Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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My mother-in-law is destroying my life

Even though I might be able to endure my mother-in-law just to keep face, my two kids will be mentally affected when they grow up.

My husband and I have been married for 12 years, with an 11-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. The first two years we lived by ourselves, everyone was happy. But then it took a turn for the worse when my mother-in-law moved in. She used to live with her youngest daughter, who was still single.

My father-in-law passed away a long time ago, so the plot of land that belonged to my husband’s family was passed down to his mother, we built a house on that land.

When it comes to my mother-in-law, the most common opinion of myself, relatives, and people who know her is that she was a lazy, dirty, and stingy woman who loves to stick her nose in where it doesn’t belong.

She has never bothered interacting with me or her grandkids. When she moved in with us, our eldest was only a few months old, so we needed her help babysitting. She used every excuse possible, such as feeling too tired or painful (she was only 52) to avoid helping.

I had to send my child to someone else in the morning, then get him home at night. When I had been away from home for days, my child had to stay at someone’s house. She wouldn’t even bother with house chores or help anyone with anything. She even forces my husband to give her a monthly allowance of 5 million VND, with the excuse that she does not have a pension,

After she moved in, she kept sticking her nose into how we spend our money – fearing that I would waste all of the family money. She even goes so far as to go behind our backs and tell her relatives to loan money from my husband and give it to her.

She also told my husband, a mommy’s boy, to stop giving me a monthly allowance. Sometimes he only coughs up a few million when I ask. Truthfully, that amount of money pales into comparison in the family’s budget.

My child is easily sick and has to go to the hospital often. When it became too much, I listed the entire family’s budget, from school fees to hiring babysitters, into a spreadsheet and demanded that we split our finances. For almost eight years now, any money that he and I make, we keep to ourselves.

She loves to stick her nose into other people’s businesses and exaggerate. She likes to talk badly about me behind my back to her relatives and even my husband. He and I argue all the time, so it’s very stressful for me.

I spoke to her many times about this problem, but she always make a scene before I can finish – saying I have a nasty attitude. It’s gotten to the point that I have just stopped caring about it. I don’t even want to be home when my husband is out, because his mother will pick a fight with me.

My husband is a decent man, but he loves gaming. He even stays at work so he can play video games. A lot of time, he comes home at 10 or 11 pm, or even early in the morning.

His routine is to come home, play games, and do nothing else. Every month he gives me half of the house’s budget, and leaves everything else to me, chores and children included.

He’s always been a mommy’s boy; his wife and children are barely anything to him. I do everything in the house, from cooking, and cleaning, to caring for the kids.

The moment I ask my husband to pitch in, his mother says: “That is woman’s work, to be a woman is to suffer and endure. Your husband is already tired from work, how lazy are you to ask him to do these petty things?”

My husband, following his mother, has stopped helping me. If I argue against her, there will be a huge fight – scaring the kids and making them cry. My children often see adults around them arguing and their dad combing back home late just to play games – while their grandmother will boast to people about how good they are, and how obedient I am, and then she comes back home to pick a fight with me.

It’s clear that my kids don’t like their current situation, the eldest always asks, “Mom, I’m so scared, how about we move to another place?”

I’m always worried about them. It’s so stressful that I just want to end it all.

At the end of last year, after saving a large amount of money, I told my husband that the kids and I are sick of his mother that I proposed buying an apartment so we could all move in together, leaving his mother the house to do whatever she wants.

We would still go back a few times to care for her since she would be living alone, but my husband rejected that idea.

I went ahead and bought an apartment anyway, and moved in with my children in November 2022. At first, I sent my kids back to their grandmother on the weekends. But a few weeks in and my mother-in-law replaced all the locks in the house, barring me from going back to my old home.

She then told her neighbors that I cheated and swindled money from my husband to buy an apartment for a boyfriend, and convinced my husband to lock me out of our old home – the one we have both invested our money in years ago.

I thought that we would still be together if we lived separately. But it’s been about eight months since my husband pitched in any money, so now I have to spend all the money I make to care for our kids.

He also told me that he would divorce me if I did not move back in with his mother. I could probably withstand her, but my children will be mentally affected if they stay with her.

We’re living happily inside our apartment, but it doesn’t feel right to abandon my husband and his mother. I hope I can get some advice.

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