I think I need professional help but part of me can't bring myself to do it. I have had problems with my mother in law for ten years. To cut a long story short she tried to bully and manipulate me when my children were born. She made it obvious that she wanted to take my newborn without me being there. She told me that she has every right to take my baby as she is my husbands mother. When I objected to this she then told me I needed counselling and had post natal depression. Time went on and I had to try and get over this but things kept happening over and over again like shouting at me in front of my children, trying to compete to win my children's affections, etc. If they didn't react how she wanted them to, she would blame me and say I'd taught my children not to like her. I got to the point where I couldn't see her anymore and didn't think it was right for my children to see her undermining me in front of them, etc. I then felt bad for my husband as other members of family got involved and his mum was constantly on his case. I didn't want my children to grow up and resent me for not letting them see their Grandma. I decided to let my husband take our children to see her as I couldn't cope with seeing her. I wasn't comfortable with her seeing our children without me there as I don't trust her and I feel this is what she was aiming for all along but I felt I didn't have a choice and that it was the only thing I could do at the time. My husband didn't see it happening at first and now he tries hard to support me but part of me still feels alone and betrayed. I think I'm confused because one minute everything is great with my husbands and my relationship and then his mum only has to ring and my feelings change towards my husband, not sure if it's anger or what it is. I have a hard time seeing my children having a relationship with my mother in law - the woman that caused so much pain and hurt and stress. I then feel selfish for feeling like that because at the same time I don't want to teach my children to dislike someone. I don't know whether any of this really makes sense or what help I'm asking for or whether I can ever move on from this rubbish situation.
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replied February 11th, 2013
Extremely eHealthy
Hello,

Your MIL is obviously a sly and cunning and manipulative woman. I don't know her but I already don't like her.
Her manners are apalling. I feel it is quite in order for you to teach your children not to like anyone like that.

You do not mention your culture but here in the west grandparents have no rights to grandchildren other than those they earn and those allowed by parents. In some cases a court can award access rights to grandparents. In the west a woman tends to be queen in her own home.

While it is political to sometimes allow some liberties to be taken in order to appease husbands and smooth the relationship between him and his parents, few wives would tolerate any MIL for long who is anything but submissive and genuinely helpful without going ballistic and "reading the riot act". Grandparents should never be allowed to undermine the parents and should be kicked out and barred from visiting if they tried it.
Any husband who tried to defend his parents would rapidly find his life is made a misery.

I think the mistake you made was not to begin with a hard line and she got a foothold.

If your husband is supporting you then you should put your heads together and draw up a list of rules of the house that should regulate when grandparents can visit, what they are allowed to say and what their attitude should be. Good behaviour on a visit will earn them a further visit and bad behaviour will lose them the next two visits or similar...

It is the job of grandparents to support and help the parents and not to undermine them and to express an opinion only if it is appropriate to do so.

Certainly I would never allow my children near the woman unless I was present every minute. I did physically eject my MIL from my house once and lock her out. She was better behaved afterwards.

While it is laudable to insulate children from such arguments it would probably be beneficial to allow them to witness some arguments - where you are right and she is wrong...

Other than moving house and not leaving a forwarding address there isn't much else to suggest. Most of my ideas for frustrating MIL's involve actually talking to them and are best suited to those who are devious and enjoy the challenge - also a few friends are needed who can act.

Good luck!
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