Second Weddings

Staying enthusiastic despite lack of it from the fam?

Hey ladies,
I'm not a frequent poster, but wanted a little feedback. I've been married before and divorced. Been with FI for over three years. We are getting married at the end of April. There has been much discussion on this board about treating one's second marriage as just as special a celebration as if it was the first. I have been having feelings, like many posters have expressed here, that I do not "deserve" all of the hoopla associated with a wedding, simply because my friends and family (thought not FI's family, because this is his first) have all been part of a wedding, wedding showers, bach party, etc. before with me.
My parents have graciously offered to contribute some money toward the wedding, but FI and I are paying for the bulk on our own. I am fine with that.
I am simply struggling because my family, mom in particular, seems to be completely blase about anything wedding at this point. She clearly wants it to be toned down and she told me that, though she loves and supports me and FI, she is not interested in attending a shower or the like due to travel distance and cost.
I have always been close to my mother and perhaps take even the smallest things too much to heart, but I want her to be more outwardly supportive of my union. When I have broached the subject, she tells me that I am being overly sensitive.
I am just worried, that as the wedding draws nearer, when we should be doing things like choosing her outfit, my dad's outfit, making hotel reservations, etc. that this will become more hurtful.
Have any of you had to deal with this type of thing? And how do you get around the fact that you feel less than supported by those that mean the most to you?
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Re: Staying enthusiastic despite lack of it from the fam?

  • edited December 2011
    Its normal to feel or want…

    This post was from 4-19-05. We began the post to help us all understand how normal our feelings and needs really are…This list is what everyone wrote about their normal feelings:

    Please feel free to add.

    Its normal to feel guilty that you are having a second wedding
    Its normal to feel scared to commit again
    Its normal to have some doubts
    Its normal to worry that your credibility is in question since you vowed "forever" once before (but it is important to know that your credibility is NOT actually in question, because things change)
    Its normal to question whether or not you should take his name
    Its normal to worry about what others think
    Its normal to read the etiquette posts and want to cry
    Its normal to WANT to have the wedding of your dreams for the man of your dreams
    Its normal to want all the cheesey things first brides get:)
    Its normal to be more scared of moving in and combining your belongings than it is to get married
    Its normal to put up walls
    It's normal NOT to have the support of every family member
    It's normal to want to "connect" with other 2nd timers
    It's normal to "test" him ... again and again
    It's normal to think at first - we don't deserve certain things
    It's normal to cry/be upset when reminded of the first failure
    It's normal to keep putting things off (that guilt thing again)
    It's normal to have issues when kids are involved
    It's normal to feel like you have the letter " D " on your forehead
    YES, it's normal to be HAPPY and EXCITED when you're ready to accept it! *
    Its normal to have heightened anxiety
    Its normal to overanalyze every single comment he makes, about you, your kids, your future, your wedding...looking for the cue that its going to fall apart.
    Its normal to partition off (is that what you meant by walls, Sassee?) those parts of you that were hurt the worst in the past, and be cautious about being vulnerable to him.
    Its normal to be MamaBear where your kids are concerned, and to be surprised when you feel those MamaBear feelings about HIS kids, or when he becomes PaPa Bear with yours.
    Its normal to look up waiting for the other shoe to drop
    Its normal to sometimes just find yourself smiling again
    Its normal to have just learned the definition of healthy (no matter how old you are)
    Its normal to need to go to therapy
    Its normal to be a control freak
    Its normal to not be good at asking for help (Pealie, these last two are for us)
    Its normal for you to feel like you have to keep your excitement a secret
    Its normal to be afraid to lose the BEST thing that has happened to you in a very long time.
    Its normal to wake up at night & look at him and be amazed he's there.
    Its normal to want a GUARANTEE that he will not be taken from you by some freak event.
    It is normal to feel uncomfortable but grateful when your family/friends want to throw parties/showers to celebrate your happiness.
    It is normal to be pleasantly surprised when FI does not act/respond like DH did.
    It is normal to feel bad that you get two weddings and some of your good friends have not had one yet.
    It is normal to obsess about your dress and wonder if it is 'appropriate' enough but realize that sackcloth and ashes for you would not match with tuxes and pretty dresses for everyone else!
    It is normal to not have something (garter, bouquet toss, etc)for your second wedding just because you had it for your first.
    It is normal to worry about your child(ren) getting enough love and attention since you now have FI.
    It's normal to want your family to be just as happy this time as the last time!
    It's normal to cut and paste this into a document that you can refer to daily, just to remind yourself of exactly how normal you are!
    It's NORMAL to worry what his family specifically thinks of you, your kids, your parenting style, whatever.
    It's NORMAL to have a few bumps in the road with the stepkids.
    It's NORMAL to wonder who's going to compile this into one list and repost it so we can all print it out and post it somewhere prominent. LOL!
    It's NORMAL to wonder if he's for real because he's just SO perfect for you and your family. It’s NORMAL for things you hated in your past marriage to bother you now. You just have to explain to FI why.   
  • debi1941debi1941 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I feel your heart break.  This is each of our seconds and our 'firsts " to one another (stolen from another knottie) and I couldn't want it any less special than a first....I want it all, to feel like a bride, to look like a bride and to act like a bride....what I am not getting is the attention a bride generally gets.....from family

