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Mother in law issues my RANT

December 1st, 2008 at 01:42 pm

The woman is driving me nuts.

When we first got married, my new husband forgot my daughters birthdays. I said something to his mom and her reply to me was "well, they are not his real children, so I don't see that he is required to get them anything at all. they have a real dad for that." (never mind the fact that their "real dad" wasnt in their life at that time)...

Issue #2, every time I planned a family event at my home she has either called everyone behind my back and moved it to her home, or changed the location--this includes a birthday dinner I tried to plan for my husband and my step-daughters college graduation party.

Issue #3. Last week.
Her 70th birthday happens to be on Thanksgiving. So does my dads #78. She is in good health. My father is not. She had a birthday party on Saturday, which we all attended. We spend last Thanksgiving AND Christmas at her house. This Thanksgiving was the year to have it at my parents and she has known that since last years. But, I was told by her that I ruined her birthday by not allowing my husband to come to her home to celebrate her birthday. Hello? She already had her party, how many celebrations does she need? She further told me I was a nonsupportive wife to not let my husband come to holidays at her home. Since we have been married, we have spent 1 Thanksgiving and 1 Christmas with my family. All others have been at her house (she would not let me have it at my house), and also she has had Easter.

She was yelling at me on the phone. So I said it sounds like you are saying my family doesn't matter. She screamed back at me "they don't".

I also explained that my girls were spending (court ordered) 4 hours with their father that day, and it was a 2 hour drive there and back. Their father lives in the same area as my family, so besides it being their turn, my dads birthday, was also the fact we couldn't be 2 places at one time. She told me she didn't care about my kids or my family.

I hung up on her. That was Saturday, and I have not heard from her since.

Thanks. I feel better now!

42 Responses to “Mother in law issues my RANT”

  1. MICLASON Says:

    ((hugs))
    sorry you have to endure all that!

  2. Ms. Pearl Says:

    I would have hung up on her too.

  3. merch Says:

    I would have probably hung up on her. I don't tolerate people being so disresepctful to me or my family.

    Once she started to get that attitude, I would have pobably said "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I will not be spoken to in this manner." And hung up the phone.

    One of my first job was working at a private bank. We would get these people calling in that would just start yelling at us and demanding things. My boss at the time said to just politely dismiss them.

    In my career, I have had to deal with many unreasonable people yelling at me or throw things at me in a conference room. And each time I went back to what my first boss said and basically said I will not tolerate this behavior and walked out.

    Good luck.

  4. mimipaula1 Says:

    Unfortunately, this is the AWFUL part of marriage/remarriage/divorce/custody/step-family holidays! (If I sound like the "voice of experience", it's because I AM!)

    Between us, my husband and I have five children--all from previous marriages--and nine grandchildren. We also have five siblings, with sibling-in-laws and 12-15 nieces/nephews. THEN, we also have raised a dozen more children--two of these kids lived with us for ten years and are considered our "kids"! Our solution to the madness of the holidays? We HOST every year! We invite EVERYONE--the in-laws, the out-laws, and everything between! This was the only sane answer to the dilemna of "running around like chickens with our heads cut off"--trying to make sure we got the kids to their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. My husband is a gracious host and, although hosting the get-togethers is lots of work, it's wonderful knowing the furthest I'm going for the holidays is my kitchen! And, for those inquiring minds who want to know, we DO invite the exes and their new families and their old families, too! May not be for everyone, but this works for our family!

  5. mom-from-missouri Says:

    I tried to host. Twice. The first was for my husbands birthday. She contacted everyone and moved it to her home. Told everyone but me. I found out after I had all the food cooked, the day of the dinner.

    Then I was supposed to have Thanksgiving last year. She did the same thing. Told everyone it wasn't going to work at my place and she had it instead. Later I found out from those she had called that she gave them the impression I told her I was unable to handle it.

    She is a control freak. Always has been and has a reputation for it.

  6. mom-sense Says:


    I am sorry you have to deal with this. Can't you get your DH involved? Sounds to me like HE should deal with HIS relatives regarding where and when your family will be available for get togethers. My MIL was a demon on wheels for years and I took things personally. Then I had kids of my own, and it was a lot easier to ignore her. Now DH deals with his parents. What does your DH say about this?

  7. mom-from-missouri Says:

    He will be calling her his first day off. He works 12 hour shifts and attends school (with a big exam tonight), so hasn't had the time unless he does it before 5 a.m. (maybe he should call her then..)But he will be talking to her.

    His comment was, "you know how she can be"...

    Next time (and I am sure there will be one) I am going to use the approach merch suggested and hang up. Or, the one a friend of mine suggested: "Isn't your language and manner rather degratting to be coming from a church leader and Sunday School teacher??"

    Basically, she was throwing a selfish fit because we were not at her house for her birthday, and she does not have her gift yet. (I never mentioned I have never gotten a birthday gift from her-nor do I want one from her).

  8. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Geeze. What an immature MIL. She even asks for gifts?! I'd tell all the relatives that those dinners really were supposed to be at your house. If she has the rep for being a manipulative control freak, they will understand that it is true. Then for the next scheduled celebration at your house, issue printed, hand signed invitations and include a message that says that there will be no re-location of the party, despite any phone calls they may get from the MIL. Make the invitations more formal in order to reinforce that the location will not just casually be moved to MIL's.

  9. campfrugal Says:

    I think your husband needs to step up and put his mother in her place. He needs to stand behind you. Here in my home, I usually don't answer the phone when my MIL calls, not because I don't like her, just because she complicates life, so I just tell my husband that his mother called. He can either call her back or not. He can deal with her. I don't need to. I like my life simple and uncomplicated.

  10. Ima saver Says:

    By, she sounds like a pain in the butt!!

  11. SnoopyCool Says:

    You're kidding?!? My MIL is now officially a saint.

    DH should handle her, as you said he will. She's already dismissed your importance, but coming from him I hope it stings.

    Sorry you're having a hard time with her. I hope things change soon.

  12. asmom Says:

    What a nightmare! Selfish and manipulative and at her age. Geesh, I hope your hubby can put her in her place.

  13. Analise Says:

    She definitely qualifies as a world-class "monster-in-law." I am sorry you had to put up with her diatribe. What a cruel and selfish woman.

    Your DH should stand up for you, your children, and your family. Your DH may not be their biological father but nonetheless, he is their step-father, and your family is now his family.

  14. homebody Says:

    Mmmm what is it about the holidays? I told my DH the day after Thanksgiving it was time he talk to his mother or I was going to and it would not be pretty.

  15. baselle Says:

    Wow. 70 years old and going on 7. I'd pay money to see how she'll try to control her funeral. Get out the oujii board.

  16. lizajane Says:

    All I can say is WOW! She sounds like a piece of work. I don't know what you have planned for Christmas but I agree that your husband needs to inform his mother that she has crossed the line and she'd better get her act together or else. If she cannot respect your family, including all members of it, I would refuse to include her in any future invitations. Or else I would plan a nice relaxing family trip somewhere. Maybe he should tell her he is getting worried about her sanity, since she's acting so irrationally!

    Is your husband an only child? I can't figure out how no one else in the family talked to you about the new location of the various get-togethers, unless they are all just so used to her getting her way.

  17. whitestripe Says:

    wow, i feel very blessed that my BF's mother is the non-interfering type. she gets stressed sometimes when she thinks she is in other people's way!

    although... i do feel sorry for my BF... but atleast when she is being a ... not-nice-person... (read, b****) i will definately be the one telling her to clamp it shut!

  18. whitestripe Says:

    * i meant - i feel sorry for my BF because of MY mother...

  19. FrugalFish Says:

    Having been through this situation to some extent myself, the best thing to do is just not get into it with her. Harder done than said, but if you don't allow her to pull you into her petty arguments, then she'll learn that it won't work and maybe tone it down a little.

    I also agree that your DH should deal with his family. That was the first big step in fixing our particular situation with his mother. When we first got married, I think I had some romanticized ideal that we were all suppose to get along and be friends. Later I realized that I married DH, not his family, and if they didn't treat me with due respect, then I wasn't just going to play along. I remember angrily telling DH at one point to "Curb your mother, please."

    Over time MIL has settled down tremendously. We get along great now, and I know the reason is that I just won't stoop to her level, and she knows it so won't even try.

    Honestly, if I were you and MIL was on the phone ranting, I would calmly tell her that I will not talk to her unless she can be calm and reasonable. But then, rather than hanging up the phone, I would set the receiver down on a thick towel. That way she can continue her verbal rampage to herself until she comes to the conclusion that no one is listening or cares. The click of being hung up on is so much more satisfying for someone like her.

  20. fern Says:

    oh, she sounds nasty. Does she talk like that in front of your husband? If not, i would avoid having any contact with her one on one.

    Unfortuantely, she's part of your life becus you're married to her son, but really, if he's aware of her behavior, he should tell her he expects her to treat his wife with respect. If he doesn't say anything, she will interpret that as condoning her bad behavior.

  21. jIM_Ohio Says:

    buy her some dvd's of everybody loves raymond for xmas- maybe she will get the hint.

  22. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Im experiencing some deja vu here. I wish I had some magic formula for making it better, but some people just refuse to change...My counselor's advice: "You can't control them, but you also don't have to spend time with them"....so the hub was free to visit whenever he wanted...I had no obligation to go with.

    The hub and I figured out our own plan and I never purposely put myself back in the situation again. Sadly, she has since passed on from a very quick bout with cancer.

    My very best wishes to you as you work through it with your family.

  23. simpleyme Says:

    how horrible

    no matter what you do she wont be happy so why try?

    not the same but my Neice contacted me wanting to rent a house I own ,I said no, she got ticked at me but who cares? she would have trashed my house not paid rent and then been mad at me anyway I just cut out all the bad stuff for me the end result is the same.

    send Dh to all his family functions alone ;-)
    if you plan a party call everyone and reafirm that the party is at your home and will not be moved ;-)

    I must say never heard of someone stealing someones party like that
    big hugs to you ;-)

  24. crazyliblady Says:

    I wonder if we could be related?? My mother is the same way. DH and I went to see her last Labor Day. He and I got up and decided to go to Starbucks for coffee because we were trying not to wake anyone up, but wanted some coffee. When we got back, mom said something about how we must think her coffee is not good enough. We had also made some cereal for ourselves to eat, because we are hypoglycemic and have to eat at a certain time, but she was ticked off about that. Then, she wanted to know if we wanted any eggs. I can't eat butter or anything with soybeans in it due to dairy allergy and other problems, so we always use olive oil at home. My mother is well aware of these problems. He said something like "let's go get some" meaning "let's get some olive oil." She pitched a royal fit and literally threw us out of her house and said she never wanted to see me again unless I was divorced or DH was dead. Well, we left and I cried for a couple of hours, but I then I felt the most relieved I had felt in years. I realized that most of the tension and anxiety I had felt for my entire childhood and adult life had been as a result of her. I did not call her back after that, but I got a card on Valentine's Day that said "Call me." When I called her, she acted like she had amnesia or something. She said she never said those things, despite the fact that my brother was right there and could tell her what she said. Then, in November, I was home sick with a really bad cold. She came to my place of work and my co-workers told her I was at home and maybe she could call me. She did not call me or come by my house. I found out about it and wrote a short note telling her if she needed to talk to me to call me at home or come to my house, never to my work. I have not heard from her and I don't know what to make of such behavior. Have they gone nuts? Maybe she has alzheimer's?

  25. mom-from-missouri Says:

    Yep, this one acts like she doesn't remember.....But, she does.
    I think it is odd that she only makes comments when only she and I are in the room, or on the phone only after she will ask to speak to my DH and I tell her he isn't there. She wants no witnesses.
    I will no longer take her phone calls--unless I do so with DH sitting so close to me he can hear her--then if she goes off I will hand him the phone.

  26. mom-from-missouri Says:

    DH had a talk with her. For the most part, she denied or changed quite a few of the facts.

    Now that I know what sort of person she really is, I will not be spending time at her home, taking her phone calls....I am severing my ties with her.

  27. my english castle Says:

    I always figure I don't need that negative energy in my life. Don't let her draw you into a fight--she seems like someone who LOVES conflict and drama. A big smile and a handy excuse will get you out of a lot of things.

    Good luck--it's a tough position to be in.

  28. Honey Says:

    Bring her a cheese cake every week.

    If the "killing her with kindness" doesn't work, the butter will.

    Either way you win.

  29. Michelle Says:

    Honey - when I read your comment, I nearly snorted the water I was drinking. Hilarious.

    Sometime you should watch the movie "Monster In Law" it has Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez. I gotta be honest, my future MIL is pretty decent, but sometimes I just want to run home to my own mommy. Smile

  30. CK Says:

    Hi - Need advice. I married my high school sweetheart, we've been together since we were teenagers, we are now in mid-40's. My MIL is a controlling, manipulative, emotionally abusive woman. I did see it as a teenager, but quite frankly I kind of grew up in that situation also. I am a very shy and guarded person becuase of that. My MIL even when I was a teenager would constantly smear in my face how I would get embarrassed easily and how "shy" I was. She would tell everyone this as if to apologize for me. She would wait until she got an audience like at a holiday dinner and then start bringing up how her new boyfriend would "have trouble with me because of the way I am." She also has put me down in every way imaginable including my cooking, housekeeping, me and my husband's sex life (asked me if it "hurt" if we had sex because my husband went and cried to his mommy that we were having intimacy issues). She has given me a feather duster as a "gift" and said she "didn't mean anything by it." My husband has the same tendencies and always have...I just didn't see it I guess. I do love him and he is a good man otherwise, but he has done the same thing she has done, emotionally abused me for the last almost 30 years now. It got to the point that I almost left a few years ago. That finally got him to start confronting his mother about things. But now she is coming back saying things like "she was just joking." "She does know what to say to me because every time she opens her mouth she sticks her foot in it." "She is afraid of losing someone she loves". (She has been widowed twice, but she was playing these same games before she was even widowed when I was a teenger, so I am not buying it). She is an expert manipulator and an expert in "triangulation" which is getting other people involved. When she gets "caught", she gets on the phone and gossips and then gets people pitted against each other. This has happened more times than I can count. She now has a so-called "friend" of the family pitted against me and making the exact same put-downs as she has been doing. This "friend" of my husband unbenownst to either of us has the exact same sick personality traits as his mother. He manipulates people and when it doesn't work or when you have finally had enough and fight back, then comes out the voodoo dolls. So now I have him telling me, in a cowardly passive-aggressive sick manner of course, that I have a "problem relating to people" and even though he is a "step-child" to this family, he "still loves ME just the same." Exactly, word for word, to the tee what my husband's mother has been saying about me for years.

    I am not a hurtful or confrontational person by nature. I do admit I am shy. I have been hurt terribly by this type of emotional abuse my whole life. I got free of it when I was about 18 and started living my own life. My husband didn't. We still live about 20-25 miles from his mother and it has been living hell for me the last almost three decades that we have been together. My husband is finally, after me getting so p---ssed off that I threatened to leave him, starting to see things and talk to his mother, but I just don't see things changing afetr all this time. I guess I just need to hear that I am not alone and I am not crazy... becuase this type of passive-aggresive behavior makes you think you are nuts! They will deliberately try to embarress, humiliate and degrade you and then come back and turn it all around on you and say you are "too sensitive", they were "just joking", or my personal favorite that my husband says "she does that to everyone...I grew up with it."

    Just need to hear I'm not crazy, please!!!!

  31. mom-from-missouri Says:

    No, you are not crazy. I have come to realize that some people are sick. They think they only feel better by putting other people down. My mother in law falls into that group.
    Can you suggest counseling to your husband?
    Just because he grew up with it doesn't make it right.
    Maybe we can introduce yours and mine and they can go at each other!!!
    A friend emailed me a list of words that if you rearranged the letters is spelled something else. The last one on the list jumped out at me--mother in law rearranged is something like "woman hitler"

  32. CK Says:

    Thank you...it's unbelievable how some people project all of their "crap" onto you. I have to say, it is truly uncanny how good my MIL is at this stuff. These things just roll off her tongue instantly without hesitation. My mind just does not work that way. If I think I have hurt someone, I literally cannot sleep at night.

