June 26, 2019, 10:10:31 pm


"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

How To Be Happy For Your Sons Pending Marriage

Started by laxmil, February 14, 2010, 08:11:41 am

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


My son will be getting married this summer & I cannot be happy for him. How do I put my gut feelings aside & be happy for him & his bride? I struggled with this girl since the day I met her. Bought & read 2 self help books on mothering adult children & their dating choices. Big lesson learned, if I love my son & want him in my life, gotta love the girlfriend. Made major adjustments in myself & started the relationship with her from scratch. Two years of eating dust from this girl & the constant exclusion of wedding details & a minor fiasco at Christmas, I have zero tolerance left for her. I fully understand that it is the brides wedding, got it, but, we should at least be kept in the loop & this girl intentionally excludes us from every detail. The one part of the wedding that we were excited to have a hand in, the rehearsal dinner, is not in our hands. Initially we were told that the only part of the dinner we would be involved with was writing the check. Opposing this, my son declared that it is her wedding and if we do not want to pay, he will. He is paying....Help!


February 14, 2010, 09:19:24 am #1 Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 09:28:09 am by cocobars
laxmil, welcome!  You've found the right site.  So many of us here are experiencing the same situation, although each one is a little varied.  You will find the women on this site to be compassionate and understanding, and hopefully we will be able to support eachother through...  It's a great "think tank," and although we can't resolve all the issues we face, sometimes there are answers to questions that make a difference in how you feel personally.

I'm sorry you are going through this with your son's pending marriage.  You should be proud of yourselves, though for sticking to your guns about the "payment."  As his parents, you should have the chance to give just a little input since you are paying that bill for them.  I hope they consider that in the future, but the fact that you are sticking to your guns now (I believe) will be good for you in this future.  This is a sad situation, and although I say all that, I also hope you have given them a reason to reconsider just taking advantage of your wallet.  They have a very valid point.  This IS their wedding, however you are valid from your point of view also!  This IS your wallet!

I hope you have given them some food for thought, and a place to meet in the middle. I believe you are doing the right thing. 

Keep us posted here, and post as often as you need to.  You will find so much support and understanding here!  We are happy to have you join and be part of our group!


P.S.- I have no answers for being happing about a situation like this.  There may be no choices except to smile and accept when you attend this wedding.  I know that you will get some other opinions and suggestions from others here, and hopefully some answers.

Hang in there!


Hi Laxmil,

I am sorry to say, I can really relate to your feelings. I went through that also. My DIL and her family, totally took over everything and I mean everything for the wedding plans. It feels like the rite of passage to the voyage of losing a son (now that I look back). I had the strained relationship with DIL early on and all the signs were there, but, I, too, decided to be "noble" I "thought" and do what I thought was best for son. Well, that is the first of mistakes I made.

I applaude you for not contributing if it cannot be on your terms. I understand you would like to do some of the emotional parts of the planning. I tried, and was told by DIL that I didn't need to do anything. Then, later, at these events people would wonder why her family "appears" to be doing everything. Her family, fails to mention that they wanted to be in complete control and told her MIL that we don't need you. The beginning of the hypocritical world. You should be included, but it seems the control will be levied early and made known.

They are preparing you for your new role as "backseat." It is a very uncomfortable place to be. I have come full circle and "drove" away or was "driven" away; to be more accurate. It is shocking and surreal. As I have learned here, you won't change your DIL or family or decisions. The only thing you can control is your reaction. It coldly seems that they will accept your funds to help with "their" decisions. You will feel odd you are being pushed out of something important and believe me, you are. Do not doubt yourself.

Sure, we know of a woman's wishes for a wedding. But, the MIL is tossed aside. Your son, will seem different, because he is under a spell of "love."? He is stuck, too--but, doesn't know the extent.

I am being real. Sorry, if it seems gloomy. Just calmly assert yourself as you have done. Don't let them take that away. That is key to a form of survival. Let son pay. I would try to do something special with him alone prior to the wedding and without mention of it. Just be there when needed.

Disclaimer: These are my opinions based on my experiences. Yes, there are differences in each situation.

I really do understand. You are not dust.

