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DIL here, would like input from the other POV

Started by Trondogs, February 15, 2012, 07:51:36 am

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February 15, 2012, 07:51:36 am Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 09:07:16 am by luise.volta
Hi everyone. I am a DIL. I've been reading this site for some time now and would like to hear from some of you about a few things. I am a DIL for 8 years now with a very difficult MIL. I guess I will jump right in and try to combine 8 years of stuff as best as I can. I have 2 children ages 5 and 10. The 10 year old is from a previous marriage and dad is not involved but DH has adopted him. DH and I met and DH was a full-blown drug addict and alcoholic. I got pregnant 6 months after meeting DH and about a month later DH stopped drinking and drugging and has been sober since. We have been together 7 years and married for 1. DH was brought up my MIL as a single parent and MIL was in abusive relationships while DH was growing up and she worked 2-3 jobs and DH was by himself all the time as a very young kid to a teenager until he moved out got it lots of trouble and started drinking and drugging.

MIL and I had a great relationship. I was there for her when her mother died, helped her with almost everything, she went into a deep depression and I took care of her. Cooked her food, did her chores/washed her clothes etc... We got along great and when DS was born she took him once a week for the day to spend some quality time with him. Older son was in school all day. I never missed a birthday or holiday or even mother's day. Not because I felt I had to but because I cared.

MIL from day one has been prying, meddling and over-stepping her boundaries 24/7. This however has been the least of our issues. When she came to our house she would re-arrange things, throw out food she thought was bad for us, tell us what we're doing wrong with child rearing, etc. She even told me how I wasn't making a salad correctly or vacuuming the right way. She has taken food out of DS's hands if she thought it was unhealthy. He had a white chocolate lollipop one day and when she came over to our house she took it away and threw it out saying how bad sugar is for kids. When DS was a few weeks old we had to live with her due to a fire and our house needing to be repaired. She would get up in the middle of the night when DS was crying and take him out of my arms and feed him etc.  This went on for years. MIL over-stepping boundaries- but not quite being rude and nasty about it. Neither DH nor myself knew how to deal with any of this so we decided to go to counseling. We stayed in counseling for about 4 years, with 90% of our discussions involving MIL. At this time MIL was still taking DS once a week and sometimes on the weekends with my older son as well. This goes on for about 3 1/2 years. MIL even came to my PT job and showed me how to mop correctly because I wasn't mopping right I guess. HAHAHA

Oldest DS who was about 6 at the time starting telling us that MIL lets him swim in her pool (4ft, above his head) by himself because there are floats in there. I started asking 6 yr old DS what else he is allowed to do alone. And he said he waits in the car with younger DS while MIL goes grocery shopping, he can walk around neighborhood by himself because "he's smart and knows how to get back to grandma's house" etc etc. So DH decides to tell MIL that she can't do these things and that she needs to keep a better eye on the kids and never leave them alone. Ok, so we think she listens but she doesn't. I get a call from DH one day that says MIL calls him hysterical saying she doesn't know where DS who is 2 now. Come to find out she left him in the car alone (DS1 in school) and someone seen and called police and DS was taken and being held by CPS. DH went and picked up DS and no charges were filed, thank goodness. SO after that DH tells MIL that she can not take kids alone and she will have to see them when we have time to bring them over or she can come over our house and see them while we're home. We also noticed TONS of safety hazards at MIL's house as well.

MIL flips out on DH and doesn't speak to him for a few days. She finally shows up at our door in hysterics begging to see her grandchildren. We say come in, of course you can see them, but we're not comfortable with you taking them alone after the recent incidents. MIL's behavior takes a turn for the worst and now she is over-stepping boundaries more than ever and saying things like "I've know DH all my life, he likes xyz for dinner not abc" etc etc. She starts showing up at our house every day uninvited, without calling, etc. DH decides we should bring her to our counselor so we can let her know that her behavior is very invasive.

