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Need Mother-In-Law Advice!!...Long Story!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I am looking for MIL advice on behalf of a good friend of mine. She came to me this morning with the issue (which I'll explain in a sec), which I guess I could offer advice on but I'm not sure it would be the best. So I bring to you all b/c I can be guaranteed I will get extremely good, impartial advice (which I'm afraid I can't give b/c I know everyone involved)!

So here's the problem...

My friend and her bf have been together for 5 or 6 years (lived together for 3 of those years). Durning this whole time her and her MIL have gotten along perfectly, has great respect for each other, etc. But lately there has been an "issue". Ever since my friend and her bf have moved into their newest apartment (around the first of July '05), her MIL has been over EVERY weekend they've been home (they've only gone away three or four times). And when I mean every weekend I mean EVERY weekend. And I can just imagine what you all are thinking...Why is that such a big deal, that her bf's mom vists often!?! Well every weekend they are home (which is basically all), she'd show up at 2 or 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon (sometimes earlier) and not leave until 12:00 a.m. in the morning, then come over Sunday afternoon around 2 or 3 p.m. again and stay until 8 or 9 p.m. This almost every weekend they were home, there were times a couple of times where she only came over on Saturday's. Not to mention the weekends when her MIL would leave her work on a Friday, go directly to my friend's apartment, stay till 10 or 11 p.m., show up again on Saturday, and again on Sunday!!!

This has been going on since July! It's gotten to the point where my friend and her bf have got to leave town in order to get time alone on the weekend! I know this seems drastic but in the last couple of months her MIL has even started just showing up at their apartment, not calling first or if she had called and there wasn't any answer (they really weren't in the mood for company and didn't answer the phone) she'd still just show up! My friend says, she's constantly invites herself over for dinner. Almost everytime my friend and her bf speak about going somewhere, she itries to invite herself along. Her MIL has even tagged along when they went grocery shopping, numerous times! Not to mention the time my friend her bf were going to go out for a nice romantic dinner on her b-day, just to two of them, next thing she knows her MIL invited herself along! I myself even think it's a bit much!

My friend is very understanding, perhaps too much so b/c she's let this get out of hand in my opinion. And the kicker is her bf doesn't seem to care that his mom is over so much! I mean come on, he's a grown man! It's either that or he would just feel too bad to say anything to her, which I can easily believe b/c he's a very nice person. My friend wants to bring this up to her bf and have started too a couple of times but he's extremely sensitive and protective about his mom (she is a single parent), and gets really defensive when she says the slightest thing, even if it's not really a negative thing. Now don't get my friend wrong or anything, she really likes her MIL, she also understands that this is the first time that her MIL has EVER lived alone (the woman is 40 yrs old) and she's probably lonely. She's even said, the would love it if her MIL came over every Sunday for dinner or every Saturday for a couple of hours but not this, not what she's doing now. Another thing is her MIL, will NOT try and make any friends or even find herself a bf (or companion) of her own! She tries to hang around with all of us! We are in out 20's, she shouldn't want to hang around with people our age and she certainly can't meet anyone her own age trying to hang around with us ALL the time!

My friend is trying to tread lightly, b/c this type of situation can defintely blow up in her face! Being fully aware of this and the fact that I know her MIL (and I really like the woman myself too) I am kinda iffy about giving advice! All I can think of is for her to try and sit down with her bf, and gently (without verbally "attacking" his mom) and explain how's she's feeling, how the situation is really starting to wear on her. I can even seen a difference in her when her MIL is around. She's snappy and irritable, and she hates becoming that person. I understand where's she's coming from, being around one person THAT much all the time, the person is bound to get on your nerves!

So does anyone have any other advice? Something she can do that won't pee of her bf or her MIL?!? If that's even possible...
post #2 of 14
Very sticky situation indeed. The only thing I could say is that she needs to have a good talk with her BF and explain to him that she just isn't comfortable with his mother being over all the time. Then he needs to have a chat with his mother. It's really the only solution I see. If she tries to talk to his mother herself his mom will probably only see it as "this girl is trying to come inbetween me and my son".

If the BF doesn't see it as a problem though and he won't talk to her than I'm afraid she's stuck with the visits
post #3 of 14
Yikes. That is some situation to be in. I could have seen that happening in the beginning, but gee, since July!!

I don't really know what advice to offer, but I really feel for your friend. No matter how she goes about it - her bf is going to feel like she's asking him to choose between her and his mom. I can't believe the MIL doesn't see how much she's intruding.

btw... I have the worlds best MIL
post #4 of 14
It sounds like the MIL is lonely, maybe you could find come groups, book clubs etc in the area to introduce the MIL too. Your friend could go with her a few times until she meets some new people. She probably wants to tread carefully talking to BF about it, if he's only child of a single parent there is usually some protective instincts there you want to be careful with.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys. I will defintely pass the advice along!

I can't believe the MIL doesn't see how much she's intruding.
This is just my honest opinion but I think she just doesn't really care, she just wants to be over there all the time and doesn't really care how my friend feels about it.

btw... I have the worlds best MIL
You are one lucky woman!

She probably wants to tread carefully talking to BF about it, if he's only child of a single parent there is usually some protective instincts there you want to be careful with.
For sure. I was telling her the same thing. She defintely has to be careful!
post #6 of 14
I'm guessing he is an only child??? I think if she feels really secure in her relationship with her BF she should have MIL come over for a talk. I agree that she sounds like she is lonely but if the your friend and her BF aren't having any feel time together that probably isn't helping their relationship either. Does she have a key and lets herself in?? Change the locks. If she knocks they don't have to answer the door. If someone was at my house late on a Sun night knowing I have to go to work I would get their coat or tell them politely they have to leave. Do they every go to MIL's place?? The longer this continues the harder it is going to stop.
post #7 of 14
Gosh, this is a touchy subject.... I understand how your friend's MIL is lonely, but then, she is a grown woman and should be able to find herself company especially when they are already escaping from her....!I'll keep my fingers crossed! let's hope the 3 of them can sort it out!
post #8 of 14
I would suggest looking up "Dear Prudence" on Slate online magazine. She has numerous letters of this type and gives superb advice.

Prudie would probably say that she needs to sit down with her bf and *gently* explain how she is feeling. At that point, they should lay out some ground rules about how they deal with the MIL when she comes over. Then instead of letting her come to the house, go to her house and visit. Break the pattern of her showing up every weekend. Additionally, be firm when she invites herself along, as in the instance with the dinner. I think a little white lie might not be too hurtful. As in "Sorry, we only have reservations for two." Or even being more blunt, as in, what *might* happen after that she might not want to be a party to....

But anyway, yikes! Good luck to your friend.
post #9 of 14
It sounds to me that MIL is either very lonely or very unhappy at home. You didn't mention if there is a FIL in the picture, but if there is I would be very concerned about their relationship.
post #10 of 14
Yeah, I was gonne ask if there was a FIL...
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Nope, there's no FIL at all, the MIL has been a single parent from the start. If there was and this was happening I think my friend would be more than understanding and would defintely do something to help out with the situation. I will let her know about "Dear Prudence".

Thanks you guys!
post #12 of 14
If they aren't married, she isn't technically the MIL. Because they aren't married, she should not be intruding. It sounds like the boyfriend is a mama's boy and mama cannot cut those apron strings. Is the boyfriend's mama still married? If so where is the husband during all these visits?

The key needs to be taken away, get caller ID for the phone, cut off the boyfriend's mother gradually. Tell her that if she continues this type of behavior, she won't be invited to the wedding. Also tell your girlfriend to take a good look at the relationship? At how the boyfriend doesn't stand up to his mom, and ask her if that is the type of person she wishes to spend her life with?

My ex-mother in law did this after Don and I were married. He had given her the key and she was a full-blown alcoholic- and well, I could tell you stories. But one afternoon, she went to far, and he threw her out of the house, confiscated her key and we went on from there.
post #13 of 14
Hissy has given you fantastic advice. I could also give many stories. The key here is that if your friend values the relationship, she needs to stay out of it. Her boyfriend needs to deal with his mother himself and make the decisions. If he sides with his mother, then she needs to reevaluate the relationship. I made sure I tread very carefully and let my husband make the decisions regarding his family. He ultimately decided that I came first, not his family, but I let him come to that decision on his own and did not push it. I never wanted him to wonder later if I was the person that came between him and his family. Because I stayed out of it, his family dug their own hole without any input from me.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Is the boyfriend's mama still married? If so where is the husband during all these visits?

She was never married to the bf's father. She's been a single parent from the beginning. If she was married I don't think they'd be having this problem.

It sounds like the boyfriend is a mama's boy and mama cannot cut those apron strings.
It's kinda like that but it's not. My friend has told me that the MIL will show up and her bf acts like she's not there half the time. Goes about his business like his mom is not around and his mom will sit on the couch watch t.v. or read a magazine. It's almost like she lives there, and is just hanging around the house, it's really starting to bother her (and I don't blame her).

And Hissy to tell you the truth I think the bf's mother is on her way to becoming an alcoholic. Almost everytime she comes over she has to bring beer with her, if she doesn't she drinks whatever they have in the house. And if they don't happen to have any or not a whole lot, she'll cut her visit short and leave. Now don't get me wrong there are times when the MIL will visit and not drink or leave b/c they don't have anything to drink, but those are few and far between.

I made sure I tread very carefully and let my husband make the decisions regarding his family.
That's what my friend wants too do but she's starting to think that by the time her bf realizes how this is starting to effect her it'll be too late.
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