Moms and Maids

Engaged a week and already FMIL drama...

My boyfriend (now FI) proposed to me 10 days ago, and already his mother is trying to control our wedding. She's already been calling him, pestering him about getting married in his hometown and in a Presbyterian church.

Here's the deal: we're both atheists. Neither of us would be caught dead getting married in a church. It would be like having Mormons getting married in a Satanist church, it's just not going to happen.

We're also getting married in the town we live in. We love Burlington and really want to be married in the city. They live 20 minutes away and she's already btching about having to drive out for the wedding. I'm having half my family coming in from France! She has absolutely no reason to complain,

I'm preparing myself for her meddling in everything and trying to control this entire wedding. I'm not going to let her, but it's going to suck.
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Re: Engaged a week and already FMIL drama...

  • Advice: unless it's obviously not true ('cause you've announced a wedding date less than 6 months from now), for a couple months you can say, "We're just adjusting to getting engaged. We haven't really started wedding planning yet."

    When you do start wedding planning, practice announce-and-defend. Or don't even defend. Don't discuss decisions with her before they're made. Just inform her as things becomse set. And you don't really have to inform her. "We want it to be a surprise" "I can't remember the details" "Surely, you don't want to just talk about the wedding?!" are all good lines to remember.

    And your future husband should deal with his mother.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_engaged-a-week-and-already-fmil-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:357Discussion:f55d8125-fdf9-4ab2-9298-d6b87aa4e7b3Post:a168e6bf-d60e-45fe-969f-fa64aa04a5cd">Engaged a week and already FMIL drama...</a>:
    [QUOTE]My boyfriend (now FI) proposed to me 10 days ago, and already his mother is trying to control our wedding. She's already been calling him, pestering him about getting married in his hometown and in a Presbyterian church. Here's the deal: we're both atheists. Neither of us would be caught dead getting married in a church. It would be like having Mormons getting married in a Satanist church, it's just not going to happen. We're also getting married in the town we live in. We love Burlington and really want to be married in the city. They live 20 minutes away and she's already btching about having to drive out for the wedding. I'm having half my family coming in from France! She has absolutely no reason to complain, I'm preparing myself for her meddling in everything and trying to control this entire wedding. I'm not going to let her, but it's going to suck.
    Posted by charbakes[/QUOTE]

    First - and I'm not saying this to be mean, but get used to it.  Weddings and children tend to exacerbate familial problems, they DO NOT fix them.

    Second - your fiance, if he hasn't already, needs to have a firm chat with her about this.  Chances are this is the start of a lifetime of meddling and overstepping boundaries.  I hope for your sake he has some balls and is willing to address this.

    Third - you can't control her or her inappropriate behavior.  It's cliche but you can only control how you choose to repsond to it.  That said, you need to teach yourself how to let certain things roll off your shoulders (easier said than done, trust me, sometimes I have a hard time taking my own advice!). 

    Finally - if she indeed has the nerve to start up with you, don't hesitate to address her yourself.  You are an adult and you can talk to her as such - "MIL, I understand your concerns, but please respect that this is OUR day/OUR decision, and we would appreciate your support.  If you choose not to support our choices, please simply keep your opinions to yourself."

    Good luck.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    ElizabethJoanne - that is my daughter's wedding planning method : ) She only mentions things if she wants opinions. Otherwise, she and her fi book their vendors and tell us their good news after the deposits are made and contracts are signed. We may be unusual, but we like it this way. No arguments or hurt feelings, this way.
                       
  • Thanks girls for you input. She's always been a meddler. My FI does stand up to her quite a bit, and he's used to having to defend himself from her (she's not the most open minded woman...). And he was pissed at how she acted too. He gave her a piece of his mind and it became a huge fight.
    See, I like input. I'm very open at this part of my planning process. Heck, already I've found a potential officiant and venue because of one of my customers. And I know awesome people with awesome ideas. She's just not one of them.

    I love my FI, I do not love his family. I know I'm marrying into this, but I hate his family, and I dread the day when (and if) we have a child, because she's going to be just awful.
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  • Well, the good news is you have a clear vision of who she is and how she acts and treats people.  The bad news is she isn't going to change and will probably be even worse if and when you have kids.

