- 5 years ago
I’ve been reading the posts on the Family board trying to figure out my own issue. I’ve typed this out twice, but I can’t seem to keep it short. I really need to rant!! I’m sorry this is so long.
Advice is Welcome! I need all the help I can get.
Fiance comes from an immigrant family – his mother is Indian. I also come from an immigrant family – my father is Jamaican. We are pretty excited about celebrating both cultures at our wedding.
When we first got enaged I really liked my Future Mother-In-Law and she liked me. I think she’s an awesome lady and a total feminist! She’s very independant and she raised 2 very impressive sons who are both great and kind guys. Their dad is a bit emotionally unavailable so even when he’s in the room he’s always a little absent. Their family is full of people who are loud, opinionated, and demanding. Everyone is alittle bit rude and volitile, it’s just the way they communicate. My family is nothing like this. We are very calm, we never raise our voices, we also put a LOT of value on words so we never say things we don’t mean (AKA there were no teenage fights where we should “I hate you” at our parents). Fiance loves this about my family and it’s actually a huge part of the communication that we’ve built in our relationship.
But this is not the way FIs family works at all. They are manipulative and recently they’ve started lying. LYING. and that’s not a word I’m tossing out there casually.
Weeks after we got engaged, Future Mother-In-Law calls me up to talk about wearing a sari. I said that’s lovely, but no I’m wearing a wedding dress. She sounded truley heart broken so I suggested that I wear a sari for the rehearsal dinner instead? She thought that was a great idea, and I thought everyone was going to win.
Unfortuantely she took the rehearsal dinner idea and ran way too far with it. She didn’t care at all about my extended family or her husband’s for that matter – she just wanted to have a party with all of her frineds and family. And the sari was now a matter of getting saris for my 2 sisters, my mom (who will hate every second of this!) and my best friend. I need to emphasize this wasn’t about her being excited for us – this was rapidly about her showing off for her family who was coming from India and Europe. This is crazy to m! I have family coming from Jamiaca. I have international relatives and a culture that I want to honor too! And she just wants to steam roll my own family with her plan and no regard to me? Eventually her rehearsal dinner privleges were revoked and I endedup planning it for ONLY the bridal party. No one else. She was very amd and didn’t speak to me for about 2 weeks.
She has no regards for if it’s the wedding I want, or the wedding her son wants, it needs to be wedding that impresses her family – oh, yeah but we need to pay for it. Let me be clear that my folks gifted us about $3000. We are paying for the rest (which I think is approriate, we’re adults, we should pay for our own wedding). His family has not paid a penny.
In September we started the Save The Date process and we need names, emails, contact info for the guest list. We have already included all the aunts uncles and first cousins on his side. I too invite all my paretns siblings, and my paternal cousins, but I skip all the first cousins on my mothers side (there’s too many, and if you invite 1 you have to invite them all). This is a tough choice, but wedding guest lists are full of tough choices and I was prepared to make this one. Future Mother-In-Law tells us that we need to invite 7 of her friends and thier husbands. What? 14 extra people is not a small request, our whole wedding was suppose to be under 120. We told her to pick the 2 people she cared about the most and we would just invite them. She tells us that’s fine – BUT THEN SHE INVITES ALL 7 OF THEM WITHOUT OUR KNOWLEDGE.
Yes – from Septemeber to November we have no fewer than 5 converstations with her telling her that she does NOT get to invite people at her discretion. The converstations start off nice, they become more direct and less patient each time. Every time she claims she didn’t do it (she lied). Each time she claims she has no idea how that person got invited. Fiance had to call her friends and tell them that as much as we’d love to invite everyone we’re having a small wedding and his mother was mistaken when she invited them. This is humiliating!! (To be fair, the friends handled it well. No one was rude about it!).
At this point she complains to all of her sisters (the ones she’s trying to impress) that we are not including her enough and that I’m the bad guy. And for the first time ever since I’ve been with her son she starts to be a bit more cold with me. We have indeed included her. We invited them out to see the venue. We are wearing the sari’s for the rehearsal, and I’m wearing loads of indian jewelry with my wedding dress (whcih I’m really excited about!). The jewelry was another broken promise. She promised that a cousin would get it for me in India. I was ok with that. But the cousin couldn’t make it to the wedding, and therefore lost interest in getting me any jewelry. No problem, I fould one I really liked that could be custom made. She asked me like 6 or 7 times to send her the link and she’d buy it for me but she never purchased it. Finally, over christmas, I just got it myself and told her that I’d purchased it. And THEN she acted like I never told her anything. So she would refuse to do any follow up, but told everyone she was being exculded. She was doing the same thing to her son regarding the ceremony, promising to get him a hindu blessing,a nd never getting it for him – i finally found a translation on line and we’re using that.
Also over christmas I find out from FI’s brother (he is great!!! he and his brother both turned out very normal considering what they had as parents) that she is telling people that she’s paying for the wedding. Or at least that she’s paying for a majority of it. WHAT???? Absolute lie. We have not taken a penny. They offered us money. We said no. Then the offered to pay just for the venue and we said yes. But they didnt have the cash on hand – so we paid the vneue! And they said they’d pay us later. Thank GOD I never took that money! My folks have given us about $3k and we’re paying the other $25k on our own!
FIs brother and Girlfriend were surprised that we haven’t taken any money becasue they were both being told that we had.
But all of this is just lead up for what happened a week ago (please note that we are getting married in 60 days – invites are sent, we have moved on to RSVPs). A week ago his father – the one who is not emotionally present – tells us that he is coming to the wedding, but that can’t come to the party we are hosting the day after the wedding (he has a work obligation). Fiance feels that he could have reschueduled this, and is visibly hurt by the fact that his own father is missing the day-after-brunch and party. Then, after telling Fiance this, the same father calls up Fiance an hour later and says we need to also invite all of these third cousins from far away becsue he already invited them. Yup – the Future Mother-In-Law wasn’t enough, his dad was doing the same thing.
Fiance – holding his ground – reminds them that I’m not even inviting all my first cousins. More imporatnatly, we have both made very difficult cuts not inviting friends who we love and care about to keep our wedding small. So guess who is NOT a priority – all those third cousins, that’s who.
His father starts off calm on this. Then calls a second time and starts saying some truely nasty things. He tells his son that I don’t make enough money to say who can and cannot come to (my OWN) wedding (this is funny because while Fiance does indeed make more money than I do now – the 3 years we dated, I was the one earning way more and he was the one who was broke. Also Fiance owns his own comapny, and I handle all the company finances – which I doubt his father knows – to make sure Fiance doesn’t over spend. I’m the one who is super financially resposnible in this equation!). He also calls his son names (FI won’t tell me what) and threatens not to give us the previous amount of money for the venue that we’ve already decided not to take.
When we still say no to the additinal guests, now the father starts to lie too. He says we’ve already invited these cousnins. No we didn’t. He says yes – they have invitations. And I said “you mean they were forwarded the wedding website? Because they can’t log in to it, I haven’t added them as guests. Because they’re not invited.” And his paretns – who seemed truly shocked that I had a method in place for tracking invitations – got more mad now that they were caught in a lie. So they say that this one particular most important third cousn (who no one ever metnioned until now???) already has her flights booked.
Fiance – again to his incredible credit, because this must be hard on him to have to mediate – tells them that this is the same damn converstaion we’ve been having for months. We’ve been telling them since Sept not to do this exact thing. We have sent it in emails, we have said it on the phone. We have repeated it. They keep doing it anyway. Now Future Mother-In-Law (who likes me far less than she did 8 months ago) gets on the phone and says that we have to invite these people and we are aweful for not iviting them. Fiance says that we cannot do that – there is no space, and no money for more guests and you know what says??? No joke! She says “that’s your problem!” She again brings up the money they are trying to push on us. Fiance says “mom, we are not taking your money” and she hangs up on him.
I cannot imagine my mother hanging up on me. Ever. That just isn’t something I can comprehend. So I tell Fiance that maybe I should take the fall on this. Maybe they would speak differently to me direclty then they are to him. Up until now Fiance has done a fantastic job of trying to be the barrier of crazy between us, but that time has past, and it’s important that I stand my ground as well.
Within minutes I write a very kind email, thanking them (particularly FMIL) for all the help with the menu, and the saris, and how very grateful we are – but also that Fiance isn’t the one planning this wedding. I am. I control the guest list, and I update it. If people RSVP to them and not to me directly – ithen those people are not accounted for. And I told them if they’re confused about who’s invited and whose not I can provide a list.
After sending the email his father calls again. This time instead of shouting obscenities at his son, he’s crying. Yup. Crying.The man who just lied to us an hour ago is now crying to get his way. He’s offering us more money. You know – that we won’t take. And telling us how this one particular cousin – who definitely has a flight booked – is so much more important than anything, and somehow no one mentioned her to us until 60 days prior to our wedding. Fiance agrees to call the cousin and sort it out. To be fair inviting one more person isn’t the issue, it’s that it happend behind our backs, it’s that we asked for all the VIPs who needed to be included and she wasn’t on it, and it’s that if we agree to one, is he then going to tell 17 more people to show up (becasue yes, I think both Future Mother-In-Law and Future Father-In-Law are very capable of that, and I think they have demonstrated that they care a hell of a lot more about themselves than they do about us).
Fiance who spoke with the cousin, sorted it out and she is indeed being invited. So Fiance called up his own father and said that she’s coming, and then asked if that meant he would stay for the day-after party the sunday after the wedding? His father said no.
All that tantrum. Calling your son names and then fake tears — and you won’t re-book a lecture for your son’s wedding? Congratulations! You’re a terrible parent.
Again I want to say that Fiance has handled this great! He is not as fussed by their volatility as I am, it rolls right off his back. I told my folks about this.They were super calm and reasonable. They encouraged diplomacy, and boundaries at the same time. I also told my sister/MOH and I told my wedding coordinator. I’m not sure if Future Mother-In-Law will give me the cold shoulder or be sweet as pie – but I’m pretty sure something is going to be “off” at the wedding. That’s ok. Nothing can bring me down!!! I am so excited to be married to this man!
Any advice? Did anyone have parents or in-laws throw a fit over the guest list? Anyone try to do this to you in the 11th hour?