- 5 years ago
Hi guys! I’m not sure if this is really the right forum, but it seemed the most fitting.
We are getting married within the next 6 months and have been together more than 4 years. I’ll admit that I am now feeling very hesitant because of problems with his family. I always knew his mom and sister could be very catty. I felt like I was on pins and needles every time I posted ANYTHING on Facebook about jobs (they once mistakenly assumed that a telecommute position I applied for meant I was leaving my fiancee, so they arranged a meeting behind my back).
His sister lives far away (thank you, thank you, thank you, powers that be!). While she’s slightly older than I am, she’s also very immature and jealous. She was the only girl growing up and the entire family seems to revolve around pleasing her and keeping her happy. I’m not one to get upset if someone is ‘copying’ me – that whole thing is juvenile – but what drives me nuts about Future Sister-In-Law is she’ll suddenly get into something I’ve been into, then try to turn it into a competition. Offering me endless unsolicited advice on it. Example: I signed up for a race. The next day, suddenly she was going to sign up for one. Then she started flooding me with running tips. I shut her down, but she still does this with other things.
I’ve lost a great deal of weight. I’m happy when other people lose weight. But now that she’s pregnant, that’s all she ever wants to talk about. The times she does visit, there are endless mentions of the fact that she’s only gained 6 pounds so far…seriously like 5 times over the course of a meal. I of course congratulate her to feed into her ego (I think she has very low self-esteem), but after a while it’s just uncomfortable. What do they expect us to say? Fall at her feet and worship the weight loss gods?
We went to visit her for a week a few years ago. MISERABLE. Passive-aggressive the whole week and offering advice and criticisms of making dinner. She didn’t like the way I handle green beans. She repeatedly calls me ‘hon’ and other dimunitives. We are not even 2 years apart in age. I try to be respectful toward her, and when she visits or I visit there, I am always helpful (when we visited them a few years ago, I bought plenty of groceries and paid for dinner while we stayed, on top of offering and helping with various chores).
Her baby’s due in December. Fiance wants to go, stay for FIVE days with them. I have suggested we go for 3 or 4 days and stay at a hotel, spending a few hours each day with Future Sister-In-Law. Even he and his sister don’t get along, so they’re often sniping at each other after only a day or two together. She’ll have a baby who is only 2 weeks old and I know she’s going to be tired and not happy about company with everyone and their mother flying in and staying with them to see the baby. That’s a lot on somebody. I told Fiance that I’d gladly buy dinner for them every night while we stay.
I feel that staying with them for 5 days is out wearing our welcome, and staying with them just a night or two before going to a hotel seems kind of suspect, like in the middle of the visit we’ve decided we need a break. But no, I don’t want to spend entire days with her. Fiance always claims we’ll go off to nearby cities and do things, but I know how he is: we will sit in that house with Future Sister-In-Law and her baby for 5 solid days. She lives in a rural area, so it’s not like I can just take off with a plausible reason (“Going to get coffee/going to do x, y, z.”) for a few hours each day.
I see the visit consisting of me holding the baby and Future Sister-In-Law correcting every single thing I do (I’ve baby-sat several children over the years and know how to handle them. But, with FSIL’s low self-esteem, she has to constantly one-up other women to feel better about herself or something. She does similar things with her friends, err, frenemies). I see myself trying to help her with dinner, laundry or whatever else and being micromanaged and criticized.
I’m dreading this visit. I keep trying to have conversations with Fiance, but he’s not bending at all. He’ll always snipe back with, “I see your family.” Yes…maybe an average of 2 hours a week, and we’re watching TV during that time. My family has always been kind to him and when I’ve asked, he’s said that everyone has always been gracious to him. He knows my feelings about his family’s treatment. We have never stayed overnight with any of my family. He knows that I was miserable for the week we stayed with them.
I feel like staying for 3 or 4 days in a hotel, visiting 3 – 5 hours each day is a reasonable visit that, one, won’t be as much work on them. I do genuinely not want to put Future Sister-In-Law out. She and her husband will surely want time alone with their new baby, and rightfully so. They shouldn’t be swamped with back-to-back company for a month or so afterward. And two, if we’re just “dropping in,” it relieves me of the obligation of helping out – not because I’m lazy, but because I don’t want someone standing over my shoulder patronizing me with everything I do. If she’s not going to appreciate any help, then why bother?
I’ll admit that FI’s stance toward this is going to determine whether or not we make it to the altar. I’m not going to tolerate a husband who puts me second and lets his family step all over me. This has happened in the past where he always makes excuses for them when they’ve been rude to me (“Well…they’re just like that” is not an excuse. He is afraid to stand up to them). I feel like we are not forming a family unit: it’s still me versus his family.
I arranged my wedding around FSIL’s baby being born and it still wasn’t good enough for her (Baby will be 5 months). She was an absolute passive-aggressive wench to me. Fiance kissed her butt and never brought her behavior up with her. I was floored.
On the one hand, I feel guilty. My mom’s strategy has been to cave, cave, cave to whatever the in-laws want. I have been very generous to these people (buying tons of things for FSIL’s baby, helping with her baby shower, etc.) and I feel like I just get crapped on. I’ve had people telling me I should just suck it up, but I feel that’s setting a precedent for the rest of our marriage.
With his niece on the way, we are likely going to be suckered into more long-term visits. While Future Sister-In-Law may not have the money to visit as often, Fiance will, which may mean one or two 5 – 7 days visits every year, in addition to Future Sister-In-Law coming here if even only for the short-term.
If she were not so overbearing, I wouldn’t mind staying with Future Sister-In-Law as much. But…she is. It’s over a month away and the dread and anxiety is palpable. I see FI’s family very often (his parents and grandparents, anyway). If I try to decline going out to dinner every now and then, I get a guilt trip. Apparently I’m supposed to kiss FI’s butt because he had to see my family more often when I still lived with them (he was out on his own by that point). That’s really not my fault and that has nothing to do with our situation now.
What do I even do with this? I am filled with so much anxiety with what the impending years will bring. And to be honest, I am fearful of having a child of my own in this family because I have a feeling Future Mother-In-Law and Future Sister-In-Law will both be chirping with advice. I really might let loose and say something I will regret one day, but of course they get the liberty to say it to me.
Fiance claims that if he ever catches them saying something in the future, he will speak up. Admittedly, I’m not so sure he will.