OT - How would you handle this?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    OT - How would you handle this?

    Well ladies, the drama with my MIL continues.  Although now I'm realizing it's more of a DH problem than a MIL problem.

    Like I've said before, MIL has no problem calling DH and inviting herself to our house without any notice whatsoever.  Rather than DH just telling her that we need some notice before she comes over, he makes up excuses or lies about us already having plans.  For whatever reason, he won't just be honest with her.

    Well, it happened again on Friday.  After a long week at work and taking care of DH post-op, I was looking forward to finally going home to relax for a couple hours.  When I get home, DH says "MIL wants to come by with our niece in about an hour."  I told DH that I've had a rough week and didn't feel like playing hostess, and maybe we could schedule something for another time.  DH attacks me and starts saying that I have a personal agenda against his mother, I'm going out of my way to avoid her, etc. 

    DH was NEVER like this with his mother before.  If anything, he warned me about her constantly.  I'm realizing now that all changed on DH's birthday -- she gave him a very large check as a gift, just to "help out."  Now, because of that, he acts as if she bought herself the right to do whatever she wants when it comes to us.


    This is becoming a huge strain on me and on us as a couple, and DH refuses to address the situation with his mother because he's afraid to hurt her feelings.  Funny, he's not worrying about my feelings so much.  All I'm expecting him to do is say "Mom, Pugs and I have had a lot going on.  We've both been busy, and it's tough for us to make last minute plans.  We'd love to have you over, but we'd like to be able to make plans in advance."  I can't see how this could hurt anyone's feelings.


    Since I'm obviously getting nowhere with DH, I'm thinking about having a conversation with MIL myself.  Good idea?  Bad idea?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    Bad idea. You've got to get on the same page as DH before you start speaking for the both of you, even if it is for the best.

    If she lives nearby, maybe DH could go visit her when she wants some together time, but you're not feeling up to it?
    That's what I do when I want to see my family, but DH is busy or just not feeling the family time. It seems to work out okay.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    That's what I thought initially Pink, but then DH told me that he thinks I should be the one to talk to her about it if I'm the one that has a problem with her actions.  He told me I need to "step up" and be honest with her.  But I do agree with what you said; unless he's going to back me up there's no point in trying to fix it.

    Unfortunately DH can't drive until he's cleared by his surgeon (hopefully in a couple weeks), so he can't go visit her.  She's come by a couple times while I've been at work, which is great because then he's not home alone all day.  However, for whatever reason, DH seems to feel that whenever he visits his family/they come to visit us, I have to be present.  He's horrified by the idea of spending time with them alone.  I have a feeling that's a whole different set of issues there.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    Hey Pugs, that stinks!  I know how you feel and it isn't fun.  I agree with PK, though, especailly based on your reply.  If DH says "you talk to her, it is your problem" that's really not fair to you and it makes you the bad guy with his family.  I sort of feel like MIL is pushing you guys apart (probalby not on purpose, but that is the consequence of this disagreement). 

    I think before you talk to MIL, you need to try to have a heart to heart with you DH about how you feel.  I don't think it is fair that you have to accompany him every time he wants to visit his family (or vice versa).  That's how we do it, sometimes we go together, but sometimes we'll go alone.  I think tryign to get him to agree to this might be key.

    The other thing I'm wondering: do you think that maybe since his surgery, spending time with his mom is comforting and that's why he wanted her to come over?  Just asking.  It sounded like major, scary surgery and maybe he won't admit it, but having his mom around makes him feel better. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from mezzogal1124. Show mezzogal1124's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    I agree with Pink that you and DH have to be on the same page before you speak with your MIL. 

    Is it possible that DH's judgement re: his mother's spontaneous visits is currently being clouded not only by her monetary gift, but by the fact that he's still not feeling 100%?  Perhaps when he's fully recovered from the operation, it would be a better time to re-address the situation with his mother.  Out of curiosity, what were the expectations you and DH discussed about family visits before you got married?  Have these expectations changed since then?

    For what it's worth, I agree that there should be nothing wrong with his mother visiting only when it's planned in advance.  I don't think you're being unreasonable about that.  But, expectations are different.  It could be that in his family, dropping in on relatives all the time is de rigeur. 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    If he just had surgery, then he doesn't need any drama right now.  And he probably does want her around.  The worst thing you could do is confront her....then you will be the bad guy and she will never get past it.

