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Feeling nervous about upsetting my in laws

(49 Posts)
Kab13 Tue 09-Dec-14 09:46:29

I've posted this on the "wedding board" as it is very much wedding related. However I think I may get some good advice here int regards to how I'm meant to deal with my very controlling and manipulative in laws.
We've been engaged a year, discussed many options for our wedding from eloping to a "big wedding".
We have (both me and dp) had a rocky relationship with his parents. They have made our lives bet difficult in the past, said and done some unforgivable things and have very little regard for the fact their son is now an adult.
Their behaviour has caused many am argument between me and dp, a lot of upset and they are very very hard to please.
My mil had her big wedding day but actually uninvited both sets of parents to their wedding as they told her she must invite certain people to her special day. She didn't like the control so specifically uninvited her own mother and her in laws.
Now, we aren't thinking about doing this but after much consideration have decided what we REALLY want is a weekend of just "us" an intimate ceremony with a couple of whiteness provided by the "venue".
I've discussed this with my mum and she is more than happy for us to do as we wish, save our money and have the day we really want.
However we have previously mentioned eloping to my mil and she told us she would pay for her to attend and when dp said "well, we actually meant on our own" she went ballistic. Told him not to speak of it and stormed off.
She really is a difficult woman and just wants us to have a "big " wedding so she can't flaunt around crying and telling everyone she's the mother of the groom and is so proud blah blah blah. It's all she did at dds christening and I can see it happening on our wedding day. It's all about her.
She wants to make the cake, the centre pieces, the favours she wants this and that.
I don't even want all that fuss, it's what she wants for HER sons day .
I've posted on this board regarding her and her behaviour in the past, everyone established she is a narc and we shouldn't see her at all.
I'm now fucked whatever I do.
We do what we want and escape for a weekend and have an intimate wedding and get grief of mil or do a big wedding let her have her way and do as we are told throughout the whole process and have a day we don't want, paying money we don't want but keeping her "happy".
Dp has said he is happy to tell his Mother what we want to do but I don't think he's thought properly about the drama that will unfold.

loudarts Tue 09-Dec-14 09:48:08

I would do what you want and tell her afterwards. It's your day not hers

LaurieFairyCake Tue 09-Dec-14 09:52:23

You can either have the grief on the day of a big wedding.

Or the grief after you've eloped and had the day you want.

I would choose the grief after because then I would have the glow of my wedding day to look back on that couldn't be taken away.

You might choose different, but it is your choice. If you're not going no contact then you have to choose between the two griefs.

misskangaandroo2014 Tue 09-Dec-14 09:52:48

Keep her at arms length. And stop discussing plans with her. Please go ahead with the day you truly want, take a nice picture and send it as an announcement.
Don't do anything because of her reaction. She can be given only necessary information. You don't have to please her. If your DP is fine to cut her out of the process then go for it. He's making a stand. Be there for him x

Lottapianos Tue 09-Dec-14 09:52:50

You and DP are on the same page so do what you want. Ignore any drama, ignore like your life depends on it. Like you said, in her mind it's all about her. You are under no obligation to facilitate this nonsense. Stand firm. Do what you want. Tell her after its all done. Smile smile smile and ignore any hysterics from either her or any flying monkeys she might send in to do her dirty work for her.

TheHermitCrab Tue 09-Dec-14 09:54:56

You either have drama with people that aren't very pleasant anyway, and will probably make a drama out of something else if not this.

Or you have your wedding day for your MIL, and you will always resent that fact.

Do what you want, your relationship is nothing to do with them.

twizzleship Tue 09-Dec-14 09:56:46

well you've answered your own question in the last paragraph smile

she isn't going to change and you will always get grief from her unless you do things EXACTLY as she wants. so my advice would be to have the wedding YOU & DP want and ignore her when she starts her theatrics. she can't force you to listen to her whining, walk away or put the phone down when starts. both you and dp need to stand up to her, you need to tell her her behavior and attitude towards you is not acceptable - personally i'd be telling her i'd be cutting her out of my life if she carries on.

put your foot down with her and it will be much easier later

Kab13 Tue 09-Dec-14 09:59:16

I think the fact I feel incredibly nervous just thinking about her reaction and making the decision to go again her wishes says a lot.
It's a big thing for dp to do something against his parents wishes and it's him that's pushing for this. I would love to do it but never thought it would be an option because of my in laws.
I think it could be a major step for him.
We will be booking it this weekend and have the option of hiring a room in the evening for a reception, however I don't think having a reception will ease the blow for mil, she will still throw a hissy fit and I'm not sure I want to spend the money.

aftereight Tue 09-Dec-14 10:01:37

Even if you do the wedding her way, she will find something to have a hissy fit about, so if it ws me, I'd have the wedding you want, and deal woth her afterwards, in the same way you would deal with a tantrumming toddler.

aftereight Tue 09-Dec-14 10:05:16

Also, think of it this way - if you present a united front and stand up to her now, she may tone down the bullying. If you give in to her demands, imagine how you will feel when she starts bullying you when grandchildren come along.

Kab13 Tue 09-Dec-14 10:07:07

aftereight too late for that we have a dd and she does plenty of bullying when it comes to control over her granddaughter.
My pregnancy was all about her becoming a grandmother

LittleRedRidingHoodie Tue 09-Dec-14 10:08:18

My MIL wanted a big wedding for us. She hated our plans and even met with caterers and venues to discuss menus which shed then send to us to try and persuade us round. She told us she thought we would want 'something special' rather than the 'peasant' wedding we had planned etc. she got grouchy when she asked me what my dress was like and I said it was a surprise. She moaned that we hadn't invited children and constantly compared our wedding plans to various other cousins who had done their families proud blAh blah.

We stuck to our guns and did exactly what we wanted, with some tears along the way if I'm honest.

In the end she said she loved the day and, more importantly, I think it set the tone for the rest of our relationship that we made our own decisions and didn't welcome interference from anyone.

If you let her control this now, you're giving her permission to get involved forevermore!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 09-Dec-14 10:08:36

Your narcissistic MIL will throw a hissy fit whatever you do. It is all about her and she wants to be the centre of attention. Narcissistic rage can be and is very frightening to behold but it is your wedding day and you should have the day you and your man as a couple want. Do not give in to her unreasonable demands re her wanting to make the cake. favours etc. Presenting a united front is crucial, let your DP drive this and support him fully.

You should tell her nothing and not see her at all. You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, his mother is no different.

You have not mentioned anything about FIL but I would imagine he is very much his wife's enabler in all this and just as awful as his wife.

It is NOT possible to have a relationship with a narcissist and I would consider going no contact with such a person. She is also a very poor influence to your child; narcissists tend to either over value or under value the relationship (well there really is not one because narcissists do not really interact) with their grandchild who they also use primarily as narcissistic supply.

Ohfourfoxache Tue 09-Dec-14 10:08:57

Do what you want to do.

Forget your ILs. Going along with what they want will only cause resentment.

Can't you just go ahead and do it and tell them after the event?

Kab13 Tue 09-Dec-14 10:14:37

We aren't getting married until this time next year so I would have to do a lot of lying to not tell her until afterwards.
She asks every time we see her about it.
dp crazily wants to tell her Xmas day because fil's parents (who were formally uninvited to their sons wedding by mil) will be there and the next door neighbours.
She is unlikely to go into a narc rage in front of those people as she plays the "I'm a fabulous human being" card in front of others.

Kab13 Tue 09-Dec-14 10:15:49

You're right.
My dd is just an excuse for her to be all "me me me" and she just liked to dress her up like a doll etc.
fil enables mil.
Usual crap.

kaykayblue Tue 09-Dec-14 10:32:45

I think first of all you need to have a very serious talk with your dp about how you both see your relationship with this woman panning out in the future.

If he refuses to stand up to her, then that isn't going to change, and you might want to consider if that's the sort of family dynamic that you want to marry into.

