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Author Topic: fiancé's mother.  (Read 308 times)
mghati
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Relationship status: engaged
Posts: 2


« on: November 30, 2022, 02:51:42 PM »

My mother in law is a single mom, divorced twice. We belong to a south-asian cultural household, we live in the US.

My fiancé and I have been engaged for 2.5 years now and known each other for 3 years. Through the adventures of live, we have had the privilege to know and understand each other deeply. I lived in Pakistan while they were in the US for a year when the relationship begun, we dated online.

My fiancé has a family of 4. Him, his mom, his siblings; sister who is 11 and brother who is 14. (siblings not for the same dad.)

My fiancé and I are in a long distance relationship all this time that we have been together. We see each other every few months and spend great time together.

Things between us are fantastic. However, his mother, has command on all her children's lives, including my relationship with my partner. She has been diagnosed and takes medication for Depression.

During the course of the relationship, in the beginning, she claimed herself to be really openminded, against and away from toxic social and cultural norms. And she really did seem pretty cool.

For reference, I had an abusive childhood with my stepmother, which is the most sensitive part of my life, which my MIL knows through my fiance. (I shared with him and he did the same with his mom which I was upset about as this is the most vulnerable thing I shared with him but then I got through it as he shared that with better intentions). (Regardless of the kind of relationship I have with my stepmom, i love her a lot.)

Now because she knew this all, she came close to me saying she'll be the mother I never had and will love me like I deserve to be loved from a mother. I really trusted that as it meant a lot to me. Since I had no true awareness of what a healthy mother daughter relationship is like and feels like, I kindaa went with the flow she introduced me to. I called her almost every other day and we would talk and share. She did go overboard plenty of times for eg, talking about my parents sexual relationships, when my fiance has a boner, etc. Those things made me uncomfortable but hard to address that because of her dominating personality and also cause I thought maybe it is how a mother daughter relationship is like.

On the first mothers day in the course of relationship, I made a handmade poster for her (all during a long distance relationship). She threw the poster away as I made the same one for my own mom too. At that time all I could think was how to please her and couldnt see that it was wrong. Same with my fiance, as much as i expect him to speak up and support me, I know what an amazing guy he is and does everything to support me in ways he knows. But it was his first time to address these things just as much as mine and we both were not aware of what to do.

After a year into the relationship, I developed anxiety. I would throw up a lot, wet my bed at nights, shivering etc. Same with my fiancé. He started gaining weight like crazy, and was experiencing hairloss. It was quite obvious he was going through something which had nothing to do with food.

She would speak of culture and respect when she is on the receiving end of it, but when I or anyone from my family is on the receiving end of it, she would not reciprocate. In the events of me and my famlily gifting her, she would never appreciate the things. she would say things like "I dont use it, I already have it, That is not really my style etc). She would also never call my mom for traditional matters and instead call my dad. (Culturally, these conversations have to be woman-to-woman). Where did the culture go? She would go overboard in words and tones with my dad and kinda flirt with him. My dad shared that with me multiple times and that he is uncomfortable about it. I shared with my partner that I would like his mom to contact my mom and not my dad. At this point I felt that all that she knows about me and my relationship with my mom is being used against me.

My partner and i met for the first time after a year of dating. By this time a lot including all that I have mentioned happened. When I would try to express something that I dint like or was inappropriate, which was one rare occasion, (it was so small, about Netflix), it escalated so much that my fiancé wanted to end his life. I felt so guilty.

After when anything would happen and I would try to talk it out after it has calmed out a bit, she would ask me to move on. And would refuse to talk about it. She would expect us all to be normal like nothing happened after her aggressive outbursts.

After a few months, my MIL invited me and my family to their place in US. Because of how she disrespects my mom and dad, I decided to go with my grandmother who is also a working woman and has travelled a lot. Who disrespects someone as old as her right? Well, since the time we had gone there, she would not spend any time with her, would not take her out, would not even acknowledge that she exists if she passed by her. My grandma would feel hurt and told me she feels unwelcome.
My dad was gonna come one week after we did. After one week had passed, My grandma expressed to her in my presence that if this was not a good time for you in terms of work, we would have planned sometimes later as we came here to spend time with you. Hearing that, she started yelling at my grandma saying 'you disrespect me like that in my. own house, just coz I dont have a man in the house etc. She starting crying and screaming. Hearing that my fiancé and his two siblings came down running startled to see their mother crying like that. What little kids can stand their mother crying like that right? anyways, my grandma apologized.

This happened the same day my dad was arriving. Me and my fiance wanted to go too to pick up my dad but she was persistent on keeping it a surprise and she wanted to pick him up alone, which she did coz no one can challenge against what she wants.

From that very day since my dad came, she would spend all the time with us, eat together, go out and what not. We had two cars. Where my. MIL had a problem with sitting in the same car as my grandma. She wanted to sit with my dad and convinced my fiancé to sit with my grandma and the kids, because of which even my fiancé and i wouldn't be able to spend time together. this was the first time we were meeting ever and we were constantly dealing with all of this. She would constantly flirt with my dad, she also joked with my partner and I about adding melatonin in her food and put her to sleep. Where is the culture now? Every time my fiancé and I try to express the need to spend time together she would  tell us how it is not in our culture for couple to spend time alone in marriage etc. Understandable, but not coming from a person who is far from any culture herself. She would wear backless clothes around my dad but if I inshirted my shirt in baggy jeans, I am a bad influence for her daughter. She herself married second time to someone who is out of our culture which is prohibited and is currently dating a white guy. Culturally, you cant. Regardless, for her happiness my fiancé and I supported her through that.

At the end of the day it is his mother and as eldest son, he has to be on top of everything. I feel really bad. I have never heard him raise his voice at anyone, always sees the best in people and loves me so so so much. It makes me feel guilty when I ask him to establish boundaries gradually as a process coz it is definitely is hard.

Whenever we would be together, which would be every few months with family, for a few days, we would also wanna spend time together in that. She would not explicitly say no but would bring things up like groceries, she is sick, she needs a car, and so on. If anything, she would get passively aggressive when we are back.

She also has partner like expectations from my fiancé. Things that are only appropriate to talk, share, show with your partner. Makes me feel afraid that my fiancé's needs would be fulfilled or exhausted because of her. And to some extent I see that they are. She also gets personal with my fiancé's friends, saying his friends are her friends.

Recently, I went to visit them for 4-5 days. She was asleep in her room and my fiancé was about to start working from home, and the kids were at school. Before he was just about to start, I made coffee for him and I. So when she woke up and came down, we were having coffee together. She got really upset at my fiancé saying he doesn't care about her and since I am here he only cares about me and since the time i entered his life he does not care about the children or her like before. After all the compromises I and my fiancé have made, on our basic needs in our relationship, thats what we get to hear. She would address me using shallow names. I felt heartbroken. That moment was my awakening moment where I felt that I cant mentally take this anymore. After i came back home, I decided I need to take care of my mental health. I stopped calling her everyday, only when necessary, on culturally significant days.  She took that as disrespect. And asked my fiancé to break up with me with extreme ultimatums like she would commit suicide or would forbid my fiancé from seeing his family. To make things better if i could, I called her to apologize, I dont even know for what. She said I need to change, i need to have mannerisms, I need to unite the family, not just think of lives of me and my partner and that it is my reponsibility. I told her that I try and that I am not perfect and would like to be corrected or advised if I am not doing so,ething right. But at the same time also appreciated for things I do nice. I told her I want to be seen and accepted as I am and I'll be the best version of it. And I want every person in the family's needs to be met. Upon which she said I can have such kinds of needs from my partner only, culturally. It was so heartbreraking.

Knowing this made me feel like i am a horrible person and because of me the family is falling apart as much as i knew in my heart that I really tried my best with a lot of patience and compromises and also took so much disrespect towards my family.  felt like i am a bad luck who brings hurt to everyone's lives. I broke up with my fiancé. It was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. I love him so so much.

After almost a day or a few hours, he reached out to me, he told me we dont deserve this. reassured me. I am so grateful to have this man.

That point on he told his mom he would not break up with me no matter what. For a few days they didnt even speak with each other.
(they live in the same house).
Then one day she calls him saying that i understand you guys are inseparable and I accept that. She told him that she has good news; she tells him that she wants us to get married and said she would talk to my family. (culturally that is how it is done). We were of course happy. Then later when I called my parents they told me how she had spoken to them (she spoke with each of them individually)
To my dad, he in a very blunt, sad and annoyed tone said, "I have made my peace w their relationship and that these kids commit sins  (she was referring to sex) so lets get them married so they are not sins anymore. And my son has to come to Pakistan anyways so u get them married as I dont want to be a part of it". To mom, whom she never calls, says, that my swear to you-dont tell your husband but I am not happy w this relationship"
How is this okay? She accuses me of things I never did to her family, explaining herself as the victim. Her family would reach out to me telling me how i need to take care of her and the family as she has made sacrifices as a mother etc etc.
This happened even when I would share concerns of disrespect to my partner in the beginning of the relationship where he would tell me that she had a tough life and because of her mental health she is like that and we need to be understanding.

