Post # 1
So, I’m having a problem with my fiance’s parents… actually just his mother. His parents introduced themselves to me as John and Jane Doe (names changed for annonymity.) Then when they (his parents) introduced THEIR parents and siblings it was always with only a first name. His dad would always say, “Hey, this is John” when he called or would sign his emails with his first name only. So, I called them John and Jane. This Autumn, my fiance told me that his mother was “uncomfortable” with me calling her by her first name. That only her siblings called her by her first name. But, she never said what she did want me to call her. I’ve since learned to call her “Mrs. Doe” or not call her anything at all. But, The biggest problem is that I can’t feel close to her calling her Mrs… all the time. And the lack of closeness gets me to the point where I don’t like going around them. And, so that means that he doesn’t go around them much either.
Post # 3
I’d call her B*tch once and then maybe she’ll be okay with Jane! Just Kidding!
On a serious note, I would just call her Mrs. Doe for now. Maybe her feelings will change in the future. Although, it’s better than having to call her Mom when you’d prefer to call her Jane.
Hope I’m making sense…
Post # 4
Is she one that goes by “Mother” or is she a “Mom” or “Ma” to her kids? If it’s a formality type of thing (where everyone calls her something rather proper) then I’d just sort of roll with it. You can always just bring it up casually in a conversation and say you’d like to know what she prefers to be called.
If it really is putting a damper on your relationship with her (and FI’s relationship with them, too) maybe just invite her out for coffee and explain to her your feelings about it and ask what she prefers, and work out a friendly compromise. I’m guessing she’ll appreciate you taking interest and building the relationship. Good luck!
*You could just not call her anything until you have kids, then call her Grandma 😉 Haha.
Post # 5
I can’t imagine calling my FIL’s by anything but their first names. You’re not a child, there is no reason why you should have to call your FIL’s Mr. & Mrs. Whatever. Maybe this is common in some situations but it seems odd to me. I don’t blame you for feeling weird about this, I certainly would too.
Post # 6
ITA with Meliss, just call her Mrs. Doe. Or nothing at all, I’m well practiced in the art of avoiding saying names 😀
Post # 7
does your FI have married siblings and what do they call FMIL?? are you expected to call her Mrs Doe after you are married??
Post # 8
I call my future in-laws by their first name. When FI and I first started dating, I’m pretty sure that I avoided calling them anything at all. Then I remember calling his dad Mr. Lastname and I think they laughed at me. They are very down to earth people and I now work with his mother, so I call her by her first name all the time. And I say “Hi Firstname” to my FFIL when I call the house. I’m sorry she put you in an uncomfortable situation. I hope she lightens up a bit and you won’t have to call her Mrs. Lastname after it becomes your last name as well. Maybe she will come around.
Post # 9
In the South it’s pretty unusual to call an elder by a first name, unless told to do otherwise (I see you are in Tennessee, although I don’t know where your in-laws are). I call my future in-laws Mrs.First Name, and Mr.First Name, and would never ever think to call them just by there first name (and we are VERY close). I would be considered to be disrespectful if I didn’t call them Mr. and Mrs. and expect the same in the future from people younger than me. It’s a taught custom–just as Yes/No Ma’am/Sir. And Some prefer Mrs/Mr Last Name, as well. It’s not to be uptight, nor make you feel unloved–it’s out of respect that you should call her Mrs.
Post # 10
how about ‘Mom LastName’? i *just* started calling my future in-laws this. . after a lot of angst.
I wanted to just call them by their first names too. but in neither of our families would that be cool.
does your FI have siblings? what do the spouses call his parents? in my FI’s family, the spouses all call them either “Mom and Dad’ or ‘Mom Lastname Dad Lastname”.
I figured it was an OK compromise. . .I definitely didn’t want to do just plain Mom, but ‘Mom Lastname’ is sort of a mix of “Mom” and “Mrs. Lastname”.
Post # 11
@ Meliss, Lol. I think you’re right, B*tch would be the most fitting.
She has been absolutely horrible since he and I got engaged. She called me one night to say that she’d prefer that her son did not get married. It was SO awkward. And the weird thing is, she only says these things when we’re alone. She is as sweet as pie when others are around, but then calls me and says horrible things. And, she’s from the lower end of the social scale and I’m from the other end, and she used to joke to my six year old son about not visiting our house because she doesn’t know which fork to use! It’s irritating because I go out of my way to make her comfortable and she goes out of her way to make me uncomfortable.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Post # 12
@indibee: This is totally what my mom did with her MIL! Quite frankly, at this point everyone calls her Grandma and it’s just easier that way.
In the meantime, I suggest avoiding calling them anything.
Post # 13
Thanks, Ladies for all of your replies.
Post # 14
Right after we got engaged, my FMIL asked me to call her by her first name. FFIL, however, was appalled by that and insists I call him Mr.(LastName), and thinks me calling them by their first names is extremely rude. But his mom insists and thinks me calling him Mr. is crazy. lol. I sent her an email once after that day and said Mrs.(LastName) and she responded by signing her email with her first name all in caps. lol. So I’m going with her first name and Mr. for him. Kind of awkward, but whatever. Two of my brothers are married & their wives call my parents Mom & Dad or Mom C. & Dad C. FI is sticking with Mr. & Mrs. for now, I think, since that’s what he’s comfortable with.
Post # 15
When you get married you can call her mom. My SO calls my parents Mr and Mrs. and I call his parents the same. It just seems like the usual to me.
Post # 16
Gah – I HATE HATE HATE this question lol. I’ve mostly avoided calling my FI’s dad by anything for 7.5 years. For some reason Mr. X, FirstName, or dad all just feel wrong. However, when I write him cards or anything, I just use his first name.
My Fiance started out by calling my parents Mr & Mrs Y. He figured my parents would quickly tell him to call them by their first names, but well… they didn’t lol. Now my family is pretty laid back and casual, so at some point my fiance just started using their first names. My mom ‘joked’ a few times that she wasn’t sure if he should use her first name, but fiance has persisted, and everyone seems happy. You think my mom would understand – she to this day has trouble refering to her in-laws!! This has clearly rubbed off on me as well!