Dear Snarky – My Mother-In-Law Subjected Me to a “Fat Intervention”

Dear Snarky,

I’ve just had the most disturbing experience with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I was in town for my sister-in-law’s baby shower and after the shower the three of us went back to my mother-in-law’s home. Everything was great until they both decided to do what can best be described as a weight loss intervention. I got confused, then angry and then I just walked out and drove three hours back home crying most of the time.

It was horrible and insulting and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I’m also not overweight. I had a baby a year ago and I still have about ten pounds to lose but I’m not to the point where my health is in jeopardy and I needed an intervention.

My mother-in-law is extremely body conscious and talks about her weight all the time. She gets up every morning at 5 a.m. to work out and has what she calls a “very structured diet.” I’m not knocking her. She’s got a model’s body but that doesn’t give her the right to insult me with an intervention. As for my sister-in-law I think she just went along with the ride to get on my mother-in-law’s good side.

Now I don’t want to ever see my mother-in-law again and I don’t want her around my daughter because I would prefer my child not getting criticized about what she eats as she gets older.

My husband is totally on my side and already had little patience for his mother but I know he might be hoping I’ll cool down and then gradually get over it. I’m so not getting over this so how do you think I should handle this woman moving forward?

Signed, Never Again

Dear Never,

Let’s get one thing straight you didn’t get an intervention you were body shamed and you did the right thing by walking out. The fact that you left without throwing the nearest lamp at your MIL means you should now give yourself a high five.

Your MIL has some body issues of her own that she’s projecting those on you. She also has zero boundaries. I can’t say this enough so here goes for what feels like the millionth time. For any family relationships to be successful there has to be boundaries that are respected and not crossed.

What your MIL did was sheer cruelty. She can dress it up and call it an intervention but it was a hateful act by a hateful woman. I feel you have every right to set very firm boundaries in terms of your relationship with her.

If those boundaries are – I don’t want to see my MIL until I feel I’ve significantly recovered from her heinous behavior and that might be never – then those are your boundaries and you must insist they be honored.

As for your MIL seeing your daughter that also requires boundaries and you and your husband need to think about what those will be.

Note I didn’t say you should ask for an apology from your mother-in-law. Don’t waste your time and don’t give her the opportunity to defend her actions. Sure, she’ll give you an apology but she won’t mean it. And she’ll paint herself as a person who cares so deeply about you that she felt she needed to do something.

As for your sister-in-law I wouldn’t give her the time of day. She sounds icky and it’s a lot easier to tell sisters-in-laws to F off.

Now go out and celebrate that you’re free from these A holes because you’ve got, what’s that word, oh yes, it’s boundaries.

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