Personally I always struggle to understand how people could get married without their parents there even as witnesses, or not involving them in any way shape or form. I know everyone has their particular circumstances, and some people genuinely are horrible, and sometimes it's a gamble people want to take to avoid stress on the day.

But a wedding is hopefully a once in a lifetime event. To cut a parent out of that can't be undone. Personally I would find it unforgivable.

But that doesn't mean you just have to roll over and do whatever she wants you to do. Why don't you try and find a compromise with your dp and then tell your mil what is happening.

*For example*:

You two get married wherever you want, in whatever circumstances, with both sets of your parents as witnesses. You then both go off together, and your parents get lunch somewhere to celebrate. That way you don't have to hang around, or invite any guests, but they get to actually be there and to celebrate it a little afterwards (amongst themselves).

If you do this I'd recommend booking the smallest room available that only holds 6 people or something, so no-one else can be invited.

Alternatively, you two could go and do your own things with random witnesses, but arrange to go out for a dinner with immediate family and close friends a couple of weeks after the wedding. It will cost MUCH less than having an actual wedding reception, but both sets of your parents get to feel like they didn't completely miss out on the fact that you two have made this huge commitment to each other. You don't have to sit near your in laws during the dinner, which might make it more tolerable for you, and you could always try and sit her next to someone equally awful, or someone who doesn't mince their words!

Kab13 Tue 09-Dec-14 10:45:41

Yes, we could have a small ceremony & invite them and my mother.
It's wouldn't be the day I would want but we could to keep the peace.
I genuinely feel if my own dd told me she wanted to go away with her husband and get married alone I wouldn't mind. I would however be upset if she did what mil did and invited a bunch of people but told me I couldn't come.
The only problem is anything we do is never enough, if we invite them to a ceremony but then go off and spend the day just me and dp they would still complain and cry we didn't make enough effort for them.
It has happened regularly in the past when we have gone out of our way for them.
Unforgivable- that word is making me feel uneasy. Don't know why but it just makes me feel sad that some people see getting married alone as such a bad thing to do. (You're not the only person to have expressed that opinion and I'm not having a dig, promise)

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 09-Dec-14 10:54:43

"Yes, we could have a small ceremony & invite them and my mother.
It's wouldn't be the day I would want but we could to keep the peace".

Your man is already trying to keep the peace in his own fashion and look where that has got him - precisely nowhere. His own inertia and appeasement is, simply put, hurting both you and he now.

Having the day you do not want will colour your own wedding day and will bring with it its own set of resentment towards your now DH and his family. You will also feel crap for allowing yourself to be walked over as well.

Keeping the peace does not work with narcissists, it really does not.

Meerka Tue 09-Dec-14 10:55:20

kab, this blow up is going to happen sooner or later at the point whether it's the wedding or your daughter's school or her own retirement party or whatever. It'll happen.

You're in a very strong position compared to many people with a bullying MIL because your husband is on your side.

You posted for advice so I'll give mine: Back your husband to the absolute hilt. 100%. Keep talking to him, and build on this opportunity where he is standing up for what the two of you want.

It has to be hard for him to stand up to her, all those years of conditioning. He's doing it. He needs you supporting him and standing beside him.

Plan how to handle her ructions and tantrums and also how you will handle any flying monkeys she sends out - FIL, cousins, siblings who say 'oh just do what she wants" for whatever reason. Everyone is nervous standing up to a bully, but if there's two of you you are in a good position. Also you have her granddaughter so you can enforce a certain amount of reasonable behaviour.

Plan how to handle things - saying what you want calmly and repeating it as often as you need to. Don't get drawn into arguments.

What can the woman's anger truly do to you? It can hurt your partner badly, but it can't do much to you. it's just hard facing down the gale of fury. But you can do it, especially together.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 09-Dec-14 11:04:09

Whatever style of wedding you have be it big or small, your MIL will be pissed off anyway because she will not be the centre of attention on a day that is in her mind supposed to be "hers" and "all about her". She will likely throw an enormous strop at the reception and or make derogatory comments about all and sundry including you as the bride.

You invite the people you want to invite to the wedding; its your day and your choice re the arrangements.

FWIW Mr Meerkat and I got married abroad without either set of parents being there and they've never thought it was unforgiveable of us to do that. We held a reception at my mum's house and they all cried whilst watching our wedding video (it was a long time ago!).

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 09-Dec-14 11:05:47

And I would certainly agree with all that Meerka wrote earlier as well.

Kab13 Tue 09-Dec-14 11:06:15

meerka I know. It already had several times. When I think about the amount of petty arguments his parents have started , the amount of arguments me and dp have had because we've been at our whits end with them and the amount of tears I've cried because of my in laws It makes me feel physically sick.
They have ruined several occasions by making it all about them.
I think you and atilla both commented on my thread a while back , they are the in laws who snatched dd off me and removed her from everyone on her first birthday. The in laws who forced us to go on holiday with them to watch them renew the vows shortly after I had dd and the in laws who cried when I told them I was pregnant and begged me to have an abortion.
They have cried and screamed about us not looking "excited enough" when we bump into them in the street and called dp a "failure" for not getting a promotion.
They've forced themselves into our lives and insisted on weekly visits from the moment dd was born, making no effort to come and see us but insisting we go to them from 2 days after me giving birth because mil wants to see dd in her own home and "bond with her granddaughter".
They then moved away and totally ditched the need to see us weekly and have just moved back and are now instating on weekly visits, you see it suits them at the moment, we must make ourselves available because they have requested so.
Dp has really started to put his foot down with his parents, however his father has started using guilt etc which is usually something his mother does. They appear to have switched roles and dp is worried his father may be sick as he's all of a sudden begging to see us regularly etc but I'm pretty sure he's doing it for mil..
I don't want to change my day to keep them happy . They are never happy.

Lottapianos Tue 09-Dec-14 11:06:19

'It has to be hard for him to stand up to her, all those years of conditioning'

It bloody is, let me tell you. I'm currently going through similar myself (not wedding related) with both my parents and my DP's parents. Absolutely nothing is ever good enough, they see our role in life as to make them happy and to make up for the fact that they have stayed in crap marriages and are thoroughly miserable. The guilt and weight of obligation can be absolutely crushing. So absolute bravo to your man for making this stand. Do not underestimate what a big deal this is. Expect him not to be able to stand this firm forever, expect his resolve to waver, but be there for him when it does. Together you can do this. Absolutely no way to 'keeping the peace'. This is not a reasonable person you are dealing with OP. Like Attila said, there is no compromise and no keeping the peace with people like this. Do not give in.

kaykayblue Tue 09-Dec-14 11:08:24

But as I said - to me it's unforgivable because of my own experiences, and the relationship I have with my family and in laws. I just can't understand hating someone to that extent. I'm sorry if it made you feel bad - that wasn't my intention. But I do think that people on these forums are very quick to go to "fuck them!!!!" route, so just wanted to put an alternative view down.

I think it's also partly about the intent as well - I've known people to elope and get married completely on their own. I could never conceive of doing it myself, but for them it wasn't about not wanting particular people there, or wanting to keep certain people away. It was a simple logistics issue with added visa complications. Maybe their parents didn't even care. Again, that's something that I'd struggle to understand due to my own experiences.

I do have a family member who is a bit difficult. She is bossy, domineering, and needs a firm hand. But underneath that she is a good person, and maybe that's the difference. Obviously I don't know your MIL. But my relative was completely cut out of her daughter's wedding, and the pain she felt over that was real.

There is nothing which says that you have to share your wedding day with these people. But if you can think of a way to include them even a little then it is worth considering. The second option of having a dinner a few weeks later with friends and family is perhaps a better compromise if you are worried about the day being ruined.

Do also bear in mind two more things:

1) It isn't you who should be fighting this issue. This is your partners family. You can present a united front, and you can support him, but he should be taking responsibility here.

2) This woman is going to be in your life forever. It doesn't seem like your partner is willing to go completely no contact yet, so until it reaches that stage, it might be better and easier for you in the long run to put compromises forwards, otherwise she will just have more and more ammunition to throw at you.

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