When she sees our therapist she breaks down crying saying that she just left baby in car for a minute, and she doesn't leave them alone, that DS1 is lying about the pool and neighborhood and that she's too involved in our lives because she thinks my way of parenting is not right, etc etc. She then all of a sudden turns on me and says I spend too much time watching tv and not baby. I spank kids all the time (lie) and that I feed them nothing but sugar and fast food (lie) Therapist tries to explain how she needs to take a step back and that DS is not her child etc etc. MIL will not accept therapist's advice and even disagrees with the therapist when she said DS was in danger in car alone. So counseling session to bury the hatchet- unsuccessful! It became a 2 hour session for MIL to criticize me and the things I do with my kids!

The next day she calls and says she's on her way over to see the kids. She comes over and I'm in the kitchen making dinner when I hear her saying to my oldest son "why did you tell your mom I leave you alone and let you swim in the pool by yourself. Now you're not gonna be able to come over anymore, and this weekend I'm going camping and you cant go because you told your mom everything and now she's not gonna let you." DH walks in the door 10 mins later and MIL leaves. I told DH what she said and he said not cool, shes probably mad at you so she's directing towards DS. He calls her and she denies it all.

DH and I go to therapist and she suggests DH tells MIL that he needs some space from her and so do the kids. She suggests telling MIL to see a therapist and in the meantime just taking a break from everyone. Well this is where things get real bad. 

MIL writes DH an email saying how it's all me manipulating him to ask for a break, etc and that I'm a butch and he can't seem to see it. She says that I'm nasty and vicious to her (never have been and DH told her not true), she says I'm mentally ill and needs help, DH is brainwashed by me, I have transformed DH, that she will tell DS's when they're older that I kept them apart. She also told DH that she believes I have the devil inside me and that I need to stopped and punished by God and she can't wait for the day something bad happens to me for all the pain I'm causing her, and that karma is gonna get me etc etc. She tells DH that she has a counselor and the counselor agrees that I am pure evil in human form and that there is no help for me and that she must get DH away from me!!!

Now DH decides that he was to be left alone- he asks MIL not to contact him in email, phone or person. He told her her loves her but he thinks she's consumed by not being able to see kids for a while and not being able to take them alone. He tells her to get a new counselor and after some time we'll re-visit this situation and come to an agreement as to when she can see and talk to kids once and awhile. She tells him off and hangs up the phone.

For the next few months MIL calls DH 3-4 times per day. Calls his cell, stops by his job, texts him many times per day, calls his other family members to get them to call DH and convince him to talk to her etc etc. She writes him letters in the mail, sends religious cards and drops off religious gifts for him at our doorstep with letters saying she's praying all the time for his eyes to be open about me and that I get what's coming to me. He calls her to tell her to stop showing up places, emailing, mailing gifts and letters and to give him space but she keeps on going. DH blocks her phone numbers and she calls from pay phones and other family members phones.

A few days later DH's aunt (MIL's estranged sister) calls DH and tells him that she heard it through the grapevine that MIL is filing paperwork to take us to court to try to get grandparents rights, and if its too late then she's moving 4000 from hometown to where we are going too and filing there!

DH and I have always wanted to move out of state to where my parents live- so what better a time than the present. So we decide to move and before we move we decide to have a small outdoor wedding ceremony so our families can see us wed before we move 4000 miles away. This is now 3 weeks before the move. Of course I don't want MIL there since she's not supportive of our relationship anymore, and I'm worried she will cause a scene. I told DH my thoughts and said here is an invitation for your mother. If you really want her there- write it out and send it. Well, he never did. So wedding day comes and what do you know MIL shows up and causes a scene. My brother calls the police and they remove her and we carry on. However, we notice that none of DH's family from his mom's side attends (who we were pretty close with)

A week goes by and DH's father who has been divorced from MIL all of DH's life calls DH and asks him to come to his house xyz night alone to talk. He said he wants to have heart to heart father-son talk before DH moves. Ok, no problem. Well what do you know? MIL showed up a few days prior on his doorstep in histrionics. MIL asks DH's father if they can set up DH to come over and she will be waiting for him. So DH decides to go to his fathers one night and walks in his dad's door and MIL is sitting there crying with his dad, aunt and uncle. MIL proceeds to tell DH how he's blind and etc etc. DH stays for about a half hour and leaves. Nothing changes.

Two weeks before move I get a call from police and they're telling me MIL called them and told them I have been driving around her house late at night and that she wants me to stop. I tell them I don't leave my house after dinner and that I've never driven by MIL's house without stopping by. A week after that police call me again and tell me MIL has called them again and reported an "incident" involving some harassment and that I need to come down and talk. Now I know what that means, so I say no and retain an attorney. The attorney calls police and tells them that the only way I'm going to station is with a warrant and an arrest. Never heard from police again after that. My thoughts are MIL was trying to stall move by having me arrested, you cannot leave state during an open charge. Then she would file for grandparent visitation time.

2 days before we move I go out to my car to grab boxes and MIL is sitting in her car next to mine. I don't know how long she was there but I go back into my house and call DH at work. He calls MIL and asks her to leave and she does. We make the 4000 mile move and for the next 9 months MIL calls from pay phones, emails gets our and sends letters and cards begging DH to talk to her and in one letter saying how she's moving to new state too. We then get an attorney and write up a no-contact order. For the next 2 months we have peace and quiet from MIL. DH discovered an ulcer and I am now on blood pressure pills because I was feeling sick and sent to the e.r and my b.p. was 180/110. Most likely due to stress...

She got our address from DH's dad's side of the family and sent DH many letters saying the same things she's always said and how she cant believe he married me, look how much problems I've caused in the family, that it's scary we're raising children and that she hopes we don't succeed in new state.

Over the course of about 18 months DH has written her emails and letters telling her that her behavior is dysfunctional and is making things worse for herself. It just seems like no matter what DH says, does or asks for nothing will get through to her. Still to this day I have never been rude to her in person or over email or phone or anything. Never once told her off or even "put her in her place."

After a few months we realize living in new state is not working out so we decide to move back to hometown. I was terrified of MIL at that point. DH thinks that we should let kids call her once in awhile and see her around holidays. He feels like that will stop her from obsessing over trying to see or talk to the kids and it will stop her from her erratic behavior and that giving her some time with kids will be enough for her to be satisfied. He also feels since both of our DS's have a relationship with her it would upset them to never see or hear from her again. He feels that if he brings the kids over there every once in awhile and supervises the visit then there is no harm in that.

My counselor feels that MIL has a toxic enmeshment with DH and that he needs to seek counseling to be able to get rid of guilt he's displayed and learn ways to deal with a mother like her.

I told DH that I'm not comfortable with the kids having a relationship with her at all since she's hoping for something bad to happen to me (their mother), trying to get DH to leave me, split up their parents. I am upset because I feel that given all she's said and done that she has bad intentions and wishes for bad things to happen to us. I just don't think that my kids should be around someone who doesn't have good intentions and doesn't bring positive things. I don't feel like she should be around the kids just because they're related and she loves them and they love her. I think you should base having someone in your kids life because they are a positive person and they have good intentions and have done good things. It doesn't sit well with me that someone who wants to pretty much ruin my kids lives inadvertently should spend any time even supervised with them.

My thoughts are it is a privilege to be involved in your grandchildren's lives not a right. I feel that she hasn't earned that right back and that she has ruined that privilege she once had by her behavior and actions the past few years. However, my kids want to see her. They are ages 10 and 5.  :-\So my question is to you MIL's and maybe even other DIL's what would you do if you were me and what are your thoughts on everything?

Thanks for reading this long rant. I tried to include mostly everything. I really do appreciate your feedback. I really want to do the right thing here...


Welcome Trondogs :)

Please read the top three threads in the category Open Me First.  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.  It'll also help you to get a feel for WWU.

Wow, this is a lot going on.  Are you still in therapy?  I think you need to take care of you first, this sounds like stalking and can be very unhealthy for you to go through long periods of intense stress like that. 

I know that sometimes when we're in the thick of it is hard to see the big picture.  This is a woman who left a young child in the car, had the police involved, stalked you and your family and has threatened to take your children away.  She has clearly shown that she does not have your childrens (or you and DHs) best interest at heart and clearly means harm to your family.

