Am I overreacting? I think not, but you can be the judge. Problems with an aunt

My messy house - This is what my aunt made such nasty remarks about. Come on...is it THAT bad?
@MissAmie (720)
United States
September 1, 2009 2:44pm CST
Ok, this is going to be a long one. Just a warning...there's a lot of background info you need to know. I have an aunt (mother's sister) I'll call B. B is a weird lady. She has been married 3 times, each time to a very wealthy man, and when she divorces them she gets a ton of money. To her, money is everything. It makes me sick. If you're not rich, to her, you're nothing. My hubby makes over $500 a week and I bring home a couple hundred a week and that's not good enough. "He needs to get a better paying job," she says. She is often fairly helpful. She will babysit if I need her to and she has time, but she and I clash MAJORLY on two things. The first is smoking. Please do not lecture me about smoking. I have given up a lot of bad habits in my life...this is the one I hold on to. I say deal with it. I'm 33 years old if I choose to huff down a cancer stick, the U.S. government says I have every right to do so. Also...I say my house my rules. Isn't that kind of what adulthood is all about. I pay for my house, her name is nowhere on the lease or utilities or anything and she does give me an occasional loan if I'm desperate, but that's a very rare occasion. Well, when she's here, I can't smoke inside MY OWN home. Isn't that a little odd? The other thing we clash on (and this one's way more severe) is cleanliness. In this home we prefer to spend time with our children than constantly be cleaning crap. We like to have fun. We have no issues with sanitation. The bathrooms are very clean, the floor stays vaccumed, etc... Well, last night I got sick very suddenly. It felt like a really bad flu. I still felt really bad this morning and we had already agreed that she would take my son to the doctor this morning, so I called her to see if she would mind coming over a few minutes early to get him ready. She agreed and came on over. I was pretty much stuck to the couch and going in and out of sleep (I'm telling you...I was SICK) but I managed to make a bottle so all she would have to do was diaper, clothes and a little solid food. After that was all done and we had gotten the car seat in her car, she makes a snide remark about a few dirty dishes I hadn't carried into the kitchen BECAUSE I HAD THE FLU! FYI, the last few times she's been here, she complimented the way it looked. So B says, "I can't believe you still live like this. It's nasty. I would have thought you would grow out of it."My response was, "I would have thought you would stopped nagging about it by now."Well, the war was on. lol. I ended up asking her to leave, appologized for dragging her into my "nasty" house and told her not to come back. It was quite a heated argument. Oh, and she basically called me stupid too. That was when I said "get out now." Is there something wrong with how I'm looking at this? Is it really that bad in here? I'll post a pic with the discussion. You tell me what you think. Do I deserve the ridicule or is she OCD? And I know that the pic I'm posting does have some clutter, but I have a 7 year old and an almost 2 year old special needs son. Not to mention I've been sick and get almost no help from hubby or kid.
2 people like this
3 responses
• United States
1 Sep 09
I would have done the same thing. That type of stuff gets old when you hear it over and over again. She sounds like quite the busy body sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. You are an adult taking care of your children, and unless you have a 24 hour maid, your house will always look lived in. Who would want it any other way? I think maybe she needed to hear this from you, as I'm sure it would have went on for year after year. It's too bad people just can't accept other people the way they are and not try to make them the way THEY are. For some reason, they always think THEIR way is right, and yours is wrong. I'm sure you'll be talking soon with her but I would tell her how it hurts your feelings, and you have no intention on changing the way you are living, nor would you tell HER the way to live. Good luck.
@MissAmie (720)
• United States
2 Sep 09
She has ALWAYS done this. We let it go on for a while and then either my husband or I lose our temper and blast her. This woman has never had children, she doesn't know what it's like to constantly have a mess to clean up. What bugs me the most is that if I try to make a suggestion to her, my idea is dumb, or her way works better. When she gives me "advice" it's more like a freaking command. Not a request. I remember once I was having car trouble and she was nice enough to let me borrow her car for work. (I delivered pizzas). The only rule was not to smoke in the car, which I never did. I respected her wishes. When I gave the car back she says, "EWWW it smells like smoke in here! Did you smoke in my car?!?" I swore I didn't, which was the truth. She said the smell must have come from my clothes and not to ask to borrow her car again. SHE OFFERED!! GRRRR!! The hag offered, I didn't ask.
• United States
1 Sep 09
I completely understand where you are coming from. I have a grandmother like that except for she likes to throw in weight comments as well ( i weigh 165lbs for your reference, but my stomache isn't completely flat) My suggestion would be to keep a distant but friendly relationship with her(she is family, and do it as an example for your kids) but that doesn't mean that you have to put up with her crap very often. And when you do interact with her just let her know your boundaries. like being able to smoke in your own house. hopefully this works. I am sure that you have tried everything but maybe just keep trying, esp since you sometimes need her help and she is your family. Hope that problem improves I definitely know how much of a pain that it can be.
2 people like this
@MissAmie (720)
• United States
2 Sep 09
There's no reasoning with this woman. My mom (her sister) isn't even allowed to smoke around her. She claims it's for her health...I say she's doing it to make the rest of us miserable. I can't even begin to describe how evil this woman actually is. We were renting a house from her and sometimes we would have problems paying on time. Well, I accidentally got pregnant again (my 2nd child) and she told us we had to move because if we couldn't pay the rent then, we sure couldn't pay after we had another baby. So I was loading boxes at 8 months pregnant. Still haven't forgiven her for that one. The good thing though, is that we are no longer under her thumb by renting her house. We pay our own rent, so screw her...I'll do what I want with MY house.
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
2 Sep 09
Your house is cluttered, not dirty. BIG difference! She couldn't have take 30 seconds and put a few things away for you? You have a toxic aunt. She lives to criticize others because it makes her feel better about her failure in life. She can't keep a husband, her family thinks she's a PITA and criticizing others makes her feel better. She's jealous of you because you have a husband that loves you and you have more than material things--you have what matters! Now, sit down and talk to her and tell her you love her (if it's true) but you won't stand for any more abuse. Give her the choice of your friendship or not. Tell her you'll always love her but you can't tolerate her brand of love which is expressed by criticism. It'll be tough but you'll be happier for it. No help from hubby? I was married for 19 years and raised my 2 sons by myself with only his financial support and slob presence. I hope yours is not helping only because he's afraid of getting sick.
1 person likes this
@MissAmie (720)
• United States
2 Sep 09
Oh, Dragon...I've had this conversation with her at least 4 or 5 times. Every time she promises to back off and she does for a short time, then it's right back to square one. I've talked to her, my mom has talked to her and my husband has talked to her. My husband has been the most stern. He's a really easy going person until you push just the right button, which she really has a nack for doing. He's cussed her up one side and down the other. Just like the other times, it stops for a while and then she's right back at it. I've really had it this time.
1 person likes this