Am I really out of order ?

My mother in-law visits us every month for an average of 5 days. We live 1hr45mins away. She doesn't drive. I have been told I am a charlatan and nasty etc...because I should love the visits. The truth is - Each month I dread 'that' call when she asks "is it ok if I can come down for a couple of days" It was once ok because it wasn't monthly.

Last week she wanted to come down and I thought we were going out that day so it got put off. Well, she went off to her daughters saying she felt really down (My fault) and then she told my husband she wasn't coming at all ! Then - she calls up last night and is now coming today.

Sorry. I need a rant..image



  • Who is calling you a charlatan (which actually means fraudster, or confidence trickster, btw) and nasty?


  • Husband. He says i'm a charlatan because I am always nice to her face and then the truth is I don't really enjoy the monthly visits. I should of been honest long ago but I felt I couldn't because he is always asking her to stay.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Crickey Lil - if that was my mother in law i'd feel the same!... Actually if it was mother - i'd feel the same!

    Why does she visit for so long? Can you not visit her one day a month and avoid the stay? Is she alone a lot? What does she do when she's with you?

    It could be that she's lonely and needs the company... or she could be trying to rule the roost by being there so often.

  • She has family and friends and keeps herself busy most of the time but just can't stand being on her own it seems.

    When she's here she basically gets waited on by me. As I work part-time in a school I am home more. I can honestly say I have even thought about getting a full time job. Now how bad is that ?

  • Hmmm - difficult. 

    I wouldn't want ANYONE coming to stay for days at a time, let alone on a regular basis.

    You need to put your foot down a bit now.  Say to your husband, that yes, you SHOULD have said something sooner, but you are saying it now - you don't want her to come so often or for so long. 

    You really do need to be honest about this, but it's not going to go down well, I think.  He's also now in a difficult position - having to deal with his mother who's got used to these visits.

    You need to agree on what is acceptable in terms of frequency and duration, then both stick to it. 

    I am so glad I've never had a MiL like this!

  • Visitors are the reason we invented hotels.  Fish and house guests - they both start to smell after a couple of days.

    "Should have", not "should of".

  • OMG - Are you my sister ? She is always telling me off for that.. have/of..

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    I think Wilkie has the best (most sane) approach.

    Maybe say its nice to have you here occasionally but not so frequently? I know that if I had to weight on them - i'd honestly get frustrated a lot earlier than you!

    How does your husband feel about the visits? is he happy to have his mum around? Does she behave differently with you as opposed to him?

  • Husband loves having her to stay. He thinks she's no bother..He sits and chats to her over tea when he gets in at 7.30pm and then at breakfast. I am the one who stays with her all day. I creep down early in the morning to sit for 5 mins and have a coffee on my own.

    Thank you for listening & I will say to my husband, once he starts talking to me again. I do like the visits, just not so often also please ask me first (Not in front of her)

    Oh, can't wait for her to turn up later today. Can't even go for a run as I have pulled my neck..Oh joys... 

  • Can't families be complicated. Yes you really need to be honest and say how you feel. Just because you don't like having someone in your house for several days each month it doesn't mean that you dislike that person.

    I thought once a year family get togethers were enough.

    Should of - is should've - therefore it's right.

  • How long have you been married?

    Maybe suggest to your husband that he takes a few days off work to stay at home and have some quality time with his mother image

    If your husband isn't talking to you at the moment, perhaps you could write him a letter - that way he can't interrupt you and derail the conversation too.  You can make your points clearly and unemotionally that way.

    Can you think of some activity that MiL won't want to do - invite her to come, but go without her if doesn't want to come along?  Long, loooong, walks, maybe, as you can't run?

    If all else fails get a full time job, or volunteer at a local charity shop!

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Lil - all you can be is honest and truthful. He needs to respect that it's your space as well and you have the right to peace and quiet and to be relaxed in your own home.

    Who told you that she was upset about it being moved?


  • Lil. wrote (see)

    Husband. He says i'm a charlatan because I am always nice to her face and then the truth is I don't really enjoy the monthly visits. I should of been honest long ago but I felt I couldn't because he is always asking her to stay.


    T.mouse wrote (see)

    Should of - is should've - therefore it's right.

    Should've is a contraction of 'should have', and is right.  'Should of' sounds like it, but it's not correct in writing.



  • Wilkie -We have been together 24 years. Only 19 when met. I was thinking just the same. Extra LONG walks for the next few days. Funny thing is. He has 2 weeks booked off at the end of the month. He didn't mention that would be a better time to stay. Hhmmmm..

    Emmy - Sister in-law spoke with husband saying "Mum is really down about something" then continued with. "Wasn't she planning a trip down to you ? She can't stand the sight of her Mother in-law.

    Keep you fingers crossed girls & thanks again. You have helped.image

  • Define some limits.


  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    Do you have a dog?

    If so, have its tail docked. Because clearly someone in the house is giving the MiL the impression that she's welcome.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Getting stuck with a mother in law for the best bit of a week every month is a ridiculous burden on you.

    You and your husband have your own life now, so although the odd visit is nice and all of that type sentiments, such a regular occurrence is getting silly.

    You need to tell your husband this needs to change. Either he takes some holiday to be around more, or he makes more visits the other way.

    Must be hard for him could you tell your own mother, the person responsible of bringing you up that she's an imposition!

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Let us know how it goes image

    Hopefully the visit will be better this time but make sure that hubby realises how my pressure and stress this puts on you. I love my mother in law dearly but if she was there for 3 days a month - i'd be going absolutely nuts.

  • 70's male comedians used to make a living off mother in law jokes. In reality it's the relationship between wife and mother in law that's often the most tense. There's been some rocky times with visits here. I feel for you.
  • Lil - I assume your Mum-In-Law has arrived.....image

    How's it going?

  • Pity you couldn't have said 'oh why not come down at the end of the month as your son is on holiday and he'd love to spend more time with you!".  Hope it goes okay!  She's taking liberties, and your husband is being totally unfair to have a go at you when he is at work all day and doesn't have to wait on her hand and foot.  

  • How old is she?

    My advice would be to wait until alzeimers begins to set in then invite her out on your long weekend run......wait till approx 15 miles in and tell her you're going to incoroporate some sprint workimage

    Problem solved. image

  • I'm Still Here - Have 5 minutes free while shes gone to the bathroom. Worse visit than normal. She hasn't booked her ticket home. She said "I'll wait until you get fed up with me" (OK, GO NOW) ALSO - Husband hasn't been getting home from work until after 8.30pm and last night due to football. Didn't even come home..I am hoping he helps over the week-end. Must go now. Update over the next few days. image

  • Have you had a conversation with your husband about this?  I think you need to, and you need to set down some rules - open-ended stays are not on.

    Is there someone you could go and visit for a few days, if he won't deal with it?  Or maybe you could book yourself into a B&B somewhere. 

    Perhaps you could go and stay at her house, while she's at yours....

    Does she go and visit her daughter/s in the same way?

  • HI Lil - been reading this and really feel for you.

    Your husband is putting you in an impossible position.  Im sure you are too nice to be rude to your MIL and there is no reason why you should be in the postion you are.  Just and Idea but  could you make plans to go out for a few evenings and leave him to spend them with his mother,? rather than just leaving you to it while his life continues as normal.  He wont do anything about the situation until it impacts him directly.

    Good luck

  • I agree with that, you need to tell your husband that it is unfair of him to invite his mum to visit when he isn't going to be around to spend time with her. It's not as though he doesn't realise that there is friction there - as you said yourself, he's acknowledged that you don't enjoy her visits!

    To be honest, I'd be pretty livid with OH if I was put in this situation. You can't palm off your family obligations on your partner and then sod off to watch football. She's his mother, not yours, he should be making the effort to spend time with her.

  • Refuse to have intimate relations with him when she stays - he will have her packed and gone in a jiffyimage

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    I like Minnie's response. I'm so sorry Lil that things arent better (and what's the deal with the opened ended ticket?!?).

    This is just a theory - but could she be seeing how far she can push it with the aim to moving in full time? or could it be that she's looking for boundaries.

    An idea could be: to make plans during the day and say: as your son is off at the end of the month, perhaps you could come and spend time with him then? You've seen how busy he is lately (not getting home until 8.30) and it can't be nice for you to just have to sit around with plain old me...

  • Lil,
    Sorry that you're having problems with you MIL. I'd go absolutely spare if my in-laws were coming down every month for a week.
    Fortunately MIL is ok and is always happy to pitch in, especially with cooking as she's an excellent cook.
    FIL, MIL and him are long divorced, is normally very good but we have had the odd problem with him which culminated in me telling him to pack his bags and get out as I was walking out the door. OH tried to get me to come back but I said not until your father's gone. Haven't had any trouble with him since image
    I'm not advocating the storming out approach by the way.
    I think that your husband definitely needs to get his priorities, you shouldn't have to deal with his mum every time she comes down while he wanders in from work, football or whereever when he likes.

  • I have to be v honest here - and I may be criticised for saying so, but if my own parents (let alone in-laws) wanted to come down so regularly I think I'd struggle.  I love them to bits, think they are wonderful, and love seeing them, but couldn't imagine living with them for any extended periods again.image


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