So we have all heard the mother-in-law jokes, right? Monsters-in-law, and all of that. The reality is that most of the time when you become engaged, the groom’s mother will be a pretty nice person. However, there are certainly cases where she may be completely overbearing, not to mention pretty intimidating. These are some tips on how to deal with an overbearing mother of the groom to ensure that you are able to enjoy your wedding.
The fact of the matter is that tension between the bride and her fiance’s mom is fairly common. She might be the sweetest woman in the world, but the truth of the matter is that when her son marries you, he is in effect transferring his main loyalty from her to you. This is bound to cause some stress in the early stages of the relationship. It may be that she resents you a tiny bit, even if she does not mean to, or that you find her to be intimidating and are afraid that you will never live up to her standards. Whatever the case, it is worth the effort to get the relationship with your future mother-in-law on solid footing before the wedding.
It is a fine line to walk between standing up to an overbearing mother of the groom without offending or alienating her. For that reason, many a bride has suffered in silence as her fiance’s mother tries to tell her how to plan her wedding, why the wedding gown she bought is all wrong, or how the bride knows nothing about proper etiquette. Direct confrontation is rarely a good path to peace in these situations, as you are likely to get back a guilt-inducing “I was only trying to help” that somehow turns everything around so that you end up looking like the bully. So what is a bride to do?
Tactfulness is a great place to begin when dealing with an overbearing mother of the groom. Become an expert at the art of politely placating her without actually agreeing to do anything for your wedding that you do not like. There is no snappy comeback to “Thank you for your suggestion; I will certainly take it into consideration.” For instance, if your mother in law says that all classy weddings have swan shaped ice sculptures and you think that they are the height of tackiness, simply thank her for her input and say nothing more. You have not committed to anything, yet she can in no way fault you for being rude or a selfish bridezilla.
It is helpful to keep in mind that many times the mother of the groom does not mean to be pushy or overbearing. She may just be really excited about the wedding and wants to be a part of everything. In this case, a great strategy is to include her in specific parts of the wedding planning so that she feels included. Ask her opinion about things, and try to take at least a few of her ideas. You might take her shopping for the wedding jewelry gifts for your bridesmaids or ask her opinion on the best wedding jewelry gifts for your mother and grandmother. Find out if she thinks ivory or cream roses would be prettier. If you give her defined tasks to assist you with, more often than not, you will find less of the general intrusion and bossiness. Your fiance’s mother will feel important and valued, the bride will get a little breathing room, and who knows, you may even end up becoming friends in the process.