Wedding Etiquette Forum

Am I Just Being Sensitive?

So I've started to have some drama with the FIL's. It's nothing too serious, just minor things that I'm probably being too sensitive about. The most recent was a few weeks ago. FI and I were going to a wedding for a cousin of his. His parents were also there. There was a party the Friday night before the wedding. FI had to arrive at the party early, so I was going to ride from the hotel to the venue with his parents. I wore a skirt and a simple top. When I got to his parent's hotel room, his parents looked me up and down and told me I wasn't dressed "nice" enough. His mom then recommended I go change. Unfortunately, since we had traveled from out of town I didn't have any other options. I only had the dress I had brought for the wedding the next day. I was just left standing there uncomfortably. When we got to the event, I thought my clothing was completely typical of what other guests were wearing. Unfortunately I just felt awkward about the whole experience. This is not the first, nor will it likely be the last time that they make comments like that. I guess my question is, am I being overly sensitive? How should I have handled this situation?
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Re: Am I Just Being Sensitive?

  • What does your FI say about the way his mom talks to you?

     

     

  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    That was very rude of your FMIL. I hope your FI is standing up for you when she acts like that.


  • She tends to do it when he's not around. It's actually not just his mom, his dad is a little more assertive than his mom. I've heard him criticize everybody's dress at various times (usually when they're out of ear shot). I come from a very laid back family when it comes to style and clothing so this is a transition I'm struggling with.

    They do it to FI as well and he usually just blows them off.
  • So I've started to have some drama with the FIL's. It's nothing too serious, just minor things that I'm probably being too sensitive about. The most recent was a few weeks ago. FI and I were going to a wedding for a cousin of his. His parents were also there. There was a party the Friday night before the wedding. FI had to arrive at the party early, so I was going to ride from the hotel to the venue with his parents. I wore a skirt and a simple top. When I got to his parent's hotel room, his parents looked me up and down and told me I wasn't dressed "nice" enough. His mom then recommended I go change. Unfortunately, since we had traveled from out of town I didn't have any other options. I only had the dress I had brought for the wedding the next day. I was just left standing there uncomfortably. When we got to the event, I thought my clothing was completely typical of what other guests were wearing. Unfortunately I just felt awkward about the whole experience. This is not the first, nor will it likely be the last time that they make comments like that. I guess my question is, am I being overly sensitive? How should I have handled this situation?

    I don't think you're being overly sensitive. Your FMIL is just being rude.

    I think you should tell your FI about it and have him talk to his mother about it. If you speak to her about it then she see it as confrontational. Just be sure your FI understands your perspective and will stand up for you.
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    If he wants to blow them off when they talk to him like that, fine. But he needs to make it clear to them it's not appropriate for them to speak to you that way whether he is there or not.


    southernbelle0915doeydoRebeccaB88
  • Ditto PPs - your FILs are out of line. I could see if it was a place that had certain dress restrictions (e.g. nothing sleeveless, jackets for men, etc.), but sounds like that's not the case.

    Tell your FI when it happens and how it makes you feel. He needs to deal with his parents. If he doesn't stand up for you, you have an FI problem - not an FIL problem.
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  • she "recommends" you change?! eww. she's not your mom or your boss. i recommend she keep her comments to herself. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I'd just let it go. There are so many things to really be upset about. But I'm probably being over sympathetic because of my recent loss of FFIL.
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    Previously Alaynajuliana


  • Thanks everyone for the validation. I've become very hesitant to respond to any of this because in the past FI has mentioned things to his parents. They responded by saying I was overreacting and they hoped in the future I wouldn't be so "sensitive." (Some of this conversation was via email so I read most of it. Email is never the way to go with these conversations and we wont be making that mistake in the future).

    Now I'm just struggling with how to deal with the interactions. FI tries to stick by my side when I'm around them because the comments seem to be more forthcoming when he's not there. Unfortunately that's not a practical solution for obvious reasons.

    The biggest problem is they really see nothing wrong with behaving this way and talking to them about it just seems to make things worse.
  • My fl would flip a lid if his parents spoke that way to me! They can say what they want to their son, and he can take it with a grain of salt if he wants, but I'd stick up for myself if I were you.

