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I guess the only real wedding-related struggle we had was over the guest list. H and I both had to put our foot down with my MIL, who was not paying but wanted to invite more of her extended family than we could accommodate- though I don't know if that's really a "hill to die on" issue.
The only disagreement H and I had between ourselves was the question of inviting some of his buddies from high school, who he admittedly was no longer close to at the time of the wedding but felt some compulsion to include (I suspect largely because they made a comment to his parents that indicated they were expecting an invite). It was a group of four guys, all of whom had SOs at the time, so I told him there was really no way we could accommodate eight additional people without really reworking our whole budget (we only invited about 55 people total). He wanted to invite them without SOs but I vetoed that- ultimately he decided not to invite any of them because he realized he was wanting them to be there more out of obligation/nostalgia than any real desire to share the day with them.
I can't really get on board with the idea that new moms are failing to be self-sufficient, or that we've swung too far in the direction of pampering them, at least in the US. I've never had a kid but from what I've been exposed to the expectations for new moms is so freaking ridiculous. A couple of things:
1. I'm not at all against any kind of modern medical intervention during childbirth, whether it's giving picotin to speed labor, epidurals for pain, c-section for medical necessity or even just convenience, but it is a factual truth that those interventions change the way we recover from childbirth. They can serve absolutely critical functions during the course of labor, but they also interrupt or interact with the natural release of hormones etc. which some studies suggest makes recovery from childbirth much more difficult.
2. Many moms have to go back to work within 4-6 weeks of giving birth under immensely stressful conditions because of the shitty maternity leave options in this country. On top of that, many work cultures are not understanding of or sympathetic towards the realities of motherhood. Women joining the workforce in ever greater numbers is great in so many ways, but you can't deny it makes having a kid a lot more complicated- literally as soon as you get out of the newborn haze it's back to the grind!
3. Then there's the intense amount of societal pressure to be a perfect mom, get your body back right away, document everything perfectly etc etc.
Were some variations of some of these pressures present a generation ago? Sure, but not nearly to the degree that they are now (well maybe not so with the medical interventions lol, twilight sleep sounds like it was messed up). I just really feel that in a lot of ways the system is set against new moms in a way that is unique to this time and this place.
Whew, okay rant over. It just irks me to see so much of the "back in my day we walked uphill in the snow both ways and didn't complain about it" mentality.
Anyway, it's nuts that your friend expected you to cook the lasagna, not just from an entitlement perspective but also because, as someone mentioned, it would take just as long to reheat it as to cook it and reheating in the microwave results in a seriously inferior dinner.
This is a really tough situation and I'm so sorry you have been going through it. Obviously I only know what you've shared here, but two things stick out to me: you feel abandoned and alone in your current home (which your FI doesn't seem too concerned about), and your FI is not interested in compromise. Those factors make me think you are right to be having second thoughts.
The thing is, your significant other should want to find a lifestyle that works for both of you. It should make him unhappy to see you unhappy, and that should be enough to motivate him to want to compromise. So the fact that he doesn't is a bit of a red flag.
If this were a temporary living situation- like he needed to live in a small town because of his job for a few years but was willing to go back to the city later, that would be one thing. But it sounds like you just have different visions for your life long-term.
It it sounds like you have been talking some of this stuff out together- is he aware that you are thinking of calling things off?
I completely agree with the majority sentiment here that this was beyond reprehensible (and I think all the "well it's the law so he should have complied" stuff is absolute BS), but as a slight aside- I'm surprised so many people think $800 is a great deal in a situation like this!
In a situation where it results in me having to leave the airport and return the next day (meaning going through all the security etc. again), stay overnight in a shitty hotel the airline puts me up in with no familiarity with or desire to be in the area, scramble to find someone to feed my pets that night, miss a full day of work (meaning I use up a valuable vacation day doing something I hate, and that's not even factoring in the inconvenience to myself and others if I actually had something relatively important scheduled at work for the next day, or had a large part of my income tied to commission/production/output), and basically prolong all the stress of travel for another 24 hours, $800 would not be nearly enough to make me take the deal. Oh and of course you know whenever you get booted from a flight for any reason if you had any checked luggage chances are extremely high it is going to get lost for a few days. Absolutely not worth it and I'm not surprised people didn't want to take that deal- people are traveling because they need to be somewhere, and even if that somewhere is just vacation or something it's rare that the loss of a day means less, either literally or emotionally, to them than $800.
First of all, I think a couple of PP's made a really good point- I wouldn't be surprised if your refusal to invite your dad's FI to things she should be invited to is actually making him less willing to do things without her in general. Do you think that could be the case? Like one PP, I am stubborn so if my SO wasn't invited somewhere he should be with me I would refuse to give the rude party what they want (time with me but without my fiancé) under other circumstances as well.
Also, as much as this sucks, you just have to remember that all that shitty stuff your dad is doing now, like failing to make time for you, going along with not having pictures of you in his home, giving away things you wanted to his new wife- that is who is really is. He FI isn't making him do those things. He's just a shitty guy who is willing to be thoughtless of your feelings. It might be time to start coming to terms with that.
And yeah, tons of us have lost parents, become estranged from them, or totally cut them out... and yeah, tons of us probably felt sad about not having them there for our weddings and wedding planning. It's not such an uncommon thing that no one can empathize. But we didn't use it as an excuse to behave rudely. You definitely have multiple legit reasons to be sad- but those feelings don't have to control your actions if you don't let them.