Sick of having my mother-in-law living with us

Does your anger need some management? Helpful discussions to get you back in control.

Postby lisag1961 » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:01 pm

My mother-in-law has been living with us for almost four years now. When we were looking at houses to buy she did not want to be included in the plans because she was never going to live with us. So we bought the house we are living in without her in mind. Well, wouldn't you know it? Right after we moved in she decided that was going to move in with us after all. Up until then she had only been with us for relatively short visits so we really had no idea what she was like to live with. Now we know. And my husband feels horrible because he feels like he stuck us with something we can't get out of. There are so many things that make me angry about her that I simply can't list them right now. The main thing is that she believes that she should be the woman of the house and acts like I should just be there to serve her. I dig in my heels and refuse to do anything the way she wants it because it's not her house. We're two generations apart so we have nothing whatsoever in common except that we're both women. I hate venting all of this to my husband all of the time. It's so not fair to him. That's why I'm very happy that I've found this forum. I can't really afford professional help at this juncture. We are living on one income while I try to build a business.
I can say in all honesty that if any woman I know right now told me that she was contemplating allowing her mother-in-law to come and live in her home I'd tell her don't do it and she'd be really sorry if she did. I know she'll never see this because she doesn't have a computer to use and doesn't get on the internet much anyway. Well thanks for letting me spew some venom.
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Postby The Zookeeper » Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:59 pm

Big (((hugs))) to you girl for tolerating having your MIL living under your roof!

Why oh why has she been living with you so long? Like with adult children when they move back home, one must set a time limit for them to leave and find a place of their own. The longer you shelter someone, the more you are enabling their behavior.

Since this IS your husband's mother, it should be his obligation to speak with his mother openly and ask her "when" she entends to move out. To set a time limit, so you and your husband can get on with your own lives. Your place should be "venting" to your husband since he is enabling this living arrangement. If you are not happy with it, your concerns should take top priority with him.

I think the doors of communication need to be opened between you and your husband to stand united as to what you want and have MIL move out and be on her own.
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Postby ml32 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:51 pm

Wow! Four years is a very long time. My MIL lives with us for long periods of time with breaks in between. However, it appears that she is living with us longer and longer each time. Worse yet, my brother in law is living with us also while he studies for an exam in two-three months. I feel like I have no control. I wish I could say something to make it better, but all I can tell you is that your not alone. It takes a lot of self control for me to not get down.

Good luck.
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Postby angrywife » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:07 am

Hi, Lisa, I am about to post an MIL thread here too. But just wanted to say my heart goes out to you, because I have been in the same boat for almost nine years now.
If you ever need someone to talk to, e-mail me at

Since I haven't been able to solve my problems in 8 yrs, I don't really see myself as the right person to advise you. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone...hang in there...
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Postby Merliejo » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:42 pm

Oh how I wish I read your post before we decided to have our MIL move in. I really was hopeing it would be different then the typical MIL/DIL relationship. But it's not. Mine MIL is soo irritating that I can feel her in the room even if I don't see her walk in. With us, she moved in because she lost her job and she needed a place to live until she found a new one. Well, what was suppose to be a couple weeks has turned into 4 months so far. And to be really honest...it has been 4 months of torture. Not to mention that I am pregnant with my 5th child and the stress is crazy!! Anyways, I know you posted for advice. Sounds like we both need it. The only way I found to cope is to ignore her. I know it sounds crazy but I have to pretend that she's not there or her negative, miserable attitude will effect my entire day! Let me know how you've been handling your end!!
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Postby alynn » Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:20 pm

Merliejo,
I'm so desparate, I went to this post as well and found you too! What a coincidence! My story:
- MIL 52, 4th divorce, lost job, need place to stay
-only about "couple months" now has turned into almost a year
- moved her dog in as well, so she has free rent, cable, electricity water, free food, transportation etc:
- all she does is WATCH TV ALL DAY
- Tells me how to raise my kids, goes in our room and cleans when we tell her not to, bosses me around in my own house, yells at me if I even touch or feed her dog
_comments to me such as "you have age spots" or "yeah, you're going through menopause"... I'm only 35!!! (says when DH not around)
- Gives me seething looks when I go downstairs
- has had 5 interviews so far but can't get hired ( the employer prob thinks she's crazy b/c she says the craziest things in general)
- constantly yells @ my 9 y/o when I'm not around
I feel the same way as the girl above- I am never home, constantly taking the kids out so we don't have to deal w/ her and if I'm at home, I stay in my room 12-16 hours at a time- I feel like a prisoner in my own home yet we don't want her out in the streets if we kick her out
any good advice ?
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Postby Adama » Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:38 pm

How about everyone gets their sh** together; heres the way it is; your place not theirs, they act the way you want them to act or they get the door. End of damn story.

Theres no reason anyone has to tolerate anything they don't like in their own homes, talk to your husband or wives and tell them exactly the way a guest in your or 'our' house will act, period, final, thats it.

The second some old bitch yelled at my kid without permission i'd tell the significant other that if it happens again she's out, then i'd tell HER that, and if she did it again, the damn streets.
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Postby Isola Bella » Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:20 am

People generally behave the way they do because those around them (ie. us) let them.

It is true that an ultimatum is often an excellent shock-tactic wake-up call for a person, and all of these MIL's sound like they are coasting because they can?

Maybe the ones who have lost their jobs feel depressed and unmotivated?

Perhaps in each of your families, you could all (determindly, and ignoring any objections) get together and work out a 'moving-on' plan, which involves finding alternative accommodation, a support network, possibly some form of education/employment. And persevere with it(!)

Realistically - it is your home and you have the right to feel comfortable and secure in it. Either give them VERY clear boundaries about what you will and will not expect from them behaviour-wise, or remind them that they have the personal choice to leave. But you must present a united front with your other-half, or obviously it won't work. Work out what you and your beloved both want from the situation, making sure you are both on the same page.


Oh, and you could always be wonderfully manipulative - appeal to them for 'help' with things, then slowly give them a whole load of chores (cleaning, childminding, shopping, relandscaping the garden, picking up the dog-poo etc) so that they either behave, or get fed-up at being 'used' and leave. :wink:

It's a complicated situation I know, but you also have freedom of choice and the right to live in a decent environment. As adults you are all much stronger and much more capable than you give yourselves credit for.
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Postby electra » Thu Sep 20, 2007 5:23 pm

Im so sorry to hear that-

But the other people are right: It is your house-and you and your husband
need to come together and disscuss the issue. Work together and
disscuss a plan how to talk to his mother. Sounds almost like the
mother is wanting him to choose between you and her. She needs to
step down and move out. Let you two live your lives on your own
with out her interferance. Mom not wanting to let go of her baby boy-
syndrome. Your husband needs to stand up to her,and stand up for you.
But try and do it with some love. She may not even realize what she is
doing,and how it's affecting you,your husband/family. Sounds like it's
time to lay down the law-and say hey we love you,we have been more
then kind-in trying to help you,but it's getting to the point you have
begun to take advantage. You need to move out and try and have
your own life,and we do to! There's no easy way of going about this-
with out someone having some kind of hurt feelings. And for everyone
im sorry you all have to go through this. I wish you the best.
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Postby electra » Thu Sep 20, 2007 5:38 pm

Alynn-
OH no-no-no that's going to damned far!! I would tell that person,
your out of line,this is my house(lets get that straight-right now)

These are my children not yours-i will do the disciplining of my children.
If you have a problem you come to me(and i will deal with it).

And remind them you are doing them a favor. If there just sitting on
there butts doing nothing what's so ever,but taking advantage of you-
that's a crock of (Bleep). I would drop settle hint's(say i seen where
they had a job posted today thought you might be interested:
and drop a newspaper in there lap(see how the react) or say hey
i really could use some help over hear-you think you can help me out for
a moment. ect. See if they have any intentions on trying to change
themselves. If not-i would just tell them flat out -im tired of your
lazy donkey (start packing there crap for them and tell them to get out!)
and if they dont volentarly leave call the cops for assistance. But by
you doing nothing or not standing up. They just think they can do what
ever they please. So make some guide lines that are made very clear
to them.

You need to get back in control of your house and life.

Good luck to you there!!!
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Postby askdrpete » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:41 pm

What gets a person so unhappy in general? How does it happen? How do they get to that point?
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Postby electra » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:03 pm

In which are situation are you reffering to? Whom exactly are you reffering
to? The person going through it,or the one taking advantage?
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Postby Christina_L » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:48 pm

I am just getting into this same boat. My MIL is "Staying" with us while she has surgeries and things, but now istead of moving into a house like we had planned we are going to moving into a 2-bedroom apartment so she has somewhere to recover. we are signing a 9 month lease. she has already been with us for 2 months and i am already to the point where i dont want to go home after work. she has been depressed for close to 7 years now and wont snap out of it. she brings alot of stuff on herself. for the last year instead of getting things taken care of she bounced from relative to relative living off them, and now it is our turn. i want no part of it, but i tried to tell my husband ( we have only been married for a year and have only spent 3 months living by ourselves (finished raising her youngest son as well)) this but then i felt like the bad guy who doesnt want to help my new MIL. but she drives me crazy. she cries all the time. i just graduated from college where i also worked full time, i bearly got to see my husband and now i have more time, but she is always around looking helpless and wanting attention. i really dont know who to handle this. i have a close GF who lives down the road and she said i could visit them all the time, but she recently got married and i dont want to do the same thing to her as my MIL is doing to me. i am really lost as to handle this situation, we are both really young and are just starting out and i feel like she is holding us back. i dont believe she is going to leave after the surgeries because she already said how great it is going to be once "we" get a house. i was afraid to ask what she meant about "we".
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Postby electra » Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:23 am

Im trying to understand exactly why your mother N Law-can't live on her
own? Is she medically unable to due so? Or Seperation/Death or
something that left her no where to go? What kinda surgery did she
have-how long is exspected/recovery from her surgey? As for her being depressed
could be caused from several factors in her life,that lead her to believe
that it couldnt get better,or she may have just not exsepted something
from her past. So she sits and dwells on it all-and basically self talks
herself down: Negative talk,instead of coming to terms with it,and
resolving her issues-and getting help for it. She would feel alot better
if she got it out in the open-and begin to find ways to help herself
and get some answers to her longing questions,she would begin to
feel much better. And needs to teach herself how to
talk positive/suggestions..to herself. She would eventually start feeling
better about herself & situations

could be she needs a healthy diet,medication-to balance out-what ever
chemical inbalancement may of taken place,therapy-to learn to talk about
her feelings instead of her bottling them up.,Her getting out of the house,
get some exsercise or something to give her some peace of mind and
so forth.

Maybe you could address some of these issues with her Doctor-
So they can address it. Mean while,try to have patience and understanding
I know it cant be easy on you. One could also reverse it back on her-
and just say,so what are your plans after surgery,have you thought
about where your gonna go and or live? But prob. best your husband
knows exactly how your feeling and why? And come together on what's
best on how to handle the situation. (Some kinda Plan-you both agree to,
and are willing to stick to.) And go address her about it.

It's never easy living with friends or family,I know!!! Hang in there :)
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Postby carlaval » Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:04 am

I agree with The Zookeeper, is there any way you can start to communicate with your husband and solve this issue?
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