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Imposing MIL


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#1 triplej2002  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 6:04 am

I hope that I do not sound like a complete Grinch with this post, but I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem, or if I'm just being difficult. My MIL is a widow and has no family close-by other than my husband. All of her family is about six hours away. Well, my family has been gracious by inviting her to Thanksgiving and Christmas the past few years. She has shown up for Thanksgiving, but never for Christmas. Please keep in mind, that this woman drives EVERYONE in my family crazy. She is nice, but she ALWAYS talks to my family members about a friend of a friend of hers (my family has NO CLUE who she is talking about and usually don't care). I can't carry on a conversation with my family that I rarely see without her interrupting to ask me something that doesn't pertain to the conversation. Being stuck in the car with her for an hour is excruciating (she'll be riding with us). She even drives my husband crazy!! Socializing with this woman is just awful!!! Now, we go to each of my grandparents houses Christmas eve. My husband had told her she had been invited to the first house, but my other grandparents have only met her once and they really didn't think to invite her. My MIL told my DH that she didn't want to impose, but my husband kept hounding her about it until she finally gave in and said yes. So I had to call to make sure it was okay if someone else came. That puts me in an awkward position. I thought I would burst out into tears right there! As a matter of fact, I did cry myself to sleep last night. If you had to be around this woman you would understand. I had planned on making us dinner Christmas day and she was supposed to have came that day so she would have something to do Christmas, but that wasn't enough I suppose. So, my question is, do any of you have any in-laws that impose on your real family gatherings? I know that I should be nicer than this during the holiday season, but I only get to see some of my family once a year. She lives 10 minutes away and we see her all the time. I would just like for my six year-old son to be able to visit other family too! Am I wrong or do I have a reason to be upset? Please don't be too harsh with me... I understand I probably sound like a Scrooge. :( I was looking SO FORWARD to Christmas this year and this has completely ruined it for me. I apologize for this being so long, but please just tell me I'll get through Christmas without pulling my hair out now.
Christmas can't get here soon enough! :holiday16 Our Family--> :gdcar2::gdpainting::guitarist:multi:

#2 Kandy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 6:24 am

I am sorry you are having to go through this. I know it's hard when she lives so close by. Maybe you need to talk to your DH to prevent this from happing in the future if you want that time with your side of the family. Your DH prob just doesn't want her to be home alone durning the holidays.
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#3 scrabbler  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 6:26 am

I think you summed it up in your first few words...My MIL is a widow and has no family close-by other than my husband. All of her family is about six hours away.

The first thing I must say is...YOU are her family. You married her son and became her DIL. She no longer has a husband and depending on how long he has been gone, it could be the loneliness or the adjustment period of being along.

I wonder what she is doing that is causing you such great upset. You mention that socializing with her is awful because she mentions a friend that no one knows. Don't get me wrong, I get bad MIL's. But I think you need to try to look at it a bit different and see if you can change your viewpoint and perhaps it won't be so bad.

I read your post a few times and I didn't note anything that was so terrible, that you shouldn't be able to abide for a while during the Holiday Season...so perhaps you left out what she really does. But I did note that you write things like: All her family is about 6 hours away, my family has been gracious, and that she imposes on YOUR real family gathering. She is your family and unless she is malicious and evil, maybe she could be dealt with a bit differently.

But again, all bets are off is she is doing something that is downright mean. But just being boring and not having the greatest social skills, perhaps because she is lonely, don't seem like things that she should result in being banished from Family Gatherings.

Please do let me know if I misunderstood something...and am wishing you Peace.

#4 conj  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 7:06 am

yes... we have similar issues, and we just grin and bear it.
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#5 triplej2002  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 7:55 am

I think you summed it up in your first few words...My MIL is a widow and has no family close-by other than my husband. All of her family is about six hours away.

The first thing I must say is...YOU are her family. You married her son and became her DIL. She no longer has a husband and depending on how long he has been gone, it could be the loneliness or the adjustment period of being along.

I wonder what she is doing that is causing you such great upset. You mention that socializing with her is awful because she mentions a friend that no one knows. Don't get me wrong, I get bad MIL's. But I think you need to try to look at it a bit different and see if you can change your viewpoint and perhaps it won't be so bad.

I read your post a few times and I didn't note anything that was so terrible, that you shouldn't be able to abide for a while during the Holiday Season...so perhaps you left out what she really does. But I did note that you write things like: All her family is about 6 hours away, my family has been gracious, and that she imposes on YOUR real family gathering. She is your family and unless she is malicious and evil, maybe she could be dealt with a bit differently.

But again, all bets are off is she is doing something that is downright mean. But just being boring and not having the greatest social skills, perhaps because she is lonely, don't seem like things that she should result in being banished from Family Gatherings.

Please do let me know if I misunderstood something...and am wishing you Peace.


