A few years back I realized that my loyalty and undying love and affections were not only misguided, but being wasted on my mother-in-law. While I was busy shining in the fact that I loved her and she loved me, she was telling people how much she hated me. I had absolutely no idea.
“I don’t like my son’s wife.”
People that spent a lot of time with her tried to tell me that this was something she did on a regular basis, but I never believed them. I would listen to them as they described how she spread the word and what she said about me, then I would file it away as gossip and never think about it again. I never told her that they were telling me how much she hated me. I didn’t want to give her any reasons to get mad at them for saying something to me. I figured it was best left unsaid. Why cause drama?
Anyway, I could ignore all of this easily because every day my mother-in-law stopped by my house to say hello and to tell me how much she loved me. So why would I believe that she hated me? It was so much easier to believe in the love.
It wasn’t just that either.
She also told me how much she hated the people that were telling me how much she hated me, even though she had no idea they were telling me that she hated me too. So I was sure that they all hated each other and since I was the only one feeling any love, perhaps I needed to be taken down a peg or two.
I was always told that most mother-in-laws hate their daughter-in-laws and so I used to brag about how lucky I was! Boy, was I clueless, or what?
This was an awful lot of hate going around.
What are the three things you can do if this was your reality?
- If someone tells you a family member hates you, believe it. That’s not an easy thing for anyone to repeat, no matter how despicable they may be. When it’s a close friend telling you this is true, you need to start paying attention and start taking care of yourself.
- People that confess to hating anyone or anything, hate you too. Don’t think that because you get to hear them say it about someone else makes you special, because you’re not. Hating is easy and people that throw that word out there are perpetual Haters. They hate everything and everyone! Find a new friend.
- I am a fan of confrontation. I know many folks aren’t, but it can’t be so hard to simply pose the question to the person over lunch or while you’re out shopping together. “Is it true that you really hate me?” Just ask the person if they hate you. They’ll lie about it, but at least they’ll know that you know and the cards will sorta be on the table then.
Even though she hated all of these other people and wanted me to hate them too, I didn’t hate any of these people that she hates. I genuinely like many of them and I loved my mother-in-law! I did not understand any of this at all. I wasn’t sure I wanted to understand it. As long as I pretended I didn’t hear the rumors, she would still come over every day and tell me how much she loved me too.
Why all the hate?
The folks sharing her proclamations with me never understood how I could still walk into her business and wrap my arms around her in a hug, but there she was calling me “sweetie” and kissing my cheek. That’s kind of hard to process, especially when the moment I walked out, she would turn and say “I can’t stand the b!tch!”
But hey, I am not that special. She will say the same thing about YOU after you’ve spent time being hugged and kissed too. so there…
I never knew any of this was happening for many years. Can you just imagine the challenge it was for anyone to convince me it was true? Can you imagine what it felt like to finally accept this as truth?
When you finally accept the fact that someone you dearly love and would do anything in the world for, despises you, it is one of the most heartbreaking and painful experiences of your life. But I finally accepted it.
I reached the conclusion that to actually tell someone you hate them was too much of a challenge for some folks. Instead of letting them know that you don’t like anything about them and don’t want to be around them, it felt good to be able to say it to someone, so she was saying it to everyone, except me.
Someday you have to decide how much negativity you allow in your life before you’ve had enough. Why spend your energy trying to be around people that hate you? You might think it proves something, but it does not.
Knowing this about me, what are five more things that might help you in a situation similar to mine?
- This person will never change. You need to know that. They. Will. Never. Change. This is who they are to their core being. You will never change the way they feel about you. They hate you. They have every right to hate you even if they don’t have a valid reason for hating you. Move on.
- Those people they surround themselves with are going to hate you too. That’s just the way it is. Find new friends.
- Walk away and never look back. Even though she’s your mother-in-law you can limit your contact with her. Be cordial when you have to be. Think of the drama you’re leaving in the past! Trust me, this is a healthy move to make.
- Don’t be a Hater. Try not to let this situation change who you are and how you handle life. Removing this kind of negativity is good for you and makes room for joyful times with good friends.
- Most important thing of all…if your husband loves and supports you like mine does, LOVE YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE. It’s not their fault, so don’t blame them. It is still their mother and they will still love her and that’s okay. It’s right.
I don’t hate my mother-in-law. I will never hate her. That is just not who I am.
That’s who she is.
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