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Anna, Social Worker
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  29 years experience in addictions & mental health. I'll tell you my honest opinion.
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My fiance and I recently became engaqed (1 month ago). WEve

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My fiance and I recently became engaqed (1 month ago). WE've been together for 3 years and I have always had a good relationship w/ his family. His mother is aware of personal troubles I have, i.e., a disability that limits my ability to work FT. Anyway, she has always told me how highly she thinks of me and how strong I have proven to be. However, as soon as we phoned her to tell his family about the engagement, everything changed. She was clearly shocked & not happy. And today I came across a letter she sent to my fiance regarding her "concerns" over our engagement. She said that it is a serious commitment to make to someone with a disabiity & other medical condistions, that she & her husband hope that this is a "very long" engagement, and that the topic of children shoould be addressed. She wrote that someone with my condition (disability) is not equipped to handle parenthood and could very possibly do actual harm to a child.

I am a college grad w/ many years of prof. work experience, volunteer commitments, and family commitments as well. I haven't worked in a little over a year due to health problems. But, my point here is that I am a strong, educated, and competent professional despite my disability.

Why is she being fake to me and writing intrusive and cruel leters to my fiance? What can I do? I feel so betrayed. I'm supposed to spend the weekend with my future in-laws for Xmas, but I feel like I can't even go now. Any advice/insight?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Anna replied 6 years ago.

Hi Shoshanna,

Wow. What a betrayal. First off, you need to know that you get to have whatever feelings you have about reading that letter. You're in shock, hurt and angry. I would talk to your friends and family and let people close to you support you in your healing from that wound.

As your emotions settle, I think you should also look at her position in this. She has a right to be as shocked, scared and angry about her son's engagement as anyone. How she handled it is what you have the problem with. If her relationship with you has been good, then I would see this as something that needs to be talked about openly and worked through. All parents react to their children's engagements - some do it well, and others act in ways that they might want to retract with hindsight. She isn't the first mom to have a spaz, but she's your future MIL, and that makes it your problem.

I think it's going to be a pretty rough weekend if you go. Only you can decide if it would be too harsh an action to not many other people are involved...what level of planning has already taken place....expense involved...things like that. If there are a lot of others around, it's probably safer. If it's just going to be a quiet, intimate time, it may be the perfect time to get it on the table and talk about it.

What my point is, is that you both have strong feelings about an event that may not stay at the hieght they are now, and you're looking at a lifetime of future interactions. Make peace with yourself by knowing who you are and allowing her to be mistaken about you. We all have to let others be wrong sometimes. Where the line gets drawn is what kind of boundary you want to set with how she treats you. It is possible to just tell her that you read the letter and it hurt you greatly, and that you hope that in the future she is able to get over her reaction and to see you as bigger than your disability.

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