Controlling FMIL

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 46
280 posts
Helper bee

sablescorpion22 :  I am thinking that maybe from my username I am being perceived to be 17? Sorry! I am not- just my favourite number. At least that’s what I interpret from the “Lil’Bee” comment. Nonetheless, I appreciate your perspective and was not at all trying to offend as I clearly have done to you. Moreso, I just felt bad for OP that many (not all) of the responses immediately jump to breaking up and I just wanted to put it out there that that’s easier said than done and that I understand her stress and his stress about this matter.



Post # 47
432 posts
Helper bee

I have similar issues with my Future Mother-In-Law. I can’t stand her. Seriously. I love my fiancé to death but these are NOT people that I would ever choose to hang out with otherwise. I tolerate them and so does he. During Christmas, this past year, my Future Mother-In-Law was so obnoxious; we left early! … And leaving early wasn’t my decision either, it was his. Put it this way, as soon as we walked into the door, she started pestering us about THIS COMING CHRISTMAS (2018)! She wanted us to travel up north with her and when we told her that I had limited days off work and that we’re saving them for our honeymoon, she still actually expected my (by then) husband to leave me on Christmas to travel with her for the holidays this year! That will be our first Christmas as a married couple together and I found her expectations to be very rude. I personally think she was trying to get “dibs” on the holidays this year before MY mother could. What was worse is that she kept going on about it the entire time we were at dinner AFTER we had already told her “no” in more ways than one. She was more interested in talking about Christmas of 2018 than she was in talking about our wedding this year! I’ve tried to include her and chat with her about wedding details and she couldn’t be less interested. She has said so many ridiculous things about me that have been so out of line, I’m having trouble keeping track at this point. I chose to stay in this relationship because my fiancé has no problem telling her when to back off. He’s been very good at creating boundaries and he told me after our annoying holiday with them this year, that if she keeps acting this way, we won’t be going over there at all until she can act right. If he handled himself any other way, I don’t think I would be able to stay. I’m just too old to be bossed around by someone who isn’t even MY mother. I have a mother and one is enough.    

I can give you 2 bits of advice.

1. STOP bouncing around during the holidays to accommodate everyone under the frickin sun! It’s inconsiderate for relatives to think that you will both be literally everywhere and they all get to sit their asses down in the comfort of their own homes and complain about you! Pick one house to go to for Christmas Eve/Christmas Eve night and the other to visit during Christmas day through the night. If someone gets their panties in a wad, oh well, get used to it!

2. Keep your dignity. STOP extending the “olive branch” to her. Let your boyfriend handle her from now on. He seriously needs to create boundaries with her… consequences for her actions. It’s called tough love and maybe she needs it. 

I swear… Mothers of “boys”… wtf… smh


Post # 48
616 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I was engaged (madly in love) and wanted nothing other than to marry him. We were happy unless Future Mother-In-Law was around. After we got engaged, she got much worse. I view my exFI as a victim of her abuse,  as she laid so much guilt on him to force us to break up (which he did) that he had a nervous breakdown, didn’t work for a year and remained single for at least 7 years. He never put me over her. I thought this would change when we were engaged, but it didn’t. He acted like he was brainwashed.

Don’t underestimate the Mother-In-Law. 

Post # 49
2774 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

samael :  hey! I hadn’t seen your post! And yes, OP, Reddit’s JustNoMIL community and DWIL over at babycenter (don’t be fooled by the name) will probably help you tremendously, if only to open your eyes up to what the future may hold (Reddit) and practical advice for dealing with it (DWIL). 

sablescorpion22 :  is absolutely right. I know it seems like ‘oh yes, it’s easy for you to say ‘get out’ when you don’t really know/understand our relationship.’ The truth is, usually I see the “you can work it out, kill them with kindness” posts from the younger Bees while the older of us say “get tf out now!”

OP: Why? Let’s see, I’m 36, almost 37 now. I was with a mama’s boy from the ages of 23-24 and then we broke up because of her but got back together when I was 25-27 years old. I went back for more, yeah, because I was stupidly in love with the guy. He was/is a fantastic guy and a pretty good SO. However, when the relationship could’ve progressed to a more committed one he just couldn’t do it. He would’ve made a terrible husband (at the time, God knows what he’s up to now although I’ve heard he’s still single) because he was already committed to putting one woman above all others – his mother.

Men who already have a (emotional and otherwise) spouse make subpar FIs and terrible husbands. 

What I’ve learned, with my experience and others’, is that you absolutely cannot make someone grow up because you see their potential or because you’d like them to. You CANNOT make your SO realize that his relationship with his mother will cost him every romantic relationship he has until HE changes. His mom? She’ll never change and she’ll wail and bemoan the fact that some second-tier skank stoke his little boy away and left her bereft if he EVER leaves her. And by ‘leave her’ I mean becomes emotionally, financially AND physically independent of her. All three of those are important. So far he’s shown you that he’s not leaving her for you. He might make a great boyfriend but he cannot be your spouse. Not if you want a spouse for whom you are the primary relationship. In your boyfriend’s case his mother is his primary relationship and you are the secondary one.


Post # 50
390 posts
Helper bee

She’s not very well liked by most people, and was the main cause of his brothers divorce after less than 2 years.

Yeah.. now why do you think it will be different for you guys? I’m sorry but if she’s already causing issues between you and your Fiance and he doesn’t know how to handle her you are heading towards the same end result as his brothers. 

I would personally leave. She sounds like a nightmare and it’s not true that you are marrying your Fiance and not his family – you are most definitely marrying his family and these issues will continue and she will break you two. 

