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August 13th, 2013, 06:43 AM
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misty3281 misty3281 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by ashj_1218 View Post
This is what my MIL does all.the.time. I call it emotional warfare. They put on the "poor me" face and control you by acting like the victim and then turn it around on you to make their demands and expect you to bend to them.

My advice...DON'T DO IT! The only way she is going to learn her place and start acting like an adult is if you refuse to play her games and let her know exactly how things are going to be (in regards to your children especially). She had NO right to demand to see the kids without you present. None. And your husband allowing that to happen is only going to make her do this more often. Once they find a control tactic that works, they stick to it.

I wouldn't even address the barbs about your SO and his first daughter. She was just trying to get a rise out of you. And make you go on the defensive. I would just continue to tell her that you don't mind her seeing the kids, and would love them to have a relationship, but only if you are present and can make the calls as to what is acceptable for visits. If its stressing your husband out, I think it's okay for you to maintain the stance you have already taken. Sometimes my husband gets overwhelmed with being in the middle too. But I have let my MIL know that I reserve the right to make decisions on behalf of our relationship and my children. I think the idea behind letting SO handle his mom is that you won't be able to stop being the bad guy. But if you are already cast in that role, this time it's not going to make things worse.

But I totally understand and it is awful feeling
I've had to do all of this as well. My MIL was abusive to her own children and still degrades DH. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to DH after his mom called him and had to build him back up after her telling him how useless he is. I've told her she will not be allowed to be around Avery alone, so she went back to DH asking him what his dead grandparents would say. She's so manipulative and it torments him so I am taking over conversations because she certainly isn't going to manipulate me. As far as your MIL getting a lawyer, I don't know if the UK is anything like the US, but as long as the biological parents are alive and caring for the children properly there isn't anything that can be done. We had an issue with DH's ex wife's mom always threatening that grandparents have rights and she gets DSD too so we had to inform her grandparents rights only kick in if the parents aren't taking care of the child or her daughter dies and she wants to take us to court for visitation. It's frustrating but just keep to your decision. I would imagine she's just blowing off steam right now and won't actually follow through with any threats.

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