Coping with my mother in law

berniekellyJuly 2, 2007

My mother in law and husband had no contact for the last twelve years. Both sides were at fault in my opinion but when his grandmother died and he only found out months later through solicitors he really felt his family wanted nothing to do with him.

To be honest when he died it did cross my mind briefly not to contact them but I thought she had a right to know. I don't know I just thought she would attend the funeral, see her grand daughter and that would be that.

She is ringing me weekly and she is the most inquisitive women I ever met. I only met her twice before the row with herself and my husband so I don't know her and to be honest beyond politness etc don't want a friendship with this woman.

She infuriated me yesterday when she rang firstly saying she wanted a copy of his death cert - why, did she want a copy of his wedding cert. and secondly hinting that when she came to visit she might stay with me. That is really too much I don't mind her coming to see the grave, meeting my daughter and coming for a mug of tea etc.

Every time she rings she goes on about how she loved him too (never said she didn;t) and that she lost the three men in her life (husband and other son twenty odd years ago). Well I lost a husband and friend but its not a competition as to who misses him the most.

I have always been nice to her on the phone and angry afterwards.

Am I being unreasonable - come visit if you want, see my daughter and leave it at that.

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I think you have it exactly right with your last sentence.

This woman didn't want to be family when your husband was with us, now it sounds like she wants to rejoin the family. Forget it!

I'm having similar troubles with my mother-in-law. She was thoughtless and mean to her daughter (my wife) for the entire time we were married. Even now, the only way my MIL can think about the death of my wife is how does it affects her.

It makes me mad as hell - and you and I and other surviving spouses do not have to put up with it. I'm past being gracious to those that do not deserve it.

Honestly, do yourself a favor and do not invite her to stay with you or visit too often. She will just break your heart even more than it is already. She will slow your healing.

Best wishes, Doc

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 7:14PM
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The only reason I know to need a death certificate is to claim life insurance benefits, & she can get one from the health department or the hospital or somewhere.

I'd go beyond saying don't invite her "too often":

Don't let her in your house.
There are too many red flags.

One of the warning signs of a potentially abusive or exploitative relationship is when someone pushes hard & fast for a serious relationship, disregarding signals of reluctance from the other party.

& she has no credibility:
If she "loved" your hubs, why did she never try to mend the rift?
Why did she not call him when his grandmother died?

If she wants to visit her granddaughter, meet her at McDonald's & *watch* her.

Observe her like a police officer would, with detachment & with the goal of analyzing why she does what she does.

If you don't like what you see (& I'll bet you don't), get caller id & don't pick up the phone when she calls.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 8:16AM
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Thank you for your messages. They clarified and confirmed what I was thinking.
I doubt very much if she has life assurance etc on him after all these years. And yes not letting him know his grandmother had died was mean - they lived with her when he was a child.

I think I just needed confirmation that I wasn't being the unreasonable one.

I am finding it hard to say no in situations like this and there have been a few lately where I know I should be tougher and putting myself and my little girl first, my husband had a lovely way of saying no without offending and usually he would rescue me from these situations. It is t

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 11:19AM
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Condolences on the death of your husband. I'm sorry you're going through all this MIL baloney on top of that.

"I doubt very much if she has life assurance etc on him after all these years."

I don't doubt it at all. There are families where this is standard investment practice.

What could be ruder than asking a new widow for a copy of the death certificate??!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 2:30PM
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People do sometimes have very old policies lying around.

My father took out a life policy on me when I was a few weeks old, & now I'm in my fifties.

When I found it in his things, I called the company & learned that it was still in effect!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 8:47AM
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Suggestion..... get caller ID and when you see it's her, don't answer. She didn't want anything to do you with you before now, didn't try to fix the problem with her son, just keep away from her now. If you do want her to have a relationship with your daughter.. the MacDonald's idea would be the best way. How could she even think you would allow her into the house you and your husband shared when she didn't speak with him. Stick to your guns and forget her. Very sorry about your loss and hope you get through this.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 8:54AM
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aren't relatives strange? i just came home from my husbands aunts funeral. this elderly couple came to visit us every sunday, we attended all the family functions they had, why just because they were just nice! my husband told me when we first married that his mother didn't like her brother and his wife (this elderly couple) and that it wouldn't be a good idea to be friendly with them, well i told him i would like to be the judge of that, and so time went and we were all good friends. when Al passed away 5 months ago they were there and where was his sister, screaming at me about what kind of funeral she wanted and don't ask for any money at all for expenses, she and her sisters stood at one side of the graveside service and snubbed their noses at the funeral HE wanted. i was late getting to the funeral home today and had to stand with many others in the foyer, but there was that sister in law right there with the family (if they only knew how evil these people spoke of them, they would have been tossed out on their #####!). when i went and spoke to the family and gave my condolenance, the sister in law snook out of the funeral home, she didn't even say hi or anything.
i would never let that mil come to my home, meet her in a public place, and perhaps you could have a friend come as well, also tell her that you have to leave at a specific time right from the beginning, say i have to get the trolly at 500 pm or else we'll be in trouble or something like that. get caller id, best thing a person can get. my mil passed away 15 months before Al did, she was a mean woman, my kids would receive used old things and the others would get designer things, her philosphy was they're rich and your not. on the other hand i am glad that my sil didn't speak to me, who know;s what might have come out of my mouth. As a friend said to me, they are not your relatives anymore! and it's a good thing you can choose your friends. I am sorry for your loss and know just how you feel!


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:54PM
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Annette Holbrook

Do you only have contact with her by phone?
If possible, I think you should email/mail her a list of local hotels (large hint, I would hope). Also, if she wants a copy of any of the certificates in questions, I'd send the phone/address for the county so she can get them herself!
Maybe mention meeting for lunch so she could meet your daughter, but not at your home!!
Then I'd do as suerose said and screen her calls. Or if you really want to send a message, get call block and block her number.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 11:17AM
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