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Controlling MIL

Started by starfire, October 11, 2015, 06:08:36 PM

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Hello Everyone,

At the start my MIL and I had an okay relationship, we didn't have many problems but I wouldn't call us close either. That all changed when I became pregnant. Awhile into my pregnancy I was put on bed rest due to my OBGYN worried about the water weight I was gaining and having early contractions. Needless to say my MIL was not happy she told me "You're not handicap your just pregnant." I didn't know how to respond back so I didn't but being an emotional pregnant woman it really hurt me. We also normally have to visit them they rarely will visit us.

Things became worse when she came to my shower, not only did she ignore my friends, she also stayed at our place which didn't bother me at first. However, after the shower a few friends and her came back to our place by this point I couldn't even reach my feet I was so far a long and the water weight made me very heavy.(I gained over 50 pounds in water weight... preeclampsia runs in my family). However my feet were very dry since I also have eczema so I asked my DH if he would mind putting lotion on my feet. My MIL told me to do it myself. My best friend did which made my MIL more upset. Our apartment was also very hot due to me being cold when pregnant and having horrible allergies so not being able to open windows due to most being outdoor and it was the summer. She would not stop getting angry at me over it. My friends and me finally left with me crying. My friends were furious especially since my DH wouldn't come with nor stand up for me.

I was hoping when we had out son that things would get better sadly they haven't. She continues to insult me (She blames me for not being close with my son (I think it's due to the face she's only seen him about 5 times since his birth and he's over a year old and said I don't want a war with her because she will win when I suggested she play with him instead of holding him into her arms right away (so now he cries every time she holds him since she has never played with him)), try to control my husband life (he was supposed to stay a weekend with me to celebrate my birthday since I'm in a wedding on my birthday so my mom planned everything because she wanted to do something special. But then his mom wanted him down there so now he won't be celebrating with me. It wouldn't bother me as much but it seems like when we have plans his mother always has to have him come that weekend.) and told me my doctor advice is wrong and that I'm wrong for following it even though I do a lot of research on the issues. The biggest problem is it's destroying my husband and my marriage any advice would help greatly.



Welcome Starfire.  First, please read the posts under "Open Me First", for our forum rules and such.  Nothing wrong with your post, we ask all new members to do this.

Ok...your MIL has definitely overstepped her boundaries.  She has no right to contradict a Doctor's orders, or it's none of her darn business who puts lotion on your feet.  I wanted to say that, so that you would know I totally get that your MIL is not behaving appropriately before I say the next thing.

I have said, over and over again, that when you have a DH that will not stand up for you, or tell his Mother to butt out on your behalf, then that is the bigger issue than a bad MIL.  If your DH is catering to his Mother's wishes, that's a big issue for you two.  If you already had plans with him to celebrate your Birthday on a certain weekend, he should have told his Mother "No".  If he's bailing on you to go to her house, after you had plans first...yeah...I would be furious with him.

I've said before that if a DH is doing this to his wife, then MIL thinks it's perfectly acceptable of how she is acting.  If he is not standing up for you and catering to her, he's telling her it is ok for her to act that way and that you are the problem.  Sorry, I don't mean to be ugly about it, but until you can get DH to take a stand, then it will be very hard for you to set boundaries with MIL.  It takes a united front.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell



Thank you for your reply. That's how I feel but he seems to think standing up for me is making him pick a side and that I shouldn't be as sensitive about his mother since "That's the way she is." I don't believe it is making him pick a side though I was raised that if you have nothing nice to say you shouldn't say anything at all. However, it's getting to the point where it's difficult for me to not say anything back however I know that would just case a fight with my DH, FIL and BIL.

However, I'm also scared if it leads to the point of divorce with her threats since she already took guardianship over her other grandson (with my BIL is fine with) and had my BIL and my nephew live with her. She loves when my nephew use to call her mom and they taught him to call his mother rather horrible words that I will not post here.

Thank you,


I understand.  I don't get how some men think that setting some boundaries is picking sides.  He could have politely told her that he already had plans with you for your Birthday and couldn't make it.  My way of thinking is by bailing on you, and catering to her, he is actually picking sides and he sided with her.  If my Mother called me today and asked us to come do something Saturday, and we already had plans...I would have no issue explaining to her that we had already made plans.  I don't understand why some men have a problem doing that.

Sorry, don't mean to sound callous.  I just had a first marriage and MIL like yours and I know what a pain in the hiney it all is.  I'm lucky this time, as I do have a husband that would have told his Mother no, and explained.  So I do feel your frustration and hurt.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


It causes many issues since this isn't the first time it happened. It's causing issues in our relationship. I feel like he is picking his mother side also but he doesn't see it that way. She does have him apologies to her when he does something wrong through even through we find out what she believes we did wrong through my FIL always since she has him call to tell us so we can apologies to her. I really don't see why she can't call us instead. I feel like I'm dealing with a child.


October 16, 2015, 01:23:30 PM #5 Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 01:29:32 PM by luise.volta
I agree with Pooh. I don't feel this is a MIL problem even though she sounds nearly impossible to get along with. My take is when a couple marries, their primary loyalty is to each other and they make the rules when establishing a new family. They learn and mature by doing. When I married my DH, late in my life, his grown children were really hurtful to me. He would not accept it and told them that if they showed no respect to me, they were disrespecting him and weren't welcome in our home. I know he had a lot more miles on him than your DH has yet but to me the principle stands. Your MIL's days of reining supreme have come and gone. That was in her home when DH was a dependent child. You are now number #1 and he is not momma's little boy any more. Case closed!

I have raised two sons...and now have a great granddaughter that is 22 years old! I know the dynamics of letting go and trusting my sons and they had to do it with their sons, as well. When I was 20, my MIL watched me make one dumb mistake after another and never interfered. Neither did my own DM. Bless their hearts! It is not your job to take abuse of any kind, ever.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Luise thank you so much for your reply. It really means a lot to me. I wish my husband was like that but he isn't. The weird thing is his parents don't have much to do with him either unless it's on their schedule. I really feel bad since I still almost talk to my mother daily and he is super close to my step father. And when she stays out of the picture for a bit, our relationship is great however after we see or talk to her our relationship has issues. They don't like driving up here even though they drive hours for their other grandson hockey games. Also our son since he is only one it takes a lot more to get him to go down there and back in the same day normally making him upset. I tried explaining this to them but they don't see it that way. The worst though is since my MIL is a nurse my DH listens to her on everything. Both my mother and me have been worried about his health since he repeatedly just falls asleep the minute he's supposed to do something. Last winter it happened twice when he was supposed to put our dog outside. It was snowing luckily after a few minutes I've learned to check especially with my dog or son. His mother told him to take a vitamin and he'd be fine. I asked him to see a doctor since he hasn't in over 6 years and we have insurance. Well it's still happening but his mother told him to have a vitamin so that's what he keeps doing.


It's so hard. You can't change the dynamics of their relationship...only they can. You can extricate yourself for it, however, and give yourself the respect you deserve. Not easy but, to me, well worth the effort it takes to teach those around you that you're not their pawn. Sending hugs..
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thank you so much Luise. I however am now having another issue I don't know how to deal with. We are supposed to go down to my MIL for Christmas. She has two German Shepards and is getting a Corgi. My son is highly allergic to dogs. Just seeing her the other day and her holding him caused his eczema to come back. He also has horrible eczema when this happens and itches like crazy. My hope was they could come to our house however MIL, FIL, BIL and family did not agree to that. So we're supposed to come down there stay in a hotel and then come over for dinner and presents. I understand it's family time but I was hoping we could open presents at the hotel and maybe eat there too do to my son being so allergic to dogs. I just rather not risk anything but MIL will not agree to it. What should I do?


