Post # 1
So I have been reading alot of posts about pretty horrid FMILs- too many opinions, too many uninvited guests, too many rules, and not letting the bride make the wedding her day. Luckily, I have experienced none of these problems. But, I have a completely nonexistent relationship with my FMIL.
I have been dating my FH since high school – 9 years! And throughout those 9 years, FMIL has been cordial. FOR NINE YEARS. We have had maybe 2 in-depth conversations. We are nice to each other, and make small talk, but it stops there. I have never been invited to holidays or dinner, but my FH is a regular at all of my family events. She has even been invited to my family events, and has come! She talks with my aunt on the phone, more than I have ever talked to her. We have only been engaged a month, but I had hoped that it would spark a change. It has not. No excitment, tears, hugs, or anything. But, she did tell FH privately how excited she was and that she was happy for us, liked me, I am the right girl, etc. I know that she likes me as a person (meaning that she is happy her son is marrying me, no "not good enough for my son" problems), but she has made zero effort to welcome me into her family.
I should probably mention that FH is an only child, and his dad passed away a few years ago, so it is just him and his mom, more of a reason I think to want me to be part of the family. Another thing I should mention is that she and my FH immigrated to the US 20 years ago. So there is a slight cultural/language situation, but I studied the language in college and can speak with her in it. Has anyone had an experience like this? Is this completely abnormal? Any advice or coping stories?
Post # 3
I don’t have any coping strategies, but just wanted to let you know I am in a similar boat. I have never met my FMIL (getting married in 5 wks) and she has recently told us she is not coming to the wedding b/c she is "busy with work stuff."
FI is crushed…but what can you do?
Post # 4
"I should probably mention that FH is an only child, and his dad passed away a few years ago, so it is just him and his mom, more of a reason I think to want me to be part of the family"
Well I agree that if she doesn’t have others around her, she would want to really try to include you. But maybe she is feeling some sadness too. Even as just a GF, you were taking up her son’s time. She has no other children, no other family. She might objectively think that you are a sweet girl and obviously make her son happy. (So that’s a good place to start.) But she might be nervous that this means, he will spend much less time with her. And who will she have? Or maybe she is nervous that she will come acroos as too meddlesome if she gets too involved with you???? Or somehow has come to think you don’t like her?
I’m not really sure what she’s thinking, but I’m thinking maybe it would help if you (not your Fi) invited her to go out. (No big family party). But maybe you two can go shopping, do wedding stuff, go to lunch. Or maybe you, your FI, and his mom. And hopefull that turns into a regular occurrence. Then she’ll know that she still has an important place in your lives.
Post # 5
My FMIL speaks very little English, and FFIL speaks no English whatsoever so suffice to say, none of us have really had a real conversation, and when we do talk it lasts only about 5 minutes tops! It can be really hard. My FMIL hasn’t been involved with the wedding really, but had a big stink in the beginning about us being engaged. She said she liked me as a person and that it wasn’t about that, but yeah. There were just a lot of seemingly little things she made a big huge fuss over, but then acted like nothing happened the next day… Sometimes I think she’s a little disappointed that I’m not Asian. Not that she doesn’t like me or anything, but I just view it as something like you imagine your child would grow up to be a doctor, but then they decide to be a painter instead. You still love and support them, but it’s just not what you had in mind and its a little bit hard to get over sometimes.
I don’t mind that my FMIL isn’t all that involved with the wedding. My mom is there for me but I basically get to call all the shots, which I definitely don’t mind after hearing horror stories as well. The only advice I have, is if you really want to involve her, is to ask her what sort of customs there are in her country in regards to wedding ceremonies and receptions and ask for her help to incorporate some of them. Or, you can take it a step further and look some up yourself and then go to her saying you read about something that you’d like to incorporate into the wedding but you want her help doing so (which is probably the safer route to go lol). That way you guys can spend some time and start bonding a little bit maybe.
Post # 6
My FMIL is almost the same way. We don’t have the language barrier but she is very hard to read at times. My FI and I have been together for 10 years ans while I know she likes me and is happy for us she never shows it.
Just last weekend at my shower there are many pictures where she just isnt smiling. My mom doesn’t quite understand (being a very happy, smiley person). It may be that is just who she is, not everyone wears their emotions on their sleeve but it doesnt mean she loves you any less. I second the idea of tryng to open her up with incorporating her culture. if that doesn’t work, just know that she likes you and "silently" supports you.