Why can't people just leave me alone?

Singapore
August 18, 2008 1:35am CST
I have a big problem. I live with my mother-in-law. Not only that, her mom lives with us too. Before we got married, my hubby told me that we were going to live with his mom only and his grandmother will live somewhere else. I believed him then. With my daughter, we have 5 people living in a small apartment. I feel very jealous if my daughter becomes close to my MIL. I'm very possessive towards my daughter. I just want to be with her all the time. I didn't want anyone else to look after her, esp my MIL. So I quit my job. I'm not usually possessive by nature, but the arrival of my daughter changed all that. It has come to a point whereby I seldom talk to my MIL. It may seem awkward, but I'm just too stubborn. All this has put a strain on my relationship with my hubby. The fact that we are not talking is driving him up the wall, because my MIL and I complain to him, the middle man. I feel sorry for him too. But sometimes, he refused to acknowledge my feelings, makes me feel very sad. I just want my family (me, hubby, daughter) to live together, no one else. Am I selfish to ask for a simple wish like that? I don't want her or her mom in our house, but I know they've got no where to go. I just want us to be left alone. Why is it so difficult? I don't know what to do.
6 people like this
17 responses
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
18 Aug 08
If it's your mother-in-law's apartment, there is not much you can do but move out. If you are living in your apartment, you can look for alternative living for both of them. I remember when our first baby was born. I wanted to be with her all the time and we were also living with our in-laws. We were there to help our in-laws financially. It didn't work out so well so we paid off their house and moved an apartment. I also quit my job to be with our daughter. Your little girl will always know you are her mother and sharing her with the in-laws is a healthy thing. I know it's easy for me to sit here and tell you this but I've been through it and in time, everything works out fine.
3 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
Hi Carol, this is my apartment. I'm thinking - how do you tell my hubby's mother and grandmother to move out? I personally don't have any problems with her, but their presence just makes me uncomfortable living in my own house! If this place is not mine, I would have suggested to move out at the earliest opportunity. But this is my place. Isn't it so sad that I can't even have a say in own house? I know that my daughter will benefit from having them live with us, but I'm just plain jealous. I can't deal with it.
2 people like this
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
18 Aug 08
I sure do understand what you are saying. Your little girl knows who is who and really there is no need to be jealous. Have you told your mother-in-law that she can babysit while you go to work since she's living with you? That might make her change her mind about living with you and your husband. I know it sounds mean but can you suggest that she and her mother move to another apartment and explain it's terribly crowded in your apartment? I do feel bad for you.
2 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
When my daughter was born, she initially felt that she was taking up space. My daughter still does not have a room. She has been bugging my hubby to sell off his guitars which is taking up a lot of space in the room. We thought of getting a larger place to accommodate everyone but the plan is on hold. I'm thinking also, how do you tell your hubby's mother and grandmother to get out of the house?
2 people like this
@samar12 (991)
• India
18 Aug 08
I can understand what you are trying to say because I have some close friends who face the same problem.Well it's very confusing and hard decision to make here because you have so many people you need to think about. Maybe you will probably just think about you,your hubby and your daughter but your son will think of his mother too because after all she is his mother.Think from his side also but if your MIL is bothering you too much then perhaps you can discuss it clearly with your hubby and just tell him that you are not comfortable.Does you MIL work, is she healthy? If she is working and is healthy then maybe she can go to a rented apartment but I don't know if your hubby will agree with this. Seriously this is something so tough but just pray to God maybe He will understand. Does she interfere too much with you?
3 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
Thanks Samar, you're a great comfort. My MIL doesn't work, but healthy. Her mom is very old and rather weak. She was from a rented apartment before coming to stay with us when we got married. My hubby is obligated to look after hers since he is her only child. She tries not to interfere much with me, but I know that she complains a lot about me to her siblings. Praying hard!
2 people like this
@samar12 (991)
• India
18 Aug 08
That must be more difficult if he is the only child because otherwise they could have gone to the other child for sometime. anyways all I can say here is good luck and just keep praying.
2 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
Will keep praying!
2 people like this
• Malaysia
18 Aug 08
Hai , i a not new on the MIL issue, but thank god we are at the city and they are not.. Event a weekend visit or holidays drive me to the limits . I have a suggestion, maybe you should try going back to work as it may give you some financial support. Find a good babysitter for your child, or some good day care center, tell your husband that you pity his mother and want her to rest not to burden her with the child. Once this is set, do enjoy your days out Otherwise get a job at the day care center and have your daughter enrolled in.. then you are together ... Once this is set and you have money in your hand , buy some holiday trip vouchers, for you him and daugter , tell him you won some lucky draw ... call him to pick you up and show him some movie tickets given by someone .. Get the romance going .... don get yourself locked in the house it is bad for you emotionally I am getting smarter now days too ....
