Problem Solving => Daughter in Law's or Son in Law's Parents => Topic started by: starfire on October 11, 2015, 06:08:36 pm

Title: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on October 11, 2015, 06:08:36 pm
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.

Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Pooh on October 12, 2015, 08:08:50 am
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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on October 12, 2015, 01:59:42 pm

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,
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Pooh on October 14, 2015, 06:41:27 am
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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on October 14, 2015, 01:07:27 pm
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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta on October 16, 2015, 01:23:30 pm
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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on October 21, 2015, 12:46:38 pm
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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta on October 21, 2015, 02:43:02 pm
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..
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on November 09, 2015, 06:50:46 am
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?
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: gettingoldandcranky on November 09, 2015, 08:38:46 am
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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: shiny on November 09, 2015, 09:23:35 am

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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta on November 09, 2015, 10:31:45 am
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!
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Pen on November 09, 2015, 03:23:32 pm
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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Pooh on November 10, 2015, 06:38:20 am
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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on November 12, 2015, 11:15:13 am
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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta 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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Green Thumb 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."
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta 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...
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire 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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: gettingoldandcranky 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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Bamboo2 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. 
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire 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.

Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta 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?
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire 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.

Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta 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!
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Stilllearning 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!
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Bamboo2 on December 01, 2015, 02:40:42 pm
I agree with all of the above!  Great post, Still Learning  :)
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire 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.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Stilllearning 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!
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Green Thumb 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!
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on December 03, 2015, 10:33:45 am
My son also has food allergies so I know how you feel. My son is allergic to eggs and peanuts. (The eggs very bad) The issue with that is my husband family has lasagna for Christmas. I was hoping for them to make it with egg free noodles but it's tradition that they make the family noodles (while they taste amazing, I know my son can't have this). My husband asking if there will be anything for my son to eat, however if there isn't, would it be rude to bring food for him? I don't want him to go hungry. (My son sadly is allergic to a lot, which he got from me. My husband family doesn't have allergies so I think it's difficult for them to understand how severe they can be, since they never witnessed it).
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Stilllearning on December 03, 2015, 11:43:34 am
Actually Starfire my lasagna recipe calls for eggs mixed with the cottage cheese or ricotta cheese so there may be eggs beyond the noodles.  I would get my DH to ask if we could bring a pan of egg free lasagna.  Bring enough for the others to taste so that they will know that making that minor adjustment need not impact the taste of the lasagna much.  Either that or ask that they reserve some sauce so that you can bring some noodles for him to eat spaghetti since he cannot eat the lasagna.  Have you tried using julienned zucchini squash as a noodle substitute?  They work great and save all those carbs (and most people are quite intrigued by them)!   Good luck!
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: PatiencePlease on December 04, 2015, 12:27:11 am
Ditto what others have posted.  If you don't protect your son's interests, who will?  I would simply and calmly explain to MIL your concerns about your son's health & add these words "as a mother, I'm sure you understand my concerns and why this decision is necessary."  If she chooses to disagree & wants to argue about it simply don't engage with her.  Your son needs you.

I do hope you find ways to talk to your husband about how you feel about his mother's need to control & how it seems to you your husband doesn't set healthy boundaries.  Do you think you might suggest marriage counseling to him?  It doesn't mean you are failing at marriage.  It means your marriage is worth saving & needs a realignment.  A marriage consists of two partners; both your MIL and husband need to understand that.

