- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2014
Sorry for the long post bees, but I’m feeling very troubled by this and don’t know where else to turn for outside opinions.
My future mother in law and I have an up and down history. Initially she liked me very much, picking up on the fact that her son and I are a wonderful match. About a year into our relationship, however, she learned that I had a history of depression. My depression has been in full remission since even beginning to date my fiance, but this apparently bothered her a great deal. She said very little to my fiance about it, but his dad eventually admitted to him that she considered my history of depression reason to believe I would be overly needy and a drain on his future.
Since then, she adopted a chillier attitude toward me. She was not in-your-face mean to me, but she developed an automatic response of defying and opposing everything I said. Sometimes these would be easy to brush off (if I said it was a nice day out she would make some comment about how it was too windy or something). Other times they were much more frustrating (she would say that I was wrong about objective information that I am much more educated and knowledgable about than her). Eventually my fiance confronted her about this behavior. She held onto a stance that she genuinely believed she was behaving no differently and I was likely hyper sensitive or something.
Fortunately, I have a wonderful fiance who always “took my side.” It has always bothered me to put it in these terms as I hate to think he should have to choose sides. While I never gave him any such ultimatum, he always stuck up for me. He had always avoided confrontation with his mother who is highly assertive and rigidly opinionated. However, he confronted her MANY times regarding her rudeness toward me and I think it put him in a healthier place with the dynamic of their relationship. After about two years she seemed to begin to get the picture and her contradictory behavior toward me has lessened greatly. It finally became easy to be around her again.
However, quite recently she has taken on a new breed of unpleasant behavior. My fiance will be finishing graduate school in May and he is currently looking for a job. When I finished school I wanted to job hunt within striking distance of the university so we could keep long distance minimal. I ended up landing a very good job in the same city where he attends school and have been working for about 9 months. The university we both attended is a very prestigious school and he has excellent grades and work experience. His parents, though both attended college, are objectively much less educated than he is and seem to have difficulty coming to grips with what his immediate future looks like.
While visiting home for the holidays this year, his mother suggested (with me in the room) that my fiance get a job selling insurance in our home town. At first I didn’t know what to make of it, but in retrospect it struck me as bizarre. While there is certainly nothing wrong with selling insurance, my fiance is objectively over-qualified for such a position. Even with the economy, were he to choose such a field of work, why would he move to our home town as opposed to stay near me, his fiance, who has made such a point to stay close to him at school?
I was a bit put off that she seemed so dismissive of my obvious role in his upcoming future. But I brushed this off as odd, perhaps I was hyper sensitive after all.
My has decided to stay home with his family for the two days following Christmas, as he has an academic break. I returned from our home town today (the day after Christmas) as I needed to go to work. Today he sends me frustrated text messages about how his mother is upset at him for leaving only two days after Christmas. She is also upset that he spent very little “family time” at home on the days leading up to Christmas. At first this seemed very weird to me as we spent an enormous amount of time with his family the days leading up to Christmas. Only later did I realize “family time” meant time without me. As his future wife, I had assumed I counted as family, but apparently I was wrong.
My fiance continues to stick up for me, but the strangest part is that his mother truly does not seem to have an enormous problem with ME personally. It seems to me the real issue is simply that she has highly unrealistic expectations of what her son’s future holds. She seems either unwilling or unable to grasp the implications of his professional potential. Furthermore, she seems incapable of putting into effect the meaning of our engagement (which is odd as we have been dating very seriously, like attached at the hip, for almost 4 years now). She ignores the role that I am inevitably going to be playing in the near future and refuses to let go of the expectation that her son coming home for the holidays does not mean what it did when he was in high school. Personally, he and I both think he is spending PLENTY of time with his family, but there is something in her that is refusing to let go.
Perhaps the part I find most perplexing is the level of independance his parents gave him at a young age. He held full time summer jobs as young as 15 years old and was sent off to college without a dime of his parents’ financial assistance. It is so strange to me that he would now be expected to play the devoted boomerang kid role. He even has a younger brother who is only a senior in high school (though granted his brother is much more difficult than my fiance has ever been). I’m just trying to make sense of it all!
Has anyone else ever had an experience like this? I really hope I’m not in for a lifetime of hell after our wedding. I just feel like I have no idea what to expect from them once we are married because his mother refuses to admit I’m a part of their family future.
Thanks bees! It just feels good to write it all down even!