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Help! MIL problems!

  1. #1
    louisouis is offline Registered User
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    Help! MIL problems!

    I am having major problems with my MIL, my resentment towards her is making me resent my husband and therefore affecting our relationship. MIL and I had an OK relationship at first even though at the beginning of our marriage she will constantly come over unannounced (she has keys to our apartment) and walk into our bedroom while we are sleeping!

    She loves, loves, loves my husband and sons, nothing wrong with that but she loves to interfere and come into my house and do everything the opposite way! Since I have my babies, my husband thought it will be a good idea for his mother to come everyday to 'look after' the babies while the helper does the housework, since both of us have full time and demanding jobs. Of course, she just switches on the TV for them and call them 'TV addicts', My kids are 3.5 and nearly 1, they are not tall enough to switch the TV on, when i told her that she does not have to switch the TV on and she will blame my kids saying that they want to watch TV. Basically, she just wants to watch TV (stock market and chinese opera), I don't think my kids are addicted to the Hang seng index....
    This is just one of the things that she does, she loves to be the center of attention for everything, if she is not getting her way she will punish her son by pretending to be very very ill, but it is always a miracle! Because, when she gets her way, she will recover in 1 hour. Sent to the hospital via an ambulance because she can't move? Another miracle! She walks out of the A & E after 3 hours. Physiotherapy as prescribed by the doctors? No, she had amazingly recovered in 3 hours and hence the doctors can save their pysiotherapy sesssions! 3 hours of sulking at the A & E is better than any treatment!

    For my first baby, my husband thought of a name for my son (we asked his father during the pregnancy, but he said he will leave it to my husband), my MIL, then told us that my FIL does not want the baby to be his grandson because he hates the name.... When my husband asked FIL, FIL denied this, my MIL just loves to spread lies and tales, she did the same thing again during my second pregnancy. Basically I never had a quiet confinement, I am sure she will not do that if I am her daughter.

    She love my husband soooo much that she feels obligated to call him every night, which is fine, but she also 'files her report' about eerything that happened in the house. Like all the things that the maid, and babies have done, most of which is because of my bad maangement etc etc. Of course I do not know any of this as I am not home and not aware of what is happening, but of course she paints a very nasty picture and also create 'political tensions' beween herself andt he maid...

    Come on! the maid is my assistant, she really makes a difference in my life, she does not tell tales and come up with stories for my husband to react with! She even told my husband it is either the maid or her???!!! Of course, my husband believes her and thinks that she is the one being bullied! My husband and i constantly fight because of her...the relationship is torn beyond repair...

    I have already synchronised my schedule, to not bump into her under any circumstances, but she insists on coming all the time even when I have told her outright that we have plans during the weekends etc...

    AHHHHHHHHHH! Apologies for the senseless rant! Please share your MIL survival stories! and advice will be appreciated. I am at the end of my thether.

  2. #2
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    Wow, I've heard of some bad MIL stories but yours really take the cake! I despise my MIL too but despite being a thoroughly unpleasant person (to the point where her eldest daughter won't even speak to her, even though they share a house!) but she hasn't done a tenth of those things that you've described!

    I think there are many different ways to cope. I would say the best is for your husband to be on-side with you in your dealings with the MIL. I know it sounds easier said than done, but if you are able to sit down with him and come to some sort of compromise/agreement/game plan, this really would be the best scenario. It may involve you conceding some points too, but ultimately, he needs to recognize and acknowledge the issues at hand and be willing to meet you halfway.

    Of course this may not be possible. If, despite your best efforst, hubbie refuses to come to the table and it doesn't happen, you need a fall-back scenario whereby you lay down the battlelines and carve out a living space tolerable for yourself. For instance, I would do certain things to reclaim your home - first and foremost by reclaiming your housekeys. If MIL comes over, she can ring the doorbell like everyone else! The easiest way may be to change the locks (just say you lost your keys or something!) and get one of those really expensive and difficult keys to copy - requiring a code card etc - and just get enough keys for your family - i.e. 3 sets, one for hubbie, one for you and one for maid. Keep the key code so no one can copy keys but you! Is your helper smart and on your side? You can sit down quietly with HER and thrash out a non-confrontational game plan to make things more difficult for your MIL when she is in your home.

    Basically this is not the textbook recommended way, and I'm sure there will be many who say it's not healthy etc to undermine the extended family members but if your husband won't support you on issues relating to HIS family, then desperate times call for desperate measures!

    I'm sorry to be so negative, but you sound like a really nice and well-intentioned person and sometimes Chinese females from the older generation tend to play mean, so you need to protect yourself against it. Again in an ideal world, it's best for hubbie to be on-board and you should try to achieve that first - but if despite your best efforts, it doesn't happen, then you need to protect yourself and your marriage from insidious forces! Good luck!!

  3. #3
    jvn
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    I'm so sorry for your situation and for the most part I don't really have much advice but I'd cancel the TV or take the cable to work with you or do whatever you need to do to ensure it can't be switched on during the day - I'd be furious if someone sat my child in front of the TV all day. A little won't hurt but I'd never have it on all day, especially not for a one year old. Maybe she'll be less keen on babysitting if there's no tv and your helper can do it, sounds like she wouldn't mind.

    As for the rest she sounds ghastly but with the things that don't directly affect the children, it's for your husband to sort out - can he stand up to her? Not play into the illness stuff and put a bolt on the door for when you don't want to be disturbed.

    I hope you can both come up with a plan to make the situation more bearable.

  4. #4
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Just curious -- is your MIL Chinese? Because older Chinese women can really be the bossiest. (And, no, I'm not being racist. I'm Chinese myself!)

  5. #5
    missidealiste is offline Registered User
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    I just pm u

  6. #6
    missidealiste is offline Registered User
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    My MIL is Chinese too. And she is a nightmare. She is obsessed with my husband...we can start a new support group:) My advice to you is Save your marriage when you can. It's not worth to fight with your husband becox of her. Kill her with kindness. I've been there and done that.. Check ur pm good luck!

  7. #7
    louisouis is offline Registered User
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    Thank you for your support... It really helps when I can't seem to see light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, she is Chinese, very local hk mil. I am from Singapore, hence, my Chinese traditions are not correct so her way is the best. The way that I do things are not auspicious, but hers always have divine intervention..... I live in a tvb/Korean drama, I am sure my husband know her antics but choose to go along with her. he always reprimand me for not having a big enough heart to humor an old lady. But if she is imposing her way all the time and. Rearing havoc with her tales, how can I develop any kind of positivity towards her? In the past she will tell me tales about her relatives, unwittingly, I will voice my opinions only to have her twist my words and report to the very relatives that she was telling tales about! Hence successfully creating the worst pr for me ever! Hence in their eyes, I am just the spoilt brat from Singapore... Whatever.... I am too tired, just let me have some peace and quiet and some privacy and not have her hovering in the vicinity whener I have a conversation or phone call.......

  8. #8
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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    I understand you perfectly, as I lived in a similar to yours, only that I was on your husband's shoes, as my mum was the one who was driving my husband crazy.

    One year ago my parents came to HK to "help me" on my confinement and stayed in our house for 2 months. My mum is not malicious, but she is quite spoiled and like to do things her way without even asking other. Anyway, my parents, and the lack of privacy and private space (due to small size of our apartment) really drove my husband crazy. He resented my parents, and me for having them living with us (and because he thought that I was on my parent side). My parents felt his resentment, but still didn't want to move out, because they are traditional chineses that think that families should be based on tolerance and respect toward each other.... so must stay together no matter what.

    I was in the middle of them, so I got all the tension. My sister resented me for being "unfair" to my parents, and not treating them well. I resented my husband for not being more understanding and tolerant (after all, I just had a baby!!!). I even called MCHC asking for an appointment for postnatal depression, although I knew that my problem wasn't really "postnatal" related... but sometime I just wanted to disappear from the planet.... just didn't want to leave my poor baby behind.

    I ended up asking my parents to leave. In return, my dad cried and asked me how we could treat them like that when they didn't commit any unforgivable error, and all they wanted to do was to help... and of course, they thought I was on my husband side.

    Anyway, my case is different than yours, but probably can help you understand your hubby. If sometime you feel that he is on his parent's side, he might not... he might be in the middle, between a rock and a hard place... he might be suffering more than you. Because you may not care about your MIL, and she may not care about you, but your hubby care for you both.

    I don't really have a straight solution to your problem.. I didn't have one for mine either... but probably you can do try different things to change same situation... Like for example, if your MIL blame your kids for watching the TV, then just lock the TV channels with password.. instead just leave some educational DVDs for your MIL or helper to play once or twice a day.

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