Friday, March 19, 2010

part of the family pt. 2

As many of you know from this post, my relationship with my future in-laws hasn't always been the smoothest of roads. Honestly, I thought after the last big conversation we had with them about how we were all feeling about certain things, the drama would be over. But, alas, that does not seem to be the case.

Like I said before, my FMIL has a very strong emotional bond to Mr. FP; she suffers from empty nest syndrome like you would not believe and has always felt as though she's not as involved in our lives as she should be. After we got engaged, I thought this might be a good time to change that. My mom is more of a logical thinker and less interested in the wedding fluff than my FMIL, so I thought the wedding planning would provide us with a good chance to bond.

But since I'm in school, there hasn't been a whole lot of wedding-related activities/outings/planning going on. I mentally plan and have a gigantic folder of wedding inspiration on my computer, but we haven't really had much time for active planning. The stuff that has to be done well in advance (rentals, catering, rings, clothing) is being done, but other than that, we're pretty much waiting until I'm done school in April to get heavy into wedding planning. It's just too much in my head to focus on school and the wedding at the same time. Bride-students, you'll know what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Apparently, this is a big problem with FMIL. She thinks we're just not involving her at all. We asked her to do a reading at the ceremony and I invited her come with my mom and I when I get my dress fitted, but when those things didn't happen in a timely manner, she started getting upset and thinking that we just didn't want her to be involved anymore. This is not true, we just haven't gotten around to them. And although we told her this, she still seems upset.

We're also trying to put down a deposit for the rentals (for which my parents and his parents are splitting the cost) from a company an hour away and she suggested that her and I drive up there so we can sign the contract and she can put down the deposit. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn't be a problem, but I have classes through the week, am currently trying to finish 4 final papers and I have exams in 2 weeks... which means I have zero spare time to drive up there. When we explained this to her, she was upset and said she wouldn't be putting down the deposit until we found time to drive up there with her.

To make matters worse, she seems to have hijacked our wedding rehearsal. She booked it for 8pm without consulting us and plans to invite way all of the out-of-town guests. We wanted something early and something small, as in only the wedding party, our parents, the minister and his wife. Originally, I thought my problem with this stemmed mostly from my inability to give up control and let her plan it, but I soon realized that it wasn't about control. I want our rehearsal dinner to be what we want; to reflect us. And in order for that to happen, it should be intimate and simple. We want to invite the wedding party, enjoy the night with them, and see everyone else at the wedding, but she seems to think that -- since the groom's parents traditionally take care of the rehearsal -- she has total control over it.

I know her hurt feelings about the rentals and desire to control the rehearsal probably originate more so from the fact that she thinks I don't want to spend time with her and her desire to be involved than anything but I'm not sure how to avoid this. I want her to feel involved, but I have no idea how to make her feel involved when we've barely been involved. We do what we can, we discuss our ideas with her and FFIL all the time, so I'm not sure what else can be done. I feel as though waiting until April when I'm done school to involve her in the wedding is our only option, but I don't want to deal with this kind of drama until then. With final papers and exams, the last thing I need is to worry about how upset she is with us.

Okay. Advice. Now. Pretty please.


SG said...

That does suck, I guess I would just suggest trying to keep her in the loop more, meaning sending her emails or call her when you've decided something about the wedding or have an idea about the wedding just so she feels included and not left in the dark. Maybe have your fiance sit down with her separately and reiterate what your schedule is like right now and that once things pick up she'll be more involved.

I left the rehearsal dinner up to my MIL and haven't really given her much direction on it. I figure that can be her event to plan and keep her busy. The wedding is what I really care about not the rehearsal. Maybe just let her have the rehearsal to do her will take a lot off your plate as well.

Good luck!

Ellie said...

Maybe try looking at the rehearsal dinner as a party that is being thrown FOR you, not a party that is all about you? It sounds like the RD is all about her, and that's okay - just realize it's like being given a gift that you hate and hang up on your wall anyway. Maybe you can have an intimate lunch instead? Also, explain to her that you will be leaving the RD early enough to get plenty of sleep before the big day - she should be understanding.
It sounds to me like she's being really childish about the deposit. Why can't Mr. FP drive up there and put down the deposit with her?
Also, can you give her a wedding-related project? Maybe figuring out alter decorations, the guestbook, or something else?
Good luck with your exams - focus on getting through school! That's the most important thing.

Leigh said...

Sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time with your FMIL. It sounds like no matter how much you involve her, she will never be happy with what you give her.

I agree with what SG said above about maybe having your fiance sit down with his mother and explain to her that you are busy with school and how things are going to work with the wedding.

I hope it all works out in the end and your FMIL begins to understand that you are busy concentrating on your schooling. Good luck!

Erica said...

I'd lean on Mr. FP for this one. If this is just how his mother is, then there might not be much you can do to change her behavior. But if all this is a little out of character or is only coming up in relation to the wedding, then maybe there's an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. If that's the case, Mr. FP should address it, not you.

When I ran into some problems with my FFIL trying to control our wedding, the Mister nipped it in the bud. He knows his Dad better than I do, and even though what he said to his Dad was no different than what I would have said to him, the fact that it was his child saying it to him I think makes all the difference.

Nicole & Brian said...

So sorry to hear about the issues with FMIL! I agree with what everyone else has been saying about Mr. FP - maybe he can talk with his mother about how busy you are with school!
I also know how good my FMIL feels even when I send her a one sentence email with a picture or a link and saying, "I am really liking _____, what do you think about ________?" Even if it's just an quick email updating her on something you & Mr. FP talked about or something you saw online that you like - she will feel included and it won't take up too much of your time! (By the way - I totally feel your pain of being a student & a bride).

Cupcake Wedding said...

She sounds irrational, which is bad. But you have to explain to her that school comes first. Maybe if you email her wedding things you like in your spare time that will tide her over until you can go shopping together? Also, that way she will know your taste.

Rhiannon Nicole said...

Oh she sounds a little nutty haha just kidding but I would just keep trying to include her as best you can. You're not going to make everyone happy but you can make the most imporant person smile; and that is YOU :) xx

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