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Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law) Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

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  #1  
Unread 01-12-2012, 01:41 AM
Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

So I have been sick, and I mean sick the last 6 months with my womanly issues. In and out of ER, constant CBCs, pain pills, etc and have not really heard from my mother in law at all. I have been married to her son for almost a decade but we have been off and on since we were 14. Anyway, we live overseas so I don't see much of my family and right now, I would love to see my mom but she is afraid to fly transatlantic. Fine. But my mother in law has been out here several times and every time she is out here, it starts off great with her spending time with the whole fam, her helping out around the house etc. But by a week in, she starts making comments. They are always about me, after my husband leaves the room. I don't put up with that crap and say something to her like "What was that? Did you say I was the best daughter in law ever? I think I misheard you" and I brush it off but last time she outright, in front of my husband, started her crap and then created a scene on base when she, in public, accused me of using her son. She went home and I didn't talk to her for months. Fast forward to now, she hears about everything I am going through and not a word for two weeks. Then out of the blue she sends me a message that she bought plane tickets to come out for a month and to help "through such a tough time".

My batman instincts are saying "Crap! She's going to come out and make this all so much worse." I'm already dealing with a bunch on my plate, now I have to deal with her too. I have biopsies on my mind, impending surgeries etc and the last thing I want to deal with is her. She claims that all the stuff in the past was because she was having severe PMS, that she's on medication now and is so much better now that her hormones are under control. She is a nurse so swears she wants to come out and help me and even offered to extend her tickets to try to be here for my surgery and help with recovery.

I really don't know what to think. My husband says that he will be a buffer and make sure she is treating me well or else he will deal with her and straighten her out. I know the kids want to see her. I just personally would rather be alone through this, but at the same time, that is a lot of pressure on my husband to do it all. It's just stress makes everything down there flare up and when I get stressed, the pain is excruciating. I would welcome the help but I am not about to suffer more and make this time all about her, when it should be about me getting better, right? Is that a selfish thought? If it is, please call me out on it. I'd love other opinions on this. I don't want to be overly sensitive, but at the same time, I don't want to be taken advantage of during a time when I'm already vulnerable.
Anyway, anyone else go through this/Going through this? How are/did you handle it?
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  #2  
Unread 01-12-2012, 05:46 AM
Re: Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

Hi! I'm an introvert, and so glad that DH is on the same page, because he has been my rock through the whole thing. My job contacts, obviously, had to know why I would be out on leave for a few weeks, and I have a handful of sympathetic friends who offer support gently by phone, not by repeat visits.

I did NOT tell my mom, sis-in-law or other people about the surgery because I would not be comfortable dealing with their typical reactions. Like you, I don't want my home invaded, and would not take such an offer as anything helpful or comforting.

While I can totally believe that "this time will be different" - after all, the past incidents have been discussed, promises have been offered, etc. and people can change. But why put all your trust in that?

My suggestion is to have a 'plan B' for when she arrives. Perhaps a nearby relative would be willing to let her sleep over if you need to get her out of your house for awhile? Or make it clear that if things aren't working out well for you, she'll back off and either check into a hotel or go home early. Don't let anyone bulldoze you now - your recovery is more important than her ego.
  #3  
Unread 01-12-2012, 08:51 AM
Re: Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

My parents wanted to come for my surgery and I asked them not to because I really did feel as if their presence would add more stress rather than help it. My mother-in-law, who I love dearly and who has never been a problem in the least, would have been stressful to have around, too. I really didn't want out-of-towners hanging out in my living room watching me watch TV or nap.

My first thought is that she purchased tickets and announced her visit without first asking and that's a big red flag for me. I would be stressed, too.

I would say, if you don't want her there, tell her to stay home. Life is stressful enough and now you are adding surgery to it. Adding company you would rather not have is not going to help.

BUT - she is your husband's mother, so I know it's hard. Wishing you all the best and Good Luck. You are going to need it.
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  #4  
Unread 01-12-2012, 09:04 AM
Re: Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

Thanks for your responses. That's what I was thinking too McLila. She bought the tickets without asking and refused to wait til next week for when we find out when my surgical date is. I think she wants a vacation and it is just convenient that we live in Europe. My husband is Air Force so we are stationed in England and she has come out here 4 times in the last 3 years and each time has been her acting like a primadonna. Her bed wasn't comfy enough. Her food wasn't good enough (she never brings money, she comes and expects us to pay for all of her needs. She brings alcohol into the home and we are a nondrinking house and then she ends up sleeping all day while we tiptoe around trying not to wake her and thus have her come downstairs in a foul mood) She claims it was all because of Menopause and "this time will be different". The hotel on base can only be reserved 3 days at a time but I swear, THIS time, if she starts acting up, I will be reserving for her. Shoot, I'll pay for it if it means I get a break from her. She's always had the opinion I wasn't good enough for her son but omg, it's been almost 10 years now.. I think the matter is settled. I'm not going anywhere. Gah! It's just frustrating. I really wish she didn't do this but on the flip side, I really could use the help... if she was actually coming to help (which the jury is still out on)
  #5  
Unread 01-12-2012, 09:18 AM
Re: Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

Agree totally re MAJOR RED FLAG on her buying the tickets w/o asking or being invited!! This means (to me) that she is pushy and just will do whatever she wants no matter what you want. I have a MIL like this, which the good news is that she finally got old enough (87) that she can't fly any more. IMHO, I'd tell her or have hubby tell her something like "doctor's orders" - no visitors for X amount of time - sorry, wish you would have asked first" - you know w/a smile on your face/in your voice. Since you are stressing now about it, I can't even IMAGINE what her visit would be like. Oh geez, I feel for you, because as I said, I *completely* understand... Let us know what you decide and keep your 'Batman' 'Spidey Sense' on high alert :O)
  #6  
Unread 01-12-2012, 10:48 AM
Re: Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

Ugh! No!

I simply could not go into this surgery knowing MIL was waiting on the other side. She simply must be told it isn't a good time, and you need your peace and quiet to recover.
  #7  
Unread 01-12-2012, 11:04 AM
Re: Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

I would talk to your hubby. The buying tickets and not asking thing is a major red flag. Plain ol' pushy and rude. The last thing you need is stress. It's time for your hubby to step up and take care of you, stand up to his mom, and say No. The recovery process is about you and has absolutely nothing to do with her.
  #8  
Unread 01-12-2012, 11:59 AM
Re: Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

I guess I am on the other side of the fence lol. I would let her come, but I would make darn sure my husband spoke to her ahead of time about what is expected and if she causes grief she will be driven to the airport.

Having said all that...my MIL lives with us and drives me nuts on a reg basis. She can't do much because she has stage 4 lung cancer, but even just cooking the meals for the first 2 weeks was helpful for us. She has been with us for a year and when there are issues my husband deals with her. (I tend to keep it all in then blow up and overreact)
  #9  
Unread 01-12-2012, 01:37 PM
Re: Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

What help can she offer beyond what your hubby can provide? Is it worth the uncertainty re how she will behave? Will your hubby be able to step in if she causes stress pre/post-op? Seriously think about YOUR emotional and physical needs surrounding your surgery, then have your hubby let his mother know how things are going to go. I asked my MIL to come and did have a little trepidation, but I'm so glad I did. Not all experiences are the same, though, and you have to do what is best for YOU.
  #10  
Unread 01-12-2012, 02:12 PM
Re: Cliche, but am I being too sensitive about this? (mother in law)

Maybe you could use the surgery as an excuse when you blow up at her for being rude, pushy, and demanding. Let her come and when she pushes your buttons, tell her like it is. If she gets offended, blame the recovery pain for being blunt. I had to do this with my SIL. She is a horrible, bigotted, angry woman. She spews venom when she speaks and no one in her family will stand up to her. I have kept my mouth shut to keep the peace, but when she brought her two grandchildren to see me at home the day after surgery and they all tried to get into bed with me to cheer me up I lost it. Can you imagine?! All three had colds too. Since then, things have been great for everyone. She just needed someone to set her boundaries. I wish you good luck and I hope your husband can be a buffer. Remember, you can vent with us
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