Post # 1
Bees, I need some advice on a situation that came up over the weekend.
Back Story – My FI’s mom passed away two years ago and his dad remarried a woman that was the complete opposite of his previous wife 4 months after she passed. His dad changed into a different person. We tried to support him as much as possible and tried to be understanding about him needing someone in his life to fill the void. Before FI’s mom passed away Future Father-In-Law and I got along GREAT! As I did with his mom also.
Jump forward to three weeks ago; Future Father-In-Law and step mom come to our house to let us know that we planned our wedding day for a day that a football game is being played….Um yeah. So, step mom proceeds to tell us that she does not know if she will be able to come because she has never missed a game in her life. Ok; not much I can say to that right? Well I’m talking to my FI’s aunt the next week and I was asking her advice about what we should do concerning the game/wedding/FFIL etc. We have already booked everything for that date should we try to change it because of this.
FI’s Aunt apparently confronts Future Father-In-Law about the idea of him or his wife not coming to the wedding because of a football game. Jump forward to Saturday night; FI’s step mom sends me a facebook inbox (yes this is her choice of communication) saying how dare you tell anyone I can’t come to your wedding because of the game. Um, okay a little confused now because that’s what I was told. Skip forward to future father in law calling me to let me know that he may not be at the wedding because of me and I am a horrible person and the reason my Fiance doesn’t spend any time with him anymore.
I have always urged my Fiance to spend more time with his family but everytime he tries his dad is too busy; so this made me hysterical because it could not be further from the truth. So I asked my Fiance to go down and talk to his dad the next day about how he had treated me on the phone the night before and address the family separation issue and basically talk with his dad about some of his actions; Fiance eagerly agreed and said he felt like he needed to go!
My very timid and non confrontational Fiance (he has always been this way) comes home to let me know that his dad said he forgives me and still loves me. I’m sorry but I was not asking for forgiveness from him because I don’t personally feel like I did anything wrong in this situation. I told Fiance that after the way I was treated in this situation and spoken to that I am owed an apology not forgiveness. At this point I am upset that my Fiance did not do a little more to stand up for me to his family over this matter but I also don’t think it’s fair to ask him to disrepect his dad.
What should I do in this situation involving Fiance and his dad. Not even going there with the step mom at this point. Focusing on the most important for now.
Post # 3
If you want something done right, do it yourself. If your Fiance can’t stand up to his father, perhaps you can call your Future Father-In-Law and calmly say, “I understand why you were angry at me, but you mistreated me. You called me a horrible person and accused me of keeping your son away from you. The truth is, I encourage him to go see you, but you seem to always be too busy. You don’t need to forgive me; I did nothing wrong. I did not call you and tell you that you were a horrible person and I didn’t want you at our wedding. It was the other way around.”
You could also try going to FI’s aunt again and be like, “I’m not sure what to do; he called me up and called me a horrible person and accused me of keeping his son away from him, and then he told Fiance that he forgives ME?” But your Future Father-In-Law may see this as going behind his back.
Post # 4
@HappierKate: I see what you’re saying and I may wait a day or so more before calling his dad to talk it out with him since I am still feeling a LOT of anger about it still and I do not want to get feelings flared up again.
As far as my Fiance goes this just put a lot of doubts in my head as far as will he ever “stand up” for me in certain situations where it may be necessary? I don’t mean to sound like I’m straight out of the 50’s and I need a man to fight my battles but I feel like my husband should have my back and vice versa. Push the issue with this or drop it?
Post # 5
I think that family relationships are really sensitive. Did you talk to him and hear about the conversation in detail. Maybe he just said “he forgives you” without thinking that MAYBE he really meant “I talked to my dad and he understands where you are coming from. It’s all good”
Post # 6
I totally understand. I stand up for my Fiance to my family and he stands up for me to his; that’s how it goes. We pick people to share our lives with and part of that is standing up for them and making sure they’re treated right.
Your Fiance might still feel a little hesitant to say anything against your FSMIL, but I think this is certainly a thing that I would press. If my Future Father-In-Law said that to me and my Fiance came back with a, “He forgives you,” I’d be livid. I’d probably wait to cool down and then say to him that I understand that it’s difficult to stand up to his father but that his father really disrepected me and if the situations were reversed I’d go to bat for him, against anyone who disrespected him, and I need to know that he’ll do the same for me. I’d ask him if he understood why I was angry at Future Father-In-Law and make sure he was on the same page as me, but yeah, I think I’d press it.
Post # 7
I agree with you that your Fiance should have stood up for you. You didn’t do anything wrong! Your Future Father-In-Law and Future Mother-In-Law sound nutso. Expecting an apology out of nutty people whose thinking’s that warped can be a pointless thing to hope for. While they treated you like crap, I think you’re best taking the high road. Demanding an apology might just fuel the fire with them.
