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'AITA for telling my fiancee that I love her, but she can't expect my mom to prioritize her?'

'AITA for telling my fiancee that I love her, but she can't expect my mom to prioritize her?'


Weddings bring up big feelings, and not all of them are positive.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for telling his fiancee he loves her, but she shouldn't expect much from his mom. He wrote:

"AITA for telling my fiancee that I love her, but she can't expect my mom to prioritize her?"

My fiancee "Janie" and I are in the middle of planning our August 2024 wedding. We had a longish engagement of two years, so that we could save. My mom got engaged around Christmas time of this year and set her wedding date for May 2024. Her wedding is the last week in May. Ours is the first week in August, so they are just over two months apart.

Janie was pretty shocked to hear about my mom's wedding. She asked me if I thought it was weird and I didn't understand why I would. She explained that she couldn't envision a parent getting married that close to their child, because she would expect the focus to be all on the child. She said her parents wouldn't even consider it.

I think this situation has been a bit hard on Janie as my mom is a professional wedding planner with virtually no budget, and the family seemingly only cares about her wedding. Janie recently had an altercation with my mom, because Janie mentioned she was going for a dress fitting and someone asked if my mom had seen her dress.

My mom said no, and Janie made a joke that she wouldn't take my mom to any of her appointments as she might start trying on dresses. My mom asked Janie if Janie had a problem with her, and janie just rolled her eyes. My mom's fiancee and I kept them apart the rest of the night, and when we got to the car I told Janie that wasn't called for.

She began to get upset, so I reassured her that I get why she feels this way. Then and I might be an AH for this, I said while I love her so much, she can't expect my mom to feel as strongly about our wedding or to prioritize her. Janie became very quiet and didn't want to talk about it. Now I feel I may have been insensitive.

The internet had a lot of comments and questions in response.

CountNo3581 wrote:

Last week of May to first week of August is over two months apart, not one month, right? NTA. I could understand Janie being miffed if the weddings were a week apart or even in the same month but two months apart doesn’t seem like too much of a wedding faux pas.

I would think of the May one as a spring wedding and the August as summer. I feel like Janie’s wedding dress comment was uncalled for, and Janie rolling her eyes instead of communicating properly was rude. What is Janie and your mom’s relationship generally like, though?

EDIT: After reading some more comments, I feel more empathy for Janie. Her comment and eye roll were still, to me, disrespectful (I always support clear communication over passive aggressiveness), but I feel like there’s more going on here.

OP responded:

They don't have too much of a relationship. I don't know how to put this but my mom is very distractable and hyperactive. Janie is more quiet and shyer, so my mom is focused on whatever is grabbing her attention at the moment or whatever is fun, and forgets everything else. Janie doesn't like her too much and blows off some steam behind her back which I do get.

SuperWomanUSA wrote:

Let’s make sure we’re clear. Has your mom ever been RUDE or MEAN to your fiancée? Or is your just more disinterested? Or neutral as they just don’t have a close relationship? You haven’t given a single example of anything your mom has done to your wife for your wife to even have a problem with her.

Is the problem that she got engaged and is having the wedding a couple of months before you? It’s really weird people think they own the YEAR they get married.

I think you need to have an honest conversation with your gf. Ultimately there are a few things at play: The woman’s side of the family is MUCH more excited and / or interested in the wedding. Everyone knows “it’s the brides wedding and the groom is the guest of honor.”

I think she should mute her expectations of the groom's family.

Also, your moms a wedding planner, maybe she thought she help her plan the wedding at no cost? Is your mom a popular planner in your area?

Your gf is pretty sure that your mom’s wedding is going to outshine her own.

You said you mom had unlimited resources and was a wedding a planner. When an event planner plans, oh man, they PLAN! I think you need to have an honest conversation about this too. She shouldn’t make the comparison.

NTA on the question, because yes, your mom does not have to prioritize her AT ALL. She’s not her kid and really there’s usually little involvement from the grooms family. Maybe she expected your mom to be a doting MIL?

OP responded:

She hasn't been mean. The only rudeness is getting distracted from conversations or letting other people come over and interrupt, but in general her attention span sucks.

GrammaBear707 wrote:

So basically your mom is rude to your fiancée but gets a pass because she is easily distracted and her attention span sucks. Maybe mom should work on that.

OP responded:

Not sure what I can do when she's literally walked into traffic before. I've snapped at her and tried to get her attention back.

fallingintopolkadots wrote:

I mean, I kind of understand where Janie is coming from....especially if her family, and families that she knows tend to be all about their kid's weddings. You mom seems not that interested in ya'll wedding, and instead planned hers to be around 2 months from yours, so much of her focus will be there.

On top of that, your "mom is a professional wedding planner with virtually no budget.", while you and your fiance have planned for 2 years to afford your wedding. I can imagine feeling at least a little snubbed that your mom isn't (from what it sounds like) contributing to the wedding, whether monetarily or with her ample wedding planning skills (and likely connections in the industry).

