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Question
Posted by: joeleen | 2007/04/02

Monster in law

My mother in law has been living with us for about a year for reasons beyond our control. The longer she stays the more I dislike her, I never got along or felt at ease with her before she came to live with us and now its worse than ever. She makes my life miserable and brings to our lives more problems when we have enough problems to deal with as it is. My husband turns a deaf ear and a blind eye to the situation and just says that we have too many other things to worry about, but I can't do this. Its very difficult especially as I basically run the household and the feelings between her and myself are very tense. I just don't know what to do. I've tried to get along, believe me, but all of a sudden she'll have one of her stupid bad moods like I've done something wrong and then its back to square one again. She is a real drama queen and is petty and moody and wants attention and sympathy which I am reluctant to give as I don't even like her. I feel that my husband is just sticking his head in the ground and leaving me to contend with matters as he wants nothing to do with it and chooses to ignore her unless she is in a good mood. When my children are visiting she makes them feel very uncomfortable - so much so that they say that home is just not like home anymore. I just dont know how I will be able to cope with this much longer - its reaching boiling point and then I don't know what will happen

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Our expert says:
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Are those reasons truly, entirely and permanently beyond your control ? IF she lives with you, she must keep to YOUR rules of the home or find herself somewhere else. If your husband is ignoring the problem, try to get him itno marriage counselling. You may need to confront him and consider moving out yourself for a while, to convince him that this problem is not to be ignored

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: joeleen | 2007/04/04

CS - my monster in law is africaans and I've been told by an africaans friend of mine that in their culture the home is regarded as the son's (actually nothing much to do with me) and she is entitled to shift in whenever. I have no idea if this is so, but apparently it comes from way back.

Reply to joeleen
Posted by: Leigh | 2007/04/03

Joeleen I had a similar problem but not with my mother in law and I began to realise that this person was carrying on just fine and I was the one suffering. This 'solution' may sound
crazy but it worked for me. I began to think of all the things that really upset me as hellium balloons attached by strings to my waist. They were always permanently in my face and stopping me from getting on with the life I felt entitled to. I cut the balloons loose one by one and when I find myself dwelling on a problem I cut it loose. Your husband may ignore his mom, but his job is how his mom affects you and you need to get this across to him. His cannot just ignore your pain. Good luck with the balloons and by the way there is nothing to stop you sticking pins in them!

Reply to Leigh
Posted by: joeleen | 2007/04/03

Thanks for the advice Leigh. I know I have to take control somehow but to show her love from my side is simply impossible. She has destroyed any feelings of affection which I might have had for her and is just gunning for me in such a subtle way that anyone witness to it would problably not even know why I am so upset about the situation - specifically my husband. If she expected me to be the compassionate one (as my husband simply ignores her stupid moods and antics) then surely she would'nt carry on like this with me. But it seems she's chosen me to vent all her frustrations out on and I feel I can never feel compassion for her again. I just want her out of my life I'm afraid - I've done my bit with my teenagers which was with love and therefore managable.

Reply to joeleen
Posted by: Leigh | 2007/04/03

Your mother in law is showing all the signs of being a playground bully. She is manipulating you and you will either have to buckle down to her tactics or take control. Like any person who is getting their way all the time she is pushing the barriers - sound like a teenager? not much different. If you have to live with her and there is no way out, sit down with your husband and discuss the matter. It is not just your problem and don't let him wriggle out. If she throws a hissy , state your side and walk out. Don't get into a tennis match - you won't win. There are many things you can do to take control but as I am not living in your situation I can't say what, just look at yourself as an 'in charge' adult and her as a very miserable, unhappy, out of control, antique teenager. Don't become unhappy like her. This is your life and every day you give in is a day of your life lost. Give her love but not your life.
Good luck

Reply to Leigh
Posted by: RMC | 2007/04/02

Perhaps you should become insufferable - would that drive her out? And when she comments you say "well, you told your buddies I did XYZ so I thought I would live up to the accusation"

Reply to RMC
Posted by: Me | 2007/04/02

Sorry to hear about this - i live with my in-laws and at first they used to walk all over me - I was their slave basically until i got advice from this forum - and it helped (CS will definitely remember this) - where I had to cook and clean whilst everyone was watching! I put my foot down and now all is well!!!! the only thing that almost happened was that they wanted me to go shopping with my "mil" and I told my husband exactly what I thought - that I didn't need a body guard! So my point is - do not keep quiet - shout/scream until you are heard!!!

Reply to Me
Posted by: joeleen | 2007/04/02

Thank you all for your comments. I've thought about most of the things which have been suggested here and unfortunately there seems to be no solution. RMC that is exactly how she would react if I had to have a one on one and I would be made out to be the baddie. I would never be forgiven if I tried to get her into a home and anyway she would'nt part with any of her money because with us she gets it all for nothing. Unfortunately we cannot foot the bill for a home either. You just can't reason with this women and anything you say she takes offence to. For instance the other day I could'nt find my favourite knife which I use for absolutely everything and I asked her if perhaps she had taken it to her room. She had and when she brought it back she said she would never use it again. I said to her that really she can its not a problem but can she please just leave it in the kitchen I told her there are loads of other knives which she can leave with her in her room if she has to I really dont mind. She made such a fuss over it and took total offence to me having even asked for it. Such a simple matter as a stupid knife and she turns it into something. Things like this just make me very reluctant to try and make life more bearable because you just cannot reason with her. It makes each day so unpleasant and I don't even feel like going home after work or being at home. She goes away occassionally to her friends(and that is just bliss) and when she gets back she badmouths them to me so I can just imagine what she says on that side about me !!

Reply to joeleen
Posted by: Gracie | 2007/04/02

Your mother-in-law is not your responsibility. You should find out about an old-age home for her or contact her church minister (if she has one) and ask for their assistance. Many churches have their own homes. I feel so sorry for you - I am quite sure your life is a living hell especially since your husband is turning a blind eye to his mom's problems. Good luck I hope you can sort it out and if you can't call his family together to do their bit.

Reply to Gracie
Posted by: OP | 2007/04/02

The rest of the siblings should come to the party and take her for a few months. Otherwise get that husband to get his A into G and sort it out. Your home is your castle and ur domain

Reply to OP
Posted by: RMC | 2007/04/02

I dunno CP mom,Good suggestion but if she is anything like mine she would turn on the tears, make everyone feel sorry for her and make this poster look like the bad person. Its happened to me. Mine made my life hell and she was just staying in the granny flat on our property.

Mine told everyone lies about us, that my husband beat us and she could hear us all crying and screaming etc. At her age she is unlikely to change.

But she must understand it is YOUR home and your rules and she must respect your children as well when they visit or she can push off!

If there are other siblings perhaps they could contribute towards her keep some where else. Or they could take her.

Or you could pay for her to have a holiday in the valley of 1000 hills - one month on each hill.

Reply to RMC
Posted by: cp mom | 2007/04/02

Is it at all possible to sit down with her one on one and talk it out ?

Reply to cp mom
Posted by: RMC | 2007/04/02

Anyway you could stick her into a boarding home or something?

Reply to RMC

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