Moms and Maids

Power struggle with my mother

First off, I thank you for taking the time to read my post. I apologize ahead of time if it is fairly long. I am dealing with family conflict over our wedding, and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I want to explain the situation as best I can, but that includes adding a little background info so the full situation is better understood. Again, I apologize in advance...

My FH proposed to me in May after dating for a year and a half, and we are planning a long engagement (wedding date October 8, 2017). My FH is a wonderful man and is truly my best friend. Our friends and family accepted the news quite well. I am both excited and nervous about the marriage; I love my FH to bits, but I haven't had a good example on a healthy marriage growing up. The thought of turning into my parents frightens me. So far, my FH has assured me that our relationship is solid, and we have better communication skills than my parents do.

After a lengthy discussion, my FH and I decided I would find a new job in North Carolina and we would get our own place sometime next year well before the wedding. He is providing support for his mother; her husband (my FH's step father but the only father figure he had) passed away in February of this year from lung cancer. I am fortunate enough to have a really good relationship with my MIL; almost to the point where she's more of a mother figure than my own mother. I announced the relocation plans to my parents last month. My mother was not pleased, but stated I was allowed to live where I wanted and eventually accepted this. 

The trouble began late June when we talked about my FH and I going ahead and securing a venue (so we can make payments towards the venue monthly). I'd like to note that my FH and I are paying for our own wedding so we don't burden our families financially. Also, my mother monopolized my brother's wedding (she was assisting him financially), and I didn't want that for our wedding. My mother insisted that I get married in the church she prefers in my hometown (a church I haven't been to for over a year and a half). I'm not a traditionalist and kindly shot down the church idea. She suggested vineyards to me and was pushing me to go see two: one that was thirty minutes away, and one that was an hour away. My FH and I did view both venues and felt it wasn't right for us. 

We settled on a beautiful venue that is housed in an antique shop (we both love antiques). The venue is willing to do all the decorating (including linens), provide tables and chairs, provide silverware / dishware for the caterers we'll eventually hire, and access to the venue for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. All we have to do is find a caterer, find someone who can make a wedding cake, find flowers, hire a photographer, hire someone to marry us, and show up. The place is old timey and rustic, but welcoming, romantic, and full of history. The venue is 40 to 45 minutes away. 

I discussed this with my mother with the intention of taking her to view the venue herself. I was greeted by an angry response that almost bordered on verbal abuse. I will provide some of the statement she made to me below:

- "Why did you choose this place? I hate (town that venue is located). You're making a mistake."

- "We were going to assist you financially, but we won't since we don't agree with the venue location." (something I already expected, hence why my FH and I are paying for it ourselves).

- "This is (FH's) fault; apparently its his wedding now and not yours."

- "You can count on your friends and coworkers not attending your wedding; that means only...what 15 people will show up? You need to realize they won't show up so you can properly plan on catering...at least catering will be cheap."

- "The preacher you wanted to perform your wedding won't marry you if you have it there; you know he's old and is in poor health. You wouldn't want to burden him with more stress. You may need to call him and tell him his services won't be needed."

- "How will you receive gifts? If you have your wedding there, no one here will buy you gifts for your new home."

- "Well...maybe this venue will go bankrupt and shut down before your wedding date." (they're booked the rest of this year and most of next year)

And then she said the one thing that really broke my heart:

- Your father and I will attend the wedding, but we are not participating in any wedding activities, we will not be involved in the rehearsal, involved in the actual ceremony, or attending the rehearsal dinner. I'm not driving to (venue location) twice."

Every response I made was met with negativity, and to hear that my mother won't go with me dress shopping and my father won't walk me down the aisle floored me. I called my FH that night in tears, took a day off work, and met up with him to discuss it. I was so upset that I almost suggested calling off the wedding and my FH and I just eloping. My FH calmed me and reminded me that this was our wedding and (since we're paying for it) we should have it the way we desire. So we decided to move forward with our original plan.

I am fortunate to have friends and coworkers who have offered to fill the roles that my mother would play in the planning portion. While I am greatly appreciative of it, it just doesn't feel the same...I am depressed that I don't have my mother's support anymore. We don't discuss the wedding at all anymore because it always starts up an argument. I am so confused and even question whether I'm in the wrong. I've been told I need to just accept that my mother doesn't want to be involved, but I'm having a hard time with this.

Sorry this is long, but I don't know what to do to deal with the whirlwind of emotions I'm dealing with. I hate burdening my FH with it (even though he has been insanely supportive about all of this) and wanted to try reaching out for advice.

Re: Power struggle with my mother

  • Thank really sucks OP, your Mom is way out of line. At this point it sounds like you need to protect your feelings and he wedding you and your FInwant and the best way to do that is not not share details of the plans with her. I would say "Mom, each time I've told you of our plans you have said something rude and hurtful so I will not be discussing these with you any longer". 

    Your Mom needs to learn that she can belittle your plans or ideas and still be involved in them. 

    For what it's worth I think your venue sounds lovely. 
    SP29
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    member
    Your venue sounds amazing! I'm sorry your mom is being BSC about it. I think (not defending her actions here) that as much as many little girls dream about their wedding day so do their mothers and sometimes it's hard for us, as brides, to reimagine that vision and our mothers are doing the same. Watch any episode of Say Yes to the Dress and you'll see at least one mother saying, "I always imagined her in a ballgown/mermaid/princess/etc style dress. Can I please see that?"

    Your mom is taking it too far and is being an emotional terrorist, though. She's withholding what she knows is important to you to punish you. Is this new behavior for her?
  • First of all, hello to a fellow North Carolinian! 

    Second, your mother just sucks.  I'm sorry.  When you're footing the bill, you get to make the major decisions, and it sounds like you've done a great job of it. 

    Not that it changes anything, because her behavior is inappropriate regardless, but what is her big issue with your venue?  It sounds nice to me.

    I am so confused and even question whether I'm in the wrong. I've been told I need to just accept that my mother doesn't want to be involved, but I'm having a hard time with this.

    I think you know this, but for the record, no, you haven't done anything wrong.  When she throws a wedding, she can do whatever she likes; you and your FI get to make the decisions for your own wedding.

    Your FI and friends sound awesome, so hopefully that will give you some comfort.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    First off, I thank you for taking the time to read my post. I apologize ahead of time if it is fairly long. I am dealing with family conflict over our wedding, and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I want to explain the situation as best I can, but that includes adding a little background info so the full situation is better understood. Again, I apologize in advance...

    My FH proposed to me in May after dating for a year and a half, and we are planning a long engagement (wedding date October 8, 2017). My FH is a wonderful man and is truly my best friend. Our friends and family accepted the news quite well. I am both excited and nervous about the marriage; I love my FH to bits, but I haven't had a good example on a healthy marriage growing up. The thought of turning into my parents frightens me. So far, my FH has assured me that our relationship is solid, and we have better communication skills than my parents do.

    After a lengthy discussion, my FH and I decided I would find a new job in North Carolina and we would get our own place sometime next year well before the wedding. He is providing support for his mother; her husband (my FH's step father but the only father figure he had) passed away in February of this year from lung cancer. I am fortunate enough to have a really good relationship with my MIL; almost to the point where she's more of a mother figure than my own mother. I announced the relocation plans to my parents last month. My mother was not pleased, but stated I was allowed to live where I wanted and eventually accepted this. 

    The trouble began late June when we talked about my FH and I going ahead and securing a venue (so we can make payments towards the venue monthly). I'd like to note that my FH and I are paying for our own wedding so we don't burden our families financially. Also, my mother monopolized my brother's wedding (she was assisting him financially), and I didn't want that for our wedding. My mother insisted that I get married in the church she prefers in my hometown (a church I haven't been to for over a year and a half). I'm not a traditionalist and kindly shot down the church idea. She suggested vineyards to me and was pushing me to go see two: one that was thirty minutes away, and one that was an hour away. My FH and I did view both venues and felt it wasn't right for us. 

    We settled on a beautiful venue that is housed in an antique shop (we both love antiques). The venue is willing to do all the decorating (including linens), provide tables and chairs, provide silverware / dishware for the caterers we'll eventually hire, and access to the venue for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. All we have to do is find a caterer, find someone who can make a wedding cake, find flowers, hire a photographer, hire someone to marry us, and show up. The place is old timey and rustic, but welcoming, romantic, and full of history. The venue is 40 to 45 minutes away. 

    I discussed this with my mother with the intention of taking her to view the venue herself. I was greeted by an angry response that almost bordered on verbal abuse. I will provide some of the statement she made to me below:

    - "Why did you choose this place? I hate (town that venue is located). You're making a mistake."

    - "We were going to assist you financially, but we won't since we don't agree with the venue location." (something I already expected, hence why my FH and I are paying for it ourselves).

    - "This is (FH's) fault; apparently its his wedding now and not yours."

    - "You can count on your friends and coworkers not attending your wedding; that means only...what 15 people will show up? You need to realize they won't show up so you can properly plan on catering...at least catering will be cheap."

    - "The preacher you wanted to perform your wedding won't marry you if you have it there; you know he's old and is in poor health. You wouldn't want to burden him with more stress. You may need to call him and tell him his services won't be needed."

    - "How will you receive gifts? If you have your wedding there, no one here will buy you gifts for your new home."

    - "Well...maybe this venue will go bankrupt and shut down before your wedding date." (they're booked the rest of this year and most of next year)

    And then she said the one thing that really broke my heart:

    - Your father and I will attend the wedding, but we are not participating in any wedding activities, we will not be involved in the rehearsal, involved in the actual ceremony, or attending the rehearsal dinner. I'm not driving to (venue location) twice."

    Every response I made was met with negativity, and to hear that my mother won't go with me dress shopping and my father won't walk me down the aisle floored me. I called my FH that night in tears, took a day off work, and met up with him to discuss it. I was so upset that I almost suggested calling off the wedding and my FH and I just eloping. My FH calmed me and reminded me that this was our wedding and (since we're paying for it) we should have it the way we desire. So we decided to move forward with our original plan.

    I am fortunate to have friends and coworkers who have offered to fill the roles that my mother would play in the planning portion. While I am greatly appreciative of it, it just doesn't feel the same...I am depressed that I don't have my mother's support anymore. We don't discuss the wedding at all anymore because it always starts up an argument. I am so confused and even question whether I'm in the wrong. I've been told I need to just accept that my mother doesn't want to be involved, but I'm having a hard time with this.

    Sorry this is long, but I don't know what to do to deal with the whirlwind of emotions I'm dealing with. I hate burdening my FH with it (even though he has been insanely supportive about all of this) and wanted to try reaching out for advice.


    I'm sorry your mother isn't more supportive of your ideas.  It also seems like she is trying to manipulate you into changing them to suit her needs.  Which, if she is not paying, she doesn't have a say in!  But knowing how your brother's wedding planning went, are you really all that surprised?  So continue to plan the wedding you want with the people who ARE excited about the plans.  Just make sure anyone you include in these pre-wedding plans are also going to be invited to the wedding. 

    If you are afraid of your marriage ending up like your parents, then it might be a good idea to go through some pre-martial counseling.  The Catholic Church offers a pretty comprehensive program that is not very expensive, nor is it all about Church teachings (Engagement Encounter Weekends or something like that).  They will usually open their program up to non-Catholics as well.  H & I are Catholic and it was a requirement for our marriage prep, but it also helped us to talk about topics we had not thought of before.  It is run by married couples mostly, but a priest is also there to guide the day(s).

    Also, if your mom tries to start up about your wedding further, shut it down.  "Mom, I know you don't approve of our wedding plans.  But this is the wedding that FI and I want.  I'm sorry it is not what you want.  It will be best if we do not discuss the wedding further."  If she tries to say they will not attend any part of it, just say "I'm sorry to hear that, you will be missed."  Call her bluff.  I doubt she will not show up to play the MOB, when the time comes.

    Lastly, speak to your dad separately.  Ask him to walk you down the aisle.  Unless you heard it from your dad's mouth, don't take your mom's word for it that he will not walk you down the aisle.  If he will not, a good way to come in otherwise would be with your FI.  It is most traditional to walk in together to show that you both consent to the marriage.

    Also, know you aren't alone in this.  Just a few threads down is another one with an uncooperative MOB.  I know it may not make you feel any better, but knowing others have had these types of problems as well, may show you they also aren't that uncommon either.

    SP29lc07short+sassy
  • How does your dad feel about all of this? It sounds like this is all coming from mom. I'm so sorry she's acting this way. It seems like that last comment was a last ditch effort to get you to do things her way by threatening to take the one thing she had in her power, their participation. Don't play into it. Don't argue or plead, that's what she wants. Just respond I'm sorry you feel that way, we'll miss you at xyz event. That sends a clear message you're doing it anyway, and it's her choice to come or not.   

    My mom, while not quite this bad, did say some awful things about my somewhat untraditional but still nice and etiquette approved wedding. Finally once I told her if she hated the idea of it so much, she could stay home, but if she wanted to be invited I didn't want to hear another negative word about it, and boy did I mean it. She changed her tune right quick, because she couldn't revel in being a mother of the bride and gloat to her friends if she wasn't even invited. While full on threatening to uninvite your mom is probably not something you're willing to do, I do recommend just refusing to engage with her threats and moving on with your plans. 



    short+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    I'm sorry to hear that you're going through so much shit with your mother. I've experienced the same sort of shit from mine.

    I agree with your FMIL: Plan and pay for the wedding that is right for you and your FI (just host everyone properly). Hopefully your dad will show up and escort you down the aisle regardless of what your mother does.

    And stop talking to her about your plans. Shut down any further negativity from her with: "Mom, I am not discussing the wedding with you anymore because you have contributed nothing of a positive nature. This conversation is over."
  • I think PP have your mom situation covered. I just want to second pre-marital counseling. FH and I are doing ours with a licensed therapist at a low cost clinic. It is more expensive than going through a church but it is what FH wanted. We have been together for almost 6 years and find it incredibly helpful. 
    MesmrEwe
  • SP29SP29
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Great advice above.

    No you are not doing anything wrong, and your venue sounds lovely.
  • SP29SP29
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    You've got a good head on your shoulders, OP. And your FH sounds amazing.

    Through all the drama, just try to remember what is important- you marrying your FH. Also remember that you are an adult and you get to make your own decisions. You are not responsible to your parents.

    As said above, stick around and ask questions! TheKnot also has a pretty good checklist that states when wedding items should be planned/booked/purchased. It's a good start.
    short+sassy
  • I also agree with the PP on marriage prep classes/sessions!!  You can find this through the church (you often don't need to be a member in order to go through this - but there will likely be a different charge for the service) or through a Marriage and Family Psych practice.  This is some of the best money you can spend in planning because it's investing into both you and FI for your long-term relationship and marriage.  It's not just issues with your Mom, it's also to go over things like "Do you want to have kids/how many/parenting styles"...  Finances.  If your SO snores loudly - not taking offense if one or the other sleeps in another room.  "Rules of Engagement" for when a disagreement happens in your relationship. 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    PPs have it covered. I'm just here to send an internet hug! I'm so sorry your mom is being like this.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    It sounds like you're handling everything the best you can. Hugs!
  • My FH and I just read the comments.  My Mum is making eerily similar comments!  It really hurts to think she won't be "Mother of the Bride" on my wedding day.

    I can't really offer any advice except to say I know it really sucks.  Your Mum should be doing everything she can to support you and reduce the stress of planning a wedding- not piling on the emotional blackmail!
  • PPs have given great advice.

    But I also wanted to commend you for how you and your FI are handling things.  SUCH a wise choice to have learned from your brother's wedding and neither expect...nor accept even if it was offered...money from your parents.

    You have an amazing support system with your FI, FMIL, and friends.  You are fortunate in that, though I know it still hurts to not have the emotional support from your own parents.

    As an aside, it's not often I hear of a unique wedding idea, but an antique shop for a venue is a new one on me.  Sounds pretty neat and cool!  And like something the store does fairly frequently so they have the experience to (hopefully) make it an amazing day for you and your FI.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    member
    I really want to see pictures of this venue!
  • I really want to see pictures of this venue!
    I have been thinking this ever since this thread started. I love antique shops so I'm really curious!
    image
    poodledoodleooo
  • SaintPaulGalSaintPaulGal
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited August 2016
    I really wanted to get married at an antique shop in my city that does events, but I couldn't justify the costs.  I can't remember what the exact venue fee was, but it was somewhere between 10K and 15K for a raw space that would require rentals for everything, including AC.  Not happening!  I love the venue I did wind up with, but I have to admit I'm a wee bit jealous of the OP.

    Here is a set of photos from the one I was looking at: http://www.bakkenphoto.com/2013/11/katie-reed-minneapolis-wedding-photography/

  • Your venue sounds awesome! I wish I had some amazing advice to give. I don't, so I'm just giving you a big hug through the internets.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards