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Question
Posted by: Ohme | 2010/02/11

MIL woes - sorry long.

I think there' s been a nasty break in my relationship with my MIL and I don' t know what to do about it. I' m VERY angry and irritated with her. We recently found out that we' re expecting our third child. Joyous news, no? No! My MIL wasn' t at all happy about it, saying that 3 is too much, how will be afford it, we won' t be able to pay for university etc. We are very fortunate to receive a 7 digit income although most of it goes into our bond...And then, this makes me the most angry, she is worried that it is a girl (we have 2 young sons) as she has alopecia and the the little girl will also have it. When we let the family know my DH said that he' s contact her, as he knew she would be negative. Now she' s upset that I didn' t let her know. We had a chat, and I tried to bring everything into perspective, but it only triggers a waterfall of unhappiness that she has with me. From an incident (that I wasn' t aware of) on our wedding day, to the discipline of our eldest (4 yo son) to my weight gain during the past 2 pregnancies. In Dec she actually offered me R5 000 to lose weight, and then said, oh that probably isn' t enough. I am about 10 kg overweight. That is one of 4 things I am very upset about, the second is her negative reaction to the pregnancy, the third is the fact she (despite at least 3 arguments) continues to snoop and search through our private stuff (paperwork, cupboards, my handbag!), and the 4th...my DH who also has alopecia was sleeping on the couch one day a few years ago when she visited, and when she walked past him she said ' he' s ugly' . it is ingrained in my mind! if that is what she says about her own son, what will she say about my kids?
Just to balance things a bit - she is a worrypot, and she is very sweet. But the above I am finding almost impossible to handle. How do I approach her? we are not speaking right now.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

What a fussbudget she is ! Alopecia ? well, there's a slightly increased risk, perhps, but nothing serious. Shenworries - that's her hobby, and perhaps her sole occupation. And for that, she needs things to worry about. How fortunate that there's noting more awful she's found to worry about.
But she has no business going through your papers and things, and if she is living with you, then the doors to such relevant rooms should be locked when she's alone in the house, explaining that privacy is essential for you.
I'm a bit puzzled by the thought of a 7 figure income ( personally, I've never been near that territory !) "where most of it goes on the bond". However
Mabe tell her you appreciate her concerns, but that the negative ways in which she expresses these, is unhelpful. And see if there are specific things you can give her to worry about, with the mission, however, of asking her to suggest three alternative ways of solving each problem.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Ohme | 2010/02/11

Income, well its not really that much, we both work so its by R1 000 in the 7-figure range. Take creche for 2 kids into account (at R3000 per month...) and other normal household costs, plus a normal house in a good suburb...it all comes together.
What you suggested is the exact approach that I took, and that is what triggered the waterfall of general unhappinesses which she spent an hour explaining to my DH.

So, please, if you can suggest a second strategy? Should I just swallow her nonsense and continue while grinding my teeth? please help.

Reply to Ohme
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/02/11

What a fussbudget she is ! Alopecia ? well, there's a slightly increased risk, perhps, but nothing serious. Shenworries - that's her hobby, and perhaps her sole occupation. And for that, she needs things to worry about. How fortunate that there's noting more awful she's found to worry about.
But she has no business going through your papers and things, and if she is living with you, then the doors to such relevant rooms should be locked when she's alone in the house, explaining that privacy is essential for you.
I'm a bit puzzled by the thought of a 7 figure income ( personally, I've never been near that territory !) "where most of it goes on the bond". However
Mabe tell her you appreciate her concerns, but that the negative ways in which she expresses these, is unhelpful. And see if there are specific things you can give her to worry about, with the mission, however, of asking her to suggest three alternative ways of solving each problem.

Reply to cybershrink

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