Question: Dear Luise: I have a future daughter in law that doesn’t really want me to provide a list of a few people (10) to invite for the shower. They are close friends of mine, and I have been to their child’s showers. Also, for the list for the wedding, there are over 500 invited and half are from her family and less than 100 are from us. They didn’t want us inviting any more. We are paying for half of the wedding. We know nothing of any plans and when we tell them if any help is needed, there is no reply. My husband and I really feel as though we are being left out and doesn’t seem like it is our son’s wedding at all. We don’t want to cause grief with them as we don’t want hard feelings in the future. I guess the saying is true, “the groom’s mother wears beige and keeps her mouth shut!! It is just that we were excited, as this was our first one getting married and it isn’t what we expected. We have 5 sons. H.
Answer: Dear H.: I wish I could be encouraging about the situation you find yourselves in but my experience has been the opposite. What is going on to my way of thinking is rude and thoughtless and what you can expect down the road is probably more of the same… no matter what you do.
It doesn’t make any sense to me. There are two people involved and two families supposedly supporting their union. Why the one-upmanship? I don’t get it and I never will. Yes, the bride is the star…but she can’t shine without a groom! And he didn’t crawl out from under a cabbage leaf…he’s part of a family. They got him from point A (childhood) to point B (adulthood)…no small task. Then he gets picked and they get stamped second -rate citizens? Why? Based on what
You have friends who want to be part of this special time in your life like you have been part of it in theirs. What’s being dictated is unspeakably crass and totally unacceptable in my book. And you can’t say a word. That’s the truth. Any attempt at equality or visibility on your part will put you in an even poorer light than you have already been relegated to.
I see red when I hear about parental role models putting forth this kind of behavior for impressionable young adults to emulate. I honestly think I would withdraw my financial support and book a cruise, making myself unavailable for any of it. Yes, I know that’s not a rational, mature solution but is any of this rational or mature? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your son could see all of these warning signs and put his foot down or better yet, take a closer look at what he’s getting into? The handwriting is on the wall but what are the chances that he will see it?
The other side of the coin is that he is probably young and on top of that “besotted.” He has been dubbed Prince Charming and is co-starring in a fabulous production called “The Wedding.” Up until now, “parents” may have been a word he revered and trusted. There’s also a chance he has no idea what the bride and her parents are pulling. They obviously have a different concept of “extended family” than you do. “What if” to them that phrase means taking him in and taking him over? As in pretty much removing him from your life? Sound ridiculous? I have seen the same pattern many times and it usually brings heartbreak.
Please think about bringing this issue over to my new Web Forum where others can enter into the discussion at http://www.motherinlawsunite.com We are building a supportive community there for anyone from either side of the fence who is willing to look closely at these issues. Blessings, Luise
Comment: To H.: I hope you don’t mind me butting in but really, this treatment you’re getting is not right. It’s getting more and more common though, and I think the girls/women of today will go to any length (some of them) to get what they want, leaving us in their wake. I hope you’ll join our band of MILs on motherinlawsunite. D.