Christian Weddings

Nightmare MIL!!!

Sorry this is long...

My FI and I live in Colorado. I'm attending college out here, and he's stationed here for the military. His mother, step-father, and little brother also live in CO (about 10 minutes from him). I met them all within a week of dating him, and so have continued to spend time at their house and do activities with them as a family over the course of our dating. FI and I also attend church with them every week, and they've always had a wonderful reaction to me, very kind and approving-- very glad that he found a "good Christian girl".

Well, we (FI, his mother, little brother and I) flew to Illinois to meet his family (both Mom's and Dad's side lives there). I got along great with his family, but his mother FLIPPED OUT! We were talking one on one when she suddenly burst out to me a bunch of hateful, judgemental, cruel things. Included were: she didn't want me to marry her son, I had no morals or conscience, I was leading her Man-of-God son away from God, he was a light for Christ before he met me but now I've changed him, that I was banned from her house, etc. 

I was shocked and confused, but calmly said that that was her perspective, I suppose, but what made her feel that way? She told me that (not overexaggerating) if I didn't agree with her, then I should shut my mouth and submit and just tell her outwardly that I agree with her anyways, because she doesn't want to hear my opinion if it's different from hers. I respectfully told her that I believed that it was disrespectful for me to lie to her, and instead I wanted to be honest when I disagreed about something. She stormed out and said she couldn't talk to me anymore.

I guess she called her husband, because the next morning, FI's stepfather called him and told him that I was not a good woman, that I would only lead him to misery, that I wasn't really a Christian, that we would just get divorced in a few years and he'd say I told you so, that they would never support us, that we're young and dumb, and that FI's really gotten himself into a situation, so he (FI's stepfather) hopes that FI makes the right decision before he actually marries me.

I was so upset and angry when I heard all of this! They're being slanderous and FI and I have no idea where this has all come from! They were just worshipping side by side next to us and buying me Christmas presents a couple weeks ago, but they seem to have gone off the deep-end! Has anyone else experienced an in-law melt down when the wedding is approaching? The rest of the family loved me, but those two just went nuts! 

FI loves his mother, but he's trying to cut ties with her. I don't want to cut her completely out, or her husband-- I think it's important to maintain family ties. But I don't want her trying to control us and dip her hands in our lives on a daily basis either (she has flippantly commented to me about FI and I's struggles with sexual immorality that we faced!). I'm just lost at this point. I want to be a peacemaker and show my MIL Christ's forgiving love (Matthew 5:43-48), but she's causing serious strain in FI and I's lives.

Please help!! I need Godly advice.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." ~ Matthew 22:37 - 38 BabyFruit Ticker

Re: Nightmare MIL!!!

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    edited December 2011
    You need to be firm in telling her that at the very least the Christian thing for her to do, since she obviously feels you've done something atrocious, is to show you exactly what you've done wrong (Matthew 18:15). If she is not willing to do that, speak to a leader in your church about mediating, if she's not willing to do that, speak to a church leader about requiring her to speak her piece in front of elders or a pastor or something (Matth 18:16).

    And as far as the sexual immorality thing goes (though you're being pretty vague with that), if staying pure is going to be too difficult over the next 5 months, there is no shame is just screwing it all and getting married early. I'm sure your family would much rather skip the huge to-do than let you fall into sin, just a thought.
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    iamjoesgurliamjoesgurl member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Those scriptures that sister2groom pointed out are good ones to start a conversation with FMIL.  But I really think that this needs to be between your FI and his mom right now.  Instead of cutting ties with her, I think he really needs to have a candid talk with her to understand what's happening and to help her understand how much he loves you.  It is normal for a mother to be protective over her son so without really knowing the details of your situation, I think I understand to a certain point why this is happening.  But it is not right and she really needs to be careful about how she treats you because as you said, she is cutting her son out of her life with these actions.

    Have you been through pre-marital counseling yet?  If so, has your counselor/pastor pointed out any areas that you need to be concerned about?  The reason I ask this is to say that those should be the things that you are thinking about to prepare yourself for a long marriage instead of being concerned with what FMIL thinks.  

    This really needs to be worked out before you get married.  There will be a lot of hurt and resentment on your wedding day if it is not resolved and that is not what you want for one of the most special days of your life.

