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Avatar universal

MIL Issues- What Would You Do?

I am curious how others would handle the situation that I have been in for awhile and now am not quite sure how to handle.  I am going to try and make it brief, although this situation could fill up pages and pages...

When I first met my mother-in-law, she seemed nice enough.  My future in-laws all seemed relatively okay- none of them really took to me, but I still really wanted a relationship with them all.  The closer we got to the wedding, which was in August 06, the more things changed.  My MIL would promise to pay for this, but if I didn't like her choice or choose her selected vendor, she wouldn't pay for it.  After this happening with MANY things for the wedding, I decided to not bother and pay for it ourselves.  She didn't really care for that.  

She flipped out- I mean, really- when we failed to attend his nephew's birthday, which happened to be the same day of our bachelor / bachelorette parties.  His brothers had promised him they wouldn't take him to a strip club which he had adamantly said he did not want.  Well, they did anyway, and when he wouldn't go in, they flipped out at how I am controlling and brainwashing him and that I am- well, think of a foul word.  At the wedding, there was a huge blowout with his family.  His step-dad's phone rang during the ceremony right when the pastor was about to say "man and wife"- his mom flipped out because my husband wouldn't answer the phone.  She told him she had cancer right before we went up to our wedding suite.  She shoved my mom and was screaming at her at the wedding, and his step-dad flipped out at us because I had changed the flower order back to what I had it before the MIL changed it without asking me.  She glared and refused to speak to me at the entire ceremony.
33 Responses
Avatar universal

Needless to say, from that point forward, we have gotten email after email and letter after letter with her sending him one that says how full of hate I am, and how much he is going to suffer being married to me, and she loves him so much, and all of his siblings see how evil I am... and then sends me one saying how much she loves me and wants a relationship with me.  Several times we have both sent letters / emails / phone calls asking her to leave us alone. He thinks she's psycho- I think that.

I am pregnant.  Neither of us want a relationship with her still, and neither of us want her to visit us and the baby when she is born.  We are in the process of moving, and we want to change our emails since she always is changing hers so its no longer blocked and she can still reach us.  We changed his number but she found it out thru his dad's side of the family.  She won't leave us alone, and I don't know what more I can do- if anything.  

Will it have to be where I ignore anything with her name on it and just throw it away, or does anyone else have any ideas?  Or dealt with this?  I just... don't know what to do anymore and its SOO frustrating!!!!
164559 tn?1233711618
wow, I don't know what to say....

Maybe you need to send her a registered letter and have your dh lay down the ground rules.  make it clear that if she wants a relationship with her grandchild the name calling and abuse has to end.  If she refuses and remains that toxic cut her out of your life.

I think you should write Dr. Phil.
154929 tn?1196191338
Can you not tell her or any of his family members where you are moving to?  Can you use a PO Box that mail gets delivered to?  Change your email, there is no law in that.  On yahoo and other site email accoutns are free--use them that way---Let her know you changed your email address-to such and such and never answer that account.  Just use a different email address for everything else.

I hope you can work out your problems.  I am so glad I do not have any problems iwth my In-Laws.  We all get along great and have no problems.  Other than I can be opionated and so I have learned to kep mymouth shut.

It is good to know your DH backs at least it makes your home life easier that he is on the same page.  It might be a good idea to change your cell phone numbers and home number also.  You don't want any interuppitons like her when you have the new baby to take care of.  Give all this pertinent info just to people you know won't give it out and make it all unlisted.
Avatar universal
Wow.  That whole situation is so unfortunate. Do you feel this is legally on the level of harrassment?  I think ignoring is a good idea, but also keep a log of all communication she attempts with you, along with a log of your communications back telling her to leave you alone.  Are you at the point where you maybe want to threaten her with legal action?  Because if you are, I say do it.  The threat alone may be enough to shut her up.
172023 tn?1334675884
BB, I respectfully disagree with calling the cops over a phone call.  If she calls the cops on her MIL, the whole family is in for an unpleasant, permanent rift that will shatter some of their lives and any chance for normalcy.  

Always better to try to work things out.  No, she shouldn't be abused by MIL, but this can possibly be worked out without bringing law enforcement in on the situation.  
Avatar universal
Well actually, we really don't have a relationship with any of his family on that side besides on his dad's side of the family.  I really appreciate the advice- I actually considered a restraining order actually :)  I think I will go ahead and change our emails, and even our phone numbers, and then when we move, not let anyone know exactly where we are living.  It feels reassuring to know that others think this behavior is - less than great, for lack of stronger words that come to my mind hehe  

And I will check out the Dr.Phil thing- those comments meant read his advice, right- not try and get on the show :)  
172023 tn?1334675884
It all sounds very confusing on both sides.  I don't think you will ever cut this woman out of your lives, being your childs grandmother.  If you try to cut her out completely, I guarantee you there will be furthur damage done, and your child may suffer some fall out in the form of your abnormal extended family relations.  

Better to try to work something out.  But of course, it's your life, your family.  If you want to let the hatred, misunderstanding, confusion, hurt feelings, and general fighting to continue rather than try to develop some way to tolerate each other during brief visits, go on ahead and cut her off.  
172023 tn?1334675884
Sigh.  And just when I thought we were bonding!

Just kidding.  Obviously we disagree on this issue.  It isn't my decision, nor is it yours.  The Bearhitch family will have to work this one out in the way that is the most constructive for the child and for the family unit as a whole.

If that involves restraining orders/changing addresses, calling the cops...I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.  
Avatar universal

As far as calling the police, I wouldn't yet BUT if this woman continues to harrass you, I would let her know that if she continues.. you will get a restraining order. There need to be some boundaries set. At the same time I would also let her know that you would like to have her in your child's life and you wished things could be different.

From what you are telling us, I don't think your MIL is going to change without professional help. She's hell bent on blaming you for everything and butting into you and your husband's life. I just hope that your husband is trying to work with her and setting some ground rules.

Good luck !


172023 tn?1334675884
Seriously, Dr. Phil just had a show about this (In laws from he!!).  Go to his website and see what you can read about it.

Be as gracious as you can, but do not let her control your life.  If you are not accepting $$ from her, don't live in her house, and aren't expecting an inheritance or anything else from her, she has no power over what you do and how you raise your child.  If you let her get to you, you are giving her power.  She will feel "victimized" and will paint YOU as the aggressor.

Kill her with sweetness, but that doesn't mean you have to go along with anything you don't want to.  I personally would not send her any emails or certified letters "documenting" your side of the story.  She'll find a way to turn it around somehow.

Be gracious, be kind, but be firm.  I wouldn't respond to any emails from her that are derogatory.  Occasionally, send her a very nice one (you'll have to bite your tongue while doing so, though).  She is in your life for the forseeable future, and unless you want your coming childs life to be sheer he!! when it comes to holidays, someone has to bend over backwards to extend the olive branch.  It sure isn't going to be her.  
Avatar universal
If you are still receiving phone calls from her, and you have told her you want no contact, call the local cops and let them handle it. That  should put a stop to it.  

If she doesn't know where you live, you won't have to worry about a restraining order if she starts coming over unannounced, but that's always an option.  

So far, no authorities have been involved, like calling the police for harassing phone calls. I have a feeling that once the authorities are involved, she will stop the contact.

You actually may end up having some semblance of a relationship in the future with this woman. Anything is possible. If she can get her act together emotionally, mentally, whatever, and calm down (and maybe some years for this to happen),  you may end up having a relationship with her if her behavior changes. For the time being, however, she needs to get  the message that there won't be any contact. I don't hold out a lot of hope for people like this, but you never know. Maybe she'll come  to her senses somewhere down the line.
Avatar universal
" I respectfully disagree with calling the cops over a phone call. If she calls the cops on her MIL, the whole family is in for an unpleasant, permanent rift that will shatter some of their lives and any chance for normalcy."

Doesn't matter if it's family or not. If talking to this woman doesn't get the results they want, what other recourse is there? Sounds like there is already an "unpleasant permanent rift," and that's probably putting it nicely.

And I'm not talking about calling  the police for "one phone call." You will need to show a pattern of phone calls, obviously. That won't be too hard if this woman is as personality disordered  as BearHitch is saying. My experience with this (not personally, but professionally) is that  a call from the cops is usually enough to stop the person in their tracks. It's embarrassing, and there is then a police report of record indicating the problem. Usually, it doesn't go any further than that.  

But hopefully, they can get her to back off just with changing  their address, or their phone and emails, or whatever. But who cares if it's "family?" If it's unwanted and inappropriate attention, and no amount of talking to her is setting her straight, what other choices do they have? An "intervention?" Doesn't sound like the woman's husband would even be party to that. And BearHitch  would probably need the entire family on her "side"  even to consider something like that. And it still has a high likelihood of not working in a behavior disorder like this.  
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