How to protect my family from my mother in law?

Bl3ss3d

New Member
I am not sure how to start this except to say that I desperately need some wisdoms. Someone recommended this site even though I am not currently residing in Singapore. I am currently in the US. I must warn you that my story is quite long but please be patience w me. I tried to shortened it as much as possible and only included the major events leading up to my current dilemma.

So here goes ….

My husband and I met during graduate schools, both were living on student loans and stipends…needless to say, we were there for each other when we had nothing. He was a Chinese international student and I was the black sheep in my family. We did not have any help from our family. Despite not having a lot, we loved each other and our relationship was great. He proposed after 1.5 years and we had a court wedding (best $40 spent). So what’s the problem?

The problem: mother in law. I never met my mother in law until after we got married. We invited her to come over and stay with us for 6 months (big mistake) right after our court wedding. I figured, she raised such an amazing man…how bad can she be? I am also Chinese so I understand the concept of respecting your elders. Oh how wrong/naive I was. During the first week she stayed with us, she called me fat repeatedly. I was 125lbs. She said that I am not delicate because I conversed w my husband as if he’s my equal and that’s unacceptable. The worst thing she said to me was “Don’t expect too much from this marriage. Don’t have kids w my son because this marriage isn’t going to last. Having kids will only make it harder for my son to leave you.” Only 5.5 months left to go…no biggie. So I threw away my dignity and self respect away and allowed this woman to be verbally cruel. I did whatever she asked, be as cordial and respectful as possible….

She returned to china. Things were great again!!! We graduated, worked, and finally can afford to go on real actual dates. Fast forward a couple years, my husband and I decided to visit China for an entire month so that I can finally meet all his families. I found out that I was pregnant 2 days before our flight. We decided to continue w our plan after I received the OK from my OB to travel since i was only 5-6 weeks along. This was my first time traveling back to China. Cultural shock would be an understatement. We stayed w my mother in law (huge mistake). The first couple of days were fine until the fatigue kicked in. The pregnancy fatigue coupled with prolonged lack of sleep made it difficult for me to even get out of bed. Then the morning sickness kicked in…I was vomiting 2-3x a day. One day, I noticed spotting which freaked me out. We went to the local hospital and had an ultrasound. I was told that I miscarried. The shock, the devastation, the guilt…all rushed to me at once. The doctor blamed me for not taking care of myself and recommended me to take medication to ‘force’ out the remnants. I refused. My husband pushed me to take the medications….I stood my ground and refused! We fought multiple times about this during our stay.

That same night, I told my husband that I want to return to the US and that he can stay in China w his family. I explained that I want to return so that I can get a second opinion and frankly, I just want peace and quiet. The next morning, I woke up to my mother in law scolding me. She accused of me “faking everything to get my husband’s attention”. She expressed her hatred towards me as well. “Having you in my home is like having a corpse here” ..”you’re so selfish. You can’t let my son enjoy anything” “I’ve never seen any pregnant woman as sick as you” “I never accepted you and never will accept you” were some of the things she said me…in front of my husband. I just stood there and stared at my husband, praying that he would save me from this. Nothing. Not a single word came out of his mouth. I was crying uncontrollably and I yelled out “that’s not true! I didn’t pretend to be sick”. All I heard was a loud “SHUT UP!!!”……coming from my husband. The shut up was directed at me. My mother in law then proceeded to kick me out of her home. Yes. She told me to get out of her home…that I wasn’t welcomed in her home.

I rented a hotel for the rest of the trip. No, my husband didn’t stay w me. He stayed w his mom. His explanation “she needs him there”. Why didn’t I fly back? Because I was stupid…utterly stupid.

Flash forward, we flew back to the US and rushed to the hospital to get an ultrasound. It turned out that I was carrying twin and miscarried one. I was still carrying one healthy fetus. Speechless. I was so glad that I refused to take any abortifacient. I was so glad to trust my gut and not trust the doctors over there. I was so glad i stood my ground and fought with my husband.

