Dear Ms. Meniscus,

I have fibromyalgia that is relatively well controlled. My future mother-in-law and my own mother, however, are not. I’m getting married in June and my mother-in-law is treating me like an invalid and my own mother is being a controlling female dog. I haven’t confronted them yet. I’m wondering if I should go out and buy each of them an ugly dress and a pretty dress, then invite them to dinner – just the three of us – and tell them if they don’t get with my program immediately, they’ll be wearing the ugly dresses to my wedding.

The men refuse to get involved – father, father-in-law and future husband – think this circus is funny. They say they’ll show up and dance, but that’s it.

I’m afraid if this pressure doesn’t ease up, I’m going to get sick. I’m already angry.

— Fibro Foaming Mad

Dear Fibro Foaming Mad,

I can feel this email seething with fury from the moment I opened it in my email! It is clear that you are feeling powerless by the treatment of your family (and soon-to-be family).

Your strategy to force your mother and future mother-in-law to “get with the program” by delivering to them an ultimatum is at best, ill-conceived. You don’t want to sabotage your own wedding, especially in a situation where your mother and mother-in-law are wearing the same dresses that you (the bride) picked out in bad taste.

You say you are keeping your fibromyalgia in check. Why don’t you show them how? I know some ladies with fibromyalgia who enjoy going for a swim or even yoga. If you partake in one of these activities, invite your “mothers” to join you. The entire time, feel free to speak endlessly about how much these activities have helped you with your fibro.

You may end up with some red-faced “mothers” who can’t even keep up with you in the process.

Whatever you decide, make sure that it is a well thought-out plan. If you feel that you don’t have any say in your own wedding, make sure to decide what you want and make it known to those around you. Be able to defend your reasoning matter-of-factly and you should be able to keep the wolves at bay.

— M

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