Post # 1
I’m a regular poster here but because FI knows my username I didn’t want to post under that since I’m about to say some not so very nice things about his mom.
When I read all the posts about awful in-laws I always think how I’m so lucky. His family is amazing. They love me and they get along with my parents. However, his mother is very Catholic and while FI still goes to church on the big holy days I am an atheist.
Up until now this hasn’t been an issue, I will gladly go to church (even if it makes my skin itch) to keep the peace when asked. Now that we’re wedding planning though his mother has made it very clear that if we don’t have a Catholic ceremony that we are “breaking her heart”. I thought that the first time they came over to discuss wedding stuff we had cleared this up, we will do a ceremony on the day of the wedding that FI & I are both happy with and then we will do a church blessing. She doesn’t seem to be happy with this and is still assuming that a church wedding will happen if she keeps pushing.
Yesterday I took the FILs to see some venues and at one point his mom took mine aside and had a private chat with her. She told her again about how she will be so disappointed if we don’t have a church wedding. My mom repeatedly told her that it’s up to us where we get married, and that they don’t care either way (my parents are not religious and had a city hall wedding as did most of my family). His mom said “you know in my family we don’t believe that it’s a real wedding unless you’re married by the church”. My mom was offended, as am I. It’s absolutely rude to say that, she’s basically saying that my grandparents who have been married for 50 years are not really married in her eyes.
Anyway, I just want to keep the peace. I don’t want to cause shit. At the same time I want MY ceremony. I will NOT be bullied into a Catholic ceremony when I don’t believe that and I would feel like a hypocrite for agreeing to one. FI feels the same way he’s just avoiding talking about the subject to his mom ATM.
What do I do? If I don’t agree to a Catholic ceremony she will hate me and will think that I turned FI over to the ‘bad side’. He used to go to church before we met so she already thinks it’s me doing that to him.
Thanks ladies. I am so frustrated about this that I just want to elope at this point. It’s very possible since we haven’t booked anything yet.
ETA: She is really a very nice lady most of the time. She is also very much the matriarch of the whole family and really puts a lot of pressure on everyone to do what she thinks is right.
Post # 3
Yes, she will be probably “hate” you or start to cause problems for you after the wedding. Welcome to the club of not-so-wonderful MIL’s!
Do you want to look back on your wedding and resent it? No. So I guess you better do what you want and let FMIL deal with her own feelings. If she wants it to cause problems for you and your new husband’s relationship with her, she will. If she prefers to let it go and move on, she will. You can’t really guess at what she will do. But you CAN make yourself happy. Since no one else is fighting you on this, go with your heart.
(I thought your compromise was pretty good but I’m not surprised it’s not good enough for her. My MIL is the same way. It’s her way or the highway so we’re on the highway right now 🙂
Post # 4
Ugh, that is a tough one, but it seems you and FI are one the same page and he will have to talk to his mom.
I think that agreeing to a church blessing is very awesome of you and she should let this make her happy.
She needs to remember it is about the two of you and your beliefs.
Post # 5
@Just_Squeeze: Thanks. That’s exactly my worry, that she will continue to make problems for us after the fact. My mom had similar issues with my father’s grandmother (yes, not his mother because she AWESOME) and we just had this discussion earlier and now I am stressing that I will be in for 20 or so years of her hating me.
Post # 6
I think you need to do whats best for you because it is your wedding. I like your church blessing compromise and I think that should be enough for your MIL. I don’t think you should have a catholic wedding because it’s not what you want and I don’t think anyone should be bullied into a religious ceremony. She should understand that you can’t force religion on someone.
Post # 7
I know exactly where you’re coming from! Except it’s my mother! She is a traditional old school Catholic, and raised all 6 of her kids in the Catholic Church. However, none of us go to church anymore. I am the youngest, and when my last brother got married a few years ago, in an outdoor wedding, she was devastated. The summer prior to their wedding, my brother and mother barely spoke, and she refused to go to their wedding, up until a few days prior. When that happened, I felt so much pressure to get married in the Catholic Church.
I tried going back to church, but just couldn’t. I have nothing against the church, but I don’t believe in some of the practices.
Anyway! Sorry. Before I got engaged, I talked to my mother, and told her that I know she wants me to get married in the church, but I can’t. All I want is her support and her to stand by my side.
She has definitely come around, and realized that I’m going to be in a happy loving relationship.
So just know that it is nothing against you personally, that’s just how she was raised. She will come around eventually I promise, and if she holds this against you, then that is her problem, not yours. It took me nearly all of my life to come to grips with this with my own relationship with my mother, but I realized that I can’t make her happy 100% of the time.
This is yours and your fiance’s day, no one else’s. I wish you the best of luck and if you ever need someone to speak to about Catholic mothers, you can always message me!
Post # 8
@daisyfields816: That makes me feel better. It’s good to know that your mother has come around. I am really hoping that’s what happens! FMIL is not malious at all so I would hope that she could eventually come to see that we are happy the way we are even if we don’t have a church wedding. You’re in the position that my FI is in right now, he’s basically terrified to talk to her because he doesn’t want her upset with him & also doesn’t want her to think that I put him up to this.
Post # 9
Do what is best for you and your FI. The ceremony is the whole point of the day, make sure it is about the two of you. I think you have already made a good compromise with the church blessing. I had this issue with my grandmother and she did not attend my wedding and we have not spoken in over a year. I do not regret my decision but hopefully your FMIL comes around and accepts your decision.
