Post # 1
Darling Husband & I married in March and I am currently 34 weeks pregnant, I’m generally well but very tired and suffering from back pain.
To offer a little background my Mother-In-Law was a monster throughout the wedding planning process and an absolute horror on the day of the wedding itself, that’s a (long) post in itself. She is a self-absorbed narcissist who has never acknowledged her poor behaviour let alone apologised for it. Darling Husband was furious with her for several weeks after the wedding but gradually let it go, urging me to do the same on the basis that she will never admit fault so holding a grudge is pointless. My relationship with her is now reserved but I remain polite for DHs sakes. She initially dealt with my lack of warmth by playing the victim to Brother-In-Law & SIL who tried to intervene on her behalf and were told to back off by DH; she now just ignores it unless she has an audience.
As I will be 36 weeks pregnant and my family are all going away for Christmas Darling Husband and I had pencilled in a quiet Christmas at home together. Mother-In-Law called Darling Husband last week and it became clear that she has planned a family Christmas & assumed that we would participate. Brother-In-Law & his girlfriend currently live with Mother-In-Law and will naturally be there for Christmas & SIL & her family have planned to stay from Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day. Mother-In-Law told Darling Husband that she would expect us on Christmas Eve as well; Darling Husband said he would need to discuss it with me. I have no intention of staying over for several reasons;
· The bed we would need to sleep in is queen size and uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable and struggling to sleep at night as it is
· SILs two children will be up at 5am Christmas morning & no one will get any sleep once they are, we’ve got that coming soon enough anyway & I’d like a last Christmas lie in
· Mother-In-Law has decided that ‘the boys’ meaning Darling Husband, his brother & his Brother-In-Law are going to go to the pub whilst ‘the girls’ meaning her, SIL & I look after the children & sort out dinner. Spending hours alone with Mother-In-Law & SIL (who is a mini MIL) without the support of Darling Husband and / or significant quantities of alcohol sounds like the worst Christmas ever to me.
The compromise I offered was that Darling Husband & I will head over late Christmas morning, attend for Christmas dinner & exchange gifts then come home. Darling Husband broached this but Mother-In-Law likes to get her own way & throws a major tantrum when she doesn’t get it. On the phone to Darling Husband she cried and shouted that our lack of attendance would ruin Christmas & that I was splitting up her family and keeping her 1st son from her (eye roll). Darling Husband explained point 1 primarily & met a brick wall, Mother-In-Law even managed to take it as an insult “oh well if my beds aren’t good enough for her…” Darling Husband stood his ground & ended the call but has since received multiple calls from both his Brother-In-Law & SIL telling him that Mother-In-Law is terribly upset and asking him to persuade me to comply with her wishes. The longer he holds out the worse the emotional blackmail gets. We’ve had ‘you know she misses dad at Christmas’ (FIL left Mother-In-Law about 10 years ago) & ‘it’s only her 2nd Christmas without Granddad’, who knows what’s coming next and Darling Husband is starting to buckle. Her latest suggestion is that he stays over from Christmas Eve and I drive over separately on Christmas morning, neither Darling Husband nor I are keen on that. He hasn’t said it yet but I know he’s hoping I’ll give in and agree to her plans so he can have a quiet life. I’m really looking for some support. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable but I hate to see Darling Husband put in this position. What would you do?
Post # 2
Yup. I would not be staying over if she’s throwing a fit. But then again, that’s how I handled my children when they were toddlers. You’re adults, do what YOU want.
Post # 3
I don’t blame anyone wanting to enjoy their own bed if it’s a simple drive to get there. Christmas won’t be ruined by allowing everyone to sleep in longer.
Do what you feel comfortable with! I don’t think your husband should leave you to drive alone on Christmas Day…so hopefully he can ignore the emotional blackmail.
Post # 4
No way in jose would I be there. As hard as it is, i’d stick my ground. “I’ll see ya later on Xmas, thanks bye!”
Post # 5
Steph77: It sucks for you both that his mom is being such a witch about everything, but you know what…you will be 9 months pregnant and in my mind at that point your comfort trumps everything. I think that if they are mad about the compromise then they’ll just have to suck it up. There will probably be many more battles to come once the baby is born and his mom has opinions on everything under the sun, so in my opinion, it is better to stay firm on your wishes starting right now. It’s not like you haven’t already compromised with your plans as you hadn’t even planned on coming to their place originally at all.
Post # 6
I’d hold your ground but I tend to dig in my heels when other people get unreasonable. Unless you’re visiting from out of town, I don’t see the need of adult children to spend the night at their parents’ house for Christmas.
Both of you should just head over mid-morning and leave that evening/night.
Post # 7
Nope. No one emotionally manipulates me or my dh into doing anything anymore. Saying this as a an ACON. Not worth it.
Post # 8
Steph77: I think your offer was perfectly fine. Spending a little time on Christmas day. Don’t buckle, Mr. Steph77!!! Noooooo!! And if they really are so awful, I’d just say no for future stuff. Not worth all this drama.
Post # 9
Be firm. Her son is a grown ass man with a wife and a baby on the way. It’s not about her anymore.
Post # 10
I’m 100% positive that the 36 week pregnant lady should have priority in this situation. Lol. I’d laugh at my Mother-In-Law so hard and anyone that sided with her. Im a peppermint petty though.
Post # 11
Steph77: “I’m sorry mom, but Steph will be 36 weeks pregnant. She needs a lot of rest, doctor’s orders, and isn’t well enough to travel or do much in terms of helping with dinner or taking care of the nieces/nephews and she needs my help. I know [BIL] just got a great new laptop and I’m sure he’d show you how to use Skype, and the two of us can set up a time to video chat during Christmas since I won’t be there in person. Love you, bye!” *click* *slide to power off*
Post # 12
Hell no. The worst thing you can do with a narcissist is cater to their every whim. You and your Darling Husband need to set boundaries and stick to them. Ignore the endless guilt tripping (which I get would be difficult) but this type of behavior borders on abuse.
Post # 13
Stick to your guns! Your compromise is extremely reasonable. It’s hard to hold out, but if you give in her behavior is reinforced and she’ll continue to intrude and overstep. The standard will have been set. Hopefully, if you continue to set and enforce your boundaries eventually she will learn to respect them, or at least learn to deal with them. Good luck!
Post # 14
“Steph is getting very stressed with all this disagreement, and her doctor is suggesting bed rest and that she doesn’t venture out at all over Christmas, even just to exchange presents.”
In other words, STFU or you won’t see us at all.
Post # 15
Wow, so you’re going to buckle everytime she has a tantrum? You’re just asking for more in the future then. Does your Darling Husband realize that? Sorry Bee, that sucks.