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
I would simply let the situation diffuse itself. I would simply make an apology (I know that the MOH has already done so but hearing it from you may pacify her) and very kindly explain exactly what you said in the above post: you were unaware of the scheduling conflict as you are not the coordinator and that while you would love for her to be there you also understand that she has another engagement.
It is your FMIL not your MOH. You are going to have to be the one to deal with this. I know that the MOH is planning the shower but you are the bride and unfortunately the good and the bad come along with that title.
I would still send her an invite. So that she can formally decline if she so chooses. (trust me, when people who tell you that they cannot come to an event do not get an invite the story can change to "I didn’t come because I was not invited".)
And I would have your fiance very politely explain to his mother that she is taking her hostilities out on the wrong person and that she is making it very difficult for either of you to enjoy this time in your life. If she wants to attend the other party that is fine but there is no reason to become hostile because the situation is fixed.
I would not even take the bait at her remarks about your family. Be the bigger person and just ignore her petty attitude. Nothing good can come of slandering each others families.
Lastly DO NOT ask those planning the shower to alter the date and location especially if they have already put down financial contributions. If I were planning this and you did that I would be livid.
Post # 4
Yikes! I’m sorry for your situation. People can be so weird when it comes to weddings. Is this normal behavior for her? Have you had other disagreements?
I agree with @laural that you should still send her an invite and "be the bigger person" by apologizing for the conflict. You may want to nicely ask her if something else is bothering her about the wedding (because it seems ridiculous for her to react ths way.)
You may want to write a very nice email to her saying this and also explaining that you think of this day as being just as much for you as it is for your groom and that you can’t wait to share the day with everyone in the family. It does not sound like you did a THING wrong, but I think you should try to keep the peace with her pre-wedding. My two cents is that it is just easier to not have conflict. After all is said and done you are stuck with her, so you might as well try to do all you can to keep harmony esp. before the big day.
In a few years when you’ve all settled into your new rols, maybe then will it be worth it to speak your mind
Post # 5
Wow- she was pretty tactless if you ask me!
I think you should let your fiance deal with the issue. And if you go out to dinner with your in-laws, I would politely and ever so gently remind her it wasn’t your family’s intention to plan a gathering the same weekend as her brother’s birthday. (I mean- come on! How would YOUR family know about a relative on your fiance’s sides birthday date?!) and I would tell her, you will understand if people cannot attend both given the scheduling circumstances, but that you wanted to be inclusive.
But I would just take the higher road on this. I think you very politely invited her family, it isn’t on the same day (right?) so maybe people would like to join if they know they have been extended an invitation. I think you handled the whole thing very well.
Post # 6
Wow…it seems to me that the birthday party should be moved since your family booked your shower a year in advance, but that doesn’t help you.
You need to get your fiancé involved here. He needs to explain the situation and to let her know that she should not be bringing in other family members (his grandparents) into the discussion. That was incredibly rude of her to do that to both you and she needs to be told that. If possible he should have this conversation in person with you there so you can present a united front.
She also apparently feels like the wedding isn’t keeping her son in mind, what she probably means is that the wedding plans aren’t taking her needs into consideration. Your fiance should also address that letting her know that if she has issues with the plans she should speak to him first before blowing up at his future wife.
It sounds like she isn’t a very accommodating person so you two are going to have to get used to putting your collective foot down. What is she going to do when you can’t attend a family party b/c you have other plans? Freak out?
Send the invites to her and her family. If they choose to decline, that’s their prerogative.
Post # 7
I’m sorry she’s been treating you this way. It is unfair for her to blame you for the scheduling of the shower. I too wonder if she is normally like this, or if the wedding itself is causing some irrational behavior.
I might offer a possible explanation as to why she is so upset. Habibi touched on this. I think as far as the shower was concerend she feels she should have been consulted as to days that would have worked for her too. It sounds like she wasn’t given heads up at all. In fact, for the shower to have been set a year ago, and her not be given the date until recently does seem like a bit of a mistake IMO. (I’m not saying it was your fault. But I do think a little more consideration could have been given to her. Also, perhaps the planning of the brother’s birthday was also not in her power. And I have admit, giving her a little more warning on the shower, might have prevented the scheduling conflict.) It also sounds like she feels she should be involved with the wedding more than she is currently.
