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FMIL is driving me crazy

She treats us like we're 3 year olds and can't be trusted to wipe our own bottoms let alone handle our own finances. Yes, I get that we're living under her roof, but that's at her insistence, and is temporary arrangement until we can find a suitable rental or a property that's under our maximum loan amount.

We're planning a trip to see my family (and get FI to his incredibly important doctors appointment), but she's making it known that she's not happy about us going for a week instead of just two days like we usually do. Apparently it's more expensive if we go for a whole week. Which is ridiculous, because we're staying with my family for the entire duration, and the fuel costs the same whether we go for a day, a month, or a year!

She keeps making pointed remarks about us moving out, but every time I mention going to view a place, or mention a listing that I think is promising, she finds something negative to say about it.

When FI told her we'd gotten engaged she just rolled her eyes and said "Well, if that's what you wanna do..."

I know that I'm not who she had in mind for her son. I know she wants more for him, and if I was her I probably would to, but he chose me and that should be enough for her, shouldn't it?

She complains to me that FI doesn't talk to her and tell her things, but she is so ridiculously judgemental and critical of every little thing, that it's really no wonder he doesn't talk to her. Honestly, it's no wonder that I had to beg him to move here, despite it being the single most beautiful place in the whole country.

I'm sitting here in tears, because no matter what I do, I'm always wrong. I've tried to involve her in the wedding planning, and she just isn't interested, but if I leave her out of the wedding planning then she'll throw a hissy about it.

Anyway, please ignore me. I just really needed to get this out, and I don't have anywhere else to say it.
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Re: FMIL is driving me crazy

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    krizzo17 said:
    Two words: move out. That needs to be your number 1 new priority if this is going to work. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, everything you do should be aimed towards getting out of there, financially and logistically. She can "insist" that you live in her house all she wants, but as long as FI is 18 or older, she can't do a damn thing about it.
    We're working on it, believe me. We have been working on it since day 1. Everything we do is aimed at getting out of here.

    We even had a rental lined up before we moved in here, and then the current tenants decided they weren't going to move out after all, and the landlords can't evict them to put new tenants in without causing a whole legal drama. We're a very litigous country, apparently.

    We're going to view a house on Saturday though, and hopefully it's as good in real life as it seems in the pictures.
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    Get out of there! I understand this has to do with finances, but I'm sure there are options. I feel for you, but at the same time I can't buy that you're living with her only because she insists upon it. That's a choice you FI are making.

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    krizzo17 said:
    Two words: move out. That needs to be your number 1 new priority if this is going to work. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, everything you do should be aimed towards getting out of there, financially and logistically. She can "insist" that you live in her house all she wants, but as long as FI is 18 or older, she can't do a damn thing about it.
    Definitely this. I only have one concept to add:

    Do not let her view of you have any impact on your self-worth. You do not need her approval or well wishes to have a happy life with your FI. Stand up, pull up your big girl panties, look that disapproving witch dead in the eye and go thrive in spite of her BS.

    I hope the house you see on Saturday works out! She may lighten up once you are all under different roofs. Sometimes living together makes an ass out of people.
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    ElcaB said:

    Get out of there! I understand this has to do with finances, but I'm sure there are options. I feel for you, but at the same time I can't buy that you're living with her only because she insists upon it. That's a choice you FI are making.

    I'm really not kidding when I say we're having trouble finding stuff. It's not a "oh well, it's comfortable so we'll just stay here" situation.

    We live in a tiny tourist town, where property prices are sky-high and there are virtually no long-term rentals because everyone and his great-aunt is trying to cash in on the weekend and holiday market. The few long-term rentals that have come up are a no-go because we have cats. I can put up with FMIL if I have to, but I cannot and will not abandon my cats.

    I spend at least an hour every day checking all the property sites for the area. I buy the local paper every week, and scour that too. I've given our details to every agent in this town and all the neighbouring towns.

    We're going to view a house on Saturday. If all is well, we will buy the house and move out forever.
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    Good luck on the house! Hugs to you - what a lousy situation, but I have to commend you on doing right by the kitties.
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    aefitz29 said:

    krizzo17 said:
    Two words: move out. That needs to be your number 1 new priority if this is going to work. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, everything you do should be aimed towards getting out of there, financially and logistically. She can "insist" that you live in her house all she wants, but as long as FI is 18 or older, she can't do a damn thing about it.
    Definitely this. I only have one concept to add:

    Do not let her view of you have any impact on your self-worth. You do not need her approval or well wishes to have a happy life with your FI. Stand up, pull up your big girl panties, look that disapproving witch dead in the eye and go thrive in spite of her BS.

