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This topic contains 12 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Mark 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #293469

    Tridha
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,

    I have been part of this forum for some time, and I am here again because I feel helpless. I think I shared my story sometime back – I have been married for three years and always had a complicated relationship with my mother-in-law. She doesn’t like me. I will be lying if I say I have silently taken in everything. I have always stood up for myself and tried to tell her she is unfair and while trying to create healthy boundaries between us. My husband has been in an awkward position, trying to balance everything. He never says anything wrong about his parents, and I think he has left all hopes of things resolving between us. Things got really bad between us when my MIL called my mother last year and complained about me and my behavior -she said I misbehave consistently and show absolute disregard for her feelings. After speaking with her my mother called me to check in with me about what happened, I gave her the whole background, and it seemed my mother-in-law very conveniently removed a lot of context from the story she gave my mother. She told my mother I react to her in a very angry fashion when she says something. I am assuming what she said to me would have got an angry response from anyone. She told me “In-Laws can’t expect anything from a girl like me who doesn’t even respect her parents.”. My mother spoke with her later and told her how upsetting this could be for anyone and not just me. My mother-in-law promised my mother that she would call me and sort out everything between us, but she never called. After this incident, I minimized my contact with her and my husband never questioned my decisions, In fact, he told me it’s up to me on how I want to handle this relationship. We have been trying to get pregnant for some time but not being able to due to my PCOS and my therapist after a counseling session told me I have to forgive everyone including my husband for not standing by me. PCOS usually develops in women who are judgmental and unforgiving. I feel so helpless. I think I have to forgive people who are not even sorry for their actions. I feel like my husband never forced me to have a relationship with his parents but he never also stopped them from misbehaving. He has been a silent spectator to my miseries. I don’t know where to start and how to.

    #293491

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Tridha:

    Do you have the  link to your previous thread (it didn’t appear when I clicked your name)?

    You wrote that your MIL told you: “In-Laws can’t expect anything from a girl like me who doesn’t even respect her parents”- do you know what she meant by you not respecting your parents, what was she referring to?

    anita

     

    #293519

    Mark
    Participant

    Tridha

    Realistically you cannot make your husband choose between you and the woman who gave birth to him and raised him.

    It is even more unrealistic to expect him to be able to control his mother’s behavior, or anyone’s.

    What exactly do you want him to do?

    Mark

    #293535

    Tridha
    Participant

    Anita,

    I can’t find the link to the previous thread. She just passed that statement because I am not very emotional according to her. I asked her why did u say that and she just went silent, there was no response from her. I guess I am not very emotional and I tend to be very detached when most girls would not be. I do remember her telling me it’s very unusual that I don’t cry in certain situations which would make people tear up.

    #293537

    Tridha
    Participant

    Mark,

    Believe me I don’t expect him to chose but it would be nice of him to tell her to stop behaving a certain way. I have been nice to her, I have been angry,Heck I have cried in front of her but nothing has changed and I feel like I am done trying to make her happy. I guess u are right, I shouldn’t hold him accountable for how his mom behaves with me.

    #293539

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Tridha:

    Well, you are emotional, of course you are. Not at the exact moments your MIL figures you should be, not according to her preference of when you should express what emotion.

    “she said I misbehave consistently and show absolutely disregard for her feelings”- do you know what she was referring to, did she tell you and if she did can you give an example or two?

    anita

     

    #293555

    Tridha
    Participant

    Honestly, when my mother told me she used those words, I was taken aback because in my mind I have broken my back trying to make her happy. From what she said to my mother

     

    • I don’t call her every day to check how they are doing. They are aging and parents of the guy I am married to so it’s my responsibility to take care of them. Her statement is absolutely right – I do not call them as much as I used to. Here is a context to what led to this change: I used to call her very consistently after we got married in Jan 2016 but in October 2016 when she had a fight with my husband she said something to me that I can never forget. Call it my bad luck but I called her right after my husband, and she had a fight. I wasn’t at home at that point. When I called her I sensed her tone was different, so I asked – If everything was ok? She snapped at me and said her son has changed after getting married to me and that he had never snapped at her until that day. After that she went on to say – sometimes she wonders if he behaved that way because he is unhappy in the marriage and taking out his frustration like this. I did tell her to ask her son about this and let me know if that is the case. I took a step back after that and maintained very formal contact with her.
    • Here is another example: When I was visiting her in India something happened between us, and she felt disrespected. This was at a party where she asked me to go upstairs and bring something. Since she had already sent me three times to get stuff, I asked her if she is sure there is nothing else that she needs because I didn’t have a phone on me. She said no and was absolutely normal throughout the evening. However, when we got back home, she got mad at me in front of the whole family (my father-in-law, my sister in law and my husband) because she felt disrespected with how I asked (my tone) the question in front of guests. When I apologized and told her I didn’t mean to be disrespectful all she said was “Haven’t your parents taught you anything, learn from your sister in law how to behave.” At that point, I was too exhausted to fight, but I felt hurt because honestly, I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful.
    • Right at the beginning of our marriage I would tell my husband to make me speak with his parents after he was done talking to them. And I don’t think she knows, but I have heard how exactly she would speak of me at that point “ Why are you telling her to talk, she should call us on her own.” “I don’t want to talk to her. I am too tired.”
    • When I got a job in 2018, I called her a zillion times, but she never answered my call or returned the request for two days, so I did the next best thing. I left her a text informing about how thrilled I am since I finally landed a job after 25 interviews she didn’t call me, but she did leave me a text saying “congratulations.” She told my mom she felt disrespected with this. I should have called her to inform her about this.
    #293563

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Tridah:

    Would you say that your MIL is the dominant and aggressive figure in her family, beating her husband and her adult children into submission day in and day out, by alleging that others are disrespecting her-

    When she fought with her son (your husband) on the phone, she was beating him into submission once again, and she beats  her daughter into submission too, this is why she told you “learn from your sister in law how to behave”?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #293573

    Tridha
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    You can call her dominating. Honestly, if she stops talking to my my father-in-law stops talking to me automatically to.Even If  I haven’t done anything. I use to find this strange but I think I got accustomed to how they behave. Like If I call my father in law he will always ask me if I have spoken to my mother-in-law or not. So many times my mother in law has told me her kids only call their father when she doesn’t take the call because they are close to her. I found that odd because I don’t think there should be a competition between parents  about – who is more loved? but then I figured as long as it doesn’t affect me I am not bothered. She never wishes me on my birthdays but if I don’t call her she gets mad. Sometimes I wonder why my husband doesn’t say anything to her.

    #293581

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Tridha:

    “Sometimes I wonder why my husband doesn’t say anything to her”- maybe because he is afraid of her. I suggested to you in my previous post that she is an aggressive person. Clearly her husband is afraid of her. If her husband is afraid of her, it is not hard to imagine that her own children are afraid of her- no matter what age. Don’t you think?

    anita

    #293583

    Tridha
    Participant

    @anita

    Yes, I guess you are right . Maybe he is scared of her  and It’s up to me on how I want to view everything. Cry about something that won’t change or put myself out of my miseries by ignoring her. I have tried to be subservient but the more I bent the more disrespectful she became.

    #293587

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Tridha:

    I don’t think that her aggression is anything new, she was probably aggressive when your husband was a child. Everyone fears aggression, but children most of all. So he was probably afraid of her as a child and the fear stays.

    So your husband doesn’t help you out in this regard because he is afraid of her.

    No  wonder “the more I bent the more disrespectful she became”- to bend to an aggressive person means to bend some more, and more. There is never bending-enough for the aggressive person to be satisfied.

    I imagine what happens with your MIL is something like this: every day there is a voice in her head that says to her, sometimes it whispers to her, at other times it screams at her: this person is disrespecting me! That person is disrespecting me! No matter how her day is, someone is disrespecting her, so it is a constant battle in her mind, fighting the people she imagines are disrespecting her.

    So one day she is okay with her daughter, satisfied, but she suspects her husband is disrespecting her and rages at him, next day she imagines it is her daughter and she rages at her but is okay with her husband, just on that one day.

    There is always something, always someone to rage at, to put in their place.

    I suggest you never try to please her, to satisfy her, it will not work beyond a moment or a day at best, maybe a week (while she is targeting someone else and you get a break!)

    anita

    #293767

    Mark
    Participant

    Tridah,

    Having your MIL pull in your mother on this is violating another boundary.  This is between your MIL and you.  Your own mother should not be pulled into this.

    Get her to not listen to anything your MIL tells her about you.  Tell your mother to let your MIL know that she cannot be a party to this and if there is a problem with you then she should take it up directly with you.

    Mark

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