Post # 1
I was just reading about some of your frustrations with family members and I’m going to contribute mine. Hubby-to-be and myself have been together for 8 years, and I know his family well. His parents are not very affectionate, quite emotionally distant actually, and that’s always bothered me. Now I guess it’s bothering me even more because I was hoping for a little excitement on their part about our upcoming wedding reception! But last night as I mentioned to his mom that we’re going to take dance lessons, she was like, what for? And basically laughed at my idea of having a first dance and the rest of the wedding traditions that I look forward to doing. Not that we plan an extravagant wedding, we really just want a simple closest family and friends reception (after we elope to Hawaii and tie the knot just the two of us), but still, I’d like to make a nice memorable party out of it. The thing is, we’re planning to do the reception at their house, and I thought they’d be excited about it. But instead I feel like his parents would be happy with just a simple bbq and me in jeans and t-shirt, for all they care. I’m also excitedly anticipating the arrival of my wedding gown (to be worn at reception only) and decided to invite my mom and Fiance grandmother to the first fitting- both are very excited. But when I invited his mom, she didn’t say anything but gave me this “are you serious?” look, as if I’m out of my mind to invite people to try on a dress. So that’s basically a no, she’s not going to come. I felt stupid for even asking. Her reactions feel condescending and at this point, I’m wondering if I should even hope to expect any help in planning this reception, which we are only doing out of respect for both our families and our friends. Anyone else had this experience with mother in law and how did you handle it? These bitter feelings are not good for mine and hers relationship, which has always been friendly. I’m noticing how distant and matter-of-fact I’m becoming with her, and she probably has no clue why. Urgh!
Post # 3
Have you tried to talk to her about your feelings? And have you asked her how she feels about not being at the actual wedding? The only reason I’m probably having a traditional wedding and not just eloping in Vegas is so that my parents and his parents can be there to be a part of it.
They sound like they aren’t very good at expressing their feelings to begin with, and so I would try to talk to them calmly and openly without getting extremely emotional. She seems to be very passive aggressive about her feelings and that may be why she’s trying to seem like she doesn’t care.
If that doesn’t help, it’s your wedding reception. Don’t let his family not being excited enough dampen your excitement. They won’t be the only ones there and it isn’t their marriage 🙂 That’s the important part–you’re getting married to someone you love.
Post # 4
I have a Future Mother-In-Law like this – she is happy for us, but doesn’t understand why we don’t just have our wedding in the backyard with everyone in jeans and tees with cans of beer and plastic tablecloths. She laughed at me for sending out STDs, I can’t imagine if we were having dance lessons what her reaction would be (although I think your first dance will be super cute!) I would very strongly recommend NOT having the wedding in her backyard because I really doubt your wedding will turn out the way you want if you follow that plan. I think it would be super worth it to spend a bit extra to rent a hall or something.
I would not try to talk to her about your feelings – if they’re not emotional people it will just make here think you’re overreacting or starting a fuss about nothing. Trust me, it’s a bad idea.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t take it personally. My Future Mother-In-Law is similar. Some people just aren’t interested in weddings. Include your mother and sister as much as possible but leave the door open for Future Mother-In-Law to join in if she wants to.
Post # 6
I completely understand your situation. My Future Mother-In-Law is the exact same way, although I think she’s coming from more a religious perspective and our wedding will not be in a church.
Honestly I don’t think talking to her and trying to have a heart to heart convo will help. It might make things awkward since she probably doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong.
I like yourself, tried to talk to my Future Mother-In-Law about our wedding but she didn’t seem to care or be supportive so I gave up trying to make her care. Finally this past weekend she seemed interested in our wedding! It was amazing. Just give them time and they’ll come to you. If they never come around just be grateful you have your mother and his grandmother to be excited with you. I know it can be a bummer but just hang in there.
Post # 7
I don’t think it has anything to do with you, your wedding or your plans.
This is who she is. She is not going to change. Just accept her for who she is and don’t look to her for the response you want.
People are the way they are because of the sum total of their life experience. Maybe it wasn’t part of her upbringing to be effusive or emotional.
Just let it go.
Post # 8
Different strokes for different folks. I have this same sort of thing happening, but it doesn’t bother me. My family is not the type to get super fussed about little details of events (but neither am I, so it doesn’t bother me) and basically feel I am spending too much money/effort; whereas my Future Mother-In-Law is super into it and probably sad that I am not gung-ho with my planning and asking her to help me pick out every little detail. She always thinks I am not putting enough money/effort into the wedding.
I guess just try not to take it personally and keep the wedding talk with her to a minimum. It sounds like you have other family who are interested in helping. Enlist them to give you a hand with things and have fun.
I do feel bad that you are having to plan an event at her home, because that sounds like it will be difficult for you. But since she seems fairly passive about it maybe everything will work out fine.
