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TOPIC: The mother in law

The mother in law 4 years 8 months ago #65678

I know it's an age old problem, and there are a million jokes about it, but I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this, and advice about how to handle it without going mad.

Relations with my in laws and in particular my wife's mum used to be pretty good. Since getting married they deteriorated and since having my son it can be unbearable.

At every opportunity she belittles my relationship with my son. When my boy is looking at me and we are having fun playing a game, she will say oh look at [my sons name] he is always looking at his mum. She refuses to accept he has any of my features and when I point out he has my colour eyes rather than my wife's she will point out that some relative who is very distant to my son also has that colour eyes so he must get it from them. His first word was dadda, it was so clear but she refuses to believe it. It is almost like she doesn't want to accept I am anything to do with him.

It has got to the point that I can't bear to go to any family functions or even to be in the same room as her. My other in laws are similar; when my wife says Jack takes after me in a certain way she will say "his grandma also does that so he must get her from her". Why is it so hard for the in laws to accept that my son has inherited something from me?

I know there are lots of more serious issues on this forum but wondered if anyone had similar experiences and found a way to overcome them.

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The mother in law 4 years 8 months ago #65712

It's the thin end of the wedge. I hope your wife realizes what is going on, understands your feelings and that you both tackle this together.

I have had first hand experience of this where the father was totally undermined by the in-laws and eventually his partner. The end result was father was superfluous to requirements and the children viewed as possessions by the family with the Father pushed out completely. I'm not saying this is the same in your case but I believe you have valid cause to be wary..

Unfortunately I haven't time to write more but I sincerely hope you and your wife tackle this issue together. In fact it is a must that you do!

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The mother in law 4 years 8 months ago #65725

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I agree - the ideal solution is that your wife supports you when this happens, hopefully without there being any falling out.

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The mother in law 4 years 8 months ago #65819

I think a lot of people have issues with the in-laws. Everyone is different and these differences can cause some friction in the relationship. As long as you and your wife are working together with the problem things should work out. I would talk with your mother-in-law and tell her it is not ok to talk to you like that. Letting her know she treats you disrespectfully may cause an argument, but you don't have to put up with her if you don't want to.

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The mother in law 4 years 8 months ago #65830

I had a very similar experience with my ex in laws.
They were both very controlling and unfortunately my ex wife allowed it to happen and in some respects was treated like a little girl. When my first child was born, they helped us out with child care so my wife could return to work on a part time basis to work a morning shift. We were very grateful as it allowed my wife to return to work and saved us a fortune on nursery fees. That is when their interference increased.
I felt pushed out. Everyday I would get in from work and they were there. I was made to feel like a stranger in my own home. Her father would make comments about jobs that needed doing around the house, not taking into consideration we had recently had our first child, money was tight and I was also working full time.
When my daughter starting to learn a few words, one of them was Dadda. I will never forget the day she was sat on the stairs and she called out Dadda and my father in law responded to her. I, quite ashamably, exploded. That was a line that he should never have crossed. We had a very heated discussion and I was made to feel worthless, surplus to requirements and generally useless. My wife never backed me up. We then went on to have another baby and the situation with my in law became so unbearable, I felt like leaving. I used to fill with dread every day when I was driving home from work - they were at the house every day. They completely took over. Arrangements were being made between them and my wife about the children - such as days out, trips to the theatre and so on. It also started to have an impact on my parents as they felt completely left out.
My father in law passed away 4 years ago very suddenly. I would never wish anyone dead but I can honestly say, I felt this huge weight lift from my shoulders. I was claiming my family back. I reinstated myself as daddy. My mother in law no longer had her front man and I was able to take control and she knew it.
I really hope that your wife is supporting you and recognising what is happening. Sadly, I never had the support from mine. The apron strings were still attached and when her dad spoke, she would sit up and listen. A very strange situation for a mature grown adult to be in.

Maybe sit down and talk to your wife - tell her how you are feeling. Telling someone how comments make you feel is a big statement. The last thing you want is for a major fall out with your in laws and your wife. You will be seen by them as the 'bad guy' so just try and keep your cool but you really need to share your feelings with your wife.

Hope you get it sorted
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