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Angry at MIL!!!!!

Posted by liesbeth (My Page) on
Fri, May 29, 09 at 23:02

My inlaws live 5 mins up the road. I've been together with FDH for almost 5 years now. Over time I've learned that my MIL is not that 'into things'. Anything! She's never really interested in other people, including FDH, FDH's kids, me or even her own husband!

I've been feeling annoyed about it but I'm pretty sure she might be depressed and unhappy with her life so I'm trying to make the best of it.

Whenever we ask her for a favor she'll make sure we'll know it's a real hassle, so we don't ask her anymore if we can help it.

Not that we asked her so much before, maybe to babysit the grandkids one day in the holidays and sometimes to pick up SD11 from school (maybe once a fortnight) or to feed the dog one night when we go away for the weekend (total of 4 nights in the past 4 years).So I don't feel we 'over asked' her. Since MIL is not working and only goes to knitting classes on a Tuesday morning it's not as if we interrupt her busy schedule either.

But she gives us the vibe so we try and keep asking her for a favor to an absolute minimum now. The dog goes to a kennel when we go away and we do not ask her to have the kids for a day or two in the holidays anymore. And we haven't been mean about it either. She's just not that into it and so we find other solutions. However it has affected me in a different way where I'm not that inclined to go out of my way for her anymore either. We don't invite them as much as we used to, mind you they still come around at least once a fortnight if not twice. MIL likes to point out that it's very important for her to see HER grandkids. I find that hard to believe since she doesn't show that interest apart from telling us that she does. I sometimes get irritated with it because she seems insincere. Of course she's noticed that and I'm not proud of it so I try and do better, but it's not always easy.

So last Monday my FDH got a phonecall from MIL with request if HE could come around. Just him. Hmm ok....
When he came back an hour later he told me that MIL has a problem; she does not feel welcome at our home.
I lost my cool completely and we had a big argument. How dare she go to FDH and exclude me?? How is it supposed to make me feel that she's excluded me from the conversation? And why don't I get a bit more credit?

All questions you guys can only guess about the answers too, so I want to talk to her about it, which is best anyway. I want us all to get along and I've always tried to make the best of it. We are not best of friends but now she's really p*ssed me off. Usually I don't let things fester and I'll take some action, but this time I just can't. If MIL is not going to approach me than we are going to have awkward times because I'm just too annoyed to approach her. She can talk to me when she's ready, right?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Angry at MIL!!!!!

Two things....

1) "If MIL is not going to approach me than we are going to have awkward times because I'm just too annoyed to approach her. She can talk to me when she's ready, right?"

This does not sound like the beginning of any possible reconciliation to me. Nor the thoughts of anyone who's the least bit interested. Which I can understand, given your description of MIL. However sticking with this attitude isn't going to accomplish anything. Sounds like maybe you're still steaming and may soften a bit when you cool down?

2) Your MIL isn't your problem. Keeping your marriage on an even keel is. You said: "I lost my cool completely and we had a big argument." Priority one better be marriage/husband -- marriage/wife for him. Do NOT let this situation become a wedge. You wrote everything as "we" until you wrote about losing your cool. Your husband needs you cool. And both of you together need to decide how to handle MIL. I did say "both" and "together".

This would be far simpler if it wasn't his mother but from your description, he knows she's worthless, too. Or does he?

I assume there's more to the story. Just keying on what you wrote.


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Yes FDH does know she's not the most caring person and he does feel annoyed with her attitude. His solution is to just accept her for what she is and make the best of it. I've beent doing the same, that is what I meant with us trying to find other solutions. We won't bother asking her for any favors and if anything that annoys FDH even more than me since it IS his mum. But FDH can hide it and I sometimes show my annoyance because I feel irritated with her unkindness at times.

There's not much more to the story I don't think. We are different people with different approaches, we try and find a happy medium where we can all get along. Also MIL used to make an effort in her own way which I did acknowledge and appreciate. But for her to suddenly exclude me and go to FDH; that has pushed the wrong buttons, big time. I'll usually try and get things out of the way if need be, but this time I can't bring myself to contact her, she's crossed a line and she'll need to contact me. I know I probably sound like a stubborn person and I'm usually not like that, but this time: yes I am.


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What is the "F" before DH? Just curious.


