- 4 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
My mom is coming to visit for the first time since we got married. Our relationship has always been somewhat rocky but came to an extremely unhealthy place when I got engaged. We didn’t speak for months. Long story short, things have been improving slowly. We chat on the phone for a few minutes once a week or so, just a “hi, how are ya? How’s everyone? Ok, good. Kthxbye” type of thing. Well she’s decided she wants to come visit (10 hour flight, staying a week or so), and while I hope that our time together can be happy and cordial 24/7, I know better than that. She has a good heart, but her (clinical) narcissism rears its ugly head at the most inopportune times. She can be very disrespectful and believes she’s the head of every household she enters. I’ve seen with my own eyes how she just takes over when she goes to my brother’s house: decides what they will be having for dinner, overrules his wife on child rearing matters, making hurtful jokes– and all with a smile on her face, not realizing that she’s being completely inappropriate. My mom was VERY rude to my husband and said terrible things about him behind his back before we got married, which is why she hadn’t been welcome in our home until she started playing nicely. I already know that I’m going to react very badly if I even sense an attempt on her part to disrespect my husband and want to avoid this at all costs.
My major question at this point is: should I have a talk with her in advance, kinda laying down the law and letting her know what kinds of things we will and won’t tolerate when she comes? While this approach seems like a good insurance policy, it has its cons, such as (1) because she doesn’t realize that her behavior is off-the-mark, she won’t understand where this is coming from and think I’m attacking her for no reason and (2) my bringing it up before it even happens might create a self-fulfilling prophecy in which she acts out because I’m expecting it.
Bonus question: If having this talk with her is a good idea, should I speak to her alone, or should my husband be in on the convo as well?