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This is a vent, just a vent, people, since hubby will NOT talk about his mom with me.
Long story short: She hated me before I married her son. (I was 20, and he was 25). I KNEW she hated me (hate is even too kind a word for it--but it's the best I can do)
In my newlywed belief, I could MAKE this woman care for me.
NOTHING I have done has changed her opinion. She harbors a grudge like no one I have ever met. She had a "scary" delivery with my hubby, so every year on his b-day, he gets to hear her tell the story, word for word and start his day out with that.


Of course over the years as I "grew up" and had my own large family and such, I learned a lot of lessons. Most by making mistakes and learning from them not to repeat them (esp with her) but she doesn't let go.


About 10 years ago, as hubby was going through a terribly brutal form of chemo after his liver transplant (may I add that she did not ever call nor visit him in the hospital, not once in the 5 weeks he spent there) she called me. I had just walked in the house after a long 8 hr day tearing out sheetrock at a home my sister and I were "flipping". I had just begun dinner and she called and I put the phone on speaker and she proceeded for 45 minutes to "bullet point" everything she could about my personality, character and what she referred to as "unforgiveable faults". I kept on making dinner and she ranted and raved, tears streaming down my face. She ended with "You have ruined my son's life and ANY chance he had for happiness. You GAVE him this disease (no, I did not, he contracted HepC somewhere else and he had it when I married him). She said she never wanted me near her home or her. Hung up.


Of course I was upset and when hubby came home, he just sighed and said, "well you know mom". End of discussion.


So I have not been to her house, unless absolutely necessary. All pics of me were thrown out (acc to SIL). She doesn't acknowledge me or talk to me at the once a year family party.


Last night we had a niece with a brand new baby come to town. We had an informal BBQ at my daughter's. MIL sits right next to me and (OK, she's totally deaf and talks VERY LOUDLY) proceeds to remind me of some event 30+ years ago where she felt I was being snotty and rude. I sat there like a dummy, trying to figure out what the heck she was referring to. By the time it hit me, the whole family is sitting there, dumb with shock that she remembers word for word that some dr had called me a "thoughtless b*tch". Silence for a few---here's hubby's chance to say ANYTHING in my favor and he does nothing. I was tearing up, so embarrassed--and nobody sticks up for me. She felt that silence was indicative that she could continue, so she threw in a couple more zingers and I said "Well, that was a long time ago, I'm sorry you were in such horrible pain. I'm sure I was totally in the wrong, as usual, and you have my permission to cling to that". I got up from the table and went in the house. Asked my SIL to take me home, and he said "sure"--but leaving would have made her feel she'd "won"--so I stayed.


This woman does not know that she wouldn't have received a single B-day, Christmas or Mother's Day gift if I had not purchased it and FORCED my hubby to see her.


Nothing to be done. Nothing to be said. Just made for an awkward moment and a sad night. I wish my hubby could stick up for me, but he won't. He would not discuss it in the car on the way home and even when I asked him why he wouldn't say anything to her to "defend me" he says it isn't worth it.


So, that's it. Just a rant. And she wonders why nobody goes to see her.


One thing for sure, I am a helluva good MIL. I had to deal with her for 41 years, I learned exactly NOT what to do/say.

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I will def. look up that book.
My DH's relationship with his mother is a hate/fear based one. He saw only the worst in women and the worst marriage on earth. He sometimes says he is amazed that's not how ours has been, even though in my book, I'd give it a solid C. I need to cut him some slack as he is in therapy himself trying to figure out what's going on in that brilliant brain.

BIL has been divorced twice, FIL and MIL were divorced---I told my hubs once, "the men in your family are pretty hard to live with" and he didn't disagree.

we actually had another daughter who had serious in law issues before the marriage. He sure stood up to my SIL's parents, too. I guess I am the only one who will "fight my own battles" as it were. I am glad he supports the kids in their lives.
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I once heard Dr. Phil tell a couple who were dealing with the wife's bad mother that it was the wife's responsibility to deal with her parent and not her husband's. 

