- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2009
WARNING — Monster of a post ahead (I apologize in advance, and sincerely thank anyone who reads all of this and offers me advice). In summary, Darling Husband wants to completely sever ties with his mother. I feel like I’m getting an ulcer from the recent drama — we’ve heard more “backlash” from his mom (through other family members) in the last 48 hours, and I’m finding it hard to eat or sleep. This is hard to talk about with people IRL, which is why I’m turning to the hive.
First, all of this went down because of my brother-in-law’s wedding. For the record, we were civil, happy for Brother-In-Law and his bride, and did our absolute best to de-escalate the drama. We would never do anything to ruin someone’s wedding day, especially DH’s brother who we both love and care about. 95% of what’s gone down has been due to DH’s mom. So you have a comparison of what’s happened, I’ve given a direct comparison of her behavior around different wedding events for us, and wedding events for my Brother-In-Law.
Ours: No one from DH’s side attended. They had a birthday party to attend the day before for an uncle, who was dying from cancer. To this day, we’re not sure why a party the day before prevented their attendance at the shower, but it is what it is. We’ve been told by some family that Mother-In-Law told other family members the shower was ON the day of the birthday party, but we sent formal invites clearly indicating it was the day after for all of them. Same weekend, but not the same day. Mother-In-Law called my mother and e-mailed my sister to express her disgust with their “Choice” to host it the same weekend. 1.) The hall was booked (more than a year in advance) before my family knew it was the same weekend as his family’s party. 2.) It was not the same day. Then, DH’s grandfather called the hall to try to see if it could be moved to another weekend, behind the back of my family. Turned out another weekend was, in fact, not a possibility. I guess he needed “proof” my family wasn’t lying to their family. My family was offended and hurt.
Theirs: Mother-in-law called, pleading that I attend the bridal shower. It was a week before my doctoral comprehensive exams, so that was physically impossible (we live out of state, so traveling for the weekend would’ve equaled zero study prep time for me). Her rationale: “We want to make SURE the bride has a lot of family there!” No joke, those words seriously came out of her mouth. I still sent a gift to the bride’s mother’s house, which she took to the shower for me.
Ours: Thrown by my Godmother, in her home. Mother-In-Law made a rude remark to my Godmother about the dinner being “too fancy” and “not her taste.” Bridesmaid seated closest to Mother-In-Law and DH’s siblings later reported Mother-In-Law instructed DH’s siblings to barely touch their plates. The dinner was fabulous – they barely ate anything, and Mother-In-Law left noticeably early (literally as soon as the plates were cleared).
Theirs: Mother-In-Law hosted a formal sit-down rehearsal dinner for 36 people at a nice restaurant. To add salt to the wound, she also gave a glowing speech about Brother-In-Law and his bride-to-be. They deserved the sweet sentiment, just hurt our feelings how sharply this contrasted with our own wedding. (As a side note, we didn’t ask for money toward our wedding from her – but we highly doubt she would’ve given us a cent if we’d asked).
Ours: A family member witnessed Mother-In-Law and her friend stick their finger into the side of our wedding cake (screwing up the frosting so it didn’t photograph as well). I feel like that behavior alone “takes the cake” – but we were also informed later that she was extremely negative throughout the reception and made cutting remarks about the two of us to most of her side of the family throughout the evening.
Theirs: I feel like just saying “cake was finger-free” would be enough. But she clearly enjoyed herself, and encouraged family to get out on the dance floor. She barely spoke to Darling Husband throughout the reception, but actually did hold normal conversation with me.
Day After the Wedding
Ours: About two months before the wedding, Mother-In-Law offered to host a brunch-time BBQ at her home for our families and out-of-town guests. We were shocked by this sudden kind gesture, but thrilled that things seemed to be getting better. A week before the wedding – after my family and our out of town guests had been invited to her home – she uninvited my family members and out-of-town guests from my side of the family. She stated that she had decided to “only host something for her own family.” My parents scrambled to throw together a lovely brunch, so that our family who modified travel plans to be with us the day after weren’t hurt. We still attended MIL’s BBQ, but we were hurt by her behavior.
Theirs: We found out at rehearsal that all of the groomsmen (except for DH) had been personally invited by my Mother-In-Law to a BBQ at her house. Not only was she hosting a BBQ for them, it was much larger than the BBQ she was originally planning for us. Additionally, we were not invited at the same time of the rest of the wedding party. Darling Husband received a text message an hour before the BBQ started to “invite” us. As a side note, that day was also DH’s birthday. Given MIL’s previous track record, my mother planned ahead and had brunch, along with cake and ice cream for DH’s birthday. We didn’t attend the BBQ because it started at noon, and we left to drive out of state an hour later to go home. I posted a picture of my mom and Darling Husband with his cake for his birthday. Now, Mother-In-Law and her mother (DH’s grandmother) are claiming that their feelings are hurt that my mother didn’t invite them to her house for “DH’s Birthday Party” – wasn’t a birthday party, just had a few of my aunts and my grandmother stop over with small gifts for him.
Now, if all that wasn’t enough, we were informed by a cousin (random side note: this cousin and his wife are treated exactly like we are by this family – my Mother-In-Law refused to go to their wedding, along with DH’s grandfather. We went, and Mother-In-Law is still mad at as for going, as if it is some sort of affront) that DH’s Mother-In-Law and grandmother have now stated to extended family that it is “clear we don’t want to be close with his family.” To set the record straight, we spent three full days with that family leading up to the wedding – and I modified a nail appointment the day before the wedding to attend lunch with the family. When I initially asked if lunch could be pushed half an hour earlier, to accommodate my appointment, I was told; “That’s too bad that I asked you in advance and now you can’t go? [We told her initially I had a nail appointment at 1 – she forgot] What’s going on? You can never spend time with me OR YOUR FAMILY. It breaks my heart that you can’t set aside any time for us. Fine if you don’t want to see me but what did they do to you? I thought it would be nice to have all my kids together for lunch. Why on earth would you schedule a nail appointment at 1? [scheduled a week in advance – the lunch was scheduled the day before] That wouldn’t be a very long lunch now would it? Whatever you feel you need to do, We’ll be at the restaurant at 12:30.” This was via text message, that was sent as a mass text to myself, Darling Husband, and all of DH’s siblings and their spouses (to “prove” we weren’t making time for them – for the record, I changed my nail appointment and went to lunch. We try to keep the peace as best we can).
Now we’re left with what to do. Darling Husband is beyond upset with all of them and ready to sever ties with his entire family. I’ve thought about writing a letter, making phone calls – something? We definitely didn’t want to sever ties with his family, but they are repeatedly treating us both this way. [Another example: DH’s college graduation fell on Mother’s Day. She cried afterward, stating that his graduation was distracting from “her” day.] This wedding was almost three weeks ago, and we haven’t heard anything from them after returning home. We’ve been together for 11 years and this is a repetitive pattern. Mother-In-Law blows up at us over nothing, treats Darling Husband like he doesn’t exist, then things settle for a little while until the next blow up.
Thoughts, ideas, or words of wisdom? It’s so hard to try to explain this to my friends IRL, because the ones have confided in just think my Mother-In-Law is nuts and have no idea why we have even tried to salvage a relationship with her. No one in my family has really ever severed ties with anyone, so this feels like scary, unchartered territory.