Post # 1
I recently got married to my husband, a 33 year old man. We live in New York. We are both from a background where family is important and I am writing because of my increasing concerns regarding his mom wanting to live with us and her sometimes stubborn ways. I really need your opinions and any tips you might have on handling the situation.
- calls him every day and also calls me almost every day.
- after we got engaged, started coming to stay with him for weeks on end (we did not live together before marriage, and those would be weeks when we could not have sex because there was nowhere private to do it)
- calls us her babies and tells us she wants to change our NAPPIES
- calls my place and my husbands place ‘our place’, as if she is part of our marriage
- wants to cook for us and take on a domestic role
- clearly wants to live with us ASAP as soon as her husband dies.
Recent scary behaviour:
- my husband sweetly told his mum that in the first few months of marriage, we should have couple time and maybe she can make her visits less frequent, she got SO mad that during our honeymoon, she called and told him we had betrayed her and she would be cutting off all contact
- she gave my husband the silent treatment during the honeymoon, making him fear she had cut off contact.
- she stayed in our house while we were on the honeymoon only to leave for her home in Los Angeles right before we got back.
- we returned to find an angry typed message in our house saying she intended to pack all her things and leave for good
How the rest of the world sees her
- the rest of the world sees her as sweet and innocent, and the scary part is, even I do.
- she is very child like and lovable
- I am easily charmed by her and really very fond of her
- at the same time I am terrified by her intentions to move and her extremely stubborn and selfish qualities
- scared she will live with us and bring out the worst in me.
- scared she will demand to be in the bedroom next to us and make her presence really dominating etc.
At the moment, I think we need to try to quietly convince her that when her husband passes away, she should sell her place in Los Angeles and buy another one in New York close to us, to get her to stop thinking she is just going to move in with us, but i really really do not like my chances. She seems to always get what she wnats.
PS I have spoken to my husband and he said he will do anything I want, my only fear is her extreme reaction of wanting to cut him off just for the slightest thing not going her way. That would hurt him so much and I could not let it happen… but it is like she emotionally blackmails to get her way.
Post # 3
@jamaisca: I should mention that after her tantrum – we gave her what she wanted. She continues to visit in this early phase of our marriage. I fear we are creating a monster.
Post # 4
You need to set down boundaries. You have every right to your own time. When she threatens to cut off contact, I get the feeling that you guys immediately jump to make sure she’s okay. Don’t. Rewarding nutty behavior will get your more nutty behavior.
Is she in good health? Is she financially stable? If so, then I think you should set your foot down and tell her you’d love to help her find a place nearby. If she’s not in good health, of course, that alters my opinion a bit, as someone who isn’t healthy may not be in the condition to live alone after the death of a spouse.
I also think you should make this clear to her NOW, not wait until her grief-stricken tears make you do something you regret.
Post # 5
@jamaisca: You *are* creating a monster. People act the way they do because it yields the intended result. She knows if she cries and gets upset, you’ll cave, because you guys love her. So, stop. When she’s not upset and there are no major issues going on, tell her, plainly, that you require alone time with your husband. You love her, but that sometimes it’s just going to be the two of you. Let her throw her fit and move on. You need to let her know that things are going to change, but don’t wait until one of you is upset to have this talk.
Post # 6
Honestly, can your husband REALLY see her cutting him off for good?
She sounds WAY too attached and that would only punish HER!
I am so so sorry for this situation but you guys need to make CLEAR guidlines.
P.S. That “Nappy” line was CREEPY!
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
@jamaisca: I agree with PPs. The three of you need a sit down and to go over your expectations for your respective relationships between her and you as a couple and you as an individual. Something along the lines of “we really love you and love hearing from you but …” Set down specific times that you will call her so she is not calling you all the time. Definitely a tough one but you either keep doing what you are doing (which I don’t suggest as it will most likely eventually have a negative impact on your relationship with your husband) or take a positive approach that is not reactionary.
Post # 8
@stuckinwonderland: Thanks for your advice. I will need to try. She is completely financially independent and mentally sound. She is just attached to her son and is able to turn the whole of our extended family against us by pretending her son is being awful to her. There’s so much politics, it’s stressful. LoL. Oh well.. will try my best
Post # 9
@SweetartMD: Thanks, you are all right. I did not realise that I need to be proactive and set guidelines before she is grief stricken over her husband and emotions are running high.
Post # 10
@laceydoilies: Yeah I agree. Maybe I can ask my husband to cutdown the frequency of the calls just a little.
Post # 11
@jamaisca: I’m not sure if you’re religious or not, but this is part of the whole “leaving and cleaving” aspect of marriage (something described in the bible). Your husband did the right thing by telling her that you guys need your own time but he needs to stick to his guns.
Yesterday, Fiance and I had our last pre-marital counseling session with the minister that’s going to marry us and I asked him about this. I said that my mom is starting to have a difficult time and will have a TERRIBLE time getting used to the idea of me being an adult woman who is married and responsible for a separate relationship outside of the one I have with her. Like your Mother-In-Law, my mom looks at Fiance as an extension of her “baby” (me) so we are now her “babies”.
The minister said it’s a process. You will essentially have to “break up” with your parents. My Maid/Matron of Honor told me it took her 2 months to “break up” with her parents. The biggest piece of advice the minister told us was to NEVER blame it on the spouse. Example: If your Darling Husband said well mom you can’t come visit right now because it bothers @jamaisca“
He needs to speak in “we” “us” “our” and not “my wife doesn’t want…” Stick with it and they say it eventually gets better.
Post # 12
You have got to nip this in the bud. Your husband needs to establish clear boundaries for his mother which do not include her changing anyone’s nappies. It sounds like he understands this and has fully given you the leading lady role, which is a miracle, considering the way she clings to him. You guys have got to be proactive. People will do anything you let them get away with and you are in total control here. There is no way she will cut off all contact with you guys. Those are empty threats that she is making because she is losing her baby.
Post # 13
@TaurianDoll: Wow – I neved thought of it that way. Thanks for that advice. I need to get my husband talking in that language asap.. and me too. I am such a sucker, I find myself wanting to please my mother in law by making her a big part of our marriage. ahhh…Why am I so weak :/
Post # 14
@jamaisca: Yeah, my husband’s mother is the same way. She’s very attached and overinvolved to the point to where when he and I met (we were friends online for a long time before meeting) she made him give her my phone number to make sure I wasn’t “crazy”. She’s also one of those that things that every decision my husband and I make should be run past them.
She learned very quickly that I don’t roll that way. I wasn’t rude, I just put my foot down. For awhile, she cried to everyone who would listen about it and I looked bad for stealing her baby and whatever. Over time, she’s realized if she wants to be in our lives at all (we live 13 hours away by car) she couldn’t insinuate herself into our marriage.
It’s hard for people to not get their way. She’s going to be upset, but it’s best for all of you long-term to have a healthy relationships with boundaries, not one that’s going to cause resentment. You seem to have affection towards her, so don’t tarnish that by letting her steamroll you.
Post # 15
@MrsM914: I know, you’re right it is a miracle. I should do something ASAP.
Post # 16
@stuckinwonderland: Can I ask for specific examples of how one puts their foot down with a mother like this? Really appreciate any tips. My nature is very much ‘try to please everyone’ so this is really really hard for me!