Moms and Maids

Knot Rant

Apparently I am the only person here that thinks it is not your FI's job to control his mother. The two of you are getting married, the two of you are planning a life together, the two of you have to form a united front against his mother and work together. If you dictate to him everything to tell her, you are acting like the manipulative and controlling bitch she is going to call you her friends and family. If you have an issue with your FMIL, you have to discuss it with FI and the two of you need to agree that his (or your) mother is out of line and the two of you together need to prepare an argument against her and sit down together with her and work it out in an adult manner. By sending FI to do the dirty work you are setting yourself up to angry with him once you realize that he is not putting the same effort into getting your way as he it. 

Re: Knot Rant

  • When something comes up between FMIL and I that is wedding related, I have FI talk to her about it. Why? Because this is our wedding, not just mine, and she takes it out on me like everything is my fault. Check out my crazy FMIL thread over on the 3rd page or so of the E board. FI and I discussed everything, and we agreed she was out of line, so he plans to tell her so. She needs to know he is behind ME on this. 

    Also, she is his mother, and she will probably forgive him faster than she would forgive me if harsh words were exchanged, because that's her son. He has been dealing with her for 30 years and knows how to talk to her best, whereas I have only been in the picture for 3. And quite frankly I don't care what FMIL says about me to her friends behind my back because I have probably said worse about her to mine. 

    As for sitting down together to talk with her together, I would have absolutely no problem with this, but FMIL lives 3 hours away. We can't just all drop our schedules and plan a pow wow. Phone calls are the best way to talk with her and it works best to have a conversation simply between the two of them. 

    Now, when it is something personal between my FMIL and I and not wedding related, then I would talk to her personally, but she is very immature. She probably would not answer the phone if I called her. 
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  • I disagree.  If I had a son who was getting married, and one day he and his future wife sat me down to "have a talk" I would feel attacked.  Because of this, it would make me become defensive and the whole focus of the conversation would be about me defending myself leaving the initial issue unresolved.  Of course this is all my opinion.
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  • I voted that we need to work together. That said, I would still have him talk to her about the issue, but request that he word things so she understands it's "our" vision, not just mine and not just his. I do think she could feel awkward and possibly attacked if we both went at her with something. Not that it has ever been an issue-both of our moms are pretty laid back about everything. Plus, we are paying for our wedding, so they realize the only say they really have are their opinions, which we are open to. Mostly, it's my mom who is more involved just because she lives where we are having our wedding (in Indiana), and FI's mom lives here, so it's a lot harder for her to help. Plus, my mom is just way more excited about helping to plan it lol
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  • I wouldn't say that it's solely him that needs to deal with his mother, but I do generally think that he should agree with you on family issues and stand up to his family if they're pushing you around.  I don't think anyone's saying that he should be the only one interacting with his family, or that you shouldn't work on that relationship.  If someone in his family is being a relentless pain, and he washes his hands of the whole thing, then you're just setting yourself up for a future of the same thing.  Similarly, if he agrees with his mom over you - well for one that might mean you're overreacting, but it also means that in the future he's okay with relinquishing control over a situation to his mom.  What's that going to mean when you have kids? 

    Sorry, but it was this way with my SIL for a while.  She was very bossy, and very pushy.  And often times I would try to stand up for myself - one example is that I didn't want to go out to bars one night because I was sick and she wouldn't take no for an answer, I literally told her 'no' or that I didn't want to countless times.  After that incident, I told my DH, "Next time that happens, you need to reiterate what I'm saying.  If I tell your sister no and she keeps pestering me, you need to say "Hey, she already said no."  Since then it's been better, and I will admit that a part of me has learned how to deal with her better, so it's a mix of both needing support from your spouse and learning better how to interact with the ILs.
  • RaptorSLHRaptorSLH member
    500 Comments First Anniversary
    edited January 2012
    If she won't listen to her son, what makes you think she'll listen to you?

    I won't say it's his job alone, but when there's a problem with his family, he does need to take the lead, just as I take the lead in dealing with mine, for all the reasons Em said.  Yes, you should agree on what you want and stand united, but if he needs to be able to  present his mother with your joint decision on his own.

    I also agree with B&K that the 2-on-1 dynamic is a very confrontational, aggressive stance that leaves people feeling bullied.  I've been subjected to it often, and I don't respond well.  This should be reserved for very rare situations, when you are confronting them and need to come from a place of power, regardless of the cost (an acoholic's intervention, or telling her she's not welcome in your lives until X condition come to mind.)

