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  • July 23, 2016, 12:12:23 PM

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Author Topic: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes  (Read 1378 times)

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Bert

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2016, 02:10:25 PM »
There's sopmething that seems to be missing to me.  I know they edit these letters, so maybe it was there, but the omission of it seems pretty telling.  It's quite possible I'm mis-interpreting it, but here are my thoughts.

Shouldn't there be some piece of the letter that explains why the groom's mother is planning the wedding?  No judgement here, if people want the mother of the groom to help with the planning that's totally fine, but in my experience it really isn't the norm.  Usually the bride's mother will do the heavy lifting along with the married couple.  The ommission of this seemingly important piece of info colors this whole thing suspicious for me.

It maybe seems like the wedding planning got too stressful because too many people thought that they were involved in the planning.

For instance, we're planning our wedding right now.  My fiance's mom is helping her with some design and dress details, because my fiance asked her to, and we are divying up the other items between us (we're paying for it ourselves).  My mom asks about how we are doing with it, and likes to hear about the details, but isn't assuming any role in the decision making or planning of it.  She'll be happy to be there, and I'm sure she will enjoy herself, and we're happy to have her there, as an honored guest.

This whole letter just reads to me as "my son is getting married, and obviously I'm planning this thing with my future daughter in law, and now there is this kink in the plan", which could be an altogether incorrect assumption on her part, and could explain why they eloped in the first place.

Celany

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2016, 03:55:40 PM »
Reading what you just wrote, Bert, I can't help but remember that it is mentioned that she has (at least) two sons. No daughters are mentioned. Which makes me wonder if part of this is because she doesn't have any daughters, and she also has very strong ideas about how she wants her son's wedding to be, so she's inserted herself.

Impossible to know, without going into any detail.

Somewhere on the internet, I remember a forum thread that I read recently. It was about boundaries and control, and MIL problems. I remember someone saying something along these lines "I feel bad for women of a certain generation. When they were brides, it was the custom for their mothers/families to plan the weddings of the children. And then the world changed, and that became controlling, so by the time their daughters grew up to be married, the norm was for the daughters to plan their own weddings. So this one generation of women never got to plan a wedding, and maybe that causes them to lash out?".

I don't know if that's a pan-American thing or more often happened in certain parts of the country or specific classes or what, but I can definitely say that my mom was part of that generation. There's a lot of things she didn't get to do because when she was younger, her parents made ALL the decisions, just like most of the parents of her cohort.

Anyways, while we're doing lots of rampant speculating, I wonder if that is coming into play here, or if it comes into play very often still, in regards to wedding planning.
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

gellchom

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2016, 04:51:47 PM »
Love how Prudie said that her son's wedding wasn't about her and stop trying to make it about her.

It's not about her, but if HC is expecting her to pay or help plan, she deserves a bit of respect. Eloping and not telling her and then having a sham wedding is not very respectful or adult. Either call it a reception or don't have one, but don't pretend to get married when you all ready are. That is deceptive. Mom should take a deep breath, wait to see if they tell her they are married, and if the HC decides to not say anything to her and excepts Mom to help plan the "wedding", then Mom can say to the HC, "Look, I know you are all ready married. I'm not helping to plan your 'wedding' anymore, seeing as you are all ready married."

The letter coincides with a "wedding" that my friend went to where the HC had the ceremony then said, "Guess what! It's actually our 1 year anniversary!"  ::) That's all I can think of when I read this letter.

I agree with the bolded especially.  I am not one who thinks that there absolutely can't be a "wedding," just a reception, if the couple has already legally married, but that's kind of a separate issue.  I can see the mom (and she is a mom -- the groom's -- not just a MIL, all of whom, we know, are by definition crazy, narcissistic, and controlling ;)) being upset at something this major happening behind her back, even if she had nothing to do with the plans.  They are lying to her about something pretty major.  Whatever her personality, even if she is indeed narcissistic and controlling, that cannot feel good.  (Assuming that her assumptions are even correct, if all she is basing them on is an overheard conversation.  Such things are the basis of many screwball comedies.)

And although it seems unusual to some people, the groom's parents are often very much involved, sometimes the hosts.  I've been to several such weddings.  At my own son's wedding, the bride's family, the HC, and we were all involved.  The HC made the choices -- one of which was to have the wedding in our city, where none of the others lived.  Thus, a lot of the management and expense fell to us, just because of geography and knowledge of the area, vendors, proximity of guests, etc.  So there's an example where the groom's parents were doing a lot of the work.  And we and our friends and relatives were the hosts of all the other weekend events.  So, yeah, if the HC did something like this behind our back, I'd be pretty steamed.  I wouldn't insist on changing everything or even anything, especially if the time frame were short and invitations already out.  But I'd be angry at not being told and feel manipulated -- even though we would be willing to go ahead with the wedding notwithstanding the earlier legal ceremony, that should be our informed choice.  And some parents might not be willing to continue to host or co-host what they consider a "sham" wedding.  In any case, if parents are close enough to be paying and hosting, even partly, then they are close enough to be informed of such a major change.

sammycat

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2016, 06:49:30 PM »
Love how Prudie said that her son's wedding wasn't about her and stop trying to make it about her.

It's not about her, but if HC is expecting her to pay or help plan, she deserves a bit of respect. Eloping and not telling her and then having a sham wedding is not very respectful or adult. Either call it a reception or don't have one, but don't pretend to get married when you all ready are. That is deceptive. Mom should take a deep breath, wait to see if they tell her they are married, and if the HC decides to not say anything to her and excepts Mom to help plan the "wedding", then Mom can say to the HC, "Look, I know you are all ready married. I'm not helping to plan your 'wedding' anymore, seeing as you are all ready married."

Pod. 

If the couple is expecting mum to pay for part or all of the the wedding then it's pretty despicable to keep up the charade and not tell her directly that they're already married. They need to tell mum so she can make an informed decision as to whether she wants to contribute any more of her resources.


sammycat

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2016, 06:52:00 PM »
I think it interesting that the LW says "... I only found out because I overheard my youngest son telling his girlfriend about it! I am very hurt. I was denied and lied to. Neither of them know that I know ..."

So her older son and his wife didn't tell her, she "overheard" her younger son discussing it with his girlfriend.  Neither son knows she knows.  How did it happen that just by accident she just happened to overhear a private conversation her younger son was having with his girlfriend?   ::)

It's very easy to overhear conversations, so this part doesn't raise an eyebrow with me.

wolfie

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2016, 07:18:30 PM »
Love how Prudie said that her son's wedding wasn't about her and stop trying to make it about her.

It's not about her, but if HC is expecting her to pay or help plan, she deserves a bit of respect. Eloping and not telling her and then having a sham wedding is not very respectful or adult. Either call it a reception or don't have one, but don't pretend to get married when you all ready are. That is deceptive. Mom should take a deep breath, wait to see if they tell her they are married, and if the HC decides to not say anything to her and excepts Mom to help plan the "wedding", then Mom can say to the HC, "Look, I know you are all ready married. I'm not helping to plan your 'wedding' anymore, seeing as you are all ready married."

Pod. 

If the couple is expecting mum to pay for part or all of the the wedding then it's pretty despicable to keep up the charade and not tell her directly that they're already married. They need to tell mum so she can make an informed decision as to whether she wants to contribute any more of her resources.

I am wondering g if they actually want her help or money, or if she is steamrolling and this is their way of dealing with it. 

Celany

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2016, 10:21:45 AM »
Love how Prudie said that her son's wedding wasn't about her and stop trying to make it about her.

It's not about her, but if HC is expecting her to pay or help plan, she deserves a bit of respect. Eloping and not telling her and then having a sham wedding is not very respectful or adult. Either call it a reception or don't have one, but don't pretend to get married when you all ready are. That is deceptive. Mom should take a deep breath, wait to see if they tell her they are married, and if the HC decides to not say anything to her and excepts Mom to help plan the "wedding", then Mom can say to the HC, "Look, I know you are all ready married. I'm not helping to plan your 'wedding' anymore, seeing as you are all ready married."

Pod. 

If the couple is expecting mum to pay for part or all of the the wedding then it's pretty despicable to keep up the charade and not tell her directly that they're already married. They need to tell mum so she can make an informed decision as to whether she wants to contribute any more of her resources.

I am wondering g if they actually want her help or money, or if she is steamrolling and this is their way of dealing with it.

Re the bolded, I could be totally off-base, but given the tone of the woman's letter, I think if they'd asked for help and/or money, she'd have mentioned it in aggrieved tones. I could be totally off-base, but given the way the rest of it was written, I could see her bringing that up repeatedly, as another thing to be offended/upset about (which would be justified, IMO, if it had happened. But the overall tone to me reads more like she was steamrolling/pushing her way into being more heavily involved and heavy handed than the HC wanted).

