My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.

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Writing My Own Story

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My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« on: September 27, 2021, 06:58:53 PM »
Hi friends. New to these forums, not in a great place, wishing I could cancel my (dream) wedding over something that feels so stupid to think about.

I am getting therapy right now and kind of half-unpacking (my therapist is really overscheduled) the experience of my childhood. We reached a moment when, after telling my therapist all about every memory (2 good ones; 16-20 fairly negative ones) I could come up with over several weeks about my mom, my therapist said "I knew your mom was emotionally abusing you, but I didn't know it was that bad." It opened my eyes to so many things that just had never made sense about my childhood. I frequently reference being "too poor to afford a mop" which she regularly gave as the reason we had to wash the floor with a rag and bucket like Cinderella...while at the same time threatening to send me to an expensive private all-girls Catholic school if I kept acting out. (it's funny, in a way, the things they have us believing without question)

I recently sent out save the dates for my wedding. My mom is not in contact with most of her own family. At her request I invited her brother M and his new wife E who I met once. I invited a couple of her friends who I have known from childhood who I would love to come to my wedding. I drew the line at inviting her cousin A, who I suppose I've met once. I just don't really know her and don't really care to have her at my wedding, which I am paying for myself (well and my husband).

This has made my mom furious and apparently very sad. In the one conversation I had with her about it she kept saying "it's only two people!!" (no, you demanded i invite one person) and "Well what about [husband]'s family? Are you not inviting his family?" (that's not only not relevant, it's also true - in a delightful mirror, my husband's mom's cousins are very specifically not invited) Today I called my dad to say that I had thought about it and the answer was still no. We talked about it a little bit - well, I cried, and talked about it, and he insisted that it's no big deal and I'm just not inviting A because it's my mom asking, and how he doesn't understand because this is her only link to her other brother who died - well, let's not even get into what happened with her other brother and why my memories of that time, 7 years ago, are almost nonexistent.

I just... I don't know what to do with this. I talked with my husband and one of the things that we kind of agreed upon is that i mean, yeah, I am saying no because she's asking. I'm saying no because all of her and my father's attempts to convince me have been heavy on guilt and light on understanding. They just don't get it?!?! why would i not want A to be at this wedding??!?! because she's family!!!!! Okay, well, I'm not sure if my *own sister* will be at this wedding. I invited another boring cousin because it would be weird to invite both her siblings and not her. I said no to a LOT of people and I had a very serious discussion with my husband about whether we wanted his friend's abuser to be invited to the wedding or if it would be worse for the friend if the abuser was specifically excluded. Sure, we have more room on the guest list...if Covid stays the same and capacity rules stay the same...but as I told my dad today, I don't understand why "Because I specifically said no, more than once" is an inadequate answer. During this conversation, he brought up how I'm not planning anything with my mom (my husband is planning the wedding), how she's trying to make things better (she's doing it via email, and she's doing a bad job), and how this is not a big inconvenience and I'm just doing it for revenge.

I guess my question is...am I being f*cking CRAZYPANTS?!? Is this normal? I don't know this person!! I know every single other person invited to my wedding!!! (My dad: Well if your brother brings a plus one, you might not know them!!! Me: You could make A [brother]'s plus one, and then he wouldn't get to bring a date. Is that what you want to do?) Should I just fold? At this point, it feels like, YES, I am saying no because YOU KEEP ASKING. Because I am in control of the guest list, and my husband is 100% supportive, and when his parents asked to invite his mom's cousins and he said no, his parents said "okay" and that was the end of that. Am i NUTS??!?!? Should I just....give in? I said no probably 25 times on this phone call today, and it ended with both my dad and I being petty. We have *never* been petty to each other. Both my parents really want this person to come. I don't know them and I just want to be able to only have who I want at this wedding. Frankly there's enough people that I don't want at the wedding already coming. I had a limited amount of slots for "people I don't really want to be there" and a lot of them were filled by people I actually know in person. Whose faces I recognize on the street.

I just...I just don't know what to do or say. I don't know if I'm being petty and vengeful or placing out there a perfectly reasonable rule ("no strangers except plus ones"). I don't know if I'm justified in saying no here and I'm a little afraid that I'm being a jerk. I should have eloped.

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 07:12:28 PM »
"I said no.  Why do you keep asking?"  Repeat as often as necessary.

Yes, you are perfectly justified in saying no to any and all requests/demands that you invite people you have not chosen to invite.  You are justified in saying no to every single person who asks, every single time. 

Geez.  The gall.

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Andeza

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2021, 07:20:43 PM »
 :yeahthat:

Your wedding, your guest list. Period.

She's trying to force the issue because she wants to be in control. She probably doesn't even care if this person wants to go to the wedding or not! She just wants what she wants because she wants to force you, badger you, etc. Control feeds her. It's her supply that gives her that hit like a drug addict. I guarantee if you give in, she'll cackle with delight and move onto the next big issue. Heck, might be better to let this be the sticking point that she's hung up on instead of decorations or ceremony details...  :wacko: Like a game of checkers, you can force your opponent to go where you want them to. Don't let her ruin it though, even if you have to decide to be happy in spite of her. If that means she runs out crying at some point, let her, and don't run after. The day is for you and your fiance.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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Writing My Own Story

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2021, 07:27:19 PM »
  She probably doesn't even care if this person wants to go to the wedding or not!

