Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather

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Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« on: August 20, 2018, 12:00:00 PM »
Hi everyone,

I havenít been on here for a while But the last time I posted was a couple of weeks before my wedding and I was worrying about how my NPD mother and enabling stepfather were going to act.

Well, the wedding was two weeks ago and so Iím posting to 1) tell you how they acted and 2) ask for some advice. I wonít write all the background but hopefully you can find my previous posts if you are interested.

On the day of our wedding, I didnít hear from my mother. I didnít expect to. I didnít invite her to get ready with me that morning which I know she wasnít happy about but I stuck to my own wishes and did what was right for me (I donít do that often enough!).  At the wedding she stayed well away from me and my now husband the entire day. She was expressionless - totally unemotional. She didnít laugh, smile, cry or anything else. Just straight-faced and just generally wasnít around. She didnít tell me she was happy for me/us, didnít say I looked nice etc... I was (stupidly) surprised at her lack of interest because sheís usually the queen of fake & I had thought she would be putting on an act for the guestsí sake .... I now think it was an act of ďpoor meĒ....

Her husband on the other hand was an aggressive idiot the entire day. He made a rude comment to my husband before the ceremony, he was rude to my 12 year old stepdaughter (I didnít know until after the wedding), he mocked parts of my dadís speech about my husband being a top guy and about me being kind and caring. He refused to clap... he later ignored me at the bar and just pulled a face and walked past me... and neither of them came to breakfast the following morning with the rest of our families, they didnít say goodbye and left before 7am.

She refused to sit at the top table because she was very angry with me for not seating her husband there too (there wasnít room). We gave all mothers/stepmother flowers as a thank you. We was not rude in any way.

For the next ten days the only thing I heard from my mother was a text asking when ďweĒ get to see the photos. She didnít text and say what a great day, that she liked the venue, how the food or music or flowers was good.... nothing. Silence. She then started to put things on Facebook the day after the wedding about cats and dogs and dance routines (random). No mention of our wedding, not a single photo, not even of herself.... nothing.

She then went passive aggressive (I think) and when I put up photos of the day, she did not ďlikeĒ a single one. Not one, she did however comment on other peopleís photos of themselves, for example my sister and my step brotherís girlfriend who changed their profile pictures - she commented on one od theirís saying ďbeautiful!!!Ē. Ouch.

I refused to let her get to me for a few days but itís kicked in now and despite everything I know and have learnt, her behaviour hurts.

Iíve learnt to grey rock/stone as much as possible - I try not to react emotionally to anything she does or says ever and I know the worst thing I can do is to show her sheís hurting me and so Iíve said nothing at all. Nothing at all.

So then she texts me a couple of days ago and says ďfancy meeting up soon?Ē: I find myself saying yeah sure despite the fact I donít want to see her at all ... and now I feel sick and nervous and worried about what we will talk about, what to say to her, how it will go.... Iíve been going over and over it.

One thing Iíve decided is that I wonít see her husband again ever. I hadnít seen him before the wedding for 9 months and now I donít intend to see him again - however she wonít like that at all and it will more than likely cause a huge argument. Her birthday is next month and then soon it will be christmas - how do I decline any invites and say I donít want to see him without playing into her hands and telling her why?

And the biggest question of them all: what now?

No contact was easier in some ways by harder in others. I no longer worry about bumping into her/them in tescos for example - I know that sounds silly but it used to make me feel sick! But now Iím faced with having to occasionally see her and fake it out whilst feeling dread.

Iím purposely not drinking when I see her which she will HATE but I think is important as if Iíve had a drink, I will end up saying all the above - and some!!

Thanks for reading this... I feel very anxious and preoccupied with this at the moment and writing it out helps a bit sometimes.

Any advice would be really appreciated!!!



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Re: Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2018, 02:16:49 PM »
Let me preface this with - I'm *over* my mother's performances and tantrums. I'm not willing to provide her a stage or audience at this point, as I know my own limits. I'm afraid I'd go OFF were I in your shoes. That said ...

As Starboard_Song has asked me a time or three, do you *want* to see her? Do you want to open the door to get another litany of complaints, this time all about how you somehow did her wrong on your wedding day? Or alternately, do you want to sit there and hear her say nothing about your wedding, dance all around it as if it didn't happen?

Truly, this is a damned if you do damned if you don't situation. She tried to fuck with your wedding, lay down demands to which she's not remotely entitled, then pulled a sideways pout and refused to participate at all. Granted, she showed up. And??? Now she wants to see pictures?

Me, I think I'd need more of a break from her. I'd be inclined to be busy with the post wedding issues and have other things going on for a while.

But like I said, that's just me.
ďNothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.Ē  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!