3 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
Thank your for your support! You suggestion is a viable one. But I think she will be offended if I put my daughter at the child care center. BUt who cares now? Getting the romance going may be a good idea as long as I don't get pregnant again! I know being couped up at home is bad for me. So sometimes I do bring my daughter out, just to get out of the house. Thanks again!
2 people like this
@nicholejade (2430)
• Canada
18 Aug 08
First off why are you living with them in the first place? You are married and you should have your own place. I don't agree with people getting married and then living with the parents or the in laws. That's not right. Another thing 5 of you in an apartment. How do you do it? I couldn't imagine being in an apartment with 1 person and you can do it with 5. Secondily you need to stop babying your daughter. Let her be. She's 5 years old and needs to communicate with others other than you. You need to grow up as well and talk to the in laws as you are all living there and it is small quaters. I suggest you and your husband find your own place and move out.
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
It's a difficult situation. It's our house in the first place and if anyone should leave, it would have to be my MIL and her mom. This is definitely not my choice of living arrangement, but like I said they've got nowhere to go. My daughter is not 5 years old. She's less than 2. I know that I have to learn to let go, but it's so difficult. If I'm rich and can afford another house, I'd move out immediately. Thanks NicoleJade for scolding me!
2 people like this
@patgalca (14262)
• Orangeville, Ontario
18 Aug 08
I disagree. I don't think you need a scolding. Your situation is intolerable and a solution must be found.
2 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
I think you read her opening post wrong. Her opening post gave me the impression that her mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law are staying at her house. It is her place, and they are staying there. Especially the part where she said she wants them to leave, but knows that they have no where else to go. If I were staying at someone's house I wouldn't have said that, I would have said I wanted to leave but had nowhere else to go.
2 people like this
@Ithink (10715)
• United States
18 Aug 08
I feel for you, my question is why are they living with you? Does either have a job? I cant imagine living in a small apartment with my in-laws. If there is no choice but to live this way I would suggest just trying to get along as there is nothing that can be done about it. As for your daughter I think it is natural for her to interact with others in the family especially as they live there. I can see where the strain would come into with the way things are but if there is no choice what can be done. If there is no money to either move to a bigger place or anything the best must be made. It might have been easier to accept the help and to have kept your job and then maybe you could afford to save and help them get there own place that is if either works. I was just wondering how old everyone is too?
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
daughter 19 months, my hubby same age (can check my profile), MIL almost 60, her mom 80+. My hubby thinks the same way as you. He can't understand why I can't adapt or try to get along with her mom. I can't please everyone. I can make arrangements for them to get a rented place cheaply, but it's whether people here would be agreeable.
2 people like this
@Ithink (10715)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Im not saying adapt and just accept it as I do believe every woman should rule and have her own home if she wants. I just dont know what can be done and if nothing the only thing to do is try to deal with it. I wish there was someway to help cause I know I dont think I could do it long term.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
Sorry, I read it wrongly the first time around. I don't think that it's an unsolvable situation. I'm still very hopeful.
1 person likes this
@patgalca (14262)
• Orangeville, Ontario
18 Aug 08
I'm guessing that when you married your husband you didn't sign on for this. It really isn't fair to you. It would put a strain on any relationship. Your family (children and husband) are your first priority. I'm betting if you asked any specialist in the country (I'm thinking Dr. Phil here) you would be told the same thing. Hubby has to stick up for you to his mother AND make arrangements for more suitable living arrangements. I would feel the same way about my daughter too, possessive. Actually, my girls are 12 and 15 and I probably still am even against their own father. I was jealous of the relationship my husband and my younger daughter had when she was a pre-schooler. You don't have many options but to sit down with you husband and tell him how you feel and that you would appreciate it if he would respect your feelings and do something about the living arrangements. I know you don't want to give him an ultimatium; I wouldn't. But go to him with some ideas of your own that you can discuss and hopefully come up with a solution. Do you have family nearby? If he refuses to be considerate to the woman he is supposed to put first in his life, then pack up your daughter and go stay with another family member. Let him know you are serious about this. I know it is hard to do. I've thought about it many times myself but know I couldn't bring myself to doing it. I love my husband and wouldn't want to leave him. You cannot work on your relationship as husband and wife, parents and child, in your current living situation. I don't know your financial situation but a house with a nanny suite/inlaw suite would be ideal if you can't get them a place of their own. Good luck and keep me updated. There has got to be a solution.
