MIL problem with a major twist

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
MIL problem with a major twist
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 - 4:35pm

I have 2 adult children from a previous marriage and i work full time (why??)  I know i cant change anyone - my MIL for sure!!!!!  But, i DO believe its husbands responsibility to deal with HIS parents, and MY resposibility to deal with mine (NO problems there!!! whew!)  I told husband long ago that since he doesnt always see or understand the lil sly remarks from his mother or see the games she tries to play with me (or do anything about it) that i now have no other choice but to stand up for myself or leave...  alot of times i dont have the opportunity to just LEAVE, so i wont stand there and take her abuse (my mom says that MIL is abusive toward me - that her actions are abuse!)  So, since then she (MIL) is passive aggressive - does mean abusive stuff when i am not present to do anything about it.  Husband only saw the b-day travel gift from his mom as "a nice suprise" - not a slap in the face toward me.  I cant expect husband to change overnight-BUT if i mean ANYTHING to him then he needs to really understand that he is: 1. not putting me and our marriage first  2. that his lack of standing up for me and our marriage is deeply hurting me   3. apologize and make the necessary steps to NOT continue on the same path and follow thru.  

I guess what im trying to say is how "I" am going to deal with it.....  Im going to lay it all out there - tell him exactly how i feel and that this whole situation is making me resentful and not trusting.  Im CERTAIN that what he will say is this:  "I already told you that under no circumstances would i travel w/o you again" - but i dont trust that and this is more than just about "traveling w/o me" - its about standing up for me and our marriage and doing everything to protect and nourish it.  Its about making ME #1 in his life....not bowing down to his mom or saying "how high" every time she asks him to jump and leaving me in the dust.....  its about following thru with plans that WE, as a couple, made instead of backing out when his mom makes some other plans at the last minute and he feels obliged to be where she says (he thinks in this situation that the only solution is for me to go do _(whatever the plans were)___,  and he go to do what his mom planned (in other words, split up)  he HONESTLY thinks that this is the way to "keep everyone happy" but he fails to see that it hurts me....  (to know that OUR plans could change at any moment if something comes up with his mom or other family members - because HE is expected to be there)   ......this is part of the distrust and always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  This has happened on a few occassions where we actually had plans with MY family and i ended up going alone.....  (and have had to try to explain to my family why he couldnt come at the last min)  He expects everyone else to be understanding because HIS mother is not......

This is bothering me to the point that i am considering going to speak to a therapist before he gets home - so that when he arrives i am not so "emotional" about it - can talk to him about it w/o losing it (bawling)  im so tired of crying!  I have only spoken to my sister about this whole problem - we are very close (she doesnt live close though).  :-(

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2013
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 5:40pm

The truth is that their work situation has nothing to do with (and shouldn’t) whether he sticks up for you or not. This vacation thing would be a major problem for me in my marriage. Have you asked your husband to meet with a counselor/Pastor or other unbiased third-party to talk about it before he goes? Are you telling me that he sees nothing wrong with this situation (the trip without you), or does he say he has to go in order to avoid trouble at work? How about getting a new job! In my mind (I am a man by the way), there is nothing that comes between a husband and a wife - nothing. No job, no in-law, nothing. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 5:54pm

There are no shortages of articles on the internet about why you should never marry a "Mama's Boy." Google it. Every trait listed will be spot on with your husband. There's one on Ladies Home Journal on "Can this marriage be saved?" If it were me, I'd print out some of the articles and sit down with him and tell him that you see what the problem is, and how to fix what's broken by the advice in the articles. If he won't go to counseling, go yourself and tell him about it so he sees how serious the problem is. He'll never go on vacation without you again? Doesn't this mean he knew it was wrong in the first place? Only a moron wouldn't know it was a problem, no matter the labeling of the "gift."

Even as a teenager, I was smart enough to dump the "Mama's Boy," that I had dated for two years. Yes, I expected him to obey the normal rules a parent should enforce. His mother did things I recognized as emotional blackmail and putting her nose in business it had no place being. After reading your saga, I'm doubly glad I ended that teen romance before it built to a lifetime relationship. She was already instruding so much that I could see the miserable life I'd have if I stayed with him.

Your husband will be insulted by the moniker of "Mama's Boy," but the truth sometimes hurts. I hope the best for you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 6:09pm

update:  my husband wouldnt quit calling so i answered the phone and he knew that something was wrong...  told him that we would talk about it when he got home and obviously that didnt go over with him - he wanted to know what had happened in the time that he had been gone......   so, i told him.   He said that i am being selfish - that this is a "once in a lifetime trip" and that i should be happy for him that he gets the opportunity to go on it - that IF the shoe were on the opposite foot (and i was given the opportunity to go on such a trip w/o him that he would tell me to go" - but that is where we differ in our opinion - i wouldnt WANT to go w/o him - i would want to share the experience with him and wouldnt want to miss any holiday or special date with him to go......   he said "well, that is just your opinion"

On ANOTHER note, he said that he DID know about the trip for a month before he told me......  i asked why his delay in telling me - he said because he knew i would be upset about it!   So, knowing that - it didnt matter to him that he knew i would be upset about it - he agreed to go anyways!   That i should be happy for him - that "I" am the selfish one in this situation.  I said that the very fact that he went despite knowing how badly it hurt me was  the selfish act.....   I think, in ANY situation, if BOTH parties are NOT happy, than it (whatever "it" is) SHOULDNT HAPPEN!  One should not have to sacrifice for the other's happiness.....

anyone's thoughts?   He said there is only one option now, that it would get settled when he gets home - that this is a difference of opinion, no changing opinions, so that only leaves one thing (im certain that means he is threatening divorce)  So, i said:  this is what happens everything i open my heart to you, tell you what is REALLY bothering me - he says its a stalemate (no working it out) and that its just not gonna work......    all the while telling me that i mean EVERYTHING to him - i said that the actions are speaking much louder than words right now..... 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 6:11pm

He is already on the trip......  read my last post, just got off the phone with him.  Im so tired of crying!  thanks for chiming in and giving a man's opinion - truly appreciate it!