    Pray for ILs, FI and yourself that you will all have the opportunity to reconcile soon.  I will pray as well.
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    edited December 2011
    I truly feel your pain (you can look back at my posts and see one about my in-law issues, which unfortunately have gotten worse in the month since I wrote that). I know that this is an extremely emotionally draining experience. What has helped me some is trying to understand his mom's underlying issues, in her case pride, and not allowing her issues/attitudes/comments to control us but instead to see that there is far more going on with her that I cannot control. We just started premarital counseling this week, and our pastor who knows us really well and has walked through this with FI talked about 1) forgiving (not accepting or condoning) his parents 2)turning our face towards the future and 3) deciding on the way we as a family are going to interact with his faimily and abiding by that. I think that in the next couple of weeks FI is going to write an email (several attempts at phone and in-person conversations have completely failed) detailing why he has made certain decisions, why he feels (knows) she hasn't respected decisions, and outlining certain guidelines for how we are going to interact in the future and that we want to have a good relationship with them, but that means they need to actually listen to what we are saying rather than talking over us, interuppting, or ignoring us.

    That is how we are approaching our situation, I don't know if that might give you ideas. I think finding older, mature Christians who can help give you perspective will help.

    We also read a book called "The Emotionally Destructive Relationship" which is written by a Christian counselor that was really helpful, I'm not sure if that is what is going on in your situation, but it definitely was/is in ours, so it might be a good investment.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    My mother in law hates me these days, and thinks I corrupted and ruined her son.  I keep my distance, as does H.  That's really all you can do, to be honest.
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    edited December 2011
    Your FMIL is a loon.  She's disrespectful and controlling.  Honestly, this isn't 1403 and the "little woman" doesn't have to shut up just because she disagrees with an "elder".  I can't believe she told you that she didn't want to hear from you unless you agreed with her!  Seriously?  That's called ignorance and self-righteousness.  And you know what self-righteousness denotes? of the 7 deadly sins.

    You know what they say...the pride cometh before the fall.
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    bryantkmbryantkm member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you everyone for the replies and help. FI spent the day with her yesterday, trying to talk to her and find out what her motivations and thoughts were so that we could understand and deal with them. Then FI and I sat down and talked about everything for an hour or so today.

    I hadn't really told him how deeply upset I was by the situation because I didn't want to further cause a rift between him and his mother, but I ended up having to. At first, he seemed to really not know that I was really hurt by her and his stepfather's words, and FI tried to tell me to just apologize to her so that we can all move on. I was polite, but I firmly stood my ground with him, saying that I had nothing to apologize for. That I had done everything I could to make her happy-- biting my tongue 90% of the time when I disagreed, complimenting and wearing an atrocious necklace that she bought me because I wanted to show her I was grateful for the thought, spending less one-on-one time with FI and more time with the family so that they could spend time with him too, etc.

    FI relented and agreed, saying that he just wanted them to change and be less controlling and judgmental. We've now gotten them to agree to have all four of us sit down with a Pastor from our church and define some boundaries for each other.

    To answer your questions, we've been struggling with remaining pure (we've stumbled and slept together several times) because we've only been Christians for a couple of years, and were not virgins before we got saved. I have not dated since I became a Christian, and his only relationship since he gave his life to Christ was a long-distance relationship without the physical temptation. So it's been difficult for us, but we've found that the best way to keep ourselves in line is by asking if everything we are doing is glorifying God. We are now waiting until our wedding in May, and thanking God for being patient with us.

    FI and I are starting pre-marital counseling at our church this week-- we signed up in November, but they wanted to wait until after the holidays to start our counseling sessions.

    AnnaW, thank you! Those sound like wonderful steps, and what FI and I have been trying to do. There are a lot of factors that go into her behavior, and FI wants to break off his relationship with her entirely right now. But I know him and I know his heart, so I know that he'll regret it very deeply if he does that. Also, that would destroy his mother, and while I am deeply upset with what she's doing, I don't bear her any ill will, and I want to help mend their relationship.

    Thank you everyone for the prayers-- we're trying to lay this down at the Cross and let the Lord show us what steps we need to take to glorify him in this situation. Thank you all!
    "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." ~ Matthew 22:37 - 38 BabyFruit Ticker
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    edited December 2011
    I am so sorry that you had to go through this. You are doing the right thing in talking to God about it and putting it in His hands. Let us know how the talk with them and the pastor goes. There must be some reason why she feels the way she does... she owes you an explanation, though. If she truly is a Christian, she will be able to be accepting. We should not judge each other, and I hope that she will not judge you anymore. Hopefully she will realize this. I will say a prayer for you! 
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