I have to get some neutral opinions on a situation my MIL has put my husband and I in. To give you a little background info, my MIL is very controlling and doesn't like it when her son doesn't do as she says, so the past 5 years have been rocky since my husband is pulling away and it ticks her off. She has been single for the past 27 and this last year she has finally met someone that she has fallen in love with. We are thrilled that she now has someone other than her only son to call and we are personally tired of dealing with all of her issues from money, to her pets, to her house needing repair. Well she is now engaged and we really like her fiance. The problem is that she has chosen the worst possible date for this wedding to take place. She chose the day before our 5th wedding aniversary and is now expecting us to cancel everything we had planned, we have a cabin already reserved at the coast and we have never celebrated our aniversay in the 5 years we have been happily married. She had enough nerve to try and convince me this was going to be her day and her weekend, I kindly informed her that it became MINE five years ago. She told us to celebrate another weekend. Her father and Step mother are not happy either since they are planning to be out of town at the same time for the graduation of their grand daughter. They would have to cut their trip way short and drive over 12 hours home to make it to the wedding, and the rest of my MIL's family will also be at this graduation and she wants them at the wedding too. She refuses to have it one weekend later or in July since that is when she first got married. I think she is being ridiculous since this is the second wedding for both of them and we think they should do something like getting married on a cruise ship. Sorry this is soo long, but I refuse to cancel my plans since there is nothing special about the day she picked other than it was the worst day she could have picked all year and she knows it. The first thing she told me was "I know this is the day after your wedding, but...." So should I can my plans and every year have to practically share my wedding day with my MIL or should we stick to our guns and force her to change the date???
02-16-2006, 10:42 PM
Wow, that woman has some control issues. I don't think you can really FORCE her to change her date, since it's her wedding and she can technically have it whenever she wants, but you can politely inform her that you already had plans-- and she KNEW you had plans but made it that day anyway. Whether or not she changes the date only depends on whether or not she wants her family there.
02-16-2006, 11:00 PM
hey, its your weekend, she knew that you were married on that date (even tho its the next day), as im sure she was there. you have your plans, and unfortunately she is being a petty person and putting you in a situation. here's the thing. you are an adult, your husband is an adult, and technically his mother is an adult. politely decline your invitation. she is aware that is a special day to you, and it was her selfishness that made you decline to go. what does your husband say? have you talked to her fiancee to reason with him?
02-16-2006, 11:07 PM
Thank you, I am glad I am not the only one who thinks she is controlling. I would understand if the date she picked was something important to them, like the date they met, or something, but it is not. She picked this date for the sole reason to see if everyone will drop their plans for her and if she doesn't she is going to turn me into a horrible DIL. She has already done that many times. An example is when we couldn't keep our dogs because our new landlord wouldn't allow them we asked if she could take them or we would find them other homes. Well she took them and proceeded to tell family and friends that I was going to have them put to sleep if she didn't step in and take them, this all went on while I was 7 months pregnant and jobless because of our move. Sorry to vent here, I just need to get this off my chest so I can be ready for the next round of crap she is going to fling our way!
02-16-2006, 11:08 PM
No need to apologize for venting! That's what we're all here for, to listen to each other's ups and downs. And this is definitely a down, much like I'm sure you'd like to beat her down!
02-16-2006, 11:13 PM
what does your husband say? have you talked to her fiancee to reason with him?
My husband is quite irrated right now since the whole Coast trip was supposed to be a surprise for me and now it is not. He is standing firm that he is not changing his plans. I haven't talked to her fiance because she has only known him a year, and to be honest if he truly knew how my MIL can act, I think she might scare him off. This last year has been awesome since she has been on her best behavior, and now we get this little problem. I think it is great that they are in love, but only knowing someone a year?? I knew my husband for 3 before we tied the knot.
02-16-2006, 11:16 PM
Oh this keeps getting better, I forgot to add she decided to tell me about her wedding date on the same day my Grandma suffered a major heart attack and I had already been a basket case all day wondering if she was going to pull through. My grandmother is doing great though. But I would have to admit I was a nervous wreck yesterday.
02-17-2006, 04:53 AM
Aww bless you! If your DH is not wanting to go to her wedding - then I would just not go. Even if she does turn you into a horrible DIL. So what - you'll know it's not true, and the important people in your life will know it's not true. If other people have plans and they also decline her invitations, then she might think twice about having a wedding with only a couple of people turning up!
Personally I think she deserves a drive-thru vegas wedding with no family or friends to share it with :p but that's just me ;)
02-17-2006, 08:36 AM
We skipped a family wedding once. We really didn't like the fellow (dh#2 for SIL) and we had plans for the weekend. Well they've flubbered along and it's actually turned out very well. I now see that they work very hard at their relationship since it started so bumpy.
I will never forgive myself for not going.
02-17-2006, 09:10 AM
As long as your husband is OK with not going.....I say what's the question? LOL! It's not like he is trying to play the part of mamma's little boy, and you are the only one put out by this control freak!
I can truly sympathize with you about this MIL. My EX MIL was very much the same way. She made me miserable with her rude comments (disguised as compliments) or saying stuff like "a college student who buys a new car is REALLY STUPID" in front of a bunch of people after I buy myself a new car-(even though the payment was only 135). Oh, and here's a good story. I was walking my dogs one day and they got particularly dirty. She was in my house laying on my bed (dirty shoes on and feet on my pillow mind you). The dogs ran in my room before I could start cleaning them off, and when she thought no one was looking, she tried to get the dogs to jump on my bed!!!!! OOOOOOOOOh I was ticked off!!! She just never respected me because I have about 100 more stories just like that. I am soooooooooooooooo glad she is not my MIL anymore!!!!
I would go away on your well deserved trip. It sounds like you will never make her happy anyway.
02-17-2006, 09:11 AM
My MIL now is a sweetheart by the way and I just love her to death! So IT WASN"T ME!!!!
02-17-2006, 09:35 AM
I personally dont believe you should change your plans. She knew you had plans, enough said, tell her you are so sorry you cant be there, send a gift, maybe some flowers on that day, but thats it. Go have fun, dont let her issues ruin your weekend.
02-17-2006, 10:15 AM
Here is my opinion...
It is your husbands mother. It has to be his call. If he wants to go and you dig your heels, he could get very resentful. If he doesn't care.. tell him to decide and be very loving with whatever he decides. If he doesn't want to go, make sure HE tells his mother and then go celebrate. I have learned my lesson the hard way with this one. I am a strong personality and my husband is easy going. ALot of times he want to coast through and let me fight battles for him. With this, you will loose no matter what. Your husband need to handle this,.. and you need to be gracious either way. Sorry if this is wacko.. but just my two cents!
02-17-2006, 01:07 PM
Well, I don't agree it should be the hubby's call. I know it is his mother but...(always a but in there isn't there?) I think it is both your decision. I also think the MIL has gall to tell you to cancel your plans because it is HER day. I know everyone wants "their" day and for it to be special but for her to think that EVERYONE should cancel their plans, anniversary celebration, graduation plans, is selfish on her part. I mean the graduation is already set, that date can't be changed. Your anniversary plans can be...but why should they be? I would simply tell this woman that your plans are NOT changing and if she wants her family at her wedding then she needs to change the day. I know people sometimes pick a certain day to be married because it is special, ie DH and I were married on his grandparents anniversary. But not because of that. I picked my BD to be married on and it just so happens that is when they were married so it makes it even more special. But they are both deceased. If they were living I would have picked another date so they could have their special day to themselves. So, I'm wondering why MIL picked the day before your anniversary to wed. I mean, out of all the days in the year to pick, why then? Makes you wonder about her motives. I think people should take into consideration the other events going on in the family when choosing a date. JMHO
02-17-2006, 01:20 PM
Don't go!!! BUT explain and apologize to her fiance, not her. The poor guy deserves a clue! If he's signing on for a life of controlling her behavior, he should start now. You said she's been better since they got together. Maybe he can step in and convince her that he wants a date when the family can attend and truly celebrate the event.
Glad to hear your grandma is doing well! Hang in there!
02-17-2006, 03:47 PM
Only knowing someone a year and getting married - yes, that is fine. I knew my husband 1 week when he proposed and we married 3 months later - that was 35 years ago. I have friends that have dated for years then got married and are now divorced.
02-17-2006, 03:51 PM
I come from a line of fairly easy going folk, but we have the odd strange fruit who expects everything to be done their way to their time frame.
And I guess your response needs to be geared towards the outcome you want long term. If you (and hubby of course) are happy for mum out law to be upset, to bring it up at every family occasion that you weren't at her wedding, don't go. I'm not saying that to be mean, I'm just saying that the long term implications of you not going could get unpleasant. Personally I can handle unpleasant, but I don't have to live with the woman.
Or you can change your cabin booking. I know it's not your ideal solution, but I think some flexibility on your part might set the tone of things to come, and perhaps would be seen as a bit of an olive branch. Planning weddings is never easy, and perhaps it was a matter of venue availability etc, and that's how it panned out. It would have been nice for your feelings to have been considered, but sometimes things don't turn out that way.........it may not have been vindictiveness on her part.
My partner has no parents left, mine live in Australia and we're in England. We get pretty lonely, and have no family at all to call our own. I would love to have in laws, Col was an only child. Sometimes, despite their foibles, you need to be thankful for what you have.
02-17-2006, 04:26 PM
I agree with Kykaree. This isn't about wedding dates or anniversaries or who planned what when, it's a long term power struggle with the MIL and the prize is your DH.... for me, life's too short to drink bad wine, so I'd be inclined to cancel my anniversary plans, and make new and better ones and go to the MIL's wedding. As Kykaree suggests, there are long term implications here... and I think I'd also talk to a counselor about strategies for setting healthy boundaries with the MIL - it would be a gift to you both. Life's about relationships - and there are some deep issues here (obviously) that could use a different tactic - one that is geared towards healing the rifts - it would make for long term better mental health, and family happiness. Just my two cents. : )
Prayers for your grandma.
02-17-2006, 04:36 PM
As you can see, there is no real answer except the one that fits your family.
My position is that my DH and I never really broke the control my MIL had until we stood up to her. Do we have a pleasant relationship now? No and we probably never will. I do like our relationship better now because she started to respect my husband instead of using him.
If harsh words have not been said yet, I would lovingly have your husband say "I wish I could come mom, but my wife and I are celebrating our anniversary with a cabin. I hope your wedding is everything you want it to be and if there is anything I can do to help beforehand, I will be there for you."
Boundaries have to be drawn (a counselor might help) and she has to realize that he is grown with a family. I suspect the real power struggle is not between you and her but the fact that she hasn't let go of her baby yet. She doesn't like to compete for his attention. I have 3 babies and I hope I do better, but you can never tell.
Another story: My mom treated my sister SO much better after she stood up to her and that respect radiated to the rest of us after she realized she CAN have a role in our lives, just not the one she is struggling to hold on to. We in turn, have learned to respect that she can't change who she is fundamentally.
I also believe that you should follow what your husband thinks in this situation because it is his relationship with his mother. My husband was TERRIFIED that his mother wouldn't speak to him anymore. She didn't for about a week and then it was better. LOL. All the time I was terrified that I convinced him to ruin it. You can have input and should have input with your husband but because it is his mother, he should make the ultimate decision. If he isn't ready, pick another time to try to convince him. It sounds as though he is on your side. Encourage him to be as lovingly as possible so that it is less of a power struggle. Those are doomed to fail.
02-17-2006, 05:50 PM
Thank you for all of your ideas on both sides of the issue. We have decided to tell her we are not changeing our plans and the graduation that her parents will be going to can't be changed either so it is in her best interest to change the date. She has no idea where this wedding is being held, so her having a placed reserved is not an issue, she has no idea what she is wearing, no idea where the reception is going to be or what the invintations are going to look like. They are waiting on her fiances house to sell because right now they are not answering the phone because they have no money to pay the bill collectors. So, she has no money for a wedding. I know for a fact she picked this date as a power struggle to see who is going to turn out on top. I worked with this lady for 5 years and I finally had to quit my job because of crap she gave me. She just thinks she deserves everything better than me, when my husband bought me a new car all she could say was "I need a new car more than she does." I honestly thought her finding someone to share her life with would change her behavior, but I guess I am wrong. I know for a fact she will change the date, but she won't do it quietly. She has yet to call or talk to anyone since announcing the date. My husband is going to call her tomorrow when he is off work and explain our situation again.
02-19-2006, 04:48 AM
I thought she had already made the reservations and all, but since it's not the case? Yes, it looks to me more like a matter of picking the date to see if you'd change your plans... which sucks. Anyway, as it seems that both your husband and yourself are keen on not changing your plans, I guess the little scheme is all backfiring on her, hm? (It's not like she couldn't have known your anniversary date, too.)
It's irking, when people plan something, are told "sorry we had already reserved a room/cabin/something and can't come", and then go all ballistics over it. Doesn't the first plan comes, well, first? Else we could never plan anything, since it'd mean that as soon as another party, plan etc comes up, we'd drop the first one we've promised to go to (and the likes). Yes, a wedding is important, but in such a case, when it's clearly a matter of control, I don't think that going all meek and compromising would necessarily be "the" best solution.
Whatever--I hope you and your husband have a great anniversary :)
02-19-2006, 12:00 PM
Personally, I would not cancel my plans. There are several reasons. First of all, you've been forced to make a statement about whose happiness is most important. The fact of the matter is that both occasions are worthy of a celebration and neither necessarily trumps the other. I would make clear that you are thrilled that she has found happiness and would love to celebrate her marriage but that it isn't possible to do so that particular weekend. Then, offer to host a party in their honor once you return from your trip. It needn't be expensive or elaborate just a simple get together with her closest family and/or friends. If it really is the actual wedding ceremony that she wants everyone to attend then maybe she'll change the date. If she doesn't, you will miss the event but eliminated any accusations that her happiness isn't worthy of celebration.
02-19-2006, 01:07 PM
Let us know how things turn out.
02-19-2006, 01:14 PM
I hope you guys have a great anniversary; don't let her ruin it for you. She obviously isn't a happy woman and wants you to be unhappy as well. I absolutely disagree that this should be your husbands decisions. You two are partners and your input counts. She shouldn't be the priority in your relationship, the two of you should and I think it's awesome you guys have planned such a trip to celebrate your relationship. Congratulations!! :)