Post # 10
Though I grew up Catholic there are a lot of things i struggle with when it comes to Catholic beliefs – My husbands family are very very devout catholics and though i would have loved an outdoor wedding it was not worth the fight to me. Honestly if i wasnt born and raised Catholic i think his parents would have had a HUGE issue with us getting married. My husband and I dont practice the religion though its something we have talked about for our children. I am the same as you as far as going to chruch or praying the rosary (which is a daily routine after dinner in their house) in that i particpate to keep the peace.
Since for me it wasnt a matter of going agaisnt my beliefs i was fine with a catholic wedding, i dont claim to not believe but i dont practice either so really i was indifferent about the whole thing – That being said there are some really beautiful things about a Catholic ceremony. since you aren’t catholic you would not be able to participate in a catholic mass anyway- were you baptized in the christian faith at all? if not then i dont believe you can even marry in a catholic church – dont quote me on that – maybe that can be your scape goat for getting out of it? And if you plan on having your ceremony anyway maybe you can incorporate some of the catholic traditions into your ceremony to make them happy? i dunno, just a suggestion. In the end its really what you and your husband want, if he is willing to put up the fight with you then i say go for it but if its going to create tension between you and his parents maybe there is a compromise somewhere in there…
Good Luck! and for the record i totally respect your decision in not wanting to have a ceremony that means nothing to you – but its always good to keep an open mind and explore the possibilities before shooting it down – i would search for some sort of compromise
Post # 11
@adviceneeded: Tough luck for his mom. This isn’t HER day, it’s yours and your FI’s day. Let your FI handle his mom….just make sure he dond stand up in order to make things RIGHT.
Post # 12
You must do what you want to do. Your statement of having 20+ years of problems out of her made me think of something else. I have (had) a MIL from h*ll. Due to her continuing to berate my family and myself, my hubby told her to shove it and we no longer speak to her or his dad. You’ll have more problems from her once you have children. Just be warned. My MIL was a hellion when my son was a baby and growing up. Once he could speak, she would call him to see what he had for supper. She was checking up on me to see if I cooked or not. She always had something smart*ss to say about it. I don’t mean to freak you out, but if you’re having problems with her at this point, wait until you have kids. She will most definitely want them to go to church, etc. Hopefully, your fiancee can get everything straight with her from the beginning.
Post # 13
@adviceneeded: Tough luck for his mom. This isn’t HER day, it’s yours and your FI’s day. Let your FI handle his mom….just make sure he doesn’t give in to her 😉
If she’s like this over the wedding, imagine what she’ll be like over OTHER parts of your lives. Kids, houses, etc. If you give in now, you’ll have a harder time standing up to her later.
Don’t be afraid to stir the pot, so to speak.
example: I bit my tongue towards my FI’s mom only buying stuff for our daughter and not my son from a previous marriage (our daughter is his…). I finally got pissed and called up his parents and talked to his dad about it. Told them if they don’t have something for both, then neither gets anything. I didn’t care if they bought for our daughter, as long as our son (my FI causes my son his), gets something too. I’d let my FI handle it for so long and they weren’t listening or paying attention, so I put my foot down.
And you know what? After that phone call (and I told my FI the ENTIRE conversation later), they started giving stuff to our son when they gave stuff to our daughter. (so what if they have my FI’s daughter buy for our son, they’re now being treated equal. Pretty sure our son knows what’s going on, but he doesn’t care because he’s getting something, too.)
Moral of the story: sometimes you HAVE to speak up and stand up in order to make things RIGHT.
Post # 14
Thank you so much ladies. You’re totally making me feel better about this and that I’m not crazy for wanting the most important part of the day to reflect who we really are!
I need to ask FI to speak to his mom again. Hopefully he can get across to her why this is important for us but I know that he has a hard time expressing himself when he feels that he needs to argue a point and I don’t want to be the one to talk to her about this.
Post # 15
I would recommend that you do a fair amount of research on what a Catholic wedding means before you sign up for it. Are you comfortable with the idea of raising your kids Catholic? If that’s not what you want, be straight up with you FMIL and tell her that you are not comfortable making statements you don’t believe or promises you don’t intend to keep on your wedding day, because THAT would be more disrepectful to the Church than having a non-Catholic wedding.
Post # 16
Keeping the peace is one thing but that shouldn’t trump what you want on your wedding day. I’m an atheist and the mere thought of a catholic ceremony or even worse, getting married in an actual church, absolutely freaks me out. This is YOUR day, not your FMIL’s. Sorry to say it but she’s obviously a moron if she feels that you’re not really married unless you wed in a Catholic church. What about all of those people who don’t believe that “God” exists (like me)?! Why in the world would we want to get married before “Christ” when we think the whole concept is complete and utter bullshit?
This is something that your FI needs to handle. You cannot be bullied into doing something that you so clearly do not want to do on your ONE day. He needs to stand up for what you both want and set his mother straight. You’re already doing MUCH more than I would by having the blessing so that should be enough for her.
FI’s grandmother is a religious nazi and feels that her beliefs are right and everyone else is wrong. I’m sure it’s killing her that we’re not having a catholic ceremony but to be honest, I could give a crap what she thinks or wants. It would be a cold day in “hell” before I agreed to have even a shred of religion in my wedding ceremony.