(Closed) SERIOUS Mama Drama. Want to call it off!

posted 10 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2640 posts
Sugar bee

Wow that’s a lot of stuff.   So sorry to hear you’re having these problems with your mother.  She doesn’t approve of your guy.  It sounds like she might have some issues with being controlling and some insecurities.  Her "ambivalence" and theatrics seem passive aggressive to me.

However, might she have a valid concern that you are getting married too young? I know she was pointing out things like drinking and drugs, that were untrue.  But is your age the real concern?  If I had a daughter in your position, I don’t think I would be happy either.  With that said, she isn’t acting any more mature. 

Neither if you will be happy if this keeps going.  Sure moms like to go dress shopping with their daughters, but she seemed to ruin that experience herself.  Give her some time, then offer an olive branch.  See if you can get to the root of the problem.  Maybe it’s your age, or Ben.  Maybe it’s her own insecurities. If she said she’d be more supportive if you waited a few years to get married, would you? 

But the bottom line is if you plan to go through with the wedding, and she doesn’t want to be left out, she needs to behave herself.  It would be a shame if she missed your wedding.  (But essentially her behavior has already kept her from enjoying the dress shopinng experience.)  Although you’d have to be prepared to for her to pull her money.

Good luck.

Post # 4
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

Sorry to hear this.   I would be so upset if I had to deal with a mother who was so unsupportive – and so angry.  That email was so passive aggressive and her behavior is out of line.  My mom would NEVER hang up on me or act that way, even if I had gone behind her back and bought a dress with my FMIL (which I know you didnt).    It seems like you should consider waiting to have this wedding when you can pay for it yourself, because as long as your mom is paying, she is going to do what she can to make this a miserable experience for you. 

Post # 5
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

This is going to be hard for you to deal with. There will be hurt feeling, regardless of what you say or do.

I think you need some independence from your mom. She has stated clearly that she is not interested in your wedding or your life with your fiance. Her tantrum over the wedding dress had nothing to do with caring about your dress, it had to do with her wanting attention and control.

His parents are supportive- go to his mother with wedding ideas and questions. Let your mom have time to cool off. Let her know that you love her and you’d love to involve her, but only when she is ready to respect your relationship and your adulthood. 

Is she contributing financially to the wedding? If so, give the money back. 

Post # 6
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I’m sorry that you’ve been going through this.  I think it is going to be difficult to unpack all of what is going on from your post.  I agree that your mom may have some concerns that we’re not able to know from your post, but it doesn’t sound like she is able to express them so that you are fully aware either. 

Were you having problems with your mom before the wedding came into the picture?  Are there other issues that you fight about?  Have you continued to attempt contact with her in a loving and open way after the blow up?

I can’t really tell you what you should do with respect to going ahead with the wedding, eloping or postponing.  I think you and your fiance are the only two people who can make that decision.  However, most schools have a counseling service where you can speak to a supportive, objective person who can empower you to navigate this tricky family situation.  I would suggest accessing their services.  Hopefully, you will gain some peace from this.

Post # 7
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I’m so sorry you’re going through such a tough time with your mom. It seems like she is behaving like a total brat. She is trying to manipulate you into doing what she wants (not marry this guy) by behaving passive aggressively and guilt-tripping you. Like angelastheboss said, her tantrum over the dress has little to do with buying you the dress and a lot to do with her need for attention and control. Unfortunately although you’re trying your best there’s probably not much you can do about it.

The only thing you can do is take the power away from her. In this situation, I think it boils down to money. How much money is she contributing toward the wedding? If at all possible I would discuss with your fiance how you can have this wedding without her financial contributions. Maybe if you keep to the current timeline it won’t be as grand as the one you imagined. Could your fiance’s family contribute more? Or, you could extend your engagement to save up the money.

Then you can set the ground rules for your mom’s behavior with you. You can say, "we’re having this wedding on our own terms, with our own money. I would love for you to be included but only if you want to be. If you can’t support me then I want you to stay out of it." This mean that if she starts turning mean on you you need to stop the interaction immediately. So if you were on the phone, you could say, "mom, I’m not going to talk about "X" like that. If you’re ready to have a calm conversation about it then I am ready to talk to you about it. Otherwise, I have to go." Then say good-bye and hang up. 

Ironically, what you are doing now by trying to contact her and explain to her and so forth is only reinforcing her bad behavior, because it’s giving her what she wants: attention from you. Telling her the truth and explaining things is not working. To her, any attention from you, even if it’s bad attention, is better than feeling like she is losing you to some guy she hates. 

I second others’ suggestion that you seek counseling about this. A therapist will be able to map out more specifically what you can do to improve your relationship with your mom. Once you show her that her negativity is not going to get through to you, she will be forced to change her tune if she wants to maintain a relationship with you. I am certain she wants a relationship with you. She would not be acting like this if she didn’t care about you. It’s just coming out all wrong…. Good luck.

Post # 8
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Wow.  Your mom is really out of line.  First she isn’t interested at all; then she’s critical and controlling; then she is angry that you (quite naturally) go and pick out a dress with someone who can be interested and supportive.

I agree with chelseamorning – her behavior is manipulative, and inexcusable.  If she doesn’t approve of your marriage and therefore doesn’t want to be involved, that sucks but it’s certainly a choice she can reasonably make.  She could also decide to go ahead and be involved and try to be supportive even if she doesn’t approve.  But there’s no reasonable basis for the kind of tantrum she’s throwing over your dress – when she had already indicated she just wasn’t interested.  It sounds like she had assumed that you had no other support system, so that if she made things difficult enough she could force you to decide that you wouldn’t get married after all – and now that you’ve shown that not only can you go ahead without her, but that you have another family (your Fiance and FILs) who will support you, she’s trying to make you feel guilty about that.

I think that the biggest mistake people make with their own families to allow them to treat you worse than you would ever tolerate from your friends.  Your family are supposed to be the people who love you best – and I suppose that in some cases that is why they expect that you will continue to allow them to treat you badly.  It’s hard to stand up to family like that – and tell them that if they can’t behave reasonably, they can’t be part of your life (or, in this case, your wedding planning or even your wedding) but honestly, that is sometimes what it takes.  My mom and I used to have a really disfunctional relationship – she was very negative and critical all the time – but a really good therapist helped me to figure out how to very nicely let her know that if she couldn’t treat me better, she didn’t need to expect to be a part of my life.  It’s wasn’t easy, and we ended up barely speaking for almost a year, but she and I are now really good friends.  And that’s mostly because we treat each other with respect, and understand the boundaries of what’s allowed.  I’m sure that she still thinks some of the things she used to say – but most of the time she’s smart enough not to say them.

I really hope that you can get to the point where you think of your mom as a friend.  I’m not sure that will happen before your wedding.  But maybe with some counseling you can figure out how to deal with her without letting her upset you so much, and how to involve her in your wedding in reasonable way.  In the mean time – please don’t feel guilty about leaning on your Future In-Laws and your friends for the support your mom can’t give you, and really, really – don’t apologize to your mom for a situation that is more her fault than yours.  If she really wants to be involved, she can behave like a mother instead of like a spoiled child.

And – although this probably sounds like crazy advice – if you have cable, watch The Dog Whisperer.  The secret to dealing with unreasonable people is often the same as dealing with bad animals – you need to be calm, to convey to them what you want and what kind of behavior is appropriate, and you need to be able to be dominant without being aggressive (to get your way without getting into an argument). 

Post # 10
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Holy drama batman!!!

Good luck with your wedding. I would just stop trying to get answers out of her. If she doesn’t want to be involved, stop talking to her about it and go on with your life. Maybe when she sees that you are really going to go through with this with or without her, she will think differently. If he does do the bad things she says he does though, I really would take a step back and ask myself if that is really what I want to deal with for the rest of my life. 

Post # 11
28 posts

I’m really sorry to hear about this. I am going through some similar situations with my family. And reading your post made me feel like i wasn’t the only one.

In my opinion your mother is out of line. She is the one that is in no way excited about this wedding, so I’m not sure what exactly hurts her. I think you should be hurt that your own mother is not excited that her daughter finally found happiness in her life. The fact that she doesn’t care, but then gets hurt what you say "oh well", doesn’t make sense. She needs to either be excited and proactive, or stop coming in the middle of your life.

Again, I’m really sorry. You are in no way at fault!

Post # 12
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I agree with the above posters that your mom is trying to control you…and that you are probably just reinforcing it by continually asking for her support around your wedding.  On the other hand, she obviously means a lot to you (obviously, she’s your mother, but I get the impression that you’ve generally been pretty close to her?).  I don’t think you’ll feel great about your wedding knowing she’s in this place.  Perhaps it would help to talk to her not int he wedding context but more broadly.   It sounds like you’ve at least had one non-wedding conversation….maybe that’s the place to start.  At least keep the lines of communication on neutral territory.  Hopefully she’ll calm down a bit and maybe you can talk less about how hurt you both are (she obviously feels hurt as well regardless of whether it’s justified), but about how you want to be in each other’s lives.  The reality is that you’re getting married and your new family with your FH is going to be your priority (that’s healthy), but it just doesn’t sound like *you* will be happy just letting go of her.  I also think that counseling might help you sort this out before you have a deeper conversation with her.  Maybe it would also help to draft a few letters so you can organize your thoughts and feelings….and maybe if you hit on the right one you can send it so she can read it privately on her own time.

Post # 13
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

Have you seen the movie Monster in Law?  Sounds like she’s one of them.   Let her know it’s important to you that she is supportive.  Also remind her that because of all this animosity and bitterness if your FH ever did do anything horrible, you wouldn’t be able to talk to her or go to her about it because all you would hear is "I told you so."  She’s killing your relationship, maybe she doesn’t see that.  In My Humble Opinion, she’s like a diseased limb: it would be nice to keep your hand, you’ve always had it, it’s useful to you, you feel it’s a part of you.  But if your hand is causing you too much pain, and doesn’t do what you need it to, cut it off!  Otherwise it’s just a hindrance to your life and wellbeing.  She either loves you enough to support you, or she doesn’t.  No grey area.  If she can’t be supportive, why include her at all? 

@suzanno LMBO about the Dog Whisperer comment!  I actually do that!

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