- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2008
I’m still seething at my in-laws for taking my wedding over and ruining it. I recently got married. I’d known my sister-in-law before my husband. Initially, we got along well and at first she was happy when he and I started dating. As soon as her older sister had trouble with us as a couple, she too started having a problem with it and avoided me. She told my fiance that she was keeping her distance because she didn’t want trouble and that once we were married, she would engage with us more. We’ve since married and she’s still keeping her distance. Eventually, she stopped talking to me altogether.
Before my marriage, although I tried my best to be friendly towards my in-laws, it seemed that nothing I did was good enough for them.
My in-laws have a weekly luncheon and before our marriage, my husband attended these most of the time. I also went along sometimes. However, their family functions are tension-filled with some of the siblings not speaking to each other. Some of them don’t even engage in conversation at these gatherings. Most of them don’t look like they want to be there, with 1 always making excuses not to come and the other hiding away in her room for almost the entire duration of this farce. It’s so forced. I found it to be very uncomfortable and as a result, I went less and less. I didn’t see the point in going as I was ignored most of the time and no one really tried to engage me in conversation or get to know me as one would when meeting someone new. My husband’s sister complained to others about my absence behind my back and also regularly made an issue about it to my husband. My husband always felt that he had to explain my absence to her and as a result it took a toll on our relationship, causing arguments. She never asked me in person, on the occassions when I did go to their luncheons, why I never came every week or more often. Instead, she always made a big issue of this to my then B.F. in my absence. She would harp on and on about me not being able to fit into the family, about me not getting to know them, about me not making a greater effort. I was so tired of her complaints, I decided not to care anymore. In the beginning, when I just met them, I made an effort. I attended the family gatherings but got a luke-warm reception. I was always civil, never disrespectful. This sister is a very abrupt person. She is somewhat of a bully and everyone seems to dance to her tune. If they don’t, they get the silent treatment for weeks on end. I wasn’t about to allow her to rule me.
Anyways, my B.F then proposed and thats when my headache started. I’m not big on flashy weddings or traditions. I wanted a small intimate wedding with only our siblings, their spouses, their kids, our parents and my fiance’s aunts and uncles in attendance. My fiance and I wanted to pay for our own wedding. This didn’t go down well with either of our families. Both our families wanted a big wedding and wanted to contribute. My fiance and I were adamant that we wanted to pay for it ourselves because we didn’t want it thrown in our faces at some later stage that so and so contributed this amount of money to our wedding. Also, we are both independant people. We held a family meeting and tried our best to let our families know in a diplomatic way what we wanted and that they respect our wishes and simply enjoy our wedding. The meeting didn’t go as planned, my family gave me grief about our wishes and some threatened to boycott our wedding as it wasn’t as they wanted it to be. Some of my family became argumentative. I ended up storming out in tears. My fiance’s family, although some of them were not in the same room where this drama had ensued, saw me leaving the room upset. They got the gist of what had transpired and accused me of being difficult and overreacting even when my husband’s brother told them that I was not in the wrong. Some of them made snide comments about my family and that their brother should be careful what he was getting himself into by marrying me. All these were said loud enough for my family to hear. Not only was I embarrassed and hurt by the way my family reacted but I was also upset by the way my in-laws responded.
Throughout the wedding planning, I was hearing stories that my future in-laws were upset that I was not going to have a big, traditional wedding. I heard that they thought that I was controlling their brother as far as the wedding was concerned. This was untrue as he and I both wanted a small, intimate wedding. His sister even went so far as to say that our marriage would be cursed if we didn’t have the big, traditional affair. She later denied having said this and burst into tears when he confronted her about this. A few weeks later, she reitterated the same words!
I was the most miserable bride-to-be! I was in constant tears; suffered from severe migraines and insomnia. On the one hand, I had to deal with my family with some threatening to boycott my wedding and with them refusing to give me away (which was NB to me). And on the other hand, I had to deal with my in-laws (mainly my fiance’s sisters) constant nitpicking. They complained about me not attending their weekly luncheons every week ( I went occassionally). They found fault with my family. They found fault with the fact that their brother was marrying me when I was unemployed (even though 1 of them was a housewife and even though my fiance persuaded me to give up my job in another county so that we could live in the same place and get married. I wanted to get another job before we got married but my fiance said it didn’t matter to him if I was employed or not, all that mattered to him was marrying me ASAP. They complained about me not wanting a big wedding. They complained about the wedding guest list. We wanted finger foods, they complained about that too. My fiance likes cooking and we decided that when we were married, he’d do most of the cooking; they complained about this too. They knew that my family was giving me grief with respect to the wedding; that I had to delay the wedding date constantly because nobody in my family wanted to give me away and that it was upsetting me, but they didn’t care. I was so saddened by both families, I wanted to call the wedding off so many times. It seemed like that was what both families wanted. My family was behaving abhorringly, not because my fiance was a bad person, but because he had stood up to them and because we were not going to allow them to bully us. My in-laws were finding fault with everything because I don’t think they think anyone is good enough for their brother. My fiance had 2 serious relationships before me, they had issues with both women. Both women were of a different religion to him and had been married before and had kids. In the early days of our relationship, my fiance told me that his family wanted him to marry a woman of the same religion, one who had never been married before and who didn’t have any children. They were very traditional in that sense. He had found all this in me but still they never approved. Instead it seemed like they were trying to break us up with their petty issues.
Eventually, the wedding day dawned. Everything was sorted, the food and drink, the decor. We were going for a very short, informal reception which was to start @ 2. We had ordered platters of finger foods, more than enough. I don’t know who invited them, but other family members from my fiance’s side were there too. They were not on my guest list. To my surprise, my sister-in-law came there and stole the show.She brought platters upon platters of cakes even though we had said beforehand that the food was taken care of. I felt like a guest at my own wedding. It turned into a lavish affair even though I didn’t want that to begin with and had made it quite clear. We wanted to keep it simple and just serve finger foods so that we could leave ASAP. That was not the end of it. My sister-in-law had us spend several hours in the freezing cold taking pictures, directing us to pose this way and that way. By this time I was tired and fed up and all I wanted to do was to go home and sleep. Even though I had agreed to cake and tea after the reception at our new home as a bridal couple (which was to be arranged by my in-laws), I was astonished to find the house filled with people and a huge spread on the table. They deliberately ignored our wishes and turned my wedding into something I didn’t want! They served dinner and desserts. All the guests that had been at the previous reception, were at my new home again! It was a double wedding reception! My in-laws left our new home after 9 that evening even though they could see we were tired and though they cleaned up, they left some dirty dishes and caused some damage to the recently painted walls by forcing tables through the passage. My husband and I didn’t even have a “wedding night”. We were too tired.
Oh, did I mention that 2 of my sister-in-laws never even bothered to greet me or congratulate me on the wedding day. They never even said a word to me and completely ignored me. I was so hurt by this, I ended crying myself to sleep in my husband’s arms.
They never thought we’d go through with the wedding, I suspect that they were trying to break us up and because they never succeeded, upset them.
Now that we’re married I attend their luncheons once a month (for my husband’s sake). I encourage him to go alone the other weeks but he doesn’t want to go without me. I don’t want to keep him away from his family but i prefer not being around them.
Am I being overly sensitive or wrong not to make a greater effort with them?