Post # 1
This is something that worries me. My SO and I are not yet engaged, but from all appearances we will be within a year or so. I’m 26, he’s 41, and we have been happily together for 4 years.
Our families have never liked each other at all, partially because my parents have such objections to my SO (cultural/political issues that I do not share) that they basically tried to make me break up with him a few years ago (that didn’t work at all!). It’s now better, but they don’t like all kinds of things about him still (including that we aren’t engaged yet) and when I recently told my mother that we were discussing marriage she was completely silent except for asking me something like, “what do you think of that?” I didn’t expect more, but it was still unpleasant.
Also, my SO’s mother and my mother really dislike each other. They have had a couple of really stupid confrontations, one in person, one over the phone, and given their temperaments I get very worried about what might happen when they see each other again.
So, when I think about my eventual wedding, I worry about all of this. We wouldn’t elope, because we both want something fancier than that, and our families would be disappointed (and I would be disappointed, too, actually).
If you had similar problems with the parents disliking each other, how did you deal with it during the wedding logistically? Did you have an engagement party where both families were there? Did you have an engagement party or bridal shower at all? How did you get them to behave on the day of your wedding?
I want to marry my SO so much, but the idea of our wedding mixing the two families at such an emotional event makes me scared. I don’t want drama and I would like to have a pleasant wedding and engagement party, but I don’t know how this would be possible short of everyone giving up their differences, which I can guarantee will not happen.
Thank you for sharing!!
Post # 3
I haven’t dealt with this exact situation but I have had to deal with people who don’t get along at all because of divorce.
I simply had a talk with all of them individually and told them my expectations- courteous, civil behavior at all times. I really don’t care how much they dislike each other, if they love me they will want to ensure that nothing ruins my wedding.
Post # 4
@Creiddylad: What do the mothers have in common? I’d try to find out any common interests and work on those. Perhaps the unity that you and your SO have found will guide the others.
Post # 5
@julies1949: +1. And i personally would tell them that if they can’t respect my wishes – please don’t come.
Post # 7
Short of coming right out and asking them “It is going to be our wedding day, I’d appreciate if you could put aside your differences for one day for us” There is nothing you can do.
We cannot control others behaviors. It was my experience on our wedding day that those I expected problems from, were extremely well behaved, and when the stress became to much for them, they left. Which I appreciated. There was EXTREME hatred between two of my guests at our wedding and they said not a word to each other because I spoke to them individually before hand. It truely is the best you can you do.
Post # 8
@Astra: I think both mothers are far too strong-minded to ever have that work, unfortunately.
@PrincessPerry: I like your ideas. I kind of expected that I will need to talk to them all, but it still makes me nervous. Oh well– like PrincessPerry said, we can’t control others’ behavior!
One thing I am really wondering is, for anyone who has dealt with this sort of thing, did you have pre-wedding parties, like engagement party, bridal shower, etc., where the people who didn’t get along were there? How did that go over?
Post # 9
@Creiddylad: We didn’t have an engagement party, but did have several showers and a rehearsal dinner where they all behaved themselves.
Post # 10
Neither showed up to the pre parties, like rehearsals. I didn’t care at that point. Truely. You get to a point where you throw your hands up and say “it will work out” ..
Post # 11
I have no advice, I’m just curious how you met? The age gap boggled my mind for a bit. All I could think was he was going through puberty before she was born. No offense at all. All of the couples I know met at school or through friends. How did you meet your someone special?
Post # 12
@HonoraryNerd: We met at a contra dance– a social dance that is common where we live.
That was not the point of this post and I’m not sure why you needed to point it out in that way.
Post # 13
@Creiddylad: tell them you’re having a child-free wedding and if they don’t start acting their ages and be mature adults then you will unextend an invite.
Post # 14
@Mrs_Amanda: HAHA!!!! I love this. Seriously, I would LOOOVE to say this to certain people at times.
Post # 15
@Creiddylad: Relax, she just asked a question. I kind of wondered the same thing (along with some other things). You can put your defensive bone away now
Post # 16
@DJones69: Of course people are going to wonder. It works just fine for us. I put that there because the inevitable questions of “how old are you?” “how long have you been together” “I need to know XYZ before I can answer your question” would have come up.
I’m slightly offended by the phrase you used, “your defensive bone.”