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post #1 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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MIL drama

Ok most of you guys know my situation. We live 6hrs from family. My hubby fam is Italian and I have had respect and boundary issues with them. My husband is stressed out to the max with work. But also he is PA and he can't deal with conflict especially when it's with his parents. I have accepted this, and no longer expect him to be the "bad guy" and stand up to them. Our marriage is rocky right now so the last thing I want to do is tip him over the edge, even though he SHOULD be able to say no to them.

My MIL have gotten into it a bit, and I am not shy, I'm not afraid to address issues with her, and I call it like I see it. But we are friendly and on good terms. But she's manipulative and I don't trust her.

Anyway... she basically invited her family up for Easter. There are 3 of them, and we live in a tiny apartment. I respectfully told her no, because I am working Friday-Sunday. And I don't get home till after 8 every night. And my husband works every morning and his schedule is unpredictable, (he's a surgical resident). And every time they come up... they get dumped on me because he has a emergent surgery of something. I told her to come up another weekend when I'm off. She said ok. I told my husband, he said ok although the doesn't really care if they come up. Only because he doesn't want conflict, but he respected my wishes and agreed with me. A couple days later... my Husband told me that his mom is asking about coming up for Easter. I'm so annoyed. He hates saying no to them, he hates conflict, and he said He will talk to me. He he did the wrong thing but I don't blame him. Now he is stressed out about this. And I know he would be because this is just so stressful for him for some reason I will never understand but I know it's true. And now I'm upset with my MIL. I feel like she should have respected what I said, instead of going behind my back to my husband and putting him in a situation she knows stresses him out. What do you guys think? I get that my husband SHOULD be able to talk to him parents and tell them no, but that's just no realistic. I told my MIL multiple times, don't put him in the middle, or make him feel like he's in the middle. Should I say something to my MIL or drop it? I feel like there is just no respect from them to me and they don't care what I ever say. And I want to nip this stuff I'm the butt before we have kids.

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post #2 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MIL drama

I get that he doesn't mind if they come up. But I do. And it's not because I'm being *****y, it's because I'm working the entire weekend and it's going to be
Very stressful to have them up and try to entertain them and cook.

Last edited by EleGirl; 03-20-2017 at 12:39 AM. Reason: removed profanity filter bypass
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post #3 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:32 PM
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Re: MIL drama

If it were me, I would be tempted to call her up and ask her why she went behind my back to put her son in a situation that she knows stresses him out. Then, wait for an answer. I have a similar Mom and Mother-in-law, in that they don't always respect boundaries. Instead of arguing with them though, I find that being direct works better: "that was rude; why would you say something like that?" I also find that by asking them direct questions, they tend to stutter and stammer to come up with an answer.
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post #4 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MIL drama

Thank you! I agree 100% with what your saying. I just wanted to double check to make sure I am not out of line.
And the thing is... I have had multiple conversations about her not doing this exact thing. I am always very direct with her. My fear is that she will get mad at my husband for telling me. And then stress my husband out more. My whole thing is.... I don't want to put a wedge in their relationship, but I don't want her to put a wedge in my relationship.

I just want her to respect me. And what I say. But I already know she is thinking I'm the controlling bad wife who doesn't want them to be close to us. Which I know that's what she thinks. Of course the problem is my husband can't freakin say anything and I'm always left looking like the "bad" one.
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post #5 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:45 PM
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Re: MIL drama

We've always worked it that all potentially troublesome communications go through the respective actual child unless we agree it's better for the child in law to do the talking. It can cause some internal friction but shows a united outward front, well if we do it right. YMMV.



Sigh, my wife gives me the speaking treatment.
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post #6 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:49 PM
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MIL drama

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Originally Posted by katiecrna View Post
I get that he doesn't mind if they come up. But I do. And it's not because I'm being *****y, it's because I'm working the entire weekend and it's going to be
Very stressful to have them up and try to entertain them and cook.


The solution is simple. Tell the parents AGAIN that you are working and won't be able to provide dinner but that you will give them a list of good restaurants nearby and a list of things to do.

Don't play the role of host when you cannot.

It's NYC so they have unlimited options.

They are Italian. Guilt and feeling slighted is what they do. I know. I'm Italian.

Hubby wants to please mom. It's an ethnic heritage thing. I had to move 1400 miles to escape that.

