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MIL and weddings

Started by daughterinlaw30, September 21, 2015, 05:48:43 am

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My own mom and I have had a tense relationship. When I got engaged both sets of parents wanted really big weddings. We were able to talk my in laws into a small wedding. My mother not so much. We ended up paying for the wedding ourselves. We only invited parents and siblings. No other family. We had 35 guests. Mom eventually calmed down and realized she was wrong.

About my mother in law: she is disabled and relies strictly on her husband for her care taking. Where she goes her husband goes.  She also has some sort of dementia symptoms. She hasn't been tested.

During my shower weekends, my MIL and mom were talking about the wedding. Mom said "I'm helping my daughter get dressed.  MIL got curious to why this was the first she heard about it. Mom didn't know this upset her, but figured it was okay to say because most mothers help their daughters get dressed on the wedding day.

I didn't know about this until a few days before the wedding. I was getting my hair done with my bridesmaids and that is it. I didn't invite my mom to avoid fights and costs. Because I wasn't inviting my mom, I didn't invite MIL.  MIL warped the story into they are getting massages and I wasn't included.

I worked with a wedding coordinator to make sure both parents are treated equally. I had the photographer schedule portraits with her and her son while they were getting ready. She refused. My mom was only there for me getting my dress on. I didn't invite MIL because I don't want FIL around while changing clothes. That's my right.

She called my husband up the day before the wedding to say he is spending to much time with my father (they arrived in town earlier then them) and she says that my family is taking over the wedding.  I was a mess. My mom said forgive as she is losing her mind. I avoided her at the wedding as much as I could (I did say hello and are you enjoying yourself) because I would lose it if she said anything that day. She was also very upset that she wasn't sitting with her son. We had a sweethearts table.

The day after the wedding, she was upset that I was spending time with my family. She got upset for a few other things and said my husband is not allowed to see me or hang out with my parents.

I tried really hard to make both families equal. My MIL had a strong personality before the wedding and its magnified now. MILs out there? How could I have included her more? I'm concerned because when we have kids, both families will be around again and I don't want to go through my husband and I hanging out so separately during visits because she doesn't like the ideas of things to do. My parents roll with it. When kids come, this will be a problem. Also, we can't suggest she has dementia because FIL will get upset.


First, welcome.  When you get a chance, please read the posts under "Open Me First" for the rules and such.  Nothing wrong with your post, we just ask all new members to do this.

Second...I will never understand why an MIL thinks she rules the wedding day.  Yes, it is also an issue when an MIL is totally excluded, but as long as she is included (which you did), then I truly have never understood how they don't understand that the day is about the Bride.  I will tell you as an MIL, I would have never expected to have been included in the "dressing".  I think that is a special time reserved for Mom and Daughter.  Yes, it would be nice to be invited to see the Bride after they were through and before she walks down the aisle and have a few bonding moments with the DIL, but I don't get the rest.  She was invited to spend time with the Groom and refused.  That's all you could have done.

I'm sorry you are having to deal with the fall-out of what she thinks she have happened.  But that is truly on her, not you.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


QuoteMy mom said forgive as she is losing her mind.

It sounds as if you and your new husband did everything right.  By the way, congratulations!  Often, where there is dementia, the more recent the information, the sooner it "gets lost".  Frankly, I would continue on the same path on which you are taking.  Remember, "one cannot reason with someone who can not reason".  If your MIL complains, just smile and tell her how much you and your husband love her; don't go into excuses, explanations, changing of plans, etc. which will probably only confuse the situation more.  Hopefully, such reassurance of being loved is what she needs.  Good luck ...


DIL 30 --

I agree that you did everything right.  A small wedding is lovely and intimate.  I hate that weddings have become an industry.   The emphasis should be on the marriage, not the wedding itself.   Sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders. 

In my day, the girls did their own hair and makeup, and showed up at the church an hour ahead of time.  So I don't understand the business of making a day-long event of hair, make-up and nails.   I would be too tired to go to the wedding (let alone be in it) if I had to start getting ready 6-8 hours ahead - but that's just me, a dinosaur. 

Pooh is right about the MIL's role at wedding.  My good friend who is a MIL was not told when pictures were.  It was an accidental oversight, but she got to the church after pictures were over.   So her family got a few shots after the ceremony and before the reception.  It worked out GREAT that way, actually.   Her elderly parents would have had a very hard time coming 2 hours before the ceremony for pictures - so they got the pictures at a time that was actually more convenient for them, and they were not overly exhausted by having to come hours earlier.  She was always glad it worked out that way and she did not feel slighted at all.  The key is keeping it all in perspective.   

When I read that your MIL said your "husband is not allowed to see me or hang out with my parents."  my antennae really went up.  Your MIL is not keeping anything in perspective.  The fact that you say she has signs of dementia may explain a lot.   There is an internet forum called Out Of The Fog that deals with situations such as this.  It is helpful and constructive, as Luise's site here is.   You might get some benefit from that site.

Mods - If I am not allowed to mention the other site, I do apologize, and I'm sure you will remove my posting.    But what DIL30 is dealing with sounds like much more than a difficult MIL. 


Pooh- Thank you for the welcome.  I should have added. I asked the photographer to schedule  a MIL first look with just her and her husband. She didn't like that, I suggested pics with the groom. She still said no. So, I moved on. And, I'm going through the "read me first section"

Monroe - Dementia aside, I think she has some internal anger issues.  She had a hard life due to her disability and has felt excluded. I think its ramping up with the dementia.

The weekend of the shower, she asked my husband "are you sure you want to do this?" It broke his heart. I just rolled with it because I know she is losing her filter.

During the last day my inlaws were in town for the wedding, my MIL fell out of bed. I was on route to the hotel to see my parents. My husband was sick and I told him to stay at home and rest. MIL fell out of bed at the hotel. FIL couldn't lift her so he called security. Security called EMTs (liability). Husband called my father to check on them as I was on route and he was about to leave. I got there first. MIl asked "where is my son?" I said he is 5 minutes behind. She looked so sad and disappointed. I asked if she was okay. She told me to get out. Husband showed up shortly after. I hung out in my parents room. The inlaws were pissed that we (father and I) got involved.  That's when the nasty comments "I forbid you to see her and her family" started. We sent them an apology letter and they seem now.

On one hand, I just rolled with the events of the weekend, I dont think she is happy in her life being disabled and that is magnifed with the "dementia". (Being disabled and being happy aren't mutually exclusive. However, I acknowledge it is alot harder to be happy when you have a disability.) What I worry about is what will happen at future. If i have kids, will my parents not be included because she doesn't like it? (I know husband wont let it happen). Will she miss out on opportunities because I need to be around the kid to nurse it? What is really going on? I know she falls a lot.  FIL wont get her checked up. Yes, it isn't my problem. However, if I have kids, should I leave the kids alone with them? What happens if she falls and the toddler is getting into trouble?

Her health isn't my problem but I'm keeping a close eye on it for the future.  I guess in the interim. I'm learning about dementia and how to deal with a difficult MIL.


Welcome, D. My take is we can only do our best and your best looks fabulous to me. What you describe about MIL is about her. Her perceptions, expectations, limitations. We just can't fix that.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Welcome, DIL30. Your MIL's personality is probably amplified by her disability, as you said. I'm impressed that you are finding out about dementia, and I'm glad you are here to get support while dealing with a difficult MIL.

Best wishes!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I agree with pooh on this one!. MIL are often with the sons before the wedding ceremony. Making sure the boys have their ties on correct. And those buttonhole flowers... A MIL is always good to have on hand to ensure that those are put on correctly. Plus a mother likes to give her son a few words of advice. ( this is what I have observed- I am neither married or have had children). Usually the MIL will get her chance to wish the bride good luck before she is walked down the aisle by her husband to her seat. I can't remember the order of the precessional... 1. Priest 2. Mil/Fil, 3. Mob/ best man?, 4. flower girl/ ring bearer, bridesmaids, than bride and FOB. Anyway, I think that you included  your MIL as  much as you could. But maybe you could have involved your mother more. My mother died 2 years after my sister's wedding. Some of the best pics is of my mum before the ceremony. I am so glad my sister allow her to do that, otherwise I wouldn't have such wonderful memories or such wonderful pictures to remind me of that day!.


Hi Poppy!  It sounds like she afforded her MIL all those opportunities (or something similar) and MIL didn't take them.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell