Post # 1
Part rant, part advice seeking here! My Mother-In-Law was the most stressful part of planning my wedding. She felt entitled to participate in EVERY wedding meeting, though my parents paid for the majority and she even said that it was “their job” to pay for everything. This means she cried whenever we had a meeting with vendors and she was not asked to come along – then-FI and I felt it would be awkward to have her there with my mom discussing the costs of it all, and really, it was just Darling Husband and I making all decisions, my mom only came along when we had to talk about costs. She cried when Darling Husband and I shopped for and picked out our wedding bands just the two of us because she wasn’t included, and she “missed a special moment.” Also when I picked out my gown with just my mom and sister. I thought maybe she’d stop these long tear-filled phone calls about all this after the wedding, but she hasn’t.
Right now, she feels that she should receive half of the printed photos and 1 of the 2 albums we get as part of our photographer package – a package that my parents generously bought for us. Darling Husband responded to her email by saying that he’d like to know which are her 10 favorite photos and he’ll be sure to order duplicates of those ones, and that if she liked our album she could order one from the photographer. Darling Husband and I know that the other wedding album is for my parents… they paid for it! She followed up with a tearful phone call about how “hurt” she is that “my parents get more” from us. Darling Husband explained that the photos were my parents’ gift to us, and that she could always order her own package if she wanted as many as she claimed were owed her, but she started screaming about all the things she’d done for Darling Husband in his life and how much he owed her. She hasn’t talked to us in over a week now, and we are suposed to see them tomorrow. She also didn’t wish me a happy birthday that was this past week, which is odd for her to do. I’m so nervous. Do you think we actually owe her any of her demands? It is so stressful having to put up with this. I’d just give her my album so that she’d drop it, but it is something Darling Husband and I really cherish… any one have a similar MIL?
Post # 2
- Wedding: April 2015 - Family Farm
I do not think you owe her anything. She chose to be a mother and give and make sacrifices, she doesn’t get to hold those gifts over her sons head. A gift is a gift, not a debt to be collected later.
Do not give her your album. That is a beautiful gift from your parents. Don’t be nervous. Remember that she is acting like a child having a tantrum. You can’t give into tantrums. If she continues to pester and whine, calmly reiterate that she can absolutely buy an album if she wants. Your parents bought an album in a sense. Remind her that you are happy to order duplicates but are not giving away a gift from your parents. Just keep reminding and give no ground.
SOOOOOOO sorry you have to deal with this.
Post # 3
Sticking to your guns now will cause less problems later. Any person you give in to because they whine loud enough (it doesn’t mater if it is a parent or a two year old) learns that this is the way they get stuff from you. The more often you stand your ground, the less that it will happen in the future.
Also, my Mother-In-Law if she acted like that would have to pry my wedding album from my cold, dead hands.
Post # 4
You don’t owe this nutjob a thing. Your parents paid good money for those pictures so it’s pretty obvious that they would get the other album. This woman sounds like she has major issues. Is your husband an only child? There’s something about crazy moms with only one son.
Post # 5
Your Mother-In-Law sounds like an entitled lady. Don’t feed that entitlement. Have your Darling Husband keep her in check.,
Post # 6
ilovebacon: No, not an only child…. Darling Husband has a younger sister who I believe will soon be engaged. I might symphasize a little more if she were a single mom and this were her only child, but nope, she is extremely pampered by her husband and demands a lot from her 2 kids.
Just because my parents are getting some of the photos (that they paid for) doesn’t mean we have to give the same amount to her, right? We do intend to give her some, just not as many as she’s demanded.
Post # 7
UPDATE: dinner tomorrow will sure be interesting, now! Darling Husband just emailed her and said he was looking forward to catching up…. and said “I know you’re upset about the photos, however, I do not think you are being fair to us and you definitely haven’t been reasonable. Since we’ve offered to print out the extra prints of your choice and you were not happy to accept that from us, your best bet is to order what you like directly from the photographer. His number is xxx and he can quote you the cost for the number of prints you want and the album. That’s all there’s going to be about this, I will not be talking about this again. I hope we can have an enjoyable evening tomorrow, let us know if you’d like to see our album and we’ll bring it.”
He said he also called the photographer and told him not to send her prints from our package. I’m a proud wife!
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2015 - Family Farm
lolalulu_24: You are going to have to let us know how this all plays out.
BRAVO to the husband! That is wonderful!
Post # 9
i’m sorry you are going through this. What your guy did sounds perfect for the situation and takes guts! Good luck tomorrow!
Post # 10
It’s so nice to see a husband who can stand up to his mother in a perfectly reasonable and polite manner.
I agree with the pp who said that drawing a line now may save you even more hassle in the future. Obviously this behavior has worked for her in the past, or she wouldn’t continue acting like this.
Post # 11
lolalulu_24: My parents paid for our wedding, and the photographer.
When we got the photos in, I sent both of our sets of parents the digital files, and I put together a shutterfly album. I ordered 3 of the album, one for us, one for my parents, and one for his parents. We gave the albums in lieu of thank you notes for hosting the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and raising us to be the right people for each other.
Luckily, we didn’t deal with parents getting panties in a bunch about the arrangements before the wedding and were able to surprise our parents with the gifts.
Post # 12
Good for your husband! Yay! My Mother-In-Law is pretty much like yours and I’m awfully proud of my Darling Husband, too.
Advice? Do not give in. She’ll walk away thinking she “won” and can still control her son as if he is 16. Things will only get worse if you do. Stay polite and continue to let your husband deal with his mother.
If only more mothers would understand they aren’t losing a son, they are gaining a daughter. Unfortunately, many manage to push both son and daughters in law away with their antics.
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2015 - The Old Courthouse in Cleveland
lolalulu_24: Holy cow! I think your husband’s response was perfect. It is unfortunate that she really is hurt by it, but bottom line is- you really don’t owe her half of the pictures and an album or really anything else. As someone else mentioned, I think it is vital that you maintain position (obviously in a very respectful manner) in order to prevent these problems in the future. When you met with vendors to discuss cost and she wasn’t invited, did you ever tell her that it was because you were discussing money? Did she ever offer to help pay for the photos? Are there things she offered to pay for that were not “traditionally” paid for by the grooms family? Not that these things would necessarily mean that you owe her anymore, but some people really do look at it that way.
I don’t think it is right for her to feel entitled either way. But I could see if she shelled out a good amount of money, her feeling like the photos would be a “thank you”. Though I think that 10 photos would be a great “thank you”. As annoying it is (I have a similar situation), just try to remember that your mother in law obviously loves her son and you and is proud and wants to cherrish your special day by having an album and photos. As frustrating as it is, try to also consider it endearing that she feels that way and wants to share your excitement.
Post # 14
lolalulu_24: Sadly, there seems to be so many of these types of posts on WB. It’s such a shame really because it’s very hard to provide any significant advice or guidance. Every story has three versions – yours, theirs and the truth which, in my experience, falls somewhere in the middle of yours and theirs. Is there ANY truth to her assertion that you do more for your family (visit them more, include them in your life more with frequent communication, etc) and the wedding/wedding photo issues are a behavioural manifestations of her (and even possibly your FIL) feelings?
Post # 15
lolalulu_24: Ya know normally I read these and think “wow, I don’t care how great the guy is, I would not marry into that,” but in this case, major high five to your husband for really taking care of business. And high five to you for patiently putting up with all of this and letting your husband handle it, his family his responsibility! It sounds like he’s totally living up to his end of the deal and that’s pretty rare and awesome. So I have no other advice than to high five your man, and yourself. Oh, and his poor sister will probably need a bottle of wine or 27 when it’s her turn.