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Tips for meeting of the parents?

My parents are coming to meet Fi's parents this weekend. Meeting is going to take place in FI's parents house (because my mother demanded that my parents be able to see their house). Situation is already tense because 1. My dad is a jerk and my mom never stands up to him; 2. My dad insisted on bringing my mom's cousin and his wife (who they will be staying with while in Boston) to the meeting (even though it is a first-time meeting for our parents and FMIL politely said that she didn't think it would be appropriate to have anyone besides immediate family). My twelve year old brother called me yesterday to tell me that my dad is making a list of all these things to talk about and that he and my mom are getting into fights every day about it. Any tips on how to neutralize things or get this stupid lunch to happen without a complete disaster occurring? Honestly, I have been so ready to cut my dad out of my life that I'm hoping he gives me a reason to finally do it. This weekend is his last chance.
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Re: Tips for meeting of the parents?

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    [i]my mother demanded that my parents be able to see their house[/i] What!? Why?? This is ridiculous. I'm almost afraid to offer my opinion on anything else.
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    Tell your father that you will not have anything to do with facilitating this meeting now or in the future unless he chills out and treats these people politely.  Your mom may refuse to stand up to him, but you shouldn't. He can only act like this as long as you all tolerate it.  Change the meeting to neutral ground.  Your mom can demand all she wants, but it's not her choice where the meeting occurs.  YOU need to change the course of this all together.  Your family is acting like jerks towards your FIL's.  That's not your fault, but you CAN stand up and tell them the whole thing is off until they can act like polite people. I kind of feel like you have a responsibility here to your FIL's to halt everything if your parents are coming into this with such bad attitudes. Do your parents like your FI?  How does he feel about their attitude towards his parents?
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    Hey, are you the one who posted a while ago about having all of those terrible problems with your parents with the venue in Chicago, and then you decided to take over the wedding and have the wedding you want, even though your parents might disown you? How is all of that playing out?I don't really know what to tell you for advice. I think these meetings are awkward even if everyone has the best of intentions. When my parents met FI's parents, even though all four are nice people normally, everyone seemed to be bringing out their "company" manners, which meant grandstanding by my FMIL, FFIL going nuts interrogating FI about his speedskating career, and my parents going all odd and quiet and making weird faces. That probably doesn't help you all that much.... but I think you just have to let these things happen. At least it's only lunch.
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    Rach- My mother's exact words were, "We want to meet them at their HOUSE. We don't want to go to a restaurant. It needs to be their HOUSE." I'm assuming it's because FI's family is South American and she wants to make sure that they aren't living in squalor or something. To top it off, my father, while he was yelling at me this weekend, went on about how "THEY should be coming to OUR house!" and completely ignored me when I brought up the fact that this was happening at the IL's house on their request. Vegas is looking soooooo good right now.
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    It sounds like this meeting will need a lot of mimosas or bloody marys.  If for no other reason than YOU will need them. Why on earth would your mom insist upon seeing their house?  That is not indicitve of anything.  Oh, and I would be pre-screening that list of your dad's talking points before they arrive.  Your brother can be your inside informant on that one.
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    I'd tell my dad to suck it, warn my fiance's parents that your parents are crazy, and be upfront with your parents about how they are making them feel. If you are waiting for them to screw up to cut him out of your life, why subject your in laws to that and make them feel like they are the reason you cut your father out of your life? If you feel that way about him, then YOU need to talk to him about it.
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    If my parents were that crazy, there would be no meeting of the parents.  Just introduce them at the wedding. 
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    [i]I'm assuming it's because FI's family is South American and she wants to make sure that they aren't living in squalor or something.[/i] You're even more ridiculous that I thought. If you think this is why your mom wants to go to their house, you are a shiit for not standing up to her--you are subjecting your future in-laws to your parents stupidity. Put your foot down.