    I would suggest you hang in there as best you can until your DH recovers and life gets back to normal.  

    While her behavior seems outrageous to you, keep in mind that many families are very casual and think nothing of dropping in on each other.  It's not right or wrong, it's just different than what you're used to and what you want.  Not to mention, she's worried about her son, and that takes precedence (to her) over your needs.

    Right now, your husband's recovery is most important, so you will have to wait until he's better to resolve this one.  Meanwhile, there's nothing wrong with little white lies....i.e. I have a migraine, I have to work late, go to a wake, etc. to keep her at bay.  Best wishes. 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    Not to sound like a broken "get counseling" record here, but I think you guys need outside, trained help with this one (you and DH) with a marriage counselor.

    Now, please don't read into this as meaning I think you have a "bad marriage," "are headed for divorce," or whatever else.  I simply think that this issue can vastly benefit from a professional  guiding the process of reconciliation and assisting you and DH with coming up with a viable plan to handle this now and going forward.  Nothing else.  MIL isn't going away, and the tools you two have right now to deal with it are clearly inadequate as this issue is spiraling the drain rather quickly.

    To answer your question, avoid bringing this up with MIL.  You can't tell on DH for lying and what else do you have to say?  That conversation has disaster written all over it.  In fact, this whole situation has disaster written all over it which brings me, again, to strongly encourage you to avail yourself of counseling.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    I agree with mezzo and cosmo that things might be different now because of the surgery.
    there's no reason he shouldn't be comfortable visiting his family solo, but as you said, that could be another can of worms.

    I don't think this situation is quite at "go to counseling" level, unless it's been a point of contention for more than 6 months. If this has been an oft repeated argument for 6 months or more, then it requires mediation, or a fresh approach to the discussion at least.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    Kar, I've brought up the counseling suggestion to DH several times.  Not just for us, but also for him, as his emotions are all out of whack after surgery (which is totally normal, but a professional is more equipped to help him through it than I am).  Like a lot of men, he's anti-counseling and refuses to even consider it.  He actually gets angry with me if I even bring it up.

    To answer some of your other questions:  his family isn't really the type to just drop in on each other.  Actually, his mother hadn't visited us once until we bought our condo.  She also hadn't ever been to the apartment DH lived in for 5 years before he moved into my old apartment with me.  She does have a habit of just dropping by SIL's house whenever she feels like it, which is why I'm trying to set boundaries while I still can.

    Mezzo, I think you highlighted another big problem for us -- we never had any expectations about family visits before.  DH was in the restaurant industry, so he worked nights, weekends, and almost all holidays -- I always used to visit my family on my own (which I was fine with).  On the rare occasion he was off for one of his family events, we'd go together.  Now that he's out of work, that whole unspoken understanding we had is out the window.  I guess that's something else we'll have to work on.

    I don't think DH necessarily wants or needs his mother around now.  He actually wanted to go through surgery without telling her in order to keep some of his privacy, but I talked him out of that.  If anything, I think he just feels obligated to let her do what she wants since she gave him that check.  Unfortunately she's the type that expects something in return for everything she does, and DH knows that well.  She's thrown it in his face many times in the past.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    I think everyone's given some good advice. I know from your past posts that there are lots of pre-existing feelings that run pretty deeply here, but I'm going to step back and focus on the simple issue of one person making plans for the other without asking first.  I'm a firm believer that before any plans are made that involve the other person's participation, that other person needs to be consulted.  Plain and simple.

    Could you focus on that part of the issue, and leave the whole MIL dynamic for when your DH is feeling better?  He may respond better if you made it sound like it's not MIL coming over that bugged you, it's that he made plans without consulting you (even if that's only part of the issue).
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    excellent advice, poppy!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    I'm going to step back and focus on the simple issue of one person making plans for the other without asking first.  Posted by poppy609


    See, this is where it gets complicated.  When MIL calls and says she wants to come over, DH tells her that he needs to check with me first.  On Friday he did this, and I told him that it really wasn't a good time for me, and I hoped we could plan to do something over the weekend instead.  Then he got upset because he said he would have to "come up with an excuse."

    So, instead of just saying "you know Mom, Pugs had a long week and really needs some time to relax," he lied and told her that he was tired and didn't feel well.  I can't understand why he wouldn't just be honest.

    *ETA:  Poppy, now that I think about it, this actually may be the issue.  Because even though he says he's going to check with me, it's as if he's already committed to the plans.  Hmm...
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    If you've discussed counseling "many times" that in and of itself is probably evidence that it would be helpful.  How about your going by yourself, not to be antagonistic, of course, but to get some fresh perspective for YOUR benefit gaining at least personal insight into the issues at hand and new coping strategies.  I don't think things have to escalate for 6 months before anyone gets help - the writng is on the wall for this to continue in a negative way.  Why wait?  The $20 copays?  If he's totally against it, his tune might change if he sees a positive change come about from his wife having gone.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    I admit, I'm guilty of coming up with an excuse when my dad wants to make plans and I'm either not up for it or already have plans. If I'm honest and tell him I have plans with friends, he'll invite himself along, and it gets awkward. He doesn't like to take "no" for an answer, but I know it's only because he very much wants to spend time with me and he genuinely likes my friends (we've been friends since we were 8). So, I come up with an excuse to spare his feelings and spare my sanity. I have no problem being honest and firm with my mother and DH's family, but my dad's really sensitive and I need to handle him differently.

    Maybe your DH feels he needs to make the excuse about him to protect you, so that your MIL doesn't think you're the reason she can't come visit? He might think he's doing you a favor, and he really might be- if she's the kind of person who would hold that against you.
    Or maybe he's doing what I do- saying "no" but going out of his way to make sure his mother knows it's not that he doesn't want to see her.

    In Response to Re: OT - How would you handle this?:
    See, this is where it gets complicated.  When MIL calls and says she wants to come over, DH tells her that he needs to check with me first.  On Friday he did this, and I told him that it really wasn't a good time for me, and I hoped we could plan to do something over the weekend instead.  Then he got upset because he said he would have to "come up with an excuse." So, instead of just saying "you know Mom, Pugs had a long week and really needs some time to relax," he lied and told her that he was tired and didn't feel well.  I can't understand why he wouldn't just be honest. *ETA:  Poppy, now that I think about it, this actually may be the issue.  Because even though he says he's going to check with me, it's as if he's already committed to the plans.  Hmm...
    Posted by PugsandKisses
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    In Response to Re: OT - How would you handle this?:
    See, this is where it gets complicated.  When MIL calls and says she wants to come over, DH tells her that he needs to check with me first.  On Friday he did this, and I told him that it really wasn't a good time for me, and I hoped we could plan to do something over the weekend instead.  Then he got upset because he said he would have to "come up with an excuse." So, instead of just saying "you know Mom, Pugs had a long week and really needs some time to relax," he lied and told her that he was tired and didn't feel well.  I can't understand why he wouldn't just be honest.
    Posted by PugsandKisses


    Ah, I see.  That does make it more complicated... It is too bad he couldn't just skip giving an excuse altogether and instead say, "You know, Saturday or Sunday would be better..."  but yes, you being exhausted from a long work week should be enough of a reason to say no.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    Sounds like his lying is getting to you more than anything else.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    Sounds like his lying is getting to you more than anything else.
    Posted by kargiver


    This does bother me, because it doesn't address the real issue.  The real issue is that I'd like people to treat us with common courtesy and plan to come over at a time that works for everyone, rather than just showing up when it works for them.  When he makes excuses, he's basically telling her that although that certain day and time doesn't work, she's still free to invite herself over at another day/time.

    I can see why he maybe wouldn't want to make her think that I'm the reason she can't come over.  But something like "Pugs and I have had a lot going on, and we were really looking forward to spending a quiet night at home together.  How about Sunday?" would be totally fine.  And I think after a few comments like that, she would start to realize that when she makes plans in advance, she gets to come over.  When she waits until the last minute, she doesn't.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from mezzogal1124. Show mezzogal1124's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    Sorry that you're going through this.  I highly recommend a book called Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most (Stone, D. et al).  If your husband is reticent to go to counseling (and I agree counseling is a great idea in this situation), the techniques described in this book might help you start the process of possibly persuading him.

    The authors can be a tad obvious at times, but in general I've found this book to be a helpful resource for conflict management (for those of you who remember my recent post about "Sue," my difficult co-worker, a friend recommended it to me when I was venting to him about that situation!).

