Post # 1
This definitely comes under emotional as I am so incredibly annoyed right now, thanks to anyone reading who can offer a perspective on this!
yesterday was my FI’s 26th birthday and I went all our and made a huge fuss because his last birthday he’d been in hospital with his grandad. So I decorated our flat in NY themed stuff, did a huge American style brunch and then took him out for a few daytime drinks in the sunshine, and while we were out and about we happened to find and buy his wedding suit (we weren’t intentionally looking for it, we just happened across a beautiful mod style Ben Sherman suit that he fell in love with). I’d originally planned to take him to an American burger joint that he adores, but a week before his mother rings me and asks to be included in the plans. I was thrilled at this because she’s a workaholic and usually never gets Sundays off, so I said for her to pick a restaurant that she and her boyfriend like and she chose this lovely French place which she knew was out of our budget but we went along with it anyway.
So we are having dinner and he says to his mum that he found his suit and that we had bought it on the spot. She got all teary eyed and said how she had been intending to take him to Next to buy a suit she had seen for him. Now, she had been pushing the suit department at next on us every time we saw her, and my FI didn’t have the heart to tell her that he hated them all. She made a point about how she would buy him a suit but implicitly made it seem that she would only buy him one if it was from next, and got a bit irritated with me when on the phone one day I said he had been looking at Ted Baker and Bn Sherman suits. But either way, suits had not been mentioned for a good few months before we bought his, so we just went ahead with it because we don’t expect her to pay for anything anyway. So last night she got really mock tearful at the table and kept having her new boyfriend comfort her.
now, this woman did not so much as call her son on the day of his birthday, despite my knowing that she was out drinking in the city centre ith her boyfriend all day from facebook which my boyfriend doesn’t have (we didn’t know she was still coming until she turned up at the restaurant), she never contacts him unless her boyfriend is away, she never offers to help him with anything in his life emotionally or financially, so I feel it is weird that she is getting so proprietous over buying him a suit on her terms. FI is extremely sensitive and it basically ruined his whole evening and we went home early. I feel that had her boyfriend not been there she wouldn’t have even commented on the suit; she was playing the mommy card for his benefit to look like an encouraging and loving mother which she isn’t, by nature. She never talks or asks about the wedding, but this one occasion, on her sons birthday, she turns the waterworks on and ruins his evening? He didn’t touch his dinner because he was so upset and yet she regained her composure enough to empty her plate and a bottle of wine each for her and her boyfriend. She didn’t seem genuinely upset, but am I being harsh?
EDIT: I’ll add that suits from Next are probably between £90-£150, where his BS suit was £350 and superior quality. I think this is a big part of her suddenly ‘loving’ their suit dept
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I think you have every right to be upset and put off, but the only thing you can do is support your FI and forget about the incident. Don’t give in to her antics, she sounds very immature. I’m sure you FI will look amazing in the suit your guys bought together!
Post # 4
You’re being overly harsh, but only because you and your fiancé control your reactions to his mother’s drama. She can pout and cry all she wants. It’s up to you if you allow it to ruin your night. Heck, she might even lose the theatrics once she’s not got an audience for it.
Instead of dwelling on her flaws, or her behavior, which you can’t control, dwell on your reactions to those things, which you can 100% control.
Post # 5
@MeiFrancis: I just can’t handle her pettiness, especially when it ruins such an important day. If she cared so much about contributing she could offer to either give him some money toward the suit or she could buy him some shoes or something, but I think she just wants to be able to say that she bought him it so she looks like the good mother rather than because she genuinely gives a damn.
Post # 6
@fishbone: I did rise above it and didn’t react, even my FI doesn’t know I’m annoyed. I wanted perspectives on whether other bees would be similarly annoyed Or whether they’d let it slide. It didn’t ruin my night because she did it directly to my FI and I didn’t know until later when i asked why FI hadnt eaten, as it was a big table and I was sitting with FSIL and her SO. it impacted on my FI’s night because she did it to him alone, and that’s what’s caused my upset; she has this quietly orchestrated little breakdown then regains enough composure to still enjoy her evening, leaving my FI in tatters
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
@smealeys: Which is why you have the bee to vent to =) Just be happy she birthed your FI so you can marry him, and treat her like a crazy pet.
