Sarah’s relationship with her mother-in-law is strained when her MIL misconstrues private conversations and creates family drama. Here is what Sarah has to say:
A Close Relationship
Meet Sarah, a 31-year-old woman who has been married to her husband, Jack, for 3 years. Sarah has always had a close relationship with her mother-in-law (MIL), but things started to change when she got pregnant. In the past 5 months, her MIL has misconstrued several private conversations between them, causing family-wide drama.
Hesitant to Work
Sarah is 5 months pregnant and has been hesitant to go back to work right away after the birth because she doesn’t want to leave her baby alone with someone else. When she told her MIL this, her MIL concluded that Sarah would never allow her around the baby alone because she’ll never trust her.
She Was Accused
Sarah’s MIL also accused her of trash-talking her to her family, calling her a bad mother, and insulting her baby gifts. Sarah was tired of this cycle of her MIL creating drama from things she told her when they were alone and then her MIL crying, saying she misunderstood.
She Was Exhausted
The worst part was Sarah having to convince her husband each time that she did NOT say those things. It created a lot of fights between them, and Sarah was exhausted by it.
She Wanted Him Present
So, Sarah decided that Jack had to be present whenever she was around her MIL. She only texted her MIL through a group chat that included Jack. If her MIL called and Jack wasn’t in the room with her, she would go where he was or decline the call. She only called her MIL if Jack was next to her.
He Hated It
Jack hated it, and her MIL was annoyed, but Sarah felt like it was the only way to keep a semblance of a relationship with her MIL. She didn’t want to cut her off completely, but she also didn’t want to deal with the drama anymore.
Straight to the Internet
Sarah wondered if she was doing too much and if she should only do this with calls since she had written proof when they texted. She wasn’t sure what the best approach was, so she went straight to the internet and to seek advice from a popular online forum.
The Internet Responds
One person puts, “I think you found a good solution, and if MIL is annoyed so be it. But you need to discuss this with your husband, if he’s annoyed too, because this is going to continue and you need to make it work with him. Does he understand why you are choosing this option? Does he support you or does he lean towards his mother or is he trying to stay out of it?”
Another person comments, “Yeah, I cannot imagine having to convince my husband I did or did not say something to his mother… My husband would always believe me, 100%. The fact that the husband doesn’t trust OP’s explanations of her conversations with his mother, AND doesn’t like being present for them, really makes this a husband problem. He should be putting his mother in her place, and if he doesn’t even want to be involved in OP developing a reasonable accommodation to being falsely accused of absurd things… well that means he WANTS the ridiculous conflicts and fights to continue? Or he wants OP to just roll over and be vilified and lied about? What is HIS solution to this issue if he isn’t going to trust his wife? He needs to be leading the effort to protect OP.”
A Final Response
A third person writes, “I wouldn’t be taking any calls from MIL. If she needs to ask me something, she can do so through hubby, especially considering 99% of her questions should be ones hubby can answer. My in-laws call my hubby, and my family calls me. Even when my dad needs to speak to my hubby, he will always call me, and I either hand the phone over (if I can’t answer the question or it’s too complex to play messenger) or I tell him when it would be a good time to call hubby (if hubby is out or too busy and can’t come to the phone).”
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