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How can I make my relationship with my MIL better?

She lost her DH 5 yrs. ago and wants our son to be the new "love of her life." This includes constantly calling us with requests to come over. If we say we're busy, she asks why and trys to rearange OUR schedule to work with HERS. She says we need to make more time for her but she lives 10 minutes away and we already have weekly dinners. I try to be compasionate because she is lonely- but I also feel that this shouldn't always be our responsibilty. She is a recovering alcoholic who was drunk for 15 yrs of my DH's adolesent life. She has never apologized to him for what she put him through, and believes that she has been a perfect mother. I see his (very few) character faults as a direct result of her illness and its affect on him and that makes me angry. She can be very needy and manipulative, but generous too(with the caveat that gifts comes with strings attached). Any suggestions on how to come to terms with all of this and make my relationship wit her better?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:34 PM on Jul. 17, 2008 in Relationships

Answers (8)
  • I wish that I knew, but maybe your answer lies more with your husband. I would talk with him about how you feel.Relationships with mothers can be very difficult. Your mom is your mom no matter how bad she may be. Sorry that I was not able to be of any help. I do feel for you. Good luck!

    Answer by kimmie10575 at 2:42 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • A good relationship with a MIL is a tough thing to come by. Do you feel comfortable having her watch your son? If so maybe you could have her keep him for a weekend once a month or something like that so she's getting to spend more time with him, but letting you and your husband have MIL/mom free time. It sounds like you're really trying, all you need to do is be patient and understanding like you have been and hope she sees that.

    Answer by lilmissJ at 2:45 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • I had the same sort of problem with my MIL. I mean the part about seeing the character flaws that were ingrained in him by his mothers negative behavior. First thing you need to do is forgive her. Even if she doesn't ask for it. This takes that burden off of you. Next you have to verbalize the boundries with her. Then stand your ground. Call her on it when she tries to manipulate a situation. Help her find some friends. Suggest a local church or local senior center for her to visit. Maybe she can make some friends and won't feel the need to depend on you so much.

    Answer by HadassasMommy at 2:56 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • You just have to set boundries. If you tell her no comming over for 5 mights straight I'm sure she will get the hint. Or of she wants to be around you guys just let her tag along when you go places occasionaly. Just try to be nice to her and understand what she is going through. Show you care and maybe you guys can develop an open honest realtionship like I have with my mil...which we didnt have the first 5 years of my marriage. Now we talk open and honestly with each other. If I dont want her comming along I say I would rather it be just a fmaily activity. And if she doesnt want to babysit for us she says I really just dont feel like babysitting. Good Luck I know it is very hard but you have to make it work for everyone to be happy

    Answer by MommyMel03 at 3:35 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • My f-i-l died over 6 years and because my hubby is an only child and she had no money coming in an dher landlord kicke dher out the day we buried him. She gets on my nerves, BIG TIME! I'm sorry that I can't help you any more. When you find out how to have a better relationship with your m-i-l, let me know.

    Answer by gbcouv71 at 9:39 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • Read The Mother-in-Law Dance by Annie Chapman.
    Do you mind if she hangs out at your house while your husband is home? If not, tell her "We can't come by now- but you are welcome to come over."

    Answer by TXdanielly at 11:45 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • if you want to appreciate your mil more, pm gbcouv71. hers lives wiht her.

    Answer by princezzmommie at 2:40 AM on Jul. 19, 2008

  • short answer: drive your car over her!

    Answer by BobaFetsHelmet at 3:56 PM on Sep. 4, 2008

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