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Re: Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2018, 02:58:07 PM »
Ugh, this is all too familiar in PD Parent Land. Behave badly, pout, tantrum, ignore, then make demands (photos, time) and act as if nothing is wrong.

I'd suggest you do what you actually want to do. She behaved really badly. It is actually really bad behavior for a parent to be ice cold and silent at an adult child's wedding, and then passive-aggressively supporting other wedding photos while ignoring yours.

I found myself really struggling to find a middle-of-the-road response to rollercoastery PD behavior, and I finally adhered to advice given to me here, which is similar to that given above: Do what works for you. It won't work for them either way, so do what is truly best for you and your new marriage. I'm coming more and more clearly to believe that what is bad for me is bad for my marriage. If time with PDs drains us, makes us irritable, anxious, stressed, then it's bad for our primary relationships and something we need to be very careful with.

Best wishes to you as you navigate this territory, and congratulations! Thanks for the update.



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Re: Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2018, 03:21:33 PM »
Hi Twinkletoes,

My nmum was also stone cold on my wedding day. She really hates my dad (divorced 20 years ago), and he was there. He walked me down the aisle and gave a speech, as did I. Because of this, she walked out towards the end of the meal, staring daggers at me. I refused to care.

The following day she made an incredibly passive aggressive facebook post about how great she thinks my sister and stepsister are, and how ungrateful I am. She also liked lots of photos of them and none of me, and went on about how beautiful they are. No mention of me.

I let her back into my life around a month later.

My sister married over the weekend (yay! It was a great day). My nmum basically used it as an opportunity to post all over social media how much she prefers my sister to me, and that my sister's wedding was much better than mine.

It hurts so much, doesn't it.

She tried to call me today. I let it go to voicemail. I do not want to have an awkward conversation where she pretends her behaviour is, in any way, OK. I think I will be going NC for around a year this time. She has just been so awful.



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Re: Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2018, 04:06:17 PM »
My honest reaction is OH HELL NO. Iíve thought back to my own bpdmís behavior at my wedding over a decade of FOG ago. Some of the highlights leading up to the wedding were a huge fight about that I didnít pay extra for pickles when I ordered my catering. She was in screaming hysterics about how I didnít have the five components of flavor, something she never mentioned in my life before and hasnít since. The day of the wedding she was in screaming laughing hysterics and stomped on my veil so hard because of her antics during the photographs it ripped out of my hair and ruined the back of my hairstyle. I bring up photos because my bpdm is obsessed with pictures, and I wonder if yours is too?

When you said she wanted to see pictures I actually laughed out loud here, almost spit my coffee out. She wants pictures? I would have been hard pressed not to say ďwhy? You werenít interested in the wedding when you were at it, why would you want a picture?

You mentioned a step daughter, and congratulations on your wedding and your new husband and a bonus wonderful daughter too! I encourage you to think of your mom as a child, who needs to be taught how to act. She wonít learn, but hat doesnít mean you shouldnít learn to enforce consequences for moms poor behavior. If step daughter acted at dinner the way mom acted at the wedding, and then asked you to take her out for dessert, you wouldnít buy her ice cream.

Your mom isnít bringing you joy. Iím not saying you have to go NC but you donít need to meet up and show her wedding pictures. SHES NOT INTERESTED IN YOU AND YOUR WEDDING. Sheís shown that clearly and thereís no way thatís your fault and you canít fix it. If you choose to meet donít bring your precious pictures for her to emotionally poop on. But I wouldnít meet at all for a while.



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Re: Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2018, 04:24:05 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear about how the two of them acted. Your post really struck a chord in me. Sadly, been there, have the tshirt myself. I hope you can create albums of photos that reflect all of the happy and joyful moments of the weekend, and push their behavior far from your mind. Maybe find some particularly joyful photos (without them in) that you can enlarge, print and frame for your walls around your house. Physical reminders throughout your space that remind you of what was wonderful about the day.

FWIW, I see a T for help dealing with my NM. He had some good advice for me that you may find helpful:
Let go of the hurt and pain they cause QUICKLY. (ok, I do scratch my head and wish I knew HOW exactly)
Replace it with positive love towards yourself and others, knowing you will get back what you give (except with them)
Have exit strategies for every interaction you have with them. Phone calls: (10 mins in, going in circles) "Oops, dog is on fire again, gotta go!" LOL
In all seriousness- have a planned standard exit strategy- Have to go, have an appointment, work phone call, need to catch bus/train. Then have a list of emergency exit strategies that you can pull out (but not for reuse so they don't catch on)- "Oh, delivery is here, have to answer door. Crap, dog got out, have to catch her. Oh, I see mail truck, have to put this card for you in the post before they pass my house. etc...

