Question: Dear Luise: My husband I know each other 10 years. We have been married for 7 years and we have two boys (5 and 2 years old). In the beginning of our relationship I got along very well with his mother. She did not get along with her son-in-law at the time and gave him such a hard time. According to her he was always wrong and she always right. She adored me and loved me so much. Now it seems like the roles are reversed. So many things have happened after my son’s birth (the eldest). Things I heard that she said behind my back. She spoiled my son’s 1st birthday by getting into a fight with a family member and when I asked that they please stop I was told what a bad mother I am. So I chased her out of my house. We never spoke to a few months. Then we wanted to sort things out and she said, “let sleeping dogs lie”. It has now been 4 years on and off with this relationship we have with her. And it really hurts me as it seems that she loves her other grandkids more then my kids. For example over Easter she just left to go visit my sister-in-law without even saying goodbye to my kids or phoning them on Easter morning. She has spoiled so many special occasions of mine and my kids. I am trying to ignore certain things but it is very difficult. My husband and I are basically ready to rather get divorced as he can forgive and forget much easier then what I can and he obviously doesn’t want to choose between his family or his mother. I don’t know what to do. Can you please help me? W.
Answer: Dear W.: There’s no sense in trying to understand what makes no sense. Your MIL is how she is and I suppose she makes sense to herself. She isn’t going to change.
Your husband is choosing her over you. That’s the problem. You have to decide if youcan live with that or not. I couldn’t because for me loyalty is a primary factor in marriage. If you can, then it is time to sit back and take whatever she dishes out to you and your children without comment or reaction. You have to have them be the way they are.
As I see it, you have written to be because you haven’t yet faced the fact that you are not going to change your MIL’s erratic behavior and favoritism. Nor have you faced the fact that you can’t change your husband’s unwillingness to stand up to her for you. If you stay, you will have to let it all go because you can’t continue to live in such a stressful frame of mind.
Think long and hard about it because once you decide that you are not going to remain where you and your children are not respected, there’s no turning back. Blessings, Luise