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Daughter inlaw hijacking forum for some advise please don’t be too harsh on me 🙄

(58 Posts)
Lucylou0913 Tue 18-Aug-20 17:04:46

So I’m really looking for some genuine advise I Am at a complete loss of what to do.

So my mother inlaw has always been wayyyy too much. She has no vision of boundaries what so ever and just runs away with whatever she wants to do with my children. It’s not always been “harmful” so I’ve let some of it go. Normal stuff of over feeding the kids junk spoiling them with the entire content of a shop bluh bluh bluh. To be honest I don’t really get my knickers in a twist about that kind of stuff. It’s annoying having my home overloaded with a million toys etc but I do understand it’s her time with the kids and that’s the best part of being a nan right. Get to get super nan and hand the parents the rubbish. That’s ok. I can deal with all of that.
But it does start to turn sinister and manipulative. She has issues. For one she has an alcohol problem. I wouldn’t consider her an alcoholic but there’s 100% an alcohol problem there. Both my mil and fil drink 6 nights a week and they don’t just have a drink. They get wasted. I think it’s through choice and not that they can’t stop but they just don’t want to stop. That’s an issue in its self that the entire family find a problem. Last year they got drunk with the kids. It was a whole thing they couldn’t get in the house because she was too drunk to get the keys out of her pocket.
She really does undermine me. I think she isn’t done with moherhood to be honest. She has always had this great attachment to my eldest daughter (the first grandchild) from the outside it probably looks like the favourite. But from the inside it’s more sinister than that. We have had our fair share of run ins over this. She over mothers getting involved where it wasn’t her place to. Majorly. Not just a little but I mean to the point She over takes my parenting role too much.

The thing is she’s my mother inlaw. I don’t want to dislike her but I can’t help it because her behaviour is crazy at times. She has cried at the dinner table for me putting my daughter into the naughty corner she has chased me down the road as I’ve left to go home pleading with me to leave my daughter with her. She’s pulled my daughter off me as I was tying to put her to bed. I won’t bore you with example after example but this list goes on and on of inappropriate behaviour from her.

The thing is I’m not a nan. And this is why I’m here. I’m desperate to try to understand her. We haven’t spoken for 2 years properly now. It causes problems between myself and my husband. I take it that it causes problems for him and his mum. I’ve tried talking to her. She is the one who is cut off from me. It’s like she ignores problems like they don’t exist because she’s embarrassed about it. The drinking she literally pretends like it doesn’t happen. I don’t let her have the kids on her own now because of it. I can’t trust her to be sober with my children so my husband stays over there for visits with them. When I politely have tried to deal with the issues she huffs at me and makes the whole thing hostile and uncomfortable. We don’t actually know each other very well even though I have been married to my husband for 12 years now. I have opened up to her a few times about my personal life. Things she wouldn’t just get from a conversation or face value in order to have a more in depth relationship with her. My mum died when I was young so to be honest I would absolutely love to have a mother inlaw to do the things with the children that I was never able to do with my own mum. I would love to have someone to share it with. But she takes the kids off to town or where ever and it’s clear I’m not invited. And When I have tried to arrange things which I have done a lot it’s always me that’s put the effort in.
To be totally frank I’m not that bothered about not having a relationship with her as such. I mean it’s sad but it’s not really personal to me. She’s not my mum so it’s not a direct effect on me as such. But it is an issue in my family home with the kids and my husband.
I just wish she would have some respect for me. Which believe me is zero. She often would make smart rude remarks. I’m sat In her house and she would make rude comments. I would say something back if it was anyone else but I kept quiet because it’s my husbands mum. But I didn’t deserve it.
I’ve tried to talk to my husband so many times about. He does agree with what I’m saying And he can see it. But his exact words are “ what do you want me to say, that’s my mum” most the time he just ignores anything I ever say so it’s just become that I do not see his family anymore. It’s completely broken down. If they come to our home I go to see my family/friends. If they visit they go without me and it’s been that way for 2 years now.

It’s almost like I just want to jump inside of her head and understand it. Which is why I’m here. Please be kind. I’m not looking for hostile opinions I want to try figure this out but I don’t know how.
I want Healthy boundaries Kept in place without her just steam rolling over me and taking it to unhealthy levels without being disrespected or rude towards me. I want her to understand she’s not “entitled” all of the time. I want her to understand that even if she doesn’t like me that I deserve to be listened to. If I say no to something then to listen to me. And it’s not about not giving my children too much cake. It’s more serious than that. I’m saying no to things I find manipulative. Like using my husbands dads minor illness to move back towards her. Or asking my daughter to sleep in bed with her when I said no to that (she’s 9 not a toddler)
She has issues but she’s not actually awful. There’s parts of her that get on my nerves but there’s parts of her I admire too. Again I have told her that but it went ignored. Her drinking is an issue but I’ve put my foot down and told them they can’t drink around my children and that stopped when We had the insident. I can’t stop them drinking but I don’t get drunk infront of my children I’m not allowing others to do that.
Just come constructive advice please. I don’t know how to move forward

Alexa Wed 19-Aug-20 21:26:53

You are legally responsible for your own children. Don't leave them alone with known drunkards whoever they are.

Are you afraid of your husband?

NfkDumpling Wed 19-Aug-20 22:01:23

Everyone has given good advice. Can I just add that I think you may be right when you said that she hasn't done with motherhood. Can you buy her a puppy? Or a kitten? Maybe even two! Fluffy ones!

Starblaze Wed 19-Aug-20 22:23:56

You and your husband need to sit down together, decide what the boundaries need to be, written down would be best so no forgetting, then you stick to them.

No matter how bad it gets, you stick to them.

You sound very kind and like you can stay calm so whenever she tries to cross a boundary you leave, you out the phone down etc.

Her behaviour will either impact your children or impact you which will impact your children.

You are their parent, you get to set the rules. I really wouldn't leave your children alone with her... Ever

Lollin Thu 20-Aug-20 19:59:13

How do your children feel? I would imagine they are feeling very uncomfortable, mixed up and protective of you and their father. Have you talked to them about what they want and how to deal with the situation?

Hithere Fri 21-Aug-20 02:41:12

I agree you have a dh problem

Your dh needs to attend meetings to support alcoholics and their families.
He is enabling them instead of protecting The children.

I would drag him to a good marital therapist to get his priorities straight: his kids and you come first, not his parents

Lolo81 Fri 21-Aug-20 19:09:52

Echoing those advising to speak with al-anon.
Addicts are selfish - they are the sun and everything should rotate around them. It’s part of their illness.
That does not mean you should enable their behaviour. Please seek some help to understand this, an addict will not change unless they want to no matter how much you try to help them.

Thistlelass Sat 10-Oct-20 20:23:05

Well as a Nana and recovered alcoholic I think I can speak on this one. My drinking days were not when my children were small. I would never touch it and I was frightened of it. But life got harder. I divorced- not alcohol related. I just did not love him. The drinking started at that point and gradually came the realisation I could not stop. I wont go into discussing the pathway to my recovery as it is not really necessary. I stopped drinking 5 years ago aged 58 years. It was horrible to live at the level to which I had sunk. My eldest grandchild will be 8 soon and I have not seen her since she was 1. I see and participate in family life with my other 4 grandchildren. I very much want to be allowed to see the eldest but it is not happening and I have to live with it. I think I am quite a good, kind woman. I also sincerely believe I have much to offer to my grandchildren. The only advice/opinion I want to give is that I think your in-laws are at best very heavy drinkers at worst alcoholics like myself. Whichever is for them to figure out. In the meantime they should not have the children in their sole care etc. Perhaps they will be able to address the issue. If they do you need to reassess the situation with regards access. It is said in AA quarters that it can take many years for someone's brain to recover after they stop alcohol intake. My personal experience agrees with this. One needs to learn how to cope with life after alcohol. It can be done. So please do not do what my son and his partner have done which is cut me out completely for all time ( so it seems) x

agnurse Sun 11-Oct-20 06:33:47


If you are an active alcoholic, you aren't safe around children. Period. I'm sorry. If you were actively drinking when the CO occurred, I'd say they were justified in going NC.

Thistlelass Sun 11-Oct-20 10:54:00

Did I say they were not justified? No I did not. The only point I was attempting to make is people DO recover from the illness and move on with their lives. In those circumstances I think the balanced view is to review the situation. If you actually read what I said it is that I am 5 years into abstinence. In my own case I am well adapted to the fact I will not see my first grandchild until she is grown up. And I can deal with that quite calmly.

midgey Sun 11-Oct-20 11:19:34

Congratulations Thistlelass, you have shown such courage to speak out. Hope you see your GD before too long. flowers

MadeInYorkshire Sun 11-Oct-20 11:22:14


It would be very interesting to know ho your 9 year old feels about all this - I am sure she is old enough to have an opinion?

I had MIL issues when married - she never liked me from the moment she met me a I was never good enough for her only child - I tried very hard to sort it out but she would do things like come and stay and do just HIS ironing, my FIL actually asked to see my engagement ring when we were hidden behind the shed so she couldn't see! She couldn't have worn a colour any nearer to black when we married and when I had my 2 children she favoured one quite obviously - my husband actually told her and stood by me on that one which was good. I really think that he needs to grow a pair and unite with you on this one!

One day after we had been together many years, she said to me "oh Rachel, are we ever going to be friends?" to which I replied, " well I have tried over the years but at the bottom of it all is that you do like me" .... the reply was "oh, B* and I think you are very intelligent and highly efficient". QUITE, I left it at that! Lol ....

Get hubby on your side it is imperative! x

Namsnanny Sun 11-Oct-20 11:50:03


Congratulations Thistlelass, you have shown such courage to speak out. Hope you see your GD before too long. flowers

Same from me too smile
I really hope the situation with your Gdaughter changes for the better soon.
Hang in there shamrock
BTW, my heart was in my mouth when I read your post, as some posters have a habit of jumping in with opinions without taking care to read the post thoroughly, and I hoped you wouldn't get bruised by them!

agnurse nothing wrong with your comments, except they are misplaced and look like you havent taken the time to read thistlespost.

PetitFromage Sun 11-Oct-20 13:51:19

Lucy, that all sounds incredibly difficult and I think that you have been exceptionally patient. I agree that she sounds a bit 'crazy', but understand that you are put in an awkward position and it is to your credit that you have persevered.

First, it's up to your PIL if and how much they drink, but I would definitely not leave the children in their sole charge and I would schedule any get togethers for during the day, when they are sober.

Second, and probably actually the main issue, is that she still feels threatened by you and, from what you say, you haven't got to know each other properly after so long or had a proper conversation, one on one. There are some positives in that she clearly loves her DGC and you admire her in certain respects. What do the children think of her? They are getting older now and will make up their own minds.

I admire you for being strong and not giving up, but you are right that things need to be different and you clearly cannot rely on your husband to sort things out. Would it be an option to take your MIL out for lunch or something, just the two of you, and trying to have a 'heart to heart', clear the air and try to move forward. As in everything, communication is key, and you sound as though you are mature enough to want to take this route, but are unsure about your MIL's position.

Ramblingrose22 Sun 11-Oct-20 14:23:50

Lucylou - enough is enough and I think you need to take a stand if you can't trust them to be alone with your children as your DH isn't going to.

From what I read (have to admit I gave up halfway through) your in-laws appear to be using your children as some kind of crutch. But it's not helping them, is it, if they still have a drink problem.

It may also be best to have a face-to-face talk with them to challenge them about their behaviour. Ask them why they think it's OK to do the things you find unacceptable? For example, why ask your 9-year old to share a bed with their GP? See howMIL reacts because if she/they can't justify them you've exposed their attitudes as being the underlying issue.

One option would be to reduce contact gradually but that may just lead to more arguments over a longer period of time. Another is to go NC immediately, explaining their actions that you find unacceptable and are no longer able to put up with.

Don't allow yourself to feel guilty about any of this or to feel sorry for them either. They might need outside help and your children are not there to help them forget their issues.

Daddima Sun 11-Oct-20 15:05:53



If you are an active alcoholic, you aren't safe around children. Period. I'm sorry. If you were actively drinking when the CO occurred, I'd say they were justified in going NC.

