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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
been married for over 15 years, most of those years happy. very happy now with DH. we lived in one state while his parents lived 2 states away, made me happier still as his mother is a butt-in, nosy, royal pain in the butt. she has been at the root of most of our worst fights. i have come very close to simply giving up and walking out, cept we have 2 kids, and he's a good dad. and in general, a very good man, so i didn't want to give it all away for this one issue.

BUT...she is just someone i cannot get along with, period. i have tried, believe me, i've done all i can. she has done so many things against me--she had been going thru the divorce 5 years ago from his dad, and gave all her past due creditors our number for collection! she pumps my kids for info, or demands they wait on her hand and foot. and all joking aside, i think she has mental issues. has tantrum, screaming/crying fits, threw out the youngest brother which we took in for over 2 years without a dime of help. (then acts like he was here on a fun visit) has been caught snooping thru my cupboards/drawers, and when i was nursing my kids, would stand close enough to get a 'good view'. ewww! many of the things that have happened i'd talk to my mom about and she just can't believe it. for our wedding gift, she handed us the bill for the stuff SHE insisted we have at the wedding--things i didn't even want!

the latest is she is telling strangers our personal information about our house issues. she is not choosy of whom she blabs to either, and altho the last one that she talked to is harmless, it really concerns me as who knows who will be the next one she comes across? she gives no concern that maybe i dont' want my info blasted to jsut anyone, or that just maybe, there ARE ppl in this world who would learn things (such as what we own, that we have young girls, etc.) and use that info to cause us harm. i am furious.

i have never really cared to spend any time with her, and holidays have become a nightmare now that she lives a mere half hour from us. she thinks every holiday, birthday, school event, etc. exists for her alone and that we 'owe' it to her to coddle her. when i ask hubby about why the family puts up with her crap, he told me 'cuz we just have to'. ???huh?? why??

so that leads me to my current issue, which is really just a reoccurring one....hubby feels terribly obligated to go to her house for the holiday. he says he is unhappy to go, but will at every occasion. his other bro will be there with his family, of which he's never been happy to see--we think they are into drugs and their kids are beyond weird. they live in a camper and claim to homeschool, but the kids know nothing. i do not want to be anywhere near them, or have my kids near them either. its that 'mama bear' feeling, to keep my girls safe.

i want to have our own thanksgiving, our family has been dreadfully busy and it'd be great to just spend the day together, playing games (we rarely do, due to time issues), and being quiet, maybe watch a movie. (the kids have asked for this!) husband keeps telling me to 'just tell me what to do' (go there or stay home) and i wont' do that. i think he needs to decide that for himself. but i feel a bit shunned that he picks going to her every time--i feel as if i have to fight for him almost as if he has a girlfriend or mistress. its awful. so now, i either have to have my dinner based around her (which does not set well with me at all!!!) or loose again. please help me work thru this.
 

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>>>>so now, i either have to have my dinner based around her (which does not set well with me at all!!!)<<<<

That is so simple and easy to do, and will totally solve the problem, that if you won't even go that far, you probably don't want a solution anyway.
 

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OMG! Do we share a MIL? Mine used to drink and in fact, after 18 years of her antics we just had it out about the things she has said/done to me. She said I have twisted everything and that it never happened like I said. I too felt like walking away from it all but stayed for the kids. Thank goodness I didn't. My husband is THE most woderful guy in the world. It wasn't always like that. All my baggage aside, I think what I would do is stay home. Tell your husband that he is more than welcome to go to his mother's if he likes but you are going to spend the day with the kids. At some point you have to make your own traditions. She's not going to be around forever and your kids need some happy memories of the holidays. If you want to commiserate send me a PM. I'm headed off to work for 4 days and might not get back to you right away.
 

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IMO, your DH is asking you to make the decision not to go. He probably feels guilty about not wanting to go, so is passing the decision making to you. Take him up on the opportunity and decide that you and your DH and the kids will have Thanksgiving at home this year :) Problem solved.
I feel your pain!
 

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You are very blessed to be married to a wonderful man. Maybe you could set boundaries--such as every other holiday, or lunch but not all day on Thanksgiving. Who knows, when you start setting boundaries, maybe she will change the way she treats your family. It is very hard to make someone divorce their family no matter how out of line they are. That doesn't mean you have to let them treat you badly. For starters, I'd not tell her information I didn't want others to know.
 

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What Farmergirl said. Sounds like your husband doesn't need much of a push to stay home, but without your influence, he can't help but to feel like the obedient son instead of the strong husband. I think he is asking you to be the strong wife so that he doesn't have to make this guilty decision alone, as ideal as it would be for him to stand strong on his own. Help him, AND your family - he is yours this Thanksgiving and that's that!
 

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My dear, to put it in the clearest of terms, your husband is tied to his mothers apron strings. He's never grown up and become a man to her, he is still her little boy in HIS mind and HIS eyes. When mama calls, he will always come a running.

Until that changes, nothing will change. He will not back you against her.

This is one that is squarely on his shoulders, and unfortunately, he probably has no idea that it's there, or that there is a problem, or that there is something he can do about it.

If per chance you are a christian oriented family, you might want to point him in the direction of something called "The Quest for Authentic Manhood".
 

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I would guess that you'll tell him to stay home, he'll tell his mom that you are forcing him to stay home, and you'll be the bad guy. It's time for him to be a man and start taking care of his family.
 

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IMO, your DH is asking you to make the decision not to go. He probably feels guilty about not wanting to go, so is passing the decision making to you. Take him up on the opportunity and decide that you and your DH and the kids will have Thanksgiving at home this year :) Problem solved.
I feel your pain!
I would do what Farmergirl suggested. You're going to be the bad guy but I think you would be no matter what you do!

Believe me when I say I could tell MIL stories! I've had three.

Make some family traditions with your DH and children.

One question though. How does MIL have so much info on your family to talk about? If DH is tell her stuff, tell him to quit it now. What goes on in your family, stays in the family.
 

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You can't really control hubby's decision-making (at least not without a fight, anyway), so why not do what others have said-- stay home with the kids and start some awesome family traditions of your own? Make a fabulous meal, go to see a movie, have Family Game Night, make tents out of blankets and have a camp-out in the living room-- whatever floats your boat, just make it special. If hubby wants to go to his soul-sucking family's instead, it's on him-- it doesn't have to ruin YOUR Thanksgiving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
foxtrapper--i think i hate what you said cuz its true. he does go a running when mama calls, but yet cringes and avoids the phone if she's on the id. its a very strange situation--like he can't help himself but yet hates it. i just dont' get it.

i think i will voice that yes, i'd like him home but still give him the choice. i don't want him here if that's not where his heart is tho.

i would go for a short time as someone suggested, but i did that one year--"one hour" turned into several. i walked out, if he followed, fine, if not, fine. he did. i was so hurt. he promised one hour, but 'she was just setting the table....' its like he wants to do one thing, but just CAN'T go against what mama wants. makes me sick, sad, mad and hurt at the same time.

and she can't be talked to about things she's done, she doesn't hear a word anyone says, long's her lips are flapping. she never shuts up and the stories change according to who she is speaking with. of course, she also leaves out veyr important details, or twists the info., in my mind that is plain lying. and i'm sick of it all.

i certainly dont' tell her anything! she gets info by pumping the 11yr old, or my husband just doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut either. often it seems like harmless stuff to talk about, but then she uses it in ways you'd never think of. so my motto is say nothing other than real light small talk, or it can and WILL be used against me!

i dont' want to have to base my life around hers, and have had 15 years of doing so, every holiday has been run around what SHE wants. i'm done! so that is why i do not want to make my dinner around hers. i'm sick of playing her games, and tiptoeing around what SHE wants. maybe i'm being selfish, but after so many years of it, i'm fed up. there has been SO many situations ruined becuase of her nosy, butting in ways, and because DH (which yes, he's a good guy and i'm lucky to have him!) can't leave mama.

i guess the solution i want is for her to be too far away to be in our lives at all. and i feel guilty for that, but that's the truth. i can't even broach the subject with him, it will lead to an argument in seconds. i just cannot see a way out, other than giving him up for all holidays. i guess i will tell him what i want (for him to stay home) but yet leave him the choice, i WILL NOT make his choices for him, i'd be as bad as her!!

i really appreciate the advice, i'm really baffled and i want peace for holidays! i dont' want anymore hard feelings and i so want our family to enjoy the holidays together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok, cross posted. THANKS SO MUCH for the support!!! i really need that.

yup, i do not want to be the bad guy, and i think no matter what i do, its not going to be a smooth simple thing.

so yup, i'm telling him what i wish, but leaving it for him to do. the kids and i are planning a meal that we want, basicly all the goodies we never make! i plan for a movie, or if nice, a horseback ride to wherever they want. and i want my meal at noon, i dont' want to eat that much or clean that mess so late at night!

i grew up with fun holidays and want that for my kids too--he says he HATES holidays, wishes that it was jan already. i think that's sad. so i think why can't we make a holiday our way and FUN??!

'soul sucking' fits them SO well, hahahahah!

thanks again for the support--that is what i'm really missing i think.
 

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Chewie, perhaps some marriage counseling might help the both of you.

He might just understand your needs and feelings better if he hears it from a person who is not imvolved.
 

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Chewie, it's a nasty situation to be in. Counseling is a good idea. I was in a rough spot with my mother and I had to tell her that now that I was all grown up, MY family was DD and DH (in that order) and they're the ones I needed to think of first.

<<<Hugs>>>
 

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My advice!
You and the kids stay at home!
Watch movies.
Make cookies.
And have DH's favorite treat ready for him when he gets home.
He has to go. I understand. He would hear carp for the rest of the old bat's life if he didn't go. By the way.. she will live forever!! Evil never dies.