As for offering to allow her to invite some friends etc. to the shower, (may be pointless at this point) I just wanted to point out that people who aren’t invited to the wedding shouldn’t be invited to the shower. It’s one thing if she’s hosting it, and she has close friends who’d like to come for a good time. And they know they won’t be invited to the wedding. But it is a bit different for you to offer that she invite people. Slippery slope. Will those folks think they are invited to the wedding? Especially since you offered.
As for your MOH getting involved, I think that was a mistake. Again, I’m not sure all that is going on with your FMIL, but I think if issues need to be discussed, she should first, be talking to your FI, and perhaps you. I can see having to deal with your MOH for the shower, certainly. But you said your MOH’s e-mail said for contact regarding the wedding (not specifically the shower). That comes across like your trying to avoid her, give her the silent treatment etc. I just think if you are trying to eliminate some of the stress you want to put it on your FI. Letting another person get involved gives the wrong message.
I really do think your FMIL is being unfair to you. Perhaps it would help to get her more involed, especially if you think this stems mostly from planning thewedding. If she is normally like this, I think there are probably issues dealing with not being number 1 in her son’s life anymore. I hope your FI can spend some time with her to get things turned around here. Maybe there is something you can do to make it seem more like she’s gaining a daughter, not losing a son. Good luck.
Post # 8
Thank you all for the comments. A few things I felt I needed to add in after reading the comments:
-There were only two dates left available for this summer when my aunt booked the hall over a year ago. The second date was only two weeks before the wedding and she knew this was far too close to the big day. So she automatically chose the only date available after already contacting several other locations with no availability. I do agree she should have been contacted earlier, however, this was the job of the planning committee as I stated they were keeping the shower planning under wraps for awhile.
-I also have tried to include her in other planning events with me and my fiance. We invited her to a bridal show in October (she initially said yes, then backed out last minute with a weird excuse). We also invited her to a tasting with our caterer, which happens to be tomorrow. She, again, initially said yes then backed out two days ago, again citing a very odd excuse. She also claims to others (including a few cousins of mine who she happens to be friends with) that she has no idea what is going on in the wedding b/c we’re excluding her.
-This is also somewhat unrelated, but also an issue raised in her e-mail. My future sister in law was sized for her dress and put down her deposit for it to be ordered last week, a day after my two sisters were sized for their dresses and ordered them. Her e-mail mentioned how inconsiderate it was to exclude her from the dress shopping and expecting her to order her dress as soon as she tried on the dress. I let her know weeks ago that was what we were doing and my own sisters did not see the dress until a day before she saw it. She (his sister) has not raised any concerns to me, however, so I feel that his mother was using this just to cause more arguments.
I’m being as cordial as possible at this point, but i don’t know how much more I can take 🙁
Post # 9
Wow. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with all this. It’s difficult to do all the things that go into planning a wedding and cater to everyone. Sometimes in the wedding planning process feelings are just hurt, and you will kill youself trying to make everyone happy. So, for your own sanity, I would try your best to let it go. I know that isn’t easy, but a situation like this could easily become something bigger (it seems like it’s headed that way …). What’s done is done.
That being said, I would make one suggestion. While I think e-mail is wonderfully convenient and crucial for communication in this day and age, some things are just better discussed in person or over the phone. I think this is one of those things. So much is lost in translation over e-mail. Was she really yelling, or is she just not aware that caps in e-mail language=yelling? It’s difficult to talk about touchy things like this via e-mail because you can’t hear her tone, her inflection. (Same goes with hearing things through second-hand sources … )
At this point, I think you need to cut out the middle man (FI, MOH, cousins, etc.) and call your FMIL and talk about everything. You both are going to be in eachothers’ lives for a long time. Explain that you really would have told her sooner if you could have because it was important for you to have her at your shower. Tell her you understand the importance of the birthday party. After you explain that the date cannot be changed, ask what you can do to make this better for her. And, unless she asks for something totally ridiculous (changing the date and beyond), do it. Even if you both can’t find a middle ground, I think she will appreciate the gesture. And try to continue calling her to talk about wedding stuff to mend the fences. Think about the future; your relationship with her will go on long after the bridal shower.
