The Emotional Toll of Dealing with an Overstepping MIL

Modern Parent

I am married to an amazing man for 5 years now, and we have a 2-year-old son together. We are excitedly waiting for our unborn daughter's arrival later this year. However, my mother-in-law has always been a problem in our relationship. She is from a military family and has a Japanese cultural background, while I was raised on a farm in Idaho. We have had cultural differences, but my husband and I have built a happy life despite that.

The problem is that my mother-in-law oversteps her boundaries, and it's causing a never-ending cycle of blowups, silence, and random texts. She has been divorced for 25 years, and she relies emotionally on my husband and his brother in a way that is difficult to understand.

Some examples of past explosions are when she was angry that we didn't marry in a church and chose a courthouse wedding, and she sulked all day before the ceremony. She also abandoned me when my son was born, leaving me alone with a two-day-old baby while I was on pain medication. When my husband and I bought our first house, she hated it and called me a hillbilly who was turning my husband into one.

I have always tried to be respectful, but it's difficult to handle her constant explosions. My husband tells me not to worry, but I'm concerned about what will happen when my daughter is born. I want her homecoming to be a happy one, but I'm afraid my mother-in-law will blow up again.

I feel hurt by my mother-in-law's behavior, especially the "hillbilly" comment. I grew up on a farm, and my Grandma is proud of me for being the second person in my family to go to college. But to my mother-in-law, I'm just country trash, and nothing will change that.

I'm reaching out for advice because I don't want to have to live in fear of my mother-in-law's explosions for the rest of my life.

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