Post # 9
Thanks bees! This is the thing, it’s awkward for me not to talk with her about the plans since we are using their house for the reception. I don’t know how I’m going to do it without their involvement…It’s not until spring though, so I can just wait and see what happens…I think it’s unavoidable that I’m going to have to deal with them no matter what since they’ll be at the reception wherever we throw it. I’m sure they’ll let me plan it the way I want, that’s not the problem. I just thought since their only child is getting married, they’d be more enthusiastic about the whole thing, even if we were not going to do any type of celebration. But they aren’t and I guess that’s what we get for waiting for 8 years. I’m hugely dissappointed with their behavior, it sucks for me as a happy bride to have these downer in laws 🙁 and I feel bad for my Fiance. But he’s got an amazing supportive best friend/best man and we’re able to share our happiness with other relatives and friends who are supportive and thrilled that we’re finally tying the knot.
Post # 10
I agree with other bees that it may just be her and not anything to do with your wedding. No one will care about your own wedding like you do, but I agree it sure would be nice sometimes!
I’d chalk up her comments and behaviour to the fact that she just doesn’t show excitement or appreciation for wedding things like you do. Focus more attention on people who do care, best friend/best man, etc. These sound like the people you will want to remember celebrating with when all is said and done.
Post # 11
I think you should talk to her about this, especially because you’re planning on having your reception at their home. I would just say something like, “I might be misreading things, but I’m getting the impression you’re not really happy about the wedding, and I was just wondering if something is bothering you?” Make sure that having the reception at their house is something they really want to do, while you still have time to make other arrangements if this is part of the issue.
I think it’s much better to get it out in the open now, if there is something else at work. (Could be not attending the ceremony, could be something else, who knows. Weddings stir up all kinds of weird feelings. Or maybe, like PP suggested, she just doesn’t care about them.)
Good luck, and try not to let it get to you or adversely affect your relationship with her.
Post # 12
I agree with the previous posters about this just being her and not making a big deal about it.
My mom is like this in a sense… she was really happy for me to be getting married, but she’s just not one to get “excited” about things… especially throughout the process. Infact her fb status a day and a half before the wedding was “Now I’m excited”.. and that was really special to me, b/c well that’s just the way she is.
She’s talked to me about planning her one day wedding and was very straight forward about her just not caring about certian things….. that she wants me to take care of it and not be coming to her all the time. lol
Considering ya’ll are using their home, I wouldn’t leave her totally out of the loop but at the same time I’d probably do more like ‘check ins’ where you have something down and you’re just letting them know… not really asking opinions just keeping them in the loop. I’m sure that if something just isn’t okay with them they’ll let you know… otherwise just be okay with it being YOUR wedding and coming from the other side of in-law relationships… be THANKFULLY that she’s not giving greif about it not being done “her” way.
Like pp said… include your mom, gma, and sis as much as you can and just leave the door open for her… but don’t expect to much.
Post # 13
I think that this is just her personality and that it has nothing to do with you or your wedding. Some people just don’t see any need to “make a big fuss” about getting married. I wouldn’t try talking to her because she is probably not going to change. She may like you well enough and love her son just not really care too much about weddings.
But are you sure that she isn’t upset that you are eloping and therefore not having them at the ceremony and feeling like the reception is just a consolation prize? She may also feel that there is no need for a reception unless it is held right after the ceremony. So many people just don’t take a reception seriously if its not on the same day as the ceremony. She may have the “they are already married why do it again attitude.
Having the wedding at her house and not having her involved could be prett difficult so I would suggest as PPs said to change your location.
Just thank God that she is not one of those monster-in-laws that is trying to screw up your whole wedding and relationship too and giving you a hard time at every turn.
Post # 14
My FIL’s are the same way. My fiance grew up completely differently than I did. I’m from an obnoxiously large and loud (but loving!) Italian family. His family is very reserved and DEFINITELY don’t understand why I’m going all out for our wedding, when his sister got married at the fire hall in town and that was just fine. I’ve spoken to him about my insecurities in the family and the fact that I don’t think they’re that interested in everything, and he reassured me that it’s not just me, that’s just how they are. And that they’re even like that with him, and he’s so happy to be marrying into an affectionate family like mine. So that made me feel better – and then I went to my mom’s house and cruised some wedding magazines over a cappuccino! 🙂
Post # 15
My FI’s family is very similar. Although they’ve never been flat out mean or rude to me, they are emotinally distant and don’t get excited about the whole wedding planning thing. They are “country folk” (Lol) and I am from the suburbs so sometimes when I talk about things, even if it’s just my dress, my Future Sister-In-Law looks at me like I’m a snob. I always let them know what is going on with our planning process and they know they are more than welcome to join in but I don’t push all the details on them because I know they don’t really want to hear it.
Post # 16
FI’s family is exactly the same. They just don’t really care about the wedding, they never ask.