I find my mother-in-law annoyingly needy, insecure and passive-aggressive. She refers to my husband as “the love of her life” and, this past year, called him up during our Valentine’s Day dinner together and cried on the phone because she didn’t get to see her baby boy on V-day. Are you kidding me here??? How am I supposed to deal with this lady without harming her?
Okay, I’m sorry, but this is kind of funny. It’s gross, but it’s funny. I bet she also calls him, “my little lover.” It sounds like she lives far enough away that she couldn’t stop by on Valentine’s Day, so you’re lucky on that count.
The problem here isn’t your mother-in-law. She’s obviously a little unhinged, and probably spent so much time on her young son that when he grew up, she was suddenly without an identity. The real problem here is your husband. At best, he’s obtuse, and at worst, he’s totally into all this “love of my life” bullshit.
He shouldn’t have answered the phone during your Valentine’s Day dinner. She behaves this way because he allows her to, and implicitly encouraged it by answering her call during a romantic evening. You would think his mom would be the last thing on his mind when he’s trying to seduce you…and if she isn’t the last thing on his mind, there are issues here that could only be solved by resurrecting Freud.
You’re going to have to talk to him about it. You can’t manage their relationship; you can only hope that your husband understands where you’re coming from and makes a move to manage it himself. He can care for and care about his mom, but not at your expense.
As far as your other issues with her, there’s seriously nothing you can do about her hideous personality. It might help, though, to get together with some girlfriends, drink a bunch of wine, and spend some time bitching about your mother-in-law. I guarantee you, everyone has a story, and someone else’s is bound to be worse than yours.