When I met my, then, future-in-laws, things went pretty well. It wasn’t until after my husband put the ring on my finger that everything changed. I mostly have had problems with my mother-in-law. My friends and family say it’s her loss, but it still stings.
I feel like I’m Annie, from the movie Bridesmaids, to her Helen Harris. It doesn’t matter what I say, she seems to always try to one up me. Or she seems to undermine me. For example, when I told my in-laws how excited I was to be writing for What The Flicka?, my mother-in-law just looked at me in stone cold silence. Nothing.
During one of my in-laws more recent visits, we were saying our goodbyes when my mother-in-law pulled me aside.
She reached into her purse and told me she had something for me. Immediately I felt horrible for the mean thoughts that go through my mind when I’m around her. Maybe she wasn’t so bad after all. That’s when it happened; my mother-in-law pulled out a picture of me, back when I was 20 years-old and pre-baby. I wasn’t sure what to make of it when she handed it to me, but I said thank you.
That’s when her claws came out.
She told me I needed to lose some weight and went on to say that she brought the photo to show me how I used to look and that there can be improvement. I stood there stunned and just plastered a smile on my face, when my internal dialog was saying “that f*#$@%& b*&%$.”
Fortunately, my in-laws live in another state, but they still visit us 3 or 4 times a year. What’s unfortunate is that my husband doesn’t see his mother’s passive-aggressive ways. So to keep the peace, I just try to keep that smile on my face or hide upstairs in the bedroom to get breaks when they visit.
They’re due for a visit in the next month and I always think “this time will be different.” It never is and I’m beginning to accept the fact that my relationship with my mother-in-law will most likely never change.
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