I hope this helps! Good luck!
Post # 10
Awww… I really feel your pain. The issues with my FMIL came to a head about a month ago, when she blasted my FI on the phone about how we (he and I) "don’t take any of her desires into consideration" when it comes to planning the wedding. Yeah. Without the long drawn out story, basically she was completely wrong and out of line. I was furious and horribly upset, thinking that I needed to clear every future miniscule wedding decision with her.
Worse though, my FI got put in between his mother and I. I know there are some people who may argue that I am his family now and that he should always side with me, but that’s just not realistic. His mother is an important part of his life, and she and I always got along very well until we started wedding planning. So, it was killing me to see him trying to balance me and his mother, and constantly end up in the middle.
As much as it pains me to say, the best advice really is to be the bigger person. Rant and rave to your mom, MOH, friends, etc., but there’s no point in bad-mouthing your FMIL to your FI or stooping to her level. It’s not fair to your FI, and will not help your cause in the long run. Since I’ve taken "the high road" and tried to always be polite to his mom and include her in wedding decisions (to some extent), my FI has realized (again) how mature, gracious, and wonderful I am 😉 And he’s much more willing to side with me and intervene / stand up to his mother now, knowing that I’m trying my best.
I didn’t mean for the story to get this long, but basically, I think you’re doing the best you can with an unpleasant situation. You’re completely in the right to be upset at her behavior, but just keep reminding yourself that you’re marrying her son, and that she is going to likely be a part of your lives for a while. Weddings seem to bring out crazy issues and stress that never existed before, and she may realize after the big day that she was unreasonable. I hope all of this doesn’t detract from your shower, and that you’re able to have a wonderful day with lots of people who love and care about you!
Post # 11
I think sometimes the moms like to be included because they want to feel like they still matter to their children. I think that goes double for the mom of a son. Do you know the old saying?
"A son’s a son, until he takes a wife. But a daughter’s a daughter all her life."
Girl’s will usually ask their own mom for advice and opinions. It doesn’t just stop at the wedding. Having kids, and what to do about the cough, fever…cleaning a newborn’s belly button. Even babysitting. It just seems like the wife/mom’s mother is the one who gets first crack. So when a wedding is planned and a mom sees that all kinds of things are going on around her, I think she starts to feel like one of her worst fears has begun. She’s been replaced, and her son never calls anymore. "I don’t even know what’s going on with the weddng anymore…"
I don’t think that’s what’s going on in your case Miss Edamame, just a general thought. For anyone who feels like this might apply to them, I would just recommend trying to keep that in mind. Try to keep your FMIL involved. Let her know that you love her too, and look forward to spending time with her and learning from her wisdom etc. It’s tough for most of you to see this now, but if you have sons one day, you’ll get it.
Post # 12
I’m sorry you have to deal with this madness. People get wacky when it comes to weddings. One thing that I have learned so far is that there are certain personalities that like to be the center of attention, and these people may even start conflict just to take the spotlight off of the bride.
I would have all of the invitations mailed just like normal, and if few people RSVP maybe ask the MOH to invite more friends than you had planned. Maybe whoever is hosting the b-day party will decide to throw it another day besides the actual birthday, or maybe they will be at different times of the day.
Good luck, and I hope you don’t have to deal with anymore conflict. Remember, this is your turn!
Post # 13
Miss Edamame, so sorry you are having to go through all of this! Reading your post makes me much more thankful for my FMIL and the lack of drama on that side of the family. (My own side, however …. *grimace*). Where in Ohio are you from?<!–Session data–>