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View Full Version : I dont get along with my MIL and need to vent.



TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 23, 2013, 10:43 PM
Sdo today is my husband's birthday and I surprise him with chocolates balloons and cards this morning not to mention a new iPod since his old one has been acting up. We drop the baby off at his parents house and head to a bird fair for a couple of hours. We had a great time and saw some amazing birds. We go back to his parents house to spend some time with them before they take us all out to dinner and his parents start up with a tremendous argument that makes me so uncomfortable I have to leave for a while. I takethat opportunity to feed my horses and let the pups out to potty and give the parrot some of the new toys we got.him before heading back over to go to dinner (we live 5 minutes away). Well at dinner his mother put.of the blue brings up a story about how her mother made a cake every year for all thekids exept her and how awful that was as a child to endure. Well, I didn't.really know how to.respond to that so I just said nothing and the meal continued without anymore.problems. on the way home however she brings it up again and asks if any of us would do that to my daughter. The two guys say no and how sorry they are she endured that and yada yada yada. I again say nothing and she then pushes me for an answer. I say no, my daughter will have a cake every year but say nothing else. Well, now she is trying the 'dont you think that was awful for me' BS. I again say nothing thinking she is being really rude bringing all this up on may husbands birthday.She then says the one thing you should never say to me. She asked why I didn't give her any compassion for all she's been through and wanted me to tell her 'what I really thought'. So I did. I said I thoughtshwas being extremely rude bringing that up onmy husbands birthday and maybe she should let the day be about him instead of her. She of course go into a tirade about how I could have just shown her a bit of compassion and would that have been so hard? At which I say she should show her son a bit since its his birthday. I of course am the evil cold b*&$#@ and never show her compassion. I of course have lost my cool as its now an hour past my daughter's bedtime and are still arguing so I said something along the lines of 'Do you want me to bake you a compassion cake every day? Get over yourself. Well, now daughter and I are home and hubby is consoling poor pitiful MIL saving her from the evil words of his wife. I know I sound bitter and angry and hurt and realty don't even need to get feedback just needed to vent.
Please excuse the awful number of errors in this message. My husband has the WiFi card and I had to write this on my not so cooperative phone.

ddashaq
Feb. 23, 2013, 10:59 PM
Honestly, sometimes it is just easier to give people what they want. Although I do understand your feelings of annoyance, a few words of "compassion" would probably have avoided the entire incident. In-laws can be really challenging sometimes.

jjgg24
Feb. 23, 2013, 11:03 PM
All I can do is sympathize I have one too! I think mine is legitimately a little crazy.. She has to take meds to make her not anger so easily (I'd hate to see her without them because she is already pissy in general) but she mixes it with copious amounts of booze and cigarettes so you can only imagine the mix. That with a lack of what I consider to be normal social graces she can be quite interesting to deal with sometimes!

chai
Feb. 23, 2013, 11:24 PM
It is a shame that your MIL tried to derail your husband's big day, but it sounds like she got her way in the end by successfully baiting you into a blow up. As manipulative as it sounds, sometimes it might be easier just to give her those few words of compassion and move on than let her stew and ruin the whole day. She must have come from a very dysfunctional family if she is the only one who didn't get a birthday cake growing up. That's weird and incredibly mean. I would feel sorry for her except for the fact that she used it (and you) to ruin her son's birthday. That's really selfish, but the fact that your hub was consoling her shows that he isn't ready to throw in the towel with her, no matter how badly she behaves.
I feel for you...you've got a tiger by the tail with that MIL. My advice would be to limit your exposure to her, and your kids' exposure, too, if there's any chance she will play those mind games with them, too. Good luck to you.

Alagirl
Feb. 23, 2013, 11:38 PM
That's what the Good Lord made wine. :yes:

Call the ole battle axe up, apologize.
You don't have to mean it.
but maybe you can finish the birthday with hubby then :winkgrin:

nhwr
Feb. 23, 2013, 11:43 PM
Well, now daughter and I are home and hubby is consoling poor pitiful MIL saving her from the evil words of his wife. There's your trouble, right there.
Your DH's got an issue and your MiL knows it. That's why she brought all this up.

