- 5 years ago
- Wedding: January 2012
My wedding is less than 6 months away now.
When I first started dating my fiance 4 years ago, I really liked his family. He only knows his mother’s side – so her parents, my fiance’s sister and her husband, my fiance’s two uncles, the one uncle’s wife, and that’s it. The family has limited contact with FFIL’s brother, though I have never met him.
As time has gone on, more and more problems have started to surface. FSIL became very cold toward me when I had a big weight loss last year – she gained weight and arguably may be as heavy as I am, or even heavier now (for what it’s worth, she’s also pregnant now). I have never said anything about her weight – I have never bragged about my own weight loss. But I have noticed that my fiance’s family will often mention it (nothing else to talk with me about – for a good reason – and I’ll get into that more later too).
I do wonder if FSIL isn’t jealous of me. I’m not the type to shout my achievements from the rooftops. I hate being the center of attention. But I did go to and finish a four-year degree, I do work, and so on. There are other things where I probably ‘outcompete’ her (though I don’t see it as a competition), but I’ll leave those to rest for fear of looking arrogant. I don’t have a problem with her and I hope she has a good life: my problems stem from her treatment of me.
She’s largely been a stay-at-home wife. She lost a job about a year ago. I don’t have a problem with that and she can live her life anyway she wants – but I feel like she hates me for the life I have. I do have some empathy for her because I’ve seen the way her husband treats her, and he’s a complete ass to her. No wonder she’s got self-esteem issues.
I think she gets a power trip when she visits or when we’re around. No, I’m not a culinary genius. When we visited them a few years ago, she analyzed everything I did when I offered to help her make dinner, and she’d make jokes at my expense or say that she was ‘training’ me to be a wife for her brother.
When she comes to visit, she’ll offer unsolicited ‘advice’ on different things. I’ve mentioned previously how she actually picked up a jar of garlic salt and told me, “We don’t use this, it’s high in sodium.” I stared at her blankly, nodded my head, then walked away.
Things really came to a head when we got engaged, and it was announced on Facebook. Immediately, FSIL (who is due in December) started writing to me with, “We’re hoping for a later in the year wedding so we can come.” We had already planned on getting married in late March – FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE of allowing her to recover after her delivery (otherwise, we wanted even earlier in the year).
She actually told me, after learning this, “Well, let us know the date for this wonderful event…that is, if we’re even invited.” I was livid.
I basically had to block her on Facebook because she would scour my page, looking for ‘goods’ on me. She concluded that a post where I wrote about how I couldn’t find a job in our area – then laughing because I had gotten a callback for a job far away – meant I was running away to this place and leaving her brother. She called her mother. Her mother called fiance over for a ‘meeting’ about this. I blocked ALL of them. So, they no longer have any idea what’s happening in my life. Thank Gods.
What really ticks me off? The gifts I have given them. Her husband found out he had testicular cancer early this year (he’s now in remission). I sent a $100 check. Fiance also sent a $100 check. They called my fiance and talked to him for half an hour. They knew I was in the room but never asked to speak to me, never asked to be put on speakerphone – nothing.
I was thanked months later when I contacted her husband about something unrelated on Facebook. That really burned me up: if we had sent a joint check, it would be understandable. But at that point, we were not engaged and the money came from different sources. I feel it was incredibly rude and dismissive.
Then came her baby stuff. I paid $50 for a carseat and a bouncy seat for her. I spent another $300 for her baby shower. My mom (she was not invited to the shower) even bought $30 or $40 worth of stuff for FSIL’s kid. FSIL gave me a quick thank-you at the end of her shower (I helped out at the shower). I saw on Facebook more than a month ago that she had finished filling out her thank-you cards.
I never got one – but more importantly than that, my mom never got one, either. OK, so she’s decided not to send cards to family (I still feel this is tacky for big events like weddings and baby showers), but my mom isn’t family. Why didn’t my mom get one? Hm. She has since mentioned my mom’s gift, and other members of her family have mentioned it (not a ‘thank-you’ about it, though).
I have about $100 worth of stuff for FSIL’s baby for Christmas (no, I don’t expect a thank-you card or anything. But given their history of glossing over or ignoring my gifts, it wouldn’t shock me if they just take it and say nothing).
As time goes on, I do get more fearful about marrying into this family. They’re all very rude and brash (FFIL ate his dinner at a restaurant, THEN chose to complain to the waitress about how it was all wrong. My jaw dropped!). They’re not good examples and I don’t want my kids learning to act that way.
I worry about hearing FSIL’s endless unsolicited advice about how to raise my kids or what to do. She’s just that type. Cannot stand it if she isn’t the center of attention – probably what made her so angry about our engagement. She was about 3 months along then, had announced it 2 months earlier. Yet if we had kept it quiet, she would have thrown a fit – we kept it quiet when we moved in together and she confronted me about it.
I am glad FSIL lives FAR away (they are thinking about renting to buy where they’re at – it makes me a believer in a higher power! :D). I would have bailed by now if she lived close by, and it doesn’t seem there’s any risk of that happening. I think she’d drive me nuts.
I haven’t really spoken to her now in about 2 months. I think that’s going to be my strategy: hi and bye. It’s unfortunate – I won’t really be able to get close to my niece because of her (I am already awaiting a million directives or corrections when I’m trying to hold the kid).
I do care about this baby and I want to do my best to provide a good life for her – but not at the risk of getting close to a toxic family member. Hopefully she’ll be able to spend a week or two at a time during the summers with us. I’ll be on my very, very best behavior during those times so nothing gets back to FSIL.
They all act on the surface like they like me. I did get the impression that they were not thrilled about our engagement, even though BEFORE the engagement, they were laying on the pressure (mostly on me. Uh, ask your son about that?). Maybe it was all about stealing the famliy’s pwecious wittle baby’s spotlight (or so she thought. Am I wrong to think that if you get engaged months after someone announces a pregnancy that you’re NOT stealing their spotlight?).
The whole family is arranged around pleasing FSIL all the time. All they talk about is her and what she’s doing and her pregnancy and blah, blah, blah. I just keep my mouth shut and never talk about myself at all, as I have learned whatever I say to one member of the family spreads through the rest of the family like wildfire. FSIL would try to bait me into answering sensitive questions, ostensibly so she could tell the entire family (“Are you a virgin?”). Maybe it would help her feel superior.
I know I am handling it all the right way (we only see them when we go out to dinner with them for a special event. Thank god FI isn’t close to his family and never has been). I do still get anxious when we’re going to be seeing any of them. I have already negotiated with FI – we will never again stay with anyone in his family for more than a few days. It drives me insane when they visit, and it was Hell the one time we visited his sister for a WEEK. It is FAR too long.
2 – 3 days tops, then we bail and I get some time to calm down. I’ll be honest: I really wish I could have told FSIL, when she complained about our wedding date, “Then great! We’ll see you after the wedding sometime!” I have handled my entire wedding myself, which has been my excuse not to involve his family in anything: working on anything, any planning, etc. We chose not to have a wedding party expressly so I wouldn’t be guilted or drawn into drama over not selecting his sister. Wedding parties aren’t that big of a deal, anyway.
We are going to choose two other people to sign our marriage license. I have a feeling FSIL will let her baby scream during the wedding and never bother to take her to the bathroom. -_-‘ After all, it will mean more attention on her. It’s not that I’m the “It’s my BIG DAY! WAH!” type. It’s just the fact that she’s so blatantly disrespectful that she’d think nothing of doing it. It’s more the insult rather than “but all attention should be on me, it’s my wedding day.”
Ugh. So what are you dealing with?