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Hostile Mother-in-Law

Caitlin wrote:

When I married my husband, Stephen I knew he was the youngest child and spoiled. His mother gave him anything. After 4 years of marriage I told her what you loan to him, I will not pay back. Soon my husband started standing on his own two feet, got a great job and supported myself and our 2 kids. My mother in law said I was the best thing to ever happen to her son. We were all happy. I loved my mother in law.

Then 4 years later my father in law died and 3 months later she remarried a man that didn't like my husband or me but loved our kids. My mother in law gave my brother in law, Bob the house my husband and his father built, and Bob was to give the other 3 brothers 20,000.00 which didn't happen. Then my mother in law took out insurance and placed another brother in law, Jake as beneficiary. Jake asked to cash it in to help his daughter with college only to learn my mother in law had cashed it in to give the money to Bob. So when my mother in laws new husband died, she signed everything she had over to Bob. Bob, of course called my husband to inform him that when Mom dies don't worry about a will being read, Bob already had everything.

Soon my mother in law began ignoring our kids. Never wanting to see them or hear from them. That all began in Elementary School. Still I made my husband go over on Mother's Day, Birthday and Christmas. We invited her to church and special occasions which she always said no. But she could go places with Bob. I took her flowers and she told my mom in front of me, that I had always hated my mother in law and that my husband was draining her of money (he wasn't). She said my kids were white trash, never amount to anything and she was ashamed of them. Excuse me, my kids are both honor roll, both in NJROTC, daughter was Homecoming Sweetheart, and my son is graduating this year and enlisted in the Navy. Both are highly thought of in church and respected. They don't drink, smoke and hang out at crowded parties. But anyway, my mother in law downs my whole family.

Recently Bob's wife and my mother in law, which they live in my mother in laws home and both usually jobless, had an argument and my mother in law took off. Deputies called my husband to help find her. Once she was found she refused to talk to my husband or see him. Over the years when my husband has stopped by to see her or calls her he is told she is sleeping but he sees her in the living room or walking through the house. Or my sister in law says she isn't there even though we can hear her. Bob and his wife will not let us see her.

The last time she saw my daughter which was at Christmas briefly, she asked if my daughter was my sons new girlfriend. She didn't even know her own granddaughter. This hurt my daughter. Neither of my kids want to see her. My son is graduating and refuses to allow me to tell her. What should I do? I don't want my husband to regret not seeing his mother when she's gone. Bob and his wife dominant every thing she does. Jake seldom visits nor does Erik, her other son. My husband and I live 8 miles from her. Bob has spent all her money, signed over all her assets to himself. I don't want anything she has. But it bothers me how they have done her and how she has done my husband and kids. Help! Should we just forget her?

Dear Caitlin,

You haven't told me the one thing we both need to know - what does your husband think about all this? You cannot make a decision on this without talking to him, can you?

For you, it's easy; if she doesn't want to see you, then fine - don't see her, don't invite her over. It's sad, but you cannot force her to like you.

It seems some of the kids have made up their minds too, and I suspect they all know what's going on. Why would you force them to go see someone who doesn't like them? That's no way to treat kids!

But you need to discuss all this with your husband, so hopefully, her attitude does not damage your family. And that's important. She is just one person. She has taken against you - you give no clue why, but I guess you have some idea - and you cannot force her to like you, or the kids.

See what your husband says.

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