(Closed) Parents that just don't get the whole wedding thing..

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@sablemuse:  This sounds to some degree less about “getting” or “not getting” wedding stuff, and more to do with the fact that your mom seems to be struggling with mental illness — anxiety for sure, and it seems like maybe also depression. Is it only weddings that she’s “meh” about, or other big life stuff? Depression can make it very hard to care about anything — she may or may not be able to “try harder.”

It sounds like you are not plagued with those issues, which is wonderful — by acquiring the skills you need to get along in the world, you are transcending some of the problems which often attend the children of mentally ill parents. Try to figure that she’s probably doing about the best that she can…and it seems that you and your Future Sister-In-Law will be in a really good place to support and bond with each other.

Post # 4
8438 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@village_skeptic:  I agree with you. it definately sounds like your mum is suffering from some form of mental illness and I hate to say this and be harsh but converstaions liek the one you had on the phone with her and the pressure and expectations that you seem to be putting on her are not going to help the situation any.

Living with someone with mental illness can be just as hard as suffering from a mental illness but you do need to realise that what you mum needs is some compassion and not a mother telling her that her behaviour isn;t good enough.

Can you maybe take the time to google a bit on mental health and gather some facts and then maybe have a talk with your mum and raise the concerns re mental illness. Your mother might need the support to reach out and get help.

And if you don’t think/want that you can do this is there anyone else in the family that might be able to ask to support your mum?

Post # 5
2815 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I totally agree with the two posters above me.

You need to try to be a little more sympathetic to your Mom. You know she has a mental illness. It’s not like she just doesnt care. Unless you’ve struggled with mental illness, it’s really hard to understand how that individual is feeling. Usually they are so trapped by anxiety, and the fact that they are missing out on things that they love just further buries them in their feelings.

In the case of my wedding, there was question as if my own dad would even be there, let alone walk me down the isle. He suffers from social anxiety, and well nearly everyone said they’d be PO’d if he didn’t show up, I reminded them that he has a very hard time with large crowds. It takes SO much for someone with a mental disability to get past those feelings. Luckily my Dad did make it to my wedding, and had a good time!

I know how frustrating it can be to have somone with mental illness in your family, but unless you’ve been there yourself, you don’t know just how hard it is. I had social anxiety as a child, so I do understand the control the disease can have over your life, despite how hard you try to overcome it.

I would see if you can find some additional support for your mom. It sounds like she is REALLY struggling with her illness.

Post # 6
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@sablemuse:  OMG your mom sounds exactly like my mom.  So “delicate” that you cannot even bring up the issues you have with her because it will make it worse!  She sounds self centered and self absorbed, but when you have high anxiety like that you just don’t think about other people.  They lack social awareness.   I am so surprised at the similarities.  Even the comments about “how she’s disappointed us” and “we must be stronger than her” are said by my mom too!  My mom was also abused (by her alcoholic father) and it really is the culprit in all of these things you are seeing.  What she learned as a child to cope with things, does not work as an adult or a mother.

My mom is not even coming to my wedding.  After so much flip flopping back and forth, making a huge deal out of travelling, countless excuses, she’s not invited now (basically it’s an elopement with 2 witnesses now).  She also confessed to my sister that she doesn’t find my wedding “a big deal,” or “understand why she even had to go in the first place” and “what’s the point in even going.”  Very hurtful. 

I told my mom that if her anxieties are so great that they are interferring with her daily life and her ability to enjoy vacations, family, and milestones in her daughter’s life then she really needs to get some professional help because she has to know that this is not healthy or right.  She doesn’t take her pills regularly, but yet admits to feeling “great” and “normal” when she is on them. 

I asked her to envision her anxieties in 10 years.  Are they going to be worse?  Is she going to get a handle on them at any point?  What is she going to do differently?

I didn’t get mad with her, I didn’t tell her how disappointed I am to not have a mother who cares, who cannot rally for her daughter’s wedding but still wants to come out for a vacation instead.  None of that would do any good.  I try to be very unbiased in my replies.  I have sympathy for my mom and her past, but when you don’t see any progress, or any desire to get better so that you can improve relationships with your own kids, you just bang your head against a wall repeatedly… you get very frustrated.  I have considered therapy just to learn how to interact with my own mom.

She and I are not speaking at the moment.  Read some of my posts if you want to compare notes on mothers. 

Please PM me any time.

Post # 7
323 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

My mother gets the wedidng hting to an extent – but she sometimes upsets me because she worries about the costs (even if it is costing her nothing) and then criticises me for being ‘over the op’ etc etc. It’s hard because it hurts my feelings but if I talk to her about it she reacts completely unreasonably so it just isn’t worth it. 

I am doing a lot of ym planning with close friends – can one of your BMs be your sounding board for this stuff instead? 

Post # 11
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@sablemuse:  I’m glad to see some positiveness from her!  Even if it’s little it seems like it’s making you a little happy.  That is so funny and sad that she has to say afterwards that she’s showing interest!


It’s so hard to accept how they are because have preconceived notions of how mothers should be.  When they don’t meet those expectations we are hurt.  I think more so when it’s your mother versus just a friend.


My mom started just now asking questions about our elopement.  I think she’s trying to see if FI’s parents are invited and not her.  She couldn’t make it anyway, she has no passport and it’s in Canada in 3 weeks!

I did confess to my whole family that I am so disappointed in them and their excuses about not coming out for an immediate family wedding.  My mom said I was asking too much of them.  WHAT?  I flew out 30+ times in the last 13 years, was a Bridesmaid or Best Man in one sisters wedding, flew home and HOSTED a baby shower for each sister (which means I planned it remotely).  I am NOT asking too much.  It’s a freaking wedding!

She still wants to come out for a vacation though, like next month!  I don’t know if this is her trying to reach out and be friendly, but I always had a hunch that if it were a vacation then yes, but add a wedding on to her vacation and she clams up and backs down. 

Then I tell her I can only take off a Friday and Monday so we’d have 4 whole days together (she can fly in/out Thurs/Tues, but I canot take off more days).  Then she said, “Well I might as well forget it then.”  Why you ask?  Because I won’t have enough days to tote her around to the national parks she wants to visit!

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