(Closed) am I allowed to stand up to MIL now that we are married?

posted 11 years ago in Married Life
Post # 17
2236 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

heres what i would do…

next time she says something nasty respond to her right there.  if she calls you a deabeat wife say something like, excuse me mil, that really hurts me that you feel that way especially in light of my recent health problems which you and i both know i wish i didnt have.

dont go and try to hurt her back, just stick to pointing out the horrible things she has done to you.  she cant blow it out of proportion if you simply say you really hurt my feelings. and just stick to that, dont bring up old stuff because she could deny it just live in the moment.  if she continues to gossip about you approach her as soon as you find out. try not to go out and insult her just say she hurt you and youd appreciate her not saying things like that,

i know its hard, but in my opinion its the best way to deal with the given situation.  you dont wanna have her freak out, you just want her to back off.

Post # 18
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

First, don’t give her ANY ammunition. Never reveal a single flaw. She doesn’t need to know about your grades. Everything is fine. She can’t gossip if she doesn’t know anything.

Then I would confront her about some of the names she calls you. Deadbeat wife is totally unacceptable. I would probably say something like “you don’t have to like me, but I’m your daughter in law now and I will not be called hurtful names. I deserve that much respect.”

And then just start ignoring. If she continues to be rude, that’s entirely her own problem. You don’t need to chat with her at family gatherings and you don’t need to answer to her.

Post # 19
3761 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree with Vista, the best thing to do in this situation may just be to try to shed some light on the truth of your life and let her look like the idiot. 

Telling her off or confronting her really may just backfire and give her more things to talk bad about you for.  However, if you just try to address the situation nicely directly to relatives she will look stupid. 

I would just say something like, “Well no, actually its not that I’m a dead beat wife, I am working full time, going to school, etc”

You can stand up for yourself without standing up directly to her

Post # 20
2203 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I agree with PPs…don’t tell her anything!! I have a gossip queen for a Future Mother-In-Law and I learned the hard way what’s it’s like to have your personal business spread around and come back in your face. And it sounds like you do too 🙁

Don’t tell her anything, don’t give in to demands and work with your husband on ways to deal with her. He may not like confrontation but if he doesn’t step up to her on this, it’s going to get worse and last for years.

I think some people, like your Mother-In-Law and relatives, are rude because they think they can get away with it. If you politely and maturely call them on it, on the spot, it tends to shut them up. For example, when they call you a “dead beat wife”, calmly reply, “Actually, I support both of us while husband is in medical school and while i work and go to school as well” or something like that.

I tend to be a little direct with my responses and when your Mother-In-Law is bragging about her son being in med school  I would say, Well it’s a good thing I have a full time job to support us so that he can pursue that degree. It’s not exactly nice but I would have a wicked hard time holding my tongue if someone ever said anything like that to me (the dead beat comment)

Post # 21
5496 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2010

Congrats on almost being done with school, despite health issues and holding a full-time job. That’s a great accomplisment!!!!

I remember you posting a few months back about her (where she would pop over to your house unannounced and come in!). I’m sorry she’s said these horrible things about you. I personally think your husband should be the one to tell her to back off and keep quiet and be respectful, but if he isn’t going to, then you should definately say something. The next time she says something, tell her you don’t like it. You don’t have to take it. Good luck!

Post # 22
572 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

but he does not like confrontation and when he has stuck up for me before she immediately cries like an idiot so he hates the whole situation.

He should be the one to say something but she repeats her crying act BECAUSE IT WORKS on him!!  If you wanted your way, wouldn’t you push a specific button on someone?  That is what she is doing.  He needs to see past the crying and BS she pulls.  If he stops falling for it she will stop doing it.  Of course, she will try something else but again, don’t fall for it.  Maybe him going alone to these family things will make the light bulb in his head go off.

I would stop giving her any personal information.  Just keep your answers short and sweet.  “How’s your class going?”  “It’s going well.”  She can’t use anything against you if you don’t give it to her. 

Yes, start standing up for yourself since your DH won’t.  You said what he is doing isn’t enough:  TELL HIM that!  I get he may not understand what you are trying to say but spell it out for him.  Sitting by while his mom is nasty to you is wrong. 

Post # 23
2588 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

You and your husband should go to counseling. It’s helpful to see what a third party has to say about the situation; plus, the counselor will give you both some ideas on how to cope (and how your hubby can teach himself to NOT react to his mother’s tears). You need to present a united front to this woman. Doing it alone will not change anything.

Post # 24
47 posts
  • Wedding: October 2013

I would not tell her off, per se. But there is a kind of war waged between women. You all know what I’m talking about. It’s a passive-aggressive, subtle battle that requires skill.

If her comments take a turn for the nasty and she belittles you in front of the famiy again (like the deadbeat comment), then I would call her out:

“Supporting our family while Mr. X is in medical school is a challenge, especially with my health problems and going to school full-time. With all due respect, I’d love to hear how this makes me a deadbeat wife? I’m a little flabbergasted at your attitude.”

If she wants to have the subsequent conversations in private, I would also say, “Actually, I think it would be best if everyone could hear your reasoning. I feel like a misconception on your part may be affecting my relationships with the rest of the family in a negative way. I’d like to clear it up once and for all, if that’s OK.” And then just sip your drink and stare at her.

