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 11th, 2008
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Your mother in law is most probably still dealing with the loss of her beloved husband.
When something as traumatic as the death of a spouse occur, one goes through the different stages of grief. Some of which is denial (not MY husband), the tears (which is vital), anger (how could he do this to me?), self pity, (why did this happen to me?) and then the ‘reverse button’ (if only I …)

It seems as if your mother in law got stuck in the ‘anger’ phase and has difficulty moving past that. Try and convince your husband to talk her into going for therapy. This will ultimately do all of you good, as it seems that you husband wants her to move in with you.
If she does move in with you now it will only add to the problem as is seems that she can’t adapt to being a widow. To expect her to adapt to being in another woman’s household on top of that means that she will only take longer to heal the hurt.

Good luck to you, and keep us posted.
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replied May 11th, 2008
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MIL stress continues
My MIL (who is recently widowed) has moved in with us...and i'm having a hard time re-scheduling all our activities aroun we enjoyeverd her. it sems whated doing as a couple has to be retimed...we used to enjoy wathing movies...but now have to watch it after she sleeps as she does not understand english...we used to go for long walks but have now stopped as she cannot keep pace with us and my husband feels guilty of leaving her alone...we used to enjoy drinking wine...but had to cut down as she feels its unholy and ungodly...Even our healthy sexual life is non-existant...we cannot have impromtu sex...i hate this life...my husband is too attached to his mom , so he thinks the best way to make her happy in this age is to stay glued to her...i canot cope with this...although i love my husband more than myself...i cannot handle this situation. Please help!!!
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replied May 11th, 2008
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This really is a difficult situation, and I strongly suggest that you sit your husband down and talk to him. Don’t threaten him with ultimatums - just talk calmly and tell him that you love him dearly, and that you have great respect for him because he treats his mother with so much respect, but that the two of you need to spend some time alone as a married couple. Maybe taking up the long walks again is a good idea. Your husband needs the exercise because of his family’s medical history, and it will give the two of you time to be alone and out of the stressful environment at home.
If you feel that you cannot talk to him, write him a letter. Words spoken in anger can never be taken back, but a loving letter can be kept as a reminder of how much you love him, and how much you treasure your relationship with him.
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replied May 11th, 2008
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thank you!!
thank u advisor

will do the needful
im so relived
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replied May 11th, 2008
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I’m always here to listen. I’m not sure which country you are from, so we might be in different time zones, but I promise to reply as soon as I get your message. If I can’t help you, I’ll make sure to get somebody that will be able to help. There are a lot of very wise people on this forum.
Good luck to you, and keep us posted.
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replied May 11th, 2008
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I’m always here to listen. I’m not sure which country you are from, so we might be in different time zones, but I promise to reply as soon as I get your message. If I can’t help you, I’ll make sure to get somebody that will be able to help. There are a lot of very wise people on this forum.
Good luck to you, and keep us posted.
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replied May 11th, 2008
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The advice you gave is very good Beline... I couldn't have said it much better myself.


To the OP, you have not been married a long time and it is vital to your marriage that you solve this problem or you could end up in separating from your husband, no matter how much you love him. Marriage is between 2 people, not three, and he has to realize that. Bringing your mother-in-law into your house might be what he wants but you have equal rights on this matter. She is not being nice to either of you and she is destroying the life that you should be having. A certain amount of imbalance is allowed from the trauma of her husband, but enough is enough.

What is her situation if she doesn't live with you? How old is she and is there a single relative that she can stay with? Or maybe there is an assisted living facility where she can stay. Why is it that she NEEDS to live off you both?

Therapy is a really good idea. It will be up to the counselor to see, but maybe even her living with you isn't the best for her mental state. Seeing you with the only person she has left, in a happy marriage, is making her jealous and making her feel very alone. She needs to open up her horizons and find a hobby.

I do have sympathy for her since losing a partner is life is very hard, and it affects people differently. However, she is a mature adult and all because she is your MIL, doesn't mean that she has the right to do whatever she wants, or make you do what she wants. She is a guest in her house. House rules apply, you make them, and if she doesn't like it, she needs to find another place to go.
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replied May 11th, 2008
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Re: MIL stress continues
bijnil wrote:
My MIL (who is recently widowed) has moved in with us...and i'm having a hard time re-scheduling all our activities aroun we enjoyeverd her. it sems whated doing as a couple has to be retimed...we used to enjoy wathing movies...but now have to watch it after she sleeps as she does not understand english...we used to go for long walks but have now stopped as she cannot keep pace with us and my husband feels guilty of leaving her alone...we used to enjoy drinking wine...but had to cut down as she feels its unholy and ungodly...Even our healthy sexual life is non-existant...we cannot have impromtu sex...i hate this life...my husband is too attached to his mom , so he thinks the best way to make her happy in this age is to stay glued to her...i canot cope with this...although i love my husband more than myself...i cannot handle this situation. Please help!!!


