Another FMIL situation


I just need to vent, ask for prayers, and any suggestions you may have for a situation concerning our sweet daughter and her dear fiance (23 and 25 y.o.)

They will graduate in May, marry in early June, and will attend grad school, either next fall or after working a year, depending upon cost, assistantships, etc. They have been engaged a while. Fiance is from a well-to-do (dad’s a physician) but dysfunctional home, where the youngest child (fiance is middle child) is, and always has been, the clear favorite, despite being a heavy drinker, user of drugs, and promiscuous, with an out of wedlock child. She lives at home, getting everything she wants, as the parents are terrified she will leave and take the baby. She is, sadly, terrifically talented, and gave up a wonderful scholarship to come home.

Fiance is a sensitive, sweet young man who spent his high school years worrying that his sisters (there’s another, also pretty messed up and with serious health issues, though a college grad and employed) would kill themselves through drinking and driving or drugs. He does neither. He was confirmed two years ago and is a moral, upstanding young man with great empathy (just like dd!)

He is in much emotional turmoil right now. His mother had a rough childhood (too many details to go into) and still holds her now elderly and ill mother responsible. She went from having nothing, to being quite wealthy, due to her husband’s success. She determined that her children would have everything they wanted…and you can imagine the rest - indulged daughters who, along with the mother, equate material things with love. Dh’s fiance never knew unconditional love - hugs only came when he had done something his mother wanted. Dad was mainly working, facilitating the lavish lifestyle, and he has been treated like dirt by this woman and, especially, the younger daughter.

Fiance has gradually grown stronger, though he suffers from serious"social anxiety" (not surprising given the upbringing.) His mother clearly resents his growing independence and blames it, at least partly, on my daughter. She cannot accept any blame, refused counseling in the past (afraid the finger would be pointed at her…which it should be) and tries to blame her son, the only truly moral person in the bunch, for any discord. The youngest daughter is, simply, evil and manipulative, and a practiced liar.

There’s too much more to this to go into. Please keep dd and fiance in your prayers, as he is weighing options now (leave the house they bought for him to live in and move in with a friend, getting out from under their thumb, financially, etc.) They start their pre-marital counseling with our wonderful priest tomorrow, and I think he will be helpful, bright man that he is. I am not used to dealing with dysfunctional families, as we have been blessed, and fiance is saddened at the contrast between our family and his :frowning:

Thanks for leltting me vent and keep those prayers coming.

God bless!


Your daughter and her fiance (along with both your and his families) will be in my prayers! My best friend is getting married in a month. She is in a completely different situation, but has had problems and will continue to with her FMIL. It’s so sad, but marriages can still work and be beautiful despite all this :). It’s good to know your daughter has such a caring mother! :slight_smile:


Thank you! Thank God, dh’s fiance has had some good models of loving parents (a friend’s family who have been more loving to him than his own parents) so he knows what a good marriage and family should look like. Fiance’s father, while not blameless, has stayed in what has to be a very difficult marriage, always trying to give the (crazy) wife the benefit of the doubt; I wish he had been more empathetic and sensitive to what his son was experiencing (hard-driving, type A+ personality physician - great with his patients, but…)

I recently emailed considerable wedding info to the mother (easier to stay calm that way), asking for info, measurements for bridesmaids" gowns, etc., (God help us, the “evil sister”, is, for the moment, in the wedding party) and she has not yet bothered to respond. DD has told me there is apparently an unannounced “competition” going on between us in the FMIL’s mind. I am just not used to dealing with drama queens and loonies! Only 6.5 months to go to the wedding (which may be smaller than planned, at this rate!)


closed #4

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit