- 4 years ago
- Wedding: June 2014
I’m hoping that once again your kind words and thoughtful advice can help me out, because I’m not sure who else to talk to.
My FI is a general contractor, and a very generous and giving guy. With this combination, he is often helping those around him with any kind of project that is just a little too big to tackle on their own. My mom lives by herself in a pretty big 4 bedroom house that requires a lot of work. Usually she gets my brother (or me if its not something too physical) to help her, but my brother now lives more than 8 hours away. My FI has always been more than happy to help her with anything she’s needed, he loves her and they have always had a really good relationship.. until recently.
At the beginning of the summer as a thank-you for loaning us the money to buy our first house together (we have already paid her back in full) we offered to build her a deck. We would be free labour, and she would just have to pay for materials. She has wanted a new deck for a long time, so she was really excited. As the summer went on she mentioned a few designs she was thinking about, had us over to brainstorm and told us whenever we had time we could do it. Well between her schedule and our schedule we weren’t ever around on the same weekend, and she hasn’t brought it up in months so we just kind of forgot about it. At the same time, FI had promised he would install a new side door for her, but the summer happened and it kind of fell off our radar.
Two weeks ago, she asked if he could help her pick up a new dishwasher because she has a small car and he has a truck. He agreed no problem, but he wrote the time down wrong and ended up being a half hour late, which resulted in my mom and I standing on the street with a dishwasher waiting for him. I called him mad, because he’s gotten his schedule mixed up more than a few times. My mom was stressed and that turned into anger as well. The whole thing left my FI feeling bad for screwing up when he was just trying to help.
Last night my mom invited us over for dinner and when we showed up she immediately went off on both of us for the deck not being done. She said she was waiting all summer and didn’t have anyone over because she was embarassed about the state of her backyard and now its too late in the season and it won’t be done in time for my bridal shower next spring. She then went on about how the door wasn’t finished and the dishwasher incident. She told us that she “is a proud woman and doesn’t like asking for favours, so she won’t do it more than once.” She also said that becuase my brother lives so far away and her and my dad are split up she doesn’t have anyone to depend on and no one is around for her to rely on. I told her this really hurt because I am there doing anything I can, and FI is also there, he looks after her cat when she goes away for the weekend (frequently), does the dishes any time we eat there, mows her lawn, helped fill in the pool she took out, fixed her blocked drain in the bathtub, put on a new faucet in the bathroom.. etc etc.
Now my FI feels like he was attacked for just trying to help and my mom feels like she wasn’t a priority for us. I also didn’t speak up as much as I should have during this discussion, so I’m worried FI doesn’t feel I’m on his side. I’m a firm believer that if the unfortunate situation arises where you need to side with FI or parents, FI wins every time. I just never thought I would be in this situation. My FI told me last night that after he finishes my moms to do list (for free) he doesn’t want to do any more jobs for her becuase he just walks away feeling like he did something wrong. He also said that he’s not sure the relationship between them will ever be the same.
I’m really mad at my mom for putting us in this situation. How do I handle this situation/what can I say to my mom and my FI to work through this?
Thanks for reading the long post and I appreciate any advice you can offer!