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NWR: UGH! Crazy FSMIL

I just got the MOST passive agressive e-mail of my life. I wanted to ream her out in the e-mail, but I contained myself and instead I will vent here :)

My fiance's mother passed away 10 years ago from cancer. His dad re-married over the winter holidays. The whole family (fiance's brothers, me, fiance, my FFIL, and my crazy FSMIL) did a memorial walk over the weekend for the Cancer Society. 

At this walk, we were given the standard "I'm walking for_______" signs to place on our backs as we walk. 

FSMIL saw me write, "I'm walking for my grandmother" on my soon to be 3 year old neice's sign and fasten it to her shirt. Her mom (my fiance's brother's wife) saw it and said, "Aww, how nice." Nothing else was said about it until today when I get this email from my fiance's dad's new wife:

"Hello,
It was nice seeing you and James at the walk. I know Bill really liked having the whole family together. There has been something on my mind that I want to say to you. It's not a big deal but it has been upsetting me.
It was really hard for me to look at Abbey's sign you made, where you wrote, "I"m walking for my grandmother." I know I'm not her biological grandmother, however I do consider myself her grandmother and that really hurt me to see that mentioned on her shirt. 
I'm sure you didn't intend to hurt my feelings, but I just wanted you to know that really affected me and almost brought me to tears. I'm not mad at you, I'm just very hurt. 
Signed, 
Your Crazy Future Step Mom"

I AM LIVID!!! She WAS walking for her grandma, so WHAT is the big deal?? I think she's being extremely insensitive to the fact that the walk was NOT about her, it was about a wonderful woman, my fiance's mother and the grandmother of my soon-to-be niece.

What should I do with the e-mail??? Ignore it?? Write back??? 

I don't want to tell fiance at this point as he already doesn't like her, and I don't want him to get upset or angry. 

AHHH I'm so annoyed and pissed off at her.
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Re: NWR: UGH! Crazy FSMIL

  • CellesCelles member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited March 2010
    Write back.  The woman sounds ridiculously self-absorbed and could well be crazy... but she did reach out to you, and she deserves some kind of response.  Things could get pretty awkward between the two of you if you just ignore it.

    Maybe something like this?


    "Dear FSMIL,

    I am really very sorry that you felt slighted by the sign.  It wasn't our intention to hurt you, but to honor the grandmother that little Abbey will never know.  I'm sure as she grows older she will become ever more grateful for your presence in her life; for the afternoon of the memorial walk, we thought it would be a touching gesture for those who knew and loved {Grandma's Name} to invoke her presence as well.  FFIL has been truly blessed to have had both of you in his life!

    Love,
    Your Future Daughter-in-Law"
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  • that's entirely too nice lol

    how does the rest of the family feel about this woman? if no one likes her and she's just pushing relationships on people now would be a great time to put her in her place in the family.
  • You were definitely not in the wrong!  Write back or call her!  By saying that your neice was walking for her grandmother you were not saying that this woman was not her grandmother.  The walk was to support your FI's mother, and his step mom needs to accept the role his biological mother will always play in his, and his family's life!

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  • In Response to Re: NWR: UGH! Crazy FSMIL:
    [QUOTE]that's entirely too nice lol how does the rest of the family feel about this woman? if no one likes her and she's just pushing relationships on people now would be a great time to put her in her place in the family.
    Posted by psichick[/QUOTE]

    Well, I assume FFIL liked her enough to marry her.  ;)

    You have choose your battles.  This one just doesn't seem worth fighting to me.  FSMIL's feelings were hurt.  She dealt with it the day of the walk and sent a fairly calm (if ridiculous and thoroughly self-absorbed) e-mail afterwards.  It seems to me she's just looking for closure... so why not give it to her?  It won't hurt the OP to fake a little empathy, and it may even help her fiance's relationship with his step-mother if the long-run, especially if the OP is able to smooth this over before it escalates into major family drama.  It's really not her place to put anyone in theirs, anyway.

    Vent here, sure, but be empathetic and supportive -- but firm; you didn't do anything wrong, and you don't have to accept her allegations that you did! -- in your response IRL.  That's my advice.  Good luck.  :)
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  • Most people have more than one grandmother (sort of required biologically). I think she's just off her rocker. 

    If you never say a word to her about the situation or her email it will probably drive her more nuts than if you send any kind of email to her......

  • I'm gonna go against the grain here and say that I don't agree your FSMIL is crazy, off her rocker, or anything of the sort.  Oversensitive, yes, without a doubt.  But that email wasn't passive aggressive.  It struck me as honest.  She didn't say to you, 'how dare you mention FFIL's deceased wife,' she said to you, 'I know I'm not the biological grandmother, but I consider myself her grandmother because I'm the only grandmother she's ever known, and my feelings were hurt.'  I also suspect this situation would only arise over the grandmother issue because to the little girl, FSMIL is the grandmother (or at least will be as time goes by).  I doubt any feelings would have been hurt if FI's sign had said "I'm walking for my mother."  She isn't trying to replace FI's mother, but she's been acting as a grandmother to the little girl.  Do you see the difference?

    Like I said, I think FSMIL was reading WAY too much into it, and she's WAY oversensitive, but I get what she's saying and chances are, she's been trying very hard to fit herself into a family who lost FFIL's first wife.. it's a tricky thing to do.  Calling her off her rocker or crazy is taking it a bit far.
  • She must be pretty insecure to be jealous of someone that has passed away.

    Celles email was nice, and would be perfect. No apology needed, but deliver it in a nice way (be the bigger person here).
  • In Response to Re: NWR: UGH! Crazy FSMIL:
    [QUOTE]"Dear FSMIL, I am really very sorry that you felt slighted by the sign.  It wasn't our intention to hurt you, but to honor the grandmother that little Abbey will never know.  I'm sure as she grows older she will become ever more grateful for your presence in her life; for the afternoon of the memorial walk, we thought it would be a touching gesture for those who knew and loved {Grandma's Name} to invoke her presence as well.  FFIL has been truly blessed to have had both of you in his life! Love, Your Future Daughter-in-Law"
    Posted by Celles[/QUOTE]

    I think this is a pretty much a perfect response.  It explains your position, won't offend her, and will put the situation to rest(hopefully).  I would just copy and paste this into your email browser and change the names.

    Great advice Celles!
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  • I agree with Jennylove.  Yes, FSMIL was being very sensitive, but so are you for having such a strong reaction to an honest e-mail.  She didn't demand an apology or make any crazy allegations, she just stated the truth, that her feelings were hurt.

    If your friend blew you off to hang out with her boyfriend, and you told her your feelings were hurt, and she responded with "I don't understand why you are being such a crazy dramatic bitch" that wouldn't help the situation, would it?
  • Your FSMIL sounds like my mom and step dad. They are a lethally passive agressive combination. I would respond, "I'm sorry it offended you. It was not intended to slight your involvement in Abbey's life." and leave it at that.
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  • edited March 2010
    I'm calling it passive aggressive because she said nothing to me at the time, and nothing to me when her and I were alone together the day after the event. 

    I'm calling her crazy not because of her feelings, but because she decided it was a good idea to send it in an e-mail to me. I have nothing but love and respect for the deceased woman who would have been my mother in law, and now I have to read this bonehead e-mail from FSMIL that I found so offensive and selfish.

    The day was about my mother in law, not about her. And if she was SO uncomfortable with seeing that note posted to a child's back, she should not have got married, because my future father in law is very much in the spirit of keeping her memory alive. There are pictures of her around their house, he posts a lovely memorial tribute in the paper every year and he asked me to include his deceased wife's name on our wedding invitation.

    I'm angry at FSMIL because she was so selfish not for feeling those things, but for bringing them up to me like that. I don't care I offended her, but I do care about my wonderful FFIL, so for his sake I'm going to suck it up and send the lovely e-mail another poster here suggested.
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  • horay for you being the bigger person.

    that email would have annoyed me too. no matter what she wants/feels, she's not the grandmother and she needs to accept that. no one has the right to tell anyone that their feelings are wrong so she can feel however she wants, but that doesn't stop anyone from saying that she is being selfish and immature about the whole thing.
  • So because she was hurt (whether or not it was for a stupid reason) and sat on it for a few days, then decided she needed to bring it up to you and thought e-mail was the best approach she is a crazy bitch?  I don't get it.

