Post # 1
I’m back again with an issue I need to get out before i explode. I don’t have parents so I really don’t know if this behavior is normal. I’m just not sure how to handle it and stay poised and graceful.
My fiancé is an only child. He is VERY low key, humble, fuss free etc. I’ve always said that if we had a billion dollars he would still wear his same old jeans and T-shirt. He isnt into “social norms” or keeping up with the jones’s. We both have good careers and live comfortably but like to live modestly. Its just who we are and a huge reason why i was so attracted to him. In a world full of fake people, he’s a genuine person.
his mother is a narc to the fullest and is VERY materialistic. So, here’s my problem. I Have decided not to have a bridal shower. Mainly because I don’t like being the center of attention but also because my fiancé and I have lived together for the last three years. If we need something, we go and buy it. I don’t want people to go and buy me a bunch of stuff I don’t need or want. It’s just not my thing. I dislike going to bridal showers myself (because let’s be honest, it’s a chore) so I really didn’t want people to take the time to come to one for me. Future Mother-In-Law is PISSED. But here is her reason for being pissed…….”I’ve been buying every one else’s kids gifts for their babies and weddings for years. This is my time to shine. My son deserves just as many gifts as I have given their kids. They’re not getting off Scott free”.
And I know she means it because she insisted on throwing us an engagement party (we didn’t want one but she wouldn’t let up so we agreed) she texted us saying “you need to give me a list of every gift you got”. We asked her why she wanted that as it wasn’t important ( it was just a couple of frames and some wine. We didn’t even want gifts!) and her response was “im just curious”. My fiancé told her it wasnt her business and luckily she let it go.
We did tell her that if people insist on gifting us, they can bring a card with cash/check to the wedding but that was up to them if they’d want. She said that’s not enough. I KNOW what her problem is. She wants yet another party to parade us around. But don’t be confused bees, she’s not doing it for us. She’s doing it for HER. She loves to “compete” with her family and friends with these kinds of things. I just don’t get it. What is her problem?! How do i deal with someone like this? Is this normal?!
Post # 2
Just her personality, I wouldn’t be too worried about it. I doubt she will change. Some people are very competitive and she might also be an attention seeker.
Post # 3
Don’t give in to her or you’ll spend the rest of your lives doing her bidding.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center
I wouldn’t say it’s normal but unfortunately more common than you’d think.
PS – I didn’t know it wasn’t normal to not tell your parents what gifts you got and who gave them. For our engagement party we made a whole Excel sheet and shared it with out parents. For wedding we will do the same, mostly because a lot of the guests will be family, their friends / coworkers, and friends of the family. So obviously they would want to know who got what right? They couldn’t care less about what my friends got us though – they mostly just care about what their friends got.
Post # 5
akshali2000 : I think it’s odd that your parents would want a list of who got you what. What are they planning on doing with that information? I wouldn’t share that info with anybody as part of a spreadsheet. Can you explain? I don’t understand.
Post # 6
I plan to give both sets of parents a list of gifts we received. They asked. My parents like to know, because in our culture (similar to akshali2000’s) they got to a lot of wedding & gifts are usually money. It doesn’t bother me, I know my parents (or fiance’s) aren’t going to misuse that info. OP’s Future Mother-In-Law on the other hand, seems like she might.
Post # 7
Wow this is so interesting! I’m just not sure why parents would need that information. For instance. What happens if they don’t like what your aunt Sally gave you? Are they going to call her up and let her know they think she’s cheap? It’s just a strange concept to me
Post # 8
Just keep saying no to the shower and no to her other demands. She should plan a vow renewal for herself so she can be the center of attention and plan everything just as she’d like.
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL
jannigirl : Seems strange, but I know in some cultures, especially Japanese, they are very big on reciprocal gift giving. So if you give them something valued at $200, they must in turn give you something valued at $200 back at your next event. I’m not sure if that’s the case here though.
alfalfasprout10518 : I think that’s your soon to be MIL’s personality, unfortunately. I agree with PPs. Don’t give in. If you do, then you’ll set the precedent that it’s ok for her to tell you guys what to do and dictate your lives.
Post # 10
It’s annoying, but not completely abnormal behavior. Showers are a big deal for some families, and I can see her disappointment if she’s been going to other people’s kids showers for years, and when it’s her turn it doesn’t happen. You don’t owe her a shower if you don’t want one, but should cut her some slack for being bummed about it.
Post # 11
wonderwedding : oh I completely sympathize with the fact that she only has the one kid as I know she might feel like she’s missing out, but she wants it for the wrong reasons. If she truly wanted to celebrate US that would be one thing. But she doesn’t, she just wants to be in the spotlight. It sucks
Post # 12
Oh boy. She seems like the type where if you tell her what someone gave you she’d say “Oh? Well I spent x amount on HER child’s wedding gift! How DARE they cheap out on MY SON!”
It is refreshing to see a post on here where the fiance is actually standing up to his mother though, so you at least got that in your favor.
Post # 13
alfalfasprout10518 : I can see she’s doing everything for herself here, otherwise she’d be going with what you and your fiance wants, not trying to badger you into doing what she wants. And apparently she keeps score with her friends and is keenly worried about coming up on the short end.
I think your fiance’s sweet, humble, unassuming personality is actually a conscious effort not to be like his mom. We learn from those around us- some we admire and respect and want to emulate, others are a cautionary tale of what we don’t want to become ourselves.
I wouldn’t give into her simply because, with this type of person, there will always be a next time and a time after that. So better to set a precedent now of not catering to her demands. At least you and your fiance are a united team on this, that’s 2/3 of the battle right there.
Post # 14
alfalfasprout10518 : No this is not normal, this is typical Narc behaviour (normal for narcs). My mom who is also a narc kept comparing and asking who gave us what for the wedding, who spent what and who did what. Exhausting just to think about it and compare everything. Like am I supoosed to keep detailed tabs on all this and report to you(we kept a list so that we can write thank you notes)? Everyone did what they wanted, spent what they were comfortable with and gave what they could… it was so ambarassing for me .. like so and so should have given more because they are better off, omg i cant believe this person is so cheap. I was just mortified when my narc mom started talking like this. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Post # 15
So… Fi’s mother was just in town and I was appalled when she said to Fi, “I need to let [your uncle and his wife] know what to get you for your wedding, so give some thought to that. And they need to get you something really expensive, because I got [your cousin] a $5,000 piece of artwork for HER wedding.”
And then later commented that she was throwing us the second reception she’s been planning in Fi’s hometown, “so that you guys get more gifts.”
Definitely not normal, but apparently more normal in some cirlces than one would expect.
Thankfully, I have not been subjected to any showers.