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RoseRed135

When did you first know you were going to have trouble w/ MIL/DIL/whoever?

73 posts in this topic

Looking back, I realize I should have known that some of my issues w/ DM would increase after I got married. But I didn't. It first hit me when I realized she would, now and then, (secretly) move (small) items around in DH's and my home. Yes, it was only "now and then" and only w/ "small" items. But it still showed she wanted - felt entitled to (?) - a say in our home/lives...sigh...

Also, I now think MIL, inadvertently, gave me a foreshadowing of her efforts to influence/control us "way back " when she tried to convince us to get an engagement ring identical to hers. But I just saw it as her expressing her love for her own ring. I didn't begin to see the larger problem, unfortunately, till a couple of years after DH & I were married. It first struck me when we were expecting ODD and MIL,,, sigh...  tried to dictate what baby products we would and wouldn't get!

How about you? When did you first have an inkling that your MIL/DIL/whatever IL or relative was going to be difficult? And/or, if you will, when do you now think you "should" have seen it coming?

Edited by RoseRed135

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Looking back...the first time I met MIL and her dog bite me and she laughed instead of showing concern.  Luckily, I had on boots.

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5 minutes ago, SueSTx said:

Looking back...the first time I met MIL and her dog bite me and she laughed instead of showing concern.  Luckily, I had on boots.

Whoa!

Yeah, that was a definite red flag! (Glad you were wearing boots.)

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When my ex and I were dating. If we were going out to dinner, we couldn't tell her.  Then if she saw the take out boxes upon returning, there was the "where's mine?" attitude complete with huffing and puffing.

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My earliest sign I had a MIL problem was when DH and I were planning our wedding, and DH started backpeddling on an agreement we had reached which was to get married in my church, and bringing up his mom's insistence to incorporate her/DH's religion into the ceremony (which was not possible to do).   At the time, I was super annoyed with my MIL for meddling into our wedding planning as DH and I made an agreement about how religion would be handled with our wedding and future kids, but really what I should have been focused on was DH and his backpeddling on our agreement.  The religion issue continued to be a problem for us throughout our marriage.  A year after we were married, ODD was born and I also recall my MIL calling up DH and telling him to bring ODD to her church when ODD was just a few weeks old, so ODD could be blessed by the priest.   Again, this was serious meddling on my MIL's part but really what I had a was DH problem at this time in which he was allowing himself to be seriously influenced by his mom instead of shutting her down and supporting the agreement DH and I reached during our engagement concerning religion in our family.

Edited by BSW
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When she told me "You should consider how his (DH) next wife might feel"... I was shocked by at the time, I thought it was just a statement in anger because she was really upset at both me and DH about something else. However now...  after all the drama, I know, she has always viewed me as a temporary fixture in her/DH's life. 

It does make me feel bad for her. She was so focused on her efforts to manipulate DH, to drive a wedge in our marriage... that she did not realize that she was driving a wedge between her and her son- and that means her Grandson too- who unfortunately only remerbers a couple of tramatic days with her rather than the good times he had with her.  That too, unfortunately, is MIL own fault.

If you have ever seen Madea talk about people/relationships... well in my DH's life my MIL thought I was a twig, little did she know I was one of the roots. 

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I first realized it when she told everyone at our first Thanksgiving dinner after our marriage that she wished her son had married _____ (a friend of DH's when he was younger),  I should have realized it when, during a "girl talk" before the marriage, she told me that if she had wanted to she could have gotten DH and his ex back together.  Silly me; I thought that was her way of saying she preferred me over his ex instead of an admission of being manipulative.  Like so many, I had a DH problem.  He insisted, "She didn't mean anything by it. That's just the way she is. You'll get used to it"  Over and over.

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I have a number of gay relatives but my MIL constantly points out gay people in public or criticizes gay celebrities.  The day she sat in a restaurant loudly discussing how gross and gay the couple behind us was, was the day I knew that she would likely always act divisively. 

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I *should* have known when DH told her we got married/eloped and she refused to talk to him and she was the ONLY one who refused. Everyone else in his family and my family were super happy for us, didn't care we got married without them.

I *should* have known when she came to our house and moved towels from one drawer to a different drawer. She did that 2-3 times before she stopped because I just moved them back. I never even saw her move them. They just weren't were I put them when I looked for them and I later found them in a different drawer. I thought it was very odd though, that she did this. Never a "red flag".

There were several other things that *should* have opened my eyes at the time.Nothing big though so it was easy to sweep it away as no big deal, nothing to be worried about.

