Nightmare with demanding in laws to be!

I am literally beside myself. I am not close to my h2b sister. I have been with my h2b for 9 years (childhood romance). And finally we are getting married. I have had his father who has not been nice to me over the years and neither that nice to my h2b - tell me " you are having his sister as bridesmaid arent you" he said it aggressively with me stuttering the word erm a millions times. he repeated to ask me the question again.. I carried on stuttering and he then went on to say "has he not spoken to you" again aggressively and again asked me this twice to which I replied abruptly wth the answrr NO both times. Turns out he has told my h2b to tell me to have his sister as my bridesmaid on 2 occasions and my h2b didn't mention anything to me as obviously he knew his father had absolutely no right in demanding such a thing. I feel completely threatend by his father and so does he if the truth be know and cannot bring himself to telL him to butt out. Me and h2b have been having the most awful arguments since. He completely understands that his father is completly wrong in demanding this but says "how can I tell them no". I have spoken to my mum who is worried that if I do say no to this that his parents will say they're not coming to the wedding. I have been very thoughtful about who I asked as my bridesmaids as to me this is so extremely important.  I thought of it as who do I want there with me getting ready on the morning of my big day, in my photos and everything else and it's the people I love most. I feel completely forced into this situation and am on the verge of tears constantly. Why should I be forced into this? How dare he demand. But we are both too scared of the outcome of saying no. I have said to h2b I will ask her to be a witness to which he replied "no they want her to be bridesmaid" I am very strong willed but the front of this man to put something like this on us is utterly shocking. His mother is clearly also behind this but has cleverly clearly passed this onto his father as it will be so obvious that she is an interfering mother in law. Yet feels worse from the father as he is so aggressive. H2b's sister is annoying the life out of us.. Constabtly asking to go on double dates etc.. Which the parents also try to force upon us. I'm literally at breaking point with this family. Please Please someone help me with some advice!! 

Posts

  • Oh no, how horrible for you. I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling rubbish and that it's taking some of the shine off the planning. You say that your h2b says "no, THEY want her to be bridesmaid" - has he actually said that he wants her to be? It's difficult because I can see how he would want to keep his family happy (or quiet) but it seems like it's upsetting you a lot in the process and from what you have said, he realises his parents act  way. To me, it seems like he needs to speak with his parents and let them know your joint decision. He may not want to but it would probably best from him. It is your wedding at the end of the day and putting his sister in a fancy dress with the title of bridesmaid shouldn't come above your happiness as a couple. How would FSIL react if you didn't have her? It's a shame that you are having arguments with your OH. Try to calmly tell him how you feel. I realise this is easier said than done. My FMIL drives me crazy but it's so tricky to raise this with my OH without getting so cross that I cry and then look completely irrational/unstable! It's also difficult when it's his parents. Big hugs. 

  • Mrs D tobeMrs D tobe Posts: 56

    This is such a difficult situation, but I really do think that your H2B's family are being really out of Order. This is yours and your H2B's wedding and no one should tell you who to include in it or how you do it. It is an honour to be a bridesmaid and defo isn't something that should be forced.  Do you mind me asking of H2B's family are contributing to the wedding? My mum and my H2B's family's are giving us a small contribution and so we are inviting some of there friends. But the numbers had to be negotiated down. If they are contributing they may believe they have a say in somethings but I don't not think that picking your bridesmaids is fair. I think your H2B needs to stand up to his father and explain it is your wedding but offering for her to do a speech is a really nice compromise and also an honour in its self. I really hold you manage to sort this out soon and you can get back to nicer parts of wedding planning X 

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    Hi Laura,

    I'm sorry that the excitement of your wedding planning has been tainted by this, HOWEVER, I want to reassure you that almost everyone on here will testify to having to deal with a family drama at some point. I can definitely speak from experience and know that it isn't nice to be put under pressure by family demands and the subsequent impact that can have on your relationship. 

