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Issues with MY mother

My fiance and I have been engaged for just over a month.  We have been together for three years, but ever since day one my mother just can't get over his dislike for him.  She is extremely traditional and Fiance and I are the exact opposite.  She can't get over his long hair and his piercings, and thinks they're disgusting.  The first thing she said after I announced my engagement was, "So is he gonna cut his hair so he looks more like a man?"  It's pathetic and unnecessary. 
On top of that, I was the one to propose (remember what I said about being non-traditional?) and I bought my own ring, and of course she had an issue with that, and now I'm convinced she doesn't even take my engagement seriously now.  She seems to think it's her decision whether or not I marry him.
I feel so bad for Fiance because she has had negative things to say about him for the past three years, despite hardly knowing him.  And the reason I don't bring him around is entirely because of these negative prejudgments she has.  If she wouldn't have ever said anything negative about him before even knowing him in the first place, I would be more open to the idea, but now that it's necessary to have them know one another, the situation is difficult. 
How can I go about making things easy for all of us?  This is supposed to be the happiest time in my life, and it's already extremely stressful. 

Re: Issues with MY mother

  • Alright, I can certainly see how that would be frustrating. That being said, however, I feel like you are upset with her for being judgmental about something that is entirely common to be judgmental about. 

    Not liking long hair and piercings on men is not extremely traditional. People are judged by their appearance - your fiance chooses a non-traditional (?) appearance but then you are extremely upset at your mother for judging him for it, and not liking him for it. 

    Think about it from her point of view - not from the point of right or wrong, to try to truly understand her feelings, her concerns and where she is coming from. Maybe she has concerns about a stereotype that men of that appearance fit into? Homeless slackers? Hippie drug user? Drummer in an indie band? Dot.com tycoon? Maybe she had her own visions of her daughter's wedding and is worried about what her friends and family will think of him? Maybe she is worried about how he will be able to provide for her daughter? In her mind, maybe he wasn't able to afford an engagement ring (red flag for her) or he didn't give you the traditional on bent knee moment she always wanted for you. Or he didn't want to marry you. Or, or, or.

    Her comment wasn't pathetic and unnecessary - it wasn't a racist or other equally horrid comment. You are disproportionately angry with her for doing something quite common and expressing a concern somewhat badly.

    So use this. Actually sit and think about her position, why is she thinking this way, what are the underlying concerns... and then address those with her gently. She's your mother - just have a talk with her about your fiance. Start off with hey, something you said really hurt me and I don't think you meant it that way, but can we talk about it? I feel like you don't accept fiance because he and I are both of a certain style in doing things, but I hope you understand that this doesn't mean that he/we _______, etc. Open a conversation and LET HER TALK. Ask open ended questions of her gently and without a fight, you may be able to turn this entire thing around by showing her a bit of understanding so she will be more receptive to your views.

    You are right, it is not her decision. But it wouldn't hurt to have her on board, no?
    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
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    spikeincSillygirl45moonprincessd
  • My fiance and I have been engaged for just over a month.  We have been together for three years, but ever since day one my mother just can't get over his dislike for him.  She is extremely traditional and Fiance and I are the exact opposite.  She can't get over his long hair and his piercings, and thinks they're disgusting.  The first thing she said after I announced my engagement was, "So is he gonna cut his hair so he looks more like a man?"  It's pathetic and unnecessary. 

    This sounds like something out of the Sixties where all of a sudden all this long hair and outlandish clothes were on the scene.  His hair, his piercings --- I say it is no big whoop.

    On top of that, I was the one to propose (remember what I said about being non-traditional?) and I bought my own ring, and of course she had an issue with that, and now I'm convinced she doesn't even take my engagement seriously now.  She seems to think it's her decision whether or not I marry him.

    Here is where I am going to have a difference of opinion: you'll probabloy shoot me but I'm from the school that says the groom is the one who buys the ring.

    There's something --- I don't know --- not so comforting about the fact you purchased the ring yourself.


    I feel so bad for Fiance because she has had negative things to say about him for the past three years, despite hardly knowing him.  And the reason I don't bring him around is entirely because of these negative prejudgments she has.  If she wouldn't have ever said anything negative about him before even knowing him in the first place, I would be more open to the idea, but now that it's necessary to have them know one another, the situation is difficult. 


    I would go to lunch with dear ole Mom and at the end of the lunch, tell her "Look, Ma --- I love Jim and we're getting married. We do not appreciate your negativity; since we are tired of it, we will not be in contact with you until you're more civil to Jim.  What hurts him hurts me;. Think about it; you may not even get to see your grandkids, thanks to your insolence."

    See if that gets her to fly right.

    Is there a third party that is neutral who can talk to her?

    How can I go about making things easy for all of us?  This is supposed to be the happiest time in my life, and it's already extremely stressful. 
      I wouldn't bring grandkids there to see her if she is that nasty to you and to Jim. A kiddo shouldn't be hearing or seeing that kind of rancor.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    To follow on Tofu, what kind of talks have you had w/ your mom?  Have you tried to have a calm, sit down "heart to heart" to ask her "what's really the issue here?".  And w/o RE-acting to what she says, when she makes blanket statements- have you tried to dig past them a little?

    AND have you said "Mom- I love you and want to have you in my life.  But right  now, that's becoming harder and harder.  If we continue on the path we're on, I really don't know what the future holds for us.  I don't want to feel like this.  I want you involved, I want you to be a part of my life.  How can we get there?". 
    Sillygirl45TarponMonoxidemoonprincessd
  • What @Tofumonkey and @VOR said. 

    Try to see things from her perspective. Then have a calm conversation with her asking her to go ahead and lay out her concerns. Address her concerns and tell her how this is making you feel. Maybe her concerns go beyond his appearance.

    As far as not bringing him around, you may have to do just that so she can get to know him. Keeping him from her probably just validates that he has something to hide in her mind. Now if she's being abusive, of course you guys don't need to deal with that, but give her a chance.

    Let's be honest, if you present yourself with a "unique" look you can't really expect people not to...well...look. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it, but you need to be realistic.

    Good luck!
  • Is she concerned about your future with him because of her opinion of him, or does she just not like him and assume that no one does or should like what she doesn't?  It's unclear from what you posted, and actually matters a lot in how to respond.
    image
  • Sorry for the late reply, life kinda got in the way of things.

    Anyways, to answer some questions, my mother is very judgmental overall.  Several other members of the family have had similar complaints about how she judges people and things so harshly so quickly.  I understand it's human nature to judge people quickly, but I don't think she needs to air her grievances with his appearance with me so often, especially at this point when we've been together so long.  My mom is very her way or the high way.  She thinks anyone who doesn't think like her is weird and different and should be avoided, and similarly, anything she doesn't understand, she dislikes.  I'm not expecting my mom to love my fiance for his looks or anything like that, I just primarily need her to get over it and look past those things.
    Have I talked to my mother about this?  Absolutely.  But she and I both have dominant personalities, so it's hard to come to a happy conclusion without there being a fight.  And this has been the case for many years, long before I even met my fiance.  That's just how we are.  I'm trying to move past that, however.  I'd love for my mom to be on board with everything going on in my life, but it's difficult when we disagree on so many things.
    Finally, Fiance and I don't plan on having any children so that entire tactic is out.

    I do appreciate the advice, though.  I'll try my best to have a real, calm, sit down conversation with her about these things.  May need a referee though.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    I'm not saying this to jump on you, but whenever I read "that's just how I am", I see it as a cop out. It's easier to hide behind that than to actually be different and make a change.

    Also, there can't be a fight if there is only one person fighting. Meaning - the "talk" starts to go down that path? Disengage, walk away.

    Some if this might also be accepting that you can't change your mom. Trying to make her see your side may simply not work. From that, figure out what you want. Her in your life but your upset and annoyed w her, or her not in your life quite so much but you a little more peace an quiet b
    Sillygirl45moonprincessdTofumonkey
  • I think all you can do is when talking to your mom is talk about all the wonderful things about your FI, you know all the things you love about him. How well he treats you, makes you happy and anything else. Because of her attitude she hasn't gotten to know him so the only way that she can get to know him is based on what you tell her. Tell her even about the small things, like it was so wonderful coming home the other day after work and he had done... (dishes, laundry, dinner, etc).

    It probably probably take time but hopefully that will help her see how much you love him and happy he makes you and how good he treats you and supports you and in the end I think that is what parents want for their kids. Good luck!

  • You might just have to accept that she won't ever love your fiancé, and the relationship will never be what you want it to be. That sucks, but it's her choice if she'd rather judge him on his appearance than try to get to know him as a person. Just because you're having a wedding doesn't mean they have to magically get along. Plan your wedding, invite her to participate, and she can choose whether or not she wants to grow up and be a part of it, or if she'd rather sulk about things not going her way. If she chooses to sulk, that's on her. Let her sulk, enjoy your day and stand by your man. And I'm surprised by all the people defending your mother, but I'm also someone who's non-traditional and my inlaws have disliked me from the start too, because of how I look, that I'm not from their culture and I worked in a gay-friendly health organization. They judged me without getting to know me at all, and I know how much that sucks. I feel for you. As long as you're happy with your fiancé and know he's a good person, that's all that matters. How he looks and what your mom thinks are not important. The only advice I can give as someone who has been in your fiance's position is for you to stand up for him, on big issues and small ones. Make sure your mom knows that you won't tolerate her bad-mouthing him. Because people who do that can cause so much damage to a relationship, and your fiancé needs to know that you're on his side. Good luck!!
  • Okay, so it's option #2.  Yeah, then there will be no convincing her.  I mean, maybe opening her up to the idea that her opinions aren't the objective right things would be good in general and would help, but that's about it.  If you want to do that, I'd start by reminding her every time she judges someone aloud that the very same person probably thinks SHE is awful and weird and wrong, and that every single person on this whole earth secretly thinks their opinions are the absolute right ones and that everyone else is wrong.  And when I say every time, I mean every single time.  She's going to need a lot of repetition.
    image
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