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Author Topic: Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" UPDATE #84  (Read 19155 times)

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Celany

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #60 on: July 18, 2016, 10:21:57 AM »
I appreciate all the further thoughts and ideas. If we could do it all over again, I'd definitely do a few things different.

One thing I'd like to remind people about the childhood friend of my partner's - that was HIS choice, not mine. I don't feel any kind of ownership about that decision, exactly, because he's the one who made it, and if that's causing some hurt feelings with his family, I feel like that would be more his to soothe than mine.

Of course, we're about to become a couple, so it could be said it reflects on both of us. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that. Even as a couple, we're going to retain the same level of autonomy that we currently have. Actually, that's one of the outward concerns we have about getting married, the idea that how we're going to have more of a say over one another's lives and decisions. We currently operate by telling each other what we want/need/are going to do about things, are open to feedback, but very strongly feel that we each get to make our own decisions about pretty much everything. On the p0ly front, that means no veto, and we handle pretty much all aspects of our life like that. No veto on anything. If one of us would be that unhappy with a decision that the other made, then that person would need to decide if the disagreement would be large enough that we wouldn't stay together, or if we did stay together, if we'd step back from our relationship in some way.

But I think that's part of why I feel a disconnect when people are saying inviting the childhood friend makes it a bigger deal. *I* didn't do that. Partner wanted to do that. Totally his choice. Hurt from his parents is more his thing to handle than me, though I'm fine addressing some of that with them, though in a much more secondary role to him addressing it.

As for waiting until his parents got back, Partner and I talked more about that this weekend, in part because they privately emailed him again and said they're asking for the last time, but that they'd REALLY like us to wait until they get back to do it. He said that now that we've decided to do it, he wants to get it over with (plus childhood friend has already booked the fight to come). He also said that he's been feeling a bit sour on his parents since they made that "and if you wait for us to come, then you really need to at least invite our siblings" comment. They haven't brought that up again, as far as I know, but I think that really, really, REALLY bothered him, and he's feeling somewhat "give them an inch and they'll try to take a mile" about them in this situation.

Also, if we did wait for them, then I think we'd definitely have to ask my parents (it would feel really wrong to me to have one set of parents there and not the other), and I absolutely DO NOT want my mom involved AT ALL. 

Toots, you bring up a lot of interesting points, and I do both agreed with your conclusion about how the wedding is (in a way) more about family and friends (and your HR department) than the couple - which also nicely sums up part of my issue with the way marriage is viewed/handled/structured now.

If we could do it all again, I'd love to wait until it was done before telling anybody, and then tell people that we had a small civil ceremony so we could share health insurance, and pretty much leave out the word "married".
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

ladyknight1

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #61 on: July 18, 2016, 10:32:10 AM »
I just wanted to let you know that other than financial decisions and major life changes, DH and I are pretty independent decision makers, which is atypical for both of our family histories. It works for us.

All relationships and their dynamics are different, and I hope no one is assuming that will change for you.
ďAll 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

CuriousParty

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #62 on: July 18, 2016, 11:47:29 AM »
If we could do it all again, I'd love to wait until it was done before telling anybody, and then tell people that we had a small civil ceremony so we could share health insurance, and pretty much leave out the word "married".

Well, obviously the wait until it's all over ship has sailed, but there's no reason you can't do the rest of it - "This is a civil process so we can share insurance benefits. Obviously that needs the happen as soon as possible. It is not a wedding, there is no reason to delay sharing insurance benefits."

As for the veto/no veto concern, I wanted to share, as a previous poster mentioned, that my marriage did not significantly change my independence (motherhood did, but that's a whole other kettle of fish). I imagine, though obv I don't know, that the "no veto" agreement has with it "assuming no/little permanent negative effects in the other. So one of you could decide, for example, to travel the globe for an indeterminate period of time, but cannot unilaterally decide to sell jointly owned property. That type of arrangement doesn't have to change, just a recognition that there may now be more/different legal repercussions to be considered.

gellchom

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #63 on: July 18, 2016, 12:04:13 PM »
One thing I'd like to remind people about the childhood friend of my partner's - that was HIS choice, not mine. I don't feel any kind of ownership about that decision, exactly, because he's the one who made it, and if that's causing some hurt feelings with his family, I feel like that would be more his to soothe than mine.

***

But I think that's part of why I feel a disconnect when people are saying inviting the childhood friend makes it a bigger deal. *I* didn't do that. Partner wanted to do that. Totally his choice. Hurt from his parents is more his thing to handle than me, though I'm fine addressing some of that with them, though in a much more secondary role to him addressing it.

Celany, this part of your last post makes me think you are not quite hearing those of us who are saying that the only issue created by planning around Childhood Friend is confusion.  It doesn't matter whose fault it was -- and I don't even think that "fault" is a good word, because no one has done anything wrong.

I can readily understand families accepting, possibly with some difficulty, that to you this marriage is meaningless, a legal technicality to get insurance coverage -- and then being puzzled by the thing with Childhood Friend (100% irrespective of who is to "blame" for that) and the lunch afterward.  I think that most people would be, really.  Especially because you say things like

Quote
Of course, we're about to become a couple

Again, let me stress that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having feelings that seem or even are objectively inconsistent!  That's not hypocrisy, that's honesty.

The problem comes up when you don't let it rest at doing it the way you want with people accepting your decisions -- but not completely understanding and agreeing with you on everything.  I am not saying you are wrong at all about "issue with the way marriage is viewed/handled/structured now."  But I don't think that right now is going to be a productive time to try to have that discussion with people, especially your partner's family.

And I think that this only troubles you because you really do want everyone to be happy; a lot of people would say (and some even relish saying), "I don't care who it hurts or offends, tough luck for them, it's our marriage, etc. etc." and not give it another thought.  (You also show it by very wisely saying that it would be a mistake to invite one set of parents but not the other.  Right you are.)

But as admirable as your feelings are, it's important to know where to stop, which is going to be somewhere short of satisfaction for you.  This reminds me of a broader issue of needing more than a simple yes.  I've told the story elsewhere on ehell of a very valuable lesson I learned once when a close friend asked if her family could back out of a dinner at the last minute because a good friend of hers was in town from the other side of the world and could only get together with them that evening, and it wouldn't work to simply bring him along.  I understood completely and probably would have asked, too, in her position, and they are very close friends who can ask such things, so I said sure.  But what she did next was a step too far: she said, "You don't mind, do you?"  Now, I wasn't upset or offended, but I could see that was a mistake.  It wasn't enough for her to ask for a pass for etiquette no-no and an inconvenience for us; she needed to be not wrong at all -- absolution, not forgiveness.  And that meant asking me, in essence, to agree that my time and convenience and company weren't important.  I wasn't mad at her, but I was so glad I had the revelation: when you ask for something like this, let the other person be gracious, don't insist that they agree with you that you aren't asking for a favor.  The tone should be, "You're an angel for being so understanding," not, "You'd be a jerk to say no to this utterly reasonable request -- don't you agree?"

The reason I told that digressive story is that I think a similar principle applies here.  You're getting what you want.  Take it and be appreciative.  Don't need to be perfect, consistent, and 100% right about everything -- and especially don't insist on explaining why to everyone and getting them to agree. It will feel to them like you are insisting that they admit that their views of marriage and family are wrong in order for yours to be right.  Which I hope you do not believe, just as you do not want them to feel that way about your views.

Chez Miriam

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #64 on: July 18, 2016, 12:33:14 PM »
One thing I'd like to remind people about the childhood friend of my partner's - that was HIS choice, not mine. I don't feel any kind of ownership about that decision, exactly, because he's the one who made it, and if that's causing some hurt feelings with his family, I feel like that would be more his to soothe than mine.

***

But I think that's part of why I feel a disconnect when people are saying inviting the childhood friend makes it a bigger deal. *I* didn't do that. Partner wanted to do that. Totally his choice. Hurt from his parents is more his thing to handle than me, though I'm fine addressing some of that with them, though in a much more secondary role to him addressing it.

Celany, this part of your last post makes me think you are not quite hearing those of us who are saying that the only issue created by planning around Childhood Friend is confusion.  It doesn't matter whose fault it was -- and I don't even think that "fault" is a good word, because no one has done anything wrong.