    As for looking manipulative...if you "dictate" what he must say, you're right, you would be that and worse.  But it is far easier to "dictate" someone's words when you are presenting the issue together, as in your scenario.  If you really have a united front and joint decision, you will mutually agree on what you want, and he will continue to support that when you aren't there to supervise him.

    In my mind, it's actually a bit of a stress test for the relationship.  A man who leaves you alone to face his angry family, who backs down in private and only backs you up when you are there to make him, is a man not ready for marriage.  In such a relationship, you would always play second fiddle to his family.  Is he strong enough to support you of his own, independant will?
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  • I've been in that relationship in the past and believe me, he needs to talk to his family if they are causing friction. I wouldn't expect my FI to take on my family alone because I understand my family dynamics better than he does and I've also been dealing with my mother far longer than he has.

    True, you two have to agree on what the argument is - your/his mother making either of you crazy, wedding plans falling apart or whatever, you and your FI need to agree on what the problem is.

    His mom should be his responsibility - not completely yours. Just becasue you are marrying into his family doesn't give you the right to manage family dynamic issues. Delegate that responsibility to your FI; if he is unwilling to handle that, then that just speaks to his character.
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Of course the couple should be on the same page, but the son should speak to his mother privately, at first. Why do you think a combative mother is going to react better to being confronted by her son in front of her FDIL? She is still going to feel like her FDIL pushed him into it and both women are probably going to feel very uncomfortable about it.

                       
  • Well, in my case, he'll HAVE to deal with his mom because he's known her for 42 years and he actually likes her.  I don't know her, and don't plan to know her.  She's HIS MOM.  Period.  She's not my friend, and even if I met her in a cooking class at the local grocery store, I wouldn't sit with her and make her my friend.  She's just totally different from my mom and my family.  I have no idea how to deal with her, and don't care because she's HIS MOM.

    And my mom is my business.  If DH starts telling my mom how to behave and how to respond to situations, he's in deep trouble with me AND my mom.  My mom is MY business.

    I actually don't know of a couple IRL who deals with parents differently than this, so I think your other choices on the survey are really really rare.
  • Two against one isn't a fair fight. I don't think of it as a "united front," i think of it as intimidation. You can have a united front with only one person present. It depends on the situation whether or not it should be you or your fiancé doing the talking. Ideally, it should be whoever the biological child is because that's who the parent is going to listen to AND the love there is unconditional.
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  • FI CAN'T know what you will say to everything his mother has to say, therefore he can't respond to her points. When you expect him to do it all you place him in the middle of a very long conversation where you will end up upset with him because he doesn't think of the same things you do on the spot and he certainly won't be taking dictation of everything his mother says exactly how she will say it.

    If you have an issue with your FMIL it is up to YOU to approach your FI and get his opinion and then approach his mother. Anything else is setting yourself up for 3 unhappy relationships, you and her, you and him and him and her. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_knot-rant?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:4a0c9a49-fbe7-44ae-a219-1a904502a63fPost:fc07aadb-3a7f-4f16-aff4-7e531d25c8ee">Re: Knot Rant</a>:
    [QUOTE]FI CAN'T know what you will say to everything his mother has to say, therefore he can't respond to her points. When you expect him to do it all you place him in the middle of a very long conversation where you will end up upset with him because he doesn't think of the same things you do on the spot and he certainly won't be taking dictation of everything his mother says exactly how she will say it. I<strong>f you have an issue with your FMIL it is up to YOU to approach your FI and get his opinion and then approach his mother.</strong> Anything else is setting yourself up for 3 unhappy relationships, you and her, you and him and him and her. 
    Posted by Cuss10[/QUOTE]

    <div>Why not just let him tell her himself? As we stated, we feel that FMIL will be more likely to listen to one person, and probably her son more than you/me. Now if you insist on being there and FFIL is present too or someone else to mediate, then at least you somewhat remove the attacking/ganging up on her factor,.</div><div>
    </div><div>Now again, if this is a personal issue between DIL/FMIL, not something wedding/kid/marriage related, then yeah, there is no need to  get FI/H involved. But if it is something that involves him as well, such as WR stuff, then you of course should discuss it beforehand and then let him deal with her, because he knows her better than you (general you). I trust my FI's abilities to handle the situation if we discussed it thoroughly beforehand and he knows exactly where I stand. </div>
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