Moms and Maids

FMIL wants to "talk"

FMIL loves me (at least that's the feeling FI, my parents, and I all get from her). FI's parents are divrced and FMIL wants to "talk" with us to give us suggestions on what to look for if the marriage starts to fail. I understand this point of view, but how do we respond to this? I ust responded non-chalantly that we would talk about it with her later, but the next day (today) she texted me to say she can see how much I care for her son, but that she's serious about wanting to talk, because she wants to know WHY I care for him. 

1) I'm a private person and find this to be nosy. How should I respond? 

2) Our pastor is providing FI and I pre-marriage counseling as a requirement for having our wedding at the church. 

3) How do you explain why you love someone? I just do! 

Ultimately, we're interested in talking with her, but I think she needs to back off a little, too. This is her oldest son and first child to marry. I understand that, but I feel like she should understand that it's a private matter and that we love each other and that's all that counts. I'm just unsure of how to respond to her request to "talk with her". Any advice? Am I crazy for thinking it's nosy to want to do pre-marital counseling with us essentially? 

Re: FMIL wants to "talk"

  • Simply FatedSimply Fated
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited December 2011
    I would try focusing on the second thing you mentioned. Try something like, "Thank you so much for wanting to talk with us, FMIL, but as you know we are speaking with a pastor about this."

    As his mother, she probably is curious to know why you have chosen her son, which is normal, I suppose. How about, "I can list specific traits for you, but I'm not going to because we both already know how great he is. Hey, did you catch Grey's Anatomy last night? Yeah, I hate that show, too. How about some bean dip?"
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  • mbwhitworthmbwhitworth
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    edited December 2011
    Yeah, I tried distracting her last night, but then today she says she's serious and really wants to. I have a feeling I'm going to have to talk to her, but I don't think she needs to know everything she wants to. She's a very stubborn and determined person. I understand her wanting to talk about signs that a marriage is failing. She was hurt and doesn't want us to experience that. But essentially counseling? Um, no. I just think it's inappropriate. Maybe we can start talking with her and when she crosses the line, just tell her that it's a private matter and we're already in pre-marital counseling. 
  • tldhtldh
    2500 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    I can't put into words why I love my husband so I know what you are talking about.  It's not something that can really be put on a list.

    I would thank her for her concern but be firm that you are not going to be discussing with her your relationship with her son now or ever.  Relationships are complicated enough and what happened in her failed marriage won't necessarily be the death knell of yours - it may take more or less.  I'd remind her that the only two people who ever know what is going on in a relationship are the two people who are in it and the only two people who have the right to know what is going on in a relationship are the two people in it. 
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  • mbwhitworthmbwhitworth
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    edited December 2011
    Thank you! I feel like I'm not crazy now! I feel it IS a private thing...a relationship and what happens between the two involved. With my education, I've seen countless studies proving that divulging too much information about a relationship and the goings on in it, can prove to be detrimental. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I understand her marriage failed and she doesn't want ours to (that's flattering!), but I don't know how to politely say "back off!"! Haha! 

    Maybe start the discussion and listen to her "tips" on how to recognize a failing marriage and when she asks specifically about us say, "I appreciate your concern. It's difficult to put into words, but I do love your son a lot. I think the reasons why are something private to be shared between he and I. I do understand your concern for him, though and feel you can rest assured that I respect him and love him a lot. We are in premarital counseling as well and I'm sure these more private matters will be discussed there. I just feel it is awkward to divulge this information with family". 
  • tldhtldh
    2500 Comments
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    edited December 2011

    Here's what I learned from personal experience.  DH and I broke up after dating for a couple of years.  The breakup lasted a few years.  I never discussed the reasons with my family but did with my friends.  I was so hurt that with one friend in particular (who was a toxic friend to start off with) I spent a year nitpicking all of the negative things about the relationship.

    When I was considering getting back together with now DH, I asked almost every person I knew for their opinion.  The breakdown was exact.  Everyone who was single and not involved in a relationship said that an ex was an ex for a reason.  One divorcee went so far as to say she never gave second chances.  Everyone who was married or in a serious relationship said that only DH and I knew what was going on and if I still loved him, I owed it to the both of us to try again.

    We did decide to try again and all of my married friends were thrilled.  They had thought the breakup had been stress related and not a dealbreaker that involved something like cheating or abuse (and in hind sight I realized that they had refused to participate in any ex bashing with me).  The single friends predicted we'd never make it to the wedding day and the toxic friend hasn't spoken to me since. 

    My very round about point here is that everyone brings their own POV to a situation and the smart ones know enough to keep it to themselves. 

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  • mbwhitworthmbwhitworth
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    edited December 2011
    Exactly! He and I *WANT* to keep it to ourselves, but she keeps pushing. I've been nice and discrete about it until now. I just wish she would back away and respect the boundary. 
  • tldhtldh
    2500 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    It's up to your FI to set and enforce that boundary.
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    edited December 2011
    You are not crazy. Your FMIL is being nosey, in a nice way, but it's still nosey. I would never put my FSIL on the spot in that way.

    If she corners you, do more listening than talking.Tell her that you believe it's a hallmark of an excellent relationship that a couple works out their differences without involving family members. Let her know that you will complete your pre-marital counseling with your pastor and that he will be there for the two of you, if you ever need a refresher course.

    If she pressures you more for a talk, your fi should tell her to back off.

    Good luck.


                
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    edited December 2011
    Since you and your FI are both on the same page about this then let him deal with his mother if she brings up this subject again.

    I get her point of view, since she went through a divorce, but since she doesn't really have the professional creds and all relationships are different it would be a bad idea to talk with her about this.  She probably has a narrow point of view on what may go wrong and what you should look for if the relationship goes south.

    Thank her for her concern and support but that you don't feel it is necessary...anything after that refer her to your FI.

  • CowgirlK39CowgirlK39
    500 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its
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    edited December 2011

    She also needs to realize that what ever her issues were in her relationship are not neccesarily present in all relationships. I'd be more annoyed that right away she wants to point out negative things about being married, instead of going into it with a positive outlook. Thats like giving birth and having someone stand there talking to you about funeral arrangements.

    Your FI needs to also step in and say you both don't want to hear it. I'm sure she means well, but why talk about doom and gloom when you don't know if your relationship will even get to that point? Tell her you appreciate it, and understand how her divorce affected her life, but you will cross that bridge when the time comes, should you ever have to.

  • jmconley08jmconley08
    100 Comments
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    edited December 2011

    Your relationship with FI is really none of her business. If that was my mom I would tell her that, FMIL is different of course, but can FI tell her that? Would you ask her personal questions about her relationships? Doubt it. Good luck.

  • Kate61487Kate61487
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    I agree your FMIL's intentions are good, but she's being nosey.  Have FI tell her that you appreciate her concern, but will be handling all premarital counseling with your pastor and that you feel your relationship is a private thing, like PPs said.

    Good luck with this! 
  • edited December 2011
    My In Laws sat us down shortly after getting engaged and talked about all sorts of things. They have been married 31 years, so when they asked us abotu things they wanted to make sure we had thought about everything that comes up (money,children, religion, children and religion, etc..). Maybe it won't be as bad as you're thinking.
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