Hello Wise Women,
As many of you know my MIL and I don't have the best relationship, I know we're both at fault in ways for this. We last month my husband and I found out were expecting our second child. We were so excited, my husband wanted me to text my MIL the photo of the positive pregnancy test. Since this is the way he wanted to tell her I agreed to it. I expected a text back instead she calls my DH talks to him about it, never asks to speak to me about it. I have called her since for reasons and she still says nothing to me. Is it wrong I'm hurt that she hasn't mentioned anything about it? I been trying to keep her up to date with appointments, etc, but it seems like she just wants to get off the phone with me. I am wondering am I overemotional because the pregnancy or is it understandable I'm hurt?
I am so sorry that you have to face this situation right when you are feel so happy about the good news. My take is being hurt is not right or wrong, it's how you feel. There's no changing your MIL, that's the bad news. Your husband can't change her, either. You are doing your best, that's all you can do. It's not easy to let go of perfectly reasonable expectations but they are yours and she has no obligation to meet them. Telling your husband that his mom isn't what you have hoped for isn't a workable answer, either. As far as I can see, hanging in there and not asking for what she can't or won't give is all you can do. Hugs...
I don't know about your MIL but I have reached a point where I am afraid to say much of anything to my DIL. She has taken things the wrong way so many times that I finally realized that the best thing to do is keep my mouth shut. Things are better between us since I changed. I might ask how she feels but there is not going to be any real conversation. I wish it was different but when I tried to "fix" it I got into a world of hurt. Been there, done that.
I found my best defense against getting hurt was to place less emotional value on the opinion of the people who hurt me. It worked for me and I hope it helps you.
Thank you both, I think your right. I've always been a sensitive person, my MIL on the other hand always says what is on her mind and will not hold back. This tends to make it difficult for us to connect. I try to communicate with her by still keeping her informed about the baby, and try to talk about life. Since I inform my own mother I think she also deserves that right. Would it be wrong for me to ask her if she wants me to keep her up to date with everything? I just wonder because she seems to not really want to communicate when I call her to let her know about everything. Or do you think she rather my husband update her? I know I shouldn't let all this bother me but I really would love a good relationship with my MIL someday.
My take is it takes two people to make a good relationship...and often what we do or don't do has very little effect on how others feel, think and act. I would keep a low profile and watch. Hugs...
Congratulations, we are all very excited for you. When is the baby due?
Oh, I am sorry that this happened and turned out to be so disappointing. Boy, I wish I had a DIL like you, someone who wanted me in her life! (I only have SILs who are tied to their mothers who are overly involved so no room for me.) I can tell you really want this MIL to be appreciative of you and be your friend. She is missing out.
Your MIL is who she is and you are not going to change her by trying to include her or wanting affection from her. It sounds like you and your husband are still sort of stuck in wanting her to be different or hoping she will be different. Can you make yourself a little note and stick it on the bathroom mirror or in a drawer you open daily that says "accept people for who and how they are" (or something else similar) to help you let it go? Just keep rereading it till it feels natural to think this way.
Its easy for me to be a back seat driver here, but consider having a boundary with husband that he contacts his mother and you do not or only upon the rare occasion. Do not call her or text her until you can let go of the outcome or expectations that she will respond lovingly or with interest. He is the one she wants to hear from, he's her son. You may have to set boundaries next time, say "no husband, its best if you text her because you are the one she wants to hear from."
I did this with my former MIL, and it worked better that way. The person she really wanted to talk to was her son. And he could handle her better than I could, he just told her no when a no was needed. He didn't care that she was a problem relationship (he didn't like her) and I had to learn to stop caring, being a people pleaser, or wanting love from someone who could not give it.
I think it's great that you feel your MIL should get the same updates as your own mom. My DIL will likely not be the one updating when she & DS decide to start their family, and DS, being a guy, probably won't think it's important, lol. Your MIL is a lucky woman.
I'm rather shy and have been burned by DIL before, so communicating with her makes me a bit on edge. I'd just as soon talk to my DS just because it's less awkward. But if DIL & I were to communicate more often, I'd probably be more comfortable having a longer conversation with her.
Thank you all so much! You made me feel a lot better.
She still hasn't cared about the baby updates, but she is upset with the kitchen updates. We been redoing our kitchen to make it better for resale. We consulted my cousin who is an interior design. Our MIL went with us to look for granite and she picked out a pink/tan granite, I really do not like the color pink and it was over $3000 dollars over our budget. She is not happy we didn't go with it, while I wanted gray, we went with tan since my husband like it and I was hoping MIL would be a bit more happy. So our kitchen now has nice wood cabinets, tan granite counter tops, wood floors, glass tile backsplash, and a lighter tan paint. All of which my cousin helped with since she does this for a living to make sure everything came together.
My MIL been wanting photos since she is an "interior designer" also (she redid her house so she thinks that makes her an interior designer now).My husband said no since he wants his family to come up and see all the hard work he put into it. He really just wants them to visit us, so I been respecting this requests because I understand it. However, my MIL then called me asking all these questions and now she is upset that we didn't do an accent wall. She feels we should have a blue accent wall so now she wants to by something so we have a "pop of color" in the kitchen. I know she is also going to be upset because were changing the green dining room color that she liked, so my husband wanted to keep it since his mom liked it. I hated it but I said okay to make him happy and her. Well it doesn't go with the kitchen and he agrees since the kitchen is now open, so were painting it the same tan.
Wisewomen, what do I do? I feel like this is no longer my home, since I need my MIL approval and she wants to change things if she doesn't like it. I tried explaining we went over everything with my cousin who is an interior designer but she didn't care. I'm starting to feel like I will never do anything right with her, even when I give up things I would like to make her happy.
My take is my home is a reflection of me. If every room has purple ceilings...that's my business! (No...they aren't purple but you know what I mean.) This needs to be settled between you and DH...your house is your house! Then he lets her know. Your life is your life. Your marriage is...guess what?...your marriage. Sending hugs...
Oh, Starfire, how awful to have your lovely new kitchen "ruined" by being grilled and challenged by MIL. I agree with your cousin and actually just purchased a home with brown granite and light brown glass tile backsplash. IMHO, as a serial home purchaser and real estate self described 'expert' (not a decorator), no accent walls, no pop of color. No red or green walls. Keep it bland to sell. Gray is also out, white is the new neutral. Everything done this minute up to date is in white paint. In the seller's mind, one can always add but having to remove means I offer a lower price.
Your mother in law is not ever going to be happy with any of your answers now or in the future with any topic -- this is just how she is. Accept it that she'll never be happy because "it is all about her." Please write yourself a little sticky note and read it daily. "NO JADE: justify, argue, defend, explain" and when you talk to MIL, keep looking at that note. Do not justify argue defend or explain your actions. Either let there be silence or say you disagree but do not get into the habit of defending yourself or explaining. Staying quiet is especially effective. This will help stop her JADEing you and you'll feel better about the conversation. It is not always easy but we all gotta keep to our own boundaries, yes, defend them. Time to learn to have boundaries, don't be like me and start to have them in your 50's.
Just cause she asks or butts in doesn't mean you have to let her or appease her. Take back your power!
Your husband is right about not sending her photos. Don't tell her your personal information any longer. She is not your friend, doesn't not have your best interests in her heart. Keep her at arm's length. You have no power to change her, nothing you do will make her pleasant or nice. All you can do is change your own attitude and reactions towards her and hold your boundaries strong.
Thank goodness you did not choose the pink granite!!! If one's goal is to sell, it is the rare buyer who wants pink granite. Saved by the budget!
Just because she tells you that you have to do this or that with your house, or is buying things for it that you didn't ask for or want, doesn't mean you have to listen to her or use the items.
I get these sense that you are trying very hard to get along with your MIL. But there comes a point where you a bending a bit too much to try to get along with her. I'm not saying you shouldn't be putting effort into that relationship, but eventually resentment sets in, and long term that is not good for your relationship with her. That was one thing I tried very hard to get my DH to understand, that each individual thing looked small, but after months and years of biting my tongue I was getting resentful that nothing was being dealt with and eventually I was probably going to lose it at his mom over something stupid. And there would probably be no going back.
It took a while to get my DH to understand. Recently we had a situation where my MIL took it upon herself to deal with a home reno we need to have done. I was livid, my DH told me he that although he didn't think it was that big of a deal, he understood that I did and since it made me deeply uncomfortable he would tell her we would handle it. I haven't heard a word about it since.
I've been trying to pull my house together for years, lol. When I ask for advice, my friends with good taste are free to tell me what they think. It would be awful to have my step-MIL thinking she had a right to do interior designing in my home! Her taste is terrible, lol.
This kind of work is fun, but stressful in some ways. You do not need the added stress of your MIL (or anyone else who's help you did not ask for) butting in.
Buy a pillow, vase or canister for a "pop of color" that you can ditch after your MIL leaves. ;)
Thank you all so much, I never heard of the NO JADE, I need to try that. My issue is now that my husband doesn't see the big deal in his mom trying to help since my cousin did. I tried to explain this is my cousin job, she does this and gets paid for it every day. My cousin was very kind since I am related to her and just charged us for materials and not her time. I tried explaining my taste and his mothers is very different, her taste is a lot more bold while I am a lot more traditional. He is also more traditional, and while he doesn't like his mother bold taste also he wants to make her happy. So that's where I am running into a bind.
Thank you all for everything again.
What often needs to eventually be worked on is our support system. Good for you for seeing the strong difference between your cousin's approach and your MIL's. DH comes from that home and it was his norm. He didn't agree but he learned not to openly disagree. You are left to do that, which can't help but bring discord to your marriage. Where he grew up was her home. Where the two of you live is in a newly established family unit. It may be time for some relationship counseling. Hugs...
You mentioned trying to please everyone and this is the real root of the problem. If you felt confident in your decision to use your cousin's advice and not use pink granite, you'd be able to brush off MIL comments and not argue this with husband.
The need to please everyone and be liked is often rooted in our own low self esteem or feeling like we are unworthy or not lovable. Having weak boundaries is inside of us, not caused by the MIL or husband. Work on these issues inside yourself rather than focusing on conflict with MIL.
Like I said before, stop including her in your personal life in order to get affirmation or love from her. Isn't going to happen and just makes you miserable. You are chasing the wrong thing. Get your affirmation from inside of yourself and if you can't do this, counseling will truly help.
I know as I am.