- 3 years ago
- Wedding: January 2017
Reg bee going anonymous here. Fi and I are kind of at a crossroads, and we’re really not sure what we should do. We’re just trying to keep undue stress to a minimum at this point, and it feels like there is no “right” way to go. I’m probably going to sound like a complete asshole here, but Gods know I’m at my wit’s end.
Yesterday, my fi, fmil and I went out of town to make it to a few appointments. While trying on dresses, I ended up falling in love with one that turned out to be on clearance for less than half the original price and about a third of our dress budget. They had one dress left in my size, so I decided to pull the trigger, and fi’s mom generously offered to pay for the dress (if she hadn’t, fi and i would have). I got a little baby can of champagne with a bendy straw (lol), filled out the paperwork and had our pic taken, ate lunch and tasted cake (we chose our baker too!) and did a bit of sight seeing. Overall, it was an amazing day… until we got home. My fmil, who is normally pretty active on facebook (as opposed to fi and I, who value privacy and rarely share via social media), posted a small collage of pics from the day (no dress pics) with the caption, “She said yes to the dress!” I know she didn’t post this with any malicious intent- she was just really excited. That night, I got a call from my mom, sobbing about it. She’s so sure that fmil did this on purpose to hurt her, and she’s upset that nobody sent her photos that day or consulted with her about it. I told her I was sorry she had her feelings hurt, and that wasn’t anyone’s intention, and explained the situation, and that we had to act quickly. She doesn’t care. She has a lot of ideas about how much the bride’s parents should be involved in and responsible for, and feels disappointed and excluded, which is understandable… If that were the beginning, middle and end of this story, I’d probably feel terrible about it, and she’d be in the right completely. It isn’t though, and unfortunately, even after giving this time and serious thought, fi and I still struggle to feel anything but frustration and exhaustion toward my mom about the situation. We’re just… done.
The truth is, my fiance and I have intended to distance ourselves from her lately, especially in regards to our wedding, in an effort to avoid further stress and conflict. Her behavior over the last few months has raised several red flags, which we’re no longer okay ignoring or excusing. She’s been so negative this whole time, like everything is a problem… everything. I can’t think of a single decision we’ve committed to making that she hasn’t had a problem with, and something negative to say about. I’ve posted before about this, but I’ll go over it again.
Since before my fiance even proposed, she’s been so critical of our decisions in a way that repeatedly puts fi and I in an uncomfortable position where we have to defend our choices. She picked apart my ring, then pressured us to return it and offered me the diamond from her forced marriage to my abusive father. She belittled and patronized me, and heavily implied that we were getting scammed (and too stupid to see it) because we bought our ring online. Fi and I have made a few choices about our wedding that not everyone finds agreeable- one of which is our location. Almost every time the subject of my wedding comes up (not even exaggerating) she tries to bring it up. If we don’t mention it, she brings it up out of nowhere, and makes snarky remarks. If we indulge her in the same discussion, it leads to a fight. If we shut it down or dismiss it, she gets combative. If we ignore her remarks, she becomes increasingly antagonistic and tries to pick a fight. I’ve made it clear it isn’t up for discussion and that we’ve made up our minds, and she ignores that. She seems to enjoy criticizing any decision that doesn’t suit her taste, and frequently implies that our small wedding just isn’t worth X, so to speak; Why spend that much on a dress nobody will see? Why spend that much on a photographer? ($1700) Why would anyone want to drive that far (same trip I just made yesterday) just for your wedding? Nobody wants to camp (half our guests do.) So what, everyone is going to drive all that way just to get a hotel? Nobody wants to do that… they’ll just want to go home. It’s rude. (Fun fact!: About half our guests live within an hour of our location, and 3 hours from her proposed venue. The other half live 3 hours from ours and an hour from hers, with one guest coming in from across the country. More families and couples live closer to our location than hers.) Any compromises we make with her have become not good enough later on, and she complains about them too. As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s getting old very quickly. We got in a pretty big fight a couple weeks ago, and I very clearly drew a line and told her this behavior is unacceptable and wouldn’t be tolerated… twice. Her response made it pretty clear that her behavior won’t change. It’s gotten to the point where fi and I go out of our way to avoid mentioning wedding stuff around her. She actually texted me last night about how upset she is that I didn’t let her buy the dress “we had chosen” (a Maggie Sottero that I had communicated that I liked, but didn’t love) and then complained about how she doesn’t have the money in the next breath.
Additionally, she’s been really fricking weird about finances. When fi and i first got engaged, we discussed our expectations for the planning process, and one of the first things we established was that our budget would be based entirely off of our own income and savings, and that we would not plan anything with the expectation that anyone in our lives would pay for it. We agreed, and explained to our families when they asked, that any gifts and donations would be so greatly appreciated, but that they were certainly not obligated to contribute anything. Since then, she’s been overbearing about finances, to say the least. I can’t discuss “our” (fi and my) budget or finances without her getting all defensive and overbearing. She seems to have a problem with fi and I making any larger purchases for our wedding. She pressured us to return my ering so we could spend our savings on a trip to Mexico with her that never happened. The only thing she’s expressed a desire to pay for is the dress… However, when I agreed to let her pay, she just complained about dress prices and stressed how broke she is, which makes me uncomfortable accepting anything from her. She pressured me repeatedly to find an inexpensive dress (“I don’t really think you need anything over like, $500”) which I’ve found. It’s not good enough, because things didn’t go her way. My fmil has stated that she’d have no problem with my mother reimbursing her, since it seems to be so important, but she hasn’t offered. She’s just complained yet again to me about how she has no money, and accused me of buddying up with my in-laws because of their financial help, which is untrue and hurtful. She acts like contributing is a competition, and has put my fils down for helping us. As of today, she has yet to contribute anything, financial or otherwise (she had offered to pick up flowers, but retracted her offer when I refused to change locations) which, again, is fine… but her “I’m the MOB and this is 50% my show… oh but I don’t want to treat you like my mother did” attitude, combined with her disrespectful behavior toward us and fi’s family is intolerable.
Which brings me to the next and biggest red flag; the guilt trips. Our location doesn’t work because her parents just absolutely cannot make it there (they can- I’ve spoken with them.) And how could I expect guests to travel? Now it’s worse- she felt the need to stress last night that fi’s mom isn’t my mom, and she never will be, as if my fmil is trying to challenge that. She told me several times that “You’re MY daughter. I raised you- not her!” which honestly just drives me away. For several years, she pulled the same shit when I reconnected with my sisters and stepmom, and I couldn’t go visit them without having to answer to her and then apologize and reassure her. It’s disgusting, and I’m not doing that this time around. I won’t apologize for having a relationship with my fmil. This behavior is nothing new- she knew fi and my in-laws before I did, and used to frequently tell me (completely seriously) that I stole her friends, because they were her friends before I started dated fi, and they loved her before I went and told them a bunch of lies about her.
I know that she feels I owe her an apology or ten, and she’s been nothing but disrespectful to my fmil (who’s having none of it, and refuses to respond) about this. She commented on my fmil’s post just to say “You should feel so proud of yourself! Wow, I am totally pissed, not gonna lie, you stepped over the line” then texted me to be like “Nice… thanks for telling her.” after fmil deleted the entire post. I found out today that she also texted my fmil to say that she hoped she was proud of herself. She’s even made a point to tell me that even my brother is upset with her. I’m embarrassed, and stressed, and once again, strongly considering completely cutting her out of wedding planning for the third time, and for good. I’ve given her so many second chances, and every effort yeilds the same results. I’ve tried to stand up to her and demand that she treats myself and my fiance with respect, and I’ve tried to gently level with her. I’ve drawn my lines, both gently and firmly, and I’ve made every effort to try to understand where she’s coming from and why. I was reassuring every time she called me crying about how hurtful it was that she was missing out on what she believes should be her experience too, and I’ve tried to be exceptionally patient with her lately (she started a new antidepressant a few weeks ago) but I don’t know that I have it in me to try the same thing again. I feel like I can’t do anything, and there is no right way to fix this. I get anxiety just thinking about how she’ll treat my fiance and I, and his family, in the future. I know that she’s my mother, but I don’t feel I owe it to her to continue to include her when doing so means tolerating her negativity and criticism. I don’t feel that I owe it to her to tolerate her disrespect, overlook and excuse it, and still check in to get her opinion on these table linens. At the risk of sounding completely insensitive and bridezilla’d out, fi and I have got enough shit on our plate as it is, without also having to drop everything on a semi-regular basis to reassure and appease my toxic mother. I’m sure I sound a bit melodramatic, but in reality… almost all of the stress I’ve had in association with planning my wedding, has resulted directly from interactions with my mom. I feel like I can’t even properly enjoy being engaged and planning my wedding because everything makes her either bitchy and critical or weepy and insecure, and that occupies so much of my emotions. The actual planning has been a breeze. Pleasing a woman who puts her own ego, feelings and emotions above mine while trying to work with her to plan my wedding has been exhausting. She swears she has a right to say whatever she wants to my fmil, and that her behavior is acceptable. I’ve tried to correct her, and draw boundaries, which she willingly ignores, so I’m done trying. I’m just sick to death of wearing the kiddie gloves. Is that terrible? How should I handle this?