Post # 1
When my family announced my shower date (this May), to my future mother in law, she made a casual comment that her brother’s birthday celebration may be the same weekend. She said that it was his 50th, but left it at that (his parents and my parents were out to dinner with us discussing wedding progress). The location and date for my shower were locked in over a year ago by a very sweet and loving aunt of mine and my sister (MOH), as a surprise for me (she didn’t want me to know right away that they were planning it).
I’ve been continuing to work on the guest list to forward on to my maid of honor, and after my mom asked to include a few of her friends on the invite list I extended the offer to his mom to invite a few of her friends or maybe a few more family members, as we still had a few spots left available on the invite list and I didn’t want her to feel slighted if she knew my mother had invited a few friends. So I sent her an e-mail.
She responded back with what I would call a very impassioned e-mail. She used ALL CAPS several times in reference to me, her son, and my shower. She also CC’ed my fiance (which was fine), as well as my fiance’s grandparents (which, in my opinion was not okay). She told me that my family "Shouldn’t even waste the stamps on the invitations because NO ONE from her family would be attending" (due to the scheduling conflict). She went into an entire paragraph about how my family only cares about themselves, and that she wouldn’t want to do "ANYTHING to ruin the bride’s day, even though you seem to be forgetting this is the GROOM’S day too".
I honestly feel like the only reason she’s doing thisis to upset me. I have no control over the date (being the guest of honor, not the shower coordinator) they chose and it cannot be moved because the down payment a year ago locked them into this date. And I would feel horrible asking them to move it seeing as the invites have already been printed and the deposit is non-refundable.
My MOH sent her an e-mail explaining that she was very sorry that there was a conflict and provided her contact information, asking that all future concerns regarding the wedding be forwarded on to her instead of the bride. My FMIL told my fiance that she would not be contacting her because she didn’t know her and that the e-mail she sent was "mean" (My sister blind CC’ed me and the e-mail was nothing but a polite explanation and an apology).
Any suggestions how to handle this? I plan to e-mail her explaining that we would never want her to feel forced into attending my shower and, while the females in my family had been looking forward to meeting her, I would respect whatever decision she made.
Post # 3
Oof. That’s rough. I’m so sorry! Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything you can do other than what you suggested. It sounds like you’re handling it well though. Hopefully someone else’s brain is working better than mine is tonight and they’ll have some suggestions. Good luck and keep us posted!
Post # 4
OUCH!, that is so not right. As a present and future mother inlaw I hope one of my kids would sit me down and set me straight if I ever came close to doing something like that. When I married I swore I would never put my husband in the spot of choosing between me and his mother.
When my sons married I swore i would never make them to come CLOSE to chosing between me and their wives. Why give them that kind of grief????????
Is eveything done in email between the two of you?
Maybe I am missing something but a wedding is more important than a 50th birthday party but then I am not into wanting a party for myself. Since you told her that far in advance and she said it MIGHT be a conflict I wonder of she mentioned it to any of her family. Sound like she did not. Her poor brother is most likely hating being the center of a conflict.
Is it possible to email a few of your finacee’s famiy just to give them a heads up on the date and see what response youget. NOT as a *take my side email* but you might pleasantly find out the date of the BD party can be changed with little problem.
Any chance your fiancee can talk to the uncle or whoever is giving the party about a change of date?
If nothing else…send your invitations. Be glad you found someone to love enough to marry, have fun with the ones who come and have a long and happy married life!
Post # 5
Yesh…you know, your FMIL is probably just feeling left out. Does she have daughters of her own? She probably is frustrated that her opinion is not being more accounted for…I get some of this same passive-aggressive anger from my FMIL. I dont really ask much for her insight or opinion, I talk to my own mother. And, of course, my FI has no opinion about anything. He just wants to show up and say I Do. So he doesnt call his mother with details or for her opinion…
She’s just frustrated and angry. You didnt even plan the shower, so obviously, she shouldnt be mad at you…but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Are all these showers in the same town? Maybe you can have a 2nd shower, geared more to her family. Tell FI to suggest it to his mom.
Post # 6
I think she is overreacting! You, nor your family, is "out to get them" or not include them. You were very thoughtful in asking if she would like to invite some guests. She just doesn’t see it that way.
Is there any way you would be willing to call her instead of sending an email? I too am an email kind of girl but something like this sounds like it needs to be delt with either on the phone or in person. Tone can often be lost in email.
What was your fiance’s reaction to all this? Can he talk to her as well?
Good luck! and sorry you have to deal with unnecessary drama!
Post # 7
Eeek. This is a sticky situation! I feel terrible for you as this is obviously not your fault. There is nothing you can do about the date as it’s already been set. While it’s unfortunate that she cannot attend if she really wants to attend a shower she can host one herself or have one of your FI’s aunts host one for you.
Perhaps your MOH could mention planning a shower along with your MIL at your MIL’s house with her friends and family? Would this be possible?
