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Posted by: Annemarie | 2009-11-14

My husband and mother in law

Hello there! I wrote to you some time ago regarding my husband who saw his mom 6 days a week. We' ll he hasn' t been to fetch her in about a month now which is cool. But his mom still doesn' t like me- my husbane has been saying for the past two weeks it' s time for his mom and I to reconcile and on Thursday he was in a semi serious car accident (Car' s a write off but hubby only has 3 fractured ribs). So I had to call my dad in pta to come fetch me from Roodepoort to take me to Millpark. When I got there hubbys mom and her boyfriend were already there (I had phoned to ask if she needed a lift only to hear from hubby' s sister that his mom was already there- it would have been nice if his mom had bothered to ask me if I wanted a lift) and she was seriously trying to avoid me and my father- she kept looking in the opposite direction and she never asked me anything. So her boyfriend asked how am I going to get home and who' s going to take hubby home? I said my mom works 10 minutes away and she' s offered. I was then told, ' ' well we' re here now we' ll take him' ' . Ok so why bother asking me then? So my dad had to go and I was sitting like 2 chairs away from m-i-l and she was asking her boyfriend questions like where did they take the car and what' s going to happen to it and she never bothered to ask me if I knew anything. So I butted in and I told them what I knew and after that she still ignored me. I tried and I made the effort to reconcile like hubby wanted but she never took the bait. So yesterday my husband had to go back for a check up and I said why don' t you ask my moms boyfriend to take you and he said no his moms boyfriend will take him and also lend him the money to fix our other car (Which I' m grateful because my parents are helping out with grocery money as we had to fork out over R1000 for the medical bills). Then hubby says to me today that his mom wants him to go down to her place later today because she has something to give him so I say cool we' ll borrow my moms car and he said no his moms boyfriend will come get him. I know this isn' t about me but I' m so upset that his mom is going on like this- trying to take over and not include me or even the effort to be civil and let me take care of my husband. What should I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Interesting. I wonder why he reduced the rather excessive frequency of his visits to her ?
I have a beef, even in the days of the TRC, that "reconciliation" is often a ridiculous aim, as you can only "reconcile" people who were previously conciled and somehow drifted apart. If they have never got along, the task is "conciliation", which is a bit different.
OK, the accident, etc. Of course it would have been NICe for her to have checked whether you needed a lift. Yes, she doesn't sound as though she was making any real attempt to be nice, but not openly making trouble either, and you did well to remain calm and not take it as provocation.
Sounds like a complex family, with both mom's having boyfriends and the dad's in play.
Play it cool, but calmly point out to your husband that you really tried to make up with his mom on these occasions, and she really didn't let you have any chance at all. Maybe it's time for him to speak to her

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Our users say:
Posted by: Same here | 2009-11-16

Well, similar here in some sense. We are gay couple and his mom is a very opinionated person and sometimes downright rude if one dares to differ from her opinion. A real know-it-all and she get verbally abusive if you dare differ from her opinion. I just keep quiet and stare. It drives her nuts and I see that her attitude and behavior is slowly but surely changing. See, staying quiet, is a very powerful tool, as it implies numerous possible answers and reactions that can never pin down with certainty. Not always easy for sure, but great fun in a certain way and very effective. It seems to me that people such as you describe, want you to react so that they can go on with their negative and vindictive ways. Let them stew in their unhappiness.

Reply to Same here
Posted by: Jody | 2009-11-16

i Agree with Blossom. Dont let her get to you. Easy to say I know. I could never understand until now but it is still worth it. She tries all the stunts in the book to belittle me and me always having respect just decided that I DONT have to tolerate her. You see when they see that " you care"  they first ignore you cause they think they have power over you. They dont. Over their sons yes which does impact your like but I feel that the son should be the one to " put is foot down"  until then you have to make decisions to make YOU happy. She will never change!If she does then she has a scheme up her sleeve!

Reply to Jody
Posted by: Blossom | 2009-11-14

Sometimes you just have to accept that there will never be a relationship between you and a m-i-l. Mine went out of her way to make sure I felt unwelcome, gossiped about me and my marriage to her son, even accused me of stealing, only to find out it was her own daughter. Never apologised.
However becoz I was raised to respect the old people, I ate humble pie and was always nice to her. She never changed, died bitter and her son still resents her today as he feels that she rejected him by rejecting his wife.
Let it go, and live your best life with the family you have. You are lucky to have your own parents who are both still alive.

Reply to Blossom
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009-11-14

Interesting. I wonder why he reduced the rather excessive frequency of his visits to her ?
I have a beef, even in the days of the TRC, that "reconciliation" is often a ridiculous aim, as you can only "reconcile" people who were previously conciled and somehow drifted apart. If they have never got along, the task is "conciliation", which is a bit different.
OK, the accident, etc. Of course it would have been NICe for her to have checked whether you needed a lift. Yes, she doesn't sound as though she was making any real attempt to be nice, but not openly making trouble either, and you did well to remain calm and not take it as provocation.
Sounds like a complex family, with both mom's having boyfriends and the dad's in play.
Play it cool, but calmly point out to your husband that you really tried to make up with his mom on these occasions, and she really didn't let you have any chance at all. Maybe it's time for him to speak to her

Reply to cybershrink

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