Author Topic: Family Disapproval  (Read 11454 times)

ajp_in_pa

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Family Disapproval
« on: January 06, 2015, 11:46:43 AM »
I have never asked the internet anything on a forum, but here goes...

My husband and I are both young, married about a year, and are on our way to early retirement slowly but surely. We are very much enjoying the changes that we've made to our lifestyle, and are generally pretty happy that we've been following this blog and taking some advice from the really smart and helpful people here. We own our own home with good jobs and are in our mid twenties, so we are certainly capable adults. However, my dear mother in law disagrees with us on many of the changes we have made, especially concerning bikes. My parents also are little weary, but they don't tell us what to do with our lives. My in laws on the other hand believe that it is okay to threaten to disown us for decisions that we've made.

Let me provide a specific example to make things clearer. Today we had our first accumulated snow fall, and my husband was excited to try out the new snow tires he had purchased for his bicycle. His commute to work is only 3 miles, and he has been biking it since April. He has gotten really good at it so far, and he's been really enjoying it. When my mother in law asked my husband if he had ridden his bike today (she has known for months that this was the plan, knew we bought snow tires, nice boots, lights for the bike, reflective vest, nice hat, etc., so he could do this), she said she was disowning him. She even went so far as to chastise him for marrying a woman like himself instead of like her.

My mother in-law has threatened my husband with disownment throughout his life--he is very different from her, but he does love her and care for her. They are just very different people. Bringing me into this is particularly hurtful. I know she blames me for his biking and is concerned for his safety, but obviously I want him to be safe, too! She doesn't know a thing about our early retirement dreams of quitting our jobs to raise our children together. If she did I am sure she would shun us because it's so different. And either way, my husband and I are very much a partnership--I would never make him do something like this unless we mutually agreed.

I know I've been going on a bit, apologies, but basically, what advice do you have for us? I want us to have a relationship with them, of course, but it's hard to face so much opposition. They also spend tons of money on us, and my husband has said that doesn't mean anything, it's just how they are, but it overwhelms me and makes me feel like they are trying to "buy our compliance." I know that is a hurtful sentiment, too, but... It hurts that she can't see how much I adore her son and how happy we are in the life we are building together. I've considered asking if she will go to family counseling together to talk this out, but I'm afraid that it will make things worse...

Thoughts? Ideas? Friendly Internet support? How do you start a Mustachian path when your closest family hates you for it?

Thank you.

Eric

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 11:53:41 AM »
So the "disownment" threat is that you won't receive an inheritance?  Who gives a shit?  That would be my answer.

She sounds very controlling and obviously her money is the way she attempts to gain control.  Setting boundaries now will be important before she starts expecting your children to conform to her standards.

RapmasterD

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 11:53:53 AM »
I think therapy, as you suggested, would be well advised. There appears to be significant egotistical tendencies going on with your in-laws, perhaps combined with a major dollop of insecurity on their parts.

Most importantly, bandying around a term like "disownment" is really hurtful and potentially psychologically damaging. I'm close to this one in that I have a family member who was threatened to be disowned because...well, we'll just leave it there.

You are clearly very strong, balanced and kind. Stay the course!

LadyStache

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 11:59:16 AM »
My dad threatened to disown me a couple times. If you stand your ground it will stop; if you always cave in, they'll keep doing it to control you. That being said, she may be genuinely worried about his safety. It sounds like you guys went out of your way to make sure you were doing this as safely as possible (I saw you got a reflective vest and bike lights, etc.). Make sure she knows the safety precautions you've implemented and see if there are any additional things you can do about safety.

MDM

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 11:59:49 AM »
ajp_in_pa, welcome to the forums.

Some rambling ideas:

You can control your own thoughts and actions, not others' thoughts and actions. 

Your husband needs to be on point in discussions with his family. 

Keep the moral high ground: continue to be polite and loving toward the in-laws, and don't engage in tit-for-tat arguments.

Your husband chose to marry you - presumably that means he cares more about your opinions than his family's.

Next time he sees her your husband should give his mom a big hug, and with a smile thank her for raising him so well that he is happy with his life.

Good luck!




surfhb

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 12:05:10 PM »
There's a book named Boundries which would be perfect for you two.....especially your husband.    He needs to step up to the plate on this one.   

It will be tough for him, but a firm and polite verbal kick in the ass is what your MIL needs.

humbleMouse

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2015, 12:06:36 PM »
She sounds absolutely ridiculous... I would ignore her until she reaches out and apologizes.  Why would you want people like that in your life?

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2015, 12:07:01 PM »
A few thoughts:

1) The disownment threat, if used throughout his life, is a way of her controlling his actions, she is going to continue this until he stands up for himself as an adult. If she's threatening inheritance...you won't need it anyway. Statistics show if you are wealthy on your own, her money will go to whatever child didn't create their own.
2) I was raised in the church, believe in God, but not necessarily organized religion... our wedding vows and ceremoney and pre-marriage counseling, stated that through marriage the son is no longer his parents and now belongs to his wife. Decisions therein are now of their own accord and a strong marriage will remember that and the 2 should consider their parents opinions but not be governed by them.
3) My father once rebuked my grandmother, in front of the family (long before us kids) that he married my mother, not her, and that she was not to treat or attempt to control him like her own, he was grown man, college, military etc etc.
4) My parents adore my wife, by sister however seems to feel that I've changed in my relationship with her. Put simply, my views and opinions have not changed but my actions since having someone to share my life with and our common goals have. Since she doesn't take the time to understand she thinks that some of our ways (simple living, non-consumerism) is an extreme and anything to the contrary means we are judging any and all who don't participate.
5) It took some convincing when telling my parents about our early retirement plans, but they got on board. Mostly with respect to raising our kids and being involved in their lives. Boomers, will throw caution at you about down markets etc, working til your 60-70 cause that's what was necessary. Show them your plan, explain the contingencies and they will start to understand you aren't just gambling your future. My parents respect our below means living and early retirement, but also remind us to take time to enjoy our lives...

TL;DR: Lay down some ground rules with your parents, both sets. If they are trying to control your marriage now, think about how they'll tell you to raise your kids. Think about all the expensive gifts they will buy for your kids that will confuse their perception of NEEDS and WANTS. You are a new family, you have the right to establish yourselves as you see fit, that is what you found in your life partner. They did it their way, you do it your way, new generations yada yada yada. Good luck.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 12:11:04 PM by zdravé »

irishbear99

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2015, 12:07:08 PM »
So the "disownment" threat is that you won't receive an inheritance?  Who gives a shit?  That would be my answer.

+1

I am the black sheep of my family. Everything I do (to include having a successful marriage and career) is derided. It used to bug the hell out of me. They expect me to disappoint them; I expect them to continue being disappointed. Now, I embrace being the black sheep because I've learned that it comes with very low expectations. It's allowed me the freedom to limit relationships with my family of origin, live my life the way that makes me happy, and not give one damn what they think.

BTW, therapy was the key for me to learn how to set boundaries with my family and get to this point, so I highly encourage it.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2015, 12:10:13 PM »
Your husband needs to tell his mother that threats of disowning him have no standing (and mean it - you don't want to "inherit" if that means being a "good little boy" for his mommy forever), and that the comments about his wife are uncalled for and need to stop if she wants to have any sort of a relationship with him. He is an adult and she should realize that it is past time to be telling him what to do - but no one has called her on it, told her the boundaries of what is acceptable, and had her suffer the consequences of crossing those boundaries (in other words, tell her to cut it out, and if she won't stop seeing her/speaking with her until she does - negative reinforcement works well in most cases).

I'd suggest that you look into reading materials about manipulation and family dynamics for some insights (and your husband should definitely read them also). Suggestions are several from Susan Forward - Toxic Parents, Toxic Inlaws and Emotional Blackmail.

