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Old 05-14-2009, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 8,760,113 times
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I think you did the right thing by asking your girls to sit on the ground.

Regarding your mother-in-law: My mother in law used to be very difficult, too. I think with her, though, that sometimes she would disagree with me/challenge me just to try to be relevant in our lives. Kinda hard to explain, but I got the feeling that she wanted us to ask her advice or involve her, but was going about it completely the wrong way. Over the years, she has gotten much, much better. Of course, we set a lot of boundaries. At one point we lived directly across the street from each other and I had no problem apologizing and telling her it was a bad time when she showed up unexpectedly. Also, I'd mention that it was a shame she didn't call so we could spend some time with her. Over the years, I usually just ignore her bad behavior and try to reward her when she's being positive. I dunno. Sometimes she still drives me nuts, but I imagine I annoy her, too.

If I'd been in your situation, I would've said something like "no, girls, go ahead and sit there" and then turned to my mother-in-law and said something like "Really? What would you had done if it were your kids?" I figure the kids are doing what I want them to do and she gets to say her piece.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:06 AM
 
363 posts, read 1,002,711 times
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Quote:
always remember and be greatful that your MIL gave birth to your husband. Without her, who would you be living with now?
This is very true and I have to remind myself of that very thing every time my in-laws annoy me. The did a good job raising a good son who turned into a good man and a good husband. They did something right.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:18 AM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,201,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukiko11 View Post
dear wyoquilter
always remember and be greatful that your MIL gave birth to your husband. Without her, who would you be living with now?
Actually she adopted my DH and his brother, but I do know and understand that if it were not for her and her DH adopting and raising him, I probably would never have met him, or he may not have turned out to be the man he is.

She raised a good man, who is a good husband and father and I'm very greatful for that.

She can be a real sweetheart and very generous, but she always holds that generousity over our heads. I do my best to look past the negatives and focus on the positives and I do love her despite the negatives, but some days it's hard to like her.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:52 AM
 
1,121 posts, read 3,098,313 times
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You don't have to like your MIL, you just have to love her as much as you love your husband/wife. That will enable you to overlook a multitude of sins without and pain.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:15 AM
 
363 posts, read 1,002,711 times
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You don't have to like your MIL, you just have to love her as much as you love your husband/wife.
No offense but I don't agree with this statement. Maybe I am not understanding what you mean. I care about what happens to my MIL but don't necessarily love her. She has not made things easy. There is no way that I could love her like I love my husband.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 7,823,618 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoquilter View Post

There have been a few times we have thought about moving our car and parking it out of sight, locking the doors and send everyone downstairs so when she pops by she'll think we are gone. I may have to encourage my DH to stop thinking about it and just do it. But the popping in part is not the only problem, she'll also call and want to visit for an hour or longer at 10:00 at night. She knows we would be home by then and so not answering the phone would cause her worry and she would be up checking in on us.

The sad part about her calling us so late, which she will still do even after she has popped in and visited for several hours earlier in the day/evening, is she does keep us on the phone for quite a while. Then she'll make comments to me about how tired my DH is and he's not getting enough sleep and makes inuindos (sp?) that I'm the one not letting him get his rest. She resents the fact that I am a SAHM and she feels I'm lazy and that my poor DH has to work his fingers to the bone so our kids can be provided for and all of that hard work is just tiring him out. It's all my fault that my DH has to work so hard because I'm so lazy. Then when I have worked she is upset by the fact the kids are in daycare. I tell you it's a no win situation with her.
It sounds like she is not a very nice person and I'm not sure why you haven't seriously limited the amount of time you will spend entertaining her. You all must be real saints to have tolerated her so far and that it hasn't affected your marriage negatively.

So how about if you give her a calendar with times you will be available and every other time she just pops buy you leave her at the door "Sorry Mom (your DH should deal with it, not you), this isn't a good time to visit. Tomorrow around 3 pm should be fine, why don't you stop by then."

