Post # 1
Since getting engaged, my FMIL’s attitude has changed toward me. We are pretty different people, but have always gotten along really well in the 5 years that my Fiance and I have been together. Now that we are engaged, I feel like the dynamic in our relationship has changed. The change is subtle, but I feel tension between us that I have never felt before. It almost feels like she’s become more territorial over her son and is now passive agressive and manipulative. She’s almost become too nice (if that makes sense) and is competing with me.
She has always been relatively overbearing, but it seems to be getting worse. She always did everything for my Fiance when he was growing up and he was never required to do chores, cook, clean, etc. It’s pretty clear that she still wishes she could do everything for him and almost resents me for not catering to his every need. We trade off on doing the cooking and laundry, and we both clean and she is bewildered by this. Through general conversation she figured out that Fiance and I switch off weeks when it comes to making dinner. Now when she knows it’s my week to cook, she’ll bring food over to our house because she says wants to make sure Fiance gets a decent meal. Nice.
Also, I don’t eat much meat. Not a vegetarian, but pretty close. I have never pressured my Fiance to cut out meat whatsoever, but he has decided he’d like to do the same. He told his parents about it during a visit with them and later on I heard Future Mother-In-Law whispering to Future Sister-In-Law that I must have forced him to do it and he should be able to eat whatever he wants. Not too long after that she came to our house when we weren’t there (!!!!!) and stocked our freezer full of meat.
Everything her son says is the most interesting, funniest, smartest, etc. thing she’s ever heard. When I say something, she doesn’t have any reaction or response and turns back to her son.
These are just a few examples of the things she has started doing. It didn’t used to be this way and I’m trying to figure out what the issue is. Is this normal behavior? Will things go back to normal? Am I just looking into this too much?
I’d rather her be straight forward with me and say what she’s thinking instead of doing these underhanded things. Should I talk to her and ask her what’s going on? I’m worried she’ll take offense, get upset, and tell me she’s just trying to be nice.
Any advice is appreciated!
Post # 2
In recent years, i’ve realized that old stereotype of “dads being protective of daughters” is NOTHING compared to how mothers smother their sons.
I have no advice, other than I’m guessing she doesn’t hate you or anything, she’s just smothering her son becauase she’s officially no longer taking care of him and in theory he doesn’t “need” her anymore becuase he has you. I’m sure she’s panicking about this and is misplacing her energy.
I lvoe my Future Mother-In-Law and I know she loves me, but sometimes she makes comments or acts like my Fiance needs her and I just brush it off. It’s just a mom thing!
Post # 3
It could be worse. I probably would not say anything. I would just try to work around it. If there is something that seems to go over the top. (like the meat thing). I would ask your Fiance to deal with it. Maybe in time the tension will go away. I know that confrentation doesn’t seem o work with Future Mother-In-Law. Try to be as kind as you can.
Post # 4
anon549: it’s not in your head- she stocked the fridge full of meat!!! She brings food over when you are cooking! This I’ve seen happen with friends, I’m pretty lucky, but some Mother-In-Law suddenly realising it’s actually going to happen try to just get their “baby” back, realise they are losing them. It’s very silly. Just ride it out and try not to rise to it and if you can take her out and do things with her one on one, get her advice on wedding plans, make her feel you think she is important. But also get your Fiance onside and ready to put his foot down if she seriously oversteps boundaries
Post # 5
erm… take away her key and tell her to mind her own business
Post # 6
This is not normal…it would drive me nuts! Boundaries are key and they need to be set by your Fiance. You need his help to get on the same page, change your locks and stop answering the door every time she rings with food.
Post # 7
anon549: You and Fiance need to show a united front, pick a battle and hope it sets an example to her. You could start with her dinners on your week to cook. Have him call her in advance and tell her straight out NOT to bring food over. If she does, send it back with her. Good luck to you!!
Post # 8
She’s very insecure and is losing her shit that she is no longer the #1 woman in your FI’s life. It is not personal. She’d be acting the same way regardless of who he marries. Stay strong, establish boundaries (i.e., don’t bring over food without checking first kind of thing.) You may have to be creative when explaining why these boundaries are needed to your Fiance as he probably won’t see it as his mom being insecure, but rather just being a loving mom. It will hopefully get better over time once she gets a grip. Good luck!
Post # 9
I think it’s time a certain lady lost her house key priveleges… That’s a little koo-koo-bananas if you ask me.
Mothers and their sons. She should be proud she raised a fine young man who helps with household tasks, which could have turned out very differently if he was never required to help out at home!
nip it in the bud OP, as politely as possible of course
Post # 10
chigirl217bride: agreed. The only difference is that women are amazing at fighting without a shotgun.
Post # 11
I’d take her key back, and explain that you gave it to her for times that you’d expressed permission for her to enter your home or for emergencies. I’d also take all the meat she put in your freezer and either donate it somewhere (if you can) and send her a note saying “the foodbank we donated all the meat to was so thankful for your donation!” if you can’t donate it, I’d put it in a cooler and leave it on her porch.
This is kinda your fiance’s territory because it’s his mom, but I would suggest you have to have the discussions together as a united front. Your Future Mother-In-Law needs to understand that the two of you are a unit now, so i’d address her as a unit. There are some things you can just grin and bear it, but her coming into your house and putting what she thinks you should eat is weird. If your fiance wants to eat meat, he’s a grown up and can go buy his own. He doesn’t need his mommy to come and fill his fridge for him. That’s just weird.
Post # 12
- Wedding: South Lodge. 2nd of Dec 2017
anon549: hahaa I feel you girlfriend, this is my mil to a tee and some, me I ignore all the comments, my finances hapiness is worth more, he asked me why I don’t retort back, I said out of respect for him, as he does step in when he hears it, I am such a klutz I lost my keys and only got two sets with the new lock. When I handed him the keys, I said quite clearly whilst looking into his eyes, please respect this request however hard, only people who live here get a key.
Post # 13
I think that this may get slightly better over time… until you have kids and it gets much worse.
Talk to Fiance first and explain to him that you feel like she doesn’t respect you, which is the real issue. She brings over meals because she doesn’t think you’re capable of making a decent meal yourself. She assumes you forced your Fiance to stop eating meat because you’re domineering, etc. These examples show that it’s about the root issue of respect. Tread carefully with Fiance. Talk about how her actions hurt your feelings and don’t attack her directly.
Then Fiance needs to agree to make you his main priority and agree to correct his mother if necessary. That means that when she does something that could be hurtful he corrects her. If she brings food over on your week he takes her aside and explains that she’s stepping on your toes and implying that he would prefer her food over yours, which is rude and not a position he wants to be put in. Then he refuses to accept the meal. The most important thing is that he does this right away with no interference from you. If he takes food then calls back 2 hours later to chastize her she’s going to say you made him do it. She needs to be aware that your Fiance is on your side automatically.
I think many men feel bad correcting mom because she’s just trying to be helpful and loving but if his mother raised him right then his main priority will be making sure his future wife feels loved, respected, and protected by him. He’s reflecting well on his mother by treating you well.
Also, have him get that house key back and explain that it is not appropriate for her to enter your space without explicit permission. We don’t tolerate this from friends, co-workers, etc. Why would mom think that is appropriate behavior? Have him shut that down.
Post # 14
anon549: This reminds me of “Everybody loves Raymond” lol! Jokes aside, I am sorry you are going through this. I understand why you are upset!
I think the best thing to do is talk to your Fiance and have him set boundaries directly to her. For instance not coming over when you’re not there, not bringing food when she knows you are cooking etc.
I have a feeling that it will not sit well with her if you confront her about it. She will probably say she was just trying to be nice and play victim which will only add to the frustration on your part, and then you will look like the crazy one!
Post # 15
I could have written this. Honestly, the best thing to do is to try to stay pleasant and just not pay any attention to her. Does your fiance notice any of this? My Darling Husband didn’t realize how bad it was until I pointed out some of the actions that happened under his nose and he ended up addressing them with his mother. It didn’t change our relationship, but it showed me that Darling Husband would go to bat for me against his mother, which was great for me to see.