Mother in Law issues

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2013

If you let this continue, it will get much worse when you have children. It is important to set boundaries early in the relationship. If this is important to you, you need to put your foot down. If it’s not important to you, my advice would be to pick your battles. It sounds like your husband is not used to standing up to his mother. I wouldn’t rely on him to stick up for you.

Post # 5
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2013

You are completely justified in confronting her, but only do it if you are prepared to deal with the fall out. It’s going to be tough if your FH doesn’t support you.

Post # 6
Member
1184 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@Jan_2014:  In my opinion, your FI should be dealing with her and when she goes behind your back after discussing something with you, he should tell her “No, mom, Jan said she wanted x, y, z and I agree.”

He needs to back you up.  You can’t change her.  You’re marrying HIM.  You absolutely can and should expect him to back you up now and down the road.  If he can’t do that, I’d put the breaks on now and get some couples therapy, because this may blow up to be a huge issue later on.

Post # 10
Member
2962 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I would approach the situations together as a couple rather than separately in the future. Going behind someone’s back is being manipulative. If you guys go in together, there’s no way she can manipulate the both of you at the same time but FH needs to be ready to back you up. That way she can see that both of you are making the decisions and not just thinking you’re holding a gun to her son’s head.

Post # 12
Member
2962 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Jan_2014:  Yep that’s what I had to do to my MIL AND she lived with us during the time! She would start fights btw FH and me and then when we find out it’s really her who caused all this, we weren’t too happy about it. At this time we weren’t married, we weren’t even engaged yet. From that point on, I have left her alone, I don’t want to have anything to do with her DH’s mom or not. She was never much of a mother to him so I don’t feel anything at all for her.

 

Post # 13
Member
5199 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Jan_2014: I’m from a big Italian family, so I feel like I’ve got some perspective from the other side.  

The reality is that for a traditional Italian family the wedding is not just about the bride & groom, but about the joining of two families.  Therefore, it is a BIG DEAL to the parents.  Additionally, it sounds like your man is a traditional Italian mama’s boy who can’t stand up to his mother.  This is not desirable, but it is normal.  You are very unlikely to change this.  Here is my advice:

1) For the wedding, since they are paying, let them do what they want.  Watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding for inspiration.  Remember how she basically got to choose nothing for the wedding besides the groom, but she still had a joyful, loving, wonderful day?  Let that be your inspiration.

2) Pick your battles.  Of course there are a few items that you will really, really care about.  For example, not having to attend a post-wedding brunch.  Stand your ground on these few items and, as @lindseyl06:  suggested, talk to your MIL about it together with FI.

3) Focus on what’s great about an Italian family rather than the drawbacks.  Yes, your MIL is going to be all up in your business (probably for the rest of your life).  You can’t change her.  But, there are great things too.  Italian families (I’m talking typically here, because of course I don’t know your family) are super loving and supportive of each other.  They are fiecely loyal.  They are loud and crazy in a fun, entertaining way.  When you need anything, they will be there to support you.  When you have a tragedy they will do anything they can to help.  When you have a positive life event they will prioritize you and be there to celebrate.  Most kids love (LOVE) growing up with a crazy Italian family, so it’ll be a benefit to your children (should you have them).  And (this is materialistic but…) Italians tend to be generous givers.  You’ll probably get a lot of cash at that 200 person wedding.

While people have suggested great strategies that you should try, at a certain point you need to accept that you can’t change people.  It’s better for your sanity.  Embrace it.  Being part of a big, crazy, loving Italian family is a wonderful priveledge.   My DH gets a big overwhelmed by it sometimes, but he usually says that he married up 😀

Post # 16
Member
5199 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Jan_2014:  That’s too bad :(.  But good about Nonna! 

Well, best of luck, it’s a tough situation.

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