Author Topic: How do I get through shower and wedding?  (Read 9667 times)

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Offline sjmom

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How do I get through shower and wedding?
« on: August 06, 2012, 03:07:20 PM »
My son will be married in a few months and his fiancee has been less than cordial with me; from ignoring me, turning away when I speak to her, and not making me privy to any wedding info. My son had told me early on she will never call me, never email me and will never be my friend. However, my son expects much from me in my treatment of her and for a long time I tried to make her part of our family, but to no avail. I have decided after the wedding I will leave them to their own life and graciously bow out. For one thing I doubt I would ever get to see any future grandchildren. Unfortunately, my son and I have always been close until now.

I try to love without judging or blaming but recently have found myself feeling badly about my thoughts and conversations about the young woman. This has been extremely difficult for me so how do I get through the shower and the wedding? I don't want to hurt anyone, including my future daughter in law but also do not want to be hurt.

One more thing; I have also told her she could call me Mom but my son said she wants to call me by my first name which, to me, is a sign of disrespect because of the way I was raised. Should I just have her call me Mrs. I have to sign the shower card and don't know what name to use.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 06:03:02 PM by luise.volta »

Offline Grammie

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 04:47:11 PM »
Hello sjmom, I'm sorry to hear that you are having to deal with such an unfriendly FDIL.   I will address the name issue and hope it helps.  I lived in the south for many years and have a good friend who was always referred to by Miss "Mary".  Both DILs called her that as well as the friends of her children.  I was not born in the south but was impressed by the respectful nature being addressed in this manner.  I work with children and that is how they address me and I love it. 
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
 ~ Denis Waitley ~

Offline luise.volta

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 06:08:47 PM »
Welcome S - I modified your post a little because we do not refer to our belief systems here. There are many supportive Websites out there for that.

Please go to our Home Page and read the three posts under the "Read Me First" category. We require that of all new members to be sure they fully understand what our site is all about and find it to be a fit. Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 06:31:02 PM by luise.volta »
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline constantmargaret

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 06:24:15 PM »
 It doesn't sound like you have much to bargain with. If FDIL wants to call you by your first name, I would try to be ok with it and not see it as a sign of disrespect. She may see another perspective, like calling you Mom would be disrespectful to her own mother. I would try to swallow the bitter pill and sign the card by your first name. If you sign it Mrs. she will likely think you're being cold.

I'm just a person who has to attend a rehearsal dinner and a wedding I'm a bit nervous about. I would go to the events and behave with perfect grace and class. Smile, smile, smile. Be impeccable. Since you plan to bow out afterward, leave with your dignity intact. You will never regret that.

Now I hope I can take my own advice.
 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 06:30:05 PM by luise.volta »

Offline DivaGirlDIL

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 06:41:18 PM »
My son will be married in a few months and his fiancee has been less than cordial with me; from ignoring me, turning away when I speak to her, and not making me privy to any wedding info. My son had told me early on she will never call me, never email me and will never be my friend. However, my son expects much from me in my treatment of her and for a long time I tried to make her part of our family, but to no avail. I have decided after the wedding I will leave them to their own life and graciously bow out. For one thing I doubt I would ever get to see any future grandchildren. Unfortunately, my son and I have always been close until now.

Can you ask your son the plans?  Are you helping pay?  Long short if she won't email why can't ds after all he should include his family. 

I try to love without judging or blaming but recently have found myself feeling badly about my thoughts and conversations about the young woman. This has been extremely difficult for me so how do I get through the shower and the wedding? I don't want to hurt anyone, including my future daughter in law but also do not want to be hurt.

Think of it as doing it for your son your their to support him and him alone.  Party up have a great seeing you sad will only make her happy.  Don't go over board but be cheerful.

