Post # 1
I’m not engaged yet. Marriage had never been an option for me into I met my boyfriend. I see it happening with him. We’ve discussed it, he’s completely for it, but we have a ways to go. In the meantime, we’re saving money to move out together. I’m a first year teacher and he’s in merchandising so we’re taking it one step at a time.
The biggest issue is his mother… I’ve always been close to ex-boyfriends mother’s and I’m just not with his. We are in an interracial relationship, I’m Hispanic and he’s Black, and she doesn’t agree with it. She smiles in my face though and tries to be pleasant yet will talk behind my back to my boyfriend. Things have gotten progressively worse between them. She’s been verbally abusive towards him for years now and he’s had to take it because at the end of the day, she’s his mother and he still lives at home. Recently she taken to telling him he’s nothing because he’s doing nothing with his life, because he’s still living at home, that I’m going to leave him because I’m a teacher and he’s not doing anything with his, she criticizes his weight and appearance, etc.
My boyfriend tries to keep it to himself but like any human, has to vent and talk about it. Hearing him, hearing the frustration and the hurt, it just gets to me. I can’t fanthom having a relationship with that woman when she treats her only child like this. I just can’t. And it kills me because I had always envisioned being close to his mother, just as I always had been. Even more so because I can see a future with him…
For bees with difficult FMILs, how do you do it? Is it going well for y? Any thoughts/etc? This was more like a vent but I am looking for similar experiences/etc.
Post # 2
I think you need to back off a bit. It sounds like both of you are either very young, or very unready for what life is throwing at you.
Is this her first child to get married (or think about it?) Is she a single mom who raised him alone? What were her influences in raising a son? What part of her culture do you need to be sensitive of?
Nothing, nothing makes verbal abuse ok. However, you have a mother with a grown-arse child with what sounds like a dead end job…(im guessing by merchandizing you either mean retail or sales). Either way, it should give him enough money to support himself.
My mom had a very hard time when my brother got married. She wasn’t jelous per-se but she was really upset. He was her baby. I’m the 3rd to get married but by now she’s takes it alot easier. Give his mom time.
Post # 3
keepongrowing: This sounds a lot like my MIL. Not to the same extreme…but you just know she is very critical of both her children, DH and SIL. From what I’ve seen it is more apparent with DH but I have also seen it with SIL too (which is a relief to me because I thought that SIL could do wrong…I love my SIL and she is not horrible at all but there was an air of favouritism towards her).
Before we got married DH lived at home too and, whilst not abusive, she wasn’t the easiest of people to live with. Their relationship is better now I think but there will always be a distance between them, which I think is a good thing.
I do struggle to see his mum treat him the way she does, the fact that it seems nothing he does is ever good enough for her. Rather than being proud of his achievements she has to look for the negative. She has yet to criticise him in front of me but I will say something if she ever did.
I have decided to be civil and friendly to my MIL because most of the time she is pleasant, but I will always support DH with his decisions regarding his mum.
Even though it would be nice for you (and me) to be closer to our MILs I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think you just need to support your BF with his decisions regarding her and just be pleasant if she is pleasant to you. I would encourage your BF to stand up to her when she does say unkind things, and if you hear anything then call her out on it. If no one has said anything to her then she may have gotten into the habit and think it’s acceptable.
Post # 4
keepongrowing: Although FI and I’s issues with his mom stem from different places, I just wanted to say that I feel ya and wish you the best. My story is very similar to FromA2B2013: all the sister-in-law stuff included as well. FMIL is very critical of FI, and she does this because she genuinely thinks it is the best way to get a message across to her son. I don’t know when they started losing touch, but it was long before me, and she just never got the hint that her words were hurtful and actually detrimental to him being productive (in the ways she found acceptable). I think it is going to take years for us to mend the relationship with his parents, but right now, it is most important that I focus on making sure my FI is emotionally-healthy and supporting him in his true life goals. If he is still hurt, there’s no way we can repair things with FMIL. I think repairing that relationship is a long-term goal, but if it never happened, we’d also be completely okay since we have a lot of other support behind us. Obviously I can’t speak for your situation, but I think the healthiest thing for you and your boyfriend is to continue setting some goals for him to move out and do whatever it takes to make this happen as quickly as possible. If you remove that extra tension of him getting berated constantly at home from someone who means well but can’t see that she’s extremely hurtful, he can start working towards addressing those harsh comments from his mom in a healthy way.
Post # 5
My FMIL is emotionally abusive towards my SO, plus she’s all sort of something else which I won’t get into in detail. At first, my strategy was to kill her with kindness, but realizing that just doesn’t work and she’s going to find a reason to hate me anyways, it’s now just to support my SO and his decisions. This has included me 100% blocking her from my life (she blocked me on FB, so I blocked her back, and I blocked her cell and house number from calling/texting me). I did this because when she’s mad at my SO and he’s ignoring her, she’ll try to go through me, and because she recently decided to tell everyone what an awful person I am for asking her to step outside so I can go get my SO and they can talk not in front of my stepson – so obviously I’m the devil (I’m putting everything lightly… and the entire situation is definitely not light – besides me asking her to step outside, because that’s exactly how I said it, and very calmly).
Have you suggested counseling for your SO? I finally convinced my SO to make an initial appointment, partially by going to counseling myself, but also reminding him that it’s a good idea because he’s been so resistant and he knows he wants to better himself and his mood (suffers from terrible anxiety). He already had his first appointment and is going back!
ETA: I wanted to say, a relationship with my in-laws, particularly my SO’s parents was super important to me… but you can’t cure crazy. I tried for 2 years. My sister-in-laws have been a godsend for family since I don’t have any family here.
Post # 6
searock: He’s her only child and yes, she raised him alone. I considered that for a moment, that she’s jealous about possibly losing him, but this has been going on for years. It’s inexplainable. And yes, the merchandising is in retail. He gets paid decent but it wouldn’t be enough to move out by himself in the part of NYC we’re in. He’s working on obtaining a second job to make this process speed up. Thank you for your point of view.
FromA2B2013: You hit it right on the head–nothing my boyfriend does is ever good enough for his mother. She does constantly look out for the negatives and has even tried to pick him apart in front of me–to which I swiftly disagreed with her with a stiff smile on my face. I try to kill her with kindness but it isn’t enough. You’re absolutely right in that I need to just support him… So hard to do when I want to protect him from his hurt.
MKWeddingBee: The two mothers are so alike! She doesn’t realize how she comes across at ALL. Thank you, we are working on saving up to move out. Thankfully my family loves him and are supportive of us, plus his important family members love us so we’re not without the support. He’s in the midst of looking for a 2nd job to supplement his current full-time to speed up the saving money process.
damarajade: I haven’t suggested counseling, no. I’m not sure he would go but I can definitely give it a shot. I think it’d be something that’ll be better to do once he’s out of the toxic environment. Thanks for the suggestion!
Thank you for the replies!
Post # 7
We are in similar situations. We are also in an interracial relationship. I am black and my fi is Hispanic. His mother hates me and honestly it took a toll on our relationship at first. He and her were best friends before me and he treated his mom like a queen. Traveled to Europe with her and she saw him as a second husband (yea weird)
well she had it set in her head that I needed to kiss her bum. That I had to come to her and we would fight over this. I would have dinner with them as a family and she wouldn’t address me throughout the entire meal. She would make fun of me and my upbrings (my parents are divorce).
She also constantly refers to her circle and how I am not apart of it.
She adores her son in law however since he is Hispanic.
Once we got engaged it got worse and she still hasn’t congulate us. In fact she’s offended that he didn’t ask her permission nor did he wait for her to like me prior to popping the question. A month after our engagment she has a big family reunion/get together at a beachhouse they use and invited EVERYONE BUT US :).
However at this point my fiancé understands that his mom doesn’t treat me as well as she should. He has slightly taken side with me. He still respects and loves his mom but doesnt hang out as often.
I have learned to trust my fiancé in puting our relationship first. Also that if she can’t respect me than he won’t be her life as much. It’s hard to constantly have someone remind you that she thinks you aren’t good enough but I cant control what kind of influence I allow it to have on my relationship.
Post # 8
Etassy: Yes, his mother is convinced I should be kissing her behind, just as his ex-girlfriend did. I will not. I’m not looking forward to her reaction when we move out (despite her constantly getting on him about still living at home, shaming him, etc) and definitely not looking forward to when he proposes. Thanks for replying!