HELP! Need advice on mother-in-law who doesn't understand!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by FAITH, Sep 1, 2002.

  1. FAITH

    FAITH New Member

    Where do I start? Just got a call from my husband after he spoke to his mom. She thinks I'm not working because I'm lazy and tired because I'm on too much medication. Thinks I use CFIDS as an excuse not to socialize more with her family. Said she has friends who have the same illness and they work and "are fine". She was upset because during a recent vaction with my husband,(across time zones), I was unable to visit her ill sister because I was exhausted and needed to stay at the hotel and rest while my husband went alone. I also "fell asleep" on the couch on a visit to her elderly father.(forget about the jetlag)! I've calmed down after crying awhile. I'm thankful that my husband stood up for me and told her it's not her place to judge because she doesn't know how it feels. It's just so sad and frustrating. She things the doctors probably just guessed at the diagnosis! We're both in our mid 40's and have been married (2nd time for both) one year. After many, many years of going to different doctors, I was officially diagnosed in April. Sorry so long, but you are the only ones who can understand! HELP! ~ Faith
  2. FAITH

    FAITH New Member

    Where do I start? Just got a call from my husband after he spoke to his mom. She thinks I'm not working because I'm lazy and tired because I'm on too much medication. Thinks I use CFIDS as an excuse not to socialize more with her family. Said she has friends who have the same illness and they work and "are fine". She was upset because during a recent vaction with my husband,(across time zones), I was unable to visit her ill sister because I was exhausted and needed to stay at the hotel and rest while my husband went alone. I also "fell asleep" on the couch on a visit to her elderly father.(forget about the jetlag)! I've calmed down after crying awhile. I'm thankful that my husband stood up for me and told her it's not her place to judge because she doesn't know how it feels. It's just so sad and frustrating. She things the doctors probably just guessed at the diagnosis! We're both in our mid 40's and have been married (2nd time for both) one year. After many, many years of going to different doctors, I was officially diagnosed in April. Sorry so long, but you are the only ones who can understand! HELP! ~ Faith
  3. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    Boy, I can relate! I have the in-laws from hell. NONE of them believe me, and thought I was faking to keep from working. The first thing you need to tell your MIL is that every case is different. SOME patients CAN work, SOME patients CAN'T. The other thing is that you are very lucky that your husband stands up for you. My husband didn't stand up for me and ended up divorcing me because of my illness. When I told my MIL about all my misery, she said, "AT LEAST YOU HAVE YOUR HEALTH."

    So I had to start over and tell her all about it but I still don't think she believes me, nor does she care. My in-laws are strangely disinterested in me. I guess I can handle it as long as they don't mistreat my kids.

    What you need to do with your in-laws is plan your time very, very carefully. Plan ahead as much as you can, and make sure you get breaks. Don't do what I did, and try to go over there and "do it all" and end up falling apart.

    Hippo
  4. Nana2Andromeda

    Nana2Andromeda New Member

    There are books out there about Fibromyalgia, etc. I would go get one or two and high light a few pages....tell her to read it and tell don't let the door hit her in the ass on the way out!!
  5. herblady

    herblady New Member

    families are notoriously critical of us. but this one sounds like she just wants to find fault. not much you can do to change her mind. take her a book to read on it. tell her your dr. didn't jusr "guess" at the diagnosis. they get sued for stuff like that. chances are she still won't listen but at least your hubby takes up for you. and you can vent to us here. i hope you have some luck with this. cindi
  6. garyandkim

    garyandkim New Member

    understanding at all. We have gone through all the crap and given all the info etc, etc, etc. She just never got it. She also has friends with FMS and they are better then us. Oh, well that's life. Don't sweat it. She may never get it. Try but, don't get hung up on it it will ruin your life. If she doesn't get it, to bad. Have your husband handle her. You married him not her. You don't have to worry about having a relationship on her terms. Have your hubby lay down the law and tell her if she wants to be part of the solution great but, she is being part of the problem and it causes great distress and that she is being so hurtful that you aren't living your lives the way she wants you to. She will ruin your marriage if you two don't stop her now. We had to shut out his Mom and now it is up to her. I will forgive but, not be told what I should or shouldn't feel or be. It would be nice to feel well and to do what we and others want us to do. Okay not others. We undersand they feel as though you are shutting them out and not taking in mind what they want. Well, you must do what you need to for you and you as a couple. Most people have their own agendas and when they want to control your lives you two must say,we are doing what we are able to and if you don't agree thats too bad. We must live for us. Our 21 year old says to her GET A LIFE! Stop tring to live through others by controlling them. Our kids have turned away from her to. What a shame for her and them. If they really did care they would research what we have and try to help.

    Cry today and tomorrow go forward and live for you as a couple. Don't let her taint your hubby with negative words. Get him to talk to her. Unfortunatly, he may have to choose between you or her for a time or forever. Your hubby sounds like a good one.

    Take care and we are all here for you, Kim and Gary
  7. MicheleF

    MicheleF New Member

    from people who've been there, and I agree with them.

    Instead of a book at first, try sending her one of the patient guides (1st post on the top of each page) or another 1-2 page article from the internet. The cfids organizations have short informative articles that detail the pain & frustration of living w/ cfids. I also liked mayoclinic.com 's 1st couple of paragraphes on what it feels like to have cfids. (you have to go to diseases/conditions, select C, then chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Take comfort in the fact that your husband was so supportive & like the others said, if she still won't believe,,,let him deal with her.

    Best wishes. Michele
  8. fibolady

    fibolady New Member

    honey you are not alone! it can be our MIL, our own parents, our neighbors, our friends, it is a shame we have to also deal with the stress of "people" believing our daily struggles. i just pray that in my children's time the world will look back and say, can you believe how those people sufferred and there will be a cure.

    one of my biggest obstacles in life is worrying about what other people say or think. who cares!!!!!!!!! it is terrible hard because you crave support the most from your family, extended also. it is a big disappointment when they disappoint us but... if you beat yourself up about it, you will be the only one to suffer.

    you are SO lucky to have such an understanding husband. it sounds like he will stand by your decision. sometimes we have to step back from people that are causing us stress, i know i have had to do this to some family members. guess what, they haven't even missed me! all that worrying and they really couldn't give a hoot!

    warm regards, fibolady
  9. SAS

    SAS New Member

    I am so sorry you have this to deal with, on top of dealing with CFIDS. I have FMS, diagnosed in April, and I had a similar experience with workmates. They were even cruel enough to mock my pain and fatigue! I no longer work there. But, it isn't so easy to write off a mother-in-law. She doesn't understand or have any knowledge of your illness. Maybe the key would be to educate her? Find all the info you can and send it to her. Tell her that because you suffer from this disease you thought she might be interested in some facts about it. Then, thank her for caring enough to read it and sign the note "Love Faith".

    And, don't let it make you sad. I know that is easier said than done, but remember, she really doesn't know. Maybe you can make it an objective to educate her.

    Best of luck and hang in there,
    Shirley

  10. Cactuslil

    Cactuslil New Member

    How nice to read most were sympathetic to both ends of the dilemna. I have thought...gee, what if I did not have this condition but my mother did or daughter, would I have the faith to believe them without question? When we feel good, we look good. But thus far I have not found the answer how to stay long in such a shape but I try!
    *
    If you all have a common religious base, perhaps you could all circle in prayer and ask for understanding and guidance. The Lord wants his families to be together peaceably (and He surely has had his problems of late over there in the Holy Lands) and prayer may bring you folks to a greater understanding and oneness. Love, CactusLil'
  11. TeresaBnGA

    TeresaBnGA New Member

    whatever you do to someone will come back to you times 3?! I know it is hard for some to understand, but I bet she has a few skeletons in her closet too! I try my best to think when someone is rude or mean to me that they are putting me down just to make themselves look better.
    Getting her a book was a good idea!!
    Maybe, if you have a good doctor, you might want to take dear ol' mom along with you and have him/her explain things. Sometimes it takes professionals to make some believe. And then there are just some ol' farts that think they know everything for themselves!
    Give hubby an extra hug and kiss for taking up for you and remember, you married him not her!

    Soft hugs!
    Teresa :)
  12. Milo83

    Milo83 New Member

    My mother was always that way with me, if she didn't have it, no one else could have such a thing..Now she is in a nursing home due to AZ, and there are moments when she is "with it", but refuses to understand why I can't run to see her everyday..I always say, a person with really good health couldn't handle all the running..
    Just wanted to add my two cents..LOL....
    Take Care...........Donna
  13. Shoobie

    Shoobie New Member

    Some people can be so ingnorant -- and I mean that in both senses of the word!

    Like others said, the only thing you can do is try to give her some information on the subject. The shorter, the better, as alot of people are intimidated by large amounts of text. Perhaps a print out the definition from the CDC web site might be even more believable? http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/cfs/info.htm

    How about that movie "I Remember Me"? I haven't seen it yet. I plan on getting it soon since it's gotten such rave reviews by movie critics and those on this board.

    Your husband is a blessing. I'm so glad to hear that he understands your illness and is "on your side". It's so hard as when you marry someone, in a sense you marry their family as well. There's no worse feeling than "unacceptance".

    I guess the only thing you can do is to keep your distance as much as possible until she comes to her senses. In the interim, just remember that what you have is REAL -- you know it, your husband knows it, the medical community (the educated ones at least) know it!

    Take Care.
    -Shoobie


    [This Message was Edited on 09/02/2002]
  14. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    You have received some really wonderful responses to this post!

    My mother in law was like Sandy's, she would have worn the 'black dress' to our wedding if she could have gotten away with it!

    Thats thirty years ago, and we have never been friends, I stay the heck away from her and her me.

    We get along fine this way. She could find more faults with me than any other person I have ever met in my life.

    First, I am older than my husband, I am a different faith then they are(he converted to my faith), I had three children of my own when I married him, I refused to have another baby and told him this before we married( he agreed ), I am sick (was sick when he married me), I am an out front person (she does not like this), I refused to work, and the beat goes on!

    Well in the very beginning, after some heated debates, I told my husband, well if you want your mother, then you can't have me, his choice. We will be married 30 years this month, so he choose me.

    I saw her two weeks ago for the first time in 14 years, and would you believe she cause a rift between us that lasted for three days? Oh yes, she loves to cause trouble. I can assure you, she will not see me again, period. I have Caller ID, just for her!

    He visits her alone from now on, like he did before.

    There are some people in this world that you just can't reason with, I leave them to God, as only a higher power is able to change them, and of course we have free will, so sometimes that does not work either!

    I am very happy for you that your husband is taking your part, let him deal with his mother. He knows her better than you do.

    If she refuse to accept you like you are, then try to stay away from her, as you don't need the stress. Stress is one of our worst enemies.

    If you are interested, come visit our Worship board, like Lil said we can all agree to pray about this for you (I saw in your profile that you are a Christian).

    You are still a bride, enjoy being one! Don't let anyone rain on your parade!

    Shalom, Shirl



  15. allhart

    allhart New Member

    i realy no howv you feel my husbands been laid off for 6 monthes and my mother in law said i should find a job insted of making him take one he dosent like! i just had a baby in march and ive been in a flare so bad i can hardly walk!!i have given her tones of info but it dosent seem to change the fact that she thinks i need a job and need a cleaner house!
    [This Message was Edited on 09/02/2002]
  16. AmieRock

    AmieRock New Member

    Faith,

    I can certainly relate to what you're saying...the following is a letter I found in my searching for fibro information that I've printed and copied and passed out to everyone in my family. Maybe it will help you.

    Love,
    Amie

    Letter to 'Normals':

    Having FMS/MPS means many things change, and a lot of them are invisible. Unlike having cancer or being hurt in an accident , most people do not understand even a little about FMS/MSP and its effects, and of those that think they know, many are actually mis-informed.

    In the spirit of informing those who wish to understand......

    These are the things that I would like you to understand about me before you judge me....


    - Please understand that being sick doesn’t mean I’m not still a human being. I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion, and if you visit I probably don’t seem like much fun to be with, but I’m still me stuck inside this body. I still worry about school, and work and my family and friends, and most of the time I'd still like to hear you talk about yours too.

    -Please understand the difference between "happy" and "healthy" .When you've got the flu you probably feel miserable with it, but I’ve been sick for years. I cant be miserable all the time , in fact I work hard at not being miserable. So if you're talking to me and I sound happy, it means I'm happy. That's all. It doesn’t mean that I’m not in a lot of pain, or extremely tired, or that I’m getting better, or any of those things. Please, don’t say , "Oh, your sounding better!" I am not sounding better, I am sounding happy. If you want to comment on that, you're welcome. Please understand that being able to stand for ten minutes doesn’t necessarily mean that I can stand up for twenty minutes ,or an hour. And, just because I manage to stand up for thirty minutes yesterday doesn’t mean that I can do the same today. With a lot of disease you’re either paralyzed, or you can move. With this one it gets more confusing.

    -Please repeat the above paragraph substituting "sitting", "walking", "thinking", "being sociable" and so on.... it applies to everything. That's what FMS/MPS does to you.

    -Please understand that FMS/MPS is variable. It's quite possible (for me, its common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I'll have trouble getting to the kitchen. Please don't attack me when I'm ill by saying "But you did it before!" if you want me to do something then ask if I can. In a similar vein, I may need to cancel an invitation at the last minute, it this happens please do not take it personally.

    -Please understand that "getting out and doing things" does not make me feel better, and can often make me seriously worse. Telling me I need a treadmill , or that I just need to loose (or gain) weight, get this exercise machine, join this gym, try these classes... may frustrate me to tears, and is not correct....if I was capable of doing these things , don't you know that I would? I am working with my doctor and physical therapist and am already doing the exercise and diet that I am suppose to do. Another statement that hurts is, "You just need to push yourself more, exercise harder..." Obviously FMS/MPS deals directly with muscles, and because our muscles don't repair themselves the way your muscles do this does far more damage than good and could result in recovery time in days or weeks or months from a single activity. Also, FMS/MPS may cause secondary depression (wouldn’t you get depressed if you were hurting and exhausted for years on end!?) but it is not created by depression.

    -Please understand that if I say I have to sit down/lie down/take these pills now, that I do have to do it right now...it cant be put off of forgotten just because I'm out for the day (or whatever). FMS/MPS does not forgive.

    -If you want to suggest a cure to me, don't .It's not because I don't appreciate the thought, and it's not because I don’t want to get well. It's because I have had almost every single one of my friends suggest one at one point or another. At first I tried them all, but then I realized that I was using up so much energy trying things that I was making myself sicker, not better. If there was something that cured, or even helped , all people with FMS/MPS then we'd know about it. This is not a drug company conspiracy, there is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with FMS/MPS, if something worked we would know.

    -If after reading that, you still want to suggest a cure, then do it, but don’t expect me to rush out and try it. I'll take what you said and discuss it with my doctor.

    In may ways I depend on you....people who are not sick....I need you to visit me when I am too sick to go out....Sometimes I need you to help me with the shopping, cooking or cleaning.

    I may need you to take me to the doctor, or the physical therapist. I need you on different levels...you're my link to the outside world...if you don't come to visit me then I might not get to you .

    ...and, as much as it's possible, I need you to understand ME.


  17. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    imagine that....a mother-in-law who doesn't understand you!!!!! lol Been there, done that. I had to divorce her son to get rid of her! She'd never been sick a day in her life and she just hated my "weakness". Sandy's m-i-l wore a black dress to her wedding, but mine refused to attend mine and she even convinced a lot of my ex's relatives to do the same. She never accepted me and I was a really good wife and mother. She called me recently, after her son and I have been divorced for 10 years and told me that she was sorry and that I was treated unfairly. (Made me feel a little guilty for all the hexes I've put on her!) You've gotten some great advice....unfortunately, sometimes time has to heal these wounds.
    Be well,
    Kady
    [This Message was Edited on 09/03/2002]
  18. Coping

    Coping New Member

    I don't have any In-laws....My husband is an orphan.

    You have really got some great advice! We didn't ask for these DD's. Who in the heck would want to fake it? It's not fun to not be able to make commitments, make dinner, go out and dance, etc. Sheesh, what are people thinking?

    I remember my Grandmother and Father being in incredible pain. All of the family members referred to my Granny as being a hypochondriac (sp?). It use to make me so mad! Who would want to sit around and complain about something that isn't true? I just don't get it.

    Your husband sounds like mine. We are blessed with good men. Thank God he stands up for you. I think some of the pamplets you can order from this site are definitely in order for her.

    Take care and try not to let her get you down. We don't need negativity.

    Ciao,
    Tricia
  19. Rockhnound196

    Rockhnound196 New Member

    Having married into a family that is Jewish and I am a Southern Baptist, my MIL does not understand me or my mother. My mother has been diagnosed with FMS and CFS and cannot do what her family does. They have been critical of her ever since my wife and I started dating. I have told her that it is none of her business what my mother does and that if she is that nosey, she should let me show her some of the websites online about the conditions so she can see what my mother is going through. Of course, she declines my offers as she does not want to shown up or shown that she is wrong in her thinking. Don't worry about her. You married your husband, not her. You live with your husband, not her. You are the Queen of your house, do not let her eat your cake and make you a peasant in your own domain.
  20. hbic

    hbic New Member