« Last post by bah12 on Today at 06:37:03 PM »
It's not just the OP's birthday she's celebrating. There are three birthdays in August and they made plans on the only day they're all available to celebrate all three during a very intensive course.
I very much get the impression her in laws regard her as an afterthought in that case.
The OP's initial party commitment isn't just for her birthday, it's for two other birthdays. I may be extrapolating here, but her in laws won't accept any compromise.
My personal opinion is that her husband should stay full time at the wedding, but he should spend the next day (her actual birthday) with her, going through with their previous plans.
I've had two birthdays with ruined plans and they were handled very differently. Sadly, it's my immediate family who dropped the ball on a huge landmark (at least they didn't force me to attend the event they ditched me for), but the other involved my DH's childhood friends. And after I strictly instructed him not to mention it was my birthday, one of them remembered and passed it around the group and I got a surprise birthday cake.
I also got thanks for ditching my original plans and generally a huge amount of love and appreciation.
I didn't make a fuss either time; in fact in the latter case I banned DH from mentioning it at all. But I had a valuable lesson in the difference between caring about appearances and caring about people.
I think we all get that. At least I do. What I'm trying to communicate is that MIL doesn't necessarily get that, and I'm not sure it's fair to say that she should have understood that at the outset. I'm not sure how well the communication is happening here, but I can completely understand a scenario where the wedding date was changed without thinking that the OP would have already made unchangeable birthday plans and where they wouldn't understand why they were unchangeable (exam...yes. Birthday drinks...no).
The OP has also said that she wants to celebrate her birthday the way she planned. And that's completely valid. But, if that's how she communicated it to her IL's, I can see them thinking that this is all about her and not about the two friends she's coordinating with. Also, when it comes to family, I would be hard pressed to put a birthday party of friends (regardless of how hard in the month of the birthdays it is to schedule) ahead of a family member's wedding. While I can accept that not everyone puts that same level of importance on familial relationships, if MIL/SIL do, then I can understand their annoyance that OP would forgo part of a wedding to go have drinks with friends, even if it is the month of their collective birthdays. And I can even understand their confusion when after she forgoes part of the wedding, she doesn't want to attend events the following day because "that's her actual birthday."
This could very well be an issue with communcation, but it seems it's more an issue with relationship, values, etc. Not one is more valid than the other, but they are different. Perhaps the OP could try to calmly explain where she's coming from if she thinks it might help, and that might lend the family to more understanding of her position. However, at this point, I highly doubt it. The OP now needs to just stick with the decision she has made, enjoy her birthday as much as possible, and allow the relationship to fallout as it does. She doesn't need to listen to any guilt trips before or after the wedding. She can ignore. And she can lean on her husband to support her decision, just as she should support his.