- 4 years ago
- Wedding: February 2015
My FI and I got engaged on our three-year anniversary. We’re pretty low key people and let’s just say I was NOT expecting any wedding drama. We’re having a very, very small ceremony which we’re paying for ourselves and were all prepared to cruise forward with relatively little hassle. Guess not.
So, we’re 25 and self-sufficient, we’ve been dating over three years now, we bought a house together, we visit each other’s families together on holidays, etc etc so I didn’t think anyone would be surprised by our engagement. Wrong! My FI’s family is conservative and strongly Catholic, while he’s a lapsed/non-churchgoing Catholic and I’m an atheist. I knew they weren’t happy he was living in sin and dating a non-Catholic, but as they’re pretty close to FI and have never said anything against us marrying I assumed they were going to keep their disappointment to themselves. They seemed to have accepted that we live together and aren’t too upset that my FI stopped attending church once he moved out of their house. His mom’s first response to the news was curtly saying “oh, that’s shocking,” telling him he should have at least a 3 year engagement, and changing the subject. An hour later she called back and frantically ordered him over and over to have a Catholic wedding (“the only thing I ask is that you get married in the Church! The only thing!”). He remained non-commital about wedding details. FI is one of the calmest, hardest to upset people I have ever met, and this was starting to really stress him out which is unusual enough.
The next day FI talked to his dad (usually the calmer parent) for advice, and his dad seems convinced that I’m blocking him from having a ceremony with a minister of some sort, though he’s also sure FMIL will compromise a little. My FI pointed out that one obstacle to a hypothetical Church wedding is that we wouldn’t be raising our kids Catholic, which is a prerequisite to a Catholic/non-Catholic wedding, and my FFIL basically said we should lie about that to the Church. I’m not religious, but lying in our wedding prep and vows is really disrespectful to everyone involved, in my opinion. Then FFIL told him he should do more research before agreeing to marry me because I’m a type I diabetic, so it’s likely I “won’t be able to have kids at all” (not true, though it will be more difficult than for a non-diabetic mom) and “it’s not like you’ll have another chance to get married and have kids so you need to be sure.” I was pretty hurt, and also offended that he thinks we wouldn’t have talked about my health and what we’d do about kids after all this time. FMIL has told the rest of the family lots of incorrect information about diabetes and ignores me when I correct her, so I doubt anything we say will make much difference. FFIL then pointed out that traditionally MY family should be the ones paying for the wedding, which I thought was weird and rude after making lots of demands (note that a church wedding would cost us thousands more and the FILs didn’t so much as hint that they would like to pay). My FI’s family treats him like he can’t make decisions on his own and they both keep saying it’s so “sudden” as if he should have been consulting with them about our personal business all along. We’ve been planning this for over a year and have price quotes for nearly everything we want, but since he hasn’t been including them in the process, they don’t believe him and won’t listen.
Later, FMIL called FI to apologize for hurting his feelings, which dissolved into her yelling “how would you get married if not in a Christian way!?” and then coming into a sort of acceptance. I have no idea if there’s anything we can say that would work as a compromise but I don’t think this is the last of it.
I don’t think either of them dislike me as a person as we get along very well usually (we carefully avoid political and religious discussions), but it’s disappointing that they don’t think I’m religious or healthy enough to join their family. I’ve also always suspected that they dislike that I come from a poorer background and don’t make as much money as FI, but who knows which issues are the ones really upsetting them. The thing is, I can’t believe they wouldn’t have brought all this up earlier if they really wanted FI to consider this. I really don’t like the things they’ve been saying about me (thank goodness for speaker phones so my FI didn’t have to relay all this to me), and how they’ve been treating my FI, but hopefully we can all come to a truce soon. Any advice or commiseration?