How to deal with insensitive remarks from inlaws after my fathers passing?

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I lost my mom 22 years ago (age 49), my younger brother two years ago (age 39) and now my dad this past September (age 76). My mother in law has for years made comments about not socializing with widows anytime I mentioned my dad. Now that he passed away her first comment was to ask if I would take the kids out of school to attend the funeral out of state. Has since remarked about the wonderful summer she had with my kids while I was out of State taking care of my ill dad. (she happened to be visiting us over the summer while my dad was sick). Has asked me if I am over it and to move on. Has asked me how he died and says she can imagine how it happened. It's been one insensitive comment after the other. How do I handle it? When my brother passed away she called my husband asking for him to come visit her as he and my brother were not close so it didn't matter that he be with me during this period. Meanwhile my husband gave the eulogy at my brothers funeral and they were close. Not sure how to handle her. Been avoiding speaking to her because she acts like she has no clue how rude she is even though my husband has tried to explain it to her. Thank you for your input!

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Thank you for your advice and for sharing your stories. Its unbelievable, shocking and incredibly hurtful that so many of us have in-laws like this.
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I’m so sorry, both for your loss and for the rude comments. I’ve also endured a load of them from my in laws for years. When we knew my mother would soon be passing my husband let his parents know the time was near, and they replied “great, let us know when it happens, we’d like to come and make a real road trip out it, do some things we’ve been wanting to do!” They don’t see their own cruelty and never will. I’ve tried confronting them, we’ve tried my husband doing it, nothing changes. I’m thankful for a wonderful husband who “gets it” and is always supportive. We choose to have a basically friendly, but distant relationship with them. We rely on them for nothing, expect nothing. My advice is create some distance, emotionally if not physically. Don’t expect better when people aren’t capable of it, but don’t set yourself up for more abuse either. God bless
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Holidays and a birthday approaching that puts me one year closer to my mom's age is tough. Trying to keep positive and you're right, the family that we make through friends are just as important. Thank you!
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Quote: "I'm already so depressed that I have no other family."

I know. I'm so sorry. ::hugs:: But, you can make additional, new "family". Over the years, that's what I've done. There's the family we're born with, and then there's the family we make from friends who love us. I know it's not the same as having your dear parents and brother with you, but you can still fill your life with other loved ones, if you haven't already.

I also know that the holidays are especially hard. Maybe you and your husband can go and do some new, fun things for the holidays? I can't face this first Christmas at home without Dad, so we're going out of town for Christmas instead, and doing something completely different. Maybe you can do something similar, and get away from your insensitive MIL, and that way your husband isn't in the middle? Just a thought, anyway.
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Thank you all for your feedback. I hate to keep talking about it with my husband who is totally on my side and has told his mom how hurtful she has been but in the end he is in the middle of this. Its hard on him too. I just can't get over the things she says without any regard. I'm already so depressed that I have no other family.
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Guestshopadmin - wow, your MIL actually said that??? Yikes. I'm so sorry!
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Arigfl, my in-laws attended my mother's funeral. My mother-in-law made a point of telling me what a romantic getaway vacation it was going to be as we left the meal after service. She is a narcissist and doesn't get it. Nothing exists except as it touches her.
It's also a way of finding out if you are now available to provide the narcissist's care - the answer is "boundaries" and "I'm so overwhelmed right now that I can't possibly take anything else on." Don't pick up the phone and My thoughts are with you right now. let your husband talk to his mother.
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"I'm not up to talking about this topic today"
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Arigfl, my condolences on the loss of your dad. And I'm so sorry you're dealing with these kinds of comments! Normally, I would say that people tend to make insensitive comments when they don't know what else to say; however, it sounds like your MIL is way past that! How you handle it depends on a lot of factors, including whether or not you get along with her in normal situations. If she's truly toxic, it may be best just to stay away from her for awhile. If MIL asks your husband why you haven't spoken to her, he can honestly tell her that her comments are hurtful, and you need some time to grieve without being hurt by further comments.

Otherwise, when people like that say hurtful things, here are some responses you could try:

"Why would you say such a thing?" or "What makes you say that?" (Then wait for the answer.)

"What you just said was very hurtful."

"I don't appreciate your insensitive comments."

If all else fails, "Wow, look at the time, I've gotta run!" and then hang up the phone, or if she's in person, simply leave.

You can't control what someone else does or says, but it IS perfectly ok to protect yourself, and put up some boundaries. I hope it gets better for you!
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