Post # 1
Okay, so I grew up in a very fragmented/dysfunctional family. I mostly took care of myself from age 14 on and now that I’m older and getting married in the same town as my mother she’s likely to come. Of course!
However, I have always been ashamed of my mother/family’s lack of composure and tact. They aren’t particularly well spoken and I feel like people judge me based on how they behave.
FI’s family is so well-adjusted, close-knit, and seemingly “normal.” I feel SO GUILTY for even thinking these things but I’m so nervous and don’t know how I’ll even enjoy my wedding because I’ll be watching how they are acting more than actually enjoying myself.
Has anyone ever felt this way, how did you manage/will you manage?
Post # 3
OMG story of my life! I totally feel your pain and had the same though initally when I got engaged. So I talked to my fiance about it and he made me see that 1) if I excluded my family from our wedding in any way I’d regret it (and he’s turned out to be right), and 2) he loves me, and while my family is part of me we manage them, we always have.
Your wedding about you and your fiance, first and foremost. But it’s also, in a way, about your families coming together. I think if you talk to you family, mainly your mom it sounds like, and let her know your hopes and expectations, she may just rise to meet them. I know my family has.
However, keep this in mind too, no person’s family is perfect, they all have demons. You said that his family is “seemingly” normal and that’s probably perfectly accurate. No one is perfect. I hope that helps 🙂
Post # 4
@lawbride88: On your wedding day, chances are you won’t even notice her.
My husband’s parents are odd. They are still his parents. And frankly, if they do something stupid, the onus is on them, not my husband, not me, not anyone else.
Seriously, if she acts like a dope, no one is going to hold you accountable.
Post # 5
@JemmaWRX: i wish that was true but it just won’t be. I am so hypercritical and just AWARE of everything.
Post # 6
@lawbride88: Ok fine, so maybe you will notice. But do you really believe everyone is going to think “OMG, lawbride is such a lunatic because her Mom is acting like an oddjob?” No. If see someone act like an ass I think, “That person is an ass.” Not “Their daughter must be an ass.”
Trust me, no one will draw any comparisons between your mother’s nutiness and you.
If you are concerned about worrying about her the entire night, no offense, but that’s on you. Really. And I’m not saying this to be mean. Just being realistic with you. Think about it. If you *allow* someone to distract you, you *allow* someone to make you worry, you *allow* someone to upset you… how is it that person’s fault?
Post # 7
I, too, am hyper critical. I am very type A and like to be in control of things. I spent my ENTIRE engagement stressing about how my family would behave. I did not enjoy one second of being engaged. The morning of my wedding, I just snapped. Suddenly, I did not give a crap about anything or anyone. When people tell you that you won’t notice, you won’t. Not unless your family does something overly crazy, like make a rude speech or flash everyone. Other than that, you WILL NOT know. I swore up and down I’d notice every little offense committed by my uncouth family. The only things I actually remember about my wedding day are moments shared between DH and I. When you get married, it’s like you’re in a bubble or on a cloud with your DH. I know you’re not going to believe any of this. Just know that I have been down this road, only five months ago. I trust and hope that things go great for you, where you family is concerned at your wedding. I just don’t want you to spend your engagement fretting over things that will not even end up being a concern.
Post # 8
@lawbride88: I sort feel you — my parents are fine but some of my extended family are a bunch of hyperconservative alcoholic attention-seeking phonies.
Honestly, I am dealing with it by not inviting those people. I have no idea what the result of that will be but I don’t especially care that much because I never see them anyway! 😛
Post # 9
My family is not so much dysfunctional but like to party and are a little bit “hick” so I’m nervous too about how things are going to go at the wedding with FI’s ant-drinking, super-critical, city-living family. eek!
I think the best thing any of us can do is just let it go and have a good time at the wedding 🙂 People probably aren’t going to judge you in particular (but maybe they will judge her?)
Post # 10
We had some similar concerns, but I can tell you from experience that there’s a little dysfunction in every family! We were so worried leading up to the big day, but I honestly didn’t even think about it on the actual day of the wedding. Everyone was on their best behavior around us and we were so busy talking to all of our guests and being amazingly happy that we wouldn’t have even noticed if there was a slip-up here or there. I totally understand your concerns, but if your experience is anything like ours, you will look back laughing at how worried you were. Good luck!
Post # 11
If your FH’s family are as great as they sound, they’ll have the sense not to judge you based on someone else’s behaviour.
Post # 12
Post # 13
@Miss Country Chick: thats reassuring.
Part of it is appearance and not overt actions..like my mother has poor hygiene and that worries me. I guess ifdo pick out her clothes, and get a facial with her, and take her to get her nails done she might take more pride in her appearance and shake some of that. Her wedding is 2 weeks before mine so it’s possible that she wiljudo these things on her own but it’s so hard for me to even allow FI around her better yet his entire family.
I know it sounds bad…I feel bad for thinking it but it’s true. She doesn’t brush her teetwe often and it shows, she speaks in an uneducated manner, and she lacks a filter. I guess I’ll get over it–you’re all correct in saying others won’t judge me. It’s just a huge fear of mine.
This is sharing a lot BUT it stems from something that happened in 6th grade–I always kept quiet about the dysfunction I had to deal with he aide I was ashamed but one friend in particular knew the truth. Well, some of it. We had a group of 5 friends and the fact that I lived on a run down motel with 2 beds and 6 people became a way for them to ostracize me. I was tainted, teased, and outright shunned for something I had no control over. Yes, we were in 6th grade but the fear and pain resulting from their immaturity extends beyond childhood.
Ive worked to overcome any traces of poverty and “low class” identifiers. I feel like my worst nightmare will come true that all I’ve worked for will be tarnished because of the “low class” lens I’ll be seen through from that point onward. It’s foolish perhaps but it pains me inside. If it was something she couldn’t control I’d feel differently but she can. She just has no self respect or pride in who she is and doesn’t care what that means for anyone else. It’s selfish of her in my opinion and the damage I suffered for 3 years in middle school can’t adequately be explained. I had no one and did nothing to deserve it–all because my mother chose a lifestyle that left us essentially homelesS and my father couldn’t be bothered to care.
Post # 14
I’m so sorry you experienced that bullying as a child and I can totally understand why you’re hypersensitive about class-marker issues now.
It’s key to come to terms with it and no longer be so focused on giving off the “right, classy, signals,” but that’s long term. It’s unreasonable to ask you to do that by the time of your wedding, but maybe you could make some progress with that between now and then.
Helping your family at least get their appearances to fit your preferences (if they are willing and you can do that in a way that doesn’t offend them) should help relax you, as well. Asking them not to bring up certain topics or do certain specific behaviors may also help, just don’t make it too long a list… choose the main 2 things you really don’t want to see your mother do, and approach this topic with extreme delicacy.
Keep in mind that adults are very different than kids, and those who have never moved from one “class” or lifestyle to a dramatically different “class” are not nearly as aware of all the little markers as you. They may also have somewhat different thoughts about what they consider “class markers,” especially if they haven’t grown up in the exact same place you did.
Personally, I would never feel negatively about someone because they were low SES, but I also am not hyper-aware of SES markers. However, people who are rude – not as in not knowing the rules of etiquette for this or that, but out-and-out rude, that will catch my attention easily, and that’s what I consider classless. Generally, these people talk loudly, dress loudly, and are too self-focused and make negative comments about/to other people. If your family doesn’t do those things, I can’t see any reasonable adult from any income bracket thinking a single negative thought about them, even if they do small things that you notice and make you cringe. The world is not made up of those cruel sixth graders in adult bodies, I promise. Sure, some people are stuck that way, and that’s sad for them. They are the ones the rest of us don’t prefer the company of.
Hope this helps.
Post # 15
@joya_aspera: Thank you so much! It did help. ((sigh)) ill try to make progress. FI deserves that.
Post # 16
@lawbride88: This is totally my FI’s mom, and he gets super embarassed of his family. We just put a disclaimer in our wedding program.
“Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts.”