Your MIL is manipulative and controlling (and possibly borderline enmeshed or she wants to be) and she'll end up damaging both your marriage and her relationship with her son if you both don't lay down some boundaries for what kind of behavior and interaction is acceptable to you both.

But the fact of the matter is, it is your husband's mother, so your husband needs to step up and speak to her to lay down the law. He needs to shut her down on all of this. And the sooner the better. It does NOT have to be rude or an argument. Just figure out what to say, and tell her that calmly and politely, and tell her yelling or crying or other such stuff isn't going to improve things (and leave if she is the yelly/crying type) and that he wants to have an adult to adult relationship with her - no more parent/child stuff.


Things like:

Mom, I don't care about an inheritance if you're going to use it as a manipulation to make me do things you want me to do or not do things you don't agree with. I'm a grown man and I don't need your permission or approval to do anything anymore. I suggest you stop trying to do this, and if you don't I'm going to start distancing myself from you since I don't want to hear it. That means hanging up the phone if you start talking like this, or leaving the house/area or asking you to leave if you bring it up.

I also do not want you to say another negative thing about my wife. I love her, I married her, and I am very happy. I think it is very sad that you say mean things about her, and I'm not going to listen to them any more, and this is a warning to you to stop saying such things . If you do start in on her again, I'll hang up/leave...

 
But do both of you read those books (check your library!)

(been there, done that, had to cut off the inlaws for years and had extensive counseling to deal with family issues)


vhalros

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2015, 12:13:08 PM »
This is how I imagine the conversation playing out in my life:

Parents: We will disown you if you do X.
Me: Okay. I'm going to go do X now, call me back in a month when you get over it.


shotgunwilly

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2015, 12:14:39 PM »
Sounds like she's a lunatic.  I can see how that would be difficult to deal with and emotionally draining.  I'd just go on with my life and ignore threats from people like this.   

TrulyStashin

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2015, 12:30:47 PM »
1)  Your DH needs to handle this directly. 

2)  Stop being so transparent about your life/ your plans with his parents.  The less they know, the better.   Limit topics of conversation to ones that are safe.  You don't owe ANYONE information about how you live your life.  Questions do not need to be answered -- learn to deflect them and/ or shut them down.   "Thank you for your concern.  We're handling it.  So, hasn't the weather been nice lately?"

3)  Threats can be handled the same as questions.  "Mom, I'm not discussing this with you.  You are free to make your own choices."

No long conversations or explanations.  Just boundaries enforced with clear linguistic fences.  The less said, the better.

If you can change your financial habits, you can adopt these changes in habit too.  It'll feel good after a while and keep your nosy, controlling MIL on the sidelines where she belongs.

Grid

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 12:31:59 PM »
So you both want to continue a relationship with the MIL, but you also want to live your life as you see fit?  You just have to decide which one's more important, and let that take precedence.  I have a feeling the battle will be a slow one, but you have to put your foot down now (which is the most difficult time to do so).

trailrated

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2015, 12:35:42 PM »
Hurry up and pop a kid out, she will change her tune real fast. Semi joking...but really nothing will tug at her heartstrings like a beautiful little grandbaby.

mm1970

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2015, 12:36:28 PM »
You just do it, live your own life, and ignore the threats.  You don't care if you are disowned.

takeahike

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2015, 12:41:39 PM »
Very manipulative. There's nothing you can do except not give in to her demands and her tantrums. Continue to support each other, and make a pact to live true to yourselves.

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2015, 12:43:14 PM »
1)  Your DH needs to handle this directly. 

2)  Stop being so transparent about your life/ your plans with his parents.  The less they know, the better.   Limit topics of conversation to ones that are safe.  You don't owe ANYONE information about how you live your life.  Questions do not need to be answered -- learn to deflect them and/ or shut them down.   "Thank you for your concern.  We're handling it.  So, hasn't the weather been nice lately?"

3)  Threats can be handled the same as questions.  "Mom, I'm not discussing this with you.  You are free to make your own choices."

