MIL and wedding - aibu?(42 Posts)
Let me preface this by saying that my (very soon to be) MIL is a perfectly good hearted person and I would never want to upset her.
However, this weekend we went to visit and she told ua that she was going to make a speech at our wedding this summer. In itself, I don't have an issue with this. My problem is a) being TOLD (as opposed to asked/discussing it etc) and b) the fact that the wedding is very soon and we are up against it wih logistics as it is! You'd think she could have mentioned it sooner?!
I freely admit that we don't 'click' - but we generally rub along fine - after all, it'a not her i'm marrying. The problem is that she has a tendancy to infantalising her adult children (and by extension, me) - telling us what to wear/eat/do etc. any attempt to establish boundaries/laugh something off is taken as a personal insult. This incident is just the latest in a long line of similar incidents and I have to admit that I am at the end of my tether. The level of upset she causes my DP on a daily basis whenever he attempts to establish any kind of adult relationship is breaking my heart.
I want everyone to be happy - but the only way she would be happy is if my DP and his siblings were 5 again. She adored being a mother of small children and I think she'll make a very loving grandparent but I also worry that she will want to take over, given past indicators.
I sometimes feel like all I am is an unwelcome reminder that her son is no longer a little boy, tolerated because I will hopefully one day produce grandchildren for her relive her own day of motherhood. I feel sorry for her that it seems that was the only time in her life we was happy - but I feel that she needs to start respecting my DP and I as adults. Is that unreasonable? Any advice on how to establish healthy, non-aggressive boundaries in this situation?
Sorry for the essay! Thoughts appreciated...
We took the view that unless you were paying for it, you didn't get speaking rights. So we had no speeches, just a couple of brief thank yous each from me and the groom.
My SIL did an impromptu speech at my wedding. Difference was it was a teary welcome rather than an interfering demand. If she likes to boss people around, set boundaries quickly.
She reminds me of my FIL. When MIL died he gave SIL and DH some things to do (with the funeral etc.) and told me, "oh, I like to give the children a bit of responsibility, you know." They are both 40+ with DC. He seems not to know this. However, he has NPD so it's not really his fault.
OP, a lot of your post is painfully familiar to me. You think you're not marrying your MIL? <hollow laugh> Oh, but you are. You're marrying the whole family. You just want everyone to be happy? It's your wedding. Nobody tells the bride what will be happening at her wedding. My MIL nagged me relentlessly about my wedding, eventually phoning me daily until my head was spinning. Withdraw. Give an inch and she'll take a mile - and she'll be bossing you about years later.
A cross between Miss Bates and Mrs Bennet? <blood runs cold thinking about it>
My mother took it upon herself to decide to make an unannounced speech at my wedding. I'd be lying if I said it was unexpected - she's got to make everything about her - managed to work in several incredibly subtle digs at me while appearing to be mother of the year to everyone else (another of her party tricks).
I could have cheerfully killed her for the combination of that, plus wearing a ridiculous hat that makes her look like she's got a cabbage stuck to her head on all the photos.
A great talker on little matters!
I think a reading is the way to go.
Oh bloody hell! The Mrs Bennett bit is certainly a nightmare.
Eyescrossed, that's what I'm afraid of!;-p
My dad suggested giving her the first speech slot as she is a) less likely to have been hitting the champagne too hard by then (disclaimer, my mum is a big drinker too, I'm not judging, but the difference is my mum won't be tipsily speaking at the wedding!) and b) anything odd/inappropriate can be cancelled out by the subsequent speeches....
She is a dear kind well meaning woman but she require a bit of 'handling'
(Think a cross between miss bates in Emma and mrs bennett in pride and prejudice, for you literature types ;-p)
Ask her to do the reading and she will agree, but want to do a speech too.
Don't know what readings you are planning, but I'm fairly sure one of mine included the lines 'therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.'
Viz a viz managing her; it will have to come from your DH. My MIL is the same. She laments all growing up markers in her GCs. It's hard as she has a heart of gold, but our parenting styles do differ so there're sometimes clashes.
I like the idea of the groom's mum doing a speech. At our wedding, all four parents and my sister did a quick 3min speech/welcome. I was very clear that I did not want the traditional scanario of three men (DH, best man and DF) taking control.
Of course if she's crazy you have a responsibility to limit her interaction with the other guests!
I quite like the idea of the MOG or MOB making a speech. I think the idea that women don't speak at weddings to be hideous.
45 minutes of speeches is boring the guests!
I found I had a queue of people telling me they were making speeches at my wedding. I said no as only me, my DH and bestman were making speeches and there were going to be very short. Everyone got over it although claimed initially to be mortally offended.
Honestly weddings are designed to help you offend as many people as possible in the shortest time. You will have to get some boundaries going ASAP unless you want to walk up the aisle wearing a doormat.
There are lots of good excuses such as venue insists on tight timing, how long the photographer will be there, you are only having minimal speeches, you'd rather she did a reading etc etc. But make sure she doesn't do a speech!
If you & your dh don't mind then let her. Vet content first. 10mins maximum & make sure fob speech is same length. No harm done make sure all the speeches come in at 45 mins to an hour max. Avoid boring the guests. Better if she could manage an amusing anecdote about the groom's childhood. I'd rather listen to that than some dull saying how great groom and /or bride is & remembering dead relatives/ absent family. Usually that's wrapped up by fob.
I love the speeches at a wedding. It can be uncomfortable when they drag on & aren't too entertaining. I've sat through a few too many double best men speeches (wtf!). Many a sentimental fob speech, usually loads of bm who are keen to go on about what lairy times they've had drinking in the past, 'I'm mad me' type speeches. The groom's is always fairly standard, usually sweet. I've only ever heard one groom do a really funny good speech. I think add a mog speech to the mix could liven things up.
A reading is a good idea, make sure she knows it's one you pick and she does not have carte blanche or you'll get some maudlin stuff about her baby boy growing up and leaving her but how he'll always be her baby really... (sob)
That's it phantom - I felt like the actual issue (wanting to e involved in te wedding) was fine, but that I need to make a stand/regain control over the way it was broached, iyswim? If I can get her to do a reading instead, that would send a signal that we do want her to be involved (and we do!) but on our own terms
Regarding non-wedding boundaries, I'm glad it's unanimous - DP is generally assertive but is also (understandably) not keen to upset his mum more than is necessary. He's got a lot better since I met him and their relationship is improving - it's just that a full weekend in the same house (plus wedding stress) drives me to the brink of sanity ;-p
the more you give, the more people like this will take - it starts with you not wanting to appear rude and ends with them taking absolute liberties and pulling the "poor me" card when challenged on anything.
Accommodate her now and you have a life time of her getting her own way, or sulking, ahead of you.
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