help-how to deal with indifferent in-laws (esp MIL!!!), urgh!!!

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
1519 posts
Bumble bee

Have you tried to talk to her about your feelings? And have you asked her how she feels about not being at the actual wedding? The only reason I’m probably having a traditional wedding and not just eloping in Vegas is so that my parents and his parents can be there to be a part of it. 

They sound like they aren’t very good at expressing their feelings to begin with, and so I would try to talk to them calmly and openly without getting extremely emotional. She seems to be very passive aggressive about her feelings and that may be why she’s trying to seem like she doesn’t care. 

If that doesn’t help, it’s your wedding reception. Don’t let his family not being excited enough dampen your excitement. They won’t be the only ones there and it isn’t their marriage 🙂 That’s the important part–you’re getting married to someone you love.

Post # 4
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I have a Future Mother-In-Law like this – she is happy for us, but doesn’t understand why we don’t just have our wedding in the backyard with everyone in jeans and tees with cans of beer and plastic tablecloths. She laughed at me for sending out Save-The-Date Cards, I can’t imagine if we were having dance lessons what her reaction would be (although I think your first dance will be super cute!) I would very strongly recommend NOT having the wedding in her backyard because I really doubt your wedding will turn out the way you want if you follow that plan. I think it would be super worth it to spend a bit extra to rent a hall or something.

I would not try to talk to her about your feelings – if they’re not emotional people it will just make here think you’re overreacting or starting a fuss about nothing. Trust me, it’s a bad idea.

Post # 5
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I wouldn’t take it personally. My Future Mother-In-Law is similar. Some people just aren’t interested in weddings. Include your mother and sister as much as possible but leave the door open for Future Mother-In-Law to join in if she wants to.

Post # 6
665 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I completely understand your situation. My Future Mother-In-Law is the exact same way, although I think she’s coming from more a religious perspective and our wedding will not be in a church.

Honestly I don’t think talking to her and trying to have a heart to heart convo will help. It might make things awkward since she probably doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong.

I like yourself, tried to talk to my Future Mother-In-Law about our wedding but she didn’t seem to care or be supportive so I gave up trying to make her care. Finally this past weekend she seemed interested in our wedding! It was amazing. Just give them time and they’ll come to you. If they never come around just be grateful you have your mother and his grandmother to be excited with you. I know it can be a bummer but just hang in there.

Post # 7
46219 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t think it has anything to do with you, your wedding or your plans.

This is who she is. She is not going to change. Just accept her for who she is and don’t look to her for the response you want.

People are the way they are because of the sum total of their life experience. Maybe it wasn’t part of her upbringing to be effusive or emotional.

Just let it go.

Post # 8
377 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Different strokes for different folks. I have this same sort of thing happening, but it doesn’t bother me. My family is not the type to get super fussed about little details of events (but neither am I, so it doesn’t bother me) and basically feel I am spending too much money/effort; whereas my Future Mother-In-Law is super into it and probably sad that I am not gung-ho with my planning and asking her to help me pick out every little detail. She always thinks I am not putting enough money/effort into the wedding.

I guess just try not to take it personally and keep the wedding talk with her to a minimum. It sounds like you have other family who are interested in helping. Enlist them to give you a hand with things and have fun.

I do feel bad that you are having to plan an event at her home, because that sounds like it will be difficult for you. But since she seems fairly passive about it maybe everything will work out fine.

Post # 10
2263 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I agree with other bees that it may just be her and not anything to do with your wedding. No one will care about your own wedding like you do, but I agree it sure would be nice sometimes! 

I’d chalk up her comments and behaviour to the fact that she just doesn’t show excitement or appreciation for wedding things like you do. Focus more attention on people who do care, best friend/best man, etc. These sound like the people you will want to remember celebrating with when all is said and done. 

Post # 11
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think you should talk to her about this, especially because you’re planning on having your reception at their home. I would just say something like, “I might be misreading things, but I’m getting the impression you’re not really happy about the wedding, and I was just wondering if something is bothering you?” Make sure that having the reception at their house is something they really want to do, while you still have time to make other arrangements if this is part of the issue.

I think it’s much better to get it out in the open now, if there is something else at work. (Could be not attending the ceremony, could be something else, who knows. Weddings stir up all kinds of weird feelings. Or maybe, like PP suggested, she just doesn’t care about them.)

Good luck, and try not to let it get to you or adversely affect your relationship with her.

Post # 12
5655 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

I agree with the previous posters about this just being her and not making a big deal about it.

My mom is like this in a sense… she was really happy for me to be getting married, but she’s just not one to get “excited” about things… especially throughout the process. Infact her fb status a day and a half before the wedding was “Now I’m excited”.. and that was really special to me, b/c well that’s just the way she is.

She’s talked to me about planning her one day wedding and was very straight forward about her just not caring about certian things….. that she wants me to take care of it and not be coming to her all the time. lol

Considering ya’ll are using their home, I wouldn’t leave her totally out of the loop but at the same time I’d probably do more like ‘check ins’ where you have something down and you’re just letting them know… not really asking opinions just keeping them in the loop. I’m sure that if something just isn’t okay with them they’ll let you know… otherwise just be okay with it being YOUR wedding and coming from the other side of in-law relationships… be THANKFULLY that she’s not giving greif about it not being done “her” way.

Like pp said… include your mom, gma, and sis as much as you can and just leave the door open for her… but don’t expect to much.


Post # 13
620 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I think that this is just her personality and that it has nothing to do with you or your wedding. Some people just don’t see any need to “make a big fuss” about getting married. I wouldn’t try talking to her because she is probably not going to change. She may like you well enough and love her son just not really care too much about weddings.

But are you sure that she isn’t upset that you are eloping and therefore not having them at the ceremony and feeling like the reception is just a consolation prize? She may also feel that there is no need for a reception unless it is held right after the ceremony. So many people just don’t take a reception seriously if its not on the same day as the ceremony. She may have the “they are already married why do it again attitude.

Having the wedding at her house and not having her involved could be prett difficult so I would suggest as PPs said to change your location.

Just thank God that she is not one of those monster-in-laws that is trying to screw up your whole wedding and relationship too and giving you a hard time at every turn.


Post # 14
2 posts
  • Wedding: October 2012

My FIL’s are the same way.  My fiance grew up completely differently than I did.  I’m from an obnoxiously large and loud (but loving!) Italian family.  His family is very reserved and DEFINITELY don’t understand why I’m going all out for our wedding, when his sister got married at the fire hall in town and that was just fine. I’ve spoken to him about my insecurities in the family and the fact that I don’t think they’re that interested in everything, and he reassured me that it’s not just me, that’s just how they are.  And that they’re even like that with him, and he’s so happy to be marrying into an affectionate family like mine.  So that made me feel better – and then I went to my mom’s house and cruised some wedding magazines over a cappuccino! 🙂

Post # 15
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

My FI’s family is very similar.  Although they’ve never been flat out mean or rude to me, they are emotinally distant and don’t get excited about the whole wedding planning thing.  They are “country folk” (Lol) and I am from the suburbs so sometimes when I talk about things, even if it’s just my dress, my Future Sister-In-Law looks at me like I’m a snob.  I always let them know what is going on with our planning process and they know they are more than welcome to join in but I don’t push all the details on them because I know they don’t really want to hear it.

Post # 16
3375 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

FI’s family is exactly the same. They just don’t really care about the wedding, they never ask.


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