Monday, August 9, 2010

our wedding: more tough stuff

After all the family drama on the Mr.'s side, his brother didn't end up attending our wedding. We're still not really sure why, in fact. His mother contends that it's because his brother didn't feel included enough because he wasn't a member of the wedding party and because he wasn't invited to the rehearsal dinner. I'm not sure what to think about that, and at this point, we don't really care. Well, that's a lie. Mr. FP isn't a robot. He's upset that his brother wasn't there, but there's nothing he can do about it now and he's just done dealing with his brother for the moment.

And because his brother didn't attend, Mr. FP's mother wasn't in the best of moods that day. And that's putting it lightly. His father was so much help and my parents did a ridiculous amount of work setting up at the cottage, but we didn't see his mother until the night of the rehearsal dinner for a two hours and then half an hour before the ceremony started. And that reading we asked her to do? Well, she passed it onto Mr. FP's father. She told us... actually, no, Mr. FP's father told us for her, that she thought she would be too emotional during the ceremony to do it. I'm not sure what to make of that. I'd like to believe that she couldn't possibly still be so bitter about the guest list situation that she would refuse to do a reading at her son's wedding, but I never really know how she works. On the day of the wedding, she said all of two words to Mr. FP and said absolutely nothing to me. She was cordial to our guests and seemed to be enjoying herself, but we didn't get to enjoy any moments with her because she was acting so distant.

Honestly, these things could have ruined our wedding. A cold mom and an absent brother has some serious wedding ruining potential, let's face it.

But thankfully, it didn't put a damper on our day. Once we realized that his mom wasn't going to set aside her differences with us and be happy for us on our wedding day, we decided to save ourselves the heartache and stop trying to force some sort of meaningful connection.

To make matters worse, when we returned from our honeymoon, we found some messages that Mr. FP's brother had sent him on the day before our wedding. In a previous conversation, his brother had invited him out for drinks before the wedding, but since we were going to be at the cottage that night, Mr. FP declined but told his brother that they could get together after the honeymoon. The message his brother sent the day before our wedding simply said "don't do it" and was followed up a few hours later with a second message that implied that Mr. FP was too young to be married and that he hadn't experienced anything in life yet.

Needless to say, we didn't take that too well. I don't think I've ever seen Mr. FP so angry about something, actually. Understandably so. Although I'd like to say that I'm not surprised because his brother has been an ass before, I was shocked. Floored. The day before our wedding? Really? And what's with the preceding invitation to have drinks? Was he going to try to take Mr. FP out of marrying me, to leave me at the altar? Not the most pleasant thoughts to have to deal with the day after the honeymoon ended, I admit.

I don't bring this situation up to complain, because I want sympathy, or because I enjoy pointing out the ways in which our lives seem to parallel the story lines of mid-afternoon soap operas. Nope. I bring it up simply because this is how it went for us. I desperately hope that no one else has to deal with something like this during and/or after their wedding, but the reality is that some may have to.

Everything I read before the wedding assured me that the guest list fights, the disagreements over the details, and the sour taste in our mouths would disappear. Everything told me that people would set aside their scwabbles for the wedding day and would simply be full of joy to see us celebrate our love.

For the most part, this is true. But as far as my mother-in-law and brother-in-law, this wasn't the case. For us, this ended up being reality and while it didn't ruin our wedding by any means, it still happened. When we think specifically about his mother and brother and our wedding, that sour taste is still there. It still hurts and I'm not sure Mr. FP's relationship (or mine, for that matter) with his family will ever be the same.

I, perhaps naively, thought that people would be able to set aside their differences for at least one day, and they didn't. Everyone told me they would. Everyone told us that these things would wash away once the wedding was over. Well, we've been married a month and it's still not sunshine and rainbows. It sucks, but it happens.

And I think it happens to more couples than most people think. It happened to us and something similar is bound to happen to someone else if statistics have anything to say about it.

We've realized at this point that weddings aren't magic erasers. The joy they produce, although amazing, can't always scrub up the deeply rooted issues that plague us in the planning stages. Sometimes those issues leave stains and we're left to deal with them after the wedding.

But no one talks about this. No one says out loud that their brother in law is an ass or that their mother in law acted like a cold bitch on their wedding day.

Well then I guess I'm starting a trend, because for us, it was true. In my experience, most people prefer to act as though their lives post-wedding are full of marital bliss. But that's not always the case. For us, there has been some serious marital bliss, yes. Absolutely. That could not be more true. But in between those moments of marital bliss, there's been moments of tears from both us. There's been breakdowns. There's been an endless amount of discussions about where to go from here. There's been a sparring match in which his parents attempt to justify the message his brother sent to us.

These are stains we can't erase.
These are things we can't forget.
These are struggles that we will likely have to deal with for many days to come.

Nevertheless, these moments help us to become stronger as husband and wife.

Holy silver lining, batman.

So if it happens to you, all I can suggest is that you ride the wave, baby. Because people will behave however they please at your wedding and you won't be able to do a damn thing about it. But don't let it ruin your day, and don't make it second guess the choices that you made that may have upset people. As long as you and your partner are satisfied when the sun goes down on your wedding day, it will have been a success.


nicole said...

Wow. Thank you for your honesty and openness about ALL of this. What a difficult thing to overcome, but you and FP have each other and that makes the world and its problems and its frustrations so much easier to conquer. Good luck getting past all of this. Sounds like you two are well on your way! xo.

A-L, said...

Again, thanks for the honesty. There's been a little drama as we've done our planning (my sister won't be coming, for instance) and I appreciate hearing about your experience, even though it wasn't all peaches and roses.

Miss C said...


How can anybody think that being that selfish is okay?!

Thanks for being honest. I am really concerned about family rifts coming to a head around our wedding so I read these posts with interest, but nobody has admitted anything but bliss before. I'd rather be prepared.

The important thing though is that you and Mr. FP are a team ;)

Jess said...

I'm glad you didn't let it ruin your day. But what a horrible thing to come back to after your honeymoon.

I understand how you can't just wipe away those things as well! I've got a crappy sister-in-law (Hubby's brother's wife) who every thinks is this amazing angel and she's been a complete cow to me. Thankfully she was good as a bridesmaid but I'm glad all of that is over and I rarely have to deal with her anymore. Still I understand that bitterness it can leave.

Lisa said...

i am so impressed by you taking all this in stride! My family is driving me crazy right now and this post may just help me through it all

kc said...

Thank you for writing this. We had our fair share of family struggles too and it helps to not feel so alone in it.

Nicole-Lynn said...

Oh my gosh not sure why I didn't see this post sooner... I really feel like this spoke to me. I am having to deal with so much family drama with my mom right now and feeling pretty down about how she's treating me, and acting during this special time in my life. I understand a wedding doesn't bring people together or change their attitudes, but it's sad when people, especially family can't put their feelings and selfish wants aside for you. When I read posts like this it reassures me that yes, things may go wrong on the wedding day and in life, but all I can do is enjoy myself and live my life and everything will work itself out.

I loved what you wrote,

"But thankfully, it didn't put a damper on our day. Once we realized that his mom wasn't going to set aside her differences with us and be happy for us on our wedding day, we decided to save ourselves the heartache and stop trying to force some sort of meaningful connection." --- so true! :)

Thank you!

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