(Closed) Family Bailing on wedding.

posted 10 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Stand your ground. It’s your wedding day and these requests are unreasonable. They’re realizing that you’re not yielding so, like a tantruming toddler, they’re turning up the volume in hopes that you’ll back down. It might not blow over, but you’re going to be miserable if you give in on this one. You’re not selfish and you’re not mean, and of course you want her there – she’s your mom. My money will be on her showing up, but only after giving you all sorts of grief.

I’m not sure what to say that will make it better and I’m not a very funny person so I don’t have any jokes, but I do recommend getting out of bed and doing something nice for yourself. Get a pedicure and go see a funny movie. You will feel better, at least physically, which will help you deal with all of this emotional stress. 

Post # 4
Member
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I completely get that drama family thing. Frankly if they’re not willing to budge, I would say what I have to to appease them in the mean time. If your sis is there as a Maid/Matron of Honor, then one of her duties could be wrangling her bf. If that is not an option: I would tell your mom, however, that if the creep’s attendance is really worth missing out on one of the biggest milestones of your life then that is her decision. If she does not attend, then like I said it is her problem, not yours. You can’t expect normal out of crazy. You have to play the cards life deals you.

 Perhaps someone else has better advice but those are my thoughts! I pray that you have peace on your beautiful day. 🙂

Post # 5
Member
378 posts
Helper bee

LLauRRa hit the nail on the head "you can’t expect normal out of crazy." You even said yourself that she wouldn’t come to your wedding just to prove a point – and if she’s that selfish, that’s probably what she’s going to do.

Aside from all of the "you’re getting married at the end of the day" advice that we give, another strong point of advice is "surround yourself with people who want to be there and who will make your life easier on your wedding day." I cannot even IMAGINE what it would be like without my family there, but it sounds like they’re not there for you on a daily basis.

As much as it sucks to say, I agree with "if she’s going to act like that, why do you want her there?" THEY are going to be the ones that look like idiots, not showing up for your wedding day because of petty (I’m guessing here – sorry if it’s wrong) misunderstandings. I too wouldn’t want an abusive drunk there AT ALL, and if he were there, he certainly wouldn’t be drinking. Do you think this is your mom’s way of adjusting to your marriage and Mr. S "taking you away" from her? That she’s going to lash out and become a child herself? Do you know why she’s acting like this and is this a normal routine behavior for her?

And why isn’t your sister going to be there? Because you won’t let her boyfriend drink? Personally, if it were my sister, I would take her by the shoulders and say "Hey, he’s not drinking at my wedding because he beats the #$( out of you and I don’t want to see that on my wedding day. If you’re not going to do anything about it, I certainly am." But that’s just the way my family talks to each other.

As for the funny, try these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9yAkBSrMk0&NR=1

Good luck hun. Keep coming to us, we’ll try to help! 

Post # 6
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I really don’t mean this harshly, but it seems like everything surrounding your wedding is covered with trauma and drama.  It’s obviously upsetting you, so make decisions and stick with them and then move on.  If you want to stop the fighting with your mom and want her to be there above all else,  let him come/drink and let your sister accept the responsibility for his drinking, or if it’s really important to you, don’t let him come/drink, and lose your sister and your mom.   Either way, make your decision(s) and stick with them and then move forward.  There is no reason for this not to be a happy time for you, irrespective of crazy family members and ex-bridesmaids.  Maybe your family and friends are crazy, but that doesn’t mean you have to be as well.

Post # 7
Member
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I have some similar family issues  from time to time. It helps to remember where this is all coming from; obviously this person does not have the social skills and emotional strength to make the right choices in her life. This is not about you. She would not be able to make the right decision and be supportive for anyone else, either. Maybe she doesn’t know how to show love and support because she was never loved and supported herself. You have offered two reasonable options, so try to make peace with yourself that that’s really all you can do. She is doing the best she can with the skills she has. Her behavior is a reflection of herself and has nothing to do with you.

Post # 8
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Oh Sweeney… I have been following all of your posts and really like your blog too. 

 You seem like such a sweet person and I sincerely hope that things get better for you.

Here is my idea for you re your sister. I’m sure that your fiance has men in his party that are big and strong. Ask him if he can appoint two of the guys to keep an eye on your sister and her boyfriend. Once he starts getting rowdy, have them quietly "step up" the protection on her. Also, have someone have 911 programmed on their cells in case of emergency. This can all be done on the sly if need be. 

