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My new mother in law

(95 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.

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.