Tell your husband to pick sides and make it clear to everyone where he stands.

Alagirl
Feb. 24, 2013, 12:31 AM
There's your trouble, right there.
Your DH's got an issue and your MiL knows it. That's why she brought all this up.

Tell your husband to pick sides and make it clear to everyone where he stands.

yeah, but you don't fix that on DH's birthday....

Dreamwalker
Feb. 24, 2013, 12:58 AM
There's your trouble, right there.
Your DH's got an issue and your MiL knows it. That's why she brought all this up.

Tell your husband to pick sides and make it clear to everyone where he stands.

THIS THIS THIS!
Read: Toxic Inlaws, Loving strategies to protect your marriage.
It helps a lot to know that it can be fixed one way or another. And one way is, of course, to opt out of having contact with toxic people.

Here you go just for a laugh: my toxic MIL story, one of many;). My MIL 'helps' eg one Christmas we were hosting the entire family a mere 5 days after the birth of our 5th child. They are all (10) staying with us for 3/4 days. SIL decides she needs to do some washing so MIL reminds me every few minutes that the load of washing already in the machine needs hanging out, whilst I'm in the middle of preparing Christmas lunch and feeding the baby. I suggest repeatably she might like to hang it out? She comes back a little while later saying she had taken the basket of wet washing to the clothesline but it still needed hanging out. I suggest again that maybe she hang it out? MIL in full screech rants that she said she would 'help' not do it all for me, I was just sitting around doing nothing (feeding the baby) and everyone (her) was having to do too much.
FIL apologizes once again:winkgrin: but not while MIL can hear.

It's hard OP. The incidents seem like minor things when you are telling them as a story but they grate something awful when you have to live them.
If it were my MIL in your story, she would have been gunning one way or another to cause a fight so she could have her son to herself on his birthday, so don't beat yourself up for not 'taking' it or showing 'compassion'.

And definitely read that book!

MrWinston
Feb. 24, 2013, 12:59 AM
You know, my first thought was that this woman is very troubled. Her son's birthday made her recall the saddness and rejection of her childhood and she couldn't help but do the very same thing to her son. She couldn't deprive him of a cake but she could spoil his birthday. Maybe you could have (I know, after the fact) said something like, "That must have been very sad and hurtful for you. We shouldn't ruin anyone's birthday, should we?"

TheJenners
Feb. 24, 2013, 01:20 AM
You just honestly can't deal with manipulative people like that.

I've been dealing with my MOTHER, not even an in-law, who is hugely manipulative and has been most of my life. She has some honest-to-goodness mental issues that need to be addressed, and some serious substance abuse problems on top of it. She can't not manipulate, and now that I've figured it out... I don't let her. But she still tries.

Look up some Web sites or gets some books on narcissm, and also borderline personality. Your MIL sounds like she might fit the bill, especially since DH is so obviously attached to her. I say MIGHT. I am not a doctor ;). But with both of those, if the attention isn't on them (ie someone else's b-day), they will do everything in their power to MAKE it about them. And whatever emotion they are feeling is the only thing that exists, they BECOME that feeling. It's hard to explain...

That's all I got for ya.

jetsmom
Feb. 24, 2013, 02:18 AM
You know, my first thought was that this woman is very troubled. Her son's birthday made her recall the saddness and rejection of her childhood and she couldn't help but do the very same thing to her son. She couldn't deprive him of a cake but she could spoil his birthday. Maybe you could have (I know, after the fact) said something like, "That must have been very sad and hurtful for you. We shouldn't ruin anyone's birthday, should we?"

This^^^.
I probably would have just exclaimed, "That's horrible!" and then moved on.

ReSomething
Feb. 24, 2013, 05:00 AM
Yes, there's always that point where you just want to stick a fork in their eye and tell them "you're done!".

I'd agree that you got baited into looking like the meany. At one point while we were packing up MIL to move I made the effort to go over on a day I'd had to work, thinking that MIL and I could go through the personal items/collectibles/junk that we had stored upstairs and make sure she knew where her Important Stuff was, get it identified etc.. Well, she didn't want to do that at all, she wanted to bitch about my SIL who was ingrateful and self centered and blah blah blah.
I was too tired to expend the energy to listen to this crap and redirect, I went straight to "could we change the subject and talk about the move" Never do that. I got to hear all about how she didn't like me, either.
Now, I'll tell you how evil that woman is. She knew that DH was out of the room and whe he came back she changed the subject faster than you could say nasty. He left again, she started up again, and he turned on his heel because he'd forgotten something and walked right into it. I excused myself out to the car claiming I needed a nap and he spent the bulk of the visit calmly telling his mom that he didn't care what she thought and that he didn't need to come back if she didn't want to go through with the move etc. Didn't let her get a word in edgewise, raised his voice but mostly just to talk over the top of her, I could hear a lot of it outside where I was really feeling pretty lousy. And I knew it was my expectation of the situation that made me feel that way, not so much anything she said.
Talk about a waste of my time and really a learning lesson about family dynamics - I was treating her as if she were a client needing my services - the move, adult to adult, and she was in the manipulative mother mode, adult to child, trying to pass on a dose of guilt to SIL for "not being there when she needed her".
We had isolated ourselves from her previous to her needing to move, and I'd managed to forget the why's of it apart from the distance. We've been back a couple of times including in the new apartment and what we do now is say we were in town for an appointment and just swing by, half an hour, oh, yes SIL, how's she doing, whoops we have to GO, so sorry.

Those empty platitudes like "isn't that terrible" and then a fast change of subject are worth learning, I just screwed up because I was too tired and had an agenda of my own, and you and your DH need to discuss his conflicted loyalties, and how to back out of this situation.
If you have to create a safe sentence that signals each other the situation is spiraling out of control, do it. "Oh, gosh I'm so sorry about that! Whoops, look at the time! We have to go, love you had a great time buh bye"!
I sincerely hope that your MIL only has the one sad experience and not a whole repertoire of grievances regarding her ill-treated youth. But be prepared.

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 05:56 AM
Thanks everyone. Hubby actually made them drop him off at the house about 20 minutes after I posted this. I didn't realize he was telling his mom how hurt he was that she was taking over his birthday and how she should apologize to me and him. They want us to all go to their counciling session tomorrow but we have company coming all day so no go. I said we would try a sit down session at some point of our convenience.
I'm afraid she had a pretty shitty childhood and did have lots of stuff happen to her but in then same token has a lot of 'percieved' slights brought against her. She tales a completely innocent statement and reads into it to the point of frustration and will stew over it a few day so you REALLY forget ever saying it and then blows up about it. Heck in the argument last night she brought up how hurt she was at my reaction when I was overly hormonal and sensitive about my belly getting big and she happened to mention how fat I was stating to look since I had gotten pregnant. I already have a hard time holding my tongue (as is apparent by this whole thread) but prego hormones made it worse. Thank heaven's we lived through that and I've actually considered not having more kids because of the stress that was always around with her. I really should just not react and give her the few words she wants but in the moment I just can't seem to do it.

*Still typing on the phone. Little bit woke up and wanted a change and food so she's nursing and falling back asleep and I'm tapping my phones screen repeatedly. *

bumknees
Feb. 24, 2013, 06:21 AM
I could go on about my MIL.. But to put it bluntly she would make the witch of the west look like the good fairy..

After about 2yrs of this (right #1 Ds was born) Finally I looked her in the eye and said yup your right.. I am. Shut her up faster than a snow ball in Fla. Then Dh and I moved (to other states TG for the military) and never went back except for funerals.

