Mother in Law Help - Frederick,MD

Updated on January 01, 2019
A.W. asks from Frederick, MD
12 answers

Hi All!
It’s been awhile but I need some help. We are renting my mother- in -law’s house and so that means she comes and goes as she pleases. She stays for 3 or 4 days at a time.

Well, she invited herself again and extended the days that she is staying despite my telling her that we had other plans ( like play dates and other activities ) with the kids since they’re off. She was just here 2 weeks ago and stayed for 4 days and needs to be constantly entertained unless she has plans.

So, I have been not as available this time. She is very intrusive and injects herself in places and parents my children. My husband called and she told me “that’s my son. He was mine first.” I guess you would say in a joking manner but it kind of stung. She’s always made unnecessary comments about my weight and other rude remarks but I really try and take the high road.

I buy her the things she likes. But I do admit, I have been more irritated having her in my space even though this is technically her house. I am at my wit’s end. As soon as I stand up to her even a little, she makes these cutting remarks and then laughs. I am trying so hard to remember she is lonely but I don’t know how much more I can handle. We do pay rent.

What can I do next?

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answers from Chicago on

I would ask my husband to have a serious talk with her about boundaries. If that doesn’t help, set a goal to move. That may be easier said than done but she is taking advantage of the situation. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Norfolk on

Your husband needs to really talk with his mom and establish some boundaries.
If he can't/won't do it then your family needs to move and rent somewhere else - where she does not have a copy of keys.

As for the 'he's my son - he was mine first' comments - I'd have a hard time keeping my mouth shut and replies would not be polite.
"He's mine now and we have sex. I win and will outlive you" might just possibly slip from my lips.

As a renter you have rights.
If you want to get legal you could sic a lawyer on her but that's pretty much a declaration of war.
You need your own space that's under your control.
Where if she shows up uninvited you can shut/lock the door after telling her "No - we're busy. We'll let you know when we are available for a visit.".
Just move and rent somewhere else.
What ever break she might be giving you - it's not worth staying under her thumb.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Either you and your husband have to stipulate that she is not welcome to come and go as she pleases, or you need to move into a different rental. Whatever you are saving from renting from her is not worth the price of the intrusion on your life.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Your MIL is breaking landlord-tenant laws, but it isn't really helpful to know that info if you and your husband are not willing to say , "No, you can not stay here." and so on. If you did that, she may decide to evict you over it.

The solution is to look for a new place to live.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

It's not her house. It's yours. You pay the rent and live there. She's responsible for repairs. Unless the place is on fire or in violation of heath codes, she has no reason to be there without an invitation.I rented a number of apartments and houses - the landlord never came in to stay for a few days, you know?

But you can't tell her that. Your husband has to. You have to stay out of it.

The laughing sounds odd, as does the "he was mine" comments about your husband. Is she mentally ill? Did she offer you this place to help you, to control you, or to get money from you?

Either he stands up to her, or you move. I don't see any other way around it. The typical landlord protections won't work with a family member. But this is really unhealthy for you and your kids. They are getting a skewed view of their grandmother, and they are watching her be domineering and verbally abusive to you. Not a good thing to continue.

I'm sorry - i sounds awful.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Wow. It must be very difficult to have so little control over his Mom coming to visit you. But I think you have figured out that it is not your job to entertain her. Just go about your life.

As for her rude comments, honestly, I think standing up to her is one possibility. But really, it is unlikely to change her. My husband has a wonderful way of handling rude people by agreeing with them. It's amazingly effective. So if she says something about your weight, laugh and say she's correct,Twiggy is not your idol. If she says her son was hers first, laugh and say that she is absolutely right. This breaks the pattern of defending yourself. Of course this technique only works if there is not one bit of sarcasm in your voice.

I wish you all my best.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You've been dealing with this woman for a while.
I'm assuming you're renting from her out of financial necessity? Hopefully you can get another place, and soon, that will help.
But honestly until you really stand up for yourself things aren't going to change, and even after you DO stand up for yourself, she may not care or take you seriously and still be the same, miserable person.
All you can do is go about your life and not worry about entertaining her. If she pouts or complains, too bad, let your husband deal with it. Next time she says, "he was mine first" look her straight in the eye and say "oh, yeah? well he's mine now" and walk away. Don't engage her or take her petty comments personally.
Remember, we can't control other people, we can only control our reactions to them. So stop walking on eggshells, trying to be "nice" all the time, you need to be honest, and firm.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Sounds to me like you need to have a conversation with your husband. Get him to talk to him mother. If he don't know how to stand up to her then you may have a problem. I don't have a mother in law that is over bearing but my mother's husband (That's what I refer to him as since they have only been married 4 years but hopefully not much longer) is a very difficult man to deal with and will say anything that he wants to. Once he started cursing at my youngest I think he was 13 maybe. I let my mom have deal with him. And let him know his behavior is unadaptable. I hope your husband will do that with him mom for you! I know my husband would. Yes it might be his mother and he might be her first born but he is yours now!!!! My only other idea is to change the locks. OR start looking for a new place to live but she might do the same thing.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Just because you are renting from her does NOT mean she can come and stay and walk in and out at anytime.
Your husband MUST put a stop to this. He is allowing it. He is putting his mother before you and your family. If your husband values his marriage and family? He needs to have a serious talk with his mother and say ENOUGH.
Change the locks on the doors.
He MUST tell her that just because you renting does NOT give her carte blanche. PERIOD.
If she comes over unannounced? Tell her to leave.
If she can't learn boundaries? It's time for you to move out and be on your own,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

When are you going to be able to move elsewhere?

This isn’t working. She doesn’t respect your privacy. Where is your husband in all this? Does he care that she’s running all over you?

You and your husband need to come to a decision on what to do here. It sounds to me that he has his head in the sand about her control issues since he is at work all day. He needs to get the courage up to be willing to either find another place to live, or stand up to his mom.

As far as her rude comments are concerned, treat her like you would treat a child. Walk away, ignore and only have something to do with her when she is nice. If that doesn’t work, tell her “I don’t appreciate your comments about my weight. Please don’t say it again.” Don’t apologize for standing up for yourself.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

If she is lonely see if there's a senior citizen center nearby and have her sign up for activities there. this will keep her busy and out of your hair. Also talk to your husband and maybe the both of you can sit down and speak to her about the situation. Good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I think you should move. You need your own place. She can't just walk in bc she will not have keys. Also, I think your husband needs to set boundaries with her. He is letting her be controlling and annoying. For example, she just comes over without being invited. He shows her to the door and says, "Sorry mom, you have to go now. Remember, I asked you to call first to make sure it's a good time to visit and now is not a good time." He needs to be VERY consistent with her. She will most likely throw a fit, but then she will also get over it and the next time she will be more respectful. Your husband needs to call her out every time she makes an inappropriate remark. "Mom, do not speak to my wife that way!. Mom, if you want me to let you come visit us you need to never say that again. Mom, if you want time with your grandkids you need to respect my wife and my family and not say things like that. It's time for you to go Mom, you are not being kind to my wife." PS - My mom is very much like this and I have had to be "strict" with her and set boundaries which has made her fly off the handle in an adult tantrum. But she came around. ---Definitely get your own house and MOVE!

2 moms found this helpful
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