i've been on both sides of mil issues.  my mil did and said whatever she wanted and my husband didn't stand up for me.  but i stood my ground and had arguments with her for years.  my kids, my hubby and myself always came first and she didn't like it much.
now my son has a family and my dil keeps us at arms distance, even though i don't interfere.  i go along to get along.  we miss out on a lot of the grandchildren's lives, but have learned to live with what we get.
stand up for your son!  he is your priority - depends on you.  maybe your husband will get his priorities straight, maybe not.  maybe counseling for your marriage?  it won't be easy, but it does get easier.  speak up for your baby and don't go to their house.



Ditto what GOC said ...

Put your foot down to protect your child.

It infuriates me when people who should act mature insist on getting their way, no matter who it hurts, as long as it isn't them.
Yet they fail to see it that way -- it's all about them.

My GC are suffering pain and sorrow because of their parents who continue to do battle with each other over marital issues, while ignoring the helpless ones caught in the middle.

Your child's health is top priority and if they can't understand that, there's a bigger problem, IMO.

As many have stated on this forum, you and DH are now your own family unit and you get to call the shots regarding your family -- not the in-laws.


Yes, yes, and yes...from this corner of the world. Your MIL makes the decisions in her home, you make the decisions in yours. No one else is responsible for your son. You tell your MIL how it's going to be, you don't ask.

She is not the Queen...this is not a Command Performance...and, by the way, your son is not the Pawn. You tried to compromise but/and who wants to be in a hotel for a Family Holiday, anyhow? She refused. Case closed. If DH wants to go...happy trails! Am I mad...you betcha'...that little guy needs you in his corner. Parenting isn't people-pleasing. Parenting is protecting! HUGS!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Some people do not understand how awful it is to have allergies. My DDD has been hospitalized due to asthma caused by dairy, but some of our relatives/acquaintances think I'm blowing it all out of proportion to get attention (?!?)

Anyway, as the mother you have the right to do what is best for the health of your child. Allergic reactions are no joke.

When people's holiday traditions or expectations take precedence over the health and comfort of a child, something is terribly askew. Grown ups should be more grown up than that! We've been shut out of holidays by some in our family because they can't handle our DDD - she's kinda funny-lookin' and has some interesting needs. Not the "normal" holiday they are used to, lol. And you know, it really is less stressful for me to not have to be concerned about it. Sure my DDD yearns for big family functions, but it's not to be. We hang out with people who like us.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Ugggh!!!!  What the heck is wrong with people???

Most definitely the health and wellbeing of your Son comes first!  If she or your DH can not see that....than PHOOEY on them!  You tried for a compromise, and she wouldn't, then that's on her not you.  I would tell DH....yes....tell him...no ifs and or buts that he can go but you and your Son will not be attending.  Jeopardizing your Son's health crosses the line.  There is nothing wrong with MIL having animals, but if she can't compromise and think of her Grandson first...then tooooooooo badddddddd.  And if DH doesn't understand that...well he can go whine to Mommy...uggggghhhh.

Ok, I'm mad too that people can be so selfish.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Thank you all for your replies, I'm so glad to know I'm not being unreasonable, which is how my MIL tends to make me feel. I will always protect my son, but I never expected I would have to from his grandmother. Is there a way to explain this to her without creating drama or anger? I honestly am getting to the point where I don't care if she's upset with me but I know that's not good for my DH or son so I do my best to make sure I think over what to say before saying what I am thinking in the heat of the moment, since it may not come out the best. How to I explain we want to have a Christmas with them, since family is very important but we are just trying to make sure my son can enjoy (and not become seriously ill or have to go to the hospital) Christmas also? I'm so tired of stressing of this, it's getting to the point where I want to break down and cry because I feel like in the family (including with my DH) if we don't go by what she wants then we anger her and it creates drama which she brings my DH into and has him apologies to her.