Gransnet forums


My new mother in law

(94 Posts)
Silverlady79 Sat 24-Aug-19 13:52:26

It’s her sons Second marriage to me....maybe she’s finding it a bit hard as she’s old, but her behaviour to me is Becoming more and more upsetting. . She waits until my husband is out of the room and will then make a hurtful comment to me or about me.usually about my weight.

My birthday gift was soaps wrapped up in secondhand paper ...they were clearly a gift to her that she didn’t want .. It’s not about being greedy I promise you but it does make me feel really shit... just a few flowers would’ve been nice. Husbands birthday present came today for him , a cheque for £500. I told him how hurt I felt but it didn’t really register.

The question is, do I cut her out of as much as I don’t feel I can’t cope well with obvious dislike... She has a history Of DIL’s not having anything to do with her after being cruel to them.

Lessismore Sat 24-Aug-19 13:56:51

What a strange and intriguing tale.

How many DIL's has seen seen off with her crappy soap?

Septimia Sat 24-Aug-19 13:59:10

Take the moral high ground - treat her the way you'd like to be treated (i.e properly!) and ignore the way she treats you. Buy her decent presents, but nothing very expensive. Avoid situations where she can behave unkindly to you, if possible.

aggie Sat 24-Aug-19 14:01:02

What do you do when she makes the hurtful remarks ? I would turn on my stare and ask her to refrain then tune out and ignore her , Or you could burst into loud sobs until OH comes in and asks what on earth is going on , or you could stay at home/have an urgent appointment elsewhere /take to your bed grin when OH visits her

MissAdventure Sat 24-Aug-19 14:03:19

I would be the better person and always be kindness itself to her, but I would also practice ways of putting her firmly (in a kind way, I like to think) into her place.

EllanVannin Sat 24-Aug-19 14:03:55

As Septimia suggested----don't make an enemy of her.

I had the loveliest MIL on this earth ! Never seen one like her since.

NanaandGrampy Sat 24-Aug-19 14:07:33

To be fair why shouldn’t she give her son a more substantial birthday gift than you ? There are no rules to say she has to gift equally after all .

Maybe it’s a test if you’re the last in a long line of DiLs ?

The soaps may not have floated your boat but at least you got a gift .

If you don’t like the way she talks to you - say so ! You don’t have to be mean or rude but be straightforward .

sharon103 Sat 24-Aug-19 14:13:42

My ex husbands mum didn't particularly like me from the start. Yes it hurts but try and accept her for what she is. Expect nothing. I always treated her with respect.
What did hurt was when she died a few years ago and left her other grandchildren £2,000 each. Our 3 children got nothing!
You can't win 'em all.

MissAdventure Sat 24-Aug-19 14:14:36

A wicked, wicked thought has just occurred to me.

When she comments about your weight, say "Oh but (insert husband's name) loves me with a bit of meat on, he finds its very arousing!" grin

Esspee Sat 24-Aug-19 14:17:12

Try challenging her when she says something nasty.
" MiL, why do you feel the need to be so nasty?"
When husband returns say "Your mother, in your absence, said "Xxxxxxxxx". then turn to her again and say "why do you feel the need to be so nasty?"
Calling her out a few times should hopefully get her to pull her head in.
Good luck.

Boosgran Sat 24-Aug-19 14:18:21

No, don’t cut her out. Your husband may resent it. Just be nice and say how much you love the soaps. When it’s her birthday give her a nice gift and smile. Rise above her horrible behaviour it’s not worth the aggravation. But I would say something to her if she makes a nasty comment.

Callistemon Sat 24-Aug-19 14:41:08

Lessismore I now have brew all down my front after reading your comment!

Some soap can be extremely expensive.
Perhaps your DH will share the money with you, OP.

When you say it's her son's second marriage to me do you mean you were married to him, got divorced, changed your minds then got married again?
If so, you must have known what she was like from the first time round?

shysal Sat 24-Aug-19 14:51:54

When it is her birthday perhaps she would like some soaps in old wrapping paper!smile
For some mothers nobody will ever be good enough for their sons, hope you can rise above the nastiness for your husband's sake.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 24-Aug-19 14:54:21

Next time your MIL makes a hurtful remark, I would say, "That wasn't very nice." and leave it at that.

Be polite when you see her, give reasonable but not expensive presents and try not to be alone with her for too long.

Don't complain to your husband too much, after all she is his mother, but you could ask him whether making personal remarks is considered all right in his family, as it is considered rude in yours.

Standards differ and we have to find some way of dealing with that. My husband and his family consider personal remarks as quite all right. I found it hard to adjust to.

On the other hand, my mother who had always insisted that making unkind remarks was wrong, started to do so in her latter years. We ignored what we could, but told her quietly that some of her remarks were hurtful. She took no notice, so don't expect your MIL to change.

LullyDully Sat 24-Aug-19 16:10:22

My mil was often hurtful and bitchy. So I feel for you greatly.

Just make sure your husband supports you and bear it until you may need to refuse to see her again. I had to do this after about 15 years of bullying. It was such a relief. Finally all was forgiven, but it took quite a while.

I do hope I am not being negative but I did find it hurtful as you do.

She loved to tell me how petite, blond and pretty the former wife was. I am quite tall and dark haired. To be honest it was jealousy on her part as we have always been a loving couple.

Daisymae Sat 24-Aug-19 16:17:40

When your husband returns to the room just repeat what she said to you for clarification. Would make an interesting conversation. Or of course you could take the moral high ground as already suggested.

sodapop Sat 24-Aug-19 16:19:02

Yes I would do the same thing as Esspee when your husband is back in the room call his mother on her comment. Don't let it all get out of hand though, try to limit the time you spend with her.

GagaJo Sat 24-Aug-19 16:23:07

My MiL was a cow. I couldn't do anything right. Eventually, I had as little as possible to do with her (still more than I wanted). It would have been better if my husband had taken my side a bit more but...

GoodMama Sat 24-Aug-19 16:29:26

How terrible. What does your husband say about all of this?

eazybee Sat 24-Aug-19 16:50:40

Be as pleasant as you can to your mother -in-law, and try to avoid conflict, but concentrate on your new husband. If she has seen off previous daughters-in-law, it is nothing personal, just an absolute determination to retain her influence over her son.
I have an acquaintance who has seen off three of her daughter's partners/husbands, and is now commencing battle with the fourth.

Madgran77 Sat 24-Aug-19 17:07:40

Be pleasant and don't rise to the bait by being upset. If she makes a comment about your weight maybe say "I'm not sure what your point st?" Depending on what she replies say "Oh!" or "I'm still not sure what your point is?" This can go on for a long time but certainly makes the majority of people feel thoroughly awkward,

Alternatively just sit there and look at her and wait in silence. See what happens! If she askes why you aren't saying anything say "I don't really see the point of discussing it!".

Alternatively just look at her and then change the subject!

Or as others have suggested ask her why she said that? And keep asking why to each answer!

Re the soaps mother-in-law did this from Day one that I met her; I just used to say "Thanks!" and put them in the charity box bag. Always gave her nice gifts though.

Anniebach Sat 24-Aug-19 18:05:47

How many daughters in law has she had ?

dragonfly46 Sat 24-Aug-19 18:13:37

I was a disappointment at first with my MiL. I wasn't from good enough stock! However, I was always kind and lovely to her. In her final years it was me she turned to for attention and advice. She died aged 103 and I had an easy conscience.

Maggiemaybe Sat 24-Aug-19 18:24:32

My MIL seemed to like me well enough. But she got it into her head that I liked the only chocolates I can resist, Ferrero Rocher, and waist slips, that I have never worn, and that's what I got for every present. It was a standing joke in the family. I'd have been very happy with a nice box of soaps!

Beckett Sun 25-Aug-19 08:21:57

I would say nothing, just get up and walk out of the room. She is trying to get a rise out of you so she can complain to your DH about you.

Alternatively you could just say nothing, pick up a book or magazine and ignore her

polnan Sun 25-Aug-19 08:23:16

kindly, firmly, you keep yourself always the "nice guy" but let her know, but politely, I agree with the comments that suggest that way to go.

not easy!!! but keep on being Mrs. Nice Guy.. but let her know, politely, rudeness not to be taken on board...

minxie Sun 25-Aug-19 08:41:08

Give her the soaps back for her birthday. Beautifully wrapped 🥴

Gottalovethem Sun 25-Aug-19 08:41:10

A couple of years ago and for absolutely no reason at all, my mother in law slapped me as I was giving her a cup of tea. I’m afraid I couldn’t help myself and said to her “that was silly, I wonder what Mr.Gotta would do if he knew that you had just done that”. I then went to walk out of the room and then realised that my sister in law had seen and heard the whole thing. It was only then that she told me that mother in law had been doing that to her for over 20 years. I genuinely was shocked, MiL doesn’t really like any of her family ( actually she doesn’t really like anyone at all) and to be honest it’s never bothered me, but the slap was a whole new different level and I refuse to let her do this to me again. Problem is that if I did tell hubby, he would be absolutely horrified and would possibly refuse to come and visit at all.

Minshy Sun 25-Aug-19 08:47:14

I’ve got a mother in law who has ignored every birthday of mine. Never even had a card. I think it’s remiss of my partner to never question her on this.. but he’s doesn’t like to rock the boat??
I’m not bothered about presents but she’s certainly making a point by ignoring my birthday ( and Christmas)

BazingaGranny Sun 25-Aug-19 08:49:46

How upsetting for you. But she treats the other DiLs the same, so please don’t take it personally.

We sometimes recycle gifts and paper, practical and environmentally friendly (!) - and we also give our adult children largish cash presents, which benefit their husbands, wives and children but give smaller presents, books etc, to their spouses. Can you give her some nice chocolates or flowers, neither have to cost a fortune?

Lots of practical advice from others here. Don’t sink to her level, keep being the ‘nice guy’, but perhaps try to limit contact with believable reasons to not see her every time your husband does?

Hope it goes well in the future 🌺.

Marilla Sun 25-Aug-19 08:57:06

Is your husband completely unaware of his mother’s behaviour? Why have you not discussed this with him in private? As I have got older, I realise we don’t have to put up with folks being deliberately rude and upsetting us. This woman is deliberately being unkind once her son leaves the room. This is calculated behaviour and it’s cruel. You really do not have to go visiting and putting yourself in a vulnerable position. Your husband can visit mother without you.
Get a grip and keep your dignity.

Esmerelda Sun 25-Aug-19 08:58:51

Some excellent advice on here Silverlady79. Just a look and the comment "That was a very rude thing to say", then ignoring her plus mentioning it to your husband when he returns to the room, ought to make her think twice.

Am worried by your post Gottalovethem as physical abuse is way beyond the pale and, if she's been doing this to your SIL for 20 years she's obviously going to try it again. I'd suggest that, the next time you go to offer her a cup of tea, you say quite calmly and in a pleasant tone of voice, "If you slap me again I shall drop this hot tea right in your lap". Maybe that will make her think twice but, if not, you could always up the ante and tell her that you will slap her right back!

H1954 Sun 25-Aug-19 09:20:06

Sounds like OH is a Mummy's Boy and mummy is a controlling b***h!
Perhaps, like someone already suggested, rise above it but when you buy her a gift select something from a charity shop ( your money goes to a good cause ) and openly tell her that you bought it with her in mind as you notice that she is into recycling in a big way!
Don't let her snide comments upset you though, simply ask her why she never says it in front of her son.
Alternately, repackaged the gift and give then back to her at the next birthday, Mothers Day, Christmas.

Rocknroll5me Sun 25-Aug-19 09:21:05

Dear Silverlady79 are you a gran?

Sheilasue Sun 25-Aug-19 09:22:00

Treat her like she treats you and don’t stay in the room with her on your own. Don’t give her the chance to be rude cut her down.

TanaMa Sun 25-Aug-19 09:32:35

Wrap the soaps up in pretty paper and give her for her next.birthday!

Fronkydonky Sun 25-Aug-19 09:42:28

I think I would point out that it wasn’t a very nice thing to say & comment “ if you can’t say anything nice- then I’d prefer you to say nothing at all” Your husband obviously turns a blind eye to her unwanted comments and she dotes on him as a favoured son. My husband used to make excuses for his elderly parents when I got upset that their other grandchildren got favoured and our two were never showered with the same amount of gifts and adoration. Your mother in law has behaved like a bit of a brat and needs putting in her place firmly and politely. The birthday gift you received was better than nothing but I think I’d still give her a reasonable gift beautifully wrapped, but nothing too lavish. She sounds a nightmare but I would not allow her to spoil things in your relationship.

mumagain Sun 25-Aug-19 09:42:38

I'd re-gift the soaps to her in lovely paper or a gift bag and if she queries it say 'I realise how much you love them to be so kind as to gift them to me and would hate for you to miss out' as for the comments , she knows what she's doing is hurtful which is why she waits for your husband to be out of the room I would be tempted to wait till he's back and say in front of her 'you know, your mother says I need to lose weight but I know how you love me with a bit of meat on my bones, what do you think I should do about it ? Should we go on a diet do you think ?' She won't want her darling son to lose out and will probably swiftly back peddle.

sarahellenwhitney Sun 25-Aug-19 09:44:06

Yours is a common problem.You are fortunate it is just a MIl.I had FIl , gran in law and other' clan' members to contend with.

Kartush Sun 25-Aug-19 09:54:52

My mother-in-law was not fond of me either, she was never cruel but criticism was her preferred way of dealing with me, so I told my husband that I thought his mother would much prefer having him to herself and that he should visit her on his own. This arrangement worked for many years and we only saw each other for Christmas. Funny thing though, when she was in care and dying, I was the one she wanted to see...go figure

Grandma59 Sun 25-Aug-19 10:07:41

My MIL didn’t like women and used to say to my DH when we visited her “oh you’ve brought her with you”. I just used to laugh and never let it bother me. If you wanted to be nasty you could always say “yes but I can loose weight but you will always be an evil old witch”😂 but if I were you I would just smile and let it go over your head x

Countrylife Sun 25-Aug-19 10:16:28

Ok this I can advise on. My mother-in-law died last summer at 104yrs and 5 days of age, of those years she hated me for 42 of them. I don’t take offence easily and cut people slack whenever possible but with her nothing worked. She hated me for caring about a son she despised and hated all his life. She was a bitch of the first order. To visitors, hers or ours she was oh so lovely, when they left she would issue a diatribe on their flaws. Even make up stories I knew were not true at all, cruel is too mild a word for her.

Initially I tried to engage her in our lives but she just got nastier and it spilled over and others saw it. A couple of years into the relationship I decided enough was enough if she said something scathing about me or anyone else I would say oh do shut up but I wanted her to know it had to stop. I told her very quietly and calmly that she either kept her nasty vitriolic opinions to herself around me or else she would not be invited back, she told me she could do as she liked and I told her that was fine but she wouldn’t do it in my house and so she had a choice. She tested me a few times but I would give her a look or if necessary a reminder that her attitude didn’t wash with me. I was rude on rare occasions when she really did go too far but we toddled along like that for years.

When she became older frailer we had her live with us, my mother told me it would make me ill dealing with that vile tongue. After 15 years we put her in an expensive home that took all her pension money plus some from us and all her visitors stopped coming.

Two months later I was diagnosed with cancer.

Power of money was her tool. I didn’t want her money so she had no power over me, which is why she hated me as I couldn’t and wouldn’t be cowed. You have to figure out what she believes her power to be. Is it to get rid of any woman who makes him happy or just cause mischief in general. Take away her power and talk to your husband.

I had two presents in all those years one free bar towels that came with her champagne order, I never got the champagne just the towels and a scarf someone gave her she didn’t want. As I knew the person I wore the scarf.

Some people are just nasty and I believe life is too damn short to put up with such nonsense so don’t.

I don’t know your husbands relationship with his mother. My husbands was one of hate wrapped in duty, tricky thing to deal with. She was brutal to him as a child and he felt guilty for hating her. Go figure. However, I still had to tread carefully.

