Post # 1
Ok I’ll start by saying FMIL is a very sweet woman who would do anything for us and she loves me to death. I really do love her and appreciate her help (most of the time). However, she is driving me crazy with wedding crap lately, she is so overbearing and never takes no for an answer.
Some examples: She had asked previously if we were doing a unity candle and I told her no. We are getting married outside and our venue has a strict guidelines on no candles. Plus I just don’t like them, If anything we’d do the sand thing but probably not. I’d like to keep the ceremony short and sweet. I also showed her pictures of what our cake will look like, flowers starting at the top, then cascading down around it and mentioned that I don’t like cake toppers and we don’t plan to use one. I have also showed her pictures of the flower girl baskets and ring bearer pillow my BM is making me from scratch (super cute, in my colors fuchsia and tangerine with Gerbera Daisies on them).
So last weekend FMIL threw me my bridal shower (which I’m very grateful for, she put a lot of work and effort into it). She had a huge stack of presents for me which included: unity candles personalized with our names and wedding date, the ugliest grandma style cake topper I’ve ever seen personalized with names and wedding date and a cheap generic looking ring bearer pillow. She claims I never told her our venue doesn’t allow candles and they’ll probably make an exception, and that she forgot I already had a ring pillow but it’s fine since my BM hasn’t made it yet anyway so I can use the one she got. I didn’t even mention the cake topper because really how do I bring that up? I’m sure she will expect me to use it.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful because she did get us some other nice things we will use (toasting flutes and cake cutting set), I just don’t know if she’s geniunely clueless or being totally passive aggressive here. She also just sent me a 2 page email with specific instructions on how to write a thank you note along with examples of like 8 different things I could say in them. Ugh, I’m not 5! I can write my own thank you notes just fine. She also had bought me thank you cards and pre addressed all the addresses on the envelopes. For a shower guest list of 40 which I told her maybe 15-20 of those people would show up since they are mostly out of town. Plus her handwriting couldn’t be more different from mine, it’d be obvious I hadn’t done it and that doesn’t look good. She had also written thank you note examples for me at that time too. I pretty much ignored the whole thing but now this email, ugh! I wrote back a one sentence reply saying I had already mailed off thank you notes (which I have).
I know she is trying to help but I feel like she needs to back off. It’s my wedding and I’m a big girl. She is also the type to change our sheets or snoop through stuff if she’s over babysitting our daughter. She is always bugging me to iron FI’s clothes for him,, like that’s my wifely duty. FI is very anal about his stuff and prefers to do those things himself. He says that’s just how she is and I should ignore it. She is just so freaking nice and sweet to everyone I don’t feel like I can say anything without looking like a total bitch. Sorry this is so long, I just need to vent and see if any of you have similar MILs.
Post # 3
Yikes! That would bug me sooooo much.
First of all – I wouldn’t use ANYTHING she gave you, if you don’t want to.
Second, I would write my own thank you’s and toss her’s.
Third – you know she’s a snooper – so, either stop having her take care of your daughter at your house… or start locking stuff up!
Other than that, just take her advice/gifts, etc as well-meant thoughts and try to start setting up some boundaries of your own. Just because she gives something to you or suggests something does not mean you have to follow it. If she gets upset about it, that’s when you tell her the truth: I appreciate your gesture/gift/idea, but we decided to do something else. END OF STORY.
Post # 4
@oracle: *LOVE* (WB really needs these buttons, lol.)
@7-9-11bride: I second what Oracle said. You don’t have to use ANY of that stuff and if she doesn’t like it, tough. You neither asked nor demanded any of it. Quite the opposite!!!
As for talking to her, don’t worry about what it will “look like”. She needs boundaries set and NOW. If your FI isn’t going to do it, then do it yourself. And if your FI HAS talked to her and she’s STILL doing it, talk to her YOURSELF.
I did this with my FI’s parents towards my kids and, whereas she didn’t listen to my FI, they listened to ME. (Of course, I also talked to my FI’s DAD and not his MOM. I did anger his dad some -oh, well-, I did get the problem eliminated.).
Either way, talk to either FFMIL or FFIL. OR BOTH. Sometimes you gotta pull the husband into the situation to reign in the wife. (in reference to your future in-laws, of course! LOL!).
good luck!!! and sorry you gotta deal with this!
Post # 5
I wouldn’t use any of it. Other people don’t buy you these things as gifts, unless they are trying to control the situation, and regardless of how nice she is, this is over the top.
Post # 6
I agree with oracle… you need to set boundries. But I also think that she shouldnt be snooping. If she geuninely is, you should leave her a note- or a dildo- something to tell her that is your private space and she needs to respect it and you.
As for her gifts, maybe you could appease her someway, by using the cake topper at the rehersal dinner some how- or incorporating it and the unity candle into the decore on the guest book or present table- (obviously not the cake). Is the pillow personalized too? If not, see if you can re-gift it to a bride in need, or if your BM can use it somehow in her design- maybe she can “fix” it, so that it is the same pillow, just made “you”.
Good luck. Maybe things will settle down after the wedding. She may just be having an “Im losing my son” pre-wedding freak out. I say cut her some slack… for now….
Post # 7
I’d toss it! It wasnt apart of your plan so dont worry or stress it!
And I agree with Oracle about everything else! Make your boundaries known now before the wedding!
Post # 8
I think it’s time for FI to say something to his mother. One of those I could deal with, but all together? Crazy shit, and he needs to do something about it.
Post # 9
It’s hard to deal with someone who actually thinks they are helping.
