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mother in law problems!

I have been married for almost 4 years. I met my in-laws once before we got married, and while my husband and I were engaged (we lived together for 7 months before we got married), I didn’t notice any interference into our lives from my husband’s mother. His parents live in a rural, unpopulated, remote section of Northern CA (a 5 ½ hour drive from the closest airport), and we lived in TX before the wedding; after we married, we moved to my hometown in the South (completely my husband’s suggestion- I had not mentioned it). The interference seemed to start at that point; when we lived in TX, husband called his mother roughly once a month; after the wedding it became more like once every one and a half to two weeks- the conversations were mostly him telling her what we were up to, and the majority of the rest of the conversation (usually a little over an hour) was his mother talking- mostly about what was going on back home (all of his large extended family lives within 20 minutes of each other). She then began mailing him newspaper clippings from home, pictures of his family, and would often send blueprints for building a cabin on a piece of property he had bought prior to meeting me (we did not have money to do such a thing, as we were trying to live on a budget where we already were, which she was aware of. He also had decided to abandon plans of building right away when he met me, as building was something he wanted to do when he was single). The mailings came every other month or so. At one point, she sent a note to him telling him to ‘be generous, these are your family members’ when she asked him to give a donation for his several of his cousins’ college education (he gave 600$ to them even though we were having financial uncertainties at that time, which she knew). His parents would come to visit us 1-2 times a year, and during these times I noticed that when he would tell his parents things we had already decided to do, his mother would say things like “You know, you should consider x,y,z…etc.”, “have you thought about doing x or y, etc.”….basically trying to get him to think of doing something different than what we had planned. Because my husband respects his mom’s opinion, he would actually consider most of the suggestions she made; frustrating to me, at first not because they came from his mom, but because I don’t agree with 95% of the way she does things, what she likes, etc.. I’m now to the point that I don’t like these unsolicited suggestions simply because they come from her- they range from everything from what TV we want to buy, to what to name our daughter, to what second career path my husband should consider, to how to specifically manage our money- ALL unsolicited. It just seemed like everything he told here we were doing, she had ‘suggestions’ us to do something different that she would have wanted us to do! My husband and I had other separate problems that escalated 3 years into the marriage, to the point where I felt they were unresolvable even after working on them for over a year and attending marriage counseling. My husband did not let his mother know we were having problems this whole time. I ended up filing separation papers in July….long story short, we ended reconciling after a month, he promised to change a lot of the behaviors that were at issue, and I gave him a chance to do so. He has so far has done all that he said he would and we are working on rebuilding our marriage. While we separated, he told me that he would be returning home for a week to think about things. It was at that time he decided he wanted to do whatever it took to make this marriage work and told me he was committed. When he told his mother of his decision to go back to me, she told him that he shouldn’t go back to me, that I had not sacrificed anything for him (not true, and he even said so), and proceeded to insult where I was from. One thing he had decided to do at that time was to stop drinking entirely- this had been an issue throughout all of our marriage because he drank to excess almost every night. The majority of his family is alcoholic, with the exception of his Mom (his dad has a drinking problem, but he, his mother and Dad are in denial about this). When he told his Mom, she told him that he was capable of just drinking one drink and shouldn’t stop drinking altogether, and poured him a glass of wine at dinner, passing it to him saying ‘here, drink this.’ (he refused). He also told them that he was selling his property because he felt we as a family needed the money (we had recently sold our house so he could go back to school). I never mentioned anything negative about his property or ever asked him to sell it; this was a decision he made entirely on his own. His parents then gave him the silent treatment the rest of his stay there upon learning this, and for a few months (literally) after that when he would try calling his mom she would basically barely speak to him. (this is how my husband would treat me after arguments- I see where it came from. The good news is he has stopped doing this).
My question is how do I bring up all the problems I have with his Mom interfering in all aspects of our marriage during marriage counseling? Husband is not aware how much this affects me and what I have described is only the tip of the iceberg (in the past she would not acknowledge gifts or cards I’d send to her, has made subtle passive aggressive statements to me throughout the years; too much to explain). I get the feeling that I am overreacting a bit (he’s always saying how his mom says things because she wants to helpful. I feel that she has ulterior motives and basically wants us to live/do things the way she would!). How do I act around his parents at my husband’s graduation in June? It is extremely hard for me to be the ‘mature’ person and act like everything is alright because they basically told him not to go back to me, and especially because they insulted where I was from! If I just ignore it then they will think it is okay to say such things and I’m tired of it. How to handle?
