(Closed) Help! My mom is all of a sudden bossy & opinionated! What happened to her?

posted 10 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
390 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Is it possible that your mother just doesn’t have much experience with wedding’s?  It sounds like she’s doing some talking with your aunt who may have "filled her in" on how things are supposed to work (only she’s not exactly updated either).  Maybe she’s suddenly feeling the pressure she believes is on her to plan/throw this amazing wedding.  I would try to calmly discuss with her your feelings; listen to hers as well!  She may be having a really tough time with her daughter growing up and not needing her in the same ways.  I’m fortunate enough not to have experience with this situation, so I can only tell you what I think I would do.  Good luck!

Post # 4
Member
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I think you ran into problems when you tried to humor them. You have to be upfront and honest about what you want. You have to stand up to her.

She is treating you like a child and calling you childish because you are afraid of her and she knows she can intimidate you. This is your wedding, you are marrying your husband, you are an adult!

Post # 5
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I totally feel you…my situation is not so different.  My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding.  Becasue of this and because I wanted my relatives (most coming from India) to have a comfortable place to stay, we are having the wedding in Michigan (where I grew up and they live) rather than in California (where we are now) or Seattle (where he’s from and where we’ve lived for the past few years before moving).  This distance has necessitated that they take the reigns on a lot of stuff, but early on I was also feeling like they were simply trying to take everything over.  Things have gotten much better, but I still get nervous when contracts are slow to be signed.  I dont’ know if your situation is similar, but I already feel that a lot of my choices are implicit compromises.  For example, I would have had a much smaller wedding (and my FH even smaller), but my parents have a lot of friends they want to invite so I’m okay with it.  But it’s hard b/c the size means that our preferred ceremony site, their backyard, won’t be feasible.

Anyway, sorry, tangent to vent about my own stuff:)  My first thing to say is that you have to remember that there would be no wedding if it weren’t for you and your FH.  So as much as your Mom wants it to be about her, it’s not.  On the other hand, your parents are paying and obviuosly this is a big day for them, so making some compromises to honor their wishes seems appropriate.  From a practical standpoint, I think it would help to outline what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re absolute about (although I have to say I can’t imagine my mom getting so involved with the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses, so it sounds like yours is into everything).  From an emotional standpoint I’d say that you need to be clear that you appreciate their generosity, but that you’re feeling like this is turning into an event that won’t even feel like your wedding.  If they’re paying for this, then I suspect that deep down their motivation is your happiness.  There’s no need to talk specifics, more generally let her know that you’re no longer having fun. I had an unintentional breakdown a couple months back talking to my Dad and he just freaked out b/c he was like, I feel terrible this is your wedding and we’ve hardly started planning and you’re crying already.  

I really hope that saying these things (calmly and when tensions aren’t high) will help your mom see how this is impacting you.  But if not, I’d say it’s probably better to talk in person (or over the phone) rather than email.  There’s too much room for misinterpretation, especially from your FH.  Your mom sounds like she needs to remember that the only people required for you to get married are you, your FH, and the officiant.  Everything else, including teh recepetion, is optional.  It was helpful for us to come up with a back up plan, a wedding that we can afford on our own.  I never really thought that I would implement it, but it made me feel less helpless and less like I had to put up with my parents’ being bossy.  And honestly, being firm and talking things through has made it a lot better.  My Mom is much less skeptical and critical of my choices, and more collaborative.  Because I honestly do want her input (and it sounds like you do too), but that’s not the same as having her decide everything. 

This is a little rambling, but I hope it helps. 

Post # 6
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I went through some similar issues with my mom, but it all worked out in the end.  She had negative opinions on everything that were based on tradition and weddings my cousins had.  I am a fairly untradtional person, so at first we fought about everything.  I finally stood up to my mom and told her that I could no longer handle her negativity.  She was much better after that.  Weddings bring up issues that lie dormant for many years — money, jealousy, etiqutte, tradtion will all become issues at some point or another during your wedding planning.  Take it one step at a time and you will figure it out!

