Author Topic: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42, #87  (Read 20673 times)

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*inviteseller

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2013, 09:19:01 AM »
I would send Bro a private message congratulating him, then saying "Well, now that I know those 2 places I am setting are for your new wide and step son, is there anything I should now about dietary issues or anything we can do to make our first meeting go smoothly?"  This way, you are not only acknowledging it but making sure there are no surprises come Easter when you are already stressed from putting together this dinner.  Also, as hard as it is, keep redirecting you mom's shock, anger, surprise whatever over your bros wedding.   

LadyL

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2013, 09:29:59 AM »
Why does your mom think the Easter meeting will be uncomfortable?

Speaking from the perspective of someone reasonably close to my mother - my mom would have been absolutely heartbroken if I left her out of a major life event like my wedding. It would just be a huge snub. She could probably deal with an elopement, but not with never being told I was seriously dating someone, never meeting my spouse, and being given no notice of the engagement/wedding.

If the mom here wants her son to be happy she may feel torn between her own hurt feelings and wanting to be supportive of him, and not wanting to come across as overly disapproving but also wanting to be honest about how it has affected their relationship.


Margo

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2013, 09:32:35 AM »
I would definitely congratulate him by posting comments to a couple of the photos on facebook - maybe also something complimentary about his new wife, as she is presumably his friend on facebook, and it may hep her to feel more welcomed to the family.

Also, if he's posted on facebook, and you've posted in response, then he has no grounds for grumpiness if you or other family members knew ahead of the Easter dinner. He told you himself, so no backlash at your mother.

I think that a toast during the meal would be a nice gesture - and if any other family members have had any significant events then you could toast them, too.

You do not have to get a gift. (unless of course you specifically want to) In your place I might follow up the facebook congratulations with a card through the mail, that way your congratulations and recognition of the marriage are done before you see him at Easter, and again, it's a welcoming gesture to your new SiL.

bopper

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2013, 09:34:38 AM »
You can decide to

1) Participate in his drama
2) Not participate

If you participate, you are letting his "surprises" affect you.  You would be saying "Yes, I already know" or "Why did I have to find out on facebook".

If you do not participate, you say "I see on Facebook that you got married. Congratulations.  Look foward to meeting your wife at Easter.

He must get something emotionally from all these surprises and hiding stuff...but no need to get that from you.


Coley

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2013, 09:51:36 AM »
Why does your mom think the Easter meeting will be uncomfortable?

Speaking from the perspective of someone reasonably close to my mother - my mom would have been absolutely heartbroken if I left her out of a major life event like my wedding. It would just be a huge snub. She could probably deal with an elopement, but not with never being told I was seriously dating someone, never meeting my spouse, and being given no notice of the engagement/wedding.

If the mom here wants her son to be happy she may feel torn between her own hurt feelings and wanting to be supportive of him, and not wanting to come across as overly disapproving but also wanting to be honest about how it has affected their relationship.

Yes, my mother is feeling very snubbed. I know she is hurt. She has never met my brother's wife, although she was aware of her previously. For PPs who have asked why my mother is feeling uncomfortable, just know that for my mother, appearances are everything. She does not handle discomfort well, and she is not good at camouflaging her feelings. She will struggle with getting through this first meeting. Given that another couple from outside the family will be here for Easter, this will add to the pressure my mother will feel about keeping up appearances.

Hmmmmm

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2013, 11:03:08 AM »
Why does your mom think the Easter meeting will be uncomfortable?

Speaking from the perspective of someone reasonably close to my mother - my mom would have been absolutely heartbroken if I left her out of a major life event like my wedding. It would just be a huge snub. She could probably deal with an elopement, but not with never being told I was seriously dating someone, never meeting my spouse, and being given no notice of the engagement/wedding.

If the mom here wants her son to be happy she may feel torn between her own hurt feelings and wanting to be supportive of him, and not wanting to come across as overly disapproving but also wanting to be honest about how it has affected their relationship.

