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    madmama's Avatar
    madmama Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Apr 17, 2007, 07:56 PM
    Manipulative mother-in-law
    My husband and I have been together for 10 years. We have 2 sons together ages 5 and 2. When my first son was born my in laws were excited. They stocked up their home for their first grandchild. I too was excited to give my in laws their first grandchild. We would get together every Sunday and watch the Sopranos, we would have dinner outings everything was great... mind you this was before we married and after the birth of our first son. My husband and I decided to get married when our son was 2 years old. It seems like as soon as we starting talking about the wedding things between us and my inlaws went down hill. My husband is the oldest of 4 and was the only child for almost 10 years... so here is where it all began.

    Before our rehearsal dinner I was asked if my husbands family can give my husband a special gift. Of course I said yes, I mean my mother had bought me my dress. So they gave him a Rolex watch. Again I thought this was a gift, as my wedding dress was a gift from my mother. When we went to open our envelopes after the wedding, I realized my in laws did not give us a card or anything for that matter. Come to find out the watch was the WEDDING GIFT. My in laws as well as my parents had a list of people they invited to the wedding. My parents helped pay for their share of guests plus more. I thought that my in laws too would contribute, am I wrong for thinking this?

    Next came the Christmas ordeal. Before we were married I received gifts like everyone else. Now only my son and husband received gifts and in abundance. I received a cheap card that said Merry Christmas. I am not greedy, however I think that is a bold statement when you go from getting me things, to nothing at all, but still buy for my family? Each Christmas this became a repeat. We always made sure we saw my inlaws for holidays, sometimes inconviencing my own family. But that was my husbands family and I wanted to make things work.

    Then my husband and I found out we were pregnant again. We were so happy. I figured no use in being upset about the wedding and xmas ordeal, it was time to move on. We decided we needed a bigger home, our 2 bdrm condo was no place to raise 2 children. We bought a house that needed some work because we live in NJ and this is an expensive state and we could not afford more then what we had gotten. My parents offered us the money to close on the house so we could use our extra money to make it livable. After we moved in and I was only 2 months away from having my second child my husband lost his job. Money was tight, very tight, so I went back to work as a waitress working nights, while he tried to start up his own business. My parents helped us out tremendously with babysitting and purchasing necessities that we were unable to buy at the time. My in laws offered no help. Mind you they live well and can afford to. They would not even help with babysitting. One time I called up because I really was in a corner and they made up excuse after excuse. Later we found out that they just did not want to baby sit. This became the usual answer we got from that point forward. Still I tried to make things work because this was my husbands family. We purchased tickets to a broadway show for his parents, my husband purchased a cell phone for his mother, right before I had my second son. He had paid on it for a year... but when money started to get tight, he asked her if she could now pick up the payments because we could not afford our own bills.

    Then came the trip to the Bahamas. With all the stress of losing his job, having a baby a new mortgage and being flat out broke, my in laws tell me they are sending us on a cruise and they were paying for everything. So after my husband convinced me into going we went. I had a good time, however I was upset with the fact that some money still had to come out of our pocket, you know tipping, food on land, etc... So we spent money that could have went elsewhere. My MIL took it all in with grand assault as if she had done something wonderful for us, my parents thought it was so nice of them to do that... that was until... she called my parents and told them that they had to pay for my half of the trip. So it was a gift to my husband not to me. My parents were in shock when they called and asked them for the money, because they did not even discuss this with my MIL.

    While we were on our cruise we left our children in the care of both grandparents. While my MIL had my children, I had found out that she had taken a bath with my 3 year old son. Now mind you this is a grown women bathing naked with my 3 year old son. After that I no longer let them watch my children. My husbands aunt called me and asked me how I liked the trip to the Bahamas, I told her it was nice, but a little quiet at night. I was exhausted from being upset having to spend our money, and my parents having to pay, and finding out my son had taken a bath with his grandmother... so I didn't sound all excited on the phone. The aunt picked up on this and called my MIL and told her that I did not like my trip. Of course that rocked the boat even more!

