My fiance wants to hide our engagement from his mother to keep using her money until graduation

Reply Thu 11 May, 2017 12:49 am
We have been together for almost five years and we got engaged this past NYE. His mother is mentally ill and has major PTSD from her time during the war. She hasn't liked me since high school when I broke up with my s/o for three months during my parents divorce. She said I needed to apologize to her for "having to repair what you broke". Alright so I tried to make amends and wrote her a letter about how much I love her son and apologized for any inadvertent "hurt" I caused her...No positive responses from that and honestly I do not want any commentary about how to strengthen my relationship with my future MIL. Both my fiance and I agreed she will not be in our lives or our children's lives following his graduation. He is receiving money from a prepaid VA529 and her GI bill. She, before we even talked about marriage, threatened to pull this funding if she found out we were engaged. While it seems like a simple answer she abused him as a child and continues to emotionally abuse him to this day. She is controlling and will not allow me to step foot in his childhood home. She refuses to be in the same room with me and threatens to pull her money away whenever he doesn't follow her demands to a t. He knew it was the natural step to propose but he wants to keep hiding it until December when tuition is all paid. I told him I would help with his debt if he wanted to be independent prior to graduation but he thinks it is necessary because he will use what money he saves from no debt to put a downpayment on a home for us. I get why this makes financial sense but I'm having a hard time with this. We have told literally everyone besides her, my future father-in-law even knows! How should I help him make the decision to cut this woman off?
Reply Thu 11 May, 2017 06:46 am
Well, what's more important: Your integrity and knowing you've been honest and up front....or money?

Does it set a good precedent to start out your marriage with a lie to a family member? What sort of example does it set to your kids? Besides the moral dilemma, if everybody else already knows she is going to figure it out anyways. Then she can be mad at the both of you for getting married AND lying.
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Reply Thu 11 May, 2017 09:46 am
I am normally one of those that say be honest. And normally would say try to make amends. But I am going to go against this at this point. What is the big deal about not telling her? It is just until in December - less than a year. Hardly anything to wait.

I am also guessing you are planning on not getting married until after he finishes school any way. If you really do not plan on having her a part of your life why would you care either way if she knows or doesn't know?

I am guessing you probably want her out of your life now - maybe that is why you want to tell her. So you can be done with her now. I can certainly understand that. Personally putting up with this craziness for another 7 months at most seems a small price to pay (pun meant) to come out of this debt free tuition-wise. Even if you have the money to help. You can certainly use that money to help start your new life together.

One question -- do you feel confident he is going to break it with his mom? That would be the only worry I would have. For 7 months and to be able to start a marriage with little or no debt is really worth it - save any money you planned to use to help him pay for a down payment on a house. And then you can thank your MIL for the "wedding gift".
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