    I hope the house you see on Saturday works out! She may lighten up once you are all under different roofs. Sometimes living together makes an ass out of people.
    Thanks. I'll do my best! Honestly, I do see this more as a reflection on her than a reflection on me. I mean, what kind of person can't be happy for their only son when he's happy?

    And yeah, I'm hoping that she'll mellow once we move out. I really am, but I'm not holding my breath for fear of turning blue.

    When we first started dating, she had a hissy fit because she thought I wanted kids, and that I wanted them like right that very moment. Then I explained to her that actually, no, I don't want kids at any point, and she had a hissy fit over that. And that was long, LONG before we moved here.
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    Maggie0829Maggie0829 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited November 2013
    Would moving to a different area be an option?

    ETA:  Like outside of the small town limits or something?

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    Good luck on the house! Hugs to you - what a lousy situation, but I have to commend you on doing right by the kitties.
    Thanks. I can defend myself, the kitties can't. One of them is a very, severely traumatised rescue and I just refuse to put her through that again. She needs to know that not all humans are as scummy as her former owners.
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    Would moving to a different area be an option?

    ETA:  Like outside of the small town limits or something?
    The major obstacle is FI's work - he needs to be within reasonable driving distance. We'd like to keep it under an hour if at all possible, otherwise why the heck did we move out of the city, right? But the house we're looking at on Saturday is actually two towns over from where we are now, and only about 40 minutes away from FI's work. And we're definitely keeping our eyes open for anything within the 1 hour mark.
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    d luck with the house viewing, I hope it works out for you two and the kitties :)
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    I am sorry you are going through this but I agree, don't let this affect your self worth.  Once you're out of her house, the relationship will be much better.  Hang in there until the closing of the house you see this weekend.
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    I'm sorry she treats you like that. How terrible. I hope you're able to find something soon!
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    PolarBearFitzPolarBearFitz member
    First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2013
    urbaneca said:
    Would moving to a different area be an option?

    ETA:  Like outside of the small town limits or something?
    The major obstacle is FI's work - he needs to be within reasonable driving distance. We'd like to keep it under an hour if at all possible, otherwise why the heck did we move out of the city, right? But the house we're looking at on Saturday is actually two towns over from where we are now, and only about 40 minutes away from FI's work. And we're definitely keeping our eyes open for anything within the 1 hour mark.
    Long commutes do suck. I personally work in a heavily populated area but live far away from my office. When looking for houses I decided I wanted to live further away from the city.

    My commute with traffic is sometimes an hour and a half! But it makes it all worth it when on my way home and I see the mountains in the distance then think of my little home. It may be worth it to expand a little out from an hour. I mean an hour and fifteen minutes isn't much different from an hour when you are stuck in the car...

    Side note- I have two rescue pups so I feel you on the animal front! Stay strong for the kitties~!
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    Please tell me, where is the single most beautiful place in the country? I want to go there.

    I hope the place that you're looking at this weekend is your lucky break. In the meantime, don't share details of your home search with your FMIL. She sounds like a PITA.


                       
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    Seriously stop trying to involve her and if she goes on a rant, exit to the left and left FI handle her. Obviously, moving is easier said than done, but I agree with PPs that you can't let her rattle your self-worth.
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    Has anyone taught you to bean dip? It may be valuable tool until you can get the hell out of her house. 

    FMIL: "You can't afford to go for one week! You usually only go for 2 days. What are you doing?"
    You: "We can afford it and we are going for a week. Have you tried this bean dip? It's fantastic!"
    "But you should only go for 2 days!"
    "Do you think they used ground cumin or cumin seed? Whatever it is, it's delicious!"
    "2 days, 2 DAYS, TWO DAYS!!!!!!!!!"
    "I have to find out who made this. Please excuse me."
    I have to remember this!

    @MairePoppy - I'm in South Africa, I probably should have mentioned that. I live in a tiny town in the Eastern Free State.

    @aefitz29 - I hear you. If the 1 hour mark doesn't pan out, we'll expand the search again. But it's also a convenience thing in terms of shopping. As it is we have to go into the "big" town (where FI works) two weekends a month to do grocery shopping because we have two corner stores and lots of curio/trinket/boutiquey type stores here but no reliable pharmacies, grocers, butchers etc, and I'm guessing the other small towns are more or less the same. Of course, it will be easier to shop in bulk when we're in our own place because we won't be sharing fridge/freezer/pantry space with the in-laws. I guess we just have to see what happens on Saturday and deal with things as they come.

    Thanks ladies. I actually think I'm doing pretty well in terms of handling this whole situation. We've been here 5 and a half months, and I have yet to explode, which is practically unheard of for me. I've been very cool and even-tempered with her, because I know how much it would hurt FI if I caused a scene with his mom. I think this is only the third time I've had to lock myself in my room and have a cry about it, which I don't think is too bad, all things considered. I guess the thing that really gets to me is that she's not being supportive of FI.
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    I can sympathize with the criticism.  I use the wrong kind of dish soap, my skin is the wrong color (not a race issue, DH and I are both white but I don't have enough of a suntan to suit her), I torture my son my putting him in a carseat (as required by law), and my son is "lazy" because he didn't crawl early. She was actually almost yelling at him demanding he get up on his hands and knees and telling him he had to exercise.  
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    Other PPs had really good advice, so all I'm going to offer is my sympathy. DH's grandmother hates me, for no reason other than she's a miserable old battleaxe, and no matter what I do, it's wrong.

    I have lately started just killing her with kindness, which drives her fucking nuts, and therefore makes me thrilled. Also, it gives her nothing to complain about, which is really part of what drives her nuts. 

    If that's an option for you, I highly recommend it. NOTHING is as satisfying as pissing someone the hell off by being perfectly proper, wonderfully nice, and irreproachably, impeccably, well-behaved.
    I must admit, I was thinking of you as I was typing the post up yesterday.

    This is one of the things I don't understand. I am always proper, nice, and well-behaved. I do everything she asks with a smile on my face. I'm never rude to her or her guests. I don't contradict her when she says stupid things. I act as tech support for her friends. I even take her out to lunch whenever I can afford to because I'm trying to build a relationship with her. I cook, keeping in mind all the things she can't or won't eat (which has left me with literally a quarter of my repertoire to work with). I clean. I bake. If she says "I want cake", I make it, even if I don't feel like it. I'm bending over backwards to keep things civil. And if it was anyone other than FI's parents that we were living with, I would not accept the kind of judgement and nastiness that she shows me, but I don't react to it because I don't want to cause damage to FI's relationship with his parents.

    @mysticl - I'm sorry to hear that. There should be a club for wives, gfs, and FIs picked on by their (F)MILs!

    I guess our first step is to get FI a new bank account - one that isn't linked to his mother's! I understand their reasons for linking their accounts previously, but those reasons no longer exist. FI is 28 year old, he should be in charge of his own finances.

    Next step is to move out. Which may actually come first, if the house we're viewing on Saturday works out and we can come up with the deposit and transfer fees.
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    Update on this horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE day:

    So it started out with FI's parents ganging up on him about a whole bunch of stupid stuff, which just got my blood boiling. Not their objections about things (at least some of which was valid), but the way in which they dealt with it. They both talked to him like he's a mentally challenged three year old. I bit my tongue and just walked out of the house.

    Eventually we managed to get out of the house to run errands in the big town before heading to the house viewing. On the way there, I had a major meltdown, which I really don't want to dwell on. Basically, I told FI that while I want to marry him, I really don't want this wedding. The wedding we're planning is really to please his parents, who really don't approve of us getting married anyway. So he and I have to talk about that again later and come to some sort of decision about how we're going to move forward.

    FI took me to a cafe in town for breakfast, but being upset really screws with my appetite, so I didn't want anything. Sitting at the cafe, I got a blinding migraine out of nowhere, so we had to cut breakfast short to go and pick up some meds for me. Luckily FI got to pick up his script at the same time so it wasn't a total waste of time, but the store didn't have my wax strips, which were pretty much the whole reason for us going into town in the first place.

    Then we went to get fuel, and the passenger side window in FI's car decided it wouldn't roll up anymore. So FI tried and failed to get hold of his mechanic. Then he called a friend of his, who gave us directions to an autoshop that was supposed to be able to help us. Even with the directions, we had to drive around for half an hour to find the place, and they were closed. As was every other autoshop in town, and the car dealership. So we phoned his friend again, who asked his boss, and they came to the conclusion that although they wouldn't be able to fix it, they should at least be able to get the window to close and stay closed so we could hit the road. By this time we were running almost an hour late, so FI phoned the agent to reschedule. Luckily, the agent said she could leave the keys with another lady until 4 o'clock so we could view by ourselves any time during the afternoon. It took almost an hour to get the window to stay closed, which put us even further behind, and by that time I was ravenous, so we stopped for lunch.

    When we eventually got on the road to the other town to view the house, this truck throws up a whole lot of gravel at us, which hits both the windshield and the passenger side window. No damage, but my nerves were shot after that.

    The house was an absolute disaster. It's not, as the agent told us, a case of the ceilings needing work. It is serious foundation damage. The rooms in the front of the house look like they're going to just slide right off the house and down the hill at any minute. It has the weirdest floorplan I've ever seen. I don't know if any of you will know what I mean with this, but the house is dead. The property itself is fantastic - lovely big yard, amazing views, quiet street. But it would cost almost the entire asking price over again to fix it, and our budget just doesn't stretch that far. Not to mention it would mean staying with the in-laws for another year at least, which I just cannot do. It would be a fantastic bargain for someone with the available capital and a place to stay while the work was being done, but I think if I had that luxury, I would tear the house down and start from scratch.

    It also has a weird hill behind it, that I can see at least one of my kitties disappearing to explore and getting bitten by a snake or eaten by the locals (they do that here).

    I have to go register to vote in this district tomorrow morning, and after that we'll go see the agent and see if we can find anything else. I really just need to get the hell out of this house. I love FI more than I've ever loved anyone in my life, but I'm not sure I can handle marrying into this family. His parents are nuts.
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    I'm sorry to hear things went so badly. I hope that you get something better, so that you can get out of that BSC situation. Good luck!
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    Wow.  I don't really have good advice for you but that sounds awful and I wish you the best of luck in trying to find a home so you can GTF outta there.

    And solidarity on the kitties.  The other day our building fire alarm went off, and a firefighter side-eyed me about "taking the time to rescue the cats."  Of course I rescued the cats.  They're family!
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

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    The window sounds like a busted motor.  I could be wrong, I'm not a mechanic, but the car I drive has a busted window motor on the passenger side.  The part itself isn't too expensive, but you often have to take out the whole door panel just to replace it. 

    Your FMIL sounds like a serious piece of work.  I hope that you guys find a place soon so you can move out on your own and pretend like she doesn't exist maybe 75% of the time.  That will definitely help.  My own MIL is the sweetest lady I've ever met so I can't entirely understand your situation, but I know plenty of people who aren't so lucky.  I understand about the kitties though.  I'm the adoptive momma for two sweet rescue puppies.  One of them definitely had a hard time of it before being taken in by the rescue group we adopted him from and I would never put either of them through the adoption process again. 
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    Wow.  I don't really have good advice for you but that sounds awful and I wish you the best of luck in trying to find a home so you can GTF outta there.

    And solidarity on the kitties.  The other day our building fire alarm went off, and a firefighter side-eyed me about "taking the time to rescue the cats."  Of course I rescued the cats.  They're family!
    On every occasion my fire alarm has gone off, the cats go in a crate (I know where it is precisely for this reason) and the dog goes on her leash and out the door we go! 
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    Thanks ladies. I'm really glad I can vent to you guys. My friends and family are 5 hours away and the phone reception here sucks, so I don't really have anyone else to talk to about this stuff.

    The window thing... It's not the motor (that's still going fine), but the wire that controls the window's movement has apparently jumped off the spool, and the whole door panel has to come off so we can get it spooled/wound again. Which FI has assured me he'll see to in this week.

    Things do seem a bit better this morning, she's inviting us to parties and stuff. When we get back from registering to vote and seeing the agent, we're going to move some stuff around and hopefully get FMIL off our back for a while. I'm not holding my breath though. She's pretty BSC.

    And yeah, I'm not letting anything happen to my kitties. My rescue-kitty isn't an adoption, I personally rescued her off the street (well, off a second storey window ledge in an office park, but same difference). She was 4 years old when we found her, and so malnourished she looked like a kitten - she was 1/4 her adult size. I would rather starve myself than let that happen to her (or FI's furbaby) again.

    I'm really hoping that the house we eventually buy has a stand large enough that I can get a dog too. It's pretty much a requirement that I have a dog because I'll be home alone all day, every day, and we're pretty isolated.

    Anyway, I've been letting FI sleep a little late this morning 'cause I know yesterday was hard on him too, so I should probably go get him up and ready to start the day...
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    Update on the housing sitch: We spoke to the agent this morning, she's got another property in the same town as the one we looked at yesterday that we didn't look at because it's listed out of our price range. She says the owner is an older lady who's had to move in with her family in the cape, but they've been struggling to shift the house, so she may be willing to consider a low offer, or a rent-to-buy, purely because it's better than having the house stand empty and still having to pay rates and taxes on it.

    She's also going to be talking to the other agents in her chain, and finding out about other options for us. She says she thinks there may be an unlisted rental in the big town that might do for us for a year or two so we can save and hopefully expand our budget before we buy.

    FMIL is still being FMIL and objecting to everything though, with the exception of the lamb curry I made tonight! Ah well, such is life.

    I feel much better knowing that I finally have an agent who is "on my side".
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    Good Luck!
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    Hoping everything is going well for you! If you guys can swing it, renting isn't ideal but it definitely helps. That's what we're doing until we can afford our own house.
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