Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

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FairyDust
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Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

Postby FairyDust » Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:10 pm

I have been reading the mean sister in law thread with interest. Hip Hop I feel your pain. I am in a not too dissimilar situation.

My Mother in law is an alcoholic.

We have hosted her for Xmas several times when her husband was alive and both years since he passed away.  Each and every time it has descended into mayhem of one sort or another. 

This year was going to be different. She was going to go away on holiday with her sister and I can't tell you how much my husband and I  were looking forward to a Xmas Day without the anxiety of not quite knowing what we were going to get and when. This is now no longer happening. To be honest I am not sure of the reasons why.

I want to ask my husband to refrain from extending an invitation to his mother but I guess am not sure if this is really an option. Would love to know what other people think.


Thanks 
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this_is_cat
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Re: Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

Postby this_is_cat » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:29 pm

If she doesn’t go away, then why don’t you?

Life is too short to ruin Christmas with difficult relatives
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jg75
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Re: Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

Postby jg75 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:09 pm

A difficult one. I have a similar situation. In the end I have always just tried to get by the day. Alcoholism is such a complicated condition, provoking anger and upset (justifiably) amongst those affected, but the person underneath is just a vulnerable individual with the addiction their way of ‘coping’. I don’t think I would be able to turn away the mother in law, but perhaps you can go away on a break immediately afterwards to regain some headspace?
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rebeccabaily
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Re: Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

Postby rebeccabaily » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:14 pm

I've had similar situation in my family recently, we sorted it out by being 100% honest with her upfront about how we felt about here coming over.
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muddyboots
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Re: Alcoholic mother in law for Xmasc

Postby muddyboots » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:39 pm

Similar situation where I don’t want FIL coming.
In my case,
Excluding him would not be an option as then people feel bad for him especially my SIL and MIL, but they are still happy to leave him behind.
Option seem to be offer oneself to have a potentially ruined Xmas or feel guilty.
My wish is to just have Xmas alone, but politically this is not easy
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Everylittlehelps
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Re: Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

Postby Everylittlehelps » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:21 am

I had this for eight years. It's taken a year of therapy for me to be able to enforce boundaries.

My MIL used to fill me with dread at the thought of her coming over (and often out stay her welcome). My anxiety was awful.

Be kind to yourself and be firm. I know how hard it is, but you need to put your happiness first. Good luck.
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FairyDust
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Re: Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

Postby FairyDust » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:36 am

Thank you all for replying you are all so kind to share. I feel for you all.

Muddy boots that is exactly how I feel, damned if I do and damned if I don't. My husband is also very kind and inclusive of everyone. I can't believe he would ever exclude.
The going away option is an interesting one  Life-is-too-short if not over Xmas maybe straight after  Xmas as jg75 suggests. That would 'manage' her stay in terms of time.

Thank you all so much again I am very grateful.
 
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Jacksiex
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Re: Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

Postby Jacksiex » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:53 am

Alcoholism is a life threatening disease it destroys families, bank accounts, health, homes relationships everything in its path with ease? She needs urgent proper help and understanding??
Unfortunately only she can help herself by being honest & admitting to herself she has a problem with alcohol & then and only then if she’s lucky can she deal with her addiction to alcohol and get help. If family members need help living with alcoholic family members they can get discrete help too from AL ANON please remember she is ill and needs help she’s suffering from a mental physical & spiritual disease. It’s so difficult wanting to help an alcoholic in denial who just wants to be normal like everyone else and have a few drinks over Christmas
Sorry your in this situation, I hope your mother in law gets the help she needs and you all have a beautiful Xmas
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dudette
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Re: Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

Postby dudette » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:56 am

Have you considered having a dry Christmas or else severely limiting the amount of alcohol available? I assume she doesn’t bring her own booze with her? If you only have one bottle of wine in the house reserved for Christmas dinner (if you have any bottles of spirits etc then lock them away or leave them at a friend’s house) then there won’t be anything for her to get drunk with. You will have to be strong about not going to the pub. Hopefully she will get the hint and it may even deter her from coming to you next year. If she asks what’s going on - get your husband to have the awkward conversation with her, and if that’s too difficult, make up some excuse about deciding you have decided as a family to severely limit your alcohol intake and you don’t want any temptations.
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Whyw8
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Re: Alcoholic mother in law for Xmas

Postby Whyw8 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:28 am

FairyDust, this is certainly not a trend you want to continue.

If your MIL finds Christmas generally difficult, sad, etc then she needs to make room to express those feelings on another day and at another time on any of the other 300+ days, just not Christmas.

If Christmas spent at home is what you want, surrounded by those whom you wish to keep the company of, that's what you should have. Why should you have to go away and at extra cost?

You'll feel anxious if she's there, and likely uncomfortable with the idea of her absence, however, a calm Christmas is what you're aiming for.

As awkward as it is, it's not going to go away and needs to be discussed as soon as possible with your husband.

Your MIL could compromise and attend on the agreement that she has alcohol free wine/drinks...afterall, it's about the taste, right? If she's insisting on drinking regular wine, then that's where the line must be drawn. Added, that if she doesn't stick to alcohol free, then should be asked to leave and her invitation withdrawn from future occasions.
Same if she turns up/is picked up and she's already half cut.

Based on historical proof, your MIL can't be trusted not to ruin the occasion. Furthermore, feelings aside, extending an open invitation to your MIL and anxiously awaiting her attendance is likely setting yourself (and those around you) up for disappointment and anguish. It's not an occasion to be made about her, but unfortunately it's already becoming that - constructed around her. I know because I, well the entire family, had the same thing for 2 decades with my MIL.

I'm not one for alcoholism being a disease (it's the pattern of unaddresssed underlying trauma, grief and disatisfaction not the booze) and to excuse someone for poor behaviour (as my husband and his family did) is enabling - the drunk don't eat %hit! Christmas day is no place to make room for one person's dysfunction, why should you and everyone else keep putting yourselves aside to accommodate one person's toxicity, MIL or not?

I fought my own husband and inlaws for the same thing. Nothing changed.
We're now divorcing, have an adult child and only after many ruined Christmases, Birthdays, you name it, always special occasions, which can't be replaced. It didn't happen because of my MIL's behaviour alone, but because the family made room for it, repeatedly. And she still hasn't sought help, because she lives in denial, blames others, is unappreciative and never remorseful.
Though undiagnosed it appears, my MIL is Borderline and rather Narcissistic, neither can be fixed.
The solution for my husband and family in law all these years has been to hide the wine, put up with her rants and abuse only to be asked to smile the next day and not hold the MIL accountable for her behaviour. No consequence, no need to change.

So, not in so many words, but the message received was that everyone else must accept her as she is, and everyone else, but her must make changes infinitely.


It's such a difficult thing, but if things remain the same, everyone loses...

Wishing you the best x
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