My son recently married - his father & myself have been divorced for 23 yrs. His father did not want to make a Father of the Groom speech at his wedding & my son and my daughter in law to be did not ask me if I would like to speak at their wedding (I was the Mother of the Groom). In fact when I asked about the speeches in the mths leading up to the wedding both my son and his wife to be told me "there is only going to be 2 or 3 speeches - we don't want too many - we don't want to bore our guests with heaps of speeches". They told me that the Father of the Bride, the Best Man & the Groom would be the ONLY ones to speak.
On the wedding day when it came time for the speeches the Father of the Bride spoke 1st, then the Mother of the Bride spoke, then the bride's sister (bridesmaid) spoke, then the Bride spoke, then the Groom, and then the Best man delivered the last speech!!!! I was embarrassed and hurt as their wedding guests asked me why I didn't give a speech as NO ONE spoke on behalf of the Groom ( no parent is what I mean). I got upset with this & when I told my son & my new D-I-L how I felt (very upset no yelling just heartfelt tears) they got angry with me & now they haven't spoken to me for 4 mths. Can someone pls offer an opinion - an I in the wrong??? I cant believe what has happened & they have made me feel like I did something wrong.
Wendy, welcome to the site. I'm sorry you are going through this, but you will find support and friendship here. If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to read the pink-highlighted items under Open Me First on the home page. We ask this of all new members to make sure the site is a good fit for you.
IMO, you did nothing wrong other than showing emotion in the moment. You were blindsided on a very emotional day. I don't know why your DS & DIL told you one thing and did another; maybe they thought they could get away with it. Maybe they were thinking only of themselves rather than showing consideration to those who loved and raised them, which many couples feel is their prerogative on their wedding day. The result is that it put you in an awkward situation that was hard to get out of gracefully. I totally understand why you were upset. Had you had time to prepare you probably wouldn't have cried in front of them.
We moms of sons have a difficult road to travel sometimes. The wedding stuff/DIL stuff (the MOTG should "wear beige and shut up," for example) completely blindsided me, too, but I'm working through it with the help and support of the women on this site. In my case I believe my DIL had an agenda from 'way before the wedding to get rid of us ASAP. Any excuse would have been good enough for her, and she found some doozies.
Please keep reading and posting!
Welcome Wendy. For me personally, I forgive when someone "messes up". Everyone makes mistakes and unintentionally hurt people's feelings. I know I have. It's when it's a pattern and happens over and over, that I don't swallow it well. To me, that is then a choice they are making and becomes intentional.
I agree with Pen that weddings are already an emotional day and when you get blindsided with something like that, it's very hard not to be hurt. My question is how do you get along with DIL normally? Is this a pattern or a one-time thing that could be chalked up to "they just didn't think". Maybe her Mother pressured her into letting her speak or something and pointed out that if Best Man got to speak, then she should let Sister (Bridesmaid) as well. DIL may have gave in under the pressure and didn't even think about she was excluding you or his side?
That's why I'm asking. I think everyone makes mistakes and hurts people unintentionally at times. We are all human. I personally believe it has to be a pattern in order for you to see that is how the person is. Doesn't mean it didn't hurt your feelings but do feel this is a pattern of intentional behavior?
Also, did you speak with them about it directly after it happened, at the wedding? If it wasn't intentional, they could have been upset that you did it on "their day". If it is a pattern, then Pen is right, they were looking for an excuse.
I think the wedding guests who asked you why you didn't make a speech were totally out of line. What did they think they were going to accomplish? Wedding etiquette can vary greatly. I don't think I've ever attended a wedding where the parents of the groom made a speech. At my own wedding, my dad and the best man made speeches plus my sister who was my MOH. I didn't know she was going to make a speech. We can sit here and come up with all reasons why your DS told you not to make a speech then the MOB and sister made speeches. Perhaps the couple was blindsided by the additional speeches. Perhaps the MOB and sister wheedled their way in after the couple had already told you no. Perhaps you DS was mortally afraid of some embarrassing memories you might mention in a speech. Perhaps they thought it would upset DS's dad if you made a speech and he didn't. I understand you feeling hurt, but since you can't change the past, I think this is one of those things you need to let go of. I think if I was in your place, I'd apologize to DS and DIL for bringing up the matter. They may look at the situation as you not accepting their decision. It seems silly that they wouldn't speak to you for 4 months over this, but if they feel you think you should have a say in their affairs, they may be trying to draw some boundaries. It doesn't matter whether you actually think you should have a say in things or not; it's their perception. It's a situation where you didn't do anything wrong, but an apology may be the best thing you can do to keep the future together. Good luck.