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 9:09pm

First--when you said the "whole family" went on this trip, did that mean other spouses, and their children were "taken",  or at the least invited, also?  If ONLY the direct children of the parents taken, and NO other spouses or children were included, then that might change things.  But I suspect that EVERYONE was included except you, and EVERYONE KNEW.  The fact that no one in his whole family stands up for you, or tells your husband to get his head out of his posterion, tells me that you will never win this. 

Your husband has lied to you by ommision.  He has twisted this story to serve himself.  He didn't go from O to divorce in just 10 days.  His family has obviously been talking to him for some time, and that is WHY he went on this trip.  Dollar get you 10, he not only knew about this for a month, but from the GETGO. 

He has told you where this is going.  Prepare yourself.  Find a lawyer, NOW.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2003
Thu, 07-17-2014 - 7:24am

I have to agree with the above poster about this one.  Something is just not right here and I think I would spend the days that he's gone preparing just in case.  If this is heading towards a divorce, you know mom is going to be totally involved and it will just be getting uglier.

After that phone conversation, I wouldn't even bother answering the phone anymore.  You two can talk when he gets back.  I know it hurts alot and who knows, this might just be the thing that needed to happen to either make the marriage move forward in a more positive way or give you the freedom of not being controlled by another human being.

In the meantime, hold those tears and get to work on what you need to for your welfare and future.  Actually they are both emotionally controlling you right now and you are spending so much time on what "they" think and it is just making you hurt worse.  They aren't busy right now thinking about how you are hurting.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Thu, 07-17-2014 - 10:05am

here is what i wrote to myself this morning.....  i feel much more calm now...

He has lied to me by omission – hurt me and doesn’t even feel remorseful, in fact says that I am the selfish one for not being happy for him (to go on a trip that I was blind-sided about, told at the last minute)  He even admitted to delaying in telling me because he knew it would upset me/hurt my feelings and my feelings didn’t even matter to him-he was going anyway.  (doesn’t care, that is disrespectful to me and our marriage)  when in fact all of this really says that HE is the selfish one – puts his wants and desires over me, and our marriage.  (which in turn tells me BLATANTLY that I am not his priority and neither is our marriage)  The marriage works for HIM as long as I am “convenient” (that I  am willing to swallow these large pills w/o a peep because the minute that I state that there is a problem I am threatened with divorce) well, this is now too large a pill for me to continue to swallow.  I have accepted that he is selfish – too selfish to put me and our marriage above his own “wants” and desires.  The problem with that “selfishness” is that he doesn’t even see it as a problem, therefore there is nothing to be “worked on” – so there is never any remorse for the hurt he causes me and no willing to work it out – he just sees it as a “difference of opinion”.  If I had ever done something that hurt him REGARDLESS of whether “I” felt I was not doing anything “wrong” – right or wrong wouldn’t matter – it wouldn’t happen again if it was something that “hurt” him or our marriage.  Just the very fact that he knew BEFORE he even told me about the trip that it would hurt my feelings AND he chose to go anyway and not even take MY FEELINGS into consideration just proves, again, me and our marriage are not a priority – and the fact that he is attempting to just turn all of this around on me (because he is defensive!!!) and blame ME for this “strain” in our marriage just makes the hurt even worse.  I cannot even get an “im sorry for hurting you” by keeping it from you – I wasn’t even given the decency or respect of telling me about it from the beginning – where we would have had the chance to talk about it and work thru it…..  again, it was a hard pill to swallow and now I AM SUPPOSED TO JUST BE HAPPY FOR HIM????????   At my expense???

Ok, I have accepted the inevitable…..  he may love me, but only because its convenient for him.  I deserve to be #1 in someone’s life and im not…..  so that’s the reality and I accept it and can move on…..  the writing is on the wall – cant change it.  im done being hurt.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Thu, 07-17-2014 - 10:37am

You did not realize why I asked if you had a job, do you realize now?  Unless things change drastically in your relationship, and your husband and you are willing to work on it (and yes, go to counseling), then you are probably headed for divorce. 

I was thinking even before a poster mentioned it that your husband sounds like the epitome of a momma's boy.  They are continuing to play the mommy/son role even in the business world.  You keep rehashing everything, but nothing will change until YOU change.  You've let him call the shots (well, his mother call the shots, he is just being the obedient son), and while you may have complained, you did not do anything differently, and so it continued. 

It's not your fault that they have treated you this way, it's your fault for taking it, so I hope you don't any longer.

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

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-11-2003
Thu, 07-17-2014 - 11:11am

well, that is what is going to change.......  im not going to take it anymore and i have accepted whatever will happen because of that.  And the reality of that is that he cant even admit that his actions are hurting me, and therefore there is nothing to apologize for and nothing to work on......  so, there it is - the writing on the wall.   so, i wont take it and move on with my life.  So, what has changed is that i have decided i cant take it anymore.   that is a hard pill to have to keep swallowing and im done unless he is remorseful, goes to couseling, AND his actions SHOW me that he is working on changing his ways.....  and i know that's not easy but if you really want to change, and really love someone than it CAN be done - so we'll see what happens.....  im not holding my breath