Post # 1
Just a little upset over this.
Originally, FI and I were planning on eloping. We were going to go on “vacation” get married down in the caribbean alone and not tell anyone we got married. BUT the more we talked about it, the more we felt like our families would be disappointed that they weren’t involved and once FMIL got wind of it, it was all over. Now we are having the whole shebang. I did really like the idea of doing this for our parents. I had just had a bunch of deaths in my family before this and suddenly it seemed pressing to have these kinds of memories with them. I also thought a lot of my grandfather who lives a distance away and who is my only surviving grandparent. It would mean so much to have him there on my day. I thought this was going to be the best year ever. So much excitement!
When I first told my grandfather that I was engaged last winter he wasn’t excited. He made several comments about how I should be doing it in a church, should be doing it during the summer, how I was doing it wrong etc. I just told him how much the date and everything meant to us. I tried bringing up the wedding a few more times, but it is difficult because he always seems to change the subject to my mom or sisters.
My mom first reacted by asking if I was pregnant, then saying she was joking, then asking again. Getting her to do anything wedding related has been like pulling teeth. I changed my dress appointment so she could come, but she didn’t show up. She has been telling me how I have to invite all these relatives I barely know despite that she isn’t helping pay for the wedding or anything. I’m trying hard to compromise.
At first I was disappointed because my Mom and older sister promised to do bridal shows with me, go to buy my dress, etc and everytime we had plans they didn’t want to go when I went to pick them up. My sister always said she was too tired. Then she found out WHY she may have been so tired. She went to the doctor and discovered she has breast cancer. I went with her to her appointments and discussed the wedding with her. (she is a bridesmaid) FI and I had already booked the venue and put down non refundable 4K. She is having surgery this month and should be free and clear of cancer by my wedding date. I tried to be as supportive as possible. I went to MD appointments, went to chemo with her, bought her wigs when her hair fell out, tried to help her out finanically when I could, give her rides when she asked, and I’m paying for all her clothes, kids clothes and stuff for my wedding so she doesn’t have to worry about it.
My mom and grandfather told me I should cancel or move my wedding since she is sick. My sister never asked me to do this.
My other sister crashed her car, lost her job, and was going through a tough custody battle. I drove her to court, doctors, hospitals, etc., helped her out finanically when I could, bought her some clothes for court, changed my job so I could watch her kids, and I am buying her bridesmaid dress and her kids clothes for the wedding so she doesn’t have to worry about it. (FYI it is normal here for bridesmaid to buy their own dress. I paid for my own for her wedding)
I asked my grandfather for one thing that would mean a lot to me which is a photo of him and my grandmother’s wedding. He said he’d look for one, but never got back to me. I know he has a photo of my grandmother on her wedding day next to a fireplace and I’d love to re-create it at my venue. When I mentioned it to him he said he had to find it. When I asked my mom about it she said was surprised since she said that he keeps it on his bedstand. Really? I’m not asking for the original, just a copy. Either scan it into the computer and e-mail me or make a copy at staples and snail mail it. I’ll pay for it!
When speaking to my mom she said she talked to him and now he doesn’t think he’s coming to the wedding, which makes me really sad. At first I thought maybe it was finanical since he would have to fly out here, but then I heard he offered to fly my mother, sister and sister’s two kids out to him. Okay I guess.
I suppose I’m just a little upset because I feel like I really try to have a relationship with him. I call him, I send cards on holidays, I send him gifts on birthdays, christmas, father’s day, I send family photos and updates . He never seems to want to talk about the wedding which is something positive that I am excited for. I feel like everything I do isn’t good enough. Everytime I talk to him he seems critical and acts like I should be doing more for the rest of my family. (Seriously how much of my paycheck can I honestly spend on them? I already spend hundreds every month and FI and I are attempting to pay for a wedding by ourselves here) He has only ever called me to ask me why my mom isn’t answering the phone and to drive over there to tell her to call him. He sends my mom and sister money all the time so they don’t have to work and can pay their bills. I have never received so much as a card from him. I guess it’s just a little disappointing. :/
I am trying so hard to make this a really nice family event. I feel like everything is sort of falling apart and I get that people have their own things going on and I’m tryingto do everything I can for them, but it would be nice if I could have this one thing. One day where everyone I love is in one place at one time. Is it too much to ask?
Am I wrong to be upset? Am I overreacting? Maybe I am being selfish right now, seeing the world through wedding blinders. I just needed to vent a bit. Thank you.
Post # 3
I think your family is being a little selfish… not your sisters, as I see they both have important stuff going on, but your mum and your grandad do seem to be very unsupportive, especially as you are doing this wedding mainly so that they can be involved. You’re spending extra money so that your family won’t miss out, despite initially wanting a quiet simple elopement. And you’re putting your sisters needs before your own (as a good sister would). I think that’s pretty selfless really. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. Do you have any idea where your grandfather’s attitude stems from? Has there been a falling out or something? I only ask because his behaviour seems more than a bit odd…
You could always try just talking it out with him, and not letting him change the subject. Tell him explicitly that his behaviour and attitude is hurting your feelings, let him know that part of the reason for the public wedding was for his benefit, and let him know that you want to repair your relationship together. If he says no, or is still unresponsive, then at least you can say you tried I guess…
I hope it gets better for you, I really really do!
Post # 4
I guess I just got my hopes up that this would be THE BEST YEAR EVER! and instead everything possible seems to be going wrong.
On FI side of the family FSIL is going through a horrible divorce/custody battle too. So incredibly horrible mean spirited divorce. they were happily married for 13 years! FBIL was supposed to be GM. I’m starting to wonder why I ever thought I could do this wedding. Why did everything have to happen THIS year?
Okay, I realize this sounds awful. I know it’s not all about me. She is going through a lot. It’s just disappointment. I wouldn’t say this to her ever.
Post # 5
@BriansBride: I’m sorry you’re going through this, OP. It sounds like there’s a lot of crap going on.
It’s possible that you may remind your grandfather of something/someone that he didn’t have a good experience with, and that his cold shoulder has nothing to do with you. Have you tried talking to your mother about what the deal is with Grandpa? Can you have your mother try and convince Grandpa to come?
You’re doing a wonderful job at putting together a nice family event, and especially being a caring sister.
Things in a wedding aren’t always going to be ideal, and maybe if Grandpa is being stubborn, it might be best to not have to deal with snide comments or anything of the sort on your wedding day.
Perhaps a blessing in disguise?
I’m sorry your feelings are hurt.
Post # 6
Thanks for the support. I know part of it is just that I selfishly want this day for myself. I want everyone I love there and I want it to be happy and memorable. I know I am being a bit self centered, I guess I’m just a little tired of not doing anything for myself. This came at a bad time.
With my grandfather, I do think he hasn’t been the same since my grandmother passed away in 2008. Two of his four children have also died too soon. I feel like he has become more depressed and bitter which is why I try to make more and more of en effort to let him know we love and care about him and involve him in things. I wish I could see him more but I’m in NY and he’s in Arizona. He came out here to visit one time and basically complained the whole time. The food we made wasn’t good enough, the fact that I don’t have cable upset him, everything was too expensive out here (even though we kept offering to pay for things) I think he’s just been miserable and it makes me sad. I guess I had stupidly thought a positive family event would be good for him?
Post # 7
@BriansBride: He sounds depressed. Which is common for the elderly, especially when everyone they love, and their friends starts dying. Men especially do not want to admit they’re depressed, and instead of getting medicated, they just become angry old men.
It’s not selfish for you to want your wedding day to be a happy day! I think that’s a realistic expectation.
Your wedding is about you and your FI, and it sounds like other people are starting to really meddle with what you want for a wedding. Just remember that and start sticking to your guns of what YOU want. Mom’s pissed about pink flowers on your wedding cake, and thinks they’re too little-girlish? Too damn bad. They’re the pink flowers you want.
You are creating your family with this day. It is you and your FI’s day. No one elses.
Post # 8
@BriansBride: My dad and I had a similar relationship to you and your grandfather for a while. I was always a daddy’s girl, until my mum died in 2007. Suddenly, my dad’s attitude changed completely. He became bitter and resentful and very judgemental about all my life choices. After a while I realised it’s because I look just like my mum when she was young, I even sound like her. I think it was just too hard for him being reminded of her all the time. In the end, my brother called my dad and told him that he couldn’t keep punishing me for his grief, as it’s not my fault. Slowly, we began to build bridges again and now we have a much better relationship than we did, if not quite yet the same one we had before. Possibly you remind your grandfather of one of the people who passed away, or possibly your youth and vigour reminds him of their mortality. But do work on your relationship with him, it will get better! And I’m sure whatever happens, your wedding will be a happy day. If anything, it might be just what your family needs to lift their spirits. What could possibly be better at such a dark time, than an event of such joy?