Post # 1
This is more a vent post than anything.
We have struggled with FI’s mother from the start regarding an officiant. She wants us married by a “man of faith.” I am agnostic, FI was raised with religion, believes, but questions a lot and does not consider himself one faith. FMIL is a born again, raised Catholic. She told me when we got engaged “I want you married by a minister- FI’s grandmother would want it that way.”
Mind you, this grandmother had passed away.
I’ve been trying my hardest to find an ordained minister that FI and I are comfortable with. We are now even looking outside state borders.
FI called his mother this morning and said “We are running out of options- we do not feel comfortable getting married by an active minister/priest/reverend from a church- we are going to start looking at JPs.” Of course FI’s mom then says “well, let me look for you.” Keep in mind- she has been “looking” for 3 months and anything she sends me is exactly what we have said we are not comfortable with.
So, FI says no. We are going to book someone we feel comfortable with. This resulted in FI’s mom saying to ME “Your marriage will not seem official to me if you do not get married by a minister.” THIS comment threw me through a loop. I took it to heart and it really hurt.
The whole situation ended with FI calling her again and saying “we are sending the deposit today on the officiant WE want. That’s it. It’s over.”
Am I crazy for being hurt by this?
Post # 3
You’re not crazy for being hurt by this. We all want our FMILs to accept us, but sometimes people are unreasonable about certain things. After the wedding, the officiant disagreement will blow over, hopefully. Be prepared for now, though, because she’ll probably keep making a stink about it for a while. Take it with a grain of salt. At least your FH is putting his foot down on her antics.
However, in her mind, she is not being irrational. It’s all relative. Religion is something she considers to be of utmost importance, obviously. She’s very hurt that her son doesn’t make religion a priority in the wedding. Perhaps it’s also a matter of her son also not making her wishes a priority. On some level, she’s just lashing out at the closest convenient target. It’s not right, but it’s human behavior.
Post # 4
Absolutely not! That was a very uncalled for statement and sounds like something my FMIL would say, if she cared all that much about our marriage in the first place. I’m sorry that she was rude to you.
What I would say is just say, “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, but with no disrespect, it is my marriage and it will be legal according to law in the way that we would like it to be.” and just leave it at that. Her main reason at saying that was to get to you so she could get what she wanted from your wedding day. It’s just a power trip, don’t let it show that it bugged you.
Best of luck to you
Post # 5
@Jw1724: I would be hurt if I was in your situation. I was actually a little afraid of that happening for me, but I just told them that a great friend of ours that we went to HS with is marrying us and we’re super excited to share that with someone we are so close to. I was fortunate to find support where I did not expect it. I think it is hard, but I think that you’ll find some strength and comfort once you find the perfect minister for you. Keep in mind that your marriage is for you and your FI, not for you FMIL or anyone else. Best of luck!
Post # 6
@Jw1724: I see why you feel hurt but, as with most things in life, it’s not about you. It’s about her. She has a vision of how her sons wedding would be and probably her vision of how her sons wedding would look to the people she is inviting. So you guys are choosing to go with a different vision. Try not to take it too much to heart and just let her be upset but stick to your decision. She may be sad that it’s not what she wanted but she will get over it. I don’t think it’s a personal attack on you guys so much as her just wanting what she wants. Her statement of it not seeming like a real marriage is just her childish way of trying to manipulate you into doing what she wants. A simple “we’re so sorry you feel that way” will work best and just drop the subject.
Post # 7
Thanks for the support! She even said to me too “well your beliefs could change someday and then you’ll regret this decision.” Which also, to me, was a bit insulting. She made me feel like my beliefs aren’t good enough for her son.
When FSIL said to her “this day is about the people getting married- the officiant is a personal choice” my FMIL replied “weddings are about the families, not the couple.”
Post # 8
@SeaTurtle88: Thats what I’m thinking too. She got her way with her oldest son- who now says he regrets giving in to her. I think she assumed we would do the same.
Post # 9
@Jw1724: “well your beliefs could change someday and then you’ll regret this decision.”
Even if your beliefs do change (and as a Christian I think it’d be great if they did), so what? When married people convert, they don’t go and get remarried.
FI may also want to remind her that as a “born again”, there is nothing in the Bible about church marriages. (Catholic view is different, but she doesn’t follow Catholicism now by the sound of it). From a born again Christian viewpoint, all that matters is to be legally married.
Post # 10
@paula1248: interesting points! i don’t know much about religion, admittedly. and i do consider myself spiritual in my own sense and i am very happy with that. things change, so who knows… but you raise very interesting points i may have to pass on..
Post # 11
@Jw1724: She’s right in that a wedding is not only about the bridal couple–it’s your job as the hosts to make sure the guests have a good time, and families tend to have a big stake in weddings–but she’s taking that idea completely out of context!
Post # 12
Wow you are not crazy!
Sounds to me like FMIL is trying to throw her weight around a bit. Just curious..is this her only son? Geez!
Post # 13
@CorvusCorax: I totally agree but I also feel like the officiant is a very personal and intimate part of a ceremony and neither parties should feel uncomfortable at their own wedding ceremony. Just seems so off to me!!
@veryberry13: She has 2 sons. FI is youngest. Oldest is married and his wife has told me how she did this to them and has been ridiculous involving things from the birth of their children to holidays now etc.
Post # 14
@Jw1724: Yeah, I know where you’re coming from, and I absolutely do not think you should cave on this issue. The officiant is one of those things that you should not have to compromise on. But you should try to understand that his mother is hurt about her son not taking religion as seriously as she had hoped…
My father always insisted I have a Jewish ceremony. I asked him once how he would feel if I had a non-denominational officiant (as my husband is not Jewish), and he answered that he would feel very hurt and betrayed, even though he’d know I didn’t choose a non-denominational officiant as any slight against him. And that because of the second part, he’d get over it.
Your FMIL feels hurt and betrayed too. She’s reacting in a very destructive way. Your FH needs to talk to her about this. Not just to “put her in her place” and remind her that it’s not up to her, as that will just further hurt her and make her more worked up about it. They need to have a heart-to-heart about their religious views and how he’s grown away from them.
Post # 15
You have your views and she has hers. The best way to handle such situations is not to get offended and not to respond or engage in argument. Simply make your plans and tell her what they are. Let her say what she wants. “I’m sorry you feel that way,” is all you need to say. The lack of an argument will frustrate her even more than the two of you defending yourselves. I learned this after years of being emotionally manipulated.
Do what you want, but also once married, try to get along iwth her, rather than bringing up what she said for years to come. He is her mother, the closest woman in the world to him next to you. Not getting along with Mama puts a strain on a marriage.
A lot of stuff that is a big deal at the time of the wedding blows over once a couple is married. One of my aunts told me she objected to my cousin marrying an atheist. She had a host of other reasons she did not like him as well. Yet, when she saw what a good husband he was, she told my cousin years later, “You could not have made a better choice.”
Post # 16
@Carolsays: We get along great normally. I did not fight with her today, but he did. I did exactly what you said- stayed calm and said I’m sorry you feel that way. She told me last night that I “handled the situation well.” So I guess we’re good now.