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Moms and Maids

FMIL ... from good to not so good

My FI has always said his mom is a bit nuts and a million other things, and I've always been on the outside of disputes and such, and had a relatively good relationship with her, but recently she's been saying pretty hurtful things.

A few weeks ago, FI and I put together a sign for the wedding; we cut it out of pallet wood, shaped it like a heart. He painted it white, and then I spent about a good hour or so writing and then painting "Best Day "ever" "02-08-15" (wedding date) on 3 boards. I pretty much copied it right off of Pinterest. We had been staying with his parents while we were waiting to move into our new place, and his mom has been incredibly helpful with a lot of the DIY projects. So I asked if she wanted to see the finished product, and then showed it to her. She looked at it and said "oh did you want my opinion?" and I said "no, I just wanted to show you that I finished it". Then she decided to give me her opinion anyways and told me "best" and "day" were too close together (I actually put dots outside and between the words to separate them) and that people would wonder what that word is and that I should sand it off, repaint it white, then repaint the wording because it didn't look good. I told her I didn't think anyone would really notice that, and it had already taken me quite a while (the wood while painted and somewhat sanded was bumpy so I had to go very slowly). So that was pretty upsetting. FI told me to ignore her but it still really hurt.

Then we finally moved into our new place on May 1. This past Saturday, FMIL came over to drop a few more of our things off and FI was taking her for lunch because he was working Sunday (mothers day). In our front entrance, we have a couple paintings hung up that I did. One is of our Beta fish (that I made for my Fi a couple years ago for his b-day) and the other is 2 nautical flags representing the letters of our first initials. She asked who did the paintings, and FI piped up quite happily saying that I had made them. FMIL then says "your lines are crooked". I walked off so I didn't say something I would regret. She then took a peek in our bedroom, again the walls have paintings I had done, except for 2 tree painting/prints that FI found in our old condo's garbage room (he's a bit of a scavenger). She looks are those 2 pictures and says "oh these are nice!" So finally I said "funny how the only 2 paintings she likes are the only ones I didn't paint." FI had a bit of a talk with her later on about that too.

I guess I'm just feeling like I'm getting some weird nastiness towards me for no reason. We stayed with them for about 5 months, and I was nothing but helpful and kind to her. We've grown close enough that we've been able to joke around together, but those 2 things were more hurtful to me than joking. I even made her jam for mothers day!!!!

Anyways, FI keeps saying to let it go, that's just how she is. I feel differently though because he's her son so he's used to this "normal behavior" of hers, but to me it's not normal. And it's upsetting because we've had such a good FMIL/FDIL relationship up to this point. Anyone had similar experiences? I don't wanna lose it on her :(

Re: FMIL ... from good to not so good

  • justsiejustsie member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I had a similar experience, and taking a step back was great for our relationship. A little backstory, my FI and his DM were homeless for a while while he was growing up. They have a bond that goes beyond what I'm familiar with in my family (she once told me that him sitting in the car seat when he was younger and needing her was the only thing that kept herself from committing suicide once). I don't know how she did it, but she raised an amazing person and built a fabulous life for herself. I respect her I really do. 
    That doesn't mean that she has a healthy relationship with her son. It's pretty dependent. So despite how much she loves me, I'm still marrying her first born and breaking up that dependent relationship. She would make a few comments here or there, I would let them roll off me and back off a bit. Few weeks later I am no longer stinging from the comments and we're back on the right track. If your FI wants to talk to her, he can. If this is truly her "normal behavior" know that it likely won't change. 
    image
  • augsum15 said:

    My FI has always said his mom is a bit nuts and a million other things, and I've always been on the outside of disputes and such, and had a relatively good relationship with her, but recently she's been saying pretty hurtful things.


