My FMIL has so many issues. Two things make it bearable for me: 1) keeping contact to a minimum and 2) knowing that it has nothing to do with me, personally, but that she would hate anyone her son was marrying.
WARNING: THIS WILL BE LONG!
The first time I met her, FI and I were just friends. She was super nice to me, went out of her way to make a vegetarian dinner entree, had no problems at all. As soon as we started dating, everything changed. She acted like I didn’t exist. If I said something in a group conversation, she would literally jump in and say something that had nothing to do with what I said so that it was like I didn’t say anything at all. She made no effort to have food I could eat when we visited. When FI would wait with me until I was done getting readyand then we would go down to breakfast together, she told FI that he should come down without me because the amount of time I took to get ready was ridiculous. I only take 15-20 minutes. She looks down on me for wearing makeup every day. I could always just feel the annoyance radiating off of her.
When FI and I were renting an apartment together for a summer, his parents wanted to visit, but it was a really small apartment with only one bathroom, and they were going to stay on the pull-out couch. I have issues with privacy and things like that, so FI tried to nicely suggest that the couch was so old and lumpy, and the apartment was pretty small, so everyone would be more comfortable if they got a hotel. She immediately called up FI and demanded to know “the real reason” she couldn’t stay with him and then went on and on to him about how I wouldn’t let her stay in her own son’s apartment with him. That one really pushed her over the edge, and ever since then I’ve been the woman who is going take her son away from her and stop him from ever seeing her again. That was about 5 1/2 years ago, and nothing I do will ever change her mind.
I always make sure to bring a yummy dessert every time I visit, and every time she pretty much refuses to eat any of it.
She forgot where I work about 4 times. I work at one of the most well-known museums in the country and a famous movie is basically based on it. She had to be doing that on purpose, right?
When FI told his parents he was going to propose, his mom tried to convince him to wait until he was done with his PhD and tried to talk him out of it. When he called to tell his family that he proposedand I said yes, she changed the subject.
The first time we saw them after getting engaged, she grilled me on religion, finances, and the wedding budget (they’re not paying at all), and I was just too caught off guard to put a stop to it. She basically insulted the way my parents raised me because they didn’t force a religion on me, told me that participating in the public service loan forgiveness program wasn’t a real way to pay off my student loans, and said that my parents should pay off the rest of my student loans instead of paying for the wedding (which is just stupid because the wedding is sooo much less than my student loans!). After telling her several times that we’re going to have the wedding near Boston, she called on her own and schedule an appointment for us to see a venue in FI’s hometown. That was a fun surprise! My FFIL and FSIL both had talks with her about how inappropriately she acted.
When FI got his master’s degree (he’s in a PhD program and getting a master’s isn’t a big deal at all for him; it’s basically something that just happens on the way to the PhD), she emailed everyone in the family and her friends to tell them about it, and wanted to put an announcement in the local paper. When FI asked if she had told the extended family about our engagement she said, “I figured you should do that because it’s something you did.”
For about 6 months after FI told her he wasvegetarian, she wouldn’t buy or make any substantial food he could eat when he visited (he sees his parents without me probably 2-3 times a year), and she would constantly offer him meat and pretend that he wasn’t vegetarian at all. She just assumed that I was forcing him into it, so if I wasn’t around he would want to eat meat. After him telling her no enough times, she finally bought some veggie burgers.
She once sat FI down and told him that I seem very controlling and that since I like my family more, I’m going to make him spend all our free time with them, and she’ll never get to see him. This was WHILE WE WERE VISITING THEM! She also tried to convince him to have us schedule a financial planning session with her. He tried to explain why that would be awkward,and she just insisted that he was wrong and she was the best person to do it.
She told FI that I was getting a government bail out with the student loan plan I’m on, and my plan was irresponsible. This was about her third time going off on it, so FI just shut her down.
Every time we’ve tried to include her in wedding planning, she turns it into a negative. We asked FI’s parents if they wanted to come see our top two venues, and they said since we didn’t need their help and just wanted to include them, they didn’t feel the need to come. When we asked to make sure our date (8/8/2015) was good for them, his mom replied, “Why not June?” and then spent a while trying to convince him to change the date. It was so weird. Any mention of the wedding and she would go off on how you can keep things simple and not spend a lot of money. If people want a simple wedding and have a strict budget, that’s fine, but FI and I are not those people! We’ve made every wedding decision together and are 100% on the same page with the type of wedding we want. She definitely thinks that I’m a frivolous person who just wants a big party, and that that I don’t care about my FI at all. I mean, who could care about her precious baby as much as she does?!?
So, I think it’s pretty obvious why I try to avoid contact as much as I can!