FMIL issue/rant

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from sarah4532. Show sarah4532's posts

    FMIL issue/rant

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  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Sarah, I will say something you don't want to hear in the slightest, but hopefully it will get you to consider the relationship with your step-daughter in a new way.  All four of your "reasons" for not including her were immature on yours and your fiance's part.  Accusing her of immaturity is the winner.  IF she's immature, maybe it's because her parents were children when they had her (not to demonize them, it's just a fact).  She's not to blame for this and never will be.  Including her was the right thing to do.

    This will very likely be a big, ongoing problem in your relationship because his daughter is not going away (no matter where she ever physically resides).  Your step-daughter being 2 years younger than you are will take step-mom issues (that EVERYONE has) to a new level of messy.

    Your FMIL should be the least of your concerns.  Your step-daughter relationship has the power to wreck your marriage, and your FMIL knows this.  She is subtly stepping in (very gently, by the way) to try to get you to consider this relationship more than you have so far.

    If your fiance is ignoring the relationship with his daughter with you, that's even more of an indication that someday this will present a big problem you'll be forced to deal with in a much bigger way than a little speech at the rehearsal dinner to which, of course, his daughter should be invited to and, if you haven't gathered already, welcomed to speak at.  What's it going to do, ruin your evening if she doesn't know you that well?  Allowing her to congratulate you?  Sounds like a pretty mature request to me.

    Hope I haven't scared you off.  But, if you come for advice sometimes you get what you don't want to hear...oftentimes from me, the queen of doom.  I write it all with YOUR best interest at heart.  I've been through hell myself; how else can I possibly know any of these things?  Hope it helps someone.

    Blessings and best wishes now and in the future.

    ~kar

    P.S.  Sticking your head in the sand never makes for an authentic stress-free time.  It will always be in the back of your head that you'll have to emerge sometime rather soon from the sand and, when you do, things will have gotten worse.  There's nothing truly stress-free about ignoring an issue.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from dkb6248. Show dkb6248's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    You're not gonna like my answer either.  I completely agree with Kar on this.  The daughter should be invited to the dinner and allowed to make a speech. 

    Even if you feel that she is immature, have a little compassion.  How would you feel if your father and future step-mother both didn't want you to be part of the wedding - because of immaturity?  Sorry, but who are the parents here?  Just because she hasn't been close with her father in the past doesn't mean she isn't allowed to in the future.  I have a close relationship with my father now as an adult that I didn't have growing up and it has changed my life. 

    Never underestimate the healing power of weddings.  Weddings bring people together to celebrate love and that can cause people to let go of the past.  Trust me - if my parents, who hadn't seen each other in 15 years and hated one another, were hugging by the end of the reception, I think anything is possible.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from FriarGirl03. Show FriarGirl03's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    I'm right behind Kar and DKB.

    I'm actually a little confused as to how FMIL is getting blamed here. Did FI's daughter say, "Can I make a speech at the rehearsal that Grandma said I could come to?" Or did she just assume that she was being invited to the rehearsal because she's immediate family? It's not really a surprise that you're having rehearsal. I think the blame is in the wrong place here. I think she should have been invited to the rehearsal dinner in the first place, as she is his daughter.

    I think you're setting up to start your marriage (and thusly your relationship as daughter-in-law and stepmother) off on the wrong foot. Excluding his adult daughter from all wedding festivities isn't something she is going to forget. If she wants to make a speech, let her. She may be self-absorbed, but I can't imagine that she's asking for any other reason than to honor her dad on one of the biggest days of his life.

    It sounds like you're not interested in having a relationship with his family, so you may not care how your actions affect the future chances. (You could have asked FMIL to see the dress or at least know the color if it's important to you. Or you could just tell his daughter that he's laid off. This waiting for people to accommodate your needs kind of hints about the level of effort you are putting into the relationship.) But think about this before you go on a tirade with your FMIL and exclude FSD from everything. Is this really a battle that is worth fighting?
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    I agree 100% with Kar, dkb, and Friar.