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OK, then, as long as you and hubby are on the same page you can manage any outside circumstance. I encourage you both to not confuse "acceptance" with "acquiescence". I doubt she'll change in any meaningful way, but she can learn to accept your boundaries -- by way of experience if not by intellect. It appears to me your personal job will likely be to manage your own responses to what you KNOW will occur from time to time. However, nobody gets to mess with your marriage. I'll bet even your MIL understands that -- everyone does.

The good news: Although your MIL requested one-on-one with her son, he didn't keep anything about it from you. If he had, and you had to dig it out of him or discover it later, that would be an issue. As it is, it's simply a circumstance the two of you will have to manage. As long as you're tight together, there's nothing you can't do.


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I think you started a war and are now angry with how the battle is going. Nothing that woman does or doesn't do is left to your scrutiny. You never once said she caused problems for you or your marriage but feel her complaining only to your husband is a direct offense. What you forgot is she complained of how your behavior makes her feel. Your behavior that is in response to your interpretation of how she behaves and how you think she should behave. Again, none of which is left to your scrutiny and none of which was against you or your marriage. As mother, grandmother, future mother-in-law, and as a grown woman, she can perform however she sees fit. If she feels put upon and doesn't want to be asked to do favors, that is her prerogative and nothing for you to judge. She does not have to help you out in any way. But, you responded to that and behaved accordingly. Now you're angry that she noticed. Instead of simply not asking her to do any favors, you took it too far. There was no reason you stopped inviting them over. There was no reason for your attitude in her presence, whatever your attitude was and however well you think you concealed it (when in actually, we always want people to know we are angry with them, so there is normally no concealment at all. We just think we are getting over on people and then cry "Huh?!" and exclaim exemption when they notice.), and there was not reason for your anger that she did not confront you. She did not exclude you. She simply did not confront you. What she said to him would have been confrontation had she said it to you. Some people prefer to shy away from that. So she is not the ideal wife (something that is none of your business), mother, grandmother, or future mother-in-law. Not wanting to be imposed upon, and not wanting you to schedule her time for her, however brief or seemingly simple, was no offense to you. But you took offense, decided it was not good enough, became angry, and started a war.


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RE: Angry at MIL!!!!!

I was wondering the same thing - what is a FDH?


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RE: Angry at MIL!!!!!

FDH means future husband.

liesbeth is not married to him. they live together though (she posts on stepfamily forum).

I am tempted to say that there is more to the story when it comes to arguing and losing one's temper. she also lost her cool with minor SKs on few occassions, the last time police got involved, children called their mother upset. After that SKs refused to come over (not being welcome? sounds familiar?). It could be that MIL is difficult but it is entirelly possible she trully does not feel welcome. Or is scared?


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RE: Angry at MIL!!!!!

Sometimes (not saying in this case,lol) simple communication works wonders! In a NON threatening manner ask why she doesn't want to help more (esp since she is only 5 min away) maybe she feels threatened?? maybe she is reading your families body language incorrectly. Be the bigger person and try to fix it. Explain you would love to have her more involved, but you get the feeling she doesn't want to become involved. maybe start off saying, maybe we got off the wrong foot, or we have had some misunderstandings, but we want you involved in our family......... best of luck


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Why is the issue of "help" and favors so central to this dynamic? OP, it is as though you're punishing her for not having met your expectations - doesn't seem especially fair. While it is certainly true that the relationships in some families are such that help is given readily and accepted graciously, it's not going to be the case in all situations.

MIL doesn't have an obligation to help; if all she wants is a loving bond with her grandchildren, that's enough, and a blessing for all involved. It would be manipulative and cruel to attach a quid pro quo to this "arrangement". It would be a real shame if you were to become so entrenched in your anger for her that you end up alienating not just her, but your boyfriend as well.


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Okay, so the guy is a 'future' husband, and they've been together for 5 years? I don't understand why he hasn't already married her by now. finedreams' post seems to shed some light on this situation. It sounds like FMIL may have some issues with FDIL.


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I can certainly understand if the two of you are not married, why she feels "uncomfortable" coming to your house.....and I am a MIL, several times over. I also wonder after 5 years, why your "future" DH has not married you.....maybe a deeper meaning to this problem....and maybe it is you~~ There is always 2 sides to every story and we've only heard yours.