    A few weeks ago, FI and I put together a sign for the wedding; we cut it out of pallet wood, shaped it like a heart. He painted it white, and then I spent about a good hour or so writing and then painting "Best Day "ever" "02-08-15" (wedding date) on 3 boards. I pretty much copied it right off of Pinterest. We had been staying with his parents while we were waiting to move into our new place, and his mom has been incredibly helpful with a lot of the DIY projects. So I asked if she wanted to see the finished product, and then showed it to her. She looked at it and said "oh did you want my opinion?" and I said "no, I just wanted to show you that I finished it". Then she decided to give me her opinion anyways and told me "best" and "day" were too close together (I actually put dots outside and between the words to separate them) and that people would wonder what that word is and that I should sand it off, repaint it white, then repaint the wording because it didn't look good. I told her I didn't think anyone would really notice that, and it had already taken me quite a while (the wood while painted and somewhat sanded was bumpy so I had to go very slowly). So that was pretty upsetting. FI told me to ignore her but it still really hurt.

    Then we finally moved into our new place on May 1. This past Saturday, FMIL came over to drop a few more of our things off and FI was taking her for lunch because he was working Sunday (mothers day). In our front entrance, we have a couple paintings hung up that I did. One is of our Beta fish (that I made for my Fi a couple years ago for his b-day) and the other is 2 nautical flags representing the letters of our first initials. She asked who did the paintings, and FI piped up quite happily saying that I had made them. FMIL then says "your lines are crooked". I walked off so I didn't say something I would regret. She then took a peek in our bedroom, again the walls have paintings I had done, except for 2 tree painting/prints that FI found in our old condo's garbage room (he's a bit of a scavenger). She looks are those 2 pictures and says "oh these are nice!" So finally I said "funny how the only 2 paintings she likes are the only ones I didn't paint." FI had a bit of a talk with her later on about that too.

    I guess I'm just feeling like I'm getting some weird nastiness towards me for no reason. We stayed with them for about 5 months, and I was nothing but helpful and kind to her. We've grown close enough that we've been able to joke around together, but those 2 things were more hurtful to me than joking. I even made her jam for mothers day!!!!

    Anyways, FI keeps saying to let it go, that's just how she is. I feel differently though because he's her son so he's used to this "normal behavior" of hers, but to me it's not normal. And it's upsetting because we've had such a good FMIL/FDIL relationship up to this point. Anyone had similar experiences? I don't wanna lose it on her :(
    I realize this is more of a vent, but you have two choices here:

    1) Tell her that her comments are hurtful and get into a conversation with her about it every time she says something that hurts your feelings (i.e. the "do something" option)
    OR
    2) Realize that she's an adult and probably won't change no matter what you say. She will probably offer her opinion no matter what, so spend less time with her and/or let it roll off you (i.e. the "do nothing" option)

    I guess the take-home message here is that, even if you choose option 1, she probably won't adjust. She'll probably continue to make brazen comments no matter what. If it's worth the fight for you, then by all means, go ahead. But it sounds like your FI is telling you it's not worth it. Just make a decision and be consistent.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • augsum15 said:

    My FI has always said his mom is a bit nuts and a million other things, and I've always been on the outside of disputes and such, and had a relatively good relationship with her, but recently she's been saying pretty hurtful things.


    A few weeks ago, FI and I put together a sign for the wedding; we cut it out of pallet wood, shaped it like a heart. He painted it white, and then I spent about a good hour or so writing and then painting "Best Day "ever" "02-08-15" (wedding date) on 3 boards. I pretty much copied it right off of Pinterest. We had been staying with his parents while we were waiting to move into our new place, and his mom has been incredibly helpful with a lot of the DIY projects. So I asked if she wanted to see the finished product, and then showed it to her. She looked at it and said "oh did you want my opinion?" and I said "no, I just wanted to show you that I finished it". Then she decided to give me her opinion anyways and told me "best" and "day" were too close together (I actually put dots outside and between the words to separate them) and that people would wonder what that word is and that I should sand it off, repaint it white, then repaint the wording because it didn't look good. I told her I didn't think anyone would really notice that, and it had already taken me quite a while (the wood while painted and somewhat sanded was bumpy so I had to go very slowly). So that was pretty upsetting. FI told me to ignore her but it still really hurt.

    Then we finally moved into our new place on May 1. This past Saturday, FMIL came over to drop a few more of our things off and FI was taking her for lunch because he was working Sunday (mothers day). In our front entrance, we have a couple paintings hung up that I did. One is of our Beta fish (that I made for my Fi a couple years ago for his b-day) and the other is 2 nautical flags representing the letters of our first initials. She asked who did the paintings, and FI piped up quite happily saying that I had made them. FMIL then says "your lines are crooked". I walked off so I didn't say something I would regret. She then took a peek in our bedroom, again the walls have paintings I had done, except for 2 tree painting/prints that FI found in our old condo's garbage room (he's a bit of a scavenger). She looks are those 2 pictures and says "oh these are nice!" So finally I said "funny how the only 2 paintings she likes are the only ones I didn't paint." FI had a bit of a talk with her later on about that too.

    I guess I'm just feeling like I'm getting some weird nastiness towards me for no reason. We stayed with them for about 5 months, and I was nothing but helpful and kind to her. We've grown close enough that we've been able to joke around together, but those 2 things were more hurtful to me than joking. I even made her jam for mothers day!!!!

    Anyways, FI keeps saying to let it go, that's just how she is. I feel differently though because he's her son so he's used to this "normal behavior" of hers, but to me it's not normal. And it's upsetting because we've had such a good FMIL/FDIL relationship up to this point. Anyone had similar experiences? I don't wanna lose it on her :(
    What is it about weddings that make so many moms so crazy?? I'm sorry your FMIL is giving a stand-offish vibe. It sounds as if your FI is on your side, but if he's talked to her once already and the behavior continues, then I'm afraid there may be no changing it. 

    I've been having issues with my mom recently and posted it on this board as well. One of the other Knotties gave me some good advice: "You can't change her behavior, but you can change the way you respond to it." Try not to let it bother you so much, and when she comes at you with a snarky remark, shrug it off and move on. Be the bigger person.

    And I hope she thanked you for the jam--jam is yummy.
                                     Wedding Countdown Ticker

                                                   image
  • Sorry you're going through this.  I kinda get it.  FH's mom is just... let's say, lacking a filter.  She says everything that goes through her head without thinking about what it will sound like to the people listening.  It's tough.  I do what you did and leave the room when it gets uncomfortable.  I talk to myself.  "Oh, she thinks I look fat in that picture of me on the beach.  Well, she should talk, the cow.  Deep breath, one, two, three.  Aaaand, I'm back."
    Good luck.
  • augsum15 said:

    My FI has always said his mom is a bit nuts and a million other things, and I've always been on the outside of disputes and such, and had a relatively good relationship with her, but recently she's been saying pretty hurtful things.


    A few weeks ago, FI and I put together a sign for the wedding; we cut it out of pallet wood, shaped it like a heart. He painted it white, and then I spent about a good hour or so writing and then painting "Best Day "ever" "02-08-15" (wedding date) on 3 boards. I pretty much copied it right off of Pinterest. We had been staying with his parents while we were waiting to move into our new place, and his mom has been incredibly helpful with a lot of the DIY projects. So I asked if she wanted to see the finished product, and then showed it to her. She looked at it and said "oh did you want my opinion?" and I said "no, I just wanted to show you that I finished it". Then she decided to give me her opinion anyways and told me "best" and "day" were too close together (I actually put dots outside and between the words to separate them) and that people would wonder what that word is and that I should sand it off, repaint it white, then repaint the wording because it didn't look good. I told her I didn't think anyone would really notice that, and it had already taken me quite a while (the wood while painted and somewhat sanded was bumpy so I had to go very slowly). So that was pretty upsetting. FI told me to ignore her but it still really hurt.

    Then we finally moved into our new place on May 1. This past Saturday, FMIL came over to drop a few more of our things off and FI was taking her for lunch because he was working Sunday (mothers day). In our front entrance, we have a couple paintings hung up that I did. One is of our Beta fish (that I made for my Fi a couple years ago for his b-day) and the other is 2 nautical flags representing the letters of our first initials. She asked who did the paintings, and FI piped up quite happily saying that I had made them. FMIL then says "your lines are crooked". I walked off so I didn't say something I would regret. She then took a peek in our bedroom, again the walls have paintings I had done, except for 2 tree painting/prints that FI found in our old condo's garbage room (he's a bit of a scavenger). She looks are those 2 pictures and says "oh these are nice!" So finally I said "funny how the only 2 paintings she likes are the only ones I didn't paint." FI had a bit of a talk with her later on about that too.

    I guess I'm just feeling like I'm getting some weird nastiness towards me for no reason. We stayed with them for about 5 months, and I was nothing but helpful and kind to her. We've grown close enough that we've been able to joke around together, but those 2 things were more hurtful to me than joking. I even made her jam for mothers day!!!!

    Anyways, FI keeps saying to let it go, that's just how she is. I feel differently though because he's her son so he's used to this "normal behavior" of hers, but to me it's not normal. And it's upsetting because we've had such a good FMIL/FDIL relationship up to this point. Anyone had similar experiences? I don't wanna lose it on her :(
    One thing that I've learned to do with my FMIL is to bite my tongue and it HURTS. I love my FMIL to pieces, she is a fabulous woman, but she is extremely hard on FI and his choices. I go back to a phrase that my father taught me when I want to say something to someone, he always told me just think or say out loud, "That's nice" when what you mean is "Fuck You", it'll make you feel better.

    Also, tequila.
  • My mom is like that. She is hypercritical, and doesn't understand why people get upset when she "is just trying to help". After 30 years of this, I can tell you that you aren't going to change her. Just change the subject and forget it. You will save yourself a lot of time.
    image
    [Deleted User]
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Southernbelle is spot on. You can either have a conversation with her and tell her that those comments hurt your feelings, or you can let it go and move on. Sometimes people make comments without thinking and they don't realize how much it can hurt someone's feelings. Either way, I don't think you should let it take up too much space in your head. 

    My MIL has a habit of making comments about my looks and my weight, and honestly, I just have to let it go and understand that she doesn't mean it the way it comes out. 

  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    My first thought is that she was offering constructive criticism on the wedding sign, even though you told her you weren't taking opinions. What would have been acceptable, in your opinion, for her to say? 'OOH, look at that!' would have the same stand offish vibe, even though she's not offering an opinion. And apparently she's not just going to offer a compliment if she doesn't think it's truthful. 

    The next time FMIL asks who painted that, the correct response is 'Why do you ask?' That will make her think about her motives. 


    She doesn't like your artwork. Oh well. Art is subjective. If you like it, that's all that matters, right? The best solution is for you to grow a thicker hide. And try to keep her in the living room.
                       
    bethsmiles
  • @southernbelle0915 & @climbingwife ; good point, do something or do nothing, unfortunately it's gonna end up being do nothing, she's really sensitive. She's kind of a "dish it out but can't take it" kind of person. So as much as I would like to say something, I don't feel I can. This has really been a one off situation, or two to be precise, so I'm hoping it doesn't happen again.

    @mairepoppy ; I understand where you're coming from, she's normally a very boastful person about "crafty" things I do, and has gone so far to brag to friends about how much great stuff I've done, etc. So it was really surprising to me when she made these comments. I know art is subjective, believe me. But the thing she was criticizing wasn't specifically "art" I literally just copied what 2 flags looked like, granted free hand, so it bothered me, and then again bothered me that out of everything in the room the only 2 things not done by me were what she liked. It was just hurtful to me, I am allowed to be hurt by that no matter how subjective art is. 

    @arrrghmatey ; no thanks yous yet!!! and yes it was delicious, very simple it's called "refridgerator jam" .... 1 2/3 cup raw strawberries, 2/3 cup raw rhubarb, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp chia seeds- blend it all up, stick it in a jar overnight and voila! yummy. Especially on toast. Off topic but whatever, this jam deserves to be known!
    [Deleted User]
  • OP just a quickie, if you don't nip this in the bud now, IF you and FI decide to have children, the remarks will not stop. Every decision you make will be openly criticized in the same manner.
  • OP just a quickie, if you don't nip this in the bud now, IF you and FI decide to have children, the remarks will not stop. Every decision you make will be openly criticized in the same manner.

    I kind of get that, although when it comes to my children I'll definitely not allow any of that. Right now it's just a one off thing and I'm giving myself a "cool off" period, so if it happens again I'll deal with it. 
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