West End Girl
Feb. 24, 2013, 06:42 AM
Since you're all about honesty, here's my honest opinion (and I'm speaking as someone with a lovely MIL & a mom who is not unlike this...)

I think you were showing a lack of compassion - both to your MIL and to your husband. Your MIL had an abusive childhood. The birth of her granddaughter obviously triggered some weird, deep feelings about that. Yes, as a grownup, she should be able to control/deal with that in some other way. But the woman is obviously fundamentally broken in some way, and she probably isn't going to change now. Why not accept that and just be a little more loving and a lot more emotionally distant when you deal with her? As an adult with a parent like this I sort of treat her like I would a misguided toddler - tantrums are ignored, good behavior is rewarded, I don't let her emotions determine anything about my day.

Also, think of the horrible position YOU put your husband in - he already knows the woman is a crazy PITA, but it's his mother, how do you expect him to feel about all of this fuss? Could you not just play along for his sake?!

Sorry if this comes off as harsh, I just don't get why you expect sympathy.

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 06:51 AM
I think part of the problem is our personalities clash strongly. I'm a very strong self sufficient woman, I tend to internalize my feelings instead of flaunting them because I think flaunting them just makes me look either like I'm weak or trying to get attention. I will discuss issues one on one with people but I don't like getting in arguments when anyone else is around not because of some social rule but because I don't think its anyone's business. (yes I am a Scorpio for anyone who follows that) She on the other hand wants to talk about EVERYTHING she is feeling ALL. THE. TIME. She wants to analyze and dissect meaningless comments from last year to truely understand what was meant by that particular phrase in case it means we have some issue with her. I try to be okay with this for a while but part of me just wants to shake her and say 'Snap out of it'!

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 06:55 AM
Hmm. I think in my original post I said something along the lines of this is just a vent and really don't even need feedback. The title was just because they require one on this forum and I thought mine sounded clever. I feel awful that my husband's birthday wad ruined and he and I had a long talk.about it when we got home. I agree that hindsight being what it is, I should have gone a different route, but I didn't. I do NOT have that much patience for crazy.

grayarabpony
Feb. 24, 2013, 07:49 AM
Hmm. I think in my original post I said something along the lines of this is just a vent and really don't even need feedback. The title was just because they require one on this forum and I thought mine sounded clever. I feel awful that my husband's birthday wad ruined and he and I had a long talk.about it when we got home. I agree that hindsight being what it is, I should have gone a different route, but I didn't. I do NOT have that much patience for crazy.

Of course you don't want want feedback now since all of it's not positive!

Honestly you sound self-centered and lacking in compassion, really. Was some of your MIL's behavior hard to deal with and inappropriate? Sure. But I can't imagine not saying anything after hearing such a story, either, much less blowing up about it. I have a completely batshit crazy MIL and can't look favorably on how you behaved.

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 07:54 AM
Guess we are all entitled to our own opinions.

texan
Feb. 24, 2013, 09:31 AM
I agree, you do sound like you have no compassion at all for the woman. I read lots of bad MIL stories on here and they are real PITA MIL's. Yours not so much. Your husband is a grown man, and if he was uncomfortable about what your MIL was saying then it was up to him to say something, not you. For goodness sakes the poor woman sounds like she had a crappy life growing up. She kept on about it because YOU never said anything. What would it have hurt to say... something. A little that is terrible goes a long way. Sorry I know you were just venting, and maybe she just caught you on a bad day, but really why don't you call her and apologize.I read so many stories about crazy parents and in-laws, and it always brings to mind, that some day you will be old and someones senile parent or crazy mother in law, I think in light of that we could all show a lot more tolerance and compassion in all our lives.

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 09:49 AM
In the light of day I know it would have been easier and probably better to just go with the flow but that time has passed. They are at church now (I havebbeen called the devil wife for not going along and for keeping my husband from going even though he hadn't been to church in years when we met) Hubby and I are good now and he said he was actually happy I said something as he was upset by her also but knows that saying anything just makes it worse. All will be well, this isn't the first massive argument and won't be the last.

fordtraktor
Feb. 24, 2013, 10:07 AM
While OP's original story sounds maybe a bit out of proportion, it sounds like this is far from the first time MIL has made a special day difficult and all about her. I have a SIL who never fails to ruin each and every holiday. If you heard me complain about what she's done any particular day it might not sound so bad, but it's the relentless, constant destruction of the peace that leads me to lack any patience for the smallest holiday drama from her. I could easily see myself losing it over something others would find not a big deal.

ellebeaux
Feb. 24, 2013, 10:25 AM
Hmm. I think in my original post I said something along the lines of this is just a vent and really don't even need feedback. The title was just because they require one on this forum and I thought mine sounded clever.

If you just want to vent, next time write it on a piece of paper then crumple it up and burn it!

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 10:31 AM
Ford- you get the situation exactly!

BLBGP
Feb. 24, 2013, 10:43 AM
I guess the question is: do you want to be right or do you want to be peaceful? It sounds like you rely on them for child care and you are very close to them geographically, by choice. You're not going to fix her now, especially not like that. Unless you and your husband want to cut some ties you'll likely have to keep playing her game.

Pony Fixer
Feb. 24, 2013, 10:57 AM
I certainly think that this could have been handled a bit more tactfully by the OP, but I also understand how draining and tiresome dealing with someone like this is--in my case my toxic mother.

What I do get tired of is when people (like the MIL) use their terrible childhood (sometimes genuinely really terrible) as fodder for basically everything that follows in their life. I had a seriously sh!tty childhood full of substance abuse, mental abuse, occasional physical abuse--things that could make one's head spin. I had a lot of therapy as a younger adult. I have NEVER used it as an excuse, I never bring it up (in the context of "poor me"--most of my friends have heard my story because they are curious why I say I have "no parents" when the are clearly alive...), and I for damn sure never put it on anyone else.

Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, acknowledge what is crappy in this world, and MOVE FORWARD. I can grieve the childhood I never had, I can feel that pang of envy when I see a great mother-daughter relationship, but I can't make it central to how I live my life. She needs to do the same.

Hulk
Feb. 24, 2013, 11:15 AM
I said it once and I will say it again, thid kinda stuff is why I now just delete people from data base. I keep saying I didnt know how good life could be without these destructive toxic people in it, till I started getting rid of them.
People say ''oh thats sad" when you tell them you are not on speaking terms with so and so. Well its not. Toxic people and their crap has taken my health due to their headgames and manipulation and I simply said no more. They never change, so I changed the scenery. Unless you have lived with this, you really dont know the toll it can take on you. The more toxic people I delete the more my health improves. They drain you and suck your will to live.
I would tell you all my stories but that would be a novel.

LauraKY
Feb. 24, 2013, 11:16 AM
No sympathy from me...I actually have a whacko MIL...yours is a pale imitation.

DreamBignRide
Feb. 24, 2013, 11:18 AM
I understand where your coming for OP. I am like you where I like to take y problems for what they're worth and be self efficient in findin the solution and moving on.

Some people aren't like that, fine. I have no problem sitting an listening however the way she backed you into a corner and demanded you to call her a poor thing would have been my last straw as well.

I would personally be honest but also constructive in finding a way to move on. You have to consider your daughter and husband too. Not a good position to be in!

JanM
Feb. 24, 2013, 11:48 AM
I see it a little differently, because of things I've seen over the years, and some truly different personalities. I think the MIL sees every change or occasion as a rival for attention. I think the MIL saw the new baby and the pregnancy as a chance for others to get the attention, and not have it on her. I think it's kind of sibling rivalry, that applies to the attention others get. It's not about complaining, but the attention going to others. Actually, it sounds a lot like my former mother ( I think that phrase says it all), where everything centered about her, and no one else.

ReSomething
Feb. 24, 2013, 12:08 PM
I guess the question is: do you want to be right or do you want to be peaceful? It sounds like you rely on them for child care and you are very close to them geographically, by choice. You're not going to fix her now, especially not like that. Unless you and your husband want to cut some ties you'll likely have to keep playing her game.

Gotta tell ya this is true. Distance means exactly that, don't ask her to babysit and try to limit when you accept invitations. I used to invite my MIL out for Mother's Day and after year number three of having her be wierd, talking all about my wonderful SIL and finally inviting my SIL along as her freakin' escort I just quit. Much easier that way. MUCH.

nhwr
Feb. 24, 2013, 12:20 PM
Sounds like a lot of you have never had to deal with a MiL who like this. Well then you are lucky. If you feed her she just gets worse. And the problem isn't about the DiL anyway, it is about the relationship between mother and son.

Hope you had a pleasant remainder of the evening 2BF.

Acertainsmile
Feb. 24, 2013, 12:43 PM
My MIL and I are barely on speaking terms. Just the pleasentries, but there is so much disfunction between her and my BIL I choose not to deal with either of them. Husband and I have tried to be helpful, giving great advice which falls on deaf ears and then she blames her problems on everyone else around her. I've let her have it a few times, speaking nothing but the truth about her enabling a 52 year old substance abuser of a son, and that did not go over well. So I've given up and the chips can fall where they may.

Makes my life a whole lot easier. As for your MIL...I would buy her a big a$$ cake for her next birthday (like the three tier kind) and call it even steven.

Alagirl
Feb. 24, 2013, 01:07 PM
My MIL and I are barely on speaking terms. Just the pleasentries, but there is so much disfunction between her and my BIL I choose not to deal with either of them. Husband and I have tried to be helpful, giving great advice which falls on deaf ears and then she blames her problems on everyone else around her. I've let her have it a few times, speaking nothing but the truth about her enabling a 52 year old substance abuser of a son, and that did not go over well. So I've given up and the chips can fall where they may.

Makes my life a whole lot easier. As for your MIL...I would buy her a big a$$ cake for her next birthday (like the three tier kind) and call it even steven.

what? only 3 tiers?
Cheap skate.

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 01:44 PM
Pony fixer, I have the same philosophy. My mother and I dealt with so much while I was growing up ranging from a physically abusive alcoholic stepfather to a house fire to having to not go to my dream school in order to go to work right out of high school due to my mother having a stroke. We struggled, we pulled ourselves up, we made the best of it. I don't talk about all that for sympathy or compassion just to say I know what its like to have crap happen to you. When you are going through help you can either stop and roast or keep going and maybe get through it.

Dreamwalker
Feb. 24, 2013, 02:14 PM
While OP's original story sounds maybe a bit out of proportion, it sounds like this is far from the first time MIL has made a special day difficult and all about her. I have a SIL who never fails to ruin each and every holiday. If you heard me complain about what she's done any particular day it might not sound so bad, but it's the relentless, constant destruction of the peace that leads me to lack any patience for the smallest holiday drama from her. I could easily see myself losing it over something others would find not a big deal.

I absolutely agree it's the relentlessness of it. And the worst part is when you blow up everyone including yourself focus on the minor issue and is quick to tell you 'you are making a mountain out of a molehill' when the reality is you've been ignoring issue after issue and the MIL's agenda is to pick a fight or put the attention back on her.
My MIL had grandchildren marry recently. At the three different weddings she tried to sabotage the day and make it all about her.:( The family has what is known as 'Granny Patrol' to keep her occupied an getting attention from somebody to avoid these sorts of incidents:(

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 03:19 PM
I think we should find a group of actors to hire for granny patrol!

Ticker
Feb. 24, 2013, 03:47 PM
Having watched my own mother in many similar situations, I can only offer that I now suspect my mothers "problems" were directly related to hormones (lack there of)and aging. I wish I could turn back the clock and help her with more modern therapies. It was beyond frustrating to deal with her. I don't think your MIL will accept help from you if her problems are indeed age related, but at least you may gain understanding from it and perhaps protect yourself in the future.

threedogpack
Feb. 24, 2013, 03:53 PM
I understand you were venting.

