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Woman convinced future MIL is trying to sabotage her relationship with her fiancé. AITA? UPDATED 4X

Woman convinced future MIL is trying to sabotage her relationship with her fiancé. AITA? UPDATED 4X


When this woman is convinced her MIL is out to get her, she asks the internet:

"I think my [29F] future mother in-law [63F] may be trying to sabotage my relationship with my fiancé [31M]. AITA?"

Let's get down to business. I've been with my fiancé "Adam" for 5 years and we've been engaged for 7 months. We have a beautiful home together, and we both work really hard at our relationship.

The issue isn't with Adam, he does his very best to try to mitigate the situation with his mom, but it's wearing on him, and I worry that one day he'll have to choose. I don't want him to have to do that, that would hurt him too much to choose between me and his family.

There are a lot of situations, but I thought I would highlight the worst/most recent: About 3 years ago, 1 month after we purchased our house, his mom really needed windows in her house, mold was growing a lot and some no longer had seals. Now, his mom actually has a sizable savings account...

enough that she can spend her money frivolously on luxury goods like Birkin bags, and getting her hair done two times a week, her nails, buying a Mercedes every two years, and so on. However, she never budgets for anything.

So, she asked him for $25,000 to replace the windows. He said he'd cover them. When he told me, I almost had a heart attack. He said it was a loan and that she'd pay him back. I still have Law School debt to cover and we have a larger-than-we-should-have mortgage.

She made a comment to him about how I would let her freeze (?) to death all winter and he had to help her. We took extra out on the mortgage to cover the windows (top of the line, everything.) We still have yet to see a dime, I suppose it went into her new GL-Class. To quote the bard: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be."

Adam and I had a vacation planned a year after the windows dilemma happened, we decided that we'd go to Europe for two weeks as he has never been and I lived there from the time I was 3 until I came to America for school. We set our hearts on Spain and rented a lovely apartment in Barcelona for the two weeks, it was perfect for two.

We planned all of our tours and outings around our interests. Adam loves architecture, so we had a few tours solely planned for that. His mother decided that she HAD to come, and she'd never been to Europe either, so she invited herself on our trip.

Like I did previously, I tried to appeal to his rational side, but I couldn't get through his emotional side, so I just accepted that she'd be coming along. Well, coach wasn't good enough for her, and she had to have tickets upgraded to business. But she didn't want to travel alone, so she pitched in for a seat for Adam to travel with her.

I had to remain in coach alone. Then, she didn't want to stay at the apartment because it wasn't a "vacation" to her, no, she HAD to stay at the W in Barcelona. Where she begged Adam to stay with her, but there wasn't any room for me (?).

He tried to reason with her, but she cried and said how sad she was without her husband with her as he passed away before they could ever get to Europe together (He passed away 10 years ago).

So, I stayed at the apartment alone while they stayed at the hotel. We were supposed to meet up for breakfast, but she would never get ready on time, so they wouldn't be down until 11am, and we missed most of our outings.

I definitely felt like a third wheel and questioned why I even bothered to go on the vacation when I could've stayed home and not felt so alone.

Adam and I began to discuss wedding plans. I would like to keep it relatively low key as my family still lives in Europe, and cannot attend as my father is very sick and we are worried he may take a turn for the worse.

Traveling is just not worth it for him, and I wouldn't want him to risk his health for something that is a one day event. I told Adam that I would like just a courtroom ceremony, and his mother and sister of course, and friends. We'd then take everyone out for a very fancy dinner.

His mother did not, I repeat, NOT take kindly to this. She said that if her son was going to get married, it would have be a grand affair, for everyone to see. I just keep looking at my side of the seating chart, and the pitiful number of guests.

I just want to cry. She has been planning it. I told Adam I didn't want this, I expressly told him that I just wanted a small... really, really, really small event. No go. She won't even hear him.

She just refers to me as "her" and "she" and says how I think that I'm too good for a large wedding and that my family is too good for America (?). My family is American, my dad is/was an Ambassador.

This has been happening a lot recently, and this time, it's just been one too many times. Lately, she has been asking for more "together" family time. She lives quite close, but we don't see her all that often as she has friends and events that keep her busy (not too busy to plan the wedding though.)

She has requested that we, Adam and I, have dinner with her three times a week. Well, what has been happening is that she has been reserving a spot at the restaurant for 6pm. I don't get home until 6:30 some nights.

