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The MIL - first 24 hours

December 23rd, 2016 at 10:32 am

Well, it's been an enlightening first 24 with the MIL.

She's her normal not- or fake- cheerful self, but she hasn't criticized me yet. She's reserving all that for the FIL.

Apparently, they got in a fight on the way here, and he isn't speaking to her. (Oh joy). But, when we were all in the living room last night... (Sitting. Because all they do is sit.).

I asked what they were fighting about and the FIL tells a long story about the GPS in their car, and her not following it. It soon became clear this wasn't a fight about the GPS.

Then he said, "This fight is really about her always having to be in control. She's always been that way. She always has to be in charge. She always has to be in control, and she's treating me even worse now that I'm getting weaker."

(He has parkinsons, and yes, she does stomp behind him huffing about everything he isn't doing 'right.')

I sat there kind of stunned, but also felt like I saw it all so clearly suddenly.

Backtrack to our doomed family trip to AZ, when MIL's sister pulled me aside and apologized for the MIL, then told me "she doesn't know how to have a relationship unless she is the one in power, and she is in charge."

EUREKA!! All the criticisms. All the butting in and trying to tell me how to live my life, the staying in my house and taking over every single part of my house and life like it's her life...

(Don't get me started on The trust she set up and put a rental property in--and made us manage it as trustees-- even though we told her we didn't want a rental property, but thanks to the trust, we're now legally obligated to manage it...But it's a gift, she says..)

It's all a manifestation of her control issues. No wonder she doesn't know what to do with me. I don't respond to control freaks. I'm my own person.

The worst part is, MIL turned to FIL after he said she was controlling, and said "It doesn't bother me, so I'm done talking about it. "

Uh yeah. I wouldn't say that to the man I'd been married to for 50 years. My bossiness is only your problem?? Really??

I also read this last night and it made me feel more secure in my game plan.


Also, DH finally grew half a spine. As I mentioned before, he specifically told them to arrive Dec. 23. We had house guests leave a couple days ago, and needed the time between to clean up to catch up on all the work we need to have finished before Christmas. All while juggling the two kids wrapping up school for 2016.

So, of course, the MIL emails me and says "Oh, we will leave Wednesday (the 21) IF there's bad weather." So, there is no bad weather. We get the call at 4p.m. on the 21st that they are at a hotel two hours from our house. (TWO DAYS EARLY!).

DH was livid. He actually yelled at them, and reminded them they were supposed to come on the 23rd, and we weren't ready, we just got our house guests out and had work to do, and told them not to come before noon on the 22nd. The MIL was surprised and offended that DH was upset.

Then, when they actually do show up. At noon. A whole day early. DH tried to make a joke in the vein of "What were you thinking? We told you to come the 23rd and you're here now."

And the MIL looks at me and said "Your wife clearly forgot to tell you I said we were leaving on Wednesday the 21st."

To which I said "You said you were leaving on Wednesday if the weather was bad. The weather isn't bad."

Then she huffed at me and pouted while looking very angry. She seemed galled that we had the nerve to be upset. Mind you, they have a long history of ignoring our wishes, and coming whenever they damn well please, and staying as long as they like (three weeks one time!)

All of this, I realize, is part of her control issue. She wants to drive and arrive when she damn well pleases, and she doesn't care what we think about it.

And if her attitude to her own husband is "It's not my problem." Then I can pretty much assume she feels the same way or worse about us.

I feel, in some small way, empowered by the tidbit of information the FIL let slip. I'm not going to let her come in and run my house.

16 Responses to “The MIL - first 24 hours ”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I feel bad for your FIL...that is a long to time to live with someone like that. Frown Hang in there!

  2. Butterscotch Says:

    Did you mention that they live 1000 miles away? Did they drive 1000 miles?

  3. Kiki Says:

    WOW. I wish you strength and joy this holiday season. Strength to get through her visit and joy at knowing her issues, how to handle them better and that hopefully it is a short visit.

  4. Butterscotch Says:

    So there is no way they left on the 21st and were only two hours away when they called. They must have left the 19th or 20th.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    They left at 4 am on the 21st and drove all but 150 miles before they called.

  6. Carol Says:

    I don't know exactly how old they are or how much they switch off, but that's too long to drive in one day for people who have grandchildren...I'm thinking health and safety here-- speaking as someone with grandchildren.( sorry, maybe my control issues....)
    Hang in, you are doing great!

  7. ThriftoRama Says:

    Now that I'm checking it's closer to 700 miles, but still. They always say they'll take 2 or 3 days to drive it, but then muscle through because they think paying for a hotel is wasting money!!

  8. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Great article. The tips should definitely help you through, good luck! I feel sorry for FIL though, hopefully there's some way you and DH can help him.

  9. snafu Says:

    Good on DH, who was able t express his anger to his mother. Congratulations on your new understanding of MIL's issues. Do you think you could explain it to FIL so that he gets some relief for his situation? Perhaps after the holidays you can work on what needs t be done to unwind the trust that forces you to manage an unwanted rental property. Can it be sold off?

    Now that you better understand your MIL has been successful with her bullying behaviour for at least 50 years, and is totally self absorbed, you can get on with enjoying the best parts of Christmas and family joy. You are empowered

  10. fern Says:

    I truly feel sorry for her husband. If he has Parkinson's, he needs her full support right now, not being attacked.

    I'm glad you are seeing MIL's issues for what they are; it may even help you feel...dare I say...a little compassion toward her? She clearly has a problem; maybe knowing that she is out of control, that even her husband finds her difficult, can help you relax, not take it personally and feel privately superior to her becus you know what she's all about and you can just choose to ignore or refuse to let her agitate you.

  11. scfr Says:

    She sounds very insecure. As hard as it is to deal with her, it might be even harder BEING her.

  12. scottish girl Says:

    Good luck!

  13. ThriftoRama Says:

    At this point, I have no sympathy. I refuse to feel bad for her. she rules over her family with an iron fist, spewing vinegar, and I'm sorry. You don't get to do that and shrug your shoulders and says, "your problem not mine," and not apologize and feel bad for it.

  14. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Wow. More power to you in dealing with her.

  15. rob62521 Says:

    How enlightening for you to have that Eureka moment. Hopefully it will make it a bit bearable being around here, although I'm sure it is still uncomfortable. Your poor FIL. It is freeing to know the truth, though. Hang in there!

  16. livingalmostlarge Says:

    My in-laws flew internationally to see us and expected us to put them up after we told them it was a bad time. Bad time because we had other house guests who had asked first and we'd agreed. I slammed the door in their faces and called my DH then my live in boyfriend WTF. I was livid. My best college friend (and future bridesmaid and boyfriend were staying with us for the weekend. My in-laws never liked me before and probably haven't since I made them get a hotel and refused to kickout my friend. And I refused to see them and instead hung out with my girlfriend.

    To this day my MIL tries all the time to dictate and treats me like crap. I still don't like them and after this year I doubt I ever will. I am losing more respect for them all the time. Every time they try to pull illegal stuff and do something to save money I want to never see them again.

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