Jewish Weddings
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Non religious mother creating problems - help!

 My future mother in law is being difficult to my mother because she has a certain level of expectation given that my boyfriend and I are planning on having an Orthodox Jewish wedding. My mother, who is fairly non religious, has no idea what she's doing and is asking a lot of questions about traditions. She doesn't like that I'm choosing to have a traditional ceremony because she won't really get to be as much a part of it as she would like. She doesn't like that I won't be signing the ketubah and a variety of other things that I am committed to doing. She thinks that by having a traditional ceremony, I will be and I quote "throwing my conservative family to the side." She is also concerned about the separate dancing. She is under the impression that my non religious family will not want to participate in single gender dancing and will be sitting by themselves while we are celebrating. We're a very modern group of people, so while there is going to be a set of separate Jewish dancing, there will also be a set of mixed Jewish dancing, as well as secular dancing later on in the day. She has really developed an Us vs. Them attitude because "they live a completely different lifestyle from me," even though I as her daughter live that same lifestyle. This is only one of the issues we have been having with her throughout the process of planning this wedding. I have been as clear with her as I can be, and I just don't know what to do. I feel like I would be betraying her if I continued to plan this wedding without her support, but I am not going to stop my planning just because she's continually being difficult with me. 

Any suggestions? Anyone else dealt with a similar situation?


Re: Non religious mother creating problems - help!

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    The one thing I can suggest at this point is to stop talking about your wedding plans with your mother.  If she comments about anything from now on in a way that suggests she's disappointed, respond with something like, "I'm sorry you're unhappy" but don't say more than that.
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    I'm guessing she feels this way about your life and practices in general, not just the wedding, right?  I would just keep assuring her that you are happy and confident in your choices.  If she is not paying for the wedding, minimize talking about your wedding details with her.  You can still talk to her about discreet things that don't have anything to do with religious observance, like flowers. 

    Also, it's sort of unfair to get annoyed at your mom for asking a lot of questions.  If you are committed to doing certain things, why not explain them to your mom?  I think that will show her that you have thought everything through and aren't just doing certain things because of pressure from your future ILs or your community.  Maybe you can get her Anita Diamant's book (A New Jewish Wedding) and you could read it together.  
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    Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate it. I have NO idea what I'm doing, so anything helps
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