2 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
Hi Pat. I have thought of running away from it all. BUt I know it's not the best solution to my problem. I also love my husband very much and would not think of leaving him. Like you, I can't do it. All the suite you suggested is not viable, financially not there. Thought of getting a rented place for them, I know that there could be some cheap options. Then again, she will get offended. But who cares anyway? My happiness is at stake. The important thing is my hubby has to agree with it, that's going to be difficult. BTW, how are you doing with your condition, Pat? Have not heard from you for awhile. And thanks for coming to my rescue.
2 people like this
@patgalca (14262)
• Orangeville, Ontario
18 Aug 08
Well, you have to work SOMETHING out. This is not good for a marriage. I'm not doing too badly. I went away on vacation and it took a few days for my body to adjust to food, bed, probably altitude, different air pressure, etc. By the time my body adjusted it was time for me to come home. This is why I have not been on here as much of late. I have a piece I am working on for Triond (haven't published in awhile) so I need to focus more on my writing. Once the kids get back to school my goal will be writing and walking.
2 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
A vacation. Badly need one myself. I'm sure it has been good for you. Have not written for Triond for a bit. Concentrating on some reviews on Review Stream. Was inspired by a myLot member to write more there. I'm trying to find a solution to this. Must find one fast! I'm determined to save my marriage. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@SomeCowgirl (32271)
• United States
18 Aug 08
Okay so your not living with your mother in law your mother in law is living with you. Okay, well I have to say that's an emotional strain for you there, and the fact that it's a small apartment is another, and if the only source of income is coming from your hubby and the checks that your mother in law might be bringing in? Well what about granny? hmm, well to be honest I have to say that you either need to find a bigger place, live with what you got, or move out and let them have the apartment. I live with my fiance, his parents, 2 dogs and a cat. That's six beings and while the animals aren't a bother, sometimes being in close quarters with everyone can be. If I got angry, I know it's my own fault and I deal with it. I can understand you being possessive, your a mother and probably a new one at that. It's natural, mother's insticts even a woman's instict and I can't emphasize that even if I wanted to... I have to say, RELAX. Talk to granny one and granny two (the great granny) and let them know how you feel, communication is key. You yourself say your husband needs some slack, so be the bigger person and give it to him! Did all that jazz up there sound offensive? It probably did, but I didn't mean it to be.
2 people like this
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
Hi SomeCowGirl, thank you for reading my entire discussion before replying. I really appreciate it. I guess, I do need to relax, like you said. I can only do so if things are different. I want a change badly.
1 person likes this
@SomeCowgirl (32271)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Well may I suggest if change isn't in the question (which it sounds not to be) that you try to take a mini-vacation from everybody? If you can de-stress yourself things will be a lot better, you can even take your Daughter if you want. Just get a way for a weekend.
@iakulchen (615)
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
Which part of Singapore do you stay at? I'm assuming part of the problem is that your mother-in-law is at home most of the time, so you can't have the "time alone with family" that you want. Considering your current relationship with your mother-in-law, it might be hard, but you can try persuading her to volunteer at a CC as a WEC (Woman executive committee). Most of the CCS have one. Hopefuly the tension is just caused by you spending too much time around each other and will lessen when she spends more time outside volunteering. If she isn't into volunteering, you can try getting her to join some courses like folk dancing at the CC.
2 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
In the west. I believe you're right about the fact that we are both creating tension by being in the house most of the time. Your suggestion is a good one, but I don't think she's interested. Sometimes, she feels obliged to stay home to look after her mother. She is often afraid to leave her mother alone at home because she might fall or leave the tap on, enough to fill a swimming pool, or start cooking (actually she doesn't know how to turn on the stove, thank god!). Her mother fell before and broke her hips and she's extremely cautious. So if there is someone who needs to be out more often, it has to be me and my daughter. I want my daughter to be close to my husband, but they get little interaction time as my hubby works a full day, leaving him too exhausted to play with her. By the time, he comes home, it's only one to two hours before my daughter goes to bed. But he tries to spend more time with her in the weekend. I'm not frowning against that. He's got to work to support the family. It's really hard on him.
