I’ve known my fiancé and his family for over two years. They’re all aware that I’m a vegetarian.
He invited me for a special dinner at his mother’s house (five people total). We arrived at 1pm and dinner was served around 5pm.
There were no vegetarian dishes served except for white rice.
His mother said that she’ll look for something for me, and found corn on the cob.
The corn was mouldy and tasted disgusting (she said it was “freezer burn”). I ended up having tea.
My fiancé defended his mom, saying she didn’t know I was coming till the last minute.
Even so, she could’ve said something as soon as she knew, instead of waiting till dinner was served.
I would’ve picked up takeout or brought something with me had I known there was nothing there for me to eat.
I think my fiancé should’ve taken me out to eat as soon as he realized there was nothing for me, and then come back later.
His mother also makes back-handed compliments to me, such as “you look so pretty TODAY,” then says to her son, “you look handsome EVERYDAY.”
He doesn’t think she means anything by these comments. I’ve learned to live with it, but this dinner was a new low even for her.
I had a huge fight with him and told him what I really thought of his mother (I included the “b” word). He said I was overreacting.
Left Hungry and Angry
If you and his mother don’t find a way to get along, your relationship with her son will get even rockier.
Especially if you resort to low insults instead of showing that you’re smarter than that, and not being cowed by her actions or comments.
Sure, she should respect your food preference. But she doesn’t get it, and likely thinks it’s a negative commentary on her cooking. Her behaviour shows that she’s insecure about “losing” her son.
Knowing this, you can solve the food problem simply: Always bring some of your own. Even offer to make something she and others might like to try – a veggie side dish, or a salad, for example.
The more you treat this as a natural part of your visiting her, the more it will become so – and not a wedge between you.
As for her comments, when you ignore them or blunt them, as in responding “You look nice too,” they’ll have no negative effect at all.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding the man who wrote that his girlfriend expressed, via text message that she wants to commit suicide (March 2):
“Even if she isn't actively suicidal, it has the potential to grow into something greater over time, especially given the described behaviour and her not taking care of her medical condition.
“I speak from experience. I have been in her shoes, with the exact same behaviours of isolation, moodiness, and soul-crushing sadness.
“I've been hospitalized twice for being actively suicidal and both times the hospitals have been life saving.
“I know that his taking action, and potentially having her hospitalized for being actively suicidal is a difficult thing to do.
“She will probably blame him for all kinds of things, and it could really strain their relationship.
“That said, assuming he loves her, he wants to see her get better and be safe, that might be the best way to do it.
“It could also "force" her into a situation where she has to deal with her serious medical condition.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the mom who’s overwhelmed with caring for her youngsters with little help from her husband (Jan. 29):
Reader – “I know the pain/frustration/anger she feels watching her husband go about his life while she takes on all the responsibility of the home and children.
“I see a counsellor to help me. BUT, the issue is the husband being able to still act like a single person in his 20s.
“I cannot make mine change his behaviour - he is who he is.
“We need to stand up to men (and women, too) who act like this! They need to grow up and take a more active role raising their children.
“We as a society need to instil this in a parent’s mind and praise our hardest-working parents.
“The other parent needs to be told this isn’t right and not fair!
“I know my relationship will likely end in separation... it just sucks.”
Tip of the day:
In-law problems call for understanding their source and finding workable solutions.