MIL cannot forgive or forget.

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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.

28 Comments

Boy, Midkid, you must really love your husband.
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.
Well, that certainly puts another spin on your husband's behaviour, no wonder he feels undeserving and pushes away the positive in his life.
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 :)
Are you kidding? Next time Midkid sees MIL, if ever, I hope she runs like the wind.
Midkid,
If I had been there, I would have stood up for you.
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?
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.
Well, for sure I would not be buying and sending anymore cards...LOL Or picking out gifts,, etc.. If he askes,,"opps.. my bad"
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.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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