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We have been married 4 years and still can't figure this out.
It all started our wedding night when they called at 1 am saying they were in the hotel parking lot and MIL needed a hug from dh because she didn't get to hug him enough at the wedding because other people were hogging him. (I might note we were both virgins before we were married so this whole "first night together" was kinda a big deal). Then calling at 7 am the next morning insisting we go to breakfast and after dh told them no he received a big guilt trip about how his granny was in town and it would mean so much. So we tossed out our plan of sleeping in and sharing a special breakfast before heading off to our honeymoon and went to a big family breakfast at Ihop. After breakfast they followed us to the hotel because MIL wanted pictures of us putting our suitcase in our car and driving away to our honeymoon so she could put it in her scrapbook.
There are so many annoyances. Like the thanksgiving we spent over three days at his Granny's with his family and after a very lengthy goodbye drove home 2 hours home exhausted and ready for bed. We were home 30 minutes when MIL called and said they were about to stop by our house because she "didn't get to hug Mark long enough" before we left. And then there was the time they let themselves into our house while we weren't home(they kew where the spare key was in case of an emergency). We walk in and they think it is hilarious and make jokes like "how rude of ya'll to just walk in without knocking! Make yourself at home!" (We moved the key to a different location and they no longer know where it is although we have driving up to them searching all over for it.) Or how after knowing me 5 years they still don't know how to spell my name right. Also how MIL likes to right mushy love notes to dh at least once a month. She is constantly coming up behind him and giving him shoulder rubs and whispering sweet lovings in his ears and kissing on him. She says she's jealous when I hold his hand or snuggle him around her. She's always telling me how cute his butt is and how he reminds her of FIL at that age. It grosses me out and even though she's his mom I still don't like any other woman commenting on his butt. The scrapbook she made Natalie has a ton of picture of Mark with all these mushy things written about what an amazing loving dad he is. I am only in two pictures and the only writing is simply my name (spelled wrong). She never refers to me as Natalie's mom and looks uncomfortable when I call myself that.
When they found out a year ago that we were expecting Natalie... without informing us they bought a house right down the street from us--they had previously lived 3 hours away. They want to be "more involved". They call 4-5 times a week to "check up" on us and want to have at least a once a week family get together. If more than two weeks goes by without seeing dh MIL cries. Before they bought their house here they use to drive the three hours here regularly and not call until they were already in town and then ask us to go eat with them with no heads up. Dh would tell them we want more notice... we couldn't be expected to just drop everything and go be with them all the time like that. They would always respond that they didn't know they were coming and it was a "last minute" decision. But they had a three hour drive here so obviously the had at least that much time to give at least a little warning? They drive by our house frequently to see if we are home and if we aren't they drive around town looking for us. When they find our car parked at a restaurant or store they will go in and join us---not to eat, not to shop... just to visit and have a hug. I feel like we can't escape them.
Dh is fed up with them. Since Natalie was born he has been putting his foot down a lot firmer. They keep giving dh guilt trips about not letting them see her enough. They think I am the reason dh is acting this way and that Mark couldn't possibly be annoyed and not want to see them HIMSELF. A few weeks ago dh almost had a breakdown. He became severely depressed. I was really worried about him. So he went over to their house and had a serious talk with them and told them that they need to give us some space. He wants to be a grown man and he's tired of them trying to control him and invade our lives. They basically laughed it off and concluded that dh isn't handling being a new dad well and that he must have a food allergy that is making him grumpy and offered to pay for him to go get tested. After their talk they invited us over for supper that night. We had something else going on so dh said no. So they asked about the following night and dh said he'd call and let them know. He decided we should go to see if anything changed after their talk so he called to tell them we were coming. They acted surprised and said they didn't know he "wanted" to come eat at their house. So the entire evening they make a huge deal about how nice it was of dh to get us all together like that. Dh was mad because he felt like they were just trying to make him feel good so he'd actually want to get together with them.
Before we left they had a ribbon ceremony.... it was extremely awkward. Basically FIL stood very formally in front of dh and said he's proud of him for everything he does and for being his son and asked if he had his permission to pin this ribbon that says "Who I am Makes a Difference" to his shirt above his heart. (He gave us the story about how these ribbons are passed around and changed peoples life.) Then FIL stood in front of me (I'm holding Natalie who is extremely tired and fussy) and awkwardly says "I have one for you... we are proud of you because you are our daughter inlaw and of course we love our granddaughter!" He looked uncomfortable and then quickly just pinned the ribbon to the tip of my shirt sleeve. The entire time MIL and SIL are hugging and crying as they watch.
After this weekend they kept calling asking if they could see us. After the first call dh didn't want to mess with them (anytime he tells them no they come up with some urgent excuse or guilt trip to try to change his mind) so he stopped answering the phone. So our answering machine was full of "we just had a nice visit with your brother and sister I really wish you would let us see YOU!" and "you need to answer your phone. Your cousin (who he hardly knows) was in a car crash. She's fine, but if you don't answer your phone we can't tell you important things like this!" Then they came to the house and knocked on the door. Dh told them they aren't allowed to just show up without calling first or else they would have come a lot sooner. Dh wouldn't answer the door, but I heard them forcefully trying to open the doors so I told him he'd better before they break a window. So he went and told them to go away.
So that night SIL emails and says she wants to speak with both of us about how we are hurting the family and tearing them apart. (Note, SIL is 28 has no interest in dating anyone, spends all her free time at her parents house and is considering moving in with them.) Dh tells her no... he already told his parents what he needed to say and the problem wasn't with SIL so he wasn't going to talk to her about it. So then dh's brother calls says he's having a big cookout with their parents and wants to know if we will go. Mark says no. He felt like his parents were trying to get to him through his older siblings. Then his parents emailed and said they must not have done the ribbon thing correctly. (I guess meaning they thought things would be all better now and they aren't?) Dh still refuses to talk to them. The other day we got an email saying "Hey Natalie.... oh yeah hey Mark and Lory. Mom is really stressed so pray for her. Love Dad". Which to me just seems like another attempt to make Mark feel like he is doing something wrong so he'll snap out of it and do whatever they want.
This is the longest we've ever gone without seeing them or talking to them. I'm amazed they haven't tried coming to the house again. Dh has been so much happier since he hasn't been dealing with them. A part of me feels bad because I know it must hurt them to be pushed away like that, but at the same time... their craziness is a little obsessive and not healthy. They have really hurt dh. They don't know it but he was suicidal in high school because they drove him so crazy. Today as an adult he feels so unsure of himself and carries around so much guilt and pain because he feels like such a disappointment to his parents. We want to move far far away. How do you set healthy boundaries with parents like this? All of our attempts seem to fail! I don't trust them at all and it's come to the point that we feel like we have to watch everything that is said and done when it comes to them because they are so good at manipulating and finding ways around any boundaries we set.
Hugs! That's awful! Moving far away might do it. Far enough that it takes more than a day to drive would stop the dropping by and the constant string of get togethers. Of course, they will be really mad if you do it, and might follow you. And if you do this visits will likely mean them staying in your house for days or a week at a time. I'm not sure what is worse really. It really didn't hurt my feelings when my ILs moved across the country (3-4 hour plane flight and a 3 day drive). But I also don't care for having my MIL here for a whole week at a time. There are pros and cons to either. Good luck!
I would move. they are overinvolved and narcassistic (you need to read up about this condition to understand). I have slowly introduced boundaries over the years and its an ongoing battle......... but get some professional help. advise them to go to a therapist together to sort it out with DH. then it can be diagnosed properly and you can make decisions how to go from there......
Oh wow, they bring new meaning to intrusive. If you can I would move. Setting boundaries with people who clearly do not want to listen would be very hard. I wish I had some good advice for you, maybe not seeing them and no contact will have some effect, at least for your dh, his sanity and yours.
Owen, Avery, Samantha and forever missing Jake born still 08/01/99.
I agree with the previous posters ... moving may be the best option. I always lived far from (my now ex) MIL, and she still has found a way to make certain things h**l but I reasoned that it was much better to deal with her a couple times a year than to have to deal with her on an ongoing basis. And if you put up the limitation of having them stay in a hotel when they visit, you still have the relative safety of your home to go to.
Good luck and try to remember you're doing the best thing for YOUR family, which is what really matters. It's the family your children are going to be raised in, it doesn't need this level of unnecessary crazy!
I think your MIL is my mother. The last time she dropped by--after I told her I was going to be really busy--I was so livid I didn't say more than 2 words to her. I just ignored her and slammed things around my house and kitchen. I think she got the picture, but I expect her to forget it within the month.
It's sad, but it's one of the reasons DH and I are thinking about moving several states away.
I think I've finally found someone who has inlaws that trump mine. I feel for you and if it was me I'd be packing boxes discreetly. Okay.. so maybe not so discreetly. You must be stronger than me because there'd be a sh* storm if it was me in your situation. I'm just like that though.
My MIL moved in down the street from us as well after her divorce. It was a townhome, we'd just signed a year lease so there was no moving for us. We asked her not to and she did anyway citing that "this is a tough time for me and I need family" then we didn't see her for like 4 months unless she needed something. We moved across town into a new apartment after that and it helped a LOT. Although she does still do stupid things like bug DH to come over and fix something for her before we leave on a 6 hour trip to go see other parts of the family. We like to leave super early so LO sleeps through most of the trip and she throws such a fit that DH has to delay the start of the trip and fix it for her. After our lease is up here we're moving about 20 minutes away and DH has already explained to her that although she and her boyfriend will be looking for a house shortly after we move they are NOT under any circumstances to follow us but to understand that its that we need our space and will still see her regularly like we always have. Her boyfriend is sane so that has helped matters too since he will censor her a little bit when she gets nutty.
I hope you find a way to create some peace in your life and get your inlaws to cut their end of the cord once and for all.