Keep us posted.  I wish you the best.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Pen on December 06, 2015, 01:57:31 pm
My DDD has allergies, too. When going to events, I always make sure she has similar but allergen-free foods available. I do not put that responsibility on others who may not have the knowledge to accommodate and adjust accordingly. It is a pain sometimes, but I can't expect others to change their routines for her...even if they "should."
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Green Thumb on December 06, 2015, 03:03:53 pm
I have food allergies, for example, I can't eat lasagna at all. The easiest most polite thing to do is bring a main dish for the allergic person. That is what I do, unless there will be other foods that round out the meal that the allergic person can eat. I don't ask for special food to be prepared but I do ask if I can bring something and sometimes I bring a big green salad so I know I have food. The last family meal I went to, they were serving taco salad and I brought my own salad and dressing. (And my husband said the taco salad was terrible!) Just quietly get your own food and sit down and quietly eat it, is how I approach it. Or sometimes I bring a dish that I can eat, and add it to the "pot luck" other foods. It depends on how they are serving the food or what they are making.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Green Thumb on December 06, 2015, 03:13:21 pm
Starfire, do you know the theory of allergies and the "bucket" analogy? It is that people can tolerate the things or foods they are allergic to  to a certain extent but once it gets too much, it fills the bucket and spills out into a full blown allergic "attack" -- ear infections, snotty nose, hives, etc. Meaning I am allergic to 3 foods and I can eat them once and have a small reaction. If I ate any of these these foods again or for a second meal, I get really sick. If the pollen count is high, and I eat one of these three foods or all three of them, then I have a medium reaction. If the pollen is high, and I eat these foods more than once, then I have a high reaction. My bucket gets full fast and runs over.

I mention this because since your MIL has the dogs and your son is allergic to dogs, it might be best for him not to eat the egg containing foods. The two things together may fill his bucket and make it run over.   Also there are eggs in cakes, cookies and some pies so you may want to bring a nice dessert to share that he can eat.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on January 09, 2016, 10:14:04 am
Thank you so much to everyone!

I wanted to give everyone a update, we stayed in the hotel and only went to my MIL for a few hours, however that night my poor son threw up about 5 or 6 times. Having a crying one year old in a hotel on Christmas that continued to threw up, and then saying he wanted to go bye bye, along with not going to his father was not how I was thinking Christmas would go. Needless to say I told my husband we would not be going back there in the morning. Instead we went to the mall invited my in-laws but they didn't show up, which I think my husband was very sad about. We got to see them later at his grandmothers though. Now I'm just wondering how to handle this in the future, because I don't want my son going though that again.

Thanks for everything.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta on January 09, 2016, 01:52:27 pm
What made him throw up, do you know?
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Pooh on January 11, 2016, 06:44:29 am
Yes, I would be interested in what made him throw up too?  If he didn't eat any of the food that you knew he was allergic too...I'm confused.  I know the dog allergies, but I've never heard of animal allergies making someone throw up?

As far as the food allergy thing goes, I'm with Pen.  My youngest Grandson is lactose intolerant.  It will make him violently throw up.  So when he is with me, or they are coming over to dinner, I make sure there are things he can eat and I'm very careful when we have him not to let him have any (although the poor fellow begs for macaroni and cheese everywhere we go).  I think that is the right thing for a Grandma to do.  I provide for him at my home.

BUT (there is that word)....if we have him and we are taking him to a family event, or a friends house,  I make sure that I take things he can eat.  Yes, it's nice for people to think of him, but it truly isn't their responsibility.  It is mine to ensure he can eat and be safe.  Even if someone is nice, I have found they don't think things completely through like I do.  They THINK they are making something for him without milk, but forget it might have cheese, sour cream, etc. in it.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on January 11, 2016, 05:39:46 pm
Honestly were not sure, since we brought food for him. So the only thing different was the dog allergy and the environment.  We did go to the waterpark with them but we kept him in a kiddy area and he's been to a waterpark before. He's also to been to hotels before. I don't know if it's eczema acted up and he was just upset because that or what. But the next day we just went to the mall and met them at my husbands grandmothers and he was completely fine then. So I'm not sure I was planning to try to talk to his doctor at his next visit about it to see if she could think of anything.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Stilllearning on January 12, 2016, 03:29:36 am
Oh Starfire, there are so many reasons your DS could have been throwing up and very few of them would appear to be at your MIL's house.  It could have been a bug or honestly your DS could have sensed how tense you were about going over there and reacted from nerves.  Some time between now and next Christmas why don't you let your DH take your DS down to visit his mother without you?  This has two wins in it, you get the weekend off and if there are any side effects your DH has to handle them alone which generally will calm down the urging to visit.

Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Pooh on January 12, 2016, 07:45:01 am
Quote from: Stilllearning on January 12, 2016, 03:29:36 am
Oh Starfire, there are so many reasons your DS could have been throwing up and very few of them would appear to be at your MIL's house.  It could have been a bug or honestly your DS could have sensed how tense you were about going over there and reacted from nerves.  Some time between now and next Christmas why don't you let your DH take your DS down to visit his mother without you?  This has two wins in it, you get the weekend off and if there are any side effects your DH has to handle them alone which generally will calm down the urging to visit.


I totally agree!  He could have caught a bug from anywhere and it may not have had nothing to do with his allergies.  I love SL's suggestion!  It would be a great test to see if it happens again or if that was something else AND your DH would have to deal with it.  I find putting responsibility back on someone else sometimes works like magic. The either gain sympathy or find it's too hard to do themselves and don't suggest it again! WINNING!
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta on January 12, 2016, 10:00:22 am
Brilliant!  :)
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Green Thumb on January 13, 2016, 02:27:11 pm
Oh, wow, a vomiting child in a hotel room, you have my sympathy! One time I got food poisoning at a professional conference and could not leave the toilet in my room, was truly awful. Do check with his allergy doctor and ask if allergies can cause vomiting, my guess is unless he is having asthma (and heaving his chest) or lots of nasal drainage irritating his stomach, it was likely one of those 24 hour stomach bugs -- this is from someone who has been dealing with food allergies in myself or my kids for 24 years. Yet, if he is allergic to dairy like I am, he is probably also lactose intolerant and milk, ice cream, yogurt, etc. can make him queasy or vomit. I have not eating dairy ice cream in 25 years cause the last time I ate it, I was so queasy and it lasted for hours.

Your mother's heart probably balks at having husband take son to his mothers without you. But the suggestion to let husband take son alone is guaranteed to make your husband take some ownership of son's allergies. Of course, if they come home with a sick kid and you have to take Monday off from work, well that does impact you. Although I gotta tell you, if husband is self centered, he is gonna always balk and deny the allergies. My narcissistic Ex husband told a cousin that when we divorced he was so glad to not have to deal with the children's food allergies any longer! (What an A**) Then he would insist our son come over and eat pizza every time they got together  and put extra cheese on the homemade pizza. This did upset our son but this was before I knew about narcissism.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on February 15, 2016, 10:29:48 am
Hello all,

Thank you for the suggestions, I told my husband at some point he could take my son alone to his mothers, but he stated he doesn't want to. I think this is due to him having some hurt feelings during Christmas. His parents spent their time watching TV at there house and then not coming to the mall and since Christmas we tend to be the only one to make contact. I think he's hurt because his parents are so involved in their other grandson/ son life but not in ours. We had a talk about this yesterday in fact and he stated he wish they would call or visit him more. I don't know what to do because even though I sorta have the mindset that the people who want to be in your life will make an effort to be in it (this is due to my past since my father and I have a difficult relationship), it's breaking my heart how sad he is about this yet I don't know if it's my place to have a conversation with the in laws. It's difficult to invite them to our house due to my MIL being a nurse and is on call many weekends and my FIL coaches his other grandson team. So when we invite them it tends to not work out, and scheduling also very difficult since when we tend to make places they don't tend to let us know until last minute if there coming or not. This is hard for me since I like to clean and everything before my MIL comes, so I get very stressed out learning about it the day of normally. This has how it's been since my husband left for college, it however didn't seem to bother him until we had our son.

I'm trying to put my feelings aside at the moment, since my husband wanted me to tell my MIL about a big event in our life recently. So I did she immediately called my husband and said nothing to me. I have called her since and still she says nothing to me about it. While this hurts me, I'm more worried about my husband feelings at the moment.

Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: luise.volta on February 15, 2016, 10:52:21 am
S - I think I would pass on speaking to my MIL for my husband. It is their relationship and they have the complexities of Adult to Adult to establish. I think you are right to see him as needing support. Giving it directly to him and wishing him well with him mother sounds wise, to me.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Green Thumb on February 22, 2016, 08:22:11 am
Sometimes doing nothing is best and I agree with Luise's post, your husband has to deal with his parent on his own terms and accept them for how they are. It sounds like a lot of stress in being held hostage to wishing for how things should be rather than how things truly are. You can support your husband by acknowledging his hurt and mistreatment and how this is reality and won't change --  so you two can move forward and focus on your own lives. Focus on the nice people who treat you well and creating a happy family.
Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: starfire on May 12, 2016, 10:46:04 am

Thank you again everyone for your advice. A little update: I recently started working a new part time job where I work every weekend but I tend to be done by 12 or 1. So on mother's day I called my MIL also wishing her a happy mother's day, and I thought we had a pleasant talk. It was a difficult day for me since my grandmother was in the hospital and my mom was there and they didn't want me to come in case I could catch it, which I told my MIL on the phone. She asked me when her son would call and I told her he would probably after lunch.

Well when talking to my husband, I found out she didn't listen to what I said I guess since he mentioned my grandmother also and she asked what was up so he explained what was up. Then she said how she wants to come up and see him and my son some time. He said that may be difficult right now unless she wants to come after I'm done working. She said no she'll just come when I'm not there. This sorta hurt me, one because I felt like she didn't listen to what I said or care to see me. My husband said okay not really feeling good about it either because he has a hard time telling his mom we do things with our son differently then she did with her boys. Part of the reason for a lot of this is because my son's allergics, we don't go to certain restaurants if he can't eat there, we always wash our hands and wipe our face if we had something with either egg or nuts in, etc. We also don't let him on a dirt bike yet, which she and her husband got him. I'm worried the main reason she wants to come up is to get him to ride the dirt bike, since her other grandson was riding by now. This especially scares me because he hasn't even rode a bike yet, and I don't want him riding something that needs gas before having a bike with training wheels on. My husband agrees with this but he doesn't think he can tell his mom this since she pretty much helped raise her other grandson and he thinks she take it as a personal attack. She knows I'm against it and she thinks I'm to safety cautious due to this and my son's allergics. She also hopes he starts skating soon, since all her boys were by now and hockey a big part of there family. They all played. I don't mind him learning to skate, I just hope he is not pressured into a sport if he doesn't like it. Since my nephew wanted to try another sport also one year and they told him he had to pick between hockey or the other sport. In the end he ended up picking hockey because grandpa said he'd coach hockey if he played again.

Title: Re: Controlling MIL
Post by: Green Thumb on May 16, 2016, 01:42:16 pm
Ah... Starfire, sounds like the never ending battle with a controlling MIL and a husband who has trouble setting and sticking to boundaries with her. Do you want to be "the bad guy" all the time by being the one who says no? Or do you want your husband to be strong enough to say no to his mom? That is your first decision and you have to think this over so you can have clarity.

What I think reading your post is that if you felt strong in your boundaries, you would not have this anxiety and worry. I know this because I am a lot like you, worry the same, anxious the same. So you either have to have confidence in your husband or you have to have more confidence in your own rules and regulations and that in your world, your rules stick. Doesn't matter what MIL suggests on the phone, its a broken record of NO or maybe someday when he's five or six or seven.

If your worry is because your husband is weak and spineless with his Mother, then that is a different story. This is who you married and how he is.

My BIL came over to bother us the day after we moved into our new home. He lives high off the hog way above his means. Our house is cute and modest. He walked around telling me what HE would change. I didn't take offense, I just kept saying something like "Oh, huh, nope we aren't doing that, I like the plants, I like the appliances, I like the fence, I like the stucco, I like the roofing material, I like having one water heater and don't need two or a tankless, I like the paint color, I like the electric cooktop, I am not having the gas company out to run a gas line, I like the light fixture (which we just picked out and had replaced that he said we should replace - LOL). Was truly offensive, but he thought he was being so helpful in "giving me advice." He even offered to give me his designer's scheme of paint colors so we could paint it the same as his house!!! LOL again! I had boxes and boxes to unpack and he didn't want to help, he just wanted to give his opinion. Years ago, I would have made this an big, highly offended argument, but now I can let it go and later laugh about it, and laugh all weekend we did! ;D