Moms and Maids

If you were my FMIL...

We have had major issues with my FMIL and have tried to discuss them but that blew up and became nasty really quickly.  The short but sweet version: I can't do anything right, I never do enough-not good enough, she's pissed when something's not all about her even if it's not her celebration, my family is dirt and should be treated as such, she's mad because my dad will be getting more attention than her at the wedding because he'll be walking me down the aisle and having the father-daughter dance (she'll be getting her mother-son dance), it's her way or well her way and if not then everyone is controlling (including some wedding things; she's declared that if we don't do X then she won't come a couple of times), stuff like this.  I can give examples if you want but I am trying to keep this short.  I have been nothing but nice to her until this blow up, seriously.  She is this way to all the females in the family (they are all in-laws; she's used to being the alpha dog) but especially her sons SO's.  She only has 2 boys; mines the oldest- his brother is divorced so this isn't the first wedding for her.I get there's a lot of issues but I don't know how to go about this:  my FI wants us to sit down with her again and go over some things.  I'm not really looking forward to this.  She's really good at twisting words (she'll say I said such and such when it was really her), yelling, interrupting and calling me names.  If we do sit down and she starts this, I will be leaving the conversation and my FI knows this.  I've read many times on this board "His family, his problem" but at the same time I would like to be there to support him and be united but I feel it would be better if I wasn't there.When you've had to have discussions with your kids, do you prefer it to just be the two of you or would you take offense to their SO being there as well.  I feel if I am there, then I'll get most of the blame, which would happen regardless if I am there but I'm just tired of dealing with her at this point.Thanks gals!

Re: If you were my FMIL...