    Please don't take offense to this, but no matter what the relationship with her father is right now, his daughter will alwayscome before you. You may not like to hear it, but she is his daughter. That is a relationship that can not ever be stepped between. He may not be saying anything to avoid drama and confrontation, but he needs to step up and realize that this is his daughter. She comes first, always, no matter what age she is.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    I didn't see my MIL's dress before the wedding. I don't see how a flower can clash with a dress, but that might be just me.

    Give your FMIL a break. She might not have said anything to your FI's daughter about the rehearsal dinner. The daughter mentioned it because she knew you'd have a rehearsal dinner, everyone has a rehearsal dinner, and assumed she'd be invited, being immediate family and all.
    And she should be. I could see excluding her if she's been outspokenly against your marriage or downright cruel, but it seems that's not the case.
    She's family. Not including her in family-related events will only cause more problems.

    As the others have said, she's two years younger than you and her parents were young when they had her. That means the hopes of having a traditional parent/child relationship with her are impossible.

    and since bought your FMIL and FI's daughter have been politely declining to be involved with wedding planning, you cannot assume the reason they're not interested is because they're selfish. Wedding planning is hard and time consuming, and unless you love weddings it's also stressful and sometimes boring. Grown women avoid being bridesmaids frequently for those very reasons.
    Look at it this way: they're stepping back and letting you plan your wedding the way you want to. Unless you're desperate for help, that's a good thing.

    And look at the speech this way: Your FI's daughter wants to step up and say something nice in front of a crowd of people to wish you both well for your marriage. That's a good thing. That shows that she wants to show she cares.

    Family is never perfect, but you can't just exclude them unless they've done somethig gravely wrong or unapologetically offensive.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Absolutely, I didn't mean to imply that the passive way FMIL went about this was the right way.  Passivity is never the right way to go.  However, the real issue is your relationship with the daughter so I underemphasized FMIL's infarction.  dkb's point is excellent; you will not get another PERFECT chance for reconciliation and family building as your wedding festivities.

    You are mature to respond to all this diffult reading so well.  And, I respect you so much for that.  Please keep us posted.

    P.S.  As a pre-marital exercise, I'd strongly suggest you go on Amazon and read reviews on step-mother self help books and pick one that suits your style.  It will be a very inexpensive investment in your marriage that might head off problems you don't even know to look for yet.  In some ways you're about to step onto a minefield.  Uncover the mines, protect yourself and everyone nearby.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    I agree with everyone else.  No, you can't fix your FI's relationship with his daughter.  What you can do is avoid making it worse.  She has made an overture by asking to give a speech at the rehersal dinner (which she naturally assumed you would have).  It is up to you two to accept the overture.  Refusing to invite her or to let her speak is going to set you up for a long, terrible relationship with your stepdaughter.  As her stepmother, you need to set an example by being the bigger person.

    Look at it this way: how would you feel if your father had married someone two years old than you?  The whole situation must be very uncomfortable for her. 

    As for the FMIL, I agree that you need to find out exactly what she said.  If she called and invited the daughter to the RD after you said not to, that is something your FI should talk to her about.  But I think the other ladies would agree with me that, at least on this issue, her heart was probably in the right place.  The daughter SHOULD be there.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from mezzogal1124. Show mezzogal1124's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Is your future stepdaughter a "source of stress" to you because you perceive her to be immature and uninvolved, or has she actually been openly hostile to you or your fiance?  From your post, it sounds like the former.  You say that you want to just relax and enjoy your day adn having her there would hinder that, but I'd wager to say that the stress you might feel if she attends would be nothing compared to the stress you will likely face down the road if you don't let her participate in the way she's suggested.  Her request might seem bizarre to you, but please keep it in perspective.  She IS family, after all.  It's not as though she's trying to take over the wedding plans, demanding to be in the bridal party, or asking to be the godmother of your firstborn. 
    As Kar and DKB have pointed out, your upcoming wedding might have inspired her to make more of an effort in her relationship with her father.  Do the classy thing and include her.  Even if she says something awkward, so what?  It will reflect on her, not on you, and at least you can have a clear conscience knowing that you did all you could to foster a good relationship with her.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    In Response to Re: FMIL issue/rant:
    I hope you all understand that it is just hard for me as well as it is hard for her. I don't have kids yet, I'm only 23- and it's downright scary and sometimes frustrating to be in a situation where my "official" title is going to be step-mother and step-grandmother.
    Posted by sarah4532


    I understand completely.  I realized the other day that my nieces are old enough to make me a great-aunt (my sisters are much older than I am), and I nearly had a panic attack.  Surprised
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    You are jumping whole hog forever into a family that will be extra difficult before you are even dry behind the ears yourself. 

    Of COURSE, you are afraid...downright petrified.  If you weren't I'd be even more concerned.  If you have serious doubts, you are a wise woman. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    yes, just remember to be open and don't assume the worst about anyone.

    and if your soon to be stepdaughter is only 21, I couldn't blame her for being immature. I was very immature at 21, and most of my friends were too.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Heck, 21?  I was immature at 23, too.  I pretty much kept growing up throughout my 20s, and I'm still learning a lot at 38.

    I was 24 when I got married the first time.  Everyone warned me of some major risk factors that I thought I was mature and in love enough to handle.  I told them that they "didn't understand."  8 years later I was suicidal and going through a divorce.

    I'm not against all "young" marriages, by the way, just wary of ones that start off with very blatant risks to their lifetime success.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    You sound like you're on the mature side of 23.  Talking it out is certainly a must.  Not a cure-all, but a must nonetheless.   I think your openness to talk everything over with your fiance and the maturity that you DO have, while really great, is at the same time giving you a bit of a false sense of security about your still young adult decision-making process.  I'd love to see you wait a couple of years and see if you are just as eager at that time to walk down the aisle hardly very old at 25.  Your step-daughter would be your age now...

    However, I acknowledge full well that I DON'T KNOW much at all about you, your situation, your fiance, NOTHING.  And, I wish you every good thing in your marriage and family no matter what you decide or when you decide to do it.

    My own thought process was so much like you're own and it caused me so much pain that I never saw coming even for all the warnings that it probably gives me more boldness in adding to your thread than I should have.  Thank you for graciously allowing me to question your decision.  That in and of itself is a good sign.

    (The Knot and Wedding Channel are full of weirdos.  BDC company excluded.  I went there while BDC was upgrading their forums and was horrified.)
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

         If your MIL is hosting the Rehearsal Dinner, it is   her option to invite whom she pleases, including her own granddaughter, the groom's daughter.
    She asked for suggestions of who to include,  and perhaps to get a sense if you want formal or informal.  But as bride that does not mean you set the list, menu, or venue.  Those are her decisions, as much as your wedding is yours (B & G).
    Daughter may act immaturely now,  but excluding her  is not a particulary admirable or mature action either.

         When any MIL now old enough to be a grandmother  to a grown woman, was teens through 30,  Mothers in law traditionally  did not dress shop  with the bride.  That may be her view of how things are supposed to be. 

        Also, the MOB  chose her own dress  with only the information on how formal the wedding would be.  Maybe she  wants that choice without feeling it is up to you to approve/ disapprove.    If you read  many wedding boards, lots of brides want to completely control parents' dress, not appropriate.  She could just be avoiding the possible pitfalls.  You do not need to know her dress or than of any other guest you are getting flowers for.    Just think - neutrals  go with anything, and get  an all purpose white or creamy orchid or lily with some colored dots in the throat,  goes with anything.

         Lots of people don't want to dress shop,  or not with the bride.  They either don't like shopping,  or feel that they may have different taste, but if they express their opinions it will distress the bride.  So they decide, I will stay out of it.   You want to bond, that is nice.  But only if she sees it that way.

