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Overbearing MIL before marriage? What should I do?

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by swan02, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. swan02

    swan02 Silver IL'ite

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    Hello Everyone,

    I am a single woman, who stumbled upon this thread because have been in a difficult situation, and would appreciate some advice. I read some forums on this site, and found the advice of women here quite mature and constructive.

    About 1 year ago, I started speaking to a guy off of shaadi.com. Our profiles were made by our families, and it was our parents who exchanged our emails and phone numbers. We seem to get along great on phone. Professionally, culturally, and socially we were quite similar.

    After 3 months he came to visit me and my family with his mom. They liked us instantly, and we felt the same way. Him and I hung out independently while his mom spent time with my parents during the 2 day visit. I could tell from his interaction that he liked me, and I was very happy as well. Before he left, his mom confirmed and gave shagan. He then called me and asked for my hand in marriage.

    We then visited his family about 2 months later, and did a small engagement ceremony. He gave me a ring at the time. During this entire time he was extremely doting, and his mother was the sweetest lady I met. He kept asking me to set the wedding date before we did the ceremony which made me nervous because I had only met him once and had some doubts. But after I met him again, I was very happy and did not have doubts. I happily agreed to a wedding date, and looked forward to the day we would get married.

    Soon after, there was a change in his mother's attitude. She was still loving but became quite obsessive. She would call our house about 3-4 times every day. My mom would politely try to end the conversation, "Okay, I should go fix dinner now" or "well, it was a pleasure talking, I should go now," but she would keep talking. If my mom made an excuse like cooking, she would called in an hour saying "So how was dinner?" If she was firm, "Okay, I must go now, Ill call you over the weekend," she would become offended and make it clear "OKAY THEN,BYE." The situation would have been okay, except the MIL became more controlling. She mentioned to my mom that in her house girls must cover up (I cover up as it is, but I wore a dress upto my knees once when we visited...we live in the US and I didn't think it was a big deal). Then she mentioned that her elder daughter in law touches her feet 5 times a day, and hinted I should do the same. Next she called me and mentioned that I should probably not get a job once I move - I am a physician and this came as a shock to me as I have worked hard my entire life and her son would support me working.

    I let the above blow off thinking it was a generation and cultural gap. However, when all of this thinking was coupled to 5 phone calls a day to my family, things became quite unbearable. Once my mom put her foot down, and didn't call her back till the next day which made her very offended. She didn't call at all for 3 weeks for which we were greatful.

    However, then a big surprise happened. His family is Sikh and we are Hindu. Upto this point, past the engagement and setting of the wedding, this was never an issue (we decided to have both a Hindu and Sikh wedding, and both sides agreed that it would be a beautiful way to celebrate a union....alongside there were always talks that both religions preach the same ideas and only the traditions are different, and it will be beautiful to celebrate traditions of both sides). Soon after I mentioned to my fiance that his mom had asked me not to work and what his feelings were about the matter, he started bring up religion "Do you think our children will be confused because I am Sikh and you are Hindu?" "Being Sikh is a matter of pride, and I hope that is okay with you." I mentioned to him that I personally don't see a difference between the two religions and will be happy to be a Sikh, infact my dad is half-Sikh so I would never think somebody who is half-Sikh is confused to which he said "Yes I know...but then it would only be in name." Finally he stopped, but soon after his mother started hinting that "oh you should certainly have the Hindu wedding but have it the following week." Which left us confused because all the relatives would have flown out by then. One way or the other, the Hindu wedding would always come up.

    All of the above made me very confused and uncomfortable. Perhaps none would have been very big issues, but the fact that they were brought up AFTER the wedding date was set is what scares me. I feel the people are two faced.

    The MIL now have picked our display picture for the wedding, the color theme, and even my wedding dress.

    I am raised with traditional values, in the US. I never saw any of my cousins MIL's even in India behave like this. It scares me that my fiance talks this way about religion when he is a grown educated man - he is a physician.
     