    My friends are showing me more love and admiration and  support than any one in my actual family....

    My mom passed away, I know she would have been supportive, it is her nature...

    I have two sisters, one, I love her to death, but when I told her I got my dress and it was white...she said "your kidding me....right?"  well, my heart about broke in half.....then when she was asked about the morning of and getting ready because my other sister from out of town WAS going to stay by her ...she said, no worries, its not like an evening affair.......(my wedding is a brunch reception)

    She has never once asked me if I needed help, asked about decor, asked about who is nvited, asked about our ceremony or any thing else......

    my little sister has asked, but vwas ery non-chalant and seemed very UN interested in the answers.....

    Only 5/64 relatives are coming to the wedding.....59 are a NO.....NO!

    I have beautiful friends who are supportive and one friend in particular who we have all nicknamed "BRIDEZILLA"  she is a toughy, making us all get into gear!

    Thank god for friends...thank god!

    Seek the people who make you happy and support you....and leave the others to the side.........give them love, but remember...THEY are jealous you are so very very happy !






  • edited December 2011
    Continue to be joyful and it will rub off on your parents as you choose their attire.

    What mom and dad could be anything less than excited when you tell them how happy he makes you and how thrilled you are to have your first wedding to HIM.

    Just keep gusing about how happy you are that they will be there too!!!
  • Sue-n-KevinSue-n-Kevin member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I feel your pain Debi, not because I am experiencing the same thing, but because I have seen similar posts before.

    This is my first marriage, my fiance's 3rd. We've known each other for over 3 years. I don't get a lot of gushing out of my parents, mostly because they are older and have their own problems with aging............I don't think it's because they don't think my fiance is great (they do), or that at this very late time in my life I deserve a wonderful husband who will spend the rest of his life with me. My Mom has historically been my best friend throughout my life. But remember, as parents age, they sort of focus on their "stuff", they have raised you and trust you, and have sort of "let go". We are not blushing 20-something brides any more leaving our parent's homes, growing up. So even if it is the first marriage (in my case), it's really no big deal. I'm reading between the lines here, but pretty sure this is the case with my folks, maybe with yours.

    I'll go shopping with my Mom for her outfit, because she has no one else to go with. I know this, and suspect it will be special, just as it was when I was with my daughter when she found HER dress to wear as my MOH.

    I gently say you are probably being a bit sensitive. I think you would possibly have the same reaction if you were having your first wedding/marriage, because you ARE older, and they stopped being "mommy and daddy" a long time ago. Now they are your peers, and have their own stuff to consider, and are past the emotions they would have had when you were much younger.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Good luck. I'm sure it will change.
  • edited December 2011
    I think it's because a different generation views second marriages as something that should be very intimate and small and basically should elope....  HOWEVER, this is my 2nd marriage as well as my FI 2nd marriage and when I explained to my mom that we can appreciate what we can give eachother much more because of our bad 1st marriages and that we want to be able to share our happiness with our closest friends and family, she actually became excited. (and it didn't hurt that my first husband was a jerk and she nor my father liked him)

    Also just remember.....  keep your composure even tho it hurts and shame on someone else if they make you feel guilty.  Treat others how you would want to be treated, always keep your integrity.

    The way I look at it... the people I'm inviting can always decline the invitation.  But at least I gave them the option and my feelings won't be hurt because I know the people closest to me will be there regardless. 

    A reception or dress or ring doesn't hold a marriage together.... it's the two people who committ to each other forever.  As long as things are right with my FI and me, that is all that matters.... My mom and dad eloped and didn't have any family at their marriage and they have been happily married for over 30 years....

    Stay enthusiastic about your FUTURE with your man!  If your mom decides to decline an invitation, someday she will regret it and those will be her regrets to live with -- not yours. 