    Firstly, I can completely understand why you are reluctant to give into your FIL's demands. I cannot abide by people with that kind of attitude especially if your relationship has never been particularly amicable. Even though I am the type of person who says 'Yes' to avoid a difficult situation, I would definitely not give in straight away if I felt threatened by someone. That said, I think you have two options here:

    1. I imagine a lot of the other ladies would disagree, but I think you do need to consider the sister's role as a bridesmaid. Let me elaborate though: my H2B and my brother are hardly the best of friends, however, we decided to make him an usher because he is my brother and my H2B didn't dispute that for a second. I know I could've had him as a witness or do a reading, but actually, putting him in a suit and getting him to hand out Orders of Service is a lot easier (well, being a witness is easy too but he hates our other witness so that wouldn't have worked!). My point is, all this sister needs to do really - and I quote a popular saying on here - is wear a dress and turn up on the day. Admittedly, I think asking her to be a witness is a great way of getting her involved, but in the same breath, a bridesmaid role is very similar when you think about the essentials. I know you want people closest to you around on the morning of the wedding but:

    a) One of my friends had her H2B's sister as a bridesmaid, but she didn't get ready with her. The sister was given her dress, sorted her own hair and make up and turned up with the groom. It may not be conventional, but it worked just fine! 

    b) You say you don't want her in the pictures, but she would be in your photos as a witness when you sign the register and in any family shots you get. I'm sorry to be blunt, but what's the difference?

    I know you say you don't get on with the sister, but it sounds like you're being quite reluctant to build bridges with her. I get the pestering about a double date may be annoying - and there might be an underlying motive in terms of the bridesmaid situation - but at least she is trying!

    2. Your second option is to stand your ground and be prepared to weather the storm. I had to tell my mum 'no' (we basically wouldn't bump her friend up from the evening list) which caused the worst row we have ever had - she threatened not to come to the wedding lalala -  but the dust has now settled and my mum has, albeit reluctantly, accepted our decision. Family especially will test you on these things because they can get away with it in a way friends can't. They may scream, shout, stomp their feet, threaten not to come, but when push comes to shove, they realise that actually, they'll be the ones who look ridiculous for not turning up to their child's/relative's wedding because they didn't get their own way.

    I have been in your H2B's shoes and wanted to say 'Yes' to keep family happy so please don't give him too much grief. It is horrible to be piggy in the middle and the burden of knowing you will upset someone is quite the weight to carry. You need to speak to him about his personal feelings on having his sister as a bridesmaid. Remember it is YOUR (combined) wedding and his family, as difficult as they are, will be tied to you for life. You need to tread carefully so you aren't given grief about this for months, even years after the day is over.

    Hope you get it sorted soon x

  • Being held to ransom due to emotional blackmail is NEVER ok! I want you to look on this on the flip side; if your husband was emotionally abusive or threatening to you; how your friends and family would react... I can tell you for free that the first thing they would tell you to do is LEAVE.

    Many people excuse the bad behaviour of family members because they're family, however, that does not make them right nor their behaviour acceptable... By not confronting the issue you are condoning it and things will only get worse (for you and your H2B). Today it's your wedding, tomorrow it's your child's christening and who should be the godparents. Furthermore, imagine him DEMANDING that you name your child the name he has chosen... Preposterous to say the least right?!

    You NEED to put your foot down. Do NOT allow his family to bully you. You are ENTITLED to have your day the way YOU want it and if that isn't to his liking then he does not have to come.

    May sound harsh; but that's life xxx

  • Kitten2014Kitten2014 Posts: 1,489

    I see STB Mrs Carberry's point - it is your wedding, and things should be your way.  But dig a little deeper: how many things are actually done at weddings that really have nothing to do with what the bride and groom want, and more to do with pleasing the crowd? How many ladies wouldn't even have a wedding and would instead run off and get married in a white bikini on an island somewhere, if it weren't for the expectations of family and friends? 

    To give you other examples: my OH & I don't drink. In fact, we are both divorced from alcoholics. However, alcohol will be served...why? Because family and friends expect it, and in reality, the day isn't just about us. I'm a vegan vegetarian. I hate meat and I hate the whole agriculture industry, actually. But meat (and menu items containing dairy) will be served...why? Because the day actually isn't just about us. A wedding is an elaborate party, where the bride and groom do typically try to accommodate their guests. 

    How many couples are having first dances that hate dancing and attention? How many grooms are giving speeches that hate public speaking? How many ladies (like myself) hate wearing white?

    I think if you take a step back, you will recognize that there are ton of elements incorporated into every wedding that are done as crowd-pleasers or because they are expected by family and friends. Maybe some family and friends just aren't demanding it as aggressively as your FFIL.  

