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Apron Strings

My Fiancé and I will be getting married in August 2010. I have been with him for over four years and we have been attached at the hips ever since day one. When we began to go out in high school his parents were still married. His father is an alcoholic and his mother was threatening for 3 years to divorce him before a physical altercation involved the police and she finally filed for divorce.

I have never gotten along with his father. The man is very stubborn and opinionated. I have been raised to speak up for myself and to think for myself and future FIL doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion but his own. He makes it clear that I annoy him with my opinions so I try not to engage him in conversation anymore. He then tells my future SIL, an 18 year old with a thing for gossip and letting cats out of bags, that he doesn’t think I like him. It’s difficult to like and enjoy the company of a person who cuts conversations off when you try to join them.

I would not care as much but he treats my fiancé like a child. He will only call his son if he wants him to do some sort of chore for him. It is not uncommon to cut our evenings short because his father has decided to move a piece of furniture yet again. It has been this way his entire life, when we were 16 my fiancé had most of the chores his father should have done because he was too drunk/passed out to contribute.

This brings me to my future MIL. My fiancé has been doing everything for her most of his youth and early adult life that she comes to expect him to change or cancel his plans if they conflict with something she wants him to do. Our last anniversary (yes I know it’s not a wedding anniversary but we still feel they are special) she told my fiance she had planned a night out and he had to be there to give his sister her medicine, first at 6pm and then at 830. So there was no way for us to continue with our plans. She is trying to keep the umbilical cord tightly attached and gets upset the more time he spends with my and his family. Just this weekend for thanksgiving (Canadian) she refused to sit at the ‘adult table’ and instead sat at the cousin table with us because she ‘never gets to see my son’ anymore. The next day we were at her ex’s family for another thanksgiving and she did the same thing.

When we first got engaged she was gave her ‘blessing’ only on the condition that it would be a long engagement. Initially we agreed that we should have a long engagement because he was still going to school. We decided we could work around this issue and want to get married as soon as possible so now we are in the wedding planning stages and my future MIL is upset because we have decided to push the wedding date up and move into my parent’s house until we have more money for a down payment and my fiancé can finish school. She has lamented that she is not ready for my fiancé to move out.

Her opinions surrounding the wedding are to spend as little money as possible, go cheap cheap cheap. Now I am the last person to say screw the budget, I am a very frugal person. But I want to have the best wedding I can afford and make the day special. She seems to think that anything we plan is over the top. I am Italian but it is over the top to add the traditional antipasto to the meal. If I served cheese and cracker out of the local elementary school gym wearing my best skirt I would make her happy. But it wouldn’t make me happy.

Also, and I am really just venting now, she has mentioned on numerous occasions her expectation to retire and move in with myself and my fiancé. Now I have been to her family functions, as I mentioned before, and I have seen how she acts in her sister’s and SIL’s kitchens, her quickness to criticize assures me I would never want to share a kitchen let alone a house with that woman. (p.s. I think its rich for someone with such bland cooking to say anything about how other people make their dishes). My fiancé always makes it into a joke and moves on to another topic, but she has said on more than one occasion how she was going to live with us, and be a built in babysitter.

My final issue has to do with my future SIL. She isn’t the problem, but she creates the problem. She has a form of autism that manifests itself as a severe social disorder and is very difficult to get along with. I do not agree with the family’s plans for her. MIL wants to put SIL into a home and then move in with us. I come from a very close family and my nephew has autism and I could never imagine abandoning family like this. MIL says repeatedly that she doesn’t want to take care of her disturbed daughter for the rest of her life. Needless to say this as not helped my trepidation when it comes to her.

Anyways I didn’t mean to go on for so long, I am not even married into the family yet!


5 responses »

  1. “My fiancé always makes it into a joke and moves on to another topic, but she has said on more than one occasion how she was going to live with us, and be a built in babysitter.”

    ” MIL wants to put SIL into a home and then move in with us.”

    “I am not even married into the family yet.”

    Do NOT marry your fiance until you have resolved these issues with him. I repeat, do NOT marry your fiance until you have seriously talked about and resolved these issues. Otherwise, you are just asking for a nightmare of a married life, and your MIL WILL be moving in with you and your SIL will either be dumped into a home or moving in with you as well.

    You need to speak up now to your fiance about how you envision your life; he needs to agree (and if he disagrees you need to walk away); and then he needs to very firmly tell his mother that she and/or his sister will not be living with you EVER. If he can’t do this, do.not.marry.him.

  2. Having worked in group homes, I can say they may be the best thing for your future SIL. The one I worked in encouraged and fostered independence in the residents, allowing them to earn their own money, set goals for savings and spendings, and live like the adults they are. It was really a good thing for most of the residents.

  3. My cousin is in a group home now and has flourished under it. While living with her mom, she was treated like a spoiled infant and acted like it. (Give her whatever she wants. Place no demands on her because she is ‘disabled.’) Now, in her group home, she helps her roommate. She earns her own money. She has a life that she wouldn’t have had otherwise.

  4. Please do not marry this man-child. You are blaming most of this on your fiances mother and father when he should be holding most of the blame. NO is a complete sentence. He puts his mother and father head of you and until he grows up, that will continue.

    Marriage will not change that and neither will having kids. You guys need counseling BEFORE you get married and this in-law situation should be addressed.


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