Last edited by EleGirl; 03-20-2017 at 12:39 AM. Reason: removed profanity filter bypass
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post #7 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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MIL drama

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Originally Posted by CharlieParker View Post
We've always worked it that all potentially troublesome communications go through the respective actual child unless we agree it's better for the child in law to do the talking. It can cause some internal friction but shows a united outward front, well if we do it right. YMMV.


I wish that could be the case. However my husband is incapable of going against them. He would let them do whatever they want all the time, and then I would get mad at him and then it will literally cause us to have problems where I have to say, them or me. And I am not willing to do that. I don't want him to be put against his family and me. I don't want him to have to chose. But they are disrespectful to me and my wishes. And my husband loves me he really does but he can't deal with conflict, that's why he always says yes. He is so stressed out as it is. And literally when we were talking about this he was getting a headache, and he already suffers from high blood pressure. He legit has issues with dealing with conflict head on, especially with his family. And they know this, and that's why it's upsetting for them to put him in this situation. It's like they want what they want... and what they want I don't want. But they will push it to him to get what they want, which will cause him and I to fight and have problems. It's hard to explain...

Last edited by katiecrna; 03-17-2017 at 03:58 PM.
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post #8 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:05 PM
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Re: MIL drama

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It's hard to explain...
Yes. I was a lot like your husband. Bonus points my (manipulative) dad, (manipulative) sis, wife and I all worked together.

I'll just say you'll unfortunately have to stand up for yourself, either to H or his family, can't tell you which one. My wife was very firm and persistent with me, it paid off eventually. I hope you find a good place.



Sigh, my wife gives me the speaking treatment.
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post #9 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MIL drama

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The solution is simple. Tell the parents AGAIN that you are working and won't be able to provide dinner but that you will give them a list of good restaurants nearby and a list of things to do.

Don't play the role of host when you cannot.

It's NYC so they have unlimited options.

They are Italian. Guilt and feeling slighted is what they do. I know. I'm Italian.

Hubby wants to please mom. It's an ethnic heritage thing. I had to move 1400 miles to escape that.


The thing is... she will just come up and take over the apartment and cook and become hostess. I don't like this sh*t. I find it incredibly rude, disrespectful and it will stress me the f*ck out. But that's what she wants I know it. It's about control. And I'm a huge control freak and I can't let her come in and act like she owns the place and "replace" me.

I am HUGE about respect. When I'm in your house I'll do things the way you want, and will respect you. When your in MY house, you respect me and the way I want things done.
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post #10 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MIL drama

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Originally Posted by CharlieParker View Post
Yes. I was a lot like your husband. Bonus points my (manipulative) dad, (manipulative) sis, wife and I all worked together.



I'll just say you'll unfortunately have to stand up for yourself, either to H or his family, can't tell you which one. My wife was very firm and persistent with me, it paid off eventually. I hope you find a good place.


Thanks. And I know my husband has to work on his issues but right now, it's just not possible with everything he has going on. Plus our marriage is kind of rocky and I don't want to push him over the edge. It's frustrating because I really want us all to get along but to do that we all need to respect each other.

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post #11 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:11 PM
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Re: MIL drama

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...My fear is that she will get mad at my husband for telling me. And then stress my husband out more. My whole thing is.... I don't want to put a wedge in their relationship, but I don't want her to put a wedge in my relationship.

I just want her to respect me. And what I say. But I already know she is thinking I'm the controlling bad wife who doesn't want them to be close to us. Which I know that's what she thinks. Of course the problem is my husband can't freakin say anything and I'm always left looking like the "bad" one.
But how could/would he not tell you? If someone is going to show up on your doorstep, of course he would say something. It's not like you're not going to find out when they arrive.

Unfortunately, she is not going to respect you and what you say until your H draws a line in the sand. And he isn't built for that. You have her little boy. You are a natural enemy to her. The only thing that would make her treat you properly is threat of losing her son to you. And clearly there is no threat of that.

That's unfortunate but okay.

If their being there will really bother you, I recommend you call her up and un-invite her. I couldn't do it but it sounds like you've got it in you. :-) Unless that will really upset your H even more at a bad time. If she does come up and takes over your house, can you just not be available for her meals and stuff? Come home from work and happily say "Sorry, I already at because of the way my shift are this weekend." Then go into your bedroom and read, take a bath, etc. if possible.

It may just end up being a miserable weekend but since you already told her it's not a good weekend, I'd "not have time" for anything and everything she wants to do with you, even inside your home, if it's at all possible to escape.

Last edited by WorkingWife; 03-17-2017 at 04:19 PM. Reason: New post made comments irrelevant.
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post #12 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MIL drama

I just don't get this culture. Like honestly. Do you want your sons marriage to fail?
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post #13 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:12 PM
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Re: MIL drama

Families can ruin a marriage. My cousin married a momma's boy who would not stand up to his mother even though he was in his forties. They lasted two years. I come from an Italian family and live 2,000 miles away from them. My problem is that I did stand up to them and left them to join the Army at 17. Ever since then I was my own man and am one of the very few in my family who does not put his family ahead of his wife. I stood up to my wife's alcoholic and abusive parents and took her out of that toxic environment and we never looked back. They had the decency to die in the first 3 years of our marriage. Their kids were all happy because he beat them so much that they all ended up in the hospital once or twice and even three times.

I have gone years without talking to my parents because of a fight over something they wanted me to do and I would not do it. When we watch a TV show where the husband is a momma's boy, my wife laughs and says that is certainly not me. I have not seen my parents for 7 years. I have moved 13 times in my 44 year marriage so I never got involved in my family squabbles and drama. All my cousins follow the old Italian way by having dinner with their parents every Sunday, live close to them, and spend ever major holiday with them. I shocked them when I did not do that.

Your husband needs to start putting you ahead of everyone else. It will get worse when you have kids. They will tell you how to raise them and talk to your husband behind your back. They will expect to see your kids more than you want them to. Unless your husband stops his current behavior, you really will have a problem for the rest of your life, especially in an Italian family. Mine came right off the boat and live old school to this day. If you watched the Godfather movie and saw how the family got together for meals and holidays, that is how my childhood was. I lived in the same place where they shot part of the movie. I was 5 when I saw my first murder. Still remember it.

Anyway, you need to decide whether to put up with it or break it off now before you have kids. My wife married me because I am a take charge alpha male who makes her feel safe and protected. Someone who takes her side and puts her above all else. My situation was complicated more because my wife is bisexual and her girlfriend lived with us. My parents still do not know that. They just thought that my wife's best friend visited us a lot, especially on holidays because her parents were dead as are my wife's. I never corrected their assumptions, but I had to side with two women and protect our lifestyle from a family that thinks all gays are an abomination. No momma's boy here.

Many prefer to drown in a pool of their own morality rather than seek the safety of a different morality.

Last edited by Vinnydee; 03-17-2017 at 10:54 PM.
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post #14 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MIL drama

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But how could/would he not tell you? If someone is going to show up on your doorstep, of course he would say something. It's not like you're not going to find out when they arrive.

Unfortunately, she is not going to respect you and what you say until your H draws a line in the sand. And he isn't built for that. You have her little boy. You are a natural enemy to her. The only thing that would make her treat you properly is threat of losing her son to you. And clearly there is no threat of that.

That's unfortunate but okay.

If their being there will stop you from sleeping on work nights, I recommend you call her up and uninvite her. But if it's just that you won't have time to be a hostess to them - I say let them come up but do NOTHING with them or to entertain them. Google a list of sight seeing and food for them, and give it to them with a list of restaurants and directions to the subway.

When she tries to guilt you for not spending time with them, show ZERO remorse. Cheerfully say something like "I know, right? I so wish you could have come on a weekend when we weren't working, it would have been so great to be able to spend some good time with you. Well, I have to get up early. G'nite!" If she tries to guilt you about not taking time off work, give a cheerful response like "Yeah, that wasn't an option."

Who knows, maybe SHE will cook and you'll get a good Italian meal out of the deal.

BTW, my H and I don't drink coffee or often have foods many consider staples like eggs, bread, milk, cereal, etc. in the house. But we live in a destination city so relatives with kids like to come stay here for vacation. When they want to come visit, I always warn them in advance so they can bring or go get those things they like to have. I will get them if I know they're coming and I have time, but if I don't have time, they are happy to forage bring their own food.

They do still manage to guilt me into not working part of the time they're here though. Being self employed it's hard to say "I can't" when I don't have an actual appointment with a client out of the house...


I don't want her to "win". I want respect. That's all I'm asking for and I don't think I am asking too much. The problem is this is just the tip of the iceberg and I know that. That's why I need to nip it in the butt now. We will be moving back home (same town) and having kids. I know that (she threatened) she will try to come over everyday, all the time and try to control and take over everything. But I am a control freak with MY life. It's the way I have always been, it's the way I have to be for me to have peace and no stress or anxiety and for my ADHD to be well controlled.

