Divorcing inlaws during engagement

posted 4 months ago in Family
Post # 2
476 posts
Helper bee

um. you kind of sound slightly insensitive. justa bit. this is inconvenient for you, yes, but your MIL’s multidecade marriage is ending.  This could be life or death for her, depending how it goes. Sounds like things were never right between them … but if she is as traditional as you describe, it’s likely she is very dependent on her husband. Who has apparently been cheating on her the entire time they were married. What a peach that one is. In sickness and in health my arse. 

My parents are the ones going through a divorce. They have been in the midst ofa slow-motion divorce for the past 15 years. I wish I were kidding. I have set clear boundaries with both of them, and if they are violated they will be tossed out. I hired off-duty cops. 

Post # 3
1200 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

mrsbee2be :  I can relate some to what you’re going through. My Dad died about a month ago. And I’ve been the one my mom has been leaning on since. 

It’s going to be hard. She’s going to need a lot of support and advice. The best thing you can do is just be there for her and continue to support her. Let her cry. Let her be upset.

My Fiance has been an amazing support system for us. Just like you’ll have to be for your BF and somewhat his Mom. I agree that she should see a counselor. But you also have to realize that you can’t make her talk. I was assaulted several years ago. While mine doesn’t sound anywhere near as bad as her situation, it’s still difficult to talk about. I can’t even imagine how hard it will be for her if she ever does talk about it. 

You two might benefit from some couples counseling to learn how to cope with this situation together. Because I can assure you, it will be a difficult thing to navigate on your own. 

Sorry you two are going through this. 

Post # 6
996 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

Your MIL has already been through so much. It’s going to be super hard for her to get through this. Does she have other family in your country or are they back in her home country? Right now, even if she isn’t emotionally dependant on her husband, she presumably is financially. Has she ever worked? Does she have many friends? Does she have any idea this is coming?

It’s going to be tough for everyone involved but indefinitely think you should be involved. She will need support. You might need to have clear boundaries of what is too much, but you should be there for her as much as possible.

Post # 8
1632 posts
Bumble bee

I would tread very carefully here. You can support her, but you have to set boundaries. Your husband (and you) cannot become her emotional crutch. Neither parent should be allowed to bitch and moan about the other one to the two of you (or even discuss the divorce at all). On the other hand, helping her find a support group, therapist, or new hobbies is great. 

In other words, let the adults adult. While a terrible thing happened to her, she never made any effort to seek help and fix her marriage. She is not blameless in its failure.

Staying out of the middle will help preserve your sanity. But be prepared for a lot of emotional blackmail. I would bet good money that she will threaten not to attend events if “he” is there. Don’t give in to her. She will have to learn to share a room with her ex. If my parents could, anybody can.

Post # 9
557 posts
Busy bee

Although you have a right to be concerned, these are adults who have made  the decision to divorce. I would wonder how you found out (or would care to know) the amount of times your future in-laws have had sex! These are their issues, not yours. Don’t let their problems put a damper on your wedding. In my opinion.. Stay out of it!

Post # 10
9668 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

You definitely need to step back. You are really getting entangled, and as nice as you’re trying to be, there’s also a lot of judgment on your part like “she cares more about the image” of being married.

You really have no idea what goes on in someone else’s marriage. You shouldn’t know how often they’ve had sex. Who told you that? Who told her about her history with sexual abuse? 

Whoever told you these things is being inappropriate. 

She’s a grown up. Treat her like one. And the FIL. Make boundaries, hold them both equally to them, and don’t make subconscious judgments about whose fault this is- your post reads like it’s her fault but that also sounds like the excuse men have been using for years when they cheat on their wives. So, you can’t know- stay out of it. Be Switzerland. 


Post # 11
4993 posts
Honey bee

mrsbee2be :

I ‘m not sure you can claim to be a ‘very sensitive  person’ and then freely and apparently unashamedly admit to being so insensitive over fi’s parents  impending marriage ending. You also describe yourself as  “a driven, independent woman and have my own success and interests, etc.”, which sounds  a bit more likely than ‘very sensitive’, given the rest of your post .

But be that as it may , I would uttely HATE  to be in possession of such intimate  facts about my IL’s sex life , and perhaps you do too? Heaven knows  how you got such knowledge ,  which  in any case you can’t possibly know the truth of.  I mean,   for instance , many  men  who cheat say that their wives hate sex  so they are ‘forced ‘ to cheat etc.  Not saying  that’s the case but….

 Anyway, I would distance myself from knowing any more, not one jot , and generally from being so closely involved . I can see that fi  might want to talk about it  , but I think you need to confine your conversations regarding  it to your own engagement and feelings  , and not engage in any more discusssions and  speculations about his parents marriage, and staunchly  dissaude either parent from wanting to  confide in you.

 You sound   like you have done sterling work on him ( your fi  ) in growing  him up and detatching him from dysfunctional mother/son stuff, I’d continue it by firmly  keeping your inlaws marriage and  probable  divorce in the ‘their business ‘  camp. I can see fis’ mother will want to lean on your fi, more , but this is up to him too, to keep in check. No more  confidences about the state of their marriage, nothing   except support , not entanglement.   

Post # 12
2686 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

This shouldn’t affect your wedding plans except that the seating chart will be a bit trickier. Just keep attending to your business and keep your nose out of theirs. My heart breaks for his mother, not only has she been through abuse and a cheating husband and now a divorce, but apparently people are also discussing her sex life. You sound kinda heartless. 

Post # 15
4993 posts
Honey bee

mrsbee2be : 

You sound very thoughtful and concerned OP , but all I can say is , don’t let that get you back into it all.  Don’t speculate or discuss  as to what happened /happens  in their marriage . As you say, nobody   ever really knows  about what happens behind the closed doors of other peoples  marriages.

I think the one to particularly avoid any form of discussion with sounds like FFIL. With FMIL, dont assume  her behaviour is devious or manipulative, but just  commiserate with her feelings if she confides . Just simple  “Oh I’m sorry you are sad” etc with no engagement on the subject matter 

Good luck with it all.     

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