She has just been encouraging Adam to eat out with her as I am too thoughtless to come home at a decent hour to eat with her son. How lonely that must be for him. It honestly doesn't bother me that he goes out to eat with her that often, but the things she says behind my back, well... I came home early tonight.

I left work, and was on the road by 4:30pm, home by 5pm. I surprised Adam as he was just coming in the door when I yanked the door open to greet him happily. He was so excited to see me! I could come to dinner with him and his mom! I told him I just needed to shower real quick and get dressed.

He called his mom right away and told her that I would be able to make it, he also make a comment stating he hoped there was a reservation for three tonight. She said that there was, but she thought they'd eat earlier, like 5:30 and was already on her way to our house.

She got there at 5:15 and stated that she couldn't wait another second and had to eat right then. Adam said I'd be ready in just another 15 minutes and offered to call the restaurant and request they move us back.

She wouldn't hear it. She just whined about being hungry, and how a poor old woman should be expected to wait so his fiancée could fulfill her vain requirements. He came upstairs and asked how long I'd be, I said just another 10 minutes.

He said his mom was really upset and hungry, if I could skip a step for him so we could leave earlier? I told him to go ahead without me and I would meet them there. That was fine. I got there, and the table was for two. Of course!

Adam said we could make room, but she said how we'd be inconveniencing everyone and I should just go sit at the bar and she'd try to get it fixed. I had one drink at the bar and then left. Came home, calmed down a bit, and now I am writing this.

Wow, that was long. I think I need to get that out there. I guess I figured everything out though. Sorry to bother you, unfortunately, my relationship is over with Adam. I realize this as I poured my heart out to this sub. Thank you. tl;dr: Future mother in-law is coming between my fiancé and I... I figured it out though. I think I have to call it quits. Thanks for letting me vent.

Update 1:

Wow. Wooooooowah! I really did not expect this kind of attention considering I pretty much came to a conclusion (seems to be the general consensus among you that it's the right one) on my own. But the support!

The support you have given me, I'm overwhelmed and feel extremely grateful in a way I cannot express. Through PMs and comment posts, I cried while reading all of them.

Some of you shared words of wisdom, some of you shared different perspectives, others shared similar experiences, I feel at a loss for words. Anyway, there isn't a very impactful update... but I figured I would update you on what has happened so far and take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you.

After I posted a comment on my own thread, and was about 2 glasses deep into a bottle of wine, Adam came home. This was extremely late. He sat down beside me and looked defeated.

He just looked at me with hopeless eyes. I asked him if he wanted to talk about it, he said he needed time to process everything that happened tonight. I told him I also needed time.

He said to me that whatever I wanted to do, he would accept it. So, I called up my maid of honor and asked if she would come pick me up and I could stay at her house for the night. Adam and I kissed, and he told me he loved me, and I left. I haven't been back.

From "Colleen's" house, I made a call the next morning to my office asking for a few more days off to go visit my family. So, right now, I am writing to you from my parents' house in Europe. I called Adam and told him my plans, and he asked me if I would let him drive me. I told him I was okay to go myself with Colleen, and I would email him when I got to my family home.

When I got settled at home, I emailed Adam, and I sent him the thread that I had made that Tuesday night (a large majority of you wanted him to read it). So... he has read all, ALL of your comments.

He also read the part where I came to the conclusion on my own that I had to end things. We talked briefly over Skype, he told me he felt "raw" from the thread, but he was glad that I had gotten things out. He asked me if I was sure if I wanted to break things off or if I still needed time to think. I said I was pretty sure.

He asked me for a probability (this is a joke in our relationship for dealing with decisions) and I said I was 90% sure that this was the end for us, and I was using my time away wisely to really consider everything. For some reason, his eyes brightened and he just told me that we could talk about it when I got back stateside.

I wouldn't break up with him over Skype, and I think we have a lot of legalities to go through regarding the house and we have to collect any deposits that are available when we cancel the wedding things (because his mom didn't pay for any of the wedding SHE planned.)

Anyway, I have had a sit down with my father, he's been feeling better, which is a huge relief. He has offered me two thirds of the cost of the house. So I could either buy it from Adam and pay off most of the mortgage, or just walk away and buy myself something else.

