I'll preface this by saying this might be a bit long, but bear with me.
I know a lot of people come through asking for advice about their in-laws. I read through here a lot and try to use whatever advice I can that matches my situation. Now, FI and I are at our wits end and after taking as much advice as we can find, we've come to a point where we no longer know what to do.
From the beginning (and I literally mean two days after we began dating), his parents, especially his mom, has been asking FI if I'm using him for money. She constantly questions whether I'm doing all of my duties as a future wife (i.e. she thinks I don't contribute enough to the household, I'm not feeding him well, he's gotten too pale, why am I not pushing him to find a church, etc.). She is always saying hurtful things (i.e. if we don't find a church then our marriage will fail, I'm wrong for even being upset with FI solely because he is the breadwinner (yes, she thinks that his making more means I'm not allowed to get upset with him EVER), I ruined the last family vacation we went on, etc.). She's even gone so far as to get mad at FI for the things that the family offered to pay for in regards to the wedding. They've offered, on their own, to pay for some groom/wedding expenses, but they never fail to try and guilt FI for it because they helped pay his way through college several years ago. It's complicated, I guess.
His sister has frequently gotten in fights with him because he chooses to split time between both of our families instead of solely choosing them. For example, we told her we were coming to see the family on Father's Day, but that we couldn't spend the night the prior night because we were going to see my father (who has cancer, btw). She yelled at him saying that he needed to pay more attention to his father than spending that time with mine (we are very careful to split time and not spend more time with one family over the other, for what it is worth).
So, with this being a common thing, FI confronted his family about their behavior around Christmas. He was very kind, wrote everything out prior so that he wouldn't get too emotional, and tried very hard to defend us. However, as soon as he started talking about how his mother had made him feel, she started wailing and saying she'd never say anything to us again and locked herself in her bedroom. Half an hour later, we got a call from his father screaming at FI for "hurting her feelings" and saying that he didn't agree with a lot of what I believe and do (which is based on how I was raised). FI's father has agreed that the family has issues, but that we should just deal with it because it isn't going to change. His father tends to be a pretty nice guy, but he has definitely grown into this "yes, dear" role where he just lets FMIL make all the decisions and he encourages her freak outs by not ever telling her that she might be wrong. It has become a family thing because of this. She is the epitome of "if mom isn't happy, no one is happy".
FI and I saw a counselor who said that because FI's family is from a small town (the entire family lives on one road that bears their last name), I'm probably seen as the equivalent of the "big, bad outside". You know, bad things happen when you leave home. That sort of thing. The counselor told us that the family would probably come around. However, the behavior just continues to get worse and worse. The closer we get to the wedding, the worse they've become.
FI wants to talk to his family again, but he's afraid of having to cut them off for good to make a point. I can understand. Completely cutting off your family because they treat you like crap can be scary and tough. Especially if you've come from a very family-oriented background. Does anyone think there is any other options? I'm just tired of them constantly being so hurtful. Sure, I can try to ignore it, but ignoring people who hurt me has never been my strong suit. I just don't want to cry anymore about people who think I'm the worst thing that has ever happened to their family. And I'm truly saddened for FI that they have begun to treat their only son this way. It just isn't right. He doesn't deserve it. He's an amazing person.
The good news is that FI is on my side. Our future family is all he cares about. At the same time, I don't want him to have to choose. I love him so much and I'd hate for him to be without his family in the future.
Please. I just don't know what else to do. Am I completely mental? If you need anymore info, feel free to ask. There is just so much I could type and my mind is bouncing all over the place trying to get the pertinent facts, so I could have left something out.
Thank you in advance. I (and FI) appreciate it more than you know.