I agree that you should not have to use things that are not your choice in your wedding.
However, sometimes there is a compromise that can help keep relations calm between you and the FMIL.
Would you consider having a side table at the reception with the inlaws’, your parents’, and maybe even grandparents’ wedding pictures, and using those things as decor on that table- seeing that they are old fashioned anyway?
That way she gets to see them at your wedding but they’re not in your wedding pictures.
Post # 10
Man, I thought my FMIL was a pain in my ass. I agree with Oracle. I would not use any of the things she got you for your wedding, including the TY cards. It’s YOUR DAY, and YOU AND YOUR FI get to make the decisions, not her. It’s like she is trying to weasle her way in and try to get you do use her ideas. Maybe it’s her way of feeling needed, but she is going about it all wrong. As far as her snooping through your stuff, telling you how to be a wife to FI, I would just either find another babysitter or set some serious boundries. If you don’t start now, you won’t be able to later, and it will only get worse. Don’t stress, just focus on your plans, and what you have to do, and try not to disclose too much info about it. I’ve been leaving my FMIL out of my wedding plans and when she does ask me questions, I give her vague answers. It’s terrible, but It’s the only way for me to stay sane throughout this whole process. Good luck:)
Post # 11
I plan on giving the pillow to the ring bearer to “practice” with. I have no intention on using it or anything else I don’t like for the wedding. I was thinking of displaying the unity candle set on a shelf in our home. As for the cake topper, is there a polite way to just say thanks but it doesn’t really fit our vision, our cake has already been planned out? It’s awful but I have no backbone when it comes to this kind of stuff. I don’t like to make waves. We are paying for the majority of the wedding ourselves but they are helping with things like the rehearsal dinner, guy’s tuxes, honeymoon airfare. I just don’t wanna ruffle any feathers, FMIL is a talker and would likely discuss this with her whole family if I offended her.
As for the snooping, I’ve been making sure to close all the bedroom doors upstairs and say everything you should need is downstairs, diapers, wipes etc. It seems to be working lately. Thankfully now that I’m a SAHM she only watches my daughter occasionally for a few hrs at a time. She used to watch her every Sunday while I worked and that’s when she would change the sheets, do my laundry, clean up whatever she felt like. Oh and I already wrote all my own thank you’s and mailed them out 🙂
Post # 12
@7-9-11bride: the answer to the cake topper question is easy, just don’t use it. You don’t need to explain why, just don’t use it. I used to be the same way; I would feel bad about huring other peopele’s feelings, and trying to find a polite way to tell them. Now, I have reached that point where I don’t give a hoot. I’ve been burned too many times by being nice to people. So, my new mantra is: I am going to do what I want when I want, and where I want, and I don’t owe anyone an explaination. If anyone has a problem about it, then they will have to deal with me. Since you are paying for most of the wedding, you are in control not her. Always remember that from now until your day. Don’t let anyone manipulate your plans.
Post # 13
@7-9-11bride: maybe you could kinda sorta accidentally on purpose forget it the day or? Or maybe “loose it” closer to the day? (and definitely tell everyone at the venue “NO CAKETOPPER NO MATTER WHAT!!!”. 😉 )
Post # 14
@Zinzerena: Lol I totally thought of “forgetting it” the day of but my luck she would try to drive to our house to get it and save the day. FI says it’s just a cake topper, use it, what’s the big deal? Ugh…..
The worst is she wants to print out quotes and write speeches for everyone at the wedding to say and place them on each table. That way everyone will have something to say and it won’t be awkward, Umm no! FI and I both told her we don’t like this idea 10 months ago, no one should be forced to give a speech or have it written for them. She still brings it up every few weeks saying how sad she is we won’t let her do this. She wanted to do it for FBIL’s wedding a few years ago and they wouldn’t let her either. She is still talking about how awful their wedding was and how embarrassing it was for the family (they didn’t let her be involved at all and FSIL’s style is kinda “country” lol)
Post # 15
@7-9-11bride: if you use that stupid cake topper, you will hate all of your cake pictures for the rest of your life. Just tell her ‘thank you’, but you already have something in mind. You could even offer to give it back to her, so she can get her money back. 😉
I understand that you don’t like to make waves, and feel like you don’t have a backbone, but this isn’t about making waves or creating a scene. Complying with people on things you don’t want to do is not a good thing. Understanding what YOU want and communicating it, IS a good thing. TRUST ME ON THIS! It will do you, your future husband, and your marriage a ton of good.
On a side note: during the height of my wedding-planning crazy, I started to think that all the drama/angst, etc is to help prepare you for marriage and build your own communication skills. I really think it’s times like this that can be used for the greater good of building a foundation for your new life together as a couple!! GO FOR IT, GIRL! You can do it!!!!
Post # 16
@7-9-11bride: I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this: is it possible this is stuff SHE wanted for HER wedding but didn’t get????
’cause that’s how her behavior sounds to me!
My mother is currently of the “you should go to the justice of the peace and get married. I did!” view but is wavering with the “you aren’t having a traditional white gown? But you said you were gonna wear that one you were given! Why not?” view. (uh, mom, the gown would cost WAY too much in alterations and IT DOESN’T MATCH THE THEME!!!!! besides, my wedding, not yours, DEAL WITH IT!)
Hmmmm…. want me to talk to your FMIL for you? 😉 i’m pretty open and cheerful about telling the mom what’s what! 😉 (of course, I doubt your future mom-in-law would be talking to me afterwards, either! LOL!)