My Future Mother-in-Law’s “Dehumanizing” Birthday Present Left Me in Shock

Family & kids
month ago

A wedding is expected to bring joy to a woman's life. However, it's widely acknowledged that conflicts, especially with mothers-in-law, can arise, dampening the excitement of the occasion. Recently, a Reddit user sought solace and advice from the online community while navigating strained relations with her mother-in-law during this journey.

She wrote:

"This woman is so... I have no words, honestly. I'm in shock, I haven't even told my family or close friends. I'm just speechless. Google brought me here, and I've read a few posts and seen a lot of amazing advice, but I haven't seen anything that relates to my predicament. I haven't shown or spoken to my fiancé yet because he's travelling for work.

This woman does not like me, she hasn't said it, but it's clear she doesn't. For example, I have a three letter name, yet she refers to me using my fiancé's exes names which are much longer than mine. She did this until he noticed what she was doing and called her out on it.

Her excuse? She's old. She's in her early 50s. She's so subtle and passive-aggressive that sometimes it takes me a while to get what she really means."

She went on explaining:

"For context, I come from a middle class family, while my fiancé's family is very wealthy. Anyways, at the surprise party my fiancé threw me, she winked at me and said, 'Your gift is coming later in the mail.' I was devastated to see it was a prenup! No one in my family has ever had to sign a prenup.

I looked up some of the terms and sent some pages to my coworker who's married to a lawyer, and he called me to tell me not to sign it, he referred to it as "extremely aggressive". There are things like, 'I agree to no spousal support in case of divorce' and then a weird infidelity penalty. And the craziest bit I've read so far was about me having to spend time with FMIL and the rest of my future in-laws.

She knows I've got it, because she called me 100 times since the mail courier delivered it a few hours ago. I honestly don't know what to say. I have no problem signing a prenup if that is what my fiancé wants. Although, I doubt he knows because he asked FMIL what she got me, and she grinned and said, "You'll see."

But this one has been referred to as 'extremely unfair and dehumanizing' by a lawyer. I get this is what rich people do, but getting it from your FMIL is weird, right? Or is it a normal thing, and I'm overreacting? And now, FMIL sent me a message, basically telling me to sign and get it out of the way, so we can start wedding planning."

Other Redditors chimed in to support her and offered their advice, leaving comments such as:

  • I strongly urge you to really examine how your fiancé responds to this situation. Take stock of how he has responded to all of the heartache his mother has put you through. How much disrespect has he actually let slide? Can you really live the rest of your life dealing with this, and worse?
    If you aren't happy with what you see, run. Because I promise you, it WILL get worse if your fiancé doesn't get her in line or go full No Contact with her. This woman is unhinged. © scoobledooble314159 / Reddit
  • Do not sign anything. Do not entertain any further questions or comments from your MIL. Scan the entire prenup (with your phone camera) and send it to your fiancé - it doesn’t matter if he’s “traveling for work” or not. He can look over a text while he’s back at the hotel or taking a meal break. He absolutely needs to know that:
    1. His mother is taking a huge overstep by arranging a prenup.
    2. She’s now pressuring you to sign a prenup with extreme and outrageous terms.
    Let him know that you will not be signing anything from MIL and will not be responding to her again. © SomeRavenAtMyWindow / Reddit
  • This is not what rich people do. This is what ill-mannered do. From what you’ve said, it sounds like she plans to be awful, and the prenup allows her to be so, and requires you to continue to be available to her. Obviously don’t sign.
    You are not overreacting. She is a horrible person. Talk to your fiancé, but it sounds like you may need an attorney. Also… Her sending it while he is out of town is likely on purpose.
    I'd text her back once and say, “I’ve sent this to my attorney for review. We should only communicate through attorneys for now.” Then mute her texts/calls. © swoosie75 / Reddit
  • You shouldn’t even be speaking to your MIL at this point. Mute her notifications on your phone. Don’t accept her calls or answer her texts. Save any messages or voicemails as evidence of her harassment. How your future husband responds to his mother will tell you exactly what you need to know.
    If he makes excuses, asks you to sign it, or sticks up for his mother at all, then you have a huge problem. If he does want a prenup, then any and all discussion of a prenup needs to happen solely between you and him, and your own lawyers (not his mother’s lawyer). MIL should have absolutely zero input on a legal agreement between you and your fiancé. © SomeRavenAtMyWindow / Reddit
  • Don’t sign this! Prenups aren’t something for one party to just write up and the other to accept. If you and future husband agree to a prenup, you should each hire your own lawyer, and you should both feel good about the terms of the agreement. MIL shouldn’t be involved in anything. © mkmonaroll / Reddit
  • "And now, FMIL sent me a message, basically telling me to sign and get it out of the way, so we can start wedding planning." ???
    WOW. I once got two letters from MIL's friends about then future husband, and that was shocking to me, especially when I wasn’t expecting their “advice” about our relationship, but this is another level. Assuming your fiancé resolves this issue with his mother, you have a whole other fish to fry, the wedding comment above.
    Weddings are overrated and not worth the agony I see happening in your future. Take my advice and elope; bring your two besties as witnesses if you want. You'd better set some boundaries now with your fiancé in agreement, or your life will be hell. © Mysterious_Finger774 / Reddit

Conflicts between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law can escalate post-wedding. Another Reddit user recently experienced emotional distress due to a difficult situation with her MIL regarding her parental choices. Read her letter here.

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