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trying2growParticipant7 months ago
My mother in law is more than a little overbearing. She’s constantly telling us how to do things, specifically in the medical area and especially now that we are expecting our first baby. My husband knows his mother is not totally normal and she will always argue whatever we choose to do but he has no energy arguing with her and just chooses to hear her out but not listen to her advice if we don’t agree with it. However, he’s happy when I’m brave enough to stand strong in my opinion to her (in a respectful way of course.) Anyways, recently we came to a decision regarding where the baby will be born and flying with a newborn etc and we shared it with her (since it’s something she will end up knowing either way.) Of course she had a whole slew of opinions, bashing our decision and saying we’re making decisions like children. In the past when something like this came up our rabbi said to ignore her and do what we believe is right as to not ruin our relationship with her. But it’s come to a point where I feel like she’ll be telling us nonstop how to raise our child and I feel I need to put my foot down now. Im deciding if I should send her a text or call her and respectfully explain that we will decide what’s best for our baby and what she’s doing is not ok. I know having one phone conversation with her won’t stop her from sharing her unsolicited advice but I also feel like we’re being stepped on and she needs to know I’m not ok with it
Anyone dealing with a similar situation or have advice on what to do from here?
Sarah95Participant7 months ago
That sounds so annoying 🙁
I can definitely related somewhat.
The advice we received and actually worked was to call her and explain the situation so for example ” hi mom, we really appreciate you giving us advice, but we don’t find it to be so helpful and it’s actually quite annoying. We are grown adults and we have who to ask when necessary. Please trust us and know that we will come to you for advice when necessary”
You may have to repeat this a few times and after advice is given to remind her. Respectfully abviously.
mmyyddiiaarryyParticipant6 months ago
You’re very smart and proactive for putting down boundaries now. I would not share any personal plans with such people. The less said the better… Also try not to talk about her especially with your husband or when he’s home. Even though he admits she is sick, at the end of the day it’s his mom and it hurts. Also, talking about her leads to uncomfortable conversations, bad moods and negative atmosphere at home. Now I am not saying you should stop reaching out for support when needed. Talking about our pains in our hearts to a close friend or two is healing, important, helpful and torahdig, as long as you do it for the sake of peace and with friends who will respect your privacy and not add fire…
Perhaps think of her as unfortunate with the package of natures and personalities which H-Shem created her with. try to have compassion on her even if it sounds hypocritical or fake. It will slowly be easier and eventually help you be calm about her and create a space for you to heal from her damage. What helped me arise compassion for my mother-in-law is thinking “imagine H-Shem would create me like her, would I do better? who knows…?! People like them have a miserable life… I can’t imagine how many more people think of her the way I do…” etc.
As much as my friends and family listened to, supported and validated me, including my Rav and kalla teacher, and they tried to give me their own advice, what’s most effective is my therapist. Finally, finally I found a fantastic therapist and all my friends are shocked from the amazing beautiful results b”H. I’m working with her for about a year now and continue to grow, B”H.
I’m not any licensed professional, I’m just sharing with you a bit of my story with my mother-in-law who displays some or many narcissistic personalities, I hope it gives you some hope and shines some light.
When I first started working with my therapist, it became very clear that we are dealing here with an enmeshment issue here. Since my husband was sort of in denial, I had to let go of my relationship with my in-laws for an unknown period of time, so I can have some space to heal and make room for a hopefully better relationship. I believed it is possible and there is a way to live with sick people, with proper guidance and healthy boundaries installed.
With the guidance of my therapist and Rav, I wrote my parents in-law a nice letter. Basically respectfully asking for the space I needed for healing my personal issues.
I came from a place of never calling nor visiting her to resuming visiting and having her over as well… with good feelings b”H. So the journey might drag long but as long as you do the work and pray for peace you’ll get there because this is ratzon H-Shem.
With best of luck, I prey for you!