Posts in the 'family drama' Category
Editor’s Note: Liz is out of town this week, so today we’re re-posting an oldie-but-a-goodie. If you have a pressing question for Liz, just go to the Contact page and let us know what’s up!
You’ve been dreading it since you got the ring on your finger – “Wow, it’s so pretty, I’m so happy, oh, man, what am I going to do about Mom and Dad?” There’s gonna be parental dissension on your side of the aisle. They haven’t talked in years, or maybe they finally started talking after a few years, but either way, your wedding is a whole new ballgame. Mom re-married and Dad’s still a little bitter, and needs reassurance that he’s the one walking you down the aisle. Or, Dad is going to help pay, but wedding costs can stun the most generous of fathers, and that’s triggering alimony PTSD for your mother. Whatever the day’s current conflict is, not only do you get to hear about it (all of it) but you have to mediate too. Because as usual, the only common denominator between them is YOU.
Yeah, I’ve seen this many, many times before, so the good news (such as it is), is that you are not alone. It is a truth universally acknowledged that weddings make families do the wacky. Relationship pressure becomes priority, since it’s the one day when it’s all going to play out in public. And, of course, each parent has a different idea of how it should go, usually with the other side backing off… as they should, darn it.
What a complete pain in the ass. What do you do?
Here comes the hard part: Treat everyone like the adults they are, whether they’re acting like it or not. This is how most of my couples have gotten through it. It also means that you have to be a mature adult, too. Don’t tell them that their fighting is ruining your wedding, because they both feel they’re being perfectly reasonable, not to mention completely right. No choosing sides, because that’s just going to bite you back in the butt. For one thing, 9 times out of 10, whatever they’re butting heads about is not about you. At all.
So, when Mom starts grumbling, again, about Dad bringing his 25 year-old girlfriend to the wedding, suggest that she take it up with him. Engage in the speculation and irrational mind twirling as little as possible, and change the subject often.
As I’ve said before, I… have parents. But at the end of the day, they love you, and they will both be there on your wedding day, and that’s all you want. I can just about promise that there won’t be a fist-fight, either. But, unfortunately, hoping they will chill in the meantime might be too much to ask for.
It’s not about you, It’s not about you, It’s not about you, I swear. Good luck and hang in there!
So, what’s the latest that your divorced parents are putting you through, and what are you doing to cope? Or vent and ask for help below, that’s what I’m here for. And if you want to find out more about me and my part of life in Wedding World, go to silvercharmevents.com
See you at the end of the aisle,
Got a question for Liz? Go to the Contact Page and let us know what’s up?
I’ve never had to deal with family drama in the past. My fiancé’s family is full of family drama and I’m worried it might affect the wedding. I don’t want any feelings hurt, but am not sure what to do about it. What am I entitled/able to do in this situation? It’s been quite tricky.
Sucked from the Sidelines
Yeah, it’s fun, isn’t it? You can’t change them, they’ve been that way for decades. Stay out of the way, and out of the line of fire – smile, shrug, and position yourself slightly behind your fiancé as much as possible. Seriously, for the most part, let your fiancé deal with them, he knows how. Decades, remember. As far as it affecting your wedding, just be clear about you and your fiancés plans, ask him to be clear about your plans, and proceed as though those plans are going to take place. Smile shrug, get out of the way and do your thing. I know, easier said than done. Hang in there.
I got married on September 21st this year and a week after my wedding I had a major foot operation and have been trying to recoup and recover from. My thing is, is that I haven’t gotten to send out thank you cards, yet. We’re not much for tradition, but I’d still like to send them out. Most everyone who attended our wedding knows about my operation, so do you think they will understand why it’s taking me so long to send out thank you cards?
Lost in Traction
“So long”? It’s been a month! Have you even seen any pictures from your photographer, yet? It’s great that you’re being so conscientious about this, but traditionally, you have a year to send them, and I’m sure you’ll get them out way before that. Until you can, go sit down/lie down, rest your leg, and stop being so hard on yourself, okay?
I’m not engaged yet, but I feel like when that time comes, I will be overwhelmed with the groom’s mom’s invitation list…excluding just the family. What should I do?
Ringed in Anticipation
Stop future-tripping. You’re about three steps ahead of yourself, and I’m worried that once you do get engaged, you won’t be able to enjoy it because you’re worried about what’s two steps after that. Get engaged, blind people with the ring for a few minutes and then do what everyone else does, in this order: Decide on a budget and the number of guests you’re comfortable with, find a place to have it, and go from there. Don’t drown yourself in “buts” and “what Ifs.”
Are his family dynamics bugging you? And what are you future-tripping about right now? Let us know in the comments below? And, on Monday, November 4th, join me for my tele-class on managing your bare, BYO wedding venue. When you have to bring in everything, what does “everything”mean? Join me and find out!
See you at the end of the aisle,
Do you have a burning question for Liz? Go to the Contact page and let us know what’s up!
I’m experiencing a little bit of a rough spot. I’m the middle of three sisters. My younger sister and I are close while my older sister and I only talk when I make the effort to reach out, and even then it’s not reciprocated most of the time. I just found out that my mother asked my older sister and her five children to be part of the wedding. I didn’t want to have my older sister nor any children be part of the wedding. I’ve reached out to older sis only to be hung up on and then have her shut her phone off.