What the current situation is; that she called me to tell me that lets take a fresh start. It was so nice to hear that. but now that it is a fresh star, what can we both do different with the same person who i know has hated me so much. She has also invited me for Christmas and New Year eve together. 24-29 in LA then 30-3 in Vegas and the remaining days in SFO where they live.

As much as I am willing to give it a shot, I feel uncomfortable at the same time. especially on the road where my fiancé and her sit in the front and she whisper conversations with him and i feel uncomfortable and isolated, even when i make a conversations, she redirects that towards him, and would use his name while talking about it. I then would not know what to say or what conversation to have any=more at which point she would tell me i need to make efforts to include myself in the family.

I am lost what do, how to feel, how to approach things tis Christmas when I am together with them. I want to go coz it is my fiancé's birthday on the 31st and I want to be with him. and also coz i feel since she made an effort to start over, I should meet her half way too. I just still feel traumatized. Any help, advices in general in a bigger picture would help a lot. How do I cope? my fiancé and I take personal and couples therapy too but how to get through situations, how to set and maintain boundaries?
also, thank you for reading so much. I appreciate you. It was a struggle expressing so much into a few words.
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mghati
Fewer than 3 Posts
*
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Inlaw
Relationship status: engaged
Posts: 2


« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2022, 03:27:02 PM »

My mother in law is a single mom, divorced twice. We belong to a south-asian cultural household, we live in the US.

My fiancé and I have been engaged for 2.5 years now and known each other for 3 years. Through the adventures of live, we have had the privilege to know and understand each other deeply. I lived in Pakistan while they were in the US for a year when the relationship begun, we dated online.

My fiancé has a family of 4. Him, his mom, his siblings; sister who is 11 and brother who is 14. (siblings not for the same dad.)

My fiancé and I are in a long distance relationship all this time that we have been together. We see each other every few months and spend great time together.

Things between us are fantastic. However, his mother, has command on all her children's lives, including my relationship with my partner. She has been diagnosed and takes medication for Depression.

During the course of the relationship, in the beginning, she claimed herself to be really openminded, against and away from toxic social and cultural norms. And she really did seem pretty cool.

For reference, I had an abusive childhood with my stepmother, which is the most sensitive part of my life, which my MIL knows through my fiance. (I shared with him and he did the same with his mom which I was upset about as this is the most vulnerable thing I shared with him but then I got through it as he shared that with better intentions). (Regardless of the kind of relationship I have with my stepmom, i love her a lot.)

Now because she knew this all, she came close to me saying she'll be the mother I never had and will love me like I deserve to be loved from a mother. I really trusted that as it meant a lot to me. Since I had no true awareness of what a healthy mother daughter relationship is like and feels like, I kindaa went with the flow she introduced me to. I called her almost every other day and we would talk and share. She did go overboard plenty of times for eg, talking about my parents sexual relationships, when my fiance has a boner, etc. Those things made me uncomfortable but hard to address that because of her dominating personality and also cause I thought maybe it is how a mother daughter relationship is like.

On the first mothers day in the course of relationship, I made a handmade poster for her (all during a long distance relationship). She threw the poster away as I made the same one for my own mom too. At that time all I could think was how to please her and couldnt see that it was wrong. Same with my fiance, as much as i expect him to speak up and support me, I know what an amazing guy he is and does everything to support me in ways he knows. But it was his first time to address these things just as much as mine and we both were not aware of what to do.

After a year into the relationship, I developed anxiety. I would throw up a lot, wet my bed at nights, shivering etc. Same with my fiancé. He started gaining weight like crazy, and was experiencing hairloss. It was quite obvious he was going through something which had nothing to do with food.

She would speak of culture and respect when she is on the receiving end of it, but when I or anyone from my family is on the receiving end of it, she would not reciprocate. In the events of me and my famlily gifting her, she would never appreciate the things. she would say things like "I dont use it, I already have it, That is not really my style etc). She would also never call my mom for traditional matters and instead call my dad. (Culturally, these conversations have to be woman-to-woman). Where did the culture go? She would go overboard in words and tones with my dad and kinda flirt with him. My dad shared that with me multiple times and that he is uncomfortable about it. I shared with my partner that I would like his mom to contact my mom and not my dad. At this point I felt that all that she knows about me and my relationship with my mom is being used against me.

My partner and i met for the first time after a year of dating. By this time a lot including all that I have mentioned happened. When I would try to express something that I dint like or was inappropriate, which was one rare occasion, (it was so small, about Netflix), it escalated so much that my fiancé wanted to end his life. I felt so guilty.

After when anything would happen and I would try to talk it out after it has calmed out a bit, she would ask me to move on. And would refuse to talk about it. She would expect us all to be normal like nothing happened after her aggressive outbursts.

After a few months, my MIL invited me and my family to their place in US. Because of how she disrespects my mom and dad, I decided to go with my grandmother who is also a working woman and has travelled a lot. Who disrespects someone as old as her right? Well, since the time we had gone there, she would not spend any time with her, would not take her out, would not even acknowledge that she exists if she passed by her. My grandma would feel hurt and told me she feels unwelcome.
My dad was gonna come one week after we did. After one week had passed, My grandma expressed to her in my presence that if this was not a good time for you in terms of work, we would have planned sometimes later as we came here to spend time with you. Hearing that, she started yelling at my grandma saying 'you disrespect me like that in my. own house, just coz I dont have a man in the house etc. She starting crying and screaming. Hearing that my fiancé and his two siblings came down running startled to see their mother crying like that. What little kids can stand their mother crying like that right? anyways, my grandma apologized.

This happened the same day my dad was arriving. Me and my fiance wanted to go too to pick up my dad but she was persistent on keeping it a surprise and she wanted to pick him up alone, which she did coz no one can challenge against what she wants.

From that very day since my dad came, she would spend all the time with us, eat together, go out and what not. We had two cars. Where my. MIL had a problem with sitting in the same car as my grandma. She wanted to sit with my dad and convinced my fiancé to sit with my grandma and the kids, because of which even my fiancé and i wouldn't be able to spend time together. this was the first time we were meeting ever and we were constantly dealing with all of this. She would constantly flirt with my dad, she also joked with my partner and I about adding melatonin in her food and put her to sleep. Where is the culture now? Every time my fiancé and I try to express the need to spend time together she would  tell us how it is not in our culture for couple to spend time alone in marriage etc. Understandable, but not coming from a person who is far from any culture herself. She would wear backless clothes around my dad but if I inshirted my shirt in baggy jeans, I am a bad influence for her daughter. She herself married second time to someone who is out of our culture which is prohibited and is currently dating a white guy. Culturally, you cant. Regardless, for her happiness my fiancé and I supported her through that.

At the end of the day it is his mother and as eldest son, he has to be on top of everything. I feel really bad. I have never heard him raise his voice at anyone, always sees the best in people and loves me so so so much. It makes me feel guilty when I ask him to establish boundaries gradually as a process coz it is definitely is hard.

Whenever we would be together, which would be every few months with family, for a few days, we would also wanna spend time together in that. She would not explicitly say no but would bring things up like groceries, she is sick, she needs a car, and so on. If anything, she would get passively aggressive when we are back.

She also has partner like expectations from my fiancé. Things that are only appropriate to talk, share, show with your partner. Makes me feel afraid that my fiancé's needs would be fulfilled or exhausted because of her. And to some extent I see that they are. She also gets personal with my fiancé's friends, saying his friends are her friends.

Recently, I went to visit them for 4-5 days. She was asleep in her room and my fiancé was about to start working from home, and the kids were at school. Before he was just about to start, I made coffee for him and I. So when she woke up and came down, we were having coffee together. She got really upset at my fiancé saying he doesn't care about her and since I am here he only cares about me and since the time i entered his life he does not care about the children or her like before. After all the compromises I and my fiancé have made, on our basic needs in our relationship, thats what we get to hear. She would address me using shallow names. I felt heartbroken. That moment was my awakening moment where I felt that I cant mentally take this anymore. After i came back home, I decided I need to take care of my mental health. I stopped calling her everyday, only when necessary, on culturally significant days.  She took that as disrespect. And asked my fiancé to break up with me with extreme ultimatums like she would commit suicide or would forbid my fiancé from seeing his family. To make things better if i could, I called her to apologize, I dont even know for what. She said I need to change, i need to have mannerisms, I need to unite the family, not just think of lives of me and my partner and that it is my reponsibility. I told her that I try and that I am not perfect and would like to be corrected or advised if I am not doing so,ething right. But at the same time also appreciated for things I do nice. I told her I want to be seen and accepted as I am and I'll be the best version of it. And I want every person in the family's needs to be met. Upon which she said I can have such kinds of needs from my partner only, culturally. It was so heartbreraking.

Knowing this made me feel like i am a horrible person and because of me the family is falling apart as much as i knew in my heart that I really tried my best with a lot of patience and compromises and also took so much disrespect towards my family.  felt like i am a bad luck who brings hurt to everyone's lives. I broke up with my fiancé. It was the most difficult thing I ever had to do. I love him so so much.

After almost a day or a few hours, he reached out to me, he told me we dont deserve this. reassured me. I am so grateful to have this man.

That point on he told his mom he would not break up with me no matter what. For a few days they didnt even speak with each other.
(they live in the same house).
Then one day she calls him saying that i understand you guys are inseparable and I accept that. She told him that she has good news; she tells him that she wants us to get married and said she would talk to my family. (culturally that is how it is done). We were of course happy. Then later when I called my parents they told me how she had spoken to them (she spoke with each of them individually)
To my dad, he in a very blunt, sad and annoyed tone said, "I have made my peace w their relationship and that these kids commit sins  (she was referring to sex) so lets get them married so they are not sins anymore. And my son has to come to Pakistan anyways so u get them married as I dont want to be a part of it". To mom, whom she never calls, says, that my swear to you-dont tell your husband but I am not happy w this relationship"
How is this okay? She accuses me of things I never did to her family, explaining herself as the victim. Her family would reach out to me telling me how i need to take care of her and the family as she has made sacrifices as a mother etc etc.
This happened even when I would share concerns of disrespect to my partner in the beginning of the relationship where he would tell me that she had a tough life and because of her mental health she is like that and we need to be understanding.

What the current situation is; that she called me to tell me that lets take a fresh start. It was so nice to hear that. but now that it is a fresh star, what can we both do different with the same person who i know has hated me so much. She has also invited me for Christmas and New Year eve together. 24-29 in LA then 30-3 in Vegas and the remaining days in SFO where they live.

As much as I am willing to give it a shot, I feel uncomfortable at the same time. especially on the road where my fiancé and her sit in the front and she whisper conversations with him and i feel uncomfortable and isolated, even when i make a conversations, she redirects that towards him, and would use his name while talking about it. I then would not know what to say or what conversation to have any=more at which point she would tell me i need to make efforts to include myself in the family.

I am lost what do, how to feel, how to approach things tis Christmas when I am together with them. I want to go coz it is my fiancé's birthday on the 31st and I want to be with him. and also coz i feel since she made an effort to start over, I should meet her half way too. I just still feel traumatized. Any help, advices in general in a bigger picture would help a lot. How do I cope? my fiancé and I take personal and couples therapy too but how to get through situations, how to set and maintain boundaries?
also, thank you for reading so much. I appreciate you. It was a struggle expressing so much into a few words.
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Couscous
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Sibling
Relationship status: Married
Posts: 1072


« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2022, 08:05:35 PM »

Hi mghati  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

Your fiance sounds like he is extremely enmeshed, or in other terms, has an emotionally incestuous relationship with his mother. He will likely require specialized therapy in order to overcome the impact that this appears to be having on his life.

Your best course of action is to educate yourself on the issue of mother enmeshed men, and the best resource on enmeshment I have found is: https://www.overcomingenmeshment.com/ There is also the book, When He’s Married to Mom which you can ask your fiancé to read.

You can also find therapists through this website if your fiancé's therapist and your couple’s counselor are not well versed on this issue. All the best to you.

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Turkish
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Relationship status: "Divorced"/abandoned by SO in Feb 2014; Mother with BPD, PTSD, Depression and Anxiety: RIP in 2021.
Posts: 12163


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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2022, 10:14:12 PM »

Quote from: mghati
Now because she knew this all, she came close to me saying she'll be the mother I never had and will love me like I deserve to be loved from a mother. I really trusted that as it meant a lot to me.

My mother was a "Rescuer" of dysfunctional families since I was a little kid in the early 80s. She later had many "daughters," adult waifs which she would "rescue," Yet those relationships always ended. It sounds like she's trying that with you, but you don't need another "mother," yes?

The flirting with your dad... ick.

The cultural aspect isn't something to be ignored, but you said that she's diagnosed with BPD?
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