Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Future Mother-in-Law Is Already Pressuring Me For Grandkids”

Mother and daughter

I have been with my fiancé over two and a half years and everything has been great! We moved in together around five months ago after being engaged for two months. We aren’t arguing as much as we thought we would. The real problem seems to be his mother!

Since we’ve moved, I’ve started to notice little changes in her, and I’m at a total loss. I told her not that long ago that there is a high chance I may never be able to conceive children naturally, but this woman is going daft over not having grandkids! My fiancé is her youngest son out of her three children, and at her daughter’s 24th birthday night out she kept saying that she’d bought a cot and a pram (not too sure if she was joking or not) and kept saying, “How come SHE (meaning her friend) gets to be a grandmother and I’m not?!”. I know I should probably have said something to her at the time, but I refrained since there was alcohol involved. She’s always wanted grandchildren and has made jokes about how old she’ll be when she finally gets grandkids, but now it seems like she’s serious! It upsets me every time she brings it up, and I’m sure it upsets her daughter who is four years older than I am, but she hasn’t said anything (to my knowledge) either.

I recently announced that I was saving up for a pet snake, and she’s done nothing but say things like, “You’re not allowed a snake” and “I’ll never come round to your house again if you get a snake!” She said to my fiancé today, “I’m never going to come round even if you’re ill!” Is this petty and seriously out of order, or am I just imagining it? It’s getting to the point where it’s as if she’s trying to control us! I’ve never noticed things like that before, and I have no idea what is going on. I used to go to her for advice with certain things, but now I need advice on how to deal with her!

P.S. She’s not a big drinker, except for once every couple of months or so for special occasions, she can be easily offended sometimes, and she is quite a sensitive person. She’s on antidepressants, as am I and my fiancé due to recent illnesses and stressful situations. I don’t know if this information will help, but I feel it may be relevant. Any advice whatsoever will help! — Tired of MIL-to-Be

You mention that you’ve noticed “little changes” in your future MIL since you and your fiancé moved in together, but I’m not sure what those “little changes” are. You say she’s always wanted grandkids and has always made jokes about it, but now you think she’s serious. So… is that a change on her end or is it a change of your perspective? Have her jokes suddenly taken a different tone? Or… are you more sensitive to them because your relationship has suddenly gotten much more serious and the pressure for you to procreate feels more acute (even though you’re, like, what, 20?!)?

What other change have you noticed in your future MIL? She’s giving you a hard time about wanting a pet snake, but how can you call that a change if this is the first time you’ve mentioned wanting a pet snake? Again, maybe YOU are the one who has changed? Maybe the idea of this woman being in your life for many, many years is freaking you out. Maybe you’re having a hard time with the idea of having two mothers instead of just one. Maybe you’re afraid some of your personal freedom will be infringed upon. And those are valid fears. Here’s how you deal with them (and your future MIL): stop sharing so much with her. Stop going to her for advice. Don’t tell her your secrets, such as that you might be unable to have kids or that you want a pet snake. Just let her figure these things out (or not) in time like other people in your life. And if she refuses to come to your house because you have a snake, oh well. Is that really such a problem? Sounds like a solution, if you ask me. Less face time with the nosy, prying MIL!

As for the comments about wanting to be a grandmother, I think you’re taking them too personally. She’s got three children and none of them are you, so is it possible her comments aren’t directed specifically at you? Is it possible that at her daughter’s 24th birthday party she was making a joke about her “old” daughter not having kids yet? And even if the barbs are directed — or partially directed — your way, shake ’em off. Or pick a time that isn’t at a party and when there aren’t a lot of people around and no one’s drinking, and then tell her that those comments hurt. Maybe you are sad that you might not be able to conceive naturally. If so, tell your MIL that and let her know that, when she makes comments about not ever being a grandmother, it hits you in a vulnerable spot.

Finally, you mention that one of your fiancé’s sibling’s is four years older than you. Is that the one who just turned 24? If so, I would urge you to hold off on marriage for a while. If you’re 20 years old and on anti-depressants because of “stressful situations,” and you moved in with your partner anticipating having a lot of arguments, and you don’t know how to create boundaries with an overbearing future MIL, it’s safe to say you’ve got a lot on your plate and probably aren’t ready for the seriousness of marriage yet. Honestly, just wait. What’s the rush? Get your pet snake, enjoy living with your boyfriend, and just wait a few years. When you’re 24 and if things are still great between you, you’ll have some solid relationship and life experience to build a strong marriage on. But at 20? And with so many red flags? No. Just wait.

***************

You can follow me on Facebook here and Twitter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

71 comments… add one
  • avatar

    kerrycontrary February 27, 2014, 9:25 am

    I think if the MIL is showing a rapid behavior change (which it’s hard to tell from just a letter) you should look at whether the anti-depressants are affecting her personality OR It could be menopause (seriously, all of my friends and I had mothers who were emotionally heightened during menopause). Maybe she’s not on the right medicine. Maybe the stress of recent illness and life changes is getting to her. If you’re really saying “what happened to my normal, sane, MIL!?” I would talk to your fiance about this.

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    • avatar

      AliceInDairyland February 27, 2014, 9:30 am

      Hmm… this menopause thing could explain a whole lot about my young-adult relationship with my mother…

      Can menopause last 4 years??

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      • avatar

        bethany February 27, 2014, 9:33 am

        I’m pretty sure it can! Luckily I was away at college most of the time my mom was going through it. But I’m pretty sure it did make her a bit wacky.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary February 27, 2014, 9:34 am

        Yes, definitely. My mom got really clingy like “You never spend time with the family!” (even though I was still a teenager living at home, and not an overly-social one), her temper also got a lot worse in those years. I think menopause usually lasts a number of years though. My future mother in law said she had the same emotional issues.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. February 27, 2014, 10:14 am

        I have a friend who’s going on her 16th year of menopause, so yes, it can last a while.

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      • avatar

        AliceInDairyland February 27, 2014, 10:31 am

        There’s hope!!

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  • avatar

    bethany February 27, 2014, 9:25 am

    WWS.

    If I were you, I’d get that snake just to keep this woman out of your house/business. But really, Wendy is right. If you’re not comfortable with having that close of a relationship with her, then you need to pull back on what you’re talking about with her. If you want privacy, you need to set that expectation now, because it’ll only get worse.

    It’s unfortunate, but pressure from people about when/if you’re having kids is only going to get worse, so you need to figure out a way to deal with it ASAP. Just last weekend one of my MIL’s told me that if I don’t have a baby soon she’s going to get rid of all the baby stuff at her house. Like not having a bouncy seat at Grandma’s is a reason to have a kid? I laughed it off, and changed the subject.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary February 27, 2014, 9:36 am

      Yeh, I think you just have to ignore it. We’re getting a lot of “you’re next!! *wink wink*” comments and we’re like “oh hahah…No…but this cake is really good isn’t it!”

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl February 27, 2014, 9:39 am

        We oddly get the opposite pressure! Both mom’s are always saying how they aren’t ready for grandkids.
        .
        edit- why would someone down thumb what Kerry said? Or me for that matter? This down thumbing for no reason thing is dumb and jerky.

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      • avatar

        bethany February 27, 2014, 10:12 am

        Who are the people down-thumbing these 2 comments? I don’t get it.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster February 27, 2014, 10:45 am

        I noticed that too. I thumbed you both up to equalize this nonsense.

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 27, 2014, 10:54 am

        Me too.

        And I think Kerry’s response to personal questions is kind of perfect.

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      • avatar

        csp February 27, 2014, 11:25 am

        me too!

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 27, 2014, 11:49 am

        I think you meant me three. Just saying.

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      • avatar

        csp February 27, 2014, 12:06 pm

        be careful or I will give you a down arrow…just to clarify, if any down arrows show up, they are not from me.

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      • avatar

        mainer February 27, 2014, 11:05 am

        I think it’s pretty clear. A few people were upset that kerry was eating cake and they are clearly not allowed to have cake, perhaps because of diabeetus. And then in your instance, people obviously felt you should be having a ton of children to spite both of your mother’s clear attempt to avoid the aging-stigma of being a grandparent. D’uh.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow February 27, 2014, 11:15 am

        Haha. Actually, it’s called “THE diabeetus.”

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson February 27, 2014, 11:16 am

        I thumbed you up but also have to specifically say I like your comment, haha.

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      • avatar

        MsMisery February 27, 2014, 12:39 pm

        I saw a guy at my gym the other day who looked like The Diabeetus guy.

        By the way, does anyone else have to do a math problem to post? I’ve never seen this before? Is it just me??

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      • Miel

        Miel February 27, 2014, 1:42 pm

        It’s not just you. It’s to protect us from the robots.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest February 27, 2014, 1:47 pm

        They are getting harder too! I have a multiplication one this morning.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson February 27, 2014, 11:15 am

        Just accept it, I was downvoted yesterday even on my comments that weren’t “harsh” or even really about the letter. It’s a fact of life that people are going to be annoyed by things you say and apparently hold grudges. It happens.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson February 27, 2014, 11:16 am

        Also I thought the other day you said you didn’t mind the downthumbs 😉

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl February 27, 2014, 11:22 am

        I really don’t mind them when they are relevant! But just to be a dick? That’s not cool IMO. And I’ve never done it (other than the one joking time I did it to AP and told her) just because I don’t like someone, only when I don’t like what they’ve said. It doesn’t like **bother** me, I just think it’s a dumb and cowardly thing to do. If you don’t like me, cool, I can take it. But this is childish.
        Edit- I hope you’re getting some sick satisfaction out of this. This is so beyond stupid.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson February 27, 2014, 11:27 am

        Yeah but don’t read into it so much, literally I was downthumbed on a comment yesterday that in no way could have been taken as controversial, it was a side discussion, and we were laughing about ridiculous baby shower games. You can’t give that stuff any thought. You’re never going to be everyone’s favorite. I could do no right yesterday, it happens. It’s not going to make me change, or think I’m wrong (does anyone actually ever think their opinion is wrong?) so you just keep on rollin on. Thumbs are not a competition.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl February 27, 2014, 11:29 am

        Oh, it’s really not a big deal. I just think it’s super dumb.

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      • avatar

        bethany February 27, 2014, 11:25 am

        I don’t mind them when they’re actually used right- like if you don’t agree with what someone is saying, but in those 2 cases, I don’t actually understand how you could not agree with those. I mean, GG’s comment was just an observance in her personal life- there was no opinion there to disagree with!

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson February 27, 2014, 11:29 am

        I guess I just don’t understand analyzing the thumbs. They happen. Life happens. Hangovers happen. Me procrastinating on this fucking article that I have to have a draft for at noon happens. Fat rolls happen, stupid fights with your significant other about whether you should go on a run or do circuit training happen, frivolous court appearances happen, dry skin and no lotion on your desk happens, and down thumbs happen.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson February 27, 2014, 11:33 am

        Also I want to downthumb both of you for questioning the thumbs, I get annoyed when any time anyone is downthumbed about anything they comment like WHAT how could that happen (don’t worry, I’m not actually going to downthumb you, haha). Commenting about every down thumb you get seems – I don’t know like a waste of time? Not like I should talk. I have contributed zero useful information to this discussion today. But I have procrastinated, so that was productive.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest February 27, 2014, 12:44 pm

        I think any time someone questions The Thumbs, they are gonna get a down thumb from people who think they are being babies about the thumbs.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest February 27, 2014, 2:07 pm

        SEE!!!

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 27, 2014, 11:52 am

        Ooh, I got a down thumb on an observation on my personal life yesterday. But I rarely get down thumbed for more controversial things I say, which surprises me.

        So, I totally don’t get it in these instances.

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      • avatar

        Banana February 27, 2014, 11:58 am

        It’s the Grassy Knoll Downthumber, people. He or she is real.

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      • othy

        othy February 27, 2014, 12:20 pm

        I knew it was a conspiracy!

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      • avatar

        Simonthegrey February 27, 2014, 2:26 pm

        I thought this was why we “lost” the thumbs in the first place….

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      • Cassie

        Cassie B. February 27, 2014, 5:07 pm

        These thumbs are just too powerful!

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ February 27, 2014, 9:29 am

    Love the advice, Wendy. Especially the part about the pet snake sounding like the solution to the MIL problem. Win-win. And, please, LW, really take the advice to wait to get married to heart. It sounds like you live in a community where people get married and have children young. But this is the time in your life where you have the most opportunity to be carefree, young and do what you want to do with your life. Enjoy being engaged and living with your boyfriend, but don’t be in a rush to complete the checklist of marriage, house, kids, bitchy MIL issues, etc. You have plenty of time for that.

    When you’re young, there is nothing wrong with waiting a long time to get married, even after you move in together. It doesn’t mean anything negative about your relationship. If just means that you are enjoying being together and young.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle February 27, 2014, 9:32 am

    WWS. Other than the fact that her grandkids comments may sting due to your being unable to conceive (which is understandable), I don’t see the reason for being—generally—so upset? Maybe she’s annoying, a little batty, but internally roll your eyes & shake her comments off like Wendy says. Every example you listed—“ohh, why does Marjorie get to be a grandmother??” “A SNAKE, oh HEAVENS, you won’t see me visiting you if you get a pet snake, oh no sirree!!”—this is how I picture her talking, sorry—can be responded to with a brief, fake laugh? Even if you now think she’s serious…pretend she’s joking. That’s all the attention these comments require on your part. Good luck!

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster February 27, 2014, 10:57 am

      I can think of one reason she’s taking the comments so seriously: she’s 20. And if she’s not 20 and she’s referring to her other future SIL, then she has the mentality of a 20 year old.

      To all you lovely 20 year-olds out there, I don’t think being 20 = immaturity. But at 20 you’re still making serious maturity leaps every 6-12 months (my anecdotal estimate). I was a pretty mature 20-year-old, but if I had married my boyfriend then it would’ve been catastrophic. And I’d have a Monster In Law for an MIL. I know because one of my best friends married his older brother. IMO, she has the worst MIL of all time.

      I’m babbling, but LW, please don’t get married yet. Get a snake and ignore your MIL’s comments. Or tell her they make you uncomfortable in a nice way by citing your possible challenges with fertility. Boom. Problem solved.

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      • avatar

        csp February 27, 2014, 11:33 am

        I agree with what you are saying. But harping on the age thing could just alienate the LW. She might be young but to discount her maneuvering in the adult world is unfair. She seems to know that she isn’t ready for kids and is focusing on her life, and she is just trying to figure out how to negotiate with this woman.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster February 27, 2014, 1:26 pm

        I actually considered that it might alienate her a bit. But if she needs to be treated with such kid gloves to understand the overall point (that marriage is a HUGE decision, much more when done so young), then she’s definitely not ready to be married. Quite honestly she should be questioning her maneuvering in the adult world if she’s planning on getting married so young and with so many red flags surrounding the marriage already.

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  • GatorGirl

    GatorGirl February 27, 2014, 9:34 am

    LW, read Wendy’s last paragraph 1000 times. Seriously.

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  • LlamaPajamas

    LlamaPajamas February 27, 2014, 9:42 am

    I would save money for multiple pet snakes and, in the meantime, enjoy being engaged and settling in with your fiancé. The only thing I’d rush into here is getting that first snake.

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  • avatar

    Morgan February 27, 2014, 9:44 am

    I’m with Wendy that I think what hasn’t changed may not be your future mother in law so much as your perception of her behavior. Before you were engaged and living together, any perceived interference from her was in his life. Now that you live together and you’re planning to get married, it’s easy to perceive it as interference in your life. And its even easier to imagine all the ways in which she will continue interfering in your life for a long, long time. Let me tell you from experience: you will drive yourself crazy if you let every little thing she does bother you. This was one issue my bf and I really have had to communicate about, because he just has the type of relationship with his parents where they provide their unsolicited input on his choices far more than exists in my family. And it was (is?) kind of weird to me (we’re talking pretty minor choices here. Like our choice to make crab dip for a tailgate was incredibly concerning to them.), but I just had to accept that they probably aren’t changing. At the same time though, I’ve shared my boundaries about what I’m comfortable with him sharing with them about me and our relationship. Talk to your fiance. Explain to him that you’re struggling with some of the things his mother has said. See if that’s just how she is, see if somethings changed, see if he has any advice for limiting her criticism and pressure. If you two do get married (I’m gonna leave that one to Wendy), you will need to work out your relationship with each other’s families at some point. Now sounds like a great time to start.

    Semi related story: 3 or 4 years ago (so I was about 20), my youngest cousin hit the age where he wasn’t really getting toys anymore at Christmas. The occasional fun electronic gadget, but certainly none of the cool, little kid stuff that it had been so fun to watch him open and play with up until that point. My grandmother remarked something along the lines of missing having little kids at family gatherings, and how it was my turn for the next one (I’m the oldest of the grandkids). I’m not sure who was more horrified, me or my mother.

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    • shanshantastic

      shanshantastic February 28, 2014, 9:00 am

      Morgan, I’d give you 1000 thumbs up if I could.

