- 2 years ago
- Wedding: September 2014
Just a vent. I typically don’t complain about my in-laws. They’re good people who will give you the shirt off their back if you need it. FI and I have been together for years, and I haven’t really had problems with his family. They’ve been very welcoming and have treated me like their DIL long before we were engaged.
But now I’m starting to spend more time with FSIL because she moved two doors down (!!!) from me. And my mother, who is retired but likes to be active, works a few hours per week for FFIL and FMIL – which is a weird situation. And FMIL has always loved to talk about everyone and everything to everyone. On the one hand, it makes it easy to carry on a conversation with her since she does all the talking. On the other, it means that she will gossip about me just as easily as she gossips to me. Same with FSIL. So, between my mother, FI’s mother, and FI’s sister……..an enormous gossip mill has been generated. I’ve been stuck in the middle of it for some time, and I just ignored a lot of it. But now I’ve come to realize that FSIL enjoys stirring the pot. And the pot she’s trying to stir is my relationship. And that’s just going a bit too far. I will protect our relationship and future marriage above anything else, and if it keeps going on, it’s really going to hurt my relationship with my FSIL.
Even though I have known her for years, with the proximity over the last few months due to the move, I’m coming to understand more and more things about her. Pieces of the puzzle, so to speak. There’s a chain of comments going back at least 5 years, and I now recognize them for what they are.
– Years ago, she implied that FI slept with his ex during the beginning of our relationship. I didn’t believe it then, and I don’t believe it now, and even if it were true, it would have happened in the hazy time between first date and official monogamy, so after all of this time, it’s a non-issue. If anything, I thought it was his ex trying to stir up trouble since FSIL was telling me about a conversation she had with his ex at the time.
– She likes to fish for information. She’ll talk about something in an abstract way or from a stance I know she doesn’t agree with, and try to get me to add to the conversation. There’s some things about my past that FI’s family are not aware of, and there’s no need for them to be. I think FSIL senses this. Anything that I say to her is most definitely going back to her mom.
– She likes to bring up topics that push buttons. Namely, after 8 years with FI, she still talks about his past girlfriends and how close she was to his ex-fiance. All. The. Time. It’s been ten years since FI broke up with her. Can we move on, please? I’m smart enough and adult enough to not react to these comments, but I would be lying if I said certain things have never gotten under my skin – even if I didn’t show it to her.
– Just recently, she has told me things that she claims FI told her or her mother in confidence about our relationship. Such as, “I don’t know if FI told you this, but he told my mom that he feels X about Y,” or “FI is lying to you about how he feels about Z,” or “FI told me *insert something negative* about you.” Total bullshit. This last point right here is where the line is getting crossed. I know FI has not had deep heart-to-hearts about troubles in our relationship that I am apparently completely unaware of. FI doesn’t have that type of relationship with his family. He loves them, but he’s his own person, and he’s a private person. Everything else in this list is truly petty, but making thinly-veiled comments meant to turn me against FI and cause fights is where my claws come out. Our relationship is the most important thing to me in the world, and I will not hesitate to eliminate threats to it. I’m starting to understand that my FSIL has some need to destroy the harmony that FI and I have. I don’t understand her motivation, but it’s becoming more and more clear what her agenda is.
– And, of course, both of our families have their opinions on how we need to live and arrange our life, but that’s every family and every couple. We just smile, nod, and ignore it completely.
Unfortunately, my own mom feeds into this cycle by oversharing things during work. FMIL has made comments about my mother to FSIL or to FI that are not nice. FSIL has made a comment or two as well. Things that have been said are getting miscontrued and it’s turned into a game of telephone that spans months at a time.
I don’t contribute to this. I don’t give them any ammo, and I don’t tell my mom about the occasional not-so-nice things I hear. It’s utter garbage and idle gossip, and there is no point in getting her upset. However, I have warned her to watch what she says since everything goes around in a big circle. I also know that I have to be very careful about what information I give my mother, since it will most definitely get out in some form or another to FI’s family. And, of course, my mother has made her own not-so-nice comments about FI’s family. I don’t share those comments, and I do not add to them. I am Switzerland – or I try to be.
Meanwhile, FSIL and FMIL and my mom and I will all go out to lunch and shop together and be best of friends. Aren’t women fantastic? /facepalm.
I told FI last night (without disparaging any one person in particular or giving him a play-by-play of everything that has been said) that there are only two people invited to our marriage. We don’t have an issue with this because we haven’t been talking to our families about our private issues, but we still made a pact with each other to always be mindful of this. He told me if I ever feel that he has shared too much with someone other than me, that he wants me to point it out to him. I told him I will, but I also know that’s not something I have to worry about.