I'm sorry to seem so negative about something like this. I know that we are her family, but as I said I had planned on having a gathering for us Christmas day. My son just hardly gets to see my parents (at best once a month). He sees my MIL all the time. When she shows up at my family gatherings (whom she barely knows) she is constantly trying to get all of my sons attention. She also has a way of being condescending (not rude, but just makes me look like a child) in front of family that drives me bananas. I guess there are just little things that add up and unless someone has to deal with those things it's hard to understand. I know she is not a down right evil person, but there are many other things that have happened in the past that my husband and I BOTH have to be upset about (too long a story to write here) and that's the reason she is not at the top of my favorites list. I guess unless I had a day to write it all here I would seem like the bad guy. :(
Christmas can't get here soon enough! :holiday16 Our Family--> :gdcar2::gdpainting::guitarist:multi:

#6 dealluvr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 8:02 am

get her a puppy or small dog leave in a box on her door step with a letter from SANTA asking if she could care for this animal for a while/that might keep her busy and feel needed too

#7 satidwell  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 8:33 am

Well I kinda understand the whole my family your family thing the difference is its my family that is like your MIL, they live across the street and gets the kids attention when my in laws come over and it drives my in laws and dh crazy but we know they aren't doing intentually so we just shrug it off. also something to think about here is are you giving her more credit then she deserves really think about this here. The reason I am asking is because my mil used to drive me crazy and I though she was doing it on purpose but she wasn't she didn't even realize she was doing some of the things me and her sat down and talked about a lot of stuff and it really helped to clear the air between us so maybe after christmas you and her sit down and have a talk about the things past and present that have bothered you and i bet it will help the whole situation. Or just take a step back and look at through your mil and dh eyes lets say it was your mom going too his family gatherings. I'm not tring to be ugly or anything its just i've been though this and now when stuff like this happens I try too look at differently.

#8 floridasun5  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 8:56 am

I agree with one of the other posters about your MIL also being your family. It almost seems as if you are thinking of her as your dh's family instead of all one family since you are married. However, I do understand how someone can be very hard to deal with, condescending and just a pesky person as I have one in my family. Before I moved away, I used to have to put up with it also on holidays. The only suggestion I can think of is that if your dh or MIL is insistent on being with you on Christmas this year, just make it known and kind of take the lead of the day...dont let her try to ruin things. You can, in a nice way make return comments when she says something that makes you look bad in front of others, or you can steer your own children towards what you want them to do. Just because there is a person at a party that doesnt know how to act, just remember that she is at YOUR house, and YOUR children are the ones that you have control over, as well as the way you react to things is completely up to you! I dont tend to be quick witted myself, however I did just want to give the suggestion so maybe you can practice lol or think of some rebuttals should she start on you personally. It doesnt have to be in a nasty way, but I think if you stand up for yourself and either make a joke out of things or brush it off with a quick witted comment, she might stop. Kind of like trolls that eventually give up when they realize their antics are being ignored! LOL Good luck and just remember that it will be all over soon for another year! :P

#9 scrabbler  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 9:09 am

I'm sorry to seem so negative about something like this. I know that we are her family, but as I said I had planned on having a gathering for us Christmas day. My son just hardly gets to see my parents (at best once a month). He sees my MIL all the time. When she shows up at my family gatherings (whom she barely knows) she is constantly trying to get all of my sons attention. She also has a way of being condescending (not rude, but just makes me look like a child) in front of family that drives me bananas. I guess there are just little things that add up and unless someone has to deal with those things it's hard to understand. I know she is not a down right evil person, but there are many other things that have happened in the past that my husband and I BOTH have to be upset about (too long a story to write here) and that's the reason she is not at the top of my favorites list. I guess unless I had a day to write it all here I would seem like the bad guy. :(



I think we all understand...what I was trying to do in my post is put it in perspective.

I never went to family Christmas because it was painful. Nothing evil but it was uncomfortable for me and I usually left crying. Most of it was because of my own mother. This year, I am making extra effort to be there for Christmas no matter the pain it might cause for me...you see, my mother has alzheimers and the days of her knowing who I am are dwindling.

So although your MIL isn't someone you enjoy and she isn't someone you ever would consider a friend if you met on the street, she raised the man you fell in love with.

Someone else mentioned something that is always important....talk to your husband...make sure you understand him and see if there is a bit of a compromise that can happen. But it is up to your husband to back you up and be there for you.

I completely get bad MIL's...mine is a widow also. But instead of wanting to spend time with her only grandchildren, she doesn't give a crap. Well, she pretends to care, but if you spend more than 5 minutes with her, she is done with you. So maybe it is sounds easier for me...unfortunately it isn't. A son loves his mother forever and watching my husband deal with his mother that ignores us is hurtful. Being unable to fix it is awful.

The only thing that makes it all worthwhile is we talk about what makes it ok for the 2 of us. Do that with your dh and hopefully you guys can have a compromise that makes you feel more comfortable and makes her feel ok too.

Hang in there...

