- 6 years ago
- Wedding: January 2012
I met my future in-laws about 4 years ago when I started dating their only son. FI has one younger sister – about 3 years his junior, 2 years my senior. We are all in our 20s. She married 4 years ago and is now expecting her first child. FI’s parents have been married for 30-odd years and seem remotely happy together.
One of the biggest problems is that we’ve never had anything in common with FI’s family. He says by his own admission he doesn’t really know them and he’s uncomfortable around them (and it shows, which makes it awkward on me, as I sometimes try to overcompensate and talk more to get away from endless awkward silence).
FI’s dad is a hoarder, so FI spent most of his time closed up in his bedroom because getting through the rest of the house was more or less impossible. He still has some pent-up frustration over that.
FI has been moved out and on his own for 3 1/2 years. We moved in together about 1 1/2 years ago, got engaged a few months back and are planning to get married in March 2013.
My in-laws seemed warm and cordial to me at first. But over the last 6 months, that feeling has started to change (well, mostly from his mother). On the one hand, she would leave me comments on Facebook strongly implying it was time for us to get married (whether she disagreed with us living together outside of marriage, or if she genuinely wanted me to be his wife, is up for discussion). On the other, she…well, let me explain.
I’m a writer. Have been for years. I would often post poetry on Facebook. I’d even mention, on the rare occasion, that something I wrote was published in a journal on Facebook. This should not have been a surprise. A few months back, though, apparently I had a few poems that triggered FMIL’s warning bells.
I did post a status update saying I needed to start looking for work outside of our half hour radius, as there’s basically nothing here. Along the same vein, I joked when I finally got a callback for a job – in Chicago. I never said I intended to take it.
She and FSIL had a field day. FSIL confronted me about it and demanded to know if I was leaving her brother. FMIL called FI and asked him to meet with her after work. She asked him if he knew about this stuff (IT WAS ON FACEBOOK!!) and wanted to give him a ‘heads up’ in case I was leaving him. I was furious when I found out about this. He now claims she just wanted to warn him so he could make things better with me, and claims that they have always been supportive of our relationship.
FSIL has always been a snarky little brat to me, and her husband isn’t much better. He’s confrontational and brash. God forbid you share an opinion that’s different from his. This came up recently when he said that men who shack up are boys and those who get married are men.
I told him that getting married doesn’t make a person mature anymore than not being married makes someone immature (I was very polite and cordial). His response? A snarky, “Of course, somebody takes it out of context.” Uh, I’m just parroting your words right back at you, man. Either make your meaning very clear if you’re going to say something like that, or don’t say it at all.
They are very much the “we’re married, we’re so mature” types. I do wonder if it’s not low self-esteem projected as a superiority complex with them. They will forevermore ask us what we cook with, what we feed our cat (seriously). FSIL once told me, “We feed our cat x, because it’s healthy for him and we want him to live a long time.” I guess I should have answered, “We feed our cat (y) because we’re hoping he’ll kick the bucket ASAP.” Seriously, it’s an endless barrage of unsolicited advice.
FBIL has had decent jobs, but nothing as good as FI. I finished a degree and have been working, albeit mostly temp and freelance jobs in my industry (which is normal). She went for an associate’s in interior design, which she cannot use, and got married. She’s worked in some retail jobs but has mostly been a stay-at-home wife for the last 2 years. I have no issue at all with that – but I am thinking maybe that’s part of where her feelings come from. Maybe they’re both jealous of us.
I have also lost significant weight in the last year (50 pounds), while she mostly gained before she got pregnant. Could be?
I feel like I’m on pins and needles with FBIL and FSIL. They’re both very immature and that endless need to yell to the world, “We’re so in love, we’re so happy together,” “I’m the best mom/housewife/housekeeper” gets old.
FSIL is also passive-aggressive to me. She came to our place about 6 months ago (they live several hundred miles away, thankfully, so visits are relatively rare) and started remarking, while looking over my house, “I really like to keep my house clean.” Then she advances into our kitchen, picks up a bottle of garlic salt and tells me, “We don’t use this because it’s high in sodium.” I just sort of nodded at her. Salt is high in sodium? I’m sure glad I got my education today!
