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Sun Mar 23, 2014, 02:54 PM

Do I try and repair my wife's relationship with her mother or just leave it.

As some of you may have read in the past my MIL and wife have had a very crazy relationship. my MIL is basically egomaniac who loves LOVES to control my wife as well as demean and disrespect her.

So as you know my Grandmother's funeral was this past week and this is what we had to deal with:


My MIL has always been on my wife's back. She has tried to control my wife since a child. If it wasn't for my wife I'd tell the Bit--Witch where to go. Well, this week we had to borrow money from my MIL to get gas in the car to get down to my family. (we had a couple unexpected bills from Brody the cat.) Anyways my MIL also needed to borrow money from us for this weekend. So Wednesday we get the money and told her on Friday we would replace the gas money and give her the loan she needed. So my wife took a half of day off Wednesday so she can pack find someone to feed our three cats ( Brody right now can only eat soft food at the moment.) and well take over for me on all things that didn't need me. I went to work Wednesday night ( I needed to keep my mind busy so I didn't lose it) I came back home loaded up the car and my wife and we went down to Washington. On our way there my MIL called not to see how we where doing but calling to make sure we would be putting the money in the account. My wife was pissed and said yes she would and than MIL yelled at my wife not to say it so that my family could hear. We had been in the car still traveling.

My wife was my support and we came back home for that night after the viewing got up got the money out of the accounts and paid a couple bills as well as put the money in MIL account.

MIL called not to see how I was holding up or anything but to make sure we where putting the money in the account and to possible ask us to go get a few things for her at the store ( her back is giving her issues) BUT we are trying to get out of the town to be with my dad and family and she thinks we have all this time. We do get her the items she wanted while we pay a couple bills that was preying on my mind than my MIL has the never to call my wife as we are leaving town to see if she could borrow $25 more. My wife was in tears all that day. She was pissed because she couldn't "get in the right mind-frame to support me and my family" she also said she wanted to be my "rock".

We don't here from MIL the WHOLE time we are down there.. No calls asking how we are holding up or anything like that BUT sat after the funeral and as we are are driving back home MIL calls asking are we in town yet? Again no question how we are doing but can we get her a loaf of bread, pack of cigs and a sandwich and a small milk shake.

We had just started out from Washington County to drive back to Lawrence county. that was basically going to be an hour and a half drive.

So we get her stuff and take it to her and she isn't happy my wife is pissed off. She like Don't get mad.

I think my wife had a right to be pissed off.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Do I try and repair my wife's relationship with her mother or just leave it. (Original post)
diabeticman Mar 2014 OP
Raine1967 Mar 2014 #1
calimary Mar 2014 #14
Raine1967 Mar 2014 #15
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2014 #2
Raine1967 Mar 2014 #3
mnhtnbb Mar 2014 #9
Iggo Mar 2014 #4
alphafemale Mar 2014 #5
Chan790 Mar 2014 #6
femmocrat Mar 2014 #7
Sherman A1 Mar 2014 #8
davidpdx Mar 2014 #10
Kaleva Mar 2014 #11
noamnety Mar 2014 #12
pipi_k Mar 2014 #13

Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 03:06 PM

1. It's not for you to repair this.

from what you described, your wife does have a right to be upset. I don't think you have to fix this.

Just remind your wife that her heart was in the right place, because it was. Your wife has a selfish mom. You can be her rock and support her if she wants to stop being controlled by her Mom. I've had too many experiences like yours to count. A few years ago, I decided I would not deal with the Drama. It hurt a lot -- but I have a husband that supported me when the time came to say 'no more'

I would take the lead from your wife. It's not for you to repair. (hope that makes sense, diabeticman. )




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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 04:54 PM

14. You, too, 'eh?

I agree with everything you said, Raine, and funny enough, just this weekend I was exorcising another demon or two from my own memories of "Life with Mother." With LOTS to go!!!

Diabeticman, there really isn't much you can do except what my husband did for me: stay close, stand staunchly by me and give me support, and stay out of it. Just understand you're dealing with a spoiled, mixed-up, adult-size child. It's not your battle to fight. You can't fix this, especially if the individual on the other end refuses to acknowledge any reason that there's something within them needing to be fixed.

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Response to calimary (Reply #14)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 05:43 PM

15. I am still amazed at how nice it is to have a life partner that is a PARTNER.

I still have a way to go, but at least I am making progress. He's said this to me once or twice and it blows me away: I can't take sides because you and I are the only couple on this team.






