Scared of what my FMIL will do on our wedding day?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  HappyG 2 years, 9 months ago.

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    This has been a 3 year long saga so far and while I don’t see it being resolved anytime soon I need some advice from knotties who have/are possbily experiencing the same ordeal.
    I had been with my now fiance for 3 years before we got engaged.  Very early on my FMIL let it been known that she did not approve of me or the relationship that her youngest son was in and believe him to be making a huge mistake (He is the baby of 4 children – but now 30 years old.) See the thing is when I first met her, she was nice to me and would invite to family events. This all changed when I was reluctant to answer her increasingly intrusive questions about my private life.
    Ever since she has been extremely rude to me and relentless in her insulting words said against me. At one stage she believed that all I was after was her sons money and proceeded to call me a gold digger and tell other people about this fact before they even got the chance to meet me. This is along with a barrage of other insulting, insinuating and just down right nasty comments.
    She also believes that I am the reason that her son does not visit her as much as he used to, or communicate with her as much on the phone and that I am breaking up the family unity and destroying the family unit as a whole (please let it be known that I get on extremely well with my fiances olders sisters, their families and his older brother). She also believed that during a holiday my fiance and I took to the UK, that I was the one that prevented him from contacting her and she took it upon herself to ring out hotel during breakfast on our tour and demand to know why he hadn’t called her and had i stopped him (needless to say he hung up on her).
    When she finally realised that I wasn’t going anywhere and asked my fiance what his plans were for the relationship, she went ballistic over his response that we’d hopefully get engaged, married and have children. She stated that he would be making the biggest mistake of his whole life and would destroy his future if he stayed with me. She then said that if we got engaged, she as well as my fiances father, would be utterly devastated and when we got married they would not attend the wedding along with much of the family (needless to say all close family said they would attend and were thrilled when we got engaged).
    Sorry for the long rant… had to give you an insight on what is happening.
    Now we got engaged on Mothers day. When my fiances parents returned back from their holiday they made it very clear that they are unhappy with out engagement. We didn’t even get a congratulations.
    What I want to know is…. Do we even bother to invite them to our wedding?
    Yes I realise that it is my fiances parents but they have made it very clear that they do not approve of our engagement and our upcoming marriage and they did say they wouldn’t come. Even my fiances is of two minds on whether to invite them. My family are extremely supportive of us, hate everything the future in laws have ever said about me and feel very strongly that they should not be invited.
    Should he (my fiance) ask them if they are going to come along? What should he ask?
    or should we send an invite anyway and hope that they rsvp to not coming?
    If they do come along (invited or not invited) what do we do? Should we have security just incase FMIL kicks off and goes completely mental at the wedding?
    I have been in tears over this for so long…. Let it be known that I love my fiance with all of my heart and have always wondered how such a sweet and caring person could come from someone so manipulative and malicious.
    Any help/advice would be so gladly appreciated.



    I think you should invite them – be the bigger person.  If they do attend, have someone you trust (maybe someone like the best man or a brother/uncle) briefed to calmly usher her out should she lose the plot.  With any luck they won’t attend but I do think they should be invited.



    I am sorry that you (and your fiance) are experiencing so much heartache over this!
    Because it seems as if his parents have made their opinion of you clear, I think your fiance should just leave it for now. But I also think that you should send them an invite anyway – extend an olive branch of sorts. If they don’t RSVP, have your fiance call them after the RSVP date and politely enquire about their attendance. If they say no again, make sure that he politely responds that he is sorry to hear that and that they will be missed before hanging up the phone. You need to avoid engaging with them in any verbal spars wherever possible (this really only makes things worse). If they RSVP as attending, make sure that your fiance politely tells them that any bad behaviour will not be tolerated.
    If they do decide to attend, I would have a few people made aware of the situation (perhaps the Best Man, as someone else suggested, and your venue coordinator or barman) so that they are prepared to escot your FMIL from the premises should she make a nuisance of herself. If something does go awry try not to get too upset – remember that she has humilated herself in front your family and friends and that no one will be judging you for it. Good luck!



    As a minister who conducts quite a number of weddings I come across situations similar to this quite often. In disussing the situation with couples we work out a plan to address the situation. Usually the partner with the ‘refusing’ parents speaks to her/his parents about it, or if that doesn’t work I ask if the couple would like me to approach the parents. Mostly parents have responded favourably to such approaches. In this situation I think I act as an advocate on behalf of the couple and the relationship. I assure the parents that I am not taking sides but recognise that relationships need all the support they can get. I think it is a good idea as mentioned above to work out contingency plans in case parents or others begin to disrupt the ceremony. It is good to work this out with the celebrant, master of ceremonies, reception planners, bridal party, stewards etc so that if something happens you the couple don’t have to be the ones to have to sort it out but others know what plan to put into action. Contingency plans are a regular part of most of the weddings I conduct.



    I think you should invite them as a point of etiquette, if your FMIL refuses she will look like the bad one. If you don’t make all possible attempts to have her come it will look ingenuine and she will be able to use it as further fire against you. In other words: Kill her with kindness. Be sweet, kind, understanding and patient; highlight and contrast her inappropriate behaviour.
    To her you will always be the bad guy, you’re taking her little boy away, showing her that he’s grown up and doesn’t need her anymore; which is very painful. You’ve also said you avoided her questions so she probably thinks you’re secretive, sneaky and up to something. I would recommend an open book approach,  let her probe so that she can see there’s nothing untoward, but expect the same from her end and tell her you want to get to know her and be closer (even if you really don’t) because you love her son almost as much as she does. You need to make her feel like you’re on her side and want what’s best for both of them, like saying you always ask your FH to call her.
    Can you fix 3 years of butting heads? There’s a slim chance,  but it will take work, commitment and empathy from both sides. She may or may not come to the wedding, but arrange security (or a minder that you trust) to keep an eye on her; in the meantime try to soothe things over to reduce any explosions. Start by taking her out to lunch at a nice neutral café, and come into it even tempered and receptive to the fact that she will try to push your buttons,  then try to move past that and get to a point where you’re just talking and enjoying a cappuccino. It may not be easy but it is a first baby step.
    If you want a drama-free wedding,  you need to work on a drama-free relationship with your FMIL. This will also prevent issues further down the track. It sucks to have to take her crap, and you shouldn’t have to;  but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and find a way that works for both of you. It sounds like the way to her heart is knowing her son is safe and loved with you and reassuring her that she will still be involved.



    I should also mention, don’t lie, just be more open and receptive. She will be rude and critical, so be the bigger person.

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