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Would You Want This Woman at Your Daughters Birthday?

Started by GreatWhiteNorth, November 26, 2010, 06:28:36 am

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November 26, 2010, 06:28:36 am Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 06:34:57 am by GreatWhiteNorth
Back in May of 2007 I am overdue with our second child, our first child is 2.5 years old.

My DH goes over to MILs summer home to go and get trim for the nursery. I start to get labour pains, all excited and scared I call over to MILs summer home to get my DH, let him know it is time. MIL answers the phone. I hear her talking to my DH and I say, "oh good, he is still there, I am in labour and I need to talk to him"

The answer I got I was not expecting at all. MIL in a sing song voice answers back "NOPE, sorry not here", I say, "ummm but I can hear you talking to him" she replies "nope sorry, not here" in the same sing song voicen enjoying every minute of the torture she was putting me through. I start to panic, I am crying and beg her to give me my DH on the phone, I am frantic in my mind trying to figure out what I am going to do I have my 2.5 year old beside me, how is she suppose to handle this, OMG if he doesn't come home he will miss the birth of our son.

After a good 15 minutes of trying to get her to admit my DH was there and realizing that I was going to get nothing but the same answer from her I hang up, defeated, scared, angry, humilated and not knowing what to do next.

My DH senses what happened luckily and comes home, and then MIL gets excused for this behavior when we talk about it later as he admits that yes he was right infront of her and watched her lie and enjoy every minute of it because MIL is not a fully functioning adult thus "couldn't"
do the right thing, she is not even expected to try and do the right thing. She apparently can not and should not be expected to be an adult.

I am suppose to accept that about MIL, be the bigger person and pretend that MIL did not do this behavior this day and thus give her no consequences for it either, since I am the "bigger" person and all.

How do you think I felt listening to MIL go on and on even after she did this claiming to be so gushing for love for me, the baby and my young 2.5 year old daughter? How would you feel?

How would you feel if you were me and were expected to invite this woman to be included in the birthday celebrations for the very child that was in my womb and ready to be born and the child that she left to deal with it at 2.5, she tried to keep my DH from our daughter as well, how would the 2.5 year handled it if got ugly, if it turned into an emergency?

Yet I am expected to include her in birthday celebrations and I just won't do it, I just can't. So MIL tries to sneak in them, using her enablers.

Want to hear MILs validation for why what she did was okay? It turned out to be false labour, thus no baby was born and I was not in actual labour after all........thus MIL is pronounced


So if MILs antics don't do what she intended them to do, she is to be excused for all the ill will that was in her heart, in this family the denial is so strong that her antics producing no fruit means MIL did no malignant actions even.

My Daughters birthday celebrations are next weekend and MIL is not welcome at them, but I am sure I will be posting about how the dishonest measures she pulled to be there.

After years and years of counselling about this very issue the counsellor broke through my DHs very trained denial about his pink elephant of a mother and he admitted finally that what she did was horribly wrong. Took that much to break through the denial about her, denial they used growing up to survive having this woman as their mother.

Now our family is left to try and survive her......


I am probably way out in left field here, but to me this is not about your MIL or you daughter's birthday. This is about DH. Nice to "get away from the nursery" but look closer. You couldn't, you were a "walking nursery" with  a 2.5 year old to cope with as well; you were at the end of your pregnancy and needing support. How could he go to his mother's summer place and break contact with you? Why did he put someone in charge of staying connected with you who was unreliable and cruel? Why wasn't he carrying a cell phone? And why didn't he check in regularly? Why would a man watch someone, ANYONE, torture his wife, stand by and do nothing and think it was funny? How has being raised by her affected him? What kind of values has he brought to the marriage from that distortion? It's counseling time...to my way of thinking...not checking a list of invitations to a birthday party,time...IMHO
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I agree with Luise and I back you up honey 100%. Her behavior was childish and cruel and I would keep my back to the wall and my kids away from her. If this was teasing it was incredibly cruel and sounds like your hubby stood there and let it happen.  :o I am a MIL and I can't even imagine somneone doing this to my DIL and the mother of my grandchildren. If your husband grew up thinkinig this was acceptible behavior keep a careful eye on him too.


November 26, 2010, 09:59:23 am #3 Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 10:09:57 am by luise.volta
Dear GWN,

This is really troubling!  I'm sorry you went though this and agree with Luise and TMB. 
What was your DH thinking?  what was your MIL thinking?  This seems to me to beyond
cruel, more like punishing.  so sorry GWN. 

Couples Counseling yes but please do a little research and find someone good.  As a counselor myself , I can say that many of us are primarily trained in individual work vs family and couples.