The point is not that she will come up and cook for herself so who cares. I care. It brings me an insane amount of stress. The point is, I said no. Period. And I said no for good reasons. They stress me out! Literally the dad sleeps in the spare room, the mom sleeps on the couch in the living room, with her son sleeping on the other side of the couch. It's super overwhelming and my stress and anxiety go through the roof!! Plus I don't trust her. I know she will probably snoop around when we're not home.
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post #15 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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MIL drama

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Originally Posted by Vinnydee View Post
Families can ruin a marriage. My cousin married a momma's boy who would not stand up to his mother even though he was in his forties. They lasted two years. I come from an Italian family and live 2,000 miles away from them. My problem is that I did stand up to them and left them to join the Army at 17. Ever since then I was my own man and am one of the very few in my family who does not put his family ahead of his wife. I stood up to my wife's alcoholic and abusive parents and took her out of that toxic environment and we never looked back. They had the decency to die in the first 3 years of our marriage. Their kids were all happy because he beat them so much that they all ended up in the hospital once or twice and even three times.



I have gone years without talking to my parents because of a fight over something they wanted me to do and I would not do it. When we watch a TV show where the husband is a momma's boy, my wife laughs and says that is certainly not me. I have not seen my parents for 7 years. I have moved 13 times in my 44 year marriage so I never got involved in my family squabbles and drama. All my cousins follow the old Italian way by having dinner with their parents every Sunday, live close to them, and spend ever major holiday with them. I shocked them when I did not do that.



Your husband needs to start putting you ahead of everyone else. It will get worse when you have kids. They will tell you how to raise them and talk to your husband behind your back. They will expect to see your kids more than you want them to. Unless your husband stops his current behavior, you really will have a problem for the rest of your life, especially in an Italian family. Mine came right off the both and live old school to this day. If you watched the Godfather movie and saw how the family got together for meals and holidays, that is how my childhood was. Even down to living where they did and knowing people who lived their lifestyle. I was 5 when I saw my first murder. Still remember it.



Anyway, you need to decide whether to put up with it or break it off now before you have kids. My wife married me because I am a take charge alpha male who makes her feel safe and protected. Someone who takes her side and puts her above all else. My situation was complicated more because my wife is bisexual and her girlfriend lived with us. My parents still do not know that. They just thought that my wife's best friend visited us a lot, especially on holidays because her parents were dead as are my wife's. I never corrected their assumptions but I had to side with two women and protect our lifestyle by family that think all gays are an abomination. No momma's boy here.


I appreciate your input. My in laws are off the boat and are super old school too.

My husband... who I love more than anything will never stand up against them. It's just the way it is. And it's not because he doesn't love me. He is super sensitive, and hates conflict and needs to please and his parents raised him with guilt and manipulation and he always feel indebted to them because of their twisted way of raising him. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. You were strong enough to escape the mental manipulation but my husband isn't.

I want him to have a good relationship with them. They are his only parents. And no one will ever tell me not to see my parents so I will never tell my husband to chose them or me.

I don't care if I am the "bad guy". I know I'm doing what's best for my family and I know I'm doing what my husband can't do but wish he could. I have no problems standing up to them. But my husband is so fearful because he knows how stubborn his dad is and how we can easily get into a blow up fight that will cause us never to speak again. And no one wants that.

All I want is for them to be respectful. But they don't get that concept. I told my husband... I respect that your Italian and you want a close relationship with them. But you also need to respect me, and that I'm mot Italian and I don't want to see them multiple times a week. I'm not trying to tell you what to do, don't tell me what to do. If you want to see your parents, go see them, I will never stop you. But they will NOT be allowed to come over whenever they want. I have my own boundaries. I'm fine with Sunday dinners. But if I can't make it, I can't make it. I am very reasonable. But I will start a war if they can't respect normal healthy boundaries. And I told my MIL that If you come over unannounced.... I will not let you in. And she looked at me like I was this disrespectful little girl but I don't care. I know these people very well. You give them an inch, they take a mile. I am very direct and matter of fact with them. I'm sorry you think that's disrespectful. I think its disrespectful not to call. So I guess we can disagree but how I do things in my house will be respected.
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