    Now after my husband has started having little "chats" with her, she is being all nicey-nice and kind of making it sound like I am unforgiving because I don't want to be around her anymore. I stopped going to family functions a few years ago and of course that caused a big stink. She will say things like "you don't have to be here"...real nice and sweet like she understands, but then behind my back she will start her crap again saying I'm being selfish and I "want to do everything with my family."

    Excuse me....my husband I ARE family!!! Now like I said she's got somebody else abusing me too, saying the same things. Unbelievable! Thanks for your comments. Truly appreciated. : )

  33. mom-from-missouri Says:

    Good grief. It hasn't ended yet.....Today she called and left a voicemail wanting me and my daughters to come over tomorrow and help her decorate.

    #1 We already have plans
    #2 I won't be alone with her again, without my husband. This is just setting me up again. She ONLY makes her remarks on the phone or when we are there and my husband is not.

    I am ignoring her message

  34. whitestripe Says:

    just say 'sorry, we have been having some issues with our phone, it mustn't have recorded your message'
    Smile

  35. Jenna Says:

    Oh HOW I FEEL FOR YOU-- my mil and my sil are spiteful and horrible. For nine years Ive sat in pretty much silance at gatherings because they backstab, pick on and say horrible things about "supposed" dear friends and family. This past week a cousin told me everything those dears have said about me. She then emailed them and said that pretty much they were going to hell for all the lies they tell. The don't know that I know about it.. you should see how nice they are being around us right now-- trying to figure out if I know or not...LOL--

    In reality this gave me the excuse to be done and I think you should be too-- mean bitter people just arent worth the time. send your husband alone. Don't live your life spending time with a mean spiteful wench and regret not spending it with the people that count most....

  36. Amber Says:

    Sorry to hear about your MIL, she sounds very selfish. I would sit down with my husband and say X-Christmas at your moms thanksgiving at my parents, new years at so and so an easter here the end. Good luck

  37. SkyeBlue Says:

    So far no one has been able to top my MIL story. Mine flew out 1/2 way across the country one Christmas to visit my then husband, and brought his current GIRLFRIEND with her so she could move her to our small town. Needless to say I am happy she has been my EX-MIL for the past 10 years!

  38. Amber Says:

    oh skyblue that is terrible

  39. mom-from-missouri Says:

    She is at it again, what a way to start out the new year. She left me a voicemail, and DH heard it. In her message, she was inviting me to an event at her home telling me certain family members would be there and I was welcome to join even though DH would be at work.
    Well, the people she said would be there don't even live here, and DH had just talked to one of them earlier on the phone and they arent coming till a day or two after her event. The other doesn't plan on coming at all. So basically, it would have just been her, me and the children.
    These are the types of messages I have gotten from her in the past. Then I go, and no one is there and she denies she left me such a message.
    Well, he heard this one, told me to ignore it, and he is just going to sit back and see what happens. Will she call me and jump on me for not going?? Probably. But, what she doesn't know is that he is not working that day and when she calls me, he will be here to hear the call.
    DH is now wondering if she isn't being spiteful, but actually does have a mental or medical condition. Apprently she has now also made comments to one of her granddaughters that she later denied....Thing is, she is young-just turned like 69 or 70, and goes everywhere, trips, vacations, and isn't like this to her friends, so that makes me wonder if it is just meanness, or a huge control issue.

  40. Amber Says:

    Denies she left the message? What is her deal I wonder. I was actually wondering if she had dementia

  41. homebody Says:

    69 or 70 is not too young to have dementia. She probably needs to see a doctor.

    Also dementia. from what I understand, doesn't necessarily effect your physical health until it gets really, really bad.

  42. SkyeBlue Says:

    Even many years later it used to just ENRAGE me when I would think of the things me former MIL did and said to me, but I found for me that the best thing to do was to turn it around and take the power away from her and tell myself that thru all of it that she did teach me a wonderful lesson in how NOT to act as a MIL (now that I have a DIL of my own now) and it has really helped me to have a fantastic relationship with my son and his wife.

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