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Author Topic: In Laws and Family Event  (Read 13396 times)

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ladyknight1

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2013, 12:20:59 PM »
Good for you, OP.

I hope you enjoy yourself.

My DH is also known in his family (on both sides) as being dependable and hardworking, and used to be taken advantage of frequently. He now discusses all requests with me, and we have to check our already busy schedules before he will agree to do anything that requires time off work or travel.
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

cutejellybeen

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2013, 12:59:35 PM »
OP I'm glad you've decided to go to the wedding, and jsut sit through it. I totally understand how familial relationships can cloud how we feel about certain things.

I'm wondering where the happy couples parents are in all of this? that they are fine with a grandmother taking over the wedding?



Socialworkinjune

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2013, 01:11:02 PM »
The brides mother is Mary Fay's daughter. From last things that have been said/happened, I believe their relationship is strained but is presented as "everything's good".  Brides father has always played the "stay out of wife's and her mother's meddlings and problems" attitude. In the early planning phases of the wedding planning, he and his son (brides brother) wanted to cook and skip service, the brides mother said they needed to be involved for the ceremony. This all came out at the bridal shower a couple of months ago. I heard nothing else about it until everything last week.

I know from comments Mary Fay and MIL have made that Mary Fay and her husband are paying for the wedding. 

The groom comes from a split family (parents divorced/remarried/divorced again/another marriage) - my observation from the bridal shower (only time I've ever met them) is that they are happy to take a back seat to let Mary Fay pay for everything. They very nice people that seem to have bad some bad things happen to them recently.

TootsNYC

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2013, 01:24:39 PM »
It can be so hard to have a Mary Fay in your life—the resentment is not an overreaction, but if you actually DO allow the reaction to show, it creates all sorts of trouble.

Fortunately, you have tons of other wonderful things you can dwell on, mentally and emotionally:

You have a great MIL and a great arrangement in which you are all very happy—it sounds like a wonderful arrangement.
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I believe I will go - with a smile on my face and will do my best to get through it unscathed. I agree that the HC deserve as much - they are both good people. I will post the craziness that will occur, though I will warn you that based on her past behavior, Mary Fay will have a starring role.


and
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I reap many rewards by having them so close and all of their help. Without their help, my DH would be unable to run his business and I wouldn't be able to do the job I love.

And your DH sounds like a wonderful, wonderful guy. When his supposed “spinelessness” annoys you, remember this:
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As for my DH, the reasons he is so accommodating to being spineless to his family is the same core reason he is such a good husband/father.   Hard to explain, but he is kind, loving, and gentle and wants the best out of everyone.

And your DH has given you a lot—in your words:
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DH encourage me to turn my life around and follow my dreams. It is because of him I now have a masters degree and do a job I love. I am now supporting him in his dreams of being self employed.

Maybe you can support him in his dealings with his extended family. By not simmering in resentment but instead being an open-hearted supported of HIM (not of them, of him), you are giving him a huge level of support. If he can count on you to be on his side (whatever it is that he decides is his side, even if that is cooking during his cousin’s wedding ceremony and reception), you support him in ways you may not even imagine.

And in fact, you wrote:
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He is known as a nice guy in his family, is well liked, and always known to be there to help.

How much of that is something that he greatly values? Maybe this is an important thing for him, and maybe that’s why he doesn’t “grow a spine”—because maybe he doesn’t really WANT to.

And maybe he sees cooking for this wedding as a gift to the bride’s father and son, to remove the tension or make it easier for them to be at the ceremony. If so, that’s a tremendously honorable thing.

There are so many good things you can focus on (and you don’t even have to rewrite reality to turn Mary Fay into “a wonderful person”). Dwell on those, and not on the negatives.

You’ll be happier.

Good luck with it all!

JoyinVirginia

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2013, 02:11:22 PM »
My Aunt May was a Mary Fay. Unless someone had experienced one of these small town matriarchs,.it is Vertu hard to understand just how disruptive they can be.
OP, you have my sincere sympathy. The best way I found to deal with Aunt Mary was to move away and limit information to people who would be her gossip conduits.
MUCH easier said than done.
Going to the event with a smile plastered in your face, and saying ” yes, did you know dh and his father are saving Mary Fay $3000” (or whatever)  to other guests commenting on just why are your dh and fil missing the ceremony and festivities will be honest, direct, and win the gossip game this round.

TootsNYC

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2013, 03:36:25 PM »
I haven't dealt with one, but I'd think the best way to deal w/Mary Fay or Aunt May is not to PLAY the gossip game.

To just not care what they think. To not worry about it when other people say things about what she's said. To gently and mildly scoff at any drama.

And to find a way to stop thinking about it. Difficult, I know--but the best way might be the one that Paul of Tarsus suggested: "If there is anything honorable, lovely, excellent, deserving of praise, think on these things." (paraphrase) That will hopefully crowd out all the negatives.

zyrs

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2013, 04:12:11 PM »
OP, at least they asked your husband and FIL rather than just waiting until they got to the wedding to pull them aside.  At one wedding I know of, all the women on the groom's side of the family were told they had to wash the dishes after the reception just as the reception ended.

The best thing you can do at this short notice is to plaster on a huge smile, give the happy couple your heartfelt congratulations and use taking care of your son to fend off the people that try to get you to take over some duty at the wedding.


kherbert05

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #37 on: March 15, 2013, 04:52:51 PM »
I think you should talk to your daughters and explain that you would appreciate them helping you through the ceramony. They know you don't attend services there.

Deal with your son at the the reception. If they push to hard - leave taking all your kids and explaining to your daughters why it is inappropriate for their Aunt to be turning them into unpaid help. (Also leave if you find they trying to pressure your DD's into helping).

Later after sit down and have a conversation with your husband about why Aunt's behavior is out of line. Not just this but everything she does and how she treats his Mom.  That basically your stock answer to Aunt should be No, because she is a school yard bully. That he should never commit to helping her without checking with you - and you will do the same with him.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

doodlemor

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2013, 07:10:13 PM »
(Also leave if you find they trying to pressure your DD's into helping).

I think that it is likely that Mary Fay has plans for using your daughters, also.  I think that you should think about this, decide how you feel about it, and plan what you would say.

I know what small towns are like, OP, and can only imagine the culture shock when you moved back.  Perhaps things will be easier as time goes by and people get accustomed to your boundaries. 

Joy's advice made me laugh.  I don't usually look to gossip either, but in this case I think that you could tell MIL how much $ DH's cooking will save Mary Fay, and maybe she will tell this to someone.  It would only have to be told to one person and the word would spread.

 


snappylt

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2013, 09:30:08 PM »
My very first reaction when I read your OP was to think to myself that if the thought of attending was bothering you a whole whole lot, maybe you could  arrange to develop a very bad sinus headache tomorrow in time to stay home.  (If you did that, I guess you'd need to fall all over yourself apologizing for missing the ceremony and reception.)

But as I read the various comments, I started wondering if maybe it would better to go ahead and go anyway, even if you don't particularly want to go.  Maybe you could sit with your daughters and their friends (as others have suggested) if sitting alone is unpleasant.  (If you asked your daughters to let you sit with them and their friends just this one time as a special favor for you, surely they'd help you out, wouldn't they?)

Sometimes I ask myself how I think I'd feel about it 5 years from now if I do X today.  How would you feel down the road if you stayed home tomorrow, or if you sat alone or even sat with MIL?

TootsNYC

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2013, 08:30:50 AM »
Re: daughters sitting with friends at a wedding or church service that their parent is also attending:

In my world, this doesn't happen. Kids of ANY age sit with their parents, period.

The time for socializing with friends is not during the ceremony.

cheyne

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2013, 05:39:52 PM »
One thing that really helped my DH to not get taken advantage of by his FOO:  Every time a "favor" is asked he says, "I have to talk it over with Cheyne, we'll get back to you."  We discuss it, he tells me his true feelings about the favor, and if the answer is "yes" Dh calls the requester back.  If the answer is "no" I call back.  When DH tries to answer "no" he ends-up JADE-ing and getting guilt tripped so he caves.

I know most posters here think that each spouse should deal with their own side of the family, but doing it this way works for us.

ETA: Edited because I do know the difference between "this" and "that".
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 12:49:07 AM by cheyne »

snappylt

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2013, 12:12:41 PM »
One thing that really helped my DH to not get taken advantage of by his FOO:  Every time a "favor" is asked he says, "I have to talk it over with Cheyne, we'll get back to you."  We discuss it, he tells me his true feelings about the favor, and if the answer is "yes" Dh calls the requester back.  If the answer is "no" I call back.  When DH tries to answer "no" he ends-up JADE-ing and getting guilt tripped so he caves.

I know most posters here think that each spouse should deal with their own side of the family, but doing it this way works for us.

ETA: Edited because I do know the difference between "this" and "that".

This is a very good suggestion, I think.

For the first fifteen years or so of our marriage, whenever my wife's relatives would call her and invite us to do something with them (usually on only 24 or 48 hours notice), my wife would almost always accept their invitations immediately (without checking with me), even if she and I had already made other plans together.  Then I could choose to stay home by myself or go to my wife's family's activity with my wife.

I saw that behavior as my wife declaring that whatever her family suggested was far more important than whatever she had already agreed to do with her husband.  My wife, on the other hand thought that since she lived with me every day and only got to see her relatives three or four times a month, she was already paying far more attention to me than to her relatives.  She felt like she had to say yes to their invitations.

One time I actually overheard a phone call where she was starting to agree that we'd all attend a cousin's child's birthday party the very next afternoon.  I know I was rude to interrupt her, but that very same next afternoon we were supposed to attend a cub scout field trip with our own son - a field trip where my wife had insisted the cub scouts change the date so my wife could attend, too.  My wife was so focused on having to say yes to her family... I interrupted her and said excuse me, but you got the cub scouts to change the date of the field trip to accommodate you, so I think it would be very wrong of you to not attend the cub scout trip tomorrow.  That one time my wife said no to her cousin. 

Finally, after about fifteen years of this, my wife agreed to make one change in her behavior.  She agreed to start responding to their last-minute invitations by saying, "That sounds nice, but I need to talk with Snappy first and then I'll call you right back."  That gave me a chance to remind her of things we had already planned to do, and sometimes she would actually call her relatives back and tell them, "I'm sorry, but Snappy reminded me that I'd already promised to do ___ with him tomorrow, so I can't come to your house then."

Guess how her relatives responded to her change in behavior - they started calling her a week or two in advance, instead of a day or two ahead of time.  I certainly was a lot happier.

So, I suggest that you see if your husband will agree to start saying, "I'll talk with my wife and get back to you." to his relatives.

Good luck!

snappylt

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2013, 12:16:48 PM »
Say, I just realized that the day of the wedding has passed now.

OP, how did it go?

Lynda_34

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Re: In Laws and Family Event
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2013, 12:22:09 PM »
I was just wondering the same thing.