 

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From the very beginning.  I wish I would have drawn a line in the sand immediately both with NMIL and most importantly DuH.  It would have saved so far 19 years of crap.  My PGM was awful to my DM, and really to all of us.  I felt it way back then, and was glad we did not see them much.  ANyway, I always said to my DM, I can handle this, it won't get to me like she did to you.  Well I have been eating those words for a long time.  It DOES get to me.  Yeah I know that just gives them power.  If my DuH was a DH, then it really wouldn't be much of an issue, because I wouldn't even know.  But since I can't let him be the go between when it comes to the children (he will just let her take over and tell everything in our lives - I HATE that. I am very private).  So today I have to have a place to get away, or I would go crazy.  

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Shortly before our second Thanksgiving together, my DuH informed me that his mother had asked him what we were doing for Thanksgiving.  Naive as I was, it didn't occur to me that this was the beginning of a pattern of assumptions that I would be responsible for entertaining the PILs every holiday.  

At the time, I was working days and DuH nights and I was near the end of my third trimester of pregnancy.  I only had Thanksgiving day off and DuH was scheduled to work Thanksgiving night.  I preferred that PILs arrive on Thanksgiving morning and spend the next night or two (they had a 2-hr drive).  They wanted to arrive on Tuesday.  I told DH I planned to finish defrosting the turkey the Wednesday before and prepare the stuffing Wednesday night before Txgiving so I could put it in the oven first thing Thursday morning and have it done in time to have dinner before he had to go to work.  I explained that I wouldn't have time to prepare dinner for his parents on Wednesday and I typically didn't prepare much more than a snack for myself on nights he wasn't home.  Small meals were all I could handle with my hyperemesis and pregnancy heartburn.

DuH informed me that his mother volunteered to prepare dinner, wash the turkey (remove gizzards, etc) and help me prepare the stuffing.  All that sounded great, so I agreed to the earlier arrival.  Come Wednesday, I had a phone conversation from work with DH were he told me he had left the turkey in the sink and his mother was planning to rinse it out and get it ready for stuffing by the time I got home.  He also said he discussed what they wanted for dinner and shower her where the supplies were.  However, when I got home, I arrived to find the PILs sleeping on the sofa and the turkey still in it's packaging in the sink.  MIL leaped up as soon as she realized I was there and began explaining that she didn't know what I wanted her to do with the turkey and had no idea what to do for dinner.  I offered to order pizza, they didn't want any.  They settled on Chinese, which I ended up paying for once they heard the total (no idea why they didn't see the prices on the menu they read their choices from).  I defrosted the turkey and my mom took pity on me when I called her about a question on a stuffing recipe at a late hour and came over to help me.  

Offers to "help" to get themselves invited continued for the next nine years.  I stopped taking their offers seriously a long time ago and just knew that their visits meant all work/no play for me and vacation for them.  That lasted until I turned all the hosting duty of PILs over to DuH.  He lasted all of two visits.  We have no more offers of help, but holidays are a lot less work without the offers of "help" and much more enjoyable ;)

 

    

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20 minutes ago, LilMommy said:

Shortly before our second Thanksgiving together, my DuH informed me that his mother had asked him what we were doing for Thanksgiving.  Naive as I was, it didn't occur to me that this was the beginning of a pattern of assumptions that I would be responsible for entertaining the PILs every holiday.  

At the time, I was working days and DuH nights and I was near the end of my third trimester of pregnancy.  I only had Thanksgiving day off and DuH was scheduled to work Thanksgiving night.  I preferred that PILs arrive on Thanksgiving morning and spend the next night or two (they had a 2-hr drive).  They wanted to arrive on Tuesday.  I told DH I planned to finish defrosting the turkey the Wednesday before and prepare the stuffing Wednesday night before Txgiving so I could put it in the oven first thing Thursday morning and have it done in time to have dinner before he had to go to work.  I explained that I wouldn't have time to prepare dinner for his parents on Wednesday and I typically didn't prepare much more than a snack for myself on nights he wasn't home.  Small meals were all I could handle with my hyperemesis and pregnancy heartburn.

DuH informed me that his mother volunteered to prepare dinner, wash the turkey (remove gizzards, etc) and help me prepare the stuffing.  All that sounded great, so I agreed to the earlier arrival.  Come Wednesday, I had a phone conversation from work with DH were he told me he had left the turkey in the sink and his mother was planning to rinse it out and get it ready for stuffing by the time I got home.  He also said he discussed what they wanted for dinner and shower her where the supplies were.  However, when I got home, I arrived to find the PILs sleeping on the sofa and the turkey still in it's packaging in the sink.  MIL leaped up as soon as she realized I was there and began explaining that she didn't know what I wanted her to do with the turkey and had no idea what to do for dinner.  I offered to order pizza, they didn't want any.  They settled on Chinese, which I ended up paying for once they heard the total (no idea why they didn't see the prices on the menu they read their choices from).  I defrosted the turkey and my mom took pity on me when I called her about a question on a stuffing recipe at a late hour and came over to help me.  

Offers to "help" to get themselves invited continued for the next nine years.  I stopped taking their offers seriously a long time ago and just knew that their visits meant all work/no play for me and vacation for them.  That lasted until I turned all the hosting duty of PILs over to DuH.  He lasted all of two visits.  We have no more offers of help, but holidays are a lot less work without the offers of "help" and much more enjoyable ;)

   

Just ugh to all of this.  So many relationship problems could be solved if people simply practiced good manners.

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9 minutes ago, BSW said:

Just ugh to all of this.  So many relationship problems could be solved if people simply practiced good manners.

Thanks, BSW.  I agree, manners could solve so many problems.  The issue, IMHO, is, with ILs like yours and mine, is they know all about good manners.  That is, in the kind they believe should be extended to them.  They really seem to lack empathy for the folks they don't treat with good manners.

I'm well aware of my responsibility in allowing all this stuff to continue for so long.  If I had just stuck the turkey back in the refrigerator and said "Okie Dokey. PBJ for Thanksgiving, it is!!!", I doubt it would have continued for as long as it did.  My boundaries are less flexible these days.

The funniest thing is, the only Txgiving I didn't host was two years later, at my mother's house, when my mom invited my PILs, as well.  On the way home, my MIL commented that she didn't like my mother's stuffing, that mine was much better.  I couldn't even appreciate the compliment, if that's indeed what it was.  I use my mother's stuffing recipe.  :crazy: 

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When DH & I shared the news that we planned to marry. His mom said "I suppose you'll be having the wedding with your people".

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I should've known sooner than I did.  Hindsight being 20/20 and all.

I didn't realize until we went to visit her one day when ODS was about 6 months old and she was just a wretch the whole time. Nit picking, hypercritical, and just negative the whole time. I was shocked, I'd never seen her behave like that before and the whole way home I just wondering what on earth had just happened and who on earth was that crazy person because it wasn't my MIL. 

But here's what my hindsight tells me now....

I should've known when my then fiance was curled up in a fetal position having panic attacks over the possibility of his parents being in the same room (our wedding). This should've been a giant red flag that his parents very much like to pit sides against each other and force a choice. 

I should've known when MIL started when I was pregnant about my mom being more important because she's the maternal grandmother. 

I should've known the baby stuff she was filling her home with was a sign of her big expectations. 

I should've known because her offer to watch ODS so we could go for a walk had nothing to do with us having a break and was just an excuse to take off with ODS without asking. 

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In the first phone call, when MIL demanded my height, weight, and dress size.

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Dill was married when they met but separated, took her 7 years to find him and get divorced the red flag for us should have been when she made the statement to me no man will ever control me again.  

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55 minutes ago, JustaGrandma said:

Dill was married when they met but separated, took her 7 years to find him and get divorced the red flag for us should have been when she made the statement to me no man will ever control me again.  

Not being willing to be controlled is a good thing.

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2 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

Not being willing to be controlled is a good thing.

It can be unless you are going to use that as the reason you control everyone else

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2 minutes ago, JustaGrandma said:

It can be unless you are going to use that as the reason you control everyone else

Ah. I don't make that leap. To me, "No man will ever control me again." is on par with, "No man will ever abuse me again." It doesn't translate into the person saying that as becoming controlling or abusive themselves.

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6 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

Not being willing to be controlled is a good thing.

Yep. Particularly, we want our girls exercising their free will. I know that is a sexist thought, oh well.

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1 hour ago, JanelleK said:

Yep. Particularly, we want our girls exercising their free will. I know that is a sexist thought, oh well.

I don't know if it's sexist, exactly. Men have traditionally been encouraged to be independant, while women have been encouraged to 'be nice' or 'be ladylike'.

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Except I have the benefit of the 20 year history that you don't have I only hope I've never made anyone ever feel the way my dil has me. 

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11 minutes ago, JustaGrandma said:

 I only hope I've never made anyone ever feel the way my dil has me. 

(((Hugs!)))

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2 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

(((Hugs!)))

I don't think no mater how much I disliked my mil I would ever have made her the but of my jokes because that would hurt my dh. Thankfully I do have a decent MIL not that I've never been unhappy with something she has said/done or on occasions, spent more on my kids then I thought she should have. But she wasn't a toxic addict either. But being as I am not a mil that gives her opinion on childcare, how you decorate clean your home, I don't give opinions to anyone unless asked because most people don't care if its friend or fo don't really want to hear it unless it's asked for. 

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