Bully MIL

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 2
2598 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Boundaries, Bee.  Boundaries are absolutely necessary to your future relationship with your DH and your Mother-In-Law.  I’m “too nice” a lot of the time, but I have learned the value of putting boundaries up with someone.  Your DH may have learned to just deal with it, but neither of you have to.  You’re adults, you have a married life together, and you should start acting like it.  The more your Mother-In-Law gets away with, the worse she will get. 

So, here are some examples of how you could handle situations with her: 

She demands a hug.  “No.”  ::screeching::  “I said NO.”  Let her go on about it, but if she continues for too long, LEAVE THE HOUSE. 

She pokes you/massages you.  “Please don’t do that, it hurts.”  If she does it again, tell her firmly that you won’t tolerate being bullied and LEAVE THE HOUSE. 

It doesn’t matter if she’s your mother in law.  There are consequences for bad behavior, and since she has no boundaries, you need to establish them, as does your DH. 

Post # 3
2164 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

It really sounds like you guys need some distance from her. If you can’t establish some proper boundaries, time to teach her boundaries are important and go silent on her until she complies with what you are asking.

PP has a great suggestion. If you won’t tolerate her bullying stop taking her places and leave when she becomes too much. Make sure DH is aware and in compliance with this.

IMO this is only going to get worse if you guys don’t yet have kids/are planning to have children.

Post # 4
5464 posts
Bee Keeper

Was this crying incident when your fiance was a little boy, or when he was an adult? It seems that both of you need to work together to find your backbone. Practice ignoring her yelling to you to come greet her. Greet her when you’re ready. 

Ow! You’re hurting me. Don’t squeeze my arm. 

You hurt my arm last time, I’ll just say hello to you with a little air-kiss. 

She starts acting up in public, get up and leave.

You really have to man and woman up here. You’re both acting like your 5 and your Mother-In-Law is the class bully. But you’re adults now, and adults have ways of dealing with bullies that children do not. Stop being so frightened and use them.

Sorry that this isn’t nice words. The words “you poor thing” are not ones I ever use.

Post # 5
400 posts
Helper bee

Stop going over there. Seriously you do not need to see his mother but on the holidays if she cant be nice. 

Post # 6
7348 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

“Do not yell at me”

“I do not want a massage.”

“Do not touch me”

If neither of you are comfortable pushing back on her obnoxious behaviors, then you should probably stay away from her. (your husband just learning to put up with it isn’t the solution here)

The wedding thing is annoying but not really that big a deal, imo. However, her screeching your name, poking you and touching you are unacceptable and you should definitely both start learning to set and enforce all the boundaries.

Post # 7
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

You know you don’t actually need to have her be a part of your life…

Post # 8
1492 posts
Bumble bee

Wow the wedding thing is insane, you are nicer than I am. I would have grabbed the mic and asked the specific people sitting at the side tables to return to their seats for the toasts. I would have forced them to sit in their spots and had a big FUck you grin on my face for Mother-In-Law haha. 

Yeah I agree with boundaries. Don’t go over to their house. Meet at restaurants etc. I think what really will work best is sit down and quietly think of phrases that you would feel comfortable saying in situations where she is hurting you, or being crazy. Write them down and memorize them. Hell, practice saying them to your cat or dog when they act crazy. That way when she grabs your arm again you will automatically be able to say one of your practiced phrases. ” When you grab my arm it hurts and i do not like it, do not do that again” Just come up with phrases you are comforable with. If she gets too crazy just leave where you are and go home. 

Post # 9
2329 posts
Buzzing bee

Either take a time out from her, or assert yourself and your boundaries. 

She sneaks up behind you and pokes you hard.

You turn around and calmly say, “I don’t like being poked, please don’t ever do it again.”

If/when she does it again, enact the consequence of not seeing her for ______ amount of time.

When she screeches your name, calmly walk into the room and say, “MIL, I can hear just fine, please don’t scream my name like that.”

If/when she does it again,  enact the consequence of not seeing her for ______ amount of time.

Wash and repeat. 

And if she tries to turn it on you (You’re being too sensitive, you’re being mean, etc”) keep the focus on HER and her BEHAVIOR.

“I’m not sensitive – YOU are stubbornly refusing to hear and respect my wishes.”

“I’m not being mean, I’m responding appropriately to someone ignoring my stated wishes.”

Expect that she will DARVO.

Don’t JADE.

Read up on Grey Rock.

Post for help on “DWIL Nation.”

Post # 10
1578 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

View original reply
purenuptial :  What would you do if a colleague or friend was treating you this way?  

She doesn’t get the right to treat you poorly just because she is the Mother-In-Law.  

Next time she yells your name or at you, say “MIL, I do not appreciate being spoken to like that, if you speak to me like that again I will leave”.  If she does it again, say “I advised you I do not like being spoken to like that” and leave the house. 

Post # 11
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Why on earth do the two of you see this horrible woman? Cut her off entirely. Holidays are the last time you should let her ruin. (Go to DWIL for support andd advice; they’re very helpful with this kind of situation.)

Post # 12
9260 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
purenuptial :  “I’m uncomfortable and borderline scared to be at their house.” — Then why do you go over there? If you and your husband both agree that she’s a bully and unpleasant to be around, it should be fairly easy to start extricating yourselves from her. Stop answering her calls, texts, posts, etc. Respond if and when you feel like it (plural “you” — you and your husband), no more. Visit them on holidays only and if they still can’t behave, then cut out holidays too. Yes, she will bitch about it, but if you’re not answering her calls, who cares that she’s bitching? If your husband is up to it, he could try telling her “When you embarass me and hurt my wife, we feel uncomfortable and like we don’t want to be around that. If you can stop doing that, we would probably want to come around more but if you can’t, we will be seeing less of each other.” She’ll probably try to turn it around and guilt him or bully him. Don’t get dragged into that. It’s pointless to argue with people like this. If she can’t behave, just stop talking to her and stop going over there.

Post # 13
427 posts
Helper bee

OP, my husband and I both have bully moms. They both live far away but sometimes they want to come see us or have us visit them and stay in their homes. We stay away from our mothers because they are batshit crazy and we don’t need the negativity. They both love to gossip about how terrible we are but we don’t care. 

Bullies choose victims because they know they will be able to control them. The bullying will only end when you and your husband stand up for yourselves. If being assertive does not work, then the only option is to distance yourselves as much as possible. 

Post # 14
1391 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I have a very simple solution.

Step 1- don’t visit her.

Step 2- be happy. 

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