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    Sarah- Yes, that was me. We basically decided to do the wedding ourselves and then my parents had every relative I had badger me and even had my aunt call me to tell me that doing the wedding myself would not only result in my parents disowning me, but my entire family (grandparents, aunts, uncles) would disown me as well. I was still sticking to my guns, but then my mom called FI to plead with him, and my parents apologized and said that they were willing to "dig deep" to work past our problems if I would just give them another chance to do the wedding. FI wanted to give them another chance, and I figured that if they were willing to work on our relationship that I could give them another chance. That was September 14 (just checked my email). Immediately after this, FI's mom invited them for lunch and the tickets to visit were booked. It's been about three weeks and my dad is already going apesh!t again. I should have known that I made the right decision to begin with and just stuck with it, because now my dad is up to his same old tricks...and I understand that my mom is afraid of him because he has a terrible temper and is generally an @-hole, but for the love of God, she's a grown woman and a psychiatrist. Her whole family would be behind her if she decided to leave him, but everytime she even thinks about it or someone brings it up, she wails about how it would "destroy her social life" to be divorced. Not even kidding. I agree with PP that said I should just refuse to do the meeting, but at this point, they are coming to Boston, and will be staying with my MOH's family. I'm afraid they will just show up somewhere, or do something insane. My plan is to basically survive the weekend by being calm and not arguing, no matter what my dad does. I'm hoping that since he is generally a coward (unless dealing with women or children), he will not start sh!t with FI's dad and brother, and will just wait to yell at me about it later. If he says anything derrogatory about me, or about fi, or makes any threats regarding the wedding, I'm going to let him go back to Chicago, and then tell them that I am cutting them off, and change my phone number, email address, etc. I hope you guys know that I'm not just feeling this way about my parents because of the wedding. We have always had issues, but since I supported myself through and after undergrad and now law school, these issues never came to a head, since my parents had no control over anything. This whole drama is, I think, a result of my dad relishing that he has some form of control over the wedding, whether it be financial control, or the control that he would exert over my mom and the rest of my family to keep them from being there if I do my own wedding. UGH. Sorry for writing a book.
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    Rach- I resent you calling me ridiculous. I can't help that my mother is ignorant. Believe me, I have tried. As I mentioned above, they booked the tickets to come to Boston before the newest flip-out, and I didn't know they were going to act this way, or I certainly would have prevented it from happening. I have told my ILs what my parents are like, and that they are difficult. They have repeatedly stated that they don't care, and that they just want to meet them.
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    I know you are all right and I should cancel the meeting, but FI's parents don't want me to. FI has told them, and I have told them what my parents are like, but they think we're being "hotheaded," and still want to meet them. They feel like it's their duty to invite them over at least once to meet them.
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    Jesus. Well, I've been following this situation ever since you started posting about it, and it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders, so you should just do what sounds right to you. Maybe let this meeting happen, and then go back to sticking to your guns about your wedding. Maybe it would be better for them to realize what it would be like if YOU were the one to disown THEM and not the other way around. You have plenty of power in this situation.I'm literally posting and running, because I am going out for my jog, but I'll be back in about 45 minutes.
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    Oh wow... Good luck - iffy family situations are the WORST, and I really hope this works out.I know other posters have urged you to call off the lunch.  This doesn't really seem like a realistic option, given that tickets have been purchased etc etc.Ideas would be:a)   Apologize to your future ILs in advance. Warn them that your parents are unpredicable/insane/judgemental/controlling etc, so that they are prepared for it.  Make sure they know that you care about your in-laws to be and that regardless of how your parents act, you look forward to being part of the family.b) Definitely try to get a hold of this "list of issues" your dad has prepared.  Try to talk sense into him about not bringing up any unpleasant/controversial topics.c) Try to prep your parents - your dad sounds like he's pretty controlling, but try to convince them that being on good terms with FI's family is very important to you, and maybe they'll tone it down...d) Bring brownies and cookies or cupcakes.  Sweets might make people happy (yeah, I'm reaching now).Best of luck!!!
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    Also - you don't sounds ridiculous at all!! I feel bad for the situation you're in, you really can't choose your family.
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    I agree with Bec that you shouldn't cancel the meeting. I'd rather go ahead and get it over with than have to stress about a confrontation at the wedding. If you've been upfront with the FILs and they understand that he can be an ahole, then at least it won't be a shock to them if he acts like a turd.
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    Sounds like you have some awesome FIL's!  If you have prepared them for what is to come and they are telling you to go ahead, they must be good people. After everything you have been thru though, keep control of your wedding plans and do them on your terms.  After all I have read, it should be crystal clear to you that your parents will not change. 
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    [i]Rach- I resent you calling me ridiculous[/i] I was just calling it like I saw it--the things you were posting about your family, well...I'd be ashamed to admit, even to internet strangers, that the only reason my mother insisted on visiting my future husband house was to make sure they didn't live in squalor because of their background. That is so utterly offensive, and I find it ridiculous that [b]you[/b] are not offended. You have to be an intelligent person (as you said, you're in law school), so I can't fathom why you find this behavior acceptable. Don't wait until this meeting happens to put your foot down; if you do, you'll be utterly disappointed. You're an adult, you should be able to have an adult conversation with your parents that lets them know where you stand, no exceptions. My family is out of line more often than not, but I have not--and will not--give them the benefit of the doubt on any thing because I have made it clear that they will be asked to leave my wedding, or any of the events leading up to it, if they cannot conduct themselves like civil human beings. I suggest you do the same.