I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

Another Sarah

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2016, 04:06:15 AM »
I don't know, maybe it's me but I just don't see what the rest of you are seeing.
I think she's hurt because she wasn't included in the wedding and they lied/are still lying about it. She only mentions planning it at the end as in "I'm still expected to help plan the wedding even though I secretly know they're already married, and they're happily pretending it's going ahead"

In the letter, the elopement happened last week, not yesterday but she only found out about it from overhearing something she wasn't supposed to. A week is plenty of time for the couple to say something - and surely if she is controlling and overbearing the point of getting married on their own is to stop the crazy planning? Why go ahead and carry on if it's stressing you out to the point you needed to elope?

Honestly I think this is about the fact she was excluded from the wedding and knows she is continually being lied to that upsets her. It's one thing to elope and decide to just have a big reception later, but to just carry on as though everything is normal? The sheer volume of lies & deception involved is staggering. I think that's massively disrespectful to your families (both families) & would upset anyone.

N.B. I do think the DIL is copping for more of the blame than the son unfairly - it might have been the bride's idea but the son is still participating in lying to his mother.
I think the younger son is in a horribly unfair position - he might want to tell his mother, but to do so would be explosive, I really don't think he could without forming a family rift. I wonder what his thoughts on it all are.

sammycat

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2016, 04:14:22 AM »
I don't know, maybe it's me but I just don't see what the rest of you are seeing.
I think she's hurt because she wasn't included in the wedding and they lied/are still lying about it. She only mentions planning it at the end as in "I'm still expected to help plan the wedding even though I secretly know they're already married, and they're happily pretending it's going ahead"

In the letter, the elopement happened last week, not yesterday but she only found out about it from overhearing something she wasn't supposed to. A week is plenty of time for the couple to say something - and surely if she is controlling and overbearing the point of getting married on their own is to stop the crazy planning? Why go ahead and carry on if it's stressing you out to the point you needed to elope?

Honestly I think this is about the fact she was excluded from the wedding and knows she is continually being lied to that upsets her. It's one thing to elope and decide to just have a big reception later, but to just carry on as though everything is normal? The sheer volume of lies & deception involved is staggering. I think that's massively disrespectful to your families (both families) & would upset anyone.

N.B. I do think the DIL is copping for more of the blame than the son unfairly - it might have been the bride's idea but the son is still participating in lying to his mother.
I think the younger son is in a horribly unfair position - he might want to tell his mother, but to do so would be explosive, I really don't think he could without forming a family rift. I wonder what his thoughts on it all are.

I agree with this. I didn't see any hints of steamrolling in the original letter. Maybe she is, maybe she's not, but I think it's unfair to label her like that without any evidence.

But no matter the reason for the elopement, the B&G owe it to his mum to let her know so she can decide whether she wants to still spend money on this event.

miranova

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Re: Dear Prudence - 7/14 - Son Elopes
« Reply #24 on: Today at 08:10:59 AM »
I so want to hear the other side of this story.

Maybe it really happens sometimes that people deliberately exclude someone that they otherwise have a fantastic relationship with just to be mean and hurtful, but in my life experiences to date, that is usually not the full story.  There has to be some reason why the couple told the groom's brothers and didn't tell the groom's mother.  A good reason?  Who knows.  But that's why I'm so curious about the HC's version of the story, which of course we will never know.

My husband and I eloped.  I know for a fact that when my MIL tells the story it is all about her and how we hurt and betrayed her.  When in fact, the decision had literally nothing to do with her.  I didn't even invite my best friends or my sisters.  We invited no one.   We told no one ahead of time.  But she sees it as something I did to her.  As if I deliberately used my wedding to personally wound her.  It takes a lot of victim mentality to believe that your new daughter in law stayed up at night thinking of what would hurt you the most and making wedding plans based on that.  Isn't it more likely that the HC had their reasons? 

So, I'm biased, but I really liked the line in the advice that basically said "You weren't denied anything, your son doesn't owe you a wedding".  I fully agree.  I can understand disappointment, I can't get behind feeling actually betrayed as if you were owed this experience or entitled to it.  Nope, that's going too far. 

As far as her being entitled to the info because she's planning the wedding....I agree with another poster.  It's a really rare situation where you actually turn over the planning of the wedding to the groom's mother completely.  My guess is that there is probably some exaggeration going on there.  Is she really planning the entire wedding?  Or is this similar to the "I raised her" thread that's going on right now, where grandma is taking way too much credit?