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To invite the FILs or not?

I'm going to add to the family drama posts this morning...

We've had issues with his mom since we started dating. She's a "narcissistic," controlling type parent. My FI, prior to meeting me, really went out of his way to keep her happy by complying with her demands to avoid her constant guilt trips. Well, things kind of changed when we made a life together and he prioritized "us." She made her unhappiness quite plain.

When we told her we were getting married last year, things went to sh*t. She said a lot of nasty things, and we broke off contact with her for awhile. Since then, my FI has tried to communicate to her how she made him feel and what they needed to change in order to fix things. She maintains she did nothing wrong, that she won't change herself, she liked FI better "before" he met me, and she still can't be happy about our being together (we are 27 and 30).

At this point, my FI isn't sure he wants a relationship with her. Our lives have been so much more peaceful since cutting her off. And we know that if we have kids and she's in our lives, it'll be a living hell.

The question is: do we invite her to our wedding anyway? Her friends and family are putting a lot of pressure on us. We think she'll pout and complain to other guests about being mistreated. Both of us agree it will cause us stress to have her there. If we don't invite her, she'll never let it go. But we don't really think we want her in our lives anyway. Trying to work things out has netted us nothing. :\
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Re: To invite the FILs or not?

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    I think you need to leave this decision completely up to you FI. It's his mother and if you sway him one way or the other, he may end up resenting you for it. Stay out of it and smile sweetly. You'll look like the saint and she'll be the crazy. 

    Sorry you're dealing with this. 
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    Unless you are absolutely certain that you will never be able to work things out with her, I would invite her. Later on down the line, if you do make up, the hurt of not being at her son's wedding will probably never go away. Additionally, I think it would close the door on any chance of working things out with her if you don't invite her.
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    I should note that FI misses his dad. However, his dad's love seems to be held for ransom by his mom in the sense tha unless his mom is completely happy (like back to the way things were), his dad won't speak to him. Does that make sense? Apparently this is common in these types of parental relationships.
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    Ditto, Lia. I had a rocky relationship with my mother, and there were times where we were "off" and not speaking for a year at a time. The same is true with my brother. However, I was always wanting to work things out, never wanting to completely cut them from my life. If you don't invite her to the wedding, you will most definitely be severing all ties, and even though your fiance is angry with her right now, severing ties with family is a big step. The ones I HAVE done it with (a cousin and her family), I do not regret, but a mother is sometimes a different story.  You don't have to include her any more than she needs to be, but I think you might regret not at least inviting her. 
    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
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_to-invite-the-fils-or-not?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:94a51ffb-dfbc-424f-b1e5-4b6c88e5649fPost:54c311da-5f30-456f-9a0c-5a28c513de79">Re: To invite the FILs or not?</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is not your decision.  This is not her friends' decision and it is not the rest of the family's decision.  Only your FI can make this decision, and you really need to support him regardless of what he decides.  If he comes to the conclusion it's easier to invite her than deal with the fallout of not inviting her, smile and tell him you love him and will happily support that decision.  If he decides not to invite her, do the same.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>His current MO is to ignore the situation and not think about it. I don't know if that's healthy, but I hate bringing it up. We just sent out STDs for a June 22 wedding and didn't send one to his parents. They know the date, and we can send them an invite later if things resolve a bit, but FI didn't feel ready to make a decision, and his mom sent a fairly nasty note over Thanksgiving. But I know they'll hear from friends that they didn't get one.

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    I agree with the previous posts that you should ultimately leave the decision up to your fiance and support what he chooses, but if it were me I would invite her. Especially if he's been missing his dad, I'd bet he wants his dad to be at your wedding and he probably won't come if his wife isn't invited. If you want to have even just a cordial relationship with either of his parents ever again down the line, you're going to have to suck it up and invite them.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_to-invite-the-fils-or-not?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:94a51ffb-dfbc-424f-b1e5-4b6c88e5649fPost:e6c4f19d-56f4-4b83-95b5-4ab03fc35a51">Re: To invite the FILs or not?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I should note that FI misses his dad. However, his dad's love seems to be held for ransom by his mom in the sense tha unless his mom is completely happy (like back to the way things were), his dad won't speak to him. Does that make sense? Apparently this is common in these types of parental relationships.
    Posted by runpipparun[/QUOTE]

    I agree with all of the PPs on it being up to FI completely, but I would probably extend the offer.  With the knowledge that your FI misses his dad and doesn't want to cut him out, even if dad isn't really talking to him now just makes it seem like you should invite them and leave the ball in their court.  You can't take back the memories of not being at their son's wedding if you all reconcile years down the road.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_to-invite-the-fils-or-not?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:94a51ffb-dfbc-424f-b1e5-4b6c88e5649fPost:c72ae4fd-4407-4258-a340-050c7d653ff0">Re: To invite the FILs or not?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ditto, Lia. I had a rocky relationship with my mother, and there were times where we were "off" and not speaking for a year at a time. The same is true with my brother. However, I was always wanting to work things out, never wanting to completely cut them from my life. If you don't invite her to the wedding, you will most definitely be severing all ties, and even though your fiance is angry with her right now, severing ties with family is a big step. The ones I HAVE done it with (a cousin and her family), I do not regret, but a mother is sometimes a different story.  You don't have to include her any more than she needs to be, but I think you might regret not at least inviting her. 
    Posted by AddieL73[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>How did you work things out with your mom? Everything we've read about in books on controlling parents says that they do not change (particularly narcissistic parents) and that you only have a few options --- reducing contact or cutting them off. She's not dealt well with reduced contact, and attempts to talk with her fail miserably. She doesn't listen and she contorts words horribly. No matter what FI says or how nicely, she turns it into a knife in his hand and stabs herself with it, making him feel AWFUL.
    </div>
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_to-invite-the-fils-or-not?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:94a51ffb-dfbc-424f-b1e5-4b6c88e5649fPost:e804c13a-c3d8-41da-89ce-74bacd97cb2f">Re: To invite the FILs or not?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: To invite the FILs or not? : How did you work things out with your mom? Everything we've read about in books on controlling parents says that they do not change (particularly narcissistic parents) and that you only have a few options --- reducing contact or cutting them off. She's not dealt well with reduced contact, and attempts to talk with her fail miserably. She doesn't listen and she contorts words horribly. No matter what FI says or how nicely, she turns it into a knife in his hand and stabs herself with it, making him feel AWFUL.
    Posted by runpipparun[/QUOTE]

    <div>I basically had to let her know that I was an adult, not a child who had no choice but to "put up with" her, and that if she chose to behave in certain ways (which I would rather not get into fully), she would be choosing to remove herself from my life. That although she was my mother and I loved her very much, some of her behavior was simply no longer acceptable if she wanted to have a relationship with me. She had some issues that she refused to take meds for, so because of that, a lot of it was out of our hands and things were never perfect, but she did get the message and stopped trying to manipulate me and make herself a victim. And I am grateful that we were in a very good place when she died. </div>
    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
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    I'm for inviting her, simply because if you don't, she will complain to everyone she knows that her terrible DIL refused to invite her to her own son's wedding.  Unless you think she's going to murder someone or claw the eyes out of the officiant to try and prevent the wedding from going through, she should be invited.  Now, you don't have to take pictures with her, and you can stick her at Table 5 in the corner if you wish.  
    Also, I would tell everyone all of the things she's saying and doing, just so that if she does say anything "Debbie Downer"-ish to people, it's not some shocking piece of new gossip.  It's just that old broad being that old broad.
    Finally, if she does make a scene of some sort at your wedding, guess what?  You will never have to explain to anyone why she's never included in Thanksgiving!
    "I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you."image
    July 12, 2013
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_to-invite-the-fils-or-not?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:94a51ffb-dfbc-424f-b1e5-4b6c88e5649fPost:f1da7bfa-d5a6-434e-a93f-1c8018667d6e">Re: To invite the FILs or not?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: To invite the FILs or not? : <strong>I basically had to let her know that I was an adult, not a child who had no choice but to "put up with" her, and that if she chose to behave in certain ways (which I would rather not get into fully), she would be choosing to remove herself from my life. That although she was my mother and I loved her very much, some of her behavior was simply no longer acceptable if she wanted to have a relationship with me.</strong> She had some issues that she refused to take meds for, so because of that, a lot of it was out of our hands and things were never perfect, but she did get the message and stopped trying to manipulate me and make herself a victim. And I am grateful that we were in a very good place when she died. 
    Posted by AddieL73[/QUOTE]

    <div>FI tried this. Her response was that other people had pointed out her flaws (manipulation, guilt tripping, being controlling) in the past, but that she never expected her son, her only son to do the same. How COULD he have done such a hurtful thing? Sons are supposed to love their mothers the way they are, unconditionally. It was all fine for him to want live his life the way he wanted, but if he wanted her to accept him as an adult, shouldn't he be willing to love her and accept her, warts and all, and not to ask her to change a thing about herself as well? That was his duty as a son. Not to ask her to change, and to be willing to put up with her "warts."</div><div>
    </div><div>So, she said, "No" when he said, "Change or we can't have a relationship."</div>
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    Well, it sounds like he has done all he can do as far as working on the relationship. I still think you should at least invite her to the wedding. The involvement you have with her in your regular lives sounds like it will be non-existent, but I would just hate for your fiance to make a decision he can't take back and may regret in the future.  **Hugs**
    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
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    edited January 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_to-invite-the-fils-or-not?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:94a51ffb-dfbc-424f-b1e5-4b6c88e5649fPost:f4cab444-ce97-4b63-ae2b-96eafc1fe6f0">Re: To invite the FILs or not?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm for inviting her, simply because if you don't, she will complain to everyone she knows that her terrible DIL refused to invite her to her own son's wedding.  Unless you think she's going to murder someone or claw the eyes out of the officiant to try and prevent the wedding from going through, she should be invited.  Now, you don't have to take pictures with her, and you can stick her at Table 5 in the corner if you wish.   <strong>Also, I would tell everyone all of the things she's saying and doing, just so that if she does say anything "Debbie Downer"-ish to people, it's not some shocking piece of new gossip.  It's just that old broad being that old broad. </strong>Finally, if she does make a scene of some sort at your wedding, guess what?  You will never have to explain to anyone why she's never included in Thanksgiving!
    Posted by woodschr[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>I agree with PPs. Invite FMIL (if your FI is okay with it) and it's up to her if she goes or not... but please do not take the advice above. There's no need to spread the gossip in your circle of how your FMIL is behaving. It'll only add fuel to the fire she's burning because you know she'll hear about it.</div>
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    Don't invite them.  Yes, MIL will complain to everyone about her rotten son and his mean wife.  But if you invite her, she will try to make everything about her and ruin your wedding, and then she will complain to everyone about her rotten son and his mean wife.  The outcome is the same in both scenarios, but one involves a lot less misery for the two of you along the way.  She's made it quite clear that she doesn't think she's done anything wrong.  She's not going to apologize and she certainly isn't going to change.

    It's unfortunate that your fiance is also losing his relationship with his dad, but to some extent, that's his dad's choice. If he doesn't have the backbone to stand up to his wife, even when she's emotionally abusing his son, there's not much your husband can do about that.

     
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    "We think she'll pout and complain to other guests about being mistreated." She's going to make you look helluva lot worse if you don't invite her.
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    we are going thru the EXACT same thing. after years of abuse from FI's mother, and a huge falling out with his entire family for going behind his back about his son. he has decided he does not want to invite them. he would rather not be phony on his wedding day. He has dealt with this nonsense for 32 years and none of these people can admit when they are wrong and everything is FI's fault. I would tell him no matter who someone is, no  one has the right to treat you badly. when i felt like i was pushing the issue i would shut up, because ultimately it is his choice. But if your FI feels anything like mine, he wont invite them,. Theres only so many times someone can say "im sorry" then turn around 3 days later and do the same thing before enough is enough. i know it is hard for him. not because his family wont be at his wedding, but because he had to come to the realization that these people are completely unreasonable and detrimental. I personally am happy they arent invited. I have chosen well before the falling out that i was no longer going to deal with them because i dont need that sh it. the final straw for me was when i picked up my wedding dress and the first person i wanted to show was my FMIL and she told me "its pretty, but im not coming to your wedding" leaving me standing there looking like a complete dumb@. i felt like a little kid who just got her feelings hurt. her reasoning was because she was mad at FI for something that didnt even happen. she just a huge drama queen no one has time for and her husband and other children justify her behavior by saying "wellm you know thats just how she is". well, how she is is just not ok.
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    Without her you wouldn't have your FI right? Invite her and play nice.
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    This all is most definitely not your problem.  This is between your fiance and his mother.  He needs to man up and make a decision.  
    If he said he was going to cut her off if she didn't change and he doesn't follow through, he has set the precident and she will never take any steps towards changing her behavior. 
    I would suggest that he go and get some individual therapy to help sort through his feelings.  Maybe if all goes well some family therapy might follow. 
    But either way, it is not for you to advise or decide on.  If he asks for your adivce, flat out asks for it, I would tell him that you think he should decide if he wants his mother in his life or not.  Not inviting his mother to his wedding is a relationship ending move, but once again, that's up to him.

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