As for your mom, I truly hope that she sees the error of her ways and begins to come around. 

All the best to you. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s you and him. Together forever.  

Post # 9
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Well, I don’t know your family.  But FI’s sister is about the same way – huge drama and never happy about anything but always willing to make a scene and start any argument.  You have to ask yourself, what the heck does your family get out of this?  The answer, I would bet, is that they get more attention from you.  They manage to reduce your enjoyment of about anything.  In other words, they make you as miserable as they are, while getting you to pay a lot of attention to them (as opposed to concentrating on your daughter, your Fiance, your wedding, and your friends – things that make you happy).

The best way to deal with that kind of person, honestly, is to refuse to give them what they want.  Stop calling your mom and apologizing.  Stop reading her emails and replying to them.  When she calls you, if she can’t treat you nicely, tell her pleasantly that you have to go, and hang up.  When she says she won’t be at the wedding, tell you’re sorry that she feels that way, you’ll certainly miss her, and then tell her that you have to go…  you get the picture.  If she can’t get the reaction she’s looking for, it’s not nearly as satisfying to play the game.  My bet is that if the only way she can get you to pay any attention to her is to show up, that is exactly what she’ll do.  So your best policy is to just ignore her until/unless she behaves appropriately.

As far as your sister goes, there is only so far that you can protect her.  If banning her boyfriend, or not allowing him to drink, causes her to say she’t not coming to the wedding, then you either have to accept her not being there, or stop trying to protect her.  In theory, since abusive boyfriends/spouses generally try quite hard to isolate their victims, doing something that causes her not to come is not quite what you want – you’re playing right into his hands.  And I would say that trying to control his behavior is the same kind of thing – I know that you don’t want to see your sister hurt, but honestly if your goal is for her to wake up and leave this jerk, how does controlling his behavior help with that?  I would let him come, let him drink, step in only if he gets out of hand at the reception, and let her deal with him past that point.  Ultimately SHE needs to be the one who tells him that if he drinks she won’t be around him.  And as always, tell the bartenders that they should refuse to serve anyone who seems to have had too much.

And honey, if your Maid/Matron of Honor is even talking about refusing to come to the wedding, you need to ask another bridesmaid to step into her place.  Put little sis at the end of the row, and tell her that you really can’t give her the responsibility (and the honor) of Maid/Matron of Honor if she’s not sure she’s even coming.  If she wants that, she needs to quit the emotional blackmail and behave.

It sounds harsh, but really at this point your family is playing head games with you.  The best way to get them to stop, is to stop playing.

Post # 10
Member
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I agree with Suzanno – coupled with Livvie.  Your wedding (or life) has more drama than is normal, or more importantly – healthy.  Over the course of your planning we have heard about your fired bridesmaids, an usher quitting (I think you’ve lost 3+ members of your initial bridal party) lots of drama with your mom and sister over all sorts of things (bringing kids, boyfriends, money, dresses) and I believe there’s been step-mom drama, drama with different friends, – but then there is also drama with your church officiant, the music people, printing at your step-dad’s office….

I don’t know how much of the drama in your life is:

1.) self-created: are you too demanding, selfish, confrontational and thus initiating arguments and creating drama?

2.) your perception: would someone else in the same situation with the church musicians or waiting on step-dad for the printer perceive these situations as "not-a-big-deal" or as drama and stress filled as you do?

3.) choice – A lot of people who are in your life seem to make you upset a lot of the time.  Why do you choose to keep these toxic people in your life?

Every one of your drama filled posts could probably be filed into one of these three categories – but we don’t know you, or your life – so only you know which category is responsible for which drama.  I know "choice" sounds a bit harsh, but as Suzanno mentioned, even though you couldn’t choose your family, you can choose how you handle them – and you do have the option of cutting toxic people out of your life.

You, your Fiance, and your daughter are going to officially be a new family in 45 days.  Now may be a good time to start thinking about what type of family you want to be, and who you want to be a part of your family’s life.  Can you eliminate this frequent drama from your life?  It certainly sounds as though the drama will not cease just because you are done wedding planning.  Can you cut the toxic people out of your life?  Do you need this drama?  What do YOU get from the drama? How much of this drama is self-created or your perception?  What coping skills do you have (and what can you learn) so that you can handle drama more effectively in the future, and try to prevent it?  

