My mother has lived with my wife and I for the past 6-7 years. She is welcome here - and we enjoy having her. Except for one thing...
She insists on wearing strong fragrance products (Estee, Clinique, etc...) to which my wife is highly allergic. When my wife gets a whiff of this stuff her sinuses immediately swell, she gets pounding headaches, and has even to begun having vision problems when these headaches come on. She is unable to sleep in the bed at night (can't breathe) and sits in a recliner for the greater part of the evening - then goes on a 10 hour work day.
When I/we try to approach Mom about her use of these products, her (predictibale) response is one or more of the following...
1. I don't have any of that stuff - haven't used it for years (not the truth)
2. I get blamed for everything
3. It's all your wife's fault - she just doesn't want me here
4. I can't live under all this pressure
The one thing I'm certain of: this has to stop - now. I will NOT allow my wife to suffer because she can't breathe in her own house! I really don't want Mom to move out because of this - but she's really backing me into a corner. Anyone else dealt with this? Ideas?
Wow, rough business. Out and out lying. I wonder what else she is lying about?
At this point, I see no reason why you couldn't remove the offending products yourself. Since she doesn't have them anyways, of course, she couldn't be upset if you removed them and threw them out. The top concern here is your wife's health, not how your mother odd emotional behavior.
There has to be something else going on, too, I mean, for her to just ignore your wife's health and come up with these other comments is incongruent. Is she being passive-aggressive? Does she feel insecure about living there? Are there other issues?
Yes, she's passive-aggressive....look it up in the dictionary - her face will be there!
The only way she feels insecure about living here is this crazy cynical plot she has worked up in her head that her daughter-in-law wants her out. I told her that was ridiculous - in fact that her DIL was the reason she was still here - put it just seemed to bounce off deaf ears. The fact is (and I reminded her) that when we were reviewing plans before we built this house, we made sure that the plan in consideration included a bedroom and full bath on the downstairs level. She was in the plans all along...
I don't know about other issues....she wishes she had her own place...but most of all she operates from this paranoid mind-set.
Well, I just checked....the perfumed products are out....I now have an air purifier in her room.
I'm just thinking that the tension in the house is gonna continue to build til it blows. Won't be a pretty sight. I would even take all 3 of us to a counselor, but the initial basis of conflict management resolution is good communication. Miss pass-agg just shuts down.