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  • Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

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    Old 10-27-2005, 11:05 AM   #1
    newlywed180605
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    Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    My wife and I have only been married over 4 months. Before that, she lived with her mother for a period while her late father was sick. He passed away approximately 3 months before our wedding.

    Her mother has always been possessive of her but I thought that when we got married things would change, at least a bit. Well, it hasn't in some ways.

    We live about 3 hours from her mother and for the first 2 months of our marriage, her Mom was calling every day, sometimes more than that. There are times that right when we are getting into one of our more passionate times, what happens? The phone rings and you know who it is. Interruption certainly isn't something that fosters good lovemaking.

    Well, now that her Mom is online, they chat, especially when I'm at work during the day which certainly is no problem for me. My wife agrees with me that maybe her mother's intrusion into our lives sometimes gets a little too frequent and she has told her Mom that she can't chat online as much, especially when I'm home. My wife has tried to explain to her Mom that she wants to spend more time with me when I'm there. The answer from her Mom is that I'm not letting her chat with her Mom. I'm getting the blame for loving my wife as she loves me. Sometimes I think my mother-in-law is jealous of us and my wife agrees.

    I realize it's hard for a mother to have her daughter move out and not be close to home anymore but she does have two other children who live in the same area as well as grandchildren who keep her company too. Another thing, my wife is 42 though some of you will say that has nothing to do with it.

    I am letting my wife try to reason with her mother about what I said above. I would rather have her do it because I certainly don't want to do anything to offend her Mom or hurt my wife. This has nothing to do with our relationship being in jeopardy because it won't happen. We are very happy together and always will be. It's just that this element of intrusion sometimes gets frustrating. I talk to my Mom maybe 3 times a month on the phone and that's it. I feel that my wife's Mom has to adjust and let us live our lives.

    Sure, I realize we all have one Mom. We love them but a line has to be drawn too.

    The question is: Do you think I'm being selfish? My wife and I waited till we were middle age to meet and marry one another and it just gets a little ridiculous when my mother-in-law thinks that her daughter should "snap to attention" every time she wants to chat or talk on the phone, no matter when.

    Sorry that this is a bit long, but there must be others out there who have experienced similar situations and could offer advice.

    Thanks

     
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    Old 10-27-2005, 11:13 AM   #2
    Ruth6:11
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    Re: Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    I think that your wife is going to have to step up to the plate here....

    She can't get "stuck" chatting online if she doesn't get online all day, right? And if your wife turns off her IM altogether the mom won't know she's online anyway.
    If you have an answering machine keep it somewhere other than the bedroom and let the machine get it while you're "busy"..

    Was your wife ever married before? Did she live on her own after school?
    And if she did have her own place, is this the pattern they always had together with the every day calls?
    From what I see in my friendships some women DO talk to their mom every day. I certainly talk to mine more since my dad died in 2001. But then my mom is very respectful of my marital relationship...

    I do think that it is your wife who has to make herself not so available...

    Last edited by Ruth6:11; 10-27-2005 at 11:14 AM.

     
    Old 10-27-2005, 11:36 AM   #3
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    Re: Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    I definitely agree with Ruth on this one. I am in my 40's and have a great relationship with my mom...but my hubby comes first There are times I talk to my mom daily and other times I do not depending on what is happening in my married life and around it. And that is the way it should be in a healthy marriage.

    Sounds to me that perhaps your wife is filling in for her dad in terms of making her mom feel loved and not so abandoned. Perhaps it is time that your wife suggest various options in which her mom could fill this void in her life such as volunteering or joining a club or program offered at the local library.

    Yes...your wife should be the one to do this, after all...."A man shall leave his mother and a woman leave her home." A guide to marriage with good advice only perhaps the genders were a little mixed up.

    Use the answering machine and as Ruth says....IM does have an away message in which your wife can leave a message such as "Honeymooning in Progress" After a few creative messages like that I think your MIL will eventually get the real message.

    Good luck ~ Goody

    Last edited by goody2shuz; 10-27-2005 at 11:41 AM.

     
    Old 10-27-2005, 11:39 AM   #4
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    Re: Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    I agree with Ruth. This is up to your wife to put a stop to it. I am 43 and VERY close to my mother as well. I married my husband and moved 3,000 miles away from her and the rest of my family, and talk to her (and e-mail) at least every other day. But my mother understands when I can't talk and need to spend time with my husband. In addition, my mother understands this and would never out step her boundaries.
    Your wife needs to make it clear to her mother that there is a time and place when she can talk, and a time when she can't.

