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Fostering a relationship when my fMIL hates me. (MIL's please help me!)

Started by sadandfrustrated_FDIL, January 24, 2012, 12:50:05 pm

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My fMIL has sad some really negative things about me, most of which are to the effect of "she doesnt come from a good family", as well as saying that I'm manipulative, have baggage, and that I dont want my now fiancee to have a relationship. 

I come from a really hectic home, and am not really close to my extended family. My father has not had contact with me since I was 10, and my mother has some issues of her own. I have always wanted a relationship with my FH's family. They were close and I really, really, loved that.  But, since I started dating my fiancee three years ago his mother has made what I feel is a consistent effort to communicate that I am not welcome, I am too different, and I am not good enough.  She says she doesnt hate me, just doesnt know me, and I (me) dont make an effort to get to know them. People, Ive tried, but when after 3 years I am expected to constantly make an effort to get to know them, without much effort in return, with the added obstacle of what she says about me, it's very hard to foster a relationship. 

Recently she tld my fH that the nasty text his sister sent him about me was excusable for a multitude of reasons, and then yelled at him for letting me see it.  She said that they (family) should be able to say whatever they want and not everyone (me) find out about it.

Her response when fh told her he proposed and I had said yes, "thats nice, but other than that, how was your weekend."

We are about to set a date for our wedding and I want so badly to include her in our plans and preperations, but at this point both my FH and I arent going to allow her anywhere near the celebration. 

This is not the relationship I wanted, and I have tried everything I could think of. I really want a good relationship, and want her to be a part of our life. Please give me some advice, however harsh or hard it may be, or at least help me see me from her perspective as my FH's mom. 


My take: I'd let her come, if she wanted to, for no other reason than no reason at all. She is who and how she is and it makes sense to her. She isn't going to change and it's her problem, not yours. She's trying to make it yours...don't let her. Don't drop to her're not cut out of the same piece of cloth. (That's why DH picked you.)

If you simply can't do that...elope to Hawaii, leave everybody out of it and have a perfect wedding. I did that when I married my beloved Val. His family took a, we did, too. No one was at our wedding that we knew and it was wonderful! We are SO married! (And it's possible to make a great new family out of unrelated friends, we have.:D )

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I have many close friends that I want to be there, and I found my dream venue, so hawii, not an option. Any suggestions on how I can let her know that I am open to a relationship, while at the same time getting her to not be so darn rude?


Again, my take: I you are going to do it your way, which you have every right to...(if you have thick skin, I didn't) to get that you can plan on her being incredibly rude. That is the pace she has set. Since she is not getting her way, where her DS is concerned, it will only accelerate, no matter what you do.

I hope someone here has something more positive to offer...that works. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama



I responded to you on another thread with some general input.

Here's what I think.  You should plan your wedding however you want it without your MIL, but don't take any money from them for the wedding. 

Take her indifference to your engagement for face value - she's just not that interested and proceed from there.  I would put her on the guest list, though.

Another thing - try to just relax about wanting to be in her life and wanting a good relationship with her and just accept that whatever will be will be.  If you will be kind and strong, that's all you can be, right?  As I mentioned in my other post,  you are in a position of more strength, imo, since her son is leaving his family to create on with you. 


I think what you said about your family is a clue to what is going on with you and fh's family.  The very sad thing is that your past is just that - the past, and you can't 'correct' or 'make up' for the love and stability you needed by marrying into a new family.  MIL is not capable of giving you what you need or what you would like.

It is so sad and feels kinda empty, I know.  I say you have to let go of your past and let go of fmil.  build a live, as Luise and Doe indicated, that includes people who respect and love you.  YOur husband and friends.

Much love


Welcome SadandFrustratedFDIL :)

Please read the Forum Agreement and WWU History, both threads are located in the category Open Me First.  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.

