Question: DEAR LUISE: I HAVE LIVED WITH MY MOTHER IN LAW FOR 4 YEARS. NOW, I LIKE HER AND WILL HELP IF I CAN WITH ANYTHING BUT SHE IS IN MY BUSINESS TOO MUCH. WE LIVE WHERE SHE IS DOWN STAIRS AND I.AM UP STAIRS BUT SHE USES OUR COMPUTER AND WALKS THE DOG FOR US WATCHES MYSON OCASIONALLY FOR WHICH IAM THANKFUL. BUT SHE GETS ON MY NERVES TO THE POINT I YELL AT HER IN FRONT OF MY BOY AND CALL HER BAD NAMES. THATS NOT WHO IAM. HOW DO I SAY POILTELY TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT SHE IS DOING NOT WHAT I AM DOING OR NOT DOING? I KNOW WHAT I HAVE TO DO. I GET TIRED EASILY FROM HAVING FIBERMALGYA. I DO WHAT I AM SUPPOSED TO DO BUT ON MY OWN TIME. HELP. THANKS, T.
Answer: Dear T.: It is often very difficult for two adult women to live under the same roof. It’s about authority, of course. An older woman may think she is wiser but even if she is, the younger woman has the right to learn at her own pace and follow her own preferences, as well as her own limitations.
It doesn’t sound to me like anything is going to change soon when your mother in law has the run of the upstairs, which is your domain. Even if you got her a computer of her own and started doing all of the dog walks and childcare, I doubt that she would stay downstairs until invited up.
Yelling and name-calling is who you are when you are doing it. There are lots of other ways to react and there’s also the option not to react at all Certainly it isn’t what your son needs to see, hear or learn to copy and I’m sure it’s a side of yourself that you dislike and don’t want to own.
The best way I know of to address that (or anything else you want to modify) is to use hypnotherapy. I would suggest you go to: http://www.hypnosisdownloads.com/?3637 Look specifically under the Hypnotherapy heading for Anger Management. I use hypnotherapy myself when I need help in working through personal issues.
In addition, when illness dictates how you perform your duties…that should be your business. You are absolutely right about that. Telling your mother in law politely would be a great improvement but that isn’t the point. The point is she knows what upsets you and what you want and she is ignoring that.
No matter what it costs you financially or how much it inconveniences you, move away to your own separate residence. Once you have done that, you can work at gaining the maturity to modify your temper and reactive behavior.
If you would like to enter into discussion about this, please feel free to come on over to my new web Forum: www.motherinlawsunite.com Daughter in laws are more than welcome because the goal of the site is mutual understanding and problem solving. Blessings, Luise