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Thread: I think my mother is controlling but I don't know what to do (wedding related)

  1. #1
    Platinum Member Deejmonster's Avatar
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    I think my mother is controlling but I don't know what to do (wedding related)

    Hi everyone,

    Long time no see.. but I wanted to check in and talk about a recent issue that I have been having, unfortunately with my own mother.

    To give some background, I am currently 30, living away from home and I am happily engaged to be married in September. I live with my fiance and we make a good team but through the entire wedding planning process, I have heard my own mother object to many, if not all facets of my upcoming wedding. She is not paying for the wedding, but is only paying for the rehearsal dinner.

    To explain my issue I feel that I need to provide some examples of her behavior in the past 6 months or so. It started around Christmas when my fiance and I went out to spend the holidays with my folks. All seemed well until we left and my mother didn't talk to me for a few days afterward. I ended up calling and she was upset about my beard (She doesn't like it and I was trying something new) she said my hair was long as well. I had explained to her that this wasn't really all that worth getting upset over and that I had gotten a haircut and a shave but it blew up into a massive temper tantrum and she refused to return my calls for nearly 3-4 weeks. I finally got her to start talking, however she continued to be very short with me. Fast forward some months and there are still times where she is disinterested with me, what is going on in my life, and generally finds ways to cut the call short. Other times she is perfectly normal. I have tried to ask what is going on but she refuses to explain herself.

    She doesn't like the fact that my fiance and I are not getting married near where they live. We chose to do a destination wedding (in the mountains of PA). We currently live in NJ and my family lives in Western PA. We chose the venue because it was a cheaper option than NJ had to offer us. We also love the venue and got it for a great price.

    She doesn't like the fact that she has to travel to NJ for the bridal shower... she even mentioned that she will come because it will look bad if she doesn't

    She has told me that many people on our side of the family will not travel to the wedding. I have told her that I am ok with this because I am happy to getting married to the person that I love.

    When I told her that we were planning on a honeymoon to Hawaii she freaked out on me and told me that "A trip like the one you are taking is not something that you deserve, it is something that you earn" (We have been saving for over a year for the trip)

    She made a huge stink about the rehearsal dinner. Without going into a million details, my fiance and I both explained to her that the cost of the rehearsal dinner per head was almost that of what we were paying for guests at the wedding and that she was getting ripped off. She responded with that notion that she had no other options because of the location of our wedding, as if it was somehow our fault.

    She insinuated that she would be leaving certain guests (who were a part of the wedding) off of the invite list to the rehearsal dinner because she doesn't want to pay for them.

    The bridal shower is next weekend and she is adamant that my future mother in law not pick her up at the hotel and that I drive her over instead.... and I am also supposed to drive my fiance to the venue as well. When questioning her more about it, I told her that my mother in law said it would be nice for my mother and her to set up and my mother's response was a flat out ... no because "I don't know those people" (They have all met before).

    We offered to have her stay with us when she is out here and that was also a no. She says our house is too small and she doesn't like the fact that we adopted a pitbull.

    As for my bachelor party, she is attempting to have that limited as well. I have my brother as the best man and one groomsman... and the groomsman isn't allowed on the guest list. My fiance felt bad and is apparently working on a second bachelor party for me. I told the both of them that I don't even care if I have one at all because it is not important to me.

    We got yelled at for sending out invites two weeks early. We did so because everyone is traveling and will likely need a hotel if they are staying.

    We got yelled at because the bridesmaid's sent out invitations to the females on my side of the family after my mother told us that they wouldn't come... It was a miscommunication and she said she was extremely disrespected... even though it's not up to her.

    It was like pulling teeth to get addresses for invitations and I was told to leave some important friends of mine off the invite list because SHE didn't want them to attend. (I didn't listen)

    I am sure that there is more but I can't think of all the times that she has bashed my wedding, the planning of the wedding, and any detail that she didn't like.

    Now mind you, I had a plan to propose in the spring of last year, and my mother was the one to tell me that if I was ready I should do it then... and I did. She has met my fiance and my fiance's parents and they all got along. They are good, hard working, religious people, and in my opinion, I made an excellent choice in picking my spouse. She is a saint. I honestly have no clue where this is all coming from and how to stop it. It has gotten to the point that I have honestly debated rescinding the invitation. She is not a person that you can talk to about this sort of thing, because she will turn it back on you and make it your fault.