    YOU CAN ONLY CONTROL HOW YOU REACT TO OTHERS.... NOT THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS.  Tell your mom that it hurts your feeling and leave it at that.... she may surprise you.
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you, ladies, for all the advice. Actually, over the last 24 hours, my mom has explained better why she is not as involved, and it makes a lot of sense to me. It isn't about me or us, it's just about her and my dad and what they have going on. I am hoping that we can stay on the same page for the next three months so the wedding will be a happy one.
    Thanks again!
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  • edited December 2011
    I think Sue -n-Kevin said it brilliantly.  It's more of an age issue than a second marriage issue.  I feel a little guilty posting on this one because my family was extremely enthusiastic and supportive.  This was my first marriage, but we are a very "mature" couple - OK, we both remember Howdy Doody. 

    Two suggestions in addition to what has already been posted from my own experience.  First, I did not expect anyone to be as excited about my wedding as I was.  Brides who can't think or talk about anything else during their engagement become very tiresome to everybody.  No matter how much you love and support that person's decision, eventually you reach the point of "I really don't care if you go with the baby pink or the rose pink napkins; they're just napkins - pick one and be done with it."  Weddings, much like children, are everything to the person involved but low priority and, in fact, boring topics of conversation to the rest of the world, even close relatives. 


    Secondly, I wasn't a twenty-five year old bride, and I wasn't going to pretend that I was.  Instead, I wanted to celebrate our maturity and sophistication.  Our wedding was gorgeous, but mostly because we ignored the usual wedding traditions.  It was an elegant dinner party with pretty clothes and a celebration of a commitment we had made to each other many years ago. 
  • Lisa50Lisa50 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_staying-enthusiastic-despite-lack-of-fam?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:35Discussion:c56df07e-533e-48ac-911d-2e34a3eb5915Post:db139c52-ab4b-4a9a-81b0-43cfb07a728c">Re: Staying enthusiastic despite lack of it from the fam?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I feel your heart break.  This is each of our seconds and our 'firsts " to one another (stolen from another knottie) and I couldn't want it any less special than a first....I want it all, to feel like a bride, to look like a bride and to act like a bride....what I am not getting is the attention a bride generally gets.....from family My friends are showing me more love and admiration and  support than any one in my actual family.... My mom passed away, I know she would have been supportive, it is her nature... I have two sisters, one, I love her to death, but when I told her I got my dress and it was white...she said "your kidding me....right?"  well, my heart about broke in half.....then when she was asked about the morning of and getting ready because my other sister from out of town WAS going to stay by her ...she said, no worries, its not like an evening affair.......(my wedding is a brunch reception) She has never once asked me if I needed help, asked about decor, asked about who is nvited, asked about our ceremony or any thing else...... my little sister has asked, but vwas ery non-chalant and seemed very UN interested in the answers..... <strong>Only 5/64 relatives are coming to the wedding.....59 are a NO.....NO! I</strong> have beautiful friends who are supportive and one friend in particular who we have all nicknamed "BRIDEZILLA"  she is a toughy, making us all get into gear! Thank god for friends...thank god! Seek the people who make you happy and support you....and leave the others to the side.........give them love, but remember...THEY are jealous you are so very very happy !
    Posted by debi1941[/QUOTE]

    Wow, Debi, I'm so sorry to hear this.  I didn't realize you had such a low number of yesses from your family.  Keep your friends close, they are -- clearly -- your support system for the upcoming happy day!  ((((HUGS))))
  • Lisa50Lisa50 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_staying-enthusiastic-despite-lack-of-fam?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:35Discussion:c56df07e-533e-48ac-911d-2e34a3eb5915Post:93e9c2c7-1bf6-438e-b72c-d22e4545e1ed">Re: Staying enthusiastic despite lack of it from the fam?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you, ladies, for all the advice. Actually, over the last 24 hours, my mom has explained better why she is not as involved, and it makes a lot of sense to me.<strong> It isn't about me or us, it's just about her and my dad and what they have going on.</strong> I am hoping that we can stay on the same page for the next three months so the wedding will be a happy one. Thanks again!
    Posted by mattsdorothy[/QUOTE]

    Yes, the lack of enthusiasm from parents can be about their aging, their "stuff," and, really, nothing to do with you and the wedding. I feel your pain.

    My mother (age 79) has Alzheimers; she doesn't know/remember I am getting married.    My father is just a grouchy curmudgeon (just turned 90) who didn't even remember my birthday earlier this month.  He really likes my FI and I'm sure he'll be on good behavior on the wedding day.

    The rest of my family and close friends are very enthusiastic, as are FI's.  They see FI as the perfect match for me!  Even my most cranky aunt has given us her blessing (I have her permission, since I'm 50).

    I wish you all the best as you move forward to your wedding day.  This board is the right place to be -- mature women dealing with real life, 24/7, while also planning a wedding.  (((HUGS))))  We'll be here for you!
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