You know him so pick your moment but tell him if she is to come into your home she has to behave herself. Decide who is to tell her. If it’s him that’s good if it’s you he has to back you up. Explain to her that you aren’t cutting her out of your lives but she has to behave if she wants to be part of them. Say it get, it over with and see how it goes. I chose to deal with my MIL myself I wasn’t a strong person initially, I was quite young and my husband is older but I felt strongly that her issue was with me so I would deal with it.

As for presents who wants them when they aren’t given with love. Don’t fret the little things just deal with the main issue. I always gave her super presents reacting opposite to what she expected, always threw her.

Best of luck

WadesNan Sun 25-Aug-19 10:20:07

I had a similar problem - only it was with my mother! I don't recall her ever saying anything complimentary to me. When I reached teenage she would always comment about my weight (despite the fact I was always at least 2 stone lighter than her), then one day I noticed that after I had reacted to one of her mean comments she had a nasty smirk on her face. So I stopped reacting.

If she said anything I would ignore it and change the subject. Eventually she shouted at me saying "I'm talking to you". I replied that no she was insulting me and I as I no longer cared about her opinion I would ignore it.

My advice to the OP is to act as if she hadn't heard and talk about something else

bruff Sun 25-Aug-19 10:45:32

Stone me why all the politeness tell her to stick her soap where the sun don’t shine 😀

Struggling2do1 Sun 25-Aug-19 10:57:46

Can you give some feedback Silverlady & answer some of the questions pose?
My advise, as soon as OH is back in the room tell him what his mother has said. Alternatively discreetly put your phone on record when he leaves the room then play it back when he returns.
Re gifts just smile and go ott to thank her for such a fab gift, just what you were hoping for. Re OH £500 get him to spend it on a lovely weekend away for you both & send her a postcard saying what a great time you BOTH had on her gift.
So question, have you told him what is happening?

BradfordLass72 Sun 25-Aug-19 11:04:21

Because I'm in a bad mood at the moment smile my advice would be to record her nasty comments. You can do it on any cellphone.

Then play it back to her and ask, ' Think I should I tell your son about this?'

I've had to put up with nasty comments about my weight and size for at least 60 years and have come up with a few choice remarks. Now, frankly I just laugh at the idiots.

Try saying, 'Well, dearie, that may be your opinion but do you think you'd still feel the same way if you were intelligent?'

(I told you I was in a bad mood) grin

I am a great believer in stopping bullies in their tracks because if you call them out, they think twice about hurting you again. They don't like strength.

Allow someone to get away with this sort of thing and they come back and attack again.....because bullies sense weakness.

That's why she's been able to see off the others, wicked old wretch that she is. Show her you're made of sterner stuff.

I like MissAdventure's suggestion, only I'd be tempted to make it just a wee bit raunchier, unless you want to give her a heart attack.

'Funny you should mention my size. When your son and I were enjoying a little bedtime sport last night he was telling me how bigger women have always been his erotic fantasy.'

Keep the smelling salts handy.

lizzypopbottle Sun 25-Aug-19 11:16:05

Assuming she doesn't live with you, just let your husband visit her by himself. She is no real relation of yours and, when you chose your husband, you didn't choose her.

icanhandthemback Sun 25-Aug-19 11:17:32

My MIL always used to give me the presents she obviously didn't want for Christmas or Birthday. It wasn't that she didn't like me, she just had no idea what I wanted and she'd made such an effort for her ex-DIL with no kindness returned, I think she was once bitten, twice shy. She would occasionally be slightly fierce with me when her son and I bantered but mainly, I let it go over my head. Whatever she was like, she was a great deal kinder than my own mother.

Nanniejc1 Sun 25-Aug-19 11:26:24

Think I’d wrap the soaps up & give them back to her for her birthday .I would also have to ask her why she felt the need to be so nasty & if it carried on I think I would avoid her when ever possible.

Lucy127 Sun 25-Aug-19 11:37:35

Ok. This is me fantasising but had to share! I definitely have a nasty streak in me! This depends on you having a Smart phone. When you’re on your own with her, with your sweetest smile on your face, record a little of her talking to you. Play it back to her. Bingo she clamps the jaws! Any time she starts up just wave the phone. I know, I’m evil.

sandelf Sun 25-Aug-19 11:45:02

My MIL hated me and also my husbands brother's 3 wives- she loved them when they were girlfriends - couldn't get her sons married quickly enough. Then - wives - treated nasty nasty nasty. I think she loved the idea of her sons being attractive but could not live with the thought that she was not the number one woman for them. My advice would be - do not try to form any sort of relationship with her - you will never be good enough. Keep her at arms length. Avoid being alone with her. Rise above worrying about things she says and does. Be polite when you are required to interact with her - and nothing more. The closer you get the more ammunition you give her. Keep busy and make plenty of other friends etc.

Lucy127 Sun 25-Aug-19 11:48:39

Oh darn! Someone had the same idea and I didn’t see it. Great minds....

March Sun 25-Aug-19 11:50:47

The soap thing is abit crap.

The nasty comments about your weight are not right. She is also aware at what she's doing because she waits for her son to leave the room.

Next time I'd pretend you didn't hear her,then ask her to repeat herself once or twice then say to your husband 'did you hear that? Your mum thinks XYZ, do you agree?'

Fiachna56 Sun 25-Aug-19 11:59:03

Typical passive aggresive behaviour. I would avoid being alone with her. The comments especially about your weight are out of order. If this behaviour continues, you need to talk to your mother-in-law and tell her straight this is unacceptable/hurtful. If you don't, guaranteed the behaviour towards you will become worse. Dont put up with it. Regarding the gifts, just say thank you for the gift , much appreciated. Gifts are unimportant. If your mother-in-law continues to treat you like this, you need to talk to your husband in a matter of fact way. He needs to support you.

sazz1 Sun 25-Aug-19 12:10:32

Both my Mils were nasty to me. The first tried to dominate me but didn't suceeed. The second did everything she could to split us up, including trying to set up OH with her friends daughters., telling me to take a lover, asking me to visit on my own then totally ignoring me, telling me OH was late home as he probably had someone else etc etc. She wanted him back home. We didn't speak for six months then he had an accident so I contacted her and his dad. She made hundreds of silent phone calls to me (know it was her had it traced) so we changed number n didn't give her it. Children visited once a week with OH as they were lovely grand parents. I was glad when she died. His friends told me she was like this to all his other girlfriend so I was warned.

Saggi Sun 25-Aug-19 12:14:03

Is he4 weight so perfect? Just a thought!

Sleepygran Sun 25-Aug-19 12:34:25

Try to remember she brought up the man you love so she can't be all bad.
Maybe she's jealous that he chooses to spend more time with you than with her.

jaylucy Sun 25-Aug-19 12:39:31

When she makes a rude comment about your weight you could always say "I know, doesn't it get harder the older you get to stay slim?" Or as someone else said " I know but my husband adores my love handles!" then change the subject to the weather.
As far as presents go, get your husband to buy them and when you get a crappy one back, just say thank you and it was just what you needed/wanted. Those soaps - suggest the next time you see her, thank her and say that it was a really good idea that you were given them, you are trying to cut down on using plastic bottled shower and bath stuff!

Lorelei Sun 25-Aug-19 13:17:46

Some people never change so she may always be a complete cow to you; others change later in life. When I was very young the woman-who-would've-been-my-mother-in-law-had-I-married-her-son (as planned) made no effort to disguise how much she hated me and wished I'd leave her son or that he would dump me. She was less than thrilled when I got pregnant and delighted when we split up when our daughter was just 6-months old (just for the record nearly 40 years later her dad and I are still friends and would still help each other if we needed it - when his marriage failed he even stayed with me for a bit, but that's another thread)). Anyway, she used to throw things at me and be as verbally spiteful as she could, but she was a good gran to my daughter so I would regularly drop her off and leave a note on the buggy with anything important - when I could see her coming up the hall I would walk away then collect my daughter at the time I'd said in the note. She would only talk to me if there was something relating to my daughter, ask if 'X' day was OK for next visit and I'd leave. Roll on a few years when her husband died, all of her 5 kids (including my daughter's dad) had young families of their own and were too busy or didn't want to spend too much time with her. I might've been young but could understand her grief, so used to visit most days and let her chat, reminisce, cry etc - I would make myself coffee & her tea then leave at about 9PM when she was ready for bed. She thanked me for bothering and seemed grateful for the company and it was nice that she accepted me a sort of friend even if she hadn't wanted me as a daughter-in-law! I did this for about a year until she was ready to start rebuilding her life, visiting people, going shopping with her sister etc. I was glad to have been some help and though he rarely mentioned it my daughter's dad was happy his mum had company. Others have made some good suggestions on how to deal with your mother-in-law's nastiness - if you don't want to have to confront her or involve your husband, just refuse to visit her and pretend she barely exists - make sure your husband isn't at her beck & call though and visits are not overly frequent! Good luck

Purplepoppies Sun 25-Aug-19 13:45:09

Your stock answer should be 'did you mean to be so rude?'
I find it shuts people down quite quickly....
I like the idea of recording her too.
Some people are never going to be happy unless they're upsetting others. Sad isn't it??

CarlyD7 Sun 25-Aug-19 13:54:11

When she says something nasty, would definitly say something like "how would you feel if someone said that to you?" or something similar. Definitely tell your husband but not in a "look how horrible your mother is" way (he might start defending her) but in a "how is the best way to deal with this?" As someone-else has said, how about recording it on your phone? Make it a joint problem - it's his mother after all! Good luck.

WendyBT Sun 25-Aug-19 14:11:26

Mine was like this. I wasn't allowed in the house for many years, sat outside in the car waiting.

Then she was widowed, and grew old and who became her carer, visiting everyday, shopping, dealing with appointments, doctor's visits etc?

Yup, it was me and I did it with kindness and patience because that was how I had been brought up.

mumofmadboys Sun 25-Aug-19 16:11:21

Could you make a joke of it?Laugh and say 'Gosh I thought you just said have you put on a few pounds but I know no-one would be that rude! Sorry but what did you actually say?'

marpau Sun 25-Aug-19 16:33:11

When she makes a nasty comment reply did you mean that to be funny or just unkind?

Ooeyisit Sun 25-Aug-19 16:36:58

I remember when I was in my twenties getting a box of face cream for ageing skin from my MIL .

