- 9 years ago
- Wedding: October 2009
Hello hive! Let me apologize first for the lengthy post.
Like so many other couples, we are having issues with my FMIL and the good ol’ guest list.
Some background here … way back when FI and I started dating, he warned me that his mom could be "a difficult woman." This was before I had met any of his family. Over the years, this has proven true time and time again. While I don’t think she is a cruel person, she is extremely self-centered. She has a huge sense of entitlement and acts incredibly immature at times. I don’t want to go into too many specifics because this post would likely end up exceeding the Hive limits! But trust me, I could give you plenty of stories. I try to be the "bigger person" by looking for possible reasons behind the way she acts, but I have been appalled by her behavior on many occasions.
My FI has three siblings — two older brothers, one younger sister. IMO my FI and his sister are pretty good about "setting boundaries" with their mother — which is definitely what you have to do if you want to keep your sanity — but the older two are more likely to give in to what she wants. While the siblings all get along really well, this situation can cause tension at times.
Anyway. The issue this time is that FMIL wants to invite some friends who neither of us have ever met. In fact, nobody in the family has ever met these people. Really, I wouldn’t care about inviting them if my FI had met them before, even if it was years ago, but these people are complete strangers to us. We don’t really think its reasonable to meet them now just for the sole purpose of meeting them before our wedding.
Of course, if we had a limitless budget, this wouldn’t really be that big of a deal. The issue is that we are paying for the bulk of this ourselves — my mom has given us a little less than half, and that’s all the help we’re getting. I was recently laid off from my job, and while I’m hopeful that I will have another job soon, we are definitely trying to hold the line on costs. That means trimming the guest list where we can, and cutting people whom we’ve never met is, we feel, a logical line to draw. I should add that we are inviting several other of FMIL’s friends, plus her family, so it isn’t like she’ll be there all alone.
The issue is that this is going to likely cause a massive blowup with FMIL. She and my FFIL had a nasty divorce about 15 years ago and unfortunately FMIL wants to use this as a reason as to why she should be able to invite as many people as she wants, because FFIL has a girlfriend but FMIL isn’t dating anyone. (However, beyond FFIL’s family, we’re only inviting two of his friends, and one of them isn’t likely to come because he is in poor health. Also, we’ve met both of these friends.) FMIL even tried to say that because her sister — FI’s aunt — passed away a couple of years ago, she should be able to invite someone in her place! (FI responded that he would have invited his aunt because she was *his aunt*, not *her sister.*)
FMIL is likely to hold a grudge over this for a very, very long time, unfortunately. The problem is that you can’t just talk to her about this in an adult, rational manner and expect a good outcome. FI and his siblings have tried to sit her down to talk about things like this in the past and it always becomes ugly. She’ll start getting upset and yelling, and she’s not above slapping people either. We’re afraid that she’ll show her displeasure by acting out at the wedding, which will of course mostly make her look bad but would also be hurtful, especially to FI.
I don’t know if there’s any good advice out there for this. FMIL is a narcissist and expecting her to see things from someone else’s side almost seems like an exercise in futility. However, we also don’t want to just "cave" and invite these people just to accede to her demands, which we feel are unreasonable, especially in the light that she is giving us *zero* money for the wedding. It’s not entirely about the money, because we know she really doesn’t have it, but we also feel we should be able to set boundaries in light of that.