Mother-In-Law troubles....

I've always been very fond of my Mother-In-Law. She has always been a simple person in the nicest sense of the word - but what do you do when the ageing process turns someone from a thoughtful, kind soul into someone whose life has become so small that they can't see the wood for the trees?
It seems quite a common scenario to me. Those who don't maintain passions and interests into old age, atrophy. In my M-I-L this has presented itself as having a seriously unhealthy interest in the lives of others and making big pronouncements about them when not in full possession of the facts. The latest manifestation of this is causing a lot of distress.

Long story v.v short.... she was as close as close to her only sister. Her sister has just died. Her sister has two 'children' (a man and a woman in their late 50's), the children fell out and my M-I-L has taken sides to the extent that she is refusing to go to her sister's funeral (some 250 miles away) because she doesn't want to 'see that awful man'. She has seen neither of these 'children' for some years but speaks weekly on the telephone to the daughter who it seems spends most of the calls rubbishing her brother. The daughter is a nice, intelligent, woman, the son is a nice, intelligent, man. That they are having some extended scrap is none of our business and Steve & I have stayed out of it.

I don't know where the truth lies, but equally, neither does my M-I-L and no amount of reasoning with her will lead her to even consider going to her sister's funeral. She's engaging in monumentally passive/aggressive stuff with us, as in ' you don't love me if you think I could see that awful man.....' 'but Mum, you only have one side of the story, and you don't even have to acknowledge him, just come with us to pay your last respects to your sister'... ' yes, but I know it's true!....' 'how do you know?'..... 'you don't love me!' followed by extensive sobbing, slamming down of phone and repeat....

So it seems, my husband's only maternal aunt is to be laid to rest without the presence of any of us (she insists that we spend the day in prayer with her and eschews my offer to go to 'represent' us all). What to do when an adult behaves like an unreasonable toddler but as they are an adult and your mother, and as you feel you must respect their wishes, you allow yourself to be manipulated and collude with her in doing (or rather not doing) something which she will undoubtedly regret. Tricky, really tricky.

No comments:

Post a Comment