    It gives excellent guidelines not only about how you can state your objectives and get what you need out of difficult conversations, but also how you can word things so that the other party(ies) in the conversation will be most willing to open up and get at the root of the problem.  Of course, it's not a panacea (no book can be), but I think you might find it helpful.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    In Response to Re: OT - How would you handle this?:
    I admit, I'm guilty of coming up with an excuse when my dad wants to make plans and I'm either not up for it or already have plans. If I'm honest and tell him I have plans with friends, he'll invite himself along, and it gets awkward.
    Posted by pinkkittie27



    LOL, does he really invite himself along to plans with your friends?!  That's so cute!  To me, that is.  To you, probably not so much... Tongue out
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    You said he hasn't been like this before, but it seems strange that an adult would suddenly start to exhibit passive aggressive behavior, even lying to do it.  Is he showing other upsetting personality or mood changes that don't seem necessarily consistant with recovery from surgery?  I know everyone handles pain differently, but you know him.  If this is part of a conglomerate of behavioral/emotional changes that seem "off" to you it can indicate something going on that requires attention whether he wants it or not.  Sometimes major surgery can trigger depression which can manifest in many odd ways even if the surgery was successful. 

    From my couch I have no idea, but it stuck out to me that you said he's never handled things like this before.  Usually, this pattern is established long before adulthood and, if it doesn't, it never does.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from mezzogal1124. Show mezzogal1124's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    In Response to Re: OT - How would you handle this?:
    If this is part of a conglomerate of behavioral/emotional changes that seem "off" to you it can indicate something going on that requires attention whether he wants it or not. 
    Posted by kargiver


    I agree.  Not to scare you, but from what you've said I don't doubt that there may be something else going on.  This situation with his mom visiting may simply be an agent that is bringing out more deep-seated issues.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    it is sweet, and it breaks my heart that I can't include him more often. But, I have to be sensitive to the fact I can't ask my friends "Hey, do mind if my dad came along?" if we're say, going to a bar to vent and get drinks or haven't seen each other in a few months.
    I love my dad and I really do wish he could come along, but I understand that my friends don't necessarliy feel the same way.

    In Response to Re: OT - How would you handle this?:
    In Response to Re: OT - How would you handle this? : LOL, does he really invite himself along to plans with your friends?!  That's so cute!  To me, that is.  To you, probably not so much...
    Posted by poppy609

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from BiancaB1. Show BiancaB1's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    I strongly disagree with counselling for this.

    It was a gift from his mom. I am sure that gift is helping you out financially while he is out of work, right? So dealing with her when she decides to come by is better than having to worry about not being able to pay bills til he goes back to work, right? Just deal with it.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    Is he showing other upsetting personality or mood changes that don't seem necessarily consistant with recovery from surgery?  Posted by kargiver


    His moods have been way off, but for the most part it's what I expected after surgery.  He's a very active person and a complete workaholic, so to be unable to work, stuck in the house all day, unable to drive, etc., is incredibly frustrating for him.  He gets angry and upset sometimes, but I think that's normal.  I'd probably be the same way.

    As far as the way he's acting with his mom, I tend to think that's directly related to the money she gave him.  I think he's allowing her to have his way because he doesn't want the fact that she gave him money thrown in his face again.

    I have been cutting him some slack lately, but if these emotions and behaviors continue after he's recovered, then yes, I do think they need to be addressed.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT - How would you handle this?

    In Response to Re: OT - How would you handle this?:
    I can see why he maybe wouldn't want to make her think that I'm the reason she can't come over.  But something like "Pugs and I have had a lot going on, and we were really looking forward to spending a quiet night at home together.  How about Sunday?" would be totally fine.  And I think after a few comments like that, she would start to realize that when she makes plans in advance, she gets to come over.  When she waits until the last minute, she doesn't.
    Posted by PugsandKisses


    It would be more worthwhile to be more direct and say "Oh no, this is so last minute, *insert excuse if that's what makes him comfortable*  let's make plans for next week/sunday/tomorrow/etc." if the point you want to get across is that you need at least 24 hour notice.

    but, maybe you need to discuss the root of the feelings on the subject:
    Does DH not have a problem with last-minute plans?
    Why are last-minute plans not okay, for you, and how can you both come to a compromise on it?
    My DH LOVES last minute plans. I sort of don't. To compromise, we made a tier system for last-minute plans. Our closest friends or siblings- last minute plans okay. Good friends and other family- at least 24 hour notice. People we haven't hosted before coming over to our place- at least two day notice.

    You also should discuss why he feels the need to give an excuse.
    As cosmo said, and excuse isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as it's coming from a healthy place.
     
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