    Unless this is something that happens constantly with this woman, I think you are overreacting.  I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt that she reacted a little too emotionally, but at least she is handling it like an adult.
  • I agree with Kim.  Whether it's right or it's wrong, people feel the way they feel.  I *do* have a crazy FSMIL and if your situation happened to me, I'd be thanking my lucky stars that this was all it was, and that she feels comfortable enough to talk to me about her feelings so that I can address them.  I hear what you're saying - the day wasn't about her and in your mind (and in my mind, too) it's surprising to find out that she feels the way she does.  But the fact is, she's going to be your SMIL and you'll need to deal with this woman for the rest of her life, so by being sympathetic and sensitive to her feelings, you're doing the right thing.
  • In Response to Re: NWR: UGH! Crazy FSMIL:
    [QUOTE]I'm gonna go against the grain here and say that I don't agree your FSMIL is crazy, off her rocker, or anything of the sort.  Oversensitive, yes, without a doubt.  But that email wasn't passive aggressive.  It struck me as honest.  She didn't say to you, 'how dare you mention FFIL's deceased wife,' she said to you, 'I know I'm not the biological grandmother, but I consider myself her grandmother because I'm the only grandmother she's ever known, and my feelings were hurt.'  I also suspect this situation would only arise over the grandmother issue because to the little girl, FSMIL  is the grandmother (or at least will be as time goes by).  I doubt any feelings would have been hurt if FI's sign had said "I'm walking for my mother."  She isn't trying to replace FI's mother, but she's been acting as a grandmother to the little girl.  Do you see the difference? Like I said, I think FSMIL was reading WAY too much into it, and she's WAY oversensitive, but I get what she's saying and chances are, she's been trying very hard to fit herself into a family who lost FFIL's first wife.. it's a tricky thing to do.  Calling her off her rocker or crazy is taking it a bit far.
    Posted by jennylove810[/QUOTE]
    OP, please re-read above post.  How could you not see the difference?  And if she would have said something the day of, then she would be CRAZY.  
  • In Response to Re: NWR: UGH! Crazy FSMIL:
    [QUOTE]I'm calling it passive aggressive because she said nothing to me at the time, and nothing to me when her and I were alone together the day after the event.  I'm calling her crazy not because of her feelings, but because she decided it was a good idea to send it in an e-mail to me. Posted by shoegal715[/QUOTE]

    She may have been hurt at the time, but decided to hold her tongue.  She may have thought about talking to you when she was alone with you and then chickened out.  Then she got home, really thought about it, decided she needed to get it off her chest, and got her thoughts together and sent you an email.

    Passive agressive means skirting around the issue while trying to make you feel guilty.  Her email was not passive because it addressed the issue, and it was not aggressive because she tries to stress that she is not angry at you, only hurt by the events.

    She hurt your feelings by sending that email.  Maybe she had a hard time talking to you because she knew she would hurt your feelings.  I may just be playing devil's advocate because that's the way I handle things, and you know her better than I do, but take it for what it's worth.

    At any rate, send that nice email, and just be aware that she is oversensitive and do your best to handle these issues tactfully if they arise again.
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  • In Response to Re: NWR: UGH! Crazy FSMIL:
    [QUOTE] "Dear FSMIL, I am really very sorry that you felt slighted by the sign.  It wasn't our intention to hurt you, but to honor the grandmother that little Abbey will never know.  I'm sure as she grows older she will become ever more grateful for your presence in her life; for the afternoon of the memorial walk, we thought it would be a touching gesture for those who knew and loved {Grandma's Name} to invoke her presence as well.  FFIL has been truly blessed to have had both of you in his life! Love, Your Future Daughter-in-Law"
    Posted by Celles[/QUOTE]

    I love it...Be passive agressive back. Kids have always had two sets of grandparents. Now days it is more like four. What was she thinking???
    Anniversary
  • In Response to Re: NWR: UGH! Crazy FSMIL:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: NWR: UGH! Crazy FSMIL : I love it...Be passive agressive back. Kids have always had two sets of grandparents. Now days it is more like four. What was she thinking???
    Posted by suz62984[/QUOTE]

    That's not passive aggressive.  That's polite.
  • My stepkids have 9 grandparents so step some biological! 

    And your FSMIL probably thought and re-thought that email several times before sending it to you.  Yes she is being over sensitive but so are you.  And your soon to be neice is just at that age where she might get confused walking for grandma when she is standing right there.  As she gets older she will learn about the grandmother that past away and how wonderful she was.  But at 3 the only one she knows about is your FSMIL. 
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