Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Trying to make a wedding work when my mother and stepmom hate each other.

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice Trying to make a wedding work when my mother and stepmom hate each other.

This topic contains 73 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by avatar Chrissy 7 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 49 through 60 (of 74 total)
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  • #667505 Reply

    For_Cutie: I know we’re not engaged yet. This is something that I’ve been stewing over for years, just as a byproduct of knowing how much they dislike each other, and my boyfriend and I have had a lot of serious conversations about getting engaged in the near future, so the issue now seems more pressing for me. It’s going to be a problem, whether I worry about it today or next year.

    Golfer.Gal and Ale: I actually talked to my mom recently, and that’s when she got very, very adamant and kind of mad at me when I told her I needed her to suck it up, be an adult and attend with my stepmom present. I asked her if she just didn’t want to be invited, if she cared that much about it. It wasn’t a good talk. I talked to my stepmom, briefly, and she did the whole “well, I’m over it, so that’s up to her,” response. Knowing my stepmom, that’s a bit more loaded than it sounds. Thankfully, we both don’t want kids, so I won’t have to navigate future visitations and stuff with their combativeness.

    Ron: I never, ever said his mom can’t attend a hypothetical courthouse wedding. I said that, if she did attend, I could see my stepmom feeling put out about not being invited since she was. I actually love his mom! Also, it’s a little ironic I’m being called selfish when I’m tearing myself up here trying to make everyone happy..

    Juliecatharine: It gives me a little hope that your immediate family managed to act like adults despite being estranged from each other. Thank you.

    Everyone: I’m not denying him the wedding he wants. I know what I would like, but I’m willing to let that go because of what he has been dreaming of. I just have no idea how to give him what he wants AND deal with both my mom and my stepmom, AND not have someone (myself included) come out of this with hurt feelings.

    #667507 Reply

    BGM: I never said his mom can’t attend a hypothetical courthouse wedding. I said that if she attended, I could see my stepmom being hurt. I love his mom. I’d be more than happy to have her attend. I’m just trying to navigate everyone’s feelings about fricken everything.

    #667508 Reply

    Let your stepmom be hurt. Let you mom be hurt.
    They should be hurt. They deserve it.

    #667513 Reply

    Sorry to hear about your dad. I still think you need to talk to your mom. Frame it as HER decision, don’t let her put it on you. Tell her it’s your wedding and you will invite who you like, and that she doesn’t get to manipulate you into changing your guest list (because that’s what she’s doing). Tell her that when the invites go out, that’s when she can make a decision. And that you’ll be hurt if she chooses not to come, but that it’s 100% her decision. And leave it at that. Then plan the wedding you and your bf want, and let your mom figure it out.

    #667514 Reply
    Northern Star

    Cripes. Since your mom won’t even entertain the idea of being a civil adult at your wedding: Don’t invite her. And you will feel guilty because you are a thoughtful person, but it is NOT YOUR FAULT that she’s being an unreasonable jerk about this. And you don’t deserve to NOT HAVE A WEDDING because your mom is a jerk.

    It’s unbelievable that she won’t put aside her own petty grievances (and doesn’t feel some sort of SHAME for what she allowed her boyfriend to put you through) to support you on your wedding day. Guilt trip the hell out of her about THAT, if you still want to try and get her to play nice.

    But I would not invite her, if I were you.

    #667516 Reply

    Yeah, if you want a wedding (or at least want to give your boyfriend that gift and wouldn’t mind it if your family wasn’t a mess), then have a wedding.

    You should tell your boyfriend the full lay of the land so he can give you the support you need, but ultimately, don’t let your mom stop you from doing what you want.

    I would invite her, invite your stepmom, and then let your mom do what she’s going to do.

    Who knows? She may come around. You’re not even engaged yet, and at least in my case, family does want to be there for you. If has a year to get used to the idea your stepmom will be there and there’s nothing she can do about it, she may just come around. My family did.

    #667517 Reply

    I would still try to look for help with a professional. Maybe a therapist would help in coming up with the right words to phrase it. If you have already talked to her, this would be like the last option there. If it doesn’t work, then I agree with everyone else who has said that she doesn’t have to be invited to the wedding. She is being selfish and manipulative. Also, be ready for more manipulation if she doesn’t change her mind.

    #667519 Reply

    Sorry about your dad – that sucks. Do you have any aunts or can you call up family friends who are close to your mom and would normally be invited to your wedding? Can you use them to lay down the reality of this as “you are going to miss your daughter’s wedding because you’re mad about something that happened 20 years ago. Grow up. Have a glass of wine. Roll your eyes at me if you need to but behave like an adult.”

    #667520 Reply

    So unfortunately this is one of those situations where it might not be possible to come out without any hurt feelings. It’s kind of you to want to minimize that, but it’s just not under your control. Which, in a way, is good news. Your mom and stepmom get to choose their own feelings and reactions and you have no responsibility for them. If the thought of excluding either one of them hurts you, then maybe invite them both and let the chips fall where they may. I might even suggest a few sessions with a counselor to talk this over and help you prepare for any emotional blackmail, drama, or hurt feelings that may occur.

    #667521 Reply

    If you have a relationship with your step mom still and want her at your wedding then invite her. Tell your mom that you want her there as well. It would mean the world to you. YOU would be hurt if SHE chose not to attend. (Not she would be hurt if you invited someone else – the fuck). It is only for a couple of hours. What mother can’t put aside her own 20 year old feelings (over the actions of a man that has passed away)for the sake of her kid for a couple of hours? What exactly is the statute of limitations on this? I’m with Vanetha (and Essie et al). My daughter’s happiness on her wedding day trumps whatever the fuck I have to suck up to make it a happy day for her.
    And then enjoy your wedding. Honestly you are so busy – you don’t really have time to get involved in any drama. You are taking pictures and dancing and eating cake and hanging out with your husband. Most people get a quick hi and a hug. The photographer can schedule the pictures appropriately so they don’t have to stand around together if you want them both included to some degree. Don’t be held hostage by someone else’s grudges from 20 years ago – your mom or your step mother who continues to judge her. You can only control your actions. Stop trying to manage everyone else’s feelings. They are adults. They are required to that on their own.

    #667522 Reply

    Here’s my two cents – plan the wedding event (or events) how YOU and your boyfriend want them to be. Invite who you want, and let people deal with their own issues about attending or not attending. Ultimately, its your mother’s choice (and flexibility of her job) whether or not to attend. Same with your stepmother. If they both care about you and want to see your big day go off without a hitch, then they will both have to just deal with seeing each other.

    Also, while I understand your anxiety about this, you’re letting it take over before you’ve even gotten engaged. Get engaged first, then worry about this.

    #667526 Reply

    I feel like, even if she does act weirdly or badly, you’re not even going to notice. I’ve been married twice, and that’s my professional opinion. First, if you invite her, she can choose to go or not go. She chooses not to, fine. Shitty, but ok. If she chooses to go, I bet she can mostly keep it together. But think about it: you’re kept sequestered until you walk down the aisle. Realistically your mom could be in the room with you IF you want, but both of them aren’t in there. Stepmom is seated on one side of the aisle, mom on the other. You walk down, say your vows, no drama. At the reception, they’re at different tables and you’re not at either of them. Sit alone with your husband or with your attendants. If your mom starts making a scene, which is unlikely, some designated family member escorts her out for a chat. You are not going to notice anything.

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