oh god I can relate to you so much!!!!!!!!!!!! My MIL imposed to live in my house since january. She found a job in my town and just decided to move in with us until she find a place to live. So she said it was going to be for 3 weeks but it was lie, she wanted to stay longer. It has been a battle here. My husband doesn't have the courage to kick her out so I can relate to the difficult situation. She moved in my second month of marriage!! So you can say now I have been six months married and only two months I have only lived with my husband alone. I have told her in everyway to go but everytime she needs to move she comes up with a new sickness. I'm desperate and I tell my husband everyday. I just got pregnant and I'm now concerned of the high stress and this pregnancy. If she stays this week I'm planing on threathen heavily my husband because I can't stand this situation no longer. And the kicker with her is that she has never offered to pay any bills during this 5 months, she doesn't cook, clean or do anything in the house (no wonder why she doesn't want to go). She came to FREE LOAD and the job she got is a 100k job.


So my advice to lady in the begining. DO NOT LET THE MIL MOVE IN WITH YOU. It will potentially harm your marriage.
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replied May 11th, 2008
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Thank you all...but afew tips please..
Thnaks you for all those advices, sometimes it just helps to listen that I'm not the only one in this whole wide world suffering.To give you a backgrounder, I'm staying in INdia (needless to mention an Indian) and here we have this age old model of children, specially sons taking care of their parents. India is still in teh phase of trasitioning, wherein the women have an equal rights and are out to earn a living.While i belong to this new age women brigade, who worked and stayed alone for quite some time before marriage, my MIL is not. She is from the old school of thoughts and yet to come in terms with role trasitioning.

In my case my MIL is quite old (around 65) but quite capable of taking care of herself, but my husband out of guilt factor brought her to stay with us.Now her staying with us is interfering with our day to day living, our simple pleasures all seem robbed.She seems to do all sorts of thing sto attract attention, and food is her weapon--who cooks, how is it cooked, how is it kept...and it goes on...

although i keep my interactions with her to the bare necessity, but it still is difficult to cope. How else can i tune her out...is it okay to speak to her ...although her level of understanding is quite poor...how can i approach her, and what is the best way to handle it without upsetting my relations with husband...
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replied May 12th, 2008
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When it comes to things like tradition and religion things can get very complicated. Add a generation gap as big as yours, different backgrounds and outlooks, and you are heading for a disaster.
It seems as if you have been grinning and bearing it - which at this point is a good thing. No harm has been done from your side, so there is no need to mend the relationship. Women from the previous generations were obviously more concerned with women’s more traditional roles like cooking, cleaning and raising children. (Same in my country)

It can be really hard, if not impossible, to change your MIL’s outlook on how the world has changed.
I gather from your post that she is very religious. Are you?
Maybe if you start meeting on her ground (the kitchen), and asking her for advice on recipes, making her feel important, she will feel needed and wanted. Try and stick to dishes that won’t affect your husband’s health too much. And try to convince her that the two of you should take turns in the kitchen, cooking alternative nights. That way she can get free reins to cook whatever she wants every second night. The down side to this is that you will not be eating as many healthy meals as you should.

Try and compliment her as often as possible. You don’t have children yet, so ask her advice on how to raise wonderful children like your husband.
Tell her that you love her son dearly and ask her advice on how to keep him happy. She was married for years, so she should know. Even if you think that she is talking a lot of nonsense, it doesn’t matter, just try to keep the conversation going.
Once you have her on your side it will be easier to talk to her about things that has been bothering you. And yes, it is okay to talk to her as long as it is in a respectful manner.
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replied May 12th, 2008
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hey
Thnak you Beline...i think whatever you saymakes so much sense...i was very confused about tackling the issue..i did not want to pick up a fight , as i know taht she will clearly not understand my standpoint. issues which are important to me, personal space, health etc. now she is someone, who will have a permanent presence in my life (whether i like it or not is a different issue) so i wan to deal with it on a mature basis.

With cooking , i guess she behaves like my competitor.When last time she was with us , she kept criticizing me, bearing taht in mind i hired a cook, but now she crticizes her ability as well, as well as my inability to do something as basic as cook. Although she is not fond of it, so i cant presurrize her, but seems like she wants to cook, only if something i prepare is appreciated by my husband. i'm finding it difficult to understand her emotional upheaveals and constant hanketing for attention.Quite difficlt. But i will of coyrse try and ask her advice on neutral things and cooking. ..and no, Im not religious, so we cant have a common footing here.But thanks a ton.

Is your society too very similar to ours, or did you ever have a MIL liek this to deal with?

Whatever you say touches the cord somewhere. Thank you once again.
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replied May 12th, 2008
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Oh, no! My mother in law was just the sweetest thing you can imagine. Even today we still call one another just for a chat. She stays about 7 minutes drive from me, but I don’t visit her as my ex-husband remarried and I don’t want to cause tension there. But I still cal her ‘Mom’, and I love her to bits.

The problem I had was with my sister-in-law. She is the youngest and the only daughter. Her brothers were very protective of her when they were children, and when they grew up and started families of their own, she considered my other sister-in-law and me as really huge threats - you know, taking her brothers and security away from her. She did her utmost best to make our lives a living hell.

It was hard to find common ground with her as well, because her only passion in life is drinking, and I don’t touch the stuff. So yes, I guess I can relate.

The only thing I tried to do with her was to boost her self esteem, so she wouldn’t feel so vulnerable when her brothers left.
I guess it’s the same with your mother in law. Now that her husband is gone, she might not feel protected anymore, and is competing with you for her son’s love. You are a smart, beautiful, well rounded young woman, and I think she doesn’t like to be compared to you. Have you talked to your husband yet?
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replied May 12th, 2008
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hi
I heeded your advice...and as an ice breaker i bought a carton of ice cream for her on my way back home, partially as my husband is away for a day on a business trip, so i wanted to make her feel better.ah!well once i reached home i made a special icecream shake for her...and she quitely ate it without thanking me or saying a word, even refused to have dinner with me...ate only after i was done with eating.Asked for her help in one of the recipe...uhm she cooked it , and put so much chilly in it that it was hard for me to take a bite, leave alone eat it.
Its a precarious situation.Can speak to husband only after he returns...but Beline,,,thanks a ton for all the compliments:) nice words boosts the self esteem much beyond imagination...specially at times of crisis like these.
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replied May 12th, 2008
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you lucky to have an angelic MIL..wow..its so far flung for me.lucky u Smile
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replied May 13th, 2008
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My Word! She really is a tough cookie.
I think you should give it a day or two - and keep up the compliments - and then you should pour her her favorite drink (tea or whatever she likes) and sit her down for a chat. Tell her that you love her, and because you do, her vindictive attitude really hurts. If you didn’t care about her, you would just have brushed her behavior off and wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

Ask her what you can do to make her stay more comfortable and pleasant as you want to make sure that there is a warm, loving atmosphere in the home so she could enjoy staying with you.
Do not attempt this conversation right after she did something nasty - just do it out of the blue. Speak softly and calmly and don’t start your sentences with ‘You always…’. Rather say something like ‘I feel that…’. That way she won’t feel that you are attacking her.

If this does not work you are going to have to talk to your husband. I’d hate for it to come to that because that would put the poor man right on the middle of two very unhappy women. Very Happy
Keep in mind Bijnil, that it is your house. You have the right to a happy, relaxed atmosphere at home.

Please feel free to come here to vent. We are all here to help as much as we can. And thank you for the compliments. 4you
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replied May 13th, 2008
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Another day, im planning to go home from work, thinking whats in store today...

Quite braced up with your advice, so confident:)

I know its tricky to hanle fragile egos at this age, specially when all they have to do throughout the day is THINK..and we all know whereall our imagination can take us..if the thoughts are negative, then even the well meaning things go haywire, top it up with the difficulty of coping with a life without husband. I do understand, but alls futile are we are way too digressed in our thought process and actions.

Things would be normal if we can just create two private spaces in the same house, wherein each one of us can have our private life yet be there in times of crisis. Looking for such an apartment which fulfils all this criteria,hoping its a great solution.what do u think?

Anyone else here who would have changed an apartment for MIL, i guess better than changing a whole lifestyle which is not going to help.

aint it?
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replied May 13th, 2008
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That is a brilliant idea! I glad you can afford it.
I’m in contact now with a lady whom has years of experience with depression, and she will probably be able to give some advice on how to deal with your MIL’s negative thoughts. I think she’s a supporter/ moderator here as well. Great woman.

You might want so suggest to your MIL that you put up a special place in her apartment in memory of her husband. Maybe a little table where she could put some photos and some things that belonged to him like his wedding ring. Buy her a nice vase to put on the table and see to it that she always has fresh flowers in it.

Good luck to you, Sweetie, and let us know if you need any support, advice or a shoulder to cry on.
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replied May 13th, 2008
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Hi, Bijnil. I’ve asked Birch to take a look at your posts as well. She is a mature, intelligent and sober thinking lady. I’m going to be a little busy the next two weeks, but I’ll pop in here as often as I can. Promise.
I’m leaving you in very good hands though.
Good luck, and keep us posted.
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replied May 13th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Hi Bijnil and Beline, I read your conversation and I think Beline you gave some good advice!

A few comments that came to mind:

~What does your MIL do for leisure? Does she engage in any meaningful activities? She might have just cared for your FIL and now that he's gone she has no direction.

~She may be feeling guilty about living with you, and it manifests itself as her treating you terribly.

~Have you spoken to your husband about this? What has he said?

I think separate but together apartments are a really great idea, and I like how you are trying to break the ice. What is the old saying, "Kill it with kindness" or something?

In the end, her behavior towards you says more about her character than your own. If you are honorable, no one can fault you for that.
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