    Next came my sons Christening. I asked my SIL to be the godmother. She agreed. His mother was upset because we asked my husbands best friend to be the godfather instead of my husbands 10 yr old brother. That was a decision my husband came to not me, but me being the evil one got the blame. I had called up and asked for the families addresses so I can invite them to the baptismal, I was told that no one in the family would be there so do not bother. Tensions were high and my MIL did not come to the baptismal. The only people that came were my FIL and my SIL. And that was because my SIL is 15 yrs old and one of her parents needed to be there, it is a special even for her as well. Why would she do that to her grandson, son and daughter? If you hate me that is fine but be there for them! My husband and I soon started to argue, because he sat on the sidelines and did not acknowledge what was going on.

    A few weeks went by and I my MIL called to speak to my husband, yes I am mad at this women, but I answered the phone, she asked for my husband and in a hurry I handed him the phone. I was not trying to be rude, but the baby was fussing and I had my hands full so I was not able to say hi how are you and carry on a conversation. I know you have all been there. Well this upset her. After they hung up she called back, I had answered and she told me you're a f***in B**** and I hated you too and hung up on me. My husband called back no one answered. 15 yr old SIL called & apologized to me for her mother behavior and she told me her mother hates me because I married her son.That was the last straw!

    Before all this I had spoken several times to my MIL, apologizing for whatever it is that is making her unhappy, I have tried and tried and tried to make things right. What it boils down to is she is not happy that I married her son, and have taken him away from her. My husband is torn because she has his siblings which 2 of them are under the age of 18.

    After lots of arguing and fighting my husband started to come around. I do understand where he is coming from, I mean it is his family and you can not choose who they are. When the holidays came around my FIL called and wanted to see the kids, my husband told him you need to apologize to my wife first. So my MIL called, we ended up playing phone tag and never ended up talking. Everything went by the way side. Suddenly they were coming to my house on Friday nights, when I was at work. They would wait until I left then come pulling up. I told my husband that it was not right that they only come around when I am not home, that we are a family and I should be included. So I called them to invite them for pizza, they never showed, because they knew I was going to be there. In the end they are trying to come between my husband and I. They know it hurts me when they come over when I am not around. Finally after arguing my husband told them that I needed to be included too, needless to say that do not come around anymore.

    My husband still speaks to them and every now and then we get into an argument because he wants to bring the kids to them, etc. But they go months without talking to my children or us, if my children or sick or in the hospital they do not call... then pop back in and try to ruffle the waters.. what am I to do?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #2

    Apr 17, 2007, 08:27 PM
    Sorry somewhere about 1/2 way though I just could not read though it,

    So from the start and getting the last few lines, so you don't want to have anything to do with them, don't, My wife of 8 years has seen my mom 2 times, and will never see them again,
    madmama's Avatar
    madmama Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Apr 17, 2007, 08:45 PM
    Sorry I lost you. I have had almost 5 yrs of abuse from his family and I just was trying to give the best explanation of why I am done with them. Its not that I haven't tried but its constant problems when they are involved. How do we have nothing to do with them? If we don't then my husband can't see his younger siblings and I am afraid he'll resent me in the long run.
    chippers's Avatar
    chippers Posts: 440, Reputation: 88
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    #4

    Apr 17, 2007, 08:51 PM
    Let me get this right, mother in law climbs naked into the bath tub with your 3 year old? What happened then? I ask this because a BIG red flag went up when I read it. That should've been reported because that's child abuse. Second I wouldn't let grand ma near the kids for fear it being repeated. It kind of makes you wonder what else happened that you weren't informed about.

    Hubby needs to grow up a little. He only gets involved I'd say reluctantly after you say somenting to him. Probably why you feel resent meant toward him. He is afraid to diagree or go against his parents but he's a grown man and needs to realize that. He has a wife and chilren that need to come first. Like looking for a job to help make ends meet. It also sounds like your mother in law is being catered to by her family because they too are afraid of her "going Off". So they're saying what she wants them to say. It also gives her power and attention. Your hubby being the oldest and her only one fior so long created a bond between them. But as I said, your husband married you and needs to remember that.

    You can't win with her. No matter what you do or say she will turn it around so you always look like the heavy. You've got a lot on your shoulders right now to constantly worry about her being on the attack. (moms like that always are) she'll never get over you taking her son away and she'll just have to live with it.
    She may have psych issues that are beyond you saying I'm sorry to fix it. Always making things out to be your fault and needing you to say your sorry is an example. She's making herslef out to be the victim and not the victimizer.(feelings of presecution)
    Your main concern are your children and getting rid of the undue stress.
    He may miss his siblings but they will grow up and out of the house. Hubby can keep chatting with them as long as mom in law stays out of your hair. From the feeling I'm getting by what you wrote, they want hubby to choose between you and his mother.
    In my book he already did by marrying you.
    LuvMyMaltipoo's Avatar
    LuvMyMaltipoo Posts: 281, Reputation: 39
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    #5

    Apr 17, 2007, 08:58 PM
    Obviously he sees exactly what is going on, and he knows you are trying hard to get along with them. As much as he wants to be completely on your side, family is STILL family. Your In-laws are making him feel guilty about the situation and he is falling for it. It's going to take a lot to make him give up. I've been through a similar experience with my family and it took something REALLY bad to happen for me to finally give up. The best thing I can tell you is to just sit back and let them self-destruct, it's only a matter of time. Kill them with kindness and live your life... don't take it out on your husband... everyone hopes for that picture perfect family and he's trying everything he can to make it work.

    GOODLUCK with everything!
    vlee's Avatar
    vlee Posts: 454, Reputation: 109
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    #6

    Apr 17, 2007, 10:25 PM
    Fisrt and foremost, if you feel resentment toward your husband, you need to talk it out. If you can't do it alone, got to a marriage counselor. This is a good idea anyway, as you need to make your vantage points about his mother clear and come to terms somehow. Second, they are your in laws, not your blood. (Yes, I realize they are his blood, but they aren't treating him that way by disrespecting his wife.) If they want a part in your home and with your child then they need to treat you with respect and dignity. You can tell your husband that their patterns of behavior are unacceptable and you won't tolerate it. Your MIL sounds like the queen B to me, and I would know, as I have dealt with one. In the end, my marriage suffered extensive blows and I do blame a great part in its demise to the witch. All I can suggest is GROW A MEAN BACKBONE, and get into counseling with your husband. Best of luck.
    Illusion's Avatar
    Illusion Posts: 195, Reputation: 33
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    #7

    Apr 20, 2007, 04:34 PM
    You know everyone sounds upsets about this situation. You and your in-laws do not get along. To avoid another confrontation, why don't you agree to let your husband and children visit with the in-laws for an afternoon or day during the week. You can then spend time doing something on your own. Let them have their time. Your husband should see his parents anyway. He can monitor any visits with the children. Don't force a friendship to come out of this - all you need to do is to be polite and leave at that. Don't force something just because they are your in-laws because the disagreements will just continue. You and your husband need to make your own decisions about your household and life. Rely on yourself and your decisions. I know it's easier said than done, it is hard enough to have a husband and children - and everything else you have to deal with.
    Pheonix Child's Avatar
    Pheonix Child Posts: 4, Reputation: 2
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    #8

    Apr 29, 2007, 07:04 AM
    Hey,
    Being in an ordeal similar to yours I was told you couldn't win against family-in-law even less against mothers-in-law, mayby you still have a chance if the rest of the family likes you. I would suggest to GO SEE A MARRIAGE COUNCELOR OR ANYTHING LIKE, as SOON as you can. Difficult decisions become more and more heavy, complicated and very hard to manage on your own. You shouldn't go through this alone because as you must already know, it can get to ge a mighty lonsom and alienating battle. Best of luck and courage to you.
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
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    #9

    Apr 30, 2007, 08:40 AM
    I just don't understand the shift. Everything was fine until you married him - so what happened? My mother always told me (when I got married) that there are a few subjects off limits - a man's mother is one of them. I very rarely say anything negative about my husband's mom - we have a great relationship though. My FIL - well that is a different story - he is a piece of work - but when negative things come up - my husband agrees - they do not have a relationship at all.
    The thing is - a man needs to put his wife first and vice versa. You two are nurturing a family together.
    I am sure his mother doesn't realize what position she is putting her son in. Trying to make him chose between the two of you. I don't know if you could invite her to lunch or something to try and work this out. Your husband may need to invite her - because it sounds like she wouldn't show if she knew you were involved (do the old bait and switch) - you are family and you should make it work. If she is unwilling - well? I don't know what you can do. I know I am not much help! :)
    gypsy456's Avatar
    gypsy456 Posts: 319, Reputation: 48
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    #10

    May 2, 2007, 10:40 AM
    Keep distance...

