Passive-Aggressive Future Mother in Law
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|Fri, 03-28-2003 - 7:31pm|
FH eventually moved out and has a successful career. We are engaged and living together. We see his family on holidays and for birthdays, etc. FMIL has always asked a lot of questions about our lives (very nosy) and tried to get more involved in our lives and our affairs. I have limited the amount of time I spend around her (w/o being too obvious about it) and am civil, but not overly friendly to her. However, in the past year and after some personal setbacks, FMIL has been trying to become closer to us and is trying to drag me into it. She's always approaching me and asking me personal questions and acts as though we are close friends, even though I don't do anything to make her think that we are buddies. I'm not very trusting because the focus had always been on FH and not me. I feel like she's trying to get close to me because she wants something for herself-like more time with FH, who doesn't call or visit much (no fault of mine-his decision).
I let FH handle communications with FMIL. I don't trust here "friendly" gestures because she has also been passive-aggressive and subtly (or not so subtly) rude to me on more than one occasion. However, if she at times is genuinely trying to be nice (?) and I don't respond, then I come out looking like the bad guy despite the fact that she can be a manipulative prima donna. My FH has not noticed much of her behavior b/c she can be subtle and because he and his family ignore much of it. I recently pointed out to him what I don't like (she puts me on the spot by asking me question after question about personal matters and awkward subjects, makes faces, and gets irritated if I just give her general answers). She literally cornered me once and started grilling me about a serious medical problem that I was having. She also asks about my family's matters, which I don't think are any of her business. FH was supportive and wants me to let him know if she does anything, but in the past he has been passive. He told her recently not to grill me about my medical problem, but she still grilled me about another topic in front of him.
I don't know how to handle this situation. I really don't want to spend more time with FMIL other than to see her occasionally at family events. I also don't want to be on bad terms with her and fear that she will become angry and make me the bad guy (I know she could make things ugly). I suspect she is already sweet to me to make me seem like the one in the wrong. FH's family and my family expect me to make conversation with her and be chummy-ugh. I'd like to keep my distance and let FH deal with her and yet keep things civil. Should I avoid her except for major holidays? Minimize my contact? Any feedback would really be appreciated! Thanks!!