VeggieBoards banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, when I met my now husband, he wasn't a vegetarian, but has since become one for the past couple of years. His family completely doesn't understand (especially his mother). For example, one time they invited us out to dinner and actually took us to the Outback Steakhouse, which I think is just rude. The only thing I could get was a sweet potato! My FIL laughed that he should take us there more often since the meal wasn't going to cost him much. My MIL is always trying to push meat on my husband and I. Recently, my sister in law became a piscetarian, and this past weekend my in laws invited us to a seafood restaurant to accomodate my SIL. I thought to myself, "well, if they're willing to accomodate her, maybe they'll start being nicer to my husband and I".

My MIL ordered a $50 steak and complained that it was too bloody. She cut it in half and put it on my husband's plate, there was blood all over his food so he just stopped eating. My husband was complaining to me about it later and I told him that if he would set some boundaries with her, she would stop doing it. I can't say something to her because she'll just interpret it as me trying to force my husband to be a vegetarian or something (which is what she thinks anyway).

Obviously the solution is for my husband to stand up to her, but is there something I can do? I'm really about to snap and just let her have it. But we've fought before about non-vegetarian things and it ended up that we didn't talk for months. Obviously a fueding MIL isn't good for a marriage and life is too short for that. Does anyone else have a problem like this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,473 Posts
I don't have problems exactly like that, so I can't speak from experience. But if this is how they behave, don't go out to eat with them. You could do other things with them, or don't visit them at all.

Obviously, your husband has to stand up to her (I can't believe she actually put meat on his plate. What was she thinking? Oh, I don't want this, so I'll put it on my son's plate for no reason and waste his food?) The best thing you can do is encourage him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
I do not have problems like that, my MIL goes ou of her way to make sure I can eat also.

I think perhaps the only way you can truly say something yourself is to refuse anymore dinner outings with your in-laws.

It says a heck of a lot more by refuseing to go with them at all than to just complain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have refused to go in the past, and when I do she chews out my husband about it, saying that I hate her, etc. I really think that she honestly has some sort of paranoid mental disorder. She gives him so much grief that he will get in fights with me if I say I'm not going. I thought this dinner was going to be different because she actually faxed me the restaurant's menu so I could see if there was anything I could eat there. And like I said, with my SIL now being a piscetarian, I thought my MIL might lay off. I told my husband that the reason why his mother doesn't do that stuff to his sister is because his sister would just completely blow up on her.

I really wish he would stand up for himself. I think I'm going to try coaching him on what he should say next time she tries that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,902 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura_I View Post

I have refused to go in the past, and when I do she chews out my husband about it, saying that I hate her, etc.
Well then that puts more pressure on him to set boundaries for himself. Personally, you've set your boundary, his relationship with his mom is his responsibility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
I agree, when he starts to get upset with you just because your actions will get his mother upset with him, let him know that his mother's happiness isn't your responsibility. He's going to have to either stand up to her or take her ****, but you're going to do what's right for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,691 Posts
This is an age-old problem, and not just for vegetarians. The in-laws don't like the wife (or husband) or the way the wife does things, wife either wants to be treated better or simply doesn't want to see the in-laws. Husband doesn't want to cut his parents out of his life, and feels caught in the middle between wife's demands and parents' demands. Something has to give.

Or does it? Maybe there's a way to turn the entire situation on its head. Have you tried taking THEM out to dinner at the restaurant of your choice? Or having them over to dinner at your house? Or suggesting family activities other than dining together? If they won't go for any of those, guess who winds up looking like the bad guy? Not you.

But if none of that works, I'd say it calls for standing firm and dealing with the consequences. One can only be a pushover in the name of keeping the peace for so long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,451 Posts
my MIL believes that "loving" her is allowing her to manage your life. if you do not allow her to manage your life, then you hate her and are trying to abandon her. this idea of abandonment causes her a great deal of anxiety. if she feels abandoned, she feels it's because she is considered (by us) to be a "bad mother" or a "bad person" or that others (outside of the family) sees her that way. for her, one of the worst things that can happen is for others to think that she's a 'bad person' because that's how she feels about herself.

for her, all of this is self-esteem related.

my husband and i have only recently come to this understanding. In the past, we were mostly frustrated about the self-centeredness of his mother and her constant attempts to coerce us into her idea of what we "should" be doing through criticism, guilt trips, crying fits, and whining. When we didn't do what she wanted, she would fly into rages, judgements, crying and whining--anything to get us to 'give in.'

over time, my husband has learned to consistantly assert his boundaries and autonomy to his parents, with varying degrees of success. otherwise, we manage our reactions to their behavoirs as best we can.

and most recently, my husband and i had a big 'sit down' with them that started the process of clearing and cleaning up the air between us. we learned a lot, we didn't get to go through everything taht we wanted, but overall we felt better. And we learned where MIL and FIL are coming from more. we understand their foibles and fears better.

we've 'allowed' them their fears and are learning to work with them rather than against or in an antagonistic sense with those fears. And when something comes up that becomes reactive, we both become reflective and ask questions about the feelings and reactions rather than reacting in return and starting down a path of escalating anger and frustration.

this clears the way for more communication which supports autonomy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Zoe, my MIL is exactly like yours.

I have invited them over for dinner many times, they refuse because they don't want a vegetarian dinner. For my birthday they wanted to take my husband and I out, they told my husband that I couldn't choose a "vegetarian restaurant".

My whole family is vegetarian and vegan, so I'm just not used to this. I'm not preachy to them, I let them eat what they want, and expect them to do the same for my husband and I. My husband tells me, "don't rock the boat, we're not going to live near them forever" But then it'll still be annoying when they visit..... I'm going to talk with him about it tonight I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenfire View Post

I agree, when he starts to get upset with you just because your actions will get his mother upset with him, let him know that his mother's happiness isn't your responsibility. He's going to have to either stand up to her or take her ****, but you're going to do what's right for you.
I thought that was worth repeating.

Seriously if you set your bounderies then you have set them , you can not do anything about your husband but you do not have to put up with him taking out his frustrations about his mother on you either.

Just do not go out with her and stand firm on it, by going out with her and allowing her to act this way you just reenforce that behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,451 Posts
welll, i think it would be appropriate to talk about how you feel--that you don't feel accepted or supported, etc.

these are important things to bring up. i do not think that your MIL recognizes the way that it feels to be treated as they are treating you. when i told my MIL that i felt she didn't like or approve of me, that she thought/felt that i was stupid and unable to make good decisions for myself and my family (husband and I), and related, she completely balked and denied it.

then, whenever she did a behavoir that caused us to feel this way, i would bring it up.

one of the things that commonly happens is that my ILs would say "yes, we'll come to dinner" or we'd make arrangements to visit them and then within a few days, they'd call back to cancel because something at the church came up, or something with their friends.

this made us feel 'unimportant' to them. and, our schedules are pretty packed, so we strive to fit them in so that we can meet their need/requirement of 'visiting them' and 'spending time with them'--which is also something that we want. but, we felt that we were always second to their friends, their hobbies, and their church.

every once and a while, i understand that things come up, but this was practically every time we made arrangements with them. it even happened in regards to our wedding--they asked us to move the date no less than 8 times. of course, we didn't.

and for years, we basicly 'put up' with it, but we finally got tired of the double bind. On the one hand, they would complain that we never came to visit them, and then whenever we would make arrangements to get together, they would cancel.

so, we brought up the way that we felt about their behavior--and then whenever it came up, we would remind them. Right now, we are so busy that i schedule events about 6-8 weeks in advance. They like to cancel about 3-5 days before the event. When they do this, we remind them that when they do this, we feel that they value us less than other events. we're not trying to say that they shouldn't do the other activity, but that this is how we feel. then, when they bring up the "you never visit us" we bring up that we made arrangements to visit them and that they cancelled those in favor of X activity or event.

it's really about asserting. but, your DH has to be willing. and, you also have to be willing.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top