How to set boundaries around a cantankerous, self centered mother in law?
Told me I was to care for my father in law, while she attended her class reunion- didn't ask if the dates were even free. I am so angry I cannot call her until I sort this out. "Just say no", leaves me vulnerable to future attacks.
How to handle the mother-in-law has been a topic of emotional debate since Eve became a mother-in-law. Comedy routines are based on the actions of the mother-in-law. Movies center around her actions. Marriages have been ruined because of her. What can be done about it? Set the boundaries for your mother-in-law and stand by them. read more
I have read a book by Henry Cloud named Boundaries. It was very helpfull in family matters such as these. Simply put, don't allow yourself to be dictated to. No is a perfectly acceptable answer. You don't have to explain. Has saying yes all the time gotten you better treatment? Probably not. We get what we tolerate. Where is your Husband in all this? Is he aware that his Mother is a bully?
Simply tell her that you will be unable to. You do not owe her an explanation; just say “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to”. It would be better if your husband were willing to back you up, preferably with the simple “I’m sorry mother, she won’t be able to”. If you absolutely must give, inform her that you are unavailable on the dates. This also needs no further explanation.
No. you can't just say no; however, you must not do it because she will believe she can always snap her fingers and you will jump. Go along the lines, 'you should have checked first, I'm going out that day, you'll have to get a carer in.' Don't argue, don't explain yourself, or where or why you are going out. You have to train her to ask, just like children really, and like children, they have to learn to live with disappointment.
The use of "I" statements takes the blame off the person you are addressing and asks for cooperation.
An example of an "I" statements for this situation is:
"I don't mind taking care of Dad. But I don't like it when you don't check with me to see if I am free first. If you do it again, you will have to find someone else to stay with Dad."
In-law conflict rates up there with money and sex related issues that cause marital distress and contributor to divorce. It's something I've dealt with many times in my private practice.
It's really your spouse’s responsibility to set the boundaries on his side of the family to protect your marriage.
Have sympathy for her. Consider her as a helpless case. But never tell her so. Never react to her insinuations. Face smilingly. Still love her, or act to love her. She will accept defeat and will become a fan of you. Take it as a challenge, and be the winner. Good luck!
Care for your father in law. Family first. Put your problem in perspective. People are dying. You can take one for the team.
85ThunderKeys got this perfectly right, it is your spouses responsability to deal with thier own family, and if your spouse lets his mother treat you in this way, i know darn well what direction my anger would be adressed.
Oh I feel your pain, my MIL is the same way, and it SO frustrating!! What does your husband say about it? Whenever mine pulls this kind of stuff, he is usually supportive and sticks up for me. Having him on my side makes it much easier to say no and set boundaries. That's a hard thing to do though, and if you're husband doesn't want to contest his mom, it's even harder. When situations some up like this, stay calm. It's hard to do, but it's really important. Tell her you can't do it, because she didn't give you enough notice, and you have plans. Then really have plans, so you won't feel guilty those dates, you'll be too busy having fun. Or, confront her, tell her you don't like the way she is treating you, and as her DIL, you deserve the same kind of respect. This is really hard, and I repeat it to my MIL often. She doesn't always get the point (usually she doesn't) but she'll at least back down from this round. Keep at it, eventually she'll understand you're her equal, not her servant. Good luck!!
Usually when someone behave in a manner that I do not like and when I say do not like I mean it is either childish, self centered or is insulting or repulsive to me, I won't say a word. I keep my distance and have nothing to do with them. Most would say talk, communicate blah, blah, blah but people like that are bent on getting their way. If they can't get it by bull dozing you they will get it by pretending to be nice and civil. First impressions are lasting, self centered individuals just become more disgusting
by starme77 8 years ago
Do ? Gee this has been going on for like 5 years or so and I had no clue at all, I take care of his mother with altzheimers and just started doing taxes again , well, I lost my job cause he went nuts and pulled all my hair out and I didnt really perform too well at work the first couple days so...
by nursingmania 2 years ago
Why most married men hates their Mother in Law?
by RicoShae 5 years ago
How do you deal with self centered people?How do you deal with someone who can be a bit selfish at times and always has to be right, but doesn't seem to realize it? These personality types are so difficult to get through to.
by Mahaveer Sanglikar 6 years ago
I have observed that most of the people who practice meditation, have nothing to do with social problems. The question is, does practicing meditation make them self centered?
by Judy Specht 4 years ago
Are you self- directed or self centered?While taking a economics class the professor was talking about self- directed vs self-centered. In a free market people are assumed to be self-directed. The example he used was Mother Theresa. She was self-directed because she could...
by Joana e Bruno 6 years ago
Are you self-centered? Is that good or bad? How do you handle it?
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc. HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
|HubPages Device ID||This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.|
|Login||This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.|
|HubPages Traffic Pixel||This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.|
|Remarketing Pixels||We may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.|
|Conversion Tracking Pixels||We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.|