in-law wedding on birthday

(126 Posts)
deliciouscitrus Mon 21-Apr-14 11:44:05

I'm writing this for a friend.
My friends BIL and SIL to be have announced their wedding date for his birthday this year.
It's not a big deal if it were just one day, however In-laws are big anniversary celebration types.
And... every year from now until forever this day will not be his birthday, but BIL & SIL wedding anniversary.
(my friends in laws have a history of ignoring my friends preferences, and his family are abroad)

Is he being unreasonable to refuse to go to the wedding and come to our house for birthday cake instead?

MoreLifeInATrampsVest Tue 22-Apr-14 23:21:08

I suppose it depends on the back story that OP has been hinting at.

DH has a very small family (due to his toxic father alienating his and MIL's siblings years ago and both sets of GP long deceased) but are in touch with a cousin who came to our wedding. They then set the date for their own wedding the weekend of our first wedding anniversary despite knowing we had booked a weekend away as we had no honeymoon die to illness. My God were there tantrums and sulks as we refused to cancel. In the end they got married with just MIL and SIL there, and they've never bothered with us since 5 years later.

But for a birthday, unless it is a 'big' birthday with plans already made, I think it is a bit unreasonable not to go. Celebrate the birthday the day before/after.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 22-Apr-14 23:08:21

Your 'friend' is a massive man child OP.

thegreylady Tue 22-Apr-14 23:01:09

My dd married on her birthday. There was a 3 tier chocolate cake with candles and instead of the bride and groom cutting the cake they blew out the candles smile
Dsil has no excuse for forgetting either occasion now!

ballseditup Tue 22-Apr-14 22:57:09

Your friend is a massive nob OP

Hissy Tue 22-Apr-14 22:44:33

I reckon the wife's still trying to win approval from her parents, and in competition with the golden groom to be.

2rebecca Tue 22-Apr-14 22:38:38

He and his wife need to stand up to them and decline future anniversary celebrations because it's his birthday.
They are adults and don't have to do what other adults say.
If his wife won't go against her parents it becomes a marital problem, most adults learn to say no to their parents if they have clashing views.

OK, assuming we are talking about some seriously unhealthy family dynamics (and we all know they exist); his wife could have a quiet word with her brother, pointing out that his chosen date is her husband's birthday, and obviously she will be unable to attend any future anniversary parties as her husband's birthday parties will obviously be more important to her.

I'm assuming his wife's mother plays favourites and worships her son as The Second Coming whilst regarding her daughter as a handmaiden at best, OP?

flowery Tue 22-Apr-14 21:37:08

Where is his wife in all this? Would she also be refusing to attend her own brothers wedding because it is on her husband's birthday, or would he be coming to your house for cake on his own while she attends the wedding?

Hissy Tue 22-Apr-14 21:22:35

Everyone, i'd guess this is the very thin end of a very, very, very long wedge.

It does sound ridiculous on the face of it, but stately home/dysfunctional family stuff often does. It's how it goes on for so long.

Hissy Tue 22-Apr-14 21:20:42

At some point he has to make a stand.

How old is he? Under 40? He'll soon find that the older he gets, the more confident he gets, and perhaps his dw will back him too.

He kind of has to go to the wedding, but then his job is done. He doesn't have to attend the party, choosing instead to spend time with his friends and family.

He can do this.

Get him on here, Relationships rather than AIBU i'd suggest wink

Stately Homes thread'd be a good place to start.

Bathsheba Tue 22-Apr-14 20:36:54

Ohohohohoh

Are they Jehovah's Witnesses - they do not celebrate birthdays at all but they push the boat out a lot for wedding anniversaries...

bigTillyMint Tue 22-Apr-14 17:34:25

Big parties usually only happen on a weekend, so that means that for at least 4 years they probably wouldn't celebrate on the actual day.

NoodleOodle Tue 22-Apr-14 17:24:46

Wow, just wow. As if they could have done it on purpose, or avoided it, or have been reasonably even expected to have avoided his birthday.

hotfuzzra Tue 22-Apr-14 16:48:30

He gets a massive party for FREE every year around his birthday? Meal, cake and booze?
Where can I meet these people, I'd love to get in on that!!
Seriously, the anniversary party won't be on his actual birthday every year (Sundays, Mondays for example) so most years he can have his perfect birthday with his wife and kids.
The rest of the time he can go to the massive party, make his lovely wife drive, and wear a massive birthday badge.
Is his wallet too small for his fifties, and his diamond shoes too tight as well?!
first world problems

Gubbins Tue 22-Apr-14 16:47:22

I don't know the dates of my siblings' partners' birthdays so couldn't have sabotaged them even if I wanted to. And if my mother had wanted to then she would have been stuffed too, as she didn't get a say in the date; we went for the only one the venue had free.

He has to go to the wedding, but is completely within his rights to ignore all future anniversary party invites. I want to know what his wife has to say about all this though.

fluffyraggies Tue 22-Apr-14 16:28:36

Well yes, do they throw a massive wedding anniversary party for him and his wife every year?

If so then he is being included in the 'family party' throwing tradition every year by virtue of being married into the family. If they do no throw a big party for him and his wife every year what makes him think it's going to be different for her brother?

I must repeat though - is it really realistic to expect a bride to avoid a date because it's her fiance's sister's husband's birthday?? I mean really? How many people's birthdays is one meant to avoid a clash with when organising a wedding?

Burren Tue 22-Apr-14 14:59:47

OP, I can only assume there is some serious family toxicity going on, if your friend's response to an ordinary event is so violent.

Does he genuinely think that his wife's brother and wife to be should have specifically avoided his birthday for their wedding date? There's clearly a backstory, but from an outsider's perspective, that sounds absolutely megalomaniac! I don't think people in general maintain an internal calendar of family birthdays and anniversaries, do they, far less understand that a family member might expect them to avoid his birthday for an event of huge importance to them? If their chosen venue said 'We have availability on date x, date y and date z', would he really expect them to avoid date x, even though it's the most suitable for them?

And no one can make anyone forcibly attend an anniversary party on an annual basis. I'm honestly not sure I believe in this annual anniversary shindig, though - anniversaries, apart from golden or ruby, are just private affairs between the two people who got married, rather than massive family extravaganzas!

OfficerVanHalen Tue 22-Apr-14 14:58:05

^^ "his wife and her family" that should be up there

LoonvanBoon Tue 22-Apr-14 14:55:42

the soon to be newly weds will have a massive party every year organized by friend's MIL. And his wife and kids will be expected to be at that do, and not their own dad's birthday. It's not really about this year one day.

How does he know this for certain? Does his MIL organize a "massive party" for him & his wife every year, & demand that all the family attends? And if so, does everyone seriously go along with this?

Struggling to get my head round the ideas of a)having big parties for all your wedding anniversaries & b) having your anniversary parties organized by your MIL. Anyone who did this in our family (on either DH's or my side) would be laughed at, frankly.

It seems (as others have said) that there are issues about boundaries & control in your friend's family, & rather than tackling those your friend is focussing on the idea of "owning" a date as the only way he can do what he wants for future birthdays.

Agree with everyone else that you can't own a date; that refusing to attend a family wedding because it's your b-day (as an adult) would seem petty & odd. But also that your friend doesn't have to attend any other anniversary parties if he doesn't want to - certainly not for the first ten years! And yes, if he has a problem with MIL being overbearing, he has the perfect excuse (b-day plans), surely? Or will he not have the support of his wife over this? Because that's a whole different problem.

flowery Tue 22-Apr-14 14:55:20

"the soon to be newly weds will have a massive party every year organized by friends MIL and his wife and kids will be expected to be at that do, and not their own dad's birthday."

Well that would be worth making a stand about, but refusing to attend family wedding because it is on his birthday is ridiculously childish and would lose him any high ground.

OfficerVanHalen Tue 22-Apr-14 14:55:01

So this is all coming from your male friend, who is merrily slagging his wife and famy off to you? Do they perhaps "not understand" him? Does he often use you as a shoulder to cry on? Could he perhaps be exaggerating for some completely inexplicable unfathomable reason?

deliciouscitrus - are you married? I only ask because the effort involved to get a decent venue on precisely the date of someone else's birthday just to trump it would be - well incredible. Literally incredible.

Bue Tue 22-Apr-14 14:48:05

There must be some serious family dynamics going on here, to have this kind of reaction to a wedding on your birthday hmm

LineRunner Tue 22-Apr-14 14:47:51

So he and his wife must get a big wedding anniversary party every year as well?

OddFodd Tue 22-Apr-14 14:46:53

Maybe it's the only date they could get for the venue. Maybe it's a special date for them for some other reason. Surely it's not anything to do with your friend's MIL when her son gets married or has she organised the whole thing?

All sounds very odd and if I were you I'd be trying to encourage your friend to put a positive spin on it as BitOutOfPractice suggests

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