Is this the time to postpone the wedding, or press forward?

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
Member
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@countrylove2014:  Wow, what a sucky position for all of you to be in. I’m sorry.

It sinks that you all had an agreement and now the other two parties are backing out but I also see where they’re coming from, too. I think if you are going to get anywhere with either of them without being the bad guy everyone resents, you are going to have to approach this with extreme sensitivity to your FI and his Mom.

First, I’m sure you know your FMIL is still grieving and she’s also likely scared shitless. She’s facing situations and perhaps responsibilities she’s never had too before. Add to all that loss the idea of giving up your home to go live all alone when you’re 70. 

Your FI is aware of all this and of course he feels sympathetic and responsible.  I’m sure he feels he owes it to his Dad to sep-up and make sure his Mom is taken care of. How many people could push their Mom out of her home at the very worst time in her life?  Maybe he even wants her to continue living with you. Or maybe he figures that she may have to come live with you eventually anyway.

When you talk to your FI, let him know you understand all this or are trying too.  Could you possibly suggest giving it three more months (so she’s had a full year) and then start to look for apartments with her? 

Or, alternately, Is is possible to add on a separate in-law suite to the house so you each have some privacy? 

Post # 4
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I can see how frustrating the situation is but at only 3 months on, your FI’s mother is likely to be still grieving. This isn’t the best time to start making ultimatums.

Having said this, that doesn’t mean you can’t agree a mutually reasonable timeline that allows you to make definite plans to move out.

Sometimes it is helpful to see things from the other side too. Would you be in a hurry to move out if your own mother was recently bereaved and struggling? Would you want to be hassled into making the decision to move out at a time you knew was wrong? Only this situation doesn’t have to last forever but you do all need to agree that it comes to an end at an appropriate time. Right now does not strike me as that appropriate time.

Instead of resenting your FI, how about being proud of how much he cares about his mother? Only compassion is a quality I rate very highly in a relationship. If he was prepared to leave her right now I’d be questioning how decent a guy he was.

Post # 5
Member
748 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

She is in her 70s and her husband died THREE months ago! Give her a break! Where is your compassion? Quit arguing with him and become his ally and he will quit fighting you. 

Post # 6
Member
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I don’t think you’re seeing her side. She’s 70, newly alone, and grieving. If you love your fiancé, stick it out for a bit. Talk again about your agreement and give a realistic timeline, but don’t force it to be now or you leave. No one likes to live with their mom, so I’m sure he’s not enjoying this, but he’s probably worries about her (with reason). She’s 70, she’ll be gone sooner or later (sorry to be morbid, but true) and you’ll have thrown out a marriage and a life because you couldn’t stick it out for him.

just my opinion, I don’t know all the facts of course!

Post # 7
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@countrylove2014:  It’s too soon.  It’s only been 3 months.  I know it looks like things will never change, but that’s because no one is ready to start to look ahead yet (except you). 

These kinds of life events have a way of entirely changing a relationship.  You should eventually have a talk with your FI about how you both envision starting your married life together – but that’s 9 months away still, so there’s plenty of time for steps to be made in the meantime.

I personally cannot imagine having either of our mothers living with us for any amount of time regardless of the circumstances, but you do what you have to do when it comes to family.  I know that there will come a day in the next 10-20 years where I will take over guardianship of my younger autistic brother – life just throws these things at us and we have to deal with them the best we can.

Honestly I’d say to not talk about it for another 2 months – not one word.  See where things go.  There’s a good chance he will start to realize soon that he doesn’t want this situation, either, and maybe the pressure you’re putting on him isn’t helping him in being able to come to his own conclusions.

Post # 8
Member
695 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I will say this…  Tread carefully first of all.  I would state to you FI that there is a timeline – whatever that may be.  Maybe give it 6 months?  Or give it whatever you feel works for you.  Tell the FI if his mom does not have her own apartment by then that you plan to move out.  Tell him also you feel its best to hold off on the wedding because you don’t feel this mom living with you situation is the way to start offf you life together.  

In the meantime be cool.  Put some money aside to live on your own when the time period you gave him is over and things have not changed.  As a side note I would ask the mother if she has been putting money aside to make her move to that smaller apartment.  If she says no – you know what that means.  

The thing is you can be cool about everything and still get your needs recognized by your FI.  If things have totally fallen apart because of the death you have to ask yourself the hard questions not your FI.  How much are you willing to bend?

Post # 9
Hostess
7630 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

For right now I’d focus on how you can all live together more peacefully. What is the problem? Is she rude to you? Do you not have enough time together? You should talk about it with your FI and he should talk to his mother (if appropriate.)

I would plan on her moving out in around 3 more months. That would be 6 months since the death of her husband and 6 months before your wedding. That will give you enough time to cancel things if you are still feeling unhappy. Best of luck. 

Post # 11
Member
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

It’s a tough situation to be in.  I think you’re just going to have to ask yourself if this situation never changes, can you live with it?  Since FI’s mom is in her 70’s, she may never be comfortable living on her own. 

Post # 12
Member
6204 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

@countrylove2014:  I went through something a little similar when I moved in with my then FI and his parents for a while after I graduated college. I didn’t feel like it was my space, and felt stifled because I basically had just the bedroom as belonging to us.

After a while, I just had to get over it. You live there, you pay for it, so it’s your house, too. If you want to watch TV, just do it. If she complains, tell her too bad- you both should be able to do the things you want to do. When she criticizes your cooking, tell her that you like the way your soup comes out, and would be happy to let her try some when it’s done. OR ask her to teach you one of her dishes so that she leaves you alone for a while. 

Post # 13
Member
9244 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@countrylove2014:  I’m on your side in this.  I think what’s upsetting you the most is the deal was only for a few months and now it’s looking like you may be in a permanent situation.  I wouldn’t want to deal with it forever, either.  You were kind to agree to help her out for awhile but now it’s time for some other family members to step up and help you and your FI with her.  She can’t take advantage of your kindness and generosity and not expect you to start feeling resentful about it.  I’d be resentful as hell and I think your FI should back you up.  But he’s between a rock and a hard place, too.

You can work this out.  Don’t give up on your relationship, don’t push back the wedding and don’t move out or make any ultimatums just yet.  You’re too emotional to make a rational decision just yet.  But you have to make it clear to your FI that while you love and care about his mother some boundaries need to be set for the two of you to start your own lives alone together.  You deserve that and she is going to have to learn to get with the program.  After all, there are such things as nursing homes if she really can’t live on her own fairly soon.

Post # 14
Member
6032 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You and your fi need to sit down with your FMIL and figure out what the next stage of her life will bring.  At 70, she’s at or near the age where parents can’t be expected to live alone; the reality is that she will need either an in-home aide, or to live with her children, or to move to an assisted living facility.  Note that an in-home aide and an assisted living facility would both be offered with varying levels of assistance; she may not yet need help bathing or cooking but may need help getting groceries.   And living with her children may mean that all of you move to a different home with an in-law suite or carriage house.

When you discuss these things with her, keep in mind that many older people have serious negative images of assisted living facilities and in-home aides. While it’s true that some assisted living facilities are the stereotypical “old people jail”, many are now catering to a more lively and social crowd, and there may be a facility in your area that is more like a seniors’ condo with amenities like ice cream socials, cultural events (either bringing speakers in or taking seniors on feild trips), and such.

Any decisions on her living with her children need to be joint decisions with all children involved. If none of the other children step up, it may fall on your fi to help provide a home, in which case it’s absolutely right that the other children should contribute financially.

But you also have to see his side of things and the general reality of it all, which is that she is his mother, so he will always be loyal to her, and that she is alone and entering a phase in life where she won’t be self-sufficient. Someone is going to have to help her.

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