     
    Old 10-27-2005, 02:52 PM   #5
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    Re: Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    I would definitly not ask your wife to spend less time talking to her mom... If she feels she needs to back off a little, she will. Its her decision, not yours.
    When the phone rings and you are "busy", I agree with Ruth that it is totally ok to let the answering machine get it. It is also ok for your wife to not be as availiable to her mother. But truthfully, I don't think it's your place to tell your wife how often is ok to talk to her own mother. Especially so soon after her father's passing. Imagine your mother in law, she just lost a husband and, in a sense, a daughter in the same year. Don't you think she's a little lonely?
    I come from a very close knit family, and yes it can get annoying, however I wouldn't let anyone tear me away from them in any way.
    You may feel its normal to speak to your mom 3 times a month, but thats you and you cannot compare other relationships to yours.

    If your wife agrees with you and wants to talk to her mom less often, I agree she needs to become less availiable to her. But maybe that is not the case and your wife is agreeing with you because you are making her feel guilty for missing her mom.

    I'm only 25 and I'm not married, so maybe that has something to do with my oppinion. But I can't see myself ever not talking to my mother as often as I do now. She's my best friend.
    It doesn't mean your wife loves her mom more than you....
    But then again, I don't know the whole story. If her mom is rude or disrespectfult to you in any way, I can see your frusteration more clearly...

    Good Luck to you!

     
    Old 10-27-2005, 03:25 PM   #6
    Mark5
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    Re: Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    It is your wife's mother so she should be dealing with the problems if she agrees with you. I deal with my mom when she is the problems and my wife deals with her mom. That seems fair to us.

    Your wife needs to slowly wean her mom back. My wife and her mom talk daily, but it doesn't create a problem. Regardless of who it is, if my wife ever answers the phone during sex there is going to be a big problem. So, I suggest you start there with turning off the ringer or making it clear that the phone won't get answered. Generally a return phone call can wait X minutes (insert your time here ).

    Next, discuss with your wife that certain times should be limited when you are around. When I come home from work I don't expect my wife to sit on the phone all night if I'm with her.

    Good luck. Moms are not always easy and you will have more luck working with your wife than your MIL. If you start slowly you will find that things will get better over time. If you let it go it will only grow into a monster.

     
    Old 10-28-2005, 05:48 AM   #7
    newlywed180605
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    Re: Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    Both my wife and I have read your responses and, for the most part, they agree with me that it's my wife's role to deal with her mother and, ironically, she did just that yesterday afternoon. She sent her Mom an off-line chat note telling her Mom that she just can't be there all the time.

    As for you, Murray67980, I appreciate your input, but I see you're not married yet. You say your Mom is your best friend and I think that's wonderful. My wife and her Mom are best friends too, it's just that the context has changed now that she has "her main best friend" for life who is me, her husband, same as she is my best friend for life as my wife. And, now that I think of it, my Mom and I have always been "best friends" too, but we respect each other's "space".

    My MIL hasn't responded to my wife yet, the phone didn't ring last night and my wife thinks maybe her Mom is mad at her. Well, I told my wife she'll just have to get pleased again. Adjustment is difficult but my MIL must realize that we are married, living together in our own lives and that my wife will still be there for her, as we all are for our loved ones, but things can't be the same as when my wife was living at home with her. My MIL is quite a bossy type and we both think she misses my wife not being there for her to boss around anymore.

    We still go to my parents' home and her Mom's home once a month. When I'm at her Mom's, I can easily see that my MIL likes to have things her way and that's just a characteristic of her. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with my MIL, we all have our faults, but she must try and consider that her daughter is now my wife and that her 42 year old daughter doesn't report to her as I sometimes get the impression she thinks.

    My wife and I are deeply in love and, as my wife says, it's gonna take a lot more than this, if anything, to get us apart and I feel the same. It's just that it's better to "nip this in the bud" now than let it become a monster, as the last poster put it.

    Thanks again.

    Last edited by newlywed180605; 10-28-2005 at 05:54 AM.

     
    Old 10-28-2005, 12:08 PM   #8
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    Re: Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    Hi, Newlywed

    First, congratulations on being a newlywed! Fun, isn't it?

    My hubby and I dealt with the same type of situation, me talking to my mom a lot. My mom's my best friend, was a single parent who raised me, was my roomate until I married (at age 28) and was my business partner in our family business. We spoke multiple times a day, every day, after work.

    I'd be on the phone after work, DH would be on the computer, then bed. No talk or cuddle time. DH brought it up first, and I certainly agreed that between dinner, eating, cleanup, his computer time and my "Mom talk", we didn't have much "us" time in the evenings.

    Some things we did without hurting anyone's feelings and not necessarily having to make a "choice" were as follows:

    I have a cordless phone. I cook dinner, DH does cleanup. I'd either chat with Mom while I was cooking or during cleanup when DH was in the kitchen. DH would have his computer time when I'm cooking. Once cleanup's done, it's "our" time, TV, a movie, a puzzle, music and wine, whatever. Caller ID is a wonderful thing. Don't answer the phone at that point. If it's a family emergency, a message will be left, and, by all means, return the call immediately. I would always check my messages after a minute or two. 99 percent of the time, there is no message, so everything's okay.

    I also got rid of my fear of saying to Mom on the phone, "Okay. I should run now, we're about to start a movie," or, "Mom, DH is waiting on me to work on our puzzle, but we'll chat tomorrow. Love you."

    If Mom called during any of "our" time and I answer it, I just say, "Hey, can I give you a call right back? DH just walked in the door, and I haven't seen him all day, or "We're right in the middle of an awesome movie we rented. Is it okay if I call you tomorrow? Love you." Then I call her back during the cook/cleanup time or the next evening.

    Always keep it positive, "Thanks, Mom, for understanding," or, "Gosh, Mom, you're great...love you," or, "Man, I'd love to hear the gossip...promise to fill me in, in a little while?"

    I realize everyone's situation is different and moms are different, too. We were able to find a really easy solution to this, tho, without stepping on toes or hurting feelings. I still get to talk to Mom, and DH still gets his computer time. It's just a matter of, shall we say, planning

    Again, many congratulations to you & I wish you the best of luck.

    Lysne

     
    Old 10-28-2005, 12:45 PM   #9
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    Re: Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    When I was first married my FIL used to call every morning at 5:30 to see if my hubby was going to drive over to feed the horses. They had them in a friends pasture that was only blocks from FIL's house but over a mile from ours. It would have been easier for FIL, but he liked to just call our house. Well I was preggers and not happy at all to be hearing the phone! So I started unplugging it, quietly, before bed every night.

    My hubby would still get up every morning at 5:30 and go over there to help his dad because he is a very early riser, he didn't NEED the call. But I got the sleep I needed!

    I think your wife did the right thing by sending the online message and her Mom will get over it soon enough. But I would take the phone OFF the hook while you have your "PLAY TIME"! That way, you don't even hear the ring or the click of the machine to distract you.

    I hope your MIL will respect your time from now on. Maybe she will find a new hobby, like spying on the neighbores!LOL That is what my inlaws do, with their binnoculars, how sick is that?????

     
    Old 10-29-2005, 12:53 AM   #10
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    Re: Dealing With A Very Possessive Mother-In-Law

    This isnt being selfish one bit. But here's a couple ideas. 1. She can limit her online time. and 2. if you dont already have caller i.d. (what house hold doesnt right?) you should get one this way when she calls you can opt not to answer the phone, nothing wrong with that you know!

    And like others have said I think your wife may need to step it up a bit here. My grandma (moms-mom) has gotten clingy to my mom from time to time, mostly because my mom is always the one there to help here after a surgery or if she needs help getting something done. There are 4 siblings and my mom is the one that my grandma is always calling and spending time with.

    My mom doesnt have to worry about my grandma online, but she does call at least once a day sometimes more then that just to confrim and make sure she has there plans set and everything is to a 'T' my mom has gotten to the point where she doesnt answer the phone sometimes just because she knows she'll be tied up talking to her for at least an hour or so. My mom doesnt like to do this but it saves her from the long coversations ect...

    Just keep letting your wife know that your not trying to ruin her relationship with her mom but let her know that during your most intimate moments, let the phone ring, infact turn the ringer off so you dont have to worry about missing any calls.

     
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