A Real Monster-in-law

You’ve all heard of the movie Monster-In-Law with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda but experiencing one in real life is another story. This experience is very, very personal to me and actually……it’s my Monster-in-Law. Want to find out more? Keep reading….

My husband and I have been together for the past seven years and married for one and a half. We got married on NYE 2016 at the beautiful and historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside. Like any relationship, we’ve had our up and downs but one of those difficult points was during the planning process with my soon to be mother-in-law.

It all started when we got engaged. She was NOT. HAPPY. PERIOD. My husband and I were both in our Master’s programs and working full-time, so I get that the timing wasn’t perfect but we knew we would wait until graduation to tie the knot. Family, to me, has always been one of the most important priorities and I wanted to make that a key element in our wedding day. With my husband being a different ethnicity than me, I thought it would be so meaningful to incorporate both traditions into the wedding.

We had decided early on that we were not going to get married in a church but have a civil ceremony and receive a blessing in the church after the fact (since the Chapel at the Mission Inn is GORGEOUS). Once we told my mother-in-law we would not have a church wedding, she threatened to not attend our wedding. This was in the initial planning (16 months prior) which was heartbreaking since I had hoped this would be grounds to bring us closer together. It was a constant back and forth with manipulation, and guilt over the next 14 months which led us to taking a step back and not caring whether or not she showed up to our wedding because it was bringing us an enormous amount of stress. Fast-forward to the wedding, she actually showed up.  She was decent during the day, and then proceeded to leave early from the reception to go to work (that’s another story). Keep in mind, this is the very very abridged story.

Now, let’s time travel to my brother & sister-in-law’s wedding. Over the past year, my relationship with my mother-in-law had been…..okay. There hasn’t ever been an emotional relationship between the two of us but nothing that was really stressing me out, so I was good for the most part. It wasn’t until my brother-in-law was getting married that she did the exact same thing to them! Now, I ended up coordinating their wedding day this past year…..and this is when it went really, really haywire.

Just like a typical day in Los Angeles in the spring, there was hustle & bustle, the sun was shining, and wedding bells ringing.  PSYCH! I had thankfully been able to avoid my mother-in-law for the most part of the morning during set-up and checking in with the wedding party but the chaos started as guests began to arrive. During the weeks leading up to the wedding, I had worked with my brother and sister-in-law on all the details, timeline, etc. to ensure a smooth wedding day. That was quickly interrupted when my Mother-in-law freaked out that her guests were not being welcomed by the bride’s family, and that it was disrespectful to them. This type of “formality” was not ever communicated to me. EVER. And at that point I told her we just had to deal with the situation since the other parents were not at the venue yet. Utter Disgust #1. The next moment came when the processional was about to begin. She did not want to get in line to walk her son down the aisle because she felt welcoming her guests was more important. Yeah, I didn’t let this fly…but can you believe that?! How could you stay outside instead of being with your son? Utter Disgust #2. The Utter Disgust Moment #3 which was the icing on the cake was when she berated myself and the groom in front of ALL the family and wedding party during cocktail hour. Why you may ask? Because she wanted HER guests to begin eating dinner (at that moment) prior to the Bride & Groom’s entrance into the reception.

Even with staying calm, I almost lost it. I continued informing her that it was not a part of the timeline, nor what I had discussed with the bride & groom, and they agreed. Over the next 15 minutes, I was going up and downstairs, speaking with the catering staff, the staff was getting involved with her telling her no, yet still she persisted. Eventually the newlyweds caved, and her guests were invited (plus everyone else) into the reception to begin dinner service BEFORE THE BRIDE AND GROOM. I was angry…and at weddings I don’t get like this. The bride was in tears, emotions were at an all-time high, yet she did not even care. Just like the movie, it only matters when the Mom feels a certain type of way and cares less about how it affects everyone else. When it comes to the movie, and you feel frustrated by her actions or find them hilarious….you can at least walk away. Again, not in real life.

Unfortunately, in the popular Rom-Com they were able to come to a mutual understanding and live happily ever. Sometimes when a situation like this takes place, you have to choose what is better for your quality of life. I know this isn’t a peachy story but its truth and Monster-in-laws are not Jane Fonda. If it were…I would be in the best shape of my life. Good luck my friends!

Have you ever dealt with a Monster-in-law? Do you have one? Comment below!

August 28, 2018