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June 23, 2007 / missknowitall

A Pill Popping MIL And Wedding Plans

Dear Little Miss,

Okay, here goes… My fiance’s mother is a little wacky (and by ‘a little wacky’ I mean she lives in crazy land.) She requires a lot of attention, and is a pill popper.  My fiance tried to explain her to me before I got in this deep, but it seems that you really can’t understand the magnitude of someone who has chronic pain and seeks attention from everyone all the time.  Any way… We have decided to get married in Hawaii in April.  My Grandparents, who I also consider to be my second parents, are very ill and the doctors don’t think my grandfather will still be on this earth by then… Hawaii is our families home away from home, and it’s a way that I feel he will be there on our special day.  The prospect of losing my grandfather has been an emotional havoc on me, and I am trying really hard to look forward to the future.  My fiance’s mother, however, is making it very difficult.  She’s accusing me of not calling her any more or having lunch with her (I saw her two weeks ago and talk to her daughters regularly on the phone as I have asked them to be bridesmaids).  She is pooping on the idea of being in Hawaii, saying it’s too expensive for our friends. Our reply is that we just want it family any way.  I feel like there is nothing I can do to appease her and I don’t want to have to feel like I must bend over backwards whenever she feels ‘neglected.’  I can’t remember the last time I was this stressed out… What do I do?

Dear Bothered Bride,

There are several things you should do here.  The first is to take me to Hawaii with you, PLEASE!  Now that we have that out of the way…  You need to stop thinking of your future Mother-in-law as a “Mother-in-law”.  She has so many issues that she will never be a fully functioning parent figure to you.  For the sake of all involved you need to look upon your MIL as YOUR beloved crazy grandma.  If you had a grandma who you loved dearly, but who was certifiably crazy, how would you treat her?  You wouldn’t take anything she said or did personally, you would call her once a week and visit at least once or twice a month to help her stay calm, and you would simply smile and shake your head at all her silly ways.  You need to do this with your MIL.  Call her once a week to ask her advice on something silly about the wedding (like should you play a Micheal Bolton song at the reception, or should you have rice for the guests to “throw” at you).  You don’t need to follow her advice but if she suggests something you were going to do anyway make sure you tell her how brilliant she is.  Get caller ID.  When she calls you, do not answer right away.  Wait a few minutes and prepare yourself; remind yourself that you WILL NOT allow her to upset you.  Then call her back.  If she starts getting upset with you then you simply say, “Oh, gosh mom, I’m sorry.  I have to get going.  Love ya, bye.”  This way you are loving her without allowing her to bring you down into her dramatic way of life.

Congratulations on the coming marriage.  Have lots of fun and be happy!

Miss Knowitall 

P.S. I certainly don’t want to give you any more stress than you already have going on right now, but I have to ask:  Do you have a back up plan in case your grandfather is still alive when you get married, or will you still have it in Hawaii?  I only ask because my awesome Grandpa has been on death’s bed for the past 3 years now.   

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