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Old May 9th, 2013, 08:22 AM
kelly6 kelly6 is offline
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Unhappy Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

Hello out there!
Dealing with my MIL for the past decade still gets my blood boiling, and gets me physically shaken.
We have had many many issues, starting when my husband and I first got engaged so I won't get into them all, but I will say that I have a wonderful husband who treats me with love and respect, stands up to his mother on my behalf when needed and refuses to let her come between us. Year after year, my MIL continues to drive a wedge between me and her, and somehow in her twisted mind I am always the one pushing her away. (she once flat out told him that she doesn't respect me)
We have had several drawn out conversations about our relationship over the years and have both agreed to work on it, over time. However, we don't see her often because she lives 3 states away so we don't get many opportunities to spend time together. The most recent visits have fortunately been relatively incident free, even though she is still cold towards me. When we do visit, however she complains (sneakily and manipulatively to my husband when I am not around) that it's not long enough and lets him know that she feels he has deserted her. We both have careers, we have two young children as well as twins on the way, yet she is so demanding of our time (and we refuse to spend all of our precious vacation time visiting her, we have our own lives too).

Fast forward to now - she and her husband (remarried recently) wanted to come up for a visit in a few weeks, but because of their work schedule can only come up during weekdays. She mentioned this to me on the phone a couple of months ago and said she hoped that my husband and I could take a day off work, and I said we and/or I could probably do that. Now that the visit is closer husband thought he really did not want to take the day off of work because 1. he has a lot going on and 2. he wants to save his vacation time for when our twins are born in a couple of months. Sounds very reasonable to me.

She begged and pleaded with him, finally telling him he is being selfish because "he can't take a day off for his own mother" In my opinion, she is the selfish one here, since we told them they are still welcome to visit, and he said he could work short days so we will have plenty of time in the evenings. She cancelled the trip out of spite. The next day she told my husband she would come if she could spend time with the kids, so he said fine. I am not comfortable at all with my MIL and her husband taking my young children somewhere in their car without one of us present (I have my reasons for feeling this way and as the parent it is ultimately my decision, not hers), and since I am able to take a day off, I sent a very pleasant email to her saying I was looking forward to her visit, and listed some things we (including me) could do. She replied blatantly saying she will only come if she can take the kids out for the day without me!!!! I knew it would be hard for me to spend a day with her and her husband alone with the kids but I was prepared to put past hurts aside and make a very nice day out of it.

After all these years and suffering through her meanness, trying to make things better, she still wants to separate me from MY family. Granted, i do understand that grandparents want time to bond with their grandchildren, and she would have opportunities for that (I have never tried to keep her from them or spoken badly about her to them), but since she is only here for one day and begged for my husband to take a day off, it is glaringly obvious that she just doesn't want ME around. It says to me that she does not want to spend time with me or try to work on our relationship.

My husband is not standing for it. He was very angry and upset when he got her email last night and is planning on having yet another short but sweet conversation with her. Now everything is coming to a head again. I cannot let her stress me out anymore, especially being pregnant with twins, I just cannot deal with her issues anymore.

No matter how hard we try, she wants to make me out to be this awful person keeping her away from her son and grandchildren.

Anyone have similar issues, any advice? I feel sad for my husband to have such a difficult relationship with his mother, but he and I both feel that every single issue over the years comes from her (and her new husband).
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Old May 9th, 2013, 08:36 AM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

Welcome, kelly6

To be honest, I don't think there's anything you can do to improve your situation except just let it go. Your husband sees it for what it is and your mother-in-law is digging her own grave.

I didn't have a situation similar to yours (I had other issues), but when you said this
Quote:
No matter how hard we try, she wants to make me out to be this awful person keeping her away from her son and grandchildren.
it struck a chord with me. I remember feeling that way.

My solution was to stop trying. I took away my mother-in-law's ability to make me feel like I was constantly failing by not trying anymore. My DH didn't step in to fill the void of what I had been doing to maintain the relationship, and unfortunately my mother-in-law discovered what life would be like if her son really did "desert" her. My efforts are not necessarily "appreciated" now, but she no longer complains that they aren't good enough.

I think if your mother-in-law makes it that clear that she doesn't want to spend time with you or work on your relationship, give her what she wants. She will discover her mistake, and hopefully change her mind.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 08:58 AM
kelly6 kelly6 is offline
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Re: Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

Thanks KayKay,
Yes, digging her own grave, exactly! My husband and I were just saying last night that it's like she's digging herself out of the hole that she's made but every so often she dumps all of the dirt right back on herself!

I will try to let go, at least for now. Every time something like this happens it just makes it harder and harder to move on to a normal relationship. She compares the alone time spent with her two other grandchildren and her husband's grandchildren, who are all several years older than mine and accuses me of not letting her have the same time with my children, but 1. those other parent's decisions have nothing to do with mine/my husband's and 2. she has not carried on with this awful behavior towards them as she has with me and 3. she lives near them so naturally occasions come up when she gets more one/one time with them.

I feel that I forgive her too easily, have tried to start new too many times, yet she insists on holding on to her dislike towards me, which doesn't help me like her any better. It's awful, she has twisted all of my husband's family against us and I know it bothers him, yet fortunately he does see her for who she is and what she is trying to do.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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Re: Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

Quote:
She mentioned this to me on the phone a couple of months ago and said she hoped that my husband and I could take a day off work, and I said we and/or I could probably do that.
Although it wasn't a concrete promise - you did tell her you and your husband "probably" could take a day off work.

I don't have much else to contribute other than don't let her take away your happiness.

Kudos to your husband for not allowing himself to be swayed by his mother's drama.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 01:21 PM
kelly6 kelly6 is offline
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Re: Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

Yes, Knot2loud, I did say we probably could, and I still can. The real problem is she doesn't want ME to. Her plan was to drive up on a Monday, spend Tuesday and leave Wednesday, but she's given us an ultimatum that if she can't spend the day with my children without me, she won't come. That's her choice.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 02:01 PM
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Re: Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly6 View Post
Yes, Knot2loud, I did say we probably could, and I still can. The real problem is she doesn't want ME to. Her plan was to drive up on a Monday, spend Tuesday and leave Wednesday, but she's given us an ultimatum that if she can't spend the day with my children without me, she won't come. That's her choice.
Exactly!
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Old May 9th, 2013, 02:09 PM
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Re: Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly6 View Post
Yes, Knot2loud, I did say we probably could, and I still can. The real problem is she doesn't want ME to. Her plan was to drive up on a Monday, spend Tuesday and leave Wednesday, but she's given us an ultimatum that if she can't spend the day with my children without me, she won't come. That's her choice.

Why do you care what she wants? She's going to treat you poorly regardless of what you do. You do what you want to do because it really doesn't matter. Your MIL is just some cranky old woman who probably doesn't even like herself. Her issues are her problem - not yours. You've attempted all you can to try and create a decent relatiohship with her. So what more can you do? Probably nothing...

An ultimatum? Your kids are yours and your husbands children. You do whatever you and your husband agree on regarding that issue.

My point is this: Please do not allow her to ruin your happiness. Sure, she's your MIL and I'm sure you would have loved to have had a good relationship with her. After all, she is your husbands mother. Unfortunately, some people are just... mean. What can you do that you haven't already tried doing in the past? Probably nothing. I'm sure you've stressed over this dilemma for many years now. Stop stressing - do this for yourself. In other words... You do whatever is the right thing to do in your mind.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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Re: Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knot2loud View Post
My point is this: Please do not allow her to ruin your happiness. Sure, she's your MIL and I'm sure you would have loved to have had a good relationship with her. After all, she is your husbands mother. Unfortunately, some people are just... mean. What can you do that you haven't already tried doing in the past? Probably nothing. I'm sure you've stressed over this dilemma for many years now. Stop stressing - do this for yourself. In other words... You do whatever is the right thing to do in your mind.
I agree!
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Old May 9th, 2013, 04:01 PM
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Re: Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

In other words, it's okay to give up!
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Old May 9th, 2013, 04:06 PM
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Re: Dealing with MIL problems for 10 years, never gets easier, when to let go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly6 View Post
...snip...she's given us an ultimatum that if she can't spend the day with my children without me, she won't come. That's her choice.

I'm with Ann - if she wants to cut her nose off to spite her face, fine


you're not going to give in to childish fits are you (I'm sure you don't with your kids)

I also agree with Kaykay & knot - she's "made her bed" now she should get to use it .... if she doesn't like it, she can always get a new bed (change her behavior)
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