I don’t like stereotypes.
I also love people, I try and include them in my life, be friendly and courteous, hold off pre-conceptions and judge people based on their behaviours and attitudes, not the role they have or some other category. Sometimes I fail, but I still do my best.
Insert the mother in law.
It started off alright, slightly self obsessed, a bit stubborn and opinionated but not so bad. At least she had good craft stuff that I could use with her. She seemed to want me as a part of her life too.
Then she got a job, in an office, shuffling papers
clearly her job is MUCH harder than my uni degree *nods quietly*
Ok, so she whinges….plenty of people do that
The 6 month mark rolls around with my amazing boyfriend
I joke around about me not believing in God or going to church
MIL: What about if your future husband is religious?
Me: What do you mean?
MIL: Well what if he wants to get married in a church? (thinly veiled attempt to push a church wedding for her son)
Me: Well if he wants to marry me we will have to make a compromise
MIL: (Getting more agitated) Why can’t you compromise?
Me: I feel that it would be disrespectful to the church, my husband, our guest and anyone who believes in god to stand up in front of them and say “I will honour, Cherish and Obey my Husband under the eyes of God” considering that I don’t believe in God
MIL: But what if he wants to get married in a church?
Me: Well isn’t God everywhere? Can’t he just make his promises to God in a garden or something while I make my promises not to God?
MIL: But what if he wants to have it in a church?
Me: Well I am not getting married in a church. Anyway, this is pretty irrelevant, it isn’t like Rob wants to get married in a church.
MIL: (STILL GOING) How do you know?
Me: Because we have talked about it and he doesn’t believe in God and doesn’t want a church wedding either…
Ok, so the lady has expectations, no big deal, her problem, not mine
Continue on to the year mark:
The Mother in Law decides to announce that she wants to go on a family holiday, back home to England, just Her, her husband and the two boys…
Boyfriend: I don’t want to leave Lou for that long
MIL: Oh well, it would just be nice to have one last family holiday before you boys start growing up and going off in your own directions
FIL: But I don’t want to go to England
Boyfriend: When would we go Mum? because it’s really hard to get that much time off?
MIL: I just think it would be nice to all go to England together on holiday
Ok, so the lady doesn’t consider me a part of the family and doesn’t respect her husband or sons’ opinions. Her bad I suppose???
Just after our 2 year anniversary & engagement
MIL: So will you take me dress shopping with you?
Me: Uh, well, I haven’t even decided if I’m buying a dress yet.
MIL: Well I just want to be included
Me: Well we won’t be planning anything for a while
MIL: Just make sure you include me
Ok, so needy, but I’m sure it will be fine
After 3 and a half years of being together, 6 months of planning and a few weeks of asking repeatedly about the wedding colour.
Fiancé: Mum, we have told you the colour, it’s green.
MIL: Oh, ok
Fiancé: Why do you need to know the colour anyway?
MIL: I want to match the wedding colours
Fiancé: Why would you do that? You aren’t a bridesmaid?
Me: You aren’t a bridesmaid, you’re his Mum. We think that is an important role on our day and we think it would be better if you wore a different colour so people can tell that you have a special role.
Ok, so, I can’t explain this…it’s pretty weird
I could keep explaining all of the things that she has done, there are plenty more, and I’m not exaggerating. I will only explain one more. The last thing, the one that tipped me over the edge…
One night my fiancé, his parents and I were having a pool night, chilling out, having a couple & generally having fun. As usual, Rob & his Dad are walloping us girls, his parents are playing, and the MIL is losing, she isn’t happy about it & starts yelling out just as the FIL is taking his shot. Politely, she is told not to, it’s rude, we aren’t doing that to you. She keeps going. The song changes and I don’t like it, so I ask the boys if they mind changing it and they do.
A few songs later she decides she doesn’t like the song
MIL: This music is Crap
Me: That’s a bit rude, we like it
MIL: It’s crap
Me: No it isn’t, just because you don’t like it, that doesn’t make it crap, that’s really offensive
MIL: Na it’s crap
I don’t disrespect other people by ragging on the things that they like, neither does Rob or his Dad. Apparently she gets to though. I can’t handle people disrespecting me, or anyone else. I don’t think it’s right.
I’m sick of compromising my self respect to keep the peace, I’m sick of being disrespected and I’m sick of seeing people I care about being disrespected…
But you never expect the person who is being disrespectful to be their mother or wife.
That was when it hit me, if this was a friend, I would tell them in no uncertain terms that I didn’t appreciate their behaviour. If they decided to keep the behaviour up, I just wouldn’t see them any more.
So to summarise:
- I’ve been trying to be friends with my MIL, defend her and support her
- I’ve make concessions for her short comings, time and time again
- I’m not getting much out of the relationship
So why am I still trying to be her friend? Since when did my Mother in Law need to be my friend? Sure, that is what I would like, I don’t want to fulfil the stereotype of mother and daughter in law
That’s when I decided, I can remove this stress by just not trying any longer, sure it will be awkward for a while, and I still have to see her but I don’t need to spend quality time with her.
My self respect is worth so much more than that, my Fiancé respects me and that is what matters