Best of luck to you!

Post # 7
Member
2640 posts
Sugar bee

It’s hard to run into theses snags when you’re planning such a special day.  I think everyone has visions of how the whole proces whould be.  That includes moms.  As soon as baby girls are born, moms think about one day going wedding dress shopping.  And dads think about walking their little girls down the aisle.  I can relate to you in that my parents paid for half of my wedding.  I paid the other half.  I was lucky to either think much like my mother, value her opinion, etc.

While I feel for having a difficult experience, a few things:

1.  You say you want a modern wedding.  But by your parents paying for 3/4 of it, isn’t that falling into what your aunt is saying (paid for by dad, hosted by mom comment)?  It sounds pretty traditional wedding to me.  If you need your parent’s money for the wedding, be prepared to listen to how they want things.  There’s no being firm about it.  If you want things your way without complaints and leverage being used, you’ll need to pay for them yourself. 

2.  With regards to your aunt and the dresses, that was your fault.  You didn’t mention your plan to your mom.  Yet despite it you wrote that your mom should have "duh" just shut her mouth.  That’s not very respectful to your mom, especially since she didn’t know your plan.  While her telling you you’re acting like a child doesn’t help things, you didn’t handle this situation in the most mature way.

3.  Also, I wouldn’t recommend your Fiance writing anything to them.  What’s best for him is not to let him get into a fight with your parents.  It’s much different for you to fight with them.  It’s easier for parents to get over a fight with their own children. 

You can’t control other people’s feeling and actions.  I think if you take a breather and think about how you can keep peace in this situation, you’ll get further in a happy planning process.  Good luck.  Don’t worry it will be OK.

Post # 8
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I really agree with Tanya123, on all 3 of her points.  As far as the aunt and the dresses, I understand that you didn’t want to hurt your aunt’s feelings by rejecting her dresses right away, so I can see why a little white lie seemed like the easiest course of action.  But your strategy backfired, and it’s not fair to blame your mom for that — she didn’t know, how could she if you didn’t tell her? 

And don’t let your fiance send that e-mail!  This is between you and your mom; having him get in the mix via e-mail isn’t going to solve anything.  If anything, it will reinforce your mom’s idea that you are not mature enough to deal with things yourself.

Instead, call your mom, ask if you guys can get together, and tell her you feel really unhappy about how combative the wedding planning has become.  Then ask if you guys can work together on the rest of the wedding to make it something you’ll all be proud of.  You mentioned that there aren’t that many big things left to decide — if you could take a deep breath and let your mom have her way on some things that are obviously important to her, I think it would go a long way towards making both of you happier.  Be honest about what’s important to you, but limit the number of times you say "well, it’s MY wedding" (unless you want to hear "well, I’M paying" in reply!).  Think compromise.  If your fiance wants to come along, that might be a constructive way to get him involved — it’s his wedding too, after all!

Good luck, and let us know how everything turns out!

Post # 9
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I’m bumping this because I’d like to find out what happened (if anything) and I’d like to see more point of views. 

Post # 11
Member
456 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Other than the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses, what specifically is she trying to decide without caring what you want? The guest list I’m guessing is one from what you said. On that, why do you mind having more people than you planned? Will it affect how much money it costs you, personally? Or are they pushing something food/cake/etc that costs less because there are too many people? That might be an area to compromise on, if there’s no cost issues, or venue issues, having people you don’t care about there won’t really have too dramatic an effect on how happy you are that day. Whereas having some other detail you hate (like the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses) could make a much bigger difference to you.

I really feel for you, and I’m so sorry this has become so stressful for you. Lots of hugs! If we had more details, we might be able to help more. Maybe find some areas to compromise, or help you think of how to address things. Is there any third person who could help? I hate that your dad is taking her side so much, he would be the ideal choice. If you could get him to work at her from that side, you might have better luck. Could your sister help promote your views?

 And worst case, would you be able to do a simpler wedding and finance the whole thing? I know it’d suck, but it would give you complete control. It may not be worth the fight tho. Don’t ruin your relationship for one day. Because as important as it is, it IS just one day of your life. Maybe try to focus on the marriage to come, not the wedding itself? She can’t control that at least ^_^

Post # 12
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Hi again,

I’m sorry this saga is continuing, but I think you’re starting to get to the core of your issue, and it’s not really about your wedding.  This drama sounds like an extension of the dynamics you’ve had with your parents.  Getting married often stirs these issues up, and also provides some good incentive for going on the path to resolve them.  So maybe I’m way off base here and ignore the following if you like, but here are a few thoughts:

Outside of your  wedding, maybe it would be helpful to figure out why you approach your parents with such a need to please attitude.  Because that is something you are choosing to do…and it sounds like something you’ve done for a long time.  I can tell you that for me it was/is a combination of not wanting to bring them more grief b/c we’ve had some fairly traumatic things happen in our family, just not wanting to engage or enrage my mom who can be pretty over the top, and wanting their positive attention.  Of course it’s more complciated than that and of course everyone’s situation is different, but it’s helpful to understand the root whatever it is.  And it’s also important to know that while being a pleaser to the extent that you sacrifice your sanity might be a useful strategy when you’re a child, it can make life very hard as an adult.  It may well be that counseling/therapy will be useful to you…that’s not an admission of weakness or anything.  It just might help you understand why you choose to interact with your parents how you do.  And I can guarantee that these things will continue to come up with your FH and your own kids (if you choose to have them).

W.R.T. you wedding, I’ll reiterate my point and second Liz.smith’s that it might be very helpful to consider what kind of wedding you can afford on your own.  And as an addendum, why you decided to ask your parents to help pay for it…b/c that’s no longer the default scenario in Western culture.  Once again, in my case there were many reasons including wanting to have my international relatives attend (in Indian culture it’s expected that you provide transportaiton and lodging etc which I could never afford for 30 relatives from India).  Also, it was specifically for my parents.  I know that my Dad would feel like I had slapped him if I told him I didn’t want him to pay for/be involved in planning my wedding.  He considers it his last major act of fatherhood (not that he’ll disown me afterward, but just that his responsibility to me will change).  And b/c my parents are difficult I knew it would be hard, but if I didn’t it would really start my marriage off on the wrong foot w.r.t. my parents.  And of course, there are many aspects of this wedding I couldn’t afford on my own…though I still think part of me would much prefer a small wedding in Yosemite Valley that we can afford (ah well). 

I think truly understanding why you’ve made these choices will make it easier to deal with your parents…b/c it sounds like part of you knew they would be this way.  I’m not saying any of this will make the situation any easier, but it might make you feel better.  It really sounds like you need to feel more empowered.  And the objective fact is you are.  You *are* an adult who is about to be married and start the nucleus of a new family (regardless of kids, you and your FH will be each other’s family soon).  You don’t have to have a wedding you do want, you don’t have to let your parents trample your self-esteem, and you don’t have to make everyone happy all the time.  At the same time, your parents don’t have to pay for your wedding if they don’t want to.  So it’s worth understanding their motivations as well.  And I really do think you need to stand up for yourself.  Not in a whining, "this is my wedding, hmph" way, but in a "i’m an adult and this situation isn’t working for me.  How can we fix it?"  And before talking to your parents you should ask yourself what would make you happy in the context of your reality.  B/c I don’t think it’s reasonable to say I want my parents money but I don’t want them to be involved (even if other people do that, your parents are not obligated to).  I think it’s reasonable to say 1) I don’t want their money and this is what I can do, or 2) it would be nice to have my parents money to make this more of the event I want.  but I understand that they also have a stake in this wedding.  These are the things I must have in my wedding, these are the things I have strong preferences on but am flexible, and these are the things I don’t care about. And then you’ll all need to agree on those things and who does what.  Sicne you say your dad takes an "all business" approach to you, maybe this will appeal to him…but I think the conversation has to include your mom as well.  

And just wondering, does your mom understand how unhappy you are?  Not that you got upset and frustrated once or twice, but that you are genuinely unhappy about your wedding planning?  B/c it sounds a bit like you have a history of hiding your emotions around you parents, so maybe they don’t really understand how upset you are.  I don’t know, I’m just asking. 

Anyway, hope this all helps!   Sorry to be so heavy handed in guessing what your emotional bkgd is, but that’s just how it’s coming across to me.  So I might be way off base, but maybe finding a *good* counselor (there are many bad ones) to talk this over with could be very helpful.  And whatever you decide, sending you some *Hugs*…and hoping you feel a bit better.

Post # 13
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I second everything Liz.Smith said!  It sounds like you’re really stressed out and overwhelmed, and it might help to focus on the details rather than the big emotional picture right now.  What specifically are the things that your mom is trying to change or control?  The guest list? Flowers? The menu? The ceremony?  Think about each thing individually, and try to look for ways that you and your mom can compromise.  Maybe you let her choose the menu, for example, but you stand firm on your choice of flowers.

I also like the idea of finding an ally who can talk to your mom about her attitude.  Although I do think that since she is paying, she should have input, ultimately this is *not* your mother’s party.  She is the hostess, but you and your fiance are the guests of honor, and the party is about you two, not her.  Given how stressed the two of you are with each other, she will probably not take that very well coming from you, but maybe if your sister or your aunt gently points out to her that her attitude is not quite right it could help her regain some perspective.

Post # 14
Member
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I have to agree with Tanya123 and everyone who is pointing out that if they are paying, it is totally legitimate that they should have some control. Now, I agree that this is your day and you should be able to have what you want from it (and trying to choose Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses for you is going too far), but I think it’s important to try to see where they are coming from too. Think about your parents the same way you’re thinking about the bridesmaids: you didn’t want to make the BMs spend a lot on a dress they don’t like. Why should your parents pay for something they don’t like? For example, back when you were a kid and your parents bought your clothes, they got to tell you what you could and couldn’t wear, right? That’s how it was in my family, and when I got an after-school job I started paying for all my own clothes, and only buying what I really wanted. I liked it that way, which is why my fiance and I planned everything so that we could pay for it before we even knew whether either of our parents would want to contribute (mine did want to give a set sum, his didn’t want to and that was fine). Now that they have offered the money, I am involving them in decisions, but if for any reason there is conflict about any particular area, we will simply scale back and buy what we can afford on our own.

You feel like your parents control your life, I think this is a good time to TAKE control for yourself. I don’t mean you should do that in a rude or combative way (and I don’t think you would because you clearly have a lot of consideration for your family and their feelings) just gently tell them how much you care about them and want them to enjoy your wedding day too, but you really feel strongly about________. And like fizicsgirl said, maybe give mom a little more control about some aspect that is not as important to you.

Post # 15
Member
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

I got into a heated argument with my mom over the reception.  She had that same idea that it’s her party, not mine.  I told her that she was welcome to throw herself a party, but I wouldn’t be attending if she wouldn’t let me make my own decisions.  (This is the kind of threat that only works when you’re both yelling so later you can apologize and say it was the heat of the moment LOL.)  Of course I’ll be attending my reception, but it did make her realize that it isn’t her party, it’s ours and that while she may have been invited into the planning process, she was in no way the final say in every matter.  I am in a different situation though because I’m paying for everything with the money I’m making on my current deployment.  I would consider what you can pay for on your own, but also try to work with your mom.  Let her know that you appreciate her help in paying for the wedding, but since it is your celebration, you would appreciate if she would back up your decisions.

The topic ‘Help! My mom is all of a sudden bossy & opinionated! What happened to her?’ is closed to new replies.

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