Post # 1
My Future Mother-In-Law told my fiance she wants to see my wedding dress and be involved. I like her and get on with her BUT no-one except my bridesmaids is seeing my dress before the wedding day.
I know I will have to talk to her about this.I know she would be telling everyone about it if she sees it because that is what she does.
He was married before for 22 years and his ex wife did not get on with her so she didn’t get to see him much. He has been living with me for 2 years & we visit her or have her over for dinner at least every other week. I think she is worried about losing him again as she phones him most nights and wants him round every weekend doing some job or other for her. often silly little things which she could easily do for herself.
I talked to her about being independant in general and offered to show her how to do things. she said she would rather sit and cry so that someone else would do it for her. This was when she wanted new curtains but did not know how to measure them or what width or depth was . She is not old or ill, 67 but moved out of her nice 2 bedroomed house into a sheltered housing retirement flat. Her choice, but all her family were against the move as it for much older people. Then she said “YOU” put me away in here so that you don’t have to bother with me.
I am wondering what her being involved will entail. He just said she does not want to do anything or pay for anything but feels left out.
She makes cards so do you think asking her to make the place setting cards would help her feel part of it?
Post # 3
She sounds like she’s just lonely. I think if you took any special time out for her and made her feel like she has a friend she’d appreciate it, maybe some girl bonding over some manicures or lunch? I wouldn’t cave about the dress if that’s your thing though, you just have to be firm but kind.
Post # 4
Don’t put yourself out too much. If not sharing your dress is extremely important to you, don’t tell her that your maids already seen it. Just tell her the only person that knows what it looks like is the person that went shopping with you and you really want to surprise EVERYONE!
Having her do cards seems like a good idea. It will give her something to do! Seeing that she doesn’t want to pay for anything, you may have to go to the store with her and buy the material, which could be a good bonding experience too!
Post # 5
@Carolekins: You touched on a few things here so here’s my take:
1 – Regarding the dress… “MIL – It’s important to me that the dress is a surprise for all of my guests, I can’t wait for you to see it on our wedding day!!!” Don’t acquiesce on this, it’s important to you.
2 – Regarding her attachment to her son… All you can do is the best you can do. If you can give her once every other week, that’s all you can do. And frankly, that’s good enough. Given her past experience with his ex, it’s understandable she feels that way. And you very well may be her scapegoat… it may be too difficult to accept her son is an adult and making his own choices, so she transfers blame from him to you. It’s not right, not by a long shot. However, it wouldn’t hurt to at least get this stuff out in the open. I actually took my Mother-In-Law out to lunch one time and discussed this. “MIL – please know that I love and adore your son. And much credit is due to you. I hope you know I would never keep him from seeing you. I realize you have a special bond in that you’re his mom. I will NEVER come between the two of you.”
3 – Involvement… ABSOLUTELY get her involved. If she is into crafts and can help out with cards, GO FOR IT!!! She will hopefully appreciate the gesture!
Really focus on what I said in #2… if you can start to understand where she is coming from by having a conversation, asking questions, and putting her mind at ease, you may be able to find common ground.
I find that sometimes brides/wives are too quick to dismiss the ILs and place blame on them for all their wrong-doings, passive-agressiveness, etc. Meanwhile, they’ve never really taken the time to really try to understand their perspective. Granted, there are times where ILs are down-right vicious, narcisstic, selfish, etc. But I dont think that’s the case here.
Best of luck to you.
Post # 6
Maybe the ex didn’t get along with her for valid reasons. She sounds manipulative and lonely and those things together are not good. I think you should get her involved in something like picking out invitations or a photographer or decorations -something so she feels included but not a huge task.
Maybe set up a single uncle or something with her at her table so she can get a different man in her life and not try to get attention from your husband all the time. Hehe.