Post # 17
Well I think you should start by placing the problem on your fiance, not on his mom. You don’t hate his mom; you hate the way he interacts with his mom and the effect he allows her to have on him. Start there and it’ll be much easier to get things sorted.
Post # 18
He has to be the one to set the boundaries. For him to do that, you will have to show him how his and her behaviour is negatively impacting your relationship with him. Make a list of things that HE does (not your mom.. but he) that make you uncomfortable. Try to keep them general. For example:
1. I do not like it when our relatioship details are shared with other people.
2. I do not like it when you have to choose between my feelings and someone else’s feelings and you pick someone else’s feelings.
I really really really recommend the book Toxic Parents. My FI’s mom babied him, started temper tantrums when he didn’t go with what she wanted, and generallly caused Fiance to suck up to her even while she smacked around our relationship. He was always saying things like, “She’s my mom.” “Don’t make me pick between her and you.” “I just don’t want a fight from her.” “Can’t we just keep the peace?” “Please do this for me.”
Your Fiance is the only one who can break the cycle. If you step in to her, she will start trying to turn her son against you, first in little ways, then in big ways. She WILL make him choose between your happiness and her way and, if the umbilical cord is still attached… he will probably pick her (or else he’ll pick you and then resent you for kicking his mama to the curb).
Sort this out before getting married or else it only gets worse. Each time she manipulates, babies, gets what she wants, she’s validated. She knows she can get A, so she’s going to ask for B next time. This will come down to controlling your lives in every way that she can. It’s sheets and car colors now, later it will be what animals you can and can’t have, how you raise children if you have them, how you decorate your home, what you eat.. your life. Sorry to be dramatic but this sort of problem does not get better by just going with the flow.
Good luck! Seriously, good luck…
Post # 19
I agree with all the advice so far…..let me also add…
It will likely get worse as she ages, he might want her to come and live with you etc…
Post # 20
@cobalt21: It’s likely that she isn’t manipulating him so much as this is their dynamic, and he’s okay with it. This is just as much him as it is her. If your fiance isn’t willing to set boundaries, then there’s a larger problem than his mom.
I know someone who is in his late 20’s and a damn good man. He’s mature, got a good head on his shoulders, and has been taking care of himself for years. His mom would like nothing more than to put him back where he came from, so that she never has to give him up. She was inconsolable at this wedding because her boy was growing up (and likely because he has a new #1 woman in his life). As much as she tries to stuff him back in, he is a master at avoiding it without offending her. His wife actually likes her mother in law.
Point? It takes two in this kind of relationship. She has her itty baby boy, and he has mommy stroking his ego and wiping his arse for him. Don’t attack his mom, but tell him how you feel when HE makes you feel secondary. She won’t change, nor does she have to for your marriage to work. It’s him who has to make the changes.
Post # 21
You need to decide whether or not this is a deal-breaker for you, and act accordingly.
If it were me, I’d dump the guy and wish him and his mommy-dearest a long and happy life together. I just see a scenario like this ending with her living under your roof, constantly undermining you and micromanaging her son until she dies. But…I’m not you. Only you can decide whether this situation is dire enough to justify a broken engagement.
Post # 22
Don’t marry him. Not even kidding. That is crazy-making behavior. I would understand if he just had an annoying relationship with her, but if he wants to move back near her, won’t let you speak about her, acts like a child, you are in for a life-time of playing mommy but never being as good as real mommy. You want a man-woman dynamic, not a mother-child dynamic.
Post # 23
@LR2012: I was gonna say the same thing.
To me, there is only two scenario it’s gonna wind up with:
1) he doesn’t change and you have to suck this up for the rest of your life. Are you willing to do this? And you know…sooner or later…Future Mother-In-Law will have a say in your kids’ name, school to go to, which brand to eat the cereal…etc etc…
OR…the ultimate worst case scenario…she lives with you two! or two blocks away from you!
2) stand your ground and make him set boundaries. He is starting a family with you, not with his mom. He needs to grow up and start making some decisions on his own.
In my relationship, in the beginning, it used to be his mom making all kinds of decisions (she is very bossy) for him and for us and Fiance didn’t want to argue with her so she always had her way. In time, I couldn’t suck it up anymore and slowly Fiance gets my frustrations and start setting boundaries so his mom knows how to behave accordingly. Can you believe our very FIRST Valentine’s day his parents wants to have dinner with us two to have a double date? I was like “lady, what part of Valentine’s you don’t understand?” I almost broke up with him right there!
Post # 24
I hate to say it, but for me this would be a deal breaker. You need to decide if you’re willing to put up with these dynamics for the rest of your life. It doesn’t seem like he wants to change anything. It was hard enough for me to deal with my Mother-In-Law abusing my DH when I came first and I was the most important person to him. It took 5 years for him to realize how toxic his entire family was and to cut ties…and that was with my help, different perspectives on “normal” family dynamics, and intense counseling.
I really hope you sit down and have a serious talk with him about your expectations and what you’re unwilling to deal with.
Post # 25
You are the one that needs to choose….not your Fiance and not your Future Mother-In-Law. You have to choose whether you can live with this for 40 years or not.
your Fiance wont set boundries as it is his mum and he sees nothing wrong with their realtionship. He is also loyal to his mum….(and rightly so…family is family)
If you are going to butt heads over this it can be stressful for any relationship….and it is also going to make what your Future Mother-In-Law keeps saying about you to your Fiance sound very logical and true.
Trust me…..my grandma is very selfish and a little manipulative…….my mum has delt with her for 40yrs…my mum does it by being silent and picking her battles.(mums a saint) My dad is obviously loyal to his mum and my mum, but he is often made to feel like he has to pick sides by my grandma.
You need to either accept and pick your battles or walk away now….this situation doesn’t change…..it can even get worse if Future Mother-In-Law gets ill/or older and needs to be looked after.
Post # 26
Have you considered counseling to help open is eyes? It doesn’t sound like he’d go willingly but it’s a suggestion.
Post # 27
@cmsgirl: Family is family? I disagree. My Fiance has a textbook manipulative mother. When I met him, he ‘picked his battles’ and never put his foot down. After about a year of dating me, I encouraged him, read self help books with him, and he saw a therapist briefly. He started setting boundaries with her. No, she couldn’t rule his life and dictate who he talked to, what he did, and what he told her. She was to be civil, respectful, etc or else she couldn’t spend time with him. It was rough. She threatened to disown him because we didn’t want to spend thanksgiving day with his family. Let that sink in- to disown her only son. It got reallllly nasty. It’s still not perfect, but it’s been the longest time in ages since her last full blown tantrum.
My point is- things CAN get better.. but only with your Fiance on board.
Family is only to be respected if family respects you. I would rather lose a family member than be treated like dirt by them.
Post # 28
@cobalt21: ” I have learned already that he will cut me off in a second if I ever say anything about his Mom.”
Umm, that has to change like yesterday. Why are you letting him “cut you off”? It will not change after you get married. Nip this in the bud fast BEFORE you marry him.
Post # 29
@JewishBride: Totally agree. this would make me crazy.
Post # 30
@MrsBroccoli: “It was rough. She threatened to disown him because we didn’t want to spend thanksgiving day with his family. Let that sink in- to disown her only son.”
My DH’s family just disowned him a month ago b/c he finally stood up for himself and said that he wasn’t going to put up with being treated like sh*t anymore. They’re argument was that “they’re his f-ing family and should just deal with it.” Yeah…no.
Post # 31
Either he mans up and decides to become an adult, sets boundaries with Mommy and proceeds to live with the woman he asked to be his wife or prepare for a lifetime of misery because you will always be number 2 otherwise. Good luck!