-layer cake. My brother called me early the next morning and asked me to go pick up my nephew 90 minutes away as he was out of town & his wife had a medical emergency & couldn’t drive, so I was unable to go with DH to bring her the cake & her gift. To this day, she has never said thank you or acknowledged the cake (although DH said she loved it and his dad called me at work to ask me to make another since MIL wouldn’t share it with him).
My cousin (an older woman MIL has met 3 times) called me today to tell me she got a package in the mail from MY MIL!! It was a hand-knitted blanket and sweater with a card “welcoming” my cousin to her family!
I’m at a loss! I’m confused and hurt! I’ve invited my MIL to lunch and she has declined, and even when my mom called to wish her a happy birthday & invited her out for lunch, she declined that.
This afternoon capped it all off. DH’s uncle had surgery & we were all at the hospital including some of his relatives from out of town who couldn’t make it to the wedding. I was in the bathroom and MIL & DH’s aunt walked in & didn’t realize I was in the stall. DH’s aunt said how nice I seemed (first time we met) and asked how we (MIL & I) got along with each other. MIL told her, “I haven’t spent much time with her because I don’t want to get attached to her; I’m not sure she’ll be around long.” Aunt asked what she meant & MIL replied, “I don’t know; I’ve just felt from the start that she is going to break DH’s heart and leave him.” Aunt asked why, if I had ever said or done anything to make her feel that way. MIL said, “No. She just seems too good. She’s good to him and he’s a better man since he’s been with her, but I’m waiting for something. Her whole family loves DH & they’re always getting together and he seems to love them, it just seems too perfect so I’m just waiting for something to fall apart.”
Soooo… What would you do? Would you pretend you didn’t hear it? Would you approach her to discuss it? Would you talk to DH about it? I couldn’t tell him at the hospital because I was trying not to cry & it really wasn’t the time or place. Also, DH had to go to work & I don’t want to dicuss it while he’s at work.
I don’t want to ask my mother’s advice just yet because my mom is protective and would likely call my MIL and ask her how many rocks she has been smoking & I know that won’t help the situation.
Any thoughts? Thanks for taking the time to read all of that!
Post # 3
Have you told your husband what you overheard? What’s his take on (all of) it?
What a tough spot to be in!
Post # 4
OH MAN! I would of exploded. Like seriously? I would of flipped out. You need to sit down with your husband and tell him what you overheard. And then you need to confront her and tell her now much your feelings have been hurt by her words.
Or, just keep on doing what you are doing and prove her wrong.
Post # 5
What?! I would have busted out of that stall and asked her what her problem was right then and there. Thats just too much. I dont like certain future inlaws much but at least they say things to my face! What a trick.
I’d discuss with your hubs and get his opinion. After I’d confront MIL, seriously its that kind of attitude and gossipy behavior that can cause problems.
Post # 6
Wow. I would not have been able to stay in the stall like that! Good job on being the better person! I would just start concentrating on your relationship with your husband and not with your MIL. You seem to have made numerous efforts to connect with her and she has continued to ignore them. Let her make the effort to start a relationship with you (if she decides to). It’s really not about you or anything you’ve done or not done, it’s your MIL’s issue.
Post # 7
@ddw: Hubby isn’t home yet, another hour or so.
I’ve told him in the past how his mom doesn’t seem to like me or interact much with me. He just shrugs it off by saying that’s just how she is and not to take it personally.
@sceeder & @MrsPinkPeony: Yeah, I need to talk to hubby, but I hate to bring it up when everyone is so worried about his uncle…But I guess I have to do it.
@jewishbride: I know you’re right about it being her issue, but it truly bothers me and I don’t want it to become an issue between hubby & me. I don’t want him to feel torn or for things to get any worse, so I guess I have to discuss it with him & then confront her about it. As for staying in the stall…I really had no choice because it would’ve been ridiculously awkward had I come out & I didn’t want any drama when his uncle is terribly ill and everyone is so worried.
Thanks for all of your input, Bees—much appreciated!
Post # 8
@tootietoo2: I think you should discuss all the issues (the cake, the distance, the conversation) with your husband-you both need to discuss whats at the root of all of this with your MIL. I would find any, especially the conversation about you, unacceptable…so apparently your so good that thats what shes worried about? How illogical is that? I think your husband’s happiness and even your extended in laws see how wonderful you are as a wife and person- maybe his mother feels replaced or uneeded? Who knows, but you wont until you speak with your spouse and hopefully work out a way for you two to talk to her about it.
Post # 9
@Bellanouva: Thanks for your insight. You are absolutely correct and perhaps addressing ALL of these issues is what is needed to make hubby see that this is not just some little thing. Maybe when I mention things as they happen they seem small, but seeing them all laid out definitely makes me realize this is a big deal and that the sooner we address it, the sooner we can either resolve it or I can accept it and recognize that I’m just not going to have much of a relationship with her.
Post # 10
Well on the plus side…she thinks that you’re great! Probably not too comforting, but it’s better than some of the alternatives.
