View Full Version : Mother in law-enough said!
So I need some advice.
Holidays are fast approaching and I can never enjoy them because I am so stressed out. So here's the backround. Every year my husband's family has about 5 X-mases, which is really just to many in itself, but besides the having to travel so much, my mother in law always insists that we all ride together on these 2-3hour long car drives, which make me very uncomfortable. I've tried every approach and it never seems to work. I've told her that I just feel really uncomfortable riding with people, but she always says that she understands my condition and if I need to stop we'll stop. But then when I do need to stop she starts in with the whole "but you just went" bit, and it's like, 'Did I not just explain this to you?' It's so frustrating. Last year I finally got to ride with just my husband and she acted like I had hurt her feelings. There's just no winning here. Two years ago she got me so stressed out after one of these family car rides that I was in a flare for 6mos. Seriously I couldn't hardly leave the house and was in sooo much pain. It set me back so far. So this year she's already called and the first words out of her mouth "We'll all just ride together" and I immediately got stressed out.
So I've decided not to deal with her at all this year and I'm still thinking of a way to tell my husband. I cannot be put into a flare this year at any cost because on Jan 6 my husband and I are leaving on a cruise. (It's something I've promised to try for him, and now that I've been feeling better, not great, but better, I'm excited for it too. I hate to flat out say I'm not going to Xmas with his family, but I feel its my only choice. Any advice on how to break this to him would really help! Thanks!
11-06-2006, 12:17 PM
meme, I completely understand how frustrating it can be trying to deal with family & IC. Some people just don't get what we go thru & they never will.
You need to explain to your husband how stressful this is for you & how it effects you, healthwise & then he needs to stand up with you against your mother-in-law. Why can't he be the one that insists that you ride with him?
I'm so sorry you have to deal with this kinda treatment. Especially at the holiday season. Good luck to you!!
11-06-2006, 12:23 PM
Like alot of daughter-in-laws....been there done that. I would tell everyone that I felt more comfortable doing (blank) You really didn't care to discuss it, it wasn't to hurt anyone's feelings, but to make sure that you are as healthy as possible that that you can enjoy the holidays. PERIOD. Don't worry about the whispers, etc. The only winning is that you take care of yourself. As you know stress is a huge cause of flares.
I went on vacation one time with my family. I was in a flare and trying to be as accommadating as possible, I ended up being in such a flare that I spent the entire vacation in bed. My family was staying in a huge beachfront home near Gulf Shores. The house was a mansion!! I had beautiful windows looking right out to the water and watched my entire family, in-laws, neices, nephews, sons, etc... having the best time, but due to my flare, I barely got up to eat. What I heard from my MIL was that I was sick when I wanted to be...Yeah...I am going to be at a beachhouse and see if I get attention!!! All I wanted to do was go home!!! After that episode, even though it has caused a permanant rift between me and my MIL, I let everyone (nicely) know my bondaries.
I go through the same story every year. My in-laws are here in town, and there is no changing the plans on when Christmas is going to be celebrated on my husband's side of the family. I fell into that pattern for over 20 years and decided about 3 years ago that I was going to go have Christmas with my mom. She used to be in town as well and she was very easy to plan around. She didn't care when she saw us as long as she saw us. You would have thought that I cancelled Christmas when I announced that I was going to my moms house about 3 hours away for Christmas. I felt guilty about it at first, but then quickly got over it. Last year it was actually my MIL's turn for us to celebrate Christmas with her on Christmas Eve, but it was possibly my brother's last Christmas. He had lung and brain cancer, and of course it ended up being his last Christmas. We went to my moms and if I would have heard one word, I was going to blow. Now my problem is do I go to my mom's again this year?? After all it's her turn. I am my mom's only child still alive and I want to be with her.
My son is getting married next May. I have already explained to my future DIL that we will plan all holidays around their plans. Christmas can be celebrated anytime. She has family and I in no way want to her ever worry about stepping on my toes.
I am very happy for you about your cruise. We will all be sending your warm thoughts for you to enjoy every minute planning and enjoying your cruise!!!!
11-06-2006, 04:00 PM
One thing you might do is to talk with your husband --- I agree that he is the one who should insist that you ride with him --- and he really should stand beside you in dealing with his mother. Our family is huge so we can never all go in one car so we sometimes caravan --- and we have some two-way pagers so we can talk car to car --- it's really fun that way.
