Post # 1
I’m looking for advice from Bees who have been there. My FMIL is making me crazy. She hates all of my ideas and generally doesn’t like anything that she hasn’t come up with herself. She won’t listen to why her ideas won’t work, she just spits out a whole lot of nonsensical BS defending it. She has more of an aggressive personality type, where mine is more passive aggressive. Even when I flat out tell her I don’t like/want something she goes on about it and won’t give up on it.
FI and I are paying for the wedding ourselves (mostly me because FI just graduated and is job hunting). My parents are not in a position to help us out at all and his parents said that they would not contribute. We’re not upset by this at all; we were considering doing so anyway just to have complete creative control because we know how FMIL is. So I’m DIYing as much as possible and trying to go more casual. It’s blatantly obvious FMIL wants to use our wedding as an opportunity to ‘show off’, where I want to do something more intimate and less of a production.
While his parents said they are not contributing, FMIL keeps buying wedding stuff. She locked me into a color scheme that I wasn’t wanting by buying all of the table cloths without consulting me. She also bought some things for centerpieces, she did call before hand, but I told her not to get them and she got them anyway. I casually mentioned how I was considering using peacock feathers because I wanted to add the blue color to the gold colored table cloths (that I didn’t want) and she goes out and buys fake bronze/gold peacock feathers thereby adding more of the color I didn’t want. I’m afraid of telling her anything about the wedding because I don’t want her to buy anything else.
FI doesn’t want to talk to me about wedding stuff because it’s all his mom talks about to him. He’s weddinged out by the time we have a few minutes to talk about it. I was venting to FI about everything FMIL and he says that FMIL says all the same things about me, ie: She’s trying to plan the wedding without me, her ideas just won’t work, and she hates me. FI always takes my side. FI: “Mom, it’s her wedding. How would you have felt if your FMIL tried to plan your whole wedding” FMIL: “She did, and I was happy to let her because I wanted to be a part of her family.” So because I want to plan my own wedding, I don’t want to be a part of the family?
I don’t want to be jerk, FMIL bought stuff I didn’t want, but she was trying to help (not just to have her way) right? I want to use the stuff she bought because I don’t want it to be a waste and then it’s one less thing I have to buy (even though it’s not exactly what I wanted)
FI’s one and only wedding request is that FMIL and I make it through the wedding and don’t hate each other. I’d love to tell FMIL where to get off at, but lately she’s been playing the ‘crying victim’ card and I want no part of that. Anyone have any ideas or experiences that would help? Besides telling FMIL where to get off at or giving her the silent treatment?
Sorry this is so long. Please tell me if I’m just over reacting and need a reality check.
Post # 3
Yeah I think it’s wrong that she is forcing her design on you and using the excuse that you want to be part of the family as justification. I’m sorry I don’t have new advice but if she isn’t listening to your FI, you might just have to talk to her yourself which may not end well.
Post # 4
I understand how you feel. I think everyone has different ideas and yes she is just trying to help. Be happy that she’s showing an interest in the wedding planning at all. Some people don’t get anyone’s interest. Having said that. Try giving her a task to take care of that won’t matter if she buys the right color. For example, if you are having a candy bar… ask her to keep an eye out for some glass containers. Then show her a picture so she knows what you mean. Or see if she would focus on the rehearsal dinner or a bridesmaid luncheon. And let her know that if she could take care of those things she’ll be helping out a lot.
Post # 5
As far as I’m concerned, if someone isn’t paying then they shouldn’t have that strong of a say (i.e. demand) in what YOU do. It’s you and your fiance’s day and you are the ones paying, therefore I think the decisions should ultimately be yours. There’s nothing wrong with making suggestions and throwing around creative ideas but demands and such should not be tolerated. Hope you all find a way to work through this. 🙂
Post # 6
MissAsB: I know I need to have a talk with her; I’ve sort of been planning to, but preparing for a conversation with her is like preparing for war. If I’m not prepared I get bulldozed.
Vintage: She doesn’t really want to do anything that I ask her to. She wants the big stuff, like picking the venues, catering, she doesn’t like the guests I’m inviting from church. That’s a good thought though, I’ll rack my brain for a task she might undertake.
Fancygirl: I’m of the same mindset, but FI wants us all to ‘just to get along’, so I’m not sure how to handle her without having her freak out.
Post # 7
Is there any way you can just avoid telling her what you’re planning, thinking about, and looking at? Would it be too mean for you to answer her questions with “I’m working on it” or “I already took care of it” so that she has no direction to go in?
Post # 8
Gotcha – maybe you can just say stuff like, “thanks for the ideas, I’ll think about it/take it into consideration?” As for things she’s already purchased – can you say that you had a very precise vision and will be taking care of that on your own? As I typed this, I see Glowawber had a very similiar suggestion. 🙂
Post # 9
I agree with pp, don’t discuss any wedding stuff with her further. Make bland statements like, “I haven’t decided yet.” “I’m still thinking about it.” “Thanks for the suggestion, I haven’t really thought about that yet.” etc. That way you don’t give her a jumping off point. I agree with you about using the stuff she already bought, but maybe you can jazz up the gold table clothes with a blue runner?
Post # 10
So sorry you’re going through that. I felt my shoulders tighten as I was reading your post.
I think it’s to the point where a discussion can’t be avoided, but I would recommend the importance of a three-way discussion between you, your fiance, and your future mother-in-law. Also, you’ll want to make sure you and your fiance are really on the same page so that you can join in a unified front.
Once that’s done, my best suggestion is to simply stop sharing ideas with her. If you don’t want her opinion — which it seems you now know you’ll get — then don’t allow yourself to be in such a position. If she asks a question on what you have planned, maybe tell her she should enjoy the anticipation of being surprised along with other guests. Maybe then she’ll gently get the message.
Post # 11
It seems like everyone has given you really great advice and it’s great that your fiance is standing up for you. The only thing I have to add is that when your fiance does stand up for you he should say “mom this is OUR wedding” rather than “mom this is HER wedding.” This way it is less of a battle between you and your FMIL and more about what you and your fiance want for your wedding. I hope everything works out!
Post # 12
This is one battle I hope never to face… I totally sympathize with you and your Fi as well! I’m sure I absolutely wouldn’t be as gracious as you are about it…
I would advise that since you are paying for it, go ahead and do things the way YOU want to. Anything that doesn’t fit your wedding ideas, doesn’t become a part of the wedding. Place online ads for the things which do not form a cohesive part of your theme. After one or two instances of this, your FMIL should get the hint.
If she confronts you about it, let her know that you had informed her you had a specific style in mind/ you had asked her not to buy it/ you were making your own already and despite that she wanted to go ahead and buy it anyway.If she felt she wanted to needlessly spend her money, thats her call to make.
Seems to me she wasn’t trying to help, just trying to push HER vision of what your wedding should be like onto you. And even if your ideas don’t work, its still “your mistake” to make. Don’t be browbeaten into keeping the peace while she runs around playing the victim card.
I know what I’ve advised is a little ruthless, but it seems she is being thoroughly inconsiderate of your feelings and you have been very patient with her so far, despite her running all over your plans for your wedding. Stand firm on your convictions by politely, kindly and FIRMLY explaining to her that those items were not what you wanted, but now that she has bought them anyway you plan to recoup the loss by putting the money from the sale towards what you really want.
Post # 13
I love all you girls at WB. I can’t thank everyone enough for your advice and encouragement. I feel stronger already!
Post # 14
- Wedding: September 2009 - Rancho Bernardo Inn
This is so tough. Any FMIL issue or MIL issue is a struggle because of the delicate balance that she is your family now but you don’t want to be walked all over. I was having some major issues before the wedding and was so angry, frustrated and hurt, but that is a whole different story.
I’d encourgage you to maybe talking with your FMIL like others suggested. I think avoiding talking about specifics with her may help. Or if you are doing any DIY purchase the supplies yourself and then have a DIY/Craft time with her just helping. That way she feels included, is helping you but didn’t make any of the decsions. So basically I really need help with the putting together of ____ so she is still included. Another job would be something like the rehearsal dinner or another event.
Even though he is frustrated, I’d encourage your FI to talk to his mom. At the end of the day she is his mom and she will probably be less defensive with him and he can stand up to her. I really struggled with standing up to my MIL because I new the relationship was “more delicate” while his relationship with her was unconditional no matter what was said. It is so important that he sets boundaries not just for the wedding but for your life after. You don’t want her to continue to intrude and want to enjoy the relationship. Even though it was so hard for Mr. Ducky he really worked with his mom, had some tough discussions and set boundaries and in the end the wedding day was perfect she loved all the details she at one time complained about and the relationship has been really healthy since then.
I hope things go better. Keep us updated.
Post # 15
AVOID HER! I am serious. I had to do this with someone in my wedding party and so far it’s worked! Don’t asnwer her phone calls or emails. When she buys stuff just say “thanks!” and put it in a closet or sell it in the classifieds. When she asks you what you’re working on BE VAGUE. If she presses you for answers why don’t you give her a taste of her own medicine and play the crying victim, hide in th bathroom and play tetris on your cell phone. On the day of the wedding assault her with nail, massage and hair appointments to keep her occupied. Send your friends to decorate. What is she going to do when she walks into the reception and everything is yours and all her friends are complimenting her on how crafty and creative you are? She’s gonna smile and act like she was on board all along.
Post # 16
Having a MIL that is pushy, outspoken, and harsh is no joke. I, unfortunately, have been dealing with such a person for the last seven years… so I understand your situation. I think it is important for you to stand up for yourself. Be prepared though, if you do confront her with her rather RUDE behavior, she will deny, deny, deny. These “gifts” that she is purchasing for YOUR big day have strings attached, and you do not have to accept every gift you receive.
I agree with the other ladies that you should avoid giving her any more details and give her a special task. This will get her off your back and still make her feel important and special. My MIL loves to take pictures so I asked her to capture all of our wedding weekend events… it kept her busy and she took some great pictures that I probably wouldn’t have had!
Although I didn’t accept every idea or gift she offered, I knew some key ideas were important to her and I tried to incorporate those into the wedding. For example, when Tim and I first got engaged, MIL had given us a figurine that “we could use as our cake topper!!” I thought it was lovely, but I had already had a cake topper in mind, so I displayed the figurine on the guestbook table… she was so pleased.
Your story reminds me a lot of my own… respect her, but do not cave to her demands. Remember it is you and your FH’s big day… include others, but make it special for you!