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My mum is refusing to come to my wedding

(87 Posts)
newbie83 Mon 17-Feb-14 12:28:37

Hi there

I am having a really rough time as my mother is saying she won't be coming to my wedding. As a person, she is pretty up and down and tends to throw tantrums if she doesn't get her own way. I have my suspicions that she may have a personality disorder as the mood swings are so strong (this is why we have generally not got on as I found her hard to deal with growing up). She has a tendency to fly off the handle and cut people out of her life (most of the family have been at the other end of this at some point or other). So this behaviour isnt new...

Background…
She gave us some money towards the wedding and I believe that she feels that this should give her free reign to basically say what we can and cannot have, what we should and should not do. I thought the money was a gift…and have tried to involve her in the decision making process so that she is part of our wedding. But In all honesty she has not really taken me up on anything I have asked her for input for (been asking a lot)…normally saying she is too busy.

She keeps pushing to bring her friend to the wedding – whilst I am happy for her to bring a friend (if she really has to) it feels rather unnecessary with all of her family, my stepfather's family and my father's family that are coming to our small wedding. She has also selected someone who hasnt been very friendly/kind to me – so I really wouldn’t feel that happy about this person in particular coming.

My partner and I are kicking ourselves that we accepted her gesture of a contribution towards our wedding (we are good, kind people - this was a moment of weakness).

I know that my mother has paid for half of our little wedding…but does this give her the right to have final say on things and invite her friends that make me feel uncomfortable? Should I give the money back? Anyone out there experienced their parents being a nightmare in the lead up to their wedding?

Feeling really down right now.. :-(

No, it doesn't give her the right to dictate anything. It's your special day to enjoy. And if her behaviour means she won't be there, enjoy it without her! It's her choice.

NigellasDealer Mon 17-Feb-14 12:32:23

is there any way that you can just give her the money back and manage without it?
then just go ahead without her.
your wedding, you invite who comes, not her!

Sortyourmakeupout Mon 17-Feb-14 12:33:57

Could you comprimise and invite her friend to evening do if your having one?

as she doesnt have a great relationship with other family members perhaps she wants friend to come along to ensure she isnt on her own.

SomethingOnce Mon 17-Feb-14 12:35:29

Sounds awful. My instant reaction would be to give her the money back and tell her where to go although that may give her an excuse for worse behaviour

AngelaDaviesHair Mon 17-Feb-14 12:36:56

Stick to your guns, I think. At a small wedding, the presence of one unwanted person will stand out a lot more. And is there a danger that with the friend there your mother will be 'egged on' to be more demanding and difficult?

I actually wouldn't offer her her money back. It was a present, and unless it expressly came with strings attached, I think it was fine to accept it while not giving in to all your mother's wishes.

Since she has a tendency to have tantrums, there would always have been something that was a flashpoint, don't you think? It's not that refusing to have this guest is unreasonable (it really isn't), it's just that this is what you mother is like, sadly. Don't react to the threat with any reassurances or apologies, just say 'It will be an awful shame if you decide not to come, I hope you do' then carry on planning the day you want.

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 17-Feb-14 12:46:47

My mother has made both my weddings about her. Repeatedly said she's not coming to both. I've brought shame on the family etc etc.

At my second wedding she absolutely insisted on a head table, then refused to sit at it even though she insisted there was a space for her. Instead she sat with one of her sisters, who she wouldn't allow to be seated with another sibbling and wouldn't allow me to invite her companion then said we were cruel for sitting her with people she didn't know and wouldn't have her at the head table with us.

Some mums just want it to be about them. I love my mum. I'm glad she's a part of my life but shes the mum equivalent of a bridezilla a mumzilla/ mobzilla?

I'm not planning another divorce/ wedding so fortunately its not something I'll have to deal with again.

We have a quiet family joke..'its a yes dear moment.' Its when my mum gets worked up and anything you say, anyway you try to help, infact just your presence fuels the irrationality of the moment. I smile, nod, back away and try not to be to effected by events of that moment. At other moments she's lovely and a great help/ granny with the DC.

I think you need to decide what you want, i.e. No friend at wedding, present this too her and say at the end of the day you want her to be a big part of things, you love her but this one day is about you and it will be done your way. If that means she'd like her generous gift back then you will work out a method of repayment.

ThinkFirst Mon 17-Feb-14 12:47:19

This is your wedding, you have it the way you want it, with the guests you want, don't let her bring someone you don't want there. This is your big day, she didn't buy any rights to have a say when she gave you the money. You've tried involving her, she's not responded so let it go and do it your way. If she doesn't come then it's her loss.

SerenaBracken Mon 17-Feb-14 12:50:59

Would you mind if your mother's not at your wedding?
If you do, you will have to make allowances. A wedding invitation is usually plus1, but you can hardly then object to who her guest is. That's imposing conditions as you feel she has with her cash gift.

motomotomojo Mon 17-Feb-14 12:54:45

I have learn't very recently that whenever someone acts like that, the only way to deal with them is to acknowledge what they have said and then move on without any reaction or emotion. In your case that would be "Ok, sorry to hear that. As my mother, of course you will be sorely missed at the wedding. However, whether you are there or not, we are going to make this the most special day of our lives". I get this with a few of the older generation in our families and I have no patience with it at all. I just let them cut off their nose to spite their face. There is one person in our family who used to get away with behaviour like this, then I got older and grew a set and I now have a lot of fun calling her bluff. She has stopped throwing 3-year old tantrums now as she worked out that tantrum does not equal own way, but equals not being included in the fun stuff.

At some point your mothers behaviour will turn into indifference on your part and that unfortunately is her own doing.

Money given in such circumstances by such disordered people is never actually given without condition attached i.e the right to dictate terms as to how your wedding should be conducted. Can you actually return the funds?.

I think you are correct in your feeling that she does indeed have a untreated and perhaps even untreatable personality disorder.

I would think very carefully about your relationship with your mother going forward as she will not change, you can only change how you react to her.

I would also suggest you post on or read the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages as well.

newbie83 Mon 17-Feb-14 13:29:42

@NigellasDealer - we want to do that - but we are now worried that will come as some sort of snub? Also - WE know we have invited her to help but she may take us giving her money back as fulfilling her view that we dont want her help?

I feel a bit damned if i do, damned if i dont. I would love to have had a mother who would want to get involved and help me...but this is not what is on offer really...ugh!

AngelaDaviesHair Mon 17-Feb-14 13:37:04

Put yourselves first. What do you two want? What's the least stressful path going to be? Work around that. Don't worry about how it comes across to your mother or others.

tribpot Mon 17-Feb-14 13:46:27

Well you don't want her help, so in that sense returning the money is accurate. I wouldn't frame it quite like that to her - maybe just 'it seems like this money is causing all this tension between us, and I would rather you had it to spend on something for yourself'. You are right, though, you will be damned if you do and damned if you don't, so I would do what puts you on the moral high ground, and don't cede control of your own wedding.

I think you were somewhat naive not to think this is how it would end up with your mum - she has form, after all. Please make sure you don't make this mistake again in the future, it will be even worse when she thinks she can financially control you via your children.

newbie83 Mon 17-Feb-14 13:51:00

Hi everyone. I cant say how nice it is to have you to talk to and your support. I have never been so down (my fiance and i were in tears last night as we are so frustrated and upset). Speaking to you all really helps...

In all honesty - with my mothers behaviour being what it is- i could cope probably not having her at the wedding. I would be sad, but i would also know that we invited her...she chose it to be this way.

However - i battle with the embarrassment and shame at the thought of her not coming. Ppl will wonder, they may even ask. It probably would be considered a two way thing...rather than being seen as my mother being highly irrational...

Add the fact that she is poisoning the rest of her family's minds (ie I have not involved her in choices...etc etc...total untruths) it looks to be a rather embarrassing set up with a lot of no shows.

I feel quite ganged up on in this regard. Note - father's family and grooms family will be there...

So is the general consensus that we live in the 21st Century and that parents who pay for parts of weddings DONT have a right to pick guests/have final say etc?



@Serenabracken - she is bringing her new husband and her stepdaughter and all her siblings. She also wants her friend and her friends plus 1!

@MisForMumNotMaid - are you sure our parents are not related?

@AngelaDaviesHair - you are on the money there entirely. Only pain is that my family (her side!!) will see me using her money as not being fair on her as she has had no input.

@Sortyourmakeupout - i could but this is a compromise that she wouldnt be up for.

@motomotomojo - we have had to ignore her (and have just blocked her) cause of the barrage of horrid messages! We have avoided her (given her a wide berth) when she behaved like this before...only problem is it can take a year or so for her to cool down. Wedding is in 6 months!

@AttilaTheMeerkat will take a look at that thread thanks.

Helltotheno Mon 17-Feb-14 13:56:32

Money given in such circumstances by such disordered people is never actually given without condition attached

This.. and tribpot also has it right: if ever there was a moment when you should be seeing your mum's true colours and acting accordingly from here on in, this is absolutely it.

Go to a bank and get a loan of the money. Transfer it back to your mum's account along with something like the statement above. Tell your DM you and your partner are having the wedding you want and whether she chooses to attend that wedding is up to her. Stick to your guns and if necessary, go NC, for a time at least and make that clear...

A leopard rarely changes its spots. This is your wedding. You need to assert yourself! Might be better off with her not there; is she the type who'd cause a scene?

Helltotheno Mon 17-Feb-14 13:58:09

Just read your next post. You really need to put the foot down. Don't be embarrassed, I'm sure everyone knows what she's like...

SerenaBracken Mon 17-Feb-14 14:03:00

I'm reading that your thinking is all over the place.
You say she doesn't want to help you, yet she paid for half the wedding.

You've tried to get her involved but she say's she is too busy. Yet she want's it all her own way.

Can you see the contradictions?

AngelaDaviesHair Mon 17-Feb-14 14:03:27

i battle with the embarrassment and shame at the thought of her not coming

She's counting on it.

A relative of mine got married recently. To a person who had a parent so so awful they waited several years until the parent died and they could get married without having the shit there.

There is more understanding out there for this kind of thing than you may think. And people probably already sense your mother is demanding/high maintenance/insert euphemism of choice here.

Is it likely that, once your mother believes you and your fiance are actually going to brazen it out and not have her there, she will come around and turn up?

And you know what, most reasonable people do not expect to have too much input into their adult children's weddings. My parents had no say at all, not in a horrid way, DH and I knew what we wanted, they were relaxed, it was fine.

newbie83 Mon 17-Feb-14 14:06:08

@Helltotheno - I think she wouldnt dare make a scene on the actual day...unless she drank too much (which is a possibility).

Unfortunately - no one knows what she is like...only her family really. She lives a couple of hours away so rarely has her path crossed with friends...

The grooms parents i think have suspicions...

I worry whether i am making it worse by transferring the money back...part of the damned if i do damned if i dont. At least we can feel ownership of our wedding again if we took out the loan...

newbie83 Mon 17-Feb-14 14:08:49

@AngelaDaviesHair

She is counting on it. Recent nasty barrage of texts...is to take her off the invites. I think she realises if she stays on them she will be showed up...as it is obvious then that it is her that chose not to come.

(yes - a constant flow of texts have come through without us responding - there must be some sort of disorder there...really)

FolkGirl Mon 17-Feb-14 14:11:08

I have read your OP, but didn't really need to.

My mum is refusing to come to my wedding

Well then, she won't be at your wedding, will she. That's her choice to make. Don't be bullied into doing something other than what you want.

I love my children. That love, and anything and everything I do for them comes with no strings attached. That's what love is. Anything else is selfish and about control.

I can say this as someone who planned their wedding around having no intention of their mother being invited. She didn't even get the chance to attend.

Thumbwitch Mon 17-Feb-14 14:11:57

Yes, this is why I didn't want any money from my Mum for our wedding. I knew she would use it as a weapon to insist upon me inviting relatives whom I loathe (with good reason) purely for face-saving reasons on her behalf.
So when she offered money to help out, I assured her that we didn't need it, but thanked her for the offer. She still tried to emotionally blackmail me into inviting said appalling rellies, but I steadfastly refused, telling her that as the invitations were from us, not her and Dad, that they couldn't blame her if they didn't get one.

All sorts of things happened around the wedding, none of which are applicable to your situation but I did get to maintain control of the guestlist, which was the most important thing to us, especially in light of the events that have occurred since. I cannot tell you how angry I would be still, if I'd had to invite those bastards to my wedding - luckily I stood my ground.

SerenaBracken Mon 17-Feb-14 14:13:09

Sorry, I'd missed that she has a husband. Now I'm visualising Dame Edna dragging her friend Madge along with her.

Dromedary Mon 17-Feb-14 14:13:14

Seems pretty normal for your mother to be able to bring a partner or similar to be her companion at the wedding?
If you ask her not to attend the wedding, that is a major thing to do to a parent, and relations will surely go pear-shaped?

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