I also understand this might not be typical as it was a special occasion.

That said, she is your husbands mother and you will have to learn better coping skills if you don't want this to happen again. Coping can mean canned responses, it can mean simply nodding and not saying anything or you can do what you did in the original post and have repeated blow ups.

If this were at work, with a co worker, would you allow her to have this much influence on you or would you find a better coping strategy?

If this were a friend, would you blow up at her, or would you do something different?

When you allow your MIL to get under your skin, you are giving her permission to impact your life. I would not give her so much control of my feelings.

CDE Driver
Feb. 24, 2013, 04:08 PM
I'm sorry you have to endure this OP. I agree about the relentlessness of it, it wears you down.

My first marriage broke up over this. My ex husband would never, ever stand up to his Mother when she would say the most, well, amazingly mean and ugly things to me and about me. In my presence.
The first few times I was gobsmacked that a person would say such things.
Then I got angry.
Ex and I talked about it, at length. Went to counseling.
In the end it was more important to him to have peace with her than with me.

I don't care what your background is, it's NOT okay to treat people badly.

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 04:40 PM
CDE Driver, Im so sorry that happened to you. My mother and father split for similar reasons which is why most of the time I can hold my tongue or say the proper bs.

chillydc
Feb. 24, 2013, 05:31 PM
I feel for the OP, sounds like the MIL is one of those people that needs everything to be about her all the time. It gets annoying and sometimes these people need a wake up call. Glad the OP did not just say what MIL wanted to hear.

Canaqua
Feb. 24, 2013, 05:44 PM
I think part of the problem is our personalities clash strongly. I'm a very strong self sufficient woman, I tend to internalize my feelings instead of flaunting them because I think flaunting them just makes me look either like I'm weak or trying to get attention. I will discuss issues one on one with people but I don't like getting in arguments when anyone else is around not because of some social rule but because I don't think its anyone's business. (yes I am a Scorpio for anyone who follows that) She on the other hand wants to talk about EVERYTHING she is feeling ALL. THE. TIME. She wants to analyze and dissect meaningless comments from last year to truely understand what was meant by that particular phrase in case it means we have some issue with her. I try to be okay with this for a while but part of me just wants to shake her and say 'Snap out of it'!

I'm very much like you (Cancer with a powerful Scorpio ascendant if we're talking astrology ;)). I do find it very trying to deal with drama queens and manipulators. It is soooo tempting to start judging them and thinking "Gee, why can't they just suck it up and put on the stoic face like I do!?!". I desperately want to blast them about the unnecessary drama. But, that never works, it just makes things worse, of course. So, since I can't do that, my goal is to get them off my case and away from me as soon as possible...often meaning I give them what they want. "Ohhhh noooo, that is so terrible! I feel so sorry for you! What a strong and wonderful person you must be to have dealt with that so successfully!". The last bit being an attempt to pressure them into behaving better by implying they HAVE solved their issue. Sometimes helps, sometimes doen't.

mvp
Feb. 24, 2013, 06:07 PM
I think you and MIL have different styles, and that you have contempt for hers-- women who "flaunt" their feelings and look weak. Also, you think you get a "get out of jail free" card because you kept silent at her remark about her shitty childhood. You did that, you say, because you didn't know what to say.

Didn't know what to say to someone expressing pain, however inconvenient to you? You empathize. From your account, the reason she goaded you into saying something is because you didn't do that.

If you choose to stay pissed about this, then I think you and MIL deserve each other.

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 06:24 PM
MVP, that is a very interesting point of view.

wanderlust
Feb. 24, 2013, 06:29 PM
I think you and MIL have different styles, and that you have contempt for hers-- women who "flaunt" their feelings and look weak. Also, you think you get a "get out of jail free" card because you kept silent at her remark about her shitty childhood. You did that, you say, because you didn't know what to say.

