- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
Bees, I’m supposed to be addressing our invitations today and I feel so sick to my stomach. Long story short, my in-laws are awful. They’re two narcissists who successfully raised their children to think the world revolves around them and their happiness (or lack thereof). We’ve tried so many times to sit down and talk with them and show them their behavior is not okay and needs to change – and we’re either dismissed and told we’re flat-out wrong, our feelings are stupid/we aren’t allowed to have them, that we’re being controlled by my mother (they’re obsessed with hating my mother, it’s batshit crazy) – or, my favorite, the time they claimed they respected us and all…and then not two weeks later shit was even worse than normal and they claimed the entire conversation we had had was about a different topic. For quick background, my Fiance will be 27 when we’re married (I’ll be 27 a week after), his siblings are 23 and 21 ish). Fiance and I have been together over 3 years, he’s been on his own for 4 years.
I know there are going to be some people who really value family, who will say it’s never ok to give up, you have to keep trying or keep the door open for them to come around…but I believe family loves you and supports you, and doesn’t make you feel like shit, like your dreams and values are shit, like your other family and friends are shit – just because it’s not them, their values, their wants. Despite me being warm and accommodating for over three years, in the past few months they have called me controlling, hypersensitive, rude and god knows what else. They have met my family (FI and I are from the same hometown) and every time they’re upset, his parents call my Fiance and say how my family is controlling and awful and act like they’re better than everyone (so, so, SO not true – even my Fiance says that’s just bullshit). His mother threatened to slap me – in the most dead, threatening voice – and pretend she’s “teasing.” We begged them to give constructive criticism if they feel they need to comment on our plans – not just criticisim – and our answer was a huffy “so you just want to silence me? sorry I can’t be your yes-men.”
Basically, after reading a bunch of books and seeing a counselor, we’ve figured out that aside from being constantly negative, they’re controlling, manipulative, experts at using emotional blackmail, duplicitous (and proud of it – they shit talk their best friends the second they leave the room) and just plain mean. They’re threatened by anything that isn’t theirs – hence the constant attacks on me and my family, and my FI’s choices (since he’s the only kid choosing to live more than 20 minutes away, and holding slightly different values). His sister is a carbon copy; his brother just avoids (he’s still on their money at college).
Anyway, I know this is getting long so let me try to sum up: after all the sit-downs, calm talks and respectful attempts, they flipped out at us over the latest decision they didn’t like (we’re changing our last name – they’ve known we were considering it for years, we offered many times to sit and talk about our decision, they ignored it every time), and we left once his mother started cursing and screaming at us. What followed were weeks of them escalating – threats that he was killing this family, turning his back on ancestors, etc.; manipulation; pretending there was a health scare with his grandma; getting his sister to call and insist -I- “show remorse for the damage you’ve done to this family”; claiming my Fiance has to call everyone we’ve invited on his extended family’s side “because they won’t want to buy tickets if they knew this situation”; then when they wanted to be back in on the wedding planning, trying to sweep everything under the rug (“you can’t hold us accountable for what we say when we’re mad because we get a healing period”); stomping boundaries (my Fiance said he needed time to process their reaction and got a barrage of texts and emails “how could your feelings be hurt” “you’re just making this worse by dragging it out”) and more. And in these weeks where we haven’t seen them, my mother reluctantly told me his mom had gotten her alone and asked her how I could really commit to their son (she found out I dated girls in college). That just sealed the deal for me – I’m DONE. But if he wants to try and have a relationship with them, he’s free to. We’ve come up with boundaries that he and I are comfortable with, and I wont be involved, he just protects those boundaries.
With the guidance of a counselor, he wrote them a letter outlining why their behavior was totally hurtful and out of line, how they have been trying to make this entire engagement period about them, been disrespectful to me and my family of origin, and that unless they acknowledge and apologize he is not willing to have them at our wedding. (When they found out we were moving forward with wedding plans – without them, as they had said “you’ll have to find someone else to help you with this wedding!” – they completely flipped and claimed “we never said we weren’t going to contribute!” ugh, soo obviously all about control.) Anyways, Fiance left the ball in their court – shape up or don’t come; but if you shape up, here’s how good and solid things could be. So far we haven’t heard anything, which I fear is another tactic (silent treatment). Now I’m scared that when we send out the invitiations to the rest of his family (because they got save-the-dates) they’ll use it as their chance to escalate, again. I’m just so sick of every step in this wedding planning being another freaking move in a giant game of shit chess. And I have no clue how to handle some of the invites – do we still invite his sister’s boyfriend’s mother? (We were very nice and liberal with the save-the-dates because our wedding’s in a park.) Normally I’d say, you get a s-t-d, you get an invite, but ugh, really??
Any guidance or words of comfort would be so appreciated. We’ve spent almost all of our engagement with heavy hearts and upset stomachs because of their drama, and I hate that I’m dreading the next few weeks. I’ll never get this time again. I’ve cried so much lately. He’s willing to cut them off but I just can’t believe we have to go there. I’m so sad for him. 🙁