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Users who thank ncrn for this post: carlosxxgarcia 

replied April 21st, 2008
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need advice:urgent
I have been married for a little more than a year now, and have a near perfect relationship with husband(who I think is the best in the world), but whenever we do fight, or almost all our fights with hubby are when my in-laws are over . Initially(when we got married) my MIL came across as a countryside simpleton who loved me or pretended to love me a lot. But hell broke loose after my FIL expired recently, she blamed me for anything or everything that went wrong. While she and FIL were staying with us , they hardly complained about anything, but the moment he died, she started badmouthing me in front of all her relatives, complaining about my cooking, cleaning and house keeping skills. Portraying a picture of a compete witch who never takes care of old in-laws. The whole event came as a shock to me as , me and my husband never did anything to earn this reputation. We pulled all stops to make them comfortable, yet she openly kept criticizing me. She openly blames my upbringing, and keeps saying how my mother never taught me anything. This hurts me beyond words.I cant quite understand her complete disrespect of privacy, as she has a habit a saying ‘whatever she knows’ ie everything to everyone. Whatever I told her in confidence is out in the open the next day, so I’m very scared of what I tell her, her favorite topic is to discuss food, and me being a very health conscious person likes to keep and serve nutritious things, which is tantamount to committing a crime in her eyes as its not tasty enough. I’m very worried about my husbands health as his father was high diabetic, my husband is a non-exerciser, is vegetarian and loves fries, so I make sure I serve him things he likes without the added oil and make homemade non fried sweets for him. Between the two of us, he eats them, but I’m sure with my mother in law’s love for fries and high calorie sweets , all my efforts will go down the drain. She has never been to school, so it’s very difficult for me to make her understand the importance of nutrition. In these circumstances I don’t know what to do. Since my FIL expired and my MIL is alone, my husband plans to bring her over to stay with us, imagining all the rude comments and playing all her unreal antics in my head , my stress levels have gone beyond control. I cannot concentrate on any work, I feel fatigued and irritable all day. Please help me cope with the situation. My husband is the last person I want to pick a fight with, but we break out in frequent fights, I can’t handle the stress anymore.
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replied May 2nd, 2009
my mother in law hates me too
I recently lost my husband on March 10th, 2009. He committed suicide. He had been ill for quite some time. Depression, Bi-polar, and he was taking so much medications that actually increased his depression. We had been together 12 years. He and I were in recovery. We met in an AA meeting, and well, his mom liked me in the beginning. I think she felt that I was the one helping him stay clean and sober..well when he relapsed, all that changed. He manipulat3ed her always. Telling her lies about me, so she'd feel sorry for him, give money, etc....he also pitted us up against one another so we wouldn't compare notes to the lies he would tell her and then me.and since whe she gets mad, she does the "silent treatment' which I love.
Anyway, our relationship had never been the same again. She would always say things like.."He so unhappy, I wonder what's making him unhappy?"...she never wanted to accept that we loved eachother, and that he was ill. And that I was the one who took care of him..He stopped drugging and the last few years had never been the same. He felt that he would never amount to anything...that's all he would say. I tried to positively affirm him every day. he was a wonderful man....dispite the few times he lied and caused me pain. I don't think about those memories. I have plenty of wonderful memories. When he was good, he was the best! He loved me like no one had ever loved me. He was her only child, and I am trying to be there for her..but even though she says she doesn't...I know she blames me. Little does she know, that I did everything for him....took care o fhim..the final week was very emotional. He kept saying I want to die..but I didn't take him seriously..Lessong learned the hard way. I love him always.
Today she is coming over to have "the talk"..about this house, which he never willed to me, and will be hers..so I find out today if she'll let me stay or I'm getting thrown out...guess which one I think...and she's loaded. She doesn't need the money.....He had a million dollar trust fund coming to him...but well, now she has all that money.
Well i'll end this note with a tear and a prayer. Blessings,
Amen
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replied November 8th, 2011
Help, I married my mother-in-laws last and favouirite daughter and its been very hard going from day 1, we always fight and spend months without talking, but then Ill make an effort and go around to hers again and everything will be sweet until the next argument, and then a few more months of not talking and so on.
The other day my baby boy hit me on the head with a broom handle, so I took the broom and threw it on the floor, mother-in-law and wife told me hes just a baby, Ok, but I never shouted and I never hit anybody, then mother-in-law told me she never wanted to see me again, I never said a word but wished I had. Wife practically asked me to leave for behaving like that.
I appologised a week later for my behavoiur and everything was fine again, until today, we walked past mother-in-law in the street and neither she nor I said a word, and wife blew a fuse and asked me to leave for good, again.
I have had enough and feel I have to keep bending over thanks to this blasted woman, I cant take it any more and want to know if I have a problem or is it both of our problems, my wife only blames me,,,,,
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