I didn't expect this, but he said it would give me options should I decide what he thinks I have decided. He says he just wants me to have freedom, and that he wouldn't want to see my heart and my bank account broken at the same time.

So.... that's that. Like I said, nothing really happened between Adam and I, I do have more power though, thanks to my parents, and I have been enjoying my time with my family. My mom and I have been shopping a lot, and my brother (my dad's doctor) and his family have been coming over for dinner quite a bit.

My sister is expected to return from China tomorrow, and I am very excited to see her! I wish you all a happy holidays and a hopeful New Year. Hopefully, my next update will have a conclusion, one way or another.

tl;dr: Adam saw the original, nothing has happened as of yet, but my parents gave me money to get myself out of the housing situation if need be.

Update 2:

Hi! I first would like to apologize for how long this update took. I’ve been completely swamped at work, and things have been happening at home too. So let’s get into that.

I want to thank everyone again for their continued support and interest in my relationship issues. Sincerely, the advice and shared experiences has made everything a lot clearer. Also, Adam has been following along.

Firstly, I specifically want to thank everyone who defended and supported Adam. I don’t see him as a bad guy, and I really wouldn’t be vindictive. So, passive aggressive comments while leaving, or making rude comments to him, or anything really mean hearted, I couldn’t do to him.

He has supported me emotionally through getting my MBA, he helped me study for my LSATs, he read over my essays to apply to Law Schools, he did mock interviews with me, he sat through boring orientations with me, he stayed up all night with me when I was sick with nerves before taking the Bar.

He was my cheerleader when I ran my first triathlon, and he is my champion when I see a house centipede. He is my dream man. And I would never give up my relationship with him if I didn't feel like I was fighting a losing battle.

Now, are you guys in for a real shocker? Someone made a comment in the update that he would be outside my parent’s house if he really wanted it to work. He took your advice to heart, and he was outside with his bags and a rental on the evening of the 24th. I… uh…

I was taken aback, and I blurted out “What the f are you doing here?” He just laughed and said he wanted to talk about everything and it couldn’t wait until I got back. He’d been reading all the comments on the threads, and he felt like they were very eye opening.

He said that he spent the last few days thinking about what went down at the restaurant with his mother, and how the look in my eyes when I looked at him after I realized what had happened broke his heart.

What I didn’t know was that he and his mother got into a row after I went to sit at the bar. Fighting about me, and how he doesn’t feel free, how his sister used to say she had the same problems but since she moved far away, it has died down a lot.

A lot of people asked me why I put up with this for so long. I tried to remember when this really started happening, when it stopped appearing like regular mother-in-law “don’t want to lose my son” comments and began to feel like isolation and vehemence.

We used to have an okay relationship when we first met. Sometimes we’d go shopping together, and once we got our nails done. It was around when Adam and I purchased the house together, that’s when it really started to get bad. The windows incident was the first really big issue I remember. When she realized we were serious about each other.

So, back to when we were at my parents house. We had a serious heart to heart. I bared everything to him, and he did the same. So, there was no extreme confession of incest, or physical abuse.

It was just that he thinks he was raised by a narcissist who saw her control of her son, he pride and joy, slipping away. We came to a decision. Here is what we decided on December 27th:

He went back to the US after New Year’s Day, a couple of days before me, and moved his stuff out of our place to a friend’s. He didn’t want me to have to be inconvenienced for changes he HAD to make.

We have put our engagement on hold for the time being. He cancelled all the plans his mother made. He has been seeing a therapist since the middle of January pretty consistently, twice to three times a week. I’ve been to four sessions with him. His mother has not. We have sort of begun dating each other again.

I have been talking to his sister, and the things their mother put her through, Adam is very lucky. Now, about his mother. He has decided to give her one last chance to go to therapy with him, and he has stated that if she does not, he will be going no contact with her. We have a lot to rebuild, but I know we can do it together.

tl;dr: Thank you everyone for the continued support/interest/advice. Got a complaint about my tl;dr, Adam and I were able to work out a plan for our relationship, put our engagement on hold, see a therapist, and set clear boundaries/no contact with his mother.

Here are some more comments from OP:

OOP: We've gone over that trip a lot in therapy. His therapist explained to me that it's akin to someone being stuck in an abusive relationship and always making excuses for the abuser so often that they believe their own rationalizations.

