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Wifes mother passed away - difficult mother-in-law
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Wifes mother passed away - difficult mother-in-law

Hello everyone,
here is my situation in a nutshell. My wife's mother has been diagnosed with melanoma roughly 4 months ago, and she unfortunately passes away last Thursday. We have the wake next Tuesday.
It is a VERY difficult situation for my wife due to the fact that she was extremely close with her mother.  I cannot imagine what she is going through and I am trying very hard to be as supportive and caring as possible. We moved in with my in-laws about 2 months ago so she can help and be there for her mom. We left everything behind and made the move; jobs, friends, house. Everything.

We are both relatively young; my wife is 24 and I am 30.  The problem is my mother, my wifes mother-in-law. My mom has always had a difficult character to deal with - "her way or the highway" type of personality. She never accepted my wife for what she is, was against the marriage, etc. She seen the wifes parents once or twice - and wrote them off right away.  

Now that we are going through such a hard time, she didnt change at all.  The wake is Tuesday and my mom, dad, as well as grandma who is here visiting from Europe will attend the wake as well as the church part but the dinner is what caused a situation.  When on the phone with my mom, my wife asked her to bring my grandma as well because she would like her to be there and then come with us for the dinner,  My mother threw in her face, at a time like this, that she was not personally invited so she will not come.  Obviously my wife started crying and got mad at me that my mother will never change and still is set in her ways even now.  
Like I said; she never liked my wife even though my wife tried a number of times to reach out.  I really dont know how to handle this.
Im afraid that when my mother shows up at the wake she might act in a way that she usually does and i dont want a scene or my wife to get even more upset.  Then again, I dont want to upset my mother either.
From the conversations with my mom it seems like this is yet another "drama" that she enjoys so much.  Even though she cried when she heard the news I get a feeling like she is "enjoying" the situation at hand.
Im at a loss. What should I do??? Im an only child and I truly love my mother because I know deep inside she is a very good person but when it comes to this Im stuck.  She likes to be the center of attention and Im afraid she will not be able to withhold that at the wake, yet I would like her to be there,
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This puts you in quite the predicament!  But right now it's about your wife and she is in a very emotional state and sensitive to everything.....so be patient with her.  Your mom is not being fair to you or your wife.  Having two married sons myself...I love my daughter-in-laws because my sons do and they make my sons happy.....your mother doesn't seem to care about how happy you are.  I think it's time to have a heart-to-heart with mom and let her know that she is to be very kind that day out of respect for your wife.  Explain to her that the drama gets you caught in the middle and it shouldn't be this way.  Tell her you love your wife very much and she's not going anywhere so it's time for acceptance.  Tell her losing your mother-in-law should show everyone how precious life is and too short for bickering.  That day has got to be about your wife and maybe ask your mother for her assistance in keeping it this way.  Say something like..."mom, I can't imagine if this were me so please help me to make this as good a day for my wife as possible".  Moms are pretty understanding and sometimes have to be reminded of things.  You've been through a lot and shouldn't have to worry about being the peace keeper and I think you need to tell your mom this. You love them both and they you....someone has to let her know that everyone's life will be easier without the negativity.  She may get angry at first but then she will realize that she has to abide by what you say or she may lose you. Being an only child I think maybe your mom is having trouble letting go....which can be hard to do.  But this is also when you need to let mom know you're an adult and want harmony between everyone, and want to look forward to get togethers instead of fearing what will be said.  You sound like a wonderful man with a wonderful wife, mom needs to accept her and quit trying to call all the shots.  She did that with her family but you have your own now and she needs to respect you and yours.  I think maybe if your mom thinks you are asking her for help on this day, she will feel like she is having some input and may behave herself.  I'm so sorry for all that you're enduring and hope you can work things out.  This is a good time to remind your mom that life is too short for drama.  I wish you and your wife all the best.
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1958787_tn?1325379891
Okay this is a little tricky but when you got married you are putting your wife above your mother. you dont sleep and make love to your mother (no offense) So i would stand strong next to your wife and tell your mother flat out and say if you intend to be disrespectful towards my wife in this diffucult time i would rather you not come at all. And from what i hear you still married your wife after knowing your mother disapproves so that shows you that you love and respect your wife.
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I think I would have a trusted friend or professional security person at the event, and if your mother begins to make a scene, have him quietly walk her out.  My cousin practically had to do this at his wedding, when his fiancee's parents had a huge, screaming fight behind the scenes (in front of the bride, their daughter) right before the ceremony.  My cousin walked his future father-in-law out of the room and informed him that this was no time to be acting like an idiot, and if he could not hold it together, he could not come and see his daughter married.  

If you want to be a man, now is the time like no other to show your wife that you are not "torn" between herself and your mom, you are cleaving to her, your wife, the way you promised to do on your wedding day.  That is what happened the day you became a husband, you turned from all others, and if your mom chooses to include herself in the definition of all others that must be turned away from, that is your MOM's problem.  You are a nice, dutiful son I'm sure, but you are no longer a boy trying to please his mom.  You are a man trying to protect his wife, a much more significant duty now and for the next 60 years if you are lucky.

A middle ground between wringing your hands and whining that you feel torn and marching her out under guard, is to have an advance phone call to give a word of warning with your mother that you won't tolerate any scenes.  But be clear to her that no scenes will be tolerated, and that if she she acts in any way but perfectly, you will not hesitate to protect your wife.  This goes for emotional bullying and grandstanding just as much as it would for physical assault.

Your wife will love you for it, your mom will probably sulk and carry on about it.  Let her.  It's time for her to realize your world no longer revolves around herself.
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