Post # 1
Hello fellow bees. So I’ve been with my fiance for 5 years, and we recently got engaged. The thing is, I’m starting to have doubts because of his out of control mother. To you give you background, I’ve never particularly cared for his mom, though they are EXTREMEMLY close. He doesn’t live in the same city as her, but when we first met he was driving six hours to see her and spend the weekend about every other week. She isn’t financially stable, as she chose to only work part-time her whole life (zero dollars in savings, and “retired” early at 55). His parents are divorced, and she blames his father for not being a source of revenue for her and my fiance grew up very poor because of these life choices. For the first year of our relationship, my fiance would go visit his mother often, and provide her with rather substantial monetary gifts everytime, though he wasn’t making a particularly good salary. When he began his phD program he had to stop because we barely had enough to cover our own bills. She kept nagging him for money, and then guilted him by saying he still made more than she did. I work a full-time and a part-time job to ensure we are financially stable, and it really bothers me that his mother is trying to squeeze money out of him like that.
Additionally, the first time I met his mother she criticized me for not being rural enough and being from a family with greater financial stability. These patterns have continued (for example she told me the only reason she appreciated my company during the holidays was because I gave very nice gifts). She uses drugs regularly, and has pushed my fiance in the past to do so too. When he says no, she criticizes him for being a “conformist” and notes it’s probably because of me that he doesn’t want to be cool with his mother. One year I was too busy in graduate school to come home for the holidays, so my boyfriend offered to come visit and keep me company while writing term papers. He ate dinner with his mother, and then told her he was going to visit me. She was appalled that he didn’t want to “sleep at her house” and told him it wasn’t always about what I wanted.
Anyways, now that we are engaged things have spiraled out of control. Every opportunity she has to undermind the relationship she does so. For Christmas she sent me a jewelry box, with a half smoked joint in it. I was very offended by this, and my fiance insisted it was probably a mistake. I worry about how she would treat our children if we had them in the future, or if should would put them in danger by using drugs around them. When I’ve shared this with my fiance, he says she wouldn’t and doesn’t understand why I would worry about that. He tells me I’m being oversensitive, and worry too much. I really have reflected on this a lot over the past 5 years, and don’t think I’m overreacting at all. Any thoughts would be helpful. I’ve been super distraught about all of this, and I’m questioning the future a lot!!
Post # 2
Post # 3
Either your Fiance needs to set some SERIOUS boundaries with mom or you’re going to have to be movin’ along down the line.
Post # 4
Wow. And what does he do other than justify her behavior? If he isn’t a grown up now, he’s not going to morph into a good husband just because he gets married.
I think you need to slow this down until he proves he’s capable of being a husband first.
Post # 5
Nope. You don’t have a Mother-In-Law problem – people rarely do. You have a Fiance problem. He needs to get on board with YOU being his primary family now, and if you have to try to talk him into that? Bad news.
Bye Felicia. He can go be married to mommy.
Post # 6
“I’m questioning the future a lot!!” And rightly so. As they say in my country, there are plenty of fish in the ocean. Don’t think that only this man has the capacity of making you happy. In fact, he seems pretty talented at the opposite. I suggest you seriously contemplate leaving this mess behind.
Post # 7
Wow! I cant believe he wouldn’t say anything when she treats you like that! Hes being a total pushover, and letting YOU get run over! Not acceptable. You absolutely SHOULD be questioning the future. You are marrying him, but if he doesnt start standing up for you and setting some major boundaries, you’re going to be married to HER too.
Post # 8
Nailed it. If mommy’s boy couldn’t set strict boundaries before, he’s not going to. And do you really want to deal with this the rest of your life? It sounds like he’s made it clear that he and mommy come as a package deal, and unfortunately for him, he’ll never have a healthy relationship because of it. Fortunately for you, you haven’t signed any legal documents yet. If he’s not willing to sit down, have a serious talk, and get some counseling with you, get out.
Post # 9
It sounds to me like she has some mental health problems, as well as addiction issues. If she’s always short of money, it could be partly do to the cost of drugs.
I’m VERY serious when I say that before you move any further towards the wedding, sit down with Fiance and have a very important conversation about what is going to happen with mom in future when she gets ill and can’t look after herself? Are there other siblings who could help look after her? Because I see a situation where in 10 or so years her health will be failing, and she’ll need to move in with someone – and that someone might be you. By then you might have small children – and don’t want her drug problems anywhere near your kids. Be aware that in future you may be paying for her to live in a nursing home.
Post # 10
You don’t have a Future Mother-In-Law problem. You have a fiance problem.
Either he needs to set her straight or you need to walk away from this mess.
Post # 11
I wholeheartedly agree that you don’t have a Mother-In-Law probleem; you have an Fiance problem. He isn’t standing up to his mum now, so what makes you think he will change after you marry him? He won’t. So you need to decide now whether you can tolerate his acceptance and tacit approval of his mum and what she does or whether you cannot. Don’t count on his support when it comes to her watching a baby in the future. Indeed, if his mum disagrees, don’t count on his support for anything.
Post # 12
I had to end a relationship with a boyfriend because of his mom. She put so many insecurities in him that no amount of reassurance from me could change her influence on him. She too had an addiction problem (alcohol) and even though she is sober now and lives out of state, she still has him under her thumb.
My then boyfriend couldn’t and wouldn’t stand up for me. I couldn’t live the rest of my life like that.
Post # 13
your FI’s mom isn’t the problem. She only does what he lets her do. So your actual problem is with him. Not her. I’ve seen multiple relationships, engagements, and marriages where 1-2 parents are overbearing and negative. IMO the relationships that worked and were healthy were where the adult children of the difficult parents established and enforced boundaries that worked for their relationships. They let their parents know what types of behaviors were expected and weren’t okay and distanced themselves if the parents disregarded that. Those parents had to be told and saw in action that there was no competition at all, but, if there was, the SO would come first, not the parent.
It seems that you’ve never liked the relationship your Fiance has w his mom the whole time you’ve been dating. I wouldn’t expect that to change. Before you get married and have kids (and really before you got engaged), you should decide if you are going to be happy with how he currently deals with his mother for the rest of your life.
Post # 14
He’s no type going to change and neither is she. If you’re marring him, this is what you’re getting. He in enmeshed big time.
Post # 15
I agree your Fiance needs to take a stand with his mother. It’s only going to get worse when you’re married and if/when you have kids. His mother may well have issues, but it will certainly take its toll in the long run.