Wedding Family Matters: Controlling Mother of the Bride?
Q: My mom has made wedding planning horrible for me by telling me that what I want is stupid or ugly, borrowing money from my fiance and me that we've saved to pay for the wedding, even making my bridesmaids cry over the wedding shower. She keeps insisting that she be the one to walk me down the aisle, though my father is a big part of my life. Every time I try to stand up for what I want, she tells me how sick she is (there is no proof of any serious medical problem) and makes me feel guilty. How should I handle her?
A: Wow, talk about manipulative! Your mother's behavior and comments may even border on emotional abuse. It sounds like she is a control freak in general, but she's also desperately seeking any attention she can get when it comes to planning your wedding. It's unfortunate when parents turn what should be a happy time into a nightmare. As easy as it to say "Tune her out," that's extremely hard to do. While a child's wedding day is a huge deal in any parent's life, it's still your wedding, which you are paying for. Thus you are entitled to have your own opinions about how things should go.You need to sit down with your mother and let her know that although you respect her (she's your mom, after all), you're the one who's getting married and paying for the wedding, and your needs and desires are important, too. Have you told her she's making you miserable when you're supposed to be excited and happy? Maybe she needs to hear that. Tell her you love her and want her to be a part of your day, but from here on out you are going to do what makes you happy, and you hope she will respect your wishes. Again, it's easier said than done. But you don't have to put up with this -- it's okay to stand up for yourself. It may be difficult not to fall for her guilt trips, but just be strong -- there's no other option.