Post # 1
Hey all, feeling very stressed right now. I don’t know where else to turn other than some unbiased opinions of yours.
It feels like lately, fiance and I are disagreeing on everything… wedding, bridal shower, house related things.
For our wedding, he wants something bigger and I don’t. The guest list is an area of contention. Originally he agreed with me that we’d keep it 75 on each side… until he and his parents started listing people out.
Then there’s the bridal shower. Again, I want no more than 20 people on each side and his mom called my mom flipping out that she needs way more than that so as to include everyone and not have problems amongst her family and friends. She’s convinced my fiance that the bridal shower is about BOTH of us, not just me.
Lastly, our house. We are renovating everything and there’s a kitchen design I really would like to do that is a lot more expensive but is really a much better layout with more space in the long run. This is a house we are intending to stay in. He is not a fan of the extra money. I’ve suggested other ideas but he’s just so fed up at this point.
We are having a difficult time compromising. We want to be together but it just feels like everything is a problem. With regards to the wedding guest list, I realize that is something I probably need to let go. The bridal shower… I think that’s about the bride and my mom & sister are throwing it so I think my mil needs to back off. I really don’t know about the house.
In general, I also think his parents just have way too much to say and get way over involved. I’ve expressed this, he disagrees.
I don’t know why it’s been so hard. Need some honest advice, or if anyone can relate.. anything.
Post # 2
Get thee to couples counseling stat!
Compromise is the cornerstone of marriage and since neither is willing to do this….you’re just killing time until the divorce. Seriously. There’s a reason you are bickering over stupid ish. I’m not sure if its juggling for power positions or hurt feelings or something different altogether but communication is failing between the two of you and you need to fix that without your ego’s getting in the way.
Post # 3
In a very generic sense, typically the bride cares more about details than the groom. So the groom usually shrugs his shoulders and says, “Whatever you want!” That is how it’s been in my case, and I found other people I know are like that too. So for you both to care about the details is quite an interesting situation!
I would actually like for my groom to care and have an opinion like that. However I can see where it can be frustrating, like in your case, where you both can clash on what you want. It is true that more opinions means more compromises, in that sense. So I would say let him win some, you win some, and compromise as much as you can.
For example, instead of saying it has to be “20 on each side” for the shower, write down a list of all of the most important people you really want there. Don’t count it at first. Just write a list from the top of your head. Maybe you both will see eye-to-eye when you see who should be at the shower versus who shouldn’t be at the shower instead of placing a number on it.
Also as far as parents go, my mom added an extra 100 people to my guest list that I wasn’t planning on inviting. Are your parents or his parents helping to pay for it? If they are helping pay for it, then their opinion needs to be considered. If you and your groom are paying for it yourselves, then do what you want!
Post # 4
Pre-marital counseling sounds like it may be of value to you if you haven’t done so already.
So you list three main things (although the overall issue is the two of you haven’t quite learned how to communicate effectively and compromise)
1. Wedding guest list. So at this point you’re at 150. 150 is not small. So depending on what you mean by bigger (is he talking 300 here or is he talking another 50), a few more people isn’t going to make much more difference at this point once you’re already at 150 unless your budget is completely maxed out. Also, just cutting the guest count in half isn’t necessarily fair. It may be even, but even isn’t the same thing as fair. My SO has a much larger family than I do and is much closer to his extended family than I am. If I get to invite all the people that are important to me (family and friends) and he has to cut some important people just because he has more in general may not necessarily be fair. Sometimes inviting in circles is more fair. Like for instance you agree on parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and first cousins as a given. If that means he has 70 people and you only have 20, then so be it and then you divide up all the “extra spaces” for friends and non-essential family rather than leaving him with only 5 and you with 50. You don’t go into specifics, so I’m just giving an example. Even is not necessarily the same thing as fair.
2. Showers may be “for the bride”, but you’ll be getting presents that you both benefit from and there are two families with a vested interest in this marriage because you’re not just marrying yourself. However, the hosts get to determine how many people they are willing to host, not you and not your mother-in-law. The hosts can request your input as to who you would like invited, but this is ultimately all their decision making.
