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Well I guess now I know the holidays are officially coming because MIL has started her manipulative games again. Here is the background: MIL has 3 sons. 2 barely speak to her and 1 ( My DH) does what he can, when ever possible. I have spent the first 25 years of married life being manipulated by her at every turn with just about everything you can think of. Finally in the last 5 years I have slowly refused to permit this to happen.

So....last night....MIL calls and tells me that she knows what she wants for Christmas. She also says that I did not even ask her what she wanted and she knows I probably already did my shopping. I told her yes I had but what was it that she wanted. she proceeds to tell me that she is not going to tell me. I know she wanted me to beg her to tell me but I just said, OK and started to change the subject. So she then decided to tell me that she wants a step 2 mailbox but that I should not buy it since I already shopped. She darn well knows that I will now probably rearrange the budget and gift list and go buy the darn thing for her. I honestly do want to get her something that she actually wants but I really resent being basically told what to get her. It feels as if I just get a shopping list and have to abide by it.

She then asks me if my daughter got her anything last year for Christmas or not. Did my daughter send the gift with me or what. Evidently it has bothered her for a whole year that she bought DD and her children something and did not receive a gift in return. Now I am 90% sure DD did not buy for her but I am not going to jump into a discussion about it. I tell her that I dont remember what I even got her last year and that I am not concerned with things that happened a year ago.

So we end up getting off the phone and I find myself wondering once again why I even associate with her? To make matters worse, she is hosting Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. DD and grands will not be here as grandson had an accident and needs to stay close to his doctor/hospital for a couple of weeks. They had planned to come but this unexpectedly came up. Oldest son, daughter in law and youngest daughter will be here for the long weekend. And I find myself not even wanting to go for dinner. Why do I put myself in this position over the holiday season. I know that I really need to decide what I want the holidays to be and how I want to spend them and then just do it.

christmas already feels like a bg gift card exchange with most of the family since my children are older and need/want nothing. If it were not for the grands, I would not shop at all! Thank heavens for them!
In any case, just needed to vent......

I know I will go buy the gift I have basically been instructed to buy but I resent it to no end.
And she wonders why I dont come to just visit her. Every time I do visit, she tells me what she has to do alone ( again trying to get us to do everything for her) how someone offended her (my children or her lady friends) how someone did not do things right ( AKA her way) and how terrible her boys treat her...jeez.......

Thanks for listening
 

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Excuse me, but where is that law that says you have to buy her another gift after you have already done so? You are letting her rule you so she does. Give her the gift you already bought and tell her she spoke too late. She even knows you already did your shopping. Leave it at that. What is it with adults who act like 3 year olds. Jeez. Hugs.

Cat
 

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You cannot change her - only your reaction to her. Don't know if you'll ever be able to totally avoid her, but please work on not wasting any of your energy on her.
 

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Onery MIL

You know, I lost my mom a couple years ago, and this lady sounds just like her. Really, just go buy the MIL whatever it was she was wanting, not as a Christmas gift, just because you know she wants it.

My mom was manipulative, always onery and negative. But I'd give anything to just be able to sit and hold her hand.

When folks get older they just get that way (onery). Just show kindness to her and you won't regret it.
 
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I'm sorry your MIL lives her life complaining.
Since you already bought her a present - can you buy the mailbox for her birthday?
 

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The difference here is, I would of put her in her place yearssssssss ago...

I apparently intimidated my MIL from day one according to hubbys sisters, not intentionally, but from just being me... I have respected (but never givin in to) my MIL for almost 22 yrs.for my husbands sake, but also in general conversation I have told her, I married my husband not his family, not one of their names are on my marriage license, it is up to hubby to send cards, get gifts, deal with the drama, etc.. I have made it a point to let the whole family know their not my problem, I have my own family with problems (5 siblings I don't speak to), and my priority is my hubby and kids.. If they want a relationship it's fine and we did till the drama started.. It has worked very well for hubby and I,, he knows how I feel, but also appreciates that I will go with him to see his parents..

It's a give and take and if she is only taking, something has got to give...

There's a saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy" Well, I made sure everyone knew it was this mama they gotta worry about ;)
 

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OMG...you must have the same MIL as me! 37 years, here.

I agree with Maui---let it go. Let her just be as she is. Nothing you can do. Try to minimize the way she changes YOUR life, and let the rest go. She will never change. I can tell ya that.
 

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Oh can I relate....here's a funny story....

First thanksgiving dh and I are together. I am 3 months pregnant. First thanksgiving I have invited MIL, FIL and brothers over for dinner. She calls me at 10AM...(dinner is at 2) and proceeds to tell me that 'she' invited her sister and husband over to MY house for thanksgiving dinner.

Oh MY GOD~! Let's just say...I put my foot down. Now if she would have called me and said they had nowhere to go...could she invite them? I wouldn't have thought ANYTHING about it..and told her yes. But to go and ask without asking me...oh man was I mad. I told her that if she was hosting the dinner..she was free to invite whoever she wanted to her house,but if I was hosting the dinner..it was MY call.
 

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Sounds like my MIL.
 

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I allowed my MIL to get under my skin. It got to the point that I would become PHYSICALLY ill just at the thought of going to her house. One day I told my (ex)husband I was done and that I wanted nothing to do with her.

It was her loss! I would always tell hubby to swing by and see her when we were in the neighborhood. After my announcement he didn't go to see her as often. That was his choice.

When you have had enough you will stand up for yourself!
 

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Sounds like my sister, the millionaire. She got so bad my SIL and I decided that we were no longer buying "gifts" as we didn't need more stuff, just consumables. So we gave food, maple syrup, etc. Worked great.

My sister COMPLAINS to you about how much money she spent on you but ALSO complains if you happen to get a gift for her cheap. It's a no-win scenario. Of course this is the same woman who only calls when it's free, so what can you expect?

Just so you know, it isn't just MILs. Thank GOD I had a great MIL, she is dearly missed by all.

Judi
 

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Honestly - I would stick with whatever you've already purchased for her for Christmas. She needs to re-learn that you can't have everything you want especially all at once. Maybe next Christmas she can have it or for her birthday etc etc. She obviously doesn't 'need' it - she's lived this long w/o it, whats one more Christmas? KIWM?

I wouldn't worry if she started talking about you behind your back as in 'SHE was the one who didn't get me my step 2 mailbox for Christmas' :blah: If others have the gall to mention something to you - thats when you simply reply 'Did she tell you about the part how I do my shopping early as well and had her gift already chosen when she told me about this mailbox?' Not that you have to answer to anyone.

Stick to your guns AND your budget! If you continually let her steamroll you, you're only going to frustrate yourself until you blow up. :(

I have gone the 'el cheapo' route as dubbed by family (aka 'frugal' by other friends) when I lost my job last Sept and given them the gift of my presence for the holidays :lol: since we never really got to see each other. Seriously - no one needs more 'stuff'...food is always received well. :)

BTW: What his this mailbox she's after...does it pay your bills for you? Is it fancy? I have no clue what it is, sorry.
 

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After reading many of the posts, I just realized I need to give many thanks for my wonderful Mother In Law. I have been truly blessed to have her in my life. She's not just my MIL, she's also one of my very best friends.
 
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