Sudden Awkwardness with MIL, long post.

posted 2 months ago in Family
Post # 17
3072 posts
Sugar bee

kmbumbee190618 :  I’ve thrown dinners when I was working and going to school and my husband was gone 70 hours a week. No matter how busy you are, you can do this. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just edible!

Post # 19
3072 posts
Sugar bee

kmbumbee190618 :  Good luck with everything, I think you have the right mindset here. Your Mother-In-Law has to learn to evolve with the times.

Post # 20
533 posts
Busy bee

Honestly, I don’t think this is for you to handle, it’s your husband’s job. You haven’t done anything wrong but your mother-in-law is icing you out. It’s on your husband to tell his mother that YOU specifically don’t have anything to do with it but that HE is equally on board that you have chores and things to do which is why you guys are leaving early. Your dynamic has changed and she doesn’t think her son has anything to do with it, so she is blaming you. He needs to be the one to set the record straight on that, and also to tell his mother than you notice something is wrong and are hurt by her reaction. After that conversation, based on what you have said about his mother, I would be very surprised if you weren’t welcomed back warmly and with things much better. 

Post # 21
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

kmbumbee190618 :  I would avoid DWIL.  I understand their approach may be good for the worst of the worst toxic in-laws, but in most cases I think they severely overreact and are incredibly aggressive. 

Honestly, since you have always been close to her, I’d just pop in and ask if everything is okay.  What would you do if your Darling Husband, friend, coworker was acting this way? 

Worst case scenario is she is withdrawing her love because she isn’t getting her way – if that is the case then she is toxic and just done her best at hiding it because you were doing as she expected.  Speaking to her won’t change that

But that’s unlikely it’s more likely she just isn’t a fan of the change, or she could think she’s done something to annoy you guys which is why you are coming over less.

I don’t see the harm in trying to speak to her about it first.  I’m usually all for partners speaking to their own FOO, but in this case I think what you’ve picked up on is so subtle, it would come off wrong to have your Darling Husband try to explain it. 

Post # 22
299 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

Many people are making this out to be something it’s not. Two years ago I could have written this word. For. Word. I mean truly. Down to the my family isn’t that close, so DHs close family was a breath of fresh air, after a few years you want some space to establish your own lives etc. to the T I could have written this.

My advice, stick to it, and it will pass. I never had a heart to heart (I LOVE my MIL) or anything, we just kept doing what we do and they adjusted to life. She knows what time D.H. drives home from work and calls him during that time instead of for 45 minutes while I’m sitting next to him waiting to eat dinner. They ask what our schedule is instead of saying “the family is doing X on Sunday”. They adjusted but it really took a year and a half or so. 

Its so not the “stoke her baby” garbage, it’s just them establishing a new normal and it will settle down. We do look for opportunities to include his family on little things so they feel like we try beyond the norm occasionally and they have settled in well. I play tennis with his mom once a week, we go to hockey games with them intermittently, we won’t mess up the Christmas morning tradition until we have our own kids. We definitely compromise, but we did hold to boundaries about phone calls and Sunday night plans and it has paid off.

Post # 23
789 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

I find the writers on DWIL wise, supportive, humane, and very experienced. I appreciate their ability to recognize patterns of behavior and to tell the truth. Especially to tell the truth. They will hang in there loyally for months and even years with posters who are trying to improve their situations. Excellent resource for those in trouble. Or simply with questions.

Post # 25
3083 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I haven’t read any of the responses so sorry if there is anything else here that would render this meaningless or wrong, but I think she is struggling with pulling back and not handling it well. It’s not your fault, and she is being a bit silly about it, but it’s probably worth while to try to smooth things out with her.

I’d ask her to get together just the two of you and be straight up about it. “I’ve noticed things have been a bit weird between us lately and it really sucks. I know you feel like we have been pulling away but I really need you to understand that it’s not because we care any less or don’t enjoy spending time with you guys, it really is just a matter of trying to balance our time. We’ve got jobs and a home to keep and other relationships to maintain, so spending multiple full evenings a week at your place just isn’t feasible. I really want things to go back to normal between us because our relationship means a lot to me.”

Post # 26
533 posts
Busy bee

kmbumbee190618 :  I understand you would rather have this ‘blow over’ but I don’t think it’s a good idea. This is something your husband should sit his mother down and talk to her about. I understand you aren’t confrontational but there is a big difference between not starting confrontation and being a doormat. Right now you are saying, “I don’t like something that is going on, I wonder about it and it hurts me…but let’s just let that continue.” Why? Because of some momentary discomfort? The discomfort is caused by your mother-in-law, probably because instead of TALKING to you, she’s just being upset and ‘letting it blow over’. Someone needs to step up and be an adult here, so let your husband do it.

Post # 27
4290 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

strawberrysakura :  the mil might not even realize she’s making OP feel that way and could just be battling her own mixed emotions. Time passed will help, and the dinner invite idea sounds great. Hashing it out with her could lead to an extremely uncomfortable situation that will affect the dynamic for longer, unnecessarily.

Post # 28
533 posts
Busy bee

lifeisbeeutiful :  In my opinion, way too many concerns become problems which become big major deals because people are too afraid to open their mouths and discuss a problem. Nothing ever gets solved by shutting up. Most things are solved by having a conversation about it. A conversation is not a fight. A conversation is something like, “Hey mom, I’ve noticed that you are acting a bit coldy to OP, what’s going on?” and “Well you know, this is something that we have both decided, because as much as we love spending time here we have our own household to run and errands to do. It seems like you think that OP is to blame which isn’t true – this is a joint decision. She has noticed that you are behaving differently towards her and is worried because your relationship means a lot to her.” And if the mother-in-law feels bad, then good because she caused this problem! And if she feels uncomfortable and takes steps to apologize, then good, because she ought to! 

This could be over with by Sat, but if nothing is said it is guaranteed to last weeks, months, maybe years. I fail to see how that’s a better idea. 

Post # 29
1339 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Westwood :  “You took her baaaaaaby away”

I laughed out loud. Ugh, perfect.

Post # 30
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I have to agree with the previous posters who have said that she is blaming you for the changes…as I’ve seen this whole scenario play out, but with my mother as the Mother-In-Law.

Any change that my brother has made since he got married, that my mother doesn’t like, she automatically blames my SIL.  Drives me mad, and I’ve had a couple of arguments with her over it. As I point out to her, if she really thinks it is my SIL making all the decisions in the marriage, she’s as good as saying that she raised my brother to be weak and spineless – and believe me, my brother is anything but!

I wouldn’t say anything to your Mother-In-Law, I think enough has been said already. Don’t pander to her, she’ll get used to the new world order soon enough. 

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