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Interfering in-laws

Forum: Moms of Teens and Preteens


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April 24th, 2012, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 32
I wonder if anyone has to deal with domineering relatives?

Althoug I'm an exerienced parent, my mother-in-law constantly has to criticise me and the decisions I've made in bringing up both my sons. My hubby says she is trying to help, and I really want to believe that, but so often she seems so negative and scolding that I find it a hard job to keep my cool.

Now there is the suggestion that I may be pregnant again. Very shocking news for me and my family, but dear old mom-in-law just had to find fault with that too. It was like, "How could you both be so careless?"

I find her very hard to deal with. Why can't she offer support instead of constantly fault-finding? I fear I may lose my temper with her if she keeps behaving like this.
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April 24th, 2012, 08:57 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,309
Im very lucky to have fantastic in-laws.

I, however, do not have fantastic parents. Its at a point now where I am no longer on speaking terms with them, I have not spoken to them in 3 years and I do not plan to change that.

Unfortunately, you cannot change another person, only the way you react to them, which sucks when they are the ones acting in a ridiculous manner, you can physically distance yourself, view them as a source of humor, ignore them, scream into a pillow when you get home, whatever. What you cannot do is let silly comments, such as the one your mother in law made get to you.

On the topic of domineering relatives, my parents did the following:

Refuse to acknowledge my husband as my husband

Constantly put my husband down for his job and appearance

Gave my children new names that they called them by, Anindita was Mary, Azriel was John, Sundance was Elizabeth, Lux was Joan and Sash was Luke.

Refused to acknowledge that I changed my surname after marriage, because o course they did not acknowledge my marriage.

Refused to acknowledge that I had my first name legally changed (and all throughout my childhood they refused to call me by any nicknames, I went by Maggie and a child and Rita as a teenager, because I despised the name Margaret with every fibre of my being, but they would not call me a nickname)

Would bring meat over to our house because we were vegetarians.

Attempted to legally change Azriel's name.

Attempted to baptise Azriel and Lux.

Told Dita and Azriel that their parents are going to burn in hell and "Your mother is going to be raped by satan"

Kidnapped Dita and Azriel from school and drove them 8 hours away to a retreat for troubled Catholic teenagers, despite my children not being Catholic, nor troubled (police were involved here, because, of course, I found out by my children not coming home from school)

My mother mailed information for organisations that can "cure homosexuality" to Dita after she came out as gay.

After I confronted her about the mail she then mailed threatening letters to Dita (containing her good old fallback "you will be raped by Satan")

After all this I was still willing to mend bridges, because im an idiot. It took my parents coming over to my house, my father to pick up a sledgehammer from our backyard and swing it at my head, DH got in in between and it shattered his shoulder, for us to finally press charges and get a restraining order. Havent spoken to them since.
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April 25th, 2012, 02:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 32
Oh, gosh - your situation does sound much worse than mine!

It is so difficult to build bridges with people who behave like this, isn't it.

I greatly admire you for having the strength to try to cope with it. You sound a very positive person, and have remained so even when seriously challenged.
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April 25th, 2012, 08:47 PM
wefrogy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 17,062
At Sharon- I would call your mother n law out on it next time she makes a comment simply by saying exactly what you said in your last sentence "Why can't she offer support instead of constantly fault-finding?" I wouldn't yell or get mad, but just at the moment she says something that makes you feel this way, ask her. Don't let her down play it or put it on you as taking it the wrong way, let her know that she's made you feel this way for years, but do it in a calm mannor and from that point on when she says things like that again, just say something like" I'm sorry you feel that way, but these are our kids or this is our house or this is how we are doing things etc."

At cybele-WOW I knew from other post that your parents had some issues on a religious level, but that's just craziness.

I'm fortunate to have great n laws. they are not interfering at all and are a huge help to us by letting my kids get off the bus at their house and stay there after school for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until we get home from work. the kids also stay there on days off and during the summer while hubby and I work. Only issue I've ever had is they do not act as authority figures over my kids. things such as not making them wear a coat when outside on a cold day, just little things like that

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April 26th, 2012, 01:55 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,309
Sorry Sharon, didnt mean to hijack. And thank you
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April 26th, 2012, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 32
Cybele - no problem. In fact, it helped me a bit to know that someone else has been there and understands!

Thanks for good advice too, Wefrogy. Assertiveness is the answer. Sometimes I just have to walk away from her and count to ten, or I'll end up behind bars!! (Only kiddin')
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