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! She’s always wanted grandchildren and has made jokes about how old she’ll be when she finally gets them, 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 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 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 those fears (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 is 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.
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