Another part of your post made the hair go up on my neck...wanting to see you in person soon. <shudder> This is one thing I struggle with: the request to meet with me 1:1..."for time to talk alone". Therapist is adamant in his advice about this: NO. It's a trap. Do not do it. Never meet alone, always have a support system/person present who they won't misbehave in front of. Else, you will most definitely regret it, no good can come of it, you will always find yourself feeling badly afterwards. And if pressed "why won't you meet with me alone?" T said to me "you do not owe a reason or answer. You cannot meet, that's just the way it is, that's life." I admit, I am skeptical of this solution, I know NM is going to come out swinging, claws out at me for daring to tell her no without any reasonable answer. Therapist told me NM will be pissed, and that's her problem, not mine. That having boundaries is perfectly acceptable and my right to have. Here's an interesting quote I found:
"The first thing you need to learn is that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem." Drs. Gould and Townsend- Boundaries

I wish you all the strength to learn ways to cope with these people and to develop  your own sense of self apart from them. (((hugs)))



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Re: Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 06:02:45 PM »
Thank you so much to all of you that sent replies, Iíve just read them all and will re-read in a moment to make sure I really digest what youíve said properly.

Her mention of the photos is ridiculous, yep! As someone said, she made it VERY clear that she didnít enjoy the day when she was there and whatís more, she is only in two photos!! One of that ďsideĒ of the family and one with just me which honestly is going to be horrendous because the photographer made us out our faces close together and smile at each other really close. I felt soooooo uncomfortable with that thereís no way it will be nice.

As someone else said, my father was also there who she divorced 28 years ago. She hates him despite the fact heís never actually done anything wrong. Parental alienation my entire life which I never understood as she was extremely neglectful when I was under 18 - so I didnít ever get this, now Iím pretty sure itís literally all about her having to be better - the only parent blah blah... anyway long story short, about 3 years ago I wrote my dad a very honest and long letter and since then weíve build up a lovely relationship. He walked me down the aisle, came with me in the wedding car AND gave a wonderful speech. I have absolutely no doubt she would have been RAGING at all of that - and then add in my ďhideously fatĒ stepmother who is now a slinky size 10 and the fact my 3 half-brothers were all ushers (Mahahaha!!!) ... I think mummy dearest felt rather left out.

Regarding what someone said about doing what I actually WANT to do, meh, I know.... I know I am actually bringing this on myself but when I was no contact for those 6 months I had sooooooo much drama. I had people at my door shouting at me, my sister was unable to have a relationship with me because she just couldnít handle it (sheís still a little enmeshed although sheís getting better now sheís moved out!!)... I had upset messages from my Nan and more. I just donít want another repeat of all that and I used to get attacks of guilt and shame and then the terror of bumping into her/them.

Clearly I donít WANT to see her, Iíll go as far as to say that I really do feel very little about her in a nice way. I donít ever want to see her. I donít ever miss her or think of her fondly - ever. I regularly wish she would just gradually cut me off ... (wishful thinking).

I canít actually work out why she wants to see me at all anyway. Sheís made it crystal clear that she is bored by me and my life, that she doesnít like my husband, she doesnít acknowledge my stepkids (x3). We have nothing in common whatsoever. I literally agree to see her every 6/8 weeks just to ďsmooth things overĒ and I get thatís hypercritical.

The request for one on one meetings has stopped now as when I told her no to her husband sitting at our top table, she flipped her lid and said she wanted to meet ďALONE!!Ē (As all my change is my husbandís fault lol!!) and I said no and she said ďwhy wonít you meet your MOTHER!Ē And I was honest and said I did not want to and that she made it clear she disapproves of my life and my choices and I didnít want to hear it. Iíve seen her twice since then once with my sister and once with a family friend.

This next meeting will be with my sister and Iíve just managed to rearrange it for ten days away (instead of this weekend).

I actually wonder if she ďwants to see the photosĒ just because she wants to a) slate my dad and stepmum and other guests and b) make comments about how she isnít in any and how she felt left out.... however she does seem to have learnt not to say anything too direct to me as I will not tolerate it now... although she gets rather brave when drinking - which she does a lot - that is why I keep trying to make it breakfast or dinners where I drive there and back because I know if we drank together, WW3 would erupt!

Iíve been trying to predict some of her shi**y comments such as ďyour dad is looking oldĒ or ďyour stepmum looks gauntĒ... perhaps ďwe wasnít in many photosĒ or ďthe accommodation wasnít great, no air conĒ.... and Iím trying to think of some replies that allow me to keep ďgrey-rockĒ but as someone else said, itís actually more likely that she will completely ignore the wedding and act as though it never happened....

But what if she brings up her husband? She wonít admit he was an angry idiot & I shouldnít point out all of the things he did because then Iím bothered right?

Itís also likely she will ask for my plans Xmas day - and when I say Iím spending it with my father for the first time in 20 or so years, she will flip again....