    You have your own family, your husband and children.
    Sometimes people have a great relationship with family, sometimes they don't.

    Live your own life.
    Tuscany's Avatar
    Tuscany Posts: 1,049, Reputation: 229
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    #11

    May 2, 2007, 10:49 AM
    https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/other-...w-79035-2.html

    Check out this discussion
    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #12

    May 2, 2007, 04:23 PM
    Tuscany, just found this thread, and then yours. Madmamma, I hope you come back to read Tuscany's thread. VERY interesting stuff.

    You both have the same problem. Your husbands are MIL's little boys. These women are so afraid of their daughter-in-laws taking away their son's love, affection, and most importantly, "the priority" (her) in his life. She has now become the number two woman when she was number one. Madmamma, it was okay before you married because you weren't a threat when you weren't married. She still lived in her fantasy that her boy was still hers. Women like this are very difficult to change and get through to. They need to continue to control their children and all situations associated with their children. Controlled their sons when they were growing up. Part of the problem is the fact that they are losing their control, recognize that they are aging, and it scares them. Their sons have become men with their own families. They haven't developed enough of their own interests outside of the family they created. For madmomma, MIL is still a Mom with two children living at home. It is very difficult for her to switch channels and recognize that she now actually has 4 children (meaning you). She has not embraced you as her child as she should, she is looking at you as the interloper who has torn apart the happy family of 5 that she created.

    Vlee was right on target with Marriage counseling. Both you and your husband will benefit from this greatly. Your husband needs to learn how to effectively put his Mother in her proper place. She needs to be made to understand, from own son, that he loves her but that you are his first priority, and if she cannot understand or accept that, she risks losing him. Believe me, if he does this correctly, she will toe the line and change her tune. As long as he allows this behavior toward you to continue, it will never change. He is the only one who has the power to do this. A good counselor who can teach him those tricks is worth their weight in gold.
    brandy681's Avatar
    brandy681 Posts: 295, Reputation: 26
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    #13

    May 7, 2007, 03:14 AM
    It sounds like maybe a few rumors have got to your mother in law and maybe some lies as well. Also your mother in law may feel some sort of resentment towards you for some reason or for something that you may have done or said. As time goes by in a relationship the inlaw situation usually gets worse and worse because of everything "building" up. She is probably really peed off right now because she doesn't get to see her family without seeing you. This could have possibly been fixed but it would be too hard now and it likely too late. His inlaws may not feel comfortable around you because of embarressment on there part or for there resentment and so it would be best for your husband to see his parents alone. Eventually they may come around but if your husband is not seeing his parents at all they are just going to blame you and put a bigger resentment in the long run. This may eventually really play a HUGE roll on your husband because he will want to see his family and don't want to choose between them. I know a lot of situations like this and the husband doesn't even take up for the wife! He would probably take up for his mother before you because she raised him and he listens to her. It is not right and I think that it is totally WRONG but he really has to decide.
    madmama's Avatar
    madmama Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    May 7, 2007, 06:52 AM
    Everyone thank you all so much for the advice. This has been a very difficult situation because many times I have asked MIL what I may have done to her. Each time she tells me that I did nothing and she has even said at one point we had a beautiful relationship. I do not understand and I have come to the realization that I will never know. Again my SIL said she just hates me because I married her son. My husband also has tried to talk to them. However they use guilt on him and the situation is never resolved. They told him they are not the kind of people to drive 45 minutes to see their grandchild and take them out for a little while. However they constantly visit my MIL family who lives 10 minutes from my house. They do not even stop in to maybe see if their grandchild want to go w/ them to see the extended family for a little while. There are other kids there and my child would have fun. I just want to stay married. I also just wanted a good and healthy relationship w/ my inlaws especially because my children love them. My oldest remembers them babysitting and visiting all the time. My youngest really has no idea nor will he have the memories my oldest has. They are few but at least my oldest has some. I am just so hurt these people say they love my children, but when my son got hurt they never even called when he came home from the hospital to see if he was OK. They would rather complain and start trouble then bother w/ this family me and my husband have created. Yes I am hurt but to be honest my husband is the only one really losing here. He has decided that he will never allow them to be alone w/ his children. I agreed w/ his decision esp since the whole bathing incident. There was a time when everyone got along and they were an important part in our and my child's life. When I had our second child things went downhill. They do not even treat our 2nd son the same as our 1st. My MIL doesn't hold him, kiss him or sometimes even acknowledge our 2nd and he is 2 years old now. Its is just sad. My husband chalks it up to the fact that my MIL is a sick women. Sick in the head. She takes a million pills, sees a therapist and has even been admitted in a program 5 days a week as an outpatient. She takes pill to stay awake, pills to sleep and my husband now say she has made my FIL crazy to. He even has said that he doesn't know how he made it out of that house so normal. Well again thanks everyone for all the helpful advice.
    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #15

    May 7, 2007, 07:31 AM
    Oh madmama! I am so sorry. It does sound like your MIL has some severe emotional issues along with a dependency on drugs. You should feel sorry for your FIL and the kids still stuck at home. They get the worst of it, I am sure. As long as your husband stands by you, that is all that matters. It is sad your in-laws are missing out on your children's childhood but it is better in the long run that they aren't subjected to your MIL's mental instability. Sometimes, friends and extended family make better substitute grandparents than the real thing. You want positive influences around your children. She is most definitely not that. Create the bonds you need to create with your children and allow them to bond with the people who will show them love in their lives. Be thankful that at least you and your husband have mental heath. When your husband's siblings are older, hopefully you will be able to reach out to them and give them a stabile environment to hang out in once in a while. Those children still living with their Mother will need all the help they can get to see what a truly loving and normal family relationship should be.
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
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    #16

    May 7, 2007, 07:53 AM
    It is good that you have the support of your husband. I know it must be hard on him as well. At some point, you have to come to terms that this has very little to do with you and just accept the situation as it is. You have a family to take care of and should not let the negative influences come into play.
    If it were me, any time there is time spent with your inlaws - you should be present and pleasant. Let them know that you feel you are a part of the family and are not comfortable with sulking in the corner because your MIL has issues. (I am sure if you didn't show - she would find a way to turn it around and say you don't even try)
    It sounds like times like that are few and far between - so you wouldn't have to put a smile on your face to often.
    I know when I got married - my FIL didn't like me. Just for the simple fact that I married his son and in his warped mind thought that his son didn't need him as much and I was taking him away. He's crazy. But, he didn't like any of his kid's spouses. Now that we have all been with his kids for over a decade (at least) he doesn't have an opinion either way. He is not present in anyone's life - his choice. I guess my point is - his feelings had nothing to do with me and more about control. He was losing his grip - his control in his son's life and didn't like it. I would just smile and be polite while I was in his company (all the while thinking what a nut job! :) )
    I just wouldn't let this person affect your daily life. She sounds very irrational and therefore you can't reason with her.
    Just know that there is nothing you did or your kids did to bring this behavior on.
    arabella5c's Avatar
    arabella5c Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #17

    Jul 18, 2007, 06:22 PM
    I agree with gypsy - keep distance. Enjoy your family, speak to your inlaws at the holidays. This is your time with your kids, so enjoy it!
    blop1's Avatar
    blop1 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #18

    Jul 17, 2010, 02:20 PM
    The person above is wrong. The husband should never be going over there without her. They are a family and if they can't treat her well, they are insulting their son and don't need to see him either. They sound nasty, I'd avoid them. Drama queens.
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    blop1 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #19

    Jul 17, 2010, 02:20 PM

    They should be avoiding these crazy manipulative people. No one needs this kind of drama in their lives or in their children's.
    nadia.baseer.durrani's Avatar
    nadia.baseer.durrani Posts: 27, Reputation: 7
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    #20

    Jul 21, 2010, 12:53 AM

    Your husband needs to grow up and take control He shoudn't let these things happen to you in the first place.

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