Dealing with an overbearing Mother in Law
Overbearing Mother in Law
I’ve been trying to help with the wedding plans, but my fiance and her parents shoot down whatever I say. Her mother has basically taken over the wedding even though we are paying for it out of our own pockets. She even picked out the tux I’m supposed to wear! It “had” to match the bridesmaids dresses, the flowers and whatever else her mom has planned for our wedding. I’m going nuts here and starting to wonder whether I even want to get married anymore. I love my fiance, but I want to be a part of this wedding too. Any advice?
You’re in a very tough situation here. Your future Mother in Law is taking over the planning of the wedding, your fiance is going along with it and nobody will listen to a word you say.
Let me first give you an indication of what may be happening here. I’ll start with your fiance’s mom. There are many things that may be causing her to react like this. She may be the type of person that is domineering by nature. She may not have had the wedding of her dreams…and vows that it will be different for her daughter. She may believe that grooms aren’t interested in weddings. She may even have pre-conceived notions that grooms shouldn’t be involved in the planning process. There are literally a million things that could be at work here.
Your fiance, by going along with her mom’s desires at the exclusion of yours (and possibly hers) also has a few things going on. She may be just trying to keep the peace. She may feel more comfortable with someone taking over (no matter who it is). She may be unsure of how to plan a wedding and scared that she may *mess* everything up. She may lack the confidence to assert herself, and it may manifest itself whenever her mother is present. Once again, there are literally millions of reasons why your fiance may be acting like this.
As for you, being stuck in the middle is never fun. You resent the fact that your future overbearing Mother in Law is taking over the planning. You are hurt by the fact that your fiance isn’t considering your needs. Finally, you feel as is you aren’t a part of your own wedding.
My first piece of advice would be to have a heart-to-heart talk with your fiance. Tell her what you are feeling and that you would like to be a part of the wedding planning. Be honest with her about your feelings of getting married. Tell her how her mother taking over makes you feel. Tell her how much it hurts to be ignored. Ask her questions too. Ask her how she feels about these things. You may find that she’s letting her mother take over because of a reason you never suspected. The main point here is to communicate with your fiance. No yelling or shouting, just talking, listening…and learning.
Hopefully by communicating, you’ll be able to come to an understanding, and so will your fiance. This is not always the case though. My second suggestion would be to seek out counseling, Perhaps it will be easier for both of you to communicate if a third party is present. A common misconception about counseling is that it is only for those that are in serious need of help. A good counselor will teach you how to communicate with your fiance/spouse and will allow you a better understanding of why certain things occur in your relationship. This can lead to a stronger and more stable relationship, so it’s best not to dismiss the possibility entirely.
No matter which way you go about it, hopefully an understanding between you and your fiance can be found. Agree to a united front, and then communicate with your future Mother in Law. In this case, you want to be tactful, but firm. Make sure that she knows how much you appreciate her help and input, but also make sure that she listens to your needs. It really is true that you marry into the family, so you want to avoid any problems at the start so that you can all get along in the future. That’s why it’s always best to be tactful in a situation such as the one you describe. If worse comes to worse, delaying the wedding might be a good idea. Marriage is a lifetime commitment. In order for a marriage to be successful, both parties have to have their needs met. If one person is constantly ignored, the marriage has a grim future.
Mis-communication is one of the most common causes of this. If you can straighten out communication problems with you future Mother in Law, your marriage has a much better chance of surviving. You also have a much better chance of both partners having their needs met. Try the above suggestions. There is hope, but you do need to take the initiative.