Didn't know what to say to someone expressing pain, however inconvenient to you? You empathize. From your account, the reason she goaded you into saying something is because you didn't do that. My mother is one of these people who has no filter about her emotions and absolutely no boundaries regardless of the person she is talking to. And something is always wrong or she is always sad or someone is always getting something she doesn't have and is bitter about it.

It is DRAINING. I mean, suck the life out of you draining. She is a 65-year old woman with the emotional development of a teenager and no regard for other people, except when they have something to offer her.

I empathize with the OP, when someone always always needs something or somehow needs to be the center of attention (oh, like when my mother brought out champagne to celebrate our engagement before my now-husband had actually proposed, after he had specifically requested they not say anything), it is like death by a thousand cuts.

TheJenners
Feb. 24, 2013, 07:15 PM
it's the relentless, constant destruction of the peace that leads me to lack any patience for the smallest holiday drama from her.

This. The degradation of happiness....


MIL was bound and determined to get recognition for her pain, no matter how friggin' inappropriate she was being, and OP didn't want to play along. OP, I get you. Is ti easier to "play along"?? Sure. But honestly, after dealing with it, why waste the damn emotion energy? DH calls my mother an emotional vampire, and it probably fits here also.

halo
Feb. 24, 2013, 07:29 PM
She sounds like a lunatic. I wonder if the story is even true.

lilitiger2
Feb. 24, 2013, 07:39 PM
Well my MIL was awesome (died recently) but a former partner had a mother who was awful.

Her:Im so glad you're a shrink. Bob needs that in his life.
Me: ?? Oh, he's taught me so much. he is a great guy.
Her: i've always wanted to really talk to him, you know, about important things.
Me (stupidly not asking what): oh? that's a good idea. My mom andn I have had some great discussions about past issues now that Im grown!
Her: Oh good! Yes, i've always wanted to tell him he really was't wanted. We adored our first child, and of course Bill (younger bro) but we just didn't really want him. Then of course he wrote that awful poetry as a teen...always wanted to talk to him about that.He's been such a disappointment....


Then later she shared (to both of us) things such as that she wished she ran over me with a car (after I drove Bob down to see her, a day's drive out of our way home, so he could spend some time with her). She would send Bob little notices/articles for "Lila's emotional problems"...

At first, I fought, I railed. I could NOT believe she could be so awful. I hated that he even SPOKE to her. I told him he needed to GROW UP. And then, one night talking to a friend, I was reminded that he really was in the middle, had no idea what to do, and loved her. She was his MOM. I got in bed with him and told him that I wish I had a do-over. That he didnot have to select between me or her. I understood she loved him and he loved her and he loved me too! It didn't matter what she thought of me, just that she loved him. He was crying he was so grateful. I felt like such a shit for having made it into WWIII. but of course, he did support me!

Your MIL sounds like a manipulative bitch. Its not about you, its her. Limit your exposure. Vent to friends! Be queen of your castle and respectful of hers. Work to make sure you and your husband are allies! Worked for me!

ReSomething
Feb. 24, 2013, 08:39 PM
She sounds like a lunatic. I wonder if the story is even true.

They say truth is stranger than fiction.

TwoBrooksFarm
Feb. 24, 2013, 09:40 PM
I actually think her story is true. I've met her mother and know how she can be. My husband had majorly cut his grandmother out of his life due to her manipulative ways. His other seems to have learned a few things from her mother.

hastyreply
Feb. 24, 2013, 10:11 PM
My MIL use to tell about how the only thing her grandmother ever gave her was a soda cracker. We were different and thank goodness she knew I had a mother and don't want another and she had daughters and had no need for one more. We had our boundaries which each of us respected. I always said we had 4 things in common, my husband and 3 kids.

Maybe next time you can say something like " that must have been awful for you. Good thing she's gone and we don't have to worry about anyone else's birthday being ruined" But maybe that isn't subtle enough. Just try to set some boundaries and have your DH on the same page.