- 6 years ago
- Wedding: November 2013
I am in a unique situation and I honestly do not know who to turn to. I’m just looking for advice and I’m not meaning to bash anyone in my post but as I said, it’s unique and complicated.
For starters, I am an American Citizen who has lived in Alberta, Canada for the last few years. I ended up meeting my “common-law” husband, a Canadian, while living in Canada. In Canada, you just have to live together for a year and file your taxes together to be considered common-law by the government. This allows my common-law husband to fill out sponsorship paperwork to have me stay and live in Canada which we have started (please understand that getting married does not mean that I am allowed to stay or live in Canada unless you fill out the same paperwork nor does it guarantee citizenship). Aside from that, we have been talking about getting married for a while and of course, this is not without its dramas which is making us re-think whether we even want to get married and just stay as we are, happily in love and living together as a family with our 3 cats and dog, no kids. So here are my dramas:
First of all, our friends and families are pressuring my common-law husband to marry me practically tomorrow, believing that this will keep me in the country as my time in Canada is at an end in a month and a half. We have sat everyone down (even my parents in NJ the best we could) and tried to explain to everyone how the true immigration process works and that there is a huge difference between what Hollywood says you have to do and the reality of really needs to be done (AKA: LOTS of paperwork and waiting). This of course triggers family on both sides and some of our friends to scream out that we are just using each other for citizenship into the other country. This is of course not the case. We cannot do much about our families but as for our friends…well, my common-law husband is reluctant to give up a 13 year friendship. So we have a friend trying to turn his other friends against me by saying I’m “using him to gain Canadian citizenship.”
Second, my mother is a very jealous woman. She denies this when anyone brings this up to her. If we do not do what pleases her, she immediately runs to other family members with the line “she loves her in-laws more than she loves us!” She has never done this with me, to my knowledge, but I have watched her do this to my older sister for almost 15 years regarding stupid things such as my sister hugging her in-laws first because they were closest to the door when she walked in rather than hugging her own mother first who was farthest away (as I said, stupid stuff). I know that if we get married in Alberta where my common-law husband’s huge family is (please note that I have a very small family), she’ll get all upset and say she’s fine with it to my face while running to other family members saying how I “love his family more than my own.” This is not the case. She desires for us to get married in NJ or PA as she and other members of our family have done before. This would not work for my common-law husband’s family as they want us to get married here especially with a large number of older relatives. For this reason, my common-law husband and I have talked about having a destination wedding so the wedding is on neutral ground and most likely only parents and siblings will be able to go. This brings me to our third drama.
My common-law husband’s mother is CHEAP. She and I already argue about how much I spend on clothing, household appliances, pet food, etc. She comes from the train of thought “the cheaper the better and who cares about quality.” Coming from an upscale area of NJ and studying animal health once upon a time, I’m from the train of thought “you get what you pay for so get quality, it’s going to be cheaper in the end.” She thinks we should just get married by justice of the peace essentially tomorrow (again, going back to issue number 1) in Alberta, I should wearing a nice dress, tell my parents too bad so sad, and then we should just have a backyard barbeque for our reception. I understand that in the end, this may cost us all of $500 but that’s not what we want. I haven’t even begun looking for a wedding dress and I honestly don’t want to, especially since I can just hear her comments in my head with her saying “that $500 could have been spent better! You should have just gotten a $30 dress from Wal-Mart and been done with it!” When she married her second husband, she spent under $1000 for a full wedding and reception 10 years ago (now, I would like to point out that she got married in a funeral home that was owned by her friend, wore a blue dress that she apparently had for ten years, and used gift cards she saved up for Wal-Mart to buy her food). I understand that she and I are from two different worlds but I do not want to exclude her from the wedding planning as this could easily send the wrong message. This is my FMIL and I do not want to start off on the wrong foot. I would also like to state that she and I get along great other than the money thing and we only argue if she finds a receipt laying around which is rare and when it comes to me buying pet food as I buy a good quality food for my animals rather than the cheap supermarket stuff that she does.
Then there is the issue of how my Canadian ex-bf, who is my common-law husband’s good friend, is insisting that he be best man in our wedding at all cost and meanwhile, I do NOT want him there due to a few things he’s done and said to me which he denies to my common-law husband (i.e. – How his new girlfriend is much smarter than me because she’s a teacher and how I’m as stupid his highly autistic cousin). My common-law husband knows my feelings about this guy and “respects them” but he doesn’t want to throw away a long friendship over a wedding so he’s demoted this guy to “groomsmen”. Forgive me if I sound like a bridezilla but I do not want this jerk at my wedding. Even if he apologizes I do not think I can allow him to be there (this guy is the master at apologizing and not meaning it). This is just another reason why a destination wedding is looking better and better (maybe there’s a chance the he won’t be able to afford to go). I do not want to dictate who my common-law husband can and cannot be friends with but this is one day I do not want to tolerate him coming up with rude remarks about me.
I am stuck and sick of the drama. Eloping is not an option due to expectations on both sides of the family and we’ll be in this situation of having a “proper wedding” whether we want to or not sooner or later (his grandmother and my parents said they won’t recognize us as married if we don’t have a semi-proper wedding). Sadly, a destination wedding isn’t exactly my dream wedding but it’s the only compromise that we can think of. At this point, neither of us wants to get married with all of this drama but we both want to at the same time. At this point, I just want our good friends and families in one spot, watching us get married, without a huge amount of drama (I expected some drama, I didn’t expect this much though). There’s more drama than this happening but I think I can handle the two that are imposing this potential drama. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle the above issues?