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Drama with Future In-Laws – Please Help!

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Saerbear 3 years ago.

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  • #425099

    Saerbear
    Member

    Hello ladies,
    My fiancé and I have been engaged for just over 2 months and are about 10 months out from our wedding. We’re not big party people so we decided as our engagement party we would just have a quiet get together with our immediate families. A few days before the event my fiancé’s parents and sister (19yo) cancelled. He told them how important their attendance was to him but they resorted to arguing and said it was because he hadn’t always been the best son when he was growing up. I was completely stunned because they had always seemed really supportive of our relationship. Later his father decided that because I didn’t agree with them and join in blaming my fiancé, then I wasn’t welcome in their house anymore and they didn’t want to come to our wedding. Needless to say, we were both very hurt by their reaction when they could have simply explained why their clashing event was so important to them.
    At the engagement party I asked my sister to be my Matron of Honour and was going to ask his sister to be the only other bridesmaid because we had been pretty close and she had expressed how much she would like to before we were engaged. I think it would be a bit immature to say “that’s it, she’s off the list” but even if things improve enough for them to attend I don’t know how much I would want her to have such a significant role anymore. I know I have a couple of months still to decide but does anyone have any advice how we could handle the situation?
    Also we know that if we ever want to have a relationship with them in the future then we need to invite his parents to the wedding, but if we are still not on speaking terms with them is it reasonable to invite them just as regular guests? He is really close with his grandma and we have discussed that at this stage we would both be happier with her taking on the honours parents usually would, like the mother-son dance, a speech if she wanted, etc. Is there anything else we could do so as not to make things worse but to avoid any tantrums or inappropriate speeches on the day?
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated! (sorry this post is so long)

    #425101

    Kittikats
    Member

    Wow.
     
    Just wow.
     
    This is one awkward situation to find yourself in.  Obviously you don’t want to offend your future in-laws but at the same time you need to do what is right for your relationship.
     
    I’m just struck by the FIL behaviour. Seriously, WHY would YOU join in on arguing with your fiance about stuff you weren’t (presumably) there for? And even if you were, what do you gain by joining in with their petty grievance?
     
    It sounds like it would be easiest to repair the realtionship between you and the sister.
    I’d email/text/call her and let her know that you do regard her as a friend as well as a future sister and you are thinking of having her as a bridesmaid.
    The arguement is between fiance and the parents and not between you and her and you still want to be friends.
     
    If possible wait a little while to let things cool down on both sides and try to reconcile.
    (If you leave it too long it will be harder and the arguement will fester, do it too soon and the wounds will be too fresh and easy to reopen.)
     
    Try to build the bridge and understand exactly why they are upset:
    Was it a very special event they had to choose to not go to instead of your engagement party?
    Is that a pattern your partner has with them, making them put him first all the time irreagardless of what they want or have planned?
    Are they being reasonable?
    Is it fear of their only son growing up and getting married/starting a family/potentially becoming distant?
    Are they worried that they’ll be left out of the wedding/planning process and so removed themselves to spare the hurt of rejection?
    Could they possibly not support your realtionship and are trying to break you up?
     
    Before you can all move forward you need to uncover the cause of the hurt. Only once you have done that can you try to heal it.
     

    #425165

    Saerbear
    Member

    Thanks so much for your advice Kittikats :-) We could definately try to look at it more from the perspective of why they acted that way rather than focusing on the result :-)

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