I can relate to a lot of what you're feeling.  I'm a DIL as well with a past that isn't perfect on paper.  I had a child from a previous relationship, parents divorced when I was younger, a mother who struggled with a terminal illness for a large part of my childhood and passed away, step-siblings, half-siblings, adopted siblings all at varying times and struggles in their lives.  And each one of these has been used by my MIL to justify why I'm "less than" her family and should follow every want, whim and wish they want, the second they want it.  That's probably where our differences end in the similarities, my MIL wants to re-mother me while yours wants to give you away lol.

Anyway, my point is is that other people can't be what they want them to be.  IMO, (and this is free so take it for what it's worth ;) haha) no matter *what* you do, she is not going to change.  You can go get a mental evaluation done and pass with flying colors showing that your past has no bearing on your present, well...she still wouldn't like you.  That hurts, I know.  For me, acceptance has been the key in all of this.  I think it's easier when you can accept how she is and not expect anything more.

I'd invite her to the wedding but as pp said, accept no help with the wedding.  I would always be polite, yet distant in this particular situation.  Good luck to you and keep us updated.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


One other thing - my then FDIL came in with some expectations for my role as a MIL that really had nothing to do with who I was.  It was as if she had a cartoon image of how she wanted me to be and I have yet to satisfy that image!
Not saying that you're doing that, but just want to encourage you to accept the people in front of you as they are - unmet expectations will drive you nuts.


Welcome SFFD.  I'm with the rest of the ladies here, having had the MIL that couldn't be pleased for 21 years.  Plan your day, how you want it.  I am reading that you would like to try and foster a relationship, so I'm going to suggest something different than the others.  Include her in the wedding, but maybe you could give her something to do, if she asks.  There are two things about that though.  Since her behavior so far hasn't been very nice, give her something that you don't care how it's done.  Let her run carte blanche with it, but except anything she wants to do with it and smile.  Maybe a bridal shower?  Or wedding guest favors?  Second, let that be her thing and don't let her help with anything else so you can do it how you want it.

That gives her a purpose and makes her feel included, but doesn't allow her to run shotgun on your day.

I think it's great that you are trying, but you are going to have to except she is who she is and not let her get to you.  She's wrong about you...that's easy to see.  Our family's do not define us and we learn from our past, but we are not our past.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


And let me clarify something.  Accepting that people are who they are, doesn't mean let them mistreat you.  It just means you try to shake the small stuff off with a smile so they don't ruin your day and realize you are not going to change them.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Lots of good stuff here! I especially like the one about giving her on job  and letting her run with it, if you can or letting her turn it down, if she wants to. And then one about not taking any money from her. People often think they buy authority. (No one ever takes me up on my Hawaii suggestion. LOL!)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Beth 2011

Hi Sad,

I read your thread and I have to tell you I am on the receiving end of what your getting.  I am a MIL who has a DIL who doesn't want anything to do with us and she clearly made up her mind before she and DS even married.  I don't take it personally now because if I had been Mother Teresa it would not have mattered. 

Sounds like you have reached out to her and have continued to do so to try and get along... You have done everything you can do and then some.  I would still include her in the celebration and give her a job to do to keep her busy so that she may include his side of the family to help with the project. 

Good luck and best wishes.....


I agree with mostly everyone  else.  I would invite her to the wedding but would not take any money from her. If she wants to help then fine. But do not let her take over.  It's your day. And Donot let her get under your skin or stoop to her leverl.  She is who she is and that will never change. 


First let me say that I've never expected her to fill the place where my family would have been. I didnt come in to this relationship thinking that we'd be best friends or mother and daughter. I wanted her atleast treat me as if I was becoming part of their family and her daughter in law after we got engaged.  I think she thinks we are in some sort of battle for alpha female or that I'm trying to alienate her from her son. I want to know how to tell her that I want to have a relationship with her and her family so that when we have kids, she can be a part of their lives.  I want to tell her that we dont have to be adversaries, but in order to do that she has to stop alienating me and ignoring my roll as her sons soon to be wife.

How do I do that?


Unfortunately, you can only do your end of that. It takes two.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama