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Puddle Coach Column, by Patrice Swenson                                                                                                                     Have a question for the Puddle Coach? Submit here

 

Dear Puddle Coach,                                                                                                                                                                                        Patrice Swenson, Puddle CoachDescription: Description: http://www.rainbowinthepuddle.com/sites/default/files/images/Life%20Coach%20Pic%20for%20Business%20Card_2.jpg

My fiancée and I are getting married soon and we are a little stressed out because his mother is trying to take over a lot of the planning and arrangements that we want to handle. She does things in a well-meaning manner but she is a bit controlling. It's like she wants to give a lot but she doesn't understand that we just want to be able to do it our way. She's paying for a lot of the arrangements and we are struggling because we almost feel controlled by the money. We have tried, in a very nice way to let her know we want some things different but she is insisting on the best of everything; the best, meaning, what she likes. We don't feel things need to be so extravagant and we don't want that; it's just not, "us". I'm feeling really frustrated and so is my fiancée, but he said, she's always been like this and he's never been able to do anything about it and just goes along with whatever she wants. I don't want that, but I also don't want a huge conflict. Don't you think she should care about what WE want? Looking for some advice! 

Frustrated Daughter-in-Law to be ~

 

Dear Frustrated Daughter-in-Law to be,

 

It sounds like you have quite the dilemma. It might seem she doesn't care what you want, because she is used to having things her way. I'm wondering what the relationship was with your mother-in-law to be, prior to the engagement; is this controlling feature showing up in other areas? Many well-meaning people can be controlling. Sometimes when generosity is involved, we have more trouble saying what we want, because we might sound ungrateful. Translation - GUILTY! You made some important statements; it is your wedding and it needs to represent who the two of you are, not who she is. What does this day look like for you when you see it exactly how you want it? Do you want her involved at all? If so, what would be ok to have her do? Being direct, assertive and true to what you and your fiancée want is important. Do you have his support in being firm with her on how things are going to be? If she would decide to pull back all financial contributions, is that OK with the two of you?

I'd suggest you write out what you want the day to be and what you need from her in order for this day to truly belong to you and your fiancée. Setup a meeting to talk about this as soon as you can. I would suggest you begin with an acknowledgement; it will help set the tone for positive communication. Try not to make the exchange an emotional one and stick to the matter at hand. It's easy to get off track, especially if someone takes what you want as a personal attack. Be true to you, the rest will fall into place! You can't really change anyone, but you can live and do things the way you want to for you; she may have to get used to that! Or you could just invite her over for a movie...click here to see one you might enjoy! She might get the hint and you won't need the conversation :-)

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