I do not want my future mother in law in the wedding!

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
7055 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@sara5ann:  I assume the half brothers are on FI’s father’s side. Is FI’s father alive? I would have thought it was the responsibility of his father to tell your FI about his half brothers.

It’s hard to comment on the processional since we don’t do them here. But if his mother raised him herself, including her in the processional seems a small concession to make.

Post # 7
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

Concealing the brothers bit, “you were the product of an affair” bit, and lying by omission are very big transgressions. Frankly, to get such information at such a late age, and so recently, I’m shocked your fiance is even communicating with her. 

But, I can say this: none of my parents or in-laws were in the wedding. I walked down the aisle by myself. I’m on OK terms with my parents. My husband’s on pretty good terms with his. I made my decision out of simplicity, and it turned out beautifully. No one thought it was weird or made any comments about my parents not being involved, or his being involved. I live in a gossip-loving family, so I would have heard something by now. 

I’d settle your arrangements as they are, and every time she complains about not being involved, your fiance needs to practice: “Mom, we called/emailed you several times, asking if you wanted to do (blank), (blank), and (blank), and you refused. Those are the only things we need help with.” 

Having a mother myself who conveniently *forgets* how people were kind and reaching out to her, this tactic is a keeper. It’s an immediate “I’m calling you out on your bullshit.” If you hear her complaints echoing through the family (though in this case, it appears his is a very limited one), tell them the same. 

The  minute anyone pulled the, “I’m not going to attend and tell others not to attend,” bullshit with me, they would get a curt, “OK, I’m sorry you feel that way,” and not get an invitation. I’d decided before my wedding that I was going to do the same with my mom if she pulled any of those dramatics, and I’d have absolutely no regrets about it. I have a feeling this is but the first time she’ll be jerking your chain about that, and next time, it’ll be, “I’m going to cancel my tickets and try to get a refund! I’m not going!”

Some mothers are worse than others. Weddings can be difficult because as a culture, we hold up the ideal mom as a self-sacrificing one. One who is good to her kids. But…no one says you have to honor any of these traditions. You are now becoming a family, and you must learn to build and enforce boundaries as that marriage goes forward. What better way to start teaching this woman how she has to treat you than your wedding? I have a suspicion that if you let this go and continue pandering to her childish tantrums, you will wind up feeling miserable on your wedding day — and upset that this piss-poor mother is getting a hero’s glory in the spotlight, at least occasionally. 

Invite her and keep her involvement limited. This strategy works best when involvement from others is limited as well. In my case, I didn’t want my SIL in my wedding; not wanting any waves and wanting simplicity, I didn’t have a wedding party. I had only a ring bearer and an (obviously) officiant, and that was all. No one ever raised an eyebrow at it because she wasn’t the only one “missing” from the picture. 

Post # 10
19 posts
  • Wedding: May 2014

You should just do what will make YOU happy and what feels right. She sounds awful and attention seeking and its not fair to you guys that she’s putting you through the ringer. i think as long as you back up your statements every time shes has a comment, then you’ll be fine. like Cookiecream said, using the Mom, we called/emailed you several times, asking if you wanted to do (blank), (blank), and (blank), and you refused. Those are the only things we need help with.” will be key for you guys.

just because they’re family, doesnt mean they’re really “family”. maybe just find a small part for her to be involved with and leave it as that. if she takes it then find but i wouldnt keep going out of my way for her.

It honestly sounds like the story of cinderella for him lol

Post # 11
4163 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I think it will cause a lot less drama in the long run if you treat her “the same” as your Mom and put FMIL in the processional  and give her a corsage-both of those are no big deals. If your parents are announced at the reception, announce her as well. Even though she has been difficult (to say the least- I’ve read your other posts), I could see these small things coming across as a slap in the face if not done “the same.”

If at the time of the ceremony, she refuses to particpate, *she’s* the one who’ll look bad, not you or FI.


Post # 12
1327 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

That sucks, I’m sorry you’re dealing with that.

I think it might be best to just include her, or at least offer to, the same as your parents.  That whole “be the bigger person” thing.  If she has a fit and doesn’t participate than that’s up to her, but she can’t hold it over your head forever if you gave her an opportunity to be there.

Post # 13
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

There’s no harm in having her in the processional and giving her a corsage if that’s something she would like to do.

Post # 14
774 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle

Phew, she sounds like a big bundle of selfish and crazy. Just from that I would probably advice minimizing her involvment as she seems unreliable and tantrum prone. Just give her the extra stuff his mum is getting so you can have a quite life. Don’t give her any extra jobs as she’s just likely to be a pain about them. 


I am so sorry you are having to deal with someone like that. She sounds like a total brat! 


Post # 15
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Honestly, in the end, it will probably cause way less drama to just give her a corsage and let her walk down the aisle. Seems to me like not allowing her to do that will only make people question it and talk about it. 

Post # 16
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@sara5ann:  Definitely get her a corsage and have her walked down the aisle. Not doing that will give her legitimate grounds for complaining that you “treat her differently” etc and will probably look bad to other guests- do you really want your friends and family who aren’t familiar with her previous behavior wondering why you’re so cold to your poor MIL?

And unfortunately, her bad behavior doesn’t justify you guys treating her badly- it turns it in to her being nasty, then you being nasty back, then her being even nastier, and down in a terrible spiral.

Being nice to her will likely not ever make her be nice or stable, but it will give you the moral high ground, prevent regrets, and nip drama in the bud to the greatest extent possible. 

I wouldn’t count on her for anything, planning-wise, so that if she does throw a snit and not show up, or create a scene, your plans won’t be mangled- but getting a corsage and having an usher to walk her down the aisle won’t be any skin off your backs, and will afford you the highest likelihood of peace and harmony on your wedding day.

If you really can’t stand the idea of even these most basic formalities being granted to her, don’t invite her and cut contact- but you can’t really half-ass it.  

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