Question: Dear Luise: I don’t really know how to start this. I have been married for nearly 3 years with an amazing men, and we have since had a little baby. I have had past history with a rather crazy MIL, who was sure her son was her property and that i was the evil witch that was out to get him. eventually she got her way and i left her son. I was very worried when i first met the mother of my current husband, she was however very welcoming and nice to me, as was the rest of the family. I should mention in passing that we live abroad from them, so we don’t see each other very often. Everything was ok until we married. My husband had already told me before that his mother was a control freak and wouldn’t listen unless you say what she want’s to hear. She tried at first to play me against my husband by asking me to do things when she full well knew my husband had already told her no. I started telling her to discuss this or the other with her son rather then to try to get me to do it. When our baby was born she would give me advise that i hadn’t request. I told my husband that she was hurting me with her attitude and he addressed it with her. Instead of being smart about this she made it worst by making me aware that he had talked to her. My husband gets very agitated when he spends too much time around his parents, and it causes tensions between us, which i hate as i love him dearly. My husband just had a big birthday and his parents didn’t even send him as much as a card, let a long a present, whereas my family showered him on the occasion. When he addressed this with his mother she started making up tons of excuses, of past gifts (which had never even existed) and finally told him it was because the baby slept too much on their last visit and they didnt see him enough! So basically she was punishing her own son for a baby that naps during the day!!!!! oh yes and probably that is also the reason the little one didn’t get anything for christmas….. how sad is that! Now they are planning on coming to visit and i can not master to have them over to our house for more then a week, she has told her son that they aren’t going to come for just 3 days with their grandchild, they want to come 2 weeks. I’m a nervous wreck just thinking of it and i literally feel like i’m going to kill someone if they come that long!!! Also they have a MASSIVE hygiene problem that i always tried to down play with my husband because i know he sees it and that it hurts him, but it’s really bad. What can i do??? i can’t have them come for 2 weeks, 1 week is already bad enough! I don’t like myself for feeling like this, and i would love to have a good relationship with my in laws, but somehow they get the blood from under my nails! She always manipulates everything to make herself look like a victime! They are pretty loaded and we are well off as well, but still whenever we are with them we are paying for EVERYTHING! we are starting a family and have to build a life, we need that money for our kids future, for our future. My parents pay for everything when we see them, because they want us to save our money. They don’t set rules as to “give some to get some”, they are just caring people. I try to reason with myself, to remember that someday could be a MIL and that i would want a good relationship with my DIL, but still i get anxiety attacks just at the prospect of having to have them around for a week, let along 2! this also means i don’t want to leave my child alone with them for more then 1 min, as she has proven in the past that she doesn’t listen to what i say or ask, she just does what she want to do!!! it drives me up the wall. Am i a horrible human being? because i feel like it. I just always dreamed of a great MIL with whom i would do things and which i would at least like if not love. I have nothing of that, and it makes me sad for both my husband and for my child as I do alienate them from our lives. C.
Answer: Dear C.: I started a Web-forum two years ago for women with issues around adult children and extended families. Please come over to: www.Wise WomenUnite.com and share with the others what you are up against. I’m sure you will get some very useful feedback. It’s not easy and you deserve so much better! Blessings, Luise