FMIL Woes (epic, long, possibly ridiculous rant)

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

Aww–hugs!! As much as it sucks because you think it will make her not like you, you *must* set boundaries and be firm in them. You also need to have your FI talk to her about these things so it’s not always coming from you. It sounds like she is overly involved in every aspect of her family’s lives and needs to get some of her own hobbies. Do not give in to her. Be polite but be firm. It may cause some grief now, but in th elong run, it will be much better for you than bowing to her every wish and whim. This is your and your FI’s wedding, not hers. Do not lose sight of that. 

I’m sorry you have this kind of sticky situation. I wish I could tell you it will get better, but I think your best bet is to remain as you are doing–decline politely but firmly. Let her have her hissy-fit and move on to the next thing. Best of luck and congrats on *your* upcoming nuptials!! 🙂

Post # 3
Member
157 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

scarlettbegonias87:  I am sorry you are having to deal with this. It sounds like you have tried really hard to both be friendly and accommodating to her ideas. Not sure who is paying for the wedding, but if she is contributing it is always good to include her ideas. If she isn’t, then you have been awesome for putting up with this. But — it is time to get FI involved. He does have to choose between his mom and you, and he should choose you especially if she is not contributing financially. He is going to be your FH and will have to choose between you two at some point. Try getting him to talk to his momma and let him know how much this is stressing you out. Good luck.

Post # 6
Member
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

scarlettbegonias87:  How long have you been engaged?  Is it possible she’s just SUPER CRAZY EXCITED and that this will die down?

Post # 8
Member
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

scarlettbegonias87:  I think at this point it’s fine to say something like ‘we’re keeping our options open because we don’t have a vision for the wedding nailed down yet.’ And then in a few months once you do have an idea you can tell her what you’re expecting it to be like and then just dismiss her ideas as not being what you had in mind or fitting the theme, etc. and tell her what you are thinking and how she can help.

LOTS of girls just pin every wedding idea they see, I think she falls into that category!

Post # 9
Member
157 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

scarlettbegonias87:  Weeeellll. Hmm. I do understand where you’re coming from. Is there a third person (her husband/a friend) that could also be there as a buffer if you talk to her? My SO’s grandmother is like this — very well-intentioned but gets on everybody’s nerves with “suggestions” and they have always let her be, which makes her worse. Sometimes it helps when it’s not just one “unit” (i.e. her husband or her son/his wife) telling her to chill out, but a group of people from different facets in her life with different relationships.

I don’t know that this makes sense now that I’m reading it, but I’m trying to say that maybe there is someone else in the family other than your FBIL/FSIL who can try to talk to her too. It isn’t fair to you to have to plan a wedding with all this craziness going on, and you definitely have to have your FI involved. But, like you said, it might be best to just bring it up and see what happens. Of course, you said she is a nice woman so maybe with enough subtlety and coaxing you can get her to come around.

Post # 10
Member
721 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Ugh. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. 

Last week my FMIL called me and I forgot to call her back, and instead of calling my FI. SHE CALLED MY MOTHER! She played it off as though she was asking my mom if she knew if I was upset with her because I hadn’t returned her phone call. My FI was livid, and couldn’t believe his mom overstepped like that. She drove me crazy with her dress, and ended up buying a dress before I picked my bridesmaid dresses and before my mom picked hers. I’m not really pleased but whatever. 

The number one thing in your scenario is that she’s not paying for anything. So, she doesn’t get a say. She can suggest all she wants but at the end of the day, it’s your call. And she needs to understand that. She seems very dramatic, and unfortunately I don’t think you can have what you want for the wedding and have a happy relationship with her. That sucks. But, realize that’s not you’re fault. You sound like you’re really trying and being patient whereas she’s a nightmare. She needs to get some boundaries. She sounds like she has way too much free time. This might sound horrible, but perhaps you can route her emails to your spam box so that way you can check them at leisure instead of being swarmed with 30 emails a day. 

Also, 4 favors?? That’s bananas. Most people think that any favor is a total waste. 

good luck!

Post # 11
Member
6274 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

you FH and your FBIL need to call their mother out on her BS.  they both need to talk to their mother about their issues.  this is not your battle.  don’t let her bully you to do things you don’t want to do.

Post # 12
Member
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

This is what I would do, idk how feasible this is based on your post, but its what first popped into my head – 

It sounds like boundaries don’t really work with this woman, she just steamrolls right over them and then she deflects any fallout onto others. That doesn’t mean that you *don’t* put up boundaries, it just means that you have to be creative and sneaky about enforcing them (and your FI needs to have your back).

With the wedding stuff, my first though was to give her something really complicated but also inconsequential (as in, on the day of you won’t really care about it). Give her a project that she can “own”, and have her run with it. Basically, distract her and keep her busy so she doesn’t bother you as much. Everytime she comes to you about the project, make it sound as if you are expecting more (even if you aren’t – the point is to keep her occupied with this as long as possible). Some ideas – have her make fabric flowers for bouquets, bouts, table arrangements (as long as you don’t care super a lot about what they look like). I did this and it kept me busy for MONTHS. If they totally suck or she doesn’t get it done, you can get flowers wholesale from costco (either way, saves you money rather than going with a florist!). Or you could get her to research something. Make sure her favor project will take a while, or after she is finished suggest she add something to them. (haha I feel so evil right now)

I also think you need to get your FI involved. He either doesn’t realize the extent of the crazy, or doesn’t care that it’s stressing you out. Get on the same page. If I were you, I would ask him to deal with his mother, and have her email him all her crazy ideas and he can be the one to shoot them down (it might be better coming from him anyway). Even if he isnt’ into wedding planning, get him on the same page as you with your wedding vision (then he can know whether or not her ideas fit, or at least a generall idea), let him know that him sitting by letting you get stressed is not ok, and he needs to help you manage. 

lol this may be slightly unconventional and slightly dishonest, but I think in this case the ends justify the means 🙂 It isn’t meant to be malicious towards FMIL, but this distraction strategy will help give you some breathing room. Just make sure your FI is on board and willing to help you.

Post # 13
Member
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Otherwise, have a stock answer for literally everything: “We’re still considering our options, thanks!”. Don’t share anything with her, don’t tell her your plans, don’t tell her what you’ve decided, etc. Keep her in the dark, and don’t ever give her the impression that she has permission to go ahead with her crazy projects.

And seriously, its your wedding. If she goes behind your back and does stuff, you just don’t include it on your day. If she makes extra favors, “forget” them at home. If she tries to get burlap tablecloths or buys a bunch of mason jars, decline to use them at your wedding. If she throws a fit, tell her calmly that sorry, you already had plans. Then change the subject.

Again, your FI needs to back you up 100% with this – he can’t just shrug it off and be like “haha this is just what happens” if he wants to help you.

But anyway, just from reading it doesn’t sound like your FMIL is a terrible woman, just a little misguided, socially clueless, self-absorbed, and dramatic. As long as you learn to manage her, distract her (oooh shiny!), and/or reduce her impact on your life, you will be fine.

Post # 14
Member
1487 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

scarlettbegonias87:  She sounds mentally off. My biggest worry would be that my FI doesn’t recognize that his mother is a bit batty and refuses to set boundaries to protect my sanity. You’re not asking him to pick sides, you’re asking him to help establish totally reasonable, socially acceptable behavior. What she is doing is not by any stretch of the imagination. She takes and takes and takes, and if you say no she throws a tantrum. How do adults get through life acting like this?! I’d worry that this would be a major ongoing problem in my marriage.

Post # 15
Member
7219 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

scarlettbegonias87:   You can’t get the outcome you wanted, because FMIL is the kind of person who bad- mouths everyone ( or at least the women who marry her sons) behind their back. How do I know this? Because if someone does that to one person, they will do it to you.

all of your efforts to control her by appeasing and pleasing her are pointless. You need to let go of your desired outcome of avoiding the fate of FSIL and behave toward her like you would any person you don’t trust but want to be courteous and respectful to. Be pleasant but don’t give her power. You are never going to make her happy. 

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