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MIL is trying to talk DP out of marrying me!

(27 Posts)
minko Fri 24-Jul-09 08:55:19

DP and I have been together 10 years and have two young DC. I have recently been arranging our wedding for mid September. I don't want lots of fuss, I'd just would like to be married - we have been engaged for over 6 years!

DP finally summoned the courage to tell his mum last weekend and ever since she has been on at him. Her first reaction was 'I don't know why you're doing it, so many marriages end in divorce these days'. She doesn't like the idea of a register office, she'd dictating that we must invite a load of her rellies we don't even know etc. But from what I gather it is getting more sinister now. She is reminding him that she doesn't like how I speak to him and that I nag him. Is he sure? etc...

OK, so maybe I do boss him about a bit, but we're not in the first flush of romance anymore! I love him, we're happy together, we'd like to be married. But now it is open season to have a pop at our relationship. Even his brother is joking that DP is 'under the thumb'. Not that their relationships are exactly model perfect.

It is really upsetting me. MIL2B hasn't actually spoken to me about it at all. I have always done my best to be lovely to her and whilst it's predictable, I feel really fed up.

Sorry to rant. Need some sympathy!

rubyslippers Fri 24-Jul-09 08:58:44

i think she should be dis-invited or certainly told to mind her own business

the fact that he summoned the courage to tell her shows he is wary of her

it is not her wedding - have the day you want and if you are paying for it then she cannot invite who she wants

what does your DP say when she says this stuff to him?

minko Fri 24-Jul-09 09:02:30

He is being worn down by her. I can tell when he's been on the phone to her that day as he's all weary and depressed. And also really stressed about the wedding. She has ruled her family by guilt for years (eg. she blames DP for her collapsed lung as she was so worried about him on holiday years ago, and still reminds him of this).

She is a nightmare MIL with no life of her own. DP is VERY wary of her, but also inflluenced by her too. He suggested she didn't have to come and she later told him that she had cried and cried that he had said this. (Not that she did of course, but he believes it).


Heated Fri 24-Jul-09 09:15:20

How unpleasant for you. Best weapon and means of dealing with her imo is to find her an amusingly awful crazy woman and to laugh at her obvious ploys together - will diminish her impact and forge bonds of togetherness in the face of adversity.

And dh tell her he's writing it all down - excellent material for the best man's speech!

minko Fri 24-Jul-09 09:18:10

Hmmm, I wish we could laugh about it together. It's just casting a horrible black shadow over the whole event at the moment. DP is just stressed and weary about it all now and not remotely excited.

forehead Fri 24-Jul-09 09:24:45

I dont know what is wrong with your mil, you've been with your dp for years and have kids. Does she feel that if he gets married to you ,she will have less control over him.?
Tell your dh to grow some balls fgs, lay the law down with his mother. If the interfering old witch does not approve of the marriage then that's her problem, after all she is not the one marrying you. She better be careful or she will end up alienating her ds.

SammyK Fri 24-Jul-09 09:25:57

Am really quite mad on your behalf, it is really nasty of MIL to ruin what should be a happy exciting time for you all.

I would buy your DF the Toxic Parents book, she is being very manipulative and selfish.I agree with heated in that you need to make this issue bring you together more, talk about it together, don't give in to her.

How often does he have phone and face to face contact with his mum? TBH I would slightly lessen it, avoid talking about the wedding, and make it clear when it is brought up that the two of you will be making all decisions.

This is why we will just be going to register office one day and telling everyone afterwards! grin (Not got a date set btw, like you been together for ages and never get round to it.)

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Fri 24-Jul-09 09:28:43

Can you cut her out of your lives? She sounds quite toxic and a total nightmare. Just ignore her. Don't invite her to the wedding, don't talk to her, remove the poisonous influence altogether.

I realise that's not very practical though!

Can you and dp just get married quietly and quickly and present her with a fait accompli? Then it would be all done and dusted and she'd just have to get on with it! It's what I wish we'd done with our wedding, which was basically a compromise between what my mum and MIL wanted. We had a pretty miserable day and don't really look back on it with any kind of joy!

Heated Fri 24-Jul-09 09:29:19

Sorry Minko she's having such a big & negative impact on your day and didn't mean my reply to come across as glib. Does your dh ever explode at her and tell her a few blunt home truths? Is it possible to disengage from her and have less contact? No way should she able to dominate your special day.

Jux Fri 24-Jul-09 09:35:41

Heated is right though. The best weapon is laughter. Even a little smile or a chuckle will help. Try to twist what she says into something vaguely amusing.

Am really sorry for you. I suspect that having her as a MIL, rather than a MIL2B, will be worse. Are you sure you want this? wink

FioFio Fri 24-Jul-09 09:39:01

Message withdrawn

jellybeans Fri 24-Jul-09 09:41:50

My MIL was exactly the same. She also tried to get DH to convince me to abort the DCs when I was pregnant. For the wedding, we had to be firm and arrange it ourselves. Once we had agreed on the list of guests, that was it. She did try to spoil the day and tried to sabotage the photography.

I wondered if she hated the idea of us as married because that was like a final 'loss' of him (in her eyes) and also she would no longer be legally next of kin to him if anything bad happened.

I have alot of sympathy.

minko Fri 24-Jul-09 09:56:12

Thank you all so much. I feel a bit teary from the support!

There's not really much choice about shutting her out of it. DP would never allow it, her influence is too great. He's never exploded at her. His brother has, but he's more fiery. She gives BIL The Guilt about it now of course.

I just wish he could see it as a happy occasion again!

Jellybean - I think you are right. She sees it as a betrayal by him that he is marrying me - even after giving her 2 lovely grandchildren!

mrsboogie Fri 24-Jul-09 10:11:31

One thing though - you said she reminded him that he doesn't like how you speak to him and nag him - how does she know this? has he told her? he shouldn't be criticising you to her like this (if he is) it gives her ammunition to come between you.

If I were you I would ring her up and politely but firmly ask her what the problem is - ask her does she not want her grandchildren parents to be married? You could use a bit of The Guilt of your own and say that they would be very upset to know that their gran didn't want their mum and dad to get married. Sometimes you have to treat these bossy interfering types with their own medicine!

Between your Mil2b and yourself your poor old DP sounds a bit hen-pecked...maybe think about laying off the bossing a bit even if it means stuff doesn't get done?

minko Fri 24-Jul-09 10:21:55

You're right Mrsboogie, it does worry me that men supposedly choose wives like their mothers!

I am considering phoning her. First of all I think a good chat with DP is required this evening. Not in a hen-pecky way though of course...

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 24-Jul-09 10:27:41


Take no notice of this toxic MIL to be of yours; its your wedding day and you're now formalising a previous commitment made to each other. Have the day you both want; do not be dictated to by others acting out of spite and bloody mindedness. SOme people, particlarly damaged ones like his mother, cannot stand to see others happy. This is because they are miserable themselves.

Why is she like this - well I can only assume that her own parents were toxic and treated her abysmally hence her attitudes now.

Laughing at these people can only go so far; it still grinds you down. The option is to limit contact and for yourselves live well without her domineering influence.

One day though your future husband will have a realisation as to how toxic this Mother of his really is. She is at present ruling him by FOG - fear, obligation, guilt. Then that will hit him very hard. She is disrespecting him and by turn his own family unit. She cares not a jot for any of you really, she just wants her own way.

People like this as well are more than happy to pass on all their issues to the next generation as well. Does she have much contact with them?. I would certainly limit all contact in terms of visits and phone calls. Caller ID is a good thing to have. Infact I would go as far as to cut her off altogether.

Is your future FIL still alive?. If so what's he like?.

I would also describe his mother as toxic and am also wondering if she has some sort of personality disorder. You cannot begin to reason with people like this because they won't listen to anyone's eles's point of view, never apologise or even take responsibility for their actions.

Would certainly give your H to be a copy of "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward even though he could find it hard going. You could also read Toxic Inlaws written by the same author.

The "Stately Homes" thread on these pages may be helpful to you as well. Post there too.

BadgersArse Fri 24-Jul-09 10:28:06

is she divorced?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 24-Jul-09 10:29:47

I'd be wary of contacting her directly tbh and your future H as well as you need to stand firm against her. Also anything you say to her could be used against you. These people do not play by the "normal" rules of family behaviour.

cornsillk Fri 24-Jul-09 10:30:08

She sounds absolutely awful.

donttrythisathome Fri 24-Jul-09 10:30:23

OP I'll start by saying you have my sympathy, she sounds 'orrible.

I think you can't do anything to change your DP's relationship with your MIL. All you can do is change your own relationship with her, and how you react. I think a phonecall would be good where you calmly spell out exactly how this makes you feel and the effect of her behaviour and that the wedding is going ahead with or without her approval. Tell your DP you are doing this. Nothing is likely to change, but at least you get back some control are not a hostage to their dysfunction anymore. Then let them get on with it (hard I know) and most of all, enjoy your day.

minko Fri 24-Jul-09 10:37:49

Wow Attilla, that's really insightful. I feel like you've met her! I especially register with the miserable bit and the not really caring about anyone but herself...

I do believe she has been damaged in some way. Her parents divorced in an era when people didn't really get divorced. They both remarried, more than that I don't really know. Her own wedding was blighted by her inlaws disapproving of her as she was from 'the wrong side of town' and she cut them off.

Thankfully she lives 200 miles away but she speaks to DP often - sometimes 2 or 3 times a week (for up to an hour at a time). She has trained DCs to say they love her all the time, but her influence on them is minimal thankfully!

ninedragons Fri 24-Jul-09 10:40:49

Elope and present her with a fait accompli.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 24-Jul-09 10:45:03

Well I know people like this, my own rellies are pretty much awful (my ILs in particular are toxic, not just to say narcissitic).

All I can say is limit contact as much as possible and ignore, ignore, ignore. This is what I do and it works. Do not rise to her bear baiting.

All that happened to this woman would undoubtedly have left emotionally damaging scars but these are her issues to deal with. She will likely never deal with her emotional pain because she either cannot or will not. It is not her place to foist all her underlying issues onto the next generation because this is precisely what she is doing now and has done to date.

Training your DCs to say that they love her is not at all healthy.

Would read the books recommended.

Good luck, you're going to need to remain firm with this woman.

WarhammerFan Fri 24-Jul-09 10:48:08

Gosh, she sounds lovely. Tell her you are only marrying him for financial security that should put her mind at rest.

minko Fri 24-Jul-09 10:56:11

Haha Warhammer, I'd love to! It's very tempting to bait the old biddy... she has no sense of humour.

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