MIL problem with a major twist

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
MIL problem with a major twist
39
Tue, 07-15-2014 - 1:52pm

My husband has worked for the "family" business his whole life - his mom runs the business.  His mom has never been fond of me
(for no reason other than i was married before) and i quit trying to bust my booty to build any sort of relationship with her (i  think that she actually got a thrill out of seeing me try and try again with her to no avail - i realized there was nothing i could do, it was just her decision to not like me and there was nothing i could do about it - and nothing i did to cause it).  I have accecpted that she just "tolerates" me and that is just fine with me - i am cordial around her.  This is all "good" and acceptable until she tries to cause a problem in my marriage.  She did this before and realized that it didnt break up our marriage so moved on to "bigger fish" (so to say).  Well, my husband recently celebrated a birthday.....  For his birthday she invited HIM on a vacation that the whole rest of the family was already going on - a 2 week europe vacation - so basically everyone was going EXCEPT ME - and her excuse for not inviting me was that hubby was going "as a birthday gift"  (so, what it everyone else's b-day gift as well???  by the way, my b-day is next month!)   I told my husband that i realize im not her favorite person, but ive never been excluded before and i was hurt.....  i also asked him if there was a "problem" that i was unaware of.....  he said no.  He said he only accepted the trip because it was for his "birthday" - also, while he is away on this 2 week trip, he is missing our 10 YEAR anniversary - he gets hom a few days later.  He realizes that his mom has done quite a few RUDE/HURTFUL things to me, but he stays "neutral" on it because he works with her/says he has to get along with her......    there is no "sitting down and having an adult talk with her about it" (because her way is always the RIGHT way, everyone else is wrong or weird) - but im to the point that i dont think he gets a "get out of jail free card" anymore because he works for her.  Basically, she keeps doing rude hurtful things because she CAN and she gets away with it where he is concerned.  She is the type that cant seperate work and personal/family issues - so hubby will have a very tense work environment if he says or does anything that ticks her off (in other words, she will let a personal problem interfere with work).  I say that letting this one "slide" is only setting us up for more problems in the very near future (she will invite him on holiday travel, etc and exclude me all the while pressuring him to attend family holiday functions w/o me! - she has done it before - a long while back, but now i think she will start up again since he went to europe with them w/o me)  I see her stopping nothing short of saying that every upcoming "thanksgiving, xmas, easter trip, etc" is a b-day gift, etc. so that she has an "excuse" to invite only him.   Any advice on how to handle this situation considering they work together????   Thanks for any and all advice!  

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 11:14am
correction here...... this is a trip that she knew HE WOULD "NOT" spend the 10,000 to take me along.....
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 11:16am

regardless of whether she paid for everyone to go on the trip or not, the VERY FACT that i was not invited, or given the opportunity to go and pay my way was just wrong on all levels.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 11:57am

Were you clearly not invited (as in hey son, do not bring your wife) or is it just your assumption based on want your DH said to you?

Your problem is not with your MIL but with your DH.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 12:07pm

MIL never mentioned to her son about bringing me, and husband never brought up the idea as well......  i didnt know ANYTHING about the trip until 9 days before he was to leave (and this is not the type of trip to plan and book last minute).  Anytime i was around his family there was never ANY talk about this trip, etc....  so his mom DID have the opportunity to say something like "why dont you check into the airfare cost, etc and consider joining us.... we'll miss you not being there with us, etc......"  nothing was EVER said to me about ANY of it.....  (and i have been around her - so she DID have the opportunity to mention it, etc)

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 12:42pm

Of course this trip was planned in advance, this is the height of Europe travel season and getting reservations together for a group must be done early. The question is, when did your husband find out about it? He must have known about the trip for more than 9 days before departure....at the least there would have been a question of making sure his passport was current and to make sure he didn't have any other conflicts (and your anniversary should have been a "conflict"). Did they close the family business or arrange for other employees to run it while they're gone? So another question is if he concealed the trip from you and for how long, and why he thought that was an acceptable thing to do.

I'm sure you don't want to issue an ultimatum for him to choose between you and his mother but he does need to learn about boundaries and priorities, with the marriage coming first. I suggest couples counseling. Personally I would have a lot of anger and resentment towards my dh if he did something like this and it would be very hard to forgive unless he came to understand what he had done wrong, why it was wrong, and how deeply it could affect the marriage. If one spouse stays angry and mistrustful then it damages the marriage. I'm sure you don't want your MIL to "win" (run you off) but if your dh never accepts how his mother manipulates him and puts a stop to it, there will always be a problem in the background that could erode your relationship.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 12:52pm

I agree that he probably knew that he was going on the trip for a while before he told me.....  and im sure he delayed in telling me because he KNEW it would upset me and he was only postponing the reprocussions... (sp!)   And when he accepted the trip he KNEW that it was during our anniversary and knew that everyone else already HAD their tickets and couldnt change the date.  I said "you will be gone during our 10 yr anniversary"  - he said that he knew and that we could celebrate when he returned (not really a good consolation in my opinion!)  They did not close the family business - they travel all the time and have Mgmt that run the business....    before he left for the trip I got over the "initial blow" of being hurt and blindsided,  but now i find that i AM angry and resentful, more as each day passes......    IF HE DOESNT REMEMBER our anniversary on the actual DATE of it, that will just push me right over the edge - no excuses! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 1:03pm

Just to answer your question, NO, not all men are like this!  My husband would never go on a family vacation without including me!  The more you write about this situation, the clearer it is that your husband is squarely at fault here.  You need to leave your MIL out of the equation and speak to your husband's actions.  How he could think it would be fine for him to take this vacation, without you, that coincided with your 10 year wedding anniversary is beyond comprehension.  Children learn how to behave from their parents, it's obvious your husband is a very good student. 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 2:59pm

i guess what i was trying to ask was "are all men like this" in the sense that they have a hard time confronting their moms or dads (or both) about disrespecting their wives, or their marriages.....     seems that i read and hear ALOT about women complaining about this very same problem (seems to be a common theme for marriage problem forums, etc)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 3:05pm

also, my husband DOES agree that his mom is quite rude to me, has tried to cause problems for us, etc.....  but he thinks that the fact that they have to work together and get along that THAT is his "free pass" card for never having to confront her about it (stand up for me and OUR marriage).  He has told me on numerous occassions that "I have to work with her and she signs my paycheck" so i cant "make any waves".  She is a pc. of work, i will admit, but i am tired of the "i work with her" excuse - am done with that! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 4:02pm

Ultimately, the only person you can change is you and how you deal with the situation.  You did not mention if you work or not?  Do you have family or is your husband all you have?  I think you mentioned you had a daughter, is she yours from a previous marriage?  Your husband's excuse that he has to work with his mommy and that mommy signs his paycheck is bs in my book.  He just does not want to confront her, maybe he even agrees with her....  You two have been together for 10 years and this has become habit, and we know how hard habits are to break. 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein