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Old 04-26-2011, 11:56 PM
 
5,698 posts, read 18,072,976 times
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Sounds like a passive aggressive ***** to me. My MIL is like this. I like to call it "intentional misunderstandings." She is always trying to find something wrong. When she stayed with us the last time, she told my husband how cute the guest room was, how I did such a wonderful job decorating it, how she slept so well. After hubby left for work, the only thing she told me was that the mattress hurt her hip. My advice, just make extra french toast, coffee...whatever. I can promise you it won't matter though. She will find something else.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,011 posts, read 27,877,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyKLO View Post
LOL, that sugar free syrup is pretty good! You're right...she is a guest..just make more food.
Some people know that French toast is not really it when one is dieting, yet they stuff food inside.

The only way to silence them is sugar free syrup

Sugar free is a feel good word
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:41 AM
 
5,273 posts, read 7,000,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyKLO View Post
Just make extra french toast and coffee all the time. If she doesn't eat or drink it, just put it away. She is not good at expressing her true feelings that she really wants it but and she also doesn't want you to go through the trouble of making more french toast and having to wash the dishes all over again. If you can just oblige her just these 3 to 4 times a year, it will become a no-brainer for you. She only mentions the calorie thing so you really won't make it.

If she turns her nose up at it, oh well. The food was prepared....Some make it hard on others....and have to be difficult! LOL... Make extra and that will be fair. Her own fault if she goes hungry lol..
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:46 PM
 
1,073 posts, read 2,510,168 times
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I do appreciate everyone's input. I made sure to prepare enough for everyone no matter what for the remainder of their visit. Even if it was carrot sticks for the kids to snack on. My in-laws did not eat much of what I made outside of regular meals, but it is far better to just have it there in case. I will do this from now on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingwater View Post
Sounds like a passive aggressive ***** to me. My MIL is like this. I like to call it "intentional misunderstandings." She is always trying to find something wrong. When she stayed with us the last time, she told my husband how cute the guest room was, how I did such a wonderful job decorating it, how she slept so well. After hubby left for work, the only thing she told me was that the mattress hurt her hip. My advice, just make extra french toast, coffee...whatever. I can promise you it won't matter though. She will find something else.
fallingwater, yes, I do believe my MIL is passive aggressive. Some of the highlights from the ten years that we've been in each other's lives include:

-every time I offer something to her, like a bite of my dessert at a restaurant (when she did not order dessert), she will say very loudly "aw no marmom, it'd be like taking candy from a baby." Then as soon as I set my fork down she will scarf down the remainder.

-I have a huge aversion to sea food. One night at a restaurant my husband asked to try a bite of my dinner. I said sure, but asked him to use a clean fork because his was covered with fish remnants. No big deal, he did it. Then my MIL said "oh marmom!" and proceeded to take her fork, which was also covered in fish remnants, and stab it all over my dinner. I just looked at her and she said with big innocent eyes "I just wanted to try a bite, isn't that okay?"

-We went to a fancy restaurant and I dressed up, wearing a pretty white top. My husband was raving about how pretty I looked, and my MIL got some sort of strange muscle spasm that caused her to reach across the table and spill the entire contents of her glass of red wine right onto the front of my shirt. She did the big-eyed innocent look again and made a comment about how clumsy she is (which had never been the case before).

-When I was post-partum for the first time, my husband asked if he could get me anything. I longed for a latte, and he agreed to go get one for me. My MIL offered to go with him. When he returned he walked inside and I inquired about the latte, as his hands were empty. He said "my mom offered to carry it in." It took her a couple more minutes. She handed me the cup, which was half empty. I didn't say anything because it wasn't a big deal. The next time I got into my *brand new* car, I saw the huge stain on the seat. She denied anything had happened.