I’ve had to basically stop talking to her online because her reading comprehension skills are basically nil. Even a sentence like, “I like strawberries because they’re rich and fruity” would leave her dumbfounded. The last time we talked, and she and FMIL were pressuring me to have a wedding shower, I told her, “The only reason I’m getting a wedding registry is so we don’t get 70 toasters from people.” “Oh silly,” she replies, “That wouldn’t happen, because when you buy something, it comes off your registry!”
I just decided to let her think she’s a genius and I’d look like an idiot. Otherwise, if I corrected her every time I had to talk to her online, I’d probably be hated by the family as a “know-it-all” or something.
She would also ask me very invasive questions (“Are you a virgin?”) that I politely shot down. It wasn’t until the whole FB incident (at which point I blocked his family from seeing anything but cover photos and a few statuses, basically) that I realized how deep the gossip train with them went.
I was so naive at first, talking to FSIL, thinking we were on the same level. I am glad I never fed her anything sensitive, as it would go right back to FMIL and to FI’s grandma. I’m the lowest on the totem pole (it’s a very small family; FI doesn’t know his dad’s side), so I’m the one who gets kicked around.
Right after FI and I got engaged and announced it on FB, FSIL writes, “Congrats, hoping for a later in the year wedding so we can come.” I politely told her that we were thinking late March because of the deals going on then. She had a fit. She left on there, for the world to see, “Well, let us know the date for this wonderful event…that is, if we’re even invited, haha.” I was furious. I don’t buy for a minute that she was joking.
She tried to claim she needed more time after having her baby (this is 3 1/2 months after her baby is due. ENOUGH TIME, lady). FI almost bit on this and asked if we could have the wedding later in the year. I told him to go read up on the healing process.
FSIL is already talking about having #2! I told him, “What, are we supposed to wait to marry until she’s done popping out all of her kids and they’re all grown up? I’m sorry, but it’s just not a good excuse. In a year, she will have a 12-month old vs. a 3 month old. What’s the difference?”
She eventually relented. But who knows, maybe I made an enemy there because I refused to coddle her like his entire family does. It’s sickening how these people rally around a 27-year-old woman like she’s a baby. She’s going to be a mother. Time to grow up. (Of course, I’m polite and sweet-as-pie to these people, no matter how often they seem to want to take dumps on me).
The worst part is that FSIL and FBIL are coming to stay with us two nights next week on the eve of FSIL’s baby shower. FI wants to spend a WEEK with them in their home next month. I have managed to negotiate a 2 – 3 day break in the middle of that to go do our own thing and get a hotel, but even spending 3 – 4 days with them is too much. I am hoping FBIL is at least traveling for work, but I doubt it. Then, FI wants to go BACK to stay with them a few days in December after his niece is born.
I really wish we could just go in December and be done with it. I don’t feel welcome in their home (in fact, I would go so far as to say I’m quite confident I’m not), but they invite me along just to keep the peace.
I have tried to think of what I’ve done wrong to FSIL and I can’t think of anything. Years ago, she brought up the subject of cheating and I said that I could never cheat. I would dump a guy who cheated on me. Turns out she cheated on FBIL before they were married. I never made a moral judgment on people who do cheat, though, so if she invented it in her mind that I insulted her, that’s all on her. It wouldn’t surprise me.
How do I deal with these people? I am getting so nervous and uncomfortable at the thought of them staying here. I have thought about having convenient excuses to be out the nights they’re here (my grandma is very ill, for one), but I get the impression FI would be furious with me.
He’ll say things like, “I always see your family.” I told him there is a difference, as even though my family is loopy, they have always been very polite and kind to him (even when he’s done very stupid things, like calling a cousin who made an airheaded remark ‘racist’ to her face). His, meanwhile, is either overly intrusive into my life or they’re passive-aggressive.