How Do I get Her To Change

Question: Dear Luise: I am writing to you about the problem I am having with my son’s in-laws.  They are Spanish as my children were born and brought up in Spain and my d-in-law is Spanish and her parents live, just around the corner from us!! Well the big problem concerns their attitude about our grandson, they want him all to themselves… They have that joy all summer long with not one invite to us to go and see him… So recently we looked after grandson (almost 2) – I have done most of baby-sitting since he was only 2mths old! Anyhow, they phoned us on last day of 5nights babysitting with us, and d-in-laws mother asked my husband to bring baby over to hers…he said , no we’re having paella for the 4 of us (my daughter of 23 and us) she phoned again and said she’d invite him toa vermouth if he brought him round! Then eventually another phone call and said her younger son was coming to pick him up! so she got her own way, and they got to receive my son and dil when they arrived back from long journey, We lost out on that and my Spanish husband told my son that and that it was a shame…. now grandson’s birthday is due and they’ll all be there! How do I react and how do I get her to change?? Hoping you can help me, I’m British, so it¡s all v. difficult and frustrating for me, my son doesn’t like bad atmospheres and just said to my husband , What’s the long face for when he saw my look at the dil….we had such a lot of work , but happy to do it as long as we are the carers (not her mother this time!) HELP? thank you, M.

Answer: Dear M.: Your son’s MIL is not going to change. That’s how she is. She insisted over and over again that she get to have the baby and just kept hammering until she got her own way. It’s probably been something she has done all of her life and everyone is used to it.

No one took a stand with her and said “No!” when she said she was sending her son to pick the baby up. She rules the roost and it doesn’t look like either your husband or you son is going to take her on. You can’t. Not without back up. If you try…you may be ostracized and not be allowed to see the baby at all.

The woman is a spoiled child who never grew up. And it looks to me like you are stuck with her. The only chance I can see for you to find any peace is to try to understand her and make her your friend. It won’t be easy or pleasant but it’s not impossible. Let her know she’s that boss always and follow her orders. You deserve so much better and you can go for it if you choose to, but/and there will be dire consequences.

Your son made a choice that is affecting you adversely. Find a way to survive that will work for them…they do not care whether it works for you or not. If you can’t stand it…remove yourself from it in one way or another but know you will go on without your grand kids and probably without your son. It’s time to call it what it is; blackmail. Blessings, Luise

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