(Closed) How do you deal with overbearing mother?

posted 8 years ago in Family
Post # 3
2201 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Maybe have a sitdown with your mom (when you aren’t already talking wedding) and tell her that you are grateful that they are able to pay for your dream wedding, but that right now you feel as if this is no longer your day and that things that mean a lot to you and FH seem to be thrown to the wayside. And come armed with a couple items that are truly important to you that you want to have a say in.

Maybe your mom thinks she’s being funny when she says that and doesn’t realize it’s hurting your feelings and making you less excited for your wedding?

Post # 4
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Money definitely comes with strings.

Sit down and have a heart-to-heart with her about this.  Maybe she doesn’t realize how controlling she is being.

If she won’t stop, your only other option is to pay for the wedding yourselves.

Post # 5
3709 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@CanAmBride: I agree with sitting down with your mom and in a non-confrontational way letting her know that she is making wedding planning less exciting. Make it clear that you are grateful that your parents are financing your wedding but that it is YOUR wedding. If that doesn’t work, bring your dad into the equation. He may think that you and your mother are getting along just fine and probably has no clue that she is trying to have the wedding of HER dreams and not yours.

Post # 6
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Ignore her advice. Controlling moms like tantrum-throwing kids gain credibility when you give in to their demands. This is incredibly hard to do though. Do you think she’d go as far as to pull the money out?

Post # 7
1510 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I am getting married in 2 weeks and dealt with this my entire engagement.  It was horrible. My parents are throwing me a blow out wedding, which I am happy about, but it came with these exact same strings. 

These are the suggestions I have for you.  Sitting down and talking with your mom may help, but for me it just made it worse.  I found that when my mom would make ridiculous requests that just made me mad, made me cry, etc, the best way to handle it was to say, ok Mom, or somewhat ignore it until it came up again.

Many of these requests came via email from my parents, which made them easier to ignore.  If they called me about it and I actually spoke to them, the best way to handle them was to stay calm and ask them how important having this is to them and why is it so important.  Sometimes this helped.  Other times, I made deals.  I told my mom that I would carry the white bouquet that she had her heart set on me carrying, if I could get the color linens that I wanted.  The linens were not important to my mom, but the color of my bridal bouquet was.  We compromised.

What I learned was to stay calm when my parents wanted to change things that I wanted.  When I got angry, lost my cool, and even lost it where I would start to cry because of how stressed I was, it only made the problems worse.  Asking my parents why they really wanted (whatever it was) also helped because it helped me see where they were coming from OR in some cases helped them to see that it really wasn’t that big of a deal and we were able to come to a happy medium.

For things that I just didn’t get my way on and had to give in, I started writing them down so that when my parents made more ridiculous requets and for things that I felt very strongly about, I would remind them what I had already given in on, nicely and calmly told them why I really wanted (whatever it was), that I was so grateful that they are doing what they are for the wedding, but that it would really mean a lot to me to have (insert item here).

In the end, you will just have to accept that there will be things that you will not get your way on.  Once I came to terms with this, and started keeping track of what I have given in on, it helped.

Post # 8
5762 posts
Bee Keeper

Sorry…but the gift of money for a wedding doesn’t ALWAYS come with strings. Experience with planning and executing large events and logically approaching many things previously not thought all the way through were more of what I contributed to the weddings. It isn’t because I wanted a ‘do-over’ or to be in control at all. One daughter had been in 8 weddings and the other in 4, and neither of them had a clue about how to approach and interview vendors, what to ask about flowers, cakes, invitations, photography…..one wanted me to do everything and they’d just show up that day, and the other was too busy to do much research on her own, so I did most of it for her. Even tho I was very involved doesn’t mean I made all the decisions either. They weren’t MY weddings, and I think that a lot of parents feel the same way. On this site,tho,we only get to hear one side.

I’m pretty easy going, but if I was approached by a foot stomping, whining, or demanding person (no matter who they were) I think I’d have somewhat of an attitude with them too. We had a hotel coordinator like that, and I bit my tongue on several occasions til it bled. People who ‘know it all’ are exasperating and aren’t always right. Your approach will make all the difference in your interactions with such a person, and if it happens to be your Mom, only you know best what may work.

I honestly think you can enjoy this whole process if you decide what concessions you can/want to make and what’s most important to you to have done your way. Arguing over silly things will make you both miserable!

Post # 10
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

@CanAmBride: I totally understand where you are coming from. My mom is unbelievely overbearing – but money has nothing to do with it. I think it’s hard because she is your mom and you don’t want her to feel hurt and make her think you are ungrateful. Moms are really good at the guilt-trip thing! :p What about talking to your dad or a sibling about it? Maybe he or she can talk to your mom about it without it being so controntational. Good luck!


Post # 11
4547 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree, money usually comes with strings! Especially with an overbearing mother. I know Fiance and I decided to do it on our own (his parents later offered to help some) because we knew my mother would have way to many strings attatched and it would be all about control.

Not always does money come with strings (my FIL’s have been very laid-back about it), but for some people, money is just a way to control things and ensure that you have the ultimate say. I sympathize with you. Perhaps sit her down and have a talk about it, or with another family member involved to make it more neutral. Unfortunatly, if she’s paying for it she DOES have final say, unless you want to pay for it.

Post # 12
3 posts
  • Wedding: May 2013

Reading that other brides are going through the same situation really helps. I’m having my wedding at my parents house and my mother is controlling how the whole ceremony will go. She doesn’t care what we want only what she thinks is proper. It hurts because you just want them to be happy for you. 

Post # 13
3257 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Maybe this was a bit manipulative, but at first, I insisted and insisted that my parents could not pay for anything, and they weren’t allowed to help with anything.  Pretty soon they learned that the rules for being involved, and getting to help was that we did things our own way.  It ended with now my mom asking if she could pay for various things that we wanted, and now she knows she’s a part of the process on my terms.  I mean, she has a good heart and her intentions and motives have been good all along, but we really wanted to get out in front of the situation where we end up with a bunch of stuff we didn’t really want and didn’t know how it happened.

Now we are planning a fantastic wedding that WE really, really want.  It’s also going to be pretty economical, as weddings go, becuase we have been planning on a pretty simple scale because at first we were going to pay for it ourselves.  Now we’re adding things we figure we can afford, rather than removing things we can’t.

I don’t know if this helps, you out where you’re at, but, imho, money that comes with strings isn’t worth having, and the last thing you want coming from your wedding is resentment.

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