Wedding Family Matters: Mother-in-law Is Fuming Over Wedding Date Change!
Q: My fiance and I are having some real problems with his mother. I was recently accepted to a Ph.D. program, and because of this and some other important reasons, we moved the wedding from September to May. The only date available was a Friday evening. My soon-to-be mother in law has decided that this was an intentionally cruel move to ensure that her family will not be able to attend. We both realize it is an inconvenience for out-of-towners, but because of other holidays and occasions, it was the only reasonable date available to us. My fiance assures me this will not be a real problem for his family, but his mother will not let up. Is it totally horrible to change your wedding date if you give wedding guests six months' notice? Do you think I should leave the bickering to my fiance? Do I ignore all the problems or put in my two cents? I don't want to stick my nose where it doesn't belong, but she doesn't have any problem doing so.
A: Something has set off your future mother-in-law. It's true that Friday is perhaps more inconvenient for guests, but the ones who really want to be there will be -- it's a nice excuse for a long weekend. Still, trust your fiance if he says it really won't be a problem for his family. As for the guest list, all you can do is let your fiance's mother know you need her guest list by a certain date, and if you don't have it, that's that. You could also let your fiance confront her about it. If she refuses to make up a guest list, maybe he can make his family's list.Tread carefully when considering whether to get involved or lie low. This woman will be related to you soon, and what you do now can affect your future relationship. If you let her walk all over you now, you're setting a precedent for later on, but at the same time, you don't want to blow up. Try to endure her advice and chatter, nod politely, and then do what you want to do. (If push comes to shove, have your fiance intercede -- she's less likely to resent her own flesh and blood.) As long as you don't do anything intentionally nasty, she can't hold anything against you later.Maybe she's experiencing separation anxiety. You didn't say anything about her relationship with your honey, or whether you think she feels threatened by you. Talk with your fiance and see if the two of you can't come up with some reasons for why she might be acting this way. If you try to understand her, it may be easier to put up with her -- even if you don't agree with her actions lately.