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Moms and Maids

Dilemma re. Mother/son dance

Hi Everyone. I'm looking for some advice about how to deal with an issue that has come up with my future mother in law. 

When we first got engaged, my mil announced all she cared about was picking the song for her mother/son dance. This was mildly awkward as my partner and I had already decided against any spotlight dances besides our first dance. This was in part because we both feel a bit awkward about dancing in front of people, but also because my dad passed away when I was 16 and I know it would be difficult for me to watch  a dance that draws attention to his absence. Not having him there will already be so painful, so I would like to minimize moments that emphasize his not being there. I shared this with my partner but also said it was ok if he wanted to dance with his mom. He didn't really want to anyway, so we decided to stick to our first dance and to having our parents give speeches. After mil made the comment, he spoke to her privately to explain the situation and she seemed to accept that decision. 

However, recently, she has started casually mentioning her dance with my partner/her son. My partner had planned to talk to her about it and to basically say.. look, this is why we made that choice, we'd prefer not to do this but if its really important to her we will consider it. I've been adjusting to the idea and preparing myself bc I didn't want to take something from her even though it would be hard for me. I was annoyed she was taking this passive aggressive approa rather than speaking to either if us directly but, whatever. However, this weekend at my bridal shower, I could hear her speaking to my mother in the kitchen, asking if my mom would dance with me so she and my partner could have a dance together. She then came into the room where I was talking to other people,cupped my chin in her hand (unusual) and announced that she and my mom had made a decision about my wedding. I was taken of guard but said...yes I heard but please keep in mind its ultimately my decision. She kind of winked and said I should talk to my mom. So I said I would but that it would still ultimately be my decision. After she left I talked to my mom, who was a bit confused bc during the conversation with my mil she said she was very careful to keep repeating she would do whatever me and my partner wanted. 

Again, I had been leaning towards reconsidering our decisoon, but now I'm very upset and feel as though my mil went behind my back to try to manipulate me by getting my mom on her side. I dont feel its appropriate to frame this as having made a decision for me about my own wedding without ever having spoken to me about it. Additionally,  throughout the shower she acted very inappropriately; made numerous crude and overly sexual comments,  told my mom to her face she didn't like the shower theme, and had a loud, awkward one sided conversation with my aunts about the manner of my dads death in the middle of  the games. (To emphasize, not asking about my dad or what he was like or anything- but going into detail about his drowning and all the other people she knew who had drowned.) 

 I was already upset and then...this  'decision' pushed me over the edge. To make it a bit worse, when talking to my mom, she went on and on about how amazing her dance was with her other son who recently got married- she explicitly said it was much better than his dance with his new bride, which she mocked bc they did a basic slow dance. This makes me even more uncomfortable bc it seems as though this dance is a way for her to compete with her sons partners - something that has been an ongoing issue in my relationship with her, and which has put a strain on her relationship with my partner as well. 

I feel like ultimately I will give in to whatshe wants, but right now i am very resentful of how she has treated me. It's difficult to make a decision that will cause me pain for the sake of someone who has been so disrespectful of me and dismissive of my feelings. I would appreciate any advice on what to do, and if theres any way to communicate to her how hurtful she has been without causing more drama. My partner is also very upset with her and has said he will talk to her, but as of right now I think we are both too upset to even know what to say. Even though the situation is upsetting I want to support him im his relationship with his mom and not make anything worse; at the same time I dont want to hide how I feel.

Sorry this is so long - Perhaps I'm over-reacting; any advice and perspective is much appreciated. 

Re: Dilemma re. Mother/son dance

  • FMIL sounds terrible, and I'm sorry you are going through this. 

    Your feelings should come before hers on this spotlight dance issue. Parent dances are not mandatory anyway, and I totally agree that you shouldn't include something in your wedding that is going to be painful for you so that FMIL can feel special or important or whatever. Your FI needs to speak to her again, assertively as possible, and let her know that you're not doing these dances and that you guys will not tolerate her interfering in your relationship and your decisions anymore. 
    image
    MobKazcharlotte989875short+sassy
  • Ugh, I’m so sorry this is happening. Your FMIL is way out of line. 

    Hvae your FI talk to her once more and very clearly tell her you are not doing spotlight dances, and that it is not okay to keep bringing this up. Leave her shower behavior out of it because, while it’s inappropriate, focus on the big thing here which is her not respecting what you and your partner and telling her. 


    short+sassyeileenrob
  • I’m not sure why you’re wasting so much energy on this. The answer isn’t “oh well if you really care maybe it’s negotiable.”  The answer is “no, we aren’t doing this, stop asking.”  
    short+sassy
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    mod
    Hi Everyone. I'm looking for some advice about how to deal with an issue that has come up with my future mother in law. 

    When we first got engaged, my mil announced all she cared about was picking the song for her mother/son dance. This was mildly awkward as my partner and I had already decided against any spotlight dances besides our first dance. This was in part because we both feel a bit awkward about dancing in front of people, but also because my dad passed away when I was 16 and I know it would be difficult for me to watch  a dance that draws attention to his absence. Not having him there will already be so painful, so I would like to minimize moments that emphasize his not being there. I shared this with my partner but also said it was ok if he wanted to dance with his mom. He didn't really want to anyway, so we decided to stick to our first dance and to having our parents give speeches. After mil made the comment, he spoke to her privately to explain the situation and she seemed to accept that decision. 