  • Kristin789Kristin789 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    If your parents' names are on the top line of the invitation, then your parents are hosting the event and inviting the people to come. If FMIL wants to go over some things, she's out of line. If your parents were hosting a dinner party, would she want to go over some decisions that were already made by the hosts? Would she suggest that the dessert ought to be cherry pie instead of apple pie? Not her call. That said, your FI should suggest that she meet with your parents - NOT with you and FI. "OK, Mom - here's Mr. and Mrs. Clark's phone number for you to ask some questions or arrange a meeting with them. I'm sure they have made the best decisions to host such a big fancy nice wedding for ShortGirl and I, but if you need to ask questions or talk to them, just give them a call. I understand that they are both home and done with dinner by 7:30 p.m." See, parents often feel that they can manipulate people who are their own kids' age. But when faced with confronting people their OWN age, they will back down and shut up and appreciate all that they are being provided by the other people...
  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Please ignore Kristin's advice.  She thinks ONLY parents of the bride have any say about a wedding and that the bride and groom aren't adult enough to handle situations. I have 3 married DD's and 1 who is not.  They all pretty much go with each person deals with their own parents but they haven't had to deal with what you are dealing with. If you were my DD here is what I would tell you.  Most important:  you have no control over how SHE reacts or behaves at any time.  You COMPLETELY control how YOU react and behave.  Get that part straight before you go over there. I usually go with "his parent, his problem" but sounds like this is ongoing and not just about the wedding.  Has your FI sat down with her and basically had the "come to Jesus meeting" regarding wedding decisions, control issues, etc? If he has, sounds like it is time for you to go as a couple.  It is critical that you can sit there and control your reactions.  Otherwise, you will just end in a screaming match.  When she twists your words, correct her.  FI should tell her one more time that as far as wedding decisions go, things are not up for debate and the decisions that have been made are final. If she says, "well fine!  Then I'm not coming!" your FI needs to CALMLY say "I'm sorry you would miss my wedding Mom.  You will be missed." and then he needs to not engage in any more conversation about it. I guess there is one more "most important" here:  as far as wedding things go, it is one day and she will be in your life forever.  I'm not telling you to drop your plans and go with hers.  I'm just reminding you that how you guys handle this will have ramifications that will last for years.  They can be good or bad. We've raised our 4 girls to be independent and to think for themselves.  If they and their FI stepped back from wedding issues with MOG and told her to call me I would think they were spineless.  You guys are adults and you have a tough situation.  You will get thru it, but I sure don't envy your position.Best of luck to you!  Remember - keep your reactions to her controlled!
  • edited December 2011
    Practice these two statements until you can say them with a truly sweet and loving smile on your face:That's a lovely idea, we'll be sure to consider it!    ...or...That would make us very sad, and we would miss you terribly, but we respect your decision not to attend.After the words leave your lips...you smile sweetly again and WALK AWAY.  No discussion, no back and forth, no nothing.  Change rooms, turn on the TV, admire the flowers, get a snack...anything...but that is the last thing you say on the subject.It may take a bit...but they should get the idea.  This also works on friends, relatives, bridal party members. 
    My baby girl is a married woman...and now my baby girl HAS a baby girl. Time unfolds in such an amazing way. I've been blessed!
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you all!kristin- my parents names will not be on the invite; me and the FI are paying ("hosting") and planning this entire shindig.But when faced with confronting people their OWN age, they will back down and shut up and appreciate all that they are being provided by the other people... You have not met my FMIL.kmmssg-  You are right, there's more to this than the wedding, we are finding out slowly over time.  She has taken every nice gesture the wrong way; if her son wants to take her to a new place to eat when she visits- I am being controlling, etc.  The first "come to Jesus meeting" we had was the 3 of us.  I felt I did very well with controlling my reactions- she was throwing some pretty nasty things around and she was the one doing the screaming and yelling, not me.  I wish I could correct her when she twists things but she is very conversation dominant in general and interrupts you when you're smack dab in the middle of something and does not stop talking; if you continue talking at the same time as her she gets really loud in order to take over the conversation again.  I have voiced this as one of my boundaries when talking with her; if she breaks them, then we plan on walking out.  We want a conversation not a monologue about everything that's wrong with me.I totally understand our wedding is just one day but she's this way in regards to everything; the wedding has shed a light on a lot of things.  Muffin- thanks for the statements, we will be using them!
  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Wow - sounds like you are doing all the right things, and good for you for setting boundaries.  If she doesn't abide by them, you walk out.  I like it.  Best of luck with her, you will need it.
  • edited December 2011
    Has it ever gotten to the point of you and FI walking out at the same time before?  Sounds like your FMIL is even harder to deal with than a certain woman in my family.  I've been on not speaking terms with this person for about 10 years.  Life without her is SO much more calm.Good luck Short Girl
  • edited December 2011
    Shelly-We have not gotten up and walked out, alone or together, yet.  I wanted to last time but I didn't; I will be doing that from now on though and FI is aware.  I will also hang up the phone but she doesn't call me very much :)FMIL is very "family oriented" in that you are family NO MATTER WHAT- I'm not like that.  She also has this attitude of (pardon the French): You better not sh!t on me but I'll sh!t on you how many times I want and you can't say anything about it. Life without her is SO much more calm.I'm not on speaking terms with a family member of my own as well and you are 100% correct, life is much greater. 
  • edited December 2011
    If you do have to walk out, I can't promise that it will change anything in her, but it will change the way you feel about the situation. Some people don't understand that being family doesn't give you the right to crap on people. 
  • edited December 2011
    Oh I don't expect it to bring miracles but at least I'm getting out of that environment!In fact I expect some sort of "coward" "you're weak" comments but I like my boundaries :)
  • Kristin789Kristin789 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    >>Kristin's advice. She thinks ONLY parents of the bride have any say about a wedding and that the bride and groom aren't adult enough to handle situations. This isn't what I think. And it isn't what I said. And while my advice was geared for a brides'-parents'-hosted wedding, it doesn't apply here because her follow-up post says that the OP and her FI are hosting the wedding, not the bride's parents.
  • edited December 2011
    I do agree that if she is being a pain, have FI deal with her or do not talk about wedding things with her. I realize that you do not want this advice, but the girls who give it know what they are talking about, I just wish I had followed it from the begining.We don't talk about wedding related things, or well I don't and I don't think FI does much either.  The advice I got from everyone was great- was it exactly what I was looking for?  Not 100% but it helped a ton because I got input from other mom's who are in my FMIL's place and thinks what she's doing is wacky.  We've already had one discussion with the three of us and FI wants another one; I came here to see if moms would prefer it to be just their kid or if they would want the future in-law as well.
  • appletango85appletango85 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Good luck friend *hug*:p
  • TruchanaTruchana member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Ok why don't you do this.  You and your fiance both of your moms a mothers etiquette bookon planning the wedding.  Not a brides book, but a mothers one that details their responsibility.  DOn't make it a snotty gift, make it nice, like with a bottle of wine and a nice card.    HOpefully she reads it and backs off. In the end, your fiance needs to be like, Mom, this is how it is.
  • edited December 2011
    Haha Truchana- Unfortunately she would take it the wrong way.  She's the type that no matter how nice you are she takes it wrong.  I can imagine the look on her face and that makes me laugh a bit but not the aftermath!Thanks Apple :)
  • dianenjnjdianenjnj member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    best advice...stay the heck away from her!  let her son deal with her 100%... especially since she lies and twists whatever you have to say...do your self a favor and steer clear!
  • edited December 2011
    At this point, have your FI talk to her alone. You're going to be a red rag to a bull, no offense. There've been some times where I've wanted it to just be my daughter, but most times I want her FI there too. In your situation though, I'd go for just him. "his family, his problem" just doesn't always work. Because guess what? Like it or not, they'll become your family. Ugh, I know. As for having parents talk, I don't think it's a good idea. I understand the point that sometimes people who don't respect their "kids" will respect other "adults", but she has to learn to respect you one way or another. Or your life will be hell. Trust me on that one. Good luck
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