      LW, listen to this along with Wendy’s awesome advice.

      From experience, this is exactly how things went when my husband and I moved in together, then got engaged, then married and in rapid succession had our first child. It’s been a crazy shifting 3 years, and with each new transition I became even more aware of my MIL’s thought patterns and behavior. And to be sure, some of the change was on her end, but in a lot of cases (our big thing is scheduling family celebrations) I am hypersensitive to what she says and she is hypersensitive to what I say.

      What works for me is taking a HUGE step back and thinking about what I’ve heard/read before I respond, and even talking it over with my husband as well. We also had a Big Talk a couple of weeks ago about how things were coming across and what we could both do, and I highly recommend that for you if A) your MIL is the type who would be open to it, and more importantly B) you can hear what she says with an open mind and share your own feelings without accusing or being deliberately mean. (Again, I’m projecting here – I get NASTY when I’m upset.)

      Good luck either way, and for the moment I would advise NOT doing any wedding planning.

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  • avatar

    jbk80 February 27, 2014, 9:52 am

    For the most part, my parents and in-laws have stayed away from the grandchildren conversation. However, right after I got engaged, it came up a few times. It’s possible that if she is talking more about grandkids right now, it’s a side-effect of being excited that her son is getting married. I assume the two are related in her mind.
    Don’t get sucked into long conversations about the topic, since that will make you feel more pressured and give her an opening into part of your life that is better kept between you and your fiance. However, I agree with Wendy that if talking about fertility/children makes you sad, you should say so.

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    • shanshantastic

      shanshantastic February 28, 2014, 9:02 am

      That’s a good point, and that happened in my world too – my MIL was “oh, we’re not ready to be grandparents, etc.” and then two of her three kids got married in the space of 2 months and then the grandparent switch was flipped ON. (Good thing, we conceived 3 months after our wedding.) 🙂

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  • avatar

    csp February 27, 2014, 10:23 am

    So, LW, I think you are coming in contact with what every wife/soon to be wife deals with. When you were dating and not living together, you had cursory contact with the MIL. Now that you are living together, you are seeing that she has more influence in your life. Every woman goes through this. You need to learn balance. My MIL was miserable planning our wedding and it took years to get to a place of balance, choosing battles, and learning how to communicate with people. Remember, it took you decades to build the relationship with your own parents and this one will take time too.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. February 27, 2014, 10:26 am

    There is such a big premium on having kids that MIL may indeed be that obsessed. Don’t let her pressure you. It’s her thing not yours. As for the snake thing, my favorite response when someone says, “I won’t ________ if you _________” is ” I’ll miss you.”

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas February 27, 2014, 11:35 am

      Ohhhh, I love this! My parents are super religious and I’ve been putting off telling them that I’m moving in with my fiancé in a few months because I know they’re going to be hugely upset (this isn’t me jumping to conclusions, there’s a ton of past behavior that supports this). I’ve been trying to find a way to be sympathetic and respectful to their beliefs while standing firm that I have different values, and “I’m sorry, I’ll miss you” seems like the perfect response to their likely “we won’t visit you as long as you’re living in sin” reaction.

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  • othy

    othy February 27, 2014, 10:29 am

    I don’t think this is ‘seriously out of order’ like the LW suggests. Her future MIL reminds me a lot of my MIL, who couldn’t wait to be a grandma. I was married at 21, and the grandkid questions started immediately. Othello and I have been ignoring them for 8 years now. It got easier when my niece was born, since she now has a grandkid to shower with love/affection. Oddly enough, I get more questions about the subject from my BIL (who loves being a father) than my MIL now. We just roll our eyes and change the subject.

    Also, on a side note, does anyone still have their mom come to their house to take care of them when they’re sick? Especially when a significant other is living with them? I just thought this was really strange: “I’m never going to come round even if you’re ill!”, like the expectation that the MIL was going to nurse her son back to health. I don’t know, maybe I’m just too independent and hate people fussing over me when I’m sick.

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    • lemongrass

      lemongrass February 27, 2014, 11:24 am

      Your BIL is my husband. Whoops! I keep reminding him that having kids is a really personal decision and he shouldn’t ask people about it. He just loves being a dad so much that he wants everyone else to experience that same joy. It’s cute for me but probably really annoying for other people.

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    • shanshantastic

      shanshantastic February 28, 2014, 9:06 am

      Ugh, I WISH my mom would come take care of me. Actually, when I was down with a migraine last week I told my husband that. I think he felt bad. Whoops…

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. February 27, 2014, 10:57 am

    Othy my mom does. But I live alone.

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  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth February 27, 2014, 11:01 am

    I think it is insensitive of this MIL to be bringing up grandchildren all the time if the LW possibly can’t conceive naturally. I have a friend who could not conceive, and it was really painful for her to be reminded by family who wanted grandchildren.

    However, if you are not ready to have children or adopt, then you and your fiance need to talk to her together. If the comments from her bother you enough to cause a potential rift in your relationship with your fiance, you need to discuss the issue with your fiance and then with her.

    She may also just be jealous. It’s a part of the “winning” in society that Wendy has discussed in other columns and it transcends even to our parents. Other people are getting grandchildren, and she is not. Don’t have kids just to appease someone else.

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  • avatar

    peachy February 27, 2014, 11:12 am

    I have some sympathy for the mother in law. Not that she should be pestering anyone to procreate or mixing in on things that are none of her business. But I’m also getting a sense of someone who may be at a loss and no longer sure of her role now that her youngest is settling down. No longer needed, maybe. Clearly boundaries are required, but you must lead the way by not over-sharing information that she has no say in, like your reproductive status.
    Instead, if you invite her to give her opinion and participate with you in other ways (at her house), like teaching you how to make that special cake, or have her teach you how to sew curtains, anything she is good at that you don’t mind getting her opinion on or learning about, maybe something that takes you both out into the community, it could boost her confidence and add some positives to the relationship between you to cushion those times when you have to say, “Now, Mom, you know we’re not going to babytown anytime soon” before changing the subject. Congratulations, by the way : )

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  • FireStar

    FireStar February 27, 2014, 11:19 am

    My mom tells everyone NOW how long she had to wait to become a grandmother but didn’t say a peep to me during her wait. My friend’s mom would kidnap her friend’s grand kids and became “nana Susan” until her son had kids. And now she has a bunch of little ones in her life. If your MIL wants kids in her life there are plenty ways to get them. You have kids when you are ready and don’t engage in any conversation till then. You can always respond to any baby whining or snake whining or any whining really with “yeah/aw that’s sad” and change topic. ” if you get a snake I won’t come over” ” yeah that’s sad…did you make the pie?” ” How come Marjorie has grand kids and I have none?” “Aw that’s sad… Can you please pass the punch?”

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary February 27, 2014, 12:43 pm

      “If your MIL wants kids in her life there are plenty ways to get them. ” This is a really great point. I don’t think enough older adults realize that they can certainly spend tiem with children volunteering if they like spending time with children. It’s not the same as grandchildren, but there are plenty of kids who could benefit from love and attention. There are plenty of volunteer programs for this. My future mother in law volunteers at her church every week helping kids with homework.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 27, 2014, 6:01 pm

        I totally agree with this. When me and my sister left the nest, my mom started becoming the cool lady on the block who would do crafty projects with all the small children. She’s really good at putting herself out there, but she would invite the kids (and friends and moms and whoever) over to do like small painting or clay projects. The kids LOVED her and when I would come home, there would always be a kid or two that would come by and ask to play with her. Totally adorable and definitely filled part of the space we left behind.

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  • avatar

    AliceInDairyland February 27, 2014, 11:23 am

    Here you go:

    “Discussion on the status of my uterus should be tabled or deferred to someone else at this current point in time. Thank you for your cooperation.”

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      _s_ February 27, 2014, 11:38 am

      This times a million. Agree that first step is to sit down with fiance and MIL and together explain politely that due to your possible infertility, her nagging about kids is really hurtful, and hopefully she’ll get the message and tone it back. But if she doesn’t, or if other nosy family members or ever strangers keep bugging you about kids, definitely turn it around and make them uncomfortable. This can be anything from a pointed “I don’t generally discuss my sex life with anyone but (fiance), thanks” delivered with solid eye contact and no smile, to something like Alice said, to a laugh and “well we’re having tons and tons of sex in hopes of me getting pregnant, since you are so interested I’d be happy to give you all the details – I sure do love that reverse cowgirl, don’t you???” (Answer and tone depend on the person/situation.)

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    Lucy February 27, 2014, 11:31 am

    This may come off as condescending, but I don’t mean it that way. When you’re young, every offhand remark seems so much BIGGER and more serious. In ten years, not only will you be laughing at her comments, you’ll be laughing at yourself for taking them even a little seriously. She sounds a little nutty, but harmless. Just chill out and don’t takes it personally. And don’t get married yet.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra February 27, 2014, 12:37 pm

    I agree waiting is the best choice in this situation. Rushing into a marriage could be a recipe for disaster.

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    Iris February 27, 2014, 12:51 pm

    One thing I noticed is that the LW said is “My fiancé is her youngest son out of her three children”…so maybe she’s not 20 necessarily, being that he could have a brother and the 24 yo sister could be the youngest…I’m just working on the math in my head, but the #’s in general did confuse me (as did some of the letter). (And like TaraMonster, thinking she might be acting like a 20 yo)
    I agreed with a lot of WWS but I also know that with my ex, both sisters in law to his brothers said their relationship changed with the MIL once they were married, and she wasn’t as sweet and more aggressive about saying things and demanding things and forcing her time and views on them. And since I was just the GF she was always super sweet to me, and around me (mostly….I did see the “bad” treatment on occasion when she didn’t think I could hear or see it, interestingly enough). So maybe this MIL is thinking that since the ring is on, she can be more blatant and demanding on what she wants from her kids relationships (ie grandkids).
    If the LW hasn’t made the future MIL clear that she will have problems conceiving naturally then she definitely needs to make that clear (with her fiance with her in solidarity). Other than that, I think the pet snake is genius. One of the bonuses to owning pet mice was keeping some people away 🙂

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster February 27, 2014, 1:39 pm

      This made me go back and look at the letter again because I wasn’t sure she’s 20, either. This is what I’ve come up with!

      1. MIL has 3 children.
      2. One daughter is 24 years old.
      3. LW’s fiancé being MIL’s “youngest son” implies he has a brother. Therefore MIL has 2 boys and 1 girl.
      4. LW is 4 years younger than her SIL.

      Therefore if LW only has 1 SIL, who LW is 4 years younger than, LW is 20. Maybe the 24th bday party was last year and SIL is now 25, which would make LW 21. 🙂

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark February 27, 2014, 12:53 pm

    Just how daft is this silly old woman? If you have to SAVE up to buy a snake like you could even afford children anytime soon anyway…

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      Kate February 27, 2014, 1:07 pm

      Hey, saving up for a snake seems like the mature thing to do, as opposed to going for instant gratification and charging the snake on a high-interest credit card.

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        lets_be_honest February 27, 2014, 1:14 pm

        I’m not saying I literally did that with a dog once, but its a terrible decision. haha

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    lets_be_honest February 27, 2014, 12:54 pm

    I suppose I’m lucky that comments about having more kids or grandkids does not bother me in the slightest. I get them a LOT, and often from my partner’s mom. I get it – kids are cute, babies are cute, “old” people would enjoy having little ones around. Shit, I think little kids are cute too, I just don’t want to have to be the one raising them anymore haha.
    .
    Try to adjust to having a MIL. Twist her comments into well-meaning comments if they are well-meaning. It seems to be the only way…that is, if you want to maintain a nice relationship with her presuming she’s not a terrible person.

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    PumpkinNoodle February 27, 2014, 1:20 pm

    What I have noticed from older women (meaning mothers/MILS with grown children) is that once their friends start having grandchildren and that all they talk about, the race starts for who is going to be the next grandma. My future MIL is questioned all the time by her friends…”Are you a grandma yet” “when is Pumpkin and Noodle going to start trying” “don’t you wish you were a grandma?” Etc etc etc. And I totally feel for her bc she is up there in age and Noodle and myself are her only chance at grandkids, and she really wants grandkids but she knows that there are fertility issues. So I can feel for the MIL. So LW, I would listen to what Wendy’s advice is, and maybe let your FMIL know that it is a touchy subject for you. I don’t think she is trying to hurt your feelings, maybe she doesn’t realize just how much of a sore spot it is for you.

    Oh and I just wanted to comment on the downthumbs convo from earlier, I think most of the downers are trolls. And the unnecessary down thumbs people used to get/give was the reason Wendy had got rid of them awhile ago. Unfortunately she had to bring them back bc of the better program or whatever.

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  • Cassie

    Cassie B. February 27, 2014, 5:08 pm

    One pet snake? This is enough of a reason to get FIVE pet snakes.

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