    The best part... my fiance's parents and my parents where married on the same day of the same year. Our wedding day will be both of their 40th wedding anniversary. We asked permission for both sets of parents and they were fine with it. As a surprise, we are going to have cakes made for their anniversary after we do our first cut of the cake. I couldn't think of a better way to spend my wedding than with two couples that have made it 40 years together. With all of this, I don't even want to go through with the surprise. It has come to the point where I don't even want to talk to her about anything because she never has anything nice to say. It is heartbreaking and my fiance is convinced that my mother hates her. It is seriously ruining my relationship with my own mother and it is impacting me mentally and emotionally.

    Thanks for listening to my rant.. any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I don't know what else to say but to distance yourself from her right now. I know it's hard because you need to either include her or inform her of your choices. But they are your choices.

    Try not to let it take away from your special time.
    How old is she and has she always been like this? Or something similar?

  3. #3
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    Are you Italian? Or Jewish? Are you the first son to marry?

    You mom is having a really, really hard time relinquishing her hold on her son. She is doing everything she can to try to control things because to her, this seems like it will keep you closer. I would guess that you have let her control you quite a bit up to this point? Are you a bit of a mama's boy?

    Why is she involved in planning your bachelor party?

    Have you tried setting boundaries with her?

  4. #4
    Platinum Member WithLove's Avatar
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    Your mom is being childish. This wedding is for you and your soon-to-be wife, not her. Tell her to lighten up and stop being such a baby.

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  6. #5
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    People who are controlling like that are the way they are because they are used to not having any consequences for their behavior. I'm thinking this isn't a new thing with your mother. She was probably controlling your entire life, but when you because an adult, you still played the part of the helpless child with her.

    You're 30 years old, for crying out loud. What is your reaction typically when she carries on about your plans? Do you hang your head and indicate that you think she's right? Or do you assert yourself as an adult and tell her that if she doesn't like your wedding plans, she doesn't have to come? When she says she doesn't want to stay with her, why not just smile and say, "There's a great hotel down the road"? When she says you haven't earned a trip to Hawaii, you don't owe her any explanation of your finances. Just frown and say, Hmmmmm.

    I think you're partly to blame for her treatment of you. Yes, she's a hot mess, but you need to start re-programming her for how to treat you and your future wife. Let her know in no uncertain terms that you find her criticisms unacceptable and insulting. Good luck.

  7. 07-03-2019, 04:28 PM
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  8. 07-03-2019, 04:38 PM
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  9. #6
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    Originally Posted by loyal
    Are you Italian? Or Jewish? Are you the first son to marry?
    Hahahahaha it's a generalization but there is a dose of truth in it.

  10. #7
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I have sons your age and one of them got married last year. I have to say if I did and said the things your mother did, my sons wouldn't be in my life. They'd love me, but from a distance.

    Maybe you should tell her how you are feeling. Create some rules and boundaries in which you two may interact and be prepared to enforce them. Tell her that you love her, but you will require her to be respectful, as you will be with her. Tell her that her that you won't participate in the negativity anymore. My guess is she isn't like it. She'll distance herself, but she'll come around eventually.

  11. 07-03-2019, 04:41 PM
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  12. 07-03-2019, 04:46 PM
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  13. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Congratulations! Sounds like a great idea all around and well planned. Enjoy. Well, mom has to bite the bullet. Let her pout. Can your father take the reins and talk her down to common sense? Does your mother have an issue with your fiance or your leaving the nest? All her behavior sounds passive-aggressive. Make sure you cover the topic of in-laws in your premarital counseling. Don't let this ruin your day or bleed into the future.
    Originally Posted by Deejmonster
    my fiance's parents and my parents where married on the same day of the same year. Our wedding day will be both of their 40th wedding anniversary. We asked permission for both sets of parents and they were fine with it. As a surprise, we are going to have cakes made for their anniversary after we do our first cut of the cake.

  14. 07-03-2019, 04:49 PM
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  15. 07-03-2019, 04:50 PM
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  16. 07-03-2019, 04:53 PM
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  17. #9
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Hey I didnt disagree with LH Girl! Dont lump everyone together!

    Now to the OP, your mother is a control freak and she needs to be put in her place, politely. Who does she think she is to try to control the guest list of your bachelor party? Do what you want, dont discuss it with her. Invite who you want to invite.

    I suggest you stop telling mother anything she doesnt actually need to know. It'd be great to tell her all the details and she'd be happy for you but she isnt. She's got no business dictating her wishes on your wedding. Be sure to not ask her for money for anything!

    This is all about boundaries and your mother will be busy telling you what to do and how to do it with every big event in your life if you dont establish boundaries.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this, if it was me I'd probably elope to a foreign country and not tell her til I got back.

  18. #10
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    "Dont lump everyone together!"

    This is exactly what I was trying NOT to do! Different cultures have different tendencies!

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