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Massive problems with Polish mother-in-law


timefly
11 Nov 2013 #1
Dear all
I hope I have found the right place to get some guidance/help with my MIL.

She is from Poland but lives in the same country we live in.
She has never ever liked me. She spoke bad to my husband about me, she tried everything and more to break our relationship. She is nasty, jealous and calculated. In front of him she playes the sweet adorable mother but as soon as his back is turned she will tell me what she really thinks. To me it also feels like she is constantly in competition with me. I don't do anything to provok her but if I cook something and he likes it, then of course she has to do it ten time better and will leave half of it on the plate.

She's got him emotionally. I have never heared a mother making a son feel so bad in my entire life. As an example: When we moved in together, he was still paying her rent and other bills instead of paying for our flat. I told him that it was not the aim, that we move in together and me having to pay all the bills and food myself, while he was still giving her money. He understood and when he told her that we had now moved in together and he was not going to pay her any longer, she started to cry and scream, what a bad son she has and she never would have thought that he would ever do something so horrible to her and giving the money to me!!! I was shocked.

He has always defended her and for years I had to endure all her nastyness until he finally saw her in action, whilest she was having the biggest go at me in a public place, just because he had asked her if we could go for dinner at her place.....

He has had no contact enymore since as she will not apologize to me for her behavior. She has in the meantime she has tried everything possible to get his attention. She has faked an illness, then she disapeared and his grandmother contacted him to see if he knew were he is and if he can call her...the list is long but never did she try and apologize.

Now my question is: We are soon to meet up with her and I'm dreading it. I don't know what will be said but more importantly how do I deal with her in the future?

Sorry it's a bit long but I'm honestly at the end of my wisdom and I don't understand it at all!

Thank you for your help!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
11 Nov 2013 #2
Cut her out of your life completely. Don't negotiate, don't discuss, just cut the ties completely.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
11 Nov 2013 #3
It's not a question of being Polish. It's a question of being crazy. The lady has some major issues. I would avoid her like the plague. I do feel for her son, too - she will always be his mother... :-(
Polanglik 11 | 303
11 Nov 2013 #4
I agree with advice from Delph and Magdalena ..... you have to create a life with your husband - in an ideal world everyone will get along with each other, but it's plain to see from what you have written that this is not the case with your MIL.

In such a situation the best course of action is to have as little to do with her as possible - it's sad that things have to come to this, but for the sake of your relationship with your husband, it may be the only option.
kj99 8 | 54
11 Nov 2013 #5
Polanglik
"but for the sake of your relationship with your husband" .... who says it will last ?
girlfriends/significant others / - they dont last ..... blood does- a son will always love his mother, its unconditional , on the other hand there is no guarantee his "partner" will be the same towards him, she could split next year.

unwise for him to burn his bridges , no wife/gf is worth it
OP timefly
11 Nov 2013 #6
Thank you for your reply. Although we have tried to cut the contact with her, due to the fact that she doesn't seem to see that she is not treating me with no respect, she is, i must give her that, very stubborn and keeps sending emails, letters and texts him every week. Of course with the usual: I am your mother and I never expected you to become like this and I thought you always will be there for me no matter what...."

Hello Magdalena, you are right, as I said you find mothers like that in all countries no doubt. I feel for him too, I think he has always just done whatever she said and as soon as she had a tear he would do whatever she wanted. She is divorced from her husband and when she gets really nastys she even tells him "you are just like your father, just horrible and not my son"!

Can I ask something else? As I said we soon to meet up to have a talk....I don't want her at our place as I wouldn't be able to leave should things go bad, neither do I want to go to hers as I she made it cristal clear that I was not welcome. Saying that she said that, she didn't want to have the talk in public as she will be very emotional - if we are really meeting up, should I stand my ground and say that it should be done in a coffee shop or somewhere like that?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
11 Nov 2013 #7
some other relative's place maybe?
Bieganski 17 | 896
11 Nov 2013 #8
Intergenerational relationships are important and still remain strong in most Polish families. The OP very likely comes from the UK or US where it is the cultural norm to be raised in broken homes; to shove elderly relatives into assisted living hell holes to be forgotten about until its time to read their will; or simply make the cold calculated surgical business decision to take someone's own mother and "Cut her out of your life completely" when a disagreement develops.

The OP's mother-in-law can't be that evil if she raised a son so well that the OP agreed to marry him. How long did the OP know his family before she said "I do"? Are we to understand that she married him not knowing that he has been providing his mother financial support? It's very unrealistic for the OP to expect the husband's mother to find a new source of income to make up for what her son was giving her. I highly doubt the mother-in-law is at an age now where she can go off and land a new job and give herself financial independence.

The problem is a lack of respect and communication all around. If the mother-in-law is divorced herself then she very likely feels embarrassed and insecure of having been abandoned once by a male figure in her life. The OP needs to be sensitive to this rather than using it to character fault the mother-in-law any further.

The OP shouldn't use her expectation of an apology to add more problems to an already difficult situation. When the OP meets her mother-in-law next time it would be productive to remain positive and stick to neutral topics and lean towards ones which the mother-in-law is interested in. If the mother-in-law comes off with what is perceived to be an abrasive comment then the OP needs to assess if it is really worth sparing with her. Instead, the OP should tell the mother-in-law that she understands that her son will always be important to her and that both the OP and mother-in-law shouldn't be competing or arguing with each other since he is doing so much already to take care of both of them. Indeed, how many men still do this today in today's decadent, self-centered culture? Add that the fissure between all of you didn't achieve anything and getting together again shows that deep down you all want to be happy together.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
11 Nov 2013 #9
The OP needs to ignore wishy-washy thoughts of good feeling and simply cut the evil cow out of her life.

Polish people by nature do not understand subtlety, but understand and respect the fist. OP, you may well find that she respects you more if you take a very firm line with her.

What you'll probably find is that the MIL has some twisted understanding of respect - that you should respect and obey her based on her age, but you don't deserve any. As I said, the fist is stronger than the word.
jon357 67 | 16,655
11 Nov 2013 #10
The OP needs to ignore wishy-washy thoughts of good feeling and simply cut the evil cow out of her life.

Spot on.

Polish people by nature do not understand subtlety, but understand and respect the fist.

It certainly doesn't seem this woman's strong point.

take a very firm line with her.

If the situation's escalated this far; negotiating isn't going to change anything.
OP timefly
11 Nov 2013 #11
Bieganski
Thank you for your reply Bieganski, I would like to clarify a couple of things which got wrong.

Intergenerational relationships are important and still remain strong in most Polish families. The OP very likely comes from the UK or US where it is the cultural norm to be raised in broken homes; to shove elderly relatives into assisted living hell holes to be forgotten about until its time to read their will; or simply make the cold calculated surgical business decision to take someone's own mother and "Cut her out of your life completely" when a disagreement develops.

I'm from spain, family is the most important thing in our culture. My mum and dad will celebrate their 42 wedding anniversary in December - so, so much for your theory there. I had a fantastic childhood and love and respect my parents a lot.

The OP's mother-in-law can't be that evil if she raised a son so well that the OP agreed to marry him. How long did the OP know his family before she said "I do"? Are we to understand that she married him not knowing that he has been providing his mother financial support? It's very unrealistic for the OP to expect the husband's mother to find a new source of income to make up for what her son was giving her. I highly doubt the mother-in-law is at an age now where she can go off and land a new job and give herself financial independence.

I'm afraid you are wrong again. MIL works and earns good money, her ex-husband still pays her too, so she is doing pretty good financially but without the money of her son, well she is not able to have her big holiday to the Seychelles, Dubai and Newseeland you name it she's been there.

Just wanted to give you the full picture but thank you for your reply.

@delphiandomine: Thank you, I definitely need to taffen up a bit when it comes down to make my point. Propably one of the reasons I got into this mess in the first place as she always has treated me without any respect and I never stood up and told her to stop.
Bieganski 17 | 896
11 Nov 2013 #12
I'm from spain, family is the most important thing in our culture. My mum and dad will celebrate their 42 wedding anniversary in December - so, so much for your theory there. I had a fantastic childhood and love and respect my parents a lot.

My comment wasn't a theory. You haven't registered nor did you originally claim where you were from or where you are living now.

Put that aside, as far as family being the most important thing in Spanish culture your parents seemed to have been an exception to the trend:

Divorce Demography

Another measure of divorces is the divorce to marriage ratio, which is the number of divorces to the number of marriages in a given year (the ratio of the crude divorce rate to the crude marriage rate). For example, if there are 500 divorces and 1,000 marriages in a given year in a given area, the ratio would be one divorce for every two marriages, e.g. a ratio of 0.5 (50%).

Poland: 27%

Spain: 61%

/wiki/Divorce_demography

I'm afraid you are wrong again. MIL works and earns good money, her ex-husband still pays her too, so she is doing pretty good financially but without the money of her son, well she is not able to have her big holiday to the Seychelles, Dubai and Newseeland you name it she's been there.

