Post # 1
Hey y’all I am in need of some advice.
Backstory: SO’s family is not extremely close. We have been together for nearly three years and I have only met one of his brothers once, never met his other brother, and I have only been around his parents a hand full of times. He is, however, close to his sister who is a lot like him and really fun to be around. SO’s parents are really nice, but his mother has some depression issues and spends a lot of time getting offended by things. This is one of the reasons why I am the only girl who he has every introduced to his parents.
His mom rarely calls him. The last few times we have been around them his dad has been the one to invite us over to visit. SO has not brought me over there (we usually see them at the rare family function his sister does) and while it used to offend me I am starting to understand. His mom is one of those people who are comfortable in their depression and seems to like being apologized to, so she gets upset about really random things.
Back in March when SO told her about our engagement, his dad acted really happy for us, but all his mom would say is “I don’t really know her”… that really upset SO because we have been the ones to make it a point to ask them to dinner and stuff and his mother hates leaving the house so our options are limited. She has not done anything to try to get to know me.
The last time we saw her she said she would like to help with the wedding and told me to let her know how she could help, but followed it up with how they didn’t have money and basically inferred that my parents had money because they were paying for it (they don’t. My mom has been saving for two years and our wedding is around $7,000 and that is just an estimate. Probably less.) so I just told her we just wanted them there and not to worry about it. When SO’s sister called him she said that their mom was upset that she wasn’t “helping” with the wedding. SO and I are at a loss because it’s not like we can be like, hey! Pay for this! He also doesn’t want to suggest her putting money towards our trip because she will probably be upset that we are going and that someone is paying for it.
I do not know how to handle her. I want to have a relationship with her and I want to involve his family and her, but I don’t know what to say or do to not offend her. :/ Any advice
Post # 3
invite her to help you pick flowers, or invitations or something. She doesn’t have to pay but she can be involved in the choosing process
Post # 4
@echapman: It sounds like no matter what you choose she will find fault with it. You have been doing the best you can. Give her options and see if she wants to help.. My guess from what youve said is she will say no regardless or find a problem with any option
Post # 5
If the only way to get to know her is going to her then go to her. When FFIL invites you over, both of you go.
I believe when she says she wants to help she means physically help, like stuffing envelopes, or making favors. She made it pretty clear she’s not offering a lump sum of money.
Post # 6
I totally agree with bibbleskip. Ask her to go with you to pick out flowers, food or dresses. It could also be a bonding moment between you.
Post # 7
Thank you guys for all the responses. I think I am going to either ask her opinions on things or bring over DIY stuff for her to help me with. Asking her to go anywhere is kind of out of the question because she almost will not leave the house and we both live in rodiculously tiny towns (as in our idea of a traffic jam is a tractor driving down the road haha) and she lives a ways out from me which is even further from where I have to go to actually shop for wedding stuff. I guess I am just going to have to bite the bullet and endure any possible awkwardness from going to their place. It’s like I told SO, when we have kids it’s not like I can just never bring them out there…. anyways, thank you all so much!
Post # 8
Like the others have said, contributing money to the wedding isn’t a necessity. My mother-in-law was pushy with money, but I let her pick out the song for the mother-son dance. In all honesty, that’s all I let her do, but I gave her some choice in the matter.
Letting her help you select centerpieces or giving input on the music can be great. So can other arrangements – we didn’t want a limo for the duration of our whole wedding (expensive!), so after my husband checked into our wedding night hotel and dropped off the car, we had his parents pick him up and drop him off to get married. Little things like that can ease a lot of tension and “she’s not including me” drama.
Mothers-in-law don’t always know exactly how to *ask* how they can help.
Post # 9
@echapman: my FI started to have a relationship with his mother again right before he and I started dating. i wouldn’t call them close but he does see her once a week.
i always pictured having a MIL that I would love and would love me, but his MIL will never been that person. she was a drug addict in her younger years and had a stroke a few years ago. she also smokes like a chimney and rarely leaves her house.
she is really not involved with wedding planning and i’m not sure that she wants to be. we asked MIL to host the rehearsal dinner. and I invited FMIL to have her makeup done with us when we are getting ready.
i would suggest to just include her when you can but not expect much.