Madmaggie Sun 25-Aug-19 16:38:57

Silverlady79 it didn't register with your hubby because he just can't deal with it so he (and many others like him, mine included) do the ostrich routine - it's not nice is it. Your mil is mean spirited and you won't change her. However, you can decide not to permit her to hurt your feelings any longer - no one has a right to do that! Expect nowt from her then she won't disappoint! Buy her gift donations to charities (a goat or chickens to africa or a toilet - you get my drift) don't complain to hubby but innocently say - well what do you get someone who has everything 😉 and tell her it was his idea - isn't he clever? 😁 When she makes nasty remarks to you perhaps you could solicitously ask her what on earth happened in her life to make her so bitter. My first mil was a troublemaker of repute, said the nastiest things to her children's partners or behind their backs and yet saw herself as a pillar of her church! Caused me many tears yet who was it who helped the nurse make her comfy then lay her out, organised the funeral, did the paperwork, paid the caterers etc not her children but me. My last mil was sneaky, clearly resented her bachelor son marrying late in life and would demand his presence to find her TV remote, hearing aids etc etc even though she had an on call live in warden and he had moved away from her area. She spoilt my own mother's 90th, we took her on holiday, she spoilt that, nothing suited, then we went away without her and had to cut that short because she had a tantrum. She did her utmost to spoil her own daughters 2nd wedding day to a lovely man. It has taught me not to let history repeat now that I am a mil.

Frannygranny Sun 25-Aug-19 17:25:36

My MIL was just the same. Nasty remarks made when DH left the room. Too many stories to tell. She always favoured her 1st son even though DH and I tried hard with her. She also favoured my DS over first born DD. No tears from anyone except her very difficult husband when she died and don’t get me started on him. My phrase about her was that the best thing she ever did for me was to shuffle off this mortal coil.

HiPpyChick57 Sun 25-Aug-19 17:25:48

Next time she did this I’d just say rather dismissively “you’re acting like your opinion matters to me, honey it really doesn’t!” and then laugh as I got back to what I was doing on my phone while totally ignoring her!

granny4hugs Sun 25-Aug-19 17:42:01

Yes - lots of really good imaginative ways to deal with this if you're not interested in just nursing your injuries. I like Missadventure's advice.
What about when ever there is anyone present with your MIL - getting out said soap and showing it to everyone explaining just how much you LOVE IT and how kind you thought it was...
Also - don't really get the "her sons second marriage to me". Do you mean you are his second wife or you married the same man twice?

blue60 Sun 25-Aug-19 17:55:24

I can totally empathise with you. My late mil was really horrible to me, to the extent that she almost ruined my marriage - she would have loved that!

I stood up for myself, gave as good as I got but she managed to turn it around so I was a bad person and I was excluded by everyone she knew, including her family.

I can say this to you, ignore her as much as you can. Remain polite, but avoid being in her company alone - just get up and walk out of the room. Give yourself first consideration and if you don't want to visit her, then remain at home.

It's a hard position to be in, I know, and there's no easy solution.

Joyfulnanna Sun 25-Aug-19 17:56:12

Wow she sounds very direct. Does she have any other signs of mental illness or dementia? My mum would never dream of saying anything like that in her younger years but when she had dementia, she would tell people that she hadn't seen for a long time that they looked old. She would laugh at fat people and make faces at people who said things she didn't like. As you are the new wife, you may not have any times in the past to compare her behaviour. You definitely ought to tell your DH what she has said and ask him what's wrong with her. If he says he hasn't noticed her behaviour changing, then ask him to speak to her and tell her these remarks upset you. You shouldn't have to manage yourself in this situation (you can't account for what she says or does). DH should take the lead.. If it was your mother saying things to him, you would expect to speak to her directly. As for presents, I would personally like to have soaps, better than something more personal that you wouldn't use and last longer than flowers. Be happy for your DH that she gave him £500. It's a lovely gesture.

Joyfulnanna Sun 25-Aug-19 18:02:46

Something else I've just thought of is that if she feels confident enough to say nasty things to you, this may be her way of developing a relationship with you. When I was at school I had a really good friend who didn't really know how to engage so she'd play nasty at first but when I really got to know her, she was a caring and generous person.. Its just a thought but maybe other dils never let your mil get passed this point. Also does your weight bother you? I am fat and don't let it bother me if someone comments about it.

EthelJ Sun 25-Aug-19 18:07:29

It must be very hard, but I would do as others have suggested and just rise above it, buy her nice presents and tjnak her for the not very thoughtful presents she gets the bigger person and by doing that you will show her how to behave. If she makes vauge insults pretend you isn't understand what she means and ask her to expain . If she says anything about your weight tell her you are quite happy as you are thank you. My Mil had an obsession about weight. Every time she saw me she would ask if I had either put weight on or lost it. I always said I don't know because I don't weigh myself and I don't think about weight. She also gave my DH much nicer and more expensive presents than she gave me but I just ignored it.
You said she is old, how old is she? Did she get on with your DHs ex. And is perhaps jealous?

Newatthis Sun 25-Aug-19 18:29:17

It's not going to get better by ignoring it - brushing things under carpets never work! They just keep on rearing their ugly heads. Sodapops suggestion was good - ask her to repeat what she said when your husband's in the room - just to clarify of course!

Witchypoo Sun 25-Aug-19 19:40:12

My MIL didnt like me at all. I became stepmum to husbands two children who lived with us. She thought the children should live with her. When i had a son she got worse. When i had a daughter she changed to sweetness and light. But after seven years of nastiness i could not change. She spent a fortune on dd gifts and ds got nothing. It was an awful time. She ended up with dementia and in a home. I did visit with the children weekly but never liked her.

janeayressister Sun 25-Aug-19 20:22:53

My MIL is dead and so it’s useless wishing I could say this or that. Call her out and ask her to repeat what she has said to your spouse.
When we went to tell my MIL ( brought up in a hall with servants) we were getting married, she told me that she didn’t want me to marry her son, and couldn’t I find someone else ?
. Instead of looking at her in stunned silence ( which is what I did) if only I had called my husband to be in, and asked her to repeat what she had just said.
Being a MIL now myself I realise that although it was a really stupid thing to say on her part, I should have nipped this sort of thing in the bud. BUT I was young and hadn’t got the confidence to say anything.
If you are full of confidence within yourself you should be able to stick up for yourself....but I had issues to.
It took my becoming a MIL before I had any sympathy for her. She was one unhappy person and I have had a much better life, ultimately.

Jacks1 Sun 25-Aug-19 23:27:14

Just laugh at her straight in the face and walk away. Show her u r strong and can take anything she dishes out. She will be so angry when she is alone with her own thoughts. Then u have the last word without her realising. Old age is a funny thing!

GoldenAge Mon 26-Aug-19 00:05:19

The issue here it seems to me as a counsellor with lots of experience of relationships is more to do with how you would behave if anybody else other than your MIL were to try to belittle you on a regular basis, and how your husband would feel if you told him about that. Jealousy is a potential emotion in all in-law relationships - it's unavoidable even if it's well covered but basically we all become jealous of the person who has become more important in our child's life than ourselves. So your MIL is not feeling anything unusual. However, she has been rewarded for her jealousy by her son who has apparently stood by while she has disrespected this first wife, and now his second. He is telling her that her behaviour towards you is OK by not attributing any significance to it. So, put aside the differential in birthday gifts - this is only natural, and don't ignore her. Rather, deal with her the way you would deal with a work colleague or a neighbour who seemed to want to bully you which I what this amounts to. Use the same strategy to deal with it and as a means of getting your husband to show his colours, make up a similar situation with a colleague at work and see whether he skates over that as unimportant or whether he is able to look at the matter more objectively. If he can see your feelings and point of view in such a situation, then you have to tackle him again on the issue of his mother's treatment of you, showing him that there's no difference.

GoodMama Mon 26-Aug-19 00:22:59

GoldenAge, wonderful post!

Razzmatazz123 Mon 26-Aug-19 01:57:16

The best way I have found to deal with nasty comments or jokes at my expense is to pretend not to understand. I will ask for an explanation and keep asking questions like "what do you mean by that" and sorry, could you repeat that" until they get uncomfortable and leave me alone

Peonyrose Mon 26-Aug-19 07:34:36

Silver lady, I feel for you, but be light hearted about it. If she says something hurtful to you just give her your answer. Your weight. I am comfortable I am thanks, if anyone doesn't like it it's their problem and I would rather you don't make comments about my appearance. Or, Well I'm working on it but it's hard, so I would rather you don't remind me. Then get up and ask if she would like another cup of tea. She obviously did a good job raising her son, so has her qualities. I can't see why she would give you a present worth the same as her son. I don't know anyone that does that. As for present if soaps on second handsomer, I have people that do that. It's a joke about unwanted presents going in the bottom drawer and forgetting getting who gave what. Does a small thing like that really matter? You are with your husband majority of the time, her very little, she could be a bit lonely.

jocork Mon 26-Aug-19 07:52:30

When I was going out with my ex husband my 'MIL to be' tried to split us up. She wasn't happy that I was overweight and a few years older than him. I think her big worry was that I wouldn't give her the grandchildren she longed for. She once asked him "Why don't you find someone younger and slimmer?" I don't know to this day whether she knows that he told me that.
She constantly made comments about weight, bought me a 'weightwatchers' cookbook and soon after we returned from honeymoon she and FIL started asking when we were planning to start a family. When ex H said "But you were married for 4 years before you had me!" the response from FIL was "But I didn't marry someone older than myself!"
After the birth of my DD they seemed to improve their views of me, and MIL even used the expression "My lovely DIL" when referring to me! Essentially it was all about getting what she wanted.
When I got a promotion at work (which happened to come on my birthday bout 2 years into our marriage) she rang up to say 'Happy Birthday' and I told her I had some good news. She got quite excited and obviously thought I was going to tell her I was pregnant, so when I said I'd been promoted, her response was "So how long do you intend to keep on working?" In the end my DD was born just over 4 years after we married! She never did congratulate me on the promotion just went silent on the end of the phone!
When we split up it was because my H was having an affair. His new partner was 2 sizes bigger than me (even after 2 lots of post baby weight I was carrying) so MIL was never going to approve! She always has something negative to say about her whenever I see her. She also has had a lot of negative things to say about her other son's wife. I guess no-one would ever be good enough for her darling boys!
I still see her at family occasions. She came to my son's PhD graduation last year and spent a great deal of time talking to me about my repacement's faults! I think she has become quite a sad lonely widow in her old age.
When my son married I told my new (very lovely) DIL that I'd learnt from my MIL how not to behave and hoped she would benefit from my experience. I'm sure I'll make different mistakes but on the whole I think we have a really good relationship.
I never called my MIL out for her snide comments when I was still with ex H but I wish I had. Now I have more confidence and on the occasions I do see her I stick up for myself much more and ignore any negativity from her. I find it amusing that she seems to now see me as 'better' than his new partner. After all I was the one who gave her her adored GC. She will never change though. I don't think she entirely approves of my son's wife because of her chosen vocation - she is training to be a vicar - and one of my DIL's family friends described her as 'very opinionated' the day after the wedding so she had obviously had things to say at the wedding reception where they were seated together! I'm just glad that, as the 'ex', I no longer feel the need to hold back if she offends me!

Shropshirelass Mon 26-Aug-19 08:43:14

Mothers being over protective and jealous of their son’s wife/partner. After all she feels you have taken him away from her. I would ignore her, sit there on a higher pedestal than hers knowing that her son adores you. That is all that matters. Presents are material things, you have love.

Shropshirelass Mon 26-Aug-19 08:45:18

PS. I think that by giving her son such a lot of money for his birthday, she is trying to buy his affection. Strange tactics.

pce612 Mon 26-Aug-19 12:23:18

Give her the soaps back, she might take the hint.
How many DsIL has she had/got? Were they all rejects from the same spouse?
She sounds like my MIL (now dead, thankfully). Nightmare.
Good Luck!!!

sarahanew Mon 26-Aug-19 12:42:10

As we get older we need less stuff and regifting is a good idea, saving money for those on small budgets too. Reusing wrapping paper is very green and something my mother always tried to do when I was growing up. I would assume she thought you would happy with the soaps. Each generation has differing ideas about what other generations like. Take gifts in the way they're meant regardless of whether you actually like the item itself

GoodMama Mon 26-Aug-19 14:23:42

Silverlady79, I hope you are doing well. Have you had a chance to discuss with your husband and see where he is on his mother's behavior?

Mamma66 Tue 27-Aug-19 16:01:02

If you’re feeling brave and so inclined I know a sure fire way to immediately stop her from making nasty comments. It does require a degree of bravery and all it will achieve is curbing her behaviour rather than be the start of an improved relationship.

I know a chap who responds to bad behaviour by having an extreme reaction that basically embarrasses the bully. So for example, I once saw him shaking hands with another man who tried to crush his hand. His response? To scream very loudly and drop to the floor. The hand squeezer (who was notorious for doing this) was completely shocked and embarrassed and never tried it again. Obviously I am not suggesting you fall to the floor, but the loudest and most theatrical sobbing imaginable and rushing out of the room (ideally with an audience) should stop her in her tracks. Alternatively look amused and mutter to yourself a cryptic comment about how you had been warned etc (loud enough for her to hear of course). Smirking winds people up no end. Obviously I would never normally use these tactics or suggest being mean, but she started it and if she’s big enough to dole it out she’s big enough to get it back. Good luck whatever approach you decide to take 🍀

Tedber Tue 27-Aug-19 19:35:13

As a young wife of a man who was married previously and never matched up to his first wife in MIL eyes....(She was tall, slim, brainy and beautiful) All the opposite of me! Oh boy did she revel in telling me! My advice is IGNORE it!!

My husband loved ME and that's all I needed.

Sadly he died very young and left me alone and MIL suddenly started 'liking' me! All deceased now and I look back and am grateful I didn't let her attitude affect me or my relationship. Be the bigger person Silverlady. Life is too short.

Madgran77 Wed 28-Aug-19 10:07:41

Tedber Thinking about it, I think that is good advice and probably the best response really.

Starlady Thu 29-Aug-19 05:53:15

Silverlady, I'm so sorry MIL is so rude and cruel. My first thought was, don't be in a room alone w/ her. If DH leaves the room, find a reason to leave w/ him and don't reenter until he does. If he notices it, and asks why, let him know.

If you do find yourself alone w/ MIL and she makes a nasty remark, I would challenge her on it (Whatever did you mean by that?"). If she follows w/ anothe rude comment, let her know you think it's rude. But be prepared for her to protest she was "only joking" or "didn't mean it the way you took it" or that you're "too sensitive." Never mind. She'll begin to realize you're onto her and not going to tolerate it anymore. Or yes, maybe record her, as some have suggested.

As for gifts, I wouldn't worry about it too much anymore. She may actually believe she's "supposed to" gift her DS more generously than an inlaw. And yes, she may make it a habit to recycle old paper. (I have a cousin who does this. Some people think it's practical and clever, others find it cheap, and still others, don't care.) But if you really think she's deliberately being rude via gifts, then I wouldn't buy her any at all. No, I wouldn't "stoop to her level" by going cheap, I would just leave her gifts up to DH from now on. She's his mum, after all.

If you get to the point where you really would rather not be around her, I think that's ok as long as you don't try to stop DH from seeing her. She may feel snubbed and hurt, but what does she expect after all her rude comments, etc? Besides, maybe she would really rather just be w/ DS.

Gotta, I think I would have to draw the line at physical abuse. No way would I go near this woman again, and no way would she be welcome in my home. And so what if DH is "horrified" if you tell him - he should be! He can visit her on his own, if he wants, but, IMO, no way should you accompany him to a woman who is abusive to you. And if he decides not to visit her anymore, as you fear, more power to him! IMO, he should take a stand against her abusing his wife. But I realize he might have conflicting emotions when it comes to his mum. So he may still want to see her, but he shouldn't expect you to.

Or perhaps he won't be as shocked as you think. If she has been doing this to SIL all these years, perhaps she has always been abusive, and DH will have stories to tell you. I suspect she tries to see if she can get away w/ one slap, and if she can, there will be more. Don't give her the chance.

Minxie, love your idea!

Starlady Thu 29-Aug-19 06:00:50

Oops! I see some of my comments repeated what others had already said. Well, that just shows I agree.

Starlady Thu 29-Aug-19 06:09:16

Love your post, GoldenAge!

LOL, Mamma66!

Tedber, you deserve a medal! But not all DILs can rise above so easily.

cas58 Thu 29-Aug-19 20:55:34

Nannandgrampy, uh uh, giving a shit gift is more insulting than no gift at all. She knows exactly what she's doing,