    Since you have that clear vision you need to accept who she is, that she isn't going to change, and form your strategies on how to deal with her.  Those strategies will be your road to success so that you aren't always caught off guard with her next hissy fit.  It is up to you and FI to be a united front, keep her out of your plans, and let her fit roll off your back.

    Whatever you do, do not accept one penny of help from her for your wedding.  When someone pays for part/all of your wedding one of two things happen.  Either the money is a gift and you are free to do as you wish with it, OR it comes with a lot of strings and demands. Do not accept a penny from her.

    ElizabethJoanne's advice of letting her know your plans AFTER you have signed contracts is very wise.  Once something is a done deal there is nothing she can do about it.

    I really encourage  you and FI to explore how to set boundaries with her to keep your relationship healthy.  Not just screaming arguments, but true boundaries.  Good luck with your planning!
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited June 2012
    charbakes, you are so right about what happens when you give birth to her grandchildren.

    My MIL was a meddler, who knew the only right way of doing everything. Whenever she started a sentence with, "You know, I like to mind my own business, but blah blah blah blah....." I knew I was in for some unwanted advice or criticism.

    I learned how to say, in the most uninterested voice I could manage, "Well, that's an interesting idea." Then I'd throw her idea into my imaginary trash can.

    You may ignore your MIL. If she gets mean and combative, leave the scene. Let your Fi deal with her.
                       
  • My FMIL is the queen of making really dumb suggestions. She can be very childish and gets really excited about her stupid ideas, like a little kid who is all excited about a toy. So I have learned to smile and nod, then do what we want. So she would say something dumb, and then I would say "Oooh yeaaah.. uh huh! We will see, we gotta look into a few things first, but maybe!" (Insert big fake smile). Then the next day we would go book what we wanted. The only time we had to really push is when she became very insistant upon things she had zero say over, such as the guest list when she wasn't contributing a dime. Thats when the word NO was used, often.

    So if your FMIL says something like "You absolutely need to get married at this church" then your FI (or yourself if he isnt around)  should just say "Hmm, yeah, well we have to look into a couple things and we'll see." Then go about your merry way doing what you want. As PP's said DO NOT LET HER PAY FOR ANYTHING. Once she pays, she has a say. Remeber that.
  • My FMIL and mom were both driving me insane. They were happy and excited for us. They kept hammering us with ideas and suggestions. However, they would also get annoyed and upset if I didn't take their suggestions. The best strategy is divide and conquer. You deal with your family, and your FI deals with his.

    I took my mom aside and said, "everybody had the opportunity to plan their weddings. I would like to plan mine." My mom said that I was right and became much more helpful in the planning process. 

    My FI confronted his mother and told her that she is scaring both me and him. Then, his mother backed off, but also become very helpful in the planning process. 

    My best advice is have your FI talk to his mother. He knows how to deal with his mom the best way possible. In the future if she has suggestions, just either nod or say what you are planning on doing. Sometimes, the FI doesn't inform his mom on the wedding planning process, so she may want to get some details from you. It seems like something that she is interested in. When you get married everyone has ideas, but most of them are awful. However sometimes, there are a few ideas that you may have not thought about, and may decide to incorporate. You may not want to do the church thing, but there could be some neat ideas about your bouquet or the programs.

    As for her living 20 mins away from the place you are getting married, if she wants to see an important part of her son's life, she will drive and see him. But, this is for your FI to tell his mom, but not you. Just remain the good cop and have him be the bad cop with his mom. Otherwise, it will back fire on you.

    Good Luck!    Wink
  • Totally concur with PPs ... they are wise, wise women! 

    Best of luck with your planning!
    image
  • Thank you so much everyone. She's an extremely difficult woman. It's sometimes hard for me to keep a hold of my tongue, but I should start practicing passive resistance now.
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  • I was listening to one of those call in advice shows recently (hosted by a psychologist) and their advice to a similar situation was to say something like "We/I really appreciate your advice."  And then move the conversation on to another topic.  A statement like that validates her and makes her feel like she is heard, but you aren't agreeing to anything. 
    image
  • To add:  Your FMIL may become belligerent and threaten to not come to your wedding if it's not done "her" way.  Be prepared for that one too.  "Gosh, Hilda, so sorry you won't be able to make it."

    Have your reactions ready and practiced.  You can't change her - but you CAN dictate your reactions.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_engaged-a-week-and-already-fmil-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:f55d8125-fdf9-4ab2-9298-d6b87aa4e7b3Post:8fdd1cae-65c5-4fab-aeaf-7f2b80c66392">Re: Engaged a week and already FMIL drama...</a>:
    [QUOTE]ElizabethJoanne - that is my daughter's wedding planning method : ) She only mentions things if she wants opinions. Otherwise, she and her fi book their vendors and tell us their good news after the deposits are made and contracts are signed. We may be unusual, but we like it this way. No arguments or hurt feelings, this way.
    Posted by MairePoppy[/QUOTE]

    <div>Elizabth Joanne, I guess this is what I should do! Trying to be helpful with my daughter- wedding next July. Doesnt want to talk details- says it stresses her out. I am getting upset. Guess we have to wait for her to approach us.  Just want her to have the perfect wedding...</div>
  • Meddlesome FMILs can be irritating.  Good for you that your FH backs you and stands up to your FMIL. 

    Early on, my mother taught me 'Southern woman' speak for overly meddlesome people: When offered an unwelcome demand or unsolicited opinion, reply with "How nice.  We'll certainly take that into consideration.  Thanks for your input."  In this context, roughly translated, "How nice" means "F** you." "Well certainly take that into consideration" means "Kindly keep your opinions to yourself unless asked" and "Thanks for your input" means "Shut up and back off."

    This should, of course, be followed by doing whatever you and your FH deem best.  
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_engaged-a-week-and-already-fmil-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:357Discussion:f55d8125-fdf9-4ab2-9298-d6b87aa4e7b3Post:b4ce3254-a6e5-4864-b5da-5cf782f59439">Re: Engaged a week and already FMIL drama...</a>:
    [QUOTE]Well, the good news is you have a clear vision of who she is and how she acts and treats people.  The bad news is she isn't going to change and will probably be even worse if and when you have kids. Since you have that clear vision you need to accept who she is, that she isn't going to change, and form your strategies on how to deal with her.  Those strategies will be your road to success so that you aren't always caught off guard with her next hissy fit.  It is up to you and FI to be a united front, keep her out of your plans, and let her fit roll off your back. Whatever you do, do not accept one penny of help from her for your wedding.  When someone pays for part/all of your wedding one of two things happen.  Either the money is a gift and you are free to do as you wish with it, OR it comes with a lot of strings and demands.<strong> Do not accept a penny from her</strong>. ElizabethJoanne's advice of letting her know your plans AFTER you have signed contracts is very wise.  Once something is a done deal there is nothing she can do about it. I really encourage  you and FI to explore how to set boundaries with her to keep your relationship healthy.  Not just screaming arguments, but true boundaries.  Good luck with your planning!
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]

    That is an EXCELLENT point. To those kinds of people, money means control. DO NOT ACCEPT MONEY!!!
  • u poor thing, this is why we decided to get married in vegas. because my FMIL is F*cking crazy.



    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_engaged-a-week-and-already-fmil-drama?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:f55d8125-fdf9-4ab2-9298-d6b87aa4e7b3Post:a168e6bf-d60e-45fe-969f-fa64aa04a5cd">Engaged a week and already FMIL drama...</a>:
    [QUOTE]My boyfriend (now FI) proposed to me 10 days ago, and already his mother is trying to control our wedding. She's already been calling him, pestering him about getting married in his hometown and in a Presbyterian church. Here's the deal: we're both atheists. Neither of us would be caught dead getting married in a church. It would be like having Mormons getting married in a Satanist church, it's just not going to happen. We're also getting married in the town we live in. We love Burlington and really want to be married in the city. They live 20 minutes away and she's already btching about having to drive out for the wedding. I'm having half my family coming in from France! She has absolutely no reason to complain, I'm preparing myself for her meddling in everything and trying to control this entire wedding. I'm not going to let her, but it's going to suck.
    Posted by charbakes[/QUOTE]
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