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NewMama

Taking a TO

27 posts in this topic

DH and I had a rather big fight about MIL, the end result of which was I decided I needed a break from her. Since last fall DH had been seeing her on weekends I work, and I went several months without seeing her and it was a welcome relief. But I've now seen her a few times since spring, and I realized I'm just not able to be around her at the moment. DH pushing me to sweep everything under rug sent me over the edge. DH isn't thrilled I don't want to see his mom, but has agreed to go back to visiting with her on the weekends I work. He said he'll tell her to stop with the cards and random gifts, but I'm not convinced he will yet. I was clear I don't want to receive anything from her. Her sending me a birthday card started the fight. 

So, my questions for those of you who took a TO - did you decide on a length of time ahead of time? Wait and see? What did you tell your kids, if anything?

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Posted (edited)

Isn't part of the problem your DH pressuring you to resume visits?  How are you handling his part in the whole mess?

As to length of time, I think it all depends on her behavior during the TO and if she were to have a light bulb moment after a spell, which I doubt.

As to the kids, mine were teens and had actually put her in a TO first.  I followed their lead.

Edited by SueSTx

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Posted (edited)

 My TO was from my SisIL, not my MIL. And my "kids" were grown, so it's probably not quite the same situation as yours NM.

To add to what Sue said, IMO, the duration also depends on the nature of the TO/the way it was presented. I had some behavior changes I needed from SIL, in order to resume contact, which I told her. So, basically, the length of the TO depended on how soon she began to make those changes, if at all.

For me, illness also made a difference. I admit, that when I first heard through ODD that SIL was sick, I didn't change my stance. I didn't see her illness as an excuse for the issues that traced back to long before she was ill. Plus, as in your case, part of my problem was DH leaning on me to resume contact... sigh... Except he did it, mostly, b/c he wanted to avoid contact w/ her, himself. I had to remain firm to make sure he didn't push me back into a relationship w/ her. So, as in your situation but for different reasons, it was as much about him as about her.

But anyhow, when I heard she was terminal, I dropped the TO, especially since she needed some help w/ a few things, etc. before the health aide (that she finally agreed to) was scheduled to come.

Hopefully, MIL doesn't have any serious health issues. And, of course, IDK if that would impact your choices or not.

Edited by RoseRed135

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Posted (edited)

But I've now seen her a few times since spring, and I realized I'm just not able to be around her at the moment.

It doesn't sound as if you need anything specific from MIL besides the break, itself. So it might not be as easy for you to determine where an endpoint would be. Perhaps you should give yourself a target date when you'll think about trying to resume contact - say 6 months from now?  a year? whatever feels right to you at the moment? Then you can decide, at that point, if you'd like to see her or not.

Edited by RoseRed135

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I took a TO with my IL's following my MIL's 2 month ragefest when she admitted to (not to apologize but as part of her narcissist rage) to being an interloper in our marriage; predicted that DH and I would divorce; referred to me as DH's GF; and said we were horrible parents.   I was sick to my stomach over letting this woman into my home and life for over twenty years when her intentions were not good and with purpose she wanted to damage my marriage.  My TO became even stronger after the way my IL's acted when my ODB died last summer - which was complete dismissiveness.   I did go up to my IL's at Christmas to test the waters Re: how I would feel which was disgust when I saw my MIL, especially when she reached out and tried to touch my hand.  So, I have not seen them since and am not putting a time limit on how long it will take for me to move past what continues to be a feeling of disgust in my MIL and dislike in my FIL.   To compound this, my BIL completely unloaded on DH about 4 months ago in a fit of rage that sounded very familiar to my MIL's in which he told DH that he needed to be a man and get me in line as I needed to be up at my IL's spending time with MIL.  He also raged on about his resentment towards DH (and I and the kids even).  DH hasn't spoken to BIL since.  He disgusts me too!  I have been very honest with DH about my feelings towards his parents and DB, and he has been supportive in my decision to distance myself.

I do feel a lot better not having these people in my life.  I have taken the time to examine why I put up with them for as long as I did, as although my MIL kept her feelings under wrap until she raged, her actions showed me that she was no good when it came to my marriage.  I have come to the realization that I have a strong sense of duty that kept me in these relationships way longer than I should have been.  So, during this TO I have worked on being a lot less dutiful - not only with my IL's but with other people in my life, so that now I only involve myself with reciprocal relationships and am careful when it comes to how I spend my time and attention on others.  Since my IL's were users when it came to me, I doubt these relationships will ever resume especially in the case of my MIL who is very ill.

My kids are 20, 18 and 16, and I have started to talk to each one of them individually about my issues with my IL's.  My IL's were good to my kids, so we have very different perspectives, but my kids have been open to listening and understanding.  They have BIL in a TO and since he lives with my IL's they have not seen my IL's in a while although I am not involved in organizing when the kids visit the IL's especially since 2 of them are adults - they can figure it out. 

My advise would be not to put a time limit on your TO; keep it simple with the kids as to why you don't see MIL since your kids are young; get on the same page with your DH Re: this TO so that it doesn't create resentment in your marriage and explore changes you can make in yourself from this experience. 

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DH had asked back in the spring if I minded him driving himself and the kids to see MIL, which I have issues with that have nothing to do with MIL. I told him I'd rather go with him. I thought it had been a while since I had seen her, and it would be ok.  It had also been a long time since we'd been to her home, and it was right back to the same old stuff - telling me what I can and can't do with the kids, I'm not allowed to prepare their plates, I can't sit next to them, etc. I was irritated, and tried to keep busy with the kids. She also got huffy when I told her not to put something on YDS's plate, and YDS backed me up. 

DH also sprung a surprise visit on me (about an hour's notice) one recent weekend, and it was the day after we buried my mom's ashes. I think that's part of the reason it rubbed me so much the wrong way - MIL walks in and says "Oh there's our girl" and tries to give me a big hug and kiss. It just all screams fake and phoney to me, I don't like someone acting like we're all a big loving family when she ignored my mom dying. There's an enormous elephant in the room she's trying to stuff under a rug. That's why the gifts and cards make me so mad, a gas card and some lotion aren't going to make up for it. She sent me a birthday card to me addressed to both DH and I, presumably so I wouldn't just toss it. DH opened it, I knew it was sitting around and there was cash in it, but I ignored it. After the fight, DH took it and I haven't seen it since. 

She knows she messed up, but isn't willing to say anything to my face about it. DH told me she's been talking about it, and is upset that I really stay away from her and don't engage when I do see her. She's been guilting him about it, and he's passed it on to me. He asked me to just let it go, and although he's denying he wants me to pretend everything is ok, he did ask during the argument if I could just go back to making small talk with her. I explained to him multiple times that it matters how people act during something like this, and someday he will find that out too. And that although this was big, this was not a one time thing for me, it's been 6 years of garbage from her that got topped off with this. 

I told him I need a break from her from a good long while, and didn't commit to any length of time. I also told him I'm not saying never on resuming contact with her, but it'll be a while. And I think part of it is seeing how this goes - whether he actually tells her to stop sending me stuff, because it'll hurt her feelings or even if he does tell her, if she'll actually listen. 

ODS overheard the argument between DH and I, and he did ask me some questions about it later. It was hard to know what to say to him, but I don't think he really got from the conversation we were talking about MIL. He did grasp that my mom came up, and that I was upset. 

 

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15 hours ago, NewMama said:

DH also sprung a surprise visit on me (about an hour's notice) one recent weekend, and it was the day after we buried my mom's ashes. I think that's part of the reason it rubbed me so much the wrong way - MIL walks in and says "Oh there's our girl" and tries to give me a big hug and kiss. It just all screams fake and phoney to me, I don't like someone acting like we're all a big loving family when she ignored my mom dying. There's an enormous elephant in the room she's trying to stuff under a rug. That's why the gifts and cards make me so mad, a gas card and some lotion aren't going to make up for it. She sent me a birthday card to me addressed to both DH and I, presumably so I wouldn't just toss it. DH opened it, I knew it was sitting around and there was cash in it, but I ignored it. After the fight, DH took it and I haven't seen it since. 

She knows she messed up, but isn't willing to say anything to my face about it. DH told me she's been talking about it, and is upset that I really stay away from her and don't engage when I do see her. She's been guilting him about it, and he's passed it on to me. He asked me to just let it go, and although he's denying he wants me to pretend everything is ok, he did ask during the argument if I could just go back to making small talk with her. I explained to him multiple times that it matters how people act during something like this, and someday he will find that out too. And that although this was big, this was not a one time thing for me, it's been 6 years of garbage from her that got topped off with this. 

I told him I need a break from her from a good long while, and didn't commit to any length of time. I also told him I'm not saying never on resuming contact with her, but it'll be a while. And I think part of it is seeing how this goes - whether he actually tells her to stop sending me stuff, because it'll hurt her feelings or even if he does tell her, if she'll actually listen. 

 

I understand what you are saying here.  I felt a similar reaction to my IL's when they chose to ignore my ODB's death and instead hassle DH about why he wasn't available to help out MIL in the days following my ODB's death.  This has stayed with me like your MIL's behavior following your mom's passing and has been a factor in why I no longer want a relationship with my IL's (and BIL).  I think it matters how people behave during important life events such as weddings, child birth, and especially the death of a loved one, and it is not unusual following a difficult time like the death of a loved one to reflect on your life and who it is you want in it and how you want to spend your time, and often times the people who were an ongoing negative presence in your life, don't make the cut.  

I think you have a good plan in place of taking a break from your MIL for an uncommitted period of time.  Time away really helps in healing and navigating these difficult relationships going forward.   

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Women who are MILs and DILs have one thing in common from the moment the DS (DH) gets married:  they both love the same man.  This is a relationship that has a way of being troublesome, as seen in the letters to the forum.  It's different than it was when this old broad was a young wife.  You could dislike your MIL (or vice versa) but somehow you could manage to be in the same house occasionally.  I think it was something called respect and good manners. The biggest takeaway I get from this forum is that some (not all, because the majority of families I know manage to be in company with each other for important occasions) of the young marrieds these days have no idea of how to behave with respect and good manners.  You can complain to your friends and even your DH all you want, but please remember before you CO your husband's mother that she raised this man you loved enough to marry.  If you have children, try to imagine how you will feel when they are adults and marry, and your DIL (or SIL) takes a dislike to you and refuses to have anything to with you.  Your DS or DD will be in a very tough spot.  You may be separated from your grandchildren, whom you will love with all your heart.  I'm not suggesting you have to like much less love your ILs.  And you are entitled to limit your exposure to them.  But Cutting Off?  Making life uncomfortable for your DH?  Try to think ahead.  If you're lucky, you will have a long relationship with these people.  Unless they are criminals or psychos, they deserve your respect and good manners, even if they have the personality of warthogs. Just act like a grownup and put up with it four times a year. And always take into consideration that your children (their grandchildren) may not share your opinion.

Anonymous poster hash: e99d2...e6b

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13 hours ago, INCOGNITO said:

Women who are MILs and DILs have one thing in common from the moment the DS (DH) gets married:  they both love the same man.  This is a relationship that has a way of being troublesome, as seen in the letters to the forum.  It's different than it was when this old broad was a young wife.  You could dislike your MIL (or vice versa) but somehow you could manage to be in the same house occasionally.  I think it was something called respect and good manners. The biggest takeaway I get from this forum is that some (not all, because the majority of families I know manage to be in company with each other for important occasions) of the young marrieds these days have no idea of how to behave with respect and good manners.  You can complain to your friends and even your DH all you want, but please remember before you CO your husband's mother that she raised this man you loved enough to marry.  If you have children, try to imagine how you will feel when they are adults and marry, and your DIL (or SIL) takes a dislike to you and refuses to have anything to with you.  Your DS or DD will be in a very tough spot.  You may be separated from your grandchildren, whom you will love with all your heart.  I'm not suggesting you have to like much less love your ILs.  And you are entitled to limit your exposure to them.  But Cutting Off?  Making life uncomfortable for your DH?  Try to think ahead.  If you're lucky, you will have a long relationship with these people.  Unless they are criminals or psychos, they deserve your respect and good manners, even if they have the personality of warthogs. Just act like a grownup and put up with it four times a year. And always take into consideration that your children (their grandchildren) may not share your opinion.

Anonymous poster hash: e99d2...e6b

I don't think NewMama has mentioned she is going to CO her MIL.  She wants a break from her.  Also, she is not asking her DH to discontinue his relationship with his mom.  He has a relationship with his mom that NewMama supports. 

With regard to manners and respect, that flows both ways.  Your post seems to suggest that manners and respect need to be shown to elders, such as MIL/FIL, but they can behave like warthogs in return?   Why is that?  Why don't they have the same standard of behaving with manners and respect?   In time, don't you think 4 visits a year with "warthogs" for IL's would become too much to bear?   Why should a person be on the receiving end of chronic warthog like behavior from others?   Why do the negative consequences fall on that person and not the person behaving poorly? 

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I always tried to take the high road while remaining true to myself with DH's mom....I don't think she particularly liked me for all she was very happy DH was happy in our marriage. She was known for her hair trigger temper (stemming from an appalling lack of self esteem/confidence) so took offense over everything. There were a few incidents where I called her out, but overall, just let her do her thing unless it directly affected me. DH saw her frequently without me (he'd stop in on his way home from work). I did make the effort to invite to dinner every few weeks, which she appreciated and was generally on her best behavior. I did direct her medical care, but 99% was behind the scenes...when I found out she had no medicare supplement and was paying out of pocket I did step in directly and set her up to meet with medicare specialist who was able to help her get a medicare HMO at very low cost; she did thank me directly for that. 

The big point here is that my MIL wasn't malicious. It's very easy to ride along in support of your spouse when you know that.

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18 hours ago, INCOGNITO said:

Women who are MILs and DILs have one thing in common from the moment the DS (DH) gets married:  they both love the same man.  This is a relationship that has a way of being troublesome, as seen in the letters to the forum.  It's different than it was when this old broad was a young wife.  You could dislike your MIL (or vice versa) but somehow you could manage to be in the same house occasionally.  I think it was something called respect and good manners. The biggest takeaway I get from this forum is that some (not all, because the majority of families I know manage to be in company with each other for important occasions) of the young marrieds these days have no idea of how to behave with respect and good manners.  You can complain to your friends and even your DH all you want, but please remember before you CO your husband's mother that she raised this man you loved enough to marry.  If you have children, try to imagine how you will feel when they are adults and marry, and your DIL (or SIL) takes a dislike to you and refuses to have anything to with you.  Your DS or DD will be in a very tough spot.  You may be separated from your grandchildren, whom you will love with all your heart.  I'm not suggesting you have to like much less love your ILs.  And you are entitled to limit your exposure to them.  But Cutting Off?  Making life uncomfortable for your DH?  Try to think ahead.  If you're lucky, you will have a long relationship with these people.  Unless they are criminals or psychos, they deserve your respect and good manners, even if they have the personality of warthogs. Just act like a grownup and put up with it four times a year. And always take into consideration that your children (their grandchildren) may not share your opinion.

Anonymous poster hash: e99d2...e6b

I really suggest you re-read what I posted. I want a break from my MIL. At no point did I say I want to make my life uncomfortable for my DH. I suggested to him he continue seeing his mom without me as he had been. I work a fair bit of weekends. It's very easy to do, and what he has been doing until recently. I'm also far from a "young married". 

And why is it that I have to have respect and good manner, yet my MIL is off the hook for her appalling lack of them? I get treated like a child and non-entity in my family by her. I would never dream of walking into my MIL's home and treating her the way she treats me. I would never treat anyone that way. I'm a guest in other people's home and in their families. And my mother got ill and died suddenly last year, and my MIL has yet to even acknowledge to my face that it even happened. Where are her manners? Where is her respect for me as a person? Why on earth do I need to go out of my to make her life comfortable when she is so miserable to me?

Maybe, just maybe, she needs to act like a grown up and and four times a year respect that fact that's she's a guest in another person's home and not in charge of another person's kids. 

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The only problem I see with your outlook @NewMama is that you are continually being disappointed (upset, unhappy, choose your adverb) by your MIL not meeting your expectations. While I totally agree with you, you can only change how you react to her, you have no power to change her, except for needing to call her out when she's interfering with your parenting. It can be a simple as "MIL, I've got this". If your tone/language need to be stronger, so be it "this is how we do it here" or "you don't get a vote".  Otherwise, get her out of your head. She's thoughtless & rude, yet there is nothing you can do about it other than manage your reactions. If that means long stretches of TO or VLC then that's what you do. If DH wants you to rug sweep, remain firm...His solo visits to see her work for you. 

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19 hours ago, INCOGNITO said:

Unless they are criminals or psychos, they deserve your respect and good manners, even if they have the personality of warthogs. Just act like a grownup and put up with it four times a year. And always take into consideration that your children (their grandchildren) may not share your opinion.

Anonymous poster hash: e99d2...e6b

NM did not suggest her DH take a CO. She is taking a deserved break. If the break is from head warthog, so be it. Warthogs are hard to deal with effectively without an African break.

Anonymous poster hash: ea945...f93

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1 hour ago, Mame925 said:

The only problem I see with your outlook @NewMama is that you are continually being disappointed (upset, unhappy, choose your adverb) by your MIL not meeting your expectations. you. 

But perhaps b/c of DH? It's hard to put your (general) difficult MIL out of your mind, I imagine, if DH is pressuring you to resume contact.

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1 hour ago, INCOGNITO said:

NM did not suggest her DH take a CO. She is taking a deserved break. If the break is from head warthog, so be it. Warthogs are hard to deal with effectively without an African break.

Anonymous poster hash: ea945...f93

A musical reference? I googled "African break" and all I could find were posts about percussion music and such.

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I'm curious about the fight you had with your husband about MIL.  Can you talk about it.  You said BECAUSE OF THE FIGHT, I've decided I need a break from her.

From a few comments, plus the fact that he never acts interested, I can tell that my mother gets on my husbands nerves.  I go visit  by myself.  I do occasionally/ rarely ask him to go, mostly to help me do something that I can't do by myself.   When he refuses to do it, I have to admit I get a little angry about it.  He did this once, and I was mad for a long while.   First because  I don't ask him that much and I'm only asking because I need him to go.  He's really going for me not her. I haven't asked him since, but if I was in a true dire straights, you bet your bottom dollar I'd be mad if he wouldn't help me out.  My mother can be annoying, but I don't think she is toxic.  And she has never been outright mean.  I take it that your husband doesn't think his mother is toxic.  How often are you verbally complaining about her to your husband.  I wouldn't want it in my face all the time about how my husband  can't stand being around my mother and all the stuff she does that annoys him..  Thankfully, he rarely says anything.  He just doesn't volunteer to go and unless I need him I don't ask him.     I definitely wouldn't want to hear all the things she does that annoys him constantly.  

I got along fairly well with my MIL, I worked a lot of weekends too.  It worked out better for my DH to visit his mother on those weekends, that way my free weekends were open for family time.  I think it's a great idea to encourage.

My advice- avoid fighting with your DH about this, don't harp to him about his mother, subtly avoid being around her as much as possible, but realize that your husband might need you to go (for him not her), encourage the weekend visiting,

t

 

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1 hour ago, skipped said:

I'm curious about the fight you had with your husband about MIL.  Can you talk about it.  You said BECAUSE OF THE FIGHT, I've decided I need a break from her.

DH and my MIL are both very aware that I really don't have much desire to talk to her or be around her right now. I thought I could be around her but keep my distance (busy myself with the kids) in order to tolerate the visits and try to keep my husband a little bit happy. But during the fight, DH revealed that she knows darn well that she messed up in regards to what happened with my mom and has told him such. She also admitted to him she chose not to go to the funeral, and it had nothing to do with her "forgetting" like she originally claimed. But instead of offering up a genuine apology, she's been pressuring DH to make me talk to her again because her feelings are hurt that I've pulled way back from her. So this really solidified to me that she's just really that self absorbed, and her considering how I feel is just never going to happen. I need to just get the heck away from her from a good long while to sort out where to go from here. I bent over backwards accommodating her and my DH when her SO was sick and died, rearranged my work schedule to attend the funeral, etc and I can't even get a "sorry for your loss" from her.  

 

1 hour ago, skipped said:

I take it that your husband doesn't think his mother is toxic.  How often are you verbally complaining about her to your husband.  I wouldn't want it in my face all the time about how my husband  can't stand being around my mother and all the stuff she does that annoys him.

In the 6 years since this nonsense started, I can count on one hand the number of times I've said something to my husband about how his mother behaves. I've bit my tongue til it's bleeding with her because she's his mom and he doesn't like hearing anything negative about her. And in this particular instance, he is the one who brought up the fact that I wasn't really talking to her. In my head, I was prepared to just keep sucking it up for DH's sake. But this last fight was a breaking point for me, and I flat out told him that I can no longer handle the guilt trips and making me feel like I'm the world's worst person for thinking she's not just the greatest thing ever. And if there ever was a situation where I deserved a break from that, this was it and I still couldn't get one.

I don't think my MIL is toxic, but I do think a lot of the things she says and does are inappropriate. And DH has actually agreed with a lot of it - she is passive aggressive, she does lay on guilt trips, and she oversteps - a lot - and treats us like children. But he's chosen to just ignore it and let her interfere and get involved with things even when he doesn't want her to because it's easier for him than dealing with the hysteria that follows when he says no. So a lot of the issue centers around I'm just not ok with letting her interfere and continuing to rug sweep this stuff anymore. 

I don't want to hear anyone constantly putting my FOO down either, but I also am a little more accepting of the fact that they are/were human beings with good qualities and faults, and they are not going to be everyone's cup of tea. I always give DH an out when we've been visiting with my family - you don't have to come, stay, be around etc. DH had the belief that his mom is every single person of the face of the earth's cup of tea besides me and my FIL - and yes, he actually said to me that FIL and I were the only people who'd ever met MIL that didn't like her. Which made me feel awful, until I realized that is not even remotely true. I can give you a laundry list of people she hasn't gotten a long with. 

4 hours ago, Mame925 said:

The only problem I see with your outlook @NewMama is that you are continually being disappointed (upset, unhappy, choose your adverb) by your MIL not meeting your expectations. While I totally agree with you, you can only change how you react to her, you have no power to change her, except for needing to call her out when she's interfering with your parenting. It can be a simple as "MIL, I've got this". If your tone/language need to be stronger, so be it "this is how we do it here" or "you don't get a vote".  Otherwise, get her out of your head. She's thoughtless & rude, yet there is nothing you can do about it other than manage your reactions. If that means long stretches of TO or VLC then that's what you do. If DH wants you to rug sweep, remain firm...His solo visits to see her work for you. 

I think this is what I need to figure out with the break going forward - how to handle these things if/when I am around her again. 

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On 8/11/2017 at 6:18 PM, INCOGNITO said:

Women who are MILs and DILs have one thing in common from the moment the DS (DH) gets married:  they both love the same man.  This is a relationship that has a way of being troublesome, as seen in the letters to the forum.  It's different than it was when this old broad was a young wife.  You could dislike your MIL (or vice versa) but somehow you could manage to be in the same house occasionally.  I think it was something called respect and good manners. The biggest takeaway I get from this forum is that some (not all, because the majority of families I know manage to be in company with each other for important occasions) of the young marrieds these days have no idea of how to behave with respect and good manners.  You can complain to your friends and even your DH all you want, but please remember before you CO your husband's mother that she raised this man you loved enough to marry.  If you have children, try to imagine how you will feel when they are adults and marry, and your DIL (or SIL) takes a dislike to you and refuses to have anything to with you.  Your DS or DD will be in a very tough spot.  You may be separated from your grandchildren, whom you will love with all your heart.  I'm not suggesting you have to like much less love your ILs.  And you are entitled to limit your exposure to them.  But Cutting Off?  Making life uncomfortable for your DH?  Try to think ahead.  If you're lucky, you will have a long relationship with these people.  Unless they are criminals or psychos, they deserve your respect and good manners, even if they have the personality of warthogs. Just act like a grownup and put up with it four times a year. And always take into consideration that your children (their grandchildren) may not share your opinion.

Anonymous poster hash: e99d2...e6b

I want to know if you believe that DILs deserve the same thing-respect and good manners,

 I haven't CO my MIL. I have dropped the rope and let my DH pick it up if he wants to. This is how many of us DILs show our respect and manners to a person who I would have CO in a heartbeat if they weren't DHs mom.

my respect is to treat them better than I would treat other people who have the same behavior.

My MILs idea of manners is to threaten, to my face, to kidnap my children and have them baptized against DH and my wishes. She has removed decorations and pictures from the walls of my house because she doesn't like them. She has written letters to my then 9 yr old child telling them that she will give her a present if she would visit and then she would tell child why she hates child's mom (me) so much. She tried to get DH and my house excersized of the "demons" and was going to send us the bill. If a stranger, or even an acquantence, had done even one of these things I would CO in a second. 

Again I ask: do DILs also deserve respect and manners or is this reserved only for MILs. 

my oldest has chosen to also drop the rope on her grandma, even though I encourage her not to. But if someone is a warthog the grandkids will see it no matter how hard I shield them from the worst behavior and talk about the good things. Yes even warthogs can have some positive traits. But for warthogs the negatives may outnumber the positives.

No one should feel like they have to be disrespected just because someone is family. When both people have respect and manners occasional short visits are definitely possible, but if one doesn't the other doesn't have to take the rudeness and disrespect just because they are family. 

 

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On 2017-08-11 at 10:18 PM, INCOGNITO said:

Women who are MILs and DILs have one thing in common from the moment the DS (DH) gets married:  they both love the same man.  This is a relationship that has a way of being troublesome, as seen in the letters to the forum.  It's different than it was when this old broad was a young wife.  You could dislike your MIL (or vice versa) but somehow you could manage to be in the same house occasionally.  I think it was something called respect and good manners. The biggest takeaway I get from this forum is that some (not all, because the majority of families I know manage to be in company with each other for important occasions) of the young marrieds these days have no idea of how to behave with respect and good manners.  You can complain to your friends and even your DH all you want, but please remember before you CO your husband's mother that she raised this man you loved enough to marry.  If you have children, try to imagine how you will feel when they are adults and marry, and your DIL (or SIL) takes a dislike to you and refuses to have anything to with you.  Your DS or DD will be in a very tough spot.  You may be separated from your grandchildren, whom you will love with all your heart.  I'm not suggesting you have to like much less love your ILs.  And you are entitled to limit your exposure to them.  But Cutting Off?  Making life uncomfortable for your DH?  Try to think ahead.  If you're lucky, you will have a long relationship with these people.  Unless they are criminals or psychos, they deserve your respect and good manners, even if they have the personality of warthogs. Just act like a grownup and put up with it four times a year. And always take into consideration that your children (their grandchildren) may not share your opinion.

Anonymous poster hash: e99d2...e6b

I find it interesting that the ones expected to use respect and good manners are the younger generation. Seems to me that a lot of the issues boil down to a lack of respect and manners, period, regardless of which generation you're aiming at.

Just b/c someone is older doesn't mean they deserve respect, or can behave as poorly as they wish and not have consequences for it. If you act like a warthog, then you've earned the treatment appropriate for warthogs. You're not exempt from consequences for your behaviour due to age, or family relationship.

If you want to be a part of anyone's life, be it friend, AC, or gc, treating them well is the place to start.

I don't think it's a matter of younger generations losing respect and manners...I think it's a matter of, just b/c someone is family doesn't mean that you have to tolerate terrible behaviour. Family is not diplomatic immunity, and you're not obligated to be anyone's whipping boy. 

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On 8/12/2017 at 7:00 PM, NewMama said:

I don't think my MIL is toxic, but I do think a lot of the things she says and does are inappropriate. And DH has actually agreed with a lot of it - she is passive aggressive, she does lay on guilt trips, and she oversteps - a lot - and treats us like children. But he's chosen to just ignore it and let her interfere and get involved with things even when he doesn't want her to because it's easier for him than dealing with the hysteria that follows when he says no. So a lot of the issue centers around I'm just not ok with letting her interfere and continuing to rug sweep this stuff anymore.

NM, why wouldn't you think your MIL is toxic? Everything in this post screams "toxic MIL".

I have a new theory: MIL's only get to be graded "annoying" when their lying, emotional manipulation (guilting, threatening anger) and entitlement have zero effect on a marriage due to a couple's ironclad boundaries. You don't have that, your DH isn't protecting you or taking action to limit her negative influence in your lives, so she's full-on toxic.

You can be mad at her, but your DH is the one opening your birthday cards, pushing you to be closer to the rude, pushy liar and trying to pass along her guilt trips to you. He ignores her damaging behavior and wants you to ignore it, too....which only makes the monster bigger and more toxic.

I'm glad you're staying away. You deserve a nice, long break. And I'm so disappointed in your DH. I mean really-- trying to isolate you and FIL as the ONLY ones who never got along with MIL? And you know that not to be true? Please take care of yourself, NM, because I'm worried about you. I think the "call is coming from inside the house" here.

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9 minutes ago, oscarsmaman said:

.I have a new theory: MIL's only get to be graded "annoying" when their lying, emotional manipulation (guilting, threatening anger) and entitlement have zero effect on a marriage due to a couple's ironclad boundaries.

Meaning also that MILs "only get... graded 'toxic'" if their relationship w/ DS/DIL is problematic?

Hmmm... This has given me the idea for another thread:

 

 

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On 15/08/2017 at 6:47 AM, oscarsmaman said:

NM, why wouldn't you think your MIL is toxic? Everything in this post screams "toxic MIL".

I have a new theory: MIL's only get to be graded "annoying" when their lying, emotional manipulation (guilting, threatening anger) and entitlement have zero effect on a marriage due to a couple's ironclad boundaries. You don't have that, your DH isn't protecting you or taking action to limit her negative influence in your lives, so she's full-on toxic.

You can be mad at her, but your DH is the one opening your birthday cards, pushing you to be closer to the rude, pushy liar and trying to pass along her guilt trips to you. He ignores her damaging behavior and wants you to ignore it, too....which only makes the monster bigger and more toxic.

I'm glad you're staying away. You deserve a nice, long break. And I'm so disappointed in your DH. I mean really-- trying to isolate you and FIL as the ONLY ones who never got along with MIL? And you know that not to be true? Please take care of yourself, NM, because I'm worried about you. I think the "call is coming from inside the house" here.

I think DH is the bigger issue here, the reality is my MIL is now in her 70s and the chances of her ever changing this long held patterns of behaviour is pretty well non existent. She's gone that long with no one calling her out on this stuff (FIL just left) and DH is pretty clear he's going to just keep ignoring her when she acts like that. I will say in his defense about the birthday card, it was addressed to both of us and she sends us random cards all the time so I don't fault him for opening it. When I told him I don't want it, it disappeared and I haven't heard about it since. 

So I need to figure out how to deal with her going forward, because DH won't. And maybe it stays as a VLC, and I only see her once or twice a year. 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, NewMama said:

I think DH is the bigger issue here.... DH is pretty clear he's going to just keep ignoring her when she acts like that. I will say in his defense about the birthday card, it was addressed to both of us and she sends us random cards all the time so I don't fault him for opening it. When I told him I don't want it, it disappeared and I haven't heard about it since.

It seems DH is the issue and it seems to me, as an outsider, that he is trying with baby steps. I know it would have been very hard for my husband to remove a card, from MIL, and not say anything more. But it would be very thoughtful and something he likely would have done in your situation.

I understand this does not apply to me. But, MIL and I got along well because my husband kept any of her annoying behavior (like being an excess worrywart) contained and as far away from me as possible. I think your husband, with the card, proved he is trying. eta: I'd think VLC for you and visits for him (and maybe the kiddies with him) would be a really good solution looking-forward.

Edited by JanelleK
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5 hours ago, NewMama said:

So I need to figure out how to deal with her going forward, because DH won't. And maybe it stays as a VLC, and I only see her once or twice a year. 

I think this is a good plan going forward.  Push the reset button and move forward with a VLC relationship with your MIL.  Maybe your next visit with MIL can be planned for around the holidays.   Bean dip and talk about the weather and maintain a cordial but detached state with her.  Your DH can handle the rest when it comes to MIL- after all she is his mom and once upon a time before he met you,.it was just him and his mom - so this all should be very familiar to him. 

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On 8/11/2017 at 7:18 PM, INCOGNITO said:

Women who are MILs and DILs have one thing in common from the moment the DS (DH) gets married:  they both love the same man.  This is a relationship that has a way of being troublesome, as seen in the letters to the forum.  It's different than it was when this old broad was a young wife.  You could dislike your MIL (or vice versa) but somehow you could manage to be in the same house occasionally.  I think it was something called respect and good manners. The biggest takeaway I get from this forum is that some (not all, because the majority of families I know manage to be in company with each other for important occasions) of the young marrieds these days have no idea of how to behave with respect and good manners.  You can complain to your friends and even your DH all you want, but please remember before you CO your husband's mother that she raised this man you loved enough to marry.  If you have children, try to imagine how you will feel when they are adults and marry, and your DIL (or SIL) takes a dislike to you and refuses to have anything to with you.  Your DS or DD will be in a very tough spot.  You may be separated from your grandchildren, whom you will love with all your heart.  I'm not suggesting you have to like much less love your ILs.  And you are entitled to limit your exposure to them.  But Cutting Off?  Making life uncomfortable for your DH?  Try to think ahead.  If you're lucky, you will have a long relationship with these people.  Unless they are criminals or psychos, they deserve your respect and good manners, even if they have the personality of warthogs. Just act like a grownup and put up with it four times a year. And always take into consideration that your children (their grandchildren) may not share your opinion.

Anonymous poster hash: e99d2...e6b

*Triggers*

My FIL is CO - Hubby's decision. The man acted as if Hubby wasn't good enough because Hubby's autistic, tried to destroy our marriage (telling Hubby he could have done better than me; suggesting it was possible for him to find a new wife), body-shamed me and my kid, put us into a substantial amount of debt (that we are still paying off a couple of years later), called Hubby crazy, and insists that his father was a great man - when GFIL was a pedophile who molested his own daughter over the course of several years.

Hubby told FIL that if FIL wants to be part of our lives again, he expects an apology and that we will be treated with respect. FIL has yet to do any of that.

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