One more thing; I have also told her she could call me Mom but my son said she wants to call me by my first name which, to me, is a sign of disrespect because of the way I was raised. Should I just have her call me Mrs. I have to sign the shower card and don't know what name to use.
. Can you really force someone to address you as Mrs?  I know for me I would look at you and say I am not 5 but thanks.  Actually my ILs tried to pull that one on me.  I didn't feel comfortable calling them mom and dad.  They dont like me calling them by their first name I just don't use their name pretty much ever.  Limits the convo sometimes but I refused to be treated like a child and they get upset when I say it.  Just makes life more uncomfortable.   Even as a child I never addressed family friends as Mrs.  The only people I address that way(as an adult) is my child's teacher to not confuse her.  She calls all adult no family members by their first name.  Respect can be shown in different ways.   

Offline luise.volta

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 07:02:54 PM »
My take is I think when extended families start to sort things out…we all have to get that we may define things differently. My concept of respect, for instance, is that it is something earned…not a given. I am 85…so that may be part of it. I think each person has the right to live by their own standards, not by mine. Conversely, I claim the same right. Years ago that caused a rift in my family because my eldest son and his wife expected me to meet and live by their standards. That was a deal breaker for me. These things are never easy to address from my perspective. For instance, the shower and the wedding are both about them, not you. I would suggest you do your best to reflect that and fade into the woodwork. Simple but not easy. Sending love...
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 07:08:22 PM by luise.volta »
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pen

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 11:34:37 PM »
Sjmom, welcome. I'm sorry you're going through this, but I'm glad you found us. As you can see you're not alone. I know you'll find comfort & support here.

IMO if a DIL asks to be called by a certain name or title, MILs should do their best to accomodate. Same w/what a MIL wants to be called. Fair's fair, goose/gander, and all that. However, I agree that it's not a hill to die on.

DivaGirlDil, in a perfect world it would all be so simple. DS could email or call, DS would be able to include his FOO, etc. It doesn't always work out that way. My DS was up against his demanding FDW & her formidable FOO. He, and we, didn't stand a chance. It made his life so much easier for us to let it all go. Sad, huh?
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline DivaGirlDIL

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2012, 05:23:27 AM »
So if DIL tells you to call her Mrs. Yoursand her last name you will do it?  Not trying to be rude but I know my mil wouldn't yet she expects me too.

Offline NewMama

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2012, 05:45:43 AM »
My MIL wanted to be called Mom initially when we got married (and this was when we still had a good relationship). I was never comfortable with it, and personally found it disrespectful to my own mom. Most of the time I just never address her by name, and put her first name on presents. She signs cards a variety of ways - Mom, Mom LastName, FirstName, or Mrs LastName - so I just settled on using her first name. It's easier now since I usually just sign my son's name and address gifts to her grandmother name. It seems strange to me to address someone who's part of my family as Mrs. Maybe that's my age and the fact that I was raised in a family that is not the least bit formal.

I was wondering how things are with your son? Does he still call, e-mail or visit? Has he ever given a reason why she had no interest in forming a relationship with you? He seems very aware of her intentions from the get-go, where a lot of sons just look the other way and pretend it's not happening. If she has zero interest in a relationship with you, there's not much you can do about that. In my own situation (which is reversed, I'm the DIL) I find that the only thing I can do is continue to be polite and civil. I don't want to be the one who puts my husband and son in the middle. I bite my tongue a lot, but am happy with the fact that I'm trying to be the bigger person.

Offline FAFE

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2012, 05:55:02 AM »
When my OS and DIL got married, she asked what she should call me.  I told her first name was fine - but being Japanese she said that was not respectful to me.  I then told her to pick out whatever she wanted to call me, even if it was a Japanese word (just not a bad one).  So, she never did come up with something.   I then suggested that she call me Fafe (which was what my DD wanted my GM name to be).  So, that is what she calls me and I'm good with it.  I do sign cards to her Mom and Dad, etc. 

In your case, I would just sign your name and let it be.  Maybe things will change (I know - when pigs fly), anyway I'm sending you a big hug.

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2012, 06:50:19 AM »
Your question "how do I get through shower and wedding" sort of answers itself - you get through it.   At least, that's how my DS's wedding was for me, something to get through.  I considered myself a guest, no more, and smiled made, small talk and left as soon as it was appropriate which was several hours after it started.  The event will carry on and people will talk and laugh and have a big ole time without any contribution necessary from you.  Try to relax and sit back and smile a little.  That's my advice for the wedding.  I'm not sure about the shower since it's more intimate.