Post # 51
6373 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY

“My bf is a self proclaimed mamas boy.”

This is where I stopped reading.  It’s also where I would’ve been gone.

Post # 52
740 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2020

Your Future Mother-In-Law did not break up her son’s marriage. She did not force them to get a divorce. She does not have that legal power. Your Brother-In-Law chose to put his mom first. End of story. 

Same goes for your SO. It doesn’t matter how “controlling” a person is if the other person doesn’t let themselves be controlled. Your SO is making the active choice to placate his mom over his girlfriend. You can blame the mom all you want, but ultimately, your boyfriend needs to take responsibility of his own actions.

I know you must love him and I know this must be hard for him, but you need to make it clear to him that this is 100% his choice. He is choosing what is easy over what is right. And I hope for you he learns this soon and comes around. As other bees said, it can happen, but he needs to open his eyes to his control over his own life.

Post # 53
1689 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

elizabee17 :  There was no offense taken on my part, just simply pointing something out to a newbie to this board.   And its unfortunate that you took offense to “lil bee”.  I didn’t even notice the “17” in your username.  I usually say that to most of the bees who are much younger than me.  But I appreciate all perspectives so just going to say “welcome to the WB”…no frogs here smile

Post # 54
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2019

I think a lot of people have said what I’m going to say, but I have 2 real life, prime examples of when things go the way they should, and when things do not:

1. My current relationship. My fiancé is the youngest son of 3 in his family, and naturally the Mother-In-Law has issues letting go of her baby boy. She has a distorted, narcissistic sense of what “respect” is, and what is right and wrong. When people don’t listen to her, she cries and plays the victim. When I don’t listen to her (why would I?), she claims that I am instigating and that I am not the ideal daughter in law. My fiancé and I put each other first. He doesn’t listen to her, will tell her she’s wrong, and we know she’s not going to change. ***We will be cutting her off after our wedding**. Already mutually decided between me and the fiancé, and that’s that. Thank god my parents are wonderful. 


2. My coworkers current relationship. They have been dating for almost 6 years, and the Mother-In-Law does not like my friend. Has commented on little things here and there to the son, and the son is definitely a momma’s boy. Mother-In-Law wanted to come visit their NYC one bedroom apartment (of which she does not financially help with at all-impt since if she paid for his portion or whatever, then she should obviously be allowed to stay). My friend didn’t want her to stay given the tension, and Boyfriend or Best Friend told her that “if she didn’t want to be there while his mom visits, she can find a friend to stay with”. The gall (my friend pays half the rent on her own). He’s also made indications that he won’t marry her until she fixes relations with his mom. Reason she stays is because they’ve been dating so long, she loves him, she’s sure he loves her, only problem is the mom. BIG problem. 


I’m not going to suggest one way or another, but if this is what already happening now, it WILL get worse with marriage, and even more so with children. Agree with other bees that HE is the one who needs to stand up, but after all this time, she may not take him seriously. 


Does the Mother-In-Law have any kind of hold over him/the kids? Financial (helping out or trust fund)? Etc?

Post # 55
9595 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

This is going to be an actual living nightmare if you marry him and have a family. Honestly you both need to stop being whipped by Mother-In-Law. If he can’t handle that then you walk away because you’re clearly the other woman.

Post # 56
8552 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

maria9615 :  

I don’t suppose you are much liking  the avalanche of warnings against  marrying  a self proclaimed mamas boy.”   OP , but  unless you can wean him from this ( I use the term  advisedly) you will suffer like this all your married life until in  desperation , and  perhaps with a couple of children  in tow,   you have to  leave him for your sanity’s sake.

Its a worry that all his years of therapy  seem to have achieved nothing, did his mother choose his  therapist I wonder  ?  I agree with pps that  you both need counselling , and by someone  skilled and experienced in this area . Certainly not by the therapist who esems to  have failed so signally with him so far.

And never  lose sight of the fact that HE is the problem in your  relationship , not HER. Without his self proclained  mama’s boy status  ( shudder) she would  be merely a nuisance, and not the  serious threat she currently is. As an expericnced pp said , do not underestimate  her.   

Post # 58
145 posts
Blushing bee

My best friend went through this with her Mother-In-Law, and she was every bit as bad as what you’re describing. It ate away at their relationship until she eventually snapped and said “deal with your mother or I’m moving out”. Surprisingly, he did. He went and had a long conversation about how he recognised that she loved him, but that he was a grown man who needed to put his SO first, and that she needed to take a back seat and allow their relationship as mother and son to mature into a new phase.

She did. She backed right off. Mother-In-Law from hell became acceptable, even polite to my friend.

I think your Fiance needs to have this conversation with his mum. He needs to say all by himself that you come first and she needs to calm down and back off… if you’re there she may think you’re forcing him to do it. Ultimately, you need to sort this because it will eat away at your otherwise happy and healthy relationship.

Post # 59
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

He gives them money? How old are you two? This just gets worse and worse.. Seriously OP I wish you could see how bad this looks from the outside. He’s not going to change.

Post # 60
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2019

gwenchilada :  hmm, I don’t think it’s terrible that he gives them money. It all depends on why. In some cultures, it’s considered a sign of respect to give a little each month back to your parents to thank them for raising you (of course only if you can afford it). Though the reasoning does seem a bit forced with the parents attitude towards it all. 

Glad that they don’t actually hold anything over him though. It could be worse if he was depending on them for a lot. 

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