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Topic : Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Number of Replies: 2467
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:13:41 am
Author : dataimport
Love them, tolerate them, or despise them? Dealing with the in-laws can be stressful to a marriage. Share your stories and coping strategies.

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July 28, 2005, 11:37 am CDT

Control freak mother in-law!!

Quote From: arwen177

My Mil thinks that it's ok to serve alcohol at my son's 1st birthday party and I don't. When she asked me why I didn't think it was ok, I told her that it was because it was my son's party. She rolled her eyes and scoffed! I was so mad!  My husband and I also planned on serving only hamburgers & hotdogs at the party, and MIL thinks that we need to have pork chops as well! She thinks that the "adults" will want "something else." and that "hjamburgers & hotdogs are fine for the kids" Who does she think she is?? When did it become her party anyways? What I'm wondering is if I should put my foot down on this and tell her that there is not to be any alcohol served and that all we are cooking is hamburgers & hotdogs and thats it or should I just let it go?

No, no no.... you've got to put your foot down. If you don't, she is going to keep doing this, year after year, forever! It sounds like she just wants to control and dominate. Otherwise, she would just shut up and bring the pork chops herself, you know?! But, no..she has the need to tell you what to do and how to do it, so she is giving you "advice" that you don't need. If I were you, I also would not want alcohol and my one year old's birthday party. You are talking about a nice little celebration, with some hot dogs and hamburgers- not something fancy. You want to be relaxed. Don't listen to your mother in law and make more work for yourself by creating what she calls "more options"....Just disregard her unwanted advice. If she brings it up again, you could say in a nice but even voice that you already have the party planned, you want to keep it simple. Thats it. You don't have to explain yourself any more then that. I wish you the best!
 
July 28, 2005, 12:43 pm CDT

Thanks Jen!

Quote From: jenoc99

Oh I would be just as mad, irritated, etc., as you are about all this tax stuff!! This is totally stupid that his father thinks he can get away with this...BUT...you and I know why his father thinks he can get away with this-- its because your husband allows him to. Its unbelievable that this man would actually take money away from his son, practicaly taking food out of his own grandchildren's lives, and think nothing of it. It is unbelievable that your husband is just going to keep allowing this to happen. Your husband isn't working for his father at all at this point, yet his father has said that he is still going to keep this charade going for tax fraud? My only advice is for him (your hubby) to let his father know that he can't do that because he has to file his own taxes and his employee's taxes, and it will get his father in trouble if he does still file that your husband is his partner. I can't imagine what your husband is so "scared" of regarding his parents...it sounds like they are totaly uninvolved in your lives, what does he have to lose? He will be gaining self respect, and that is something you can't put a price tag on, you know?

 

You always have such good advice for others regarding problems with thier in-laws here on this message board. Can you pretend, just for a few moments, that your posting was someone else's and ask yourself what advice you would give that woman?  I wish you the best, keep your chin up.

Jen

I just had to vent. I am so tired of this crap! I dont know why my husband has a hard time standing up to his father about this. He dont mind standing up to me and telling me NO, or even arguing with me. For the last 6 years we have been screwed out of over 10,000.00 because of his dad. This year, over 3,000.00. My husbands own brother told him that he is getting screwed over by his dad and that is why he wont work for him. He moved to another state to get away from them so they cant control his life. I am taking my husband to another tax accountant so that she can explain to him how to do things right and what is going on. That money could have been used to pay off my vehicle, or to send me to the Dr. to get some nerve pills, because they get on my nerves! I am now going to think about what I would say if it were me, (which of course it is) and what my advice would be to me. (kinda funny) LOL! My husband said for me not to worry about the money because he makes enough to take care of all of us. (get real)! I dont know what planet he is on. He knows he is going to have to take care of this situation with his dad or I am leaving him. I am tired of being treated like I am nothing and dont exist. Hell NO, they cant keep our money! I think I am going to admit myself to an insane asylum. They are driving me crazy! I am going to keep my chin up and also I am going to keep my nose up at my mil since she does it to me. Now I am going to give myself some advice. LOL! Wish me luck!
 
July 28, 2005, 1:02 pm CDT

Letting Go

Quote From: dmetrimom

The whole situation happened about a year ago. My husband and I went through a really bad time and almost split up. He has a really bad temper and things got a little bad for a really short time before I stood up and took action. We worked on getting things together and we are now doing great. We just had another baby together and we thought that the past was behind us. My mother-in-law stayed with us for a couple of weeks after our daughter was born. A situation happened that made my mother-in-law think that I was encouraging fear in my son against his dad. This situation was something that she didn't know the whole story. She also accused me of isolating my husband. I got really upset, not only from these accusations, but since I was still pumped up with a bunch of hormones after having my daughter. My mother-in-law got upset with me and is now blaming me for everything. My husband is on my side and is going to be by my side. He thinks she is blowing things up and she needs to settle down and let us live our lives. What happened before was between us and we both got through it.  My husband, in the mean time, is also standing up to her and telling her how he feels (which she blames on me as well)

 

Other family that has known her for years, has told me that this whole situation has nothing to do with me. I am just the closest thing that she could blame. That she is just upset with loosing control over her son.

 

But my problem is....how do I get over this anger and hurt that she has caused me? I get so upset when I just hear her name!! I have so many emotions running through me...anger, frustrated, hurt, sadness. How do I deal with this so that I could be around her again. So I could look at her and just smile without ripping her into pieces? How can I just put this behind me and say "let her think whatever about me. My husband is standing next to me. Why do I need you love and kindness?"

 

Help!!!

 

Mammagoddess

 

If your M-i-l doesn't know the whole story, how about enlightening her?

 

I would also suggest that you stop giving yout M-i-l so much "power" over you.  I think you are exactly right whan you say that you DO NOT need her love or kindness -- it would be nice -- but you don't HAVE to have it.  The same goes for her judgment.  You DO NOT need her to judge you -- in fact, she is uninformed AND she simply has NO RIGHT to do that.  No one does.

 

You also don't need her blame.

 

I suggest that you practice setting boundaries and letting go... there is nothing you can do about her or her behavior.  But you can tell her to "butt out".

 

If you still have anger and hurt, you have unfinished business with her -- perhaps you should write her a letter and get it all out in the open.

 

Good luck.

 

Q

 
July 28, 2005, 1:21 pm CDT

Agree w/ jen09...

Quote From: arwen177

My Mil thinks that it's ok to serve alcohol at my son's 1st birthday party and I don't. When she asked me why I didn't think it was ok, I told her that it was because it was my son's party. She rolled her eyes and scoffed! I was so mad!  My husband and I also planned on serving only hamburgers & hotdogs at the party, and MIL thinks that we need to have pork chops as well! She thinks that the "adults" will want "something else." and that "hjamburgers & hotdogs are fine for the kids" Who does she think she is?? When did it become her party anyways? What I'm wondering is if I should put my foot down on this and tell her that there is not to be any alcohol served and that all we are cooking is hamburgers & hotdogs and thats it or should I just let it go?

This isn't your M-i-L's party.  It's YOUR party for YOUR son.

 

Ban the alcohol if you want to!  Don't serve ANYTHING you don't want to!

 

If you want to explain why, that's fine or if you choose not to, that's fine too.

 

She can scoff and roll her judgmental eyes all she wants, but it doesn't change the fact that it's YOUR house, YOUR son, and YOUR party.

 

If it bothers you, don't let it go. 

 

If it's worth it, try and meet her in the middle somewhere. 

 

Q

 
July 28, 2005, 8:28 pm CDT

Don't Let it Go

Quote From: arwen177

My Mil thinks that it's ok to serve alcohol at my son's 1st birthday party and I don't. When she asked me why I didn't think it was ok, I told her that it was because it was my son's party. She rolled her eyes and scoffed! I was so mad!  My husband and I also planned on serving only hamburgers & hotdogs at the party, and MIL thinks that we need to have pork chops as well! She thinks that the "adults" will want "something else." and that "hjamburgers & hotdogs are fine for the kids" Who does she think she is?? When did it become her party anyways? What I'm wondering is if I should put my foot down on this and tell her that there is not to be any alcohol served and that all we are cooking is hamburgers & hotdogs and thats it or should I just let it go?

I agree with other posters who tell you that it's your party not MIL's.  However, it might be best if you handle it carefully, otherwise your child's Grandma may not even come to the party.  I am not kidding, some of these control freaks will go to any lengths to get their own way.

 

You don't want to start some major family rift over some food and drinks at a party.  What I would do is just sort of smile and say "That's a good idea," and then do exactly what you want anyway.  If MIL questions you about it the day of, just say "Oh, yea, we were supposed to get some pork chops, weren't we?"  Or you could say that one of your son's friends at the party is Jewish and can't eat pork, so who can really argue with that one??  If she asks about alcohol, just tell her there was a small budget problem or something.  Surely even she can understand that one coming from a young couple like yourselves with a new family?

 

After you handle things this way on one or two more occasions, MIL may just take the hint and figure out that her so-called "suggestions" are not wanted.

 

If you wanted to be really cheeky, you could always make the burgers and dogs for everyone else at the party, but to your MIL serve one perfectly grilled pork chop and a glass of wine.  Just do this when she is in the kitchen and no one else notices.  She will get the idea pretty damn quick!  A wicked idea that would have Miss Manners scolding, perhaps, but honestly these folks can be just like so many overgrown kids!  It is infuriating!

 

Whatever you decide to do, just don't let this difficult woman spoil your memory of your boy's very first birthday.  It is so special.  I know what this is like, because my daughter's baptism day turned into a nightmare from hell because of my Monster In Law and to this day, I can't think about it without being upset.  Nothing is worth that.

 

Good luck,

SB

 
July 28, 2005, 8:34 pm CDT

Rat FIL out to the IRS...

Quote From: jb7ctx

I just had to vent. I am so tired of this crap! I dont know why my husband has a hard time standing up to his father about this. He dont mind standing up to me and telling me NO, or even arguing with me. For the last 6 years we have been screwed out of over 10,000.00 because of his dad. This year, over 3,000.00. My husbands own brother told him that he is getting screwed over by his dad and that is why he wont work for him. He moved to another state to get away from them so they cant control his life. I am taking my husband to another tax accountant so that she can explain to him how to do things right and what is going on. That money could have been used to pay off my vehicle, or to send me to the Dr. to get some nerve pills, because they get on my nerves! I am now going to think about what I would say if it were me, (which of course it is) and what my advice would be to me. (kinda funny) LOL! My husband said for me not to worry about the money because he makes enough to take care of all of us. (get real)! I dont know what planet he is on. He knows he is going to have to take care of this situation with his dad or I am leaving him. I am tired of being treated like I am nothing and dont exist. Hell NO, they cant keep our money! I think I am going to admit myself to an insane asylum. They are driving me crazy! I am going to keep my chin up and also I am going to keep my nose up at my mil since she does it to me. Now I am going to give myself some advice. LOL! Wish me luck!

Need I say more?  The man is totally screwing you guys, plain and simple.  If your husband refuses to take matters into his own hands, take them into yours.

 

Then do yourself a favour and cut contact with them just like the brother did.  With family members like them, who needs enemies?

 

Good luck,

Sincerely,

SB

 

 
July 29, 2005, 6:57 am CDT

This is YOUR Party!

Quote From: qqqhhh

This isn't your M-i-L's party.  It's YOUR party for YOUR son.

 

Ban the alcohol if you want to!  Don't serve ANYTHING you don't want to!

 

If you want to explain why, that's fine or if you choose not to, that's fine too.

 

She can scoff and roll her judgmental eyes all she wants, but it doesn't change the fact that it's YOUR house, YOUR son, and YOUR party.

 

If it bothers you, don't let it go. 

 

If it's worth it, try and meet her in the middle somewhere. 

 

Q

I agree with grrrhh! I wanted to add that If you and your husband don't set up boundaries with  your MIL she will try to control every other party or gathering you have.  I have had the same problem with my inlaws and are still having problems after 25 years! Your inlaws are in it for the long haul! When your husband agrees with you and voices so it, will help to reinforce your boundaries.
 
July 29, 2005, 8:36 am CDT

Hi jb7ctx

Quote From: jb7ctx

My husband has worked with his father in his fathers bussiness ever since he was a teen. He is now in his 30's. We have children. We have been married for almost 7 years now and for the last 6 years, we have never received a tax refund. My husbands gross pay is 600.00/week. His father holds out 100.00/week for child support that my husband owes and 100.00/week for taxes. His bring home pay is 400.00/week. His father claims him as a partner in his bussiness (even though he really isnt). He does this for tax purposes only. His father holds these taxes out of my husbands check but we never get a refund. The tax accountant said that my husbands refund is being rolled over to pay his social security that he owes. (now keep in mind his father holds this money out of my husbands check). So therefore we are not entitled to a refund, we have to pay! my husband told his father last year that he had better send in his taxes so we can get a refund for this year. But guess what? We have to pay again! (actually, we just dont get a refund). Shouldnt his father have to pay us our refund himself since he held the money out of his check? My husband is not a partner with his dad in his dads bussiness. My husband has never received any profits of the money made. His dad does this for his own tax purposes! I feel we are being cheated out of our refund by his father. This year my husband is doing his own bussiness and he has his own employees that he has to pay. He is no longer working for his dad. BUT...his dad is planning on claiming my husband again NEXT year as his partner. He cant do this! My husband is scared to say anything to his dad for some reason. But I am tired of it. We are entitled to unearned income due to the kids, but dont get it because of his father claiming my husband as his partner when he really isnt! How can I get my husband to "open" his eyes as to what is going on, before I decide to leave him because of it? His parents dont have anything to do with us.  They are such control freaks over my husband. They use my husband to their own gain. How can I stop this?

 

Harobe, glad to see you back! The inlaws came down about 3 weeks ago but did not get out of the truck. They had to get something from my husband. Our kids were walking right in front of the truck and my mil said hey to my son but my son just looked at her and kept on walking. Our daughter was right next to my son and she didnt even say anything to her. I was outside too and the kids were walking to me but mil acted as though she didnt see me, she just kept her head down. It has been 10 months since they spoke to me or even seen the kids. I am tired of them. I am tired and angry especially about the income tax refund! These people dont care about us.

I understand you being tired of "them" and the relentless frustration... and how sad for the kids.  Why do you suppose your son didn't reply when his grandmother spoke to him?  It still seems you're the only hope of ending this battle.

 

Tax issues are complicated...  the accountant can explain and your tax forms will clarify the money issue.  But from my understanding -    Hubby's income is his profit (as FIL's profit is his income).  They each pay fed/state, SS, etc. and file as individuals.  It's not tax fraud and FIL doesn't benefit financially, nor does it put hubby at a financial disadvantage for the partnership to continue.  Hubby can have a separate business even though the partnership exists.... one has nothing to do with the other.  The question is, did FIL send in the withholdings?  Seems he did since you indicated the accountant said it paid for the SS hubby owed.  I suggest you talk with the accountant again so you have a full understanding of what's going on.  Take care.  :)    

 
July 29, 2005, 9:01 am CDT

Thanks for the advice

Quote From: shawbehan

I agree with other posters who tell you that it's your party not MIL's.  However, it might be best if you handle it carefully, otherwise your child's Grandma may not even come to the party.  I am not kidding, some of these control freaks will go to any lengths to get their own way.