Also, maybe you could let go of the idea of perceiving your son's future wife as your DIL.  I made that mistake and did my best to include mine in our family and respect her wishes, blah blah blah, but the intention to be part of our family was just not there for her.    In a way, you could thank her for making her position so clear in the beginning - you don't have to wonder where she stands and what she thinks.   She's a woman that your son is marrying and that's all.

And as far as names - I feel like you'll need to sort this one out for yourself since you have strong feelings about it.  I'm so used to being called by my first name. Only 2 people called me 'Mom' and I can probably count on 2 hands the number of times someone called me "Mrs. ___". 

Good luck with this and sorry you have to join our club of misfit MILs but it doesn't have to be so bad.  We're here for you.


Offline Lillycache

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 07:10:34 AM »
Welcome to you SJmom..  My DIL started right off the bat calling me by my first name.  I would have preferred to be called mom, as I was raised to be respectful to my elders.  But that's old school.  I always called my MIL mom as calling her Mrs..blank... would have been silly.  She was, afterall my husband's mother and since we were supposed to be "ONE" at marriage, my mother also.  But again, that's old fashioned respect and tradition.   I didn't ever make an issue of it.  It was not a hill to die on for me.. I just took into account that she was not raised the same as many of us older women.

As for getting through the shower and wedding.  You will do it graciously and with a big smile plastered on your face.  I am so sorry you are getting this brush off so soon, but at least you know what the deal is.  You are not being led on to believe that you were cared for or considered family.  So many of us.. me included, didn't realize how much we were disliked until many many years later.  I was blissfully ignorant of the fact that I was being critiqued and discussed by DIL and her FOO for 10 years before I got the memo.  Needless to say, I wasn't always on guard..  You will have the luxury of being on guard and careful.  It's a heads up for you that I wish I had had.   I wish I could be more supportive and give you hope.. but I can't see that you have much choice in the matter.  You cannot change people and it's foolish to try.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 07:53:15 AM »
So, SJ…Did any of this help?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Scoop

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2012, 08:14:09 AM »
SJMom, I have a question for you.  Could you handle a 'civil' relationship with FDIL?  It sounds like she doesn't want a close relationship with you.  However, you seem to be saying it's a close relationship or none at all.   (i.e. she either calls you "Mom" or "Mrs SJMom")

You don't always like everyone you meet, that's just how it is.  You can be "acquaintances", greet each other politely, make small-talk, and then move on to talking to your DS.  You'll probably have to work a bit harder to maintain the relationship with your son, but it's do-able.

As for the "Mrs" thing - when you're introduced to another adult, in a social setting, do you call them Mr or Mrs, until they tell you to use their first name?  You, your DS and DIL are all adults, you should all be calling each other by your first names. 

Maybe it's a generational thing, but to me, being "forced" to call someone by Mr/Mrs ect means that they are in a position of authority or "higher up" than I am.  The only people I use the Mr/Mrs for are DD's teachers, because they DO have authority over her.  I don't use titles for my boss, my IL's, my parents' friends, ect.

I have to say that one of the problems I have with my MIL is that she doesn't consider DH and I to be "grown-ups".  She treats us like we're still teenagers and it's hateful and insulting.  My MIL never insisted on being called "Mrs", but she never invited me to call her by her first name either.  I hope that this is not how you treat your DS and FDIL, but I thought you should know where I'm coming from.

Offline Lillycache

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Re: How do I get through shower and wedding?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 08:37:33 AM »
I don't see how calling your MIL "mom" or some variation indicates that she thinks she is superior or above anyone, or that she thinks of her son and DIL as children.    It's just a symbol of respect and acknowlegement.  DS doesn't stop calling his Mom... MOM when he grows up.   I do understand how someone may feel uncomfortable using a name that was always reserved for their mother.  It's the same discomfort that MIL may have being called by her first name.  Still, I'd rather have my DIL use my first name than the names I'm sure she has for me in secret... lol!!