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Old 10-29-2013, 09:42 PM   #21
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Does what you are hearing square with what you know about your mom? If it were my mom, I would not take such a report at face value. Had I heard it about my mother-in-law, I would have tended to believe it, though would not act upon it without confirmation.

There was a time I did have to confront my mother-in-law as she was attempting to make demands upon her daughter. I was kind but firm. Also, I had a rock-solid case to bring. Don't know who said it first, but Marvin Gaye said (sang) it best.


People say believe half of what you see,
son, and none of what you hear.

Before any confrontation, it's best to have the facts. Otherwise, it may be best to wait for a different confrontation. If this is an isolated event, it may be best to ignore it (assure your DW, of course). If it's not, it will rear its ugly rear again and then you will have a solid footing to do any confronting.

Just remember that some of the folks you love the most in life are involved. You best get this right. Good luck.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:47 PM   #22
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Definitely have to intervene in some way. It sounds like Mom has old baggage, and is trying to hold onto you. Without knowing your mom's temperament, it's hard to say exactly what will work. But I think I would go the direct route, like calmloki. Don't make it more complicated, but let Mom know where you stand, and which way you would walk.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:59 PM   #23
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The first thing I thought was that maybe your mother was talking to her mother about you "kids". It might not have been meant so much as a slight but more of a generational gripe to another person her own age about kids.

If it were more than that it seems odd that her mother didn't say anything immediately.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:42 PM   #24
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Definitely have to intervene in some way. It sounds like Mom has old baggage, and is trying to hold onto you. Without knowing your mom's temperament, it's hard to say exactly what will work. But I think I would go the direct route, like calmloki. Don't make it more complicated, but let Mom know where you stand, and which way you would walk.
It also could go the other way depending on the personalities involved. Only the poster knows these people. Meaning it could also be the mother-in-law trying to hold onto her daughter and driving a wedge between son and mother or trying to make herself the "more trusted mom". I would definitely look into or be on the look out for the motivations of each at this point.
I too think it odd that mother didn't say anything in response if this was in front of her.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:41 PM   #25
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Alienating the mother of one's grandchild is never a good idea.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:45 PM   #26
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It also could go the other way depending on the personalities involved. Only the poster knows these people. Meaning it could also be the mother-in-law trying to hold onto her daughter and driving a wedge between son and mother or trying to make herself the "more trusted mom". I would definitely look into or be on the look out for the motivations of each at this point.
I too think it odd that mother didn't say anything in response if this was in front of her.
Good point. I amend my response to first confirm if she indeed even said anything inappropriate. And even if she did, maybe MIL should not be passing things along and just deal with it herself.

I have one set of relatives that like to pass along any unkind remark or things told in confidence. I don't see that as an admirable trait.

If mother didn't say anything to the OP or his wife directly, I would probably just let it pass, or ask MIL why she would repeat something that would hurt the wife's feelings.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:51 PM   #27
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"Mom, I need your help with something important..."
"I've heard from a few people that you've been saying negative things about Wife when she isn't present.."
(PAUSE and listen)
"For example I heard that you said X and Y."
Well all I wanted to say is that Wife and I love you very much, but I was concerned that if this was happening.... It could cause some hard feelings. I want Wife to know that you have her back, just like we have yours....
"Does that make sense?"
(Pause and listen)
"I know you don't want to hurt me or Wife, so. I figured I'd ask. Thanks for listening Mom."
(Change subject)

If Needed:
"no, wife didn't ask me to call you... This is something I am concerned about."
"If you tell me it didn't happen we'l leave it at that. I just wanted to make sure we are all on the same page."

Good luck.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:55 PM   #28
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Privately talk to Mom and try to understand what is real and what is fiction. If indeed she is being unkind to wife, you should try to make her understand that it is not acceptable. If it's all stories and maybe MIL exaggerating a bit, then you need to go work on that,

In any case, pregnant wife vs Mom is not a contest that Mom can win, and hopefully she knows how to be civil. If not, take care of your wife, she shouldn't have to put up with misbehavior like this, again assuming it's true and not just rumors for the sake of family drama.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:38 AM   #29
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Your wife, your mother, and everyone else need to know that you will always have your wife's back first, so be sure you show them that.

Your wife needs to tell her own mother and anyone else, the minute they tell her "so and so said...", that your wife will not listen to any secondhand criticism. You and she don't really know firsthand what is going on, so just don't listen to it.

Congrats on the baby to be and you two move forward from whatever tempest in a teapot is or is not being stirred up. Stay above it all and focus on your new little family.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:46 AM   #30
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And even if she did, maybe MIL should not be passing things along and just deal with it herself.
Definitely agree with this. MIL had to know the distress it would cause. That is what makes me a bit suspect.
I do not think I would tell my daughter what her mother-in-law said about her if it was negative because I absolutely would know that would be upsetting to my daughter AND call cause disharmony with the relationship my daughter has with her. Why would I want to do that? The OP might want to ask himself that question too.

But I would go home and vent to my husband.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:01 AM   #31
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Yikes! You're gonna need flak jackets.
Perhaps... but, based on the info in this thread, the OP hasn't heard this directly from his mother. It was heard through other people (only one mentioned was his MIL).

The danger is that things can get lost in translation. Nothing was stated about the relationship between his mother and MIL. To play devil's advocate, his mother might have said something like "I didn't like that particular dish the OP's wife cooked". The MIL could have heard "OP's wife is a bad cook", and told OP's wife that. Meanwhile, his mother was only commenting on that dish, and her dislike may have had nothing to do with OP's wife cooking - maybe something was served that she doesn't like to eat.

Going to person A and saying "person C told me you said something bad to person B about person C" will likely not solve anything and more likely make things worse. The direct approach with person A and B is more difficult - but doing the right thing is rarely easy.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:37 AM   #32
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ATC,

I walked out of the room when they dissed DH (he was a Yankee, gasp!), begged them to stop, ordered them to stop, etc. It finally DID stop - only because they finally gave up....like, 20 years later.
That was one of my problems too although not being at least a major might have been an issue.

My mother was in awe of my DW but part of that was she and her mother had decided I would never get married. My MIL would have regular "events" where I had been rude to her or, at least, in her imagination. She would fly off in tears to her bedroom for hours. At first I was to be more considerate but she eventually saw this as a "control" mechanism where her mother dictated many aspects of our lives. My wife tried unsuccessfully for a couple of years to get her mother stop the behavior. We solved it by eventually moving to another state.

I've told my kids that it's their responsibility to control us and they need to make sure that their spouse controls their parents. There's no way a person can effectively control their in-laws because their child is always the one they are "protecting." This didn't apply in my wife's case since my mother thought my wife was way too good for me (and she was right).
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