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    Well at least if the in-laws know what they're getting into and are ok with it, you can all get through it together. Then if you ever decide to disown your family, they will totally understand why and never question you about it. Your ILs sound like great people, and like a good support system. See how this goes and go from there.
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    Rach- Obviously, I DO find my mother's ignorance and racism to be offensive. I figured that my tone in conveying what she said would indicate that, but I guess that is a downside of non-verbal communication. I just figured that since the ILs wanted to have them over to the house anyway (I obviously never conveyed this request to them), and since they have a very nice house (in fact, much nicer than my parents', which looks like a furniture store) that going to their house would shut her up.
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    Rach, how can she control what her mom THINKS? Its not her fault that they are trying to be racist. She came here looking for advice as to what to do with crazy family members. Obviously, it's a little easier said than done to entirely cut your family out of your life. And she should be ashamed to post that? What about what's going on with your FI and sister? Did anyone call you ridicouls for putting up with that or tell you that you should be ashamed? She clearly isn't some bebe that is coming in here all crazy.
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
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    Well, I hope then, for your sake, that taking your parents there will--in fact--shove a sock in your mom's mouth. I, personally, would not be able to tolerate that behavior. Which is where a restaurant would come in to play. It just seems like you would be perpetuating their behavior by doing what they want and taking them to see FI's house just because she wants to prove they don't live in a cardboard box. But...if that's what your FIL's want, then I hope it all works out.
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    *ridiculous
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
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    The only other thing I would suggest is that you pre-plan both an intervention and an early exit strategy with your FI & FILs.  A code word, for example, that means FI & FILs should give you a minute alone with your parents to tell them to back thefuck off, etc.  And another code word that tells them you've had it and you're escorting your parents out.  I'd really, really try to have a prep conversation with your parents and make it clear what behavior and conversation will be tolerated, what won't, and what the consequences are (you cutting them out of your life, etc.) for being rude/difficult.  And then, stick to it.  Just something to think about - if/when you and FI have kids, since your parents are being racist about your FILs, will they project that to their grandchildren? 
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    LVB---her exact words were: [i]" I'm assuming it's because FI's family is South American and she wants to make sure that they aren't living in squalor or something."[/i] She made no mention of disapproval of this kind of thought--which I found fault with. Now, had she said " I'm assuming it's because FI's family is South American and she wants to make sure that they aren't living in squalor or something, which is not at all how I choose to think about South Americans" or something along those lines--to signify that she was not okay with that type of behavior--but she didn't. It's hard to determine tone through the internet--but, like I said before, I was just calling it as I saw it--and that statement really struck a cord with me.
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    I think the fact that she is choosing to marry a South African proves that she disapproves of it...And her entire post was negative against her parents. All she talked about was how her parents were pissing her off and how great her FILs are.
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
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    I wasn't at all confused by ZRex's tone. Obviously, she is not condoning anything her parents are doing, as she is on the verge of cutting them out of her life.
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    She can rant about how horrible her parents are, and how wonderful her FIL's are until she's blue in the face--but if she doesn't actually tell them she disapproves of their behaviors, especially their racist tone toward her future in-laws--there's trouble written all over it. Agree to disagree LVB?
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    Deal :) It was just the 'you're more ridiculous than I thought' that got to me. It seems to be the new thing going around here right now. Its just getting repetitive and extra snarky.
    "In the old days my ass would be in your back yard picking cotton, so excuse me if I don't put much stock in how f*cking awesome the old days were." -Nuggs
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    I think that may be my fault for not making it clear. For my entire life, I have made it clear to my parents that I do not approve of their narrowmindedness and ignorance. I have not been sitting by allowing these things to happen to me, but I guess since I did not mention any of that in my OP, it may have sounded like I was just allowing it to happen. This has been a lifelong struggle. My parents moved here from Pakistan in the late seventies/early eighties, and have never adjusted. They have, instead, created a little Pakistan for themselves here. If I have been trying to work with them it is because I was mindful of what a culture shock this must be to them, considering that they had an arranged marriage and actually met, for the first time, on their wedding day. I thought that by introducing them to FI while we were dating, and keeping them posted on what was happening in our lives, I was helping them get used to the idea. What really happened is that they went along with everything, hoping that we would break up. Now that we're getting married, they're letting their true feelings out. That being said, their current behavior is too much, and I have warned them both about the likely consequences of their behavior.
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    I suppose I am just extra sensitive to individuals who allow certain behavior to go on--even when they know it's wrong, because it's easier to allow it to continue that to stand up against it. It's good to know that you've stood up to your parents--I just encourage you to stand strong, and hopefully-sooner rather than later--they will get the hint.
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