Note: This post is part of the anonyMRS series. January’s topic is in-laws. Read one blogger’s experiences with her mother-in-law below, and remember…it is our little secret!
My mother-in-law is an extremely nice woman, who gave birth to an amazing man. She’s generous and is normally a very cheerful person.
But I cannot stand her.
She is always butting into our business. You know how you can always tell your own mother off if she’s being too annoying or demanding? You can’t really do that with MILs unless you’re willing to stir up some trouble.
Here are just a few of the ways she has meddled in our lives:
- She has told me that I need to buy her son a new car because his is 12 years old—even though he’s currently only making $9 an hour while he works on getting a full-time job.
- She has told me where I will be spending Christmas next year—and it’s currently January.
- She has consistently told me that we need to move closer to her and has told us where we are and aren’t allowed to live.
- She has already mentioned repeatedly (in those passive aggressive round-about ways) that she plans on living with us in her old age—to which I, of course, think, “Over.My.Dead.Body.”
- She plans on being in the delivery room when we have our first child—and we’re not even pregnant yet!
- She has told me I’m not allowed to have kids until her son is more settled in his career.
The result of all that meddling?
For the first year of our marriage, I wanted to please my MIL, because I wanted her to like me. But her repeated passive aggressive comments and her ingrained belief that “mother knows best” has simply made me want to distance myself from her as much as possible. Whereas I used to look forward to dinners with her, I now avoid them at all possible costs. Our first year of marriage, we went on vacation with my in-laws. Although she constantly brings up going on another vacation together, it’s never going to happen because the idea of spending five days straight with that women seems like the equivalent of a Freddy Krueger movie.
Women in relationships typically dictate and plan a family’s social calendar. It’s always the women who call to get together or make dinner plans. When we were first married, I would call my MIL all the time to make plans because I wanted her to feel included. Now that she’s ruined her chances, I’m fine with limiting my visits with my MIL to once a month, and I rarely pick up the phone first.
A DIL will typically gravitate to her family because she’s most comfortable there and because if her own mother is giving her a hard time, she can actually stand up to her—a big no-no with MILs. I’m not saying it’s fair that daughters spend more time with their own families than their in-laws, but if she had been nice to me in the first place and minded her own business, it wouldn’t have come to this.
I’ll let you in on a little secret
Here’s the secret I learned after a year of taking her passive aggressiveness and being worried about what she thought of me: I don’t need her to like me. In fact, I don’t need her for pretty much anything. If anyone needs anyone in the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship, it’s the MIL that needs the DIL.
So my tip to mothers-in-law: Be nice to your daughters-in-law. You need us more than we need you.
Do you have a meddling mother-in-law? Any tips or advice you can give?