It is great to get feedback from everyone. I think one of the "difficulties" for the day was the fact the my ex-husband didn't want to speak - our marriage break down was due to violence etc so there is absolutely no relationship between him & myself. I am not that bothered that I didn't make a speech - more the fact that my DS & DIL told me one thing & then another unfolded on the day. I can see that my DIL may have be thoughtless in the matter - as she constantly referred to the wedding as "my wedding" & it appeared that nothing would get in her way come hell or high water.
I did not raise this matter with DS until 3 days after the wedding - I just "sucked it up" as they say & ensured their day went smoothly. Unfortunately 3 hrs prior to the speeches being made I went to where my DS was staying prior to the wedding ceremony ( wedding held 200kms from home) to have a couple of Mother & Son photos & my DS refused to have any pics with me. I guess that was the start of the hurt which left me devastated & then the speech thing just added to my pain. As they are not speaking to me I do not know what is at the core of the matter.
I was included by DIL to go to Melb to look at wedding dresses & then went another time to a Bridal expo - this was great & I repaid this inclusion by making 35 cushion cover, turned three picture frames into blackboards, made 110 rose petal cones, made a sash from a piece of material from her Mothers wedding dress to be wrapped around her bouquet, collected all the wedding bouquets & transported them to the where we all stayed but still I am in the wrong??? I cant see why I would receive this treatment & why they have shut me out.
Welcome - We have all gone nuts to one degree or another trying to figure out "why." We can't make sense of the senseless...that's the bottom line. It was really hard for me to get that our AC and their spouse have the right to make whatever choices they wish...followed by learning or not learning from the consequences. They are on a learning curve we can't protect them from...(or ourselves.) We trip over our expectations and the discovery that no one is obligated to meet them...they're ours. I have on heck of a time with expecting logic...and respect. Unfortunately, they're not a given.
Hi Wendy, so sorry to hear that you have been so hurt by their behavior. I can imagine what it would be like, for my son to not want a picture of us together. I have different circumstances but a similar outcome. Many little things that caused me a lot of pain and now my son has gone NC as well for the last seven months. One thing that has literally tortured me, is trying to understand why he would do this. We always had a good relationship. However i have had to accept i might never know the real truth about what is going on. That i will have to accept things as they are right now, or drive myself crazy. One thing that has helped a lot, is to read that my son might be going through something in his own life and to be told that it wasn't all about me, which i realise now is true. I did the best that i could when he was growing up and i am aware of were i did go wrong and what i would do better, if i had another chance. I have a little insight into what my sons problem might be with me, but i cannot do anything about that. He has to learn to deal with his own stuff, however he sees fit. I do not want to be around him now, if he can only use that time to continually show me, that he has some issues with me. It is like they need to grow up and see life isn't just black and white. Another thing i had to be careful off, was the fact as i was so emotional, every thing they did upset me in the end, because i wasn't being treated how i always expected to as a mother and grandmother. The best thing that has happened is to see this as a new start in my life. That i need to work on myself and how much i enjoy my life independently, of any expectations from my children. It so simple a concept, but very hard to put into practice as we have spent a huge amount of our lives just living for them. One lady told me, start putting yourself first, pamper yourself and you will be surprised how nice that can feel. One thing i haven't done for many years is to pamper myself, it felt much too indulgent and selfish, but it is nice lol. You sounded by what you have said you did for the wedding, as a very talented lady. I am sure there will be many things that you would love to do, but never found the time. I am hoping that this period of nc with me and my son, will enable both of us to grow and learn more about ourselves. I know you will find this hard to start off with, but it will get easier. Homely60
Dear Homely 60, thank you for sharing your experience with me - how it rang true !! I have had a great relationship with my DS & to be cut off like this has felt like a death in the family. I know I must move on as I have been literally been making myself sick over this - WHY?? WHY?? so I think it is time to try & let go a little & look out for me. My sister & her daughter have been a huge support & we have all be waiting for this nightmare to end - they both attended my DS wedding so they are as confused as I am.
I know that my DS & DIL want to start a family fairly soon, so hopefully the penny will drop for him once he if a father - I think their is "old baggage" for him re the breakup of his father & myself - he has not wanted to talk about it for years & always said" it all ok Mum" - I now think there is something that needs to come out & perhaps in time it will.
I did call him a couple of weeks ago - he did not answer so I left a nice message - "Hi its Mum - would you like to catch up & talk" but unfortunately there was no response - not even an SMS & I usually got 3-4 sms's a day all about not much but just regular contact.
Hopefully it wont be forever, so I will leave it be for now & hope he comes to his senses.
Thank you again Wendy
Hi Wendy, i think if we don't want them to end up going nc, we have to be careful what we do and say. I tried hard to get on with my life and leave son alone, to get on with his, but even that wasn't enough. I was then accused of not caring about my gd. I am sick of making myself so down over this, it is difficult not to feel as if you are going though a mini bereavement. My son is also in contact with his bio f, who abandoned all three children, when my son was two. Even he is better than me at the moment lol. That is why it is so hard to understand. I am the one who raised him, who made all the sacrifices and really adored him and i am the one he rejects, for the company of anyone else it seems. He has also rejected one of his sisters, she was so hurt by that as well. I do not know what is happening to him. I have decided though that me pressurizing him, will only add to his problems whatever they are. If i leave him alone he might remember the real me, not the one he has conjured up in his mind at the moment. Many years ago i would have sworn, that you must have done something terrible for a child to treat you like this. I now know that it is absolutely not true. As i have said before, i know deep down inside the things that my son might be working through, but it would never justify what he has treated me like. I have also read somewhere that when an adult child works through his own problems, he can project a lot of stuff onto the person who loves him the most. So i am working hard to stay strong, to try and let him see that my life still goes on and whatever is the problem, i am certainly not part of it now. If he bears grudges from the past that i wasn't aware of and decided to stay nc, there is absolutely nothing i can do. Many people have assured me that he will be back. I am not sure that is the truth, but i will have to wait and see. I cannot believe how many people go through similar scenarios. The biggest thing i have learnt is to get on with my life, after all we don't know how long we have and we shouldn't waste it, every moment is precious. Homely60
Thanks for the answers Wendy. It sounds like everything was pretty smooth before the wedding. Who knows then and it is on them. Weddings seem to sometimes bring out the worst in people. Many of us here had the "wedding" that seemed to be the final straw for something. Hang in there.
Wendy and H - It appears you are both traveling a similar road and one many of us here have traveled, myself included until the last number of months. It is hard to understand what is not clearly presented and yet at times all one can do is deal with the veiled behaviors once the hope ( expectations ) of clear communication to resolve problems is gone. It is hard work and you are both well on your way to focusing on the only person you can change - yourself. I could have written major parts of both your stories myself. A year ago I would have told you all hope was lost for connection and a sense of belonging with my formerly sweet and loving and respectful son. A year later it is different, a difference which could not have happened had I not left the door open a crack while at the same time requiring a base line of respectful communication when there was phone contact. Slowly he began to come around after a few months of no contact. In my case I will never know just what happened to cause him to change so radically from the way he was raised, though I chose to go on and try to reconnect in new ways when he and dil told me they had decided they wanted me in their lives after all. The not knowing 'why' and resultant trepidation about the future ( could it happen again) is always a bit in the background for me, yet I can just stay in the present and enjoy what is presented there for the most part. I do think in my case my dil was the change factor and maybe time has shown her I am no threat to her primary position in my ds's life. I think with us it had little to nothing to do with what was actually going on in real time or the real world, it had to do with the place I had in my son's mind and heart which had to be destroyed for her. So...that place went quiet for a long time though ultimately love triumphed - it has no frontier after all and now expresses itself in different though familiar ways - a shorthand so to speak.
I hope the pain of what you are both going through recedes and you find ways to partake in joy in your daily lives to mitigate the dark nights. I have a feeling the ache never completely goes away for us, Louise can speak to that, yet there is light possible after such heartache. That light is connection and a sense of belonging which may not look like what we had imagined it would, yet never the less it meets the definition. Hugs to you.
The hardest thing for me was letting go of my expectations; getting that they were mine and not anyone else's responsibility. They were hooked up to hope and kept me prisoner in some vague way. What has come to me to fill the void, is from a entirely new direction and I think that somehow, I made room for that. Sending love...
Hi E & H60, I am so glad that your have shared your stories with me - It has made me feel better about a number of things & I can see that beating myself up over this is useless. I am taken aback with the number of people that experience something like this in their life - I had felt alone & wondered if I cut it as a mum - I realise that you cant control everything in life - especially emotions & I have reached the conclusion through reading your very hearfelt comments that the best thing for me to do is leave the door open for both DS & DIL - I will hope that in time they will want to see me & we can all begin as you stated "a different path" together