Post # 1
The short of it is, my mom keeps asking if we’ve set a date (thankfully not every time I hear from her, but often), and then when I point out that money is a huge issue right now (I have student loans and a chronic illness that’s put me out of work), she says that I’m their daughter, and that I should figure out what I want and they’ll help pay for it.
I know, that sounds awesome. Free ride. You’re probably thinking I’m rather obnoxious and ungrateful. And I don’t know, I mean, I might be.
The thing is, she also said she’d help pay for my university, and never did. She has said she’d help with loan payments, and she never has. On top of those, she has ranted at me about how she isn’t going to give me “any more money” if I don’t do as she says, whatever it is at the time (usually go back to school). She hasn’t given me any money since I moved out when I was 18 (she did, of course, buy me food when I was a kid and whatnot). I can’t imagine how much she would try to manipulate me if I actually accepted money, and I really can’t run the risk of starting to book places, and then find out she never is going to actually give it to me. Down payments and deposits can eat up a lot of money, and she has never actually given it the other times she has offered.
I’m just a bit lost. I keep just telling her ‘okay, thanks, but we don’t have anything planned yet,’ (which is pretty much true), and I’ve already said ‘I don’t want to owe you anything,’ several times, but I wish there was something I could say that would just stop her from making these false offers and using them to threaten me.
If no one has advice, at least I’ve gotten it off my chest.
Post # 2
Reptilian: Yeah, if she’s already holding her “generosity” over your head when she hasn’t given you money, I can’t imagine if she actually did give you money. I would kindly decline her assistance. Just insist that you will be paying for your wedding on your own and that you are not prepared to set a date yet, but you will let her know. If she brings it up again, don’t engage her, just say nope, no date yet, and change the subject.
Post # 3
My mom was the same way about school ” offered to help pay” I enrolled, booked my classes and when it came down to it I believe she gave me $300. I had paid my tuition with my own money but my books alone were almost 2,000. She had made me believe that I was going to be receiving ongoing support and not have to worry about money for school and thats not what happened.
I would tell your mother that you and your fiance will plan when you feel comfortable to do so and that although her offer is appreciated it is unecessary and you will be paying yourselves.
Then if she gives you any cash monies on her own bonus and if she gives you nothing you were not counting on her anyways. You don’t want to put deposits on things only to find out she has once again failed to follow through.
Post # 4
Maybe for now, the next time she brings up setting a date, tell her that you thought about the date and you want to have your chronicle illness under control first (if it is controlable) or some other non-money reason to delay it for now (ie FI’s job is really busy, he can’t take off work). That way, money doesn’t solve your problem.
Post # 5
Thank you three. Sway, that’s pretty much exactly me. It was clear I’d probably need student loans, but it was implied that they’d help as much as possible to keep me out of debt. I don’t mind paying for school myself- I mean, it’s my schooling, just as it’s my wedding, but I would be a lot more well off if I could have planned for loans, or worked for a couple extra years first, rather than thinking I could launch right in. I also ended up having to do paperwork to get them to stop acknowledging me as her dependent (just the student loans, they do for 4 years after moving out), as her income affected my eligibility, but she wouldn’t give me their ‘parental contribution’ amount and often did the paperwork wrong.
I almost deleted all that text because student loans aren’t marital related, but I’m leaving it because it illustrates what is making me uncomfortable.
I’m really glad (especially based off sithlady’s response) that I don’t just sound paranoid and ingrateful.
I also feel a little weird taking money for a wedding of all things from anyone, since there are so many more important things I could be spending it on (weddings are good, I don’t mean that in a disparaging way to people who value them highly), but if it was someone else I would probably be able to get over it and take it, or at least allow them to go ‘no, I’ll get that,’ on something we were out looking at for the wedding together.
Post # 6
Just plan the wedding that the two of you can afford, when the time is right. If your Mom gives you any money, you can decide if you want to use it towards the wedding, student loans, or anything lese.
If she doesn’t give you any money, you wont be in any more debt, by spending money you don’t have.
Post # 7
Since she’s promised before and not come through, it’s very smart of you not to rely on her word. Like PPs said, plan the wedding you and your fiance can afford, and if she does end up giving any money, it’s a bonus. When she asks about a date, maybe she really just wants to know about the date, like so she can start planning time off work or something. So, what if when she brings it up, you just answer that one question “no, still haven’t pinned down the date yet — you’ll be the first to know when we do!” and don’t go into reasons? Then she won’t feel the need to make what are probably empty promises, and you don’t have that stress of wondering “does she really mean it?”
Post # 8
Reptilian: Your mother sounds EXACTLY like mine. I left her home when I was 16, and she still guilt trips me about stuff….stuff she never actually helped me pay for at all!
That being said, she’s doing the same to me now. She told me “If you don’t let me financially contribute, I won’t attend your wedding because I just can’t LIVE with myself!”….so she put a deposit on the reception hall I’d had in mind without asking me first. I’m thankful for that, (first time she’s kept her word on money) but it’s in her name….so it’ll probably be held over my head … ugh. That being said, I’ve stopped giving her information, and pretty much went the route you’re going to prevent her from having anything else to hold over my head.
I think you’re being smart by being cautious about what you agree to with your mom. Not paranoid or ungrateful at all. It’s an awkward situation to be put in. If your mom is like mine, just don’t give her any information unless you’re ready to plan and know what you and your FI can afford. We haven’t told my mother that the church and caterer have been chosen – she will know AFTER everything is securely booked in our names. That way, if she comes through with help – great – but if not, it’s no loss on our part.