MIL, Renny


Welcome, Laxmil! I'm sorry you are in the position of needing this site, but you've come to a very supportive place. As Coco said, our experiences may vary, but I think we all feel hurt, confused, rejected, worried, used...what did I leave out? Oh, and good for you for limiting your spending if you're not part of the planning. We just kept coughing it up and it didn't make a difference in how we were/are treated.

The saying goes that the MOTG (mother of the groom) should "wear beige and shut up." They forgot to add " & keep credit card handy."

As it is with you and Renny, when my DS got married we were left out of everything except writing whatever checks were considered our responsibility. We had to insist on being "allowed" to invite a couple of friends. I knew then that DIL's niceness before (we were helping them out with money and other things) was just an act and that we were in for it. Thank God DS insisted that a last-minute family member be allowed to attend; she was the only family on our side (& brought a very expensive gift, BTW.) We would not take 'no' for an answer, and we also insisted on being allowed a MOTG/G dance. Oh, and I didn't wear beige, either, LOL. It really angered DIL & her family and we've been shunned ever since, although DIL is trying to be better on the rare times we get together with DS/DIL. I shudder to think about GKs - I already know how DIL feels about my childrearing methods vs. those of her parents.

Through it all I would cry my eyes out and rant and rave privately, but in front of them I was pleasant and unemotional until it came time to walk down the aisle - I've got to admit to a tear or two then and also later for the MOTG/G dance. I felt like sobbing and screaming, but mercifully was able to contain it to a perfectly acceptable display.

I have no advice for you, Laxmil, on how to be happy about your son's upcoming wedding other than "fake it 'til you make it" since your DIL may use any sign of your unhappiness against you. I sometimes have to repeat "DS is happy, that's all that matters" over and over like a mantra. If you want to see DS and future GKs, it's possible you must comply with her rules and demands. Perhaps your DS will wake up - our DS is beginning to speak up, and it's good to see.

I hope for the best for you. Keep posting and reading here! This site has made the unbearable bearable for me and many others.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I suggest deciding in advance when and how much you will pay into this relationship.  The pace you set now will be expected and, at times, insisted upon in the future.  I made the mistake of being generous and then relized that the DIL began to badger me for purchases that were unreasonable.  She really blew up when I began to say no.  It is sad, but true.....


Hello and welcome to the forum....
So very sorry to hear that your having this problem....I fear things will become worse, once they are married....hope I'm wrong.

As far as the rehersal dinner, I always thought it was common for the grooms parents to take care of that dinner, as well as choose the resturant..? 

I hope things smooth out for you all, and you can come to an agreement....
Good Luck....and please come here anytime to vent....or seek support...
Your in our thoughts and prayers...


When DS got married I went online to research wedding etiquette and immediately had sticker shock :) We were glad to pay for the expected items, but now I wish we'd chosen the venue for the rehearsal dinner and let it truly be a gift from us to the wedding party. Instead we paid but they chose the place, the menu, etc. and took credit for providing it. We probably looked like morons.

So, good for you for sticking up for yourselves, although you may pay for that one way or another. Darned if you do, and all that.

Such a happy occasion should be joyous and loving - all I felt was resentment, confusion and inadequacy. We were treated like an embarrassment. We were so stressed and uncomfortable! No one knew how we felt; the few friends we had at the wedding enjoyed themselves and said we appeared gracious, calm and joyful. DS was proud and happy; that's what mattered most to us.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


February 15, 2010, 11:39:59 am #8 Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 11:41:56 am by renny97
 :( Ditto, Pent. Amost identical scenario. What should have been a fond memory, is one I have tried to block out.

I think my best moment of the reception, was when I danced with son (MOGD) to the song he picked out, "Wings Beneath My Wings." Oh, the dirty looks "should have" killed me on the spot! One fine moment with son. He danced with his Grandma, too--(we had to take our own pictures, because we never received any EVER!) Somehow we sensed this ahead of time, and I took my digital. I had very few pictures of us 3 while we were there. Pitiful. Congrats?, Son.


Dancing with son at wedding?  Priceless...

Dirty looks you can put on ignore!  It's a happy dance! 

I hope you glowed!   ;D


Thank you all so much for the respones, I appreciate each & every one of them. I am so blessed to have an outstanding relationship w/ my MIL, I was stupid & naive to think I could have the same with future DIL. The lastest and greatest is now I am labled "difficult" because I would like to have a bridal shower here for our family & friends. We have about 30 guests who live within 10 miles of me and about an hour and a half from brides family, where shower will take place. I am resolved from this moment on to keep mouth closed and show up to wedding if I am still invited! Thank you all again, I needed a place to vent and wanted to see if I was crazy or if there were others going through the same thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you! ;)


"Difficult" can be translated to mean manipulative so watch out, Laxmil.  Keep quiet to her about any sad feelings about it.  They have new meanings for everything you do.


My oldest daughter's wedding was the most hurtful for me.  So hurtful that I don't talk about it anymore and don't really want to think about it.  I do have to give myself credit though, no matter what happened, I took it and smiled - all the way out the door.  Then cried all the way home.  Sometimes I think that's all you can do.  Nobody can go back and change it, and it was their day - not mine (obviously).  My son's wedding was different. We had a wonderful time.  My ex-husband has bought my oldest daughter and I have a grandson that I haven't seen in about a year and a half.  It's sad that she was bought like that by him.  He was so abusive physically and emotionally.  His new wife was extremely jealous of me.  She tells everyone she is my daughter's mother now.  Long story short, there was too much pain for me to continue.  I have four children.  At least I have one that loves me to death - and I, her.  I hope nothing ever changes.  I think she's alot like me and will be taking care of me someday the way I am with my parents.  I hope someone is there for her too!  Hopefully it all passes on...


Laxmil - I'm so sorry you feel this way about your DS's wedding.  As a DIL, I hope I can offer you some understanding of a different way of thinking.

I don't know if it's a generational thing, but I don't think wedding showers mean the same thing to us.  I would never had wanted my MIL to throw a shower for me either.  I didn't know her family/friends, and I would have felt TERRIBLE to be in front of them, opening gifts they couldn't afford and that I didn't need.  My advice would be to talk to your son, ask him if the problem is with the 'shower' of gifts, or with the people or what.  Ask him if he thinks it would be better to have a "welcome to the family" type party, with couples, and her parents invited too.

I think that you should take the pressure off your DIL to provide you with news / information about the wedding ect, and put the pressure on your DS.  I know that usually it's the wife who is the "social co-ordinator", but increasingly, we don't want that position. 

The thing is, your son knows what his wife is like, what she likes, what she doesn't like, ALSO, he knows YOU, and what you like and don't like.  I would lay it straight on the line to him that it's up to HIM to smooth things over between you and DIL, to explain to DIL where you're coming from, and also to warn you of any landmines/hot buttons with your DIL.

As for how to be happy.  FAKE IT.  And fake it well.  If you boycott their wedding, or do anything to 'mar' the day, you may never be forgiven.  I know it's harsh, but the wedding day is so important to the bride.  Offer her congratulations, tell her she's beautiful, tell her that her whole wedding day was brilliantly orchestrated, welcome her sincerely to your family, smile for the pictures and have fun at the reception.  Even if you have to pretend that you're at the wedding of an acquaintance - FAKE IT.


I have great respect for my mil. She's an outgoing lady who LOVES to socialize with other people. We've had our differences but in the end...we are family! I've noticed other dil's posting their opinions towards your situation...I don't completely agree with them. You can act "nice" or "fake" it through the wedding but remember you have to deal with this situation in the upcoming years (and grandchildren haven't entered the situation yet...poor lady...I'm completely hugging you). My opinion: It's ok to stand up for yourself and set your boundaries with your son and his future wife. You don't need to be miserable or feel guilty about it. Allow them to plan their dream wedding even if you're not involved. My feelings would be very hurt as well but you can be the better person and step forward though it all. If you want to contribute towards the wedding, you can give a financial "gift" with no strings attached. That way, you did your part...plus you put the ball back into their court (so to speak)! They can spend the "gift" towards wedding expenses and you won't feel guilty about not contributing to their wedding. Just a thought! I wish you all the best! XO