(Closed) How to address FMIL

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
4466 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I have had this same discussion with my fiance several times.  After about a year of us dating, his parents indicated that I should call them Mom and Dad (I had been calling them Mr. and Mrs XXXX) I just did not feel comfortable with this as I already have parents and I was just not on board with calling them M & D.

Now (several years later) I call his parents by their first names.  He talked to them about this and they understood.

One thought for your Future Mother-In-Law is maybe to have some sort of little nickname for her that is like “mom”?  For example, my fiance calls my mom “Momma [my last name]”  It’s just kind of stuck and now my sister’s boyfriend even calls her that.  I don’t know how casual she is, but maybe this would work.

I definitely understand you not wanting to call her Mom because I feel the same way.

Post # 4
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

So, you call your own mother Mom and now Future Mother-In-Law wants you to call her Mom as well.

I do call my Mother-In-Law by her first name, and although as a child I would not have done that, it’s different as an adult, at least for me.

Could you add her first name, “Mom Sue,” if that sounds better?

I would say that as a shower note, you could write Mrs. Lastname because she’s not your Mother-In-Law yet. At some point, though, you should consider calling her something you both are comfortable with. You might want to let her know you’re not comfortable with Mom and see what else you can work out. She probably doesn’t want to make you worry!

Post # 5
883 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

I have the same issue.  Except now shes my Mother-In-Law and I still dont know what to call her! In general, I avoid directly addressing her.  For thank you notes I adresses it Mrs First Last Name and then on the inside I start out the note with a great big “THANK YOU!” and then talk about the gift and why its great etc. In person I just turn to face her directly and speak. It probably can’t work forever, but its served me ok for the past few years. 🙂

Post # 6
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I could NEVER call my Future In-Laws Mom and Dad.  I already have parents and I know they would be insulted if I called someone else Mom and Dad.  I call my Future In-Laws by their first names, it feels weird to me, so I usually just try to avoid calling them anything.

I felt weird about writing the shower thankyou notes to my Future In-Laws and FH’s Grandmom (FGMIL??).  My solution was to get my fiance to write them and we both signed them.  We both signed all of the thank you cards anyway (we had a co-ed shower, and when you think about it, all the gifts are for both of you anyway!).  That way, he wrote “Dear Mom and Dad” or “Dear Grandma” and then we both signed in our own handwriting. 

This might work for your thank you notes but doesn’t solve the “mom” problem.  There have been some other posts on this and I’ve heard stories of people avoiding calling their IL’s anything for 30 years!

Post # 7
1490 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

How about the kind of formal sounding “mother?” Or “Mother Firstname”?

Post # 10
3332 posts
Sugar bee

My Mother-In-Law signs things “Mom” too, but I just can’t make the jump to calling her Mom.  It just feels kind of weird because I already HAVE a Mom and it’s not her.  Maybe I’ll get there eventually, but for now, I call her by her first name (switched from Mrs. LastName after we got engaged).  I figure maybe I’ll get used to Mom eventually, or I’ll just stick with this. 

Post # 11
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

If you want to be cute about it, in the card (if her name is Mary) write

Dear Mary (Mom),

And for the most part refer to her as Mary in person.

I asked my Future Mother-In-Law what she prefers for me to call her and she told me her first name, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m not sure if I would be comfortable calling her Mom.


Post # 12
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

what do you call your own mother? mom? or mama? or ma? or just mother? Whatever you call your biological mother, call your Future Mother-In-Law one of the other choices.

Post # 13
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I could never call another woman Mom or any moniker like that. I think my own mother would be really insulted. Here is this woman, who’ve i’ve known for 4 years, being my “mom?” Plus, doesn’t that make us like siblings with our SO’s? EWWWW, lol.

I think you’ll just have to start slowly addressing her by her first name. I mean, you can’t go forever not calling her something! And, you’re not a child anymore, so it’s perfectly acceptable. I was raised that way, too, and sometimes i feel like i’m being disrespectful, but then I remind myself that i’m an adult, too, and that I wouldn’t be offended if a girl called me by my first name, not “mrs. S”.

I’m with ya, i couldn’t call my Mother-In-Law by mom, either

Post # 14
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

Someone mentioned something similar, but maybe you could call her something other than Mom? I sometimes call my Mother-In-Law “Momma”, in kind of a silly way, but that’s something I’ve never called my own mom. I don’t really mind calling her mom, but in my case we’re both okay with me using her first name. I think you will need to try to move toward that, at least, as it is kind of silly to call your Mother-In-Law “Mrs. _____”

And, maybe in a few years you’ll have some kids and you can get over this whole thing by calling her “Grandmom” 🙂

Post # 16
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Yes, I think that’s ok. But, at some point I think you’ll have to own up and call them something! instead of “parent in laws” I’d literally just say “mother and father in law”

Then they get that warm fuzzy but there is still the “in law” part

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