    That's just so rude.
  • It doesn't sound like anything you or your FI says is going to change their behavior.  It also sounds like it's not directed specifically at you - they just happen to be rude people...

    So I guess you need to figure out ahead of time how you want to respond when they say something - that way you won't get taken off-guard...  You can be the bigger person, smile, and deflect.  You can be aggressive back at them - although that will probably lead to bigger issues.  You can turn their remark into a joke...  I guess there are dozens of other things you could do - my point is to think about it in advance so that you're already prepared when it happens.

    Personally - I'm not very confrontational and confrontational people make me uncomfortable, so I would choose to spend less time with them. 

     

     

    weddingmusePrettyGirlLost
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  • @southernbelle0915, it's a mutiny. Get over it. Obviously it's already widespread on many threads and boards and paging them here slows down their work. And no I'm not the one doing it.
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    Previously Alaynajuliana


    [Deleted User]
  • I would just let it go. Its just clothing. Its not like she was criticising you as a person.
    Ajuliana
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    So, I'm having a similar (ish) problem with my partner's family. He has one sister-in-law who's super rude to everyone, and it's not clear how intentional her rudeness is (hard to explain). When she's rude to my partner, he brushes it off, and he keeps telling me to just do the same when she's rude to me. I've made it clear to him that I do expect him to support me and be on my side--specifically, he's in a position to tell her, "This isn't okay." Or to tell his brother, "Hey, [sister-in-law] has done and said these things to phira that make phira uncomfortable."

    I don't have a solution for you, given that my partner and I are actually getting help from a counselor to handle issues we've had about his family. But I do have a couple of thoughts.

    1) In situations like these, it's completely appropriate (and often MORE appropriate) for your fiance to be the one to say to his parents, "You need to stop making these comments to tinambride."

    2) In terms of the social contract regarding etiquette, what your future in-laws are doing is very rude. They've broken the contract already--you don't have to keep following it. That means that if they say something again about how you're dressed, or anything similar, have some scripts ready to go where you draw attention to their behavior. Something like, "Wow. That was not polite to say," or, "If I'm not dressed appropriately, that's my problem to deal with. Please stop commenting on my appearance."
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    [Deleted User]Ven&Radio
  • Uh no you're not being overly sensitive. It's rude and your FI should address it with his parents.

    They should know that they have not right to be disrespectful to you.
  • You're not being overly sensitive at all! What your FMIL said was entirely inappropriate and out of line. 

    You have my sympathies -- my FI's grandmother (for which, read FMIL; she raised him, though how he turned out normal I'll never know) does the same thing. She'll say very passive-aggressive or straight-up aggressive things to me ('You shouldn't wear your hair down; it makes you look old' 'When do you plan to start dieting before the wedding?' etc.) but then when I relay them to FI and he calls her on it, she plays the, 'I'm 86 years old, I don't remember saying that.' Which is crap; she does remember saying it, she just wants to get away with being rude. 

    We have worked out the solution -- and it's not perfect -- that I refuse to be alone in a room with her. It's not always practical, but it certainly gets the point across. I won't go visit her with FI when he goes over to do chores or help around the house -- too much risk of her cornering me. If we go out to dinner with her, and he has to go to the bathroom, I get up and go, too. 

    We also used to go to church with her once a month -- my idea -- because it made her happy. Until or unless she apologises for her recent little event (saying AT MY BRIDAL SHOWER that she would have preferred FI to marry his ex-GF and showing a photo of him and the ex), we don't go to church. When she asks about why I don't visit and why we don't go to church with her, FI tells her, "You said very unkind things to HisGirl and behaved badly. Until you're willing to apologise, I am not going to ask her to spend time with you, and that means you will see less of me, too." Then she huffs and pretends she's dying -- playing, 'I hope I live long enough to see your wedding...' card.  

    Which is why this isn't a perfect system.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    OjitosVerdeskryan32
  • Well that's typical In my husbands culture. I've even had to be told how to sit properly. To smooth things over and have a great relationship with my in laws I did whatever they said with a smile. I payed my dues and it paid off. Now I'm very respected.and loved by my in laws. I'm the only daughter in law that gets calls and they only stay the night at our house when in town.
    [Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2013
    snoopycac said:
    I would just let it go. Its just clothing. Its not like she was criticising you as a person.
    Yes it was.  What exactly was the OP supposed to change into, not to mention the fact that she turned out to be perfectly dressed for the event?  She didn't have a change of clothes.  This was a dig at her. 

    OP, your FMIL was very rude and your FI should not allow her to continue to do this to you.
    Well that's typical In my husbands culture. I've even had to be told how to sit properly. To smooth things over and have a great relationship with my in laws I did whatever they said with a smile. I payed my dues and it paid off. Now I'm very respected.and loved by my in laws. I'm the only daughter in law that gets calls and they only stay the night at our house when in town.
    But this won't necessarily work for the OP-in fact, it just tells the FMIL that she can continue to extract "dues" from her.  That's not good for a healthy relationship. 

    She should not have to smile or pay "dues" to make a relationship with her ILs work-even if that's what's done in their culture, it's not done in hers.  She should not be expected to behave like a doormat to make her FMIL happy at her own expense.
    PrettyGirlLostbnrandall[Deleted User]
  • Your ILs are outright aggressive?  Think about reacting to them in a passive aggressive way.  For instance, if they criticize your choice of clothing, give them a big wide-eyed smile, and say cheerfully "Well it's all I brought, so it will have to do.  I guess I'll just have to hope that you're overdressed".  Let them be uncomfortatable.    Practice.

     

    You're probably a much nicer person than I am, though.

    PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • I'd do the same thing with my relationships with Americans. And its not being a doormat. Its called brown nosing. Sometimes you should kiss ass to get people to like you especially in laws or a boss.
    jendemeyer
  • Oh I'm not of Roma ethnicity I'm Caucasian/Mexican american. I've dated caucasions before I adapted/ Married into the gypsy culture. I've always done this. Its just too awkward for me to not be liked or not get along with with a future intended's family. If she's sensitive like I am when it comes to family she may want to try a different route. I was just giving my opinion and advice take it or leave it, but to say I know nothing of american culture is wrong since I didnt even know gypsies existed until I was 22.
    [Deleted User]
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Well that's typical In my husbands culture. I've even had to be told how to sit properly. To smooth things over and have a great relationship with my in laws I did whatever they said with a smile. I payed my dues and it paid off. Now I'm very respected.and loved by my in laws. I'm the only daughter in law that gets calls and they only stay the night at our house when in town.
    I'm not paying any dues. People who aren't civil to me, and who treat me poorly, are people I don't spend time with. Suggesting that the OP should just put up with being disrespected in order to make her in-laws like her is really inconsiderate.
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    PrettyGirlLostOjitosVerdesAllyIdo
  • Okay so dish - what exactly was this outfit? Are there pictures? Was it basically a miniskirt? Or a regular skirt? 
  • I didn't know giving advice can be inconsiderate. Especially if it worked for me In more than one situation. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean its wrong of me or anyone else to try to ignore little things like an outfit.
    jendemeyer
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2013
    I didn't know giving advice can be inconsiderate. Especially if it worked for me In more than one situation. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean its wrong of me or anyone else to try to ignore little things like an outfit.
    You're missing several points:

    1) This is not a little thing to be ignored. 

    2) What works for you in your culture is not the norm for most of the posters here. 

    3) In mainstream American culture "kissing ass" is frowned on.

    4) If you want to give advice, you need to understand where your advisee is coming from-not just give it, because if you don't it 1) won't work and 2) you'll piss off your advisee.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I'm not the only one saying let it go. I.was only giving my reasoning behind it. And so what if its not the norm I will not be excluded for being different and having a different perspective on life experiences.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2013
    I'm not the only one saying let it go. I.was only giving my reasoning behind it. And so what if its not the norm I will not be excluded for being different and having a different perspective on life experiences.
    I don't agree with anyone's reasoning to let it go-I think it's part of an unhealthy pattern, and letting it go just gives the FMIL "permission" to keep doing it.

    As for "exclusion," no one's doing that to you-but your advice is not applicable if you can't understand where the person you're advising is coming from.  Advice doesn't help if the person giving it can't do that-and it wastes the advisee's time.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • @jen4948 OK I have a question . Why do you assume I can't understand where the person is coming from?
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