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Question
Posted by: mam | 2010/10/04

in laws

hi, my mom in law wants to talk everyday, i''''m not happy with this so have stopped taking her calls to get the point across, she asks her husband to call and then tells my husband i wont take her calls. This irritates me as i feel she''''s trying to force me to do something i don''''t want to, the scenario above has happened at least 6/7 times and she wont get the point. Although she''''s a nice person, i find her quite bossy/controlling at times such as when i gave birth she invited herself into my home when i did not want anyone over for at least the 1st week, when she saw i wasn''''t happy she got her husband to call us and she was sobbing in the background causing my husband to give in. We are newly married, and i''''m having trouble setting boundaries as my husband and his family seem to do everything she says and are very scared of making her unhappy. I''''m quite resentful about the birth incident particularly because I could not get my way in my own home. I view her constant calls as a way to get access and control over us as she does with her family and i want to maintain some distance between us. How do I handle this nice and early in our marriage so we don''''t have any issues like the one around my birth again, my husband does not see my problem and it irritates me further that he thinks his mom is always right I''''m always overreacting.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Maybe she's lonely, but does she really have nothing better to dothan pester you, and nobody else to call than someone who really doesn't want to talk with her ? I notice she doesn't pester her SON with such phone-calls ?
It sounds like seeing a marriage counsellor along with your husband would be wise, to work on this very important issue of setting boundaries against her interference in your family and your life, while still finding ways to help her feel good. I understand the reluctance to open Pandora's box - but if you have such a box, and it really is full of alarming issues, then i needs to be opened or the issues which just breed and multiply in there - better to open it with proper expert help.
Sounds like she really needs to be strongly encouraged to develop hobbies and maybe get involved in charities and NGOs so as to be helpful to people who actually need and want help !
She has presumably spent many years training your husband ( and probably her own husband ) into seeing nothing wrong with her ways of behaving, and of course sees nothing wrong with it herself.
Don't try to just leave it to your husband to sort out - his involvement is essential, but left to himself, he doesn't really see the need to sort it out.
What would happen if you switched to being pro-active ? If you voluntarily phone daily, with a short phone-call, or sent her an SMS, to tell her everything was fine with you, him and the baby - even at times boring her with trivial details, till she might actually ask for a bit less information ?

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5
Our users say:
Posted by: mam | 2010/10/05

Thanks Tammy, at least I feel understood, sometimes I question if I''m bring unreasonable, but I really don''t feel I am. Unique, they live an hour and a half away but don''t you worry, driving down is not an issue for her! there have been times she would come down 3 times a week! But the last time I was busy helping my husband with his business as he was away so I continued working on the computer while she was here, she left within20 minutes, i didn''t feel bad because she came without prior arrangement, she hasn''t been over since. Maria, we have been for a counseling session, things blew up, we''ve discussed going again but I think we''re both a bit scared of opening Pandora''s box, it''s the biggest issue we''ve ever had to deal with in our entire 6 year relationship. I do feel maintaining less contact will be beneficial, I dont think stopping contact together is necessary at this stage but as Tammy said I''ll give my husband a chance to sort this out. I can see her constant calls are a way to try gain access into our marriage but i have not fallen for this trap luckily, of course she tells my husband they just want to find out if me and the baby are okay but I dont buy it one bit. Thanks for your comments.

Reply to mam
Posted by: Unique | 2010/10/05

Do you live close to them? Living far (like 2 hrs drive or more) makes a big difference.

Reply to Unique
Posted by: Tammy | 2010/10/05

Hi Mam. This is a tough issue. I myself cannot give advise cause my situation is different. I will however tell you this. Please sort is out. How? I dont know because moms have this control over their sons only because the SON''S allow it. It will not change and it will not get better. My MIL caused my husband and I to seperate because she made me think I could confide in her only to find out she was trying to gain access into my marriage. My fault, I admit but I learnt a dear lesson. Having a baby is such a beautiful experience and its unfortunate that she will not back down. You are not in such a situation alone but please know that she will manipulate until she gets her way. My MIL also tries that stunt of letting her hubby call. She even calls and says how sick daddy is and that the kids must come and see him only to find that its just the flu. I decided to cut myself off totally. Not saying you must too but that is how I handled it and its been 2 years and its working for me/us. As long as I dont have any hate in my heart Im cool. My husband had his chances to sort it out(4yrs) and he did not. Our marriage is actually also doing better :-). Good luck and do what works for YOU AND BABY!!!

Reply to Tammy
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/05

Maybe she's lonely, but does she really have nothing better to dothan pester you, and nobody else to call than someone who really doesn't want to talk with her ? I notice she doesn't pester her SON with such phone-calls ?
It sounds like seeing a marriage counsellor along with your husband would be wise, to work on this very important issue of setting boundaries against her interference in your family and your life, while still finding ways to help her feel good. I understand the reluctance to open Pandora's box - but if you have such a box, and it really is full of alarming issues, then i needs to be opened or the issues which just breed and multiply in there - better to open it with proper expert help.
Sounds like she really needs to be strongly encouraged to develop hobbies and maybe get involved in charities and NGOs so as to be helpful to people who actually need and want help !
She has presumably spent many years training your husband ( and probably her own husband ) into seeing nothing wrong with her ways of behaving, and of course sees nothing wrong with it herself.
Don't try to just leave it to your husband to sort out - his involvement is essential, but left to himself, he doesn't really see the need to sort it out.
What would happen if you switched to being pro-active ? If you voluntarily phone daily, with a short phone-call, or sent her an SMS, to tell her everything was fine with you, him and the baby - even at times boring her with trivial details, till she might actually ask for a bit less information ?

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Maria | 2010/10/04

It''s a pity you didn''t deal with this before you got married, because unfortunately it is not likely to change. A man''s attitude to his mother is hard to modify. Perhaps you can ask him to join you in marriage counselling so that the two of you can work through this issue together?

Reply to Maria

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