I can readily understand families accepting, possibly with some difficulty, that to you this marriage is meaningless, a legal technicality to get insurance coverage -- and then being puzzled by the thing with Childhood Friend (100% irrespective of who is to "blame" for that) and the lunch afterward.  I think that most people would be, really.  Especially because you say things like

Quote
Of course, we're about to become a couple

Again, let me stress that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having feelings that seem or even are objectively inconsistent!  That's not hypocrisy, that's honesty.

The problem comes up when you don't let it rest at doing it the way you want with people accepting your decisions -- but not completely understanding and agreeing with you on everything.  I am not saying you are wrong at all about "issue with the way marriage is viewed/handled/structured now."  But I don't think that right now is going to be a productive time to try to have that discussion with people, especially your partner's family.

And I think that this only troubles you because you really do want everyone to be happy; a lot of people would say (and some even relish saying), "I don't care who it hurts or offends, tough luck for them, it's our marriage, etc. etc." and not give it another thought.  (You also show it by very wisely saying that it would be a mistake to invite one set of parents but not the other.  Right you are.)

But as admirable as your feelings are, it's important to know where to stop, which is going to be somewhere short of satisfaction for you.  This reminds me of a broader issue of needing more than a simple yes.  I've told the story elsewhere on ehell of a very valuable lesson I learned once when a close friend asked if her family could back out of a dinner at the last minute because a good friend of hers was in town from the other side of the world and could only get together with them that evening, and it wouldn't work to simply bring him along.  I understood completely and probably would have asked, too, in her position, and they are very close friends who can ask such things, so I said sure.  But what she did next was a step too far: she said, "You don't mind, do you?"  Now, I wasn't upset or offended, but I could see that was a mistake.  It wasn't enough for her to ask for a pass for etiquette no-no and an inconvenience for us; she needed to be not wrong at all -- absolution, not forgiveness.  And that meant asking me, in essence, to agree that my time and convenience and company weren't important.  I wasn't mad at her, but I was so glad I had the revelation: when you ask for something like this, let the other person be gracious, don't insist that they agree with you that you aren't asking for a favor.  The tone should be, "You're an angel for being so understanding," not, "You'd be a jerk to say no to this utterly reasonable request -- don't you agree?"

The reason I told that digressive story is that I think a similar principle applies here.  You're getting what you want.  Take it and be appreciative.  Don't need to be perfect, consistent, and 100% right about everything -- and especially don't insist on explaining why to everyone and getting them to agree. It will feel to them like you are insisting that they admit that their views of marriage and family are wrong in order for yours to be right.  Which I hope you do not believe, just as you do not want them to feel that way about your views.

Another totally spot-on post from gellchom.

I would just like to add about it being Partner's decision to wait for Friend to be a witness: I don't think you mentioned petitioning against this, and saying to Partner "it's just a bit of paper we need; why make it some sort of 'ceremony'?". 

A friend of mine signed my passport photo [I'd let the old one lapse, so needed a 'proof it's me' favour].  I said thank you and we both carried on with our days.  No waiting for one particular person to be available.  No meal.  Not even a cup of tea.  I never offered anything more than a "thank you" because it was only a legal formality.  My (in)action(s) backed up the words ['just legal paperwork'].

My point being that I think all the posters are 'on your side', but we can see with the 'clarity of outsiders' that your [pl.] actions are in some conflict with your [pl.] words.  I don't think what you & Partner are doing is wrong, but neither do I think that his parents are wrong in feeling that you & Partner are making more of a celebration of it than your words imply.

Partner's parents were totally in the wrong insisting that their siblings needed to be invited!

{{{Hugs}}} and best wishes for the happiest-possible resolution for all.
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  - Julian of Norwich

Celany

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #65 on: July 18, 2016, 01:21:27 PM »
FTR, I AM ok with the idea that his parents are a bit hurt about not being invited. I'm not expecting or trying to do something that makes everybody 100% happy.

I am honestly tired (and maybe I just need to start ignoring it) with people telling me that (by my partner inviting childhood friend and going out to lunch afterward) we're Kinda Making A Big Deal out of it. We're not making a big deal out of it. We're not. If ya'll don't agree, we're going to have to agree to disagree. But given the fact that most wedding involve SOOOOOO much more planning, and time, and money, and special rented or super-fancy clothing and photographers, and RSVPs, and meal plans, and speeches, and music, and venues, and etc etc etc, NO, we are NOT making a big deal out of getting married. Having ONE PERSON  (and lunch!) who is close to my partner invited as his witness does NOT make it a big deal in my book. Never gonna come around to that way of thinking, to the point where it honestly sounds nuts to me, especially when I think about the size/complexity of most weddings.

I can see though, that having ANY kind of ceremony without the parents is a little hurtful to them. I get that. I'm not expecting them to be happy about it. But I'm not really happy with how they started pushing us to wait for them to be able to come and then also said that if they come, then their siblings (at a minimum) should also be invited. Given the way they normally seem to be, this was a HUGE and completely inappropriate push to me.

I like the idea of clarifying to his parents (and mine) a bit about what marriage means to us (and what it doesn't mean), because it sets the stage for what they can and cannot expect. We're not asking for permission or agreement in what we think. We're just explaining it with the hope of avoiding confusion or misunderstandings in the future.

For instance, letting them know that we would get divorced in the future, should one of us fall in love with someone who has crap health insurance, and gets really sick. Also letting them know that it would strain relations between us if any future partners we have (but can't marry, as we're now married) would be treated as lesser, because we can't marry them.

They can choose to still treat those partners as lesser, sure. We know we can't stop that. But we can put it out there now that our feelings towards them would be negatively impacted, and that there would be consequences to that.

Partner and I both feel it's better to be upfront about that stuff NOW instead of later, so that they have time to get used to these concepts, and we can reaffirm that they understand that us getting married isn't going to make us any less p0ly (and maybe they already know and understand that. we both want to be sure).

But no, I'm not explaining things to his parents hoping they'll be OK with them. I certainly hope they'll be OK with them, but if they're not...that's their choice, and we'll figure out any fallout that may occur from that as it comes, if it comes.

Lastly, while we're getting what we want (or rather, keeping on doing what we want), we're still not sure what (if any) fallout there's going to be. Like I've said before, his parents are generally gracious people (in my experience). Partner and I are both rattled by the repeated requests to wait until they get back, and the request to add all the close family into the wedding. The way the emails/talking as been going is like this:

- mostly gracious and thoughtful response from them
- about face and and requests/demands from them
- apologies and thoughtful response from them
- about face and more requests from them

back and forth and back and forth.

And surely, they're not perfect either, and are trying to muddle their way through as well. But it continues to be stressful.


edited for confusing typos
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 01:42:29 PM by Celany »
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

greencat

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #66 on: July 18, 2016, 04:41:59 PM »
I'd say it's time to say "We need to do this soon so Partner is covered under Celany's insurance.  No more discussion about this, our plans are set and we are not changing them."  Then turn into a black hole and stop answering any questions about this matter.

Kiwipinball

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #67 on: July 18, 2016, 06:47:13 PM »
Celany - I don't think you guys are necessarily making "a big deal" out of your wedding, but I think at least your partner is attaching some significance to it by delaying it so his friend could be the witness. To many people, that would indicate some level of emotional importance. And as others have said, it's 100% okay for him or you to be feeling different things about the marriage. But for him to expect his parents to completely understand how he's feeling about the marriage when he is, at a minimum, giving some conflicting signals about its significance to him, is not entirely reasonable. (If someone I knew had always been anti-marriage and then was getting married and having a friend fly in to be a witness, my first assumption would be that (s)he changed their mind - I don't think his parents were that unusual in their assumption, however incorrect it was). His parents aren't being entirely reasonable either, with their demands/repeated requests (I don't think one request was bad, but they've been told no). I also don't think you're responsible in any way for soothing their feelings. Married or not, that's not your responsibility. I think it's nice of you both to try to help them understand where you're coming from but that doesn't mean anyone is responsible for their feelings.