After leaving a message and not hearing back from her, I reached out via email, which she read and ignored (I know she read it as my mom told younger sis that older sis had said I sent a nasty email). Drama level is high and we are three months away from my wedding day. Older sister is now threatening not to attend the wedding as she and her kids are not going to be in it. Mom is mad because this is “tearing the family apart, ” and she is putting pressure on me to change things. Problem is, I don’t want to. HELP!
Wedding Box Canyon-ed
People, man, seriously. Okay, here is your last ditch effort, and then you need to wash your hands of it. Send an email to your older sister asking her for a time to talk on the phone, and cc: your Mom and little sis. Give her a very specific day and time and tell her if that won’t work, to let you know what day and time does. Make it clear that you want to talk to her about the wedding and about your relationship. Come up with a compromise (what ARE you okay with her or her family doing at the wedding?), or at the very least, emphasize that you want her to be there, because she’s your sister and you love her. Leading with the truth (no matter how annoying she is) is good. If she doesn’t get back to you either directly or through your Mother or little sister, then you have literally done everything that you could with your younger sister and mother bearing witness. And, if your Mother says anything, the only thing you should do is confirm that you did everything you could, and it’s up to your sister now. Which, it is. Good luck.
It’s the old question: Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? You’ve chosen “happy” in trying to amend things with your sister so everyone can be at your wedding together and this won’t be a pox on your family until the end of time. Your sister has chosen “right.” She wants to be right in being offended, and since she’s offended she’s right to not want to talk to you, to involve the rest of your family in this, even if it means, well, that there will be a pox on your family until the end of time. If she wanted to be happy, she would pick up the phone or try and resolve this with you. What she is doing is not about you, it’s about her. Remember that, if she still won’t talk with you about what’s going on.
Anyone else experiencing sibling drama and figured out another way to deal with it? Or do you need help with the one you’re going through? Let us know…in the comments below. And if you would like to find out more about me and my part of Wedding World, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.
See you at the end of the aisle,
Does anyone else ever wish their family could just shape up and be as happy as the Cleavers or other perfect sitcom families? I know I do.
To be fair, I want to make it perfectly clear that Zach and I both love our entire families dearly and are so, overwhelmingly grateful for all the love we received growing up and the countless opportunities we were given thanks to our parents’ generosity.
I have to be honest, though. Zach and I both struggle as the “black sheep” in our respective families. The similarities in how we were raised and how we both rebelled against it are actually one huge commonality that brought us together. See, we both grew up in very traditional, conservative (both our dads LOVE Rush Limbaugh), religious (Evangelical Christian, specifically) homes. Zach was even home-schooled, and we both went to church every Sunday. Along these same lines, once we each moved away for college, we both started developing our own views, questioning the ways we were raised, and engaging in some normal college student shenanigans.
Fast forward to today…while we try to maintain a good relationship, our parents have problems with many aspects of our lives. The fact that we drink, the fact that we have been living together before marriage, and our nomadic lifestyle. Not to mention our political and religious views, which now differ from theirs. It’s not a matter of my parents not liking Zach or Zach’s parents not liking me. None of them can deny how perfect we are for each other; it’s just that they don’t approve of the way we live. As a person who grew up always trying to make my parents proud, it’s hard. I’m proud of the life I’ve created for myself, but they never will be until I settle down, get a career, and go back to church.
As you can imagine, the overall tension that exists in our families also carries over to wedding planning. It’s a big reason why we want to fund the wedding ourselves. (That and the fact that my family has done enough for me already!) As far as I can tell, the parents are happy for us, and are definitely relieved that we will finally be tying the knot after “living in sin” for so long. But the guaranteed awkwardness of my conservative, tee-totaling family mixing with some of our rowdy, partying friends on our wedding day weighs heavily on my mind.
Sorry if this post has been too much venting on my part. To any others in my situation: you’re not alone! I know how hard it is to walk the tightrope of keeping the family happy without compromising yourself.
Is anyone else a “black sheep”? How did you deal with clashes of beliefs while wedding planning?
Congratulations. You’ve once again survived the M-F grind. Now please – kick off those heels, grab a cocktail, and peruse this week’s edition of “Link Lust” – all the best in wedding blogs you might’ve missed while you were out makin’ that money – say, for example – this Fashion Week droolfest seen above.
Have you thought of going flowerless? Get some fab ideas from yours truly for creating simple, rustic centerpieces that will cost way less than professional floral arrangements.
J’adore this incredibly sweet, shabby chic, Key West weddingwith French traditions and a purple and green color scheme on Heart Love Weddings this week!
See how Zac Posen’s Spring 2012 runway show will affect bridal trends this season (hint, it involves mermaid style wedding dresses) on BRIDEfinds.
Wedding-related family meltdowns may feel inevitable, but they don’t have to ruin your big day. Jordan Reid of Ramshackle Glam tells you how to handle the drama with grace.
Enjoy A Lover.ly Afternoon with Elizabeth Messina on the Wedding Chicks!