- 8 years ago
- Wedding: December 1969
Q. My New Wife, the Former Bridezilla: I just got married a few weeks ago. When we opened our wedding gifts, my wife was startled to find a book on bridal etiquette. The book came in a package enclosed with no name, just a note saying, “For next time, you might need this.”
Inside the book, there were things highlighted that my wife should have done, like paying for the rehearsal dinner and sending thank-you cards. My wife is FURIOUS. She knows it must be one of her close friends, because some of the things that were highlighted in the book were things that only our close friends and family knew. She’s on the warpath.
Here’s the catch—I know exactly who sent the book. It was one of her bridesmaids, in fact it was her “best friend.” I am torn between telling my wife and keeping it quiet, because truth be told, my wife was the DEFINITION of a bridezilla when planning out our wedding, and I felt bad for her attendants. There were times when even I was doubting our relationship. The girl who sent the book obviously has no intention of telling my wife, but I don’t really WANT to tell her either. I want her to think about how crappily she treated her friends and family, including her new in-laws. Am I obligated to tell my wife about her “friend?”
A: Your wife may be on the warpath, but I wonder if you’re on the divorce path, given the revelations about her character. I’ve often wondered what the grooms are thinking when they see their beloved turn into a demanding shrew because it’s “her” (never “our”) day. If you truly are going to build a life together, the conversation you need to have is not about who sent the book but why the book was sent. You can agree it was an insulting, underhanded thing to do (and her best friend should have spoken up, not sent the book). But then you need to segue into, “Honey, I know planning a wedding can be very stressful, but I think you actually do need to make amends to some people for the way you treated them.” Sure, she’ll probably respond badly, but if she can’t eventually calm down and look at her behavior, if she goes on the warpath against you, you really need to think about who you married.
Q. Future Mother-In-Law Thinks I’m a Spoiled Rich Brat. I’m not: My future mother-in-law thinks I’m a spoiled brat. My fiance and I have had very different upbringings, and he’s had to help his parents out with bills and things since he was 12 years old. I’ve never really had to worry about money. Since I was 18, I’ve been paying most of my own expenses. My parents DID pay for my undergraduate education, but I’ve paid all my bills and insurance payments since I was 18, and I work three jobs now to get myself through grad school without their help. I don’t expect to live the lifestyle my parents have just because I’m their daughter. The other day, we had a lunch with my parents, my fiance, and his parents. It was at my parents’ house. I thought it went well, but afterward I heard my Future Mother-In-Law telling her son that he shouldn’t marry me because I’m a spoiled rich brat, and “girls like her just DON’T fall in love with boys like you.” What do I do? I actually LIKE my Future Mother-In-Law, but I didn’t know she thought this about me. How do I show her that I’m not just another Paris Hilton?
A: Stop being so defensive just because your future mother-in-law has a cinderblock on her shoulder. Instead of enjoying your parents’ hospitality, she used it as an occasion to undermine your relationship with her son because of her own insecurity. That’s really nasty. Tell your boyfriend you overheard her remark, and it was not only clearly untrue but deeply wounding. What’s important is that your fiance knows how wrong and unpleasant his mother is being. As long as he does, just ignore her sniping. You don’t have to show her your pay stubs to try to prove something to her that’s none of her business.