Post # 1
I could use some advice on dealing with negativity from relatives (specifically mother, sister and sister-in-law) who are very religious. They’re all good people, but I’ve had an extremely rough relationship with them (not as bad from my sister or SIL, but mostly mother) in the recent past, although the last two years or so have ranged from pleasant/polite to pretty darn good. Thankfully, it’s only gotten better with time as I’ve stood my ground with them while still being a nice person to them. They seem to have learned they can play nice and accept me as an adult or I will love them, but from a distance.
Amazingly, they seem to be genuinely happy about my engagement to varying degrees–my mom is downright giddy, my sister is vaguely pleased but mostly because I’ll be married and not “living in sin”, and my sister-in-law I imagine just accepts it and thinks I’m skanky no matter what I do. But I know that as planning progresses, negativity is going to come out. I know these people far too well.
I’ve gotten pretty damn good about not caring what people think, but I find some tiny insecurities bubbling up. I think because they are my female relatives (who are supposed to be loving and by your side–in my case, we feel more like friends and not family) and because it’s my wedding. I dunno. Because normally I don’t care at all anymore. Weddings seem to bring about ideas of what “should” be happening, and it doesn’t always align with reality obviously.
I’m definitely not going to talk about wedding plans with them unless they explicitly ask. And I highly doubt they will say negative things… but it’s the looks on their faces, the sideways glances to each other, and complete judgy silence in response to my answers that I am expecting. My wedding will be outside in about 75-80 degree weather and a good bit of humidity, and I do not intend on being totally covered up! Haven’t made a dress decision yet, but I know it will be either strapless or sleeveless, or open back or something. They will consider anything that isn’t almost totally covered up immodest. Also, they will be scandalized by my not having a wedding in a church, nor with a priest/preacher, but outside and probably officiated by a friend (possibly even a woman, GASP) or other non-ordained person.<br /><br />They’re entitled to their opinions, and I know they will disapprove of things. It’s just inevitable. I’m just looking for advice on how to not let it burst my bubble. Surely someone else has been here! 🙂
Post # 2
I’ve been dealing with this with my bridal party. They mean well, but they are blunt and have been oversharing their opinions. One girl even yelled that she hated one of my accesories choices after she asked me to show them to her. I was originally so happy with what I bought, and it burst my bubble of excitement. They said things like “you’re wearing that?? I HATE IT! It’s so ugly!!” And then five minutes later say, “But it’s your wedding, do what you want! That’s most important!” As though that canceled out what they said earlier. If it’s so damn important, why can’t they keep their opinions somewhat filtered? After that, I closed up shop on getting any other opinions.
I’d say not to show them even if they ask to see something, especially if you know they’re judgey to begin with. I made the mistake of thinking I was limiting my wedding talk a lot, but still, I’d get excited about a purchase. They’d ask what I’ve been doing with wedding planning and ask to see everything, so I showed them. After a few outburts (and I mean outbursts, not even just side-eyes), I decided they can all see at the wedding. If they are so ill-mannered to dare tell me my wedding day look is not beautiful ON my wedding day, they can leave. 🙂
By the way, they still ask to see my wedding look. You have to stand firm and not show them. Really. I wished I’d adopted this stance earlier. It will save you a lot of hurt feelings.
Post # 3
frogprincess: Definitely been there and you nailed it when you said you weren’t going to offer up details unless they explicitly ask for them. Definitely try not to offer up any details, not even if there’s a special task (like cake tasting) that you’re doing that weekend or something because it’s just an invitation from them to weigh in. And keep it all in perspective. The wedding will be over before you know it and then you’ll have your whole life to forget the silly little looks they exchanged because you didn’t dress like a nun for your wedding.
And re: not having a church wedding, I was told by several family members that when I married into my husband’s catholic sort-of-practicing-sort-of-not family, I would shock a lot of people by getting married at a venue instead of in a church. I think that’s probably true and I did manage to shock a few people, but no one said a single word to me (except my Father-In-Law, who asked repeatedly who would be performing the wedding if it wasn’t in a church) and I forgot about it right up to this minute. Long story short, if you do your best to ignore them now, you’ll probably forget about most of this tension later.
Post # 4
Stories like this make me so sad. It’s so upsetting to me when people use religion as an excuse to be unkind and judgmental. IMO, religion should do the exact opposite — it should make you more loving, more accepting, more open…. etc. But I digress.
