Updates: “Tired of My Controlling MIL” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Tired of My Controlling MIL” who purchased a house with her fiancé from her soon-to-be in-laws who had a list of demands for ways they wanted the house to be maintained and decorated (including a guestroom saved just for them). Keep reading to see where things stand among them now.

I took your advice and confronted my mother-in-law regarding this extremely hurtful situation, and since then we have not spoken, which is for the best in my eyes. Instead of being an adult, she acted as a child, deleted me from FB, only speaks to my fiancé and really has nothing to do with me. It has caused a lot of friction between my SO and me, but I continue to stand my ground and he knows exactly how I feel. We will be selling the house eventually when the time is right.

Wow. I would love to know what was said… and what your fiancé feels about all this. I hope, for all of your sakes, that your relationship with your MIL-to-be improves in time. She’s going to be in your life for a long time. Wouldn’t it be better to be civil with each other, if not friendly?


If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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


  1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    Yowzers – I too am interested to know what words were spoken with your MIL. Also, how’s your fiancé? I imagine he’s in a really, really tough spot… That can’t be pleasant for him. Or anyone.

  2. Sometimes when you stand up for yourself and set boundaries, it can result in people cutting you out of their life. Like Wendy, I too would like to know what was said. It is truly sad that the LW and Mother in Law cannot have a civil relationship, especially since there is a child involved (mentioned in the original letter). I would also like to know how the LW’s fiance has handled all of this. Plus, the the fiance’s parents still technically own the house, how can the LW and her fiance sell it? I don’t know much about how owner financing works.
    I hate when updates result in more questions. 🙂

  3. Did anyone notice in the original letter, the LW said “When we were engaged, my now-husband’s parents asked us if we would be interested in buying their house.” But in the update, she refers to him as her fiance. How can he be her husband in the original letter, but her fiance in the update???

    1. I was wondering this too. If they’re still not married, I would turn and run. No one in this situation seems happy, and it seems best for all involved to cut their losses and call it quits.

    2. I was just going to say this too! I’m confused 🙁

  4. I like how Wendy’s original advice had a lot of issues directed at her relationship with her husband/fiance/guy. And she completely glossed over his part in all of this, and just went straight for the confrontation with the MIL. Of course things will tank if you don’t have at least some of his buy-in, when it’s his issue creating boundaries that got you into this mess.

  5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    Man you use a lot of terms for this guy…fiancé, husband, SO, partner…hard to keep that straight.
    Anyways. Living like this is going to eat all of you alive. You need to figure out a solution to have a civil relationship with this woman, for your sake, your guy’s sake, and your kid’s sake.

  6. zanderbomb says:

    If you and your SO are married now, he should be able to add your name to the deed. If your in-laws are acting as the “bank”, then yes they can control who goes on the mortgage. But as the buyers, the real estate attorney who does the closing works for YOU (or your SO). If you and your SO want your name on the deed, then the attorney should do that and your in-laws can’t do anything about it.

  7. There’s just not enough info in the update to really come to any conclusions. But sometimes, when you set boundaries with people and they retaliate like little children, it’s for the best that the estrangement continues. Civility isn’t worth letting yourself be walked all over.

  8. Avatar photo fast eddie says:

    In laws from hell, or the potential thereof, is bright flashing neon warning of disaster on the hoof. In this case the guy has been brow beaten for decades and can’t or wont stand up for himself let alone the LW, therefore she’s the designated target for mama’s wrath. This well never change but it might be managed by selling that house and buying another one as far away from mama as you can get.

  9. I’m all for trying to have a good relationship with family… but sometimes you can’t, and civility is overrated when dealing with controlling overbearing people and weak SOs.

    Get your relationship with your fiance/husband/baby daddy figured out as that should be your priority right now, deal with the MIL later as needed.

  10. Avatar photo plum blossoms says:

    I’m not defending the MIL, but I have to wonder how the LW’s behavior has escalated the breakdown of their relationship. Perhaps it’s just my visceral bristling reaction to her choice of the word “confronted” because that word to me evokes a situation where words are flung and no one’s listening and everyone leaves angry.

    Seems like the best way to handle a person like the MIL is to say yes to her face and do what you want anyway. Your choice whether you mentally flip her the bird as well. And seriously, never voluntarily put yourself in a position where someone like that has legal or financial power over you.

  11. bittergaymark says:

    The LW sounds like a vapid twit. Honestly? She was LOOKING for drama and found some. Sorry, but this whole situation is so much self created bullshit.

    Some women can’t help but deliberately be cunty to one another.

    Clearly, the boyfriend, lover, husband, steady fuck — whatever the hell she calls him has a type. I suspect he is DATING his mother. God knows I’ve seen this enough… Yawn.

  12. Avatar photo meadowphoenix says:

    Somehow I get the feeling, “I took your advice” isn’t quite accurate here.

  13. Yeah I don’t see this fiance/husband being either of those things in the long term. It’s great to stand your ground, but there is away to do it with out offending somebody so much that they defriend you on FB.

  14. The situation will really get interesting if/when the LW makes the MiL a grandmother (and her husband a grandfather). I have seen multiple MiL’s from hell crumble when the new mother stands her ground as gatekeeper.

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