So...No Way would I ever allow this woman near my children.  I do not care what the children think in this instance.  This isn't do you want to go see MIL who I don't like....this is a woman who is obviously dangerous.  No Way.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Hi Pam,  thanks for your reply. I will read the agreement now. I am in counseling now. My counselor suggested just having DH bring the kids over to her house around xmas, easter and a birthday each. I disagree with the counselor but DH agrees so....

I agree however, that there is no real immediate danger for the kids to go there for 2-3 hrs with DH 3 times per year BUT I do agree that she does not have nice intentions.

I am worried though that if I "don't allow" DH to take the kids there then he will resent me and it will destroy our marriage (me trying to control everything)



There's a couple things 1) since she already threatened grandparents rights and if you or DH have a history of letting her visit, it only increases the likelihood should she actually file that she may actually get some sort of visitation rights in the future.  Without supervision.  It depends on your state too.  But also since you can't really prove any of the previous stalking (I'm guess there is no filed reports and/or convictions) and if you still let the kids visit....a court would be unlikely to take you seriously when saying she is dangerous if she does file.  If you and DH don't take steps, the law won't either.

2) While they may come to no physical harm while seeing her, I believe that kids do know and pick up on things.  The harm comes in by seeing their family split, their mother treated horribly and their father letting it happen.  That is harmful to children and skews their outlook on life. 

If one of your children were in this predicament, what would you tell them?  Would you want this for them?  For their children?
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Trondogs: please don't reward your MIL's bad behaviour with exactly what she wants: your DH and DS's without you.

She endangered your children's lives in the past.  She tried to use emotional manipulation on the older one, which to me is emotional abuse.  She's bad-mouthed you (the MOTHER).  She has STALKED you.  She has filed false reports against you.  She has shown ABSOLUTELY ZERO remorse over her actions.

And you want to give her another chance?  REALLY?

To me, she's torn up her grandparent card. 

DH can certainly go and spend time with her, however the children should NOT be with her unless YOU are there.  And if she can treat you in a civil manner, and is actually NICE to the children (not manipulative), then you can try for longer or more frequent visits. 

Oh my, I'm not done yet it seems.  To me, at the point of endangering them, even before all of this other baloney, she tore up her GP card.  She left a 2 y/o alone in a car long enough for someone to notice him,  call the police and for the police to come and get him?  That's a good 20 minutes.  I would have pressed charges at the time.  I honestly don't understand why you seem so nonchalant about it.

Good luck, I think you're in for a fight, but I hope that you persist, for your children's safety and emotional well-being.



We filed a no contact order 6 months ago, but DH has since brought kids to see her. She admitted to the therpaist of DH and I that she left them in the car and thought nothing of it.

I am trying to keep the kids out of this mess by allowing them to see MIL 3 times per year with DH, not me going. I dont want them to know anything until they're adults regarding the things she has said and done.

However my gut is telling me somethings up soon and that it's a mistake for the kids to be going over there even with DH


Scoop- I really am having a hard time allowing MIL to be around the kids. My biggest thing is that she has caused harm to my family in the past, was made away of the harm and still continued to do it. I'm on the fence because while there is no immediate danger going on while DH is supervising she may be behind the scenes again plotting to break my family up. DH says she's done it in the past and we should look past it because she isn't doing it anymore. However that is something that I can't look past and I am always going to be thinking "what if she's gonna do it again?"

I asked DH years ago (while watching a reality show lol) if I cheated on him, got into therapy and promised to never do it again, would he look past it and continue a relationship with me? He said "no" that he would never be able to look past it and would be wondering if it was going to happen again.

I wonder why he can see and say that with me but not when it comes to his mother?! Why does it not apply to me making a mistake (hypothetically) and not be forgiven and forgotton, but applies to his mother?


Trondogs, listen to your gut.  Read the book "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker.

There is immediate danger with your MIL, it's all around you and the children.  The best way to keep them out of this mess is by protecting them from her.  If they are around her, they are in the middle of it.

Do not break the contact order.  People like this only escalate until they get what they want.  You and DH have shown her if she calls enough, does enough squawking at some point you two will give her what she wants.  You even broke a no contact order to calm her down, this is serious. 

If the adults can't handle her, how do you expect a child too?  Please, please reconsider placating her.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Pam- I agree 100% with you!!! It's DH who does not and now my new therapist who thinks DH should bring kids over there 3 times per year. I am getting sick to my stomach thinking about this. I have to allow my kids around this person even though I don't want it because 2 people- so far- think I should? if only I can figure a way to stop the visits and get DH on my side of the fence- which could be near impossible because he is so dysfunctional with her and has a ton of guilt.

I am afraid that since DH has brought kids to her and they have talked to her a few times that re-instating that no contact order is darn near impossible and looks ridiculous and I'm sure DH will not go along with it BUT it should only take one parent to draw up and send the no-contact order right??


Yes, but a lot also depends on the state you are in.  There's a free website with real lawyers on it (they also aren't very nice, they just give legal facts so don't go looking for a hug lol) google "free advice forum" and there should be a category, maybe child custody that many posters will be able to help you with correct legal advice.

You're doing the right thing, trust your gut. 

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Oh and if you're not already doing it -- document *everything* related to her.  Everything, even miniscule stuff.  Make sure it is documented. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


I have called an attorney in my state last year when this all started and she said that anyone can be granted visitation in my state to anyone's children however it HAS to be proved that the children would be emotionally devestated to not see _____ (whoever is petitioning for visitation) and its highly unlikely and MIL would be laughed at in court ESPECIALLY since it's been documented that she admitted to leaving kid in car

How do I get DH to agree??


I have what looks like a stalker in purest form. I have written down all the times she tried to contact DH and I on ohone, in person and via email/snail mail, that led up to the no contact order.

Then we let kids talk to her and see her once and now we want no contact order in place again....I look like a fool :(


Trondogs - you have to trust your gut.

I know some families who have a rule: 2 yesses means yes, 1 no means NO.  So both parents have to agree to something before it happens, if one says no, then it's no.

Ask your DH what he would think about you doing something he's against with the boys (piercing their ears? getting a dog? putting them on the back of a motorcycle? - whatever he would be AGAINST).  And I'm not talking about something out of the blue, but something you've talked about and you KNOW he's against it and you do it anyway.  How would he feel about that?

Conversely, I would tell DH that I was willing to go on these visits but that WE, as a family, were leaving the first time anything insulting came out of MIL's mouth.  If she REALLY wanted to see the kids, she would be able to be civil to you.  If she can't control her tongue then you guys know that it's more important for her to run her mouth that it is to see your kids.

Personally, I wouldn't trust your DH to protect the kids.  If he was treated like that all of HIS life, he can't objectively judge that it's WRONG.  And that's furthered by the idea that he can't see that it's wrong to bring them there in the first place.  Also, men (and this might just be MY DH) don't have the same ability to multi-task as women do.  So he could be doing some work for MIL, or chatting with FIL, or watching TV and he won't hear what she says to them, or her leaving with them or whatever.

I repeat - TRUST YOUR GUT.


T - You have had all kinds of professional, legal and law enforcement intervention before you came to our site. You are welcome here...and we aren't trained to top that. Your initial post has offered you a chance to be heard, again, in a different vunue. I hope that has helped. Please re-read the Agreement. You used unacceptable language in Par. 10 of your first post. If we can figure it out, you can't use it. Compliance to the Agreement is a requirement.

For what it's worth, I don't think you can create a viable marriage or raise your children successfully with that kind of pathological interference. What she does or doesn't do about counseling, you need to close the door...lock and bolt it. There are people who are too deeply abberated to respond to counseling and change. My guess, and I'm hoping I'm wrong, is that she is one of them. I see you as seriously up against how to survive what she has infested your lives with.

I don't, in rereading your first post understand Par. 2 because it doesn't seem to relate to the rest:

"MIL and I had a great relationship. I was there for her when her mother died, helped her with almost everything, she went into a deep depression and I took care of her. Cooked her food, did her chores/washed her clothes etc... We got along great and when DS was born she took him once a week for the day to spend some quality time with him. Older son was in school all day. I never missed a birthday or holiday or even mother's day. Not because I felt I had to but because I cared."
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama