37 answers

Rude Mother-in-law

I need advice about what to do about my rude stepmother-in-law. She is controlling, rude and selfish, but will be nice to your face. Here is the latest. She and my husband's dad just got 2 black lab puppies. They named one of them the same name we had picked out if we have a boy. It was the only name my husband and I could agree on too. We are not trying at this point for another baby, but this is the name we would name our next child if we had a boy. I can't believe she did this! I've liked names for boys before, but after naming an animal that name I couldn't imagine naming my child the same name.

She has always been selfish, and will say,"I know..., but I decided to do it anyway". How do I approach her about this. It's not too late for them to change the name since they just got them a couple of days ago, but I need to act fast. Please help!!!

What can I do next?

More Answers

Sallah: Please, what does it always mean, this... this "Junior"?
Professor Henry Jones: That's his name.
[points to himself]
Professor Henry Jones: Henry Jones...
[points to Indy]
Professor Henry Jones: ...Junior.
Indiana Jones: I like "Indiana."
Professor Henry Jones: We named the *dog* Indiana.
Marcus Brody: May we go home now, please?
Sallah: The dog?
[starts laughing]
Sallah: You are named after the dog? HA HA HA...!
Indiana Jones: I've got a lot of fond memories of that dog.


I love Indiana Jones. It’s the first thing I thought of when I read this post. Name your baby whatever you want and don't worry about it. That dog will be long dead and gone long before your unborn son would even be old enough to take offence. (And I'm sure he'd never take offence. Most kids love it when things have the same name as they do. Makes them feel important!)

When dealing with spiky self-centered women I've found that the best tactic is to do what you would have done prior to their actions, or in other words, ignore them. If it bothers you THAT much, you can always alter the spelling. =)

3 moms found this helpful

Dear A.,
I am a mom and a minister. For what it is worth:
You can not change your step-mother-in-law. While she is old in age, it sounds like she is young inside. I imagine she acts young with everyone and it is not personal to you. ...This does not make her behavior less annoying or hurtful. Sometimes, for me, understanding gives me some distance.
Regarding the name: You could try to explain the situation. "___ (husband) and I are trying to have a 2nd child. It took us forever, but we finally agreed on a name, which as you know is ___. When I heard that you named your new puppy that I felt worried. ___(husband) and I would really appreciate it, if you would re-name your puppy. We know this is asking a lot, but please consider doing this for us. Thank you!" Once you tell her, she will either do it or not, but at least you tried.
We really do not know what the future has in store for us. You could end up with another daughter or a few months from now, you and your husband might discover a fabulous new name that you love even more. Or you might have to live with your "second" choice as a first name (and your favorite name as a middle name!) for a new son. Or you could have a son and decide to name him the same name. ...I imagine a little boy would think it was pretty cool to have the same name as grandma's dog. Years from now, it could even make a funny story.

The main thing right now is learning to deal with and live with a family member who is a challenge to you. I encourage you to love yourself and treasure yourself along the way!
Best wishes!

3 moms found this helpful

Maybe say something to the effect of:

"I know it sounds a little silly, but I really dont like the fact that you named your dog the name we chose for our little boy, should we ever have one. Out of respect of my feelings would you mind changing the dogs name please?"

A lot of people who appear to be selfish are just plain oblivious because no one around them takes it upon themselves to point it out.

I hate to say it but my own mother is a bit on the selfish side. I have learned over time to point it out to her as respectfully as possible. Its almost comical the things she gets offended over and holds a grudge about.

My mothers selfishness for example:

She called and asked me to go on a walk. She wont walk in my neiborhood because she "doesnt feel safe". So its a 20 min drive each way to go walking with her. I told her I had a lot to do to get ready for company, so if I came to exercise with her she, in turn, would need to come play with my kids so I could completely concentrate on my house after our walk. I drove 20 min, walked for 40 min, and when we were done she said goodbye and left. The next day she called to ask the same scenario of me. I told her I could not because she didnt follow through on her word from yesterday, and I could not spare the time and apologized. She replied, "but I wanted to go to the movies with your dad". She was mad at me for telling her "no" and didnt speak to me for the rest of the week. Now whos fault was that again....????

Its really silly, but we have to draw clear boundries in all aspects of our lives.

2 moms found this helpful

Well, A., here's my take, speaking from experience with a lot of rude people. Unfortunately, you'll never change your stepmother-in-law. She is who she is by now. Most likely she is a miserable person by nature and you know how misery loves company! So, I'm sure she feels it's her duty in life to make as many people as possible just as miserable as she is. My suggestion is to make sure she never knows how much she is getting to you, since that would only make her gleeful! I would suggest not approaching her about the name issue at all. I'm sure she would love to know it bothers you that much. I know you feel you don't want to name your child the same name as an animal, but if that truly is the only name you and your husband can agree on, there really is nothing wrong with that. Think about it...there are animals out there with your daughter's name...guaranteed. If you do have another child and it is a boy, within hours that name will seem like the most natural name in the world for him. Besides, that's a bridge you haven't even crossed, yet, so it's much too soon to stress about it now. Let me encourage you to pick your battles with your stepmother-in-law very carefully and very sparingly. Most things just aren't worth it. And that goes for any other issues with anyone else, as well. It's so much better to take the high road. My dad used to say, "In a hundred years, it won't matter". The truth is, within weeks or even days, it won't matter. Save your energy for things that really need your attention. Take care, good luck and God bless!

2 moms found this helpful

All I can say is life is way to short to be worrying about what your MIL named the dog and what you wanted to name the boy if you have one. If the dog and boy are named the same... the boy might like that.

2 moms found this helpful

I've read the other responses rather quickly, but don't think anyone else mentioned this. My first reaction when I read "step mother in law" was "what does that mean?" I actually had to think it through to realize the relationship. This brings me to the point that I wonder if part of the problem is that she feels insecure in her relationship to the family and this may be causing some of her negative responses.
It's also possible that she simply didn't think about the fact that you and your husband have planned to name a boy that name. I would gently mention to her something like "oh, did you forget that's what we were planning to name a boy if we have one? Maybe you'll want to re-consider the name of the dog. If not, I'm sure our little boy will be honored to share the name." What's the old saying... 'you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar'... Be sweet in your response rather than sarcastic and it might work.

2 moms found this helpful

You are playing into her games by letting it get to you and she knows it so let it go and name your baby that name when or if you have a boy. Just because a dog has that name doesn't make it a bad name for a child in fact your boy would get a kick out of it.

1 mom found this helpful

wow, lots of different feelings on this from everyone. i definetly agree that it is weird that she knowingly named her dog your fav name. that is just weird. who does that? i know for me i would have to say something somehow. hopefully she will change it or you just say "well, i guess your dog will have the same name as our son if we have one." really, who cares and if you love the name THAT much i say stay with it and still use it. :)

1 mom found this helpful

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