(Closed) family drama, stress, disowned by family, elopement vs. ceremony

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
Member
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

mysocalledlife:  My Mom is Japanese, so I kinda get what your Future Mother-In-Law is saying. Saving face is a big, big deal in Asian families. My cousin married an Indonesian guy. They had a small ceremony in Japan or Singapore (I cant remember). But it caused her Mother-In-Law a loss of face to not have a big party that she invited everyone to. So they had another reception that everyone got invited to (that she paid for).

That is what I recommend. You guys have the wedding you want, elope. Then allow Future Mother-In-Law to plan whatever party she wants. Just tell you when, where and what to wear. 

Post # 5
Member
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

mysocalledlife:  I totally understand that you feel like if you give an inch she will take a mile. So allow her to throw a party–one party. Not a weekend or 3 day event. Don’t have a ceremony. Just a big party. Set some boundries.

See now you control the situation. If she throws a tantrum, you take the party away from her. If it gets really bad, you just dont show up at her party. 

I guess you have to decide if this is the hill you want to die on. Does Darling Husband want her gone from his life? If he’s ready to do that, then of course draw a line in the sand. But if not, then you have to learn how to manage her. And just saying NO wont work and doesn’t give you leverage.

I understand that this isn’t your culture. But it kinda is, since it’s Fiance culture. And once you are married, you are family. That doesn’t mean you have to follow every cultural convention. But you do need to be sensetive to the different nuance. So find a way to be true to yourself, but also allow FI’s culture. 

I just know that if you don’t allow Future Mother-In-Law to do something, your relationship will always be bad. She will be talked about and riddiculed for years to come. As Americans (or Westerners), we just dont have a concept of what this loss of face is like. My Mom’s friends still talk behind on friend’s back because her daughter’s wedding in the 90’s didnt have enough food. Imagine being in HS forever (and everyone is a Mean Girl)!! 

So for my wedding, I did what I wanted (small, afternoon). But I made choices to make sure my Mom didn’t lose face. I ordered WAYYYY to many h’ores dureves to make sure we didn’t run out of food. And she bought really expensive ‘favors’ for her friends that we invited. (out of the 50 people at least 10 were her friends). Small choices that I know my Mom (who is a difficult Asian Mom) really appreciated. 

My Mom is similar to FMIL–she tries to dominate and throw tantrums. I’ve just learned how to mange her. Some times it’s to cut her off, sometimes I give a little. 

Post # 6
Member
684 posts
Busy bee

I have come to realize that if you do want she wants this time then you will be doing what she wants all the time. Are you going to raise your kids how she wants. Or buy your house where she wants or name your kids what she wants so that she will not disown her son. Those are threats because she knows that she can manipulate him. 

He is marrying you and what you two want should always trump what mommy wants. I don’t care what culture they come from or what language anyone speaks. It’s emotional blackmail. And his top priority is to make you happy and not his mother. 

 

Post # 7
Member
7416 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You’re both acting like children who refuse to compromise, and you are going to put your fiance in the middle of it.  You don’t see why your fmil’s needs trump your needs, but she does not see why yours trump hers. In reality the answer is to find so,e common ground, somewhere in the middle where you each give in a bit. You do it because you want to create a healthy long-term relationship with your Future Mother-In-Law, which is going to make it much easier for you to have a happy marriage.

Post # 8
Member
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

mysocalledlife:  Replying to your second reply. We must have cross posted– No there is no way for you to get 100% of what you want in this situation without permanently damaging your relationship. Weddings ARE HUGE social and family events. The loss of face on this will be ENORMOUS. Again, not coming from that culture, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like. Because we were taught to be individuals and F*CK what anybody else thinks or feels about us. 

But being in an Asian Culture, it’s kinda like being in Middle school or High school for your entire life. Everyone is in your business and super judgy ALL.THE.TIME!! So imagine yourself as a 13yo. What is the worst thing you could have done? Farting in class? Dress stuck in your panty hose? Now imagine EVERYONE in school talking about that–whispers in the hallway, people laughing at you when you walk into a room. And all you want to do is crawl into a little hole. Now imagine that follows you around FOR.THE.REST.OF.YOUR.LIFE. 

Yes, there will be times that you cant tell Future Mother-In-Law to f*ck her culture. This is not the time for it. She will never forgive you, because her family and friends will never forget. So for you it’s one day or one weekend (get over it already), for her it’s a lifetime of humiliation. 

PS-there is no “comon sense” in the way you think there would be. Because this has to do with culture and expectations. For you and your western mind, it is common sense to just let you have the wedding you want–families be damned. For her and her eastern mind, it is common sense to just let her have one day or a weekend, what’s the big deal? For her it’s one day vs. a lifetime of humiliation. For you it’s one day of inconvenience. What would you do?

Post # 9
Member
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

It’s your wedding have it the way you want and if she isn’t happy who cares? It is your wedding. Do whatever you and your fiance feel comfortable having. hopefully in time she will get over it. 

Post # 13
Member
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

mysocalledlife:  Well you’ve already made up your mind.

Post # 15
Member
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

mysocalledlife:  The reason having a 50 person wedding wouldn’t work for her is that cutting off parts of the family is almost worse than not having anything at all. How would you feel if you just let her throw you a party. Don’t think of it as a wedding or reception. Have the wedding you want (elopement). Then let her plan the party she want–you don’t have to do anything but show up and be nice.

I know it feel like if you give in on this, then you will be giving in on everything. And I’ve been in your shoes before. I have learned that on somethings, I draw a line in the sand with my Mom. Other times, I let her get her way but with boundries.

The way you approach this is “We do not want this. But we love you and know how important this is to you. So on this topic we will allow you to plan one party any way you want, within reason. You plan it, you pay for it, on a date that works for all of us. All we have to do is show up (in the clothing we want) and be nice. This is our gift to you. If at any point, we are uncomfortable or you try to push us into something we don’t like (some weird ritual or dance), we have the right to cancel or just not show up. If you want to disown us or never see/talk to us again. That is your choice.”

Moving to Florida is a completely differnt issue. “We love where we live now and have no plans for moving. This works for us. I know you would like for us to move closer to you, but that is just not possible. If you wish to disown us or not see or talk to us over this, then that is YOUR choice.” If she brings it up again, “We have told you our stance. If you bring it up again, we will have to hangup the phone/leave the room, etc.” (but as a side note. Try to get to the bottom of why she wants you to move to Florida. You might find out she is scared of getting older and worried about who is going to take care of her in her old age.)

I have also found that saying things Like “you are being mean” when my Mom calls me fat. Or “You raised me in America to be an independent adult. It is going to look different than what you are expecting. You can threaten me with disownment, but I’m totally okay with that. The only person you are hurting is yourself.” Or “By Telling me what to do, I know you are just trying to help. But all you are doing is pushing me away. Is that what you want?”

Being straight forward sometimes works–at least on my Mom it does. 

PS- by having a big party, you will get a boatload of gifts/money!

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