Post # 1
Long story short, my FMIL and I have had a bad relationship for years, but it got monumentally worse last fall. I’m party at fault for that, but she was the one that drove the last wedge by saying that I’m “full of hate” and then listed things I allegedly hated – like an old roommate, my little brothers ex girlfriend and my own dad. She finished of saying that she wouldn’t attend the wedding. Since then, communication has been on a minimum and we’ve only seen each other for Christmas.
In terms of the communication we’ve had, it has all been emails sent by her and falling into one of two categories: angry ones or Facebook sayings about making piece. She has also been in frequent contact with FI, stating that we’ve un-invited her from the wedding (not true) and that she‘s not happy attending a wedding “where you future bride nor her family have no intention to talk to me” (not true either, we’re all grownups and will behave for the day of the wedding).
This week, I knew her head was spinning again because she send FI and me an article about cottage renovations (i.e. I was to be acknowledged again), so I was expecting a new turn in the entire “Attend the wedding or not” saga. What I hadn’t anticipated was that she would, for the first time in years, write this long email to my grandma (dad’s mum) talking about how much she looked forward to the wedding. My grandma, who’s been spared all the drama, got all happy and sent an email to me wanting to set up FIL in the local college that’s 100m away from her house. That way we could all have “Breakfast & dinner with each other every day”. Um… I don’t want to have breakfast every day with the woman that told me “she was happy that my father wasn’t hers”. I want her to show up at church in something nice looking, keep the piece during the reception and leave. I just feel like she does this because she’s terrified of being disliked + that she knows that it will annoy me. My viewpoint is that she’s not entitled to befriend my family when she has told me that I’m a despicable human being. It just feels so false.
FI thinks she’s making an effort & is visibly upset by the fact that I’m so angry. I’m trying to stay level-headed – but it’s so difficult when it feels like she’s infiltrating my family behind my back! Sigh… just needed to vent… hopefully you’ll be able to provide god advice on how I should overcome this so I can let it go and have a nice, peaceful, Easter weekend!
Post # 3
i think that you should have a talk with FMIL and tell her all of this. Make sure she knows exactly where she stands, and exactly what you expect from her.
Also try your very best to get FI to understand and trust you on this.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
wow … this family is really driving you nuts
Id try to grin and bear it for my FI and grandma. Otherwise your probably just going to get huge drama and probably be playing into her “full of hate” theory. Plus you dont need to be there for breakfast everyday and shell probably make some excuses along the way.
Post # 5
@VampireBride: FI has been 100% on my side through all this drama, so that’s why it feels so awful right now. His viewpoint is that “she’s making an effort”, mine is that I’ve communicated that I’m currently only comfortable with cordial tolerance and that I need more time to digest all the things that happened last fall – her contacting my family when we’re not on speaking terms feels like way stepping over the line. Part of me want to have a talk with her as you suggest, but I’m afraid that it will end up with her being upset & deciding that they’re not going. I don’t want to risk that because it would be very sad if FFIL wasn’t allowed to go.
@leecy87: Correction, his MUM. 🙂 I really like FFIL & FSIL. FI knows exactly how I feel, but ya – I might have to bear it for grandma’s sake. She’s 84-years old & I don’t want to upset her – which FMIL knows (the entire reason we’re getting married in Sweden is because I want grandma to be able to attend).
Post # 6
@eocenia: wow, this is a really sucky situation, and i completely understand where you’re coming from, you’re so nice to think of your poor grandma, and i’m glad your FI backs you up.
I wouldn’t see this as advice idk, this is just what i personally would do in your situation. I wouldn’t want her to think i was a pushover, or that she could control me by going behind my back. if FFIL FSIL and FBIL are so nice, i would get them to talk to her?
Post # 7
@eocenia: oh yeah, it feels like she has something up her sleeve or some hidden agenda, right?
Well, take it a step at a time. It takes a lot for a person to change, but see what she’s up to? Now your grandma is involved, put your best face forward. Just becareful anything she might say behind your back to your grandma though.
Post # 8
I feel you on FMIL drama. I don’t know what it is with mother in laws…
My FMIL is full-blooded Italian and very much used to ruling the “roost”, which consisted of 3 boys. She has been trying to have a say in everything we do in the wedding planning and was really difficult before we went to tour the venue we’re getting married in.
What you need to do is actually sit down with her and iron it out. You may never love her, but at least you two will have an understanding. It need not be forceful but your feelings are so obviously hurt…I would hate to see that put a damper on your wedding. FI does need to handle his mother (I’ve told mine that unless it’s egregious, he handles his mom and I handle mine) and be that buffer for you two.
Let it be known that she is invited, even though you’ve done it. If she shows, she does. If she doesn’t, she doesn’t. I think this is a big miscommunication that can be fixed with time. Maybe not perfect but tolerable.
Post # 9
The only option is to tell her you would be delighted to have her so close, and you can’t wait to see her. She can’t verbally attack you, especially w/grandma there without looking like a horrible person. I’m sure she’ll make plenty of little digs that aren’t obvious, and the only response is to just smile and be sickeningly sweet back. Anything you say to her privately WILL be twisted and used against you. And yes, this is a trap. She wants you to say no, so that she can point the finger and say that you’re sabotaging the relationship. She also wants you to say something stupid and snarky so that she can turn that against you as well. This is a war of family opinion, and the way to win is to be such a kind, sweet and considerate person that no one will ever believe her crazy talk.
Post # 10
I feel for you–I have the same problem with my FIL. The thing is, Hubby doesn’t like his dad either, so we both kind of grin and bear him. In your case, though, it might be beneficial to just let your grandma know what’s actually going on, but that you’d be happy to try to keep the peace by not stopping the lodging arrangements she’s planning. You’ll be so busy, it will be easy to avoid your FMIL, I promise. This is YOUR time. Try to just focus on the good stuff. If she’s really that bad, people should see right through her.
Post # 11
@VampireBride: Thanks for saying that you understand why I’m upset; it does makes me feel a little better.
When she sent that awful email, “diagnosing me”, I sent her a very firm, but polite, message explaining my previous actions, saying that I didn’t see us ever agreeing on what had happened and that we both had 10 months before showing up and behaving at the wedding for FI’s and FFIL’s sake. So I’ve put down the foot in the past – but now it’s a different matter, because she has pulled in grandma. So apart from preventing FFIL to attend, I’m afraid that she’ll send something awful to grandma if I make her too angry. She’s very unpredictable when it comes to things like this… I’ve written to grandma preventatively, saying that FI & I will arrange accommodations for all our guests and that it’s just easier logistically if we’re in charge of that. I hope that that will prevent grandma from making further plans.
@Scar_cats_tic: She can be very arbitrary, so she might have something up her sleeve or she might have just convinced herself that she want to be friends with grandma despite the fact that she doesn’t like her son or granddaughter or speak the same language… I just don’t know, that’s part of why I’m so frustrated right now. Sigh – it just feels like she’s so unbelievable disrespectful to go down this route when we’ve made clear that I’m not ready to socialise with her yet.
Post # 12
@sealevels: Yes, one of the great things with joining the bee is that it’s clear that I’m not the only one with FMIL problems!
FI has been great through all of this; it’s just this email to my grandma that he’s not backing me on. I think he’s starting to realise that we’re not that far from the wedding and things just aren’t better – perhaps this is his way to try to make me feel a little more positive towards his mum… Hope everything goes well for you with your FMIL!
@MariContrary: It does feel like a trap from time to time – I just want her to leave me alone, but she won’t respect that. Fortunately I managed to solve the accommodation situation by sending an email to grandma stating that it would probably be more comfortable for FIL + FI’s godmother if they stayed at the local hotel (a good 2-3 km away). It’s a legit excuse as FI’s godmother is very frail.
@MrsLongcoatPeacoat: I’m in a similar situation, FI doesn’t really like FMIL either but feels torn because she’s his mother + he knows that all of this is very difficult for his dad (which is a sweetheart). As for the wedding, you’re right – I will be very busy, so I’ll have a good excuse for not being stuck doing the tour guide thing with FMIL!
Post # 13
@eocenia: Nope, definitely not alone!
I’ve gotten wonderful advice from a few friends and family members. For someone overbearing and controlling such as a FMIL, the only thing you can do is nod in front of her and then do what’s best for you and your FI. Also, you have a mama. You “answer” to her in the sense that she gave birth to you and she will always have some sort of say. Not your FMIL. She may stress you out, but that’s not your mom and you need not feel obligated to “answer” to her.
I work with the elderly and what I find is that some of them are so extremely stuck in their ways and convinced that people treat them a certain way and don’t wish to veer from that. Some of them are convinced that everyone is trying to “belittle” them, though we give exemplary service to them. You can’t change that, but you can change your approach. Your wedding is a special day for you and FI, not her…don’t let it become about her. Try to accomodate her the best you can, but do not kill yourself doing so. The week leading up the the wedding will be HECTIC, save your energy! Don’t stroke out trying to prove anything to her. You know who you are and do not need to do so. 🙂
I guess this sounds harsh? Haha, I can’t do it any other way.