Post # 1
This is kind of a follow up to this http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/set-me-straight post last week or the week before that I posted and could again use some input.
My FI always thought it would be cool if his wife were to have a friend type of relationship with his mom and she always dreamed of having a daughter. They have a "best friends" type of relationship. She doesn’t want there to be the stereotypical "in-law" negativity that is portrayed in the movies and in real life. If this is the way you treat a daughter, I think I’ll pass.
<span class=”fs5″>FBIL ended up writing FMIL a letter about what he was feeling and she was mad so guess who she called? Yeah FI and that’s when he told her he wasn’t going to be put in the middle, etc. He’s tired of being put in the middle and he was talking to his mom about it last night and said that her and I need to sort out issues if there are any rather than bitching to him about it. She made the comment how I won’t go to her if I have a problem. And she’s right. I won’t. But she won’t come to me either. FI is tired of it and about ready to give up refereeing us, which is more so her than me I feel. I only started having issues with her when she started blaming me for all sorts of stuff and making it pretty obvious he could do better and talking about me behind my back. So yeah, I stood up for myself against her. Before that she was doing things that I don’t particularly agree with but I wasn’t flaming her like she does me now.
I don’t feel I accomplish anything with her. Discussions with her, equal listening. And when they don’t equal listening, they equal watching her cry and sob and woe is me bs, along with listening. I get nothing out of it. After the last fight, my boundary was that I would never talk to her alone EVER- I don’t care what it’s about. I’m not playing he said/she said with her. I don’t even want the third person to be FI because he’s so enmeshed, it’s crazy! Last night I wondered if I even want to talk to her with a third person because I would much rather have it in email and have proof of what she says and what I say. She likes to twist things around big time, she likes to tell everyone things I never said (she’s even tried to tell me that I’ve done such and such, when in fact, I haven’t). But even email can get screwy and she usually takes it the wrong way because it’s hard to show emotion in email or the internet. I also feel like "Why in the world would I want to try to move forward in a relationship with someone who seems less than interested in me? She has never asked a single question about me in the years that I have been with her son! She always says that I don’t open up- well hello, she never asks and when I do try to give info out, she interrupts with her life…it’s all about her!" My FBIL GF has been nice as hell to FMIL even though FMIL keeps throwing dagars at her and yet she still talks about her behind her back negatively about how she’s nice…yeah, that’s right- you read it correctly.
I’m really torn right now. REALL torn. This is one of the hugest issues for me- one of the MUST HAVES in a relationship for me. I need to get clarification from him how this "not being in the middle thing" works. In all honesty if not being in the middle equals letting her attack me in front of me and him just saying "Y’all need to talk this out"- that is not acceptable to me at all.
In counseling the T says that every man has to choose and it should be the wife but I don’t feel FI can say that he chooses me over his mom to her and that’s pretty sad. I don’t know what all was said in their conversation last week about not being in the middle so I can’t say for certain he didn’t do something so this isn’t 100% truth here but it’s 100% feelings if he didn’t "choose me". I’m not asking him to do something outragous (I don’t feel) I’m asking for him to make a stand and not accept her BS about me and the way she treats me. And he didn’t choose her yet he didn’t choose me and it hurts like hell that he didn’t choose ME! To me it says a LOT! I don’t understand how you can say you won’t be put in the middle anymore without saying you don’t choose your future wife. Or can you? I need to make a choice and I really don’t know if I can do this so any advice would help.
Post # 3
So sorry. I remember your other post. So when you are saying you need to make a choice, are you considering leaving your FI? Does he know that you feel like you haven’t been defended? Because he might think he was making great strides by simply telling his mom, he won’t hear it. (and if I remember correctly, that is a step up from him sitting there saying, "UH huh", "Yeah".) But I can see how this is all so difficult.
SO who is the mom talking about you two? Is it other relatives, her sons, to you about FBIL’s gf, and to her about you? If the brothers are uniting to not let her complain to them, and if you both agree to not here her talk bad about others, then who would be left? Just curious.
Is it possible for you and FBIL’s gf to talk to her together? It kind of sounded like there was a small window there. You said she told Fi that you don’t go to her with problem. (Does that mean, she wants you to ask her for advice, or to be straight up with her if you are upset with her?) Also, that she doesn’t have a daughter, always dreamed of one. Maybe there’s a way to straighten her out. What if you two told her how happy you are with her sons, and how happy they are with you. Because of that, you will get married. And hope theat she will be a part of that, and celebrate holidays and events, and just plain old visits. See I think the whole, losing a son or gaining a daughter thing is in the eye of the beholder. She can either choose to gain a daughter here, or lose a son. Maybe you all can agree to take a do over and try, in small wys, to repair this relationship. Could you go to lunch now and again? Or to a summer festival?
If she can’t vent to your FI, do you really think she will just chew you out in front of others? Do you think you could just see how this new arrangement will play out? Perhaps it will cause her to settle down. I know that doesn’t make you feel better about your FI defending you. But maybe he thinks that it’s a plan that will work out where she will stop say nasty things.
Post # 4
Yes, breaking up is something I am considering, unfortunately. In the last few sessions, he doesn’t seem to keen on telling his mom that I’ll be number one when we get married. Someone else had this issue with their FI and he felt guilty and ashamed of having to tell his mom that…I can’t marry someone who feels ashamed like that. I want to give it time but it seems that every time FI says something will make it better, it just ends up making it worse. But first I want to know what not being in the middle means. Yes, he knows that I don’t feel defended and yeah I do agree that this is a step up but I don’t know what "not being in the middle to him" means. She said she wants to gain a daughter and I don’t see FI letting her go regardless, ie. losing a son. She talks about me to other family members (including FBIL and his GF and FGMIL) and friends. I get what you are saying about who does she have left to talk to but FI has said he’ll be lenient with her and not stick to the boundary, which IMO there’s no use for a boundary if you aren’t going to follow. And yes, she has chewed me out and been pretty crappy to me in front of others. Yeah, I think she’s wanting me to go to her if I have a problem but BTDT and she twists everything I say, doesn’t accept responsibility for anything and nothing gets accomplished. And asking for advice? She just add it to her list of things of how we "owe her".
Post # 5
I’m so sorry…it’s very difficult to feel that your FI is choosing his mother over you (or at least not defending you to her). I love my grandmother more than almost anyone in my life, but my dad has only brothers and she’s never made it easy for any of her DIL’s. She has had issues with all of us grandkids from time-to-time that stem from the way she treats/talks about our mothers. I know all situations are different, but as far as I can see in my family, the only people who have the ability to change a MIL’s attitude toward a DIL are her sons.
It’s a start that your FI told her that he’s unwilling to hear her complaints about you anymore, but it sounds like he did that more out of frustration than out of defense of you. That would irritate me to no end. I think you want him to say something like, "I love her, I’m marrying her, she will be my wife and my children’s mother. Please don’t say bad things about her…or it will have to impact the amount of time we are able to spend with you." He could even try the, "You’re putting stress on our relationship which hurts me as well" tactic. Either way, I don’t think there’s any real possibility of his just staying out of it and letting you deal. That’s completely unrealistic. My FMIL is very kind to me, but she’s not my mother. Maybe over time we’ll grow closer, but I just don’t feel comfortable talking to her about certain things right now and I need my FI to do that. If we were at odds, there is simply no way I could handle that on my own without fear of hurting her, my FI, his family…
So I think you need to let your FI know that his "not in the middle" thing isn’t going to work. He’s in the middle by definition. the only reason you have to deal with her at all is that she’s his mother. I guess I’m making assumptions here, but I just really feel like you would not have so much of an issue with your FMIL if your FI was more outwardly on your side. This doesn’t mean he needs to cut his mother out of his life etc, but that he needs to stand up to her. To take his side for a moment, I suspect he feels that he’s doing that already…but there’s still a road to walk. I think you’d start feeling better if he would at least acknowledge your POV and validate your feelings…instead of telling you not to "bitch" at him about it. It does sound like he needs to grow up a little about how he deals with his mom (who amongst us doesn’t?), but that won’t happen overnight. A little understanding of your feelings, though, would go a long way I suspect.
Post # 6
i can’t really give any advice, but just wanted to say that I feel for you and hope it can be resolved somehow in the future. Sometimes the MIL gets less crazy once there are grandkids involved, as least that’s what happened to my mom. I’m having issues with FMIL, where she’s basically voiced her displeasure with us being married, but FI came to his senses and defended me. I do agree with Tanya when she says that perhaps FI thinks he is making strides by telling his mom that he won’t hear it. FI thought the same way too but it still bothered me. It took him a while to go from that to actually defending me.
Post # 7
Yes fizics, he did it out of frustrtaion, which pissed me off to no end and you’re right- this wouldn’t be much of an issue if he would take my side- bite for once rather than keep barking.
Lana- I hope kids lighten it up but knowing FMIL history it will just make it worse.
It all depends on how he plans to handle things from now on since he’s no longer in the middle.
Post # 8
I really feel for you. FMIL was the main reason I broke up with someone I was planning to marry several years ago. She was so meddling, and so mean that she was making my life a living hell (showed up on our vacation, called me names, refused to let me do things with her family). The difference with your situation is that her son made it clear that he chose her over me. Needless to say, your situation isn’t that extreme…
I’m not sure how long of an engagement you are planning, but I’m glad you are already seeing a counselor together. Does your fiance know that this might be a deal-breaker for you? I think that is an important fact to see if he’s going to stand by your side.
