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Old April 8th, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Re: Dealing with MIL/SIL

I've another suggestion to add- (I don't know your wife's relationship with her mother, so you may want to ignore this) - read the book "Motherless Daughters". It is also relavent for women whose mom's are not very involved (or abusesive) with thier daughters- or "Emotional Blackmail" by Susan Forward.
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  #12  
Old April 9th, 2008, 12:48 AM
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Re: Dealing with MIL/SIL

Bless you and your wife and daughter. I am sorry you have been in this situation with your in-laws but it is great that you are looking for ways to protect your family and grow your independence from the negativity they bring in your lives.

You have mentioned that your wife feels she needs her mothers support or that she has been a help for your wife during the day with your child but you are also very clear that your sisters in law are miserable people in your sight and that you neither want them influencing your daughter nor want them disrespecting you and your wife.

What I am most curious about here is what kind of social support your wife has while your at work besides her mom?

Helping your wife find other ways to feel not alone that also build her image of you and your daughter as her primary family and her mean sisters as not central what you are building is very important.

It sounds like your MIL, as grubby stated, has been given to much power in your lives. That she disrespected you at your daughters birth and pushed formula despite your clearly saying 'no' just blew me away. That was your wifes decision and yours, no one elses.

You and your wife are the only two people who get a vote in any decision about your daughter. PERIOD.

Your parenting decisions are not open for discussion. You do not have to explain your selves or argue with MIL. Just simply do what is important to you as a father and husband. Talk to your wife and be clear about how things are effecting you and paint the great picture for her of how you really want your familys time and energy to be spent.

It will mean that MIL has to take a backseat in your lives and this will be a big deal for her if she is used to getting her way. But she is not the man of your house or the mother to your child, those rolls are only for you and your wife. You have been so patient but it is obvious the disrespect is wearing on you.

Best Wishes as you work this out with your wife and help her get comfortable with seeing MIL less and SILs maybe not at all.

As for HK, a flat no is what is needed there. Don't give reasons just say no. Your child is not your MILs travel companion. If you want to take her overseas, fine. No one else should be considering that with your child. She is not a neat item to be shown about. She is your treasured little girl and belongs only with you and your wife.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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Re: Dealing with MIL/SIL

I am embarrassed to tell you that i felt at times, my wife doesn't love me much and i am a lone fighter because i am the one who pointed out I see MIL too much every night.

MIL visited our condo during daytime of weekdays ,help her cook/clean or take care of baby while my wife gets some sleep. All these are not negative things , from my wife's point of view, in fact from my view too.

But i felt that for myself, everytime i left my office, i feel comfortable spending time with my family only in my own home. I prefer to have more family time. Notice that i said "I prefer not "we prefer".

It's undeniable that 1. my wife doesn't see her mom as that negative , despite MIL being bossy at times, 2. She is afraid to say no to her mom on somes issues. We are not on the same page. I tried to get on the same page by spending lots of effort to repeatedly tell her how she may affect our family life. Then she ended up telling MIL that we needed more family time and we won't go to her house on every weeknight anymore. It's inevitable from the way my wife told MIL the news that MIL feels it's my initiative , not initative from both of us. (that's defintely a very bad image for me, but with MIL so familiar with my wife's personality all life long, she can tell anyways)

I remember when baby was only 1 week old, MIL chatted to my wife "HK trip a few years later?", my immiediate reaction is definitely not yes but my wife's reaction is kinda like chatting with her mom about at what age she will go etc etc. I know they may just casual chat about it and may not end up happening....but my wife's natural reaction suggests:

1. She doesnt even give me a look and see /care how i feel about it.
2. She may choose to go with MIL to HK just becoz it's not safe enough for MIL alone to take care of baby..... It's possible , but then what about me? Alone at home just to satisfy her mom's happy plan?

Last edited by familyc; April 9th, 2008 at 08:08 AM.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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Re: Dealing with MIL/SIL

familyc, do you think your wife may be suffering from post-partum depression? Her reaction to being a new mom is nothing like I experienced. Perhaps it is cultural? Is it normal in your culture for the new mother to not be expected to care for and make decisions about her infant?

When I was pregnant with my firstborn, my doctor told DH that he anticipated that I'd have separation issues with the baby. (My M died when I was quite young; apparently that's a glaring warning sign). My doctor told him that if there was anyone in our lives that would try to force a separation before I was "ready", that DH needed to tell that person NOT to do that, because I would not be at all receptive, and would probably freak out. (I found this all out after the fact... I wasn't aware of it while it was going on). Of course the only person DH had to worry about was MIL. So he spoke with her and told her what the doctor had said and told her to NOT say anything about me leaving the baby with her until I brought it up first.

Not that MIL could control herself, of course.

The very first words out of my MIL's mouth to my 10-day old DS was "I can't WAIT until your parents go away so I can have you all to myself." Yup... sure enough, I freaked out. My DS is now 12 years old, and my MIL hasn't been alone with him for more than 5 minutes, ever. I was SO freaked out by her comment that I was physically ill at the thought of her even touching my son. Now, I'm a bit over the top....

My point in telling you this story is that IMO, when a new baby comes a woman turns into the Mama Tiger... fiercely protection her child at all costs, like I did (perhaps not to the extent I did ). It sounds to me like your DW doesn't have that urge to protect your child (at least from her M) but that you DEFINITELY do. You are the Papa Tiger.

And also IMO, the birth of a baby is a time in a couple's married life where they have worked together to create this beautiful thing; there should be a natural closeness between you and your wife that she seems to not feel.

That's why I wonder about postpartum depression. Perhaps you can ask her doctor?
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