Yes, my mother is feeling very snubbed. I know she is hurt. She has never met my brother's wife, although she was aware of her previously. For PPs who have asked why my mother is feeling uncomfortable, just know that for my mother, appearances are everything. She does not handle discomfort well, and she is not good at camouflaging her feelings. She will struggle with getting through this first meeting. Given that another couple from outside the family will be here for Easter, this will add to the pressure my mother will feel about keeping up appearances.

I can so understand why your mom is feeling uncomfortable and feels snubbed.

If I were you, I'd send a PM to your brother congratulating him and saying you can't wait to meet his new wife and their son and to let you know if there are any specific dietary or other needs for Easter. Then I'd post a public congratulations on this Facebook. Prep your family to put on their most pleasent smiles for Easter and pretend it is the most natural thing in the world to meet new family members in this manner.

I wouldn't offer a wedding gift. Eloping is one thing. Announcing your marriage to your family via Facebook is a direct snub.

After the holiday, you and your family can then determine how you want your relationship with your brother and his new family to proceed.

weeblewobble

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise.
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2013, 11:11:05 AM »
UPDATE: My brother still has not told me his big news; however, he posted photos of their big day on Facebook. So the cat is out of the bag as of last night. I learned about it at the same time as his other 700 Facebook friends.

My mother e-mailed me last night to say that she expects this big meeting on Easter will be uncomfortable, and she wants my ideas on how to handle that. She also asked if I thought we should acknowledge the marriage in some way. I told her that as far as I'm concerned, my brother still hasn't told me. Am I still supposed to be surprised? Should we purchase a gift? I have no idea.

I guess I could comment on his photos with "Congratulations" to acknowledge that I am aware of his marriage.

Considering your mom's history with you, I think you should maybe consider that Mom may be setting you up to be a scapegoat/fall guy for whatever drama she may be planning for Easter.  Example: She goes to your brother and says, "Coley is SO UPSET about you getting married and not telling her.  She has plans to confront you about it at Easter.  I just don't understand why she doesn't want you to be happy. First she doesn't appreciate her Christmas gifts, and now this!  Why can't she just let us have a nice holiday?"

I would post a "Congrats.  I'm so happy for you!" on the Facebook pictures and head this off at the pass.

Miss Tickle

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2013, 11:21:11 AM »
Your brother sounds charming.  ::)

Is he the type to use his facebook post as leverage? Once he realized it wasn't a surprise, is he the type to expect you to surprise them and celebrate his marriage? The most I'd do is post a congrats and get them a card. It's more consideration than they gave your family. I would NOT ask about dietary restrictions or anything of the sort.  That's on your brother to communicate.

What do you want to do?

EmmaJ.

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2013, 11:35:44 AM »
I am curious about the wedding itself.  Was it a big elaborate affair with hundreds of guests - and i was not invited? I would be hurt beyond measure.  Was it a small simple ceremony with 10 guests? I would still be upset about being excluded.

If it was an elopement with only the 2 of them, i could understand and accept much easier than the other scenarios.  Can you tell from the Facebook photos?

Coley

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise.
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2013, 12:31:07 PM »
UPDATE: My brother still has not told me his big news; however, he posted photos of their big day on Facebook. So the cat is out of the bag as of last night. I learned about it at the same time as his other 700 Facebook friends.

My mother e-mailed me last night to say that she expects this big meeting on Easter will be uncomfortable, and she wants my ideas on how to handle that. She also asked if I thought we should acknowledge the marriage in some way. I told her that as far as I'm concerned, my brother still hasn't told me. Am I still supposed to be surprised? Should we purchase a gift? I have no idea.

I guess I could comment on his photos with "Congratulations" to acknowledge that I am aware of his marriage.

Considering your mom's history with you, I think you should maybe consider that Mom may be setting you up to be a scapegoat/fall guy for whatever drama she may be planning for Easter.  Example: She goes to your brother and says, "Coley is SO UPSET about you getting married and not telling her.  She has plans to confront you about it at Easter.  I just don't understand why she doesn't want you to be happy. First she doesn't appreciate her Christmas gifts, and now this!  Why can't she just let us have a nice holiday?"

I would post a "Congrats.  I'm so happy for you!" on the Facebook pictures and head this off at the pass.

Yes, the possibility that I might be used to add to the drama has crossed my mind. I did say in an e-mail to my mother this morning that my brother posted about his marriage on Facebook, but he didn't tell me directly. She replied to my e-mail with regard to another topic but did not address the part of my message about the Facebook announcement. It's hard to know how to read that.

Coley

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2013, 12:33:56 PM »
I am curious about the wedding itself.  Was it a big elaborate affair with hundreds of guests - and i was not invited? I would be hurt beyond measure.  Was it a small simple ceremony with 10 guests? I would still be upset about being excluded.

If it was an elopement with only the 2 of them, i could understand and accept much easier than the other scenarios.  Can you tell from the Facebook photos?

I can't tell much from the photos. I know it was a civil ceremony. It does look like some planning went into it because their attire was obviously coordinated.

Arrynne

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2013, 12:40:21 PM »
I would send Bro a private message congratulating him, then saying "Well, now that I know those 2 places I am setting are for your new wide and step son, is there anything I should now about dietary issues or anything we can do to make our first meeting go smoothly?"  This way, you are not only acknowledging it but making sure there are no surprises come Easter when you are already stressed from putting together this dinner.  Also, as hard as it is, keep redirecting you mom's shock, anger, surprise whatever over your bros wedding.

I really like this.  I might phrase it as "Congratulations! I'm looking forward to meeting your new family at Easter.  Please let me know if your wife and son have any allergies or food restrictions so I can plan ahead."

Coley

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATE #23
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2013, 12:42:57 PM »
Okay, I posted "Congrats" to his change in rel@tionship status. Four minutes later, he "liked" my comment and responded with, "I guess you know who's coming for Easter. LOL"

Yes, I guess I do. Is there a benefit in replying to that comment? I don't know.

Miss Tickle asked what I want to do. I honestly don't know. I do appreciate everyone's ideas and comments very much. I am considering everything that has been suggested. I'm just floored right now.

magicdomino

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #43 on: March 22, 2013, 01:52:45 PM »
Both of my brothers eloped without notice.  This was back in the days when if a gentleman got a lady with child, he married her, so exact wedding dates may or may not have been fudged.   ;)  Times have changed, so I doubt this is the situation with your brother.  Come to think of it, my sister eloped for her first marriage, too. 

While reading this thread, I've been trying to remember how these announcements went over.  I will say that a big reason for keeping our mother out of the loop is that she would have disapproved of my siblings' marriages, if not of the new in-laws (sister was too young, one brother had just started college, other brother was perceived as irresponsible).  No hysterics, but there would have been some stern lectures.  If your mother is into appearances, my guess is that your brother fears that the woman he loves might not measure up. 

While my sister's marriage didn't last, both brothers have been happily married for many years, and I have to say that their wives were good for them.  So, please keep an open mind when you meet your new sister-in-law.  At least your brother made the announcement via Facebook rather than a snarky postcard, or an introduction at a funeral.   ::)

turnip

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Re: When it isn't really a surprise. UPDATES #23, #42
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2013, 02:20:10 PM »
I think it's worth mentioning that a small ceremony followed by a larger announcement is not technically 'rude'.  I believe I've seen the very thing suggested several times on this board, for couples who want to get married but are concerned about family members taking over the event.

I get that your mom is hurt, I get that you are surprised, but I don't know that we have any reason to think that your brother or his bride have done something wrong.   They may have had any number of good and valid reasons for doing what they did.

I'd buy them a gift, personally, assuming that I'm fond of my brother.   But I buy a gift for most things. ( see various 2nd shower threads currently posted )