Mother-in-law advice and CFIDS/FMS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tired42long, Aug 23, 2002.

  1. tired42long

    tired42long New Member

    I know this is the age old complaint...mother-in-laws can be ruthless. I am wondering if other people have the same problem as I do. My family is pretty understanding and supportive of my illness, even though they DON"T understand the disease and are scared, feel helpless and often don't know what to say. But HIS mother is driving me crazy!!!She is only concerned about what this is doing to "her baby" and the kids---how put out everyone has been by this and financial impact and extra load my husband has picking up the slack (truthfully, he does shopping and running kids around--that' the only extra...in fact since I have been sick I stay home all the time which frees him up for more fishing and other sports...I think he kinda likes me home--but of course wishes I could beat this) Anyway, his mom has always been really brassy but is really aloof about my illness. She has been going through her own battles with non-hodgkins lymphoma and a breast removed last year. It has been a 6 year walk- on- eggshells since she was diagnosed. The family is not allowed to talk much about her illness...I think they grew up beleiving if you just don't talk about it, IT will go away. Part of that has filtered wown to my husband. I am so tired of her input about my illness. I immediately had to give up work with a virus that knocked me on my butt and literally collapsed at work. She is the hardest person to "convince" that this "imaginary or invisible" disease has reduced me to barely getting to help with family at home--let alone work or do any social stuff. She keeps saying "I'm SURE it's just your thyroid, I had hypothyroid and it does make you tired." And little digs about when I am going to feel well enough to go back to work. The last time we were at her house, a few weeks ago, another virus had attacked and I was in BIG flare. This was the first time she saw how my "REAL" world is.I spent the day in a bed while the WHOLE family went out for brunch and then visited. I visited the ER on the way home---trouble breathing. She is so sure to judge and even says, it is giving up when you give up your life like work and social stuff, etc. I cannot get mad at her because she is going through stuff herself. She is able to continue working 30 hours per week and just thinks I should push to get back to work myself. You guys talk about getting the "toxic' people out of our lives, but I wouldn't want to start anything between my husband and his mom. What the heck do you do or say to someone who you are "stuck" with and is so boisterous? The stress she causes me really ticks me off!!!
  2. tired42long

    tired42long New Member

    I know this is the age old complaint...mother-in-laws can be ruthless. I am wondering if other people have the same problem as I do. My family is pretty understanding and supportive of my illness, even though they DON"T understand the disease and are scared, feel helpless and often don't know what to say. But HIS mother is driving me crazy!!!She is only concerned about what this is doing to "her baby" and the kids---how put out everyone has been by this and financial impact and extra load my husband has picking up the slack (truthfully, he does shopping and running kids around--that' the only extra...in fact since I have been sick I stay home all the time which frees him up for more fishing and other sports...I think he kinda likes me home--but of course wishes I could beat this) Anyway, his mom has always been really brassy but is really aloof about my illness. She has been going through her own battles with non-hodgkins lymphoma and a breast removed last year. It has been a 6 year walk- on- eggshells since she was diagnosed. The family is not allowed to talk much about her illness...I think they grew up beleiving if you just don't talk about it, IT will go away. Part of that has filtered wown to my husband. I am so tired of her input about my illness. I immediately had to give up work with a virus that knocked me on my butt and literally collapsed at work. She is the hardest person to "convince" that this "imaginary or invisible" disease has reduced me to barely getting to help with family at home--let alone work or do any social stuff. She keeps saying "I'm SURE it's just your thyroid, I had hypothyroid and it does make you tired." And little digs about when I am going to feel well enough to go back to work. The last time we were at her house, a few weeks ago, another virus had attacked and I was in BIG flare. This was the first time she saw how my "REAL" world is.I spent the day in a bed while the WHOLE family went out for brunch and then visited. I visited the ER on the way home---trouble breathing. She is so sure to judge and even says, it is giving up when you give up your life like work and social stuff, etc. I cannot get mad at her because she is going through stuff herself. She is able to continue working 30 hours per week and just thinks I should push to get back to work myself. You guys talk about getting the "toxic' people out of our lives, but I wouldn't want to start anything between my husband and his mom. What the heck do you do or say to someone who you are "stuck" with and is so boisterous? The stress she causes me really ticks me off!!!
  3. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Love your user name! I would not call this woman "boisterous". The word I would use also begins with a "B" however....
    This is just my opinion, but it is up to your husband to deal with his mother, and to protect you from her, if necessary. You'd think someone having the health problems she'd had would be more compassionate. She sounds like one of those folks who cannot imagine anyone else's experiences. If she hasn't experienced it, then you haven't either. Some people call these people jerks. Because of my psych background, I would call them narcissists. Either way, it is probably not going to change, so your husband needs to make it clear to his mom that he expects his wife to be respected. She is not respecting you....she is, in effect, calling you a liar. You should come first with him, and if you feel you don't, then your main problem is with him, not with his mother. If he approaches it carefully, it should not cause a rift between them. You can say just about anything to anybody if you word it the right way, and deliver it with a smile.
    Please check out some of the previous posts on this subject, as some folks came up with really snappy come-back lines for this type of thing. I am not sure what you should look under, maybe "in-law trouble".
    I have a father in law who is just like this, so I empathize. Best wishes for a workable solution,
    Klutzo
  4. MicheleF

    MicheleF New Member

    Please keep in mind this is only my most humble opinions.

    I feel there's two ways of looking at it. One, you married your husband,,,the two of you and your children are the primary concern. If being around your mother-in-law hurts you, it affects your primary family. Explain to her that you do not want any more remarks about your illness or going back to work...that is only for you and your husband to decide. You love her, but feel very pressured by her comments.

    The second way, which I feel is probably better for you in the long run anyway, is to focus on understanding why she is the way she is and learning to let her comments brush off you by ignoring them - don't respond and change the subject. If she's not talking about or is ignoring her problems, maybe this is her way of fighting back by advising you since she feels unable to deal w/ her own illness. I find myself much more understanding if my husband is irritable, for example, if he's told me he has a headache, a cold, whatever. I'm able to bite my tongue & not get upset cause I focus on why he's being the way he is & feel bad for his pain. I hope that makes sense.

    As I'm so new at these DDs, I have to remind myself that the only person I'm hurting in the long run is myself by letting other people upset me. This is an ongoing struggle, as it's not easy to do,,,I find it helps to think that at the end of the day I'll get into bed all stressed out and pain-filled, while the other person will go right to sleep.

    Hope you're able to resolve this. Has she read the patient guide? Best wishes. Michele
  5. MicheleF

    MicheleF New Member

    and you know what that means! I took it that your husband was aware of this, and wasn't doing anything about it. If you haven't, by all means I feel klutzo's right...pass the buck to the right person...your hubby!!
  6. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I do think Michele said it all with her last paragraph; 'I have to remind myself that the only person I'm hurting in the long run is myself by letting other people upset me'.

    I had that fight with the mother-in-law 30 years ago, when I first married her son! Klutzo was speaking about me with the drastic measures.

    Fortunately, mine now lives in another state, so its a lot easier to deal with.

    I saw her for the first time in 14 years last week, and she caused us to fight for three days afterwards. Guess who was sick???

    From now on, he can visit his family by himself, as we did for all these years. I can do without the stress.

    Shalom, Shirl



  7. tired42long

    tired42long New Member

    You are right when you say my husband has to stick up for me---the problem is NOBODY in the family will stand up to her. They have all danced her dance for their whole lives...including her husband. My husband does hold it against her that she is such a Hitler, but it is his mom, so he respects her no matter what. He just doesnt let things get to him---he removed himself from that life when going to college and doesn't have to live in the day to day anymore YET he is still even scared of her ever knowing the slightest bit of info about his/our life that she may not approve of. I swear, she was a big part in almost costing us a divorce 5 years ago. I did talk to my sisterinlaw (by marriage) and we had a discussion about why she is this way. She is just a plain harsh woman....through and through. Her mom died when she was 10 and I suppose she was traumatized by not having a mom during the most important years. I feel sorry about that...but know it is no reason to make everyone's life your own and expect the world to jump. Man, what a catch 22. I am glad we live a couple hours away. She'd have a cow if she saw my house on a daily basis. HaHa! I will try to remember that her personality glitches are her own and try not to take things to heart. I know the stress caused me lots of problems just being around her. And that is sad, because even though I don't like her, I love her????Thanks for your replies,,,,you help me so much these past couple weeks. Eileen