Monday, August 11, 2008


I am really struggling with something and could use a little help.

I am 100% at my wit's end with my mother in law. I cannot handle her. But she's my mother in law-- I have to handle her. I have tried so hard to see her for the good person she can be, despite all the crappy things she pulls on Matt and me. Just when I think I've gotten past her latest upset, she strikes again. Every single time.

I need to be able to forgive her, right? But how do you forgive someone who hurts you repeatedly and seems to have no sense of consideration? If it were anyone else, I'd just dismiss them from my life and be done, but that's not really an option here. I am way beyond wanting a friendly relationship with her-- that's just not realistic. But a relationship that doesn't have me wanting to pull my hair out (and hers too) would do wonders. My heartrate speeds up and I get nauseas at the mere mention of her name, so you can imagine how I feel when her number pops up or when we have to visit with them in person. It's bad enough that if I weren't pregnant, I would probably ask my doctor for some sort of anxiety drugs (and that's not completely out for the future).

If anyone has some practical input here, other than the usualy "Yes, your mother in law is a crazy lunatic. I wish I could help. I'm really lucky, I have a great mother in law!" I really need it:( I have to figure out how to make this work.


Baby and Me said...

I have a crazy mom. So I avoid her at all costs. In fact I just told her I was pregnant. I had to give her a ton of rules for me and the baby. So, how much time do you actually have to spend around her? and can you talk to her without hurting feelings and making it worse? There is only two ways this can go once you have the baby. It will get better, she will love her new grandchild so much, you and her will have a new common bond. Or hate to say it, it can get worse, everything she says or does drives you more crazy than it does now.

Fumbling Towards Adulthood said...

First of all, I love you.

Second of all, I wish I had some awesome advice. But the truth? Dealing with people like your MIL will always be hard -- at least for people like us, who are quick to put ourselves in another person's shoes and thus end up trying to accommodate everyone. I think half of the battle is just accepting the fact that these people aren't purely evil, they just lack that chip in their brains that allows them to think of others than themselves. It's almost like dealing with a disobedient pet. You start thinking "Well, I guess Skip doesn't know any better, so...". But still. It's hard. Because you want to hope that one day the light bulb will turn on and they'll "get it", but alas.

I am so sorry you are hurting, love. We will talk about it and strategize soon! Hang in there!

Citygirl_living_in_the_country said...

I totally understand - unfortunately. I am not on good terms with my MIL at all. Actually, we haven't spoken since November 2007 nor have I seen her - and she lives a mere 40 minutes away.

I will be 'forced' to see the in-laws soon b/c my DH just told them I'm in my 2nd trimester (the first news he broke to them about me) and they want to have dinner. I'm learning (in therapy mind-you) that it is all about boundaries. Only we can allow people to hurt us. If we draw emotional boundaries, we can take back the control & at least have a functioning relationship with toxic in-laws. I'm told (again, by my therapist) that I do have a good sense of physical boundaries (as in I separate myself completely) but I need to have a functional relationship with these people for the sake of my husband.

Pick up 'Better Boundaries' by Jan Black at the library or Hopefully this will shed some light and help you deal with your MIL. Unfortunately, she is not someone you can completely cut out of your life (no matter how much you want to - believe me, I understand.) Best of luck to you!!

Kristin (kekis) said...

Gosh, I wish I could say that I have a great MIL. That would be SO FAR from the truth. My MIL is bat-crazy. She seriously flies through the sky on her crazy stick torturing all around her. Honestly, she doesn't fly around but she is mentally ill and all sorts of other torturous stuff.

Background: I haven't spoken to her since our wedding in March 2007. She is putting my DH through hell and sometimes I really hate her for it. How could you do that to your own child??? However, after figuring out that my thoughts, feelings & opinions just made it worse on DH, I learned to shut up. And gosh, it's hard!

As far as forgiveness, you probably already know that forgiveness is not for the other person. It is for our hearts. God asks that we forgive others. Yet God also has given us a mind of choice and that we can establish boundaries in order to care for ourselves.

I wish I had an iron-clas "right" answer for you, but I don't. (I don't even have one for us.) The best thing you can do is focus on what is truly important, try to ignore as much as possible, and set your own boundaries on what is and is not acceptable to you on your terms. Good luck!