Monster in Law 2
I read the other thread because I am having a similar problem, but I didn't want to hijack that thread. My MIL issues involve my stepdaughter... and yes, my DH is also very guilty of having no backbone with his mother.... so is divorce really an option???
My MIL & I used to get along great.... well, there were a few red flag events. When she bought her dress to wear to our wedding, she refused to let me "the bride" see it beforehand. She went on and on about how custom made it was & how expensive but when I asked to see it, she said "nope, not until the wedding!" That is my first memory of thinking she was being competitive with me, instead of genuinely happy for us. At the wedding, after DH & I had our first dance, he twirled me at the end. Now, I have to tell you that we are not great dancers... especially my DH. But, his parents on the other hand, dance competitively, so when they did the Mother/Son dance... she was ALL twirls. Then her & my FIL took the floor & did one of their competition routines... maybe I am being presumptuous, but it felt like she was trying to steal the spotlight. Especially after the unveiling of her 'dress'. && on top of that, they (MIL & FIL) spent a good 30-45 minutes after the ceremony (after we got done with our portraits) with our photographer taking formal pictures of them, holding up our entering the reception... all in the middle of August on one of the hottest days & our guests had to wait until we got there for dinner to be served. It annoyed me but I didn't let it ruin my day.
Anyways, she has always tried to appear helpful & kind. I say appear because the more I get to know her, the less sincere she even tries to act. We have had custody issues with my Stepdaughter & MIL has come to hearings. At first, I thought it was great that she was being supportive. But, I have since realized that she loves the drama & wants to stick her nose in it. We thought it was a blessing when she offered to help out with SD when we have to work. As things have gotten difficult & tense between me & SD (I've written lots about it in the stepfamily forum), MIL has taken an interest in 'fixing' SD. For the last year or longer, there has been a tension between us and she makes snarky comments, uses a condescending tone with me, and lately, she has been downright confrontational.
examples: DH told SD10 she cannot wear a certain type of jean that teen girls like to wear. She went to MIL for a day & came home with said jeans. DH told his mother she can't have those type of jeans, MIL went & got her two pair of shorts.. the same type of pant, except shorts~not jeans. He made her take them back & we asked her not to buy SD anymore clothes. SD wants to wear sexy clothes, we say no. SD tries to get grandma to buy them. I gave MIL the benefit of the doubt that she might just be clueless to buying clothes for girls ~ she raised two boys and her only other grandchild is a grandson.
Then she bought SD nail polish after DH told SD she can't have it. She has also bought her lip gloss & gangster shoes. It's almost as if SD goes to her & tells her what we won't let her have so grandma buys it. (interestingly a lot like she was doing with her mom before.. but her mom stopped playing along when she had the new baby) Other things MIL does that irritate me... she talks about SD's weight to her, which flip flops between helpful hints & making her feel bad... but then she takes her out for ice cream & feeds her junk. In my opinion, she does more harm than good. But, she is grandma... I am just stepmom. Dad does not want to say anything to her because "that's just how she is" and he enjoys the free babysitting when we have to work. He really doesn't see it as a big deal & that is one of OUR problems.. a HUGE one.
another incident: I have my DGS1 living with me. Last school year, SD admitted she was failing school on purpose to get attention. She said she thought she could go live with her mom (which isn't going to happen) if she failed. So, when my DGS was there all the time & SD wanted to come in the room when I was playing with him. (there's a lot more history to this, but briefly~ SD likes to ignore me & treat me as if I am not there a lot....) so, she wants to come in the room with me only when I am playing with the baby. Well, I told her that until her grades improved, she can't come play with the baby. She was not doing her work & yet wanted to go play with baby instead of doing homework & I said no. So, it was my DGS first birthday party & SD was to go to her mom's for the weekend. She didn't want to miss the party so DH switched weekends (at my urging because I knew she really wanted to go). MIL was at the party & after, when everyone is leaving ~ I spot MIL & SD huddled in a booth. SD is crying & eyes all puffy. I ask if she's okay, what's wrong. SD says nothing, she is fine. On the way home, DH tells me that MIL wants to know why SD can't play with baby DGS. Apparently, MIL had taken DH aside & told him that SD complained to her about it & wanted him to do something about it. I flat out told SD that if she has a problem with our rules, she needs to talk to us... going to grandma (or mom or anyone else) won't work. So, for the last few times MIL has been over... she will pick up the baby & ask "SD can play with him, can't she?" and almost sounds like she's confronting me or challenging me to say no.
Well, the final straw was the 4th of July. I had a luau at my dad's house & while I have stopped issuing invites to MIL & FIL , they still show up to parties if they hear about them, which they do because SD tells them.. or they call DH and ask him if we are doing anything & just assume they are invited. He won't tell them they are not welcome so they show up. This time, they called to offer help in setting up. I said I had it under control, but if they wanted to come take SD to the park for a while... they could spend some time with her & keep her out of our hair while we set up the party. So, they did. Then they showed up at the party.
They started out walking in & announcing that I am working their son too hard.. it's hot & he hasn't had lunch yet & he can pass out at any minute! I jokingly said if he passes out, he will get plenty of rest. (now you have to know my husband works fast & refuses to stop for anything, even lunch when he gets started on something... that's HIS choice, he's 41 years old & knows where the kitchen is) So, I go out to the BBQ & MIL follows me out with SD in tow. She makes a few comments about meat I left on the counter in the house (I tell her I'm about to grill it) and then goes on & on about how messy the grill is getting (um, it's a BBQ!)... did I mention she is anal about clean? So, I am about annoyed already & my daughter gets back with the baby. SD says "the baby is so cute!" and MIL turns to me & says "Can SD play with the baby?" with an almost sarcastic challenging tone. I ask why couldn't she? She says "well you wouldn't let her when her grades were bad." and I say "she's been out of school for a month, so I don't care." They go off & I'm still setting up. Then MIL stops me.. "can SD have a mountain dew? The high sugar in it will be good for her ADHD!" (and to be honest, I don't believe she has ADHD & I don't know if high sugar is good for it but SD has gained 20+ lbs this summer at her moms.. in like 5 weeks. So, I tell MIL to ask DH because it's not up to me.
This goes on for the rest of the party... she spends the whole day constantly pushing my buttons & badgering me. At the end of the party, she even wanted to give SD some of her Pina Colada.. for which I said NO WAY, it has alcohol. When I tried to talk to DH about it, he defended her & said she has some points.
It's about to get ugly... any ideas?