Posted by: Donna | 2012/11/05

Monster- in-Law

I''m about to get married (Feb 2013) but my mother-in-law to be is is a big concern.She is a alcoholic but that is probably the least of my problems.She is a control freak, LOVE to mingle in everyones affairs and to tell them how they should live their life.(as exmple- she gave us two dogs- regardless of the fact that we wanted them, said she is going to put the SPCA on us to see if we take proper care of them.We hasd to get a house with a big yard and fence because of this.After two months she took them back and said they are living in horrendous contions and she cant see them suffer them that way- the one dog had to go for an opperation and lost some weight because of it) .They had a bigger yard at our home then at her, I took them for a walk regularly.Any way, I refuse to visit her because she is the most negative draining person I have ever met (she lives a block away from us!) and this is casing friction between me and my fiance'' although I never stand in his way if he wants to visit her.We invited her to the wedding but I''m nervous that she will ruin our wedding day - she is very loud and outspoken and likes to cause a scene( she has quite the reputation).What can I do?Please help

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Our expert says:
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Interesting, isn't it, that a control freak should allow herself to become dependent on a substance, alcohol, that will always greatly diminish her ability to be in control of herself, let alone anything else.
But such a person actually has little power beyond what you choose to give her, and probably relies on your politeness and unwillingness to protest or oppose her, to exert her power. You did not need to accept the gift of the dogs. It was not wise to choose to live so close to her, was it ?
This is a problem that has to be resolved with your fiancee, and settled before any wedding. Does he not recognize that she is a problem and causes problems ? What does he suggest as a way of dealing with thios, other than just surrendering to her and acepting everything she wishes ? Maybe some sessions of pre-marital couples counselling are urgently needed ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2012/11/05

You and your fiance have to put down firm boundaries about what kind of behavior is acceptable and what should happen when she oversteps the boundaries. Giving in when her behavior is unacceptable is only going to teach her that your boundaries really don''t matter and that she can act as she likes.

Just like with a child or a pet, you need to tackle unacceptable behavior WHEN IT HAPPENS. It doesn''t help to do nothing and then complain about it later. Whenever her behavior is unacceptable, she needs to be told that her behavior is unacceptable - preferably by her son since it will carry more weight coming from him. (If you''re the one telling her that her behavior is unacceptable, she''ll start acting the victim)

My mother was the monster-in-law in my rather short-lived marriage. I set firm boundaries for acceptable behavior and when she over-stepped the boundaries, I actually ignored her completely for months before she came crawling back with apologies and promises to not interfere again - and she actually kept that promise!

Good Luck,

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Posted by: Donna | 2012/11/05

Thank your for your reply.I know it wasn''t wise to live so close to her but we both love the area that we live in and it''s very close to our jobs.Even if we live in the next town- she will have something to say about us not visiting.He knows she is a pain and he is nothing like her but he feels sorry for her and I suppose blood is thicker then water.But she gets to much for him too but I think in some way we are both scared of her since she is so unpridictable and sometimes give in since it causes less of an issue and resitance.

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