I worked as a clerk for a judge for several years and she performed many wedding ceremonies. Lots of them were at the courthouse (sometimes she'd travel) and my co-clerk and I were occasionally witnesses. Although none of these ceremonies were "big deals" in the sense that the OP described (fancy dress, lots of guests, huge reception, etc), they always appeared to be very emotionally significant to the bride and groom. Some had family and friends, some had no one and many had somewhere in between (a couple friends, just parents, etc). But it always appeared significant (I obviously didn't interview them or anything) and many went out for a celebratory meal after the fact - with anyone who accompanied them (and sometimes people who couldn't make it to the ceremony). So something can be a "small deal" and still be very significant/emotional/important. In other words, it's a big deal to them that they're getting married, but they're not interested in the trappings.

That being said, it's completely legitimate to approach this your way. You and your partner have decided what you're comfortable with. Awesome. Go ahead and do that (which you're going to anyway, you certainly don't need Ehell's permission  :)). It might make sense for your partner to disengage from his parents some - it sounds like he's hurt and they're hurt and a lot of that stress is rolling over to you (as he vents to you, discusses it with you, etc). That's hard even when you're not emotionally drained by other things. It doesn't sound like they've done anything CD worthy or anything, but allowing himself some time to be less hurt would likely make communication easier for him. And I think being up-front about expectations, intentions, etc is a great idea. Then if it does happen down the road, there will be less of a learning curve if they've already had time to adjust to new ideas. Good luck with everything! It sounds like his parents are generally reasonable people, so hopefully as time passes and emotions cool, things will get better.

Zizi-K

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #68 on: July 18, 2016, 09:14:24 PM »
FTR, I AM ok with the idea that his parents are a bit hurt about not being invited. I'm not expecting or trying to do something that makes everybody 100% happy.

I am honestly tired (and maybe I just need to start ignoring it) with people telling me that (by my partner inviting childhood friend and going out to lunch afterward) we're Kinda Making A Big Deal out of it. We're not making a big deal out of it. We're not. If ya'll don't agree, we're going to have to agree to disagree. But given the fact that most wedding involve SOOOOOO much more planning, and time, and money, and special rented or super-fancy clothing and photographers, and RSVPs, and meal plans, and speeches, and music, and venues, and etc etc etc, NO, we are NOT making a big deal out of getting married. Having ONE PERSON  (and lunch!) who is close to my partner invited as his witness does NOT make it a big deal in my book. Never gonna come around to that way of thinking, to the point where it honestly sounds nuts to me, especially when I think about the size/complexity of most weddings.

I can see though, that having ANY kind of ceremony without the parents is a little hurtful to them. I get that. I'm not expecting them to be happy about it. But I'm not really happy with how they started pushing us to wait for them to be able to come and then also said that if they come, then their siblings (at a minimum) should also be invited. Given the way they normally seem to be, this was a HUGE and completely inappropriate push to me.

I like the idea of clarifying to his parents (and mine) a bit about what marriage means to us (and what it doesn't mean), because it sets the stage for what they can and cannot expect. We're not asking for permission or agreement in what we think. We're just explaining it with the hope of avoiding confusion or misunderstandings in the future.

For instance, letting them know that we would get divorced in the future, should one of us fall in love with someone who has crap health insurance, and gets really sick. Also letting them know that it would strain relations between us if any future partners we have (but can't marry, as we're now married) would be treated as lesser, because we can't marry them.

They can choose to still treat those partners as lesser, sure. We know we can't stop that. But we can put it out there now that our feelings towards them would be negatively impacted, and that there would be consequences to that.

Partner and I both feel it's better to be upfront about that stuff NOW instead of later, so that they have time to get used to these concepts, and we can reaffirm that they understand that us getting married isn't going to make us any less p0ly (and maybe they already know and understand that. we both want to be sure).

But no, I'm not explaining things to his parents hoping they'll be OK with them. I certainly hope they'll be OK with them, but if they're not...that's their choice, and we'll figure out any fallout that may occur from that as it comes, if it comes.

Lastly, while we're getting what we want (or rather, keeping on doing what we want), we're still not sure what (if any) fallout there's going to be. Like I've said before, his parents are generally gracious people (in my experience). Partner and I are both rattled by the repeated requests to wait until they get back, and the request to add all the close family into the wedding. The way the emails/talking as been going is like this:

- mostly gracious and thoughtful response from them
- about face and and requests/demands from them
- apologies and thoughtful response from them
- about face and more requests from them

back and forth and back and forth.

And surely, they're not perfect either, and are trying to muddle their way through as well. But it continues to be stressful.


edited for confusing typos

For people who only understand the world through the lens of coupled monogamous relationships, you are never ever going to preempt these kinds of misunderstandings or confusions. I think the problem is that you (or your partner, or both) are working really hard to gain their understanding, and it would be so much easier on you both of if you just accepted that they will never truly get it, and no amount of explanation from you is going to stave off all potential misunderstandings in the future. Why bring up a hypothetical new person and their hypothetical bad insurance and future dire ailments? If and when that situation comes up in your life, you deal with it. You don't need to check with them first, you don't need their permission, and you certainly don't need their understanding. Frankly, maybe you don't need to tell them at all if and when you change the legal status of your relationship. You may never change the legal status of your relationship! It sounds like partner's parents are generally accepting of him and his relationships and you in particular. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Send them some websites on ******** and be done with it. If they have questions you can answer them.  In this case, the best defense is not a good offense. All these hypotheticals will just serve to create anxiety and more confusion.

gellchom

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #69 on: July 18, 2016, 10:29:03 PM »
Quote
no amount of explanation from you is going to stave off all potential misunderstandings in the future. Why bring up a hypothetical new person and their hypothetical bad insurance and future dire ailments? If and when that situation comes up in your life, you deal with it. .... In this case, the best defense is not a good offense. All these hypotheticals will just serve to create anxiety and more confusion.
Zizi-K, that is a very wise insight and excellent advice.

Celany

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #70 on: July 19, 2016, 09:52:38 AM »
So they just sent another email, asking about a set of dates at the end of *October*, asking if that would be a good time for them to come visit and plan a party.

I have officially handed nearly all this off to partner to deal with. I'm done. I'm going to send him links to a few good p0ly books I know of, and a few good sites.

Otherwise, I will handle my end. I'll handle whatever happens with my parents. I can listen to him vent for a limited amount of time. I'm up to talking to his parents about some of these subjects, if they come up organically in the future.

But I just filled out a ton of paperwork for my aunt, in terms of inheritance stuff. One of my cousin's is the executor of her estate, and while she's doing a lot, me and my other cousin each took on a couple of accounts to contact and close down. We did a long, painful, but productive FaceTime last night, where my mom, my aunt, and my cousin all FaceTimed me (and then my other cousin, I think), going through two rooms of Auntie's house, and going over every piece of furniture and momento, deciding what is being donated, and what is going to who. I'm happy to say that everybody is being incredibly civil (a million times better than when my dad's mom died, and dividing up her stuff was a nightmare of greed and un-eHell approved words because my dad's sister's husband is a horrible person). But there's been a lot of "Celany's mom and Celany's Cousin1 both really badly wanted X thing, and since that piece went to Celany's mom, then this Y emotional piece should really go to Cousin1, unless Cousin1 and Celany's mom want to swap pieces that they're getting".

So while it's been smooth and wonderful, it's still stressful. And we're trying to do a room or 2 a night for the rest of the week, because they want to get a real estate agent in next week to start showing the place.

And I have a full time job.

And my health is less-great than usual, and my chronic health problems are kicking up more, probably because of stress.

Also, way back earlier this year, when my health was better, and my aunt was fine, and I had no idea that I'd be getting married this year, I put in a proposal to do this interactive teaching workshop under The Man at Burning Man this year (for anybody not familiar, let's just say it's a really huge deal. I think Burning Man has 65k people attending this year). I honestly didn't expect it to get accepted, as there is something like 30 slots and 700+ groups applied, but it did. Which is great news! But it's now Burning Man planning time hard-core, I got a grant (in the thousands of dollars) to make this happen, and I need to make it happen. On top of everything else unexpected that has cropped up.

So I am all brained out. Partner is going to do much more handling.

If his mom and/or dad contact me separately, would it be eHell approved to remind them that my aunt just died, and I'm doing a ton of stuff on that front, plus with my chronic health issues and full time job, I just don't have the brain to manage all of this and redirect them back to partner? Something like "I appreciate you reaching out to me, and perhaps some of this would be OK to discuss later, but we're in the midst of dividing recently deceased Aunt's possessions up, closing her accounts, and settling her estate, so between that, work, and my health, I don't have the energy to take on more. Partner is working things out though, and I know he wants to talk to you more about things, so you should definitely follow up with him"?
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

Hmmmmm

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2016, 10:07:19 AM »
I think handing this off to partner is best. If they do contact you, I'm not even sure I'd explain other than "As we've said, this doesn't change our relationship. There's really nothing to discuss."

Is partner upset that they've suggested dates for a visit and party? In your original OP I thought you had indicated you were both open to a small family and friends, backyard, food and drinks get together. Has that now changed since they are attaching more significance to the event?

Zizi-K

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2016, 10:08:24 AM »

If his mom and/or dad contact me separately, would it be eHell approved to remind them that my aunt just died, and I'm doing a ton of stuff on that front, plus with my chronic health issues and full time job, I just don't have the brain to manage all of this and redirect them back to partner? Something like "I appreciate you reaching out to me, and perhaps some of this would be OK to discuss later, but we're in the midst of dividing recently deceased Aunt's possessions up, closing her accounts, and settling her estate, so between that, work, and my health, I don't have the energy to take on more. Partner is working things out though, and I know he wants to talk to you more about things, so you should definitely follow up with him"?

Absolutely! I have always adopted a "you do yours, and I'll do mine" approach to in-laws. (haha, that makes it sound like I've had multiple in-laws, which I haven't. Just a real peach of a MIL!) But I do think that the child of a parent is (usually, typically) way better equipped to deal with their idiosyncrasies than is a partner/spouse. Part of it is that I expect my parents to be able to say certain things to me, and I to them, that I wouldn't want my DH to have to deal with and that my parents wouldn't feel as comfortable discussing. It sounds as though you have a pretty good/open relationship with them, and that's great! But there's absolutely nothing wrong with referring them back to Partner for these longer, more in-depth discussions.

Celany

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2016, 10:41:25 AM »
Is partner upset that they've suggested dates for a visit and party? In your original OP I thought you had indicated you were both open to a small family and friends, backyard, food and drinks get together. Has that now changed since they are attaching more significance to the event?

He's not upset, exactly. He's a bit concerned, because the way they worded it sounded like they wanted to do something bigger. They ended it with something like "In order to let people know and book things, we need to know ASAP" and his response (to me) was basically "book things? what would need to be booked? and for a small party, do people really need to be told three months in advance?" It's also confusing, because we live about 3 hours from where most of his family is located. We assumed that if they wanted to do a family party, it'd be at a house of the family's or maybe the house they're going to rent for a year while they live in the area (their jobs take them around the world, but the home base of their job in located near where most of his family lives). So if they want to *visit* us and if they want to throw a party, it seems confusing to us how that would work all in the same weekend.

He's going to handle that, and we'll see how it goes.

It sounds as though you have a pretty good/open rel@tionship with them, and that's great! But there's absolutely nothing wrong with referring them back to Partner for these longer, more in-depth discussions.

Up until this recent spate of emails, we'd had a great relationship. Which is part of why I felt/feel comfortable with explaining some of my beliefs to them. But I've really hit my saturation point in the last few days, especially with handling stuff with my aunt getting more intense, and I am just tapped out now.

Hopefully, we'll get over this weird bump, and then we can continue to have a good relationship.
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

gellchom

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Re: "The wedding is for the family, not the couple" (longish)
« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2016, 02:17:40 PM »
If his mom and/or dad contact me separately, would it be eHell approved to remind them that my aunt just died, and I'm doing a ton of stuff on that front, plus with my chronic health issues and full time job, I just don't have the brain to manage all of this and redirect them back to partner? Something like "I appreciate you reaching out to me, and perhaps some of this would be OK to discuss later, but we're in the midst of dividing recently deceased Aunt's possessions up, closing her accounts, and settling her estate, so between that, work, and my health, I don't have the energy to take on more. Partner is working things out though, and I know he wants to talk to you more about things, so you should definitely follow up with him"?
Well, I don't think I am authorized to give ehell approval, but in my opinion, sure, of course.  Nothing wrong with saying something like that.

I would give one caution, though: this seems like it could be another thing that could cause confusion, because "X is no big deal" and "I don't have the energy to talk about X" are kind of inconsistent, KWIM?  But I don't think it's a problem.