The downside is that she’s waiting for a downside. I think that only time is going to help this situation. You keep doing what you’re doing. Tell your DH what you heard and see if he has any advice on how you can reach your MIL. Do you think that having a real heart to heart with her might help? Telling her that you are in this relationship for better or worse and you aren’t going anywhere might help her realize that you are a permanent part of DH’s life and her life now too. Sorry you’re dealing with this:(
Post # 11
To add to what bellanouva mentioned about the MIL feeling replaced etc. a little while back another bee posted a link to a pretty spot on blog, here’s the link to the WB thread: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/interesting-blog-post-that-puts-mil-issues-into-perspective-a-bit
Hopefully after speaking to your husband you guys can figure out a plan to work things out, or approach her. If all else fails, you’ve done a fantastic job to help her feel included and if she’s going to block every effort, throw a pitty party and refuse to accept you… I say save yourself the heart ache and continue to invest in what seem like amazing relationships with your family and other members of his.
Some MILs just wont budge. My MIL is amazing, but hers…. not so much. DH’s parents have been married nearly 30 years and his grandmother still doesn’t accept his Mom. The saddest part, is my MIL still takes it all to heart. I know its a lot easier said than done (especially from someone who’s not in your shoes) but if it can’t be worked out, I think you have to take it for what it is and not break your heart worrying over it, or trying to win her over.
Best of luck and sorry she’s giving you these troubles 🙁 It sounds like you’re an incredibly good and big person. Don’t let her take you down
Post # 12
You know what – I think what you heard really wasn’t that bad. Almost good even. She thinks your great! That’s awesome. But obviously this woman has issues. She is obviously a negative person who isn’t used to good things happening to her or her family. You know those people who also say they are unlucky or when something bad happens “Oh justmy luck that would happen to me…” as if they are somehow cursed? That’s her. So breathe a sigh of relief and know that her behavior towards you has NOTHING to do with you, it has everything to do with her and her craziness.
Okay, now if I were you I would sit down with her and just tell her how happy you are with her son, how you see spending the rest of your life with him, and how grateful you are to her for raising an awesome man. If you can’t say all this, maybe write it in a letter? Just phrase it along the lines of, “I’m sitting here thinking about how happy I am and I realized I have you to thank for a lot of it.” I know it’s laying it on thick – but I think she’ll appreciate it.
For what it’s worth, I think my mom was like this a bit with my little brother’s gf. My brother had has his heart broken before, and when he started dating his new gf my mom was very standoffish and didn’t want to become attached before. When my brother had gotten his heart broken in the past it ended up affecting the entire family, and I don’t think my mom wanted to go through that again. She’s definetly loosened up a bit and now really loves his new gf, but it wasn’t an overnight thing.
It’ll get better – I promise!
Post # 13
I’m sorry you have to deal with her, you don’t deserve all that.
I feel pretty strongly that your DH needs to understand what you’re going through and to validate your feelings. It may take some time, and no need to blow up or anything…but it needs to be hashed out.
The hardest thing in life is to accept we do not have control over certain things. Unfortunately, your MIL will probably never change. So after helping your husband understand, you need to find ways to “deal” with her behavior and lower your expectations.
Wishing you well!
Post # 14
@tootietoo2: No problem at all and I totally second
forforever’s advice and reading that thread. I hope to hear an update soon!
Post # 15
I’m in the same boat, but I am not married yet. My FMIL just has never really treated me nice, and loves to nit pick everything that I do. When I cook she says things like “This doesn’t have any flavor. The potatoes are too runny. I didn’t know you could even ruin this.” And, everything has to be her way, or it’s wrong. She’s manipulative to my Fiancee and makes him feel worthless on a daily basis. The only reason she is around is because her back went out and she can’t work, mnuch less take care of herself now. I just wish things weren’t the way they were, every night I’m crying and I just want to give up.
But, enough about me, for your situation is I would talk to your husband and let him know how you feel. If there’s just no fixing to it, all you have to do is stick around a few years and let his mom know nothing is going to “fall apart”. Maybe things will get better. =]
Post # 16
I used to have IL problems when I lived common law with my ex. She got worse when I bought the house and became so critical of me. She even got pushy about my finances and implied that I was bad with money when it was her son that was the one with the issues.
My big mistake was that I was upset when I spoke with my boyfriend at the time. He got mad at his mom, put her on the spot, and then she started changing her story. He then thought that I was lying and started to gravitate to her. When our son was born, she told him to move home since he wasn’t coping well with parenthood, and really fed him a lot of bad advice. It was ultimately the biggest reason why things didn’t work out with him.
So, my advice is to make sure you bring any positive about her that you can while talking about her. Tell him that you want to be closer to her. Tell him that you want everything to be peaceful. But also tell him how you feel. He may feel like he is a bit stuck in the middle at first, but depending on how you do it, we can probably brainstorm ideas how to approach her.
My ex felt that if I had an issue with his mom, I needed to call her. I was very opposed to that, but eventually felt that things were so bad, and if he wasn’t going to do it, maybe I could. I didn’t have enough history with her to approach it the way I should have and it made things even worse. She got very defensive with me and took things the wrong way. I would never do that again.
I agree with whoever said that ther are definite positives in what she said. She likes you but is scared. Show her how much you love her son and time will also reinforce that.
Good luck. I hated having any issue with my ILs, and it’s such a difficult position to be in.