Post # 1
I have been with my fiance for 5 1/2 years and known his mother for that entire time. She was very sweet and welcoming to me when we first met, and even though she has done some things that I don’t like (such as trying to control my fiance and his finances or butting into our business) for the most part we have never had any major issues with each other.
Of course, once we got engaged, it has become increasingly difficult to nicely respond to her suggestions (such as a backyard wedding, I’m not knocking it, but I think every girl deserves to have the wedding they want regardless of the size of our guest list) or turn down her requests (inviting neighbors and her friends to our wedding, when we are trying to keep it small and we are paying the bill). I think I have done a good job though of trying to not hurt her feelings during all of this, and have gotten my fiances advice and handling most of the situations since he knows his mom the best.
Well here is where the big problem comes in… Our wedding is in 3 months (yes 3!) and she writes me an email this week (her primary form of communication) telling me that if she is going to ask anything of us, she wants us to please do pre-marital counseling because she didn’t during either of her 2 marriages and the first one didn’t work and the current one is not headed in a good direction. My Fiance and I had talked about pre-marital workshops though beforeMIL, but decided it wasn’t for us. So I responded this to her and also suggested that she talk to her son about it and the response I got back blew me away…
She writes back that she didn’t understand why every suggestion she had got turned down and that she thinks I’m rude and insulting and give her dirty looks when she says anything to me and that her relatives don’t think I’m right for her son because I’m bossy and I show no manners or respect…. uh WHAT?!? Seriously?!?!
She also said that she should just turn over her checkbook because that is all we want from her, when in reality we have NEVER asked for her to pay for ANYTHING, the things she is paying for, she offered completely at her own accord with no conditions at the time so we took these things as gifts (honeymoon, rehearsal dinner)
I am not saying that I’m perfect in this situation because I’m sure there have been times where I was probably unable to hide my disgust in her suggestions, but to come out and tell me all these things that she thinks about me and in writing, I just feel like any chance we had at having a normal relationship are now shot! I’m just not sure how to go about the situation now. I haven’t responded or talked to her, neither has my Fiance, and I don’t know when or how to?
Post # 3
Weddings bring out the worst in people. If I were in your situation I would wait a day or two for all parties to calm down and then I would ask my Fiance to call his mother and handle it.
Post # 4
My “blow up” just happened today. I have no idea what to do. It is good that your fiance is there with you. Please keep me updated on your story. I hope things get better for you.
Post # 5
It’s really good that your Fiance supports you in this. It souds like she is having problems with her own marriage and that would naturally make her stress out about her son’s marriage; she doesn’t want him to go through what she is going through. I think you should step back and look at that blowup as not being about you. It’s not. She’s using you as a scapegoat for all of her stress and problems.
She should not have talked to you like that, absolutely she should have never written you an email like that. But I think the thing to do is to calmly respond that you love her son and that you want to make him happy; say that you never intended to take her money and that you both decided as a couple to accept her offer as a generous gift and had you known it upset her so much then you never would have accepted because you absolutely do not want her to feel like you don’t appreciate her. If you respond calmly, without aggression, but firmly so that it’s clear that you appreciate her honesty but have nothing to apologize for, she really can’t say that you’re too bossy and that you want to take advantage of her.
I’m not at all saying that she’s right, but I am saying that people can interpret the same thing in very different ways. It is a known thing that two people looking at the same picture will take it in entirely different ways; for instance, a child looking at a picture of an adult with furrowed brows will say the adult is angry, an adult will say the picture shows someone who is worried. Perhaps because of the problems in her own life, she is misinterpreting you and honestly believes that you’re being rude and insulting. As long as your fiance knows that you’re not (and it sounds like he knows you’re not) I think it’s safe to ask her why she thinks you feel that way and assure her that you aren’t intentionally insulting her or being rude or shooting her dirty looks; if there is a miscommunication going on, I think that you can have a real relationship with her if you take the initiative to sort it out and make it clear that you want a real relationship with her.
