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Old 02-05-2014, 01:54 PM   #1
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Pushy Mother-in-Law

OK, so I want to know if I'm right or wrong. If I'm wrong, I genuinely want to know. Here's the situation. My mother in law is ALWAYS complaining we don't do enough together. My husband is an only child, but still, we see her at LEAST once a week. We got out to eat together. She comes by the house just because. We go on vacations together. She is invited to almost every kid related function and doesn't understand when we say we want to do something as a "family" because obviously it should include her. Never mind that we never invite any of MY family. Often, while we're spending time together she will complain we don't do it enough! It's very frustrating.

What's more, in addition to those complaints any time we mention we have plans with ANYONE else she gets jealous. She is very tit-for-tat. For example, if I say, "Oh, I can't today, we're going to my mom's." she begins texting and asking when we're going over there. Or, "you always have time for your friends, why not your parents?" stuff like that. She really doesn't believe me when I tell her we see them more than most people see their parents.

They're usually fun to be around when she isn't acting like this. She is always trying to guilt trip me, at least that's how I feel. So this is our situation right now. Yesterday, she was texting and I told my husband I could feel her getting needy again (which is what I call it). So I texted her and said, how about a movie night at our place on Thursday? She said she and my FIL were going out of town, how about we had cake and wine on February 16th?

I told her I would talk to my husband and check the calendar because that's pretty far off. This was about 4pm yesterday afternoon. She texted me at 9 asking what we were doing. I texted her again at around 10pm last night saying that I hadn't had a chance to get with my husband yet. He was asleep by this point, so I couldn't ask him then.

Then today, at 11am she says, "Are we getting it or what?"
I told her I still hadn't had time to talk to him, because he's at work and I rarely ever get ahold of him at work. I said, I will let you know something for sure when he gets home. She's absolutely pissed at having to wait until 7 tonight. She said that it is such a chore to hear back from us about getting together. My reply? It hasn't even been an entire day since you asked! That doesn't matter to her; she says when someone is offering to do something for you, you don't make them wait. (She is referring to the wine and cake.)

I just feel so exhausted over the whole thing. She does this, makes me go round and round until I question whether I have a right to feel as I do.

Anyone else go through this?
How often do you see your inlaws?
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:03 PM   #2
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We never see them anymore, stuff like this being just one of the reasons why. She didn't like my husband having a life that didn't include her every waking moment. There are other reasons why we don't see them but this was a factor.

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Old 02-05-2014, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: Pushy Mother-in-Law

I can't really comment on the inlaws part of this, because my in laws live in Tennessee and we live in Vegas. I see them once, maybe twice a year. They can't afford to come out here more and we can't afford to go there more. We live just about as far away from my parents. My in laws may be jealous of my parents because they have the resources to come out here more often, but they don't say anything about it.

But, my husband had a friend (female) who was exactly like this. We had to hang out with her quite a bit or she would give him a very hard time about why we didn't come. She would give him a hard time about how often we invited her over, and didn't believe us when we said we invited her over more than any of our other friends combined. She does the exact same thing as your mother-in-law when it comes to making plans and checking with your spouse to see if it works. It is very annoying, so I totally understand your frustration! Luckily she's just a friend so we could take a step away and now we just don't do anything with her (we both work with her, so we see her at work, but don't do anything outside of work anymore). Anyway, you have my sympathies and I really think you are justified in your frustration! Hugs.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:11 PM   #4
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I think this is the kind of thing that happens when you don't set boundaries. Her expectations keep rising because you keep meeting the ones she is setting.

I think you should default to the rules of etiquette and stop giving her so much information. If she invites you somewhere, and you can't go, tell her you cannot make it, no explaining needed. If you aren't sure, tell her you will let her know as soon as you can, no explanation needed. If she needs to know immediately, the answer would have to be no.

I'd be setting boundaries with texting too. It sounds like it's getting out of hand. You will answer texts between 12 PM and 6 pm and then you are no longer checking your messages, or whatever. 10 pm is WAY too late to be interacting with mil. She's out of control, but she's the monster you made. You need to rein it back in.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielle
I think this is the kind of thing that happens when you don't set boundaries. Her expectations keep rising because you keep meeting the ones she is setting.

I think you should default to the rules of etiquette and stop giving her so much information. If she invites you somewhere, and you can't go, tell her you cannot make it, no explaining needed. If you aren't sure, tell her you will let her know as soon as you can, no explanation needed. If she needs to know immediately, the answer would have to be no.

I'd be setting boundaries with texting too. It sounds like it's getting out of hand. You will answer texts between 12 PM and 6 pm and then you are no longer checking your messages, or whatever. 10 pm is WAY too late to be interacting with mil. She's out of control, but she's the monster you made. You need to rein it back in.
Yes!

Plus when people get needy like this with me, dh or my kids I cut back on time spent together or cut them out entirely for a bit.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:24 PM   #6
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I have a VERY pushy MIL too. She would sleep between me and DH in our martial bed if we let her. My best advice is to put your husband between yourself and her, especially if she is trying to bully you! You need to communicate with her less, more directly, ignore any "drama" comments (just pretend she never said it and move on with no response) and stop justifying/explaining you life to her. If my MIl was pestering me about the wine and cake plans, my response would be "I'm not sure what our plans are that evening. You should ask DH." This strategy has not only improved my relationship/boundaries with my MIL, it has helped my marriage since it has eliminated any tension between his Mom and I...if there is a "bad guy" saying no to her it is always DH who she loves unconditionally.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:03 PM   #7
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I agree with PP. our marriage prep leader for lack of a better word 'preached' a parents philosophy of "I deal with mine and you deal with yours". In my instance it's my side that can be awful and when certain members of my family don't respect DH's or our autonomy, I have to run interference, even though he is gifted at managing difficult people. This way he doesn't make any enemies in my family and our loooong family history of fighting and making up can continue the cycle, uninterrupted.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:59 PM   #8
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No. You're not crazy.

Immediately after DH and I moved here--we were getting the car inspected so we could get tags for our current state--my MIL called my DH and informed him that my ILs were coming to visit. When DH said he'd have to check with me, my MIL hung up on him. And it got more dramatic from there! But my point is, people with no boundaries don't like having them set. You've got to do it, and it's going to suck for awhile.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:35 PM   #9
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Re: Pushy Mother-in-Law

Thanks for all the support, guys. I appreciate it.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:09 PM   #10
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She sounds like a pain, but you need to be more willing to control the situation. Don't put her off for 24 hrs, just tell her yes or no.

If your DH isn't okay with you making those judgement calls with his parents then he needs to be the one fielding her texts not you. You and he need to be on the same page especially since you see them frequently.

I would also put a ban on texts as a PP mentioned. With her I would say no texting at all. If she wants to talk she should call. If you do allow texting then put parameters around it. If she doesn't respect those, don't respond. I absolutely hate when people use text instead of just picking up the phone.

My MIL is a PIA big time. We've had a multitude of issues, but communication is a HUGE problem. We won't respond to 90% of her texts because there is no substance. Email is the same way. Writing one line with something forwarded is not getting a response.

Good luck, finding that balance is always difficult. You guys sound like you are great about including them in your life. Just set some rules so that everyone can appreciate your time together.
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