- 7 years ago
- Wedding: October 2012
I need to vent a bit and I need some other DIL &FDIL prospectives. I’ve been with my fiancée for almost 5 years We have been engaged for two years. The date for the wedding is Oct 6,2012.
When I first met my fiancée’s parents (only three months into dating) I went because he begged me. Personally I had several relationships and at only three months in I wasn’t sure it was going to last and I didn’t really feel like going through the whole meet mom and dad and have them decide if they are good enough for your little boy— until we had dated longer. But I went because it was important to him. They live 2 hours away so we had to spend the night… well maybe we didn’t have to but we did.
Oh right more background. My fiancée and his parent’s are dutch. He has been in America since he was 3 years old. They have been in this country almost three decades. His parents were taught english in elementary school in Holland. They are VERY fluent in English in every sense of the word. But the home language is Dutch.
The whole weekend everyone spoke dutch. Even when they were talking to me… they kept looking at me like “Why didn’t she think that was funny” etc. It was an absolute horrible experience. Over the years I’ve talked to my fiancée about it… and he’s talked to his parents about including me in conversations (why bother inviting me over if you are going to treat me like a potted plant?).
His father has really made an effort. I have no complaints there at all. His mother however will try to trick people into switching from English into dutch by interrupting them and speaking in dutch. The natural reaction is to answer her in the language she is speaking in– and she knows it. This isn’t an accident. She does it all the time and my fiancée and even his dad have had sit downs with her explaining that speaking in a foreign language in front of someone else is having a private conversation.
My understanding is she’s said things like well but “FDIL is quiet anyway” ( It’s hard to talk when you have no idea what is going on!). She’s accused me of trying to make it so she can never speak dutch… she can and does speak dutch to her son on the phone, on AIM, in emails, on FB and any time they visit and I’m not there or if I walk out of the room for 2 secs it switches. I’m fine with all that. But if I’m going to bother to ride two hours to visit I feel like she should visit with ME and if she doesn’t want to visit with me– then say she wants mother son time and I’ll stay home– no hard feelings!
So we have been struggling with all this for years now. And before anyone suggests it I’m NOT going to learn dutch. I fell in love with my fiancée for who he is not what country he is from (and besides he’s been in America most of his life and I don’t think he has ever lived in Holland as they lived in other countries before he was three). I’m not the one that picked up and decided to move to a new place. And to be honest I don’t feel like I should have to act like I did. I didn’t used to be so anti learning some of it but when its used like a weapon you get a bad taste for it. Also I’m trying to become fluent in ASL and I’ve been studying for over 4 years now and I know learning a language is a HUGE time investment and a lot of effort. I have no interest in dutch- none. I’d love to learn Irish or German and I want to continue with ASL so why would I bother to learn a language that I don’t even like? Also everyone in holland learns English in school so you don’t need to learn dutch to talk to anyone who is dutch. And I figure too that even if I did learn dutch my FMIL would find other ways to ignore me. I really don’t feel like its about the language but more that she wants to find ways to be the center of the conversation.
Anyway last Thanksgiving we hosted. My mother and our friends and his parents came over. I cooked for two days. And to be honest we couldn’t afford it– my fiancée said we should skip thanksgiving this year but I said it was important because family is important so we dipped into the next months grocery budget (reducing it by half) to put this on. It was only the second time in 4.5 years our parents have been together. His father spoke to my mom. My mom tried to engage his mother but she was mostly silent.
His mother brought us a “gift” of two bottles of wine. I don’t drink– she knows this. And my fiancée is a beer drinker not a wine drinker… he does use it to cook with but it wasn’t a good cooking wine– she knew all this so it was a pretty terrible gift anyway, but we were still kind about accepting it. Thanksgiving went alright so I thought.
Two weeks later his mom sent him a bunch of emails (in dutch of course) about how she would never visit us again because we didn’t serve her our “gift”. Keep in mind, I asked her what she wanted to drink and included wine in the options, my mother asked her, my friend asked her and my fiancée asked her. She said in the email that she didn’t want to be the first person to ask for it– too bad if you are the only wine drinker at the table. She said I organized thanksgiving entirely just to embarrass her about her drinking problem– which she also said she doesn’t have. She said she can’t be herself around me because I don’t drink (can you say addiction if you can’t be yourself without wine?). She said she didn’t like me because I don’t eat exotic foods and I’m not interested in other cultures. Yes I am a steak and potatoes kind of girl, no I don’t drink– I don’t consider this to be an offense to anyone. Most people like that I don’t drink because I end up being a DD. As far as my interest in other cultures go- I’m not sure what she is talking about, maybe that I don’t like exotic foods, maybe that I’m not learning dutch. I seriously don’t know.And just FYI she never asked me to learn dutch or if I wanted to. She did get her best friend to ask me and I said no.
These emails went on for days. Every day my financee would come home and tell me the new awful thing she said about me in the email and I could do nothing to defend myself. During this time our cat died and I had to call her and tell her that because he was crying and I didn’t want her to make it worse. She acted like everything was normal except she talked a lot which she never does with me– I was at work and I let her go on for about 15 minutes then I said sorry but I have to go because I’m at work… there was this awkward silence and then we said goodbye.
A couple days after that my fiancée emailed her that she had to come to visit me (because we always make the drive to their place- thanksgiving was the first time EVER they came to our house). And that she had to work out whatever her problems were with me. He said he wouldn’t talk to her again until she did that.
Months went by and for his birthday she sent a card that said she didn’t want to lose him (in dutch) and a journal entry from the day he was born (in dutch that he didn’t bother to read). Two weeks from that point I’m sick of waiting and sick of everything. So I emailed her with some real honesty about how she makes me feel and family rumors I hear about what she is saying– but that I want to work it out. A week later she sent a really non-sense letter back with a lot of “I’m sorry” in front of mean things. It was only a paragraph long and she tried to say that we were cutting her and her husband out of our lives. First off, my finacee is still talking to his father (she may or may not know that as their communication is pretty poor). And secondly all she has to do is come visit and talk things out with me. That doesn’t sound like we never want to see her again.
I’m so frustrated and bummed out. Oh and I feel a need to mention that I’ve learned some dutch cooking and done it for her. I’m ok with integrating dutch traditions and foods into our lives I just don’t want it to be our “home” language.
There is of course even more examples of her being super passive aggressive but I think I’ve rambled long enough.