Your husband should man up and deal with his mother, but maybe he's a mamma's boy. There is a book for wives whose husbands are mamma's boys. When He's Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment.
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Midkid,
Of course your hubby stood up for his daughter. It's HIS daughter after all! LOL. He will just not standup to his mother. It's his MOTHER! LOL.
Even when my hubby would stick up for me, (not often) we would still have a fight about what I or the boys did wrong. His mother will always be right no matter what. Been there done that too many times to count.
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Just a final thought/observation before I put this in the mental file:

When my daughter was first married, she had some issues similar to mine with HER MIL. She vented one evening (she'd been married about a year and GOOD HEAVENS! No babies on the way yet!! MIL had called her on her duties as a wife.....she didn't start a family until she'd been married 10 years. Nobody's business!!) Anyway, Hubby took great umbrage at the abuse his daughter was "suffering" and HAD WORDS with daughter's MIL. I had totally forgotten this event. So he CAN support people! Just not me. Ah well, I am glad he has stood up for truth and right in some people's lives. He looks at me as the "problem solver" and I always have to be 100% OK or he kind of freaks out.

I've so appreciated all the supportive comments and truly feel sorry for all the lost love that people let go by because they are too self centered or stubborn to accept it.
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Midkid58,

Your MIL sounds a lot like mine who did not like me from the start, treated me badly and treated my wife badly whom she said that I had stolen from her. 

After years of being nice, I laid down some boundaries with her and later on my wife laid down some boundaries. Truthfully, according to her therapist, she had been hiding behind my pants wanting me to fight her battle for her. When I stopped, she had to deal with it. 

My wife's identical twin sister unfortunately lives near their mom and bears the brunt of her abuse and does not want to hear anything about boundaries. Her husband thinks otherwise and is very bitter over how things are. Who would blame him for he feels that emotionally his wife is more married to her mom than to him. I've known the feeling, but thankfully not there anymore.  

I think each of the daughters will find some relief once their borderline/narcissistic mother dies. She is one of the most self centered, I'm perfect and always right person that I've ever met. I've put up with too much from her in my marriage for many years, but after several years ago, no more.
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JoAnn--
That exact thought crosses my mind a lot. She has one friend, ONE, and only speaks to her daughter, whose life is a ball of stress.

MIL had some mini-strokes many years ago. She now takes one baby aspirin a day and literally, that's it. She's as healthy as a horse. BUT...
there will come a day when I get "the call" and very likely my hubby will be out of town as he travels a great deal. I have told him to prepare for this eventuality, just as anyone should think to the future in some respects. I think he may have some kind of meltdown as they are NOT on good terms and won't be, ever in this life.

I have and will let hubby take 100% of mom duty. If she should ever need in home or NH care, I'm supportive of helping find a place, but I'm not stupid enough to actually go see her in a place like that. Her filter is gone, baby, gone and I'm 42 years into the drama. I grieved the lack of a relationship for many years. I am sure I will not shed a tear when she goes. This is the sadness of living an insular and selfish life.
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Yes it is sad. This woman I going to die alone. You don't deserve to be treated this way, no one does. Just let husband do his thing. This woman is not going to change.
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There must be more crazy MIL's out there than I like to think.
I don't have to, and I won't step into the fray, ever again. I actually wasn't doing it this time, the fray came and found me!

At least I am not living with nor near her. I have zero relationship with her. I'm very sorry that my DH cannot understand WHY I don't work harder to create a relationship with her, but after Saturday's outburst, she ruined any possible chance at hope for one, unless she calls me and apologizes, and based on the past, it isn't going to happen. Next time hubby goes up there (and I imagine it will be months, maybe Christmas) she will no doubt pull this event out of her memory banks make me out to be the bad guy all over.

It used to be that I could kind of laugh off comments and let them go--but I don't have that kind of patience any more.

She's got her perfect daughter, I leave them be. My sis in law is beyond reproach and I mean that. How she came out of this vile, evil woman is a mystery to this day.

