Sick of mother-in-law thinking I'm faking

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by teller7, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. teller7

    teller7 New Member

    My husband knows how ill I am. But he won't stand up to his mother about it. She says hurtful things like - She doesn't want to do it because she doesn't want to be around me. She's right about my not wanting to be around her but I do things when I can for my husbands sake. It makes me very stressed and then of course I crash for days. He does get mad at me if I stick up for myself concerning her. Then more stress.

    Does anyone know a website or information I can shove in her face so she can understand that I AM SICK WITH CFS? Any help you can give me would be very appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Teller 7
  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    The world is full of people like your mother in law.

    It is almost impossible to change other people's behavior. "Get toxic
    people outta your life." that's what one of my therapists told me.

    She doesn't need to visit you and vice versa. Don't waste time
    and effort trying to educate someone who doesn't want to be

    Your health is at stake. Don't let concerns about being polite
    stand in your way.

  3. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    I totally empathize with you. There's an article I think in the New York Times where some doctor, maybe Nancy Klimas says that we are way worse off than her AIDS patients. It's about the new XMRV finding. I'm not sure which one it is but that's what I'd send her.

    I found the book Toxic Inlaws very helpful. It's by Susan Forward. And yes our hubbies should stand up for us. I didn't know that before but all the books about abuse and inlaws and Boundaries say so.

    Rock, that is true but it's very hard and still super maddening and upsetting. But I agree, once you've tried to educate someone if they continue to verbally or emotionally abuse you then you should step way back. I learned that verbal and emotional abuse is defined as any words or actions that are designed to make you feel badly about yourself.


    [This Message was Edited on 11/19/2009]
  4. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    The others are right, don't waste your time. At least your husband is on your side. That probably has his mother PO'd. She sounds like a typical MIL from hell, like mine. But your hubby seems to realize that it is pointless to argue for whatever reason: she is incapable of understanding, she doesn't like you and your illness is just something to focus on as a misdirection, she is eating food she is intolerant to and it is making her depressed and irritable (this is more common than you think, most don't consider themselves "depress"), she is just a DOB who likes to be miserable and share the feeling . . . I could go on.

    I like to try to compare this type of thing to a two-year-old sticking his/her tongue out at you. Would that bother you? Why not? Because they don't know any better, they wouldn't understand anything even if you explained it to them in one syllable words with the help of flash cards, it really isn't affecting you other than how you choose to react to it, etc. So let it go. Just continue to be the nice, decent person you are and let her wallow in her own little well of discontent. She is not your buddy and she hasn't managed to drag her son over to her side, either. This last point must really be burning her up - let that be your consolation and put her out of your mind. Ignoring her will get you more points all around than trying to stick up for yourself. You don't need to stick up for yourself because you don't need a defense! You haven't done anything! If you stick your tongue back out at her, she'll know she hit a nerve. Just smile and be nice, always. It will drive her absolutely crazy!

    Remember the saying: forgive your enemies, it messes with their heads! That's how you win this silent fight.
  5. quanked

    quanked Member

    When we find ourselves doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results (but expecting something different) then perhaps it is time to move on.

    It is a cost/benefit analysis in the end. We can attach all the emotional jargon to explanations that we want but in the end it is what its. No amount of emoting will change the facts. Does a relationship, at the very least, bring benefits that break even with the costs? If not, then the cost is too high--especially for us. Most of us do not have anything to spare.

    If we want to be upset then we can keep on keeping on. If we want something different then we have to do something different.

    My mom, your mom, whomever--do we really have a surplus of energy to devote to the consistently difficult?

    It is no crime to keep playing the game. Many of us do--everyday of our lives. I think it is human nature. But we need to take responsibility for our role in the game. The game cannot continue without our participation.

  6. jewels920

    jewels920 New Member

    It may not be worth two cents but she doesn't want to understand or believe that you are not well. It won't matter what letter or article or study you dangle in front of her. She chooses not to believe it.

    I tend to get into warrior mode but have learned to pick and choose my battles because it drains me of much needed energy and wastes my time to fight every fight.

    And I don't "stand up" for myself about fibromyalgia. I don't owe anyone an explanation for anything. Sometimes I have to say "no" when someone wants me to do something. They can take my "no" or I will walk away, hang up, whatever. I have given my permission NOT to explain myself or my illness to anyone. Especially anyone who wants to challenge it or seeks to make me feel guilty or bad for being unwell.

  7. teller7

    teller7 New Member

    It will be hard but I will take your advice and be nice to her. Although all I have to do is think about being around her and it just throws me over the edge. My husband does stick up for her on that score. He gets mad if I don't want to go places with them. Last week I didn't go with them because I didn't feel good. She ranted and raved about it to him. AND the worse thing is he and I heard from two different sorces that she has been telling people that she can't wait until I'm out of the picture so her son can just concentrate on her. He did talk to her about that one. When she's around me she puts on such a show trying to help me get up and holding on to me the few times I do go with them. She is the MAIN reason I crash so much. If it weren't for her I could settle down and be more peaceful and that would help me feel some better physically and emotionally. The reason my husband doesn't tell her off is because he promised his father on his death bed that he would watch over her. That's all I hear if I say anything negative about her. Then he says - just let it go you know how she is and she isn't going to change so forget it. Sorry for ranting. This all makes me so furious. So to make the both of them happy I'm supposed to turn the other cheek and be the nice Carol and do what they want and everything will be fine. How do I do this so they'll be happy when it upsets me so much?
  8. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I think the others are right, sort of. My ex-husband, when we were still together, never really believed I was truly sick. He seemed to think I just needed to get my head on straight or something, I'm not sure what.

    Anyways, we split up 6 years ago. When the XMRV retrovirus findings came out, I sent him a link to the N.Y. Times op-ed piece by Hillary Johnson published on October 20, 2009, about the XMRV virus and just CFS in general. Hillary is the author of Osler's Web, a fantastic book about CFS and the non-response of the government.

    The op-ed piece is very good - my ex called me with questions after reading it. It seems that the discovery of the XMRV retrovirus finally gave CFS some legitimacy in his eyes. It might do the same for your MIL.

    So here's the link:

    It may not do anything for her, but I think it's worth a try. It made a difference in my ex's attitude (although 6 years too late).

    I know you're in a tough spot. It is good your husband at least supports you somewhat, although it's not good he gets made if you stick up for yourself.

    Take care -

  9. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    Now that you gave us more info about the situation I think you should avoid her as much as possible. She is being abusive. That is not okay. It's good that your hubby stood up to her when she said such a horrible thing about you.

    No, you don't have to like her or even act like you like her.

    Yes, you do have a right to protect yourself.

    I think the Boundaries Series is really good for that. Here's a link:

    Scroll down to the bottom to read the Reviews.

    You have every right to be very upset and we all know that stress makes us way worse when we have these illnesses. The CFS and FMS docs tell us to stay away from toxic people for this reason.



    [This Message was Edited on 11/20/2009]
  10. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    yeah, you didn't mention before that she was mentally defunct! There's your focus: she is either borderline mentally retarded or getting Alzheimers! Why else would somebody say out loud to ANYONE that they can't wait for you to be out of the picture, (which obviously means that to disappear would be the desired option, but even just to drop dead would be perfectly acceptable!) so they can have their son all to themselves once again! Sounds like she's also having a mid life crisis on top of the mental disintegration.

    So how do you do it? You do it by reminding yourself that she has serious mental problems, which she obviously does. You don't laugh at retarded or old people for drooling on themselves and you don't get upset at autistic kids who are violent, you just accept that their brains are defective for whatever reason and you just continue to show them the same respect that you would to any other normal, decent person. Because YOU ARE a normal, decent person. With your poor husband in the middle, it's not a fight you could ever win, anyway.

    It is your reaction to her that is making you crash. Try to analyze this reaction thoroughly - is it because you like to have the last word, especially when you are in the right? Is it because this has been building up for a long, long time and you're ready to smack her upside the head with a toaster like the ghost of Xmas present in Scrooged? Is it because she is just a typical MIL from hell that maybe millions of us already have but we keep our secret fantasies about pushing them off the Grand Canyon to ourselves?

    Try and imagine you are her: you don't have enough self control or manners to be decent to the woman that her son is in love with. I'll bet you anything that in some way, even if it's just subconsciously, her treatment of you is tearing herself up inside. She sounds like a real bitch from hell and that means she can't possibly be a happy person inside. She is irritable and mean inside so that is how she is on the outside. So feel sorry for her. I guess you could try that old trick and try to picture her naked when you see her. Perhaps with a thong? On backwards?
  11. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    you CANNOT allow this person to make you sicker. i let my abusive father do that to me a few times and payed like hell for it. (he said, on the phone, that i am probably "fat and faking"). in fact, i became so ill once after a conversation with him, that i had to go to the ER - twice - with cardiac symptoms!

    believe me..NO ONE is worth it. if your husband doesn't have any balls to defend you, i would let him have it!

    tell your mother in law that you are now contagious with a dangerous retrovirus. that should keep her away.
  12. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    tell your mother in law that you are now contagious with a dangerous retrovirus. that should keep her away.

    LOL!!!!!!!!! ;-)
  13. quanked

    quanked Member

    ladybugmandy i am rolling with laughter! You made my night! That mil better watch out...

    and yes, these men need to stiffen their back bones and make a stand but some will be waiting for hell to freeze over first.

    Meanwhile--setting and keeping our own boundaries can work just as well--even if that means we have to draw some lines with our partners.

    it is not fair for our partners to get angry at us when we do not allow their family to abuse us. They will get over it.

    Maybe we could spit at these mean spirtited individuals : )
  14. msnova74

    msnova74 New Member


    Your MIL and mine sound related LOL. I have found that the way to shut her up is to simply and deliberately misunderstand everything she says. I can be real STUPID when I want to.

    When she gripes abou the state of my house I "misunderstand" that she is offering to help with the cleaning. (she no longer says a word about it)

    If she makes a comment about me not doing something. I agree with her that it is so tragic that I cannot do whatever it is.

    My DH thinks the whole thing is hillarous as do I. Now she doesn't B%$^h at me but at him. He can deal with it, and I no longer have to hear it.

    Hope this helps,


    She has realized that she gets nowhere with me and gets no satisfaction from
  15. teller7

    teller7 New Member

    I haven't been on here for a few days I've been so crashed. Thank you so much for your comments. I absolutely loved all of them. I have to go out for Thanksgiving dinner with her because I promised my husband I would. And I'm definitely going to picture her naked. Hope I don't choke from laughing to myself. My MIL definitely has always been an unhappy person and has always had to run the show no matter what. I've thought for 35 years that she's borderline retarded. I WILL take that to heart and just maybe I'll be able to handle her better. My hubby does try and keep me away from her as much as he possibly can. It's a terrible feeling to have things fester inside us especially knowing our circumstances with this DD. I WILL try and see the lighter side when I'm with her. Although I do love the statement about hitting her with a toaster. Seriously though you all gave me some great advice. I want every one of you to pat yourselves on the back because you really really helped me.
    Thank you again,
  16. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Try to stay away from you MIL. You do not need the stress and whatever you tell her probalby won't matter. If she cared about you she would have some compassion no matter what.

    Sometimes we need to step back and see that some people are toxic and contribute to our illness. Shame on your husband for not stepping in. I would never allow a relative to pick on my husband.

    I also have CFS and if I don't get enough rest I breakdown and must have complete bed rest. I recently took a business trip and two days into the trip I fell apart. Here is was 1000's of miles away from home, alone in a hotel!

    We just need to be careful and put ourselves #1. There are some good books on dealing with toxic people.
  17. pacotaco

    pacotaco New Member

    Hello painpal,I agree with everyones advice here today,the only thing i have to say is that I know that she is the mother to your husband so it may not be as easy as it seems to let her go out of your life although it is whats best for your own health,so I would send her to this site to read all of our stories that match an maybe,just MAYBE she will get the knowledge an understanding that what you feel is so real. The truth is,who the heck are these folks to dare not believe us an are they really essential to our lives??!! I don't think so at all...If she can not still try to see you an what your living through,then you will have to lessen her visits to your home or you may excuse yourself n retire to your comy cozy room,relax while she visits her son,but there needs to be a time frame of how long her visit shud be! I will pray that this is resolved for you because I do know what it feels like,not by my mil,but just peeps in general....good luck n God will be next to you to give you strength to handle this with the correct way so your husband will not take offense,i see you say he does get upset with you when you take a stand for your self. keep standing up for what you feel!!! ((((huggies)))))
  18. Cole1983

    Cole1983 New Member

    I know exactly how you feel teller. I am so sorry your husband does not stand up for you. I just had an experience a week ago with someone who told me Fibro does not exist that the drs are making it up. Please take everyones advice and dont let her bother you. You do not need the stress. Life in general is a stress for people with Fibro so ignorant mother in laws should not add to it. Now as for your husband... if he states that he know you are sick then he should be on ur side and stick up for his wife and not be such a mommas boy and grow up!!!! was that too harsh?? lol Im sorry i just always feel like i need to protect my fellow fibroers lol.

    My advice is to let your husband deal with his mother and you to go have a massage!!! hehehe!! But on a serious not there is a magazine that i read which has wonderful information on fibro. Its called Fibromyalgia Aware and you can pick it up at any book store. I get mine at Barnes and Noble. Its the only Fibro magazine out there. Good luck love


  19. jantankersley

    jantankersley New Member

    This is not an exact answer to your question but it has helped me tremendously with the stress of relationships especially with my husband. Cloud and Townsend are christian counselors. Even if you are not a christain, I think you will find answers on how to communicate with your husband. Dealing with the M-I-L "may" be a waste of time but I think it will give you peace of mind...less stress. I hope this helps. Check Amazon for better prices.

    A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. They impact all areas of our lives:
    Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances.
    Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions.
    Emotional boundaries help us deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.
    Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator.
    Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle, isn't it?