It’s been 3 years since that trip and I’ve forgiven my husband. We are very happy now and our baby girl is healthy and happy. I am not sure how long this peace and happiness will last….my mother in law will be coming to live w us permanently in a couple months. Please note that we support her financially 100% and she has an amazing life over there. She also has other kids and grandkids over there as well. I honestly don’t know why she wants to come here where she has no friends, no relatives, can’t speak the language..

What I have written here is just a very small portion of what I’ve went through w her. I am not seeking sympathy. I am really hoping for some wisdoms/advices on how to deal w her. As of now, I avoid her as much as possible. I sent her gifts and offer my greetings whenever my husband is on the phone w her. I keep my interactions w her to a minimal…history taught me that the more I talk, the more ammunitions I am giving her …..

So here I am…

Do you have any advice on how to deal w a manipulative mother in law?

How can I show my husband that he becomes a completely different person when she’s around? (From a caring loving husband to a robot that only takes orders from his mom)

Ideally, how can I convinced my husband that it’s not a good idea for her to live w us?

is there anyone on here who’s divorced because of an in law? Please share your thoughts…..

I’ve been having nightmares about our family falling apart because of her. I even have mini panic attacks when I think of her.



Any wisdoms/advices would be appreciated. (Writing this at 3am on my cellphone, please disregard any grammatical/spelling/typos errors)
 


Dr. Tooth

Active Member
The problem: mother in law. I never met my mother in law until after we got married.
This could be one of the main underlying issues that triggered the hatred in the mother in law.

Bringing the girlfriend home to introduce to the mother -> seeking approval/ making known of a marriage taking place -> receiving blessings from the mother has always been a long tradition practice prior to a marriage.

The mother in law could also be both furious and confused how and why did her son who has always listen to her every word did such a thing? Heading straight into a marriage just like that? And instead of blaming the son, she vents all the frustrations on you and thinking it must be you who manipulated her son. A misunderstood relationship to begin with.

So here I am…

Do you have any advice on how to deal w a manipulative mother in law?

I’ve been having nightmares about our family falling apart because of her. I even have mini panic attacks when I think of her.
I will not utter even a word on this question because I have very low tolerance towards unreasonable parents/ parents in law. My preparation will eventually lead you into a face-to-face war with your mother in law that could even turned your fear into reality. Maybe other members could help you in this. :)

How can I show my husband that he becomes a completely different person when she’s around? (From a caring loving husband to a robot that only takes orders from his mom)

Ideally, how can I convinced my husband that it’s not a good idea for her to live w us?
If you are figuring out a way to convince him that he is a completely different person when she's around or even figuring out a way trying to change him, then you will be left with only disappointment. In general, human beings are very resistant to change. And moreover you are not dealing with a man who can stand on his own feet. You are dealing with a boy, a mummy's boy to be exact!

Ideally, you can ask questions and form into discussions to gain insights into what's on his mind currently:

1) Mother in law is going to stay with us permanently soon, and I'm sure she is going to make my life very difficult. What do you think?

2) Are you going to be on her side, seeing me suffering in silence again when conflict of interests arise?

You can ask other questions should you deem the above as inappropriate. You need to take note that when you are discussing something sensitive, do it when his mood is good or while during cuddling moments when both parties are relax and when you want to ask something, go straight into the questions. Boys don't appreciate beating around the bush or dilly dally here and there.

Assuming all discussions went smoothly, you may want to add in some guilt facts to remind him what did the mother in law did that almost destroy your family's happiness.

3) Dear/ Deer/ Di2 whatever you address him, I really love talking to you whenever I'm not feeling good. You ease my worries instantly (feed his ego before you go for the kill) and Can You Imagine... I was once kicked out by mom and she did mention this marriage isn't going to last, then our baby girl will be fatherless or motherless.

