- 6 years ago
Hi bees! Sorry this is so long! Any advice you could offer would be very much appreciated.
I used to have a very good relationship with my FMIL. A few years ago when my FI and I graduated from college, we moved halfway across the country to the same city as my FILs for an amazing job opportunity. It was really hard for me to be so far away from my friends and family but my FMIL was so supportive and helpful. When we got engaged, she was eager to participate in wedding planning. When we would go over to their house, she would always have new things she had picked up or ideas for the wedding- a custom stamp, a sample plate charger, pictures of a flower arrangement. My mom flew out to come dress shopping with me but when it came time to actually order the dress a few months later my FMIL was there for me.
Flashforward to a little over a year into the engagement (and only a few months from our summer wedding) and everything has changed. While my FMIL has always been busy with charity work (my FI jokes that she has “guilty housewife syndrome”), she recently decided to open her own business and the endeavour has completely consumed all of her energy and time. My FI and I have been very supportive of her over the last six months, helping her to pick out furniture, go over renovation floorplans, paint the interior and exterior of the building, etc. In the meantime, she has completely abandoned all of her former charities and organizations as well as any help with wedding planning. For example, she is on the school board and purposely schedules board meetings for times she knows she will not be able to attend so that she doesn’t have to deal with it. More than once, I have heard her badmouthing her good friends, saying she doesn’t have time for them or can’t believe they would ask “favors” of her when they know how busy she is (ie- inviting her to their daughter’s baby shower). In her mind, her business is the most important thing going on in anyone’s life right now and she hasn’t been shy about letting people know it. She repeatedly sends out mass emails advertising new sales, grand openings, product lines, etc. and, while she relies on her family and friends for help with these events, she seems completely uninterested in what is going on with anyone but herself.
While her complete disinterest and lack of involvement in our wedding planning over the last six months has been disappointing, it is the attitude she has showed towards me lately that has left me in tears and has really destroyed my relationship with her. She continues to be realtively sweet to my face but has blown me and my family off time and time again. My MOH (sister) really wanted to include my FI’s family in my bridal shower and made plans to fly out and host it here. While my FMIL seemed really excited when we first began planning the shower, she then sent me an e-mail a month before the shower to let me know she would be too busy with her business to deal with the added stress and that my sister should host a shower just for my side of the family instead. Thank GOD invitations hadn’t gone out yet! Then, after months of asking whether or not my FILs had finalized a venue for the rehearsal dinner, my FI and I ended up reserving the restaurant and planning the dinner ourselves. Most recently, my FMIL completely bailed on my first dress fitting despite knowing how important it was to me that she come because my mom couldn’t be there. After several e-mails reminding her of the date and time (and telling her I understood if she was busy, she just needed to let me know if she could make it), she told me she would do everything she could to be there. When the day came, she never emailed or texted to say she couldn’t make it or, god forbid, that she was sorry she wouldn’t be there- she just didn’t show up.
At this point, I just don’t know what to do. My FI has told me that my FMIL has not only been blowing me off but has also been making snide comments about me to him (about how no one from her family would ever come to the shower my sister is throwing, about things I want to cut budget-wise from the wedding, about fainting the other day because I have freaky low blood pressure, etc.). I’m hurt and confused about her complete change in attitude towards me. I know that she is busy and stressed with her business, but this does not give her a free pass to treat me (and others) this way. We live twenty minutes away from each other and my FI and I visit the FILs at least once every two weeks. How can I continue to smile, ask her all of the details about how her business is going, etc. when I’ve been so hurt by her? My FI has gotten to the point where enough is enough and he has decided to “gently” confront her about it on an upcoming family vacation (I won’t be going because I have to work), but I’m worried this will only make things worse and the relationship more strained in these last few months. Do you guys have any thoughts?