ETA I’m not sure that it’s helpful for your FI if you don’t react at all. It might be best to start encouraging him to distance himself emotionally from his mom, because I’m sure she will have convenient opinions/expectations like this in years to come, especially if there will be grandkids in the picture
Post # 8
@fishbone: Totally agree. OP, it sounds like the mom was a bit theatrical but I don’t understand why it had to ruin the night. You guys already bought the suit so there’s no going back now.
Post # 9
Furious? No. Annoyed? Yes.
Her behavior is quite annoying and uncalled for, but your FI needs to learn to control his emotions better. You put in all that effort, so he should have been happy about that instead of letting his mom’s actions ruin his night. It wasn’t that big of a deal. Definitely not something that would stop me from eating!
Post # 10
Umm, Next or Ben Sherman? No contest – and if she can’t see that then her style compass is seriously off. Your FI was right to be upset – just be there to comfort him and be quietly furious on his behalf. It sounds like you’re going to have a fun marriage ahead with her as your MIL….
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
@smealeys: Ugh, I’d be mad too. Try to cheer your FH up and let it go though. Suits from Next are great for women, but for men their clothes aren’t my favourites – my Mum keeps trying to get my FH to buy stuff from there too, but he prefers M&S!
Just focus on how great the suit he got is, and how good he looks in it and how much he loves it. My FH got a bargain Ben Sherman dinner suit the other year in the sales and he loves it so much – are you trying to save it for the wedding, or could you maybe glam yourselves up and hit the town in it pre-wedding, so he can feel super?
(When I say hit the town, I mean like the favourite burgers you originally planned and drinks at a bar you like, doesn’t have to be super expensive)
ETA: I also agree with the PP who said maybe you should let him know that you’re miffed his mum said anything. I wouldn’t bring it up yourself, but if he mentions it again, just say something like “Yeah, I can’t believe she said that. It’s not really fair of her to say. But I’m sure she’ll love it when she sees it, and I think you look amazing in it.”
Post # 12
You always have a right to your feelings. But yes, it’s an odd occurrence. It sounds like she wanted attention and this was a chance to get it.
My future MIL, does similiar things. Except she’s mean and not “sad”. She will claim really ridiculous reasons to be “upset”. To me, it’s a call for attention. A reason to have the spotlight on her.
His mom is also unpredictable about calling & showing up. She loves to make plans and then say nothing else. Or she won’t return calls so we are left wondering. Took me just a handful of times to learn and now know better. I don’t take anything she says seriously.
Post # 13
Yeah, your FMIL is just a drama queen trying to make everything about her. The fact that she would do this at a celebratory dinner for him is what tips you off. If she was a little hurt but still supported him, she might call him later and calmly mention she felt a little excluded and is there something else she can contribute? But no, instead you got waterworks and guilt trips. Disgusting.
I have a very low tolerance for adults who act like scheming children to get their way…with their own kids. I’d say maybe he should sit down with her and try to lay out some guidelines for behavior, but based on the other things you listed that she does, she just sounds too self-centered to actually care.
You just had a rehearsal of how she will act at your wedding, if she’s not 100% happy. Like a PP said, your FI will want to start distancing himself NOW.
Post # 14
Thanks for your replies everybody.
I think I may have been similarly dramatic due to incensed emotions running high. as @Savvy24 Said, I was really annoyed rather than furious. His mother is not a bad person and nor would I ever want him to sever ties with her, but I’ve identified that my problem with her is that she changes around people. I think her reaction the other night was purely based upon her wish to form her boyfriends opinion of her as an active and involved mother, and it is that phoniness that really irritates me and makes me want to smack her. Se is very immature and obviously insecure, but really it is up to FI to have it out with her as it didn’t upset me inasmuch as it was aimed at him. I’m still really ticked off at her attitude and for the first time I got a flash of the crappy family I’m marrying into, but it’s worth it for him