Post # 1
I’m having some awkward boundary issues with Future Mother-In-Law. Recently, we were in the ladies’ room together, and she started brushing her hair, then turned to me and looked at my hair and said it needed to be brushed. She actually tried to reach out and start brushing it, but I told her that it actually did not need to be brushed at all and that I was fine with it.
Later, she told me, “Wear some lip gloss”. And at another point, she suggested that I take off one of my layers (on a cold day) to reveal my arms at the event where we were.
I’m always well-groomed and presentable . . . . her comments are completely unnecessary and I feel that she’s intruding into my personal space. I think I should probably try to communicate with her about this — only I feel that it’s going to come across as offensive if I tell her to stop commenting when she thinks I should reapply lip gloss, etc.
Has anyone else had to broach these types of boundary issues with a FMIL? Can you help me think of a diplomatic way to let her know to keep some of these suggestions to herself?
Post # 3
response to all suggestions:
“Thanks, (or thank you, depending on mood lol) but I’m good”
Post # 4
Future Mother-In-Law doesn’t do it often, but when she does I just sing, “I’m a big girl now!” Like off those pampers pull ups commericials, lol. It’s a fun, non confrontational way to let her know that I can take care of myself without hurting her feelings. She ends up smiling every time–and she doesn’t bother me again 🙂
Post # 5
I would just tell her I prefer being a frump. That would probably stop it!
Post # 6
hhaha no my Future Mother-In-Law thinks I shouldn’t care what I look like so Im on the other end of that
Post # 7
Hahahahah! I love the pampers idea! I can’t ever imagine my Future Mother-In-Law doing this but my grandmother (who I love to death) used to do this and it drove me up the wall. When I was a teenager we had a huge blow up over brushing my hair right before my cousins wedding. Then we decided it wasn’t worth it and things are mostly better now. But it still comes up occasionally. If it’s something I don’t really care about I’ll take her suggestion. If it is something I care about I let her know that this is how I’m doing ____ but thanks for the suggestion. Just hang in there and be firm without being mean. You can do it. Just be honest.
Post # 8
Does she have daughters? Sounds like she’s really trying to “mom” you. I do this to my (3 year old) nieces. I only have one boy so when I’m with them, something comes out in me that makes me “mom”them and treat them that way…now they are 3years old though! I know some people, women, that are just like that, my sister is 37 and she still reaches over to fix my make up (I’m 31). I don’t take offence, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I swat their hand away and told, sometimes I scowl:)
Post # 9
Like angelz, I was gonna say maybe she sees you as a daughter and she’s acting like a mom and it’s nothing personal
Post # 10
Ha! My mom went through these things with my paternal grandmother. Grandma thought that my mom never kept her house clean enough. So one day she came over and started cleaning my mother’s house. She even stepped up onto a chair to clean the top of the breakfront. My mom just sat on the couch and watched. Then my grandmother fell off the chair and hurt her head. That was the last time my grandma ever tried to clean the house. So I think sometimes doing/saying nothing is the best approach.
Post # 11
I would be blunt and just say “no its ok, if I feel the need to do that I’ll do it on my own and it would be nice if you wouldn’t comment on my appearance so much, its starting to be offensive to me.”
Granted, my Future Mother-In-Law and I don’t have much of a relationship and the one we do have would allow for me to be this way about it. Plus, anyone who knows my personality would not think this to be out of character or rude. Including Future Mother-In-Law. So with that said, my suggestion may not help you much lol 🙁
Post # 12
I would say something along these lines….”I look just fine the way I am, so much so that I was clearly able to secure an engagement with your son. He likes the way I look. Are you questioning his taste?” Say it kind of sweet and jokingly though. My Future Mother-In-Law doesn’t do this so much with my looks but with how I act and things I do. She is one of those people who by nature cannot go a moment without being overly critcial and is always pointing out how she would have done things differently.
Post # 13
@megz06: Oh that is fantastic, I will totally be using that.
My Future Mother-In-Law has been trying to change more and more of my appearance against my style (she’d be happiest if I looked like a stepford wife) sometimes I want to scream “I’m not a dress up doll! I’m a grown woman and I do not need to be mothered!”. She only has sons, a distorted view on what daughters are really like and the typical control issues 😉
Post # 14
Post # 15
Does she not have a daughter of her own?
Post # 16
@GroovyHippieChick: This is my standard reply to all Father-In-Law suggestions, whether it be dietary, appearance-related, or anything else. They used to reply with “No, are you sure??? blah blah blah” but now they accept it as an answer and usually move on.