Be respectful. But stand up for yourself. Men can be frigging weird about their mothers and vice versa. No one can stand up for yourself better than you can anyway.

Post # 25
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

This might sound fairly stupid, but I would come up with a few quips that you can just toss out when you overhear something like that or people say things to you directly. You’re his wife now, so don’t be afraid to do anything, but this would be particularly satisfying (in my opinion). Direct confrontation will just cause too much drama and small barbs would be much more effective.

For instance, overhearing the “deadbeat wife” comment, you could simply pop in and say something along the lines of “Yes, it’s unfortunate that we can’t all be as successful as you.” Whatever you say, say it with a smug smile. This is my MO for obnoxious, rude people and I can’t tell you how much more effective it is than open warfare 🙂

And avoid, avoid, avoid. Now that your husband knows how his mom guilts him into things, seeing her less often shouldn’t be a problem. If he can’t directly confront her, he should support you by just staying away from these situations. Best of luck!

Post # 26
14181 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Wow she sounds like a HUGE bitch.

And your husband is being a pansy, sorry. He needs to man up and not let his mom talk about/to you like this. I would be absolutely fuming; in fact, I doubt I could’ve kept my mouth shut this long. He cannot just let his mom treat you like this and talk about you like this and push it under a rug.  And of course she keeps crying–it works. She’s manipulating both of you.

Lay down the law–tell him he better step it up or you’re going to have to take it into your own hands. Give him a chance to put a stop to it. He needs to tell her to knock off the gossiping and nasty things. Or else…whatever that may be. but i do agree with the above PPs that if you actually hear her say these things, you should definitely speak up and “correct” her.

Sorry, but you kinda have to pick between your spouse and your parents at some point and when you get married, you need to act like your spouse is more important. Your husband needs to realize this. 

Good luck with adv organic chem, by the way! It gave me fits!

Post # 27
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

View original reply
@Trishthedish36: The war waged between women is the perfect description for this situation!

Post # 28
2410 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Okay, here is the thing, I think she is being horrible to you and now is the time to nip it in the bud, however I still think this really is something your husband needs to address. I know you are sick of whining to him etc, but if you go and blow your top with her (and it sounds like she is pretty good at pushing your buttons so you just might) then this will never end because she will tell the story from one perspective, you from another and it will go on.

In your shoes I would leave out any of the other issues you have with her manipulating her son or needing him around so much etc and focus on the current problem, her disrespectful attitude towards you and your academic and professional achievements. Sit you husband down and talk  to him about this one issue and why it bothers you. Tell him that you would like him to talk to her about it and make it clear to him that if he doesn’t address the situation propoerly you will have no choice but to do so yourself.

Post # 29
714 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Wow – deadbeat?  They actually said that?  Yes, you can stand up to her but don’t get into it with her – that will just put your husband in the middle and that’s not good.  But you can talk to your husband about the things being said and how hurtful and offensive they are and ask him to have a word with his mother.  She will of course deny and be defensive but if he is willing to convey to her that HE doesn’t appreciate these remarks, that should help somewhat.  However, this will ONLY work if he can stand up to her and stick to his guns. 

Secondly, if something offensive is said within your hearing you can give your in-laws a frostly, “I beg your pardon?” followed by a stare – this should embarrass them into backpeddling but if not, you could always say “Is my working full time and going to school not enough?  What more do you think I should be doing exactly?”

Third – wall of silence should be your new code of conduct..  When Mother-In-Law asks how school is going your reply should be “fine.”  No more, no less, no elaboration regardless of how much she presses you for additional information.  If she’s just going to complain about what you tell her or gossip about it, tell her as little as possible. 

Good luck.

Post # 30
832 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

So, my Monster in Law is a psycho. The SIL & Father-In-Law are just as bad. Mr. Menard and I were together for 5 and a half years before we got married. Let me just say that our situation is very similar to your situation. Mr. Menard’s “mother” is very manipulative and thought she could act that way with me. Like you, i always brushed everything off while we were dating…but at some point, it has to end!

I say stand up to her!! i did. it was liberating. haha i know that sounds lame…but seriously, i felt like a million bucks. Also, your husband needs to stand up to her too. It’s hard, but he has to do it. You’re his wife and she cant talk about you like that.

Post # 31
5278 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

It’s hard to make someone do somthing, but IMO, this is a problem between your husband & his mother.

She should have enough respect for him, not to treat you that way. You are the woman he choose to be his wife, his mother needs to respect that & he needs to man up and tell her the way she talks to you is unacceptable, period the end.

When she disrespects you, he should feel insulted! You two are a team & it sounds like, although he has tried a few times to stick up for you, it obviously didn’t work since its still happening.

I had some problems w/ my MIL; but my husband, very seriously told his mother it was unacceptable and if she continued her behavior we would no longer visit them. Since then, Mother-In-Law has been on her best behavior and we are very cordial. Yes, we will never be best friends, but she respects me and I respect her.

IMO I think this is a conversation you need to have with your husband vs your Mother-In-Law.

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