2 people like this
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
19 Aug 08
From what you say here, it seems that your MIL needs help caring for her mother. If you had a larger place, it might work out better and you and your husband can help your MIL take care of her and have more space for a little privacy. Or, if I remember right, you mentioned you live in an apartment. Could you find another apartment in the same building, very close, so that you and your husband can still help your MIL and her mother, visit often, and in turn, the MIL can help you with your child -- like babysit so you and your husband can enjoy evenings out for dinner once in a while.
@checapricorn (16066)
• United States
18 Aug 08
Hi Sydney, [i]I understand how you feel since I know every couple wants to live exclusively with their own family! can you move and then just visit them often? We are from my in-laws and I have no problem like this![/i]
2 people like this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
This is my place. They have got to move out. You have got it right. If they move out and we visit often. I don't think that I will have this problem.
2 people like this
@zed_k4 (17627)
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
Hello there my new friend. I am reading about this plight of yours in the top discussions for today and I feel sorry for you. I might not know how that feels because one, I'm a guy and two, I'm not married so I wouldn't be able to give the perspective of what your husband might feel or what he does is right or wrong. However, I have an important question to ask you. Have you from the beginning on good terms with your MIL and her mom..? Or are you guys pretending to put a brave and polite front in front of your husband..? If the answer is not animosity from the beginning, then it would be important for you to salvage that peace within yourself and perhaps get your husband to understand your 'space-constraint'. Are your MIL and her mom complaining too much that you can't cope and whether they are really making life difficult for you at home and for the domestic affairs of yours..? Are they too interfering in your daughter's lives? These questions are important and if you have non-good feeling answer to all these, then you might have a bit of an issue here, so you have to really communicate these feelings to your husband and he cannot keep quiet about it, because it's your sanity in question here. Not to add sparks to fire, but in any case, a husband would always label his mom right, and he can't see wrong. So you have to put it across as gently as possible. This issue has never been easy and I'm wondering whether my wife someday could live in harmony with my mom. But the best solution is that to live separately, so that the animosity won't ever grow. But in your case, it has happened and for a cause of concern there, meaning that they need a roof over their heads. Therefore, apart from asking you to analyze the situation at hand and talk about it with your husband first, then see whether you can speak with your MIL about it, I would advice you to be extremely patient. Do keep us in progress of what's happening. And do not stress yourself too much yeah. I'm sure your MIL has the best interest of you and your husband at heart. Hope that's so.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
Hi Zed, thank for giving a strictly male perspective to this discussion. I think I need it. It started out so-so, not fantastic. In the beginning, we tried to include her in our little conversations, or asked her out for lunch but she refrained. Then we never asked her anymore. When people do not want to come along, why force right? She also does not have dinner with us, little chance of conversation there. I guess, we grew apart. There's nothing in common for us to talk about, not even cooking. So keep quiet. Living with a person you don't talk to is frustrating. I'm trying to get my husband to understand my plight, like you said, but I know he's torn between his mom and me. He hates to be in that position. He doesn't want to have to make a choice between his mom and me. I'm going to build a big case on the space constraint thing. She tries not to interfere in our lives that much as she knows that I won't be happy about it. I just want my life back. I'm going crazy. This will never be easy for me to talk to my husband no matter how gently I put it. But I'm trying to be strong. Great advice you gave - analyse, talk , talk again, be patient. My patience is running out. It's taking a toll on my emotional stability. Thanks for being a friend!
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17627)
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
I read your answer comment 2 times, Sydney and I think you are burned out. Alright, this is perhaps one of those serious moments that you need help. Anyone close to you that might be able to intervene on a level of discreet just between you and your husband..? But then your husband might not like the idea at all. This is hard. Parents could be a problem in marriage lives. Let's see how the next week entails for you. Take things one at a time, or if you can afford it financially, I recommend to go on a holiday; just you with someone you trust. And that might include your husband or someone else. Just let go, take a breather and come back. You have to, or you'll be more burned out. Or talk to a marriage therapist. Or keep talking to mylotters and we'll help you to ease your burden. Talking helps. Hope these little things are able to help you out. Take care, my friend.
@KrauseHome (34995)
• United States
18 Aug 08
Well, sounds like this is not a Fun situation to be in, and one I would not want to trade places with you for sure. Especially when you have not been Married that long, and then having to have others live with you as well. Puts a lot of strain and pressure on a marriage that should not have to be there. I am glad that your husband is making sure your MIL and her mom have a place to live, but at the same time I would want to be letting him know you would like some privacy and time alone with him at times as well. Isn't there somewhere they could go, or get some assistance with help for housing or anything? I would be looking into this, and offer up any suggestions you might find to them and your husband as well. Just keep on Praying and believing, and God will open the doors for you.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
Thank you for your kind and supportive words. I have told my husband that I need some privacy here, but he doesn't get it. I'm trying to look for some place for them to go and will keep on looking until I find something. I have to find a solution fast. And one which my husband can accept, that's the very first step. If he's ok, then we both can deal with her mom. Will keep on praying adn believing that help is on its way.
@RJONES8 (12)
• United States
18 Aug 08
That sucks, you live with your mother in law how do you live? If I was you I would just go in a room and lock the door!
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
I do that sometimes
1 person likes this
@ShellyB (5244)
• United States
18 Aug 08
Is there a reason why MIL can't live alone? I wou;d like to know before answering more but no, to me it is not a dificult thing to do unless there are financial reasons and everyone is pitching in.
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
She's not working, so if she lives on her own, she will have to find a job. At her age, it might be difficult, but not impossible. I might just be shunned by her family for kicking her out of the house. But that's another matter to think about.
@ShellyB (5244)
• United States
18 Aug 08
Then in that case I think you are right in having a home of your own, I am sure even your MIL had a home of her when she started her family. I am not sure if a family meeting would help, but first you and your hubby need to be on the same page as how to do things.\ Good luck :)
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
I'm working something out and calculating all the expenses related to it. I will have plan A and Plan B for this. You're right about the fact that we both need to be on the same page on this. I need to convince my husband about this. That is the hardest part!
@MOMMASAM (1004)
• United States
18 Aug 08
i wish i had something very wise to say to you. you must know and believe, that your child will never allow any love for another person (grandmother or great grandmother) to take the place of her love for you. if this is your apartment they are living in, it is a tense pathway every day. i'm sure this could be more than too many cooks in the kitchen. ignoring your MIL will not make her go away. i do not think you are selfish, but i don't see a solution to this problem. it maybe a wedge between you and your husband which has no happy resolution.
• Singapore
18 Aug 08
You are right about the cooking bit. It seems crowded in the kitchen. I just cook for my daugter and leave the kitchen. I'm determined to find a solution here. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@MOMMASAM (1004)
• United States
19 Aug 08
and, i pray you find one, too. a solution where everyone is happy and no one sad.
@Jenaisle (3803)
• Philippines
19 Aug 08
Hi, I don't want to sound condescending Sydney but to be generous to others would give you a different "high". Changing your perception about your daughter may help put things into their proper perspective. I understand that as a mother, you would like to be left alone to rear your child the way you want to and that's the ideal setting , but since you can't possibly do this, then you have to make the best out of your situation. You can have a heart to heart talk with MIL about how you "feel" to see how she "feels" and then compromise. I'm a grandmother too and I want sometime with my grandkids , but not the whole time. You have to talk to MIL and express your sentiments. Talk in a positive manner and I'm sure she'll listen to you. Good luck and all the best.
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
That's why I'm trying to change the situation, giving me time to slowly change my perspective about my life. I know she will be terribly hurt, but who is asking abt how i feel. i have been keeping this to myself for quite some time and i need to take care of myself too. I will have a heart to heart talk with her after I formulated soem plan for them.
• United States
19 Aug 08
No, you are not selfish. You have the right to raise your family in a single family environment without the overbearing presence of you in-laws. If you have already conveyed your honest feeling with your husband than it may be time to give an ultimatum.
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
I don't want to give an ultimatum, but I may take drastic measures I myself may regret.
@tlb0822 (1412)
• United States
18 Aug 08
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my fiance and I lived at his parents home. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I began looking for our own home. And within three months of looking we bought our first home together. I refused to live with my future in-laws. It just doesn't mix. It's bad enough I put up with her when she comes down to our house, let alone all the nagging she would do if we lived with her. NO WAY! I would go nuts. I think that you two need your privacy. And the whole thing with your daughter, don't think your being selfish I'm the same way with mine. She very rarely goes to anyones house without me being with her. Have you tried talking to them and asking them to butt out? Try to see if you can get to some type of middle ground since they have no place to go.
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
I'm actually going nuts myself. I need the privacy here. I'm trying to look for that middle ground you are saying and at the same time, tell them to butt out too. Let's see what I can come out with.