Does is not bother you at all? Perhaps you have made peace with your mom being how your mom is. Your fiance obviously hasn't yet, and that's understandable if her family is very much not that way. While what your fiance said to your mom wasn't great, I can see where those feelings likely came from, and it doesn't sound like you're trying to see this all from her perspective.

_SneakyDucky_ wrote:

NTA, but your mom is IMHO. Who in their right mind has a 5 month engagement and books it right before their own sons wedding? Unlimited budget or not? I'm sorry, but I have a friend who did this just so she could say she was married first. I have a friends brother that is currently doing the same. I don't know if your mom has been married before, but if she has, that would make it even worse imo.

Your mom seems completely uninterested by your upcoming nuptials, and I can understand why Janie feels snubbed. Frankly, I feel snubbed for her, and I think anyone in a similar situation has the right to feel snubbed. Please just tell me it's not at the same venue...

HestiaRoyals wrote:

NAH. While you are correct, Janie can't expect your mom to prioritize her; Janie is also correct, it is very weird for your mom to have a wedding three months before yours. If hers had been planned before yours, I would understand. Her timing is very strange. Talk to Janie (with an open mind).

If your mom and Janie had a good relationship, I think she was probably hoping your mom would be involved in planning your wedding, which she can't do if she is planning her own. Because, by three months before your wedding, everything should basically be arranged.

Lvl99_EmoElder wrote:

It sounds like there are some unresolved issues in the relationship between your mom, you, and your fiancée. I have a hard time believing that this one circumstance set your fiancée off completely out of context from an otherwise normal relationship dynamic.

Does your fiancée feel that your mom doesn’t like her? Does she feel that your mom is trying to drive a wedge between you two? Does she worry that you are too close to your mom in a way that might jeopardize how you prioritize her? Does she feel like she’s not accepted in your family? Is she generally insecure, and if so, for what reason is she insecure?

I’m willing to bet that there is already preexisting animosity. Either directly between them, or through you for some reason. Then telling her that your mom shouldn’t be expected to feel the same way or prioritize her fed into that underlying animosity. Especially if she’s already worried that your mom doesn’t like her or is coming between you.

It’s not necessarily the most logical response to your comment, but it’s possible it’s still how she feels. You’re NTA for saying it, but I think it was not a helpful thing to say either. I think you need to talk to her and figure out where all of this is really coming from. Don’t focus on reassurances or defending your mother, focus on figuring out why she feels the way that she does.

If you immediately go on the defensive she’s just going to stop opening up and the issue will continue to fester. Start with just getting her to talk and just listening to what she has to say. After that, you can start having a discussion about it. But don’t invalidate her feelings. If she says, “I think your mom doesn’t like me.”

Don’t respond, “don’t be ridiculous, of course she likes you.” Instead ask, “why do you feel like she doesn’t like you?” And when she gives you her reasons, validate those reasons, “I can see how that would make you feel that way.” Then you can say something like, “can I share with you what I have seen?” Or “can I share with you why my mom might be acting that way?”

Then focus on “I statements”, “I think…”, “I feel…”, “I see…” The other thing you can do, after you do the above, and depending on what she says, is facilitate a moderated conversation between her and your mom to air out their feelings. It may also not hurt to suggest couple’s counseling in helping you two prepare for married life.

People make the mistake of thinking that couple’s counseling is just for couples who are having problems, but they’re actually way more useful if done before you get to the kind of problems that can end a relationship. The reality is, we know there are best practices when it comes to relationships, communication, managing conflict, etc. but we’re never given any real training in how to employ those practices.

A good counselor can facilitate that (it’s also why a lot of churches require you to meet with the pastor regularly before they’ll marry you, because the pastor is there to facilitate the role of counselor and make sure you both are prepared for married life).

OP responded:

"Does your fiancée feel that your mom doesn’t like her?"

She feels my mom is neutral on her but hasn't made enough of an effort to get to know her as something else always comes and distracts her

"Does she feel that your mom is trying to drive a wedge between you two?"


"Does she worry that you are too close to your mom in a way that might jeopardize how you prioritize her?"

I don't think so as we aren't very close. We only talk like once a month and see each other at family stuff or occasionally have dinner.

"Does she feel like she’s not accepted in your family?"

Yes, she feels we both don't fit in and that my mom gets all the attention.

"Is she generally insecure, and if so, for what reason is she insecure?"

She does struggle with insecutity due to some stuff from her childhood.

Agitated-Buddy9787 wrote:

NTA. I’m having a hard time understanding the comments that your mom “wedged” in her wedding before yours. It’s pretty common to want to get married between May and September; it’s also pretty common for people who are older to have shorter engagements. Expecting your mom to wait a year and a half to get married the spring after you would be unfair.

It’s true OP’s fiancée is a bride, but so is his mom. Leaving two months between ceremonies is perfectly reasonable and respectable. Asking her to wait a year or change her preferred season is not.

Hopefully, OP and Janie are able to constructively talk through this.

Sources: Reddit
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