I suggest you read Thistlelass’s post before jumping in with your rather cruel post. She deserves praise for her 5+ years of sobriety, rather than judgemental comments.

Chewbacca Sun 11-Oct-20 15:13:21

If you are an active alcoholic, you aren't safe around children. Period. I'm sorry. If you were actively drinking when the CO occurred, I'd say they were justified in going NC

Bit of a silly post there agnurse; always best to read what's actually been said, rather than just jumping in with assumptions.

thistle, I admire the searing honesty and acceptance of responsibility in your post; you've done so much since to be very proud of.

Thistlelass Sun 11-Oct-20 18:42:57

I want to say a little bit more on this in respect of your situation as a mum and DIL You say nothing of your husband's experiences being brought up by this couple. Does he talk about it or express an opinion? Other family members say anything about whether their Mum's behaviour has changed through the years etc? I appreciate you may not feel like looking at this. You are not keen to have a relationship with her? The reason I am bringing this up is because your mum in law may have an underlying mental health condition? She does sound as if she could have a personality disorder for example. This is a horrible term but there is hope for a better future if appropriate treatment and boundaries are agreed and adhered to. Identification would need to be through a mental health team. I am afraid a clear diagnosis cannot be established whilst your MIL continues to drink. Best wishes to you and your family.

agnurse Sun 11-Oct-20 22:35:10

I was referring more to thistlelass's past. I can understand why her AC cut her off and I can understand them wanting to wait until she had some time established being sober before they allow their children around her.

Sadly, and I am not saying this is the case here, just making a point, some people become what's known as a "dry drunk". This means they're continuing to exhibit the behaviours they did when they were drinking - they just aren't drinking. It is possible her AC is concerned that that could become a possibility.

Thistlelass Sun 11-Oct-20 23:41:17

Well I think I have demonstrated honesty sensitivity and courage stepping onto this thread agnurse. Naturally, having gained sobriety at least partially through AA I fully understand about the dry drunk. I am happy too to advise this does not apply in my situation. It was the case that I called upon God to save me from the help in which I was imprisoned. I could take no more - I could not look after my physical needs adequately and was but skin and bone. I was drinking at times upwards of a bottle of vodka a day. I had to do this and by that point there was no choice. Then I said I cannot go on and I was fortunate enough to be 'granted' access to the only alcohol rehab bed in my region. I was in hospital for 3 weeks and not a drop has passed my lips since. I am a retired SW and Mental Health Officer, working for 23 years till it got too much. So no. There is nothing 'dry' about me. I held spiritual beliefs before addiction and that is still the case. I would not be here if I had not called out for help. I was at the end of the road. But now I have life again and there is no part of me that wishes to return to hell.

Chewbacca Mon 12-Oct-20 00:23:58

Well I think I have demonstrated honesty sensitivity and courage stepping onto this thread agnurse

You most certainly have Thistle, please don't be made to feel that you have to be anything less than proud of how far you've come.

Hetty58 Mon 12-Oct-20 01:03:18

I'm sure I've read about the alcohol loving grandparents before - and the (over) use of the term 'boundaries'.

Still, in case I'm mistaken, the fact is that you can't simply change another person (like MIL) into your ideal version. You have to accept of reject them(warts and all) as they are.

If you don't see them, their son can arrange the visits - and there is no problem.

Fluff93 Mon 12-Oct-20 18:38:22

What are the rules for grandparents. Do you see your grandchildren like normal now. Please tell me how you are all seeing your grandchildren. Whether indoors or outdoors. My dil says I can only see on a walk

Madgran77 Mon 12-Oct-20 21:11:30

Thistleass well done for all you have achieved. Glad that you are able to enjoy your other ACs and grandchildren and I do hope that eventually you will be able to build a positive relationship with your son and grandchild that you have not seen for so long. flowers

welbeck Mon 12-Oct-20 21:37:48


sparklingsilver28 Mon 12-Oct-20 22:11:50

What is it about some Hs unable to deal with mother issues? My concern in all of this is the bed sharing incident which would immediately set alarm bells ringing. No way should your children spend time with this woman.