Post # 1
Hi Bees…I had a terrible night last night. Fiance and I stayed up most of the night dicussing some of the more stressful issues related to our wedding and right now I feel emotionally exhausted.
First off, I come from a divorce family (divorce was about 5 years ago both parents are remarried), and FI’s parents are still together. I admitedly have some unresolved pain from the divorce, and therefore it is still a sensitive area for me to talk about.
Mostly my issues center around my mother..the divorce was either her fault or her idea depending on how you look at it, while my father wanted to work things out. Now with the wedding planning, my mother is not making it easy. She has unresolved (and unjustified, in my opinion) feelings of resentment torwards my father. And I can’t even mention him without her rolling her eyes. My father wants to smooth everything over and possibly go out to dinner with my mom and stepfather before the wedding. My Fiance thinks this NEEDS to happen in order to ensure the wedding will go smoothly. While I think its not likely my mother would agree to such a thing. My Fiance went as far as saying we should threaten to not spend christmas with her, if she is not willing to do this for us.
BUT…I have learned over the past couple of years that I can not change or control what my mother does…If anything, the more I try to, the more she digs in her heels. My mother is going to do what she wants, regardless of how I feel, or what i say to her. My Fiance coming from a more “normal” family…I just don’t think he realizes that I can’t exactly reason with my mother.
He is really trying to help, but him describing exactly my worst nightmare (ie- you mother is going to make a scene at the wedding and make it uncomfortable for everyone) caused me to breakdown last night. I understand that these are his fears too, so he has a right to talk about them. I just don’t know how to handle this situation. I feel like my Fiance is looking to me to fix these issues, because they are with my family, and I would love to be able to resolve them. However, I think it is completely unrealistic for me to expect that talking to my mother will all of a sudden resolve these issues that have been going on for several years.
I’m not sure if I’m looking for advice or support…but I feel like I am trapped in a corner here.
Anybody else coming from divorce that had similar issues to over come?
Post # 3
My parents have been divorced since I was five so was never close to my Dad and didn’t like going to his every other weekend. He wouldn’t be able to tell you what my favourite colour was etc so my situation is different to yours, so much so that I don’t we’ll be inviting him to the wedding. It would be unfair of your Mum to make a scene considering it was her choice mainly as to why they seperated. It’s a shame you feel she wont listen to you – it’s your day and he is your Dad, you’ve not rejected him.
Post # 4
I’m so sorry. I don’t have the same experience, but I offer an old psychology technique that might help you in this situation. Accepting the fact that ultimately, you cannot control what your parents do or don’t do, here’s what you might try:
Imagine the worst. Sit down and literally imagine the worst. Your mother causes a scene. She gets drunk and falls into the cake and then screams at you or whatever your worst-case-scenario is. And then really think about it–what happens then? What can you/someone else do? What WOULD you do? The point of the exercise is that oftentimes, things stress us out more in the abstract than how it would be in reality. So getting you to think it through and really address your fears can help you in feeling better and it’s under your control (as opposed to being a little blindsided when your fiance brings it up). It will also help you get a better sense of being prepared for the worst–ie, you can establish early on how you are going to react and the different ways you can plan on how to address problems when they come up. Just give it a try–I found it works.
I’d also suggest that you air some of your specific concerns with your fiance and just tell him what you’re worried about. Chances are, he will be a great help in comforting you.
Post # 5
@Kitty285: “Mostly my issues center around my mother..the divorce was either her fault or her idea depending on how you look at it, while my father wanted to work things out.”
I picked this part of the comment out b/c I think it may play a role in why you find your mother so difficult to reason with. You can never really know what caused your parents divorce. It could be a culmination of years of abuse, neglect, infidelity, or a whole host of other reasons. She may have VALID reasons for not wanting to associate with your father, but without you knowing the whole story, you will never know.
My sister was just married in September and our family is the “normal” family in the sense that our parents are still married. Her husband’s family is a different story. The father is in the process of ending his second marriage and my sister’s husband always thought that his mother didn’t want him and gave him away as an infant. The wedding would be the first time they laid eyes on each other in over 20 years. As a result, he worried about how they would behave at the wedding once they were in the same room. Guess what? It went perfectly fine. They were cordial and didn’t disrupt the wedding at all.
All of this was to say, I don’t think your parents need to associate with each other prior to the wedding activities at all. Instead, you and your Fiance should have dinner with each parent separately and let them know that they are expected to be on their best behavior and make the day about you, their daughter. Discuss with them what needs to happen in order for them to do that (separate rows at the wedding, a buffer between them if they are on the same row, separate tables at the reception, etc). Further explain that if they don’t think they will be able to be civil to each other then they shouldn’t come. I know that not having your parents at your wedding would be devastating…but not as devastating as having your entire day ruined b/c of a “parent tantrum”.
Post # 6
I agree with JamaicaBride–you need to sit down and talk to each parent separately and let them know what you expect. My parents divorced almost two years ago, and I’m dealing with a similar issue. I hate bringing up my father, bc my mom will sometimes start venting her frustrations. I’ve gotten to the point where I interrupt her and tell her that “I’m sorry, I love you but I don’t want to hear this, it’s between you two. If you need to vent talk to your friends or a professional.”
And you may not want to hear this, but I would try to keep from blaming your mom. You can never know what role each of them played in the breakdown of their marriage, and it is only something that is hurtful to you. Trust me, my mom had plenty of reasons to pick up and leave–I wish she did, but if I had to lay blame on either parent, it would ultimately lead to the demise of our relationship. Good luck!
Post # 7
well, we’re opposite MY parents are together, and my husband’s are divorced and remarried. we’re just sitting them seperatley, on different rows. If they bring up anything about the other parent, you just have to overlook it. Tell them that it’s not about them, or their personal feelings, it’s about you and it’s YOUR day. ask them if they can’t put personal feelings aside for ONE day to watch you get married. hopefully, your mother will be mature enough to handle it. You just have to sit down, talk with her, and explain the importance of being civil during the ceremony.
Post # 8
Im i a very similair situation,however my parents divorced about 16 years ago-but bthis just means theyve both had time to hold a really long grudge lol.My Dad has re-married and nobody within the family,shall we say,gets on with her and agrees with her views. On my Mums side of the family,everybody has said that if my stepmother says aything inappropriate (which is likely) then it wont be left without anything beig said in return. So what do I think about it all?
M`eh…I cant control what they say to each other,theyre grown ups. Im pretty sure Il be that high up on cloud nine Il be pretty oblivious to it all.
Theyre all grown ups,its whether they choose to act like them or not….
hope your ok hun!xx