We are here for you GWN


This incident actually happened 3.5 years ago and I whole heartedly agree with all of you, and what you suggest is actually exactly what happened.

In the counselling sessions our counsellor told DH straight up that most women would have left him after that, then infront of him she asked me why I am still with him after that happened? She explained to DH what a strong message to any spouse that would be that they are a team and that the spouse is an outsider and that it is them against her.

After alot of counselling, DH finally admitted, FINALLY, that what MIL did was wrong and MIL FINALLY reaped consequences for her behavior.

We stopped having her here for get togethers, stopped going over there to visit them. MIL has not been invited to any of our childrens birthdays since.

We worked hard to mend the damage to our marriage and by the time our third child came, MIL was not welcome to the hospital, MIL still maintains to this day that she did no wrong and as she keeps saying over and over and over again, and I quote

"I would appologize but I have done no wrong"

I remember this incident now any time my childrens birthdays come and MILs enablers, the ones that are left which include BIL, SIL and FIL expect that MIL should be invited to the birthday celebrations, as if it is her entitlement no matter how she behaves because of her status of DHs mother. To be fair to BIL and SIL though and FIL probably even doesn't know about this instance, they don't know what MIL did and why she is not welcome, they push believing what MIL is telling them and what MIL is telling them is:

That she is victimized by ME........(in me not wanting her there- she leaves out WHY that would be)

It just helps to share the story, there are so many horrid things she has done to us, I have a whole blog page full of documentation, each one a separate horrible thing she has done. I have that for documentation should I ever need it one day but it is on a blog page so that it is out there and off my computer.

Some of the stories still hurt though and that one is one of the big ones......

I was hoping the wise women here could help me put it to rest once and for all :)


Hi!!  What MIL did was not funny at all.  As a matter of fact it was quite sick in my opinion.  If she has to come to family functions--fine--however I would never trust her again no matter what.  Watch her when she is around the children, and simply have very little contact with her from here on end.  She must know that what she did was NOT funny.  Draw your line and do not let her ever step over it again.   Peace...


Hi again!  There is a book called "Boundaries" by Henry Cloud/John Townsend  if you do not have this please do pick up a copy.  I just received mine in the mail yesterday and am anxious to begin reading.  You need to set boundaries with you MIL and the sooner the better--for your sake... HUGS, Faith


What BIL, SIL, and FIL expect of you in your relationships with people who do not treat you or your children well does.not.matter.

What your DH expects of you does matter.  He is your partner.  The others are not your partner and never vowed to be.  Do you see the difference?

Can an internal awareness of that difference help you?

I agree that guest lists are literally the least of your concerns.  But I understand sometimes they can symbolize something for you, of what you are and are not willing to participate in for your own life.  Do you and your partner have a plan for how you'll respond if one of the enablers try to sneak MIL in (since that is what you fear).  My MIL was not invited to my wedding.  Our plan was to hire off duty police officers to serve as security at the event, and provide them with photographs of her. Some of my close friends also remained on alert.  When MIL showed up in black and on the arm of one of DH's ex-GFs, she was immediately escorted out.  Her ability to make a scene at our expense was secerely limited. Neither he or I ever saw her, and she despite her intentions to make a statement, she did not spoil our day.  We knew what to expect from her and we made sure it was planned how to handle it.

I would hope a child's birthday does not need hired security.  But, it sounds like you know exactly what to expect.  So, plan for it.  With your partner.  Control the environment (i.e., do not hold your DD's party in someone else's home).   Knowing what you do now, Not making efforts to protect your sanctity, is the same as issuing MIL an engraved inviatation.  If you have do a partner who suuports your stance not to have DD's party crashed by someone who wishes your daughter and her mother (you) , then rest assured she will not be allowed to crash into your lives, at least via this private party.  If your DH does not support your stance, then it appears BIL, SIL, and FIL are not the relevant enabler-types who expect her to be entitled to attend.  They, and MIL herself, are irrelevant to your issue.  If your partner wants MIL to attend, understand and accept that is because of troubles in your relationship with HIM, that is the ONLY cause for MIL being allowed to attend where she was not invited. 

I hope with counseling that DH did not only finally see how his mother that was wrong that day years ago, but most importantly just how wrong HE was that day. 


That is horrible! I am so sorry that happened to you. I am curious to know why DH never told his father or sibs what MIL did? Keep your chin up!


I am beginning to see the difference between enabling and the family members not being enablers but just as bad as she is.

I tend to overfocus on MIL because she is the root of the problem, she is the one for instance going to BIL, going to DH claiming to be victim of me, not telling the whole story of what really happened, but I finally understand that if the others go along with her they are not enabling her they are instead just as bad, they are co-conspirators.

If I have this right, enabling would be more like when MIL employs the Karpmans Drama triangle, the one where there is the victim, rescuer, prosecutor and MIL makes herself the victim in order to gain the attention of the rescuer. The persons actions of filling the role of rescuer is the enabling activity because they are participating in keeping this dysfunction going.

But to actually do stuff on MILs behalf, act on her behalf...that is being just as bad and more points to the fact that those people are dysfunctional too, including my DH.

I think when things happen like that I almost scapegoat MIL, it is not that she is not part of it or responsible, but I tend to take everyone elses responsibility in the situation and absolve them of responsibility and give it all to MIL, that only intensifies my revolsion of her and it takes away the responsibility of the others that participated. It might help me deny problems in my marriage, perhaps they are too painful to see, but they don't solve the actual problem do they?

I do see what I am doing, finally.........

My DH in all this was actually telling me that he was responsible for what happened too, that he should not have been there to begin with, he worked over the years to ensure that he never did that to me again and never has, he was truly sorry...but I took that as him defending MIL and got upset. Taking the blame on behalf of MIL, but I see now that I was the one not thinking clearly.

I think sometimes I am too absorbed in MIL to see the real issue.

But I still don't want her there, she still only comes with her bagfull of tricks that she pulls one after the other and I find myself unable to enjoy the birthday because I am too busy being in protection mode. She doesn't come and interact she more comes to feed, on any ounce of attention that she can get.

I don't want to be unfair to anyone, including MIL, but she scares me. She has Ficticious disorder on top of her NPD and we caught her one summer doing the Munchausen by Proxy to our daughter. MIL diagnosed our daughter with constipation even though my daughter went at least twice that day. MILs criteria was that that DD did not go at the exact same time she did in the morning (when we were staying at her summer home years ago).

I caught MIL trying to sneak my DD a herbal concauction that she made up to cure my DD of the constipation that MIL diagnosed her of. She was whispering "hurry up, take this..before your parents get up"

MIL has also tried to feed my DD raw potatoes to remedy her apparent constipation. Raw potatoes relieve constipation because they are toxic, the toxicity of them leads to diahrea...but also leads to heart failure, kidney failure, ect down the road...because they are toxic...

MILs lack of boundaries means that she doesn't even ask us if this okay, just decides on her own to remedy our children when it is not her place to do so.

This is what scares me the most about MIL to be honest and I fear for my children. Louis is right when she talks about the effect on my DH from being raised by a woman like MIL, I see that too if I were completely honest and I don't want my children similarly damaged by her.

The childrens party is today, lets see if MIL crashes it....it is at an outside venue, a childrens play area that they love so much. A couple years ago, MIL did crash it and tried to occupy one of the childrens seats at the kids table because it pushed a button to be sitting beside my DD. We had to tell her that the seats at the table are only for the kids. MIL reluctantly gave up her seat for one of the 3.5 year old guests who was not able to sit down since she wrestled him for his chair and all. MIL truly is a case of arrested development, she really is, in every sense of the word.

We cancelled the family one, DH and I instead of fighting took 3 days to calm down and then honestly communicated about it. We agreed to not have the family party and just do the childrens one as we agreed to initially anyhow.

I talked to him about how MIL causes me so much anxiety that it is like an obsessive compulsive sort of reaction that I have to this anxiety, we talked about me getting counselling to deal with how I do that, to lessen that. Not that we are saying that MIL is innocent, but why does she get to me so much?


December 05, 2010, 04:29:38 am #10 Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 02:53:03 am by GreatWhiteNorth
Sassy-along the lines of DH is my spouse, the others are not boundary.

This is true and why MILs behavior just doesn't matter, what matters is DH and I and how WE communicate in our marriage and how WE protect each other and our marriage.

It was the other family members that try and sneak MIL is for exposure and their behavior also doesn't matter, all that matters is that we set our boundaries when they try.

I have not cut off MIL but have limited contact, I can handle three exposures a year. Three is perfect because that amount does not cause too many issues for us and produces just enough discomfort to encourage me to keep working on myself, on the issue of why I let her get to me, how I get enmeshed in it. But more then that is overload for me.

My three exposures are Christmas, and the birthdays of our  neices. I chose the birthdays because they tend to come with buffers that are SILs family, SILs family being there means that MIL will be relatively well behaved as long as they around because MIL wears her Narcissistic mask when they are around, her Narcissistic facade is that of godly saint. The Narcissistic facades are always the direct opposite of who the person really is.

People like BIL and FIL notice the pattern, they see the underlying theme of "only family traditions" thus they try and gain MIL more exposure then what I can handle ( the three a year) by increasing the number of "family traditions". In this family all it takes is once and it is a tradition and once it is a tradition they consider it set in stone.

