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Emotionally Exhausted.

Community Member

Hi Everyone,

Thank-you for having me here. I hope that I can gain some insight on how to emotionally protect myself from this. First of all, it's one of those MIL treads...so if this isn't relevant or disinterests you, I'm warning you now.

It's been a long and windy road. At first my MIL appeared to be the most kind, caring, compassionate, generous person who would go above and beyond for her family and friends with wanting nothing in return. My husband and I have been married for 8 months but her behaviour has dramatically accelerated since. Though I feel like there were always red flags along the way. E.g. When my husband and I met with our celebrant, my MIL attended our intimate meeting and sat on the same side as my husband and proceeded to give him a very long hug after we had finished as though it was her wedding. I noticed she would hug my husband for a long time in front of me. It never bothered me in the beginning, I respected the relationship they had.

Fast forward, the month before our wedding my MIL rung up my husband about a potential house for sale 50 m down the road from her house. We live 4 hours away. I had my reservations but my husband insisted we do a walk through so we did. We decided it was not meant to be as the loan fell through and we weren't even looking...we were about to get married and had that to focus on. However, in that same week, MIL rang up my husband and said how great of a deal it was and that she had took out some of her super to help contribute a the remaining amount we couldn't get a lone for. I still had my reservations about the loan from MIL and suggested that my husband and I wait until we could afford something. She wouldn't let up and ended up convincing us that it was a no strings attached loan - but boy was I wrong! She completely took over the house. She painted it the colour she wanted, did the floors the way she wanted, re-done the kitchen in the way she wanted (at our expense) and told everyone she was the owner and that she had loaned us money for it. She would often call my husband up about it but not me. When I spoke to her about it and leaving things for us to decide as a couple, she was "respectful" and I thought she had listened. However, two days later she had done something else without our consent. I confronted her again and she said "I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway, so there's nothing you can do about it".

That was one instance and I have ran out of characters for the rest. 😕

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Oh geez, I don’t envy you, that sounds like a total nightmare!! You’re in a tricky position. In reality, you would like her to back off and respect your boundaries, which doesn’t sound so hard. However, the relationship between an overbearing mother-in-law and her son can be a difficult one to navigate. I am imagining that she has been like this for most of her life, and likely all of her sons life. I She has gotten used to the control. I imagine it can be fairly easy to do for some mothers if not careful. When they’re little, you control everything they do, what they eat, when they eat, when they sleep. In a healthy situation, you relinquish that control and let them do these things themselves so as not to stunt your child’s growth. However, they don’t. How does your husband feel about the situation? In my experience, people tend to react in one of two ways, they may resent the person controlling them and rail against it, or they conform and lose the ability to make decisions without their mother’s approval. Ideally, your husband should be the one to sit her down and tell her to back off. However, if you don’t have that support then you’re going to have to try and hold firm on your boundaries. Is she technically the owner of the house or are you? If it’s you, I’d consider changing the locks! I also wouldn’t be shelling out any more money so that she can decorate to her taste! I think you need to be really firm with her or she’ll run wild

Community Member

Hi Ally

I think most mothers have a little trouble loosing a son to another woman. Unfortunately, from what you have shared, your MIL is not acting like most mothers.

Would I be correct in assuming that your husband an only-child or that your MIL lives by herself? If yes, then that may go someway to explain her behavior.

I can see your dilemma, three people in one marriage is just one too many. Does your husband see the problem, or is he blissfully unaware of what is happening?

If possible, you and your husband need to set some boundaries. You cannot do it by yourself.