Don't you have caller ID on the phone? If not it's time to sign up. Just because she calls doesn't mean you have to answer and talk for an hour.

As for all of her rude remarks, your DH should sit down with her and have a serious talk. If she continues to be demeaning to you, questioning your parenting, contradicting you in front of the kids, etc. she needs to be cut off or seriously restricted in her contact with you. She is poison. The first rude remark on the phone and you hang up. In your home, show her the door until she can manage herself appropriately.


Lastly, it sounds like she needs another hobby other than concerning herself constantly with your family. For her birthday sign her up for a pottery class or get her involved with something in the community, charity or water aerobics or community theater. Maybe you can get her hooked on playing bingo at the senior center.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yukiko11 View Post
You don't have to like your MIL, you just have to love her as much as you love your husband/wife. That will enable you to overlook a multitude of sins without and pain.
This is nuts. Since I made no lifetime vows or commitments to my MIL she doesn't have the same status as my spouse. It is the love I have for my spouse that allows me overlook her shortcomings. If I were not married to her son she is not a person I would be friends with otherwise. We're just not compatible. Even so, we get along just fine...there's no tension or strife but no great love either.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Here... for now
1,747 posts, read 2,618,392 times
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Caller ID works wonders. If you don't want to talk to whomever is calling, just don't answer. It takes a bit to train yourself (or it did for me) but soon, you learn how to just let it ring and ring. Let them leave a message. If it's really important, you can always call right back.

I recently saw an answering machine message that really cracked me up:
"Hello. I'm actually here but not answering the phone because I'm trying to avoid someone I don't like. If I don't call you right back, it was you."
As far as someone dropping by unannounced or uninvited, you are under no obligation to answer the door. You are under no obligation to explain why or to make excuses. Sounds cold, doesn't it? Well, to me, so does dropping by unannounced or uninvited. If it's an emergency, you'll be able to tell by the urgency of the knocking, banging, ringing of the bell. If curiosity gets the best of you, install a camera on the front door. It'll be like a front door version of Caller ID.

Regarding the graduation, first of all CONGRATULATIONS!!! How wonderful for you, your daughter and your family! You must be so proud! What an accomplishment!

Secondly, with regard to the discussion between you and your MIL about where the girls sat, three bravas to you: 1) for encouraging compassion in your children, 2) for sticking to your principles and 3) for handling an uncomfortable situation with class. I have a feeling it won't be long before you won't even have to ask the girls to move -- they'll do it of their own accord.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Orlando
8,181 posts, read 16,153,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukiko11 View Post
dear wyoquilter
always remember and be greatful that your MIL gave birth to your husband. Without her, who would you be living with now?
I get where you're going with this but.......

Raising a child does NOT give you the right to be rude and degrading to his/her spouse.

I have a wonderful DIL and vowed never to treat her like my MIL treated me.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:18 PM
 
Location: England
1,171 posts, read 2,185,778 times
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Oh - been there!!! My MIL is lovely, but she always had to get her oar in. She was of the opinion that she knew best. I think in this case....I would have pretended that she wasn't even there. I would tell my children - LOUDLY - to sit on the ground - TAKE NO NOTICE OF YOUR GRANDMOTHER - do as I say please! And if my MIL had argued again, I would have put my hand up and said "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS - please...." Hopefully she would get the message. Sometimes you just have to say it as it is for there to be the desired result. Doesn't have to be rudeness. But you need to be more assertive with her I think.
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:36 PM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,201,231 times
Reputation: 1300
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Originally Posted by NCyank View Post
It sounds like she is not a very nice person and I'm not sure why you haven't seriously limited the amount of time you will spend entertaining her. You all must be real saints to have tolerated her so far and that it hasn't affected your marriage negatively.

So how about if you give her a calendar with times you will be available and every other time she just pops buy you leave her at the door "Sorry Mom (your DH should deal with it, not you), this isn't a good time to visit. Tomorrow around 3 pm should be fine, why don't you stop by then."

