Post # 1
I’ve generally had a good relationship with my Mother-In-Law. My husband has 2 other brothers who are married, and their wives HATE our Mother-In-Law. She is controlling and prying and tries to make everyone do everything her way or else she gets upset or judgy. She switched our wedding caterer without asking us, she invited herself over to my parents’ house unannounced, shows up to our house unannounced (we live across the country), takes pictures of the inside of our cluttered home after she arrives unannounced, etc. I’ll spare you the rest.
It wasn’t always like this. I am the oldest child of my parents and always try to tolerate everyone and make everyone happy. So I tried to do the same for her, so she likes me a lot and tries to text me, prying etc. We have struggled with getting pregnant and a miscarriage, and she has been completely insensitive and all up in my business about it. She made Christmas a complete nightmare this year by forcing everyone to do everything she wanted. I have finally had enough. How do I distance myself from her? She would find it very strange if I suddenly stopped talking to her. My SILs never talked to her that much in the first place, but I am now being punished for my kindness to Mother-In-Law early on… Help.
Post # 2
When people misbehave, they have to deal with the consequences… she may notice that you are talking to her less, but so what?
Talk to the other SILs if you can, they might have some advice on how to deal with Mother-In-Law when she realizes you’re done with her BS.
Post # 3
DWIL. Where is your DH on all this? You can limit your relationship with her, frankly it doesn’t matter whether she notices a shift in the relationship.
Edited to add: Shut down direct lines of communication between the two of you. If she shows up to your house unannounced you do not have to let her in. Draw some boundaries. She ruined Christmas, don’t see her this upcoming Christmas. Shut down the info train.
Post # 4
My #1 rule for unannounced guests is don’t answer the door.
My Father-In-Law lives a few blocks from us and when we first moved there, started showing up randomly. I told DH that it was not going to continue and we literally stopped answering the door when he does it. Later just say we weren’t home or we were sleeping. He still does it to my brother in law, who lives 2 hours away..it’s because they let him get away with it. If he thought they wouldn’t let him in, he wouldn’t drive 2 hours with no warning.
As far as talking with her, maybe just start answering every other text, or with one-word answers frequently, or just say you are busy and can’t have a text convo right now.
Post # 5
amanda1988 : applesandspice :
Thank you for the advice! DH and also my SILs think that she is completely unaware of her bad behavior. Her husband spoils her by just letting her do whatever she wants, no one challenges her or confronts her. She has a very high opinion of herself and would be shocked if I stopped contacting her. She would 100% see it as my fault and not hers. She would never see it as her fault. No one in that family has ever challenged her for her behavior, and in fact DH didn’t even see it until I talked to him about it repeatedly, and only then he was like oh my god you’re right. He’s become so used to it.
Post # 6
- Wedding: December 2017 - Lake Louise Canada
Wow I could have written this exact story about my mother. Stop answering the texts. If someone showed up at my house without notice, it wouldnt matter if they flew across the country, I wouldn’t open the door. It will undoubtedly cause an argument, that’s up to your man to handle. But you can’t have a disagreement at all if you just never answer the call.
Post # 7
Thank you! That is good advice about the texting. Since she lives so far away, there is usually SOME notice but she’ll basically be like, I’m on my way, see you soon. And then we have never not accommodated her, even if before her arrival DH and I are scrambling around trying to get ready. I guess DH follows his father’s example and enables her behavior. If I or DH don’t answer her texts she starts calling “to make sure we are ok”. DH and I are in our 30s. She is almost 70. We are not children.
Post # 8
Ok but like.. does it matter what she thinks?
1) everyone that matters will see right through it. (e.g. my Mother-In-Law, who is not terrible btw, has a habit of shit talking literally everyone. When she starts shit talking her friends to us, my inner monologue is like “yeah I’m sure.. ok yeah sure.. yeah I bet that’s how it went down” all dripping with sarcasm)
2) she is super far away, right? So.. her knitting group who will never meet you will hate you. Meh, some people hate you, life goes on.
3) you gotta get DH on your side and playing D for you. His mother is inflicting herself upon you, and it’s his duty to protect you in general (just as it is yours to protect him)–but especially from someone who, if it weren’t for him, wouldn’t be bothering you. It’s fine if he doesn’t see how she’s treating HIM, but not seeing how she’s treating YOU…nope, he’s gotta get with it.
Post # 9
DWIL NATION on Babycenter right now! To help get some better strategies.
Post # 10
when i was going through IF treatment, my mother would ask me every time i talked to her if i was pregnant yet. it drove me crazy. i told her bluntly many times to stop asking even after explaining the IVF process to her. i stopped talking to her for 6ish weeks because i couldn’t take it.
she was hurt, yes, but she got over it.
stand up for yourself or let DH take the reigns since it is his mother. but don’t let her bully you.
Post # 11
Boundaries. Now. And DWIL.
Some boundaries I would put in place would be:
1) No unannounced/unplanned visits. If she turns up unannounced, she is turned away, simple. If she complains, who cares? It is unbelievably rude and inappropriate to do what she is doing, and should not be rewarded.
2) Stop communicating with her directly if possible, and have communication go through your husband instead. If you do not yet feel ready to do this, then start learning how to use grey rock/medium chill (google them).
3) ‘No’ is a complete sentence. Stop bowing to her every wish/want, and start learning to say no. And don’t JADE (justify; argue; defend; explain).
Mother-In-Law: I’m on my way to see you
You/DH: That won’t work for us
Do not offer reasons or excuses as she will only argue with you, and you do not need to give her a reason. Likewise, never apologise (eg ‘I’m sorry but that won’t work for us’) as you have nothing to be sorry about, so don’t put it out there that you do as that will feed her sense of entitlement
4) United front. Use ‘we’ statements. NEVER let your DH blame you (eg: ‘OP has said that won’t work for us’). This is another reason why it is best for communications to come from him.
Hope This Helps
Post # 12
this is new behavior?
My Mother-In-Law changed a lot over the last few years, trying to make everyone do what she wanted, suddenly telling my husband she didn’t want me as a DIL because I’m not his religion, rumor spreading to me and about me, you name it. Turns out she has dimentia.
I’d do what I could to see about a physical for her, or tell her doctor what’s going on. granted they can’t discuss her with you, but you can tell them about things like behavioral changes just so they are aware of it. Your Mother-In-Law sounds like she’s doing a lot of things My Mother-In-Law started to do.
As for how to keep her from doing this stuff……can’t you just not let her in? I know that sounds harsh, but I had to tell a few relatives of mine that my house wasn’t open for company, and told them to meet me at a local restaurant if they showed up last minute. I used to tell them my parrot got upset around people she didn’t know. Which was true, but now I just tell them my big husky doersn’t like company though he’d probably love the attention and just take a big nap. 🙂 it’s your home and your life, she doens’t have the right to force herself into it. sometimes you need to worry less about offending people and do what is best for you or else it just goes on forever. hope it gets better!