Make your home and your family and safe haven for him.
Make him sooo glad to be with you and away from the trauma/drama. Welcome him with open arms and a big smile. He will love you for it.


No wonder he hates holidays. My DH hated holidays too because his mother (sweet, sweet woman) had an awful mother of her own and holidays were hell on earth. That stress rubbed off an DH and he is slowly warming up to the idea that they can be fun. I try to make them as low stress as possible. If he sees that I am enjoying the holiday he gets happy too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i am reading every word. things here are at an all time stress high, as we just now learned our new house cannot be started, either. we burnt down the old junk house, and would've been smarter to 'build on', as now there is a 'code' and we cannot build where we need to. so now this is another huge road block because of time, etc.

i am really starting to think the universe has something else for us--everytime we get close the door gets slammed on this house issue.

chickenista--yup, doing just that. if his mother puts this stress on him, he'll love me more for NOT. the kids are having fun picking out a menu that's not 'normal' and we'll go shopping for it tomorrow. just knowing i can avoid this crazy woman makes me better!

again, your support is really appreciated. its so hard, i am feeling very alone right now with the house, and this holiday issue. i'd like to call a friend, but i am fairly embarassed at my problems, so you are helping alot just listening. thanks
 

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My advice!
You and the kids stay at home!
Watch movies.
Make cookies.
And have DH's favorite treat ready for him when he gets home.
He has to go. I understand. He would hear carp for the rest of the old bat's life if he didn't go. By the way.. she will live forever!! Evil never dies.


Make your home and your family and safe haven for him.
Make him sooo glad to be with you and away from the trauma/drama. Welcome him with open arms and a big smile. He will love you for it.


No wonder he hates holidays. My DH hated holidays too because his mother (sweet, sweet woman) had an awful mother of her own and holidays were hell on earth. That stress rubbed off an DH and he is slowly warming up to the idea that they can be fun. I try to make them as low stress as possible. If he sees that I am enjoying the holiday he gets happy too.
And understand and graciously ignore the fact that the MIL will say lots of nasty things about you to your DH if he attends and you and the children do not. There are times to call people out on their behavior, and times to pity them and let them be. This is one of those times that calling her out on the foul things she will say behind your back is unnecessary. Take the higher road, and let her spread all the vitriol she wants, and just pretend you don't know she is doing it. This will also make things easier on your DH, and easier on you too because you won't be stressing yourself out over her issues.

By the way, if she can't keep that gossiping tongue in her mouth, you may as well get a little amusement out of it. Every now and then let an absolute whopper slip, that every listener will immediately know is false. (That may just be my sense of humor though.)

Kayleigh
 

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Chewie, it's OKAY to be the bad guy to get your husband off the hook with his mother. You be the strong one when it comes to his family and he can be the strong one on issues that you find tough to handle. That's what's so brilliant in marriage partnerships!

Now is the time to create new holiday traditions and happy memories for your family, including your husband, excluding MIL.

My FIL still thinks I am the reason DH won't move our family back to his hometown. The truth is, DH hates it back there and doesn't want to be that close to his dysfunctional family. We were offered a 20 acre dairy farm and I was ready to go. DH said No Way!
 

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WOW! We must have the same MIL! I've put up with her carp for years and I finally put my foot down and she backed off.
I feel for you, I really do...if you want to let it rip in a pm about her, I'm here to listen too :)
 

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I've lived near my difficult MIL all of my married life (37 years), and I have a difficult daughter-in-law. There comes a time you have to think of yourself and your family unit - your husband and children come first, and that includes private matters such as housing, etc..especially when these people do not have your best interests at heart. I know it must sound as though I am the problem, and I'm not saying I'm perfect.. but I was raised to try and get along, to be a people-pleaser and "be nice". Sad to say, it doesn't always work.

I remember hearing Dr Laura on the radio one day, speaking to a young mom with an overbearing MIL. She said her home is her castle (in other words).. she has total control over who comes over and when, who takes care of her kids, etc.. If she didn't want to set 'boundaries" (and that is a very important word), then she might as well live out in the middle of the street and let just anyone pass through their lives.

It's hard to start thinking this way.. but I can tell you after many many years, this is what it must be. My husband and I have to think of ourselves, our health, our marriage.. we aren't responsible for other people's happiness. Often things work out just fine even if they aren't done the 'traditional' way. It's okay to let difficult people just live their own lives, we will be fine... it's not worth it to try and force things when people don't feel the same way.

I think your MIL will be just fine.. she will get used to it. Do what you really want. If your husband wants to go there for awhile, that's fine.. Have your own plans waiting for him when he gets home. When he sees how much happier you are, as you are starting your own traditions, he will slowly begin to understand, and make the changes. I think so, anyway!

It's not easy, but just remember that YOU and your wishes are important too.
 
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