Well she is lonely, she lost her husband. I'm sorry to say, but you don't sound very empathetic to her. You sound a little over protective of your spouse, but you cannot forget that she is his mother, and she lose her husband... she has reason to feel lonely, and thats ok. Rather than not give her the love and affection she needs, I think it would be easier for you to be a lending ear, a caring heart, and a good daughter in law... because that is what she needs.
ADD: Ok, if she finds solice in her church, then let this be an opportunity for you to do something good for her. I recommend you attend church with her. She is probably defensive because she is lonely and rather than listen, you people are telling her to get help. I mean, that in itself is a little cruel, wouldn't you agree? The poor woman lost her husband, lend her your shoulder, be a good person and put yourself in her shoes... go to church with her, support her and give her the love she NEEDS. I feel bad for her and I don't even know her, just let this be a good deed you can do and be her support system.How to deal with a mother in law that lost her husband 8 months ago and uses her son as a crutch,?
Put yourself in her place and try to be patient. Meanwhile, you help to-by getting her involved in new things. Try to get her into a church group or even therapy. Help her take up a new hobby or revive a new one. This first year or two will be difficult for her. A new dog? One already trained from a shelter? Might be good company.
I would say you are very insensitive and somewhat selfish. I lost my older son more than 2 yrs. ago and the pain is still fresh in my mind. You have to give her more time and instead of staying home alone, you should join your husband in making this poor woman happy,
8 months is nothing if you lose a loving husband, one year was always the standard for grieving.
you should introduce her to a good pastor and a friendly church, groups where she can meet people. you need to tell her that there are certain days he can do for her and certain days she has to venture out on her own.
i know a woman 91 yrs old, still lives in her little house, still drives herself around and still cuts her own lawn! she always kept busy and independent. i see her at church.
i would give it a few more months then you guys need to talk.
your husband has to put you first, he can see her a few times a week, that will force her to get out and have friends. my neighbor is an older widow, she has her lady friends come over to play cards with her,
she never bothers her son as far as i know.
these are lovely women i know so i'm saying it is possible.
She lost her husband only 8 months ago and you don't want your husband, HER SON, to comfort her? Seriously? She is deeply grieving of course she needs him. It won't be forever, the first 2 years are apparently the hardest (I am friends with a few woman who have lost their husbands). Can you not be kind to her? You are really putting him in a bad spot. Let that man help his mother!!!
**Add: People who are grieving can sometimes be difficult - I still stand by being kind and letting your husband, her son, help her. She is grieving - have you not experienced the death of a loved one? It takes time and sometimes lots of patience.
People deal with grief differently and it takes some longer than others to process through the changes that come with losing someone you are so close to. My husband's stepmother died a few years ago and his half sister was still overwhelmingly distraught over a year later. They lived just a block away from each other and were very close. When I said something to my husband about how odd I thought it was that she was still so upset about her mom passing, he said that the first year is bad, but the second year is usually worse (my husband is an ICU nurse and is trained to deal with grieving families). At the time, I had never lost anyone that close to me, so I just had to take his word for it.
About a year ago, I lost my grandmother. She was an amazing woman and I was closer to her than I am my own mother. My mom was also very close to her, and we both have had a very hard time dealing with her loss. I am a very private person and prefer to deal with my grief in private moments by myself. My mom is like your mother in law...wants me around her all the time, so I understand what you mean, but I know it's what my mom needs right now. We are coming up on the one year anniversary of her passing, and I'm feeling the old, deep, overwhelming sadness that I felt last year at this time. A couple days ago I was standing in the shower and I just burst into tears.
So, until you've been through it, try not to judge so harshly. Try to make time for her in your lives, and maybe even call her and/or spend time with her without your husband. She probably senses that you are trying to push her away, and perhaps that's making her even more anxious and clingy.
I'm sorry for the loss of your loved one. Don't mention anything more to your husband...as you've seen, it just causes arguments. And I recommend you be a friend to your MIL:
Take her to lunch at the senior citizens center, it costs around $2-3 and you can show her by example, how to make new friends there. Also they have lots of other activities she can enjoy. Like lectures, classes, etc.
Introduce her to the Red Hat Society, a fun group for ladies over 50. They have tea parties, trips, parties and lots of them are widows like her.
Also, take her to church, introduce her to lots of new people.
Ask her to teach you to quilt or knit or crochet...any special skill she has.
If she doesn't drive, see if your town has ';Dial-A-Ride'; or a senior bus.
Take her to the library...introduce her to the librarians.
If she doesn't like to go out too much, invite people her age over. Your parents, neighbors, church friends, etc.
Do genealogy with her. Take her to an LDS family history library.
She may like to go to a grief support group.
If these ideas do not work, she may be depressed in which case, you may need to inform her doctor.
Hopefully, she will soon be too busy playing bingo and going places that she is no longer bothering you.
Joy to you!
She is very selfish and is thinking only about herself, some mothers are like that. 8 months is more than enough time for her to be on her own. I can understand the first 3-4 months that is needed for the adjustment and your husband sounds like a good son by staying by her side to help her. But enough is enough and this woman does not realize that two is company and three is a crowd. I could never let myself be a burden in my children's life.
If your husband does not understand that you guys need to spend time together, then I would just get up saturdays and sundays, get dressed and stay out of the house all day until nigh time. If he says anything then tell him to go with you and end of conversation but you are not going to bury yourself at home watching him play babysitter.