       Having Daughter speak at the rehearsal dinner, in front of this very small group, any possibility of her being inappropriate is minimized.  Meanwhile, she may be trying to do the grown up thing and welcome you to the family in a nice and formal way.  Please let it go. 

       I guess I do not see that MIL or future DIL are doing anything out of line.  So maybe you need to look at whether you want to raise a fuss, or accept that in their own waythey are trying to be nice, and fulfill MOG and D of G roles.

       My guess is that with son so young when his daughter was born,  MOG  feels closer to grand daughter than some grandparents, and wants to see granddaughter make positive overtures to both of you.

    Edited  to make what was 2nd paragraph less incoherent.  SBNy
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Kar- I agree that you do a lot of growing up in your 20's. I got engaged at 23 and married at barely 25. I feel like I've grown up so much since then. But I think it's not so much a question of if you're grow up enough to get married, it's whether your relationship is strong enough or healthy enough to endure big changes and shifting priorities. And it's almost impossible to know for sure until those big changes come.
    18 and 19 year old kids can fight and die in war, far be it for anyone to say they shouldn't get married if it's what their heart wants.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from that-guy. Show that-guy's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Stepping right into step-mom and step-grandmother roles at your age is a recipe for disaster, regardless of how mature you feel you are. 
    You're 23 and marrying someone with a daughter your age, who also has her own kid?  My guess is that puts him 18 years +/- older than you.  Seems like a good way to work on your daddy issues.
    This reads like a script for a Jerry Springer show.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Absolutely, Pinkkittie.  My trepidation about this situation is not about age, per se, it's that at 23 the actual risk of marrying a man with a 21 year old daughter can easily be underestimated.
    I'm not anti-marrying young. 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from dkb6248. Show dkb6248's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    In Response to Re: FMIL issue/rant:
    I totally understand what your saying Kar. My favorite lyric ever is "This is not about age; time served on this earth doesn't mean you grow in mind".
    Posted by sarah4532


    My Dove chocolate wrapper message says "It's not the years in your life but the life in your years."

    Smile

    Also, don't be too hard on FSD for not calling her dad all the time.  It may be abnormal for you, but you probably had a more traditional family.  It doesn't mean that his daughter doesn't love him, she may just be working through some feelings she has toward him that make it hard for her to call him, or she isn't ready to confront him about her feelings yet, so she avoids talking to him.  Of course you are going to be protective of your FI, but you can't control her feelings towards her dad.  She'll come to terms with them on her own time. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from that-guy. Show that-guy's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Your parents divorced. His parents divorced. Kids having kids.
    You might as well not bother here, since you have very little chance of this being a long term thing, anyway - statistically speaking.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Sarah, I just want to let you know that my good friend's father is 25 years older than her mother, he had three teenage children from a previous marriage when they met (not much younger than her), and they are happy and in love nearly 30 years later. 
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Ditto what Lucy said - my aunt and uncle are 17 years apart in age and have been happily married for over 30 years.  My uncle came from a very disfunctional family and my aunt's parents were rather repressive... I think because of those things, they were even more determined to make the marriage work and have successfully managed to do just that, AND be happy.  AND raise 4 happy kids.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    Sarah - ignore him. 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    ignore that-guy, he never has anything nice to say about anything, why should this subject be any different?

    we all know that entering any relationship with an age gap has it's own special challenges, but if you love each other and want to get married, I say go for it. It's not like you're being sewn together or sharing a liver.
    there's worse things than being a step-grandmother. but odd things like that happen all the time. My dad was born on the same day and same year his uncle was born, he also has an aunt that's younger than him.
    as long as you're not your own grandpa, I'd say things are just fine.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: FMIL issue/rant

    I have that-guy on ignore, wonderful feature.

    Pink, I hope you know I'm not particularly anti-young marriages.  All relationships have their risks, indeed.  I do believe that sometimes the younger we are the less weight we assign certain risks, though, to our peril.
     
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