Post # 1
So my FI’s parents live far far away and I know it’s been hard on everyone dealing with the separation…especially his mom. She is young, energetic, and likes to have control and keep things organized. I love his parents so much even though we don’t agree on some things.
So with wedding planning, my Fiance and I have been doing everything and are on top of things and ahead of schedule. When we got engaged, I was overwhelmed with the control his parents wanted and the little say I had in anything, but i let it go. I said I’ll let them give their opinions with the engagement because I knew I would not take any opinions when it came to my wedding. Even his younger sisters felt the need to give their two cents!
Here is the problem, today I received an email from my Future Mother-In-Law with a spreadsheet of everything that needs to be done and a tentative schedule when I should do it. I don’t know why this rubbed me the wrong way and just AHHHH why do people have to have so much control? My Fiance made our own spreadsheet and a lot of the stuff we already have done.
Am I over reacting? What should I reply…not sure what to do or how to take it or what to tell my Fiance…
Post # 3
Thats crazy!! Wow…that is quite a the control freak. Maybe she is just bored and wants something to do?? I’d just tell her thanks for the input, and it may come in handy to reference, but for the most part you already had things under control and a schedule of your own that you had put together. (assuming you already had dates and deadlines in mind)
Post # 4
Its fustrating I wish people would just keep there opinons to there selves. I hate that my Future Mother-In-Law always says well it tradition I feel like telling her to shove it.
Post # 5
I would just respond with “Oh thanks so much for thinking of us! Im glad to see that we are so ahead of schedule and have things booked already! This chart really made us see how ahead of the game we truly are!” Then its not rude, but its letting her know that you got this undercontrol already thank-you-very-much.
Post # 6
Well luckily it was probably with the best of intentions, not to be a jerk or anything! I’d just respond with something short and sweet – thanks so much, we appreciate it or whatever.
Post # 7
@AmeliaBedelia: Oh I’m not doubting her intentions, I know they came from the best place. Kinda just wish people gave us credit and didn’t feel the need to counsel us through the process.
Post # 8
I’d thank her kindly, and compliment on how much her son takes after her: he’s already designed a spreadsheet for the two of you.
With that kind of distance between you, and her past history of control: best to stay on her good side.
Post # 9
The fact is that some people (I am one of them 🙂 are more Type A, OCD-like planners, and others are not. Those of us who are this way often have trouble relaxing when we are concerned that anything may be overlooked or may fall through the cracks. When thoughts come to us, we make lists, we develop charts, we send e-mails, etc. However, we usually do not try to do this for situations and projects that are not ours to plan, since we realize we cannot really impose our plans on others. The parent-adult child relationship can be one where the lines are a bit fuzzy and things may be a little more challenging, however.
It sounds as if your FMIL has not completely processed the fact that your Fiance is preparing to create a NEW family with you and that, since he is now an adult, she no longer should be trying to plan the details of his life or his wedding … your wedding. It really is yours to plan. I agree with pps that her motives are likely well-intentioned and that she’s just trying to do everything in her power to help ensure that your wedding is perfect. She’s likely very excited about the big day and is happy to share her skills and talents to help you and your Fiance.
I would do as pps have suggested and thank her for being so proactive in thinking of all of these things for you. However, I would let her know that you and your Fiance actually have a similar plan already put together and things are going very well — ahead of schedule in fact. However, you’ll be happy to go through her list just to see if you and your Fiance may have missed anything. By doing this, you’re allowing her to have input, you’re indicating that she did not do all of this work for nothing — you’re going to read through it, but you’re also letting her know that things really are well in hand.
I’m going through a little bit of this now myself, since I was just a bride a little more than two and a half years ago, and now my wonderful stepdaughter is currently planning her wedding. Her mom, dad and I, along with her FI’s mom, are all trying to be helpful and serve as resources to the happy couple, but we also are all trying to provide input in ways that are supportive rather than directive.
I hope all goes well for you and that you will have a wonderful wedding and a beautiful relationship with your soon-to-be MIL!
Post # 10
I don’t think you’re overreacting in the slightest, especially since you know that her intentions are pure. But when it comes to wedding planning, you need to put your foot down and make it known that your plans are just that, YOUR plans. Kindly tell Future Mother-In-Law that you appreciate the spreadsheet but you already have one. At the same time, when you pick things out, show them to her. Showing her, and asking her opinion are two different things. This way, she’ll still feel involved but you & Fiance are still calling the shots.
Post # 11
Like PPs said, I’d start off by telling her something like, “Thanks for your spreadsheet! It matches up pretty well with the one we put together, and I’m happy to say we’re ahead of schedule on most of the items!”
Now, ideas for getting her to back off a little…hmm. Is there any little wedding-related project that you can put her in charge of? Here’s my thinking: she sounds like she’s someone who really gets into planning, and she wants to be a part of your wedding. Also, many, many brides try to take on way too much of the stuff themselves, when they could easily be utilizing the help that their loved ones so badly want to give. If you can give her some aspect of the wedding that she gets to be in charge of (for example, the ceremony decorations, or the dessert table, or something like that), then she might back off of the other stuff, and then whatever you put her in charge of is one less thing you need to worry about. You could present it to her like this, “You know, I’ve got most of the bases covered, but I was wondering if you could help us out by coordinating things for our ceremony decorations? Here are some pictures of what I’m thinking, and here’s the information I’ve collected on where to buy/how to make these items. Can you help me pull this together?”
Don’t be afraid to give her your input on whatever task you entrust to her, but be sure to give her good details up front. We actually did this very thing with my Mother-In-Law (not because she was getting on my nerves, but because she simply wanted to be more involved). We asked her to help with ceremony decorations, and I did not do a good job in the beginning of giving her my inspiration pictures. This led to some awkwardness in which Darling Husband had to explain that I don’t want yards of white tulle draped over everything. But once we gave her some inspiration photos to work off of, she did a great job of getting things together for us.
Post # 12
@hopefloats: Thanks for understanding my point…not trying to take away from her intentions or that it is her son’s wedding
I honestly love them, especially her. But an email with a timeline for MY wedding? I have to call and explain my decisions…it’s so awkward. Yea I know she’s bored and is trying to help because she is so far away…but it just puts me in a situation where I can potentially hurt her feelings or come across as a you know what…and I never want to hurt anyone. If I want/need help, I just think people should wait til I ask.