The part that concerns me is the fact that your Fiance didn’t stand up for you. If you guys are going to spend your lives together, he needs to back you up 100% of the time. And that means supporting you regardless of what his family says. You should not be treated like crap, and he should defend you from HIS father. The biggest problems I’ve seen with in-laws have involved the spouse giving in to their parents instead of supporting their spouse. This is unacceptable and you shouldn’t put up with it.
Post # 8
I do think you need to talk about it, but maybe after a little more “cooling off”. Does he have the kind of relationship with is father/SM that he can stand up to them about other things? If not, he might need to learn. Or he might not understand what that meant to you. He might not have thought it through.
Post # 9
I agree with what all of you are saying as far as it may be hard for him to stand up to his family but he still should have addressed it more/better. I started discussing my concerns with him just a little bit ago after we both got settled from work. I still feel like I am hitting a road block with him. I have told him again how serious this whole thing was to me and also that it hurt even more when I felt like he did not actually say anything to his dad along the lines of what you said was hurtful to her and it would mean a lot if you tried to talk with her about it/apologize. FI’s response to me has been if you expected me to go and start fussing at him I’m not. I tried explaining that is not what I wanted at all but I need to know that he will go to bat for me in the future. I am getting no where. This feels like it is turning into a bigger eye opening event than originally thought on my part. I think my next step may be offering for us to go to premarital counseling sooner than planned. Thanks for all of your advice so far. I’m trying to justify to myself that I’m not making a bigger issue out of this than I feel that it is.
Post # 10
I think it’s important to sort this out before you get married. It’s not like a, he cheated on me! issue, but it’s definitely something that will cause tension if it’s not addressed.
If he’s worried that you want him to “make a fuss” it might really help to have a third party try and explain to him what you’re really trying to say, so the pre-marriage counseling sounds like a good idea. I mean, what happens if you have kids and your Future Father-In-Law starts having opinions about how you’re raising them? Or if they start insisting that you spend every holiday with them on their time or you’re a bad DIL? Or if a mutual friend starts badtalking you to or in front of FI? You want him to support you, and you want to support him. If he doesn’t, it can lead to so much resentment, I don’t think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill in the slightest.
It might also help if you can think of a situation where you’ve had his back; even if he didn’t realize you were actively trying to support him, he probably appreciates that you did and might understand that you’re looking for that sort of thing.
I thought I should add that I think most couples go through this to some degree. My sister didn’t even resolve this with her SO until after they were married; he’s a wonderful guy, he’s just really submissive to his mom and sisters because he loves them and that’s all he’s ever done. It’s an adjustment.
Post # 11
Firstly, I definitely agree with abirdwordabirdword that sometimes, expecting an apology from truly unreasonable people is moot. I do agree that your Future Father-In-Law and his wife SHOULD be apologizing to you, but it doesn’t sound like it’s likely going to happen. I’d say accept this “forgiveness” nonsense and contiue planning your wedding. If they don’t show due to a football game, those actions speak for themselves. You’re not making anyone look bad or starting any trouble. And as far as accusing you of coming between your Fiance and his dad, I’m 100% certain that his dad missing his son’s wedding for a sports game (and it sounds like it’s because of the step-mom not wanting to miss the game) indicates some trouble in the relationship that OBVIOUSLY has nothing to do with you. And honestly, I think they are already a bit ashamed of themselves. As soon as they were called out by the aunt, they wigged out. Perhaps that’s why Future Father-In-Law can’t bring himself to apologize? Nobody likes to admit they screwed up, maybe this is his way of trying?
As far as the Fiance not standing up for you issue, the only thing I can say for this particular instance (I’m only going on the information provided) is that A) maybe it didn’t go down quite as you imagined and he DID stand up for you, but since his father seems a bit…stubborn… he just wasn’t hearing or understanding what your Fiance was saying. Or B), maybe your Fiance realized it was a losing battle and just tried to smooth things over as best he could?
I’d say, get through the wedding planning business as best as you can. You may just have to bite the bullet (and maybe even a few more) with these people, so that you can enjoy your day. Keep your date and venue, and maintain your cool. You only have one wedding and you deserve to enjoy it! You’ll have plenty of other holidays and family get togethers in the future to work out the other issues. The step-mom sounds like she’ll see to that o.O
Post # 12
I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the advice. Fiance and I talked a lot more about this last night and he sees my point in him standing up for me against anyone if necessary now and in the future. We have decided to start the pre marital counseling a little sooner than originally planned. Hopefully this will help both of us.
As far as the Future Father-In-Law and FSMIL go that will be a work in progress over time. Like someone above said you can’t expect an irrational person to be rational enough to apologize and I am not looking for an insincere apology so I will choose my battles with this situation. I am hoping things will calm down across the board so that I can go back to enjoying some of the wedding planning instead of feeling like crying when I think about it!
Thanks again to everyone for their input!