I have had so many problems with my MIL and FIL that I don’t even know where to begin! Fifteen months ago, when I was visiting my stepmother in KS with my two-month-old son and seven-year-old daughter, I invited MIL over for the afternoon and dinner so that she would would have a chance to see the grandchildren before I returned home to NH. We were only there for a few days, but apparently this was not good enough for her. It must be said that MIL and I have always had a strained relationship.
When my infant son started to get tired, I went downstairs to put him to bed. MIL followed me, cornered me, and began to verbally attack me for not sleeping at their home, spending enough time with them, visiting their family, etc. My little brother had recently and tragically died, and I tried to tell her that I was still mourning his death and that I was not really visiting anyone… she cut me off and told me that it wasn’t about me, it was about her. I told MIL that I did not like being pushed by people/ told what to do. She began to advance on me, demanding that I give her my children to spend the next day with her. I pointed out that I was nursing the baby, and that he would eventually cry for food. She said She did not care!
This went on for a little while, her crying, yelling, demanding, etc. all the while I was remaining calm yet firm. Finally, as it was going nowhere, I told her that I would not continue to have this argument. The whole time, my daughter and stepmother were upstairs and could hear everything. MIL sat down on the stairs, and she happens to be a large woman. She threw her arms out, and would not let me pass. I had to physically climb over her to get by!!!
She followed me into the room where mystepmother was trying to distract my daughter and screamed that she was leaving and could not stay. Then, she looked at my daughter and said, “I love your mother, but she does things and says things and all they do is make me really mad!” My daughter began to cry, and my stepmother escorted MIL out of the house.
There has been a lot of back and forth since then, mostly through letters, but things have just gotten worse. MIL and FIL tried very hard to drive a wedge between my husband and I, but thankfully, after many fights and long talks, he finally came around and saw them for what they were and how badly they were treating me. We are now stronger in our relationship than ever, and nothing could make the inlaws angrier. In the meantime, their relationship with their son is strained, at best, their relationship to their grandchildren is basically non-existent, and all of this is because they refuse to accept our boundaries and the fact that we are adults. In one letter to us they made demands regarding how we spend our time and about our children. We responded by saying that we are adults and we are the only two people who will have a say in how, where, and with whom us and our children spend our time. Unfortunately, MIL and FIL are too stubborn…there position and refusal to accept us has cost them a great deal.
They spent last Christmas alone, and the last time I visited KS they sacrificed seeing their grandchildren because it was not on their terms. How sad is that? I would like to move forward, but my husband and I agree that it can not happen until they can respect us and our wishes. At least after finding this site, I know they are not alone. I do not wish my MIL and FIL harm, but I do daydream about them being on a bus that is forever lost and on its way to nowhere. I suspect I am not alone in this sentiment.
Signed: Trying to Rise Abve It All