Moms and Maids

*UPDATE* FMIL Vent #743: How to decline shower from BSC FMIL

kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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edited March 2016 in Moms and Maids
So I've vented about her a few times but if you want to see my original vent here's some backstory:

http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1060060/31-days-engaged-and-fmil-demands-have-begun#latest

Since then, she has really come around on everything, not just wedding stuff.  We've planned events together, chatted on the phone, gotten to know each other better and enjoyed each others company.  She offered to throw me a shower for both of our families, so in light of all of these positive events/months, I accepted.

Well, now I think I need to decline.  

My sister lives out of state and has a baby.  She was home for a weekend to visit so we threw a party for my family to come over.  FMIL said she would like to come, as did her SIL, so we invited them both as well.

Well, the week after she just let FI have it.  She had something nasty to say about just about everyone in my family, which whatever, my family rocks.  But she really crossed a line and a boundary with my mom.  

My mom is retired, on SSDI and Deaf/Blind and wants to go to a 9 month program after the wedding which is basically occupational therapy.  I was discussing it with my aunts and that if she is accepted, depending on where in the calendar year the training falls, we would end her lease, she would live with us until the time to go to NY, and then move back in after until we found her a new HUD, senior apartment.

I consider myself lucky that I found someone who loves my mom and would rather have the relative inconvenience of her staying with us short term, to help extend her ability to live independently long term.  FMIL, on the other hand, accused me of 'forcing it onto him with no say or consideration for his needs or his families needs' and 'taking advantage of his kindness.'

FI shut it down, told her she crossed a line and that what we as a family chose to do to help my mother, who has immediate short and long term needs, was none of her business and hung up.  He hasn't spoken to her in two weeks.  He has since spoken with his aunt who told him that FMIL is mad that we made plans for my mom and have no room or plans for her (she's healthy, still working, and has means), and that our wedding means she is no longer FI's most important person and that I have taken over her role in his life (I'm his partner, not his mother).

What bother me the most though, is that she refuses to respect FI as an adult who is capable of making hard life decisions.  She complains that FFIL put his mother first and didn't defend her, but she obviously wants FI to be the husband she hated.  It hurts me to see her hurt him.

At this point, it is more clear to me than ever, that she does not support our marriage, only about the outside appearance of supporting it (Look at everything I did for the kids!).  Since it should be left to FI to deal with the hard communication stuff with his family, how do I politely decline her offer, after I already accepted it.  Nothing has been planned yet, just a tentative location and date.

Also, thanks for letting me vent.  I need to hear some third party opinions before I approach FI about declining the shower.
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Re: *UPDATE* FMIL Vent #743: How to decline shower from BSC FMIL

  • Your FMIL is a mean and ridiculous woman. I am sorry you have to deal with her. 

    Anyway, I don't know exactly what should be said to your FMIL (or who should say it) on the issue of the shower, but I agree she should not host one after the terrible things she's been saying. She shouldn't get to play the part of the generous parent while being so unkind the rest of the time.

    Of course, as you're probably all too aware already, this is a much bigger issue than just a shower or a wedding. I know it would be a difficult conversation, but I think at this point your FI needs to speak to his mother about her respecting your place in his life, and respecting the needs of your family. If she can't do that, she should expect to see a lot less of you guys.
    image
    kimmiinthemitten
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    Your FMIL is a mean and ridiculous woman. I am sorry you have to deal with her. 

    Anyway, I don't know exactly what should be said to your FMIL (or who should say it) on the issue of the shower, but I agree she should not host one after the terrible things she's been saying. She shouldn't get to play the part of the generous parent while being so unkind the rest of the time.

    Of course, as you're probably all too aware already, this is a much bigger issue than just a shower or a wedding. I know it would be a difficult conversation, but I think at this point your FI needs to speak to his mother about her respecting your place in his life, and respecting the needs of your family. If she can't do that, she should expect to see a lot less of you guys.
    To the bolded, that's exactly what it is.  And she gets away with it because she's emotionally manipulative.  She'll cry and play the victim, and gets away with this awful behavior because everyone goes "Oh that's just FMIL."  She's generous with her time and money, but it always comes with strings and caveats and I don't need a new set of mixing bowls that badly.


    image
  • So I've vented about her a few times but if you want to see my original vent here's some backstory:

    http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1060060/31-days-engaged-and-fmil-demands-have-begun#latest

    Since then, she has really come around on everything, not just wedding stuff.  We've planned events together, chatted on the phone, gotten to know each other better and enjoyed each others company.  She offered to throw me a shower for both of our families, so in light of all of these positive events/months, I accepted.

    Well, now I think I need to decline.  

    My sister lives out of state and has a baby.  She was home for a weekend to visit so we threw a party for my family to come over.  FMIL said she would like to come, as did her SIL, so we invited them both as well.

    Well, the week after she just let FI have it.  She had something nasty to say about just about everyone in my family, which whatever, my family rocks.  But she really crossed a line and a boundary with my mom.  

    My mom is retired, on SSDI and Deaf/Blind and wants to go to a 9 month program after the wedding which is basically occupational therapy.  I was discussing it with my aunts and that if she is accepted, depending on where in the calendar year the training falls, we would end her lease, she would live with us until the time to go to NY, and then move back in after until we found her a new HUD, senior apartment.

    I consider myself lucky that I found someone who loves my mom and would rather have the relative inconvenience of her staying with us short term, to help extend her ability to live independently long term.  FMIL, on the other hand, accused me of 'forcing it onto him with no say or consideration for his needs or his families needs' and 'taking advantage of his kindness.'

    FI shut it down, told her she crossed a line and that what we as a family chose to do to help my mother, who has immediate short and long term needs, was none of her business and hung up.  He hasn't spoken to her in two weeks.  He has since spoken with his aunt who told him that FMIL is mad that we made plans for my mom and have no room or plans for her (she's healthy, still working, and has means), and that our wedding means she is no longer FI's most important person and that I have taken over her role in his life (I'm his partner, not his mother).

    What bother me the most though, is that she refuses to respect FI as an adult who is capable of making hard life decisions.  She complains that FFIL put his mother first and didn't defend her, but she obviously wants FI to be the husband she hated.  It hurts me to see her hurt him.

    At this point, it is more clear to me than ever, that she does not support our marriage, only about the outside appearance of supporting it (Look at everything I did for the kids!).  Since it should be left to FI to deal with the hard communication stuff with his family, how do I politely decline her offer, after I already accepted it.  Nothing has been planned yet, just a tentative location and date.

    Also, thanks for letting me vent.  I need to hear some third party opinions before I approach FI about declining the shower.
    Definitely decline the shower - no need for that mess!

    And to the bolded - my MIL said the same thing (to my face!) shortly after H and I were married. Not in an aggressive way but kind of in a sad pouty woe-is-me "oh, H is married now, so I know I'm not the number one woman in his life anymore and he goes to someone else for help making decisions".  I was thinking - DAMN RIGHT that's the case, and I don't feel bad about it!  When you get married you create a new family that has to be the #1 priority, and sometimes moms have a really hard time grasping that. 

    Hang in there!
    --

    LivingtheDream
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    @floridabride44 I'm not going to lie, I find that mindset really disturbing.  Maybe it's because I never had a parental relationship with my mom, but there is something really creepy to me about adult women who view their sons as their better half or their partner.

    Because of my relationship with my mom, I often times run situations with FMIL through my friends to see if it's "normal mom" or "crazy mom" and sometimes I am totally in the wrong.  Like the time we went to Florida to visit my sister and she nagged us for days about packing  beach towels and sun screen.  I was like, dude we're adults, we can pack for ourselves and my sister lives there and owns all that.  My friends were like, no my mom does that too.  Oh okay.  

    But this, this is a new level.
    image
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I agree with @OliveOilsMom about declining the shower.

    That said, I think you and your FI should make clear to his mother that the two of you are a couple and stand as a team.  I would talk to your FI and work out something for him to say to her in your presence, such as "Mom, @kimmiinthemitten and I are a team.  When we make decisions about what to do for her mother or any other members of either her family or mine, we do it as a team.  We decide together what we are going to do for her mother, and we also decide together what we are going to do for my family members on both sides, including you.  Our decisions are not open to question, debate, or accusation."
    adk19spockforprez
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    @OliveOilsMom we talked about it this morning.

    He's sad it's come to this.   She was the single mom who raised him, and our relationship (or rather her reactions to our relationship) have really opened Pandoras Box to her emotional manipulation, control, and years of parental alienation.  It's a battle he's been fighting for 3 years now, but for the first 32 he thought she was the greatest thing ever.

