Post # 1
So all you ladies who said my MIL would be exactly the same after the wedding were exactly right. I totally thought she was just being crazy about the wedding, until today, when she sent me an email with a list of people I need to send thank you notes to.
Seriously. I already have the list thanks, and I’m halfway done writing them.
I mean, basically, what I want to say to her is "I realize that your son needs someone to tell him what to do or he won’t do it, but luckily, he has selected someone responsible for his wife. I do not need you to send me lists of people to thank, I do not need you to call me to remind me what to pack (she actually did this before our honeymoon), and I do not need you to call my husband to remind him to go to the dentist. I’VE GOT IT UNDER CONTROL."
However, my husband refuses to say anything to her, on the grounds that she’s very easily hurt. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but I also don’t want to spend the rest of my life being told what to do. My mom doesn’t call me to tell me to remember to pack my toothbrush. I’m 25 years old!
I’ve suggested counseling, but my husband doesn’t seem interested. He’s very much got a "this is just how she is" attitude. I’ve considered talking to my new SIL (his brother’s wife), but I’m a little intimidated by her, and I’m not sure how to approach the subject without coming across like a spoiled little child or offending her.
Has anyone dealt with a crazy MIL post wedding? Did counseling help? Or do you continue to suffer?
Post # 3
I have a feeling she "gets hurt easily" to make you feel bad and her still win. Talk to her calmly about it. Tell her what you just wrote, you realize her son is forgetful, but now you’re there to take care of him. It’s not that you’re pushing her out of his life, its that you want to be able to be a wife for him
Post # 4
I don’t want to be seen as the bitchy wife who won’t let her mother her child… even though that’s exactly what I am.
Post # 5
She doesn’t need to "mother him" anymore! Holy geez. He’s a grown man! With a WIFE! Ugh. It’s your "job" to take care of him, lol. He needs to stop being a momma’s boy, no offense. Next time she does this, he needs to GENTLY say, "ma, we got it covered" or "ma, you don’t have to call us to tell us what to pack" stuff like that. Start putting her off little by little so she knows her comments aren’t THAT welcoming. If she throws a hissy fit, he can just say, "well, what do you expect? I don’t exactly live at home anymore". he HAS to make this stop. Seriously, she’s going to be calling you and being all, "make sure the toilet paper is on the roll, we’re coming over" or something nutty. I don’t know that counseling would really fix it. You just gotta nip it in the bud. Otherwise, you’ll be like my mom…seething 20 years later.
Just because that’s "how she is" doesn’t mean you should really have to put up with it 24/7 all the damn time. A little bit of crazy, sure, that’s what familys’ about. But if it’s literally driving you freakin’ insane? nuh-uh. Not cool.
Post # 6
I’m a little cranky from staying up late, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.
I really don’t get why mothers need to micro-manage their kids after they hit adulthood. Telling you what to pack? Seriously?! What the eff is up with that? That said, my mother is the exact same way, and it drives me nuts. Sometimes I’m afraid to tell her my plans for the day because she’ll criticise the freaking order in which I do things.
But. I think the beginning of the marriage is the *very best time* to set boundaries – "yes, thanks for the input, but by the way, butt out." It’s kind of like with children. They test their limits to see what they can get away with and then throw a tantrum if you try to set boundaries later. It will be so much less painful in the long run – for everybody – if you set limits on her involvement now. If you’re clear about it, she’ll probably respect you. If you let her get away with things now, you really will come off as a bitch later when you finally put your foot down. (And if she’s anything like my mom, the whole family will hear about it.)
Just my two cents. Good luck with that!
P.S. What kind of counseling did you have in mind? For you and hubby, or as a family?
Post # 7
As far as counseling, I was thinking just for me and the husband- someone who could see the situation objectively and maybe give my husband some tools for standing up to her… Maybe I’m being overly optimistic but ideally someone who would just side with me and say "You need to man up and say something to your crazy mother."
Post # 8
Honestly, she’s probably done that all of his life so it’s just routine for her. Maybe respond with a "You shouldn’t have taken the time to write this down, I already had a list. Thanks for thinking of us though." I think that you and your husband should say something, together, the next time you see her. I can only imagine that it will get worse after (if) you have children
Post # 9
Oh! I think that’s a pretty good idea. I know in my case I tend to not stand up to my mother because it’s just so much easier to blow it off than to make a big deal about it. I think this is easier for women, though, because our moms don’t start butting in on our husbands the way the husbands’ moms do. I think it’s the nature of the little boy/mother dynamic: she’s used to being the the one with all the answers, and suddenly he has a new woman who’s in charge, so to speak. For some moms, that’s a hard reality to take.
But I agree that he’s the one who needs to be putting his foot down, and that he needs to learn some techniques for standing up to her. It’s not just about protecting you from her annoyances and maintaining a happy household – though it is that, too – but it’s also part of the growing up process for him.
