Post # 1
Due to some of the inlaw posts and reading advice I have a question for you all. Long story short, I have posted on here about my inlaws and was given some good advice but I need a bit more. Basically the gist of it is inlaws are not very inclusive, passive aggressive and overbearing. Mother-In-Law especially she’s done some hurtful things in the past. My DH doesn’t really recognize it until I point it out to him. He is happy pretending things are fine most of the time.
Last month though shit kind of hit the fan and Mother-In-Law did something that upset me and I told DH I was upset and just all around sick of this nonsense. He decided to talk to Mother-In-Law about it and other things she is doing that are disrespectful. She lost her cool with him and they both ended up yelling at each other. Mother-In-Law of course denied any wrong doing, blamed me and then finished the conversation that she is who she is and she’s not changing. She also told my DH that if I have a problem with her I need to talk to her about it. She said it’s not fair to hear I from a “third party.”
A week or two later Mother-In-Law texted me just asking about something involving my son and husband but offered no apology or did not offer to talk about anything. We have seen them once since. It was the same they acted the same way as usual. Same old excluding, making everything about my son about themselves. They seriously act like I am not even his mom sometimes.
I thought going through your spouse was the right action to take when dealing with the inlaws? Am I wrong about that? I told DH he is not a 3rd party but my partner in life who is their son so it’s his job to deal with. I don’t want to have have talk with Mother-In-Law, because I hate conflict, I will probably cave if she gets upset and I will just tell her the same things DH said. Why isn’t it good enough coming from DH? Does she really need to hear it twice to get it? My feeling is she probably won’t even if it’s said 20 times.
Post # 2
I always deal with my family and my husband deals with his family. If he is unhappy about my family, he tells me and vice versus. I always believe it is ones job to deal with any issues your spouse has with your family. Why should you deal with his family? I get it that you’re married, but his parents are his responsibility. Some people may disagree but this has worked out well for us and prevented any hurt feelings.
Post # 3
I had a similar situation occur with my Mother-In-Law and although majority of the time I agree your spouse should handle things with their family.. in this case you had the issue-your feelings were hurt.. so you should have addressed your Mother-In-Law, you are an adult afterall. Getting your husband to address the issue that wasn’t a family issue but a personal issue for you just seems like gossip/talking behind her back. When I had a problem with my Mother-In-Law disrespecting my parenting and stomping on boundaries I wrote to her and expressed myself and then told her if she would like to discuss further she can contact her son as these were issues for both of us.
Post # 4
It sounds as if it may not matter who it’s coming from–her “she is who she is and she’s not changing” statement is pretty direct.
You cannot control the behavior of others, you can only control how much time you spend with them and how you respond. Can you decrease your interactions? If you go to their house will your husband agree to get up and leave if they cross pre-specified lines?
Post # 5
If she refused to change then I would just see her a whoooole lot less. Sorry you don’t get unlimited access to my kids while treating me like crap.
Post # 6
Words are sometimes not enough, and for some people, they are never enough. Think of a child who wants to stick something in an outlet. Would you just keep repeating no, explaining why they shouldn’t, but keep letting them sit next to the outlet? No. You would take them away from the outlet until they were older and knew not to stick something in it, or you would punish them with a timeout, and you’d probably stick outlet covers on to ensure their protection if they disobeyed and managed to get to it anyway.
If your Mother-In-Law refuses to acknowledge and improve her behavior, then you should stop seeing her. Continuing to allow her access to you and your child when she has stated that she is who she is and will not change is rewarding her behavior and ensuring she has no reason to change.
As for who communicates, yes, it’s your husband’s responsibility to handle his family. Alternatively, you can meet with her together and present a united front, but that’s only if you want to do that and feel confident your DH won’t cave or shift all responsibility to you in the convo.
Post # 7
I partly disagree. I think that joint decisions are best communicated to one’s own family, rather than their spouse’s. But individual decisions, boundaries, and complaints can be aimed directly at the relevant person. If your Mother-In-Law did something to hurt you, that’s something between her and you and you would be on solid footing to directly call her out on it. Similarly, she would have been fine calling you out on something you did wrong to her. I agree with your Mother-In-Law here in the sense that this didn’t have to go through a third party. Your husband didn’t have anything to do with this incident, it’s between your Mother-In-Law and you.
And it’s not that you CAN’T communicate joint decisions to your spouse’s family. There’s no “protocol” that things should go through your spouse. It’s just that, in cases like this where the relationship between a spouse and in-laws isn’t so great, that it’s easier and more effective for each spouse to tell their own blood family. In an ideal world, your husband’s relationship with your parents would be as strong as yours and your husband would be able to talk to your parents just as easily as you can. But in the real world, that happens less often than not.
Post # 8
I think your last sentence is right on. Sounds like the type of person who could hear it 100 times and not get it.
Post # 9
Thanks for the advice. It was something that hurt me but kind of involved the family. Basically I made a gift for Mother-In-Law that involved pics of all her grandkids. I organized and put it together when we gave it to her she said thank you to everyone but me despite SIL and DH mentioning it was me who planned it. I let it go but then she posted to social media thanking everyone but me and I mentioned to DH I was hurt.
I had DH talk to her because I figured it would mean more coming from him. She has a long history of ignoring me, never remembering anything about me or anything I’ve said and also arguing with me at times over super trivial things. She also purposely excludes me from conversation when she can. He spoke to her about the gift incident and just her general ignoring behavior. We figured it might help. I thought since she respects DH a hell of a lot more than me it might work. It didn’t she just kept saying she never does anything he mentioned and I am making it up. She claims no one told her it was me who planned it, I believe that’s when DH shouted mom its because you don’t listen.
As other posters have mentioned to see them less I already sort of do. If DH had his way we would see them every weekend. I compromise by once a month. He sees them twice I don’t go when he go’s to his parents. At our house I go in the house when they are doing there ignore routine or rudeness. I’ve tried to get DH to agree to limited time with DS but that is one thing we don’t agree on. I don’t know how a talk between the 3 of us would go to be honest. DH constantly seeks to please his parents and I worry an in person talk he’d crumble if his parents argued or got upset. They can never be wrong about anything it seems.
Post # 10
I’ve got a Mother-In-Law like yours. She was always passive aggressive or downright rude. I put up with it for years.
Then I became a mother. She decided to pretend I was an incubator for her grandchild and I was done. I had my husband speak to her once. She denied everything and then ignored US for a few months before she decided to sweep it under the rug and act like nothing happened. That was two years ago. Haven’t seen her since then. I also had another child that she won’t get to meet.
Play bitch games, win bitch prizes. You don’t get to treat me like scum and expect an open door at my house and a relationship with my kids.
Post # 11
@spiker48: DH constantly seeks to please his parents and I worry an in person talk he’d crumble if his parents argued or got upset
Have you guys gone to couples counselling? It’s a huge red flag to me that he’d rather please his parents than you, and doesnt take your side on less visits.
Post # 12
@spiker48: DH constantly seeks to please his parents…
I came here to say the same as @skuzzlebutt:
about this. This issue will only grow over time; address it now to protect your marriage and your family. Your husband may need to hear from a counselor how damaging his parents’ behavior is.
Post # 13
Yes your husband should deal with his mother as he has been. Her saying she needs to hear it from you is her deflecting. Rinse and repeat with your husband going to her about it, he needs to deal with her.
Post # 14
You need to have a serious talk with your husband.
1) if someone can’t have a respectful relationship with the parents they don’t get to have a relationship with that child. Keep repeating this to your husband. You and your child are not going to be around people who disrespect his mother Infront of him. It’s a horrible thing for your child to see and it’s not fair to you as his mother.
This means that as long as his mother chooses to be disrespectful of you she doesn’t get to have any relationship with your child.
2) It is his job to hold boundaries with his mother in order to protect his immediate family which is you and his son. He isn’t in the middle between you and his mother becuase there is no middle. When he married you he decided to put you first, and the needs of you and his son first. If it’s a choice between his mother having hurt feelings and you having hurt feelings, your feelings are what matter. His mother’s feelings are irrelevant.
It’s his job to be a team with you if his mom is rude to you. Here is what he needs to do now in terms of his mom and what he should have said when he called her. “Mom, your treatment of my wife is unacceptable. You ignore her and are dismissive of her and it won’t be tollerated anymore. If that behavior continues you will be seeing a lot less of us. It’s your choice. But each time you disrespect my wife and my family we will take another step back from you.
3) Wash your hands of his mother. Don’t text her, don’t get her gifts, don’t do any of that anymore. She has made it clear she doesn’t like you. So accept it. Lean into it. She never is going to like you and she already sees you as the problem. So you might as well be assertive and have strong boundaries because she doesn’t like you anyways. Focus on what makes you happy. Care zero percent for what she wants. Your husband can get her gifts and remember birthdays and all of that. She isn’t your problem anymore. Block her on social media if you need to.
4) Get into marital counseling to work on prioritizing your marriage and helping your husband understand his mom isn’t the person he needs to prioritize anymore. He isn’t married to his mommy.
Post # 15
And in case it wasn’t clear, your son does not go visit people who disrespect his mother without her there. That’s sending your child a message that is super inappropriate. You are his mother and your relationship with him needs to be protected at all costs. He does not go visit people who are actively trying to show him how much they dislike his mother. It’s undermining and wrong. Stop letting husband take him there without you. His mom is in a time out from you and your son until she can prove that she can be around you and acknowledge your presence and be polite. Start with going to events without your child just with your husband. If she is kind and inclusive to you for 6 months worth of visits without your son there then you will consider letting her see him with you there.