No long conversations or explanations.  Just boundaries enforced with clear linguistic fences.  The less said, the better.

If you can change your financial habits, you can adopt these changes in habit too.  It'll feel good after a while and keep your nosy, controlling MIL on the sidelines where she belongs.

To a person like this mother, this will only strengthen her belief that something is wrong. This position will cause more problems than anything else. She will think they are hiding things, this will further separate the relationship, not help it.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 12:58:52 PM by zdravé »

neil

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2015, 12:52:36 PM »
This is going to sound harsh.  It's hard in a post to gauge the toxicity of the situation.

The only family you get to choose in life is the person you marry and the children you choose to have.  Everyone else is going to be a hodgepodge of personalities that might not have chosen to be together under any other circumstance.  Under normal conditions, it is easy to go with the "live and let live" policy, but some people are not wired to do that.

However, your are not obligated to take any level of abuse from anyone, and that includes your parents.  At some point, if you decide someone is a toxic influence on your life, you need to be willing to commit to remove that person from your life if necessary.  It is not the son that should be worried about his mom disowning him in this situation.  Every relationship should be two-way no matter what the bond may be.

I understand it is probably impossible for him to cut out his mom, even in a trial period to make a point this behavior is not tolerated.  But if she is calling you directly, you can take this stance individually.  You are doing these things to make yourself a happier life.  She is not contributing to that in any way.  If it is literally impossible to have any kind of constructive conversation, your husband should understand if you are not willing to have one-on-one conversations with his parents.  It would be impossible in social situations such as holidays but in those cases, just don't stir the pot.

You state how your plan is to retire and focus on raising your children.  Not everyone can do it, but I can't imagine a better gift for a child.  This woman is going to disrupt the family you are trying to build.  Grandparents are going to want to see their grandchildren.  At some point this is going to be an issue.  I would not let this woman near my kids under the conditions you explain.  Instead of the bicycle being an issue (which in all honesty is ridiculous and easy to blow off), she will tell you to your face that you are a bad parent while the children are within earshot.  They will pick up on these behaviors.

I am not saying you should jump into such a harsh approach but I say it to make the point that you should not feel obligated to tolerate anyone because of a title.  You can give her opportunities to earn her time.  Politely decline discussing topics you have hashed over but be willing to discuss new things.  If she refuses, move on and do other things that need to be done.  If she continues to call with nonproductive discussions, stop picking up.  If it happens in person, make no effort to see her any more than you do.  At some point she may decide that having you in her life is more important than harassing you about yours.  If not, move on.  She will either come around, or not.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2015, 02:02:00 PM »
1)  Your DH needs to handle this directly. 

2)  Stop being so transparent about your life/ your plans with his parents.  The less they know, the better.   Limit topics of conversation to ones that are safe.  You don't owe ANYONE information about how you live your life.  Questions do not need to be answered -- learn to deflect them and/ or shut them down.   "Thank you for your concern.  We're handling it.  So, hasn't the weather been nice lately?"

3)  Threats can be handled the same as questions.  "Mom, I'm not discussing this with you.  You are free to make your own choices."

No long conversations or explanations.  Just boundaries enforced with clear linguistic fences.  The less said, the better.

If you can change your financial habits, you can adopt these changes in habit too.  It'll feel good after a while and keep your nosy, controlling MIL on the sidelines where she belongs.

To a person like this mother, this will only strengthen her belief that something is wrong. This position will cause more problems than anything else. She will think they are hiding things, this will further separate the relationship, not help it.

Their relationship with MIL has inherent limits because of how she chooses to behave.  They can't change that so they might as well acknowledge it.  She is welcome to think something is wrong -- so what if she does?  It doesn't matter what she thinks.  They have no control over what she thinks and they shouldn't try to convince her of anything or appease her desire to know about (and judge) their lives.