This current situation with your mother and sister is HORRIBLE.  There is no other way to put it.  I know that no matter how rotten I behaved, there is nothing I could do to make my mom and sister even threaten to not come to the wedding – and that is how it should be for everyone.  If I were in your shoes, I’d probably have a hard time getting out of bed too.

But this isn’t an isolated incident.  You seem to have frequent drama with some friends and some family members.  And this frequent drama makes you stressed, frustrated, sad, miserable – and this frequent drama doesn’t allow you to be the best mom to your daughter, the best wife to your Fiance, and very importantly, the best Amber to Amber that you could be if your life had less drama.  I think now is a good time to start asking yourself some tough questions – how did so much drama get into my life?  Why do I let it stay?  How can I get rid of it?

Good luck!  And don’t elope – no one is as excited to have a wedding as you are.  Make a decision to enjoy it, with or without the toxic people in your life. 

Post # 11
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Yay enmoore!  And Sweeney, I know it’s hard.  For years my mom and I had the kind of relationship where she criticized, in the most horrible terms, a lot of what I did, and we fought all the time.  It got to the point where I took another job and moved, just to get away from it – unfortunately it continued via phone and email.  My analyst finally taught me to stop argueing, stop defending, and when I was faced with any negativity on her part, to say one thing only:  "I’m sorry, it seems as if you’re having a bad day.  I’ll call you/come back later when you’re feeling better."  And then hang up, or walk away.  Email works about the same – don’t respond to anything negative.  Respond to any positive statements that you can, and ignore the rest.  If the whole email is negative, either ignore the whole thing or use the same approach: "You seem to be having a bad day.  I’m sorry about that.  I’ll get back to you later when you’re feeling better."

Needless to say, she was sort of stunned, and then pretty pissed off.  For about a year we didn’t communicate much at all.  During that time, she complained incessantly about me to my sister and my dad, and probably anyone else who would listen.  By the end of the year, she had given up.  She was nice as pie.  Because she had learned that being nice was the only way she was ever going to get any response from me, or have any relationship with me.

My sister eventually had to do the same thing.  It took her a few more years of drama to become convinced that she needed to – during which I heard dozens of times "Mom isn’t like this with you!"  No, she’s not – not anymore.  Because she knows I won’t put up with it.

It’s really not easy, but I think it’s the only way to change that kind of relationship.  Today, my mom and I are pretty good friends.  And that was absolutely worth how hard it was to make it that way.  But you know what, it wasn’t nearly as hard as it would have been to keep on going the way we were.

Today the biggest problem is Future Sister-In-Law, whom I’ve written about before.  But basically ignoring her is starting to work too.  It’s just no fun being a drama queen when nobody cares.  Her family has been playing along with her for years and years, and I think Fiance agreed to go along with my approach only because he is just sick and tired.  But, to his astonishment, it’s working with her too.  Just be nice, nice, nice, and don’t engage – walk away – hang up – but always nicely.  And then go on and spend your time and energy on the people who do both love and support you.

Post # 12
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Great post Enmoore! It’s what I wanted to say, but much nicer. I agree 100%

Post # 13
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

perfect Enmoore66!

Post # 14
Member
378 posts
Helper bee

Sweeney let us know you’re ok!!

Post # 15
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 1969

great advice from suzanno (seriously, you always give great advice! and livvie.  sweeney – good luck with everything.

Post # 16
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

I can’t say I know what you’re going through but your situation is almost exactly like one of my best friend’s.  Her family is not mentally stable and they are greedy, selfish and they leech off her.  From an outsider looking in, I encouraged her to dump her family…they are extremely unhealthy to have around (the things going on are really incomprehensible to the average person).  But she couldn’t and won’t.  They are, after all, her family.  They have made her cry, caused major rifts between her and her loving husband, and only see her as a cash cow.  She won’t let them go because no matter how horrible they are to her, she feels a sense of responsibility to take care of family in need and needs to make sure that they are ok.  It broke (and still breaks) my heart to see her dealing with all this unwanted drama and I truly feel for you.  And knowing all this, I still can’t understand why she can’t "cut" people out of her life; but I’m here to support her no matter what. 

Anyway, no real advice except to let you know that you’re not alone in dealing with this type of situation.    . 

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