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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 03:17 PM

2. I doubt there is anything you can do.

Family dynamics take years to develop and once they're set it's almost impossible to "repair" them. Especially for an in-law. Your MIL sounds like an unpleasantly self-centered person, and she would surely resent your interference (which is how she'd see it), and the way she behaves toward your wife would not improve. It might even get worse. About all that can be done with or about toxic family members or in-laws involves having as little contact with them as possible. Any contact that you must have should be brief and superficial and should not involve money or controversial issues. While it sounds like your wife has every right to be angry, being angry won't improve anything. She, and you, will ultimately be happier if you both just accept the fact that your MIL is not an especially nice person, that she won't change, and that interactions with her will often lead to hurt feelings and anger. If your expectations are low you won't be disappointed.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 03:26 PM

3. You said it better than I.

I've had to learn this approach with my own mum.

And as hard as that was to learn, with support of my partner, it is easier and more refreshing to deal with the family dynamics.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 05:25 AM

9. This is very good advice and information.

I grew up with an extremely controlling, self-centered, and always right
mother. And she was always demeaning and insulting me...and also figured
out a way to remind me--from the grave--how my brother was more worthy.
She set up a trust and divided her money--which wasn't that much, but yes,
nice to have--between her grandchildren. My brother has five and I have two...
so, he gets 5/7 and my kids get 2/7. Each child gets control of his/her share
of the money when 25. My youngest will be 25 next year...my mother died
in 2000. So, I will have been preparing taxes for her trust--being reminded of
that division of money--for 16 years after her death before I file the last tax return
for that trust.

How's that for bitchy? Her initials are GDB, so you know what I call it?
The god damn bitch trust.

And no, if the money in that trust had been combined with my father's (which was divided equally between my brother and me),
it would not have gone over a threshold to trigger any more taxes on their estate when
they died. There was NO financial reason to create a separate trust: it was just bitchiness on her part.


So...it does sound like your MIL is not a nice person. Minimize your contact with her,
don't expect her to be any different, and just support your wife in any way you can.

Good luck.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 03:45 PM

4. Just leave it.

And make sure you let your wife know that you're done trying.

Whenever you quit something, it's always better to tell someone you're quitting. Keeps you honest.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 04:53 PM

5. Never let anyone suck you into their lifelong insane family drama. NEVER.

Not unless you want to unite them by becoming a mutual enemy and want to be eaten alive.

DON'T DO IT!

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 05:01 PM

6. No. It's rough but it's not in us or for us to repair other people's L/T fucked-up relationships.

 

What you should do is support your wife and do whatever she think you should do.

Perhaps that actually is act as an intermediary to smooth their relationship. There are a lot of reason why she could want that such as you're more even-keeled because she's not your mother, it's less toxic or problematic if your MIL dislikes you than if she's engaged in active hostility with her daughter your wife (It can be tough on grand kids.), etc. I do doubt however that is what your wife wants unless that's what your wife says she wants.

It seems like what your should do is have a conversation with your wife, preferably over a relaxing dinner and discuss how she wants to relate to her mother and what you can do or not do to that end.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 06:08 PM

7. Never get between a mother and daughter.

And good luck!

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 04:37 AM

8. Agreed

There is nothing good that can come of your doing so.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 05:27 AM

10. I'm pretty sure I have read your posts in the past

I have to go along with what most are saying, don't interfere and let your wife handle it. She has to set the boundaries with her mother.

The one thing I wanted to add is to try not to borrow money from her or lend money to her. Once money is involved people start having leverage over you. With as poor of a relationship there is between you and your wife and her MIL that will only complicate things.

I have a complicated relationship with the few family members I keep in touch with. Granted my solution is to be 7,000 miles away.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 05:45 AM

11. As long as your wife continues to enable her mother's behaviour, nothing will change.

You might want to suggest that she and maybe the both of you together seek counseling on how to deal with the mother.

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 07:40 AM

12. Leave it alone.

 

Last edited Mon Mar 24, 2014, 11:06 AM - Edit history (1)

"repairing" the relationship sounds like code for trying to control your MIL, and you can't, she's a grown adult.

edited because I apparently can't read user names before morning coffee!

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Response to diabeticman (Original post)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 09:07 AM

13. Well, reading through

the replies here, it looks like there is unanimous agreement on many points, and I agree.

You can't "fix" their relationship, nor should you try.

Don't borrow from, nor lend to, the MIL.

Stay away from the MIL as much as possible, unless, as someone else above said, you want to constantly get sucked into the family drama.

And finally, I also agree with the suggestion that counseling for you and your wife on how to deal with her mother is a great idea. You can't change the MIL, but sometimes we can change how people treat us by showing them what we will and won't tolerate. If that doesn't work, then limiting contact will have to do. But a therapist can help you both work on an effective strategy.

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