Author Topic: Controlling MIL  (Read 8801 times)

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Offline luise.volta

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2015, 11:34:47 AM »
Your point that the dynamics between your husband and MIL are an issue seems like an important one to me. It may be time for some counseling. She isn't getting a unified message, it is mixed and there is a strong history. None of that is about you but/and it affects you deeply.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Green Thumb

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2015, 06:00:50 PM »
I think you got a MIL who is very self centered and controlling, perhaps even manipulative to get her way and a husband who has been taught to cater to mommy's every desire and need in order to earn her love and/or not be attacked verbally and belittled by mommy.

Your husband looks at it this way, it is easier to appease mommy dearest and put up with your anger, or to make you go along with his wishes to appease her. Easier than making her mad. Easier to make you mad, you don't count anyway.

I suspect much of what you are feeling is that you don't count, nobody cares what you think or want to do, do they? It could be called feeling powerless or "less than." You probably can't make your husband put you first or put your son's health first. Counseling may help, either go alone or with him.

A good person would come to your house without their dogs in order to spare their grandson the pain of hives. What is wrong with people who don't care about things like this!

Like the others, I strongly suggest you stand up for what has to be done, to put your son's needs first but do know it will get ugly when you say no. The person standing up for right or who is refusing to be manipulated and controlled often becomes the target of more meanness from the one who desires the control.

I will tell you what, everything is about mommy and it sounds also like everything is also about your husband. Their world has to revolve around them, their needs and wants, and they won't do what is best for anyone else. Or so it sounds. Although your husband could just be afraid and unwilling to cross mommy dearest.

I keep beating the same drum on my posts, but google the word "narcissist."

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2015, 06:13:10 PM »
And please consider going to our HomePage and looking under helpful resources. Lots of powerful stuff there. Hugs...
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline starfire

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2015, 07:27:20 AM »
Thank you! Green Thumb your point about him being verbally attacked if he goes against his mother is very true. I remember one time after she hurt me due to what she said, his response was along the lines of "Get over it, she does that to everyone, but she doesn't mean to hurt anyone." I then asked if she ever hurt him, and he looked sad and nodded yes. I honestly wonder if he has gotten over what his mother has said in the past. I also agree it's probably easy to make me mad then her. Since she seems to make him feel truly guilty by playing the how much she hurt him card. I also do feel very powerless and like I don't have a voice, our relationship tends to go very well... until we see his mother again then we fight for a few weeks after.

That was my opinion I don't understand why it's so difficult to come to our house. And now she's asking about Thanksgiving. Since my husband's family lives two hours we tend to switch off each year going to my family one year for Christmas and his to Thanksgiving and then the opposite next year. We plan it around when my uncle, aunt and their family come down, because I love them so much and want to see them. They do this same schedule. Well this year since they didn't mention anything until Thanksgiving until yesterday (and asked about this weekend) and in the past we never did anything I made plans for our weekends. My parents are divorced and my father going to a football game on Thanksgiving so we need to plan another weekend for it. Anyways my point is we have many plans and my husband could see how much I was stressing trying to figure out how to rework things so lucky he said he'll tell his parents were busy this time.

Thank you all for everything.

Offline gettingoldandcranky

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2015, 07:28:41 AM »
i worked with a great woman yrs ago.  She said what she felt, did what she wanted and didn't get pulled into drama.  She was kind, loving and very fair and wise.  Everyone loved her.  In this instance, she would just say my child is allergic but we'd love to spend time with you.  She would pick the compromise, verbalize it, and mil could take it or leave it.
If the drama starts, walk away, don't listen, don't respond.  i know it's easy to say but such a release when you can do it and walk away.
Stay strong and good luck.  Husband will come around or he won't.  But your son will know that you stood up for him.
I am trying to do that now with my dil.  when we can't visit or they won't visit - oh well, their loss.  things seem to be better for me when i gave up the hand wringing and wishing for what i envisioned with my grandchildren.  When we see them we enjoy every minute and they do too.  We have moved into visits with my son and the kids without dil.  Love her, but it is much calmer without her watching us every minute and always in control.  Life moves forward and i try to keep the drama away.

Offline Bamboo2

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2015, 09:31:48 AM »
Hi Starfire,
You have done so much to try to accommodate this MIL, but I thought I'd offer one option, if it makes sense to you.  What about offering to host an EARLY or LATE Christmas gathering at your house for your in-laws? It could be the weekend before, or whenever fits into everyone's schedules. Then MIL can host her own event on the day itself and you can have your own nuclear family time in your own home.  That time is precious for you, DH and DS to build your own family traditions anyway.  (forgive me if you already offered that as an option to MIL, but I was assuming you had invited her to come on the actual date of Christmas in your initial offer).

As for Thanksgiving, sounds like MIL threw that in kind of last minute, and of course it won't work for your son at her house since he has allergies to their pets.  If you offer to host Christmas this year, and Thanksgiving next, and explain this is the schedule that accommodates both families (both sets of grandparents), MIL can accept it or not.  But there is your boundary. 

IMO, your son and your small nuclear family's needs come first.  Don't stress out trying to accommodate everyone else's needs.  They are adults and life will go on.  We have to advocate for the voiceless...and you are doing a wonderful job in that regard  :)

I also second Luise's idea of going to the Helpful Resources section.  There is one book that looks helpful called Toxic In-Laws by Susan Froward.  The title sounds negative and off-putting but there may be some pearls of wisdom to be gleaned.  The DIL who recommended it mentioned that her husband didn't really understand the effect his own mother's controlling nature had on him since he had lived with her behavior all his life; that was his "normal".  The book was a real eye-opener for both of them. 

Offline starfire

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2015, 03:19:02 PM »
Hey everyone,

The dinner and the opening presents there was supposed to be the compromise, no one listened to how I felt though. One of the German Shepreds recently passed away. I talked to his allergist and she said we could go but what to bring (including allergy medicine, steriods, and his epi- pen). This sadly did not make me feel any better due to her saying we had to bring all that especially the epi- pen even if it's for worse case possible. I don't want to keep worrying for Christmas .My MIL says she'll clean well before and the dogs (The other German and the Corgi puppy they got) will be locked away. My husband and I keep fighting about this especially due to the allergist saying we could go since she's the professional. I just can't help being worried (the stress keeps making me get infections), my son means the world to me. I know all you said not to go but it's getting to the point where this is going to destroy my marriage. I'm at a lost of what to do.

Thanks,
Starfire

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2015, 03:25:19 PM »
We can't tell you what to do. We can just share what we've been through. What are you and DH fighting about, please refresh my memory. Is he wanting to go or wanting to stay home? I keep wondering, after your comment about your marriage, if this is just the tip of the iceberg and not the main issue at all. We're here for you. How can we help?
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline starfire

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2015, 05:09:37 PM »
Hello Luise,

I know you guys can't but I value all your opinions since I am still rather young and this is my first child I don't want to be unreasonable either. My husband wants to go there since the allergist said it's okay if we take precautions, and my MIL will be cleaning well and getting the carpet shampooed before we come. Plus she already rented a hotel for us to stay in. He figures we'd always only be at MIL house(most the time we will be spending time at the hotel) for about three hours and says if are son has issues we can leave right away. I worry because my son allergics still, but I know I sometimes I over worry being a first time mom (and I use to have anxiety issues in the past). 

My husband doesn't like how much I worry and things I'm being unreasonable. Our marriage is normally pretty good except for when my MIL comes visits or we go see here since we always seem to end up fighting. I feel like everyone is trying to please MIL always and doesn't think of my son. However, my MIL and I do tend to butt heads also and have had issues ever since I became pregnant (before that we got along pretty great actually). So I think I'm also wondering why so much has changed in our relationship. I think it is somewhat my fault here because to me she not being grandma as much as mom sometimes. And in her defense while she does have another grandchild she also has custody of him (my BIL had a child in hs so his parents took custody) so it maybe hard to get use to the role of just grandmother.

I think this also bother my husband a lot since my MIL and me got along good before I was pregnant. And it's also adding stress on him because he feels like he can't please everyone and he thought this was the best solution. My MIL also feels like were keeping her grandson alway from her since he hasn't been to her house ever since we found out he had an allergy to dogs. Before that his ezcema just broke out worse when we went there, but was better after a few days again.