Don't you have caller ID on the phone? If not it's time to sign up. Just because she calls doesn't mean you have to answer and talk for an hour.

As for all of her rude remarks, your DH should sit down with her and have a serious talk. If she continues to be demeaning to you, questioning your parenting, contradicting you in front of the kids, etc. she needs to be cut off or seriously restricted in her contact with you. She is poison. The first rude remark on the phone and you hang up. In your home, show her the door until she can manage herself appropriately.


Lastly, it sounds like she needs another hobby other than concerning herself constantly with your family. For her birthday sign her up for a pottery class or get her involved with something in the community, charity or water aerobics or community theater. Maybe you can get her hooked on playing bingo at the senior center.
Oh my MIL is a very nice person in a lot of respects, she just isn't a very nice MIL. She was a huge factor in the problems that my DH's brother had with his first wife and their marriage went south rather quickly and ended in divorce.

She has tried her best to break my DH and I up. In fact she was so bad while we were dating, that some people would have turned tail and ran. It took us three years after we got married to even tell her we were married and we only did then because we were expecting and we were coming back for my DH's High School reunion and I didn't want her to throw an even bigger fit thinking we were having a baby out of wedlock. (We were living in a whole nother state at the time) We have been married now for 16 years.

She bawled, cried, yelled and carried on so bad that all my DH could finally get in word wise after he made the announcement that we were married was "Now you know why it took us three years to tell you we were married, because we knew this is how you would react and the only reason we are telling you now is because you are going to be a grandmother." Then he hung up on her with her still carrying on. We had been in contact with her and even came down to visit and she came up to visit a few times during that three years, but we never told her, even the "perfect son" BIL didn't tell her anything per my DH's request. My whole entire family knew, all of our friends knew, but she was the last to find out, but only because of the way she was always trying to break us up and interfering. MY DH loves his mother and would do most anything for her, but he is not a momma's boy and he feels he is man enough to make his own decisions and choices without her input.

The only reason we live as close to her as we do is because my DH got a good job offer to work for a company his best friend worked at. He had hit a stalemate with the job he had at that time, so this job offer was the change my DH needed.

We do have Caller ID as well as Call Waiting Caller ID so we know it's her that is calling at such late times. We have thought about not answering the phone when she calls and a few times during the day or early evenings we will let the answering machine pick up. But if we do not answer the phone when she calls at 10:00p.m. she would be up at our house checking to make sure everything was okay and then we'd have problems getting her to leave.

DH has sat down and told his mother that the rude remarks to me is uncalled for and he has even threatened to keep her from seeing the grandkids if she didn't stop. She has backed off quite a bit and is now very careful as to how she words things, but the thought behind what she says is still there. I've called her out a couple of times on it and she starts acting all innocent and confused when I do. He's even told her that the way we are parenting our children is not up for debate or condradiction so to butt out. She'll back off for a while, but she will use excuses like stories she has heard on the news as a way to insert her disapproval over the way we are parenting. She has become one of those over protective parents/grandparents, that will litterally freak if we let one of our girls go out into the front yard to check the mail by themselves. She has slowly becoming one of those paranoid, over reacting people that think the world is falling apart around her.

She is not in the best of health and she is loosing her mental faculties more and more everyday. She really shouldn't be driving any longer and going down town at all hours of the day and night. We worry aboout her and we have tried numerous times to let us get her into a good doctor to find out what is wrong with her. We have even tried to get the BIL to talk to her. It's about to get to the point where we will need to get in touch with a lawyer and get power of attorney over her.

As far as hobbies and such, she is involved with several charity things with her church, she is in water arobics, and she goes to the Senior Center quite often as well as attends retired teachers luncheons, and MDU (our electric and gas company) Breakfasts, as that is where her hubby worked before he passed away. So she has plenty of things to keep her busy, but she still manages to find time to pop in or call.
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