Question: Dear Luise: I have had so many problems with my mother-in-law. The problem is mainly with my mother-in-law, but occasionally my husband’s grandmother (mother-in-law’s mom), as well. Before my husband and I were even married, my mother-in-law acted so childish and ugly towards me. She would send me emails that she stated were “by mistake”. The emails were about me. She acted like they were meant for a girl my husband had ONE date with several years ago, but in fact my mother-in-law knew exactly who she was sending these emails to. She would write how my husband was sick of me, how he was going to dump me, how happy she was that he was going to finally leave me…..things of that nature. Well, now that we are married, she has gotten even worse. I have talked to my husband about this until im blue in the face. He just tells me that is the way she is, to ignore it. Occasionally, he does talk to her about her actions and she always apologizes, but that doesn’t stop her from doing more ugly things to me. She has never considered us as married. She is a constant bother in our lives and I simply cannot take any more of it. Have you ever heard of anyone leaving her husband due to her mother-in-law’s actions? I honestly love him more than anything in this world, but I can only deal with so much of his mother’s hurtful nature. Help. H.
Answer: Dear H.: What a mess. Yes, I have heard of such a thing, actually. Wonderful people come with awful baggage sometimes. You knew it in advance but now it sounds like it’s really getting old.
A woman who often uses my website recently wrote…”I refuse to let dysfunctional people make MY LIFE dysfunctional.” That pretty much says it all.
One solution that is drastic but not as drastic as divorce to my way of thinking is to relocate. My children’s father and I did that ages ago when we only had one child. We left Michigan to escape the abusive treatment my FIL was laying on him at work. We only settled in Washington State because the ocean stopped us. (Hawaii wasn’t a state back then.)
It will take something like that to save the day if you can’t ignore her or find another way to protect yourself and reclaim your peace of mind. Talk with your husband and let him know that you are at the end of your rope. Abuse is a terrible thing and there are so many kinds of abuse. It’s really sad.
When I was young and still single, I was very interested in a guy who was in college. My family just loved him! He took me to meet his mother, (she lived in another state), and when she walked into the room, glaring at me with obvious, pre-established hatred, she said…”Well, I guess WE don’t need to be introduced, do we?” That was it. I guess I’m a chicken at heart. He was studying to be a doctor (and did) and I planned to become a nurse (and did) but it wasn’t enough. Nothing ever would have been, for me.
I hope your husband understands that her apologies are empty and never change anything…and that you’ve had it. Blessings, Luise