Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mother-In-Law Cruises Away With A Paw Slap Of Disgust!

Dear Tazi:

My mother-in-law is perhaps the most evil woman who has ever walked the face of the earth! She has never approved of me - no woman could possibly be good enough for her son - and she has always treated me like a second-class family member; but what she has done now is over the line - or should I say completely overboard?

A few months ago, "Bertha" requested that all of her children - and their spouses - go on a cruise together, as a family. Spending ten days with Bertha did not appeal to me, but I love the rest of my husband's family and the idea of a cruise with them was very appealing; so my husband and I both signed on for the trip (for which we paid our own way). The trip was purchased several months in advance, and we were to set sail in August. Note that I said "were", not "are" because my husband and I have discovered that after several years of infertility issues, we are now expecting!

My husband and I are both overjoyed at the prospect of becoming parents and nothing will come before my health and the well-being of the baby. This is where my issue with Bertha's cruise starts: The cruise is scheduled to take place during the week of my due date. Obviously, my husband and I have decided not to go on the cruise; and our family is all being very understanding and excited for us - all except for Bertha who actually accused me of getting pregnant on purpose in order to ruin her family cruise! In the past, she has made comments behind my back about how I must secretly be on birth control, so her comments are not surprising, but are still quite hurtful.

Bertha has told my husband that he should still come on the cruise, even if I won't, because "due dates are not accurate". My husband has told Bertha that she is crazy for thinking he would leave my side so close to my due date and that she will have to accept that we will not be going on the cruise. Bertha is now sulking, and is telling anyone who will listen what a "horrible son" he has become since marrying me! When my husband tried to explain to her that I am his WIFE, Bertha responded, "one day, you two might divorce; but I will always be your mother!".

Since Bertha's efforts at guilting my husband into turning his back on me to accompany her on the cruise are not working, she has started in on me; calling me a bad wife for wanting to "isolate" my husband from his family. Tazi, it's one week - one of the most important weeks of our lives, too! This is supposed to be a happy time for my husband and me, but Bertha is putting undue stress on me and making me miserable with her cruel barbs. Do you have any advice on how to deal with her? I am seriously wondering if I want my child to have a relationship with this woman!

Finally Expecting!

Dear Finally Expecting:

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I am so happy for you I am purring! You are right that this should be a joyous time for you and your husband, so please do not let Bertha ruin it for you. You are correct in feeling that her barbs are out of line; but it sounds to me that she is reacting out of fear, not love. She is obviously very attached to her son, and as long as the two of you remained child-free you remained (in Bertha's eyes) a couple, not a family. The timing of your due date could have been anytime and it would not matter; Bertha would probably find a reason for why she would find it to be disrespectful to her.

The comment that you got pregnant "on purpose" in order to ruin her cruise is laughable, which was what I did when I pictured Bertha saying it. The next time Bertha starts in with her rude comments, try to smile politely and ignore her. When she finds that her self-absorbed attitude is making her look like a fool, she will hopefully stop. As the arrival date of her grandchild gets closer, Bertha may discover herself having a change of heart towards being away when your baby enters into the world. Perhaps your husband could point this out to her?

With regard to withholding your child from Bertha, you may discover that your baby will give you some common ground on which to build a relationship with your mother-in-law. Rather than pull away, why not work towards including her? Your husband can help you work towards this end. Although I am proud of him for standing up for you, it has to be difficult for him to always be in the middle of the bad blood between you and his mother - who has earned a Tazi Paw Slap of Disgust for her cruel divorce comment!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.


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