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MIL keeps calling me BM’s name

Ghost22's picture

Hello everyone,

Question for you-

MIL keeps slipping up and calling me by BM's name. I keep trying to brush it off like it's not a big deal, but deep down it's really bothering me. What do you think a good response would be when she does that? ESPECIALLY when she does it in public? Around SS? My initial gut reaction would be to say "no, DH got rid of that trash years ago" but that's not very nice lol

Ghost22's picture

I should just pause and say that... it's just in the moment I'm so put off that I can't think clearly. At first I just thought it was a random slip but since it keeps happening I may be more direct next time.

JRI's picture

I'm 76 so I'm guessing your MIL is aging and having memory issues like we do. Or, that's the kindest Interpretation.  Just smile and say, " Im Ghost22".

Ghost22's picture

Thank you... I'm going to try it once more but if it continues after that, the gloves may come off.

Tried out's picture

I sometimes slip and call my DIL by my former dil's name, usually when I'm talking about her but sometimes in person. And most of the time I don't even realize I did it until someone corrects me. 

I mean absolutely nothing by it, have no hidden agenda, etc. - and I really, really am so glad my son married his second wife, if for no other reason than she is a wonderful SM to my teenage GD, her SD. Fortunately, I do this all the time, with lots of people and everybody knows it so that kinda lets me off the hook.

Ghost22's picture

Thank you. I understand a slip now and then, but at some point I think an effort needs to be made to be more mindful.

Rags's picture

Use it.  The more public the better.

MIL is doing this on purpose.  Let her suffer the public humiliation.  It is a great behavioral modification tool.

Ghost22's picture

I'm with you regarding behavior modification. Based on some of your previous posts I think we're somewhat similar. I just can't tell if she's doing it on purpose. I think I'll try to correct her nicely one more time... after that I'll be much more direct. If SS is in earshot it's hard- but I'm almost to the point where I don't care.

Kes's picture

Next time she does it, I'd ask her if she has considered having a cognitive skills test (memory etc) at the doctor's to screen her for dementia. Diablo

Tried out's picture

this is the actual problem? Would you feel badly if it was, or would it be just a joke then, too? 

Other brain glitches can result in word substitution. Like ADHD, according to my doctor. 

I get why the OP is upset. I've had it happen to me by my lovely later MIL while she suffered from dementia. I've done it to my own lovely DIL, with no evil intent and I've apologized for it when/if I realize what I've done. Fortunately, she doesn't expect perfection.


Ghost22's picture

No, by all accounts there is absolutely nothing wrong. IMO the only thing wrong is that an effort isn't being made to make a change (giving her the benfit of the doubt she isn't doing it intentionally). 

I recognize there are MH barriers for some, but again by all accounts, there are no cognitive issues (it's only happenening with me- It's not happening across situations and nothing has been spoken of that would otherwise raise a red flag). I absolutely adore my MIL which is why this stings..

I'm not expecting perfection- I am expecting effort. I think there's a big difference. If this were an occasional slip I could understand and forgive... to me, a half dozen times over the course of a week is a different story. 

Tried out's picture

way I could stop doing it is to not speak to her or about her. No amount of effort would change my proclivity for being me.

Stepdrama2020's picture

I am sure the OP is quite in tune to her MIL shennanigans

still learning's picture

I call my kids by each other's names, my pet by my kids name, my hubby has several names, so I'm sure I'll be guilty of this if I ever have a kid who marries multiple times. I hope any future kid in laws will forgive me for being a dingbat!  

JRI's picture

We have 5 kids, 9 gkids abd 2 ggkids.  After many slip-ups, I call all gkids and ggkids  "Baby".  Lol.  I know who they all are but I still make booboos.

Tried out's picture

two year old twin grandsons and fortunately they know their own names which is surprising because they get called "X I mean Z" or "Z I mean X " a good deal of the time when they're at our house...

Someoneelse's picture

I call my own children different names, sometimes i call dd16 dd17s name or vice versa, but sometimes i call them my sister's name, sometimes i call them my dogs' names (we have 3). It happens, I'm not even that old.  But i get that it can be hurtful, esp since it's the EX. But i concur with the statements above, just keep reminding her.  Maybe when you cool off, let her know that you understand it's a mistake, but because its his ex, it id really hurtful, if she could try harder in the future. 

Ghost22's picture

Absolutely... I'm not trying to be an ass about it... Mistakes happen I get it... to your point, because it's an ex it just feels especially hurtful.

Ghost22's picture

Absolutely... I'm not trying to be an ass about it... Mistakes happen I get it... to your point, because it's an ex it just feels especially hurtful.

simifan's picture

I agree with calling her out on it & killing her with kindness and concern. Express concern about her health - this is the XX time she has called you by the wrong name - has she seen a doctor? There could be underlying issues - she is aging after all :-P.  Tell DH your concerns - make sure he knows how many times she's called you the wrong name - she should be checked out.

At the family gathering - tell everyone MIL seems to be having memory issues & won't go get checked out. Your conserned it might be a symptom of a larger issue - *gasp* maybe even dementia.

Bet you it stops immediately. :-)

Rags's picture

You could refer to her by BM's mother's name.

Though  is is better to be kind and ask her if she is having memory issues.

Mamabearof3's picture

Ask her if it's an intentional way to try to offend you or if she needs some omega 3s for her brain health. 

MamaKelly_2020's picture

Happened to me start of our relationship. EVERY time I just remind them of my name. They always apologized and felt embarressed - I didn't mean to make them feel bad but I also wasn't going to let it slide. They don't slip up anymore thought *biggrin*

AllBusiness's picture

Immediately correct her every time, in public or otherwise. Don't allow her to make you invisible. If you want to have some fun with her, wear a name tag. You know...the kind you buy at Staples.