#10 triplej2002  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 9:13 am

Thank you to everyone for your input. I sincerely don't mean to sound like an awful person and believe me I feel awful for feeling the way I do. I mean, I was praying last night just for me to be a better person that I have been, so it's not like I'm trying to be mean spirited. But I don't think I'm the only DIL or person in such a situation. Thank you all for the encouragement! ;)
Christmas can't get here soon enough! :holiday16 Our Family--> :gdcar2::gdpainting::guitarist:multi:

#11 JollyGG  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 9:15 am

It sounds to me like the one you should be upset with is DH more than with MIL. It doesn’t sound like she really enjoys the visits much more than you enjoy having her along. You description of her behaviors sounds to me like someone who feels out of place and uncomfortable making small talk with people she doesn’t know.

She is nice, but she ALWAYS talks to my family members about a friend of a friend of hers (my family has NO CLUE who she is talking about and usually don't care). I can't carry on a conversation with my family that I rarely see without her interrupting to ask me something that doesn't pertain to the conversation.

My son just hardly gets to see my parents (at best once a month). He sees my MIL all the time. When she shows up at my family gatherings (whom she barely knows) she is constantly trying to get all of my sons attention.


It sounds to me like she doesn’t know quite what to say to people because she doesn’t really know them so she ends up telling stories about people they don't know. It sounds like she tries to monopolize you and your son’s attention not because she wants to take it away from anyone else but because she wants to talk to someone she actually knows.

You post makes it sound like she tried to gracefully get out of it but that your DH insisted she join you.

My MIL told my DH that she didn't want to impose, but my husband kept hounding her about it until she finally gave in and said yes.


I’d sit down with MIL and talk to her about the current plans and your original plans. It could very well be that she would also prefer a quite holiday at home or with friends and small day with you and your son on Christmas day. Maybe after speaking to her you two can go talk to DH together and let him know what you want to do. Then maybe give her family who lives further away a call to talk about paying for part of a trip for MIL to see them for christmas next year. It could be your christmas present to her that year.

Edited by JollyGG, Dec 23, 2008 - 9:23 am.


#12 booga12345  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 5:09 pm

Thankfully, no. I get along very well with dh's family and he does mine. We always do Christmas Eve at dh's aunts house and my family has always been invited. I do have a BIL though that really gets on my nerves, but I just grin and bear it. Christmas is only once a year so I just suck it up. I think every family has that one person you could do without, but they are still family.

#13 jeninpa  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 5:20 pm

I hate my MIL,lol. Strong word and I use it next to never but she definitely is a witch. She doesn't even acknowledge my older 3 kids' bdays or give them even a card! Her son & I have one DS together and she buys him cheap $5 toys for each holiday meanwhile she invited us to DH 1st kids bday who we do not see at all and bought him a Nintendo DS and games! I blew up. I hate this woman, I try for DH sake but I can't stand my kids not being treated equally. I do know what you mean though as far as not wanting someone there all the time when family is in you hardly see! We have had a few people who just wouldn't leave when we got company and it is a real pain. So I don't think you have the worst MIL especially if she atleast cares about your son. I would have your DH deal with her somehow, it's his mom so he should be able to handle her somehow and still have her involved. Then again men seem to not like confrontation,lol. If my mom is annoying at all I let her know,lmao. Hey, it's better than secretly steaming and being annoyed!lol
"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever." - Tinkerbell

#14 Deal Grabber  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 23, 2008 - 5:29 pm

Dont wry i know how you feel.I dont get along w/my MIL either.For worse reasons than yours.My MIL is always sticking her nose where it doesnt belong also.I cant stand her.But being married to her makes us family i just try and stay out of her way on holidays.I simply nod and agree with everything she says.(lol).We are going to be MIL's some day hopefully not as bad as ours are.
Ohhh another day another deal!!!

#15 guilliam  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 24, 2008 - 2:59 pm

I hate my MIL,lol. Strong word and I use it next to never but she definitely is a witch. She doesn't even acknowledge my older 3 kids' bdays or give them even a card! Her son & I have one DS together and she buys him cheap $5 toys for each holiday meanwhile she invited us to DH 1st kids bday who we do not see at all and bought him a Nintendo DS and games! I blew up. I hate this woman, I try for DH sake but I can't stand my kids not being treated equally.

I do know what you mean though as far as not wanting someone there all the time when family is in you hardly see! We have had a few people who just wouldn't leave when we got company and it is a real pain. So I don't think you have the worst MIL especially if she atleast cares about your son. I would have your DH deal with her somehow, it's his mom so he should be able to handle her somehow and still have her involved. Then again men seem to not like confrontation,lol. If my mom is annoying at all I let her know,lmao. Hey, it's better than secretly steaming and being annoyed!lol


I'm with you! My MIL is a B*&$@ from He!! She lies and steals more than most convicted criminals ever have! She doesn't ever see our kids and hasn't bought them Christmas or Birthday gifts in YEARS (or any other gift for that matter) DH doesn't have anything to do with her either. Hasn't even talked to her in at least 4 years, maybe more, and the last time it was a 30 second phone call. This woman is the devil I swear LOL!! It would take me PAGES to tell you all the bs this woman has done to dh, our kids and I :eyepoppin




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