(Closed) Tips for becoming closer to FMIL? (kind of long)

posted 4 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
1880 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think that’s probably something that will just take lots and lots and lots of time, since she doesn’t sound very sociable.

Post # 4
Member
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

sadly I think it’s just her personality and probably something that won’t change. As you are around more, she may warm up some but she just sounds kind of anti social. Which I get your sadness about it.. My mil and I are very close I can’t imagine how weird that would be to be like strangers. 

Post # 5
Member
254 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I would tell her you’d like to get to know her better, have some girl “bonding” time, your treat (so her frugalness won’t come in play) don’t take no for an answer, just tell her “if we are going to get married, we need to work on our mother-daughter relationship!”Treat her to lunch and coffee, then maybe a walk in a botanical garden or something idk, something laid back. Keep trying to start conversations with her. Tell me about your childhood, tell me about your parents, tell me about fiance as a boy, did you always have an interest in ___.

Post # 6
Member
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Do you know how she prefers to give/receive love? (Gifts, time together, doing things for her, words, or physical affection?) Maybe just flat out tell her “I’d like to get to know you better” and then every time you see her, make a strong effort to talk to her, ask her questions. In between times, call or text or write an email. Give her a hug whenever you see her and tell her how glad you are to see her. Do the dishes despite her telling you not to, lol. Ask her about the dogs! Maybe have an outing together at a dog park? 

Post # 7
Member
16 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Oh wow, it’s like I have written this thread… I am going through the same thing with my FMIL so looking forward to getting some tips too 🙂

Post # 8
Member
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@chanara: +1

Ask her questions and try to get her chatting. It sounds as though she’s not an overly socialable person, so she just may not be a very chatty person! Don’t take it personally if that’s the case – I’m an introverted person, myself, so a lot of people tend to think I don’t like them, when I actually just don’t talk much!

Post # 9
Member
1814 posts
Buzzing bee

She may just be like my DH too.  He is a super nice guy but he has a TERRIBLE time trying to get to know people.  He is just socially a bit awkward and it does not come natural at all.  It’s a shame because he is a super human being and would do anything for you.

The one think you have in common is FI.  Tell her  you would like to take her to lunch, or dinner and a movie, whatever, etc.  Let her know you would like to get to know each other better.  Since conversation might be sticky, use that common denominator of FI to your advantage.  Ask her different things about him when he was a child.  Mom’s will usually have no problem talking about their kids.  I have 5 and I can talk your ear off about any of them.

What was he like as a toddler?  Did he enjoy school?  What were his hobbies?  What were his interests as a child?  Start by telling her how grateful you are to her for raising such a wonderful man.  Was she a single mom?  Ask her how she juggled 3 kids and a job.  Hopefully there is enough there to get an evening of conversation started and maybe things will bloom from there!

Post # 10
Member
2379 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

In all fairness, I don’t like people trying to help when I’m cooking or helping with dishes either.  I don’t think that’s a personal slight.  If you want to know her better, she’s given you a great opportunity!  Talk about the dogs, does she volunteer for a specific breed rescue?  How did she get into fostering?  You said she has projects going on, ask her about them.  My FMIL and I both love cross stitching, so it’s something for us to talk about.  Even though it’s a solitary activity, we can still discuss what projects we’ve worked on, if a designer has a new pattern out, organizational tips, etc.  Even if it’s not something that you do, ask her about it – you might find that you have shared interests after all.

Post # 11
Member
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@chanara and @Guelph  +1!

Seems like she is keeping you at a distance for some reason (whether intentional or not is hard to say) and you have to do the work in breaking down the walls.

I agree with PP and all their suggestions of ways you can try to connect with her. It may take some time and effort on your part, but I’m sure when you finally get through to her and develop that kind of relationship you want to have with her that it’ll be worth it!

Post # 13
Member
1728 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

The concept that most women have great relationships with their mother-in-laws is a crock. Sure, there are many women who do, but I would wager that most are on bad terms or, like you, on fairly neutral ones. As you read these forums, remember that many of the posters here feel the need to put the best spin on everything – hence why they adopt anonymous monickers when they feel the need to truly dish about some of the problems in their lives. Whether that’s because they’re afraid of judgment or they need a place where they can feel in control is another matter entirely. The entire point of this siderailing is – not all is as it seems.

 

My relationship with my mother-in-law is cool. It bothered me for a long time, OP. So I decided that I would start inviting her out to the gym we both went to and we could bond that way. It was a mistake. I should’ve seen from the skies how much of a mistake it was. At the time, I was thinking, “Cool, we can get to know each other better and I can have a workout buddy.”

In reality, I was stuck talking to someone with whom I have virtually nothing in common. I’m a left-leaning, secular vegetarian who enjoys reading and writing. My mother-in-law is a staunchly right-wing, religious, meat-eating woman who can barely string a sentence together. She craves drama and frequently tried to pump me for information about myself and my family (and, as I’d later learn when my sister-in-law repeated similar information to me, liked to talk about it with the family).

I quickly realized that I was the outsider and I was always going to be the outsider. I stopped inviting her out, she never invited me out, and that was the end of it. In my books, if there was anything to bond over, it would’ve happened with all those frequent visits over 4 years, OP. She doesn’t have to like you, but at least she bothers to be civil. I would find ways to go with your boyfriend less often. I do that with my husband – I ask him to tell them I’m sorry I couldn’t make it. Whether that’s because I’m working or I’d rather watch soap operas is another matter.

I am happiest now that I only see them occasionally (maybe 2 or so times a month). When we go out, I do most of the talking, but I keep everything superficial. I don’t discuss anything about my family, myself or my relationship with my in-laws. Even if they like me, I do not appreciate being the family gossip because they’re bored.

Who knows – maybe things will change (though I wouldn’t hold my breath) if/when you have a child. My mother-in-law has been a lot more affectionate with me since we got married. Could have something to do with her catching me buying prenatal vitamins before we got married? I’d hoped she didn’t see them, but maybe she did.

 

Post # 14
Member
2867 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I used to be in your shoes and really pushed the issue and then wished I never had. It’s kind of a ” Why do you want to be friends with someone who doesn’t want to be friends with you” type thing. I think about it like the office- there are plenty of people that I like and see all the time. We chat, we are polite, but if we were not put into the same enviroment would we ever be friendly? No. Doesn’t mean we don’t like each other, just that unless we were pulled together by a 3rd party our paths would never cross as we just aren’t on the same wave length. And you know what? That’s fine! I’d focus on what you do have rather than the lack of buddy buddy time. it sounds like she gives you about what she’s capable of and comfortable with. 

Post # 16
Member
1728 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I do find it odd that she invites you, but then more or less drops you. Obviously, I don’t know the woman, but it would give me the impression that she’s going through the motions to save face. I.E., if she’s ever called out on her exclusionary behavior, she can say, “What are you talking about? I invite her over all the time! I include her!”

But the others do have good advice if you want to get to know her better. Inviting her out one-on-one isn’t a bad idea, even if it’s just for lunch or coffee or something. You may find it’s enjoyable. And while it didn’t work out for me, it was easy enough to start pulling myself out of hte situation. We hadn’t gotten into a terribly strict rhythm of hanging out before I realized she really wasn’t the one I wanted to spend time with.

 

 

The topic ‘Tips for becoming closer to FMIL? (kind of long)’ is closed to new replies.

Get our weekly roundup of the best of Weddingbee.
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.

Find Amazing Vendors