Verbally Abusive MIL.. sorry very long post….need advice please

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
497 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Wow, you do know that she is throwing tantrums to get her way, right? And just like with a little kid, you have to show her that her behaviour is unacceptable and will not get her what she wants. I would calmly explain to her (and your husband) that you will be happy to spend time and let your kid spend time with her, as long as she can behave like a normal adult. If she tries to use her emotionally manipulating tactics then you can never give in. It’s going to be a fight because she is so used to geting her way with this behaviour. Maybe cutting her out for a while would help her to see you won’t tolerate it? It might be a nice break for you to. Just don’t let her control your lives. 

Post # 4
7019 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@becca83:  Yes your husband should pick up your son! His parents, he should deal with them.

I agree that pulling him out of school just to see his grandparents is crazy. You and your husband need to remember that you are the parents, not her. She gets to make NO demands, she sees him when it is ok with you.

Spend next Xmas with your family. Don’t even let her discuss it, it’s just “this is what we are doing”. I think you should see your family the following Christmas also, and alternate after that.

Post # 6
442 posts
Helper bee

@becca83:  Talk to her and let her slap you, then your husband has no choice but to act! Mostly kidding haha. I agree with pps, you can’t give in to her. It positively reinforces the behavior and she will only continue. She won’t stop unless she faces severe consequences several times (or it may also be so ingrained that she will never stop). It’s not fair that your husband does nothing and allows you to be treated like this because that’s how it’s always been. 

Also, I would be really wary of her spending alone time with your son. If she has a track record of saying horrible things about you to him in front of you, I can’t even imagine what she says with him alone. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this!

Post # 8
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

what is pto?

Post # 9
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@lealorali:  pretty sure it’s Paid Time Off from work, like vacation days.

OP: Sorry you are in this situation. 🙁  It sucks your husband puts up with it because it’s “normal” to him.  But that doesn’t mean you have to.  Others are correct, she’s having temper tantrums and treating you poorly so you will give in and let her get her way.  You either have to go with the status quo, or stand up for yourself.  I know it’s not easy, but it’s obviously not easy dealing with her anyway.

My mom can act like a petulant 15 year old and I frequently tell her things like “Mom, that’s not true.” and she usually tries to argue more and I say “I’m not discussing this with you any more.”  if she keeps it up “Mom, we can have a nice visit like adults, or I can leave.”.  And I have left.  Mostly now she stops quickly once I say something (but pouts, she looks like a 5 year old that has to go to bed lol), but it took a while to get to this point. 🙁 

I’d tell your husband “I know you love your mom, and so you put up with this.  She’s not my mom and while I’d love to have a great relationship with her, I’m not willing to be treated like this by any adult.”.  I would respect the fact that this is how he chooses to deal with it but draw the line at it happening to me and especially my child!  Sorry I don’t really have much advice for how to work it out with him and your son.  I hope you can somehow though.

Post # 10
2992 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

You are a far more patient and devoted wife than I will ever be. I’d be damned if I would allow anyone to treat me that way. As I see it, you will probably put up with it for the next 6 months to keep the peace. But your husband is not helping his Mother by allowing her to get away with treating him and his wife and child like that. Eventually everyone will get sick of her shit and she will live out her days a lonely, miserable woman.

But there is no way in hell your small child should be witness to such verbal abuse and emotional blackmail (which is exactly what it is). Frankly I would lay down the law for the child’s sake and tell her if she wants to continue to see her grandchild she needs to stop the crap when she is around him.


Post # 11
4474 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I’m not even going to try and say this in the nicest way I can, it just needs to be said: your husband needs to stop worrying about how his mother feels toward him, and start worrying about how his wife feels toward him. Which one of you are the most important here? Which one of you is supposed to be the priority? Right now, it sounds like his mother is the priority and you’re taking the backseat. If that pattern continues in your marriage I do think it will cause serious harm. Your husband needs to take a stand right now and do something to alleviate this situation on his family. And when I say “his family,” I mean you, your son and him – NOT his mom. There is no excuse for her behavior, and I would be very disturbed if my husband told me that I need to suck up nasty behavior from his mother because that means she’s “comfortable” or “close” with me. 

Post # 12
4134 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think both if you need to draw the line with this woman. How you and your husband planned your wedding, raise your children and run your lives is none if her god damned business. If she starts losing her shit, tell her you are no longer discussing it and Di not react to her behaviour. Do not respond to the aggressive emails and do not leave her alone with your kids. If she’s open to some family therapy that might be a good thing to try. 

Post # 13
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013 - Garden

I think there comes a time when you can’t afford to be diplomatic. If she can’t learn to respect other human beings and she has a toxic attitude, she sure doesn’t deserve to be around your son. How long until he starts copping her attitude as well?

Post # 14
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

It might help if you can get him to see that she flips out regardless of his actions. Right now, he still thinks that he can avoid or decrease her wrath by doing what he thinks she wants or what she says she wants. You can play along with this at times. Then when she flips out anyway, I’d point out- she still got mad. This seems to happen every month or so regardless. It’s her, not us. There was nothing you could have done to make her not go nuts because it was for no reason. 

Hopefully, at some point she’ll get mad enough to give him the silent treatment. That worked wonders for my FI. He realized that he prefers silence over toxicity and if his parents can’t have a healthy relationship, then he’ll just keep more distance.

it’s also not right to spend the most time and energy and thought on pleasing the ppl who reciprocate that the least and who are never satisfied. that might strike a cord with him. My fiancé will try more for me because I do the same for him. Also- ask your husband what he’d do if a friend or you acted like she does. My FI realized that he’d have broken up with any gf or ended relationship with any friend who acted like his parents. He realized that just because they’re parents doesn’t mean you should let them treat you worse than anybody else. 

Post # 15
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@becca83:  “I caved”>


Yup.  She acts like this because IT WORKS FOR HER.

She throws a fit and gets nasty and magically… poof!… everyone bows down and caves to her demands.

Stop giving in.

Post # 16
2113 posts
Buzzing bee

@becca83:  You are not being dramatic!! My goodness. I cant believe you have dealt with it for this long! Your hubby really should be more understanding. This is not normal behavior..well…maybe for a 3 year old who is past nap time and didnt get the toy they wanted from target.

Seriously! She sounds like mcuh more than an attention wh*re. Im thinking possible bi-polar disorder? He is use to it so he doesnt understand that this is not how a mother is supposed to act, and its a horrible example to set for your child!

I hope when you guys move things ease up for you guys. I dont really have much advice in getting her to stop her antics, you just need to make sure he backs you up instead of saying “next time ill say something”.

If i was in your situation when she is throwing a tantrum id probably throw one back! Crazy recognizes crazy. Fight fire with fire! Id probably drop to the floor and start yelling (sarcastically of course) and then when she stops in horror to look at me id say “yeah its annoying isnt it? Act like a freakin adult!”

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