I need you to tell me I was within my rights as a mother-in-law about how I reacted when my daughter-in-law of almost a year reached out to my husband and I and asked us to pay for a “redo” of her wedding to our son.
Recently she attended two weddings that weren’t under the strict Covid guidelines, and she now feels like she has “missed out” and wants a chance to have a “real wedding.”
To be clear, her wedding last summer (that her parents paid for) was lovely. It was held outside and had about 75 people in attendance. The ceremony was beautiful, and the reception had a dance floor and a band.
But my daughter-in-law now feels like “Covid robbed her of her dream wedding” and now she wants a chance “to feel like a real bride.”
My husband and I were shocked and told her no, we would not fund another wedding since she was already married. I also pointed out that her parents would most likely be highly insulted and hurt that she thought the wedding they paid for wasn’t good enough.
Then I got really mad and told her that people would think she was crazy. I then added that I couldn’t believe she had the nerve to ask us to fund her wedding 2.0 since she entered the marriage unbeknownst to my son or us with $125,000 in college debt that we’re helping pay off.
Things then went from bad to worse. I feel horrible mainly because I fear she’s now making my son miserable because we said no to her request. Did I overstep? Do I attempt to smooth things over? Please help me out.
Signed, Worried About My Son
Umm yeah, you should be worried because it sounds like your son married at best a spoiled young woman and at worst a narcissist. That said, I feel like your reaction was reasonable. It’s not like there’s any life training that would prepare you for a daughter-in-law of less than a year showing up and asking for her in-laws to fund a “do over” wedding.
Of course, you were equal parts stunned and aghast and I’m even going to say mentioning the college loan debt you’re helping pay off was okay because again – stunned and aghast. I can’t imagine that your daughter-in-law thought this was going to go over very well which is why she’s now executing her Plan B – making you worry about your son.
I suggest getting your son alone and if that’s not possible sending a text that tells him that you love him and that no matter what you are always here for him and hoping that he reads in-between the lines that if he wants to leave his wife you’ll help him.
That said, the key is to not mention his wife or disparage her. As parents you need to remain your son’s safe space and I would suggest urging both your son and his wife to seek therapy. This whole wedding redo nonsense is a distraction to the real problem – a couple in distress.
P.S. Don’t get on the guilt train and think that paying for a big party to celebrate their one year anniversary is a solution/compromise. It’s not. All that is going to do is mask the real problem and prolong it.
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