Best wishes. I know exactly how hard this situation is. This particular woman disrupted my life for a long time until I stopped giving her the power.
Post # 9
As a Mom of 5 sons I don’t think they should be asked to choose between their fi and their Mom. My goodness it is a totally different relationship. I believe that you can tell how a man will treat his wife by his relationship with his Mother…if they are close he will be good to you.
This may be the hardest advice you ever got but IF you really love him and want to marry him you can take hiim out of the middle. It takes two to fight or cause drama. Just don’t participate. Listen to her, let her complain, just accept her and her sometimes ugly behavior. After the wedding I’ll be things calm down.
It’s not fair to ask him to choose…not fair for either of you to do that.
Post # 10
You’re right kazoo, it does take two and I refused to tango with her until she brought me and my family into it- then it pissed me off. However I disagree that I’m just supposed to accept her behavior. We don’t have kids yet but I should just let my kids grandmother call me names in front of them??? Excuses have always been made for her and I’m tired of everyone trying to smooth her actions over time and time again. In a perfect world he wouldn’t have to choose because the FMIL wouldn’t tell the FDIL that she can’t do anything right, she doesn’t do enough, my family only deserves left overs, says lies behind my back, the list could go on. The FMIL shouldn’t manipulate her sons into doing what she wants or handing them a $200,000 "bill" for raising them. Tell me that’s not normal. Now I’m not perfect but I’m very good to her son and I have taken a lot of BS from her in the past.
He is good to his mom; anything she wants she gets and most of her getting stuff is because he "owes her" for raising him. Unfortunately this has led her to have a HUGE sense of entitlement. FMIL and FI don’t have a normal mother-son relationship and yes they are two different relationships unless you’re treating your sons like a surrogate husband. FI has had to fulfill roles he never should have to in my opinion. She even seems to have a problem not coming in first with her other son…who has a kid!
I could go on and on but I won’t because it’s obvious we disagree. I would be okay with him not being in the middle as long as he stood up for me. And there is no way I would let my family treat my FI the way his mother has treated me.
Post # 11
I think that for some people this is an issue and for some it is not. For you it is obviously a problem. Is there any way you can move out of state? Less physical distance may help. Otherwise, this is clearly a hot-button issue with you. I think you should make it very clear to your FI that this is a deal breaker for you. His mother is killing your relationship, and he’s letting it happen. And this is bound to happen with ANYONE unless HE changes it. If he’s ok with that, I say weigh anchor. Men don’t change, especially when dealing with their mother.
As a side note, I don’t think this is an issue in normal relationships. Only in cases where the FMIL is a total whack job, and has a creepy and very unhealthy relationship with her son. It sounds very much like she monetarily controls him as well, which is another unhealthy relationship on its own. I hope in the end you can have a calm discussion with your FI about what is wrong and how to move forward.
Post # 12
If I were in that situation, I would not be as confident in my FI to have my back in other situations, which would affect my trust and therefore the love i felt for him. I would be completely honest with your FI about the consequences of not commiting to your relationship fully – you could either save yourself time and anguish, or make him stand up for you more readily. Good luck
Post # 13
Oh pendola I was no trying to tell you that you are wrong to feel the way you do. I just wanted to say that the fact that he loves his Mom so much means he has what it takes to love you in a very special way.
No one should be called names or talked to like she has. She sounds kinda crazy and that’s why I said I wouldn’t engage in the fights. You just can’t argue with crazy if you know what I mean. You can be right but you can’t fix her…and you can’t keep her son from loving her. How hard!
I am very close to all of my boys and most of their partners. My eldest son married a young woman whose husband had committed suicide. A few short years later my grandson died after a lengthy illness. My dil is not close to me or her family. I think she has had so much loss she just can’t be. Sometimes her behavior is offensive but I just have to let it be.
All I am saying is that if the rest of your relationship is healthy and happy then dont let fmil ruin things. If his behavior with fmil is an example of other ways he doesn’t support you then I think you should rethink things.
Take care..and please know i was not trying to be hard or defend her craziness. HUGS
Post # 14
Oh goodness, Kazoo, I have to disagree with your advice. I love my daddy. I do. So does my mom. My grandmother is not a pleasant mother-in-law. She can be a lovely grandma, but she’s an awful MIL. My mom has had to deal with her meddling, her manipulation, and her passive-agressive behavior for 25 years because my dad won’t put his foot down and put his wife and children ahead of her. I got a nice taste of what she can be like when she discovered that I wasn’t planning on inviting kids to my wedding. It wasn’t fun.
When a man takes his wedding vows, his wife becomes his number one. The wife, and her needs and feelings, MUST be ahead of his parents’, and if the parent can’t understand that, then a choice has to be made. If this MIL refuses to treat the OP with respect, her FI needs to take a stand and make his choice. He is in the middle because it’s his mom and his fiancee.