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Talked to the Minister about F-MIL

Started by Sassy, August 20, 2009, 02:28:18 pm

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August 20, 2009, 02:28:18 pm Last Edit: August 20, 2009, 02:31:23 pm by Sassy
Hello lovely MILs, and DILs, too!  You've all given me such insight on my MIL, and personal advice that has helped me, too.  My boyfriend/fiance, to whom I've showed these threads, thanks you, too. The person who wrote about Borderline Personality Disorder sure opened our eyes.  And the woman who wrote about how to resist internalizing negative parental action soothed our souls.  I am coming to a place of acceptance.

Someone had asked about why my BF questioned when MIL said black was slimming (which she did say).  My BF said the reason he felt FMIL's black dress is her "mourning statement", is because of after his father died (when he was small), when his mom wore only black clothes, every day, for about a year.  (She wears very very bright colors most of the time now).

He and I still could not agree, about him not wanting to invite her to our wedding.  (I want to, he does not). We agreed to talk to the Minister who is marrying us. The Minister told us almost exactly what Luise told us:

Quote If the transition doesn't take place, then we have an over-involved parent who may see a "we" still existing as marriage approaches, along with vacations and the possibility of grand children. If that isn't acceptable, who do you think is going to be blamed? As in, everything was fine "before!"   (However, if you ask your guy, everything was probably not fine and it's probably been a struggle for him for some time.)

I learned in that session my BF has had trouble with feeling like his Mother didn't respect his autonomy for a long time.  She tended to baby him even when he was an older teen, going in his room without knocking, cleaning his drawers, and asking him about whatever she found.  So he moved out from her before he was 20.  Then, he felt like she treated him like he was sort-of her dad, or maybe stand-in husband?  She'd expect him to escort her to events, to him it felt like a "date" with his mom, and he hated it.  To come over for dinner a lot.  To buy her things.  To help her decorate. To take her out.  And she'd get very emotional if he did not do this with or for her.  She had loud, dramatic episodes, always full of tears, if he dissappointed her. When I came along, my BF had already pretty much pulled back from her, he said for his health.  The Minister agreed it was healthy of BF to pull back.

When I came along is when FMIL came back in his and our lives, mostly thanks to me. The Minister said it seemed like FMIL saw a bond with me, as an opportunity to spend more time with him again.  Which it was. I could never say no.  Because I was not as guarded as he was from his past, I let her in, probably more than I should have.  The Minister used the word "boundaries" and said it was healthy, not mean, to have them. He said I am a people pleaser and want to be liked, and that was why I did not have healthy boundaries with her from the start.

Anyway, my BF said in his heart, he knows the reason he does not want his Mother at our wedding is not as retaliation against her. He is mostly sad and also scared, more than mad.  Their history before me, that she's still attempting to hurt his family's view of me, and yes, that she selected a black dress, he takes as a fair warning of what to expect if she was at our wedding.  He said he knows the scenes she has made. I know some, she made one at an Open House (a strangers home), and others outside my front door.  He said that I deserve better than what she will do, and more importantly (to me, anyway) that he feels at this age he deserves better. 

He said he loves me, respects me as his future wife, and he has felt great sadness that she cannot respect him or me.  He said to him it is clear she does not respect him as an adult.  He said, for him it is like she felt when he grew up he did it to hurt her.  That is what it feels like for him.  He said she breaks his heart when he hears the claims she makes about me to other family.  BF says he feels she is taking steps trying to destroy our relationships with them, and that hurts him.   

BF wants our wedding day to be a joy.  He wants to feel happiness without feeling bad and worried and scared.  He said he can only shut down his negative feeling so much on an emotional day like that, when he knows what she is capable of if she is there.  My BF says it is one day for us, he can never do over.  But for her, she will have other days she can make ugly scenes.  He said if our relationship and marriage is not important to her (and he feels that she does not think or show it is), then missing our wedding day also will not be, for that reason. 

He says his gut tells him, he cannot see regretting not inviting her, because he knows his reasons are real in his heart.  He can all too easily see regretting if he invites her.

BF wants only people who support both of us, and our marriage, to be there.   My BF says in words and actions she has told him she does not support us.  The Minister said as a marrying couple we are entitled to have only supporting people as witnesses, and not people working against our union, and will still bless this marriage.

I need to put my future husband's feelings above his mothers.  I need to put easing his heartbroken feelings above my fear of being not liked or blamed. I am coming to accept that FMIL will blame me, but that I am truly not to blame.  Thank you to everyone here who helped both of us examine every side!!


So happy you went to the minister and that you and your BF really talked this through completely!

You will no doubt make the right decision,  no matter how difficult it is.  It's your wedding, I hope it will be filled with love and joy.  Your future husband sounds as wonderful and insightful as you!



Good for you for getting counseling. That all makes perfect sense to me although I still feel a cancellation and a wedding in Hawaii with only your witnesses present...plus a great video to bring back with you...is your best bet. Perfect memories, no chaos.(I'm sure weddings have been canceled for less.) Then a reception for everyone after you get back...where you show the video. She couldn't ruin a reception like she could ruin a wedding. They are very different events.

Who is going to keep FMIL out? Are you going to post a bouncer at the door? I'm serious. If you did, she might throw a howling tantrum! What can you possibly do to insure she won't show up? Trust her not to because she wasn't invited?

This is so sad. Right in the middle of your greatest joy...this terminally insecure woman figuratively crying like a baby and sucking her thumb....throwing her rattle and trying to stop the show. I say, leave her there and marry elsewhere in peace and quiet.

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


Luise, I laugh out loud every time you say go to Hawaii!

My BF used to say "Let's get Maui-ed" all the time.  That is exactly what he wanted!  Now I understand why, more than ever! 

It was me who couldn't imagine taking the plunge without our friends and family by our sides.  I would tell him "I just can't imagine calling my parents or sister on the phone and saying, yep I'm a Missus now. Sorry you missed it." 

I also really love his Mother! I wanted her there, just as much.  I am honored to be marrying her son. Due to the nature of my problem as shared here, I realize she must end up sounding only like a wailing banshee.  But she is smart as a whip, funny, passionate, educated, very creative, insightful, affectionate, thoughtful. She even can be so fun, when its one-on-one we laugh a lot.  Its when she feels she has to "help" (?) that it gets weird.  No one else I ever met wanted to "help" so much when we didn't ask for help.   When its me and him, its like she thinks we're little kids and she's both our mom?  And when we act like adults, not the little kids role she casts us in, she gets so hurt.  I think its her emotions, that's the one thing that changes everything else.

I tried to be The Bridge, as you say.  I really tried.  It didn't work.  I probably should not have attempted that role. The River was wider than I realized, and I almost fell in myself.  Yes, we should have planned to just get Maui-ed, like BF wanted. I will defer to him more, when it comes to his own relationship with his own Mother.  He knows her so much better than I do.

I wanted my family and his family to be able to celebrate together, worship together, dance together.  His cousins are like his brothers, and we are glad they will be there with us.  We are prepared his Aunt and Grandmother may "boycott" when they learn MIL is not invited. That is their choice.  (Knowing what they've been told about me, I can't say I blame them.)  We have not discussed MIL as a possible wedding crasher. Gulp... we will.

Thank you for being a wise and supportive place during this heartwrenching time.


Dear Sassy,
Your day should not be ruined....you have covered all the bases.  I don't want to confuse you further because you've gone way above board in seeking what is right to do.

I just have to say, as a Mother what an almost death blow this would be for me.  When is your wedding?  What month?  I feel so sorry for this poor woman that I'm hoping it's not too soon to where he can't have a change of heart at the last moment.

Everyone can chew me out; it's okay. I just know that being left out is one of the most damaging things we humans can endure.  Please don't be mad at me.

I am putting myself into someone's shoes that I don't know. Obviously, I could be so wrong.   


I doubt anyone will chew you out, Prissy, for coming from your experience. What comes up for me is cause and effect. When FMIL comes from her emotions, she becomes an out of control child...a danger (psychologically) to herself and others. She is closing the door by her behavior. We don't let a two year old drive the car.

I will digress here and share a senior moment with all of you: When a staff member I am close to here in my retirement center went to Hawaii to marry, it was not an elopement. No one was surprised or shocked. Everyone knew when they were going. When they got back, there was a fun reception with a Hawaiian theme.

I put the reception date on my calendar. When the day came, I got all dressed up in my Hawaiian outfit but when I got to the hall on time, I was surprised at how many people were there ahead of me...(all in Hawaiian garb, of course.) I put my little gift and attached card on the table at the entrance and looked around in the crowd for someone I knew to sit with. No luck. Then I saw the bride and groom...two people I had never seen before in my life..and tiptoed out!

A week later, on the correct date, I repeated my performance, with a different gift and card and had a wonderful time. When they set up the mike and stated sharing, I had to tell one and all, of course. Talk about stealing the spotlight...the bride and groom laughed themselves silly!

We always wondered what happened when bride and groom number one opened my card and gift and asked each other the question, "Who's Luise?"

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


That's so cute, Luise. 

I understand the woman has behaved badly but yes, I am putting myself in her shoes and it hurts.  Don't pay any attention..... :)


Sassy - I'm so glad that you talked to the minister.  He sounded very insightful and that he helped you accept the situation more.  And it also sounds like your future husband has already accepted it also.

I'm assuming you are pretty young so you haven't had much life experience.  But at 34 I finally realized that there are certain people in my extended family that I just can't have in my life.  I've only talked about the crazy people but there are more nice loving people in my family than crazy!

Also I'm glad that you became privy to the craziness and manipulation of your F-MIL now because it took me almost 9 or 10 years of marriage before I found out the truth because my MIL was soooo sneaky about her assaults on me and my marriage.  If you haven't read my story/experience, it's, My Story As a Rejected DIL.  Our MIL are actually quite similar except that mine is much more subtle.  According to what I've read she's a covert aggressive manipulator.   Except when she's really put under pressure she has explosive outbursts of rage according to my SIL and throws glass items in the back yard and breaks them.

Another thing that stood out to me about your BF relationship with his mom is when you said how she tries to keep him young.  My MIL did the same thing to her grandson (SIL's child).  He's 8 now and she still lays down with him so he can fall asleep.  And when he's was 5 and maybe even older, I saw her give him his "afternoon baby bottle."  It was full of warm milk - just like an infant would drink.  My nephew got embarrassed because she was giving him the bottle in front of my hubby and I.  My MIL said, "Oh his dad thinks we shouldn't being giving this to him anymore but he just wants him to grow up way too fast."  I was floored and I know it must have showed on my face!

There signs over the years that there was something wrong with FIL and MIL.  I used to tease my hubby because their phone conversations were so generic.  And I noticed he never talked about me or my family.  Now I know that he didn't want to give his parents any ammunition and he didn't talk about my family because he knew it would make them jealous!

Anyway I have distanted myself from them.  And so far it has worked okay.  FIL has tried to be aggressive about coming to our house but hubby has handled pretty well.   Good Luck and you've got to stand your ground with this lady because if you waiver in your "boundaries" then she will manipulate the dickens out of you!


Thank you everyone.  At first I didn't know how to handle his mom, but once I listened to his guidance about the best way to deal with her demands (avoidance), I still felt guilt.  Then it became the guilt that I should have or could have done something to help my great BF and his mother bond. And fear of hurting her and being blamed. 

Because yes, it seemed like everything was "fine until F-DIL came along".  But it was fine for F-MIL because her son had so much less going on in his life.  And it was not that fine for him.  It became not-fine for her when he got busier with planning our life.  I have to remember, its not me that made it not-fine for her.  I don't know if she would ever be able to recognize that.  Probably not. 

Our wedding is in October, which is why we had to make a decision about the invites now.

If my BF changes his mind, of course I will be open to it.  I will follow his lead, wherever it goes.


It seems like you have done all you can, Sassy. I can see that.  :)


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