Moms and Maids

Mom won't come to the wedding

Okay so this is a long story hopefully made shorter. My parents got divorced about two years ago. My father cheated and has moved on and my mom is still dealing with things. I am on good terms with both parents after a lot of discussions, anger, and resolving things. Both parents are over the moon about the engagement (he asked both of their blessings separately) and have been generally very supportive. (We have been engaged for a year and are 4 months away from the wedding). But recently, my mom has been finding small things to pick a fight over with me about the wedding, all leading up to a really dramatic argument a few weeks ago where she went totally crazy and screamed at me that she will not attend the wedding. It took me several days and a lot of talking and crying on both our parts to finally figure out that the reason she won't come is because she doesn't want to see my dad and his family. I am trying to be understanding and kind because she has been hurt so badly, but I really need my mom there. The kicker is that she is insisting on being a part of every little detail of planning and gets angry and cries when I do something (anything) without her. SO I feel like if I want to convince her to come, I have to include her in everything. But when I ask her opinion or bring her on appointments, she keeps saying "I don't care" and "whatever" and says that my wedding is too painful for her to be thinking about. Has anyone been in a similar situation or can give me advice on how to handle this? I want to be supportive and compassionate to her, but this is hurting me so deeply.

Re: Mom won't come to the wedding

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2016
    How horrible.

    I think that the one course of action that could be productive right now is to let the air cool between you and your mother, and do not discuss the wedding with your mother at all.  In the meantime, plan the wedding together with your FI with the money you have available and be prepared to return any contributions she has made and to forgo any that she has promised. If your mother brings up the wedding, and she is calmer, you might respond along the lines of "Mom, I took your word that you aren't attending and am planning accordingly. (Here's a check for your money back.) FI and I have decided to just plan the best wedding we can on our own dime. Since you didn't like anything we were planning and our discussions led to conflict, we're not open to discussing it anymore. We hope you'll be willing to come and will be prepared to host you if you make that decision, but if you don't, we understand."

    This gives your mom an opening to change her mind and come, but at the same time allows you to stand your ground with her without bringing your father into it or accepting or assigning any guilt. 
    DrillSergeantCatOurWildKingdomshort+sassyernursej
  • Thanks for your advice Jen. She isn't paying anything towards the wedding so luckily that is not an issue for us. I just wish she wanted to be a part of my wedding, as selfish as that is. I feel like this will do a lot of damage to our relationship because even though I'm trying to compassionate, I'm still feeling a lot of resentment.
  • Olive Oil, that's a really good idea. Almost half the guest list is her family and friends (not an exaggeration) so I was hoping that would help put a buffer up and keep her busy visiting with them. As hard as it is, I'm thinking that you're right and I need to stand up for myself here. It hurts me every time I have to bring her to something that should be fun and she acts like she doesn't care. Thanks for your advice. This is definitely not an easy situation to navigate.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited August 2016
    Olive Oil, that's a really good idea. Almost half the guest list is her family and friends (not an exaggeration) so I was hoping that would help put a buffer up and keep her busy visiting with them. As hard as it is, I'm thinking that you're right and I need to stand up for myself here. It hurts me every time I have to bring her to something that should be fun and she acts like she doesn't care. Thanks for your advice. This is definitely not an easy situation to navigate.
    Your Mom will not magically change into another person because it is your wedding.  Many divorced people are bitter about their marriage experience, and project that onto other people who are getting married.  It probably hurts her when you bring up wedding things that are supposed to be "fun".

    Stop expecting her to be happy about your wedding.
    Stop talking to her about your wedding.
    Ignore her negative comments, and try to be understanding.
    Do talk about how beautiful SHE will look in her dress.

    My MIL made the same threat.  My DH simply told her that if she decided not to attend the wedding, he would physically pick her up in her pajamas (which she wore 24/7) and carry her to the church, where her friends would laugh at her!  He meant it.  She came, pouting and crying all the way.
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    OurWildKingdomPrettyGirlLost
  • I think that most threats like this are empty. I like PPs advice above about stopping all wedding chitchat and if the wedding is brought up by her let her know that you aren't comfortable discussing anything about the wedding with her since she has said that she won't come.

    Likely, this sort of occasion would make her examine her own marriage and divorce which will bring up all sorts of negative thoughts.

    Hopefully she will come around. If not, you are fully right to be hurt and upset but an invitation is not a summons and you may have to deal with her not in attendance. It will reflect badly on her ... NOT on you.

    kimmiinthemitten
  • I'm sorry you are going through this.

    My MIL didn't do anything close to this but was a similar situation- FIL cheated and is now married to the woman he cheated with, and has become a "father" to this woman's children. This has been 5 years ago, but it is still painful for MIL.

    We had MIL sit in the front row with my parents at the ceremony, with FIL on the other side. We sat them as far away from each other as possible at the reception, and told MIL she could bring any guest she wanted to the wedding (luckily she had recently started dating someone, and I think this also made it easier). We had about 175 people at the wedding, and with this amount of people they honestly barely ran across each other's paths. Just some tips if you can convince her/she decides to come.
  • You need to be completely honest with your mother, tell her that you need her there as your mother and that you think it will change your relationship in the future if she isn't there.  I would tell her that as an adult and a parent she has to deal with this and move on.  This is just the first of many events, you will have things like children's births, birthday parties, all kinds of your milestones that she needs to learn to deal with so that she can be a part of your life. Maybe hearing it all will make her deal with it, if it doesn't then it will be her loss. I hope she can act like an adult for you, but you need to be prepared that not all divorced parents can do that.
    OliveOilsMom
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