Moms and Maids

More in-law advice

I have posted on this board a few times about my FILs and stuff, and have received good advice and so I'm doing it again.  Long story short, there have been issues between my FMIL and I where I have felt insulted by the way she has treated my FI and myself.  Because of this I have temporarily stopped trying to go to their family functions because her behavior doesn't surprise me.  My FI supports my decision, but I do want to try and give her a second chance (however that may turn out), and I also do want to get to know the rest of his family (grandparents, cousins and stuff).

This brings me to my point and what I would appreciate advice on.  His grandparents are having a family picnic tomorrow and his mom informed him that she (his grandmother) had invited both of us.  I am conflicted because I would like to get to know his grandparents, but I am very anxious and nervous about how the rest of his family will treat me, because he has been given the impression that they blame me for the tension that has been between him and his mom/sisters/dad the past few months.  

I am prepared for flames.  I understand that this probably comes off completely selfish, rude, and immatue.  I just want honest advice.  Should I suck it up and go to the picnic tomorrow?  If I do this should I just keep my mouth shut if anyone says anything insulting or condescending? I guess I kind of already know the answer, I just don't really want to put myself through that ordeal. 

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Re: More in-law advice

  • Well, I sympathize that you're in a tough spot and I haven't always had the closest relationship with my in-laws. But if you do want to get to know his family and especially his gparents, I think you should go, esp. since the invitation is coming from his grandmother, not his parents. I would go and kill them with kindness.

    However, if someone insulted me to my face or was out of line with me to my face, I would defend myself. I wouldn't have an all-out brawl at grandma's picnic, but I would dispel an untrue rumor if someone brought it to my attention and gracefully bow out if necessary. You don't have to let someone treat you like crap, but I would not purposely spend hours with the people who cause drama. Say your hellos at the gathering and then move on. It will make you look like the bigger person.

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  • In my experience, the distant third party is always going to be blamed for causing the problems.  The best way to make people realize that you've got a legitimate side and you're not just staying awake at night, poking pins in your FMIL doll and trying to figure out ways to cause drama is to show up and be polite and cordial to people. 

    Good luck!
  • edited May 2012
    Yes, you should go. Like Stage said, kill them with kindness. The grandparents might be much easier to 'schmooze' than the rest of the family. They would probably appreciate a few compliments, particularly about their wonderful grandson that you are going to marry. If you have the time and inclination, bring a dish to contribute to the table. You and fi should offer to help out in some way - set or clear the table. Don't give anyone reason to believe anything negative they may have heard about you. After the picnic, send grandma a thank you note to let her know that you appreciated the invitation.

    I don't believe anyone should put up with condescending behaviour. If your fils start up with you, your fi should intervene. It sounds like fmil would like you both to attend, so I hope she will be on her best behaviour.
  • I'd go. And be charming and wonderful and schmooze the hell out of 'em all. Then people will wonder what on earth your FMIL is even talking about! OK, it might not totally do that, but it will give you the chance to score some points and let the relatives form their own opinioins about you. LIke  others have said, NOT going just gives them nothing to go on besides what they've heard. 

    I'd be curious to know how many of the relatives even know about the tension between the mom/sisters/dad and if they are aware, how many even care. It could be these folks are just into drama and the rest of the relatives don't give what they complain about a second thought. 

    Or, that could be completely wrong and they are planning on tarring and feathering you. I dunno. ; )

    Either way, go see what happens. Either you will feel better about the whole situation or you will decide you have given them their second chance and at least you tried. 

  • rsannarsanna member
    500 Comments 5 Love Its First Anniversary
    Thanks everyone for the advice.  Everything went relatively well today.  His grandparents are just too nice and he was happy to see them. I had only met them once before and they were even nicer this time.  The only thing that was slightly awkward was one sister who kind of refused to talk to me and didn't really talk to my FI the much either. They also talked a lot about weddings, but refused to acknowledge our engagement.  We both agreed that is normal and they still aren't ready to vocalize/acknowledge it. Other than that it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared and I suspect it was for the best. Also there was a dog there, so there was a lot of dog conversation and my parents happen to have 13 so there was a big focus of conversation there.  Again thanks for the advice; you guys are great!

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  • That's great. I hope it gets easier for you each time.
  • YAY! Very glad it went well! Hopefully it just keeps getting better for you! 
  • My future mother in law has made the same comment about my wedding on more than one occassion.  She disapproves that we are getting married at 6pm in the evening and wishes we would get married earlier in the day.  She has made other disapproving comments toward other wedding details and I simply try to ignore them.  But, I have worked very had on planning a wedding that my fiance and I both want.  Any advice on how to nicely but sternly let her know that she needs to keep her comments to herself?
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