Post # 8
Yikes! Can you get your fiance to talk to FMIL? Maybe he can find out why she’s so upset and why she’s giving you so much grief about something you can no control over. Also, is it possible to have another small informal shower where FMIL and her friends and family can be involved?
Post # 9
Ouch is right, this is one sticky situation!
I have to say, I love how she is pointing out that it’s the GROOM’s day as well…. it’s the shower. I’m not a big spotlight loving bride, but the shower is in fact, all about the bride!!
It’s a shame that she isn’t seeing this as the potential bonding experience it should be and causing petty drama. I would suggest going out to lunch (or coffee if she’s that much of a pain) and tyring to talk the situation out. If she’s being this bad about the shower, I woudl hate to see the problem escalate as you get closer to the wedding!
Post # 10
Maybe you could talk to her in person (where it seems like she might be nicer and more understanding). Perhaps you could do a second shower like others have suggested and ask her if she would like to host it or help plan it. It could be low key just at someones house just so FMIL could have a part in it. And have you explained to her that this was a surprise to you and it was arranged so long ago?
Post # 11
She absolutely does not understand why my shower cannot be moved. Her family even went as far as calling the hall (where my shower is being held) to see what the options are as far as getting your deposit back if the date is changed more than 30 days beforehand (without telling anyone planning my shower that they were doing so). This was after her initial contact with me and with my mother. I was shocked and very hurt that they would go so far as contacting the hall!
My mother tried to kindly suggest my FMIL and FSIL could try to do something small to include his family if they absolutely could not make the shower, but she said "I can’t afford that kind of thing".
It all boils down to the fact that this birthday party is being held the day before 5 hours away from the town where my shower will be held (and where my FMIL also lives). My mother even suggested moving the shower back several hours (from 1:30 to 3 or 4) to allow his family adequate time to come back into town (since the birthday party is the day before). She said that absolutely wouldn’t work because that would force all of the females to miss the family brunch the next morning. Her suggestion was that if we could not move the date, we should move the time to 7pm or later. My mother was completely confused by this.. 4pm is late for a shower, but 7 or 8pm on a Sunday? Regardless, we can’t move it that late anyhow because we have to have the hall completely closed up by 9pm.
Post # 12
Whoa, that is WAY out of line.
I could see how the birthday party is really a big event – it’s not just a party, but also seemingly a family reunion. Also, depending on how senior the honoree is, he may be a super-important member of his family and it might be considered disrespectful not to fully participate.
That being said, the way your FMIL is handling this is nothing short of unreasonable. YOU did not insist on holding the shower that day, but she is taking out all of her frustrations on you. If I were in your situation, I would have your FI step in as a buffer – maybe she will open up if he gently asks her why she feels this way about your shower situation, perhaps there is something she is not telling you about why she is so adamant about attending the birthday party.
If that’s not the case, well…I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Nobody needs this kind of tension with their in-laws.
Post # 13
Just an update:
My fiance and I have basically figured out that she is just making waves to make waves. This is extremely hard for me to say, but I believe she is jealous of our wedding and is doing whatever she can to make both of us miserable. She has attacked practically all of the aspects of the wedding that she can (our menu choices, bridesmaid dresses, ring bearers, this shower situation, the guest list). She has had two failed marriages and was pregnant for both weddings. While that is very unfortunate, we are beyond exasperated dealing with her. My family is beginning to grow apprehensive that she may have an outburst at rehearsal or at the wedding itself.
My sister, the MOH, tried contacting her via e-mail and the response she got made her histerical, as my FMIL actually began verbally attacking her.
At this point, I’m sorry to say but I think my shower will be much more pleasant if she doesn’t attend. Believe me, I’m making every effort to involve her. But at this point, both my fiance and I are exhausted from dealing with her and we don’t feel that we need to choose to keep including someone in our wedding planning activities who is making both of us miserable and adding unneeded stress to this process.
Post # 14
yikes this sounds awful. but good for you to just press on and be happy, sometimes that is really all you can do if someone else is determined to be miserable. i’m sure you’ll have a lovely shower!!!
Post # 15
Wow. She sounds insanely jealous! And after you provided some background information on her, it makes a lot of sense. You will enjoy your shower more if she isn’t there raising cane. At least your fiance is in the same boat and sounds very understanding and supporting. If your FMIL is going to create problems, stay out of the way as much as you can! Sounds like she would turn this shower of YOURS, the BRIDE, into all about HER and the "GROOM" even though grooms don’t want showers! haha. Her disrespectful emails are a shame though. A woman who is old enough to have children getting married should not resort to tactless and rude emails to handle a situation. Tell her you simply won’t talk to her about stuff unless she "calms down and is rationale". I bet that’ll tick her off . Fight fire with fire, LoL. Otherwise you’ll flip out in 20 years like my mom did from all the pent up frustrations!