- 3 years ago
So I admit that I haven’t sorted out my feelings on all of this and am feeling a bit hurt, but just wanted to throw this situation out there and see if anyone felt the same way.
I spent the last year planning our wedding for next year, with a financial contribution from my father. We were very grateful for this amount, but when the owner of the property where we were hosting our wedding tripled her ‘fee’ at the last minute, we quickly realized we could not afford a standard wedding venue without spending our down payment money, and postponed.
I want to reiterate that I was very appreciative of my dad’s contribution, and acknowledge that many parents don’t contribute at all. My hurt feelings arise more from this – I feel (perhaps unjustifiably) that even for mothers who are relatively disinterested in your life anyway, when you get married, that is the one time to *kind of* give a damn, or at least pretend to.
Throughout the last year, I was looking up inspiration on Pinterest and planning the little details. My fiance’s mom was very happy for us – she posted when we got engaged, and asked me often how the planning was going, and went so far as to send ideas for venues and to be supportive of my ideas. Some people may not like that, but it made me feel like his family valued our relationship, and cared. My mom was totally absent through the whole process. Despite the fact that the past few years I have been totally attentive to her needs through their divorce and attuned to how she was feeling, she never asked anything about the wedding, and when I sent ideas I had she would only answer days later with an offhand ‘it will all work out’. She is the only person who lives where we were hosting our wedding, but never offered ideas on venues. When we finally came to book our date at a property close to where she lives, and I called her, excited, she said on the phone ‘You’re going to come to me crying on your wedding day saying ‘Mom, you were right! I never should have chosen this venue!’. Despite going on tours around Europe with her new boyfriend, when we talked about finances after the property owner cancelled, her response was that she could contribute “$0” (her prerogative), but what bothered me was that when I called to tell her that we had to cancel for financial reasons, she never returned the calls, just texted ‘thanks for letting me know’. Since then, she hasn’t said anything – was just asking if I would be flying to see her for Christmas (she knows we are watching our money) and guilt tripping me about not doing it.
We had already told our friends and family about the wedding and with everyone asking about why it was cancelled, I am feeling wounded and like I need to retreat away from everyone for awhile. A big part of that is my mom. I feel our relationship is one-sided, and a need to stop giving so much, having expectations, and to protect myself. Maybe the wedding was just finally the time that I learn to accept she is never going to be the way my fiance’s mom is, and I get that not every mom is – it just hurts. While I have been totally available through her divorce and in general, calling the minute her settlement conference is done, encouraging her to pursue what makes her happy, visit the little cafe where she would do soul searching during their marriage, etc…. I feel like she is (and maybe always has been) averse to being attuned to my feelings. I remember important things in her life and think about how she will feel about things that happen, but it feels like as her daughter, and on one of those ‘official’ occasions where you at least pretend to care, my feelings don’t even factor on her radar – and if I’m honest, that she probably doesn’t want them to.
I get that the divorce may have made her jaded, and that many of you will assume this is a reasonable basis for her behaviour – but I also want to communicate that her attitude has always been similar – it just wasn’t as glaringly apparent to me as it is now, with the wedding. She is content to brag about accomplishments with friends, or buy a great MOB dress for the wedding (as long as the event is to her tastes) – but she’s not there for the times I need her most, like being excited in any way, or being there when things fall apart. Even at those times, when I need her most, it just feels like there is still more that I could, and should, be doing for her. I don’t know what to say to her anymore.
Any advice or anyone who has been in the same boat?