So in other words she is accustomed to a particular standard of living which for years everyone has been providing her. How much of your lifestyle are you going to scale back when you reach her age?

Your tale of woe sounds more like a sob story of envy.
johnb121 4 | 184
11 Nov 2013 #13
a son will always love his mother, its unconditional

I miss my mother, but five years ago I found the strength to sever ties with the bitter, poisonous ***** she proved to be. So I miss the mother I once thought I had, but I no longer love or need her in my life
OP timefly
11 Nov 2013 #14
So in other words she is accustomed to a particular standard of living which for years everyone has been providing her. How much of your lifestyle are you going to scale back when you reach her age?

Are you kidding me? She left her husband and now everybody around her needs to pay for her trips?? You must be joking? And since when do people have children so that they can pay the "particular standart of life" of their parent when they are not able to spend their mone wisley? Do we as children sign a contract at birth that we are obligated to pay for holidays? She lives in a 6.5 bedroom flat on her own and pays a fortune!!! Why doesn^t she move to a smaller more afforable flat?? We don't have such a big flat, we dont go to all this exclusive places on holiday, why should we sustain her? Her own mother lives in a ****** old flat in Poland and doesnt know how to get to the next month and she doesnt give her anything!

I get up every morning and go to work and earn my money, so does my husband! We want to build our future and have our own family. Just the same way she did live hers. Just the way milions of people on this planet do!

If one day I have children and the do well for themselfs I'm happy for them and if they find a person that they want to have a future with even better. I can look after myself financially! And if after so many years of working she hasn't got any money aside then it's just sad.
jon357 67 | 16,655
11 Nov 2013 #15
Are you kidding me? She left her husband and now everybody around her needs to pay for her trips?? You must be joking?

This lady sounds an absolute tyrant.

However it seems she's an effective tyrant, good at what she does. This means, as I said, that there's no room for compromise. You need to put distance between you and sadly, cut her off and keep it that way for a while. It'll be hard on your husband and you'll need to be very sensitive and gentle.

Are you kidding me?

Probably he is - that particular poster is apparently a teenager who hasn't yet had a relationship. Not the best person to give advice and doesn't necessarily mean well.
antheads 13 | 366
11 Nov 2013 #16
You are not Polish nor are your two British compatriots. Chatting with each other around the clock on PF each day won't make any of you Polish either.

haha no but it prob makes them feel better about not knowing polish. You notice how they subtly and overtly bash poland?, it's an unconscious reaction to knowing that their significant other is only with them for the expat money.
Ant63 13 | 410
11 Nov 2013 #17
UK or US where it is the cultural norm to be raised in broken homes

Haven't you noticed that divorce in Poland has become so popular the courts are log jammed.
jon357 67 | 16,655
11 Nov 2013 #18
haha no but it prob makes them feel better about not knowing polish.

1. Who do you think doesn't 'know Polish'?
2. How do you think your pearls of wisdom help the OP.

It looks like she has the mother-in-law from hell. Not a great situation to deal with.
OP timefly
11 Nov 2013 #19
@Bieganski - thank you for all your well meant advise but for some reason we definitely are not on the same page here. Not because you all for MIL but beacause you are not helping at all. You have a go at Jon357 here because he calls for violence but are all for my MIL who is not physically violent but verbally (she could teach you words you've probably never heard of) very abusive throwards me.

She is a manipulative person and throws a tantrum at her age because she doesn't get what she wants.
antheads 13 | 366
11 Nov 2013 #20
@timefily

have you thought about a death that is natural and untraceable. Potassium Chloride for instance would be perfect for your needs, IIt breaks down to natural substances and there is nothing for the coroner to notice.
OP timefly
11 Nov 2013 #21
Never thought of it no! I still bellieve "what goes around, comes around" maybe one day she will meet a person that can hold up with her attitude and she will taste some of her own medicine!
chrison2wheels 2 | 15
11 Nov 2013 #22
Sound exactly like my mom. I was her only son, lived with her till I was 24 and when I found my wife, an American, I moved out but continue to support her till one day I said enough. My mother turned psycho. Tried everything to break us up. Would scream at my wife to get out off my life. Actually end up hurting her self (broken bones) to get my attention and make me feel sorry for her. Guilt was her favorite weapon. Trying everyday to kick my wife out. I kicked her out instead, taking her straight to the airport sending her back to Poland. I never spoken with her again and don't want to.

Don't worry, your husband knows what is going on. My wife was in the same boat, she went through total hell and that is how I know she truly loves me. Anyone who can live with my mother for just a week deserve a medal. Now two years later, my mom is trying to reach out to my wife, apologizing, thinking that of they start to communicate I will too.
OP timefly
11 Nov 2013 #23
@Jon357 - I just wanted to thank you for your advise! You are right I need to take a step back and let her sulk for another while, she aint worth the energy!
ukangel 8 | 56
11 Nov 2013 #24
I don't have mil but I have sister in law.she does everything to break my marriage with my husband and secretly she is asking for money for her so called debts.the only sad part in my relationship is my husband blindly gives her money and believes that she is the only one who wish his good after his mother.you are lucky that your husband is on your side... Your mil won't change.her ego is too big to apologise to you. I can understand you.for money,polish women can go to any extent,even breaking a marriage,splitting two lovers...I am experiencing this from my in laws....good luck,my dear.
Bieganski 17 | 896
11 Nov 2013 #25
Are you kidding me?

No. I'm not kidding.

She left her husband and now everybody around her needs to pay for her trips??

According to you her family (including her ex-husband) has been supporting her financially for years. What she spends this money on is ultimately her business. She could spend it on the tourist trade in foreign countries with sunny beaches; she could give it all away to the poor; or she could even take the money and start a bonfire with it. She obviously doesn't keep it a secret how she spends it though and the only one complaining about it is you.

And since when do people have children so that they can pay the "particular standart of life" of their parent when they are not able to spend their mone wisley?

This has been going on with humans around the world since the dawn of time. This will come as a shock to you but there was a time when "the state" never existed and the only way humans survived was by having offspring so we could continue to look after each other. In many parts of the world this is still the case. Whether there is a state to provide adequately or none at all many children when they become adults still do what they can to provide for their parents and it brings them joy to see their mother and/or father enjoying life after the many years of sacrifices they made while parenting.

Do we as children sign a contract at birth that we are obligated to pay for holidays?

Of course not. Most family bonds are not sealed with a written contract. Family bonds are developed over decades and then it becomes something simply understood and felt. For many this comes about instinctively. For others it is expected and needs to be taught (sometimes repeatedly). And for some like you it is resented either way. Again, what a parent does with material wealth given back to them by their children is a private family matter.

Just the way milions of people on this planet do!

So you feel she is robbing you in some way. Well, being that you are from Spain (a predominately Roman Catholic country) you should be quite familiar with the teachings Rabbi Jesus gave to his followers. Here is one of them:

"...whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back...."

If one day I have children and the do well for themselfs I'm happy for them and if they find a person that they want to have a future with even better. I can look after myself financially!

If you say you can look after yourself financially then I don't see why you are complaining about your husband taking care of his own mother. If you ever have children I don't see you refusing any money they may give you (or more likely that you will unabashedly ask them for) especially if it means you can treat yourself to an exotic trip to someplace you always wanted to go but couldn't because of your "evil" mother-in-law.

And if after so many years of working she hasn't got any money aside then it's just sad.

But that's not the account you have given us. You said she has money coming in from all directions.
mafketis 25 | 9,308
11 Nov 2013 #26
Do you give as good as you get?

IME Polish people have no respect for people who don't fight back but will respect you if you don't back down and fight fire with fire. IME Spanish people can be a little like that too.

That is, step on her toes until she apologizes for putting them under your foot.
Bela Lugosi
11 Nov 2013 #27
It's not a question of being Polish.

Reading some of the other threads about Polish mother-in-laws, it seems Polish identity might have something to do with it. I have a Polish associate who also mentioned how his mother despises the fact that he's married to a non-Polish woman.
OP timefly
11 Nov 2013 #28
@chrison2wheels: I am sorry you and your wife had to go through all of this. Our story is so frightening similar, my husband is an only child too. I hope him and I will get through this and be as strong as you and your wife.

@ukangel - I wish you lots of strength too and that your husband will be on your side and not let your sister in law break your marriage.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
11 Nov 2013 #29
IME Polish people have no respect for people who don't fight back but will respect you if you don't back down and fight fire with fire.

That's what I've been trying to say in this thread.

It's entirely understandable given the culture of fighting back for centuries - someone unable to do so would be seen as weak.
OP timefly
11 Nov 2013 #30
You are both right I need to get my self confidence back and get the respect I deserve!


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