Andeza it's funny you say that now that I think about it. I told them no and my mom jumped in on speakerphone with my dad (didn't know she was there! how fun for me) and said "but she might not even COME!"

I'm just so new to realizing that what I experienced was not normal. I'm so new to understanding that this stuff isn't real. To have someone other than my therapist and my husband truly know that the answer is just "No." is like.... I saw these replies and I started crying. I'm not alone. This isn't normal. The clouds are starting to clear and I'm beginning to truly understand the ways in which this isn't real.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2021, 09:42:27 PM »
My PDmom insisted on inviting every person she's ever been in a room with to my brother's wedding. It was fairly informal, so she was literally just telling people to show up without an actual invitation. She probably invited over a dozen people my brother had never met. One of the people I was introduced to was a woman who had briefly interned in my mom's office and happened to be in town the weekend of the wedding.  :stars: It was quite the fiasco, and her relationship with my brother suffered as a result.

So no, you aren't crazy. And no, it isn't normal. But this is often par for the course with PDs. In my mother's case, she quite literally believed the wedding was for her. The first time my brother told her, "THIS IS MY WEDDING. STOP INVITING PEOPLE I DON'T KNOW." her response was, "It's not FOR you." Funny, because he was the one paying for it...

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moglow

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2021, 11:44:35 PM »
Okay admittedly I'm possibly further down this road than you but with those miles come (some!) wisdom. Consider: They get one.more.shot to drop it, then you shut it down. Be nice or don't but make it clear subject is closed. Not their party, not their guest list. And you don't have to explain a damn thing. No really, just because they insist, no is still no. Change the subject, end the call and be consistent. They've got the same pants to get glad in. STILL not their party. They still want to include cousin A? Swell. Y'all invite her over for dinner, mom. When's the last time you saw/spoke to her? Oh. That long huh. So it's just about a pathetic power play, sorry, no. We're done here, see you at the wedding, or not.

Don't JADE: Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain. You're an adult getting married. Next she'll be inviting herself and cousin A right up into your delivery room. HELL no!!!
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Writing My Own Story

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 12:38:44 AM »
@moglow never have I been happier to think about how my husband and I plan on adopting and not having bio-kids. I would rather give birth in a ditch alone.

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moglow

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 12:52:04 AM »
Can I be there when you tell her that?!! Seriously though, not her business and you may need to get used to limited sharing, need to know basis only. If you choose to open that door, know she may bash her way through. It was hard for me to remove information/ammunition, took a lot of practice and tears but I'm glad I did. I also learned how very little mine cares about beyond herself, which has been hard, but necessary.

You hang in there. The sarcasm is free but comes with a hug and the hope I can lighten the load just a grunt. ;)
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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blues_cruise

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2021, 03:28:43 PM »
I invited two of my father's friends to mine just to shut him up about it, but I barely knew them and it was a bit weird having them there. It was quite tactical in a way though because it meant he was kept distracted and that his misery was self-contained in that small, strange group, rather than risking it spreading out to the normal people.

No. 1 piece of advice for your wedding day: Invite who YOU want to be there and do everything the way that YOU want to do it. It's your day, not your mother's. Don't concede on anything if it greatly inconveniences you or truly isn't what you want, because you'll end up looking back on the day feeling hacked off that it became all about her. As Andeza has quite rightly said, it's all about her need for control.

"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

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Leonor

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2021, 04:33:27 AM »
  :yeahthat:

Congratulations on YOUR upcoming wedding!

You're handling your parents' pressure beautifully.

This is a Test of the Personality-Disordered Parents. This is Only a Test.

This isn't, as you deeply sense, really about plus whoever. It's about your parents refusing to acknowledge you and your to-be dh as the mature, independent adult couple you are.

Now is the perfect time to say, "No" to your parents and "Yes" to you, to your dh, to your future, to your graduation into the head of your own little family.

And no, they won't back off if you say "okay, just this once." I wound up with a great hall full of my mom's friends and spent the entire evening introducing myself to my own guests, getting grabbed to dance with my mom's friends' creepy husbands and even thanking her ACCOUNTANT for coming. And then SHE stayed in the hotel bridal suite  :stars:

You do you. "Well, that's nice, Mom, but you'll have to visit Mystery Friend another day."

You're doing awesome

 :applause: :
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 04:42:51 AM by Leonor »

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Sidney37

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2021, 12:04:50 PM »
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.  Who is paying for the wedding?  Does that influence her need to demand that you invite other people?  I would just tell her no and keep repeating it.  It's your wedding.  This often becomes more complicated when they are the ones paying for it (if they are).  If they aren't it's so much easier to just say no. 

I, too, ended up with all sorts of people at my wedding who I didn't know and didn't want.  MIL has some cognitive issues and learning disabilities.  She invited everyone she ever worked with at a small family run office.  She didn't even know the last names of some of the people and had to track some down.  She verbally invited them and then was angry and confused when those people came to her 2 weeks before and said that they didn't get an invitation.  She had never given us these names and we never would have approved them.  Some had made travel arrangements already.  We had to scramble and add 20 people to the reception.  We were paying for it entirely ourselves and we weren't happy.  My now husband gave in and sent them all invitations.

My Pdf who is always so concerned about things being fair and her not being cheated out of something was furious that my ILs family was larger and they had more immediate relatives to invite.  My PDm has loads of cousins, but she doesn't speak to any of them so...  Well PDm demanded that our family get to invite the same number of people as ILs were inviting, so she demanded to invite countless people from her church to "make up for it'.   I barely knew these people.  They left right after eating and didn't stay for the reception.  I had countless empty tables at the reception where my actual friends who didn't get invited could have been.  I had to cut my own friends so my PDm could have the exact same number of invitations that my ILs had.  She wasn't pleased when those extra 20 people got invitations. 

It was a mess.  Weddings are a nightmare for kids of PDs.  You aren't wrong.  Just keep saying no.  It's your wedding. 

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Sneezy

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2021, 05:01:58 PM »
I will give you my perspective from the other side of the issue.  My DD is getting married next year.  DH and I are paying for the wedding.  And guess who made all (well, almost all) the decisions about where to have the wedding and how many people to invite and who these people would be, etc., etc., etc.?  DD and her fiance.  Because that's whose wedding it is.  I say that DD and her fiance made "most" of the decisions, because we did have some very minor discussions (for example, I pointed out that inviting the great-aunt from one side of the family without inviting the great-aunt from the other side might hurt some feelings, and DD readily agreed).  There have actually been a few times when DD has accused me of not caring enough about her wedding.  And I've had to explain that my mom (her grandmother) gets way too involved and way too nosy sometimes, and so I sometimes hold back too much because I don't want to be like my mom.

It's your wedding.  Do it your way.  Make it your special day and make it exactly how you want it to be.  And when there are hiccups (which there are with every wedding), just roll with it and enjoy your day.  Best wishes!!!

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square

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2021, 05:26:05 PM »
I grew up in a non-PD family. Such a family might ask that cousin so-and-so be invited. But the difference is that a no is ultimately accepted.

They might try to argue their point. They might try to negotiate. But they understand it’s your wedding and will drop it when they’ve made their case and still got a No. It won’t be war.

Also, as an aside, it’s easier to say Yes in such cases because it won’t be some weird game of chess that they will count as a triumph over you and utilize again in the future for other “wins.” It will just be about Cousin So-and-So, nothing loaded, and they’ll be happy and there will be no gloating.

PDs make everything into a life and death struggle, and it’s only natural that we have to say No in such cases.

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sandpiper

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Re: My uNMom wants me to invite a stranger to my wedding.
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2021, 07:49:30 PM »
Welcome to the struggle xxx
I am going to chime in here and say that there have been a number of weddings where PD FOO & friends with PD partners have excluded me from the guest list and then have demanded later on down the track that I appear when required as 'hands to serve' or 'services to provide' or 'there to tick box to make me look good.'
When I wasn't included in the wedding invites I gave these responses:
1. No comment
2. No drama
3. When the wedding is long gone & they require me to babysit/cook/offer Bed & Breakfast, it is simply a matter of 'Do I really want to put myself out for this person?' And on those rare occasions it has usually been 'Gee sorry we are doing something else that weekend.' I've simply modified my life so that I'm aware of whether or not they value me and how reciprocal is this relationship, and what is our level of intimacy.
There was one wedding that I was invited to - it was cousins who I hadn't known for very long (family secrets) and I thanked them for the generous invite but said that I would actually find it strange and difficult to be in a situation like that and I really wanted more quiet time alone with them for us to all get to know each other before I did big things like that. I'm an introvert so Big Things are hard enough at the best of times. Fast-forward 15 years & I now have a lovely relationship with my younger cousins & there is no resentment that I didn't go to their weddings - and that's because of how we've built our relationship and because we have all communicated in a caring way.
As for the weddings where I was not invited by PD FOO, I simply accepted that I'm not within the inner circle of the people holding the wedding and that was an adjustment that I needed to make.

I chose not to have a wedding because the thought of having DH's family plus mine under the same roof was never anything but a nightmare prospect. I'm not a weddings & dress-up kind of a woman but I appreciate that others are. I've been to a lot of weddings where some god-awful relative has made it All About Them, so my advice to you is to simply repeat on loop 'We can't have everyone, if you want to have an event for all the people we can't invite, why don't you make a list & organise it yourself and then you can have anyone you want there. My party, my guest list. Your party - your guest list.'
The goal with your PD parent is simply to create chaos, friction, pit people against each other, take away your joy and make it All About Them.
If you start viewing every one of their dramas in light of 'What is the end game here?' You'll realise that every single drama is just an extension of their need to make you miserable because this makes them feel good.
Time to start taking that power away.
I hope that helps.