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  2. psych

    psych Gold IL'ite

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    This certainly seems like trouble brewing. If fiance is a strong man enough to fend off his parents then it would be ok. but in this case, he seems to be agreeing with his family. That seems like a red alert to me. In-Laws dont change much. ifthey are good they are good. if they are controlling, they will remain controlling.

    what is your fiance's take about all of these? If he says everybody stick to the original plan (both ceremonies same day) thne fiance may be an ok guy. but he needs to be a strng guy in order to stop his parents from interfering in your life

    Ask his opinions in a casual way. That will probably tell you more about his real opinions. And if doesnt match with what you expected, I wuld suggest you dont marry into this family. you are well qualified to find other suitable candidates with good open minded in-laws
     
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  3. ProudIndian

    ProudIndian Gold IL'ite

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    There are many red alerts here. I would strongly suggest you to postpone wedding date and take more time to understand these people. Give excuse like your exams or job or something. I have seen many people who change colors like chameleon. Be careful this is matter of your whole life.
     
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  4. shruthisp

    shruthisp Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Swan,

    Thank God that you have got enough clues to judge the guy and his mom..
    These people are greedy,controlling(interfering in ur day to day activities and all wedding arrangements,way of wedding sikh) and manipulative(hindu wedding date getting postponed after a week after engagement and close to wedding date, sikh to be relegion u must be taking) sort.
    Anytime they will turn to be abusers..
    Y to marry this guy, get abused and when u cant take anymore after a period fight for urlife....
    Please go with ur instincts... I would suggest u to call off the wedding..
     
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  5. SriVidya75

    SriVidya75 Platinum IL'ite

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    PLEASE HOLD OFF THE WEDDING. TILL YOU N YOUR PARENTS and the GUY actually figureout some stuff.

    no harm in delaying the wedding until somethings are cleared out.

    What religion will your kids follow?
    when do youw ant to haev kids?
    whehter they support you continuing workor not?
    are you going to live in joint family or separately?
    what are his views on family and spouse?

    and any other questions you have....do not rush into the wedding and have a divorcee tag...rather cutoff the engagement and have that heartburn temporarily. once you get married...you will be more emotionally looped into all this..because of the ceremonies, shopping n rituals etc.
     
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  6. JGVR

    JGVR Gold IL'ite

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    i guess ur fiance is a momma's boy.continuing your job after marriage,deciding to switch religion,deciding your wedding accessories should be your decision and not your MIL's or fiance.only the wedding date is finalized right-just talk to your fiance about all your fears-i he hears and helps you in finding solution then fine-if not just call off the marriage-i think that is the best thing you can do for your life.
     
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  7. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    I agree with the others. Delay the wedding BUT with some excuse of exam or job. DONT let them get a hint that you are delaying becos of you are having second thoughts because of their behaviour. If they will realize that is the reason they may become sweet again like they were earlier before the date was finalized. THen you will be even more confused about what is real and what is not. What to do and what not. So be very smart about the way you go about this. Act the same but find a way to gain time so you fully understand what type of people or family you are going to marry into.

    Good luck. I think there is plenty in what they are saying and doing to be worried about. It is good you are taking their behavior seriously and not brushing it off that after marriage all will be fine like many girls do. A broken engagement is not a big deal.
     
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  8. swan02

    swan02 Silver IL'ite

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    Thank You everyone for your kind advice. A lot has happened in the short span of time since I posted this.

    We recently returned from doing all the India shopping and actually announced the wedding last week. My MIL sent me a nice box that I received just a few days ago with a suit, an invitation card, and a letter stating that they changed the venue of the wedding lunch, and they will pay for the event. During our 3 week trip and right after last week, we stopped taking the MIL's phone calls entirely, mostly because my family and I decided that we should see what my fiance's own reaction and take is. I did not know how much of the religious bearings, his attitude towards me moving (he had mentioned to me that he feels economically stressed with me moving in with him, so perhaps I should stay with my parents), was his own and how much was his mother's. For the one day when my mom did not take my future MIL's calls, there were a total of 27 phone calls to our house, 18 on our house phone, 5 on my cell, and 4 on my mother's cell. The next day, perhaps I should have spoken to her, but I felt scared.

    Anyhow, my fiance called me that night and asked if I am uncomfortable talking to his family. I politely mentioned to him that its not that I feel uncomfortable, but sometimes I am unable to take a phone call right away, and if the other person gets aggravated if the call is not returned right away, then it makes the situation very difficult. He seem to understand and said "I know...I just wanted to make sure that you were okay."

    The following night he called me and said "You know, while you were gone to India, I didn't miss you." Then he said "Our wedding is in 3 weeks, and I feel like I should feel more than this but I don't. Do you think we connct on a deeper level?"

    Quite frankly, I was very hurt, but somehow deep down I expected this. I spoke to my parents about this and they mentioned to me that I should call him back and ask him how he feels and what's on his mind. I did that with my parents on my side. They could hear our conversation. I asked him how he felt, and basically he was just quiet....a long pause of 5 minutes. THen he said "I don't know." And another pause of 5 minutes. I asked him "Please tell me what's in your heart. You tell me what you have on your mind." And again he was quiet after he said "I'm thinking." . I finally said that okay we can talk after he has had time to think.

    This was the second time my fiance had behaved like this. My parents were furious. I kept waking up that night, and I think my parents didn't go to bed at all. Next morning, his mom called and asked "why wasn't my packet acknowledged?" (we had only received the package the previous evening). We mentioned that there had not been enough time, and then she said "Okay, well, we are going out of town, and will come and talk to you next week in person." It seem like they were breaking off matters, especially because the wedding was in 2 weeks.

    My father then called his father at work and left a message stating that things needed to be discussed urgently.

    My parents told me that I should not break off the engagement myself and they will do so if necessary (something they had mentioned all along). Finally, my fiance called my dad and said that nothing had happened between us, and his mom had just called him stating that things had become tense. He then spoke to me and said "Oh, I was only a little nervous. I told you I was going to call, why did you go to your dad." I mentioned to him that his mom had called us threateningly that morning. I then mentioned that things had become very difficult for us because of the excesssive phone calls from his mom. He basically said "Well, nobody is denying that." And then his tone changed and said "Why didn't you say this until now." I mentioned to him I had, especially when his mom had implied that I shoudn't work, and he said "Oh, so you think I blow you off." I told him that his attitude changes according to every one of her interactions with his mother. Again he said "Oh, so you are mentioning this now." I told him that sometimes it is difficult for people to talk all the time, and my aunt had recently passed away and my mom was busy with her family. He basically said "Well this changes everything. I don't think we should go through with the marriage. You are a good person, but nobody is happy with this marriage." I mentioned to him "I wish you nothing but the best" and hung up. He called my father right away and said "we've called it off, I'm sorry."

    That was the end of it. The very next morning, his mom sent an email "Things are off, please don't send the jewellery back my mail, we will pick it up in person."




    Don't know what to say, but wish this person had not come into my life.


    I appreciate all of your advice. It made me feel better that perhaps this matter should not have gone through. Nevertheless, I feel dejected that I wasted all my sacred emotions of marriage, engagement, and dreaming of a future family with this person.
     
  9. swan02

    swan02 Silver IL'ite

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    To Sandhya above:

    Its difficult to track back, but exactly what you said did happen. The first time he brought up religion in a big way "Well, there is a big difference between Hindu and Sikh, I don't think they are the same thing. I always wanted to marry a Sikh girl, and never thought I would be with a Hindu girl. But when my mom said it was okay, I decided to give it a try. Afterall, who knows better than mom."

    At that time I showed my discomfort and asked him if he accepted me the way I was, and respected my upbringing? I mentioned he should htink about things and we can talk the following day. The following day he became the sweetest thing every "Oh, you know I love talking to you. I don't know why I said all those things. I guess just because I'm not used to them, and this is something new. I'm sorry."

    Thanks for your advice everyone.


    And we proceeded as before.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  10. orion80

    orion80 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Swan,

    Treat this as a blessing in disguise. Instead of spending a liftime with an incompatible person, you are given a second chance. I admire your parents for handling it so maturely and supporting you throughout. You are lucky to have them.

    The hurt will be there for sometime but the good news is that it heals quickly. Do something which will take your mind off this. Maybe a tour, hanging out with friends etc. Good luck for your future.
     
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