    However, recently, she has started casually mentioning her dance with my partner/her son. My partner had planned to talk to her about it and to basically say.. look, this is why we made that choice, we'd prefer not to do this but if its really important to her we will consider it. I've been adjusting to the idea and preparing myself bc I didn't want to take something from her even though it would be hard for me. I was annoyed she was taking this passive aggressive approa rather than speaking to either if us directly but, whatever. However, this weekend at my bridal shower, I could hear her speaking to my mother in the kitchen, asking if my mom would dance with me so she and my partner could have a dance together. She then came into the room where I was talking to other people,cupped my chin in her hand (unusual) and announced that she and my mom had made a decision about my wedding. I was taken of guard but said...yes I heard but please keep in mind its ultimately my decision. She kind of winked and said I should talk to my mom. So I said I would but that it would still ultimately be my decision. After she left I talked to my mom, who was a bit confused bc during the conversation with my mil she said she was very careful to keep repeating she would do whatever me and my partner wanted. 

    Again, I had been leaning towards reconsidering our decisoon, but now I'm very upset and feel as though my mil went behind my back to try to manipulate me by getting my mom on her side. I dont feel its appropriate to frame this as having made a decision for me about my own wedding without ever having spoken to me about it. Additionally,  throughout the shower she acted very inappropriately; made numerous crude and overly sexual comments,  told my mom to her face she didn't like the shower theme, and had a loud, awkward one sided conversation with my aunts about the manner of my dads death in the middle of  the games. (To emphasize, not asking about my dad or what he was like or anything- but going into detail about his drowning and all the other people she knew who had drowned.) 

     I was already upset and then...this  'decision' pushed me over the edge. To make it a bit worse, when talking to my mom, she went on and on about how amazing her dance was with her other son who recently got married- she explicitly said it was much better than his dance with his new bride, which she mocked bc they did a basic slow dance. This makes me even more uncomfortable bc it seems as though this dance is a way for her to compete with her sons partners - something that has been an ongoing issue in my relationship with her, and which has put a strain on her relationship with my partner as well. 

    I feel like ultimately I will give in to whatshe wants, but right now i am very resentful of how she has treated me. It's difficult to make a decision that will cause me pain for the sake of someone who has been so disrespectful of me and dismissive of my feelings. I would appreciate any advice on what to do, and if theres any way to communicate to her how hurtful she has been without causing more drama. My partner is also very upset with her and has said he will talk to her, but as of right now I think we are both too upset to even know what to say. Even though the situation is upsetting I want to support him im his relationship with his mom and not make anything worse; at the same time I dont want to hide how I feel.

    Sorry this is so long - Perhaps I'm over-reacting; any advice and perspective is much appreciated. 
    Are you ready to do the bolded for the rest of your lives? 

    If not, you and your fiance need to set some boundaries NOW. The sooner you establish yourself as a person and not her doormat, the better you'll be in the long run. It's not going to be easy but in five years, you'll thank yourself. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    downtondivashort+sassyMesmrEweeileenrob
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Wow, she was totally out of line. Your FI needs to handle this, and he needs to speak to his mother about what she did. Going behind your back to speak to your mother is just so, so wrong.

    I think you need to be firm on this decision and not give in to her. No spotlight dances, and that's that. 

    charlotte989875short+sassyeileenrob
  • My father passed away in August and my partner and I, too, have decided against any spot light dances other than our own. We are getting married in June of 2019. Your future MIL should understand where you are coming from on this issue and know that you aren't doing it to spite her, but rather to help you enjoy your wedding day which is ultimately about you and your partner. We haven't had this discussion with my future MIL yet, but I expect a similar reaction based on her personality/pushiness. Your partner needs to stand uo for you a bit here especially because it is his mom. You do what is comfortable for you two. 
    short+sassy
  • Also, DO NOT GIVE IN. 
  • OP, your FMIL's behavior at your shower was so awful.  I'm sorry to hear she was such a blight on that day for you, your mother, and your aunts.  I hope it was an otherwise lovely day for you all.

    Like the other PPs have said, your FI needs to have another talk with her that the spotlight dance is not happening.  It's non-negotiable.  And she needs to stop bringing it up with him.  With you.  With anyone else.  Because it's very upsetting, every time she does.

    Although I wouldn't start her up again by mentioning it ahead of time, but I'd assume your FI will have a dance or two with her anyway throughout the night.  It just won't be a spotlight dance.

    Most weddings I've gone to don't have the parents' spotlight dance(s).  It's certainly not unusual to not have them and she just needs to get over it.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • That behavior was awful especially since the loss was a traumatic loss shows the heartlessness in that. 

    It's one thing for them to have the dance without the pomp and circumstance, another to draw attention to it because that just rips a band-aid off for you and not appropriate on your wedding day.  Also, not appropriate when the issue was already decided between you and your partner.  

    That said - boundaries and premarital counseling because people don't change because/after the wedding, these boundary issues are something you're going to have to confront multiple times together in your married life, and especially so should you choose to have kids (DO NOT share a name with a personality like FMIL before it's on the birth certificate!).  Premarital counseling is recommended for couples in great relationships with no outside drama, but especially for those who have potential for boundary issues with relatives or other drama potential.  Most Marriage & Family Counselors offer this service as a discount as it's cheaper/easier to attend to things before a couple is married than after!
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    short+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    Sounds like your FI needs to have a Come to Jesus discussion with his mother. 

    She had no business bringing up your father's death at all. That by itself is so out of line. She owes you an apology with no defensiveness whatsoever for that. 

    Regarding the dance, Do. Not. Give. In. If you do, she will expect you to give in to her for the rest of your lives. He needs to tell her no, and that this is a permanently closed subject.

    Unfortunately, with someone like this, I'm afraid you and your FI will need to arrange for security personnel to remove your FMIL from your wedding if she starts running her mouth, because based on your description here, I don't think she can be trusted at all to keep her mouth shut and respect your decisions.


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