Because they can't have a close and healthy relationship with her, the next best thing is a relationship defined by OP and her DH.  By necessity, that will require a more opaque screen shielding their lives from her scrutiny and clear, high boundaries enforced with kindness.

irishbear99

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2015, 02:04:28 PM »
Hurry up and pop a kid out, she will change her tune real fast. Semi joking...but really nothing will tug at her heartstrings like a beautiful little grandbaby.

Yikes! From my extensive experience, the presence of grandchildren increases the stakes and therefore often increases the level of crazy-making behavior, not decrease it.

Cookie78

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2015, 02:05:53 PM »
Hurry up and pop a kid out, she will change her tune real fast. Semi joking...but really nothing will tug at her heartstrings like a beautiful little grandbaby.

Yikes! From my extensive experience, the presence of grandchildren increases the stakes and therefore often increases the level of crazy-making behavior, not decrease it.

Not to mention not wanting any of your kids to have to deal with this type of behavior from their grandmother.

MandalayVA

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2015, 02:25:17 PM »
Hurry up and pop a kid out, she will change her tune real fast. Semi joking...but really nothing will tug at her heartstrings like a beautiful little grandbaby.

Semi-joking perhaps, but children should NEVER be used as any sort of relationship patch, whether it's to "save" a marriage or improve parental/in-law behavior.  NEVER.  It rarely if ever works and innocent parties--the children--suffer.

With that being said, your husband should call his mother's bluff.  Next time she threatens disowning him, he should say "fine, let's draw up the paperwork right now."  Then watch her backpedal so fast she'll trip over herself.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2015, 02:28:28 PM »
Hurry up and pop a kid out, she will change her tune real fast. Semi joking...but really nothing will tug at her heartstrings like a beautiful little grandbaby.

Semi-joking perhaps, but children should NEVER be used as any sort of relationship patch, whether it's to "save" a marriage or improve parental/in-law behavior.  NEVER.  It rarely if ever works and innocent parties--the children--suffer.

With that being said, your husband should call his mother's bluff.  Next time she threatens disowning him, he should say "fine, let's draw up the paperwork right now."  Then watch her backpedal so fast she'll trip over herself.

Mandalay, that's a metric fuckton of awesome!

TrMama

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2015, 02:42:48 PM »
Meh, we've been disowned by BIL. Our lives are so much more peaceful without his BS.

I say, go ahead and let her disown you. A gigantic weight you didn't realize you were carrying will lift from your shoulders.

Cookie78

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2015, 02:42:53 PM »
Hurry up and pop a kid out, she will change her tune real fast. Semi joking...but really nothing will tug at her heartstrings like a beautiful little grandbaby.

Semi-joking perhaps, but children should NEVER be used as any sort of relationship patch, whether it's to "save" a marriage or improve parental/in-law behavior.  NEVER.  It rarely if ever works and innocent parties--the children--suffer.

With that being said, your husband should call his mother's bluff.  Next time she threatens disowning him, he should say "fine, let's draw up the paperwork right now."  Then watch her backpedal so fast she'll trip over herself.

So true.

I'm curious in the past what result she got from her threats about disowning. Did he cave in to what she wanted, or does she keep making these threats even though they aren't working?

The first option seems more likely, but it doesn't seem from the OP that either her or her husband are considering not biking.

GizmoTX

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2015, 03:12:37 PM »
This is about control, pure & simple. IMO, the toughest transition is changing the child - parent relationship to adult - adult. On both sides. It's a process. Parents will always be parents, but sometimes have to be told to back off & let go.

When I told my parents about my engagement, my father's first reaction was "I'll cut you off." It was the only time he said that. I laughed. I was away in college, paying my own way, & my parents didn't have any money. After our wedding, we moved several states away for my new DH's job (I still had a year to finish, which I did there). Best move we ever made -- both sets of parents never got the chance to judge day to day, & we had to swim or sink on our own.

Personally, I'd ignore the MIL comment, after your DH tells his mom that while he appreciates her worry, she's raised a responsible son who can take care of himself. If there really is money she controls, you don't need it to run your lives. Read The Millionaire Next Door for additional verification.

Dicey

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2015, 03:29:50 PM »
1)  Your DH needs to handle this directly. 

2)  Stop being so transparent about your life/ your plans with his parents.  The less they know, the better.   Limit topics of conversation to ones that are safe.  You don't owe ANYONE information about how you live your life.  Questions do not need to be answered -- learn to deflect them and/ or shut them down.   "Thank you for your concern.  We're handling it.  So, hasn't the weather been nice lately?"

3)  Threats can be handled the same as questions.  "Mom, I'm not discussing this with you.  You are free to make your own choices."

No long conversations or explanations.  Just boundaries enforced with clear linguistic fences.  The less said, the better.

If you can change your financial habits, you can adopt these changes in habit too.  It'll feel good after a while and keep your nosy, controlling MIL on the sidelines where she belongs.

To a person like this mother, this will only strengthen her belief that something is wrong. This position will cause more problems than anything else. She will think they are hiding things, this will further separate the relationship, not help it.

Their relationship with MIL has inherent limits because of how she chooses to behave.  They can't change that so they might as well acknowledge it.  She is welcome to think something is wrong -- so what if she does?  It doesn't matter what she thinks.  They have no control over what she thinks and they shouldn't try to convince her of anything or appease her desire to know about (and judge) their lives.

Because they can't have a close and healthy relationship with her, the next best thing is a relationship defined by OP and her DH.  By necessity, that will require a more opaque screen shielding their lives from her scrutiny and clear, high boundaries enforced with kindness.
Standing on my chair clapping for this response, especially the parts in bold face. This is the key to success, IMHO. Great points, TS!

Kris

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2015, 03:33:28 PM »
So, I get that when you are younger it is hard to go against elders' wishes.

But as a 48 year old, I can offer this:

It does not matter one fiddly-fuck what you in-laws think of your lifestyle.

They can suck balls.

In the meantime, you will be racking up retirement money, happy and fullfilled.  And someday, she will say some off-handed comment like, " I wish I had as much freedom as you."  And with that, you will realize that all her resistance was simply envy.

With age, comes resilience against others' weakness.

Siobhan

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2015, 03:38:13 PM »
Hubs and I both come from dysfunctional families.  We've consciously made the decision to put ourselves first.  He still gets viciously angry when he puts himself out there and calls his father (who never really calls him back unless it is to bitch about his marriage) but he's come to the realization his dad is a shmuck.

Me, my mother is a controlling manipulative individual much like your MIL sounds like.  She "disowned" me after I told her we wouldn't be doing our wedding at a cost of 150 a plate at a destination halfway across the country from where we lived.  She had the ultimatum of you can come, but this is what we are going to do, if you chose not too...don't complain that we didn't invite you.  She didn't speak to me for two months, but she came (and instantly pronounced it the best wedding she'd ever been to because there was no stress).

She still does the guilt trip thing, all the time (it pisses both of us off to no end), but we kind of blow her off now, we stand our ground more, my husbands tolerance of her is next to nill right now so I try to keep them seperate as much as possible.  Standing up to her on the big things is all we can really do, it pisses her off to no end, but we just stopped caring about her opinion really....it's easy to simply not pick up the phone when she calls.

kpd905

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2015, 04:48:17 PM »
Sounds like your husband either needs to cut the umbilical cord or just stop telling his mom when he is doing things she will not approve of. 

crispy

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2015, 04:57:20 PM »
It sound like she is used to controlling people with money, and by rejecting her consumerist mindset, you are taking away her control so she is pulling out the big guns...threatening to disinherit your husband.

My family is pretty dysfunctional, and my father was very controlling.  My sisters tended to allow it because they were always beholden to him for something - one lived next door on land he gave her and her husband and the other was always moving back in with my parents every few months.  I lived on my own since I was 18 and paid my own way and didn't need anything.  I remember visiting and my dad said he was going to put my then 12 month old on a horse that they owned and lead her around the yard.  I told him that that was not going to happen because it was unsafe plus he wasn't the most careful person anyway..  He looked at me and said, "What if I do it anyway?"  I looked at him and said, "If you mention it again or try it, I will pack up my car and drive 8 hours back home and you won't see me again.  So what's your choice?"  He then acted like he was kidding, but he wasn't - he was testing my boundaries.

He passed away two years later, and we never had any other issues like that.  You just have stand firm with your boundaries or people with control issues will trample all over them.  My sisters have never understood why he treated me like an adult while he still treated them like children. 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:59:39 PM by crispy »

jba302

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2015, 04:58:27 PM »
Hubs and I both come from dysfunctional families.  We've consciously made the decision to put ourselves first.  He still gets viciously angry when he puts himself out there and calls his father (who never really calls him back unless it is to bitch about his marriage) but he's come to the realization his dad is a shmuck.

Me, my mother is a controlling manipulative individual much like your MIL sounds like.  She "disowned" me after I told her we wouldn't be doing our wedding at a cost of 150 a plate at a destination halfway across the country from where we lived.  She had the ultimatum of you can come, but this is what we are going to do, if you chose not too...don't complain that we didn't invite you.  She didn't speak to me for two months, but she came (and instantly pronounced it the best wedding she'd ever been to because there was no stress).

She still does the guilt trip thing, all the time (it pisses both of us off to no end), but we kind of blow her off now, we stand our ground more, my husbands tolerance of her is next to nill right now so I try to keep them seperate as much as possible.  Standing up to her on the big things is all we can really do, it pisses her off to no end, but we just stopped caring about her opinion really....it's easy to simply not pick up the phone when she calls.

I considered calling my wife to make sure she didn't post this. My mom is highly trained at guilt. It's taken me a lot of years and a significant amount of spousal support to deal with it. Now it doesn't bug me much at all, other than being a nuisance. Our lives are so much better now.

Cassie

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2015, 05:25:52 PM »
That situation is really sad. I would never dream of telling my 3 adult children what to do.  My parents never told us kids what to do either.  However, they had inlaws that did when they were young & they did not want to pass along that misery to their kids.  I would tell her a lot less as others have suggested & your hubby will probably need to stand up to her.  If in the past he gave in it may take longer for the new him to be believed.  They do not need to know in detail what you are planning.  I would not cut them off either unless things were truly unbearable because this will cause your hubby pain too-not just his mom. 

snshijuptr

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2015, 06:07:00 PM »
From my personal experience, parents have a tendency to forget their children have grown up. My husbands parents struggle through this in every new milestone he hits (moving in with me, marrying me, having a kid), and they are really nice people. He needs to also learn to deal with his parents as adults. Your friends would never threaten you like that over how you decide to commute, and his parents should not either.

He needs to establish a healthy adult relationship with boundaries BEFORE you have kids. Grandchildren bring out the strongest opinions and can lead to irrational actions. I've heard of grandparents feeding breastfed kids formula when pumped milk is available, baptising the grandkids of another faith, feeding candy to 4 month olds and other crazy shit. You do not want to have this fight when your kids can hear.

HattyT

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2015, 07:21:25 PM »
Not every family member is a positive influence in your life.  You may need to create a plan where you have low expectations of difficult people changing. 

I say aim for polite and pleasant, as often as possible, yet don’t let her ...throw you off your game, put you through changes or infantilize your family, make you question your choices, change your behavior.
 
Quote
You just have stand firm with your boundaries or people with control issues will trample all over them.
  This from Crispy is golden.
 
For horror stories, read the reddit thread
http://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists


Bob W

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2015, 07:58:03 PM »
Most people in the US would say that bike riding on snow is very dangerous.   Most people, not me of course.

Eric

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Re: Family Disapproval
« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2015, 07:59:00 PM »
For horror stories, read the reddit thread
http://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists

Jeezus, there's a subreddit for everything, isn't there?