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My mom does not like my husband or his family. What should I do?

My mom doesn't like my husband. She liked him at first, but then an incident happened over a year ago when my husband was helping her move. I might add that most of the drama from that event was caused by her and yet she still blames my husband to this day. It doesn't help that a couple days after that happened, she somehow found out we had eloped even though we were planning a surprise way to tell her and my family the following week! She was pissed I hadn't included her, and by that point she thought of my husband as the biggest a-hole for secretly stealing me away and for the over-exaggerated events she recalled from moving day. Even a year and a half after all of that happened, she continues to bring up the moving event and how my husband 'tricked' me into marrying him along with other things she now doesn't like about him. The worst part is that she doesn't express her feelings directly to me. Instead she pretends that everything is fine and goes behind my back talking about my husband to other family members. When she visits, things even get said to my husband when I am out and then with me she acts like everything is great. So of course I find out how she really feels later. To make things worse, when she came to visit right before I went into labor with my son, she caused problems with my husband's family. She felt that my mother-in-law and my husband's aunt were trying to control my life, which is absolutely not the case at all. They may be opinionated (with good intentions), but they are very supportive of my husband's and my choices. But again, instead of expressing how she felt directly to them or me, my mom confided in my husband's other aunt, with whom she had connected while she was in town. That aunt told her sisters, so of course my MIL and I found out! This caused major tension and stress right before I was about to give birth, and it really puts a damper on the happy memories surrounding my son's birth. She still does not think she needs to apologize for her behind-the-back remarks about my MIL and her sister. They would be very forgiving if she would just apologize. So now when she comes to visit, things are just awkward and we can't have the two families together. What really hurts is that my mom and I used to be so close and able to tell each other everything, but now things are just awkward. I can't even mention my husband when I talk to her on the phone as she just ignores anything I say pertaining to him. She also does indirect, subtle, childish things to let me know how she's feeling, like go out of her way to do nice things for her nieces while blatantly ignoring me, pointing out how my cousin's fiance was nice enough to ask her father for her hand in marriage and how that's a sign of a true man, or saying at least my brother will be smart enough to marry a great woman. I know my mom is coming from a wounded place; not only does she have a chronic illness that is difficult to deal with, but also she feels betrayed that I didn't include her in my decision to get married. I assure you part of the reason I didn't include her was because I knew she'd blow up at some point about the man who was stealing me away (she did this with all my previous boyfriends). I love my mom, and I'm not one to hold these things against her. I'm just confused and not sure how to proceed from here to make things better. Perhaps I'm an enabler, but I don't like to introduce conflict especially because she's so wounded already from her illness, and she doesn't take well to any form of criticism, even if it is constructive because she takes on a victim mentality. I'm only posting to ask for some advice. I really want to improve our relationship, but I don't want her to be so disrespectful to my husband and his family. I miss having peaceful and fun family gatherings!

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 3:26 PM on Sep. 7, 2013 in Relationships

Answers (13)
  • I didn't read your entire post, but you might want to have a family meeting and talk things over. Stay calm and have yourself prepared with the main points you want to make. Have your husband and mother there. Make it clear you have a new family now, you want her to be part of your lives (if that is true), and the past is the past. Separate her illness and it's issues from the other issues. You are letting your feelings about her illness overshadow fairness. GL
    silverthreads

    Answer by silverthreads at 3:33 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

  • Third party counseling. I have to warn you, you may never have a peaceful family gathering till she passes, but the counseling is your best bet for it. Sit down with a clergy person or therapist.

    Muy dad didn't get along with my husband. And I'm afraid we never did have a peaceful family gathering till Dad passed away.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:34 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

  • I have always believed in being honest with family. You probably will just have to be up font with her about how you feel..
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 4:04 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

  • Maybe I'm cynical, but my experience has taught me that family peace is a hopeless goal. All you'll do if you try for it is give yourself ulcers or high blood pressure or some other stress-induced health problem. Tell your mom tough toenails, you're all grown up and free to live your own life as you see fit, and she can either be a positive part of that or not be a part of it at all.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 4:34 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

  • You didn't say what it was your husband did while helping your mother move.
    She liked him before the "incident", makes me wonder what happened?
    KTElite

    Answer by KTElite at 4:43 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

  • Thank you all for your advice!
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:44 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

  • KTElite:
    It was a series of things that made it a terrible ordeal. For one, my husband had to drive over 2 hours to get to my mom's house, and he wasn't able to get there until the evening because of work. So they started late, and my husband was already stressed at the time over deadlines for the new business he was trying to start. He's normally very patient, but some of the things she did pushed his limits. For example, she refused to call my dad (who was out of town - she was afraid to bother him so late at night) to ask him where the tow hitch was so they could hook up the trailer and get going, and she didn't tell DH just how much he would be moving (it was a lot more than she led on). There were many many other things like that, but I'm sure they both had a part in causing the problem. The point is my husband apologized and let it go shortly after. I had to convince my mom to apologize, and she still wont let it go.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:10 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

  • My mom does not like my husband or his family. What should I do?


    I think at this point I would sit down and tell her that if she cannot contain her resentment or anger toward him and stop talking about him behind his back then she is not welcome in your home.  I would include that this isn't what you want to do, but that you will not stand for family members disrespecting him like that.  Whatever happened with the move is over and done.  If she wants to hold a grudge, then she can do it while sitting at home alone.  

    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 5:20 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

  • I agree with Quinn on this one.
    Your mom should be thankful you have a good husband who provides for you!
    KTElite

    Answer by KTElite at 5:38 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

  • I have problems like that with my mother-in-law
    (Monster-in-law).She was controlling my marriage.
    It to, started because my husband and I eloped.
    I put up with her crap until after my son was born.
    Then told her exactly how I felt. Of course she got
    mad and ignored me for 2 years. (But I didn't mind)
    And now, she doesn't try to put her two cents in my marriage.
    Mycutelittleboy

    Answer by Mycutelittleboy at 6:29 PM on Sep. 7, 2013

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