(Closed) MIL issues. Advice please?

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

I dealt, and continue to deal with, a very similar issue AND very similar acting Mother-In-Law.

It all started when Darling Husband decided that a couple of Thanksgivings ago we weren’t going to join that side of the family b/c we had just had a family reunion the week before with them and we had 3 other places to go Thanksgiving Day

Well she ultimately got mad at me about it and when I apologized (b/c my Darling Husband didn’t let her know his decision) she remarked… as long as it doesn’ happen again… and then went back to what she was doing.

WHAT?!….

Unfortunatly all you can do is love your FH well and keep your heart as pure toward her as you can. Hopefully she’ll be able to see your heart for her son and heart in a midst of strife and that she will be able to love you past her selfishness and pride.

Until she can get past those 2 things (selfishness & pride) she’ll see you through skewed eyes and will see only what she should be getting and how she’s not getting it (whatever that may be)

Really all you can do is to continue to love her like you’re doing… and not worry about how she feels toward you and let her keep her own junk so to speak.

It’s a sucky position to be in but hopefully she will begin to be able to love you for you or for atleast the fact that her son loves you in the months and years to come.

((hugs))

Post # 4
Member
79 posts
Worker bee

I am going to weigh in here and hopefully this will be helpful, my former-SIL-to-be went through something similar with my step-mom.

Drama-moms are going to be drama moms and it is easier to just put in a bit of effort and not take it personally. A lot of mom’s don’t like not being the center of attention in their son’s lives and maybe there is something in you that she feels threatened by that she doesn’t see in her other son’s wife. There are several women like this in my extremely large family and this kind of behaviour is pretty common.

Rather than worrying about repairing something that happened in the past you might find it is easier to just move on and continue to acknowledge mother’s day, holidays, make sure you talk to her on her birthday or leave a message or whatever so she feels engaged and like you are not pushing her away – but you don’t have to become super close to her either. She will probably get upset at you about something else in the future but you already know that this is her way so don’t take it personally. If she has nothing to be upset about you doing/not doing she will most likely move onto something/someone else. It totally sucks having to suck it up and be nice even when you know that she is being ridiculous and unreasonable but there is probably no way to make her see that she is and this might at least give you some peace. I usually manage to fly under the radar of these people and this is how. 🙂

Post # 6
Member
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

@anonybride7 don’t worry.. you do your part and you let her keep her junk. I’ve thought the same thing about Darling Husband and my future children… especially since I already have a son that she’s nice to when he’s around but I worry about how it’ll be when they’re “her sons” children… even though Darling Husband absolutely loves our munchkin now.

Sigh… you can’t do anything about how people are going to be.. you just do your part to be “blameless” and then when she has that awakening moment she’ll see that it really was all on her and she can’t justify anything b/c you did your part.

((hugs)) again for the tough position

Post # 7
Member
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I’m going to try to give you a different perspective.

I get that her reaction appeared to be out of nowhere, but are you sure that your behaviour (not visiting as often as your husband, not understanding a closeknit family atmosphere, etc) is not coming off as distant and cold?  I know that you said that you can’t imagine that that’s how you are appearing to her, but if she’s used to constant family visits, phone calls, and people who are family-oriented, she may find your reaction to the family stuff off-putting.  You said that you tried to be around his family a lot, but just couldn’t do it.  Is it possible that she is hurt by your reaction and thinks that YOU don’t like her and her family?

I understand the whole family difference piece (I married into a large family that doesn’t see each other very often, but is HUGE, while I have a small family (5 people) who, for the most part, are extremely family-oriented).  This has caused a lot of misunderstandings because my Darling Husband and I aren’t always used to the reactions, feelings, expectations of the other’s family.  I think that something similar may be going on here.

I’m not saying she was right to flip out, but I do think that you both need to sit down and hash out what exactly are her/your expectations going forward.

I hope this helps-playing a bit of devil’s advocate here…but I know that it’s really difficult when different families show love and care in different ways.  

Post # 8
Member
390 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@anonybride7: I am in agreement with Arwen Bride for multiple reasons.But first I’d like to discuss your mention of the “race card” and how your mother in law feels threatened. More than likely this woman is not threatened by you or your white-ness, but rather disappointed in your lack of interest in being a part of the family.

It is obvious to me that the family you married into is definitely close and family oriented. And you aren’t. In this case, I could completely put myself in his mother’s shoes. To me your behavior as you have described it is cold and distant–and this is exactly why she treats you differently than the wife of your Brother-In-Law. I wouldn’t get upset (if I were you) about not being treated “the same” if you don’t like going around all the time like the rest of the family. It is just something you will have to deal with in the long run. And yes, it will get worse with children. Especially if they stay with you instead of visiting their grandmother with your husband.

Good luck. If you don’t feel like integrating with the family then you will probably be needing it it. Btw, my opinion stems from belonging to a family similar to what you described (aka close).

Post # 9
Member
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I am going to go with Arwen and Ms Polar Bear on this one because I come from a similar family.  We are close knit and clannish.  If you are social and friendly–great–we welcome you with open arms.  Never show up, be stand-offish or princess-y (not you, but one of my cousin’s wives)–forget it.  We have no use for you.

You may not think you are being stand-offish and cold, but if you aren’t visiting as frequently as other family members, you are being perceived that way.  Yes, race may be a part of it but that’s probably not the only thing.

“I also tend to avoid drama.  I don’t like it, and I don’t associate with dramatic people who have fight after fight or spend hours gossiping about their close friends.  I think this is a reason it is difficult for me to trust or be close with my Mother-In-Law, it is clear to me that she has those charactericstics based on her discussions about many fights with close friends, etc.”

You say that it is clear she has those characteristics although I don’t get the impression you ever actually saw it until this one incident.  Yet you’ve been keeping her at arm’s length, if I am understanding it correctly?

My best advice is this–if you really care about the situation, you are going to have to work harder to fit in.  That includes building a relationship with your sisters-in-law.  If it isn’t really important to you, continue the way you have been.  However, don’t let the outburst get to you amd don’t expect any friendliness either.  As far as children are concerned, it can go either way but that really and truly depends on your attitude.

Post # 10
Member
36 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’m not a social butterfly and pretty much like myself the way I am.  I’m fairly warm and kind.  But may be perceived as stand-offish or shy (which I’m not.)  I don’t consider my personality type as “socially dysfunctional” LOL!  I’m an introverted computer geek and it suits me.

Speaking for myself, I don’t intend to change who I am to please anyone.  

(Bear with me, I’m leading up to something…) In any family (especially a large one) there are a wide range of personality types.  The outgoing ones may percieve all family members as equally outgoing as themselves and generalize that you won’t be accepted unless you conform.  BUT in my experience, there will be at least one (usually more) family member(s) that are quiet and reserved… they will welcome you (they’re the ones off to the side not in the middle of the drama.)

The point I’m making is to let your future Mother-In-Law see you making friends with these more reserved family members (who will get to know you and love you for who you are… maybe even taking your side behind your back if needed.)  These are also usually the ones who are respected and turned to for their composure during truly dramatic times.

Let go of any misunderstandings of the past.  Move forward and just try to be a bit more accomodating next time. 

Post # 11
Member
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

I think I just realized something that I think is kinda ummm… a little off balanced.

I just realized that this is you HUSBAND?…. for some reason when I read it I was thinking that this was your Future Mother-In-Law and you Fiance

This definitely makes things a little different and this is why I think so.

Your Mother-In-Law lives a hr away and your husband is making multi-monthly trips?..

I know that for us family that lives an hr or more away we usually see at whole family gatherings or holidays… atleast not bi-weekly… I mean that’s 2 hours driving alone so I would think that seeing them would mean making a day of it or atleast an afternoon.

We live in the same town as all of our family but it’s a bit un realistic for us to go over multiple times a month considering working, taking care or our home, and trying to build a marriage time… and other areas of where our time goes… ie. Darling Husband serves highly in our Church.

I originally missed this and thought about this being your Fiance and ultimately him still having more of “his” own time.

Now I do have to agree that when family functions are going on that you should act friendly and wanting to get to know and be close to your in-laws BUT I just think that your Mother-In-Law is just creating strife still being in this position of struggle when you and your Darling Husband should really be getting into making your own lives, traditions, and foundations for the family that you may have one day… as in YOU are HIS family.

I think you Mother-In-Law is being incredibly unreasonable in thinking either of you should be over every week or even bi-weekly…. and it seems that she is just having issues letting go of her son.

I lived with my mother before getting married and even she would think it was crazy that I was over there every week rather than being at mine and Darling Husband home taking care of establishing ourselves and spending time together.

I think that it’s very important that a man and women when they’re married to really cleave to each other and learn how to make parents, siblings, and other family members have a different role in their lives as opposed to “first and foremost”

Sorry if I seem kinda way outta left field here I just sat and really thought about the time that you Mother-In-Law is expecting from her married son & daughter in law…..

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