(Closed) Tried to avoid talking weddings with my Mum… offended her even more.

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Christmas Tree Farm

The time for aloof and dodging is over. 

Yes, you are going to book everything yourself and then send them an invitation. That’s the way that weddings work when you’re not the bride or groom. If she does not want to come to your “half wedding,” she doesn’t have to be there. If I remember correctly, you have not accepted any money from them to pay for it, right? If that’s the case, it’s not her wedding and it’s not her money, so none of it is her decision.

My recommendation: From now on, shut her down every time she brings up the wedding. Don’t beat around the bush or dodge her questions, just tell her you do not want to discuss it. No, not your business, not your worry, we’re figuring it out, we will tell you once we’ve decided, if you don’t support us that’s your choice, etc. Don’t give her an inch, or she will take a mile. If she refuses to let it go, starts yelling at you, or starts putting you down, walk away. Stand up and walk out of the room. Leave her house and go home. I know that she’s your mom, but she is a grown adult and there is no reason for her to be allowed to treat you like that. 

Post # 4
234 posts
Helper bee

ZebraPrintMe:  This probably isn’t the best way to go about it, especially because I don’t know your parents, but when I was having trouble with my dad, by insinuating that I was going to cut him out of the picture, he changed how he was acting VERY quickly. This might stem from the product of divorce though, he never got to see me very much growing up.

But if they want to see their daughter get married, I think that’d be a real good motivation. And if they take a grudge to that, their the ones that have to live with it.

Take some inspiration from my spirirt animal, the badger, and just don’t give a f*ck!

Post # 5
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Christmas Tree Farm

ZebraPrintMe:  Do. Not. Take. Their. Money. That would give them permission to attempt to take total control over your plans.

Plan the small wedding that you want, and make it clear that their opinions don’t matter to you or your FI. If they don’t want to support your wedding simply because you don’t want an extravagant and expensive event that is their choice, but you don’t have to sit there and listen to them verbally abuse you just because they’re your parents.

Post # 6
2385 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

ZebraPrintMe:  DH’s mom was similar, thinking if we didn’t do certain “traditional” things it wasn’t a ‘real’ wedding and there was no point. We both started feeling very resentful towards her because of it and it created a ton of tension between everyone. We decided to just stop talking weddings with her, period. Anytime she would give us her opinion on something we’d tell her we hear her opinion & we will let her know what we decide. You cannot give them any room, period. It also helped alot when DH flat out told his mom that the things she was saying were very hurtful & were on the road to permantly damaging their relationship, and our future relationship (me & FMIL). We ended up avoiding her calls for a while after that because we were afraid someone would say something they’d regret (him, me, her), but after a few months things calmed back down again.  Sometimes people just need to be put in their place. Something along the lines of “I appreciate your input and will take it into considertion. I am an adult now, these are our decisions to make not yours, this is our money to spend or save however we choose not yours. I will let you know what our final decision is.” 

As someone who has gone through a similar situation I feel for ya! it’s a tough thing to deal with, and it wasn’t even my mom! ETA: We ended up having the tiny 4 person wedding we wanted, saved mucho $$ (a decision my family 100% supported), and loved every single minute of it! And guess what? We’re just as ‘really’ married as someone that went into debt to pay for a 250 person wedding extravaganza!! 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  .
Post # 7
2365 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

You’ve tried the polite way. Since that failed, the response when she asks ‘So you’re just going to book everything and tell us your decision?’ is ‘That’s correct’. When she continues, do not engage, do not discuss. The only response at that point is ‘asked and answered’. If she doesn’t get it, simply stated ‘You asked, I answered. It’s not going to change, regardless of how often or how many ways you ask.’

Post # 8
2792 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


I agree with the PPs on this one.  Also, you attempted to not talk wedding stuff with your mom, but to do it well, you will really need to cut her off before she starts going.   Which means the moment she starts talking about venues, you go “I’m not discussing this with you.” If she keeps going, hang up, leave, what ever gets you out of the conversation.  She seems like if you open the door a crack, she will force it wide open. 

And your FI is also right, you may need to cut your parents.  People who make you feel that terrible, regularly, about something as happy as getting married do not deserve a place in your life.  Family or not. 

Post # 9
2062 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1987

If you want a quiet stressless life with your Mum and Dad then you are going to have to be a doormat.  This is what they expect of you.  This is how you have been treated in the past.

If you want an adult relationship with your parents then there is going to be stress, fireworks and (strangely enough, only on your part) guilt.  it will be painful and stressful and hurtful but ultimately worth it because it will allow you eventually to gain some self respect.  Don’t expect your parents to joyfully cooperate.  They are being retrained after years of bad and manipulative behaviour.  This behaviour has always worked before and so they will be very shocked at its lack of effect now.  They are bound to throw tantrums and try every trick in the book.  And I mean every trick.

You and your FI must present a united front and jointly let them know what you want.  Don’t let them get you on your own.

How long will this retraining take?  Possibly years.  There are no quick fixes, only determination on your part.

The thing is that you are not being a bad child or an ungrateful child.  You are simply being true to yourself and giving them the opportunity of finding out that if they stop manipulating you, you will still love them.

And this will set both you and them free.


