need advice: please help now!!!

richNdaniJuly 10, 2013

Hey everybody, I need your advice. Please give me your honest opinion. My fiance and I just got engaged in January and I have a mom that is very negative and her whole life was always to appease other people rather than be a mom to me. This is fine because it is the way she is and for this reason she has never been a big part of my life.

So after the engagement naturally I am very excited and I would like to include her in this because it is a big deal. Within the first 3 minutes of the first conversation of the start to planning the wedding, she can sense that I am happy and she is alone so she turns the focus from "Why isn't your cousin your best man?" and then turns that to how she is extremely disappointed in me and it makes her sad. This then turns into a very negative somber state.

Two weeks after the engagement and a month and a half after she found out I was going to propose, she decides to move to San Francisco from her paid off home 20 miles away and takes out a $3,500 a month rent the moment we get engaged. Randomly whenever we speak, you can hear it in her voice that she is way more excited about her apartment than her son getting married (tonality does not lie).

My fiance comes from a very traditional family and in her family weddings and marriage are a very big deal. My mom has been divorced for 30 years and is very unhappy in life. My fiance's parents believe in the tradition of through big elaborate weddings for their children because in their family it is a once in a lifetime moment. As soon as my mother found out it was going to be an expensive affair, she instantly criticizes the notion of spending so much money on a wedding and suggests we get married a court house.

My fiance's parents offered to pay for the entire wedding and the were only hoping my mom would host (pay) for the rehearsal dinner because this is traditional. It was an absolute battle to get her to agree to host the dinner. Her and my fiance got in a big fight about it and when she realized that she would lose me because I am getting married, she calculated her return of investment and offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner. This was roughly 2 and half months ago.

Since that time,I have been reminded that it costs $2,500 on at least a biweekly basis. (Guilt trip - What is the point of doing something kind, if you are just going to rub it in somebody's face about doing it?).

We sent out wedding invitations at $65 a piece. 10 people on her list she knew would not go. 10 x $65 = $650. None of these people had the common curiosity to even respond with a regretful no on their RSVP. In addition, not one of these people sent a gift! (Am I crazy for thinking this is wrong?)

The cousin that my mom told me that she was disappointed that he was not my best man that started all these problems, there family is not even coming. They were also the only family to not call, text, facebook ANYTHING to congratulate me nor apologize for not being able to come. Then 2 days ago, the cousin calls me (who I knew when I was 10) and says he is coming to a football down in San Diego in September and that his mom and dad said he should stay with me. So he can come down for a football game, but not for my wedding. Is it just me or is this extremely rude on his parents' behalf?

During my fiance's bridal shower, my mom decides to pull her dress down under her shoulder and kick her leg up and act like she is 20 years old desperately seeking attention in front of my future mother-in-law and her relatives. Is this a mature way to act for a 58 year old woman? In addition, when her and my mother-in-law (who is Catholic) where texting back and forth, my mother-in-law shows a picture of her dress and my mom responds with "just the right amount of sexy" to a married mother of four. Am I crazy or is she stupid?

Can somebody give me feedback, is she acting in an inappropriate way or the way a mother should?

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Not sure why this is in the "Marriage" forum, as it's not really about your marriage, but anyway.
IMO you have some justified complaints and some not, and some issues that could have been handled way better.
Who cares whether your Mom made a good/bad decision to move? It's disappointing she seemed more excited about that than about your impending marriage, but then you knew you aren't high on her priority list. So, just blow it off as more of the same way it's always been.
Paying for the rehearsal dinner? Your fiancee (note spelling for female person) should never have got into any sort of discussion let alone fight with your mother regarding this. Demanding that someone host an event for you, whether you think it's traditional or not, is beyond rude. If your mother had been disinclined to pay, then (as I'm guessing you're supporting yourself and not dependent on your mother) then _you_ and your fiancee should have decided to pay. If your mother felt $2,500 was beyond her means, as the host paying for the dinner, it is her prerogative to have a hotdog cook out in her backyard if she so wishes. If you don't want a guilt trip, short circuit her and pay for it yourself.
Why did you pay for ten people who didn't RSVP? You should have set an RSVP date early enough to change the numbers so that if someone isn't coming then you let the caterer know the adjusted figure. And expecting a gift just because you sent an invitation is rude on your part. No one is ever obligated to give a gift. It would have been nice, but not compulsory. In fact, if I was invited to the wedding of someone I didn't know well (as an acquaintance of their mother) I'd probably just send a card with best wishes if anything, as I'd feel it was more of a fishing expedition for gifts rather than a genuine wish to share a happy day with them.
Yes, it's rude of your cousin to invite himself to stay at your house, unless you already have that sort of relationship (which it sounds like you don't). Just tell him it isn't convenient. No need to go into reasons, or whine that if he can come for football why not your wedding. It will only engender bad feelings.
Even married mothers of four understand and appreciate the concept of "sexy"- how do you think they got to be mothers of four? If your concept of older women is poker-faced ice queens, boy are you in for a rude awakening. I'm not saying they are raunchy sex crazed fiends, but most of us have been around the block a few times and between ourselves have slightly franker conversations than we might with our children. Was your MIL offended?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:12AM
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I am pretty confused - are you the prospective bride or the prospective groom? Just for clarity, when a couple becomes engaged the man is the fiancé and the woman is the fiancée.

I'm also assuming that this is your first wedding, so welcome to wedding hell. Very few couples escape the stress of crazy relatives during this time, it kind of goes with the territory. In fact, the more the relatives - and sometimes friends - are conflicted about themselves and their own roles in life, the more inappropriately they act at your wedding and at the entire planning stage. (There is an entire web site about this called Wedding Etiquette Hell, I recommend you Google it.)

So what can you about this? If elopement is out of the question, you can only do damage control with your mom and try to keep your perspective with your fiance ( or fiancée). In the end, all that matters is that the two of you are joined in matrimony to each other. All the rest is Horse Pocky, let it roll off your back or else tell the offending party right now to behave or disappear, either option will work.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:27AM
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The rule-of-thumb for a wedding is to spend what you can afford.

The whole intent of an invitation is to share this special occasion with the new couple's community of dear friends and relatives. Any gifts the bride and groom might receive are entirely voluntary. There's no cost-benefit ratio to apply.

I do understand and sympathize with your frustration regarding the lack of RSVP's. Sadly, today individual follow-ups are almost imperative.

My suggestion about your mother is to accept who she is without embarrassment or apology. Focus on her good points and ignore the rest. You are not responsible for her actions or others' reactions. Those with grace will ignore anything untoward.

I would also suggest you pay for the rehearsal dinner yourself. Your mother's "gift" of the dinner comes with too much baggage to be worth the savings.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 4:58AM
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Congrats on the wedding. My daughter got married a year ago now and I know how this can be a stressful time. I told her then and I'll tell you now, don't expect anyone to pay for your wedding. If you can't afford something yourself as far as the wedding, then make different plans. By the way we did pay for most of the wedding.

I know that it is common for the groom's parents to pay for the rehersal dinner or grooms dinner. But I don't believe it needs to be something they can't afford. Perhaps $2500 is just too expensive for your mother? You say you spent $65 for an invitation and they didn't RSVP. I'm assuming you mean the cost of the plate is $65? You will give the caterer the amount of people attending so you should not be out the $65 for these people. Since they didn't reply, you can assume they are not coming. Unfortunately, people are very rude when it comes to RSVPing;

It sounds to me like your mother if feeling left out and rightfully so. It seems clear to me that you plan to exclude her in your new life and if you do let her in, you will be critical of her every move. Cut your mom some slack and put your big boy pants on. Your mother and your future in laws do not owe you a thing.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 9:43AM
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"mom that is very negative and her whole life was always to appease other people rather than be a mom to me. "

What did you expect ?

Based on what you have said above, can you really expect your mother to act in a reasonable, respectful, sensible way ?

You can save yourself a lot of grief in the future, by lowering you expectations of how she will react.

When you change your reaction and not let it bother you, then it will all be a joy.

Just concentrate on your future with your new wife.

Good luck with it all.

Remember it is YOUR WEDDING, not other peoples.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:18AM
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"It was an absolute battle to get her to agree to host the dinner. Her and my fiance got in a big fight about it ..."

You are two adults getting married. It is an adult decision to get married and an adult responsiblity. Nobody is obligated to pay for a wedding but the participants--for everyone else, it is a choice. Your mother has no obligation to pay for a rehearsal dinner, much less to be subject to a battle with you and a fight with your fiancee.

This post was edited by mary_md7 on Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 16:49

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:44PM
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