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Author Topic: And so it begins...  (Read 5956 times)

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lovestoread

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And so it begins...
« on: March 27, 2016, 04:46:45 AM »
I'm so sorry - this is going to be extremely long!

BG: my parents split up around 15 years ago, very acrimoniously. My father cheated, my mother found out, there were lots of nasty scenes at the time, and my sister and I didn't speak to my father for around ten years afterwards as a result. Over the last few years, fences have been mended, ironically at the behest of my mother, who kept in touch with my father and several years ago, very strongly encouraged us to get in touch with our father. We did so, and have slowly rebuilt a relationship. However, with the benefit of hindsight, I now feel that my mums reason for encouraging us to get in touch with our father as she was hoping for more of a reconciliation with him, and possibly a romantic reconciliation. However, after finding out that our father has a new partner, this has not happened, and now my mum denies that she encouraged us to start talking to my dad again. For the record, the new partner was nothing to do with my dad's cheating previously, they've only known each other for about 7/8 years.

Problem - my DF and I are getting married in a few months and we're starting to nail down the guest list, I'm not planning on inviting one of my mothers siblings, for a variety of reasons, including that we don't get on well, they're continually ignorant to my DF for no good reason at all (pretending that they don't know his name etc) and that we have limited numbers for the wedding. I spoke about my mother to this and she kept insisting that she was flabbergasted that I was not inviting IgnorantUncle, as he lives in the same town, whereas others that are being invited don't live in the same town! (This is literally the only reason that my mother can provide as a reason to invite IU)

Mother then asked if I was inviting my father, which I said yes to. She then asked if I was inviting his girlfriend, and when I said yes, started screaming down the phone about how she doesn't want her there, she's been humiliated over the years and would be humiliated for my fathers girlfriend to be there, and so on, and so on.

I feel like I JADE'd too much regarding IU's invite, but now I'm just flat out angry. I'm angry that my mother is putting me in this position, and now if I carry on with my original guest list, I'll be anxious on the day that she'll cause a scene, and I don't feel it's fair to put my other guests through that. I always want to expect better from my mother but I just feel like I can't In this situation, which is horrible.

My mother also has a very contentious relationship with her only sister, who I get on very well with. But my aunt has confided in my sister that she's not sure she will come, as she feels that my mother will cause a scene and she doesn't want that for me on my wedding day.

I'm not sure how to go from here EHell - call her bluff and take the chance that she tries to ruin my wedding day? Because I just wouldn't put it past her, to be ho est. and it makes me so angry, as it's going to be an emotional day anyway, my DF and I were both very close to his father, who passed away recently, so we'll both be feeling his absence very keenly on the day and I just can't contemplate having to deal with emotional blackmail and tantrums on the day from my own mother - she's like a child if she doesn't get her own way.

An example of this was shown recently when we were having a meal recently with my grandmother, who is elderly and very infirm. She has to eat early, and when my sister would take move the time of the meal to a time which wouldn't suit my grandma, my mother refused to speak to my sister for nine weeks... Despite watching my nephews, so my sister would come home from work and my mother would race out the door without a word... For nine weeks!


Well done for getting this far without falling asleep! I can't believe what a big knot of contention this all is, once you scratch the surface!




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Bethalize

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2016, 05:30:17 AM »
Sympathies.

You have two choices. Option 1: spend time trying to make your mother happy. You probably won't manage this, and will make yourself miserable by trying. Option 2: tell your mother that she is invited to your wedding at this place and this time, and if she doesn't want to accept your invitation that is up to her.

The risk with option 2 is that you might not have your mother at your wedding. However, it sounds like with option 1 she would be inclined to storm out at the last moment anyway. If you go with option 2 your decision is made, you have a plan and she had no control other than over whether she attends or not.

In my experience if you expect people to behave like adults most of them do, for a short while. It's letting them.oull your string every five minutes that makes life hard.

Mustard

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2016, 08:05:59 AM »
I agree with Bethalize.  Your mother doesn't get a say in who else you invite; she can either accept your invitation, or not.  Don't let what might happen spoil your preparations.

Your mother is invited, and so it ends.

Kaypeep

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2016, 08:48:49 AM »
Agreed.  Invite who you want and don't justify it to your mom.  You don't owe her explanations.  End any possible debates by changing the conversation or hanging  up or leaving.

As for your aunt, I'd call her and tell her that you really want her to be there, and she should not worry about what her sister does, in fact aunt's presence is needed even more because you want loved ones there who care about you and support you so they offset your mom's own selfish ways.

Your mom's silent treatement reminds me of my own mom.  My mom isn't as bad with the other stuff, but she's the type to hold a grudge over the pettiest of things indefinately.  I learned (with the help of therapy) that there's nothing you can do to change someone like that.  So live your life and don't worry about her irrational behavior.  You'll exhaust yourself trying to appease someone who can't be appeased.  Do what you know is the right thing and have no regrets.

greencat

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2016, 10:45:59 AM »
If you do invite your mother, you'll probably want to assign someone to monitor her and escort her out if she does start to make a scene.

jedikaiti

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2016, 12:59:25 PM »
If you do invite your mother, you'll probably want to assign someone to monitor her and escort her out if she does start to make a scene.

Yes, this. So much this.

If you do invite your mom, do NOT discuss the guest list any further. Cut her off at the pass if she tries - I suggest a Toots Special of something along the lines of "This subject is not open for discussion." (That is, just repeat verbatim, in a flat voice, to any inquiry that involves your guest list.)

If she says she might not go, just say "We would miss you." If she threatens to cause a fuss or a scene, say "Then don't come at all."
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2016, 09:02:54 AM »
If you do invite your mother, you'll probably want to assign someone to monitor her and escort her out if she does start to make a scene.

Yes, this. So much this.

If you do invite your mom, do NOT discuss the guest list any further. Cut her off at the pass if she tries - I suggest a Toots Special of something along the lines of "This subject is not open for discussion." (That is, just repeat verbatim, in a flat voice, to any inquiry that involves your guest list.)

If she says she might not go, just say "We would miss you." If she threatens to cause a fuss or a scene, say "Then don't come at all."

I completely agree with this, it's the bottom line.  Either she chooses to attend and behave herself or she chooses not to attend. 

Just as she would behave at any other wedding!

LifeOnPluto

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2016, 09:36:56 PM »
OP, which outcome do you think would cause you the most regret in future?

Suppose you go ahead and invite your father and his girlfriend, and your mother causes a scene / decides not to attend your wedding. Or - by contrast - you elect not to invite your father and gf, and your mother attends peacefully. Picture yourself several years later, thinking back on your wedding day. Which outcome would make you feel worse? Decide, then pick the other option.

I also agree that you should call your aunt and make it clear that you really want her there (btw, I hope she wasn't planning on RSVPing "yes", then just not showing up on the day).

lovestoread

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2016, 04:00:21 AM »
Thank you so much for all your responses, its given me plenty of food for thought.

I've been thinking about this non stop over the past couple of days, and its basically the final straw with regards to the emotional manipulation by my mother.  We're very strongly considering eloping to Skye now, and just having a small wedding with the people we're closest to, which at this point, doesn't include my mother.

My mother had an argument with my sister regarding this whole issue, and over the course of that argument, reiterated that she probably won't attend, that no one ever cares about her feelings, and about how this is a big day for her and no one is taking that into account.  When my sister pointed out that the wedding is months away and that she'd really upset me over these statements, and thereby already put a dampener on the day, my mother stated that she didn't care. She is also stating that her sobriety is 'on the line', which is an entirely new low in her emotional manipulation.

I can just imagine spending my wedding day on tenterhooks, waiting for some kind of scene or argument, i just want to be be able to relax and enjoy the day.  And my sister would be the same as well... its just not worth all the hassle when we could go away quietly and have a beautiful day with our nearest and dearest.

Someone posted last week elsewhere on the board, and it was a link to a blog about just assuming people will act as they've always acted.  I need to start doing this with my mother.  I always hope/wish for the best, and I continually feel let down, I need to start managing my expectations better.

Thanks again for all of the thoughtful responses.




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cross_patch

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2016, 05:07:02 AM »
That's terrible - I'm really sorry this is happening to you. I think you should just have the wedding you want, and will make you happy. I hope it all works out. Let us know how it all goes.

Bethalize

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2016, 07:41:48 AM »
If  I were you I'd be heading for Skye. Make it a gift to yourself that you don't let anything drag you down for your wedding.

Mustard

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2016, 07:45:45 AM »
If  I were you I'd be heading for Skye. Make it a gift to yourself that you don't let anything drag you down for your wedding.

I know two sisters with a very over-bearing mother; one married in the Seychelles, knowing her mother wouldn't fly and the other in Shetland; mother didn't do ferries either!

artk2002

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2016, 01:38:54 PM »
Skye is beautiful. I went to a wedding at the Flodigarry Hotel which is where Flora McDonald's cottage used to be, if you're into all the BPC stuff. The proprietors of the hotel have changed, so I can't vouch for its quality now.

Edit: To add a touch of romance, this song was written for that wedding (Phil Cunningham ran the hotel at the time) and was first played in the hotel's sitting room.

I'm really sorry that your mother is doing this. Personally, I think that your options are to either elope, or to invite both with the "This is my day and I expect you to both act like adults for me. If you don't think you can, then please don't come." In either case, absolutely refuse to discuss the situation further. End the conversation as soon as the issue comes up. Walk away. Make reservations for Skye. Do something to disengage. Remember: This is your mother's issue and it isn't up to you to fix her problems -- only she can do that, if she's sufficiently motivated.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 01:46:10 PM by artk2002 »
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AliciaLynette

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2016, 04:27:00 PM »
When DF and I got engaged, it was 5 years after my parents had divorced, and my mum was very adamant that she would never be in the same room as my dad - she blamed him entirely for the divorce despite the fact that it was actually 50:50 fault, in fact she still (13 years later) won't admit that she may have been part to blame).  As I wanted Dad to walk me down the aisle, I flat out told mum that this was happening, and although I wanted her there that if she felt she couldn't be civil I would accept her not attending.  Perhaps rude of me, but we're a fairly blunt family and I wasn't putting up with nonsense from either of them.  I did warn Dad of the same thing, but knew that he would be civil/not talk to her if she attended.  Now, I got lucky, because we're a fairly reasonable and polite family and we were brought up to have our own opinions and trusted to make our own decisions with due warnings, and there were no repercussions.  We're also close enough to get on well when together but not worry if we don't hear from each other for weeks at a time.
The wedding never happened (we got pregnant very shortly after the proposal so all money went to child expenses) and I haven't revisited it but Mum has become more reasonable on the subject (she will now not shut me down if I mention Dad) so I suspect that it wouldn't be an issue now.


Perhaps this is the tack that OP needs to take, to be blunt with her mum.  It may affect the relationship, but does the OP want to spend the rest of her life squirming round subjects to avoid upsetting Mum?  Having an elopement may be a softer way of getting that point across, that OP will not stand to have Mum attempting to control her.
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EllenS

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Re: And so it begins...
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2016, 04:47:56 PM »
If you pay off a blackmailer you just get more blackmail.

If you dump reasonable people in favor of unpleasant people, you wind up with a life full of unpleasant people.