Post # 1
If your FILs chose not to have a close relationship with you, but wanted to eventually have a close relationship with your children, how would you feel about this? My FMIL, for a variety of reasons, doesn’t want to be close to me. She is generally polite and cordial, so it’s not an issue of etiquette, but she isn’t interested in building a relationship with me. We see her rarely, and when we do she makes it clear that she is there to see her son, not us both. Unsurprisingly, she doesn’t care about the wedding or want to be involved in it AT ALL. (I don’t mean actually helping me plan – I mean, for example, clicking on a link FI sent her to see some photos of our venue. When I asked her why she didn’t look at it, her response was “I’ll see it at the wedding.”)
The latest incident that really hurt me was her refusing an invitation to my bridal shower. I really wanted her to be there. We also planned a Mother’s Day brunch for our moms for the next day and I was so excited about it…but she won’t come to that either. She made a ton of excuses like “I didn’t know the groom’s side got invited to these” and “I won’t feel comfortable surrounded by strangers” and “It’s not comfortable for me to stay with you because I get up early and you like to sleep in.” I know it’s her choice and you can’t force someone to like you or be your friend, but it is still very hurtful to me. I have made it clear that I want a relationship with her, but to no avail.
So now, back to my question. I told FI that I’m not comfortable with her being close to our future kids if she continues to be distant from me. He doesn’t agree. Apparently FI’s grandparents (on dad’s side) really disliked FMIL, but she still let them see FI whenever. This sounds ridiculous to me – no one’s going to be cold to me and then get to be BFF with my children. We’re going to be a family, so it’s a package deal. What do you think? FI and I can’t come to an agreement and I just need to hear other opinions.
Post # 3
Hmm that would really upset me if my FMIL was acting like that. I’m sure it’s not personal, maybe that’s just the way she is. My FMIL is kinda similar as far as not being too interested in the planning. I guess it’s just the way your FI has been brought up and that’s why it doesn’t bother him but it would for sure bother me! It kinda reminds me of a divorced couple only being nice for the kids sake. No, she needs to be friendlier and more involved with you as the MOTHER of her future grandchildren, that’s really not fair or very nice. I hope yall can work this out and hopefully he can understand a little more of where you’re coming from!
Post # 4
I am with you. Family is not a pick-and-choose situation. You can’t be a bia to your son’s wife and then ONLY want a relationship with the grandkids. It’d be nice if she put towards a little more effort…being nice is not the same as being cordial. Are you making an effort with her? I say kill her with kindness. In the end it’ll only make her look bad and then maybe your FI will be all “mom you need to do XYZ with my FI”
It’s weird–my grandma (my dad’s mom) is very racist and did not approve of him marrying my mom (who’s half korean) and there was lots of bad blood. But she wanted a relationship with us (the grandkids). I could never look past her for how she treated my mom and as such, we were never close. I couldn’t see how she could want to be our grandma and yet treat my mom like that.
But yeah…you don’t get to treat me crappy and then be nice to my kids. It’s not right.
Post # 5
I would put your foot down on this. She should NOT be allowed to continue to be rude and distant and then expect to be close with her grandchildren. It’s possible that your children will always be used as a ploy against you, or that she will talk negatively about you around them (like my grandmother did about my mom)
Your FI definitely needs to sit down and speak with her.
Post # 6
I don’t think it is ok to take it out on your future kids and refuse to let them have a close relationship with their granparents just because FMIL doesn’t really like you/ spend time with you. The children deserve that relationship.
Post # 7
I’m with hotchildinthecity; so yes, exactly what she said.
Post # 8
If she doesn’t want a relationship with you, than I wouldn’t let her build up a relationship with your kids, at least not without you being there too. That just seems very rude of her. Has FI asked his mom to go to any of the things? Soon you’ll all be family so I don’t see why she makes it so clear she doesn’t come to see you when you & your FI visit. I’m sorry 🙁
Post # 9
it sounds like your FI is just so used to this woman’s behavior and that of his family that he doesn’t have a good perspective. If you talk to other people about this with your FI he’ll quickly see that his family’s perspective is definitely OFF from the normal expectations of families. I would be offended, too.
Post # 10
- Wedding: October 2010 - Ladder 15 Restaurant
That’s a tough situation, and it’s very similar to the one that I’m in with my FILs, except they’re barely cordial to me. I’ve made it very clear to fi that his parents don’t get to touch my babies until they tell me that they love me, lol!
Seriously though, fi is on my side on this one. He wants to have his parents at the wedding, but after that he doesn’t particularly care if they’re involved in our lives. All I can say is to try to appeal to your Fi and get on the same page. He has to stick up for you to his mother and at the very least try to facilitate a better relationship between you and his mother.
I say that you two are partners in life now, and he needs to make his mother see this. You’re a package deal and he shouldn’t take less than the respect you deserve.
Post # 11
I’m sorry you have to deal with this, your FMIL sounds so difficult. My best friend is in a similar situation, her MIL sucks, doesn’t want a relationship with her really but wants to see her grandson and makes it really clear that HER BOYS are the reason she visits. At first my friend tried to make it better and tried to have a good relationship but she gave up. Now she treats visits to Grandma like she would having a babysitter. Grandma comes over and she goes out for pedicures and wine. It seems to work for them. It’s not ideal, but it keeps the peace, she gets time to herself and her son gets to know his grandma.
Post # 12
I wasn’t able to have a good relationship with my grandma BECAUSE she hated my mom. Your kids will see this. It was pretty obvious to me.
My grandma talked negatively about my mom and also would talk negatively about US to my dad. She’d say that my brother and I did XYZ and that my mom wasn’t raising us right while he was at work all day. It was a bunch of bull but it was basically a manipulative ploy for her to “win”.
Post # 13
I think as long as she is polite to you then you should not restrict access to your potential kids. She is not required to “build a relationship” with you, nor is she required to attend things she is invited to. Should she? Well- yeah- it would be nice. But some people are just odd, and you may never get the relationship with her that you desire. But you should not prevent your children from having a relationship with her, provided that she is still maintains her politeness and civility.
Post # 14
I’m with Jacqi on this one.
Just based on what you have said in your posts, assuming nothing horrifically horrendous has happened in the past. I think for your children’s sake they deserve to have a relationship with their grandparents despite your relationship with her.
If she treats them like crap. That’s a different story.
I would take it a day at a time. Perhaps a relationship with her kids will build a relationship with you.
Post # 15
I think it’s better to remain distant from FMIL if she acts like that. It’s not really you making the choice. Your kids are with you and she chooses not to be. I agree, family is a package deal.
Post # 16
Would you let your FI tell you what kind of relationship your kids were allowed to have with your parents?
I think since she is polite forbidding FI to let his kids spend time with his mom is hard to justify.
If she was being rude it would be a different matter but they will be his kids as much as yours.
However I don’t think you have to worry about it, you are not obligated to be warm to her since she is not warm to you – as a result you will spend little time together – as a result you will not give her many invitations to your house – so it’s unlikely that she will be very close to the kids. However, I wouldn’t be so quick to say you aren’t going to want the free babysitter services! 🙂
She raised your FI and it seems like she could be a really good grandma so while I wouldn’t suffer discomfort for the sake of her raltionship with my kids I also would not oppose it at all.