    The only way to incorporate absolute zero feedback from anyone in planning a wedding is to essentially elope, invite no one, and have no guests.  

    SO, that being said, if you decide that a £98 dress is worth keeping the peace, then go for it and don't regret it. It may make for some more tolerable family holidays going forward. There's no shame, as Lubes says, in making some bridge-building efforts (even if this woman is a bit annoying).  

    Do I think it's rude and presumptuous for his family to insist on this? Certainly. Are you marrying into this family for the rest of your life? Yes - and who knows, down the line, making your SIL an ally might be a beneficial thing...mom and dad seem difficult and she may a thing or two about working with/around them.

     

  • Laura574Laura574 Posts: 3

    Thanks ladies for all of your advice. i had more talks with h2b last night and he really is agreeing with my points. Bridesmaids are people that I want around me. To answer all of your questions:

    H2b said to me, he would never consider his sister being bridesmaid if his dad hadnt demanded.

    h2b also said that his father told him it would cause ww3 if I didn't have his sister a bridesmaid!!!!

    NO, his parents are not paying Towards the wedding

    its not about her being in the photos As such its the fact of the people I have chosen to be in those dresses next to me on the day I have really thought about! They all for one reason or other I feel deserve to be bridesmaid! 

    and oh my goodness that was exactly one of my arguments.. if my h2b lets his father get away with this.. Who's to say on our first childs christening he won't call and demand the sister be godmother! Or yes even have her middle name. I'm sorry but I can't take this. 

    i really feel my h2b is going to really struggle saying anything to his dad but he needs to be told. I'm at breaking point and if my h2b doesn't let his father know what he is causing and how interfering he is being then I'm not sure how much longer I can keep my mouth shut. The last thing I want is them to fallout with us (for h2b sake) but I am so fed up with their interfering ways!!! We're grown adults and people seem to be forgetting that this is about me and my h2b!!!! 

    im almost certain im going to go for the "witness option" maybe I'll send her a msg this week and ask her to be witness atleast then we're getting in there before fil2b pokes his nose in again??? And then how can that be argued? That's giving her a role and getting her involved. Right?

  • Sarah398Sarah398 Posts: 266

    However you decide to handle this situation please make sure that the family doesnt come in between you & your OH.  

    You have been together a long time despite his family not welcoming you & it would be such a shame for you to fall out over this.  

    I agree with 'soon to be Mrs Carberry', if you end up falling out with your OH then the bullies have won!

    Also with bullies once you have stood up to them, they tend to back down, its only because they have gotten away with this behaviour previously that they continue - because it works for them.

    Good luck, stay strong, dont let them break you xx

  • Sarah398 wrote (see post):

     

    Also with bullies once you have stood up to them, they tend to back down, its only because they have gotten away with this behaviour previously that they continue - because it works for them.

    Good luck, stay strong, dont let them break you xx

    This is it!!! Families can be the WORST because we are bound by blood; therefore, people believe that it's a "put up and shut up" mentality... I also agree with Kitten that there are aspects of our wedding which will be done to appease others, HOWEVER, a line MUST be drawn! I think bm/gm are VERY personal, and should only be selected by the bride and groom. The witness idea is a nice olive branch; and if they don't want to accept it then oh well! Just focus your energy on having the best day possible x

  • Mrs D tobeMrs D tobe Posts: 56

    Agree with Sarah, you really need to make sure this doesn't come between you and your H2B. But it really does need to get sorted out soon, completely understand that this is a difficult conversation but if it's getting you this upset your H2B really needs to say something and as soon as.  If only so you can just put it behind and get back to planning YOUR wedding. 

    I think the witness idea is good... And getting in there first is a good way to stand your ground! What gets me though is how your SIL 2 be can allow her father to do this on her behalf. id never insist on playing such an important role on someone else's wedding and would be horrified to learn that soneone was making the bride so upset of it! 

     

    I really hope you get everything sorted. Best of luck xxx 

  • Mrs..C..2beMrs..C..2be Posts: 318 New bride

    I would be absolutely mortified if I thought I had been included in someone's bridal party under duress. It would feel totally awkward. Do you think his sister is aware of what's been going on behind the scenes? I would definitely speak to her direct and explain that you would love her to be included in the wedding by being a witness. And maybe if you are having them she could be given a corsage so she looks officially part of the wedding party? x

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