A precedent is set.
June 8, 2013 3:15 PM Subscribe
Should I wait for an apology from my mother-in-law, let it go, or none of the above? My IRL counsel is giving me mixed answers.
posted by anonymous to human relations (35 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Newly wed, to a wonderful man with a difficult mother. The kindest way I can describe her is "incredibly unhappy".
She recently said very unkind things about me to my husband. Of course, he (gently) told me, because he knows that if I had found out later, it would have hurt me more than knowing right away, because I would have felt foolish on top of the injurious comments.
I see my options as this:
1. Hold out for an apology that is unlikely to ever come. I was leaning toward this only because of my own personal baggage of having allowed people to walk all over me in the past. I didn't think it through more than "She needs to apologize to me, or else...". I assumed that I would allow her to come to me and apologize. I would certainly be gracious, as I have already forgiven her. An apology would be more of an acknowledgment that her behavior was wrong and that she will be more respectful of me, my husband, and our marriage in the future.
2. My own mother, a very kind and understanding woman, told me that holding out for an apology may be futile and would ruin any chance of a civil relationship with MIL. "Forgive, forget, and move on." (Obviously, I come by my doormat tendencies honestly.) This is the kindest thing to do in light of my MIL's rough past and rough present, as she is currently dealing with some health problems. But, I feel that it gives MIL a pass.
3. This one is my latest brain child: I don't have to do anything. The onus is squarely on my husband. He needs to tell her that her behavior is unacceptable, and why, and that if it happens again, then X will happen, with X being her relationship with her son at risk. She doesn't care if I never speak to her again; I feel the only way to reach her and get her to behave civilly toward and about me is to know that my husband also won't tolerate her crap. And then my husband needs to put his foot down and follow through with action.
My husband has told her, repeatedly, that if she forces him to choose, he chooses me. That, if it comes down to it, she will lose her son. I have no problem with how my husband has handled his mother up to this point or in the heat of the moment in this situation. We have discussed this at length, and he said that he supports whatever I want to do.
I would like to go with 3, but before I bring it up to my husband, am I totally off-base? Is there another way I should handle this situation? I haven't done anything yet, so I can still go an entirely different route in handling it.