I have learned that it is OK to cut people out of your life. I can't remember a time when we left her home after a visit where I wasn't quietly sobbing over something nasty she'd said. My kids struggle between their love and loyalty to me and the fact she is their grandmother and they owe her respect. I can't help them with that. Usually the ones who live out of town will "try" to work in a 15 minute visit with her, but they don't knock themselves out if it doesn't happen. Shoot, her oldest son comes to town and doesn't even call her, much less visit. She's a walking, talking example of how to ruin relationships and destroy love. So very, very sad, really.
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Midkid,
I think we have the same MIL. LOL I took her crap for 20 years. She was" Dying" when I met her. Through the years I have just sat back and let it all play out. She is a narcissist to the tee. Someone always needed to be in the "Dog House" with her, and the other two children were not ALLOWED to talk to the one in the dog house. We lost the last two years of my SIL's(Chris) life, because she was the one in trouble at the time. My hubby does stand up for me, he's called her out, and they have gone up to six months not talking.
I finally called her out after Chris (her daughter, my hubby's youngest sister) had passed away. She had cancer in her brain. It was so very sad. I know MIL was hurting, but she had been yelling at my husband at the time. H decided to get a tattoo (yep my fault) of the Green Bay Packers symbol on his leg. H & SIL were/are huge Packer fans, it was to be his tribute to her. She just layed into him with everything she had. How disrespectful he is, how could he even think of that.....& so on. I finally stood up and told her to leave him alone, it wasn't her leg. She got up and with fire in her eyes demamded to know " who the h*ll did I think I was???!!!" I was so p*ssed off at the treatment she had been giving my H I yelled back "I'm his god d*m wife! Who the h*ll do you think you are???!!! She just about exploded! (It's funny now :) )She sputtered a bit then called me " the biggest piece of sh*t on this earth for talking to her like that" then she stormed out. Haven't spoken to her in about a year and a half. No more Family parties, birthdays, holidays for bad lil ole me. :)
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Thanks all---
A couple of days later and I am kind of laughing at this. She shot herself in the foot by saying this all in front of at least 10 people who heard her (and I'm sure were thinking WTH??)....Everyone "knows" she and I are not on good terms.

Hubby is very spineless with his mother. He will sort of, kind of, say things to her, but her gets around her and becomes the little "bad boy" he was when he was small. His brother, on the other hand, calls her on her sh&t and would have taken her away from the party and read her the riot act. (Actually, a few months ago he was in town and he and DH took her to lunch, BIL felt it was time to confront her about some things and she wound up crying hysterically and telling the "boys" she wanted to never see them again.) I got this from DH about 2 months after it happened. He felt bad, but was really empowering to talk to his mother like that.

Funny side note: She is going to live forever. BIL is almost 70, hubby is 65. Their sis is not in good health. BIL said to her ""You know, your "plan" to live to 100 is admirable. Both of us boys will die before you do. Likely sis will too. Gee, that leaves "B" (me) to look after you in your old age, you really should have been nicer to her". I guess she had a meltdown over that.

Truth is, no matter what, I do respect she is my husband's mother and would take excellent care of her (in the home I put her in).

I honestly do not have to ever see her again in my life. I have control over that. She is NOT a part of my day to day and now I have given DH the "responsibility" to get her necessary gifts, I never have to see or interact with her again.

You guys are all great. Thanks for listening to a pointless rant. It was better than just stewing in anger!!
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Midkid, you so much do have the moral high ground in this relationship that I hesitate to suggest any alternative approach. But even if you never say it, the only appropriate response I can think of for your MIL is "you, madam, are a prize b*tch and it is time somebody said so." Regard her coolly and think that, even if you don't utter a word. She is in the wrong, not you: a foolish, spiteful, deluded woman. Plain and simple.

Must admit I don't think your husband wins any medals, either. I hope he makes up for his spinelessness on this point in other ways?
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Mid, I'm glad that that you recognize both you MIL'S mental illness and your utter inability to take any action that would have any softening effect upon her.

And good for you on the gift thing!
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Oh, and I told hubby I am DONE buying her gifts, etc. He can manage to get 3 gifts for the 3 occasions she MUST be remembered on. I'm DONE.
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Seriously--I was just venting over a situation that happened (had happened before, but since I truly NEVER see her, I have had the power to stay away from her
..)
Yet--thank you ALL for your kind responses. I admit that I do get hurt when she attacks me, and this is the FIRST time she'd done so in public, it was always a back-door, sneaky pete kind of attack with no witnesses, and Hubby just absolutely will NOT confront his mother (yes, enormous issues of guilt and fear still associated with her....) Last night he heard most of it (he is fairly deaf.) Several family members heard it ALL. In some weird way, I felt vindicated. She's been negative and hateful to me behind everyone's backs for 42 years...now there is no denying she went above and beyond the "ok". The look in her eyes was pure hatred...I know nobody who hates me this much. It's....incredible.

