Need Advice, Need to Vent, MIL Drama

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
527 posts
Busy bee

Hon, the only reason I feel like I can give you advice is because I have a MIL who would also “be lost without her son”. Please, take it from me. The only person who can put a stop to this is your husband. I’m very concerned that he’s putting his wife second. If you MIL needs meds, get her meds; but why don’t her other sons seem concerned? Is she manipulating your DH? He’s letting her manipulate him and again, the fact that he puts her before his wife is not good! If my husband were the same with his mother, he would not be my husband. Hugs.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  GreenBayBee.
Post # 5
527 posts
Busy bee

mrshollinger:  Why do I have a sneaking suspicion she doesn’t need the meds and is just pretending she does? Look, your husband can say you are number 1 but he has to prove it in actions. Two weekends in a row, alone with her? Why?? Why aren’t you invited? You are absolutely right that this won’t get better just because you have children. Gosh, I really really fear for you. Had my husband not put his foot down, I would be riding the wave of uncertainty just like you, right now. 🙁 Make your husband understand by asking him how he might feel if the roles were reversed. Then ask that you at least attend her next doctor’s appointment to hear for yourself what her true condition is. I’m guessing it’s just a hefty dose of jealousy that she caught.

Post # 7
7039 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

mrshollinger:  I don’t have a problem with your DH visiting her without you from time to time.

But I think you should get your DH on the same page regarding unscheduled visits: no way no how. Even if it means “tough love” and checking her into a hotel (even if it means at your expense). Driving 6 hours unannounced is crazy town and needs to be shut down.

It’s also disgraceful that he sat there silently while you argued with your mother. He should have intervened and stood up for you. He needs to realise he needs to put you first.

Post # 9
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Your DH seems to have zero boundaries- for himself, on your behalf, or for your marriage. Sorry, but I agree w PPs- your MIL’s behavior is not fully the result of medical, physical issues. Your MIL is also manipulating and controlling your DH, probably with part of her purpose being to break up your marriage or “get her son back,” and IT IS WORKING because he is choosing it. Putting you first means not leaving you for days. whenever it would so deeply upset my MIL and FIL to see me? They cannot see my DH either- by his choice. Because he DOES put me first despite their manipulation. Because they have attempted to be so destructive, my DH and I have agreed that there are and will be serious boundaries if and when they ever need us/him or “need” us/him. They cannot ever live in our house or stay w us and vice versa for one or both of us living w them. 

You are right to pause on thinking of TTC. Your DH does not seem to have the same understanding of what it means to be committed to you or your marriage and what things/decisions/actions/ppl out your marriage at risk. My in laws have tried to get my DH to see them alone and without me for countless “family mtgs” (that especially happen to fall on holidays), for “medical emergencies” (which tend to be planned, non-emergency surgeries, but they say he should see them even though they have not resolved their issues w me because “they might die”). And, yes, anybody might die at any point. I do not take that lightly. But when DH’s parents claim to be potentially on their death bed, they refuse to resolve anything or admit that DH and I have done nothing wrong. Instead, they tend to choose those moments when “they might die” to take very strong stances against my DH/us while trying to get my DH to bow down to them and to condone/accept their vendettas, even if only temporarily.

If someone, at their worst moments, refuses to see you, I do not understand why your DH would be with them for days.  If you arent ill enough or ready to accept help from my spouse, then you won’t be getting my help either. Perhaps your DH’s brothers aren’t just selfish and maybe they refuse to cater to your MIL because she’s been a bit abusive or destructive towards them and they now have boundaries or refuse to interact w her on terms that dont work for them?

Many in my DH’s family fully expected me/us to let my MIL do and say anything (calling us evil, cursing our marriage & unborn future children) without consequences because they sometimes think that her guilt trips and meanness are only “because she cares” or “only a product of her depression.” They do not understand that we all need boundaries even if there is a mental or psych issue at work. They said that we should not insist on any minimum levels of treatment or respect from her because she would not or could not give that.

We insisted that she take back her curses of our marriage and future children or not attend our wedding. Radio silence from her for months. We stayed firm. A few weeks before our wedding, she sends the nicest message repestedly blessing and wishing the best for both of us, our marriage, our wedding, our future children, our future grandchildren, etc. We don’t assume that she’ll behave reasonably and nicely from now on. We still have very limited contact w her and we will continue to have serious boundaries with his parents and reasonable consequences for their actions/words/treatment of us. 

Post # 10
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I can’t believe how many of us there are with these crazy MIL problems–we really need to start a club.

OP, the biggest problem I see here–as another poster has already pointed out–is your husband. He MUST be on your side because you cannot stand up to this lady alone. It will not work. If your husband is going back and undermining the boundaries you set, nothing you say will ever have any effect and it sounds like MIL has him right where she wants him. He can tell you over and over until he’s blue in the face that you are #1, but who’s kidding who? His actions are telling a different story and that has GOT to stop. Please don’t think about having any kids until you sort this out, because you will be even more frustrated and unhappy. All the things you fear about practically being a single mother while DH goes and caters to Mama WILL happen, I guarantee it. That is, until your husband takes a big old pair of scissors to those apron strings and makes it clear to his mother that he is not Superman and will not be showing up to “save” her every time she crooks her finger.

My MIL is very similar and DH and I went through a major, uh, adjustment period whe all these issues came to a head. His dad hasn’t been in the picture for a long time and as a result, his mother sees him as a sort of father figure/partner figure. She depends on him emotionally and expects to be taken care of. She also does not understand the concept of boundaries–she too shows up unannounced, although luckily she just lives across town and doesn’t expect us to put her up for a night or a week, and she comes in our house a lot when we’re not there. This burns me up because I can never get an explanation as to what reason she has for doing this, but I don’t press the issue because trust me, it’s a lot better than it used to be. DH was at one point really resistant to setting any kind of boundary with her and as a result, MIL ran all over him. It’s one of the hardest things to do, but your husband HAS to do it because I’m telling you, this will keep on from now until the end of time and you don’t want to live like that. My DH still isn’t quite there and it’s something we’re still struggling with, so I know it’s not easy. For the same of your own sanity, though, I really think you ought to sit your husband down and calmly explain to him exactly how his actions don’t match his words. You don’t feel like #1 because you aren’t. Tell him about your doubts about TTC. Let him know you will be there to support him and that he doesn’t have to face all this alone. Hopefully he will start to see where you’re coming from, although it may take a string of conversations for him to start to get that this situation is messed up since he’s so entrenched. And if he’s not receptive at all, you may need to set some boundaries of your own…

Post # 11
4638 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I feel awful for you. While it does sound like your MIL has some form of untreated mental illness that needs attention, your husband does not put you first. He needs to find his backbone and stick up for himself. Setting boundaries in this incredibly dysfunctional relationship would benefit everyone involved. 

I would completely lose my shit if anyone showed up at my house uninvited and acted that way. The thought of her pounding on your door after you went to sleep is embarassing and borderline scary. She needs help and quite frankly, your DH should not be bending over backwards to accomodate his mothers tantrums. I would be a whole lot more concerned with his behavior in this than your MILs. 

Post # 12
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

For my DH, we used his parents flipping out during our engagement as a way to establish boundaries. It was his job to deal w his parents since they are his blood and he understood that e had to protect me. I won’t stand emotional or verbal abuse and I get to say where that line is for me. I would tell him what I was not comfortable with and he would figure out how to ensure that I didn’t get whatever mistreatment I refused to suffer. These visits to your house are a boundary your DH should not only let you set but also enforce on your behalf Until he can understand why he should ask the same for himself. 

I very gently suggested that my then-FI look online at sites discussing controlling parents, guilting parents, momzillas, etc. Then, when he was ready, he looked and was AMAZED to see how these sites described his parents to a tee and how many ppl were dealing w similar issues. He saw how some adult children let these issues completely stunt or ruin their chances at a happy life or marriage and how others distanced themselves to maintain their happiness. Those types of sites could be really helpful for you even if your husband isn’t ready to look at them yet.

My then-FI had never understood before that some convos or relationships or interactions are destructive or have no productive point and are unhealthy because of the intentions of the ppl involved. And you can either suffer or explain that you will not be treated than way and end the convo. He was raised to think that arguing for 5+ hours when the other side has no intention of trying to resolve anything is “progress.”  Your FI might need to learn about healthy vs unhealthy interactions before he can learn to support you as you resist destructive interactions and behaviors. I highly suggest counseling for you two. Premarital counseling significantly helped speed up my FI’s transition to enforcing boundaries and putting me and himself first. 

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