The history of our engagement/wedding- Gracie's family edition

I may have touched on this in the past but since my posts focused on my husband's family rather than my own, I failed to put out an accurate picture of this time in my life spanning about a year. How the families interacted was one thing, how one thing fueled another has yet to be mentioned. Forgive me if this is a repeat. As I was reminded and have been thinking a lot lately, the past often dictates the future. Behavior does indeed repeat itself. In order to make informed decisions and boundaries I need to rehash the facts in a new light. My husband's family is out of the picture, my own is not. Going over the past with them doesn't really matter because our decision not to see them again is already solidified in our hearts and minds. Regarding my own family I find myself treading on new ground. Unsure where to step. That's where the past comes in.

I've said before if not for my parent's urging I possibly would not have married my husband. I feel the need to correct that statement. I would have married him. Just not on the timeline we had set before us. Most likely we would have broken up and gotten back together to do our wedding our way- most likely we would have simply eloped to save us both the drama and a lot of DH's family situations would have been set BEFORE our marriage- not after. If we had to do it again and had we taken a break to re-evaluate the situation- we would have 'fired' our pastor. Run away from both families and done the unthinkable- get married on our own time and in our own way. Crazy right?

Time and time again during our dating relationship I was urged to go along with things I did not want to do. Especially by my mother. If I did not attend his family photoshoot the very weekend AFTER our long trip to the northern hell country- my only option was to spend that weekend alone at home under my mother's strict dissaproval. I was not going along with his family's wishes. Even if it was unfair and ridiculous. My place as his girl friend was to support him. Be there for him. Even if I disagreed with the way I was treated along the way.

Even earlier in our relationship my mom gave me terrible advice in saying I was probably not the only girl he was attracted to. But I was the one he was with. So instead of bringing up situations that had me uncomfortable- mainly other girls flirting with my man- it was my place to let it happen. To let the boys be boys and not expect him to be a man and stand up to a proper distance in his relationship to other women while we were dating. I followed that advice for about a month or two and then was so fed up I finally told him how crappy that made me feel. I'm glad I did. He made efforts to not see those people and put more effort into letting everyone know I was his girl and no one was going to take him away from me. That would have never happened had I listened to my mother. My dad and sisters were so far removed from my life that I didn't get this kind of advice from them. In fact, I didn't hear from them much at all.

The rest is jumbled in my head. I only remember the day we got engaged. I knew something was not right. My heart was heavy posing for my mom's camera as my little sister photobombed all our 'engagement' photos and was not told to stop. We had no time to ourselves. I locked myself in my room and cried and cried. I was simply told to put a smile on and behave.

I was urged to go along with the wedding when I didn't want to. To go along with bridal shower plans. Here's another treasure of a memory I try to forget. My shower. Hardly anyone showed. Thankfully my friends managed to pull it together so it was NOT all my mother's doing. She showed up with her friends and okay-d an acquaintance and her sister to the guest list I hardly new (never met before!). It was awkward. Stilted. Despite my friend's best efforts. After the guests left I was cleaning up the mess left behind. Yup. Guest of honor on hands and knees. Awkward. I didn't feel special. It was super awkward to be with people I hardly knew. Mostly my mom's friends or people she invited thinking it was 'ok' without asking me first. Honestly I went along with it to please her- we got not much out of it at all. Again, I figured I'd go along for the gifts because we were broke. It wasn't worth the price of the shower on me emotionally, let me tell you. I spent the day humiliated and cried and cried afterwards. After the party smile was gone. After tears had been swallowed I wrote thank yous and hoped for the end of it.

Then there was the time my mom came to me teary eyed after I had slapped my fiance in the face and broke up with him for putting his family ahead of me that night they verbally abused me. It's because of this I made up with him against my will and continued wedding plans. It was a nightmare with my mom every step of the way. It was a fight. The day before/day of I was setting up. It was only me, my fiance, her and her best friend. 7 hours before I walked down the aisle. Nothing had been done upon my arrival to help. I nearly had a panic attack. In making the seating chart I refused to seat his family close to our table for two. I refused to reserve seats for his parents up front and center. This was something I would not move on even at the urging of my mother, her friend and our pastor. Hell to the no. Nightmare after nightmare she went behind my back and told people to set them up in front with extra chairs to boot. My fiance had to fix this seating arrangement a few times before the ceremony as she or someone else switched it back against my will. I finally decided to reverse the way I would be on my dad's arm. I would be on the opposite side to what was traditional. I would not marry my fiance with his family in my line of sight. I would not say my vows or even look at them as they assumed they were on the side of the room to support him. To be there for him. To be behind him. No. They were behind me. I stood fast to this as I didn't want to see the bastards. I'm glad I did. They ignored every seating arrangement we had made and squished up front for appearances.