Hubby did talk with me today for about 5 minutes about it. All I asked is WHY he doesn't ever just weigh in and tell her to please be quiet? Or call her later and tell her that he is committed to ME and wants to also have a relationship with her, can she meet him halfway? He won't. He said "She's crazy. Completely narcissistic and oblivious to anyone but herself." OK. I know, but I am his wife and it would have taken ONE comment from him any time in the past 42 years and she would have shut up.

Ah well---I took the high road, and will continue to do so. She no longer calls our house phone, only my hubby's cell and that's fine. I call screen and will not answer her calls no matter what. She rarely calls him, and honestly, he call screens her too. It's not like he's up there dancing attendance--he'll take a week to answer her calls.

Now had my BIL heard what she said, he would have blown his stack. I wish he had heard. He is really in her face about this kind of thing, but he lives 800 miles away and literally has nothing to do with her. He maintains that had he and my hubs lived in today's world with the treatment they received from this woman, she'd be in jail and they'd have been taken from her. He told me she was "above and beyond" abusive. BIL went in psychology to "figure it out", hubby went into engineering so he could stick his head in the sand.

It's not really an issue. Just one more reminder that I cannot have this toxic person in my life. Hubby says he ALWAYS tells her that I have picked out all the gifts, I am the one who sends the cards and remembers all the things. She just chooses to ignore.

The fact we have 13 grandchildren and she had to ask them their names last night was just, well, sad. She only cares about and knows, her daughter's grandkids. Luckily, my lovely grands do not even know who she is, just some old lady they see sometimes.

On the up side, I talked to SIL about the house and he said he's start looking. He knows what I want and where I want it and he's going to be my go-to guy. Hubby has begun to understand why we need to move. I am on a 2 year time span here, so he'll have plenty of time for input and decisions.

To say that she's mentally ill would be like saying there's some sand on the beach. She's been in mental institutions a couple of times and it never helped. She divorced my FIL after 42 years of marriage for reasons we still don't know.

It's actually very sad. 88 years old, all alone,has one friend. Family she doesn't know and doesn't care about. I would have been her best friend, in fact, hoped for that when I got married. Now I just wait for her to die. (And she's one of those with zero health problems so she'll likely live to 100) I actually pity her.
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Midkid, I was thinking you handled everything just right. I would have had to listen to the ranting, too, if only for a rolling eye moment. I do wish your husband would have your back. My ex never had my back and let his daughter tear into me behind my back, but never said a thing. Not a good feeling when a spouse doesn't have your back.
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Oh, I feel so sorry for you. My MIL had a problem with lying. It was a mental illness. There r things she said and did that DH does not know about. TG she moved to Fl early in our marriage. She chose to leave two Gchildren that lived close by. She was a selfish woman. She was able to cover this up cause people thought she was so nice. You may just need to follow husbands lead. He was there and chose not to confront. Maybe that is how he was able to live her. This incident would be the last straw for me. I would not invite hervto my house or go to hers. I don't know why you listened to that phone call. I would have quietly turned it off. She would have just kept talking. I would hope your daughter never invites her again. If she feels she should I would hope it would be on the condition that Gma be respectful or she won't be invited again. Your husband should take over the gift department. If he choses not to acknowlege holidays and birthday thats on him. When she complains, tell her to talk to her son. Since she hates u so much. I really don't think this woman would have liked anyone ur husband married. The next time she starts, get up and walk away. Its abuse and u don't have to take it.
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You have a mentally ill MIL. Her illness has damaged some aspects of your husband's coping abilities. (I hope he has other amazing attributes that have been your marriage worthwhile over the years.) But you know this. I hope venting about it helps a little, at least for a while.

So I have only hugs to offer on this particular topic. But it reinforces my belief that you MUST take care of your need for a more suitable environment. Don't let your husband's unfortunate limitations become your obstacles.
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There comes a time in life where you have to eliminate the "negative/bad/awful etc" people from your life - no matter if they are family. No more drama. Do not go to any more events where she will be. Explain to everyone, you do not need to put up with this abuse and since they have witness this, they will understand. And you will feel much better. If you have family events, do not invite her. Explain who questions you that your not looking for an apology, your not angry, you just will not put up with that anymore. Then change the subject. It will be hard, but try not to talk about her to anyone. It gets easier. Don't give her that power. When she calls say "Sorry but until things change, I'm not listening to this anymore. Have a good day". What is the need for your husband to be silent? Guilt, money, fear? Does she threaten him out of her Will every moment she gets? When you draw the line in the sand, then go to counselling with your husband. Not to say who is wrong here, but it will help open up communication. Good luck, be strong and be happy. Trust me you will be when you let her go.
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Dear Midkid,

