Author Topic: update on understanding MIL & how to deal  (Read 3935 times)

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Offline Rejected

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update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« on: February 18, 2011, 09:37:28 AM »
On V-day my MIL sent us, as well as the rest of her kids, an email valentine. My DH sent a thank you email back and of course this opened the door for her again. But it's okay because we were going to try the going out to eat once a month thing. Well, yesterday she drove past where I work (she's driven past a few times) and since she saw that DH was with me, on her way home (5 min later) she stopped but didn't get out of her car so DH went to talk to her. She said that she had been wanting to take us out to eat since New Years and to email her soon so we can make plans for next week. I figure this works out for the best (i think  :-\) because this way she's the one that initiated it so it makes her feel better about herself and she'll be more at ease because it's not on her DIL's(my) terms. At the restaurant if things go well then DH will ask if this could be a monthly thing(minus her paying of course) and if she agrees then we have a plan.  :) If not then I'm alright with that too.  :D 
I am very nervous though already because I know she's going to bring on the questions. I just have to keep telling myself to keep the answers vague and short and if I'm uncomfortable to change the subject. DH has a harder time with this than I do, he tends to divulge more info then I do because I think he gets nervous(at least more nervous then me). His mother is a very intimidating woman (6' very big boned/husky and is very confrontational).
I do have a question, since both DH and I know how much she dislikes my FOO (based on what she has said about them to DH when I'm not there) if she tries talking about them do i keep the answers as short & as vague as possible and change the subject, do I tell her I don't want to talk about them with her(in a nice way)? How would you want your DIL's to handle this situation with you? Any other suggestions or advice to help me & DH out?
"Women are Angels and when someone breaks our wings... we simply continue to fly --- on a broomstick... we are flexible."  ~Anonymous

AnonymousDIL

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2011, 09:42:06 AM »
What about saying something like "Oh, MIL, we are spending time with YOU now. My family's business isn't important. What have You been up to?"

Offline Rose799

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2011, 09:50:04 AM »
I’d say, “Everybody's fine, nothing new, same old…same old routine stuff, like the rest of us.” 

holliberri

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2011, 10:55:46 AM »
I think you need to practice Rose's or ADils suggestion. Practice with DH, a mirror, friend or even a therapist.

In my mind, when the conversation drifts in an area I don't want it to...these responses completely leave my brain. I had a diversion plan, but I freeze b/c I'm not comfortable with the words coming out of my mouth due to the intent behind them.

Good luck!

Offline Pooh

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2011, 11:25:30 AM »
I think ADIL and Rose's suggestions were great. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

LaurieS

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2011, 11:54:44 AM »
His mother is a very intimidating woman (6' very big boned/husky and is very confrontational)
Well since you aren't playing a round of football, I don't think you need to be intimidated by her size.  Just think of yourself has having a smaller body with a larger brain, and then maybe you'll see yourselves as equals.

But I think that I may not be so willing to commit to dinner once a month.. can it not be left at wow mom that was fun, maybe we can do it again soon.  Once you say yes to 'once a month', some women tend to latch onto those three words as if Christ himself said them.  I think it's human nature, people just hear a form of commitment and feel like it's now owed to them.. I mean I said the same three words to my husband, and you don't want to know where it got me.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 07:06:53 AM »
If those answers don't work, I would just say that when my family was over we didn't talk about her because talking about anyone who is not present seems disloyal somehow.

And I agree, don't schedule anything with her. It might to hard to undo it, if need be, without added conflict. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Rejected

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2011, 08:03:36 AM »
Thank you so much for the advice and help on what to say!! DH and I have been practicing what to say with each other  :)  Laurie & Luise you make an excellent point about not committing to anything with her because if things go bad it will indeed get ugly. So DH and I won't commit to having dinner with her once a month! We'll just have dinner with her next week and if things go well then the next month if we feel like it we'll call her up & invite her out and it will just be a "if we feel like it, if all goes well, and if she behaves herself for the month" kinda thing. Thanks again ladies!
"Women are Angels and when someone breaks our wings... we simply continue to fly --- on a broomstick... we are flexible."  ~Anonymous

cadagi101

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 02:52:20 PM »
His mother is a very intimidating woman (6' very big boned/husky and is very confrontational)
Well since you aren't playing a round of football, I don't think you need to be intimidated by her size.  Just think of yourself has having a smaller body with a larger brain, and then maybe you'll see yourselves as equals.

