Stepmother Advice, Anyone?

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Lorilee Posts : 437 Registered: 12/18/07
Stepmother Advice, Anyone?
Posted: May 19, 2008 10:41 AM

My mother died when I was nineteen, and since then my father has remarried. While I love my father dearly, and I really like his new wife, she never really made me a part of their life, which I expect stemmed from my being an adult. I was fine with that. But once I got my diamond, she started trying to include me in things more. At first, I liked it, until she started trying to get me to change everything about my wedding.

For starters, she doesn't like my friends, and that goes double for my MOH. She keeps telling me, even now, that I need to get a new wedding party because of the difficulties I've been facing with my wedding party. I understand my girls don't have a ton of money to spend on dresses, so I compromised and agreed to help them out if I can with buying them, since they all have families and are planning a Bridal Shower for me. But my stepmother (if she can be termed that, since she's really not motherly towards me) says I'm being 'too generous' and shouldn't help my girls out.

Then came my gown search. I basically fell in love with the second dress I tried on, but I wanted the opinion of others before buying it. She decided she wanted to see it, so she came with me and my MOH. She decided she didn't like it, and promptly said it was a rag and wasn't pretty enough, and tried to get me to try on the dress SHE liked. I went ahead and bought my dress.

Then the invitations... sigh She wanted me to say that I was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Keefe, and she wants to be the mother-of-the-bride. I've explained I want something special for my mother's memorial, but she keeps ripping me down, and driving a wedge between me and my father. We were always close, and I'm afraid that if I don't cater to his wife, he'll refuse to walk me down the aisle, or even attend the wedding.

Does anyone have advice on how I could possibly handle the situation? I'd appreciate it!


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"I've been lookin' for so long to find this place I see; and I've just got to believe it's more than a dream. Seems it's time I should move on, but I hope you come with me, 'til we find eternity." -Big and Rich ft. John Legend

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Stepmother Advice, Anyone?
Posted: May 19, 2008 11:23 AM Go to message in response to: Lorilee

On the issue with your girls' dresses, it isn't any of your SM's business. I would thank her for her advice and simply ignore it.

About your dress, again, it's really not her business, either. Explain that the style she likes is beautiful, but that it's just not your style.

It sounds like she's just trying to be involved, which is nice of her, though perhaps she's getting a little carried away. I would give her some aspect of the wedding to plan herself, so that she feels like you appreciate her help and input. Give her something that you don't particularly care about, and let her run with whatever idea she wants...that way, it seems to her like you appreciate her taste, while the issue wasn't anything that you really cared about in the first place. I did this with my mom, whose taste is totally different from mine. I said, 'Ok, mom. Here's what I chose for colors, flowers, etc. Here's what the church and reception venue look like. Can you pick out the chair covers and pew bows, and decide what color rose petals to sprinkle on the tables?' She LOVED these jobs (I gave her a few more, too) and I didn't question her decisions (though to be honest, there was only really one direction she could have taken, given the decisions I had already made). Everything looked beautiful, my mom helped with a lot of little details that I didn't care about, and everything looked the way I wanted it to, since I made all the big decisions myself. Basically, all my mom did was find stuff that matched, which she LOVED doing and I would have HATED doing myself!

On the invitation issue, I'm a fan of the diplomatic 'together with their parents' wording, which can include stepparents. If she really insists on being mentioned by name, I'd probably just humor her. You have to pick your battles, and invitation wording doesn't seem worth causing a rift between you and your dad. In that case, I would word it, 'Father and Stepmom request the honor of your presence at the marriage of Lorikee, daughter of Father and the late Mother....'


DaisypathWedding Ticker

I like the flowers, so I'm keeping my useless ticker. Just married, 4/26/08!

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40somethingbride Posts : 240 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Stepmother Advice, Anyone?
Posted: May 19, 2008 3:36 PM Go to message in response to: Lorilee

My question is are they helping you with any of the wedding cost? If so, she is right to be involved and have her name on the invitation. If not, just thank her for her opinion and move on. If she really knew about being a good stepmom, she would not even put up any resistance to you wanting a memorial to your mother at the wedding, so you should disregard her opinion on that all together. This advice comes from a bride becoming a stepmother in one month.
 

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Lorilee Posts : 437 Registered: 12/18/07
Re: Stepmother Advice, Anyone?
Posted: May 19, 2008 4:20 PM Go to message in response to: 40somethingbride

They are not helping with the wedding cost in the least! I have a good job, as does my fiance, so they basically decided not to help out, which is fine with me.

I have asked her to help out with small things, but everytime I ask, she turns around and says that she has no time for doing these things. Honestly, I think she just likes to complain about things when they're not done her way.

As for the invitation thing, I have decided to go with the 'together with their parents'. The biggest problem remains a memorial to my mother. I was thinking of lighting a candle and placing it next to a framed picture of my mother. However, if I so much as mention my mother, my stepmother freaks out. She refused to walk into the home my father and I were sharing after my mother passed, because there was a picture on the wall with my family, including my mother.

I can understand that she may feel uncomfortable with the situation, but at the same time, I don't want to just skip any mention of my mother, y'know? I need an idea that would be tasteful, but wouldn't make my stepmother too upset. That's what's been driving a wedge between my father and I; my stepmother was upset that I want to include my mother's memory/name at all.

 I'm sorry, I responded to both messages at the same time.


Lori & Bob
October 11, 2008

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40somethingbride Posts : 240 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Stepmother Advice, Anyone?
Posted: May 19, 2008 4:33 PM Go to message in response to: Lorilee

In preparation for me becoming a stepmother, I have read every book I can find on the subject. I think your idea of a memorial to your mother is wonderful and I would encourage you to go forward with it. Your stepmother should not even question or have a say in it. As far as the picture of your mother in your dad's house-she is being crazy. My stepkids mother is still alive and we have a picture of her in the living room with the kids. It does not bother me in the least. Their mother is a permanent fixture in their life and even though we do not get along, she is still their mother. I always put the feelings of the kids first in a situation like this and so should she. She sounds like a selfish cow, do not let her pressure you out of the memorial to your mom. You have every right to have it. The only thing I might NOt do, is put a rose on the chair next to your dad to mark her spot where your mom might have sat. I could see why that might bother her, and might make some guests feel weird. The idea of the picture and candle is great and I would hope your family is giving you support on that. If not, you have mine!! Have a great wedding day!!
 

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