Post # 1
When I look back at my whole wedding and planning process, I’m realizing that many hurdles were MIL-related. Many of my bee posts were venting about her!
I consider her a dear friend and love her very much. What came up really surprised me. She told everyone the wrong dress code, then that we didn’t want ANY gifts, invited extra people, but had an episode when we didn’t invite jailbait cousin, changed the bar setup without telling us, didn’t help us set up or clean up.
The day of, she invited people upstairs where I was getting ready, and rolled her eyes when I asked that guests go back downstairs. Instead of helping us pack up the day after, she started cooking breakfast, even though my dad’s brunch was happening. Guests felt obligated to stay and eat, and as a result we were hours late to the brunch being hosted in our honor.
It felt like every step was a struggle! I can’t tell you how many times I had to “choose my battles.” What is this about? And what do I do about it going forward? I’m wondering, is this an indicator of what my married life will be like? Constantly having to explain ourselves or having her ignore us altogether?
(I should note, DH and I are a united front, and he was equally perplexed by this. We paid for everything but booze, which was their gift to us)
As always, Bees, thanks for letting me reflect! Any thoughts you have on the matter are much appreciated.
Post # 3
Curious to see what everyone says about this one!
Post # 4
I’m not sure if it’s an indicator of what married life will be like. It’s so tricky navigating that. Hopefully it all calms down now that wedding is over. Maybe it was just her stress response?
Post # 5
I didn’t have the sdame issues you did, my MIL was pretty hands off with the whole thing. However, I’m not saying MIL didn’t cause issues. She was very passive aggressive about the venue because we didn’t like any of her suggestions (in her hometown, in old renovated swept up warehouses). she didn’t offer to pay a dime, not even for her guests.
In the end, all I aksed of her was she wear a bra, even if just for the pictures. NOPE.
I am assuming it’s just some passive agressive “this is my son, he’s not supposed to be happy with another woman” type of thing.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2013 - The Gables at Chadds Ford
@AnonymousBBQ: I second the passive aggressive idea. I have a friend whose soon-to-be MIL makes comments about their apartment every time she is there if it is not up to her standards (MIL is a neat-freak), or will incenuate that she will not be a good wife because she does not iron her fiance’s clothes, but the next day she wants to be all buddy-buddy. Moms are crazy. Mothers-in-law are worse! I love my FMIL, but plenty of things aggravate me about her as well!
Post # 7
I think its the differences between family styles and that the mother of a son knows her ways will be placed aside for the bride’s ways… Sons tend to take on their wife’s families’ styles and customs / traditions from the littlest of things to really big things (how to fold the bath towels to how to raise your children). So even the most supportive, easy going MILs probably throw a nasty barb or two every once in a while!
Post # 8
I can honestly say that the most stressful part of my wedding planning has all been MIL related issues. Maybe I’ve had issues w/ own mom but I can easily tell her when she has frustrated me. With my MIL its “choose your battles.” My fiance has been great and we are also a united front when it comes to MIL — but I feel the same as you: Is this how married life is going to be?!
Post # 9
While every situation is different, I can tell you that my MIL (and FIL for that matter) where completely crazy during the wedding planning process, and things are fine now.
To make a long story short, they did and said so many things that were very rude/out of hand, that my husband had to threaten to not invite them to the wedding unless they started acting like adults.
The actions they did before the wedding, and the day of the wedding, was not a foreshadow of how they are now. Perhaps they learned a lesson, or perhaps there is just something about weddings that made them nutty. But, their behavior now vs. then, is almost like 2 different people.
Post # 10
Big events just seem to trigger the whacko in people. For some bees, the nightmare begins with the engagement (or earlier) and doesn’t end until the in-law is dead. But, for MOST people, I do think it’s just the stress and excitement of a big event. In many ways, the wedding can also be a reflection on the parents. There’s a reason people throw money into their kids’ weddings and get so personally invested in it.
I was lucky in that I fought every step of the way to keep my mother-in-law’s money out of the wedding (she eventually did give my husband some money). She picked the song for her dance with her son. And that was IT. I think after the wedding is over, she picked one or two things up off the tables. I didn’t have time for her drama. My sister-in-law was a bigger pool of drama.
But I’ve found that once that big event was over, people went back to not really caring and being indifferent.
Post # 11
@AnonymousBBQ: It’s a power grab. MIL is like this except we’re not close. We’re nice to each other but I don’t like her enough to talk to her or hang out with her alone really.
MIL has said it several times before that she misses the days when H was a little kid and needed her and still doted on her and everything. Every few months she’ll put an old photo of him and his brother on facebook and say “where did the time go” blah blah blah, which is perfectly fine out of context, but with her she also will accuse H of being a bad son and not talking to her enough when he calls her every week and she resents that he doesn’t call her every day. The other day she told him on the phone, “no one will ever love you more than I do.” H, though, does not like his mom. She is very mean and controlling and if she’s nice to you one day you can almost be sure she’ll do something really mean-spirited the next.She often likes to shame him in front of other people and will just be really rude and tactless.
My mom tries to compete with my husband too sometimes and it’s annoying. She likes to rub it in his face that she makes more money than him and can take me on trips and whatever.
What they fail to realize is that the more they let go instead of trying to control everything, the more their kids will actually want to be around them. It’s that simple.
Post # 12
@sarg88: This. Me too.
@AnonymousBBQ: I don’t necessarily think it is going to be a part of what your married life will be like, like others said, it may just have been the stress of the event. My own FMIL very graciously gave us (she gave FI’s sister the same amount) money to plan, and as such we have been more under her thumb about things…for instance, we HAVE to invite her mother (they hate each other, and her mother is a vindictive, rude, vengeful, hateful, manipulative, abusive person) in an effort not to start “drama” if we don’t invite her…so now there’s a chance that this woman might actually show up and they will be in the same room together with alcohol involved. Can you say dread?
But apart from that, FMIL is quite a nice, smart, lady. She drives me insane, but she means well and she always puts FI and FSIL’s needs (which extends to myself and FSIL’s hub) first. She does her best. So I’m not sure how this will work out for myself either.
I say maybe just have a talk with your husband and make sure you have a game plan for if these things continue to come up.