There is no way you can out-beat the mother in law unless you are ready for the worst. But you can gently create an image in your husband what can really happens when he failed as a husband. The above statement is dangerous. Please kindly ignore if you deem it as inappropriate. Best wishes! :)
 
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triple70

Member
PRC culture is like that. Nothing unusual with the MIL behaviour. The issue is that u just do not gel with that kind of environment. SG upbringing is just too western for Asian societies.

Hubby is still a PRC at heart, u cant change that too.
Sorry to say but this hubby and family is not going to change because of you. Either u adapt to their culture or u move on with your set of cultural beliefs. No one is right or wrong here. Just culturally different.
 

Bl3ss3d

New Member
Thank you for your input. I've posted my story on an American family forum and the only advices I received were 'divorce him' or 'give him an ultimatum: mom or wife'. I am not open to either options currently (not saying I won't in the future)

Dr. Tooth: You brought up a good point about the possible trigger for her hatred (not meeting me until after marriage) but honestly, I don't think it matters. I am not the first person my husband dated. From what I've heard, she treated his ex gf poorly too (the ones that he brought home....) she also hates her son in law. I've reached the conclusion that's NO ONE is perfect for her kids. No one. I know that she repeatedly told my husband to divorce me.

I also understand that a lot of this has to do with our cultural differences. Me growing up in the US, believing in gender equality, believing in speaking up, etc etc ....but when dealing w her, I've tried to be as respectful as possible. I don't talk back. There are so many occasions where she downright insult me and my parents...does it give her the right insult and berate me as she pleases (and spreading ridiculous rumors) just because she's my mother in law? Is it common that Chinese daughter in law just accept the insults and move on w life?

My main concern now is my daughter. I don't want my daughter growing up in a family where she watches her mom get berated daily and not fight back. Do I just sacrifice my marriage to ensure that my daughter will grow up in a normal healthy environment (even without a father)?

Is there anyone here who's divorced cause of MIL? Please share your experiences.
 
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tiggerpooh

Active Member
@Bl3ss3d

I m quite sure there will b lots of stories here in d forum where u can find DIL having issues wif their PIL. Having said dat, most times it wld b dependent how d son's or daughter's behaves dat will determine where d marriage will move towards.

About your daughter, parenting requires both parents 2 educate without contradicting one another, hence wat kind of upbringing do u and your DH wants of your daughter? If our partner is constantly shouting @ us, our kid will think it's okie 2 shout even thu they r told not 2 shout.

Your situation requires a HTHT wif your DH. Both of u probably wld like to set some ground rules? ie if your MIL is being unreasonable again, wld he stand up 4 u?
 

jo_tadd

New Member
Some mother in law have that kinda mindset when their son married, they kinda lose that son. Even though that is not true, some cannot change that mindset.

I agree with Dr Tooth. I am not asking you to get into her good books but your husband was most likely brought up and taught to be filial, cannot talk back his mother stuff like this. In a way he is sandwiched in between his mother and you.
 

adhd.dad

Active Member
She's probably feeling like she has lost her precious son to you. He no longer comes home to her. Does he talk or communicate frequently with her? You can't entirely blame her if your hubby doesn't pay her much attention anymore. Such is the sad fact of life - most men get married and quickly lose touch with their parents. Your MIL has it worse since you don't even live in the same country, to begin with.

My advice would be to put up somewhat with her nonsense and try to show her that her son isn't yours alone. Make sure he communicates with her. Send her updates on the grandchild etc. Make her feel included. Even if it is not going to pull a miracle 360 on your relationship, it may help reduce her hatred of you. Grandchildren have this incredible power to mend relationships. Use it!

Don't put your hubby to the test and expect him to choose between the 2 of you. This is especially so if he comes from a traditional family. Think about it in reverse for a change... would you ever want a son who would ditch you for his wife? To truly mend relationships, one must consider all angles objectively. Don't listen to selfish inconsiderate advice from people who have no commitment whatsoever in your happiness. 50% of them probably wouldn't do what they advise. Keyboard warriors (those asking your to dump him, go to war with her etc) are common in this age.
 

Bl3ss3d

New Member
@adhd.dad my husband calls her everyday driving to work (30 mins) and then he FaceTime her almost every night after work for an additional (30-45 mins). She has access to our photo albums online so she can see pictures of our baby whenever she wants. Husband send tons of videos of our baby to her as well. Husband sends quite a bit of $$ back monthly to support her. She has a better life there than us here. She doesn't talk to me...ever. She doesn't acknowledge that I am even there after i greeted her. She even asked my husband to divorce me multiple times. She told all her relatives over there that I abused her and she's scared of me. They now hate me too...even though they don't know me. As of now, I avoid her as much as possible. I won't even be in the same room as my husband when he calls her because I don't want to hear her trashing me on the phone.

my husband acknowledged that her treatment of me is wrong and unfair but he won't do anything about it. I never thought I'll be living a Chinese family drama in 2017.

I grew up in a family where my mother was extremely verbally abusive to my sister in law and how nieces and nephews had to watch the abuse, confused on who's right who's wrong, questioning their mother's love ...etc. my biggest fear now is putting my own child through that. What will I be teaching her if I just sit there and take the verbal abuse from MiL? What will it teach her to watch her father do nothing while her mother is getting abused? I don't want her to normalize abuse....

I get what you mean about not making my husband pick between us and seeing things objectively...but at what point is it enough? I've read a couple of other posts about MIL, but I can't find one where the MIL actually lives w the DIL.....

My patience has its limit.....
 

Bl3ss3d

New Member
@jonliveitup

Argh...I think I'll stick w hubby.

Trying to slowly convince him to go to therapy. Hopefully, the therapist will tell him that he's a puppet around MiL.
 

adhd.dad

Active Member
Well, then I was wrong. Your MIL doesn't have just typical issues. There must be a reason for the deep-seated hate but it might be too late at this point. Your hubby and you will need to talk out a solution to this.

@adhd.dad my husband calls her everyday driving to work (30 mins) and then he FaceTime her almost every night after work for an additional (30-45 mins). She has access to our photo albums online so she can see pictures of our baby whenever she wants. Husband send tons of videos of our baby to her as well. Husband sends quite a bit of $$ back monthly to support her. She has a better life there than us here. She doesn't talk to me...ever. She doesn't acknowledge that I am even there after i greeted her. She even asked my husband to divorce me multiple times. She told all her relatives over there that I abused her and she's scared of me. They now hate me too...even though they don't know me. As of now, I avoid her as much as possible. I won't even be in the same room as my husband when he calls her because I don't want to hear her trashing me on the phone.

my husband acknowledged that her treatment of me is wrong and unfair but he won't do anything about it. I never thought I'll be living a Chinese family drama in 2017.
 

ally.wang

New Member
I think this three words is very important tolerance, time n trust
I believe so. And of course establishing a relationship to the person so she'll get to know you more. You are a family after all. But you know if things is really difficult in your case, you can talk to your husband and explain your side as well. Haaa. Hoping things will get better in your family.
 

Bl3ss3d

New Member
He continuously disregard my feelings. He made an agreement w me to delay bringing his mom over until we are more financially secure a couple days ago. He broke that agreement. He broke the same agreement multiple times. Keeps on telling MIL she'll be coming in a couple months. He proceeded to tell her he'll send her more money (she has more money than us). At this point, it's not about money, it's how he went about things. Always making promises behind my back without consulting me...then TELL me about it after the fact. He has done this countless of times. He does not respect me or care enough to even consult w me about it. 9 years is enough patience. He won't even listen to my side. I even asked him straight out "will you protect our daughter from MiL if she starts verbally abusing our daughter?" Silence was his answer. Silence....what kind of man won't even protect his own daughter? That was breaking point.
 
Monster-in-law.. As long as ur hubby is mommy's boy, u will never be able to breakaway from this monster..

If ur staying together permanently, get a maid or a nanny so things wont be so tensed when jus you and her at home.
 
Monster-in-law.. As long as ur hubby is mommy's boy, u will never be able to breakaway from this monster..

If ur staying together permanently, get a maid or a nanny so things wont be so tensed when jus you and her at home.
He continuously disregard my feelings. He made an agreement w me to delay bringing his mom over until we are more financially secure a couple days ago. He broke that agreement. He broke the same agreement multiple times. Keeps on telling MIL she'll be coming in a couple months. He proceeded to tell her he'll send her more money (she has more money than us). At this point, it's not about money, it's how he went about things. Always making promises behind my back without consulting me...then TELL me about it after the fact. He has done this countless of times. He does not respect me or care enough to even consult w me about it. 9 years is enough patience. He won't even listen to my side. I even asked him straight out "will you protect our daughter from MiL if she starts verbally abusing our daughter?" Silence was his answer. Silence....what kind of man won't even protect his own daughter? That was breaking point.
Looks like he's tamed by his own mother. How evil a mother can be.
 

meowie323

Member
I'm very sorry for you that you married a Ma1 Bao3. If my husband were to do to me what your hubby had done to you i.e. shouting at me to shut up in front of his mother when I had just miscarried, I would have given him a tight slap right in front of his mother's face and then immediately file for divorce the next day. If I can't even trust this man to stand by me in times of such emotional difficulties i.e. miscarriage, how can I trust him to take good care of me for life?

No one deserves respect just because they are older. I don't care if you are mother or mother in law. I will only respect you if what you say makes sense, and if you behave in a manner that deserves respect.
 

pinkdoll

Member
I agree with meowie. Don't think I can put up with such abuse. You have to think hard and be strong for yourself and your daughter. Tolerating unreasonable behavior from your mil and husband will only 'encourage' them to bully you further and maybe even your daughter. Best is not to stay with mil. She can always stay in China. Why does she have to come and stay with you guys and wreck havoc? You have to understand her agenda. Best is to talk to your husband and make your point very clear. I hope you have some support from your family side that you can fall back on. Most importantly, don't let them bring your daughter away from you. Worse scenario if you really cannot take it and want to go back to your parents place then you might want to do it without alerting them upfront (just pack up, bring your daughter, take both your passports and go) in case they don't allow you to bring your daughter along. Just my 2 cents worth.
 

reddesk

Well-Known Member
@adhd.dad my husband calls her everyday driving to work (30 mins) and then he FaceTime her almost every night after work for an additional (30-45 mins). She has access to our photo albums online so she can see pictures of our baby whenever she wants. Husband send tons of videos of our baby to her as well. Husband sends quite a bit of $$ back monthly to support her. She has a better life there than us here. She doesn't talk to me...ever. She doesn't acknowledge that I am even there after i greeted her. She even asked my husband to divorce me multiple times. She told all her relatives over there that I abused her and she's scared of me. They now hate me too...even though they don't know me. As of now, I avoid her as much as possible. I won't even be in the same room as my husband when he calls her because I don't want to hear her trashing me on the phone.

my husband acknowledged that her treatment of me is wrong and unfair but he won't do anything about it. I never thought I'll be living a Chinese family drama in 2017.

I grew up in a family where my mother was extremely verbally abusive to my sister in law and how nieces and nephews had to watch the abuse, confused on who's right who's wrong, questioning their mother's love ...etc. my biggest fear now is putting my own child through that. What will I be teaching her if I just sit there and take the verbal abuse from MiL? What will it teach her to watch her father do nothing while her mother is getting abused? I don't want her to normalize abuse....

I get what you mean about not making my husband pick between us and seeing things objectively...but at what point is it enough? I've read a couple of other posts about MIL, but I can't find one where the MIL actually lives w the DIL.....

My patience has its limit.....
I pm you
 

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