(Closed) Future Vietnamese Mother in Law… any advice?

posted 9 years ago in South East Asian
Post # 17
Member
204 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@yrret107 – I’ve known quite a few Vietnamese. We have a huge variety of Asian immigrants in this state. They’ve all been very courteous about speaking English if not all present spoke -choose language.- So maybe it’s not a matter of rule in Vietnam. Maybe the people I’ve known are just really courteous. But I know it is common practice to speak the language that all in the room know when possible. This certainly sounds like a situation where it is. I only speak Spanish as a second language, and poorly. But dang if I don’t give it a try in the right situation. lol

Post # 18
Member
3871 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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@kitcat12: Oh, ok, in that case I would be careful telling the OP (original poster) to tell her Fiance that it is unacceptable to speak vietnamese in front of her. If my mom found out that my husband told me that I’m not allowed to speak vietnamese while he is around. She would probably disown me.

To be fair, me and my sisters do translate what my mom says, so our husbands don’t feel left out. My mom does try to have conversations in english but it’s so much easier for her speak vietnamese. Yeah, sometimes people are stubborn. I’ve tried to change my mom one too many times. It does not work. In order to keep me happy and her happy, it’s better to either keep her out of the loop or to say the things that will make her happy.

Post # 19
Member
204 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I guess I’d like to know if OP’s FH has bothered to teach her Vietnamese, or if OP has bothered to learn it.

Post # 20
Member
5892 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I have a Japanese Mom–I think there is a touch of cultural craziness with Asian Moms LOL. But my Mom is not anywhere near that bad. i’m sorry you are dealing with this @amazingnothing:

But I think you need to stop focusing on the his Mom and focus on him. You will never fix or change her. She will always be mean, rude and disrespectful. That is the way she is (which is personality, not cultural, issue). You have to accept that. 

But what you can expect to change is your SO. You need to be clear that he needs to speak English when you are around. Sometimes my Mom will slip in to Japanese and I will answer in English when DH is around. He needs to stand up for you and demand that she respect you and your things. Mom doesn’t have to like you, just has to behave and respect you.

If he can’t do that or you have to constantly remind, beg, demand certain things. Then he is telling you his priority is his Mom and always will be. You have to decide if you can live with things exactly the way they are. If not, you have to take care of yourself and move on. 

 

Post # 21
Member
685 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@amazingnothing: I’m too Vietnamese and sorry about your situation. I agree with people that unfortunately, it’s typical for Vietnamese mom. I wish you luck in this situation.

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@kitcat12: I’m aware of the rule speaking in English when non-Vietnamese are there, however we don’t follow that rule. Every family gathering, my husband endurse our family get together; he would be on his phone playing game while we talk in Vietnamese away. He understand my family likes him and we are not doing it to be rude, but it’s easier for us to communicate. My family tried to communicate with him, but the conversation was short, forced and awark. There would be silence and then continue talking in Vietnamese. It would not work for us.

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@ttn133: I agree with you. I think having the OP tell her BF that it’s unacceptable to speak Vietnamese infront of her would not improve the situation (if not make it worse).

Post # 23
Member
444 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

honestly..you seem like you really love your bf…to be dealing with this stuff..you sound so patience! Have you talked to your BF about your future together? Maybe you should talk to him about where you stand?  His mom can only get away with things he allows her to.  My brother is the youngest (I have two younger brothers) and the youngest wouldn’t let my mom get away with stuff like that…his girlfriend is Chinese and my mom didn’t like her at first..but now that they’ve been together for 5 years..she wouldn’t think twice about saying something awful about her (once and a while she would get upset, but she gets over it).  It’s not that my brother and his gf said anything to her..but the fact that her son (my brother) loves her and made a point that she is sticking around…my brother brother is my mom’s baby so she makes the efforts to get along with his SO now.  It comes down to how he treats you.  Your bf just needs to show her that you’re important to him and that you make him happy (no mom wants to make her son miserable!).  Luckily for my brother and whomever he chooses to marry..my hubby and I love our parents and want them to live with us because as their daughter, I feel as though I take better care of my parents (better than a daughter in law would).  It’s fortunate that hubby adores them (they don’t communicate verbally unless I translate for them) but they communicate other ways that works for them.  Though my mom is still insisting that she lives with my youngest brother when he gets marry…he’s a doctor so she feels he will better care for her.  We haven’t told her that he doesn’t plan on having her live with him. :p

Post # 24
Member
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’m so entirely lucky in that case since my soon to be mother in law is Vietnamese and she is nothing like what you ladies describe, she minds her business and is one of the sweetest ladies ever ( I hope I’m not jinxing myself lol)

Post # 26
Member
4369 posts
Honey bee

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@amazingnothing: It sounds horrible. I’m starting to think it’s less of a cultural thing, and that she’s just a jerk. In which case, you start treating her like the jerk she is and start standing up for yourself, and tell her it’s not ok when she acts rude to you. She is in your house, she should respect your property and your graciousness. 

FWIW, I do think it’s rude to speak in another language when people who are not fluent in that language are around. My family is Asian, and sometimes start doing that, but we always try to catch ourselves and speak English with my DH and his family. I  just put myself in my DH’s situation and I would not want someone to be speaking another language around me, leaving me out of the conversation when we’re supposed to be communicating as a group, or in group situations. Especially when there is already so much tension between you and your Future Mother-In-Law. 

I hope you can start demanding that you be respected in your own home, either to your Fiance, or if you can, your Future Mother-In-Law. It really isn’t asking too much. Nobody says you have to have the best friends with your Mother-In-Law, but there should at least be mutual respect of each other.

Post # 27
Member
2253 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Usually I just lurk on this board, because I don’t like to register for anything. However, your situation brings back so many memories that it prompted me to create a profile and respond. (Be warned, this is a bit long). Both I and my FH are both Vietnamese. My Future Mother-In-Law, bless her, is nothing what you describe. However, my own mother is a terror like no other (well a bit like yours). Growing up it was hell. Even though I had eight siblings, my mother did love to mentally torture us all. How she found the time with a full time job is beyond me. I’ve dealt with the same suicide threats, the fake illnesses, the entitlement issues, the cultural concept of “I’m your mother, I will always be right.” My entire life she has manipulated anything and everything to suit her purposes. This is my advice to you, having been there, you need to leave.

I’m not saying you have to abandon your boyfriend. However, you do have to start thinking of your own sense of well-being. This is not a healthy environment for you.  Your Future Mother-In-Law knows she can manipulate you. She has done so many times, and you only stood up to her once. Not that this is your fault. Clearly the woman has deeply rooted issues. I suggest seperating yourself from the situation at least temporarily.  Continue the relationship with your boyfriend but make it clear you cannot live with her.  You’ve been more than patient and understanding.  This does many things. It shows your bf that you had enough of it, and he needs to make a decision. At some point, whether he feels he is in the middle or not, he has to make the conscious choice to defend and back his future wife up or risk losing an amazing person in his life (I’m assuming you’re awesome bc you seem to have the patience of a saint).  Also, he needs to learn how to stand up to his mother.  Otherwise, what life will you two have? You will only have peace when she is dead (not that I’m wishing anyone dead). By then, she would have financially ruined you both (as mentioned by another bee) and have done everything in her power to wreck your relationship. You seem upset now. How many more years are you willing to put up with this? I’m not trying to be cruel. This situation is hard, and it will force you and your man to make even harder decisions.

In the meantime, maybe to help the financial situation, as a fellow bee stated above, traditionally regardless of who your Future Mother-In-Law is living with, all the children should be contributing to your FMIL’s upkeep. You should speak to the future siblings-in-law, via your future husband, that they need to start opening their pockets.  If you get enough money, get her own place, and all of the kids can take a turn checking in on her (I’d say move all her things, show her the place, and change the locks to your house, but thats just me).  Your man needs to remind them that if he goes broke taking care of her, someone else will have to take her in.  It’s amazing what a threat of her moving back in with them will do.

Lastly, I don’t think a letter will help. It will just give her more ammunition. Gives her another piece of you that she can manipulate emotionally. She seems pretty set in her ways.  However, if you do decide to go with the letter route. I wish you the best of luck. I can read and write Viet. I’m a bit rusty, but if you need a hand to help, I have two.  Good Luck!

Post # 29
Member
2253 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

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@amazingnothing:

I cope with the situation with my mother because I accept the fact that her personality and the way she acts is just who she is. Nothing I will ever say or do will convince her to change her toxic ways because she doesn’t want to change. If she feels entitled to act in a way to make others feel miserable, why can’t I make my own rightful decisions in life for my and my fiance’s happiness?

Though I feel an obligation to my mother because the fact she is my mother, I don’t let that responsibility crush me. For example, when my mother needs help monetarily, I send her money when I can afford it. When my mother feels she wants to lecture me on something, I just let her say whatever she wants. When she is done, I tell her flat out that I will do what I think is right. When my mother starts nagging me on my wedding plans, I tell her my fiance and I are paying for the wedding so I’ll decide things as I see fit. I don’t even bother to argue with her because the only person it frustrates in the end is me. Of course, my way of handling my mother has her calling me disrectpecful, which is practically the kiss of death in the culture, but at the end of the day, I’m happy.  

I do love my mother; so, I do what I can to help, but I won’t do so at the expense of ruining my life or sense of well-being over it. Even if I constantly bend over backwards for my mother, her behavior will never lessen.  It will probably just get worse because she knows she will have a puppet to control.  Please don’t think my independent thinking was an immediate transition. It took years for me to come to the realization that my mother is a bit looney tunes. By then, I had so much resentment built up against my mother due to her behavior. I just hope you take steps to remove yourself from that situation, before you develop that sense of animosity towards your Future Mother-In-Law (or before the animosity becomes more hostile).  Trust me, you don’t want the emotional angst to give you scars, and you definitely don’t want it affecting your relationship.

Good luck! 

 

Post # 30
Member
5892 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

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@Olive12: The diffference is that you are the primary contact and *you* have made the decision to not fall for her behavior. 

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@amazingnothing: Your SO is the primary contact and he has choosen to continue to allow her behavior. There is nothing you can do in this situation. You either have to accept it *exactly* the way it is or leave.

I’m so sorry that your SO is okay with the way things are. She will never respect you, love you or ‘give you points’ for being there for her. She never will. He will never fight for you or protect you or your things. 

If you stay, know that she will treat your children the same way. You are an adult and you can barely handle how she treats you. Now imagine being a child and having someone treat you that way. You may think your SO will protect them, but he will always fall back on the ‘respect your elders’ defense. 

Think long and hard before you decide to marry and/or have kids with him.

Post # 31
Member
2253 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

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@KoiKove:

Yes, I know there is a difference between my situation and the OP’s; something which I previously mentioned to her.

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