But I think that I may not be so willing to commit to dinner once a month.. can it not be left at wow mom that was fun, maybe we can do it again soon.  Once you say yes to 'once a month', some women tend to latch onto those three words as if Christ himself said them.  I think it's human nature, people just hear a form of commitment and feel like it's now owed to them.. I mean I said the same three words to my husband, and you don't want to know where it got me.


Laurie, humour get's the point across.     Its a talent when what is posted  can make people giggle and smile all day.      What a great thing to remember  when people size is intimidating...and once a month a lot of men would think all there Xmas's had come at once.

Offline Nana

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 05:09:17 PM »
Dear Rejected.
You are really so good hearted and with great intentions.  I also agree with Laurie and Louise... Just give it a try, little by little, without compromising every month.  Imagine if doesnt work out...you will be stuck with her.

Julia...Laurie also made me smile with her comment about not feeling intimidated with mil due to her size....but when Rejected mentioned her mil's height and built.....I really imagined her... kind of scary.  But it is true...sometimes big people intimidate small people (like myself) dont kinow why....we are not going to fight them  (physically) and/or carry them LOL.

Wish you luck Rejected.
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

Offline pam1

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2011, 06:18:33 PM »
When I read it, I immediately thought of the headmistress in that movie Matilda lol.  I dunno, some big people do use their size to intimidate and they've done it all their life.

Rejected, I use some standard answers to the intrusive questions.  Like when MIL asks about a personal subject, I'll generally say "oh, I don't want to talk about that.  Lets talk about you, hows that ingrown toenail coming?"  Or whatever I know she likes to talk about and her body parts were always a big hit lol.  I never made it a point to not talk about whatever she wanted, I just change the subject and I got to the point where I wasn't shy about it.  I think the hardest is the first couple times but it gets easier and almost like second nature whenever you're around her.

I also did pep talks with DH before seeing her and tried to use humor as much as possible.  Like I'd wag my finger at him and say no talky talky about ______ today, m'kay?  Thanks buddy.  And I usually did it right before entering her house or moments before greeting her.  it was fresh in his mind, wasn't a nag and put a smile on his face.  I don't know your husbands humor but maybe you can find a way to get it in his head without it being a Big Serious Thing that he better not mess up.  I think it's easier on the guys this way.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 06:59:43 PM by luise.volta »
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Rejected

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2011, 07:46:36 PM »
Pam1 the ingrown toenail thing made me laugh, haha.  You also made me think about some things like I've tried to do little reminder talks with my DH right before seeing MIL about what not to talk about and stuff like that and it's very probable that a major reason why he's so nervous is that he's worried he's gonna slip & that I'll get upset with him when we come home. I really need to be more positive and make those reminder talks actual "pep talks" and not the "don't say this or else" kind of talks. Also adding the humor is an excellent idea because it would definitely ease the situation a little more.

I have thought of one answer to a question I'm pretty sure she's going to ask. In the last 2 months I lost my grandparents (they passed away within 6 weeks of each other) they were both in their 90's and lived long & happy lives. The question I know she's going to ask is what's going to happen with their house/belongings? and I'm going to say "I'm not sure, it's up to my dad & his brothers to handle all that.  I'm not involved in any of that nor do I want to be because I figure it's none of my business." That should let her know that it's none of her business too.
"Women are Angels and when someone breaks our wings... we simply continue to fly --- on a broomstick... we are flexible."  ~Anonymous

LaurieS

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2011, 10:38:55 PM »
That's funny Pam... I mean is like mandatory to talk to people about hangnails when you get older.. my mil will do the same thing.. I was so grossed out about it that I had a hard time telling the little asian lady doing my pedicure that I had a hangnail or something irritating my toe.. and as far as dh goes.. when you've been married over 30 years, it's easier, faster, and gets your point and reminder across more efficiently if you  just kick them under the table.

Offline Rose799

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2011, 11:04:48 PM »
as far as dh goes.. when you've been married over 30 years, it's easier, faster, and gets your point and reminder across more efficiently if you  just kick them under the table.

That's true, just be prepared to carry on the conversation when they stop in mid-sentence...  :)

Offline pam1

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Re: update on understanding MIL & how to deal
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 07:05:20 AM »
Rejected, I wouldn't even give that much of an explanation.  I know how you feel, like you must explain to her but I learned the hard way.  It's easier just to say "Oh, I have no idea!" 

It still gets the point across and leaves less room for more questioning. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift