Relationship Advice

Bait And Switch

bride with hand covering eyes with smiling mother-in-law

My future mother-in-law has me stricken with panic attacks almost every time I see or speak to her lately. When we first got engaged, she was ecstatic and wanted to start wedding planning immediately.

She would tell me what she liked, what she doesn't like, the type of dress she would like to see me in, everything. When we met with vendors, she would talk and talk and never listen to anything I or others said.

She is the least focused and one of the most child-like women I've ever met. She speaks without thinking and says things without taking responsibility. With my mother in a different city, she has been driving me nuts.

Here's the big dilemma. She offered to pay for the alcohol and flowers. I know you can never expect anyone to pay for anything unless they offer—but she offered! Vendors have been hired and the budget created in accordance with her offer. Now she is reneging.

She nonchalantly told me today her friend said the groom's parents don't pay for those things—but she already offered! I am so upset with her and her disregard for common courtesy, I called my fiancé and he said he would speak with her.

I don't want to cause conflict between she and I, nor do I want a mother-in-law who feels negative towards me. But how do I handle this type of woman, and how do I handle this wedding paying issue?


Tally, one Friday a middle-aged man walked into a jewelry store with an attractive blonde on his arm. He told the jeweler he was looking for a nice diamond ring. So the jeweler reached into a case and pulled out a $5,000 ring.

"No, no," the man said. "That's not nearly nice enough for her." So the jeweler reached into the case again and produced a $10,000 ring. Again, the man said no, it wasn't good enough for his girlfriend.

So the jeweler went into his back room and returned with a stunning ice-blue ring with 12 diamonds. The price was $25,000. "Perfect," the man said. "I'll write you a check today and come back Monday to pick it up."

On Monday the man returned, and the jeweler told him his check bounced. "Oh, I know that," the man said, "but let me tell you about my weekend!"

Like the man in the story, your future mother-in-law had a very good "weekend." For the price of a false promise, she insinuated herself into the planning of your wedding.

Every girl over the age of 10 knows what expenses typically fall on the bride's family. This wasn't news to your future mother-in-law. When she told you a friend's words caused her to renege on her promise, she told you a bald-faced lie.

Let her trick you this time without consequences, and she will pull this trick out of her bag again and again.

What should you do? Reexamine the wedding plans. If this woman usurped your wishes in any area, change your arrangements. For example, if she chose the flowers, decide on different flowers and inform her of your changes. She doesn't get to tell others she decided on this or she decided on that.

For most people, money is hard to come by. That is why they fall for money tricks. Promises of money can draw us into making decisions we cannot back out of, and as you know, you may need to renegotiate with some vendors. If that is the case, don't be shy about telling them why.

Your mother-in-law got to make decisions she had no right to make. Make sure she does not get what she wants.

Some people use our natural courtesy against us, even though they have no sense of morality themselves. When others lie and deceive us, there is only one answer. Make them own it.

Wayne & Tamara