Or maybe your FMIL doesn't feel well....I have terrible arthritis and, although I love my grandkids dearly, I just to not feel up to taking care of them, let alone their dog~~


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RE: Angry at MIL!!!!!

well SKs live with their mom, maybe MIL helps when children are there for all we know, maybe she visits them when they are at their mothers, and maybe babysits them there. Maybe MIL doesn't feel like she needs to be helping both parents.

why would MIl want to babysit them when they are at dads? Also MIL possibly knows about anger management issue, police being called etc and she doesn't want to be around woman who yells at her grandkids up to the point that police has to be called and liesbeth needs anger management training.

as about her talking to her son in private, it is within her rights to have private talks wiht her son, he is not even married. and MIL knows that liesbeth has anger problem. If she yells at minor kids who aren't even hers and she is not even their SM, I can only imagine how she would yell at MIL.


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help?

as about helping. I do not understand why liesbeth expects help? She has no children, at least until recently didn't work (maybe does now?), her BF's children don't live wiht dad full time, she is young, and she is not even married to him. What does she need help with?


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Not going to get much sympathy here. I have a really hard time with dependent personalities who insist that the world owes them anything.

I can totally see why MIL would want to talk to her child without you around.

Good luck with all that -


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My FML (In this case the F stands for former, as she passed away) was like that. She never reached out to others but fully expected the world to come to her. She once stopped at our house on her way to the circus with her boyfriend. Now my daughter was about 7 and would have loved to have gone to the circus with her grandmother, but it just never occurred to her to ask her granddaughter. She was just like that.


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scarlett2001, the circus is something people often purchase tickets for in advance. If she did, it would not have been possible for her to invite your daughter. Not saying your FML was not as you describe but that you didn't always know the circumstances.


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Hahaha FD we can always count on you to add something to the mix.

"as about helping. I do not understand why liesbeth expects help? She has no children, at least until recently didn't work (maybe does now?), her BF's children don't live wiht dad full time, she is young, and she is not even married to him. What does she need help with?"

Why do you think I didn't work till recently? I've worked full time for the last 15 years..and when I had some time on my hands a while ago it was because we had quiet times in our showroom. I'm an interior designer, specialising in kitchens. You crack me up.

You put it across as if the police had to be called to control Liesbeth, hahaha also that is funny.

And how old do you think I am? I won't tell because I'd like to hear your guess first..

As always, thanks a bunch for your input!


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RE: Angry at MIL!!!!!

Wow, we got a live one here.

Liesbeth, you can either throw rocks at the mirror because you don't agree with what you see, or you can be encouraged. Here's why.

If you're walking around town and everyone is pointing at you and frowning, you can think, "what's wrong with them?" And nothing changes.
When you look in the mirror and see your fly is unzipped, consider it good news - new information that, now you know about it, you can DO something about it. So, you zip up and miraculously the negative feedback stops.

Go ahead and be pi$$y but nothing will change for you.


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Some weirdness going down here. Apparent to me I've missed a lot. Thinking I've likely mis-read this story. Liesbeth's got an edge.


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asolo, I'm wondering if the "lies" part of Liesbeth is significant? What an odd appelation.

Just sayin'...


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If I'm not mistaken, Liesbeth is simply a given name -- a fairly common name in Europe.

Liesbeth - I didn't see anything at all wrong with the top half of your post. Different families have different norms and expectations, and it could be as simple as that. In DH's family, of course someone would be happy to watch the grandkids, keep the dogs, housesit, and they'd be insulted if you paid a stranger to do something they'd have happily done for free. In my family, we'd never ask a family member to do things like that more than once or twice a year. If I recall correctly, my own mother babysat my older son once (never my younger son or my brother's children) and my sister's children once for a few days. It simply wasn't done. So you and FMIL could simply have a different set of expectations as to the role of families and grandparents.

But then things break down and start to get hostile, and I don't really see any reason for that. So Grandma doesn't babysit for you. Unless she babysits for her other grandchildren, I don't see where you have a legitimate beef. And yet, you seem to be feeling one and are acting accordingly.

MIL's decision to talk to her son is not so odd, and is probably what any number of MILs would do. So please don't resent her for trying to have a delicate discussion with someone she feels comfortable with who is in a position to relay the information on to you. Many, many people are uncomfortable confronting another directly, and it sounds like if she had 'confronted' you directly, things might not have gone very well.

If you want to mend fences -- which I suggest you do -- I'd invite MIL over to lunch and apologize for making her feel unwelcome. Assure her that you do want her involved in your lives, and ask her how much and what kind of involvement she would like to have. Explain that you were a bit confused also, and perhaps that your feelings got hurt -- and that you're so glad she took the initiative to 'clear the air'.


