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You Asked: She's Bad-Mouthing my Fiance's Dad!

You Asked: She's Bad-Mouthing my Fiance's Dad!

Dear Sugar--

I went to visit my fiancé's family over the weekend for the first time since we got engaged. I was really excited to show off my ring and talk about wedding plans. His parents are divorced but live 20 minutes apart, so when we visit, we have to split up our time between them. They totally get along well, and have been re-married for quite some time, so it's not really a big deal (or so I thought).

His mother is a huge Cosmo drinker and by the time we arrived at her house Friday night, she had definitely started celebrating early. She hugged and kissed us and immediately started talking about the wedding plans.

Once we got to talking, she immediately started bad-mouthing my fiancé's father and his wife, saying things like "I love you more than your father ever could," and "I don't know what she even sees in your selfish father anyway," and "I'm the mother of the groom, so I get to walk you down the aisle, not your father and his bimbo wife."

I couldn't believe she was being so rude and malicious. My fiancé said just to ignore her, that she was obviously "hammered," but it made me feel really uncomfortable. Should I confront her about it or just let it go and chalk it up to one too many Cosmos?

--Engaged Elizabeth

To see DEARSUGAR"S answer then

Dear Engaged Elizabeth,

Yikes! Divorced in-laws can make things tough, so I am sorry you are in this predicament. If this was a one time Cosmo-induced venting session from your soon to be mother-in-law, then I would just let her ranting slide. Alcohol can bring out the best and worst in people although I do agree that her words were extremely uncalled for and rude.

If she continues to say inappropriate things about your fiancé's father and his wife in front of you, then maybe you need to sit her down and lay down the law. Tell her that her relationship and her feelings about her ex have nothing to do with you or your future wedding, and if she doesn't have anything nice to say, she should keep her feelings to herself. Chances are she is unaware that her negativity is affecting you the way it is, so explain that being caught in the middle is making you feel really uncomfortable.

She may be acting this way because she doesn't want to share you or her son with her ex-husband's family. Reassure her that you love her and will do your best to spend equal amounts of time with both sides of the family, but that you can't be two places at once. This is your special time to be celebrated so hopefully a heart to heart will do the trick. Good luck to you Elizabeth and congrats on your engagement!


Join The Conversation
PrissyLilBadAss PrissyLilBadAss 10 years
I'm thinking the mom will probably calm down a bit after the wedding. She already lost her husband and seems a little bitter that he's moved on to another wife. And now, she might FEEL like she's "losing" her son since he's getting married too. If her trash talking continues after the wedding, I wouldn't confront her per se, maybe just mention that you feel a bit uncomfortable with what she says and ofter her a good listening ear. "Party like a rock star, pound like a porn star, play like an all star!"
SU3 SU3 10 years
Let it go. It really isn't your place. You said they get along pretty well and have been re-married for quite some time. It doesn't sound like such a big deal. I definitely agree that if anyone should say something... it's her son.
sbgirl sbgirl 10 years
I definitely agree that you should not confront her. My dh's parents are not divorced but hate each other even though they have been together 40+ years. They spend all their time talking over each other and talking about each other when the other one isn't there. It is super uncomfortable but if anyone - even my dh - gets involved or confronts them, the situation just gets more ugly. Honestly what has happened is that we really don't spend any time with either of them even though they live about 5 minutes from them. I think that just because people become parents or grandparents it doesn't make them mature or right.... If she continues to do this and make you uncomfortable - i think it is perfectly acceptable to say 'I appreciate how you are feeling but my fiance & I are in such a special time in our lives. Is it possible to just focus on the positive aspects of the wedding and the wonderful events that are coming?' Maybe she can respect that?
Beaner Beaner 10 years
Ok, but what about if they have kids...Then the mother-in-law will be bad-mouthing the kids' grandpa! That's just NOT cool. Whatever hapened to being honest and talking about problems? If this woman doesn't say anything to the mother-in-law, then she'll feel uncomfortable forever, and I think that's much worse.
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Definitely agree with everyone here. Do not confront her. Don't trash talk with her, though. Just smile and nod and stay out of it. And most importantly, DO NOT EVER SAY ANYTHING TO THE FATHER OR HIS FIANCEE.
bugness bugness 10 years
Heh. WOW. I agree with everyone. Not your place. I'm surprised that you were shocked by the behavior. They're DIVORCED. YOU are the one marrying into this family and have to accept it the way it is. Unless she's bad-mouthing YOU, then stay the hell out of it. -Bug
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Yikes! I think if anyone should be doing the confronting, it's her own son! If you get her pissed off at you now, she could make your future quite difficult. I say ignoring her is the best idea, just try to change the subect if somthing like that happens again. Just be glad you live far enough away from her that visits will be infrequent!
LEX0 LEX0 10 years
Oread Oread 10 years
Agreed with everyone above; not that it was in good taste, but her relationship with your future father-in-law is not something that anyone else can understand, I'm sure it was a case of too much to drink, but also, her son is getting married & she isn't going to want to miss any of it to anyone (especially her ex, no matter how good their relationship sometimes seems).
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I am with everyone else do not confront her. It will only damage your relationship with her. Your fiance needs to be the one to say something to her if it bothers him. He may be just so used to it that he ignores whatever she says when it comes out of her mouth!
Tiinnaaaa Tiinnaaaa 10 years
Why would you even think of confroting her?? Just LEAVE IT. Nothing good will come out of it if you confront her.. i dont see one advantage to it.. really! If your fiancee is fine it with then u should be too!
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
whatever you do, don't get involved. seriously, just ignore it. why on earth would you confront her? seriously...are you LOOKING for MIL problems? that's a good way to get her to hold a grudge against you. divorced parents usually don't get along and there is no reason for an outsider to get involved. she still has some anger and hurt issues with her ex husband and alcohol loosens the tounge. my gram and grandpa are divorced (have been for 40 years) and the wedding was pretty awkward but if my husband had gotten involved it would have gotten a hell of a lot worse. just look pretty, be happy that you're getting married and stay out of the fueding exes.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I would absolutely not confront her. It's not your place to anyway, given that it's your fiance's mom who is behaving this way. This is the wonderful world of slightly crazy in-laws. If all she's doing is bad-mouthing her ex-husband consider yourself lucky, and suck it up.
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