citykitty21April 25, 2008

My son proposed to his girlfriend of several years recently, and she accepted. He gave her a ring and it was a wonderful time. Since then, her dysfunctional family has made their lives miserable. Her parents are divorced and remarried, and much baggage(hate) is still carried by her mother. Mom doesn't want the dad and step-mom at the wedding, and the step-dad has even said that my son was not good enough for her, and I'm thinking this is because my son is not affluent enough by their standards.

Our family loves his fiance, and she has already been a part of our family from the beginning of their relationship. That statement about our son absolutely crushed him, and us as well. He is a person of high character, and all who know him love him.

His fiance has a good relationship with both me and my husband, and the few times we have been around her dad's family (who love our son) there have been no problems. Only met the mother and step-dad their home the day of college graduation. Everything then was amiable.

My son says that the wedding and all the details are up to the bride, and I agree. I'm afraid that there will be a huge confrontation and he will tell the mom and step-dad where to get off. I hate to see them start their life together with this anvil around their necks.

Is there anything (besides just being supportive and loving) that I can do? Has anyone ever heard of such a situation? I'm sure this isn't the first one. Thanks for anyone's thoughts.

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I should have titled that post...Family Feud!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 7:36AM
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My experience in this type of thing is that the fewer people who mix into it, the better. This is really an internal problem within her family, and they need to handle it on their own. It sounds like a long-standing problem and your thinking there is "something you can do" is, well, naive. And their needlessly insulting your son is just an invitation for you to join in the melee. Try to rise above and ignore them, they are enjoying their game of "Uproar". BTW, Uproar is very popular in dysfunctional families. It feeds on big occasions and new blood. Don't play this game!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:00PM
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Thanks for those thoughts. I am a 'fixer' and it is extremely difficult for me to stand by and do nothing, especially since my son is involved....but, he is an adult and I will try to just be there when they need me and not meddle. I have heard from others that 'it's not my fight, and stay out of it'. I just needed that confirmation to do nothing, otherwise, I would have felt like I should have acted when I didn't. Make sense?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:59PM
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scarlett's advice is PERFECT. I know it is not easy to follow, but she is absolutely right. You won't fix it, you might make it worse, and to top it off, for some reason, everyone always ends up mad at the would-be fixer. Just listen and say nothing to them -- certainly, don't take the bait about any insults to your family. Just ignore them.

My son's wonderful girlfriend's parents also have a very bitter divorce and bad relationship. I haven't met her family, but my son says her parents and stepparents are difficult. She was so confused when they first started going together and found that he actually was looking FORWARD to family vacations and holidays -- family has always just meant stress and aggravation to the poor girl and her sister. Our family is very tight; it's a real contrast. She seems to like to be part of it. If they get married, I wonder if her background will make her want to pull away from all family, including ours, or if it will mean that they will come to us more for holidays, etc. I hope the latter! (My son told me a few months ago that when -- yes, he said WHEN -- they get married, she wants to have the wedding here in our city, not either of her parents' cities.)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 7:43PM
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Wow...sounds a lot like our situation. I'm thinking that if her family gives them enough grief, they'll just elope. While I would, of course, liked for them to have the nice wedding, their happiness is the most important thing. We've even told them when they mentioned eloping - that this way, they could have 3's, dad's and ours. Our future DIL has already been to some
family' things with us, also doesn't understand the closeness, but I have hopes for her that she too will see how family is really supposed to be. One thing our family (on both sides) has that hers does not is practicing Faith. Without going in to a religious dissertation, let me just say that an element is missing in their lives that is present in ours. Not that I'm putting them down, it's just a difference.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 8:32AM
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