Before this my family was supposed to be with me, to be there for me as we took pictures just the two of us. I hoped my mom or sister would be there for me and help me into my dress and be at least there for emotional support. They were too busy getting ready at the house to come. My dress came late because my dad had to bring it as my mom was getting ready. None of my family were there. It was humiliating to explain to the photographers why my dress wasn't there and why I, the bride, was so unprepared. Why I was running around doing everything on my own. My family came about an hour before the ceremony. After pictures I slipped out of my dress by myself to my sweats as my family ran around getting things ready for their friends. I didn't see my mom at all. She was too busy on the phone or with her friends making sure it was perfect for her guests. It was a blur.

After setting up the sound system myself I had to get ready solo and shake off the cling-ons that stuck to me like bubblegum because they had no idea what to do. Um. Don't look at the bride- she has 15 minutes to get ready- so scram. I sobbed in the dressing room and slipped into my dress with 10 minutes to spare. Fixed my makeup once more and waited. My dad/the pastor was supposed to come get me. They were late. In the fuss no one remembered the bride was still in the dressing room waiting with no clue as to where they were in the song list or ceremony. I felt like throwing up. Yes, I was late to walk down the aisle because no one remembered me. I'm not kidding but I wish I was.

The rest of the night was the same. My mom and family partying it up with their guests and relatives. The N's sulking and acting like utter assholes, insulting me at every possible turn. It was a nightmare. It was ghoulish. It felt like some psycho-party gone off the deep end of reality. It couldn't be happening. I felt confused and abandoned as I well was. I felt as thought it were entirely a performance for my family. To put on a show for them and their guests. I wasn't the guest of honor. Like at my shower. I was a figurine. A little glass doll centerpiece. Expected to look perfect and expected to withstand breaking under pressure.

From the passive aggressive links my mom posts publicly to comments she makes- it hasn't changed since our wedding. I was mad at them for months. Thankfully I didn't have to see any of them. Now that I live closer that's near impossible but I'm trying to hide away until my anger blows over.

I STILL get comments about my relationship with my husband. How I need to look my best when he comes home even if I'm puking the day-long. How I need to have dinner ready and make the house clean while he's gone- even with my pregnancy making that hard. I don't 'do anything else', in her words at least. What else have got to do besides make a home for my husband while I am too sick to be employed on a regular basis? The message is the same. Shut up, Gracie. Keep your smile on, Gracie. Serve your man, Gracie. I can say that all of this is without grounds. My husband doesn't even hold to these traditional views. In fact, he TELLS me not to over-exert myself lest I go into labor prematurely since I'm at risk for that. If I share how I've been feeling badly- the answer is not sympathy- but 'oh please' and an eye roll.

I know this is only the future with my mother. The past dictates how she'll react when we send our son to school instead of me giving up my career to home school him. When I lose the baby weight and once again don my whore-bikini. When she finds out we picked a pediatrician without informing her who that is. When I say I don't want a baby shower because of (I have no idea what I'll say)- because we have all the major things together??? But really, because the person the shower is being thrown for has the right to veto any guest she's not comfortable with being there. Something I would not have the power to do if my mom were hosting. Can I trust her NOT to invite my in laws? I don't know.

To deal with comments like 'don't you want to reconcile?' and 'of course' the N's will be there for the birth of our son. From those comments to comments that are completely false. How my husband WANTS his family there or in his life or in my life. That's a lie. She knows the truth. But the fact is, it's easier to say they haven't contacted him at all instead of explaining why he hasn't responded to anything from them.

It's easier to shut them out. To shut her friends out than to deal with the drama of another shower. The expectations of a pregnant woman in her eyes that I am unable to fulfill. If history repeats itself, I cannot have them in my life like they were for our wedding and engagement. I want to say no to everything even if that means we have to struggle to get by. I don't want my parents to visit me in the hospital. I don't want them to see my son and announce his birth before I can. I'm tired of being disrespected and hurt by their actions and words. I'm tired of her reaction being- forgive and forget. Read my passive aggressive facebook posts and see that I'm sincere? Since her apology for ruining our news nothing else has been said or done to make that 'better' in any way. Just bitchy retaliation for - something I did? Apparently.

Thanks for bearing with me. I know there are details I have forgotten. But until I remember this is all I have to go on. I have to say the track record for past hurts doesn't look too positive when related to future events for them.


  1. Wow. These experiences are so common in the ACoN world, Ms. G. but they're painful for all the ACs involved. I bet you do wish you'd eloped and I am sorry-it sounds like such a mess.
    Yeah, "Just Say No" to any more anythings from your family. "No" is a complete sentence. You don't have to add "because/wherefore/thereby" etc. because your "mother" is gonna fight you every last millimeter of the way. Don't give her any more ammo than "No." And hang up the phone/walk away when she keeps nagging or trying to guilt you. I know this is gonna be a real challenge, but I have faith you can do this, Ms.G. You're a lot tougher than you know, IMO.

  2. Thanks, TW. I certainly appreciate your encouragement. :) Looking forward to regaining some sanity in the next few months!


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