I think the way I would deal with it is to just focus on my excitement about the wedding and the marriage, realize that these people are going to be judgmental and probably won’t change their opinions, and to just try to focus on the good things about them. Also realize you’re not doing anything wrong by not covering yourself completely in 75 degree heat, etc etc. That’d be my first step.
But I also would not hesitate to call them out on their judgmental attitudes if they make them so apparent. They are being rude at best, and a lot of other things at worst. I don’t think it’s wrong to let them know that their actions are hurting you at a time when you should all be coming together in celebration.
Post # 5
Personally when I had issues I just flat out stood up for myself and didn’t take their crap. I had people thinking I was too young to be engaged and talking about it behind my back, making rude comments on Facebook. So I straight up told them it’s my life and I can make my own decisions. Two years later the wedding is still on an I’m still studying (shock horror). Luckily we are all good now. But I spose I still harbor resentment towards those who have judged or do judge my life.
Post # 6
frogprincess: I’m glad things have been going pretty well lately. As far as how to deal with possible negativity coming up, I just ignore people. But if you can’t do that I recommend being as vague as possible about anything you think they’ll disapprove of. If you know they’re going to insult your dress choice (or silently clutch their pearls looking aghast) don’t take them dress shopping and don’t show any photos after you buy. Just tell them it’s going to be a surprise. End of story. There’s no reason they need to know in advance who will be officiating or what you’re serving or any other details. “We haven’t decided yet” or “we’re still considering options” are useful phrases. Good luck.
Post # 7
I wouldn’t even share details if they ask for them! I’d give them one more chance, and if they respond negatively or judgmentally to your answer to a question they asked, tell them, “I’m sorry, but I will no longer be answering questions about my wedding details due to your reactions/comments.” And stick with it!
I’m not longer going to answer my FMIL’s questions – it’s going to be REALLY hard, but answering her questions only results in judgment, negativity, and an endless stream of why my idea is bad along with suggestions for how to change my wedding to meet her standards. For example, she has hated everything and tried to convince us to change everything – including FI’s lifelong best friend (who Future Mother-In-Law likes!) being our officiant because Future Mother-In-Law “wants a Christian marrying us,” and the fact that FI’s best friend doesn’t actively attend church apparently makes him flat-out not Christian (she has no idea what his beliefs are).
I’d rather take her being mad about not getting information than her ripping apart my decisions.
Post # 8
lambert63: “They said things like “you’re wearing that?? I HATE IT! It’s so ugly!!” And then five minutes later say, “But it’s your wedding, do what you want! That’s most important!”–ohhhhh this. Yes, this. I love when people do that! lol. Ugh.
anonybee0810: Thanks 🙂 Nope, they will not be invited to any of the pre-wedding traditions like trying on dresses, cake tasting, making decorations, etc. MAYBE if they ask to be involved I might CONSIDER it depending on the activity. But otherwise, they can show up for the wedding itself and that will be the extent of their involvement. Thanks for sharing the story about your FIL! Glad to see you had all but forgotten about it, that’s great!
stillme: Amen, lol. Most people seem to be the better for it…but there are those who manage to create a god that agrees with them 100% of the time, and use it to belittle others. I like your suggestion about ignoring their bad behavior and focus on the good things about them. I will try to do that. Maybe even call them out on stuff if the situation calls for it and say something like, “thanks for your opinion, but you got to do things your way and I’m gonna do things my way, because that’s what makes each of us happy” if I can find a cheerful, non-snarky way of saying it.
gamerlover: I hear ya. It’s hard to let go when they’ve said hurtful things. Good for you for continuing on with your plans! Oh boy, could I tell you some stories about things my family has said to me…
Daisy_Mae: omigosh, lmao, there may definitely be some pearl-clutching going on!! That’s hilarious. I’m going to try to remember that and just laugh about their ridiculousness, because that’s what it is: ridiculous. Maybe I can focus on how stupid it is that it just becomes funny. Thank you 🙂
Post # 9
KitSnicket: Oh boy. ;/ Sounds like you have it worse than I do! I hope I won’t have to explicitly tell them I won’t be talking to them about wedding stuff, but if it comes to it, I will. They can play nice or hush!
Thankfully, I have an AMAZING aunt and WONDERFUL close friends (most of whom will be my bridesmaids) who are nothing but chill and supportive. I have leaned on them all heavily in the past and will continue to do so. They give me a lot of strength. Somehow I’ve managed to fall into these amazing people who are very positive… even if they don’t like something, they are always very sweet and supportive about it.