Do Unto Others…

   

    This week, my wonderful Mother In Law pulled another one of her fast ones.  Those of you who have been following this blog for awhile know all too well about my MIL’s shenanigans.  In case you just recently started following, you can read about the wonderful Thanksgiving visit that she bestowed upon us last year.  You see, she has a way of turning any joyous occasion into sheer torture.

    Just to give you a little background, my MIL does not like me at all.  As far as she is concerned, I am not worthy to be married to her son because I am not strict Born Again Christian like she is.  Now, let me be crystal clear, I have nothing against Born Again Christians whatsoever.  As a matter of fact, that is the religion that my husband was raised in and, although he is non-practicing, he still lists this as his religion on all legal documents. 

    My MIL, on the other hand, looks down upon anyone who does not adhere word for word to everything that is written in the Bible.  The fact that I am extremely liberal, have three tattoos, a nose piercing, and am a staunch feminist probably does not help my case much.  Through the years, our relationship has been strained at best. That might be an understatement.  It is probably more accurate to say that she treats me like the Anti-Christ.

    Although I am not happy to have such a terrible relationshipe with my MIL, I have accepted that this is the way that it is always going to be.  It seems fitting that I quote from the Serenity Prayer to describe to you all how I have come to deal with this tumultuous relationship.

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference…”

    Obviously, my MIL is never going to change and, I suppose, neither will I.  I have resigned myself to understanding the chilly nature of our relationship and I have moved on from it.  Unfortunately, my MIL continues to do things to get under my skin whenever she can.  She tries to arrange marriages with women from her church and my husband at least once per year despite the fact that Hubby and I have been married for eleven years. 

    This past Spring, as a matter of fact, she gave my husband’s E-mail to a woman from her congregation and the woman proceeded to send him messages telling him that his mother had told her all about how great he was.  When I confronted my MIL about what she did, she proceeded to tell me not to bother her “Sister in Christ” and that the whole thing was my fault for not following Christ properly. 

    The most hurtful thing that has come out of this whole situation for me has been the fact that she has never been a grandmother to my children.  The only gift that she has ever given either one of my children has been a Bible that she gave me for my older son when I was pregnant with him.  Not that gifts matter but she has not done one thoughtful thing for my boys including not sending them cards for their birthdays or holidays.  Actually, now that I think about it, she has never called my younger son for his birthday.

    Despite the fact that she continues to disrespect and disregard me, she has never had any boundaries when it comes to calling to ask for money or for financial assistance.  Last weekend, she called my husband on his cell phone to ask him to pay for the souvenirs for his younger sister’s Sweet Sixteen party which is in two weeks.  My husband told her “no” and proceeded to explain to her that it was ironic that she remembered to call him for money when she had failed to call her grandson the week before to wish him a happy birthday.  Her response was that she had forgotten his birthday because she has been so busy running around preparing for her daughter’s birthday party.  That was just the excuse this year as she has a different excuse every year when she forgets to call him.

    I would be lying if I didn’t say that I haven’t become extremely bitter and jaded about this whole situation.  Obviously, I want to have good relationships with all close family members.  I have always made sure that I didn’t come in between the relationship that my husband has with her because that just wouldn’t be fair on my part.  Unfortunately for her, she alienated my husband from her way before I ever came into the picture.  If anything, it is I that continues to encourage him to reach out to her sometimes because I am a mother and I feel sorry for her that she has caused her only son to not want anything to do with her.

    Everyone says that I shouldn’t worry about her at all and that my children receive more than enough love from the grandparents and family that are in their lives regularly.  I’m not sure that I agree that my sons are not losing out by not having her in their lives.  Family is and always has been very important to me.  I feel that she is robbing my boys of having a connection with that entire branch of the family.  She is definitely losing out by not having my boys in her life but I’m not concerned about her because she is an adult and she has made her decisions and chosen her sides.  My boys, on the other hand, deserve to have her in their lives as a grandmother.  It is so sad that I see this and she doesn’t. 

    Regardless of what she thinks, her and I both pray to the same God.  As far as I’m concerned, my God would not condone her using His name to excuse her poor behavior.  Maybe she should spend a little more time reading her Bible and memorize the Golden Rule:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

© 2011, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Love your blog! And although I am a mil, I try hard to not be like the one you have to deal with! This blog comes at a good time for me as I just wrote one on my most recent visit to my daughters home and her complete lack of respect or manners! Seems we all have someone in our families that gives us stress! Keep writing, I look forward to your future blog posts!

    • Sonya, I just read all about your experiences at your daughter’s house. I’m so sorry that you are having some of the same issues with a loved one that I am having with my MIL. We certainly are better people for even putting up with them.

  2. Oh man. This makes my heart hurt. As a Christian myself, I do not agree with anything your MIL is doing. Especially trying to hook your husband up with other women? That is insane. Christ said his greatest commandment was to love. She is not being loving, and in that-she is not being a TRUE Christian. I am really sorry for what she is putting you through. It really gets under my skin when I hear other so called “believers” living their lives completely against everything Christ taught. No wonder no one likes us 🙂

  3. So, just so I’m clear…she’s a Born Again Christian and she’s actively promoting adultery and/or polygamy and treating her family like crap? O_O Methinks your MIL needs to be “born” a third time…

    I understand what you’re saying about your boys. Yes, they have a lot of other family that are loving and involved, but they’re always going to know that their grandmother rejected them. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about that part besides what you’re already doing. Your boys have lives filled with love, which is exactly what they need. Like you, they’ll just have to accept who she is too, unless she someday sees the error of her ways.

    • Chela, you are so right, she is completely hypocritical due to her actions. I’m not going to hold my breath hoping that she will change because I honestly don’t think that she ever will.

  4. Oh Maria… where do I start!? My 2 older boys have never had grandparents on my ex’s side- and they live a half mile down the road for the last 14 years. My sons, 21 and 19, always think of my parents when I say “grandma and grandpa” and told me 3 or 4 years ago that it never really bothered them that the other grandparents were not in their life. I concluded that they can’t miss what they never had and they were much better off to never be “loved” than to be “loved” and then “forgotten”. My parents and family more than make up for the missing people in their life and they are happy, loving, boys with no problems. I think it hurts us as parents more than it does the kids. Also- your boys deserve BETTER than your MIL so don’t dwell on the negativity they are missing, but celebrate the love that they already have. Looking back, my paternal grandparents never acknowledged me either- and I don’t feel like I lost out on anything. My maternal grandparents were my world and I didn’t need anyone else. Shame on her selfish views and ways and kudos to you for putting up with her. 🙂

    • Charro, thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences with us. I also feel that she should be ashamed of herself and she will have to answer to God for her selfish ways one day.

  5. I admit, I lucked out this go around in the marriage department (my second marriage). We have a few differences, but otherwise, are like peaches and cream. Oh, and unlike my previous MIL, the woman isn’t dead. BONUS!

    Your MIL is the MIL from Hell. How dare she even ATTEMPTS to “hook up” her MARRIED son with some chick from church. And I guess she never (the MIL from Hell) heard that it is NOT works that get you in to Heaven, but by Grace alone. Though NOT using HIM as an excuse does help as well.

    I’m so sorry you got “stuck” with someone like that interfering in your life and in your marriage. I give you props though, for trying to get your husband to look past his own mother’s…misgivings and not totally throw her to the side of the road. Because honey, she would have been kicked to the curb long ago if it was me.

    • Missy, believe me, I have wanted to kick her to the curb many times! The only thing that has kept me trying all these years is that, at the end of the day, I know that I did everything that I could have done on my part to maintain a relationship between her and her son and grandsons. I can put my head to the pillow at night and know that I did my part.

  6. Desiree Torres says

    Thank God that your husband sees how she is and stands by your side rather than blindly supporting her or putting her values above those that your family share. I am sorry you have to deal with such ignorance and cruelty.

    Maybe it is better for her not to be around because she will never change and it would be a waste of a relationship for her to attempt to bond with your boys and end up making them resent her or being harshly criticized and hurt because she treats them badly. That type of treatment can leave scars and terrible memories. When they look back on their childhoods they won’t remember much of her but they WILL enjoy reminiscing on all of the great times you all shared as a happy family; your traditions, outings, play, laughter and quality time together. That will fulfill them more than you know.

    The fact that they have both a loving mother and very active father in their lives is the most important thing. God bless you for being able to tolerate her to the point you have, some women would have quit and left. I hope that one day she sees what she is missing someday. Til then, stand firm always and many blessings to your beautiful family 🙂

    • Desiree, that is exactly how my family and I feel. We know that my boys have all the love in the world and that the one who is really losing out is my MIL by not having my sons in her life regularly.

  7. Bravo Maria! Stick to your guns Girl. You are the better person for it.

  8. Some people are just like that. If it weren’t religion she was using to act that way, it would be some other thing. I think you should consider the fact that your children haven’t been exposed to her nonsense too much a good thing! They will not suffer but rather benefit from not having her in their lives.
    PS- I love you blog button!

  9. Your MIL sounds like a real treat. I’m sorry that she obviously has no respect for you, your marriage, or your children. Just remember it’s her loss, even though it hurts you and your family, she is the one that is missing out on her grandchildren.

  10. I have to agree with Renee & Losing Brownies. This is not your loss, or your sons – it is hers and you need to protect them from that negativity and insanity. Seriously? Trying to hook up your hubs with other women? The lady has serious mental issues. Your sons, you and your husband are better off for not having her more involved in your lives.

    Easy enough to say that you have different values than she and leave it at that when it comes to the boys.

    What is with people?!

    • Daria, I have suspected that she has some psychiatric issues for awhile now. It seems that she just can’t get past the religion issue and I am not going to continue to try to change her mind when she is just not open-minded at all.

  11. I have to agree with the above commenters, she is really losing out. And I just cant fathom a MIL trying to play matchmaker with her married son. I don’t get it. I hope that someday she realizes that she is really making a lifelong mistake in acting this way.

    • Hi, Heather. It would be great if she could finally get it and realize her mistakes. However, she has been behaving this way for so long that I have lost hope that she will ever change.

  12. Hahaha! That first image is hilarious!
    http://www.TheMcMommyDiaries.blogspot.com

  13. WOW! Have no clue how I found your blog but SO glad I did. Love it that you blog about the “hard” stuff in life. I sympathize with u on the MIL situation. I use to have issues along those lines way back when, luckily now all is well. Passing your site along to others…Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers!
    Celeste

  14. WOW! What a sad situation! As a woman who is also a Born Again Christian, it makes me sad to read such things. I can also say that I have a similar situation and that’s WITH an Born Again Christian MIL!!! Very sad and definitely not how it should be! Be encouraged to know that not all Christians have this “unGodly” behavior!

    Nice to meet you…new follower 🙂

    • Hi, Shannon. I’m sorry that you are in the same boat as I am. I wouldn’t wish this situation on my worst enemy. It’s unfortunate that our MILs don’t realize how much damage they are doing to the family.

  15. New follower from Monday Mom Blog Hop
    Feel free to check out my blog and follow back

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  16. Charlene says

    It sounds like you are trying to have a great attitude about it, but seriously she sounds like a pill. I once had a pin that said, “Jesus loves you…. but everyone else thinks you’re a total b*tch.” (Sorry – couldn’t resist sharing. It’s good to laugh!!)

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