I wanted to add my support. You are an angel for putting it up for all these years. It is so tough. Sadly I find with some people they only respond to anger and firmness. Like you said forgive and forget is not in some people's vocabulary. Turn the other cheek if you can, or if you want don't be afraid to confront her either. Sometimes enough is enough. You deserve to have a voice too.
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Well, for sure I would not be buying and sending anymore cards...LOL Or picking out gifts,, etc.. If he askes,,"opps.. my bad"
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You've done a REALLY good job as a mother, Midkid, if your daughter invited grandma to this celebration. That is a testament to how much you've kept your feelings under wraps. That you're not the narcissistic one who says " I won't come if you invite HER".

Is she mentally ill? Has DH ever told her that it wasn't YOU who gave him HepC?

Look, my first husband was and is a real mama's boy, still afraid of her wrath. I found out the other day she drove her care ( with my daughter and granddaughter in it) the wrong way down a one way street.
( she's getting old, he says).

I remember when my babies were little and I asked him, a couple of times, to go out to the car to get the diapers we'd brought on strip to grandparents.  He kept saying later.  I finally got them myself when both girls were soaking.  His mother castigated him and he screamed at me afterwards, telling me I was vying to be "top bit $h" over his mom. Shoulda left then.

But you've put up with this for 41 years.  And a lot of other $hit, too.

Only you can decide if it's time to cut your losses, divide what is yours and his and move on to another phase of life.

The reins are in your hands, my dear.
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Reminds me a lot of my mother's feelings toward my grandmother. She accused my mother of stealing her baby. Grandmother never forgave her for that. My mother hated her right back and still talks bad about her to this day. Grandmother killed herself when she was 60. This was 10-15 years after my parents got married. I wasn't quite 7 years old, so I don't remember much about her. I do get told of all the bad words and actions, which is what reminded me of what is happening with you, midkid. Does your MIL see your husband as her baby?
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Midkid,
If I had been there, I would have stood up for you.
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Are you kidding? Next time Midkid sees MIL, if ever, I hope she runs like the wind.
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Midkid58, let's try reverse psychology on Mother-in-law, what do you have to lose.

Next time she starts one of her none stop verbal assaults, just agree with her "yes, Mrs.Jones, you are so right, I did the wrong thing". If she talks on, keep on agreeing with her. It might take a wind out of her sails, and make you feel like you won :)
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Well, that certainly puts another spin on your husband's behaviour, no wonder he feels undeserving and pushes away the positive in his life.
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MidKid, this kind of ties into your other post on wanting to downsize vs. your husband's not wanting to change the status quo. You don't have to let these people manipulate or terrorize you.

Having said that, it's easier said (or written) than done. I do know it's hard to stand up to someone when you're being browbeaten. It's like trying to stand up straight in a 100 mph wind.

That having been said, I think also that we women tend to be more easily hurt and insulted than men, who have a more stoic attitude and just shrug it off. We women tend to be fixers and changers, or at least to have that predisposition.

I also think men can more easily sort of the "wheat from the chaff." Your husband knows your MIL isn't going to change. From your other post, I concluded that he isn't very supportive. Therefore, you have only yourself on whom to rely.

I don't know what I would do in a similar situation, but I would probably make a snide remark and walk out, something like "oh, her she goes again, criticizing me. I'll just go in the house for a while so she can rant and rave. I've heard all this before!"

There may also have been some merit in letting MIL complain and accuse, b/c anyone present could see through her ranting and realize what a negative person she is. And that may be the best perception that could be created on others, as they'll tend to dismiss her rantings and ravings after seeing how vindictive she is.

You wrote that no one visits her. That speaks volumes to the impression she's created. You could also take the viewpoint that lettering her rant and rave only reinforces her negative attitude, and probably leads to more convincing basis for others to stay away from her.

Perhaps you can ask yourself if and how her vitriole affects you. Does it change your attitude toward yourself? Does it affect your self esteem? Does it change your actions? If the answer(s) is/are yes, then you'll need to think about different ways of handling it.

Obviously it's hurtful. The question is if you can not let it bother you, b/c it apparently isn't going to change, or if you yourself need to stand up to her and put her in her place. And I know that isn't an easy thing to do.
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Boy, Midkid, you must really love your husband.
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