Right now I am struggling with being charitable and behaving how I think I should (and am eternally expected to) and wanting to just scream with frustration at the woman. Who? My mother-in-law. I know all the jokes about MIL’s and all the stereotypes, but mine? She takes the cake. Everyone who knows her tells me they’re glad she is mine, and no one will trade me, under any conditions.
Before DFM and I married, he told me what to expect, and I just could not believe any woman could be that bad. He is not close to his mother, and has not been for years, and after six and a half years of trying to be patient, look for the good, and like the woman, I give up. She really is that bad.
- When we got married, she complained the photographer did not take enough pictures of her, while there was not one picture of me with my mother. (she paid for the photographer)
- She invited herself to stay at our home while we were on our honeymoon, then she was still there and did not leave when we got back.
- The one time we went to her house to visit her when we moved to the northwest, she entertained us in her bedroom, wearing her underpants. We have not gone back.
- She makes sideways comments about my parents divorce status, and frequently badmouths her terminally ill husband.
- She lies about weird things, like her daughter leaving her (Hispanic) husband, how her camera broke at the wedding of her grandson (to an Asian woman), and how the camera also malfunctioned at the wedding of her granddaughter (to a black man), taking only pictures where the groom was absent.
- When she comes over, she insists on folding my laundry, but she buries things in the layers, like my underpants in with the kids jammies and the dishtowels, so I have to go through the entire basket to find things. It does not matter that I ask her not to fold it.
- In her house hang framed “glamour shots” of herself, and no pictures of her grandkids.
- Her voice and mannerisms change based on who is around and how well they know her.
- Everytime she comes over, she brings groceries, always commenting how she never knows what I will have to eat for the kids. As if I don’t take care of my kids? We have a years’ supply of everything in the basement, duh?
- She calls me “Girl”, and even Jeffrey has told her not too.
- If I leave her at our house for any time at all, there is always something laying on my scriptures when I return. A phone, a pencil, a tablet, a towel, a toy, a pillow…
- She thinks all Mormons are going to hell, and we know she will tell our kids this when given the chance.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. The very worse thing for me is that you cannot pin her down on anything. Generally I am very straight forward, and if I see or hear something that troubles me, I talk about it, openly. You cannot do that with this woman- ever. She will deny, evade, lie, anything she has to do to avoid confrontation or real honesty. DFM likens dealing with her to ‘nailing jello to the wall”, and wishes me luck.
So what do I do? As my husbands mother and my children’s grandmother, she is entitled to a certain amount of respect, but even that is becoming difficult for me to dish out. All the pretending is making me want to put my head through the drywall. And even though I refuse to pretend around her, and I insist on talking about the elephant in the room, she just continues on her merry way, as though the windshield wipers of her mind wiped everything anyone else says away. AND, she is not crazy or getting dementia- this is all calculated.
In closing, I want to apologize to my dear husband, for doubting him and his assessment of the relationship. She is one wacky woman.