-And my all time favorite. We flew her out around my due date for my second pregnancy. The purpose was for her to be "on call" when I went into labor so that she could care for our toddler. The morning after my due date, my contractions had gone from ten minutes apart to seven minutes apart in the space of about two hours. I started gearing up to go to the hospital soon. My MIL said "I just need to get a quick manicure, I will be back soon...I saw a place down the road that I can go to." In that moment I was thinking "really????" But I didn't say anything. I figured she would be gone an hour tops. She was gone more than half the day. Six hours or so. I was home alone, in labor, without a car (she took my car), with my toddler, and my husband at work. Now I did have options. Could have called a friend or my husband could have left work, and I guess my toddler could have ridden without her car seat (which was in my car with my MIL) to the hospital, or I could have tried to find a babysitter on short notice. But still, the entire point of us flying her out was for her to be there when I went into labor. She agreed to this plan enthusiastically.

Anyway. She's not all bad. We are just two very different people. I know I've behaved less than graciously with her too (although never passive aggressive or intentionally mean...overt bitchiness is more my style - lol). I continue to strive toward the most positive relationship possible because she is my husband's mother and my kids' grandmother.

Last edited by marmom; 05-14-2011 at 09:55 PM..
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:54 PM
 
5,698 posts, read 18,072,976 times
Reputation: 8649
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmom View Post
I do appreciate everyone's input. I made sure to prepare enough for everyone no matter what for the remainder of their visit. Even if it was carrot sticks for the kids to snack on. My in-laws did not eat much of what I made outside of regular meals, but it is far better to just have it there in case. I will do this from now on.



fallingwater, yes, I do believe my MIL is passive aggressive. Some of the highlights from the ten years that we've been in each other's lives include:

-every time I offer something to her, like a bite of my dessert at a restaurant (when she did not order dessert), she will say very loudly "aw no marmom, it'd be like taking candy from a baby." Then as soon as I set my fork down she will scarf down the remainder.

-I have a huge aversion to sea food. One night at a restaurant my husband asked to try a bite of my dinner. I said sure, but asked him to use a clean fork because his was covered with fish remnants. No big deal, he did it. Then my MIL said "oh marmom!" and proceeded to take her fork, which was also covered in fish remnants, and stab it all over my dinner. I just looked at her and she said with big innocent eyes "I just wanted to try a bite, isn't that okay?"

-We went to a fancy restaurant and I dressed up, wearing a pretty white top. My husband was raving about how pretty I looked, and my MIL got some sort of strange muscle spasm that caused her to reach across the table and spill the entire contents of her glass of red wine right onto the front of my shirt. She did the big-eyed innocent look again and made a comment about how clumsy she is (which had never been the case before).

-When I was post-partum for the first time, my husband asked if he could get me anything. I longed for a latte, and he agreed to go get one for me. My MIL offered to go with him. When he returned he walked inside and I inquired about the latte, as his hands were empty. He said "my mom offered to carry it in." It took her a couple more minutes. She handed me the cup, which was half empty. I didn't say anything because it wasn't a big deal. The next time I got into my *brand new* car, I saw the huge stain on the seat. She denied anything had happened.

-And my all time favorite. We flew her out around my due date for my second pregnancy. The purpose was for her to be "on call" when I went into labor so that she could care for our toddler. The morning after my due date, my contractions had gone from ten minutes apart to seven minutes apart in the space of about two hours. I started gearing up to go to the hospital soon. My MIL said "I just need to get a quick manicure, I will be back soon...I saw a place down the road that I can go to." In that moment I was thinking "really????" But I didn't say anything. I figured she would be gone an hour tops. She was gone more than half the day. Six hours or so. I was home alone, in labor, without a car (she took my car), with my toddler, and my husband at work, and I guess my toddler could have ridden without her car seat (which was in my car with my MIL). Now I did have options. Could have called a friend or my husband could have left work. But still, the entire point of us flying her out was for her to be there when I went into labor. She agreed to this plan enthusiastically.

Anyway. She's not all bad. We are just two very different people. I know I've behaved less than graciously with her too (although never passive aggressive or intentionally mean...overt bitchiness is more my style - lol). I continue to strive toward the most positive relationship possible because she is my husband's mother and my kids' grandmother.
you are saint and your DH should give you a big hug cuz that woman would go down if she was my MIL. lol. Wow...just...wow!!!!
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:14 AM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,583 posts, read 51,016,070 times
Reputation: 13556
I've learned the hard way that the only way to fight fire is with fire. Stain my pretty blouse and car and you will have a couple of equally ugly stains that I - whoops, how could I be so clumsy! - will make happen.

