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I'm a black African man and can't cope with my Polish mother in law


negra 1 | 2
30 Jun 2010 #1
hi
i have been with my Polish wife for slightly over 5 years and we have been married for 3 years,i am a black African male and i cant figure this out,in the interest of my marriage, i have to get on with my mother in law and i would like to know if this is the norm with all Polish MIL'S she came to live with us 3 years ago when my son was nearly born and the moment she got here she tried to change everything we did, for instance instead of our weekly shopping she now wanted to buy food from the polish shop daily(which was very expensive),cook polish soup everyday for dinner and have everything done how she wanted, when my son was born the only way to avoid arguments was to do what she wanted in short everything should be done her way otherwise it's arguments all the time,

in my culture this behaviour shows a lack of respect for me as father and husband to her daughter, so i ended up being so fed up that i threw her out of my house but everytime she says she wont do it again and when all is forgiven she starts again, she phones everyday with instructions on how to raise the baby,

up to the point where i got angry with my wife and told her i would not be involved as a dad anymore and she could raise him with her mum.is my MIL's behaviour typical of of all Polish mums(this is affecting my marriage) or is this the exception please help shed light on this i'm at he end of my tether.
oko
30 Jun 2010 #2
thankfully this aint typical. I suggest you kick her out for good...
zuczek 3 | 52
30 Jun 2010 #3
What a lovely bunch of people. He is having a hard time with something and you mock him and insult him. This forum is pathetic. There is zero moderation and the place is run by the convicts. A bunch of racist and childish BS seems to be what entertains most of you. Ironside you can shove your tough guy nonsense up your arse.

Negra there are meddling mother in laws all over and some cultures have more close and involved families than others. Poland is one of them so if you get a meddling mother in law from a closer culture I can see how it could be horrible.

Talk to you wife...work together with her as the team you are supposed to be. She should stand with you and not let her mother control her and her family.
Wulkan - | 3,251
30 Jun 2010 #4
zuczek, what if I tell you this guy is taking the p1ss and you fell for his BS? I can not belive how naive some people can be.
Matowy - | 295
30 Jun 2010 #5
You guys are making assumptions. And either way whether the cart of the horse comes first it is still ridiculous and even at times disgusting replies that make it so. There are a lot of people here who joy in insulting and popping off from behind a keyboard.

I'm definitely making an assumption, which is why I tailored my reply to function whether it was a troll or someone genuine. Either way I'm satisfied with my initial reply, no problems about condescending someone over a simple matter like this. I'm almost certain it's a troll however.
plk123 8 | 4,150
30 Jun 2010 #6
is my MIL's behaviour typical of of all Polish mums

not all but definitely quite a few are that way.. take zuczek's advice and stand your ground.
beckski 12 | 1,617
30 Jun 2010 #7
please help can't cope with polish mother in law

I don't think your mother-in-law's insecurity pertains to being Polish. A psycho is just a psycho, no matter what her ethnicity may happen to be.
RonWest 3 | 120
30 Jun 2010 #8
i am a black african male and i cant figure this out,

Why did you feel it was necessary to bring your race into the question??? Has the MIL made race an issue??????
mafketis 23 | 8,400
30 Jun 2010 #9
in my culture this behaviour shows a lack of respect for me as father and husband to her daughter

Well in her culture, not really. In a lot of Polish families the idea is that getting upset and yelling some is no big deal. Nobody wants that all the time but a certain amount of arguing doesn't bother most Polish people. Loud arguments don't really indicate a lack of respect or concern for each other. If anything she'd be showing a lack of respect if she didn't try to impose her will (it's hard to understand but that's the way Poland is).

