Our expert says:
This sort of family dynamic quite easily arises - and is maybe especially likely as this is the house which used to belon to the parents, so that they feel natural and almost automatic in behaving there as though it were still their own place. Maybe following her scary diagnosis of cancer and unpleasant surgery, the mother feels an even more urgent need to feel in control of more aspects of life as she may feel out of control of essential aspects of her own.
Discus this with your fiancee, and then have a tactful discussion betwen the pair of you and his parents, emphasizing that it is essential for the well-eing of your child indeed of all children, that the rules the parents set up and administer are the ones that prevail in their lives - changing according to which adult has which opinion is no good for kids.
Emphasize, as a couple, that you enjoy time spent with the parents, but essentially must also have time for yourselves, to build your own relationship. Maybe raise a simple question about how things were for them during their engagement, and how their parents and inlaws took part in their lives then.
Emphasize, too, that though he was in an awful relationship before this one, you are a very different person, and just as devoted to ensuring that this doesn't happen again, as they are.
And as mom may be feeling especially mortal and useless now, try to find things she CAN more usefully do for you, to distract her from feeling aggrieved at being asked not to do some of the things that may be bothersome to you, even if satisfying to her.
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