Post # 17
Too darn often is how it used to be for us. It’s one thing to give suggestions, and another to not be able to run your own home. Especially b/c your Fiance sides with her every single time, and says you only don’t want to do it because she suggested it. You need to have a sit down with him, and say no you just want to learn and try things on your own, and you’d appreciate him not making you feel bad or like you’re purposely trying to be against his mother as it’s not the case. Then, the next time you get a “suggestion” from her, politely tell her thanks but you’re ffiguring things out for yourself and enjoy learning along the way. That’ll help her back off a bit. This is what has worked for us when Future Mother-In-Law now Mother-In-Law was giving suggestions on EVERYTHING including what type of lingerie I should wear for her son. WTF?!?! I don’t care that our MILs are “older.” What I do in MY bedroom, is NOT her business by virtue of being married for a while. Sorry. Furthermore, how I run my home will not be the same as she, my mom, or the lady down the street runs their home. Everyone is different, and let me make my own decisions. Now we’ve been happily married 6 months, and she has yet to make one of her absurd suggestions!
Post # 18
Thanks for the thoughtful responses, ladies. In thinking about all of this, I believe that of course there needs to be a healthy give and take between Mother-In-Law and DIL to the extent that both should have a dialogue that includes the freedom to offer ideas . . . . I think that with my Mother-In-Law, we are getting there, but sometimes she does “follow up” on ideas (e.g., the cupboard) in a way that feels like pressure. (E.g., when I told her “thanks for the suggestion, but I think we are going to use a different option” her response was, “no, I think you need to try this first and see if it works, then try your other option”. The next time I saw her, she asked if I had tried her cupboard idea yet, even though it had only been a few days.) This is where I start to want to stand up for myself, but at the same time feel as though I need to show her respect when I turn down her suggestions. It’s just an awkward palce to be. She’s a wonderful lady, and she’s always cheerful and fun — even when she’s pushy — it’s more of an enthusiastic and fun kind of pushy, rather than mean-spirited. Still, it’s stressful to deal with!
In response to JaneDomani . .. . good point, I was definitely angry with my husband more than Mother-In-Law . . .. because I believe he needs to work things out with me . … ultimately, we just need to communicated better and reach resolutions better on decisions like this. I guess that’s part of being a first-time-living-together newlywed. 😉
Post # 19
@JaneDomani: Regarding making a suggestion because someone is complaining about something . . . I am sure that that’s come up! But usually it’s because she initiates the topic and asks me how our new home is doing, asks what types of things I’m doing around the house, asks how we’re settling in, etc. She often wants lots of detail, so I steer the conversation toward only what I’m comfortable discussing. And I might say, “we’re planning on buying this or that” and she’ll offer an alternative. I think it’s normal for her to want to ask me about our home and I don’t typically mind talking about it . . . it’s just that she needs to be ok with (and aware of) my sometimes not wanting to talk about the home, and sometimes not agreeing with her suggestions.
Post # 20
Oh dear… That would be so very frustrating! My mother in law does not give suggestions about how to run the household domestically, but she critiques every BIT of my decor… always! She is a successful interior designer/event planner. I know she is just accustomed to voicing her opinion, but still… Our styles are very different. And while I do appreciate her input, she always insists on taking me shopping to buy stuff (I know it’s crazy that I am complaining about this) for us to decorate our house with. This happens literally every time she visits, since we recently bought a new home. I am horrible, horrible, horrible at saying no in the first place, and I hate offending her so I always end up with all this decor that I don’t even like! Ugh. I know I need to work on this. But it’s so hard when you want your in-laws to approve of you!
Post # 21
not to threadjack but what solutions do people have in terms of being able to tell Mother-In-Law to stop?
Post # 22
@Miss Mochaccino Does your Mother-In-Law have any daughters? Mine does not and she has 2 sons. She’s obsessed with girls but does not know how to interact with a “daughter”
I definitely have a very similar situation as you with Mother-In-Law and Husband. Honestly I can’t STAND her! I know it’s mean, but it is so incredibly difficult to live near her (let alone in the same house for a few months). 🙁 I don’t have a good solution to the problem as of now, but as my husband finishes up school, we havn’t found where we are going to live yet.
I SO hope that we live at least an hour away if not more!….. She took over the wedding that was supposed to be mine! 🙁 And I DO NOT want her to give me any input whatsoever when we decide to have babies. Which also sucks because shes obsessed with babies! AH!
@carbear02 I too would LOVE to hear what anyone else has suggestions to deal with it?
Post # 23
This is so hard because she is obviously doing it out of love and knowing that she has had experience, she just wants to help (which I know that you know).
Perhaps you can try fending off the questions by actually asking some? Ask her how to make *insert dish here* or how to clean something which you don’t actually mind her commenting and advising on. If you keep giving her things to advise on that you don’t mind her advising on then she can give advice and thing you do care about can be left alone.
It’s worth a try either way. I’m sure as time progresses she’ll back off but I wouldn’t approach her about it unless it gets a lot worse.
Post # 24
My Mother-In-Law started giving me advice all the time after I became pregnant. How to do laundry, clean and organize my house. She mentions it EVERY time I see her. She’s sweet, but she’s become one of *those* mother in laws. In my hormonal state I’m bound to tell her to shut the $%# up!! Hang in there. I know it sucks but I can relate!
Post # 25
My Mother-In-Law gives me her opinion on EVERYTHING. Even things that are not her concern. For instance, she HATES the house my husband and I just purchased. She comes over and tells me all the things she hates about it and what we NEED to do to fix them and then says, “Well you can sell it soon.” I don’t want to sell it and I love our home. My husband has told her so many times that it is not her decision and that we don’t need her advice.
I understand the frustration. Lately, I just try to listen politely and then do what my husband I decided together. I know she means well, but this is our marriage.
Post # 26
oh god. i know what you mean. it is so frusterating, and I can’t help to take it personally. we had a party for my DH, and as soon as she got there, she started moving things around–like tables and stuff that I had set out. I moved them back to how I had them, then when I went in the house, she moved them again. witch! then when I asked my DH to change the music, she screamed across the room “what you don’t like it?” uhhhhhhh. can’t stand it.
Post # 27
The only time my Mother-In-Law suggests something is when it comes to cooking. Mother-In-Law thinks she is a chef..lol..she means well though….i don’t mind when she gives me tips b/c i know it comes from a good place…..however, my hubby once said to me, after a meal, “well my mother does this way and so on”….so i said nicely “then marry your mother!” he laughed with me and got the point that i am not his mother and not trying to be. You should talk to your hubby and make him understand that you and him are a family now and should make decisions together, without having any of your parents interfere. Good luck and keep us posted.
Post # 28
My Mother-In-Law only gives suggestions when asked, and then very sparingly. Her and my Father-In-Law decided years ago that they were going to stay out of their children’s lives (all 5 of them, plus spouses) unless we brought something up with them first.
Post # 29
OP when i read your post i felt like i could have written it myself! my Mother-In-Law is exactly the same way, very sweet kind woman, i love her and she has been very helpful but her incessant need to input on everything we do became so overbearing, it had gotten to the point where i started to dread hearing the doorbell ring or see her name on the caller id (she lives right across the hall from me, oh joy) you know theres a problem when your Mother-In-Law rings your doorbell at 9am on saturday to let you know the washing machines are currently not being used down in the basement of our building ‘if i wanted to do laundry’ or comes over with a pair of pants or socks of DH that she noticed were dirty and decided to wash just to make it easier for me (um, why are you in my apt when we’re not there?). When i first mentioned it to DH he said she’s just trying to be helpful and she isnt trying to be bossy, but as time went on he saw just how involved she was getting into how we run our home and in our personal life that we both decided it was better for him to sit and talk with her to tell her we appreciate her trying to help but to stop. he had tried telling her indirectly before but she never got the hint, especially whenever she would give her opinion on how to do something and would follow it by saying “CircleFace doesnt mind, right CircleFace?” leaving me no choice but to say i dont because i’m not the type to say “actually yes i do mind”. killing with politeness comes to mind…
Anywaym, he tried saying it as nicely as possible that he’s a grown up now with his own family and that if we want help we will ask for it, but that there needs to be boundaries set up because we need our own space and need to figure out how to run our own home without her input. of course she didnt take it too well, she cried saying she just loves him so much and wants to help, but she said she would try not to be so involved. i can say it definitely has helped somewhat, i dont expect the problem to go away right away, but for now she seems to have backed off a bit.
Good luck OP, i think the first step would be explaining to your DH how this makes you feel and ask him to honestly think about how he would feel if the roles were reversed and it was your father telling him how to run his house or not respecting the decisions he makes. Reiterate that you really do care deeply for his mom and want to continue having a great relationship with her but if things continue the way they are it will cause more tension and resentment, that you dont want to hurt her feelings but also need to be respected since you are the wife in that household, not his mother.
Honestly, do Mother-In-Law not remember when they were newlyweds and how their Mother-In-Law were with them?
Post # 30
My Mother-In-Law never gives us suggestions. Idk why she would or what suggestions she could give us?
Post # 31
We have gotten a lot of suggestions from what kind of house to buy, the timeline in which we should renovate the house we bought, to which room should be the nursery. I know she tries to be helpful, but it doesn’t always help. We also got a bunch of old stuff that she or other relatives of DH thought we could really use. (We can’t.)
I’m in the process of learning to say “Thanks, but I prefer to do it differently.”