Post # 1
I posted here one year ago to vent about the difficulties I was having while planning my wedding under the control of my narcissist parents. Shortly after, I decided to purposely have extremely limited contact with my parents. We speak via email once every couple of months and that’s it.
In response to my post, many bees suggested that we elope. Well girls, we took your advice!
A few months later, my then fiance and I were on vacation and spontaneously decided to just go for it and eloped. It was perfect and stress free!
My husband’s parents had gifted us a trip that we planned to use as our honeymoon. That trip happens to coincide with our one year anniversary.
We’ve hired a photographer to meet us during our honeymoon to take couple’s portraits of us. I’m having my hair and makeup done and we’re both dressing up. We plan to use the photos in wedding announcements to send to our friends and family. His family will be thrilled as they already consider me part of the family and have been excitedly waiting for it be official. (His parents actually already accidentally found out that we’re married.) However, my family will not be happy and are likely use it as an opportunity to attack us.
As we are estranged, part of me wonders if I should send them a wedding announcement at all. If I do, and it includes our elopement date, that will likely make them even more angry. So my question is, should I send my parents our wedding announcement? If yes, should I include the date or just have it worded generically where the date isn’t specified? I really am not sure what to do.
Thanks to anyone who reads this and gives helpful advice.
Post # 2
Send them an announcement, don’t alter/ leave off the date. Have you ever had a frank DIRECT conversation with them about how their criticisms make you feel?? I read your other post, your parents *don’t* sound narcisistic (that term seems to be bandied about too often but I’m no psychiatrist). They do sound as if they themselves are both highly achieving with very high expectations of you and make insensitive, critical comments when you don’t meet *their* standards. Very hurtful to you feeling you don’t measure up. It would be tough to have parents like that but are they truely *fully aware* of how the things they say, affect you? Sometimes older people are clueless. Their generation did things differently, harsher I think, tough love/ suck it up mentality? Typically parents want the best for us…
My advice, send an elopement announcement with date. Talk to them/or write them an explicit clear/ direct/ detailed email telling them *exactly* how you feel ie criticized/not good enough etc. Give them one more chance to remedy the rift. If they blow this one, well…..
Post # 3
Be honest and straight forward. Send your annoucement and yes, include the dates. It is what it is. You’re married and happy. Be confident and don’t worry about their negative emotions in response. If they try to attack you then just cut off the conversation and continue to carry on happily with your limited contact. They can stew in their own juices.
Post # 4
desiderata : Thanks for the response! I’m curious if you would reccomend giving them a heads up beforehand? Or, just send it and come what may?
Post # 5
Don’t send an announcement out to ANYONE.
I think eloping is a great idea.
Estranged or not, you and your husband should go tell your parents in person.
Once both your and his parents know, tell close friends and word will spread quickly. No announcement is needed.
From stories I have heard, many people question why and are hurt when they are not invited to share this day. That’s reality, even though it is unfair to the couple. Getting a formal announcement in the mail will make this worse. To some, it will just be interpreted as you telling them you chose to get married without having them there. And honestly if you did not include these people in the wedding, and chose to forgo all the usual formalities associated with a wedding, why do you think you now need a formal announcement?
I have heard of several elopements or small weddings via word of mouth and thought nothing of it.
Post # 6
Anonymous1063 : Typically that’s why announcements of marraige are sent. (When friends and/or family were not at the wedding either because the couple eloped or had a small wedding.) It seems to be a pretty popular thing to do and reccomended a lot.
As our family is widespread and I am estranged from my parents, I can’t really rely on word spreading that easily. Plus, I would think most people would rather hear about our marriage from us not a random friend.
Post # 7
I too wouldn’t send an announcement. Just call people you want to know about your marriage.
Some people will see it as bait for a gift, even if you don’t mean it that way.
And yes, tell your parents, in person or on the phone. They are your parents after all, giving them the silent treatment isn’t warranted unless they were physically abusive. So what if they are selfish or manipulative, you are doing what you want with your life.
Post # 8
forestberries : no, you don’t send announcements to estranged family who you know will use it to attack you.
You went no contact for a reason. Don’t invite them back in
this is a very common mistake, and many people will urge you to do it because “family.” That doesn’t mean it’s right and healthy for you.
Post # 9
BalletParker : Thanks for the advice. I had expected varied opinions though it is a little disturbing that some are suggesting I go so far as to visit parents who I haven’t seen in over a year for good reason.
Post # 10
I didn’t read you’re earlier post but I agree with ballet parker. You’re estranged so why send an announcement especially if it’s only going to open the door to more pain for you? I would leave well enough alone. Congrats on your marriage!
Ps: completely disagree that physical abuse is the only reason to cut off parents. emotional abuse can be just as damaging and sometimes no contact is the only way to protect yourself from that type of toxicity.
Post # 11
A mass mailed announcement to your parents will not go over well, date or no date.
If you are truly estranged and intend to stay that way then you don’t send anything. But since you currently email with them that does not seem to be the case. If you are considering any possibility of a relationship in the future, I’d probably write a letter or pick up the phone informing them before someone else does.
Another approach is to seek family counseling with them as a pre-condition for any sort of future, but this time one with clear boundaries and consequences for any violations laid out clearly. They seem to acknowledge that they are hard on you, which shows at least some degree of self awareness.
Post # 12
First of all, everyone can have their opinion on this subject but it’s not fair to tell her that her parents aren’t that narcisstic, they don’t sound that bad, she doesn’t have a right to cut them out unless they’ve physically abused her. No one has walked in her shoes and felt the effects of her parents’ toxicity. We have one post of information that she has volunteered. There’s no way for us to know the scope of the problems she’s had with them over the years. Few people would take cutting their parents out lightly, so I will give her the benefit of the doubt that she felt this was much needed and that doing so has improved her mental health.
I also completely disagree that physical abuse is the only behavior that warrants parents being cut off. As someone whose father-in-law is a narcissist, I see first-hand how damaging his behavior is to his children. They would be completely warranted to cut him out of their lives but they choose not to – mostly out of guilt and fear, two emotions that he taps into via manipulation, screaming, name-calling, harassment, etc. Emotional abuse affects a person’s mental and physical health. The stress can be unbearable. It is a very real and valid reason to distance yourself from your parents.
As for elopement announcements, I have seen these go awry. My aunt did one last year but had told her sisters first, which did soften the blow. Some of my family members were still upset that they didn’t know about it ahead of time or that they weren’t invited. Not that their reactions were fair, but it is how they felt and it did do some damage to my aunt’s relationships. If they had found out via a generic announcement sent to dozens of other people, I do think the relationships would have been even more strained.
This is the type of thing that could be the nail in the coffin for your relationship with your parents. Are you prepared for that? Will you be okay having children that don’t have a relationship with their grandparents? Major life moments that your parents will not be there for? Potentially never speaking to them again? You might be at peace with that – no one can tell you that’s right or wrong. I just think it’s worth truly considering the potential long-term consequences before announcing your marriage in that way.
You mention that you do e-mail with them every couple of months. If it were me, I would mention it in one of those e-mails before the announcements went out.
Post # 13
Direct conversations with toxic parents don’t go well… ever.
Post # 14
forestberries : I’m sorry you have this issue. My parents have been very difficult in my wedding planning and I’m considering eloping.
I think that you can’t win. Don’t send one they will be angry they didn’t hear from you. Send one and they will be angry you eloped. It’s funny how we sometimes still try to please our parents even when we know we probably can’t. I say do whatever you think. I would probably send one. And no I don’t think it’s gift grabby at all. I would be thrilled to get an elopement announcement. I like that kind of stuff.
Post # 15
Personally, I wouldn’t.
You yourself said they will use this to attack you. So why bother? Let them hear it from someone else. Idk your background, but I’m sure that since you’re estranged, there’s a good reason for it. Let it be. No contact.