He felt a lot of guilt for his father's death. Adam donated a kidney, and his father's body rejected the donation. He feels like it's his fault that his mother is alone, and I think she preyed on that a lot.

It probably should've been my moment of clarity, but it wasn't. We've recently decided together to put it in the past and move forward.

You didn't say what everyone is wanting to know: what has been his mother's reaction to all of this? Because it must have been like lighting dynamite.

Right now, she is on a month long cruise, that's why he has to wait. However, Adam did ignore all of her calls while he was in Europe with me. When he got back, she did a lot of guilt tripping. "Oh, my poor heart, making me worry like that! Running off after her like some whimpering puppy!" Just stuff to unman him and make him feel like less than he is.

Then she tried to overdose on pain killers, she called the ambulance before she took any, and they got there before she even managed to get three pills down. Really great response time!

So, they placed her on a 72 hour watch. Adam only sent flowers, he did not really want to see her. But she decided a cruise and a small vacation might be best for her, to get away.


It has been a long time! We're all a year older. :( Adam and I will be composing this thread together... oh no! I gave away the ending. Yes, we are together, in fact... we're married.

Here goes, last time we left off, Adam was seeing a shrink (still is) to try to unwind some of the damage his mother did, we were living separately for the time being, Adam's mother tried to commit suicide, but no really, she called emergency services before she tried and didn't even have time to swallow more than 2 pills.

It's so scary to think that within his mind there was such an abusive past when he has always had such a happy exterior. My husband (man that's fun to say!) was basically traumatized by his own mother his entire life.

As was his sister, I had alluded before in one previous thread that Adam's sister had it a lot worse than Adam when they were younger, but when Adam's father died, his mom locked in on him.

So, Adam's dad died of kidney failure; however, Adam had donated one of his kidneys to try to save him. His father's body rejected the donation, and passed away about 11 years ago this coming April.

His mother took it upon herself during his grieving process to manipulate him into believing he killed his own father and she was alone now because of him. That if he wanted to repair what he did to her, he'd treat her better.

Every time he thought that he could get away and create his own life and feel free, she'd remind him. The windows, for example, I only heard the part where she blamed me... but I tried to think back to the conversation, and really try to hear what Adam had said, it's about 4 years ago now...

but he was telling me at that moment that the reason her house was falling down was because she no longer had a man to take care of it... BECAUSE HE KILLED HIS DAD. He was trying to tell me, I just wasn't able to understand what it meant. Same with the vacation to Barcelona, she was doing it in front of me now.

When he was younger, a lot of these issues had been regarding academic success or athletic success, she didn't have any issue then with girlfriends or anything. She just viewed her children as extensions of herself. It was bad, it just wasn't this level of guilt inducing insanity.

Let's get back to the present day. Adam's psychologist had suggested Adam offer his mother a chance to come to therapy to work out issues. He wasn't able to propose this to her at the time because after her "suicide attempt" she whisked herself away on a cruise to get some much "needed" R&R, whatever.

OH. MY. GOD. You'd think he was asking her to murder puppies with the way she went on. So, that's that. No contact. She has tried, but Adam has either ignored all phone calls with unknown numbers, we had our locks changed, and his work has strict instructions not to let her passed the doors.

She moved to where Adam's sister lives in July, but I know that his sister (we are close) has been no contact with her since she met her husband. We wrote off the $25,000, we either get it back in probate court, in inheritance, or not at all.

I'm not really choked up about it, not enough to do any extra work to get it back right now, especially since Adam is worried she'll use it as leverage to buy back in.

We ended up getting married in September, flew out to be with my parents this week to renew our vows in their house, and we're going to have our honeymoon in Fiji come January. My dad isn't doing so well, but he always seems to fluctuate like that. However, my brother isn't optimistic this time. :(

Anyway, we were wondering, since you have all been so supportive, if you would do us one small favor. Adam and I are going to have a "grieving" ceremony for his father, so he can process it correctly without manipulation. For any of you who have lost parents, what helped you get through it?

Thank you for everything, we wished we could have invited each and every one of you to our wedding, but... that would be creepy.

TL;DR Adam has gone no contact with his mother, we got married, going to Fiji for our honeymoon. Adam and I are going to re-grieve his father's death, any tips for how to get through grief of a passing parent would be much appreciated.

Any thoughts on OP's dilemma?

Sources: Reddit
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