For the last few years, they have tried to make family traditions out of BILs birthday, and FILs birthday too and MIL and FILs wedding anniversary. We set our boundaries. So they seem to re-group, it is like they say "ah ha....it is kids birthdays that work" .

This year, BIL phoned us on DDs birthday and asked what the plans are and when we said there is a kids birthday only, he directly asked if they could come and celebrate in a separate celebration to take place in our home, only intending to extend "they" to mean including MIL ( I would find this out later, after all has been agreed to, a day or two only before it is suppose to happen). Once I saw what happened I started to panic, started to deal with the anxiety of the thought of her created.

So I learned this year not to set up ANYTHING with any of the extended family, it is only meant to sneak in MIL, grant her more exposures, it is how they challenge boundaries, instead of respect them. MIL is at the heart (she is the pink elephant they dance around) but BIL came up with the plan and employed it without even doing research and askng why it is that we don't invite MIL.

In the past when BIL tried, MIL actually had 2 separate hour long crying fit tantrums on the phone. After the second tantrum, BIL gave her exactly what she wanted. He just can't seem to say no to her.

Sometimes it spills over into BIL doing things that effect us, that MIL wants him to do, but him not being able to say no to her is the issue really. I see that it is not enabling but a weakness in BIL.

I am getting this.....slowly


Ladies, PLEASE forgive me when I say I am so Happy I no longer have a MIL!!!!!!!!!! :) :D ;D

OHHHHH she was a nasty one "The Dysfunctional Queen" at her best all the time.  She would actually call when X and I were married and if I answered she would hang up....X would say to me, "who was that" and I would reply, "your mother."  When x and I divorsed she called me and I simply said to her, "you and I have nothing more to say to one another this hell of a nightmare is over, if you want to talk to your GC's wonderful, but you and I have nothing more to say."  And I hung up on her and have not said one word to her in 21 years and I have NO regrets with that what so ever.....

So in my Heart I do understand all that you are going thru and I shake my head in awe as i read everything.  But, I do promise you~~someday, you will have your day...to shake off all the dust and to rise above their evilness......One piece of advise I can give is "The sooner you put them in their place~the better off YOU will be and feel.   Something I should have done to mine moons ago, but I did not for it was not the right thing to do (you respected your elders--no matter what!)  WRONG~~~then you become a "door mat."   >:(     YOU DIL's are all wonderful women whom should be treated with respect,  you are all in my prayers along with (((HUGS)))) galore...

Just remember who you are-----SPECIAL!!!!!!!
Faith xoxoxo


Faithlooksup-I don't consider that I ever had a MIL, or that DH ever had a mother or that my kids ever had a grandmother, she is just too self centered to function in these rolls. I think part of it is a mourning for a person that never really existed to begin with. I would give my eye teeth for a decent MIL, a decent grandmother for my kids, the person that MIL just can't be.


Quote from: GreatWhiteNorth on December 06, 2010, 03:00:18 am
I would give my eye teeth for a decent MIL, a decent grandmother for my kids, the person that MIL just can't be.

[Stage directions.  Elderly woman jumps up and down with her hand up.]

Choose me!  Choose me!


Here's the thing - I feel as if I AM a good MIL already and will be a non-buttinsky style GM, but I have already gotten "the speech" about how DIL's FOO will not only be the primary GM influence but possibly the only GM influence in future GC lives because DIL prefers her FOO & doesn't like us (no particular reason given, she just doesn't like us.) DS may prefer his FOO, but apparently he doesn't get a vote.

DH & I don't do any of the horrid stuff we hear about here - rarely call, text or email (usually let them initiate) and never ever ever drop in. We check before buying gifts to make sure we're on track, we don't force holiday or other visits, we always take the backseat (literally sometimes!) regarding holiday schedules, etc. We've never given advice or made comments to either of them regarding DIL or her FOO, DS, or the marriage. We pitched in appropriately on the wedding and peripherals, helped them get on their feet financially w/o expecting a thing in return. We've accepted DIL, her FOO, her culture of origin (COO?) and are thrilled that DS found his love and is happy.

Perhaps if things keep improving between DIL and us as they have been (yay!) the GP issues will be thought out more fairly, but I'm not hoping or expecting, just wondering.

Quote from: GreatWhiteNorth on December 06, 2010, 03:00:18 am
Faithlooksup-I don't consider that I ever had a MIL, or that DH ever had a mother or that my kids ever had a grandmother, she is just too self centered to function in these rolls. I think part of it is a mourning for a person that never really existed to begin with. I would give my eye teeth for a decent MIL, a decent grandmother for my kids, the person that MIL just can't be.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb