(Closed) Over-the-top FMIL

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 3
511 posts
Busy bee

Have him sit down with her and calmly tell her that the whole point is for you two to get married.  Due to lots of things that need to be achieved the night before, you will only be able to spend a couple of hours at the rehearsal dinner. If that doesn’t fit into her plans then you’ll both have to respectfully decline.

Post # 5
237 posts
Helper bee

I’m an extrovert/partier type so I’m biased, but I kind of see this as a nice thing on your FMIL’s part. She’s paying for it and she sounds like a good hostess so it will probably be a wonderful party. If she insists on doing it her way, you can always bow out early with the genuine excuse that you have wedding prep to do. Souds as if it will be a lot of her family/older folks anyways. People like her draw energy from entertaining and find a lot of joy in planning events like this. She’s probably just really excited and wants to do something nice for you.

Post # 7
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I think that you have a couple of issues here.  First, your MIL isn’t paying attention to your wishes and committments.  That’s annoying.  Secondly, I feel like you’re equating “over the top” family events with the fact that she’s not listening.  The two are separate and don’t have to go together.

In my marriage, my family are the “over-the-top” peeps, who love a good party and my mom pulls out all the stops for dinner parties and holidays.  They entertain a lot.  She sees it as fun.  It sounds like your FMIL does too.  My inlaws never entertain anyone other than family, my MIL hates most holidays, and they don’t do a heck of a lot to make things special (this is MY opinion).  For both my DH and I, it’s been a learning curve.  I have to realise that my in laws are not extroverts and that they are honestly happy with very low key events, which is OKAY and my DH has to deal with the fact that my mom might make 12 side dishes for 5 people, decorates every room in the house for Christmas, loves having elaborate meals, etc.  I get that this might be difficult for your parents, but I can just hear your MIL saying “But this is wedding!  I don’t want to just have a pizza party/bbq/casual drinks event.  I want to celebrate!” 

Your problem is that your MIL isn’t listening and that, IMO, this party clearly has little to do with you and is all about her celebrating with family and friends.  The trappings and “over-the-top” nature of it are irrelevant because 1) she is the hostess and gets to determine the style of event, and 2) her attitude would still suck if she were having people over for pizza.

My advice: tell her what to expect from you and/or your bridal party.  “MIL, because we’ll be setting up (whatever you’re doing), we won’t be able to make the party until x time.  We’ll also be leaving early (at x time) because we need to make sure that we get enough sleep for the next day”.  What she does with that info is her business.  If she wants to stay up partying, it doesn’t effect you, as long as she’s not hungover or late to stuff the next day.  If she complains that you guys need to be there for the entire party, I’d just explain that you made your prior committments clear to her.  Repeat “I’m sorry.  That won’t be possible” over and over.

Post # 9
2782 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

All you can do is let your FI handle his mother. Don’t overstep as it may cause future problems with his family, just leave it for him to handle.

Post # 11
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@AnonymousCupcake:  Man, I get the stress.  The issues and differences between the two families are pretty much the only things that my DH and I fight about.  The wedding really brought stuff to the forefront and, now that I’m expecting a baby, it’s just become more obvious.  

If the listening and compromising are the issues for your MIL, I’d drop the whole “fanciness” level of the party as part of the argument.  That’s not really you’re problem.  If your family won’t attend this party because you won’t be there for most of it and it will be awkward for them, that really needs to be explained beforehand (although, I’ll be honest and say that I think that your family should try to go and just leave early with you guys). Expect your MIL won’t take it well.  I’ve noticed (with my family and even myself) that we’ll think that my DH or his family will be happy once they are there and having fun.  Extroverts (and I’m including myself in this) do not get introverts.  It makes no sense to us that people have to recharge alone or that big groups aren’t really their thing, etc.  She probably feels that you’re being anti-social.  

So, in the short term, I would clearly explain (the convo will suck, but has to be done) what your situation is with the RD, in terms of setting up, etc.  If she ignores you, that’s her issue.  Going forward, you’re both going to need to come up with coping skills to deal with the differences.  Again, the real issue here is that his mom isn’t paying attention.  Personally, I think the over-the-top party sounds fun, but I get that you won’t be able to be there to even try to enjoy it.  She shouldn’t have to change the way that she entertains….but she should, as a good hostess, try to ensure the comfort of her guests.  Perhaps after this attempt, she’ll see what she’s up against?  🙂  

ETA: Just an aside from something I’m learning about me: my in laws have an issue with anything that they see as “fancy”.  It’s like they don’t trust it or “why would you do that because isn’t this good enough”.  I actually really find the attitude kind of offensive.  It was really difficult planning the wedding because even though I wanted it to be friendly and cosy, I still wanted “fancy” touches (in my world…normal stuff).  There were a lot of hurt feelings.  I’m wondering if your FMIL is sensing that you both think that she is kind of wasting her time or money (or whatever) with these types of parties or events?  If she’s anything like me or my mom/family, part of the joy of the wedding or the holiday or the dinner party is to do things “nicely” (that’s the word I’d use…my in laws would say “fancy”).  It really bugged my mom that I felt that my in laws were judging my upbringing and it really bugged me that every time I showed my in laws something, the fact that it was “so fancy” came up.  Just some prespective as to what might be going on with your FMIL.

Post # 13
506 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Oh lordy…we have a similar issue. I have been fighting tooth and nail for a super casual r.d because it suits what we want out of our wedding weekend. HOWEVER, his parents want this fancy, formal sit down meal. We’ve aired our concerns…but since they’re paying I know we’re sort of stuck with their choices…

I think she gets it, she is just acting like she doesn’t. She actually asked why I can’t just decorate the venue right before the wedding instead.

This makes me so mad for you…it’s one thing to say ” good to know but no thanks,” and brazenly ignoring others opinions. Also…I guess you will just throw that silly ol’ dress on during a bathroom break between arranging table settings?

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