Moms and Maids
Power struggle with my mother
First off, I thank you for taking the time to read my post. I apologize ahead of time if it is fairly long. I am dealing with family conflict over our wedding, and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I want to explain the situation as best I can, but that includes adding a little background info so the full situation is better understood. Again, I apologize in advance...
My FH proposed to me in May after dating for a year and a half, and we are planning a long engagement (wedding date October 8, 2017). My FH is a wonderful man and is truly my best friend. Our friends and family accepted the news quite well. I am both excited and nervous about the marriage; I love my FH to bits, but I haven't had a good example on a healthy marriage growing up. The thought of turning into my parents frightens me. So far, my FH has assured me that our relationship is solid, and we have better communication skills than my parents do.
After a lengthy discussion, my FH and I decided I would find a new job in North Carolina and we would get our own place sometime next year well before the wedding. He is providing support for his mother; her husband (my FH's step father but the only father figure he had) passed away in February of this year from lung cancer. I am fortunate enough to have a really good relationship with my MIL; almost to the point where she's more of a mother figure than my own mother. I announced the relocation plans to my parents last month. My mother was not pleased, but stated I was allowed to live where I wanted and eventually accepted this.
The trouble began late June when we talked about my FH and I going ahead and securing a venue (so we can make payments towards the venue monthly). I'd like to note that my FH and I are paying for our own wedding so we don't burden our families financially. Also, my mother monopolized my brother's wedding (she was assisting him financially), and I didn't want that for our wedding. My mother insisted that I get married in the church she prefers in my hometown (a church I haven't been to for over a year and a half). I'm not a traditionalist and kindly shot down the church idea. She suggested vineyards to me and was pushing me to go see two: one that was thirty minutes away, and one that was an hour away. My FH and I did view both venues and felt it wasn't right for us.
We settled on a beautiful venue that is housed in an antique shop (we both love antiques). The venue is willing to do all the decorating (including linens), provide tables and chairs, provide silverware / dishware for the caterers we'll eventually hire, and access to the venue for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. All we have to do is find a caterer, find someone who can make a wedding cake, find flowers, hire a photographer, hire someone to marry us, and show up. The place is old timey and rustic, but welcoming, romantic, and full of history. The venue is 40 to 45 minutes away.
I discussed this with my mother with the intention of taking her to view the venue herself. I was greeted by an angry response that almost bordered on verbal abuse. I will provide some of the statement she made to me below:
- "Why did you choose this place? I hate (town that venue is located). You're making a mistake."
- "We were going to assist you financially, but we won't since we don't agree with the venue location." (something I already expected, hence why my FH and I are paying for it ourselves).
- "This is (FH's) fault; apparently its his wedding now and not yours."
- "You can count on your friends and coworkers not attending your wedding; that means only...what 15 people will show up? You need to realize they won't show up so you can properly plan on catering...at least catering will be cheap."
- "The preacher you wanted to perform your wedding won't marry you if you have it there; you know he's old and is in poor health. You wouldn't want to burden him with more stress. You may need to call him and tell him his services won't be needed."
- "How will you receive gifts? If you have your wedding there, no one here will buy you gifts for your new home."
- "Well...maybe this venue will go bankrupt and shut down before your wedding date." (they're booked the rest of this year and most of next year)
And then she said the one thing that really broke my heart:
- Your father and I will attend the wedding, but we are not participating in any wedding activities, we will not be involved in the rehearsal, involved in the actual ceremony, or attending the rehearsal dinner. I'm not driving to (venue location) twice."
Every response I made was met with negativity, and to hear that my mother won't go with me dress shopping and my father won't walk me down the aisle floored me. I called my FH that night in tears, took a day off work, and met up with him to discuss it. I was so upset that I almost suggested calling off the wedding and my FH and I just eloping. My FH calmed me and reminded me that this was our wedding and (since we're paying for it) we should have it the way we desire. So we decided to move forward with our original plan.
I am fortunate to have friends and coworkers who have offered to fill the roles that my mother would play in the planning portion. While I am greatly appreciative of it, it just doesn't feel the same...I am depressed that I don't have my mother's support anymore. We don't discuss the wedding at all anymore because it always starts up an argument. I am so confused and even question whether I'm in the wrong. I've been told I need to just accept that my mother doesn't want to be involved, but I'm having a hard time with this.
Sorry this is long, but I don't know what to do to deal with the whirlwind of emotions I'm dealing with. I hate burdening my FH with it (even though he has been insanely supportive about all of this) and wanted to try reaching out for advice.
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