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Thanks Sweeby, that is exactly what I'll do! :-)


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I'm laughing, because even before I got married, even before I got engaged, my mother--by no means an unloving or selfish person--made it clear that she would not want it to be taken for granted that she would babysit. It seemed that once in a while, she might be willing, if asked as a special favor.

In the event, we never did have children, so it didn't matter, but I was glad she let me know in advance how she felt. There being no grandkids, I didn't feel hurt that she didn't love them, and so on, so maybe she was smart. If I had had kids and then grandkids, I think that today I might feel the same way she did. She "had a life" and I have one, too, and it would not revolve entirely around progeny.


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I just cant beleive how selfish some of these grandparents are.where i live its not like this atall.My own parents adore having all of their grandchildren,my mother complains she doesnt have them enough and just comes to fetch them because she just wants to spend time with them,and she works full time.Most people i know are like this,they dont see babysitting as a favour.Biwako said her mother was smart with a life but surely your grandkids are a big part of it.


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I think it's just different family cultures Tracy. My mother was one of the least selfish people I ever met -- my MIL also.


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it doesn't matter how old you are, but you sure cannot be older than MIL? So it is young. So why does she have to help you? You must be younger than 60? And if you are angry at his children and angry at her and angry at your BF/FDH and angry at posters here then could it be YOU with the issue, not all these people?


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Yes, different family cultures. Yet my mother's sister's two girls adored their grandchildren and couldn't spend enough time with them. The thought also occurs that one's enjoyment of time spent with grandchildren might also be influenced by how well-brought-up they are--or, if badly brought up, then by how willing and able a grandparent is to help remedy that.

Tracy: I am sure my mother would have loved our kids, if we had had any, and probably would have had them stay at her house from time to time and enjoyed it. I am also sure that if we had a serious problem that required family to care for them-- while we were in the hospital, for instance, she would have been happy to step up and do it. She just didn't want to be taken for granted, as if she could be used any time for our convenience at the expense of hers.

It's great when any grandparents just adore their grandkids and can't get enough of them. Yours obviously enjoy every minute of it. All well and good, but I still don't see it as *necessarily* being "selfish" not to want to spend a lot of time with one's grandchildren. I have even known some women who complained that the grandmother was forever wanting to have the grandchildren with her, so the mother was annoyed and wondering how to gently detach her a bit.

That said, I admit that I have always envied the closeness of the Mexican and Italian families I have known.


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I don't understand how it was turned into a culture/cultural thing. Family dynamics and/or individual preference is all at play here. Family culture is way too broad to be named as the culprit. I doubt there is anyone here who can say because one person in a family didn't especially care to babysit the grands or be asked to do favors that others in the family felt the same way....or that they felt that way because grandma did....or because great grandma did. What? The majority of an entire bloodline doesn't care to babysit the grandkids? People have their own lives and minds. Too often the word "culture" or "cultural" are misused on this forum. That is not to say it is used so often but is misapplied when it is brought up.


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Regardless, OP gave none of us ANY of these issues to consider. I would be reluctant to toss them in and/or assume anything about them at all without more information than there is.


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all we know that MIL doesn't want to babysit grandkids while they are at their dads (and OP) and doesn't want (or is not too eager) to do favors for her son (and OP) and does not feel welcome at son's (and OP's) house.

We do not know if she babysits grandklids when they are at home (at moms), if she visits them there, or if they visit her or if she calls them when they at home (at moms). We do not know if she does anything for anybody, we just know she is not too happy to do things for her son (and OP) and is unhappy visiting them. that's all we know. And frankly it says something about OP and her BF rather than grandma (unless she never wants to visit anyone anywhere, but we do not know that)

My exMIL visited DD and watched DD and called DD at my house more often then at her son's, first of all because DD was more in my house than at dad's. Second of all my X had rude GF at that time (GF was nice to DD but rude to the whole world, people know her in the area for being rude and incosiderate) so my exmIL prefered not to be around her, felt very uncomofrtable there, yet she was extremelly involved grandmother and still is (and ovreall the sweetest lady). And if that GF yelled at DD, then my XMIL would probably never go there. My X is married to a nice woman now and XMIL is there very often. she feels very comfortable now.

So it could be not MIL's fault. And certainly not culture's fault.


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Ok just to clarify, but I did mention it in my OP:

Obviously my MIL does not like to look after the grandkids. Therefore we try to always organise something else so we don't have to bother her. So we actually don't 'expect' her to do us any favors and we don't 'take her for granted'. Fair enough, if you don't want to babysit grandkids than you have every right to not bother with it.

However I do find it hard to understand because they are such nice kids and she has so much time on her hands. But again, we just try to find other solutions and we don't hold it against her. That was not the initial issue.

The issue is that MIL is not all that interested in anything, therefore creates her own distance, and then goes to FDH to complain she does not feel welcome in our home.
Its true that I used to invite MIL and FIL over a lot more than I do now, they used to come around probably twice a week, and now that is maybe once or twice a fortnight. So it's not as if Liesbeth has cut them off in retaliation, I'm just simply less inclined to go out of my way for them. As she does not want to go out of her way for us, it's not that complicated.

MIL cant be bothered with a lot of things; when grandkids have school concert and invite her she doesnt want to come, when we have an important event she will not ring and ask how it went, when its someones birthday she will buy a present from local supermarket and tell that person that it was just easier that way, she invited us out for dinner a while ago and then proceeded to ask if we had enough money to pay for it??

But then when MIL decides its time to see the grandkids she needs to make the point that its sooo important for her to see them. And yes that annoys me at times because it seems insincere. But that doesnt mean I walk around all annoyed all the time, or Im such an angry person.

And it's not THAT bad, but I did feel p*ssed off when MIL then goes to FDH to tell him she does not feel welcome at our house. Why not talk to me? As much as FineDreams might think I would loose it and MIL would probably have to ring cops to control me, I could have appreciated it a lot better if she had come to me and at least we could have cleared the air by talking about it. I could've explained I've been inviting them less because I got the vibe of her SHE's the one that can't be bothered much. Even though she says that she does want to see us more, she hasn't shown us. (And Im the one that invites them usually, FDH makes less of an effort in that respect because he says he knows what his mom is like).
Once we talk and understand each other better we will probably be able to move forward and into a better relationship again, because I'm sure we all want to get along. I just like to see her make an effort to approach me, but we will see what happens..


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RE: visiting BM, ehm no..

MIL does NOT keep in touch with the BM and definately does not go around there to see skids. She never wanted FDH to marry BM in first place and she's still very angry at all the cr*p that BM has pulled. For a while FDH and BM were living in caravan in backyard of MIL so they could save up deposit for own home. SD2 was sleeping in the house with MIL and FIL, no room in caravan. FDH would leave for work at 6am and BM would usually not come out of caravan till noon, leaving care of SD2 to MIL. MIL will still go on about that and how wrong it was, also to SD. Not very nice since she's critising SD's mom and it's water under the bridge now. MIL took care of SD2 for about a year I think, till they moved into their own home.

Now I would've thought MIL could take SD2 to caravan and say to BM; your daughter is hungry, and leave SD2 with BM, but MIL put up with it, and then complains about it. And that is where we are different. I think: Don't do it if you don't want to, but if you do do it than don't complain about it! MIL let BM take advantage of her and still complains about it today, jeez..


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Wo, Way 2 many abbr. in that last 1 2 want 2 read it!


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Maybe it is my age.....but I am tired of "ML or FML"....why don't you say it for what it is.....my shack-up's mom?
If he hasn't married you by now, he isn't wanting to very badly~~~~ Honey, you need to wake up or grow up~~


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RE: Angry at MIL!!!!!

Little secret: if you want your boyfriend to have a good rx with you, your BEST bet is for him to resolve his rx with his mother. The more fuel you put on the fire, the less chance he will resolve inevitably bad feelings towards her.

Most people are fools because they want their partners to be angry at their parents - be on their side, so to speak - but what that does is it messes with the unconscious and you've got yourself a mess on your hands. You can be an agent of change if you just get smart about it.


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LOL shack's up mom. lol

I also do not understand refering to boyfriend's mom as a mother-in-law, maybe shack's up mom is too harsh LOL but why not calling her who she is "boyfriend's mom"? Or why calling his children as stepchildren and yourself stepmom when it is not the case?

What this woman did or didn't do while BF was married to his exwife is irrelevant. Nothing to do with current situation.

Arguing with boyfriend over his mother is a bad idea and is going to backfire. She is his mother. Com'n.

"And it's not THAT bad, but I did feel p*ssed off when MIL then goes to FDH to tell him she does not feel welcome at our house. Why not talk to me? "

It is so simple!!!! Because he is her son, and you are just her son's girlfriend who she doesn't even get along. But even if you two would get along why does she need to talk to a girlfriend? What not to understand?


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This is so far out there it should be on Jerry Springer show!
I have read and just can't get why people ask for advice when it seems they just want to b..ch!
Karen L


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