Post # 10
She’s trying to hold on to her baby now that he’s married. She’s been coddling him for 25 years and she doesn’t want to stop now! My MIL does something similar – she likes to remind me how well she knows her son by saying "oh, don’t tell him that he won’t like it….he doesn’t like that…I know him, and he…." I usually just roll my eyes as soon as she turns around, and maybe that’s what you’ll need to do "okay, mom, I’ll make sure to pack that. Bye!" I think she’ll eventually back off. I wouldn’t say anything to her because you probably will hurt her feelings and then your husband might feel like he needs to defend her. If it gets too annoying, do ask your husband to say something to her…something light hearted, about how he’d lose everything if it wasn’t for her but good thing he has amandopolis now!
Post # 11
"I don’t want to be seen as the bitchy wife who won’t let her mother her child… even though that’s exactly what I am."
He’s not a child anymore! I know what you mean by that statement (he’ll always be her child) but seriously, he is a grown man and she needs to understand and respect that fact. And you’re not being the bitchy wife….it doesn’t sound like you’re trying to control him or make him not see his family….you just want some space. I’m in agreement with the other posters, you need to put your foot down with your MIL now, before this goes on for five years and she’s driven you even more nuts! Much easier said than done, I know. If your husband won’t say anything, you need to. Have you responded to her "thank you list" email yet? Maybe you can respond with something like "Thank you for being concerned, but I have it under control and am about 1/2 done with the thank you notes." That probably won’t be enough for her to get it so maybe you can call her (or do you live close enough to talk in person) to have a woman to woman chat. Let her know that you are a grown woman too and even though she might still see her son as her "little boy," that he has chosen a woman who is perfectly capable of reminding him to do the things he needs to do and for the sake of getting a good start to your marriage, could she please just try to step back.
BTW, is your husband from an Italian family? Nothing against Italians (I am marrying one) but I think this happens more with Italian mothers and their sons.
Post # 12
Did you send her an email back yet? If not I would just write "thanks!" NOTHING else and leave it at that. She is probably expecting a reaction, and the less interesting you make your reaction-the less she will have to say. ..hopefully.
Post # 13
I have a FMIL that sounds similar to this as far as still trying to micromanage. Used to drive me CRAZY and occasionally still does. My advice would be to try to take it lightly. My FMIL is a wonderful and caring person, and I think just can’t help herself! When I started trying to see it that way, it helped a lot! Hang in there!
Post # 14
I think very simply, she has always done this. Either your husband has shown that he’s forgetful, etc. and she felt it was easier to always step in and "do it for him", or (more likely, IMO) she has been doing this since he was a baby, and never figured out when she was supposed to push him to do for himself. Now she is accustomed and frankly, so is he. Her pay off is she still feels needed, whcich isa big one with moms. And his payoff is that he can take the liberty to be a bit lazier in life. Does she still offer to do his laundry?
So he’s not too eager to tell her to back off? Doesn’t surprise me. It doesn’t really bother him. He’s learned to live with it, and probably even appreciate it too. I think if you want it to stop you’ll have to gently do the dirty work. How about trying to convince her, you’re a little bit like her. ie, "Thanks for the list mom. I actually did the same thing 3 days ago. Here let me show you the list I made. I think we both have the same organizational skills." "The dentist you say? Yeah I made sure to have the dentist leave the reminder on our home phone. That way I know when the appointment is and can remind him. If he got the call on his cell phone. I’m afraid he’d erase the message and forget." Hopefully, that will butter her up and make her feel like he’s in competent hands.
If that doesn’t work, a more direct approach might need to be used. But I’d try a little more sweet talk first. Good luck.
Post # 15
The way I see it you have two options:
1) I would suggest having a sit-down with your new hubby. You could, for example, tell him that if he is not interested in doing couples counseling you are going to need his help to deal with this right now as a couple. Decide what the boundaries are and then present these to your MIL together. If you decide to do this you need to be gentle but firm and make it clear that this is not about her about you and Hubby having the chance to build a strong and competent marriage.
2)You other option is to let this one go. Send her an e-mail thanking her for the reminder and saying that you are actually almost done with the thank you cards and she can expect hers in the mail soon. Instead of assuming she has no faith in your abilities as your wife, perhaps you could take her to lunch one day specifically to get to know each other better and get any suggestions/advice she might have. After all, other than you who else knows Hubby so well? I liked what Tanya123 had to say.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck! And (((hugs))) as you deal with this!
Post # 16
I agree with Tanya123 I think you need to approach the situation with kid gloves. Thank her for the email but tell her you have everything already taken care of. Then I would talk to him about this again. Tell him how it makes you feel when she starts managing his life. I would put it to him this way: that helping him is one of the things you were looking most forward to in being his wife. And when his mom starts taking over, that it hurts your feelings and makes you feel like she isn’t respecting your role in the marriage.