I have a narcissistic mother that spent my entire life trying to make me pay for her getting pregnant so I've had a lot of practice with this stuff. It took decades before I finally learned to give it right back to people.

My mother use to like to put me down in front of people in a passive-aggressive way. I remember when her first grandchild was born folks would tell her she looked too young to be a grandma so she'd go on and on about how I was a "child bride."

That is until one day I said, "Oh mom, you are such a kidder. Tell them that you are actually 48."

She never pulled that one, again.

Of course, some of this stuff you have to learn the hard way like you now know to never count on your MIL to be there for you, like when you were in labor. There is no way that you would have known that she'd sink to that level or be so ridiculously cruel and irresponsible. Now you know to never trust her.

But give as good as you get.

French toast? The second she said she didn't want any I'd respond, with a wry smile, "That's right! You have some weight to lose, now don't you?"

I am sickeningly sweet to most folks. I just love people. And I thought being rude was never the way to go.

Well, I'm here to tell you that if you want the nonsense to stop you will nip this in the bud.

And why could you not call your husband when you were in labor? I'm assuming he was away?

That's another thing. The quickest way to stop all the MIL tyranny is to have your husband, her son, tell her to knock it off. If he claims he doesn't see any problem with his mother tell him that there is a problem and as your husband he is to handle it.

I've been in that situation, too, and almost always the son is a passive but willing accomplice.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:29 PM
 
32,524 posts, read 34,335,021 times
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I have TWO MILs. (Regular and step.)

I learned a very long time ago to make extra french toast. Or pancakes. Or whatever. You freeze the extras.

Life is as hard as you want it to be.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, ID
3,109 posts, read 10,239,099 times
Reputation: 2595
I'm just curious...what is your husband's take on all this? And how supportive is he in validating your feelings on the issue? Does he see all these incidents from your POV, or does it escape his notice?

Your MIL sounds like how my mother treated my wife for about 15 years. My FIL (who was my mentor) was giving me advice before our wedding, and said, "son, in any conflict, there is your wife's side....and enemy camp...you need to be smart".

After trying to maintain a respectful and loving attitude without success (and this includes nearly annual "talks" trying to convey our feelings to my mother about her actions), my wife chose about 10 years ago to shut my mother down immediately any time ANY misbehavior started, and we'd engineer it so that we'd be "unavailable" to see her (respectfully distant) for anywhere from 1-2 weeks to a few months any time she really put the hurt to my wife.

Almost in a pavlovian method...any time she is mean spirited or hurtful to my wife (or says stuff to our kids that undermine my wife) she is in essence persona non grata around here. And now that our kids are older, they see it as their job to protect their mother and they're quick to shut down anything my mother may say about my wife in their presence. They "circle the wagons" with grandma on the outside, basically...

But to your question...I like the reply from fallingwater and others above...make extra for her without being asked...and always leave the onus on HER to refuse your hospitality. When she's overtly rude, insensitive, or "emotionally aggressive" as you describe, BE CONSISTENT and on the SAME page in the playbook as your husband and don't let any slights or hurts go without consequence. Much like children, she needs firm boundaries and for violating those boundaries to have increasingly negative consequences.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:28 PM
 
2,596 posts, read 5,279,530 times
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First off, you sound like a great DIL who is trying to do everything right. The other good thing is that you only see them 3-4 times per year, so this situation, while mystifying, is temporary and it won't be a huge deal just to bend to her peculiarities. You're right that she should simply say what she wants right off the bat. Wouldn't it be great if all people did that? Unfortunately, we are a complex species. I am known for not ordering any French fries because I don't want to pig out on them... but then my hubby orders them and I steal all of his. Go figure.

In any case, since it seems all of these incidents where she won't speak her mind, recants, then later refuses to eat are related to food, I would simply always make extra when she is around, regardless of what she says she will eat. If you're like me and hate to waste, I understand why you would only make just enough, but again, since this is a 3-4 times per year problem, I would just make extras and put anything not used in the fridge to be eaten as leftovers. Solves the problem.

Edit: I saw your later scenarios after I posted. So it sounds like she has deeper issues. I think you are doing the admirable thing by putting the relationship first on behalf of your husband and children. You should be applauded for that. In response to the later issues, I would do several things. First, she's proven with the labor thing that she can't be depended on. So have her over as a guest, but never put her in a position where she's key to something working out. With the latte/blouse/fish stuff, I would make a point to put your husband physically between you two. Seat him next to her at the restaurant where she can't get to your plate, or where he gets spilled on first. That usually does it!
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Tucson
42,835 posts, read 84,091,391 times
Reputation: 22814
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmom View Post
I do appreciate everyone's input. I made sure to prepare enough for everyone no matter what for the remainder of their visit. Even if it was carrot sticks for the kids to snack on. My in-laws did not eat much of what I made outside of regular meals, but it is far better to just have it there in case. I will do this from now on.



fallingwater, yes, I do believe my MIL is passive aggressive. Some of the highlights from the ten years that we've been in each other's lives include:

-every time I offer something to her, like a bite of my dessert at a restaurant (when she did not order dessert), she will say very loudly "aw no marmom, it'd be like taking candy from a baby." Then as soon as I set my fork down she will scarf down the remainder.

-I have a huge aversion to sea food. One night at a restaurant my husband asked to try a bite of my dinner. I said sure, but asked him to use a clean fork because his was covered with fish remnants. No big deal, he did it. Then my MIL said "oh marmom!" and proceeded to take her fork, which was also covered in fish remnants, and stab it all over my dinner. I just looked at her and she said with big innocent eyes "I just wanted to try a bite, isn't that okay?"

-We went to a fancy restaurant and I dressed up, wearing a pretty white top. My husband was raving about how pretty I looked, and my MIL got some sort of strange muscle spasm that caused her to reach across the table and spill the entire contents of her glass of red wine right onto the front of my shirt. She did the big-eyed innocent look again and made a comment about how clumsy she is (which had never been the case before).

-When I was post-partum for the first time, my husband asked if he could get me anything. I longed for a latte, and he agreed to go get one for me. My MIL offered to go with him. When he returned he walked inside and I inquired about the latte, as his hands were empty. He said "my mom offered to carry it in." It took her a couple more minutes. She handed me the cup, which was half empty. I didn't say anything because it wasn't a big deal. The next time I got into my *brand new* car, I saw the huge stain on the seat. She denied anything had happened.

-And my all time favorite. We flew her out around my due date for my second pregnancy. The purpose was for her to be "on call" when I went into labor so that she could care for our toddler. The morning after my due date, my contractions had gone from ten minutes apart to seven minutes apart in the space of about two hours. I started gearing up to go to the hospital soon. My MIL said "I just need to get a quick manicure, I will be back soon...I saw a place down the road that I can go to." In that moment I was thinking "really????" But I didn't say anything. I figured she would be gone an hour tops. She was gone more than half the day. Six hours or so. I was home alone, in labor, without a car (she took my car), with my toddler, and my husband at work. Now I did have options. Could have called a friend or my husband could have left work, and I guess my toddler could have ridden without her car seat (which was in my car with my MIL) to the hospital, or I could have tried to find a babysitter on short notice. But still, the entire point of us flying her out was for her to be there when I went into labor. She agreed to this plan enthusiastically.

Anyway. She's not all bad. We are just two very different people. I know I've behaved less than graciously with her too (although never passive aggressive or intentionally mean...overt bitchiness is more my style - lol). I continue to strive toward the most positive relationship possible because she is my husband's mother and my kids' grandmother.
She's not all that bad?! Are you crazy?! The least you could do in the last example was to not give her your car! Of course, it beats me why you were planning to depend on the help of this monster when you were about to give birth!
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