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Wondering if you can help calm me down again? I've been continuing the approach discussed above and my mother-in-law is really getting worse. After the last ordeal I let a couple of weeks go by before initiating contact with her. She had another tantrum three days ago, yelling, crying and just plain in a pity party mode. She again yelled at me but this time she stated "I don't want anything to do with you and the way you spoke to me. We thought you were smarter than that to talk to me that way in my condition" and then hung up on me.
Well, I am not only hurt but furious because she has now spread things that are totally untrue throughout my husband's family. She claimed that I put her down when she was the one putting her self down with me trying to convince her otherwise. She has told people that I put her down... what a lie. I have never done such a thing and never would. I have never disrespected her or anything of the sort. She is constantly referring to herself as not being that smart, she can't do anything, etc... She even went so far as to tell me about some of the things her mother-in-law used to do and say to her, etc. So she figured that's the way she should be. My response is generally, it doesn't make it right and not to do it again... you're not your mother-in-law. But sadly, if she has always been this way I can see why her mother-in-law may have said and done certain things to her ... not that it is right.
So I had my own tantrum in the comfort of my own home in the basement... all my husband could do was sit on the stairs and listen to me rant my frustration. But the great thing is he listened, understood and stated, "Welcome to my world". I am so proud of my husband because he has actually started backing off ... realizing that he cannot carry her grief that it is hers ...he actually stated that. He has also been very sweet and attentive to me this week ... and not so preoccupied with his mother and her needs.
I told him that I felt like I had been placed on a shelf and he would get back to me after he took care of his mother but that I refused to be placed in that position. So, the two of us have come to agreement that he will spend every other Saturday to help her out and the alternate weeks he will visit her during an evening during that week. This is a lot better than his spending every Saturday with her. He also stated that she is stubborn and conveniently forgets or doesn't remember what she could have said that upset me or anyone else and that it is sometimes like talking to a wall.
Her other family members seem to facilitate her sadness by giving in ... for example, father's day, her brother's kids invited her to a family cookout at their house. After 20 minutes, she started crying and wanted to go home but it had to be her brother that drove her. This is a 20 minute trip one way... So her brother drove her home, dropped her off and returned to his party.
Both of my parents are gone so I think I've latched on to this woman but am beginning to rethink the type of relationship I want with her. My husband and I are both in our 50s and it's a second marriage for him but my first. We are an interracial couple and I'm beginning to wonder if there are other dynamics in play too.
With the exception of his parents, the majority of his family was against us getting married but has tolerated it and even attended the wedding.
Trying not to lose my mind. Please help.
Thank you so much for your response! It is really a huge help that your advise validates my thinking and my actions. Definitely rethinking the relationship. Thank you again and have a very nice holiday weekend!