11-07-2006, 05:50 AM
Even before IC I was not comfortable with the "group ride", lol. What if I wanted to stop for whatever reason - say I saw a pretty flower on the side of the road and wanted a closer look, lmao, I could stop if I wanted and not have to worry about inconveniencing anyone. Then IC came along and I felt the same way - not into group rides, period. I love Donna's walkie-talkie thing - that IS fun, once I got over my shyness of talking on the radio (yeah, silly I know,lol) you could'nt get me off of it!!! LOL
And yep, I too am for the your hubby needs to be the one to set the standard and talk to your MIL about it. Explain as the rest said - it's not meant to disrespect anyone, or hurt feelings etc. It's personal preference. Maybe he could say he wants to travel just the 2 of you because it's nice quiet quality time with his wife before the hustle and bustle of family and friends at a gathering, since now a days you don't get to spend much one-on-one time etc etc etc.
Just stand your ground and do NOT let the stress get to you - plug your ears and hum if you have to! ;) You have a cruise coming up and you'd like to be as tip-top as you can be for that! And besides that, it's plain not worth it - not worth compromising YOUR health over someone elses misplaced feelings/ideas etc. Do your thing and don't look back!!!!
Hey Tracey, I give you huge applause for the approach you are taking with the DIL-to-be, my MIL is just like that and it's wonderful, so much less stress etc, makes visits a joy and way too short ;) If I were you, I'd go to my mom's it's going to be the first Christmas without your brother, right? I think you should be there until the sting is a bit worn off, next year you can do the inlaw thing, but if it were me - I'd want to be with my mom!!! Or, what about having your mom with you? Change of scenery might be good for her, ya know? Then tell your MIL if she wants to swing by your place for an hour or two, she's more than welcome!!! LMAO!!!!! :) :)
Good luck girls and stick to your guns!! You guys deserve to have holidays that make YOU happy as well, take control - it is your holiday too after all!! Who says someone else has to plan it and hijack it?? You are adults and want to celebrate the holiday YOUR way, and too bad for everyone else!!!!
11-07-2006, 06:15 AM
Thanks for your positive remarks about your mother-in-law, Tracey. As a MIL to four guys and two girls, I'm hoping they are saying the same thing about me!
Thank you all for the advice. I've really already decided that I'm going to do what's best for ME. Just trying to figure out a way to tell my husband that he needs to band together with me. It's hard though, this woman knows how to put the guilt trip on. I can handle it, I guess if worse comes to worse I'll just lay a thicker trip on than hers, lol! Thanks again!
11-07-2006, 10:32 AM
My husband had to develop thick skin in my defense. That is probably what I was more upset about than anything. I cannot ever see myself letting anything get between my son and his spouse or my MIL and her son. Those are such important relationships. My MIL only has boys and I hope that I can someday get past all of these hard feelings and do the right thing. I see my in-laws quite often and pray hard before every meeting that I will say the right thing or not take things the wrong way. That is also easy for me to do when I don't feel well. My hubby's brother's wife and I use each other as a vent, so that helps with not involving our hubbys with our day to day blow offs.
My husband's sister understands, she vents alot, but I try not to say much because it is her mother. My husband understands the way she works too, most of the time she drives him nuts with her antics, but they never make a big deal about it because they are family. I don't want to cause a rift, which is why I had my BAD flare a couple years ago trying to deal with it on my own. My MIL really is great for the most part, we get along on almost everything but this whole travel together thing. Its not like we aren't on speaking terms, and I would never even think of ever raising my voice to her or anything like that. I just wish that there was some way that I could convey to her that the whole 'want to ride by myself' thing is strictly a personal thing on my behalf. She's one of those people that has been sick before too though, but she deals with it so much differently than I do. She's very loud about it and verrrry detailed sometimes, and I am much more reserved. I don't like to explain myself and my symptoms over and over again to people who I know won't understand. I just want to feel normal! Know what I mean? Sounds like you'll be a great MIL! You have the experience of what not to be. Want to trade? LOL.
11-07-2006, 12:00 PM
I can only say from experience, that crossing controlling people is very hard no matter what the explaination or how you present it. People keep telling me, even on this site, that you are not going to be able to explain IC in a way that people can truly get it. My best advice is to be sweet and hold your hubby's hand and say it.
We have made plenty of trips in the family caravan of 3 or more cars and used the walkie talkies. If my husband and I fall behind, we can always use our cell phone to find out if everyone is stopping to eat or whatever. My MIL is usually very nervous that we have become lost, but we always seem to make it where we are supposed to!
It has been my prayer since my sons were born that God would send them the perfect mate and that I would love and respect them in everyway! My mom is a great MIL (dingy, but great LOL!!!). I plan on being just like her. Even the dingy part.. My sons will get a kick out of me turning into my mom!!! What great stories they can share with people!!!!
11-08-2006, 09:01 AM
I honestly tell my MIL all the time how great she is, there are times when things/plans clash - but we manage to work it out. Even when my hubby wants to take the easy way out and have ME tell her we can't be here or there, lol, I stand my ground and tell him it's his job. I think my biggest gripe is that sometime she tries to be TOO flexible, lol - and not make anyone mad/inconvenienced etc - to the point of taking an hour and half to decide where we are going for dinner when they are in town once a month for FIL's meeting here, lol.
Donna - I am sure your kids-in-law LOVE you to death!! You have to be a great mom in law - the way you handle things around here when it gets a bit "sore" amongst all the "siblings" proves that!!! :) :) :)
Leah, I am glad to hear you are sticking up for your health and well-being!!! And yep, make hubby stand up and be tough, but lovable, lol. It has worked well for us when they all want to ride together, when hubby just says he wants to spend some time with his wife he hardly gets to see ;) That manages to not hurt any feelings! I suppose it's because he's not blaming or using anything as an excuse, does that make sense?? LOL??
So I told my husband last night that I was not going to get worked up over the travel plans this year because I have no intention of riding with anyone no matter what they say. He was a little taken back at first, but then I explained to him that I just want to feel good for the trip. I've been feeling better lately and want to start to do things more, but when I have a flare it sets me back so badly. Anyway, when we talked about all of the things that I would like to do if I keep feeling good, like going out to CO snowmobiling like he had to do last year without me, he got really excited and I think that he would agree to anything to have me go do more with him. He said that it didn't make a difference to him if we ride by ourselves or if we even go this year, but I still have a feeling that he will have a hard time putting his mother off. Either way I told him that I wasn't going to let the stress get to me, and I'm going to stick to my guns on that. Stress Free this holiday!!!!!! Thanks for all of the great advice!
11-08-2006, 12:13 PM
Good for you, meme!!! I hope it all works out & you have a wonderful holiday season!!
11-09-2006, 02:44 AM
I am soooooooooooo happy to hear you had "the talk" - you know, sometimes that's half the battle really, finding the courage to tell your hubby something that can be touchy - since it's about his mom etc. Now you know he's on your side (and nice touch talking about how you don't want to be set back so you can do things - that's BRILLIANT!!! Way to go!), things have to be a bit better!!!!!
11-10-2006, 04:13 PM
Meme, this will not get solve unless your husband stands up for you. I am not saying that he needs to be mean to his mother but his mother needs to know that his son will stand up for his wife.
People might say they understand but they don't. I can't blame you for wanting to ride with your husband. If they get mad over it or try to put a guilt trip on you, its their problem, not yours. :tsk:
I know you just want to please everybody, but sometimes we just can't. If we continue ignoring our needs in order to satisfy everyone else, we will never be happy. It's ok, Meme. Do only what you feel you are able to do? If they were in your shoe, they would do the same thing.
Hugs, Trishann :hi:
11-13-2006, 08:45 AM
My husband wants to escape for Thanksgiving. We might go visit my Mom, Dad, and my step-daughter in Canada. Yeah no mother in law!!! She never understands that I can't eat any of the food that's all sauced up so I feel frustrated by it all. I'm staying home this year if I don't go away!!!
11-14-2006, 05:59 AM
Looks like I am staying home for Thanksgiving...lol Hubby talked to MIL last night, and they want to go to this restaurant that's about 2.5 - 3 hrs away and his thought is if they are going to drive there, why not just come up here instead, blah blah blah, but sounds like they are going there. And we are staying home, lol.
11-14-2006, 02:42 PM
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