Your mother-in-law is also incorrect in that everyone has to be included. Showers are generally your nearest and dearest. This is another situation where making it an “even guest count” likely didn’t work in your favor. You can’t argue that this in no way is for your fiance when you gave him an equal number of guests on his side of the family to invite to your shower. Doing that gave his family the impression they get at least equal say in this event. If you have so many near and dear people to invite to a shower (honestly, 40 at a shower seems huge to me – most showers I”ve been to are about 15-20 max), this probably would have been the kind of situation where two smaller showers, one for each side of the family, would be more appropriate. Of course, you can’t demand two showers and it’s dependent on someone offering to throw a second shower. So at this point, I would let the shower hosts determine their limit for hosting and let them enforce it. If that is problematic for your future Mother-In-Law, then she’s free to offer herself up to host a second shower to include everyone else.
3. Kitchen remodel – this is tricky because this speaks to your attitudes about how to spend money. Financial issues/differences are one of the top reasons people fight and ultimately end up deciding they aren’t compatible and divorce. This is where marital counseling would be helpful. If you have a functioning kitchen right now (or at least serviceable), I would probably put off decision making about this until after the wedding or at least after some counseling to get on same page about how you will handle finances and joint decisions on big things like this.
Post # 5
this is all great advice, op.
Post # 6
It kind of sounds like the issue is that neither of you are willing to compromise on what you, individually, want. That’s a poor foundation for marriage.
He’s not wrong for wanting a larger guest list, for wanting to be involved with pre-wedding stuff, or for wanting the cheaper kitchen option.
You’re not wrong for wanting a smaller guest list, a smaller less involved shower, and a nicer kitchen.
But you are BOTH wrong for not wanting to budge on any of these details. In the grand scheme of things, what matters more – your relationship or the number of guests at your wedding? If you’re not both prioritising the relationship above ALL else, you’re in for a lifetime of bickering and resentment.
You two need to sit down and discuss each of these disagreements as separate issues (meaning deal with one thing at a time and don’t conflate them). Instead of arguing the specifics (I want this many guests, I want fewer), you need to first agree on what your priorities are when it comes to the wedding.
Start with the stuff you agree with and work your way along to the stuff you differ on. Find the common ground. If he wants to invite everyone and their dog, is it because he values family and can’t imagine not including everyone? Or is it because he feels like he owes his family the show? If you want to minimise the guest list is it because you value the people with whom you are closest and want to be able to engage in a more intimate way with the guests you have there? Or is it because you can’t justify the costs of having a bigger affair? Once you guys know your honest reasons and the values behind them, you can begin figuring out ways to compromise that prioritise your shared values (like family) and plays some give and take with the ones that differ.
With regard to the Bridal shower issue – have you considered seeing if your fiances family would prefer to host one of their own? That seems like the easy solution to me. Your family is hosting one in your honour and that’s lovely, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with your fiances family wanting to be involved and wanting to make it about BOTH of you. It sounds like the two families have very different visions of what a bridal shower is or should be and what they want out of it. So see if they would be happy to each have their own that suits their vision.
The kitchen issue, same deal as the guest list… figure out your priorities and see where they align and where they diverge. Go from there.
Post # 7
Great advice has been given here.
Definitely get to couples counselling ASAP to work this out before the wedding. Both of you need to work on your communication skills and ability to compromise.
In addition, having a meddling Future Mother-In-Law is a problem if your FH is not willing to set boundaries. This would be a huge issue with me because he is essentially saying “not my problem,” even though it is affecting your relationship. I would bring this up in counselling as well, because imagine how much worse she will be if you have kids and boundaries haven’t been set.
Post # 8
I think the PP have given a lot of really great advice. I really want to echo the thing about setting boundaries with your mother-in-law. It is important to do that now. You want to nip this problem in the bud. But you need your fiance to be on board with this. This is not something you can do alone. He needs to realize you come first now and draw healthy boundaries with his mother. For some reason, men seem to really struggle with this. He may not be able to see how his families issues are problematic. Counseling will help with that.
Remember, pre-marital counseling is about preventing issues from becoming huge problems that could lead to divorce later on. And these issues (boundaries with Mother-In-Law, financial disagreements, learning to compromise) are major ones that need to be addressed.
Post # 9
I think what you want vs what he wants is one thing. The reason behind those wants are another. You are both valid for wanting small vs larger wedding. What are the reasons and the impact? Same for the bridal shower and the kitchen reno. Who is paying for the wedding, shower and kitchen reno? Are you financially on the same page? Can you afford everything you want? Do you have to go into debt? Money is the #1 cause of divorce. Ask any lawyer.
Funny thing is, my Dear Fiance and I are also planning a wedding and thinking of doing home renovation. We had to nix our kitchen remodeling plans because after getting some quotes we realized we can’t afford to. We are settling to replace some appliances and do some of the work ourselves, but put off the remodeling work until later. We are paying for the wedding ourselves and we don’t want to blow through all of our savings or go into debt to remodel.
Post # 10
Let go of the guest list, itll at least help break some icy tension between you two. The bridal shower should be how you want it though so stand your ground there, I’d even tell Mother-In-Law that if she cant respect your wishes, you’ll just have one with your side of the family. The house renovation is a lot more complicated. If the money isnt there, it just isnt going to work. Even if the money is there then that doesnt mean it should be spent right away. “A little more is expensive” is something I’d side with you on but “a lot more expensive” honestly I’m leaning toward his side and saying it’s not necessary. Those big kitchens you see on HGTV arent something most people need. I love cooking and have a large extended family but I’ve somehow make due without a 3 ft island (or any island) you’ll see as a “must have” on every HGTV show. You can always expand later.
The HUGE problem is he isnt willing to stand up to his mom. I had some similar problems with my Future Mother-In-Law and I can tell you for certain that if FH didnt stand up to her, we’d be broken up. Not for lack of trying either, these issues were hard enough to work through WITH him standing up to his mom. This needs to be discussed with a premarital counselor but the counselor will likely talk sense into your FH and tell him to stand up for you. It’s time for him to leave his mother and cleave to you.
Post # 11
Honestly the biggest issue I see in the situation is the involvement of his parents, and how he can’t seem to accept their overstepping. Marriage is about compromise and there will be a lot of times one of you has to “give in”….the guest list size, bridal shower, etc – those are all areas where you are going to give and take some. However, his reluctance to keep his parents at bay is a huge red flag for me and I would insist on getting into the pre-marriage counseling before getting married.
You have a LIFETIME with this man, and when you marry him you marry his family. Are you prepare for a lifetime of his parents interjecting their opinion into every aspect of your lives?
That would be a huge dealbreaker for me.
Post # 12
Definitely get him to pre-marital counseling. His failure to realize his parents are out-of-line is huge, bee. They are overstepping in a big way and a counselor will help him see that. If I were you, I’d probably cave on the wedding guest list and the kitchen remodel. I would not, however, cave on the bridal shower. I understand what people are saying about “the gifts are for both of you and his family has an interest in the marriage too”….but it’s a BRIDAL shower. I’ve honestly never once in my life heard of a groom having an opinion on a bridal shower. Most are just happy they don’t have to attend! Why the hell would he have an opinion unless his mom is chattering away in his ear like an interfering busybody. Your Mother-In-Law is not the host. Your Fiance is not the host. The guest list and all decisions should be dictated by the hosts — your mom and sister. Your Mother-In-Law was wildly out-of-line to call up your mom angrily when she is not a host. She is simply a guest. Your hosts should be throwing the shower YOU want with YOUR input, no one else’s. And as for splitting the shower guest list in half, just no. The shower is for YOUR nearest and dearest. You invite the people closest to you that you want there, and you include your FI’s closest female family members out of respect and inclusivity. If your Mother-In-Law has such an issue with an event she isn’t hosting, she should feel free to host a second, separate shower for you. Then she can dictate the guest list and decisions. Until then she needs to sit the fuck down and be quiet.