My advice is yell back some or at least be open to arguing. Don't overdo it, but most of the time Polish people respect people who show some temprement and stand up for themselves and they don't respect people who sulk or expect to be 'respected' but won't engage in negtiation or give and take.
smurf 39 | 1,981
30 Jun 2010 #10
You have a ****** mother-in-law? My good sir, surely you have stumbled upon a true rarity. Be sure to document your encounters with this most elusive of creatures, for future science will want to have this data handy when perusing over other legendary monsters such as the Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and the countryside cat.

hahahahaha, brillaint

To OP, you could throw her out, or you could let her cook nice food and let her raise your kid and you'll have to do no work...i'd go for the 2nd option, i'm lazy though and would hate the pain of raising a sprog
OP negra 1 | 2
30 Jun 2010 #11
i don't understand why you guys would think i'm a troll but anyway to answer some of your questions, my intention when i posted this thread was to try and get the polish perspectictive on MIL's before i acted too rashly as i have to consider my wife and kids as well, while my mum in law is a nice enough person the level of interference and attempts at control is what i'm not cormfortable with.

i thought you guys would be more understanding coz by joining this forum i was actually trying to understand poland and polish people, i do not want to act too rashly as my wife is an only child therefore the last thing i would want to do no matter how much me and my mum in law don't get along is to come between my wife and her mum by forcing her to choose and take sides.
1jola 14 | 1,879
30 Jun 2010 #12
in my culture this behaviour shows a lack of respect for me as father and husband to her daughter,

I know you're a troll, but even in your culture everybody knows that the strongest rule. She cooks soup every day to make sure your son, and your sorry ass doesn't have to eat kebabs for every meal.
OP negra 1 | 2
30 Jun 2010 #13
if you focus on one sentence, you will miss the substance of the whole post,please if you don't have anything positive to contribute keep it to yourself i am not here to try and defend myself or trade insults.
f stop 25 | 2,513
30 Jun 2010 #14
She's probably as pushy as you let her be. Ask yourself this question: does she tell everyone what to do? If not, then you have to let her know she can't do that at your home. She might think that's how she stays usefull.

On the other hand, I had my mother living with us for a while. Letting her go to the market every day to get fresh veggies and making her soup is not unbearable to live with. Put her on a budget and tell her to make her soup for one. It will keep her busy.

I also find that it is really hard to find a good way to pass on my pearls of wisdom without bristling feathers. My son accuses of me telling him what to do when I tell him to "Have a good day".
frd 7 | 1,399
30 Jun 2010 #15
I'd kill her and bury the body in the garden. There are control freaks everywhere not only in Poland disguised as moters-in-law. You should have a serious talk with your wife about it and it's strange if you haven't had talked about it with her yet...
1jola 14 | 1,879
30 Jun 2010 #16
Put her on a budget and tell her to make her soup for one

Hello Nurse Ratched.
f stop 25 | 2,513
30 Jun 2010 #17
It's better than telling her she can't make her soup!
alexw68
30 Jun 2010 #18
i don't understand why you guys would think i'm a troll

Hehe, you must be new here.

Don't worry Friend, I'm not joking at you - what I mean is that this place is filled up to the back teeth with posers and conspiracy theorists: you sort of get used to the threads taking a paranoid or just plain weird turn after a while.

Anyway - my humble take on the M-i-L issue. First, you've obviously got more interpersonal intelligence than the husband in many relationships I'm familiar with here in Poland - that will help. Second, as someone said a bit further up the thread, but let me express it slightly differently: an 'interfering' in-law (or, for that matter, parent) often sees themself as failing in their duty if they DON'T get involved, often to the point of pain. A tricky one - especially when you're living under the same roof.

It is a cultural thing, but not confined to Poland: I've noticed that for Continental Europeans (and maybe it's just the Catholic countries) when you come of age or get married, not only do you not stop being a son/daughter (good) - you also don't stop being a boy/girl (a lot less good). That and in very traditional set-ups, the man isn't really expected to do much in the kitchen or child-rearing departments (a rubbish state of affairs the blokes usually take advantage of).

So, how to work that one out?

- Keep that bond with your child, I take it you have time with work and all that. Keep that and the other issues will seem relatively manageable. Can you get two hour-long times to play with them at the beginning and end of each day? The girls will appreciate the break :)

- Keep that bond with your wife. Same as above - how much time do just the pair of you get alone together? Make some and stick to it (and don't use it to put over your point of view too much re. child-rearing etc) - take a rest. Mother in law will enjoy driving solo for a bit.

- Grow a bond with your Mother-in-law. Ask her what goes in the soups, ask her what it was like bringing up her daughter. Compare with your upbringing if you're comfortable talking about it. Not only will she appreciate being valued (which, at root, is what this is all about), but also you get to put your point across from time to time without being confrontational.

It'll take time - but introduce a few routines and you might, just might, get somewhere.

Good luck Fella!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
30 Jun 2010 #19
How dare you have a go at people who analyse the evidence differently!! Not all of us lap up the official line of BS, alex!

I'm lucky in that my mother-in-law doesn't do that, negra. However, she is just seeing out what she regards as her function. Having said that, it is your kid after all and you were right to push her away. There are certain Polish cultural norms that should be accepted but outright intrusiveness isn't one of them.

Keep her at bay but be sure to compromise with your wife. Your child is half Polish and lives in Poland.
alexw68
30 Jun 2010 #20
How dare you have a go at people who analyse the evidence differently!! Not all of us lap up the official line of BS, alex!

I don't see any 'official line' here. Prima facie this is someone asking for a bit of advice, not a Government press release. Innocent until proven guilty, no?

As for having a go etc. - if that prerogative went unexercised on this forum, it'd be mighty quiet round here.

A
f stop 25 | 2,513
30 Jun 2010 #21
personally, I really admire those couples that can take an elderly parent in and figure out how to live happily, together.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
30 Jun 2010 #22
in my culture this behaviour shows a lack of respect for me as father and husband

Which culture is that? In Europe its pretty much the norm for mothers to be involved some more than others - if you take it as a sign of disrespect then you are over-reacting.
jonni 16 | 2,485
30 Jun 2010 #23
In Europe its pretty much the norm for mothers to be involved

In Polish and Russian society, very much so - the babcia/babushka has a very defined role. No bad thing, but some people do get frustrated by it.
f stop 25 | 2,513
30 Jun 2010 #24
I do understand the soup thing. If my mother could not make her soup every day, it would probably kill her. And as healthy as it may be, the rest of us would be fine having soup no more than twice a year, during exceptionally cold weather, or a cold.

Another thing we had to learn to live with, is a mini farm instead of a conventional (American) back-yard. She had to have her garden!
lateStarter 2 | 45
30 Jun 2010 #25
You will thank her one day for that.
f stop 25 | 2,513
1 Jul 2010 #26
oh, I like gardening too, but my German Shephard considers the backyard hers. Endless drama and fencing issues.
poland_
1 Jul 2010 #27
zuczek, what if I tell you this guy is taking the p1ss and you fell for his BS? I can not belive how naive some people can be.

I agree with you Wulkan and the giveaway is

up to the point where i got angry with my wife and told her i would not be involved as a dad anymore and she could raise him with her mum

What sort of a moron would leave his wife and new born just because he does not understand the culture of his wife and has not grown up to the responsibility of being a father.

The workings of some people.
Wowser
21 Oct 2011 #28
I had the exact same problem with my MIL. She is such a bit$h. Prawda. She is a control freak, and even though thats acceptable though annoying in Poland, it is extremely unhealthy to come in to a young family and make everything how she wants, disregarding the families comfort zone and values. My Father in law just divorced her. How he treated her was insane and part of the reason she is such a bit$h. I can understand where she is coming from but wrong is wrong. To treat others like this anywhere you are is disrespectful, no matter what type of culture they come from. That kind of help is not help, its a way to manipulate, gain a foothold between 2 spouses, a passive agressive way of getting what she wants. very dark and negative, not forthcoming or honest. its not helping, its controlling. This also may shed light on how women are treated in Poland, by how they treat their family and in laws. A confident woman, secure woman would help, cook a soup knowing that is appreciated. My MIL cooked the soup knowing I was taking care of the home and usually made meals, but cooking or cleaning in such a way as to get credit for what was already being done, she was the one who wanted the credit for it by taking over, getting the power as woman of the house, the Boss. Really weird, like she has a complexTo me, it seems that most Polish people grow up with being controlled and not free as adults, and if they stepped into a free way of life, it would be a big shock with a lot of confusion. In my culture, elders are respected for BEHAVING like elders, not because they are simply older; because they conduct themselves with a mature almost regal sense, and they respect others down to the last tiny baby.

What I did about it: I threw her out! So good job that you did the same. You also have to watch any ethnic differences, ie racism. Poles seem to be more modern about non white cultures than other eastern european countries but its still a problem due to not having much contact with people of color. Like anything, it takes time to get used to something different in life. I wanted my best co-worker friend to officiate our marriage ceremony (civil ceremony before the church wedding). He is black. My husband said no, only for the reason that he is black. He admitted that my friend had the best personality of anyone we knew, and he had a terrific marriage to boot. Still, no. Back to my MIL, I did a lot more than throw her out. There was a lot of behavior leading up to it, on my and her part. Its great to have help, but not for the helper to take over. I want my home run a certain way that suits me and my husband, and she was doing whatever she wanted without permission or any type of respect. It wasnt just her. Almost every Polish person we know tried to tell us what to do without being asked for their advice. My MIL called my husband, her son, yelling about me, how we have a cultural difference and she cannot be blamed for it. Well, this
dhrynio 5 | 97
21 Oct 2011 #29
Hi Negra,
I have been married to a Polish man for 9 years and I have had a few issues with my MIL. But looking back I realized that most of them were just me trying to butt heads with her culture. The role of the Polish Babcia is very defined and it is instilled in them from an early age. I could not understand the soup thing for a very long time, but now I see it's value. First of all it is a great way to get veggies into a kid. But second and most importantly is it part of the culture and I live here as a non native and since it is not one that harms anyone I decided to stop resisting it a long time ago.

As for doing daily shopping...well again falls under culture. The older/middle age generations grew up like this and they are rather grossed out by supermarkets...and again age and time has taught me that fresh is best. If she wants to go do the shopping why would you want to stop her? I have two kids and take all the help I can get. My father in law goes to the bakery and brings us fresh bread every day, it used to bug me. But I decided to embrace it and after some time my preception changed.

As for the money spent, you need to sit down with her and have a good long talk. But it will not be taken well if it is you laying down the law and expecting her to be the only one to admit fault and to change. IMO it should look something like this:

You: I greatly appreciate all the help you give to us and I think it is wonderful that you make some fantastic homemade food, you are a great cook and after doing some thinking I see that since soup is important to you for the kids that maybe I should look at it differently. But we really need to work on a budget.

It really sounds to me like you are fighting her culture...but you live here in Poland. It is rude to fight the culture of the place where you live. I think you could do well to take a good hard look at yourself and your perceptions of things. I know it is hard to veer from our own upbringing and embrace that of another but polish culture and their ideas do have value. If you plan to stay here you would be wise to work on changing your perception, stop trying to fight who she is and work harder and making compromise on your side and getting your wife to work with her mom to get some compromise from her side.
pip 10 | 1,661
21 Oct 2011 #30
I disagree. It is not a cultural conflict but a personality conflict. Polish mothers in law think the behaviour is ok because it was done to them. it has been passed down from generation to generation- it is time to stand up and say that the behaviour stops now. "It is my house and my rules- thank you for your input but I am quite happy the way I live. If I want advice you will be the first person I ask."

As for doing daily shopping...well again falls under culture. The older/middle age generations grew up like this and they are rather grossed out by supermarkets...and again age and time has taught me that fresh is best.

you can't be serious when you say supermarkets don't have fresh food.--what you put in your basket is your decision. there are fresh foods there, probably more so than a corner store because the turnover is faster.

Older people are not grossed out either. Have you been to Tesco on the day the pension comes in? All seniors.

I don't think your advice is accurate. She should stand up for her rights and beliefs- why should everyone accommodate the mother in law? The moment I laid down my rules and the moment my husband finally stood up to his mother (she cries when anyone disagrees- ancient Polish trick) was the day that our lives got easier. respect goes two ways and in my opinion, when the mother in law sticks her nose in your business it is her way of saying that your methods are all wrong, you don't know what you are doing and she knows better. Sorry, she raised her kids- her turn is over.


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