 

You don't want to start some major family rift over some food and drinks at a party.  What I would do is just sort of smile and say "That's a good idea," and then do exactly what you want anyway.  If MIL questions you about it the day of, just say "Oh, yea, we were supposed to get some pork chops, weren't we?"  Or you could say that one of your son's friends at the party is Jewish and can't eat pork, so who can really argue with that one??  If she asks about alcohol, just tell her there was a small budget problem or something.  Surely even she can understand that one coming from a young couple like yourselves with a new family?

 

After you handle things this way on one or two more occasions, MIL may just take the hint and figure out that her so-called "suggestions" are not wanted.

 

If you wanted to be really cheeky, you could always make the burgers and dogs for everyone else at the party, but to your MIL serve one perfectly grilled pork chop and a glass of wine.  Just do this when she is in the kitchen and no one else notices.  She will get the idea pretty damn quick!  A wicked idea that would have Miss Manners scolding, perhaps, but honestly these folks can be just like so many overgrown kids!  It is infuriating!

 

Whatever you decide to do, just don't let this difficult woman spoil your memory of your boy's very first birthday.  It is so special.  I know what this is like, because my daughter's baptism day turned into a nightmare from hell because of my Monster In Law and to this day, I can't think about it without being upset.  Nothing is worth that.

 

Good luck,

SB

 Thanks for the advice. I forgot to mention in my last post that we are having the party at my MIL's house. So eventhough I really don't want the alcohol (she does because she's Portugese, and it's "normal" for them to have alcohol at everything) I almost feel that I have to allow it because it's her house.  True, that does make me angry, because I am just really against the alcohol. If I could change the location of the party now, I would. (his birthday is this sunday the 31) I feel that I should have had the party somewhere else just so that there wouldn't be any alcohol, but too late now. So I guess what I'm getting at is, should I just allow it because it's her house or what?
 
July 29, 2005, 12:02 pm CDT

That Does Complicate Things...

Quote From: arwen177

 Thanks for the advice. I forgot to mention in my last post that we are having the party at my MIL's house. So eventhough I really don't want the alcohol (she does because she's Portugese, and it's "normal" for them to have alcohol at everything) I almost feel that I have to allow it because it's her house.  True, that does make me angry, because I am just really against the alcohol. If I could change the location of the party now, I would. (his birthday is this sunday the 31) I feel that I should have had the party somewhere else just so that there wouldn't be any alcohol, but too late now. So I guess what I'm getting at is, should I just allow it because it's her house or what?

Well, since it's at MIL's home it will be harder to have control over whether the liquor comes out or not.  Let's just hope that most of those attending have more prudence than to "tie one on" at a child's birthday party.

 

It kinda puts a different spin on the food issue, too, because if MIL wants extra food and she is willing to supply it, IMHO, let her knock herself out.  If she winds up eating leftovers for two weeks, there is no one else to blame, right?

 

For future celebrations, why not have it at your home or a neutral location like an indoor playground so you are not subject to MIL's control?  The third party location is the best because you can blame it on not wanting a bunch of kids tearing apart your house or wanting to avoid a huge clean up afterwards and hopefully not offend anyone, MIL included.

 

You mention that your inlaws are Portugese and this adds another dimension because different cultures have different customs and I'm sure you don't want to offend someone by rejecting that culture.  However, I was once at a wedding where one partner was Armenian and the other was Irish, but only the Armenian culture was represented at the wedding and I felt that was a shame, so I hope MIL recognizes/appreciates what customs/expectations you bring to the table from your own cultural orgins too.

 

But the bottom line is, this is your child's first birthday and it's coming up on Sunday.  I hope you can make peace with all this that's going on so you can focus on your little one and enjoy this milestone in his life.  Take lots of pictures and if MIL does stuff- even deliberately- to tick you off, try to look the other way and just enjoy the day.  I think that some of these controllers actually get off on causing problems and trying to make others squirm, so don't give her that satisfaction.  Often times members of families who have controlling members like this have long ago learned to shrug off or even ignore their annoying behaviours. 

 

Next year just make sure you plan for another venue.

 

Good luck Sunday.  Let us know how it went, okay?

 

Sincerely,

 

SB

 
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