Post # 1
So we had both of our parents and some friends over for thanksgiving. Everything went fine. My FMIL brought us two bottles of wine (I don’t drink, she knows this and my FI is a beer drinker she also knows this). 4 different people asked her what she wanted to drink and she mostly refused or eventually took cider. Weeks after Thanksgiving she sends my FI emails complaining that she isn’t welcomed in our house, that she didn’t get to drink our “gift”, that she couldn’t ask for the wine (even when offered) because then it would look like she had a drinking problem, and she said she doesn’t have one. She also said I designed thanksgiving to embrass her about the drinking problem she doesn’t have– woman must think I have insane organizing skills.
Anyway, for days my FI would come home from work and email fighting with his mom and tell me all these nasty things she said about me. Since I wasn’t directly involved in the email fight all I could do was get madder and madder everyday. Eventually he called his dad and found out his father knew nothing about what was going on.
So my FI told his mom to directly talk to me, to drive the two hours to me, and talk without any sort of food involved (as she was complaining about how I don’t drink and I don’t eat enough exotic foods) and just work out it.
We didn’t hear from her for months. Then she sent him a poor attempt at guilt in a birthday card that was a pretty terrible birthday card anyway. Two weeks after that I emailed her and she became the two headed moster.. saying “We this” and “We that”. There is NO problem with the FFIL, she is just determined to drag him down with her. Eventually I was able to clarrify that when you send the email to ONE person and are addressing ONE person you don’t expect TWO people to respond. I also clarrified that I had no problems with FFIL.
She kept pushing for my FI and I to drive two hours to their place (they ONLY came to our place the one time in 4.5 years of us being together) and have a “family” talk. This has NOTHING to do with my FI or my FFIL. She just wants everyone involved because she’s super passive aggressive. She told me she won’t come to see me because “its not my place to order her around”.
Well I’ve done everything I can to try to resolve a situation that she started. She has shown very little interest in our wedding. Its so frustrating. We aren’t speaking to her currently. I’m upset that we can’t just visit my FFIL but my FI and him are staying in touch (even though the FFMIL may not know that)
This woman is really more pain than she is worth. But I am really hurt but all her rejection and rudness to me. I think about it way more than my FI does. He doesn’t think about it at all. I don’t know how to just pretend family doesn’t matter because family always has mattered to me. Narf.
Post # 3
That’s a really tough situation and one that you have very little control over. It sounds like you’ve tried to resolve the issue but she is bound and determined to make it as difficult and dramatic as possible. Coming from someone who has a mother who creates difficult situations and then wants others to make them better, I can tell you I empathize. Ultimately, I’d try not to stress to much about it because you’ve done what you can and if she was really offended and wanted to try and work it out, she’d do so without making things worse at every turn.
Post # 4
- Wedding: May 2011 - The Royal Park Hotel
I’m so sorry, gal. From someone who also puts a lot of stock in family opinions and respect, I know first-hand how much a situation like this can sting. If his Mom has a history of being melodramatic and difficult, your FI has had years more experience with ignoring her, and unfortunately that may be a skill you’ll also have to hone with time. I’m still working on that myself. 😉
If I may make a suggestion, don’t let your FI pass along the negative comments your FMIL is making about you. It doesn’t serve any purpose other than making you stressed and miserable, and that’s not something you should have to deal with. *hugs*
Post # 5
@tartlet: We have talked about him not sharing what she is saying about me, because it DOES make me crazy. But he’s the younger son and she spent most of her time ignoring him for the “problem” child (son who is three years older). So he was a very poor communicator when we meet. Like I was say, what did you do at work “fixed things” and what else? “made things work?” It took forever to get him to tell me how his day really went– I think because his mom never really wanted to hear how his day went when he was little. She basically trained him to say as little as possible at all times. Its been years of him practicing talking about every day things and his feelings.
He still feels pretty inexperienced at how to handle conflict (his parents NEVER fought in front of him and he never had close friendships, so he was really afraid that if you fight, the relationship would just end– any relationship, friend, lover, family etc. It took me a long time to convince him that *healthy* couples can fight and still love each other and its just another form of communication). Anyway, as fighting/disagreeing is a new to him, he likes to talk about it. I think talking about it helps him get different ways of thinking about it.
I think in the future maybe 2 years or so it would be fine for him to just not tell me anything more than “I’m fighing with my mom” but right now (and I know it sounds a little crazy) he’s still learning how conflict works.To be honest I think his mother is too… she moved overseas to america and really hasn’t had much contact with her brothers/sisters. One brother she didn’t talk to for 45 years because he was “mean” to her when they were children. She didn’t start talking to him until he found out he was dying and then decided he was an alright adult. That is seriously bad communication.
Post # 6
Ditto tartlet. Your FI shouldn’t be passing on the comments. If you are his outlet, he needs to find another one or just stop engaging in her email fights. Maybe he should just stop responding, stop giving her a reaction and stop playing her games.
From personal experience, having a “family meeting” (who are we kidding, family meeting?? Yeah, it’ll be more of a FMIL gets everything off of her chest, she tells you every single little thing you have ever done that she doesn’t like) on her turf will likely end in disaster (it will end in disaster anyways). If you must have it, do it on your own turf (I do realize she doesn’t come over) OR if you go to her, get a hotel room so it’s “your” turf. Unless of course you enjoy getting ripped to shreds over and over.
Post # 7
@nyebride: Currently he is not talking to her in any way. It was the ultimatum that my FI gave her months ago… that he wouldn’t talk to her or visit until she came to see me.
In the “birthday card” she tried to make it sound like he was cutting her out of his life instead of asking her to resolve her issues with me. Thats why I emailed her… to try to say I’m willing and NO ONE is cutting her out… its her choice. I don’t want her to blame him when its her fault x_x And no worries, I’m not willing to go to her turf and money is tight and we really can’t afford to just be throwing away money on fruitless things (as I’m sure the meeting would be).
I think Nyebride has a really good idea! I’ll tell my FI if she starts complaining about me again to tell his Best Man. His BM is really good at advice giving and listening. And he can just tell me he is fighting with his mom without giving the details. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that! Thanks for the suggestion!!!
Now if I could just start to not care about all the trouble she makes. I try to think about wedding planning, but then I think about the son/mother dance and if we need to think about including it or figuring out a song and if her or her BF (which I really like) will actually come to the bridal shower. My wedding is still far away as its 2012. But its hard not to think of family when wedding planning.
Post # 8
Well I highly doubt she will blame him when the time comes. I understand about the birthday card- MIL was the one to issue an ultimatum and his birthday card was just pukable.
I remember thinking about the mother/son dance as well and anything involving her. Most times it made me gag but I just planned what I could and pushed that to the back of my mind because MIL sure isn’t paying rent with all the space she is taking up in my head. Actually I took myself out of anything involving MIL with our wedding; what I mean is that I didn’t give input into the dance, I was very not interested and left it up to DH.
I’m glad you are going to ask him to vent somewhere else. Of course we want to be there for our SO’s but it will eventually place a wedge between the two of you. And that is one way MIL “wins” because she divides and conquers in the end.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2011 - The Royal Park Hotel
@JaneDomani: Don’t worry, none of what you said sounds crazy at all. It sounds like you and your FI have a great rapport, and you’re handling yourself beautifully in showing him by example how to resolve conflicts as adults. Seriously, I applaud your patience, and I think your FI and mine could have been separated at birth. 😉
Having been in a similar pair of shoes (and the wedding being right around the corner), the only advice I can give is to keep focusing on the positives. While I truly hope things turn around in your situation, it may be that your FMIL is destined to be a Negative Nancy. If that ends up being the case, accept that she will always be unhappy about something, but there’s really nothing you can do about it except limit your contact to keep your own sanity intact. That doesn’t make you a bad fiancee or a bad daughter-in-law–some people just can’t be pleased!
Post # 10
Wanted to give an update. Last week my FI father called him as they are still on good terms. But every time he calls its because he is trying to resolve the situation between my FFMIL and us… which he can’t do because he’s not his wife. Its starting to strain their relationship.Anyway, my FI tried to explain to his father again, that we can’t go to their place (two hours away). He cited gas money, our pets (one needs pills twice a day), our house rennovations and that her coming to ME (not US but ME) is a show of good faith. His father offered to pay for the gas money, tried to say that we could leave the pets alone for at least 8 hours ( 2 hours driving times x 2 = 4 hours, leaving 4 hours to talk) my FI explained he couldn’t promise that it would be resolved in 4 hours.AND get this, his older brother is visiting (he lives overseas) and his mother now wants me, my FI, her husband AND her other son to all sit in on this “Talk” about her rudness towards me. His brother apperently aggreed to this- we think both his brother and his father want to be there to be supportive towards us, but *I* still feel this needs to be a talk between TWO people, me and her and she needs to drive to me as a show of good faith.
At one point his father put his mother on the phone and she told my FI his father has the same problems with me that she has and that’s why he needs to be there… he called her a liar and so she put him on speaker phone and then his dad announced he doesn’t have a problem with anyone and no one has a problem with him and everyone else needs to get their problems fixed– to which my FI laughed. My FFIL really is a good person and really does want to see this get resolved BUT his mother doesn’t. And until she decides she does I don’t feel like forcing her to meet with anyone is a good idea.
Our wedding isn’t until Oct 2012… but I told my FI I didn’t want to see her ever if she doesn’t come resolve this before the wedding. I also don’t want her to see the children if she can’t have a one-on-one conversation with me. I won’t keep him from seeing his mom but I feel a need to protect my “imaginary” children from her. It is a year and half and she may grow up and decide to come talk it out with me before that… but at some point… say in a year, if she still isnt’ coming to me do I need to tell her that she’s on borrowed time and won’t be invited to the wedding or see the children if she doesn’t decide to fix things? I know I probably shouldn’t even be thinking about this yet, but I tend to plan for the future, so that when it becomes the present I just act on my plans…. hence the year and half of wedding planning (well some of that is because we don’t have the money).
Post # 11
I’m so sorry 🙁 I have some inlaw issues too and honestly, I know it’s horrible but I have the same thoughts about my “imaginary” children too! and I’m glad to know I’m not the only one…I start thinking things like, “I don’t want my children to not have a set of grandparents, but honestly, I don’t want my future children being influenced by this woman!! I don’t want them picking up any of her attitude, demeanor or way of life. If she doesn’t grow up and become a mature adult, she might not be seeing them very often if at all…” I know that’s horrible but I can’t help but think it!!
Post # 12
Just because they’re family, that does NOT give them permission to treat you like trash. She has issues that didn’t start with you and your fiance’s relationship. If she can’t get over it, then do what you feel would make you happy, even if it means keeping distance or uninviting. Unfortunately it’s REALLY tough and I’m a big family person too. We recently uninvited my FMIL to our wedding because she was judging us for everything we did wrong, even when we apologized for the things we legitimately saw we did wrong, and said we’re being condemned by God for not clearing up issues before we get married… AKA, she’s a nutcase. Cut it off now! Stay in contact with your FFIL and your fiance can maintain whatever relationship he wants with her, but for you personally, decide what’s best. If your fiance agrees and will stand with you on this, cut off contact and tell her why you’re doing so, and then within a few years she’ll wake up. (I’ve seen it happen with my future stepmom-in-law).