Post # 10
876 posts
Busy bee

It’s not that the suggestions you were given backfired or didn’t work. You didn’t employ those suggestions fully. You applied parts only, which dilutes the effect. *Don’t engage* means *don’t engage*. It doesn’t mean *half-engage* or *engage until it goes off the rails and then don’t engage*. This needs to be all or nothing. You are drawing a hard line in the sand and then standing your ground and making it clear that them stepping so much as one toenail oveer the line will result in the exact. same. outcome. every. single. time.

You can’t quibble. You can’t waiver. You are setting the precedent for how they are to conduct themselves with you, your husband and your children for the rest of your married life. This isn’t about venues. This isn’t about flowers. This isn’t about *half-weddings*. This is about their incredibly presumptuous, boundary-obliterating behavior and attitudes. You made a grevious error in allowing them to believe this behavior was okay. Now you need to re-train them. No one can do that but you.

I am absolutely serious when I tell you that this is exactly like training a dog. You got a puppy. You thought he was just the cutest little thing and you allowed him to jump up on you when you got home from work because it was just so darn cute to see him so excited. Now, he’s a year old and huge. You were holding your newborn in your arms the other day and your husband opened the backdoor and that *adorable puppy* who is now 80lbs jumped up on you and got your newborn in the face with his claws. You realize you made a serious, serious error and didn’t think long-term about the puppies behavior and it’s now actually harmful to your loved ones. You re-evaluate.Yyou realize you need to re-train him not to jump up. Every time he jumps up, you’re very stern and very no nonsense and in no uncertain terms you make it perfectly clear that he is not allowed to do that. You’re consistent. You don’t let him jump up sometimes and forbid it other times because you know it will just confuse him and this is important. You need this behavior to stop completely and forever. Period. And you make sure that comes through. That you will not be giving in and that it will never be okay. Ever.

You need to use that mentality with people in your life – not just your family – who are presumptuous boundary-pushers at your expense or the expense of your marrieage and family. People are going to cause damage – intentionally or not – if you let them walk all over you like some big, uncontrollable dog.

You need to drastically narrow your possible responses to them when they try to engage you. Any boundary-pushing behavior needs to be met with 1) silence 2) I’m not having this conversation with you 3) sorry to hear you feel that way. For example, you said “When she mentioned weddings I just told her that me and FI are going round some places.” Mistake. That is the opposite of *avoid engaging with them*. Volunteer nothing. They mention weddings, you respond with complete silence. She demands information and tells you it better not be a half-wedding and you say *I’m not going to have this conversation with you*. She says she doesn’t think this wedding is even going to happen and you say *sorry to hear you feel that way*. Whatever is happening, you choose whichever of those 3 responses is most appropriate and use it.

Because the fact is, you cannot coddle her out of this. You can’t nice her out of it or mollify her out of it or placate her out of it and all of those things just serve to make her feel justified in her boundary-pushing. You need to re-train her. You are using an equivalent of *I screwed up and let you think this is okay and it isn’t. It is harmful to me and my loved ones and I cannot allow you to do it anymore. Ever. Period.*

If you stick to those 3 responses and are consistent and no-nonsense she will eventually stop because her behaviors aren’t working anymore. Just like the big dog jumping up for loving gets scolding instead and stops doing it. She will have to actively look for something else that gets her the outcome she wants.

Again, this is something you need to look at applying to your life in general because unfortunately, boundary-pushers can smell a push-over from a mile away and in fact, tend to seek them out and surround themselves with push-overs. Boundary-pushers are, for the most part, very selfish people and like to have their own way as much as possible. Surrounding themselves with push-overs who don’t stick up for themselves is a very effective way of ensuring they get their own way as often as possible.



Post # 11
1491 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My parents were terrible like that too. Continue ignoring, and tell them that you’re going to plan a wedding, and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to come. My parents were all sorts of nasty during wedding planning but at the end of the day they showed up, even if the wedding wasn’t what they envisioned. Do not let them get to you, and feel free to walk away from the conversation – hang up the phone – if you have to. 

Post # 12
4135 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Do not take a penny. Seriously I would elope. I hope you don’t have to live with this person. 

Post # 14
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I read in a previous post that you’re 20 years old but I didn’t read what kind of relationship you usually have with your parents.  If it’s usually fine and not toxic, then I’d say they’re just not used to seeing you as an adult.  This probably has less to do with picking a venue, and more to do with your mother suddenly realizing you’re not her little girl.  It’s hard to realize but sometimes parents act this way because they love you.   

If you’re getting married, you need to step up and be an adult.  What does that mean? It means you and FI make all the decisions and pay for everything. If your family gives you advice , the mature thing to do is say “Thanks, we’ll definitely consider that.”  If they criticize decisions you have already made, you say “Me and FI like it and we’ve already paid for it.”  If they say harsh words, you hang up the phone or walk away because an adult doesn’t need to sit there and take crap. This isn’t just how you’ll plan your wedding, this is how you’ll run your lives: by listening to the advice of people you trust, but ultimately making your own choices.        

Post # 15
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

ZebraPrintMe:  Tell her you’re not talking about it with her and leave the room/house.  I’d also tell her that if they don’t lay off you’re going to elope and tell them when its over. And they’ll have nobody to blame but themselves.

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