Itís all such an effort isnít it.

I know that when all is said and done, I am now married to a wonderful man and have now got myself a new FOC, as well as a good and healthy relationship with my dad, stepmum and brothers which is more than some people have. I just wish I could banish them so I didnít have to do any of the thinking above - try to keep peace or feel fear or guilt ....

This is with 4 years of therapy by the way, believe it or not Iíve come a very loonnnggggg way, I was totally enmeshed by her and now I literally donít ever want to see her. But thereís still a long way to go!



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Re: Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2018, 07:30:54 PM »
It shows that you have come a long way, even though i didn't know you before, lol. It sounds like you're doing great, have good strategies etc.



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Re: Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2018, 10:38:47 AM »
Fiasco: "Your mother isn't bringing you joy".  That's the summary in a nutshell.

I'm in same club, where my parents behaved badly at my wedding.  My malevolent NBM routinely behaved badly towards me, self-entitled to express herself in as disdainful and disrespectful manner as she saw fit; enNF tacitly complicit,

You were well prepared for their hostility and expressed disdain at wedding.  This is who they are.  And they delivered to expectation, with no regard for your happiness and hopes for this joyous milestone day; that's telling, for me.  And frankly, unforgivable.  How can you excuse or "forget" such callous behavior?  It's not really possible.  Your mother's bad behavior at your wedding is a particular memory that will color your relationship hereon, that will rightfully affect how you interact with her and should help determine your own choices and priorities.

"It is what it is, and it won't change".  That's my NBM's favorite statement, used to rationalize her presumptive need to "say and do whatever she wants, because she's the mother".  My NBM was in fact spot-on: IT IS WHAT IT IS.  But my OOTF response wasn't outcome NBM assumed I "owed her", that is, me to be compliant, obedient, self-effacing, dutiful, attentive, and non-complaining.  Nope, OOTF me quietly maintained boundaries, eventually opted for NC.

I think "bad behavior" choices must have consequences for our NMs and nNFs.  Their bad behavior is a willful choice consciously made.  Your decision to do a Quiet Time-Out is warranted, if that's what you want.  You "don't want" to see her.  So don't, for however long a period feels safe and convenient for you.  Maybe it's time to pause your relationship w/NM, and consider your options.  It's a new beginning here.  You have a new family, DH and sDD, so sanctify their importance to you, acknowledge your own emotional needs and relationship boundaries.  I'd offer two particular personal relationship boundaries to honor and enforce:  I'm considerate and accommodating to people who are same to me and it's corollary: I've no obligation to people who aren't respectful and considerate towards me.

My NBM both obviously disfavored SG me (blatantly favoring GC "princess" nsis), and clearly disliked me (something nNF often noted).  And yet NBM tenaciously insisted that I/we attend all FOO Family gift-bearing events, all weekend dinners, all holidays (no in-laws allowed), and be ready to entertain my parents at moment's notice (unannounced/uninvited drop-in visits).  All the while, pick, pick, pick.  Rebukes, complaints, demands, insults, etc.  It is as if NBM was The Cat, and I was her Mouse, literally and figuratively, to be toyed with, to be bitten and abused.  Sometimes relationships with our pd-disordered mothers are so abusive and emotionally-harming that the best choice is to resign from them altogether, to assume a "weddings and funerals" degree of VLC contact, or to be NC altogether.

Your mother is dog-whistling you to come pay attention to HER, now, two weeks after wedding, asking to see photos.  Sense the pattern?  she behaves badly, waits a short period, then whistles for you, to resume the dysfunctional dance of mom can say/do whatever .  I think you can implement a new VLC, one where you greet her politely at Tesco's when you see her, but you're "busy".  Busy, busy, busy, with your new family.  You can benignly but vaguely agree to future get-togethers, and not actually schedule them.  You can exchange cards, and spend two hours with her over Christmas holidays.  You can relegate her feelings to same low-level priority as she has long done for you.   "Mom" is simply not a priority to you, not anymore, no amount of dog-whistling will get you back into compliant attention again.

I think you've done well here.  You are aware of situation, OOTF, and embarking on a new life independent of your difficult mother.  Kuddos to you! 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 10:56:21 AM by daughter »



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Re: Post-wedding comms with NPD Mother & enabling stepfather
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2018, 07:00:46 AM »
Stories I have heard about a couple of weddings.  Nmother hogs the photographer to get all of the pictures that she wants, until the photographer is directed back to taking the assigned pictures.  After the wedding, the Nmother is asking to see the pictures she had taken.  Unfortunately for Nmomther, those photos were never to be seen again.

Photographer was given strict orders and reminded about who hired and paid for his services.

As for your mother, there is no way I would present yourself as a sacrifice for her dissection skills.  I would put her in a well deserved timeout and enjoy spending time with your new family.