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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.

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.