Post # 1
My FH is very inmeshed with his Mother. She is very codependant and inserts herself without asking. I don’t want to air a lot of dirty laundry here, I know that she is well intentioned, but she is also selfish, often making things about her that should not be (like my wedding shower).
Anyway, I came across this “apron cutting ceremony” on line (posted below). And, while I know I can’t expect this from her I’m looking for suggestions how to respectfully reverse this ceremony. What can my souse or I do to clearly but politely send the signal that he is cutting the strings? (in addition to this ceremony, I found another story about presenting the Mother-In-Law with a plaque that recognized her contribution to her son and established his leaving, but the post did not have the phrasing). Please, anyone I’m open to suggestions.
The apron cutting:
I’ll never forget the wedding of one of my best college friends, John Engstrom, years ago. Actually it wasn’t the wedding itself that impressed me as much as something that happened at the rehearsal dinner. Mrs. Engstrom, John’s mum, was seated at the front table with John, his bride, and the bride’s parents.
At a particular time at the dinner, Mrs. Engstrom stood up and pulled out a beautifully wrapped box. She unwrapped it, and with great ceremony displayed one of her favorite old aprons.
Holding the apron high for everyone to see, she reached into her purse and brought out a big pair of scissors. With a flourish, she snipped off the apron strings and handed them to John’s bride-to-be.
“Never again,” she said, “will I have the same place in John Engstrom’s life. You are now the woman in his life.”
It was a moment of formal releasing, in front of many witnesses. And the most significant witnesses of all were a young bride and groom. It was a profound moment —but a joyful one too. There was a feeling of rightness about it all.
Post # 3
If this idea doesnt come from your Future Mother-In-Law, then I’m not sure how she will feel about it being forced on her. Or, wait, I’m confused. Are you wanting your FH to be the one to do something like that? If so, I don’t think some formal ceremony is the way to go. I think he needs to just balls up and stop letting her be manipulative/controlling/whatever. She will probably NEVER change on her own, and if FH doesnt do something, then nothing is going to change.
Post # 4
@aes005: The apron cutting ceremony described here sounds both tasteful and touching, but I believe the sweetest part about it was the fact that the Future Mother-In-Law resolved to do this herself. You bringing this up to your Future Mother-In-Law might be insulting to her. The only thing to do might just be to talk to Fiance about being a bit less of a momma’s boy, but tread lightly. My uncle’s marriage was always in shambles over this very thing (he’s a momma’s boy & his wife hates it & in turn started hating my grandma, who now hates the wife. . . Oh the drama!).
Post # 5
I think everyone is missing the point. I don’t want to do this ceremony, I want something in reverse, like “you did such a great job raising your son, now i’ve got it from here…without it being that blunt.” It can be a gift form FH to her or from both of us to her, but I think a gesture would be good for her because she is extremely sentimental. This was only one example of what a mother in law did for a bride, I’m not suggesting taking her apron away from her and cutting the strings off, I’m asking if anyone has a creative idea to send a polite message.
Even maybe using the Genisis verse about leaving the parents and cleaving to the wife, but something that will make that stand out instead of easily glossed over if it was just in the Chaplain’s speech.
FH isn’t exactly a momma’s boy, in that he doesn’t go to her with every little thing etc, but he NEVER wants to hurt his feelings so we may have plans (including thanksgiving with my parents) but if she calls and says she’s coming to visit him, he will let her visit him instead.
Post # 6
One idea I had was to have her “give him away”, but I’m not sure if that would be weird.
Post # 7
No matter what you do in the ceremony, it won’t “fix” the issue – your Fiance has to take active steps in day-to-day life. Words in a ceremony won’t make a switch flip for your Future Mother-In-Law.
That said, if you’re still looking for words, my aunt gave my grandma a crosstitch that said:
You’ve given me a gracious manwith whom to share my life;You are his lovely mother, I am his lucky wife.You used to pat his little head,and now I hold his hand,You raised in love a little boy,and then gave to me a man.
Post # 8
I agree with ladybear. Your Fiance will have to fix the problem and it will take time. He wil have to repeat steps he has taken to sort of pull away from her again and again. He will have to communicate with her to make this happen.
Post # 10
I agree with PPs that in this case, I don’t think a gift, a Bible verse, or a ceremony is going to change a thing. Would your Fiance even be on board with that? After all, it might hurt Mom’s feelings.
I think what you need to do here is have a serious discussion with your Fiance about his relationship with his mom, and in placing and keeping boundries. Rather than doing this symbolically, I think your Fiance needs to do this with word and deed. Most importantly, you BOTH need to be on the same page, and BOTH need to agree that he will enforce these boundries. No more cancelling plans with YOUR parents because his mom is coming over.
Also, does she have a spouse and/or other children? From what you’ve described, it sounds like she’s alone.