    Per @downtondiva 's suggestion, before we talk shower, he's going to go over there on her day-off, and have a face to face "you don't  get to disparage Kim or her family without alienating me" conversation.  She'll cry and play the victim, but like me, FI has a short temper when people try to steamroll my mom so it won't work too well.

    I'm sure there will be future family backlash as well.  While her family knows how she is to an extent, they're isolated from it's totality and she sings a good tune about how much she loves me.  But really, in the end, it's all about making people think she's the most wonderful FMIL ever rather than being that person.

    And it really is too bad.  On her good days she is kind and funny and generous.  But I don't want to be on the hook to make sure my gratitude for the shower meets or exceeds her expectations that day.  (One of the gifts she gave niece was FI's favorite kids book in cardboard form.  My sister said:  Oh I think Kim's FI gave us this too but with normal pages, this way she can carry it without ripping it.  FMIL said she was ungracious).

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  • @floridabride44 I'm not going to lie, I find that mindset really disturbing.  Maybe it's because I never had a parental relationship with my mom, but there is something really creepy to me about adult women who view their sons as their better half or their partner.

    I have a pretty good relationship with my mom, and I still find attitudes like your MIL's super creepy.  I have a son.  Not gonna lie, when he is having a rough time, I'm the first one he runs to, and it's a good feeling to know that I can comfort him and make things okay again.  But he's two.  I hope that we'll always have a strong relationship, but even in the absence of a spouse/partner, I hope that by the time he's an adult he doesn't need me to co-pilot his life for him.

    But I know people like your MIL.  DH moved away from his home state almost two years before we met, but somehow it was easier for her to blame me, not DH, for the fact that he was never going to move back.  It's weird, and not healthy.

    kimmiinthemittencharlotte989875SP29madamerwin
  • At this point, fuck being polite.  If anyone disrespected my mom like that, they would be luck to walk away without injuries.  Send her an email stating you are no longer interested in a shower.  That's all you need to say.

    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomkimmiinthemitten
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    At this point, fuck being polite.  If anyone disrespected my mom like that, they would be luck to walk away without injuries.  Send her an email stating you are no longer interested in a shower.  That's all you need to say.
    The kicker to her comments, she's a nurse!  A nurse is complaining that an 80% Blind / 100% Deaf woman gets higher priority in the "if we ever have to move a parent in" rankings!
    image
  • At this point, fuck being polite.  If anyone disrespected my mom like that, they would be luck to walk away without injuries.  Send her an email stating you are no longer interested in a shower.  That's all you need to say.
    The kicker to her comments, she's a nurse!  A nurse is complaining that an 80% Blind / 100% Deaf woman gets higher priority in the "if we ever have to move a parent in" rankings!

    kimmiinthemittenOurWildKingdomOliveOilsMomsparklepants41
  • I 100% agree with PP. I might add that perhaps there is a mental health component. Might be something that FI can approach with her to get her to talk with someone neutral.
  • edited March 2016
    I'm really sorry you have to go through something like that. But I really give you a big high five for being such a level-headed person about it! You could have done a lot of nasty things, or made some terrible remarks, but you didn't, and i think that's pretty awesome of you!

    When I was married to my first husband, his mom would randomly show up to our apartment to cook him dinner. Not us. Him. This bag of crazy cats lived over an hour away and would drive to make him dinner. Yeah. Then, for some holiday or something we went to visit and his dad asked me to make dinner (I make a bitchin lasagna) and dessert (That too is also bitchin) and his mom had a full blown panic attack because I was cooking for her husband and her son and she wasn't. I ended up with a half completed lasagna before she had to take over and then promtply asked me to leave her home and never come back. Creepy AF.

    Edited beacuse I just realized you're in Michigan too! Hope you weren't snowed in yesterday. I'm over in the thumb and we got 13 inches. :(

    kimmiinthemitten
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    @RomanceManaged that is crazy!  I could never tolerate that. 

    At at the end of the day, as a mother she did a wonderful job. My FI is a kind, intelligent, compassionate, adult. His passion for education and the students he teaches inspires me. He's the introvert to my extrovert, the calm in the storm to my crazy bitch. The only thing I'd change is his inability to load a dishwasher and perhaps his dance moves. She just doesn't know how to change the role from parent of a kid to parent of an adult. It's disrespectful to him, and ironically to everything she raised him to be. Despite all of this, I don't hate her, because her behavior is borne from a sense of loneliness and misery that is equally self created and pity inducing at the same time. But I also do not want to play "guess what mood she's in today" when I don't have to. 

    Oh oh and we're not snowed in, metro-Detroit, but FI had a snow day and I worked from home so that was awesome. 

    @ernursej ; I would love to see her see a counselor to deal with things. But it will never happen. Martyrs don't seek help. 

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    spockforprezOurWildKingdomLala9414
  • Heffalump said:
    @floridabride44 I'm not going to lie, I find that mindset really disturbing.  Maybe it's because I never had a parental relationship with my mom, but there is something really creepy to me about adult women who view their sons as their better half or their partner.

    I have a pretty good relationship with my mom, and I still find attitudes like your MIL's super creepy.  I have a son.  Not gonna lie, when he is having a rough time, I'm the first one he runs to, and it's a good feeling to know that I can comfort him and make things okay again.  But he's two.  I hope that we'll always have a strong relationship, but even in the absence of a spouse/partner, I hope that by the time he's an adult he doesn't need me to co-pilot his life for him.

    But I know people like your MIL.  DH moved away from his home state almost two years before we met, but somehow it was easier for her to blame me, not DH, for the fact that he was never going to move back.  It's weird, and not healthy.

    @Heffalump not to hijack this thread or anything, but did your MIL ever stop blaming you? H and I live about 4 hours away from his hometown, but he ultimately chose to move there because of school... I wouldn't say MIL blames ME for living far away (even though we are now closer to my parents), but she does "joke" every time we're down there about moving to be near them, or my company moving it's office down there so we could move back (as if that's the only thing keeping us where we are), etc... I laugh it off because she plays it like a joke but it can get really exhausting... H and I are happy where we are, and there is no sign of us going anywhere after he graduates. I'm curious when it will stop.
  • I'll echo all the others that your FI is going to need to talk to his mom.

    We have seen an issue similar to this with FMIL but more with BIL.    BIL left the state 19 years ago and hasn't looked back.   Now that he's married with his 3rd child on the way, he has put up some serious boundaries with MIL.   They were needed - but IMO BIL doesn't actually say enough to his mom about the issues.   Instead, they now continue this cycle of
    -BIL announces that he's not going to be in town for X
    -MIL makes angry responses to the family
    -BIL gets upset and tells everyone else
    -MIL blames SIL

    And in my case, I think BIL has some ownership of MIL's irritation but neither he nor MIL are really great at 'using their words' when they get worked up emotionally.   Instead it's this awful cycle to witness and at times I see the hurt in my MIL's eyes.

    Your situation is clearly different but my point is that simply saying NO and not having a conversation doesn't seem to help the cause.   I'm the DIL and only now that DH and I have been together for 12 years (married for 8.5 of them) do I feel like I'm getting close enough to my MIL to have a heart to heart.   
    kimmiinthemittenSP29
  • I find her attitude about your mom's situation so surprising.  To give it a selfish spin, she could have looked at it like, "What a wonderful son I raised and a generous DIL I'm about to have.  Who would give her mother a place to stay in her time of need.  Hmmm...as I age...I might need help like that also."

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    SP29
  • Heffalump said:
    @floridabride44 I'm not going to lie, I find that mindset really disturbing.  Maybe it's because I never had a parental relationship with my mom, but there is something really creepy to me about adult women who view their sons as their better half or their partner.

    I have a pretty good relationship with my mom, and I still find attitudes like your MIL's super creepy.  I have a son.  Not gonna lie, when he is having a rough time, I'm the first one he runs to, and it's a good feeling to know that I can comfort him and make things okay again.  But he's two.  I hope that we'll always have a strong relationship, but even in the absence of a spouse/partner, I hope that by the time he's an adult he doesn't need me to co-pilot his life for him.

    But I know people like your MIL.  DH moved away from his home state almost two years before we met, but somehow it was easier for her to blame me, not DH, for the fact that he was never going to move back.  It's weird, and not healthy.

    @Heffalump not to hijack this thread or anything, but did your MIL ever stop blaming you? H and I live about 4 hours away from his hometown, but he ultimately chose to move there because of school... I wouldn't say MIL blames ME for living far away (even though we are now closer to my parents), but she does "joke" every time we're down there about moving to be near them, or my company moving it's office down there so we could move back (as if that's the only thing keeping us where we are), etc... I laugh it off because she plays it like a joke but it can get really exhausting... H and I are happy where we are, and there is no sign of us going anywhere after he graduates. I'm curious when it will stop.
    Nope.  She passed away about five years after we married, and to my knowledge, she believed to the end that if it hadn't been for me, DH would have "come home." 
  • @Heffalump oh boy... I'm hoping that if it continues for much longer or gets out of hand, H will step in.... Right now we're at that "haha" phase.
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    edited March 2016

    I find her attitude about your mom's situation so surprising.  To give it a selfish spin, she could have looked at it like, "What a wonderful son I raised and a generous DIL I'm about to have.  Who would give her mother a place to stay in her time of need.  Hmmm...as I age...I might need help like that also."

    That's exactly what I said!  

    @Heffalump I'm sorry, to hear she passed before coming around.  @PamBeesly524  I hope yours comes around as well.  My sisters MIL just moved to be near them.  Not sure if that'd be better or worse haha.


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  • @kimmiinthemitten it sounds like your situation is much worse than mine - I actually really love my MIL.. It's just hard to hear comments like that when H and I are super happy with our choices, where we live etc. and we don't plan on changing them anytime soon.
    kimmiinthemitten
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    edited March 2016
    Update:  FI and I hashed this out a lot. He has since attempted to have conversations with her about her behavior, and while those turned into fights, she's been extending an olive branch and has invited us out to eat a few times since. (She's generous in gifts, so she'll never apologize, just do something nice). 

    My sister called this week and said she would like to throw me a shower for our side of the family and FFILs. She encouraged me to keep the shower hosted by FMIL and just limit it to her family. After consideration, I agreed. Not sure if that was the best call but she's part of my family now too so better to take the high road and just keeping fighting battles. This won't change overnight. 

    FI called his mom to tell her our plans (and discuss Easter) and said because of the size of our families and because we know she's uncomfortable hosting FSMIL we decided to have 2 showers. She is livid. She accused me and her SIL for fueling this fire (SIL is the one FI called to talk everything through and for perspective). 

    He just ended the conversation with "if you want to continue to plan your event, that's fine.  But Kim's family is hosting their own."  She said fine but proper etiquette calls for the MOG to be invited to all pre wedding parties. 

    Ugh. 

    Etf phone typing errors
    image
  • drunkenwitchdrunkenwitch
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    edited March 2016
    Oh Jesus Mary and Joseph in a tiny canoe.(must be read with an Irish accent)

    Ugh, I don't have any advice, all I can offer is this



    Major props for sticking to the high road, I know how hard that can be.

    kimmiinthemittenJediElizabethMesmrEwe
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    Would your sister mind taking the fall for her not being invited to that shower?  I'd be happy to take the "etiquette fall" for my BFF or sister if she needed to have a pre-wedding event without her FMIL.  "Oh, FMIL, I'm sorry, but sister set the guest list for her shower."

    It's common to invite all moms and BP for any and all showers, but I don't think that is a carved in stone rule.  Allow yourself to have one event where she can't get under your skin.
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    Would your sister mind taking the fall for her not being invited to that shower?  I'd be happy to take the "etiquette fall" for my BFF or sister if she needed to have a pre-wedding event without her FMIL.  "Oh, FMIL, I'm sorry, but sister set the guest list for her shower."

    It's common to invite all moms and BP for any and all showers, but I don't think that is a carved in stone rule.  Allow yourself to have one event where she can't get under your skin.
    We have a long time to figure that out, thankfully!  The showers will likely be September/October.  I told FI if things improve, that's one thing, but if not I have no problem with FI telling her she's being excluded for treating me, my family, and especially my sister poorly.  
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    OliveOilsMomSP29
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    I should also add that we haven't accepted her invitations so I haven't seen nor spoken with her since. 
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  • @kimmiinthemitten what nail polish are you wearing? I'm loving it. 


  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    @kimmiinthemitten what nail polish are you wearing? I'm loving it. 


    Thanks, I'm not 100% sure - I get shellac manicures so I just pick a color from a fake nail strip!  I'll try and remember to peak at the brand when I go back.
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    charlotte989875
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