Post # 6
First off, thank you all for your comments. Here is what happened after my original post. (Note: We are now 1 month to “I Do’s”)
My Future Mother-In-Law sent me flowers a few days later with a note saying “I’m sorry, but my feelings were just hurt”. This kind of blew me away because I think she was just hiding behind the flowers rather than being an adult and calling me but also because she put that “but” in there, which to me negates saying sorry in the first place. My Fiance then made a call to her so he could let her know that she did hurt my feelings and to make sure that she understood that anything I say or decide on is most likely something him and I have dscussed and agreed on, so she shouldn’t be attacking me when she is unhappy with our decisions. It was a step in the right direction, but she then decided to just go ahead and argue with him at that point. A week or so later, I finally called her becuase she had started emailing again asking if I would please let her throw me a shower in our state. (side note: my sister/maid of honor lives in the state where I am from originally, so she was throwing my main shower there to include family that would not be able to make it to the wedding) I told Future Mother-In-Law that I didn’t think the cost and time of having a shower was worth it because I don’t have a lot of girlfriends here and there are only a few female cousins on my FI’s side so it would be such a small guest list. She insisted though because she thinks if you don’t have a shower, you will miss out on getting gifts since she says people don’t usually bring gifts to a wedding. I finally agreed and everything was going ok, but she now has a new obsession to complain to us about…
A few weeks ago, when we were starting to get the majority of our RSVPs back and get a better idea of the head count, my Fiance asked if he could go ahead and allow his mom to invite a friend/1 couple. I told him that was fine because I thought if we did that maybe she would see that we were trying and appreciating everything she was doing.
So I send her an email a few days later because we were hoping to be closer to having a final head count in a week and wanted to see if she had asked her friend and if they could make it. She writes back that her friend and husband can come, but want to know if they can bring their grown daughter because she is our age and might be getting engaged soon, so she would love to see a wedding in person to start getting ideas. WOW! I don’t know if anyone agrees with me, but I thought that was so inappropriate and rude for so many reasons! I asked my Fiance to please handle it, because I was afraid of what I might say in response. Well he didn’t handle it how I would have liked him to, because I knew it was only going to get worse. He tells her that if someone else cancels, they can bring their daughter. He of course was hoping that she would drop it at that point…umm no
She mentioned it a few more times in her next few emails and then at my shower she brought it up again in front of her friend. I politely responded “we’ll see what we can do, but if not, there will be tons of pictures that she can look at and I’d be happy to answer any questions about the planning process” That night she followed up with a text to my Fiance, no longer asking at this point, but demanding that we include her friends daughter at the wedding because “she thinks it’s only fair that the groom’s family get an equal amount of guests at the wedding, which she doubts there is” (Actually the guest list is split almost evenly in terms of guests on either side, with actually 2 more on his side because of his mom’s friend) She refuses to drop this now, and I don’t know what to do! Am I being unresonable to not allow this girl to come. It’s not even about the money (even though each guest is costing us $90+ because we are having an open bar) His mom offered to send us a check for $30 to cover her (I don’t know where she got that figure from) but more about it being my wedding day which I wanted to be an intimate gathering of OUR family and friends.
Post # 7
Ugh. I totally know what you’re going through and I hate saying to give in to crazy demands, but in this case, it might be worth just dropping it and letting her friend’s daughter come.
I’m sure her friend’s daughter will feel awkward as heck going to a wedding where she knows no one with her parents, so in the end, you’ll be enjoying your party while this girl is almost 95% likely going to be miserable. Your future Mother-In-Law probably didn’t think about it as she probably assumes she is being a gracious host letting her friend’s daughter come. But if it were me, I would not be going to a wedding thrown by someone I don’t even know.
Post # 8
Keep passing it over to your Fiance to handle. cc your Future Mother-In-Law so if he doesn’t respond, she can’t blame you.
She’s making it a control game and is trying to get you to engage with her. Drop the rope.
Post # 9
You probably don’t want to hear this, but just let the stupid girl come. You are only 1 month away. If you have space and the $$, it’s not going to be a big deal. You probably won’t even know she’s there, and it would go over as a huge favor to his mom, so you can maybe work in that she ‘owes you one.’