Mother in-law is controlling, What do I do?

posted 2 years ago in Family
  • poll: Should we have 2 receptions within the same province?

    Yes - one for each family

    No - you only need one wedding!

    Do a destination wedding somewhere no family lives.

  • Post # 3
    265 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: By the lake

    Dear Mother-in-law to be,

    Your son and I already have discussed our wedding plan.  We have no plan of changing it and that is including the wedding date and the location.  We are only going to have one wedding.  I understand you want to give us a wedding and we appreciate your thoughts, BUT we are only going to have one and only one wedding.  This is our wedding and we want to do it our way.  Please come and join us in this celebration of our unity.  Your presence means a lot to us.  Thank you for understanding.


    His son’s name and your name.

    Post # 5
    265 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: By the lake

    View original reply
    dreamydutchy :  You’re welcome!  I’m sorry that you’re going through this.  Be gentle but be firm and be sincere.  🙂  Good luck.  And you’re right.  If you give in to changing the date, she may end up requesting for more changes and then she is going to end up controlling your wedding.  It also doesn’t help that you are living out of the country, so two weddings may not work out if you are limited to time off from work and the cost to fly back and forth and it will be silly to have a wedding back to back (within a week or month time).  Good luck, Bee!

    Post # 6
    735 posts
    Busy bee

    Personally, I’d keep it *very* simple.

    Have your FH deliver the message that the wedding is on the date you have chosen and you hope she can make it. Rinse, repeat. Limit any further info. 

    Post # 7
    812 posts
    Busy bee

    Just because she’s making grand plans for a 2nd wedding that suits her does not mean you have to follow along. Make it clear she can do what she likes (she’s an adult, you can’t conrol her), but that neither of you will be attending. A 2nd wedding without the bride and groom is ridiculous. She’s just trying to get her way. Also, your fiancé is probably used to this tactic – being ‘open to it’ will only give her power. He needs to understand this isn’t his dear sweet mom doing something nice for you (that IS how she will spin this), this is her way of controlling the situation. You are adults, capable of getting married, and have every right to say no thank-you. Don’t let her win this one – you need to set a precedent for the rest of your lives now.

    Also, make sure it’s your FH who does all the talking, she’ll turn on you really fast if she thinks this is entirely your decision.

    Post # 8
    4690 posts
    Honey bee

    Given the circumstances, your fiance should be handling all communication regarding the wedding. Not you. He needs to set boundaries with his mom.

    Btw, did you ask her if the date worked before you set it?

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by zl27.
    Post # 9
    4690 posts
    Honey bee

    Btw, we did have a dinner in my fiance’s hometown for people that could not to travel to our wedding for a variety of reasons. But it was an accommodation for them, not an opportunity for someone else to control our wedding.

    Post # 10
    2803 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

    She can throw a second “reception” if she likes, but you and your fiancé should NOT attend.  Don’t cave in to her demands, or you’ll be doing it for the rest of your lives.  You picked the date, she didn’t say anything at the time, too late now.  Stick to your guns.

    Post # 11
    1243 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 1983

    And you might drop by DWIL. With a mother-in-law who has major control impulses, you’ll probably need their advice and support sooner or later.

    Post # 12
    7348 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2016

    Unless you have a well established relationship with her already, any communication from you to her is going to cause issues. If your Fiance is stressed out talking to her about this repeatedly, then he needs to stop TALKING with her about it. Send her a letter (like PP posted above) and make it clear to her that this will no longer be up for discussion. Period.

    If he’s talking to her and she starts in with her bullshit, he needs to IMMEDIATELY get off the phone with her “I’m not going to discuss this with you, Mom. I really hope you will decide that your son’s wedding is more important than a conference, but thats a choice you have to make. Take care.” and hang up.

    Also, be sure to make it clear to all of his family that the ONE wedding is still going on so that she can’t disrupt plans or sabotage things with misinformation (if she’s the type to take it that far.)

    I’m really curious what this conference is and why it’s so important that she’s making an ass of herself about it. 

    Post # 13
    32 posts
    • Wedding: November 2019 - Australia

    Definitely only do one wedding. I have a controlling Future Mother-In-Law too, and I completely agree that letting someone controlling dictate something so large in your life will just open you up to further control later down the track.

    Our strategy has been “Sorry/thanks, but we have everything set and planned” and changing topic. As previous posters have said, I think this type of talk should be more on your fiance, but have a talk to him about using this ‘stone wall’ kind of approach. We’re also using a kind of reward system (it feels weird to call it that, but it truly is when I think about it). Whenever Future Mother-In-Law mentions something that falls within our plans, we compliment it a lot. For example “Well, your tables should at least have this colour tablecloth” when it was the already decided colour gets a “Wow, you’re right, that would go so well with our plans! Thank you so much for giving us that idea!”. It gives her enough that she feels like she’s been contributing. It’s been hard, but we’re starting to reign in the control a bit more.

    Good luck!

    Post # 14
    116 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    I’d say she already created a big rift! Your Mother-In-Law is testing your fiancés loyalty to her. Now you will be his wife, she won’t be able to make important decisions in his life anymore and she is scared about that. Your fiancé has the responsibility to stand up for you and make decisions without her input. He needs to be the one making the boundaries with his mom. He seems willing to do that so I think you should let him. I would be willing to bet the conference is nothing important compared to your wedding. Don’t have another wedding party if you don’t want. If she is upset about that it’s too bad for her! She will get over it, or she won’t. Then maybe it would be a blessing if she isn’t there to be rude to you and your family.

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