Thanks,
Starfire

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2015, 05:42:19 PM »
Wow, that's a lot going on, isn't it? My take...and please get there is no right or wrong here, is that you and your husband find a way to work on this together. If course you're worried. A new marriage and a first child is a lot to adjust to without baby allergies and in-law issues. Maybe you could look into some couple counseling. Whatever you do will have both pros and cons...life is just like that. What matters the most from my point of view solidarity in your marriage; problem solving as a team...not in opposition. The baby, if it is like mine were...can feel the difference. Allergies already are a lot for a baby to tolerate and friction can make them worse. Hugs to all!
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2015, 03:58:40 AM »
As I see it you have been to your MIL's house before and the only consequence for you DS was his ezcema got worse for a few days and that was before your MIL cleaned the house really well and locked the dogs out of the room.  I would go over and give it a try.  After all the alternative is to never let your DS see his grandparents house again and make your DH visit his parents alone.  As for the MIL trying to be the parent instead of the grandparent, you have to remember that she can only make suggestions that you either follow or not, and you do not have to let her know if you plan on following them or not.  What she does while you are at her house will not effect things for long.  When she says something you can make a noncommittal reply like "I never thought of that" and change the subject.

As for the allergist scaring the dickens out of you, well I can only say never read a preoperative consent for surgery!!  You can be going in to get a mole removed but the paper is going to say you can die!  Every time!!  Those doctors are trained by their malpractice insurance and even courses during medical school to always include the very worse outcome when describing possibilities.  They are just covering themselves and offering suggestions, once again that you can follow or not.  Why do you think your DS is going to react worse than he did the last time?

Every marriage has times when the spouses disagree and during those times it is always one person who gives in and feels like they are having to give more than their share.  You might win this year but I do not see you winning every year and I do see this issue coming up over and over again.  As a MIL I would not feel like this was just an issue for this one occasion, I would see it as a life long change.  If she is willing to clean the house very well and lock the dogs out of the room then she is trying to compromise.  If this does not work maybe she can restrict her dogs from a room or two all the time so you can visit in those rooms specifically and not have any pet dander there.  Surely you can work out an arrangement where your DH can have some of his Mom's home cooking once in a while and your DS can sample it too! 

Spend your time between now and then imagining the very best outcome from a visit.  The visit is wonderful and the company is great.  You get to stay as long as you want and leave when you are ready.  Your MIL is helpful and offers one or two good suggestions.  Your DH is so happy that you gave in that he is treating you like a queen!  Your DS has no issues with his allergies and you get some of the best pictures yet of your family enjoying themselves!  Come on!  It could happen!!!  What you focus on expands and I would like to expand that picture!!!!!
 
You are doing a great job! Keep up the good work!  Hugs!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Bamboo2

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2015, 02:40:42 PM »
I agree with all of the above!  Great post, Still Learning  :)

Offline starfire

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2015, 10:14:30 AM »
Thanks guys, that really helped. I told my husband well see how this year goes. I worry so much about allergies because I have issues there too (I'm also allergic to dogs (I can handle certain dogs better then other)) and also had anaphylactic shock where my throat swelled causing issues breathing due to a spider bite. So allergies have always scared me a lot since then. We're actually hoping in the future to do a big family thing at our house on Christmas day in the future so our son can see all his grandparents and doesn't have to switch each year.

I'm really hoping everything goes well this year, I want that good relationship with my MIL back.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2015, 12:11:32 PM »
Sounds wonderful!!  I expect that you and your MIL will be able to find your way back to the great relationship you used to have. 

Good luck and have a great visit!  Hugs!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Green Thumb

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Re: Controlling MIL
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2015, 12:43:43 PM »
It is natural that you would worry about your son, especially with the epi-pen deal. Here's what I think is a practical reversal of our advice to not go.

I do understand. My kids had food allergies and this made them behave like what I called the devil's children (horrible screaming crying fighting) for two days after eating their allergy foods when they were very well behaved and happy if they had not eaten the food they were allergic to. One son would get draining ear infections from the foods he was allergic to. I was always stressed out to go to my MIL since she "always forgot" and made food we could not eat. My ex would even remind her on the phone before we visited.

Since you asked the allergist who said your son could attend, then you should go. Just take a deep breath and let it go. Nothing else to do, and time to stop worrying about it. Either something will happen or something will not happen. You are feeling such stress that you are getting sick. This is not good. I am not sure if you all are spending the night, but if yes, this must be in a hotel not in the house. Sleeping in a dog free environment will help tremendously to avoid his allergic overload at her house.

Give it a try, do what you can to control the dog situation in the house. Don't assume the worst in advance. Put a big smile on your face and act nice. Take the MIL some pretty flowers. If your son gets sick, then everyone will see it. I don't mean that mean. Sometimes people have to see it to know it. My MIL had to experience "the devil's children" after she purposefully snuck wheat into the meatloaf that I was making during one visit. She had screaming fighting crying grandchildren for two days ruining her visit, LOL!